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HRV has today released the "Harness Racing Victoria Strategic Plan 2020 Consultation Paper" which will be the blueprint to take Victorian harness racing into the future. The plan is designed to revitalise harness racing in Victoria and create a dynamic and world class industry that will serve as a national and global leader. The plan will cover such key issues as integrity and animal welfare, horse population, innovation of the racing product, wagering, industry participation and growth, marketing and communications to name a few. HRV Chairman Ken Latta PSM said: "For the Plan to achieve its objectives the input, ideas and support of the industry is critical." Mr Latta invites all participants passionate about harness racing to become involved. HRV proposes to engage widely and embark on a rigorous consultation process to discuss the plan. In the coming month HRV will: * Hold sessions with formal industry consultation groups * Conduct forums with participants across Victoria * Receive feedback via written submissions Harness racing makes a significant contribution to the social fabric of Victoria and currently contributes $422 million to the Victorian economy, $226 million in household wages and is responsible for the employment of 4000 FTE jobs. With fresh ideas and industry input the 2020 Plan will ensure that harness racing continues to make its mark in Victoria well into the future. The timetable for the consultation process is: * Release of Consultation Paper - August 27 * Stakeholders consultation and forums to take place during September 2015 * Written submissions close September 30, 2015 * Strategic Plan 2020 released late 2015 The consultation forums will be conducted at the following locations, commencing at 7pm: * Bendigo Harness Racing Club September 15 * Shepparton Harness Racing Club September 22 * Tabcorp Park Melton September 23 To access the Harness Racing Victoria Strategic Plan 2020 Consultation Paper and written submissions form click here CODY WINNELL, COMMUNICATIONS AND MEDIA MANAGER

Bendigo trots are the place to be on Saturday night as the club holds a special evening to raise funds for Kez’s Hideaway, a retreat for women living with the challenges of breast cancer. Gates open from 5pm for the 10-race card with a special Lady Drivers Race featuring some of harness racing’s female participants donning pink driving pants to show their support for the cause. Reinswomen Monique Burnett, Amanda Turnbull, Ellen Tormey, Kate Gath, Donna Castles, Tanya Cavallaro, Kerryn Manning, Jodi Quinlan, Lisa Miles and Rebecca Bartley will all compete in the Kez’s Hideaway Lady Drivers Pace, Race 3 at 6.32pm. “The Bendigo club in conjunction with the OTIS Foundation are very proud to be supporting the Kez’s Hideaway Memorial Race Night,” Bendigo Harness Racing Club Sales and Marketing Manager Brendan Baker said. “Here at BHRC we think it is very important to support local causes and organisations.” Karlee Thorpe, the Bendigo Bank OTIS Ambassador, will be a guest speaker on the night, which will also feature the OTIS Foundation Pace (Race 4 at 7pm). A special auction will be held with money-can’t-buy experiences, including a mobile barrier ride at the trots and a double-seater sulky ride on the night! “We’re really looking forward to seeing the lady drivers race where all drivers will be wearing the OTIS Foundation/Paul Gray Builders/Kez’s Hideway Pink Pants,” Baker said. “Local builder Paul Gray is the driving force behind the build of Kez’s Hideaway, in memory of Paul’s late wife Kerri Gray.” Fantastic race night packages are still available by phoning Tracey on 03 5449 3205 or 0447 599 859. Alternatively you can email for more details. Harness Racing Victoria Related Links Fields for Bendigo, Saturday 29 August 2015 Form guide for Bendigo, Saturday 29 August 2015

New laws introduced will make sweeping changes to the governance of Harness Racing Victoria, fulfilling an Andrews Labor Government commitment to modernise and improve the governance of the industry. Minister for Racing Martin Pakula today introduced legislation into the Parliament that will establish new governance arrangements for the Board of Harness Racing Victoria, a Harness Racing Advisory Council and increased information sharing powers for the Racing Integrity Commissioner. The Board will be re-shaped to ensure it has the necessary skills to grow the industry and assist harness racing to compete effectively in a challenging market. A spill and fill of the board will occur with current members being invited to re-apply. The new Advisory Council will provide expert advice to the Board of Harness Racing Victoria and improve the lines of communication between the Board and the industry, addressing the concerns of industry participants that their views were not being heard. Former Chief Executive Officer of the Victoria Racing Club and the Melbourne Racing Club, Dale Monteith, conducted an independent audit of the harness racing industry earlier this year, delivering his findings in April. The Government has accepted all of the recommendations made in the Monteith Report. The Racing Amendment Bill 2015 will also grant the Racing Integrity Commissioner the ability to disclose integrity-related information to Racing Analytical Services Limited, further strengthening industry integrity. The Bill will also list a number of other bodies in the Racing Act 1958 to improve transparency of the RIC’s current information sharing arrangements. Harness racing contributes around $421 million to the Victorian economy each year and supports almost 4,000 full-time jobs, mostly in regional areas. Quotes attributable to Minister for Racing Martin Pakula “The Andrews Labor Government is committed to implementing the recommendations made by Dale Monteith following his comprehensive review into harness racing in Victoria.” “Harness racing is a major part of our racing industry. These new governance structures will help take it forward, supporting its jobs and growth.” Media Contact: Christine Tyrrell 0423 092 752 |

A very productive season for harness racing in Victoria comes to a close on August 31.   The $1.5 million TAB Breeders Crown day on August 30 will have a big say in determining the Metro and National drivers' premierships.   International Wagering I was delighted to be at the presentation by Tabcorp of a cheque to HRV for $1,161,130 being for the fees earned on the export of Victorian harness racing product to international jurisdictions. 2014/15 is the first financial year that fees on export of our product have exceeded $1 million. Historically the major source of international revenue has come from New Zealand, however we are now exporting our product to several other jurisdictions. Highest incremental growth came from the export of selected trotting races to Europe, in particular France which was worth approximately $300,000 to HRV for the year and is expected to grow in coming years. Strategic Plan - Consultation The HRV Strategic Plan 2020 Consultation Paper has been finalised and ready for an industry consultation process. The Consultation Paper is the document to be discussed with the industry prior to the finalisation of the 2020 Strategic Plan. It is proposed that the industry consultation, open to all participants, will take place at the following venues: *September 15 at Bendigo *September 22 at Shepparton *September 23 at Tabcorp Park Melton At each of these sessions, HRV will make a presentation and seek feedback from participants in attendance. The Consultation Paper will also be available on the website from late August including a section where feedback can be forwarded to HRV. Full details regarding the industry consultation sessions will be released shortly. Wagering Consultation On the subject of consultation, HRV met with a number of high volume harness racing punters recently to discuss a variety of matters with respect to wagering on harness racing. Tabcorp Executives were also in attendance and it was a very useful exchange of views and ideas. I am sure the punters who attended are more informed of issues facing HRV and equally we are more aware of matters of interest to the punting sector. More of these sessions are contemplated in the future. HERO Program HRV is proud to have launched this formal horse welfare program under the banner of 'HERO' (Harness Education and Re-homing Opportunities). HRV had a soft launch of the project via the media release recently and details of a formal launch will be advised in due course. Our appreciation is extended to the Andrews Government for its financial contribution to HERO through the VRIF program. Year End Financials The HRV Board is expected to sign off on the annual financial accounts at its meeting in late August. The Annual Report is scheduled to be tabled in Parliament in September. The Annual Report is expected to disclose a profit for the year of $4.054 million on the back of revenue growth of 6% and most specifically an increase in wagering revenue of 7%. Swabs One of the areas of expenditure which saw an increase during the year was on analytical testing of swab samples. The spend on swabs in financial year 2014/15 was $501,000 a 15.7% increase on the previous year of $433,000. The budget for the current year is a further 6.7% increase to $534,000. Stakemoney As recently advised to the industry, the profit result for the year has enabled HRV to announce further increases in stakemoney such that total stakes for 2015/16 will amount to $40.3 million. The adjacent graph indicates consistent stakes growth from $33 million in 2013 to $40 million in 2016, following a static three year period. Wagering Statistics With the wagering data received from all operators for 2014/15, we can review a couple of the year's highlights: Highest wagering meeting: *Hunter Cup Night $5.5 million *2nd highest wagering meeting: Breeders Crown $4.8 million Highest wagering race: *Victoria Cup $1.1 million *2nd highest wagering race: Hunter Cup $1.0 million *3rd highest wagering race: Victoria Derby $775,000 Highest country race: *Shepparton Cup $665,000 Note - Despite having the highest turnover race, Victoria Cup night ranked 4th highest meeting behind the 3rd highest, Vicbred semi-final night. Metro Premiership With 34 metro class races remaining for the season, Gavin Lang leads Chris Alford by one and Greg Sugars by four. On the national scene, Greg Sugars is locked in a neck and neck battle with Queensland's Shane Graham for driving honours. As at August 17, only one winner separates the pair. Milestones Greg Sugars achieved 2,000 career wins when he steered Fake Smile to victory at Melton on July 30. He is one of the youngest ever to achieve the feat. Century seasons have been achieved for the first time by Kate Gath and Anthony Butt. Surprising for Anthony not to have achieved this previously, which highlights the opportunities presented by driving in Victoria. Welcome Brent Fisher HRV is fortunate to have added to its Integrity Department Brent Fisher in the role of Investigations and Compliance Manager. General Manager Integrity, Andy Rogers is quoted as saying Brent is an incredibly well credentialed and experienced criminal investigator who has good understanding of the sport of harness racing. Brent's appointment is a boost for the Integrity Department and for the future protection of the integrity of the industry. He is a welcome addition. Farewell Brett Boyd Brett Boyd departs HRV this Friday August 21 after serving as General Manager Marketing for two years. Brett has been responsible for several initiatives during his time with HRV, in particular the rebranding of the Summer of Glory. Brett has accepted a position with the Melbourne Racing Club and we wish him well. Stawell Race Fall As many are aware, there was a nasty fall at the Stawell meeting on July 22. Serious injuries were sustained by Tony Xiriha and Anthony O'Connor. Both drivers are recovering after stints in hospital and we hope they return to racing very soon. Tony recently reported his neck brace has been removed and still has the plaster on his wrist. He is still quite sore. I would like to pass on my thanks to the industry participants who were at the meeting, the Stawell Club and Chairman of Stewards at the meeting, Brett Day with his panel, for the co-operation displayed during a difficult time. Vale Heathcote based trainer Terry French sadly lost his daughter, Georgia, in a tragic road accident in Queensland. The industry has rallied behind Terry and his family and a number of fundraising activities were organised to support the family, such as a function at Bendigo on August 13 and an online auction which closed on August 17. Thank you to all those who have supported the industry's efforts. Industry stalwart Rob Auber lost his father after a long battle with illness on the weekend just past. Our thoughts are with Rob and his family at this sad time. Did You Know? Greg Moy resigned as President of the Ballarat Club and has been replaced by David Young. I would like to thank Greg for the contribution he has made to the Ballarat Club and for his co-operation with HRV. I am pleased to see that despite his work commitments, he is remaining on the Committee. HRV is currently working on developing resources accessible for breeders in an attempt to reduce the loss of 700 foals annually between positive test and live foals John Anderson - Harness Racing Victoria

Warragul's final race meeting of the 2014/2015 Victorian harness racing season this Monday afternoon will be an intriguing one.   The Warragul Harness Racing Club annual premiership awards, presented to the leading trainer, senior and junior driver and most consistent horse, will be decided at Monday's meeting.   Some of the awards could go down to the wire with current results the closest they have been heading into the last raceday of the season for some years. Greg Sugars is engaged in an interesting battle with fellow top reinsman Chris Alford in the Driver of the Year Award. Greg leads the award, having driven three winners at last month's race meeting, however Chris is closing, and has been one of the most successful drivers in history at Warragul. Locally owned and trained trotter Stoned Again holds a one point lead in the Horse of the Year Award. With two wins and a second from three starts on the track, and a record winning time at the recent race meeting, Pearcedale's Walker family are looking for their first win in this award with their trotter. Top junior reinsman Josh Duggan holds a one point lead in the Concession Driver of the Year Award, with Zac Phillips and Vin Langdon both chances of claiming the win in this award if results fall their way on Monday. Cranbourne trainers Jayne Davies and Noel Alexander have dominated the Trainer of the Year award since its inception in 1981 - and they go into Monday's meeting with a lead that should be big enough to claim the award again. Under the points scale, race winners receive four points, with two points for a second placing and one point awarded for a third place finish. First of eight races on Monday runs at 12:36pm with free entry for patrons.   Harness Racing Victoria  

Harness Racing Victoria is pleased to announce its Integrity Department will receive a significant boost this month with the appointment of Brent Fisher to the role of Investigations and Compliance Manager. HRV General Manager – Integrity Andy Rogers said Mr Fisher would be a valuable addition to the Integrity Department. “Brent is an incredibly well credentialed and experienced criminal investigator,” Mr Rogers said. “Brent also possesses a good understanding of the sport of harness racing and his appointment is significant to the future protection of the integrity of the industry. “The industry is well-served in obtaining a person of Brent’s calibre and the entire Integrity Department look forward to working with him.” HRV CEO John Anderson echoed Mr Rogers’ sentiments: “The HRV Board has supported the call for additional resources to be allocated to industry integrity. The appointment of Brent Fisher will greatly enhance the good work already being done by Andy Rogers and his team of investigative stewards.”  Harness Racing Victoria

The unveiling of Harness Education & Re-homing Opportunities (HERO) has brought to fruition one of Harness Racing Victoria’s (HRV) most pressing priorities. The much anticipated project will deliver unprecedented life after racing avenues for retired standardbreds and elevates Victoria to the forefront of animal welfare innovation within the harness racing industry. HERO is being financed jointly by HRV and the Andrews State Government via the Victorian Racing Industry Fund. HRV CEO John Anderson said horse welfare was a critical component of any vibrant and healthy racing industry. “We already have in place a number of broad strategies to manage the care and wellbeing of our horse population, principally under the banner of racing and integrity,” Anderson said. “HRV acknowledges, however, that a key inclusion within a comprehensive and appropriate welfare program is providing an alternate life for standardbreds no longer racing. “We are excited to be partnering with the State Government and sincerely appreciate the support of Racing Minister Martin Pakula MP whose backing is integral to HERO’s success.” Anderson said that through the research and development of HERO, HRV had noted there is already significant work undertaken in horse re-education and re-homing across the harness racing industry. “What’s lacking is central co-ordination of the many initiatives in place, accompanied by widespread, positive publicity of the fantastic stories which are evolving – at present, largely behind the scenes,” he said. HRV General Manager – Operations Vaughn Lynch will oversee the HERO Project. “There are some incredibly dedicated, talented and passionate people working very hard to secure positive outcomes for standardbreds which, for a myriad of different reasons, are not suitable for racing,” Lynch said. “HERO will both acknowledge and support these people, and provide the information and resources to generate increased opportunities for a greater number of retired horses to find a purposeful, long term future in retirement.” Tanya McDermott, an advocate for life after racing, will manage the implementation of HERO. Her role includes:  The development of a registration program for re-trainers to ensure a consistent, professional standard of care and re-education for off-the-track standardbreds.  Managing the flow of retired horses through liaison with owners, trainers and breeders. This will include educating harness industry participants about the options available for horses that are no longer suitable for racing.  Coordinating placement with the most appropriate re-trainer, assessing each horse’s individual qualities and attributes with a view to maximising its potential beyond the racetrack.  Managing and advising on the placement of horses that are unsuitable for riding.  Managing the transition of horses between harness trainers, re-trainers and end purchasers.  Promoting and advertising HERO through traditional, electronic and social media outlets.  Managing a register of re-homed horses, and the de-registration of standardbreds once theycease to be actively utilised within the harness racing industry. HRV will work in parallel with a nationwide de-registration system presently being developed by Harness Racing Australia.  Providing information, advice and guidance to suitably skilled/experienced people who wish to become standardbred re-trainers.  Reinforcing and developing relationships with organisations such as the Standardbred Pleasure and Performance Horse Association of Victoria, the Horse Riding Clubs Association of Victoria, Pony Clubs Victoria, Equestrian Australia, the Royal Agricultural Show Society of Victoria, the Australian Carriage Driving Society and the Australian Trail Horse Riders Association, to build the profile of and promote standardbreds as pleasure horses and create increased opportunities for standardbred riders. “Standardbreds make the most fantastic pleasure horses,” McDermott said. “Thanks largely to the efforts of Kathleen Mullan and MF Hollywood (who contested the prestigious Garryowen), the breed is more widely accepted in equestrian circles than ever before and while there is still some work to be done to break down traditional biases, the number of people willing to consider a Standardbred as a riding horse is growing daily. “I have been fortunate through my work in the media to build a terrific rapport with industry participants in Victoria and I already have a wide network of owners and trainers whom I work with to assist in placing horses at the conclusion of their racing career. “HERO will elevate Victoria’s re-education and placement activities to an exciting new level and I’m enormously grateful for the opportunity to spearhead the project.” For more information on HERO visit us on Facebook – or Twitter @HRVHERO.  CODY WINNELL

Harness Racing Victoria's (HRV) decision to extend the mares' class lift to two and three-year-olds will bolster the racing opportunities afforded to fillies and mares in Victoria from 1 September, 2015. "It's a great initiative for owners of fillies," Victorian Harness Racing Sports Club president and racehorse owner Emmy Mazzetti said. "This combined with recent Victorian stakes increases for fillies and mares' races will keep fillies and mares in the racing population for longer." The changes will result in fillies being able to utilise the lift to race against the colts. Prominent owner/breeder Shannon Nixon also welcomed the changes. "I think it's terrific. It will increase the appeal for fillies and mares right through from the yearling sales, and will help keep fillies and mares racing where it might not have been considered viable in the past," Nixon said. "It's great news for people who race fillies and mares." HRV announced recently prizemoney for fillies and mares' country front races would increase by $1000 a race from season 2015-16. The fillies and mares' prizemoney announcement came as HRV declared Victorian stakemoney would exceed $40 million for the first time. Cody Winnell

The trotters take centre stage this weekend as Maryborough and Harness Racing Victoria celebrate the time-honoured Redwood Carnival. Three huge days of trots action got under way today, will continue tomorrow (watch all the action from Saturday's non-TAB Redwood day two live streamed online here) and will climax Sunday with the running of the Group 1 Seelite Windows and Doors Trotters Derby and Redwood Classic. Tonight we're racing at Tabcorp Park with the Tabcorp Park Melton Cup Final and the Conect Blacks A Fake Free-for-All the feature races. Tomorrow night Kilmore takes the Saturday night spotlight with three TAB Breeders Crown heats scheduled. – Cody Winnell (Manager Communications and Media, HRV)   Did you follow Jason Bonnington's Good Form Game Plan last Friday and Saturday night? If so, here's what happened!    The tipsters had the choice of Tabcorp Park Melton tonight or Redwood Day Sunday this week for their $20 play of the weekend. Here's what they thought... Follow the leader board each week to see how much money will be donated to the Women's Cancer Foundation - Ovarian Cancer Institute after Feb 28, next year. $20 All-Up Win Melton Friday Night R2 No. 8 Oh Johnny B Good R8 No. 7 Miley Rose R9 No.6 San Carlo   Flexi Quaddie Melton Friday Night $20 for 27.77% 1st Leg: 1,2,5,8 2nd Leg: 3,4,5,8,11,12 3rd Leg: 6,8,9 4th Leg: 7 $20 place Maryborough Sunday R6 No.3 War Dan Destroyer (fixed odds $7.15 @ TAB) $20 All-Up Melton Friday Night R1 No.2 McNiven R9 No.6 San Carlo Bit of a space omen in Race 4 at Melton tonight… so let's got $5 each-way on both No. 4 Apollo Thirteen and No.5 Rowdy Rocket.  Another big profit last week with Jason, Cody and The Omen all profiting! Above are the overall standings so far.    New season club memberships on sale now The access-all-meetings Trots Card – Victorian harness racing’s must-have card for owners and fans – is a key component of the 2015-16 club membership packages. Club membership packages are on sale now for season 2015-16, with prices ranging from $25-$100 and clubs offering a variety of different entitlements for members.     The Country #Trots Run of the Week PROVOCATOR and trainer/driver Geoff Martin didn’t quite emulate Scott Torney’s celebrations of a week ago in winning the Neatline Homes Pace at Shepparton in the last race on Wednesday, but he still would have been chuffed. The $3.70 race favourite drew the pole, settled leader’s back behind Milady Denver before using the sprint lane to score by 1.8m in a mile rate of 1:59.3. The four-year-old gelding is by Kenneth J from Seductress.          

Participants please note that various policies and procedures relevant to the Victorian Harness Racing Industry can be located at the following internet address: Additional policies will also be found in this location in the future. Any queries in relation to this information please call the Harness Racing Victoria Integrity Department on 8378 0222.

The Trots 'TAB Breeders Crown' is fast approaching! Experience trotting’s biggest day of the year, with more than $1.3 Million in prize money on offer across 8 Group 1 races. As well as outstanding racing, the day will also feature loads of entertainment, including DJ Lauren Mac, Animal Farm, Face Painting, Jumping Castle, Pony Rides and much more. One lucky racegoer will also receive a $2000 betting voucher. While there’s plenty on offer for the kids, adults can also enjoy a glamorous day out by booking into one of our premium dining packages. We look forward to welcoming you to Tabcorp Park on Sunday 30 August 2015.   Raceday Hospitality Toolern Room With breathtaking views from the G.W. Rothacker grandstand, overlooking the home straight and winning post our Toolern Room package is for those looking for a top class, all inclusive experience. Package Includes: Racecourse Admission 4 x course dining including plated entrée, gourmet buffet for main, individually crafted dessert platters plus afternoon tea Beverage package comprising of beer, wine and non-alcoholic beverages Tea and Coffee throughout the day Racebook Hosted event with special guests to share their knowledge and tips for the day’s racing Package Price - $110pp For bookings phone 8746 0626 or email   Home Straight Bistro Located on the ground level directly across from the winning post the Home Straight Bistro is adjacent to the home straight lawn where you can cheer on your favourite from the thick of the action. Package Includes Racecourse Admission 3 x course gourmet buffet Cash bar operating all day Race Book Direct access to Tote facilities Live trackside televisions Package Price - $75pp For bookings phone 8746 0626 or email   Skybox  Located right on top of the winning post providing the best view in the house. You’re guaranteed to be right on top of the day’s racing action while enjoying a premium menu. Package Includes Racecourse Admission Premium 4 Course plated lunch Premium beer, wine & non-alcoholic beverages Racebook Tote facilities Package Price - $150pp For bookings phone 8746 0626 or email   Corporate Suites If you are looking for an exclusive atmosphere for your racing experience look no further than one of our exclusive Corporate Suites, ideal for a gathering of 20-30 guests. Watch the action from your own private balcony overlooking the track, impress your clients with the high class private room comprising of your own Kitchen and Bathroom facilities complete with personal wait staff to ensure a truly memorable day. Package Includes: Corporate Canape menu inclusive of Gourmet Cheese station Beverage Package comprising of Beer, Wine & non-alcoholic beverages Continuous Tea & Coffee Tote Facilities In room Flat Screen Television Private balcony overlooking the Home Straight Price on Application For bookings phone 8746 0626 or email   City Bus FEDERATION SQUARE to TABCORP PARK MELTON There will be a return coach running from Federation Square to Tabcorp Park on Breeders Crown Day. PICK-UP POINT : Federation Square, Russell St extension 11.00AM (located at the back of Federation Square near carpark), arriving approximately 11.45AM DEPARTS TABCORP PARK : 7.00PM, travelling to Federation Square. $10 per person one way or $10 per person return Bookings essential – phone 8746 0600   For further information visit

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) has announced stakemoney for season 2015-16 will exceed $40 million for the first time. HRV CEO John Anderson announced today stakemoney would climb $2 million from September 1 to in excess of $40 million, up from $38.3 million in season 2014-15. “We are delighted to announce these important increases in stakemoney, which are aimed at benefiting all people racing horses throughout Victoria,” Mr Anderson said. “We have listened to feedback from industry groups and are proud to be in a position to increase stakemoney by a further 5%, bringing the total increase to 20% over three years. “Importantly the stakes increases are right across the board from graduation level racing and horses that finish sixth to last in the country up to the Group 1 Hunter Cup, which will be worth half-a-million dollars next year. “These announcements will hopefully give our industry confidence to want to continue to race their horses in Victoria." “Victoria is leading the way in maximising stake earning opportunities right across the classes.” The stakemoney increases are as follows: Graduation races from $3000 to $3500 (42 meetings a year) Metropolitan front M1 and TM1 or better class events by $1000 a race Country fillies and mares races by $1000 a race (excluding Futurity races) Country penalty races at Tabcorp Park Melton metropolitan meetings by $1000 a race Payments for horses that finish sixth to last increase by $10. Listed metropolitan feature races from $25,000 to $30,000 (and become Group 3 events) Hunter Cup from $400,000 to $500,000 4YO & 5YO Championship from $50,000 to $75,000 4YO Bonanza from $30,000 to $100,000 (becomes Victoria’s first non-Futurity Group 1 for four-year-olds) Vicbred First Win bonus for 4YOs increases from $5000 to $7000 in line with 2YO and 3YO bonuses (estimated increase of $430,000) Country Pacing Cups prize money increases by $154,000 Country Trotting Cups prize money increases by $57,000 Maori Mile at Bendigo from $30,000 to $50,000 (becomes a Group 1)    CODY WINNELL

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 Australian Rule of Harness Racing (ARHR) 190(1) against licensed NSW trainer Mr Michael Day (Jnr). ARHR 190(1) reads as follows:  A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances. The charge under ARHR 190(1) issued by HRV Stewards against Mr Day related to a pre-race blood sample collected from the horse ‘Fake Art’ prior to it placing 2nd in Race 9, the ‘Cobram Lions Club Pace’, at Cobram on 7 May 2015. Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) reported that analysis of the blood sample revealed the sample to contain a prohibited substance, namely alkalinising agents as evidenced by a total carbon dioxide (TCO2 ) concentration in excess of 36.0mmol/L in plasma. The Racing Science Centre in Queensland reported confirmation of this finding in the reserve portion of the relevant blood sample. Mr Day pleaded guilty to the charge before the HRV RAD Board heard submissions on penalty from the HRV Stewards and Mr Day. In deciding an appropriate penalty, the HRV RAD Board considered the nature of the substance involved, other previous cases involving the substance in Victoria, Mr Day’s evidence that he could not explain the finding, Mr Day’s early guilty plea and cooperation throughout the investigation, Mr Day’s offence record in that he had previously breached the same rule in 2006 for an elevated TCO2 level and his licence history in that he had held a training licence for a period of approximately 10 years and been involved in the sport for an even longer period. In considering all of these matters, the HRV RAD Board imposed an 18 month disqualification upon Mr Day (Jnr). The RAD Board ordered the disqualification commence with immediate effect. The HRV RAD Board also ordered that ‘Fake Art’ be disqualified from Race 9 at Cobram on 7 May 2015 and that the finishing places be amended accordingly. 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 Australian Rule of Harness Racing (ARHR) 190(1) against licensed trainer Mr Chris Alford.  ARHR 190(1) reads as follows: A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances. The charge under ARHR 190(1) issued by HRV Stewards against Mr Alford related to a post-race urine sample collected from the horse ‘Stormed Out’ after it won Race 5, the ‘Bendigo Bank Pace’, at Geelong on 8 April 2015. Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) reported that analysis of the urine sample revealed the sample to contain the prohibited substance phenylbutazone and its metabolite oxyphenbutazone. The Racing Science Centre in Queensland reported confirmation of these findings in the reserve portion of the relevant urine sample. Mr Alford pleaded guilty to the charge before submissions on penalty were heard from HRV Stewards and Mr Alford. In deciding an appropriate penalty, the HRV RAD Board considered the nature of the substance involved, other previous cases involving the substance in Victoria, Mr Alford’s evidence of administering 10 ml of the substance in a therapeutic manner almost 8 full days prior to the relevant race and his expectation that the substance would be eliminated in such a time period, Mr Alford’s early guilty plea and co-operation throughout the investigation, Mr Alford’s excellent record throughout his lifetime involvement in the industry and a number of references supplied in support of Mr Alford’s character. In considering all of these matters, the HRV RAD Board imposed a fine of $3000. The HRV RAD Board also imposed a $200 fine upon Mr Alford after he pleaded guilty to breaching ARHR 190(1)(b) in that he had forgotten to record the relevant administration of phenylbutazone in his log book as the administration occurred late at night after returning from the races on 31 March 2015 and the log book was not present at the time of the administration owing to it being used by another stable member at the time for accounting purposes. The HRV RAD Board also ordered that ‘Stormed Out' be disqualified from Race 5 at Geelong on 8 April 2015 and that the finishing places be amended accordingly. Racing Appeals & Disciplinary Board 

Harness Racing Victoria changes calendar to allow participants opportunity to contest Vic & NSW Carnivals Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) today announced the TAB Summer of Glory Carnival would be moved forward one week to avoid a clash with the New South Wales Harness Racing Club's (NSWHRC) summer carnival. Following NSWHRC's announcement of its carnival dates, which created a clash between Miracle Mile qualification races at Menangle on Saturday February 13, 2016, and HRV's Hunter Cup, HRV sought a solution. After extensive consultation with industry stakeholders and the country clubs whose feature cup meetings would be affected by a calendar amendment, HRV announces the following programming changes: * 10 January: Horsham Cup - Group 2, $60,000 * 16 January: Shepparton Cup - Group 2, $75,000 (automatic entry into Hunter Cup) * 23 January: Ballarat Cup - Group 1, $120,000 (automatic entry to Victoria Cup) and Victoria Derby heats * 30 January: Victoria Cup - Group 1, $400,000 (automatic entry to Miracle Mile on 28 Feb) and Victoria Derby - Group 1, $200,000 * 6 February: Hunter Cup - Group 1, $500,000, 4yo Bonanza - Group 1, $100,000 (auto entry into Chariots of Fire on 13 Feb), Ladyship Cup (auto entry into Ladyship Mile on 28 Feb) * 13 February: Bendigo Cup - Group 2, $50,000 and Group 1, $50,000 Maori Mile Harness Racing Victoria CEO John Anderson said it was important the participants were given the opportunity to compete at both the Victoria and NSW carnivals. "At the front of our mind throughout this process has been the wider harness racing community and especially our Victorian participants," Anderson said. "We want our participants to have the opportunity to race in our feature carnival as well as the New South Wales carnival, so it was important we acted in their best interests by rearranging our calendar after the NSWHRC's sudden announcement of its race conditions. "We are really pleased with our sequence of feature events, which provides a range of opportunities for owners. Most importantly I would like to thank the Committees of the Bendigo, Shepparton and Ballarat Clubs, which have co-operated positively with HRV in devising the calendar. I would also like to thank the Consultative Groups who gave helpful input into the process. There are several stakes increases to announce to add to the Carnival. They are: * Shepparton Cup increases from $50,000 to $75,000 * Hunter Cup increases from $400,000 to $500,000 * 4yo Bonanza increases from $30,000 to Group 1 $100,000 * Maori Mile increases from $30,000 to Group 1 $50,000 * Ballarat Cup increases from $100,000 to $120,000 Note that the full suite of stakes increases for 2015/16 will be released at a later date "We look forward to building on the success of this year's Summer of Glory Carnival with the newly created Road To Glory at the country venues in January 2016," Anderson said. Cody Winnell

Prospective owners encouraged to attend Harness Racing Victoria's Ownership Expo Anyone interested in experiencing the excitement of harness racing ownership is invited to attend Harness Racing Victoria's Ownership Expo next Saturday at Tabcorp Park Melton. Hosted by Tanya McDermott and featuring interviews with key industry players such as driver Greg Sugars, trainer Alison Alford, owner/breeders Shannon Nixon and Duncan McPherson and more, the Ownership Expo will offer prospective owners a range of information and assistance in getting involved with the industry. Harness racing contributes annually over $422 million to Victoria's economy and is responsible for more than 4000 full-time or full-time equivalent jobs, with over 19,000 people actively involved in the industry. A new Raceapacer syndicate - HRV's successful syndication program - will also be launched at the session featuring a well-bred filly who will head to the stables of leading trainer Emma Stewart. The HRV Ownership Expo will be held 4pm-5pm in the Legends Café before the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series pacing finals get under way in the evening. For more information call Jess Tubbs on 0401 346 813 or email HRV OWNERSHIP EXPO - Where: Legends Cafe, Tabcorp Park Melton (2 Ferris Rd, Melton) - When: Saturday, July 4, 4pm to 5pm (Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series Pacing Finals Night) - More info: Jess Tubbs (0401 346 813 or email Cody Winnell [Harness Racing Victoria]

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