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A dairy farmer from Victoria’s remote western districts looms as the biggest hurdle to the rampaging All Stars’ barn winning another major Australian race. In one of the sport’s most enchanting stories for many years, hobby trainer Ange McDowall as unearthed the most exciting of juvenile pacers in Lumineer. Although Ange herself is playing things down – we’ll tell your more about why that is later – the rest of the Aussie harness community is buzzing about the talent Lumineer has displayed in his four wins from as many starts so far. The latest of those came when he led throughout to win seemingly in second gear in a 1min52.5sec mile in his semi-final of the rich Australian Gold series at Menangle last Saturday night. While many horses can get a little lost around the huge 1400m track at Menangle the first time, Lumineer whizzed around it, sight unseen, as though it was his own backyard. He reeled-off splits of 27.3, 30.0, 28.0 and 27.2sec with young gun driver Jason Lee sitting against him. It compared to the 1min54.3sec the All Stars’ latest gun juvenile, Sicario, posted winning the second semi. Albeit he sat parked and also looked as though he could’ve gone much quicker. He will need to against Lumineer in this Saturday night’s final. Lumineer’s first sign of being something special came at his third start when, in a heat of the Australian Gold, he sat parked outside Fly Like An Eagle’s brother, Higherthananeagle, and lifted after looking beaten to win in a sizzling 1min53.8sec mile rate for 1720m around Melton. For McDowall the exciting signs were there a lot earlier, but she’s been scarred bad luck with the other two best horses she’s had and still wants to keep a lid on things. Well, as much as she can. “We’re a dairy farming family on a property about 20mins from Warrnambool, but we also dabble in the horses. We’ve got three at the moment and although I’m the training, it’s a family thing. My sisters Clare and Theresa help out a lot. As do Mum (Louise) and Dad (Brian),” she said. “The time we spend with the horses we probably should be spending on the cows, but all love the horses as well.” The McDowalls thought they had found a really serious horse in 2015 when Hellbewright won two of his first three starts. “He looked really promising, but he needed to have an operation and died of complications with the anaesthetic,” Ange recalled. “We’ve had our share of bad luck, that’s for sure.” More bad luck came last year when their improving pacer Masterofthurles succumbed to a career-ending injury. “He went from a C1 to C6 in one campaign which gave us a thill,” Ange said. “With the history we’ve had, you can see why the first thing I do each morning is pop into Lumineer’s box just to make sure he’s OK and has eaten-up, etc.” Part of his training routine is regular trips to the popular Lady Bay beach in Warrnambool – where so many of champion thoroughbred trainer Darren Weir’s horses are trained. “He loves it. I see all the gallopers in there. You can swim the horses around off the back of row boats,” Ange said. It’s helped quickly mature Lumineer from a raw talent to quite the pro. “It’s happened pretty quickly. I remember his first trial when Jason (Lee, driver) really had his hands full. The horse went left, went right and was so green,” Ange said. Lee was an easy choice as driver, not just because he’s such a prodigious talent, but he’s also part of the family, literally. Lee’s grandmother was Alice McDowall before marrying into the Craven family. So Jason is Ange’s second cousin. McDowall remembers “falling for” Lumineer when first saw him a video ahead of the Australian Gold sales. “He had real presence as I watched him and being out of a Rocknroll Hanover mare was another big plus. I was thrilled when we got him for $30,000, which is about mid-range I guess,” she said. There has been a lot of speculation about big offers for Lumineer, but McDowall wanted to set the record straight. “I’m bloody annoyed actually. We haven’t knocked-back any big offers, despite what you might have read,” she said. “There haven’t been any genuine offers we have even considered. “That’s not to say he’s not for sale. We’re not like that, we would consider a genuine offer, but for now we’re just looking ahead to the week and hoping he can keep going the way he is and stay sound.” McDowall opted to stay on-course at the Menangle stables between the semi and this week’s final. “It’s hard to replicate the training set-up we have at home because it’s quite different, especially with the time he spends at the beach, but there is an aqua walker here and he does seem to have settled in really well,” she said. Adam Hamilton

Terang's harness racing driver Jason Lee picked up two third placings to kick off this year's Australian Young Drivers Championship in Perth. Coinciding with the Inter Dominion series, the Championship pits the best young drivers from across Australia and New Zealand in a 10-race series, which continues today at Pinjarra. Kiwi Robbie Close is in front after three races on 36 points, while New South Welshman Todd McCarthy is on 29 points, five clear of Lee in third on 24. CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL AYDC LEADER BOARD Lee’s dominance in Victoria has seen him collect the Alabar Concession Young Driver of the Year award for the past three seasons in succession.   Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Terang’s Jason Lee is now a three-time Alabar Concession Drivers Premiership winner. The 21-year-old gun harness racing reinsman had his best season in 2015-16 with 117 wins nationally taking his career tally to 330. And with his victory in the concession drivers’ premiership Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) has announced Lee will be the state’s representative at the 2016 Australasian Young Drivers Championship (AYDC). “To win the Alabar Concession Drivers Premiership three times in a row is a remarkable feat and Jason will certainly do Victoria proud at the Australasian Young Drivers Championship,” HRV Chairman Dale Monteith said. The AYDC is one of the initiatives at this year’s Inter Dominion in Perth with 10 drivers from across Australasia, including four from New Zealand and one each from the six Australian trots states, to compete in a series of 10 races across six meetings in Western Australia. The contest to be crowned the Australasian champion will begin on December 2 and culminate on Inter Dominion Grand Final night on December 9. Lee joins Robbie Close, defending champion from NZ, hometown hero Stuart McDonald (WA), NSW’s Todd McCarthy, SA’s Jayson Finnis, Tassie’s Wade Rattray, Qld’s Nathan Dawson, and Kiwis Brad Williamson (South Island), Kyle Marshall (North Island) and Matt Anderson in the AYDC. MORE ON THE 2016 AYDC Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

With just over a fortnight of harness racing left in season 2015-16 little separates two of Victoria’s gun young drivers in the battle for the Alabar Concession Drivers Premiership. Terang's Jason Lee holds the slenderest of leads in his bid for three straight concession titles, one win ahead of Mark Pitt. Pitt returns from a two-week suspension tomorrow and has three drives at Shepparton on Thursday for the strong Wayne Potter camp. Lee has up to six drives at home track Terang on Wednesday night. Lee has 104 wins from 532 drives this season, while Pitt has piloted 103 winners from 383 starts. Josh Aiken is one win ahead of the injured Zac Phillips for the final concession drivers’ podium spot. Chris Alford has a stranglehold on the Melton Saddlery State Drivers Premiership with 270 wins from 1310 drives before today’s Maryborough meeting, 41 wins clear of Greg Sugars on 229, while Gavin Lang is third on 168. The SBG Accountants Metropolitan Drivers Premiership tells a slightly different story with Lang on 44 wins, five clear of Alford and Sugars level-pegging on 39. The Renown Silverware State Trainers Premiership sees Smythes Creek’s Emma Stewart dominating on 181 wins before today, clear of Andy Gath in second on 105 wins and Brent Lilley in third on 100. Stewart also leads the Taylors Metropolitan Trainers Premiership on 61 wins from 191 starts, with David Aiken second on that chart with 25 wins and Lilley third on 22. In the breeding ranks super stallion Art Major leads the overall chart on 208 wins from 1417 races, with arch rival Bettors Delight second on 179 wins from 1173 runners. Courage Under Fire is third on 134 wins, with Grinfromeartoear and Mach Three next on 121 wins each. Muscle Mass and Art Major are equal on the two-year-old sires tally with 15 wins apiece. Courage Under Fire holds a one-win advantage on the three-year-old table with 52 wins, just ahead of Art Major, while Rock N Roll Heaven is third. Safely Kept holds a comfortable lead on the Broodmare Sires Premiership with 154 wins from 1376 races, Holmes Hanover in second on 116 and Armbro Operative third on 115. Skyvalley is enjoying a strong season in the trotting ranks with 77 wins from 387 races to overall table, 17 clear of Sundon with Majestic Son third on 57. Sundon is leading the Trotting Broodmare Sires Premiership on 105 wins, well clear of Safely Kept on 47 and Keystone Salute on 37, while Skyvalley is winning the Juvenile Trotting Sires Premiership on 22 wins from 142 races, with Muscle Mass second on 15 wins and The Pres third on 11. Follow all the Victorian premierships Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

The Green Hornet (Yannick Gingras) has shot to the top of the leaderboard after a thrilling first day of the harness racing International All Star Series. US superstar Yannick Gingras drove victories in his first two starts on Australian soil and then followed up with a bold run in the last race to steal the limelight on day one. But it wasn’t all an international flavour, with Terang young gun Jason Lee claiming one for the Vics in race three on Yackandandah and then Greg Sugars winning the fourth and last, romping home late with Wardwell to overpower Gingras’ Captain Bronzie. The six-meet series, which starts and ends at Tabcorp Park Melton around meets at Echuca, Maryborough, Ballarat and Bendigo, began with Gingras driving Michael Stanley’s promising threeyear-old Spiritwriter to a thrilling win. Spiritwriter ran down a bold drive by Gavin Lang aboard Blackbird Power, who appeared to have pinched the race. “I thought I was coming second down the stretch, I always felt Gavin had it but asked the horse for a little bit more and it ran great,” Gingras said. Gingras then followed up with a 10m win on Fiery Blue Chip in race two, with Comigal (Dexter Dunn) and Illawong Bella (third) filling the placings. His run was broken when Lee, still a concession driver and the series’ youngest competitor, claimed the third race aboard Yackandandah, with ultraconsistent Dexter Dunn (New Zealand) finishing second driving Zalta and Victorian Chris Alford third on Jaccka Wilco. “I can sort of relax now,” Lee joked, having cracked through for a win. He said he felt lucky to have been picked for the event and been exposed to such champion drivers. The last race provided another ripping showdown, with Greg Sugars mowing down Gingras to salute on Wardwell, a third win for Sugars on the day having won the opening two races on the card, which were not part of the series. Gingras said he found the racing more comfortable than expected, noting with a wry smile “I was near the front as usual, so things didn’t really feel much different to home”. Harness Racing Victoria chief executive John Anderson said to be “in the presence of such greatness was quite an honour,” with the Victoria and World teams combining for 40,000 wins collectively. The racing followed a visit from Melton Specialist School students, who had superstar cards and caps signed by the drivers and were overjoyed by a visit from Captain Joy. Now retired, Captain Joy won more than $1 million in its career and is cared for by Susan Hunter through HRV’s HERO Program, which re-educates retired racehorses. International All Star Series day one leaderboard: Yannick Gingras 42 Dexter Dunn 33 Chris Alford 31 Jason Lee 30 Greg Sugars 27.5 Brett Miller 21 Gavin Lang 20.5 Corey Callahan 19 Anthony Butt 18 Kerryn Manning 15   Overall leaderboard:  World 133,  Victoria 124.    Michael Howard Harness Racing Victoria

The annual Central Victorian Young Harness Racing Drivers' Challenge will take place across five races next month from July 8-9. Horses will be randomly allocated to a driver from the following list of invitees - Josh Aiken, Aaron Bain (SA), Josh Duggan, Dylan Egerton-Green (WA), Dylan Ford (Tas), Haydon Gray, Jason Lee, Todd McCarthy (NSW), Zac Phillips and Amy Rees (Qld). The series kicks off with two races at Shepparton on July 8 and continues the following day with two races at Maryborough and one at Ballarat. Shepparton Harness Racing Club racing and operations manager Ian McDonald is looking forward to the series of races. "The quality of participants is the key. To have not only the five leading young drivers in Victoria but the five best from outside Victoria is fantastic," he said. "To have them all in the one forum is a real bonus." Horses which win races involved in the series will not incur a handicapping penalty. CODY WINNELL 

Having a penchant for footy and the trots is not rare, being adept with both reins or Sherrin in hand is somewhat rarer. But tonight at Terang there are at least two drivers who could comfortably represent their respective states with aplomb in a trots participants' footy State of Origin match. Jason Lee could pull on the Big V, the Terang driver a member of Nirranda footy club. He actually played three quarters against Timboon earlier this year before heading to Melton to drive in a Group 1 race - which he won - aboard Jilliby Jitterbug. For South Australia, Brent Howard would get a jumper; the Mt Gambier trots man a former Western Border Football League medallist (in 2004) and a crack midfielder for WBFL powerhouse South Gambier. He booted three goals last weekend as he and his teammates celebrated their 10-year premiership reunion. TRIVIA time, Question: Who has played in four Western Border Football League grand finals winning two premierships represented the WBFL in six interleague games, won a Western Border Medal and best and fairest awards at two different clubs? Oh, he's also now won a Mount Gambier Harness Racing Club Gold Cup? ANSWER: Brent Howard. CODY WINNELL

The unbridled glee shown by Jason Lee on Saturday night after winning a Group 1 race perfectly exemplified what harness racing is about. Passion, excitement, enthusiasm. Lee ticked each box with his victory salute aboard Jilliby Jitterbug in the closing stages of the Australian Pacing Gold Fillies Final at Tabcorp Park Melton.  There was no doubt a sense of achievement for the gun reinsman, winning aboard a filly trained by his mother Marg at the family's Terang property. About 12 months ago Lee said he would love to one day win an Inter Dominion when asked about his ultimate goal. But then, in the same sentence, he quickly adjusted his answer to say “actually any Group 1 win. Or a Terang Cup" would be his idea of living the dream in the trots. Lee, like all his family, lives and breathes harness racing and many within the sport think his name could potentially, in time, go down as one of the greats. This win was an important step on that trajectory, evident by the public celebration as Jilliby Jitterbug crossed the line victorious. Relief too must have been an ingredient in that victory salute because plans A, B and C were thrown out the window for Lee as soon as the mobile barrier arms folded back. Polemarker Hazels Girl was touted as the race leader, expected to come out humming tonight and Jilliby Jitterbug, drawn inside-back-row, looked the likely beneficiary. After all, the leader’s back – and indeed behind Hazels Girl – was exactly the situation where the Terang pacer and Lee found themselves one week ago in the APG semi-final before using the sprint lane and unveiling a powerful burst to win. But when the starter said go tonight Hazels Girl broke into a gallop, losing her chance at finding the top and forcing Jilliby Jitterbug to go right back to last. Over the short-course 1720m trip at Melton, this is never ideal. Lee though remained calm under pressure, allowing the daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven time to balance up before easing three-deep with 1200m to go and latching on to the back of Hot Shot Woman and Gavin Lang, who would provide a beautiful three-wide cart-up. When leader Three Squared swung off the back straight the final time, Hot Shot Woman had worked to the breeze, which left Jilliby Jitterbug to manoeuvre the sweeping run for home three-wide without cover. In the stretch nor Three Squared or Hot Shot Woman were going to go down without a valiant tussle, but Jilliby Jitterbug had their measure and came clear to score a super-impressive victory. Late in the straight Lee looked left, right, left once more time and when it was clearly mission accomplished, it was party time. Jilliby Jitterbug won by 3.8 metres in a mile rate of 1:56.5 with the sectionals clocked at 29.4, 30.4, 27.8 and 29.3. The winner is out of Keppel Bay, whose dam Nickel Castle is a proven producer, and she is also related to Cold Major, who took out the Bold David Free-for-All on Saturday night to give trainer David Aiken one of his four victories for the evening. Of the beaten brigade in the APG Final Hot Shot Woman was bold for trainer Daniel Neagoe, comfortably holding down second despite covering plenty of ground in the run, while Three Squared improved on her semi-final fifth to finish third, beaten 11.6m. Magical Delight ran on OK for fourth, Lettuce Reign likewise for fifth from a tough draw, while heavily backed favourite Zaras Delight finished sixth after racing handy throughout. Jilliby Jitterbug is raced by the Levarg Racing Group. Relive Jilliby Jitterbug's thrilling APG Fillies Final win - HRV Media

Queensland continued on their winning way last night. A team of six from the sunshine state took on Team Victoria in a harness racing junior drivers challenge at TABCORP Park Melton in a two race series. The Queensland team was made up of Hayden Barnes, Brittany Graham, Dannielle & Narissa McMullen, Trent Moffat and Amy Rees. Team Victoria comprised of Josh Aiken, Alex Ashwood, Haydon Gray, Mark Pitt, Jason Lee and Zac Phillips. It was a clean sweep for the Queensland team. Heat one went the way of Dannielle McMullen who took the winning drive aboard the Peter Thompson trained Our El Fuego in a time of 1;57.8 in the 2240m event. Placing’s were filled by fellow Queenslanders Narissa McMullen (Our Summer Wind), Trent Moffat (Mister Rufus) and Hayden Barnes (Brite Spark Lombo). Our El Fuego was the rank outsider and returned a dividend of $61.50. Heat two went the way of Hayden Barnes (Jambiani) who defeated Trent Moffat (Bushi) and Brittany Graham (Clarenden Daydream) in a time of 2;00.9 for the 2240m journey. Following a countback, the individual winner of the series was Hayden Barnes who beat Trent Moffat. “It was a great result for Queensland with a clean sweep and the kids thoroughly enjoyed themselves as they showcased their talents on foreign soil. It was great to see them catch up with friends while making new contacts; hopefully this helps them going forward,” Queensland Team Captain Kevin Seymour said. “I would like to thank Harness Racing Victoria and all of the trainers who supported the series, it’s about gaining experience and making them better and this is a great opportunity to do this.” Seymour added. In three series to date, Queensland has a perfect record after inflicting defeats over New South Wales, New Zealand and now Victoria. The winning form of Hayden Barnes continues with victories at Alexandra Park, Auckland late last year with Millie Sampson and then again last night at Melton with Jambiani. Seymour is now eyeing off a series against South Australian in the coming months. by Chris Barsby

Victorian harness racing driver Jason Lee will head to Sydney to partner the Jarrod Alchin-trained Mark Dennis at Tabcorp Park Menangle tomorrow night.  Mark Dennis will compete in race seven and Lee is hoping to rekindle that winning feeling with the son of Bettors Delight and the pair combined to win at Melton last September. “The owner (Paul Nobes) rang me earlier in the week and asked if Jason could drive Mark Dennis on Friday night because he had won on him in the past,” Alchin said. “I was happy to give him the drive. I haven’t had the opportunity to speak with Jason yet, but I was happy with Mark Dennis last week, because as soon as they ran that slow second quarter, it was always going to be hard for those back in the field to make ground.” Mark Dennis is one of two horses Nobes has transferred to Alchin. “I got a phone call out of the blue asking me if I would be interested in taking a couple of horses and Mark Dennis was one and the other was two-year-old filly Perfectly Written,” Alchin explained “Perfectly Written was paid up for the Bathurst Gold Tiara, but we had the vet go over her and she just had a bit of mucus on her chest, so we gave her a little break to get over it and she will be back in this weekend.” Alchin recently returned from New Zealand where he purchased a yearling trotter. “I went over to the sales in New Zealand and bought a trotter which is out of a half-sister to Daenerys Targaryen,” Alchin said. “I really think trotting will go ahead in New South Wales. “There is good prize money to be won and with a bigger pool of trotters it can only go from strength to strength.” Alchin will return to the sulky on Monday at Bathurst. “My suspension is over on Sunday, so I can drive in the heats of the Chalice and Bracelet, which is important because I am down to drive Sporty Spook and Scarlet Satene,” Alchin said. HRNSW Media

Gun Terang reinsman Jason Lee won five races at his home track on Wednesday night. Lee combined with trainer Darren Cole and four-year-old gelding Ruthless And More to win the Dick & Anne Box Pace over 1680m (Race 4). Jason didn’t drop another race for the remainder of the night, taking out the Terang Harness Owners, Trainers and Supporters Group Pace with impressive four-year-old Clark Griswold, the Morsbearings Dalvui Dominator First Heat with four-year-old mare Justa Dream Lombo, the Gammalite Cup with Keayang Starzzz and Dalvui Dominator Second Heat with Keayang On Fire. “That was the first time I’ve had five winners so it was pretty good,” Lee said. “A winner’s good anywhere but I love driving winners on my home track.” Lee, 19, has 41 winners to date this season from 151 drives. “I’m really enjoying it,” he said. “I’m driving a lot of good horses for good people.” Punters might pay to add three horses to their black books, with Lee predicting Clark Griswold, Justa Dream Lombo and Keayang Starzzz would all go on to bigger and better things. Cody Winnell - Harness Racing Victoria

Rising harness racing star Jason Lee must have been a good boy this year. Given his frequent visits to the winners’ circle during the past couple of days, even Lee has come to the same conclusion! Lee has notched six wins across two meetings, including his first quartet at Terang last Sunday night. He then backed up with a double at Bendigo yesterday. “Christmas has come early,” Lee declared. “Four winners at Terang was an early present for sure. “That was my first quartet and is something I will remember for a long time. It was all the more special given it was at our home track.” Lee’s local wins were Our Guy Supreme, Keayang Active, More Than Modern and Keayang Mercedes, with the latter three prepared by the reinsman’s mother, Marg. Lee then scored with Liston and Jilliby Royal at Bendigo. Jilliy Royal is trained by Lee’s cousin, Glen Craven. “I’ve had a really good couple of days and with a bit of luck it can continue into the New Year,” Lee said. Paul Courts  

It’s no surprise to see talented reinsman Jason Lee sitting at the top of the Victorian concession drivers’ premiership. Not only is Lee the defending champion, but with a strong harness racing pedigree Lee was always destined to play a successful role of the industry. Lee’s family involvement dates back several generations and reaches through multiple branches of his clan. From his grandparents – Harold and Alice Craven - to his mother Marg and prominent cousins, Glen and Matthew Craven, Lee was never going to select anything other than a life with standardbreds. “I have been around horses all my life and it is all I have ever wanted to do,” Lee said. “My grandparents had horses, mum trains horses and my cousins also train and drive. “It is pretty big in our family. There was never a chance I was going to do anything else.” Therefore it was no shock to those who knew him that as soon as Lee was old enough to leave school he was no longer present in the class room. Although he had family members coaxing him into it, Lee admits his mother wasn’t completely impressed with the life-altering decision. “As soon as I turned 16 I knew I wanted to finish school,” Craven said. “But mum wasn’t completely happy with it, at first. “I’d had enough of school and really wanted to take up driving, so when I was 16 I left school and worked on getting my driver’s licence.” Since making his debut in September 2011, Lee has made a rapid climb through the ranks to establish himself as one of Victoria’s leading concession drivers. An instant star in the sulky, Lee made a successful debut by partnering Jilliby Dasher to victory at Maryborough on September 9. “I was rapt to just be out there and then to get a winner at my first drive was pretty amazing,” Lee said. “It’s something I will never forget ... it was just a really big thrill.” A regular visitor to the winners’ circle since, Lee boasts the impressive strike rate of a placing per every 1.78 drives. Metropolitan glory has also come quickly for Lee, who registered a double at Melton last Friday night. Lee scored with Isabelle Delacour and South Australian raider, Mark Dennis, placing him equal second on the metro drivers’ premiership. Like all budding stars, Lee has ambitions of feature-race glory, with his local event – Terang Cup – high on the agenda. Naturally the industry’s ‘Holy Grail’…the Inter Dominion…is also on Lee’s wish list. “The Inter Dominion is the race everyone wants to win,” Lee said. “If it was possible to pick a race you could win, that would be it. “To win the Terang Cup would mean a lot, too, as it is our local cup. “But at the moment, I just want to win as many races as I can. Down the track I might train a few, but at the moment I am happy just to be driving.” PAUL COURTS

Kialla trainer-driver David Moran enjoyed a winning double with two of his in-form pacers last night at Tabcorp Park Melton. Both The Baggy Green (a four-year-old mare by Art Major out of Lady Waratah) and Our Santa Catalina (a three-year-old filly by Rocknroll Hanover out of San Sophia) carried their strong Breeders Crown form into last night's meeting and both recorded strong victories. The Baggy Green, who ran second to Frith in the four-year-old mares’ Breeders Crown Final last time out, found the back of early leader Earth Angel last night used the sprint lane at the finish to wind up for a 2.3-metre victory in the Alabar Pace, Race 1, over 1720 metres. Earth Angel led for Josh Aiken with Isabelle Delacour (Jason Lee) parking in the breeze after a failed attack for the front. Glenferrie EJ (Jodi Quinlan) ran second after a sustained run three-wide, while Earth Angel boxed on gamely for third. The Baggy Green started at $2.20, kicking the night off on a winning note for punters. Moran’s second winner came up in Race 4, the Harness Breeders Vic 3YO Classic over 1720 metres. He drove Our Santa Catalina, who scored an upset win over last-start Group 1 winner Just Cala (Amanda Turnbull) by 1.8 metres, with Madison Louise (Chris Alford) third. With 1200 metres to go Moran and Our Santa Catalina eased three-wide from the one-out-one-back spot and moved to the breeze outside race leader Dazzling Arden. At this stage Turnbull had the $1.40 favourite Just Cala in last position. Down the back, though, Turnbull started her move, taking the Dennis Picker trained filly around the field three-wide. But the leaders quickened up with middle sectionals of 29.9 and 28.4, Just Cala forced to work hard for the bulk of the final lap. Once the field straightened up for the run to the judge, Our Santa Catalina shook off Dazzling Arden and then hit the line in a 27.8 final quarter. Just Cala simply didn’t have the firepower at the finish as Our Santa Catalina – who ran third in a Breeders Crown semi-final at Ballarat two starts back – showed enormous grit in the run to the line. Our Santa Catalina has now won seven of 20 starts. Leading reinsman Nathan Jack was the other driver to pick up a winning double last night, piloting Bad Habbott to a 2.7-metre triumph in the Home Timber and Hardware Melton 3YO Trot for trainer Russell Commens before finishing the program aboard Shared Interest, the Russell Jack trained gelded son of Angus Hall obliterating his rivals by 18.1 metres in the Haley Toulmin 2YO Trot over 1720 metres. Other winners on the card were Action Kosmos for Geoff Webster and Emmett Brosnan in the Trot and Game We Play in the Empire Stallions 3YO Pace Final for trainer-driver Craig Turnbull, the son of Courage Under Fire too strong as the long odds-on favourite in the race Karkarooc who finished a well-beaten seventh. In-form mare Tandias Bromac won the Pet Rock Pace for trainer Amanda Grieve and driver Chris Alford while the Michael Stanley trained and driven Young Modern won the Woodlands Stud Pace over 1720 metres. Gumdrops won for trainer Steve Zammit and driver Rodney Petroff in the Breeders Crown Broodmare Noms Close 1 Sept Pace, and the Chris Lang trained and driven Lord Liam won the Aldebaran Park Trotters Handicap. The Victorian harness racing spotlight turns to Cranbourne tonight (Saturday) with the first of 11 races at 5.35pm. Cody Winnell - Harness Racing Victoria

Xanderxav overcame an early speed duel to win the Woodlands Stud Breeders Crown Trotters Graduate at Tabcorp Park Melton tonight. The Linton Power trained trotter had the pole draw, which helped him hold out the early challenge from fellow mobile-start firebrand squaregaiter Mister Gunsen. With regular driver David Moran in the spider Xanderxav, who hails from Marungi, continued his recent strong form, the wily eight-year-old racing more like a spritely four-year-old. At the 500-metre mark it became clear Xanderxav comfortably had the measure of race favourite Zedalite, which was beginning to struggle in the breeze. El Paco reaced by pulling out of the one-one to stake its claim three-wide, while Stoned I Am snagged back to the markers near the rear of the field and saved enormous ground around the final turn. But old Xanderxav is tougher than a cheap steak and the son of glorious trotter Wagon Apollo added a Group 2 victory to his kitbag, scoring a 4.9-metre win over runner-up Stoned I Am (Simone Walker). Xanderxav’s mile rate for the 2240-metre trip was 1:59.4. The Group 2 Breeders Crown Pacers’ Graduate was taken out by Keayang Cullen for Terang trainer Marg Lee and driver Jason Lee. The in-form free-for-all star is headed towards the Miracle Mile long-term and tonight he defeated Shane Tritton trained Suave Stuey Lombo by 2.1 metres, while the winner’s stablemate, Keayang Steamer, finished third for driver Glen Craven. Keayang Cullen zipped around the field early to find the lead and then kept on kicking for a good win in a rate of 1:56.0, with a last half-mile of 55.7secs. Earlier in the night Grant Dixon trained and driven Feel The Faith was too strong for Glenferrie Blade in the Betterthancheddar @ Alabar Breeders Crown two-year-old fillies’ consolation, while Boasson Hagen took out the American Ideal @ Woodlands two-year-old boys’ Breeders Crown consolation for Tasmanian trainer Christian Salter and leading reinsman Gavin Lang. Boasson Hagen beat runner-up Pompidou by a head with Hez The One third for Heywood trainer Bec East. John Justice delivered a perfect front-running drive aboard Shakti Bromac to land the Alabar Breeders Crown Graduate Pace over 2240 metres, too strong for runner-up Valley Of Diamonds, while Wounded ran third. Rockbank trainer Joe Vassallo enjoyed success in the Breeders Crown Graduate Trot with four-year-old Village Jasper gelding Stunning Jasper scoring a half-head win over race favourite Jeter with Speedy Rambo third. Michael Stanley, who has Soho Tokyo in the two-year-old fillies’ Breeders Crown Final on Sunday, captured the Breeders Crown Broodmare Noms Close 1 September Pace over 2240 metres with four-year-old Presidential Ball gelding Hilltop Hustler, which powered home by five metres over runner-up The Good Times and third placegetter Turnpike Cruiser. Four-year-old D M Dilinger gelding Crazy Dave broke his metropolitan maiden status in the eighth race, the TAB.COM.AU Pace over 2240m. The winner came from the Gary Bailey stable at Portarlington and was driven by Michael Bellman. Essbee Doubleyou ran second for Jodi Quinlan, while Tyler Bromac was third for Matthew Craven. Valley Ess Jay won the last race, the Aldebaran Park Breeders Crown two-year-old trotting consolation. Trained and driven by trotting master Chris Lang, the Skyvalley gelding fought back doggedly after being headed by The Third Son late to win by 1.9 metres. The Third Son held on for second for John Caldow, while Glenferrie Belle was well beaten in third place. Racing returns to Tabcorp Park Melton on Sunday for the 10-Group 1 Breeders Crown Finals Day, where a huge crowd is expected. Cody Winnell - Harness Racing Victoria  

A reminder, as we close in on the end of season 2013/14, that for the first time Harness Racing Victoria will conduct just one industry awards night, the Gordon Rothacker Medal, including Horse of the Year, on October 8. ......................................................................   Breeders Crown The Australasian harness racing spotlight will be squarely on Tabcorp Park Melton this Sunday as the rich Breeders Crown series culminates with a $1.6m "Super Sunday". 10 Group 1 finals will be contested on what has become arguably the best day's racing on the harness racing calendar. The Breeders Crown is the real trans-Tasman battle, with New Zealand's best two, three and four-year-old horses heading across the ditch to take on the Australians. I particularly like the $297,000 two-year-old fillies' final with Kiwis Katy Perry, Cyclone Kate, Linda Lovegrace, Joannes A Delight and Big Lucy dominating the early fixed odds betting charts. But don't tell a couple of the Aussies that the Kiwis are set for an easy ride, as Mick Stanley (trainer of Soho Tokyo) and Rob Auber (owner of Niki No No) have both declared they're not running scared. Probably the battle that has punters salivating most is the rematch between three-year-old semi-final combatants Our Sky Major and Bling It On. Punters are also reminded of a $25,000 first four pool guarantee on all races at Tabcorp Park on Sunday thanks to the TAB. Super Sunday kicks off at 12.05pm, with 11 races to be contested. Ballarat HRV's thanks goes to President Greg Moy and CEO Paul Rowse for yet again doing a great job in hosting an important industry event, the Breeders Crown Semi Finals last Saturday (August 16). As always a job well done. .......................................................................................... Interesting Statistics (Season) Plenty of highlights this season as we near the end of another racing year: Chris Alford's drives earned over $1m for the second time in his career; Chris Alford, Greg Sugars and Gavin Lang have all driven over 200 winners nationally this season; David Aiken is the first trainer to have trained 50 winners in a season at Tabcorp Park. Next best is Lance Justice with 49 in 2010/11; David Aiken has also smashed the trainers stakes earned at Tabcorp Park in a season, currently sitting just under $1m. Speaking of Greg Sugars, if you click here you will see a nice segment featuring Greg with Jaimee Rogers from Tabcorp called "Behind the Moment" where Greg talks of his relationship with the great Sushi Sushi. ............................................................................................. Smoken Up We are building toward a big farewell for Lance Justice's champion Smoken Up's last ever run at Tabcorp Park on September 6. For the record, before his final run, he will have had 152 starts for 74 wins and career stakes of $3.6m Included in his 74 wins have been 21 wins at Tabcorp Park, from which he has earned $700,000. The horse to have won the most at Tabcorp Park is Make Mine Cullen with 29 wins at the new headquarters. The occasion is being generously supported by the State Government's Raceday Attraction Program and the Premier Dr Denis Napthine will be in attendance. ............................................................................................... Red Balloon Experience for Father's Day The State Government recently approved a grant for the promotion of a Mobile Barrier Ride and dining package offered through Red Balloon. Participating venues are offering a 25% discount ($165 down from $220) as part of Red Balloons Father's Day promotion which runs from August 18 to Father's Day on September 7, where people can purchase the package as a gift for use over the next 12 months. The Package includes the usual dining and drinks for two plus two mobile barrier rides. Click here for the link to the package on Red Balloon. ......................................................................................... Youth Policy People often associate the trots with an ageing demographic. It is pleasing to see that this is now becoming a myth as we see the rise to the top of our gun young drivers, who are knocking on the door of the likes of C Alford and G Lang. In recent months names such as Josh Aiken, Matt Craven, Jason Lee, Rebecca Bartley, Ellen Tormey, Glen Craven, Emmett Brosnan, Zac Phillips, Alex Ashwood, Josh Duggan and plenty of others have tasted regular success and are hot on the heels of more seasoned youngsters, such as Greg Sugars, Amy Tubbs and Nathan Jack. It is important for administrators to manage the business in such a way that this new generation of participants see a long term future in this great sport. ..................................................................................... Don Dove Since the last CEO News, HRV was saddened to hear of the passing of the one and only Don Dove. Below is copy penned by Len Baker following his funeral service at Kilmore: A large number of trainers, drivers, owners and harness racing people in general were in attendance at Kilmore's Trackside Tabaret on Tuesday July 29, to celebrate the life and times of iconic Victorian trainer/driver Don Dove who passed away in his adopted state Queensland on July 14, 2014 at the age of 86. The memorial service was conducted by the "Pacing Priest" Father Brian Glasheen and numerous stories were told during the service. Don was a legend of the sport and was associated with horses such as Kol's Idol, Monara's Image, Nelson's Report, Playalong, Amlin, Jaygo, Missing Charm, Jay Ar Ewing, Just Money and Victoria Derby winner Kelly Kid just to name a few, with his best being prolific winner Monara which finished second to Welcome Advice in the 1972 (Brisbane) Inter Dominion when driven by Neville Welsh. Originally training in Heatherton where he was based for many years in an area which was also home to G.D. (Dave) Wilson and several other trainers including Lloyd and Bruce Coram, the trio would conduct trials on a rotation basis at their property's each weekend prior to the formation of Southern Speedways where Don was a regular competitor at the weekend trials called by at one stage by Trackbred editor Peter Wharton. Dove then moved to Kilmore and further north to Avenel, before relocating to Queensland. A master reinsman with wonderful hands who was great in getting horses away from the tapes, there was no better driver at the head of the field in a trotting or pacing race than Don Dove. Harness Racing Victoria

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