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On 13 February 2017 the Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board considered four (4) charges issued against unlicensed person Daryl Douglas under Australian Harness Racing Rules (AHRR) 187(3), 187(2), 231(1)(d) and 91(1)(a) which provides: 187(3) 187(2) A person shall not refuse to answer questions or to produce a horse, document, substance or piece of equipment, or give false or misleading evidence or information at an inquiry or investigation. 231(1) A person shall not:- (d) abuse anyone employed, engaged or participating in the harness racing industry or otherwise having a connection with it. 91(1) Subject to sub-rule (4) a person shall not carry on an activity regulated by licence – (a) if that person is not the holder of a current licence. The charges issued by HRV Stewards against Mr Douglas related to a stable inspection conducted by HRV Stewards at the registered training establishment of licensed trainer Ms Emma Stewart on 9 November 2016 and Mr Douglas’s conduct during this stable inspection. Mr Douglas pleaded not guilty to all charges. Following the hearing on 13 February 2017, Mr Douglas and the HRV Stewards were invited to provide further submissions, if required, in regards to any relevant matters. These submissions were due by 3pm Thursday 16 February 2017. No further submissions were provided by either party. The HRV RAD Board found Mr Douglas guilty of charges 1, 2 and 4 and imposed a penalty of a 12 month disqualification commencing 4pm 16 February 2017.

Long-serving Ballarat administrator Dennis Foley has announced his retirement. Ballarat and District Trotting Club CEO Paul Rowse paid tribute to the harness racing club’s long-time treasurer – Mr Foley has been in the role continuously since 1982 – and wished him well for the future. “Dennis wants to spend more time with his family, being a first-time grandfather, and pursue other areas of his life he has enjoyed more in in recent times including world travel and building his racing empire,” Mr Rowse said. “Dennis has been an integral part of the success of the Ballarat club for a long period of time. His business acumen and huge network of contacts accrued over 35 years with the club will be a big void to fill in the future. He should be immensely proud of the condition he’s leaving the club in. “On a personal note, Dennis has been a great role model in my professional and personal life. His attention to detail is second to none. “For those who were lucky enough to have been on tour with him to the feature race carnivals in Australia and New Zealand, we will all remember those trips fondly as the reason we love this sport so much. The community feeling that is harness racing.” Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) CEO David Martin also paid tribute to Mr Foley and acknowledged his long service to the industry.  “Harness Racing Victoria takes this opportunity to thank Dennis for his long and dedicated period of service to the Ballarat and District Trotting Club and the industry more broadly," Mr Martin said. “It takes passionate and devoted people to drive the country clubs and Dennis ticks both of those boxes. HRV wishes him all the best for the future.” Ballarat club president David Young said Mr Foley had played a huge role in Ballarat’s many achievements over the years. “On behalf of the BDTC committee we would like to congratulate Dennis on what is an amazing stint in serving the BDTC as treasurer. He has for 35 years taken ownership and shown such passion for our club and business,” Mr Young said. “He has been a great assistance to our management team on a daily basis. There have been many achievements at the club in which Dennis has played a major role. He is a life member and received club legend status last year. Our club is indebted to Dennis for his contribution.” Country Clubs Association CEO David Brick also took the opportunity to wish Mr Foley well. “Dennis has been a strong supporter of the club network and a leading advocate for maintaining on-course patronage and atmosphere,” Mr Brick said. “The Association of Country Clubs congratulates Dennis on his significant contribution to the Ballarat club and broader club community for close to four decades. We wish Dennis all the best for the future.” At a special committee meeting Ballarat appointed Leon Underwood, previous assistant treasurer, to the position of treasurer.  Mr Underwood works for the City Of Ballarat as a Socio Economic Development Officer and has been mentored by Mr Foley over the last 12 months in line with the club's succession plan. Rob Kerr was appointed to the position of assistant treasurer. Mr Kerr, who is the Ballarat Branch Manager for the Bank Of Melbourne, has been on the club committee for over 15 years including time as the vice-president. Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

In addition to the dedicated telephone number (03) 9214 0651 and email address integrity@hrv.org.au, the Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Integrity Department has added a web-based form to its Integrity Hotline that allows industry participants, punters or concerned members of the community to report matters of industry integrity. The HRV website, including the link to ‘Report Suspicious Activity’, is located here or the form can be accessed directly here. All information provided will go directly to the HRV Integrity Department. Reports can be anonymous or people can leave their contact details. All information is treated confidentially and acted on accordingly. Information can also be passed on to the Racing Integrity Commissioner via the Racing Integrity Hotline on 1300 227 225.  

Result of the appeals held before the Harness Racing Victoria Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board on 8 February 2017.  Nathan Jack Against restrictions imposed by the Stewards under Rule 183 (c) and (d) against Mr Jack.  Appeal upheld, no restrictions remaining against Mr Jack.  HRV RAD Board Panel: Tony Burns (Chairman) / Brian Collis  Appellant Representative: Damian Sheales HRV Representative: Paul Czarnota    Brocq Robertson Against restrictions imposed by the Stewards under Rule 183 (c) and (d) against Mr Robertson.  Appeal upheld, no restrictions remaining against Mr Robertson.  HRV RAD Board Panel: Tony Burns (Chairman) / Brian Collis Appellant Representative: Damian Sheales HRV Representative: Paul Czarnota   Amanda Turnbull Against restrictions imposed by the Stewards under Rule 183 (c) and (d) against Ms Turnbull.  Appeal upheld, no restrictions remaining against Ms Turnbull. HRV RAD Board Panel: Tony Burns (Chairman) / Brian Collis Appellant Representative: Sam Tovey HRV Representative: Paul Czarnota    Lisa Bartley Against restrictions imposed by the Stewards under Rule 183 (c) and (d) against Ms Bartley.  Appeal upheld, no restrictions remaining against Ms Bartley. HRV RAD Board Panel: Tony Burns (Chairman) / Brian Collis Appellant Representative: Sam Tovey  HRV Representative: Paul Czarnota    Mark Pitt Against restrictions imposed by the Stewards under Rule 183 (c) and (d) against Mr Pitt.  Appeal upheld, no restrictions remaining against Mr Pitt.  HRV RAD Board Panel: Tony Burns (Chairman) / Brian Collis Appellant Representative: Sam Tovey  HRV Representative: Paul Czarnota    TRANSCRIPT OF PROCEEDINGS RACING AND DISCIPLINARY BOARD ANTHONY BURNS, Chairman BRIAN COLLIS, Member   EXTRACT OF PROCEEDINGS    NATHAN JACK BROCQ ROBERTSON AMANDA TURNBULL LISA BARTLEY MARK PITT   DECISION   WEDNESDAY 8 FEBRUARY 2017 MR P CZARNOTA appeared on behalf of the HRV Stewards MR D SHEALES appeared on behalf of MR JACK AND Mr ROBERTSON MR S TOVEY appeared on behalf of MS TURNBULL MR H COCKBURN appeared on behalf of MS BARTLEY AND MR PITT  .......................................................................................................................................... This investigation commenced over 18 months ago and an earlier suspension and stay application was dealt with by this Board on 14 September 2016.  Four of the five applicants were recently charged with criminal offences pursuant to the betting outcome provisions of the Crimes Act. These are to be dealt with in the indictable stream and assuming a contest will be through to a committal then trial in the County Court. It is reasonable to presume that the matters will not resolve at least until late in 2018 and possibly even well into 2019.  The Stewards take the suspension action that they have taken in support of the integrity of the industry and its reputation in the eyes of the public.  The integrity of the industry is however a two way street. To have integrity the system must honour the principles of procedural fairness and natural justice towards its participants.  Criminal charges are now filed but must be weighed against the presumption of innocence.  As said in September 2016, by this Board, the fact that charges of themselves carries little weight, it is the evidence underlying those charges which is relevant.   The applicants have not been charged by the Stewards under the Australian Rules of Harness Racing. As to the evidence that has been provided the authorities are clear that cogent and compelling reasons would need to be present to justify any suspension from an industry that provides the livelihood for these applicants. This Board is not privy to the evidence in the police brief. The evidence provided is suggestive of a circumstantial case but one that is denied by the applicants.  There are no certificates creating conclusive proofs here as there were in Demmler before VCAT, a citation of which is 2015 VCAT 648. That was a case against the Tribunal even in the face of conclusive proofs allowed a stay.  Any suspension here approved will effectively ruin the livelihoods of the applicants.  The need to ensure the integrity and reputation of harness racing is indeed a most important consideration.  The public is sophisticated enough however to understand the difference between where charges are laid with the concomitant presumption of innocence and where charges are proven.  Given the suspension here it may create unrecoverable consequences for the applicants. We are not satisfied that the need to protect the integrity of the industry outweighs the damage to the reputation and livelihood of these applicants. Indeed nor are we satisfied that the integrity of the industry will be harmed by the continued involvement of these applicants in the sport pending the outcome of charges.  Accordingly, the decision of the Stewards to suspend all the applicants is stayed.   

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 Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 190(1)  against licensed Tasmanian trainer Mr Rohan Hillier.  AHRR 190(1) reads as follows:     A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances. The charge under AHRR 190(1) issued by HRV Stewards against Mr Hillier related to a urine sample collected from the horse ‘Ryley Major’ after it had been presented to race at the Melton harness racing meeting on 7 July 2016 in Race 1, the ‘Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series (3YO Colts and Geldings) Bronze Pace.   Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) reported that analysis of the urine sample revealed the sample to contain a prohibited substance, namely arsenic, in excess of the allowable threshold. During the investigation Mr Hillier explained he had not used any arsenic based product upon Ryley Major and that the only explanation he could provide for the finding was fence posts which had been chewed or some pine shavings which had been used as floor covering where the horse was stabled.  Subsequent analysis of relevant samples revealed the fence posts contained arsenic at levels consistent with Copper Chromium Arsenic (CCA) treated timber. As background, with the acquisition of a machine capable of testing for cobalt by RASL (preventing the need for samples to be sent interstate or overseas), in June 2015 the laboratory (RASL) were also able to commence the routine testing of all collected urine samples for other metals including arsenic.  With a number of samples above the threshold becoming apparent in racing jurisdictions, and common explanations as to the cause of such irregularities provided, the University of Melbourne were engaged to conduct an administration trial by RASL, HRV and other racing authorities that had also been screening raceday samples for the presence of arsenic. At the RAD Board hearing, in addition to the consideration of statements from HRV Stewards and RASL, the RAD Board considered a report from Associate Professor Cate Steel and Professor Ted Whittem from the University of Melbourne which centred on the extensive research conducted by the University of Melbourne where a trial was conducted to research the levels of arsenic in horses that had ingested a known amount of CCA treated timber sawdust.  The trial revealed that it is a possibility that a horse could have a urinary level of arsenic that exceeds the threshold concentration if it chews and ingests a sufficiently large quantity of CCA treated timber.  Further studies will be done in the future in an attempt to distinguish between the inorganic and organic forms of arsenic.  Mr Hillier pleaded guilty to the charge issued under AHRR 190(1).  The HRV RAD Board formally found Mr Hillier guilty though imposed no penalty in all the circumstances of the case.  In making this order, the HRV RAD Board had regard to the nature of the substance in that arsenic based products have been suggested by manufacturers as tonics that are purported to improve appetite or the appearance of the coat of a horse.  The RAD Board also considered that the arsenic threshold had been developed a number of decades ago in Hong Kong in response to the suggestion (at the time) that horses were being ‘stopped’ through the use or arsenic rather than any suggested enhancement of performance.  The HRV RAD Board particularly considered the results of the trial conducted by the University of Melbourne and the analysis of the fence posts from Mr Hillier’s property.  The RAD Board also noted Mr Hillier’s guilty plea and his previous record. The RAD Board considered Mr Hillier’s lengthy involvement in the sport with a training career stretching over 25 years and involving more than 1,400 horses being presented to race.   The RAD Board considered the principles of the High Court decision of Veen v the Queen when taking into account Mr Hillier’s prior matters.  The RAD Board also considered other precedent cases involving the substance, including the matter of Rasmussen in Queensland in 2015 whereby no penalty was imposed for such an arsenic case.    The HRV RAD Board ordered under AHRR 195 that ‘Ryley Major’ be disqualified from Race 1 at Melton on 7 July 2016, and that the placings be amended accordingly.  Harness Racing Victoria

Harness Racing Victoria’s (HRV) Own the Moment (OTM) program is breaking down the walls that harness racing trainers have to scale to advertise syndicates legally. An OTM Marquee will be set up at Sunday’s Melbourne APG Sale, with HRV offering trainers the opportunity to legally syndicate horses through the correct channels and advertise on OTM website trotsownthemoment.com.au In an industry first, HRV will cover the associated costs involved in producing the documentation required by Victorian law to advertise syndicate opportunities legally. This gives trainers the opportunity to advertise and promote the sale of shares, greatly increasing their chances of securing new owners. “Harness Racing Victoria is committed to assisting trainers to legally promote syndication opportunities,” HRV Ownership Manager Tori Glenister said. “This new initiative will be a game-changer, with trainers able to actively and legally promote syndication on our Own the Moment website and through their own channels.” HRV will also be offering all owners of eligible yearlings the chance to save over $500 on their Futurities payments for Vicbred and Breeders Crown in a one-day-only opportunity. Click here for more details on that offer. For more information on ownership email Tori Glenister. Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Former Mildura harness racing driver Nathan Weightman has taken a dispute with Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT). The Ballarat reinsman has applied to the VCAT for a review of the HRV Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) board’s decision on January 16 to dismiss his appeal against a three-week driving suspension imposed by HRV stewards. Weightman was found guilty by the RAD board relating to a charge issued under Australian Harness Racing Rule 162(1)(r) for failing to activate gear that required activation in race 7 at Bendigo on December 30, 2016. During his January 16 hearing before the RAD board, Weightman also appealed against a three-week suspension imposed by the stewards under Rule 163(1)(a)(iii), which relates to causing or contributing interference, at Mildura on December 13, 2016.  That appeal was also dismissed, with the penalty varied to 10 days. The VCAT review will be listed for a directions hearing at a date to be set. For more of this story, purchase your copy of Tuesday's Sunraysia Daily 31/01/2017.To subscribe to our Digital Edition Click here Reprinted with permission of the Sunraysia Daily  

The appeals of Nathan Jack, Lisa Bartley, Mark Pitt and Amanda Turnbull regarding the decision of the Harness Racing Victoria Stewards to suspend their licenses with immediate effect will be heard by the RAD Board on Wednesday 8 February 2017 at 2.00 pm.  Racing Appeals & Disciplinary Board 

With respect to the actions taken by Victoria Police on 11 January, 2017 involving the service of charges on four harness racing participants, Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) provides the following update: In accordance with Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 183, the HRV Stewards have today suspended the licences of Mr Nathan Jack, Ms Lisa Bartley, Mr Mark Pitt and Ms Amanda Turnbull with immediate effect. In making this decision, the HRV stewards have considered all relevant information including the submissions provided on behalf of the participants as to why no action should be taken against the participants or their licences in the circumstances. The participants have been advised of their rights of appeal against this decision and any such appeal must be lodged with the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board Registrar by 5.00pm on 27 January, 2017. As these matters are now before the courts, HRV will not be commenting at this time.  

24 January 2017 - With respect to the actions taken by Victoria Police on January 11, 2017, where criminal charges were served on harness racing participants, Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) provides the following update: The HRV Integrity Department advises that it is in the process of reviewing submissions made by the legal representatives of licenced participants Mr Nathan Jack, Ms Amanda Turnbull, Ms Lisa Bartley and Mr Mark Pitt addressing why action should not be taken under the Australian Harness Racing Rules (AHRR) against their respective licences to participate in the industry. It is not anticipated a decision will be made today and HRV will update on this matter in due course. HRV is unable to make any further comment.  Harness Racing Victoria

The barrier draw for Saturday night’s Group 1 Eynesbury Victoria Cup was held this morning at the offices of Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) and hot favourite Lazarus drew barrier six. The draw was broadcast live across HRV’s Twitter and Facebook channels and hosted by Good Form’s Jason Bonnington. “Huge twist, Vic Cup barrier draw, Hectorjayjay 9 and Lazarus 6. Massive advantage Lazarus. Will be $1.40 now,” Sky’s Adam Hamilton tweeted. “Lazarus looks to have mortage on Vic Cup following seminal barrier draw just moments ago. I expect $1.30. Cruz Bromac the shortener from 3,” tweeted Bonnington. While Lazarus looks a short-priced favourite, punters will note he was toppled in the weekend’s PETstock Ballarat Cup when long odds-on. 2017 Eynesbury Victoria Cup, Saturday night at Tabcorp Park Melton 1: Mach Doro 2: Major Crocker 3: Cruz Bromac 4: Tact Tate 5: Major Secret 6: Lazarus 7: John Of Arc ----------------------- 8: Bling It On 9: Hectorjayjay 10: Messini 11: Young Modern 12: Yayas Hot Spot (emergency) 13: Allblack Stride Book your Summer of Glory experience now at www.summerofglory.com.au Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Harness Racing Victoria Stewards and veterinarians have been collecting out of competition blood samples from yearlings scheduled to be sold at the upcoming Australian Pacing Gold (APG) Sales in Melbourne on Sunday 5 February 2017. All blood samples collected have been subjected to testing by Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) on their steroid screening test, which covers over 40 substances, and is understood to be the most comprehensive screening test in operation in Australia. RASL report that all of the analysed samples are clear of steroids. HRV wish to acknowledge the significant support of APG in assisting HRV’s efforts to ensure compliance with the national harness racing rules, introduced in May 2014, which banned the use of steroids at all times. Harness Racing Victoria

20 January, 2017 Australasia's best to lure big crowd to Ballarat Cup Such a grand stage merits the best warriors and those two elements will come together in barnstorming style on Saturday night when Lazarus is unleashed for the 2017 PETstock Ballarat Pacing Cup. Mark Purdon’s brilliant Bettors Delight entire returns to Bray Raceway as a beefed up mighty four-year-old, 12 months on from his dominant display in last year’s Victoria Derby heats. Ballarat and District Trotting Club chief executive Paul Rowse can barely contain his excitement. Read more   Barrier draw can't douse confidence for Lazarus Kiwi superstar Lazarus has drawn widest on the front row, outside fellow top liners Smolda and Lennytheshark, but retains favouritism for the PETstock Ballarat Pacing Cup. Lazarus opened a $1.30 favourite with tab.com.au and trainer-driver Mark Purdon said while the champ might not be quite at his peak first-up in Australia he would take some beating. “Lazarus had 10 days off after the NZ Cup week,” Purdon said. “I don’t think he’s back to where he was in the NZ Cup, but he’s going to be hard to beat.” Read more   Hector back on top after drama-filled Shepp Cup triumph After no shortage of drama and intrigue Hectorjayjay unleashed the shackles and produced a stirring Neatline Homes Shepparton Gold Cup win. And David Aiken’s superstar pacer did it in style, rattling off a 56.4-second final 800m to cruise to the Group 2 $60,000 crown, giving connections a night to remember. If Hectorjayjay’s triumph wasn’t impressive enough, with the speed machine defeating his rivals by more than 8m, then the drama that preceded the victory fortified its mystique. Read more   Cruz missile takes Hamilton Pacing Cup The $400,000 Group 1 Eynesbury Victoria Cup is the next scheduled stop for exciting five-year-old Cruz Bromac after his all-the-way Matthews Petroleum Hamilton Pacing Cup win yesterday. Moments after his 4.7-metre victory over gun mare Berisari in the south-west Victoria club’s annual pacing feature, Braun said  Cruz Bromac (Falcon Seelster-Crown Defender) would be set for the Summer of Glory’s night one jewel on Saturday, January 28, at Tabcorp Park Melton. Read more   $20K QUADDIE JACKPOT ON BALLARAT CUP NIGHT ONLY WITH TAB.COM.AU HERO series winner steps out for big night at Ballarat The inaugural winner of the Alabar HERO Showing Series for retired standardbreds will be a special guest at this Saturday night’s PETstock Ballarat Pacing Cup. Twenty-two-year-old Ballarat horsewoman Eboni Knights has accepted an invitation to partner Harness Racing Victoria HERO Program Ambassador Villagem in a ridden promotion for life after racing. Read more   HRV backs PCFA to tune of $12,500 During December, Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) donated $12,500 to the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Victoria. Drivers Chris Alford (13 wins), Gavin Lang (11 wins) and Glenn Douglas (1 win) each racked up plenty of victories, with HRV donating $500 for every winner driven by those men while wearing the PCFA silks. Visit www.pcfa.org.au Read more     THIS WEEK'S TROTS Friday 20 Jan: Tabcorp Park Melton Saturday 21 Jan: PETstock Ballarat Pacing Cup Sunday 22 Jan: Bendigo Monday 23 Jan: Tabcorp Park Melton Tuesday 24 Jan: Mildura Wednesday 25 Jan: Wangaratta  Thursday 26 Jan: Stawell day and Cranbourne night (Australia Day) Friday 27 Jan: Boort (day) and Ballarat (night)     TROTS MEDIA QUICK LINKS RSN podcasts Trots Media YouTube Trots Media Facebook  Trots Media Twitter Good Form Own the Moment Trots Country Roar Racing National News Room Trots Trial replays Winning Driver Interviews HRV HERO     Harness Racing Victoria  

19 January 2017 - With respect to the actions taken by Victoria Police on 11 January, 2017 where criminal charges were served on harness racing Participants, Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) provides the following update; HRV advises that in response to requests from some of the legal representatives of the relevant individuals, the HRV Stewards have granted an extension of time to Mr Nathan Jack, Ms Amanda Turnbull, Ms Lisa Bartley and Mr Mark Pitt regarding the timeframe by which they are required to provide any submissions addressing why action should not be taken under the Australian Harness Racing Rules (AHRR) against the respective licences of the individuals to participate in the industry. Any such submissions are now to be provided by 5.00pm on Monday 23 January 2017 and will be given due consideration thereafter prior to any decision being made. With respect to the Victoria Police investigation, HRV is unable to make any further comment. Harness Racing Victoria

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) CEO David Martin today was interviewed by Michael Felgate on Racing Ahead (RSN), covering a range of industry topics. Link to podcast here. Harness Racing Victoria

Kiwi superstar Lazarus has drawn widest on the front row, outside fellow top liners Smolda and Lennytheshark, but retains harness racing favouritism for the $120,000 PETstock Ballarat Pacing Cup. Lazarus opened a $1.30 favourite with tab.com.au and trainer-driver Mark Purdon said while the champ might not be quite at his peak first-up in Australia he would take some beating. “Lazarus had 10 days off after the NZ Cup week,” Purdon said. “I don’t think he’s back to where he was in the NZ Cup, but he’s going to be hard to beat.” Purdon revealed at Monday’s barrier draw he would pilot Lazarus and Anthony Butt would be offered the drive on the Inter Dominion champion Smolda, who opened a $6.50 shot. “(Smolda) could be a chance. He’s certainly going very well, he trained very good this morning,” Purdon said. “He is going well coming off the SA Cup and Inter Dominion and won the Hunter Cup last year, so we all know how good he is.” Good Form analysts Jason Bonnington and Blake Redden agreed it was a race in three, with Smolda drawn in three and Lennytheshark four. “Mark Purdon holds the key,” Bonnington said. “Lennytheshark and Smolda get away very quickly, but I still think Lazarus will be a fairly dominant favourite.” Those at the pointy end may have been a deterrent for some and leading to the less than capacity field, but it did little to dampen Ballarat and District Trotting Club chief executive Paul Rowse’s excitement. “We are very happy to have the top quality that we have in the cup and when I heard Lazarus was going to be in there I almost jumped out of my seat,” Mr Rowse said. The Good Form analysts broke down the field in the wake of the barrier draw. This is a summation of their thoughts. Young Modern (Gate 1): Probably racing for place money. Could try to hold the lead initially to get leader’s back when the big guns come across. Racing well and likes the distance. It Is Billy (Gate 2): If he can get across Young Modern early that’s a big plus. Every opportunity to run into the money, just wants to get the front and then hand over to one of the big guns. Smolda (Gate 3): He’s constantly put below a couple of more glamorous horses, but his last 12 months have been extraordinary. He’s a wonderful horse who loves the trip. He’s drawn to advantage and has to be a winning hope. Lennytheshark (Gate 4): He might lob one-one behind Lazarus. He does have terrific gate speed and could put the pedal to the mettle to find the front, but it’s just a fitness issue. There’s a really big chance he will keep going until he finds the front and is one of three winning chances. Major Secret (Gate 5): Not an ideal draw, will probably be playing for luck. A very, very good horse, but he is most effective when he can use his gate speed and find the front. He couldn’t be racing in any better form. Can he win on Saturday night? Probably can’t but will give a good account. Adam Cartwright (Gate 6): Ran a great race at Shepparton. He’s a good consistent horse, potentially a top four hope but probably not much more than that. If he has any luck he’ll be hitting the line. Lazarus (Gate 7): He is an outstanding pacer. He’s progressed and progressed and to see what he’s done in New Zealand he is the best horse in Australasia, and could be the best horse we’ve seen in Australasia for several years. It’s great he’s chosen the big dance and Ballarat and should win, but Smolda is constantly underrated and Lennytheshark is reigning horse of the year. It’s great for the race that he’s drawn seven, but he's still the one to beat. Savesometimetodream (Gate 8): He should get a good cheap run early from the eight and be an outside place chance at big odds.  Michael Howard (HRV Media/Communications Co-Ordinator) Race programme for Ballarat, Saturday 21 January 2017

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