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Harness Racing Driver Josh Aiken is looking forward to driving Hectorjayjay in Saturday night’s Italian Cup (2240m) at Melton.   The five-year-old gelding is trained by Aiken’s father, David, but regular reinsman Gavin Lang won’t be in the sulky due to driving commitments at Menangle.    Hectorjayjay continues to grow from strength to strength and Aiken has enjoyed watching the gelding add strength to go along with his sheer point-to-point speed.   “It’s exciting to have a horse like him here; we always knew he was an extremely quick horse, everyone knew that, but watching him develop has also been a thrill,” Aiken told Harness Racing New Zealand.   “This week is another challenge because I’ve got great respect for the pole horse (Major Secret) but Hector showed in the 4YO and 5YO Championship that he can do some work as well.   “Whether he could race tough off a strong tempo and still sprint as quick I’m not sure but he’s certainly developed a lot not only with us but just from his years of racing before he came here.”   Bookmakers expect Hectorjayjay to account for his seven rivals in the Italian Cup. He has been installed at the short quote of $1.25 with the Emma Stewart-trained five-year-old entire Major Secret the only other runner in single figures at $4.20.   READ: Italian Cup preview   Hectorjayjay has won five of his past six starts with his only defeat coming when held up for a run in an M2-M4 contest. He followed that up by leading in 1:56.0 in the Bold David Free For All (2240m) and then sitting parked in 1:55.1 over course and distance in the Group 2 4YO & 5YO Championship.   Major Secret has won both starts since returning from injury and he will look to make the most of barrier one with Chris Alford picking up the drive. Lang normally drives the entire also and it could have given punters a lead had he been driving at the meeting.   Aiken returns to driving after serving suspension for inconveniencing Ideal Majority in the Young Pedro Free For All (1720m) at Melton on June 3 when driving Cold Major. With Aiken choosing Hectorjayjay, David Moran has picked up the drive on Cold Major who will follow out Major Secret in the event.   Reprinted with premission from  www.racingbase.com

Human nature dictates that potential is more attractive than achievement, promise more seductive than stability. That’s why when Hectorjayjay takes his place in Saturday night’s Italian Cup at Melton the average harness racing fan will be beside themselves with glee. A race made most famous as the arena for Popular Alm’s emotional comeback in 1984, this weekend the Italian Cup will be the next step in Hector’s star-making apprenticeship for team Aiken. Of course, it won’t be easy. Awaiting the dual Group 2 winner will be Super Series and NSW Derby winner, Major Secret, who himself is two runs into a brilliant comeback campaign. He also draws the pole to aid his chances. But most experts and almost all pacing enthusiasts are hoping and expecting that Hectorjayjay will prove too fast, too complete and too talented for his strong but less charismatic list of adversaries. “It’s exciting to have a horse like him here; we always knew he was an extremely quick horse, everyone knew that, but watching him develop has also been a thrill,” Josh Aiken said. “This week is another challenge because I’ve got great respect for the pole horse (Major Secret) but hector showed in the 4 and 5YO Championship that he can do some work as well. “Whether he could race tough off a strong tempo and still sprint as quick I’m not sure but he’s certainly developed a lot not only with us but just from his years of racing before he came here.” All things being equal, Victoria’s most exhilarating constant resident will progress from Saturday night’s $20K mini-feature to the Group 1 Len Smith Mile where he’ll be no doubt welcomed by superstar stablemate Lennytheshark. The lover of promise, the devotee of the untapped will be dreaming of that clash and secretly hoping that the younger tyro can test his Inter Dominion and Victoria Cup winning co-habitant. But if Josh and David Aiken are both on the pulse then there’s still a little water left to flow before that happens. “I’m with Dad I suppose,” Josh said. “I might think there’s little less between them than he does but Lenny had to run second in a Vic Cup and place in a Len Smith before he started winning those big races and Hector might have to as well. “The beauty about our situation is that they’re two very different horses. “Lenny is the king and he can do everything where Hector’s got that explosive speed when conditions suit. “That means you can drive Hector a little more conservatively at the top level and get him battle-hardened for that type of racing without conceding him a real winning chance. “Any race is winnable with a sprint like his.” Jason Bonnington

Reining Inter Dominion champion Lennytheshark’s trainer David Aiken has confirmed this week he will defend his title when the Inter Dominion Carnival returns later this year. Having won the Victoria and Bendigo Cup’s since his emphatic Perth Inter dominion win, the Four Starzzz Shark entire is aimed at the Len Smith Mile (G1) at Menangle after competing in the Golden Mile (G3) one week earlier. His travel-buddy on the trip to Western Australia will be Hectorjayjay. With the Mildura Cup (G2) and the 4 & 5yo Championship (G2) in his trophy cabinet in his last 4 starts - the Dream Away gelding will contest the Sunshine Sprint (G2) and the Blacks A Fake (G2) in Queensland. Hectorjayjay “I knew he was good when he came to our stables, but I didn’t realise just how good” Trainer David Aiken said after his impressive Melton win on Saturday night. Aiken is hoping the trip to Queensland will give Hectorjayjay much needed travel experience before attempting one of Harness Racing’s tough tasks - the Inter Dominion. Scott Hamilton

Emerging Victorian star Hectorjayjay is Queensland-bound. Trainer David Aiken had planned a freshen-up, but Hectorjayjay’s breathtaking 4&5YO Championship win at Melton last Saturday night changed his mind.  “He forced our hand, he changed our minds. He went to another level the other night. We have to give him a chance against the big boys now,” Aiken said.  “He’s scary fast and the other night he showed a new side when he did so much work in a really fast last half and still won with the plugs in.  “I knew he was good when he came to our stable, but I didn’t realise just how good.”  Hectorjayjay has won four of five starts since a change of ownership saw him switch from Simone Walker’s stable to Aiken’s barn. “He’d be unbeaten for us with any luck. His only defeat came when he drew inside the back row and never saw daylight,” Aiken said.  “This is a seriously exciting horse and I’m setting for the Perth Inter Dominion along with Lennytheshark.  “This guy can go to Queensland for the Sunshine Sprint (July 9) and Blacks A Fake (July 16), while Lennytheshark can go to Sydney.”  Lennytheshark finished a pre-training stint on the water-walker and returned to Aiken’s satellite stable on-course at Menangle yesterday (Monday).  The reigning Inter Dominion champ will go first-up into the Group 3 Golden Mile at Menangle on June 11.  Then comes the $100,000 Group 1 Len Smith Mile at the same track on June 26.  “I can get him fit enough by working at Menangle and a trial before the Golden Mile and that run should top him off nicely for the Len Smith,” Aiken said.  “Then he’s out for another little break until the new season.  “He didn’t really need these races, but he puts on too much weight when he’s out spelling, so I didn’t want to leave him out too long.  “It’ll be great to have he and Hector to bring-up together towards Perth.” Adam Hamilton

According to HRNZ, New Zealanders are breeding better quality horses. While breeding numbers are slightly down, from around 2690 last year to 2520 this year, the breeding industry isn't in dire straits like many think. The slight decline can be attributed to a major shift from breeders to produce a higher quality product, with a significant commercial value.  With sire fees going up, many breeders are cutting back their broodmare numbers to focus on better bred mares, who have shown ability on the track. Leading sire Bettor's Delight served 289 mares this season, while Christian Cullen has dropped to just he 45 mares this season.  _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ The Shane Tritton trained 2yo High Rolling will not make the Harness Jewels trip.  While stablemate Arms Of An Angel ,Kevin Pizzuto trained Heza Bromac and the Craig Demmler trained My Kiwi Mate are the only confirmed Australian invites to the Cambridge Harness Jewels. The focus has shifted to the trotting sections with HRNZ's Racing Manager Darrin Williams working on several runners and awaiting responses. The David Aiken trained 3yo trotter Princess Phoenix will not make the trip, although her stablemate Eljaykay Phoenix is still a chance of making the trip to complete against Monbet and Sunny Ruby in the 4yo Ruby.  Connections will sit down with the Aiken’s this afternoon to make a decision on their first jewels trip. Andrew Fitzgerald

Cold Major (7G Art Major/Van Gold) is headed west for the Perth Inter Dominion later this year after his Group 3 Casey Classic win on Saturday night at Tabcorp Park Melton. The 21-time winner (64: 21-7-7, $208,494) dashed along the sprint lane to upstage Geoff Webster’s fast-class stable stars Flaming Flutter (1.9m away second) and Franco Ledger (beaten 3.3m in third) over 1720m in a rate of 1:53.2. The time was Cold Major’s best in 10 goes at the trip. Trained by David Aiken at Avenel, Cold Major was steered by regular reinsman Josh Aiken and paid odds of $14.20, knocking those punters who stood out $1.10 shot Philadelphia Man (fifth) in the final leg of the quaddie. Philadelphia Man paced to the front early and reeled off opening splits of 28.3secs and 29.7secs after a 7.4secs lead time. Flaming Flutter (Greg Sugars) put the heat on Philadelphia Man from the chair down the back (28.1secs third quarter) and when Gavin Lang asked the favourite for his effort in the stretch he found little. Flaming Flutter stuck on valiantly for second with stablemate Franco Ledger (Anthony Butt) third after a one-one trip. Five Star Anvil (Chris Alford) got through for fourth ahead of the long odds-on favourite. A post-race veterinary examination revealed no abnormalities with Philadelphia Man, but stewards tweeted Saturday night they would follow up with the Emma Stewart stable during the week to see how the horse pulled up. >> Cold Major takes out the Group 3 Casey Classic at Melton Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria

The Aiken stable has produced another ultra-smart young trotter in Princess Phoenix. The long odds-on harness racing favourite defeated Social Fireball by 2.7 metres with almost 17 metres back to third placegetter The Cooler in tonight’s Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series 2YO Trotting Fillies Final at Tabcorp Park Melton. Driven by Josh Aiken for trainer father David, Princess Phoenix – by The Pres out of Dodo Rocket – won differently to how she did in the Vicbred Platinum Home Grown Classic in May, driven tough tonight. “She’s probably more a sit-sprint filly, I asked her stay (tonight) and she’s done a really good job,” Josh Aiken said. “Being a final I wanted to take all the luck out of it I could.” Princess Phoenix ran to the lead at the 1500m, heading off early leader Jay Bee Flex. She covered her first half in 62.3secs before 61.2secs last half for a 2:03.5 mile rate, holding off Social Fireball (Gavin Lang) who chased hard down the side and in the home straight. The Cooler ran on well at just her second race start, finishing third for Nathan Jack. “She’s just been a nice filly from the first time we started her. She qualified very close to first race. We thought she was OK then she went to the races and did it,” David Aiken said. “We always liked it but in qualifying trials early she was just OK, then she went to the races and ran second, then won that final. She’s really come on. “She had a few little issues gate-wise. We put the half-hopples on her and ever since then she hasn’t looked back.” Aiken said Princess Phoenix would most likely bypass the Redwood Carnival and head to the Breeders Crown. “Her good manners and speed will keep her in good stead,” he said. Watch Princess Phoenix win her Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series Final at Melton by Cody Winnell

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 

Rocknroll Magic overcame an outside back row draw to win the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series for harness racing 2YO Fillies third heat on Friday night at Kilmore. The daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven out of All The Magic drew away to win by 9.8 metres over Our Odette in the 2180-metre race, rating 2:01.5. Gavin Lang drove the winner, who is trained by Emma Stewart at Smythes Creek. Odds-on race favourite Dancingwithsierra finished last but was clearly not 100 per cent and was stood down pending an endoscopic report. Meanwhile, two heats of the three-year-old fillies Super Series were run on the night with David Aiken and son Josh Aiken combining with Glory Daze in the third heat, winning from the pole in 2:02.0, defeating Brighty Valentine by a half-head, and Belinda McCarthy-trained Smooth Showgirl taking out the fourth heat for reinsman Nathan Jack in a rate of 1:57.3, holding out Boadiceas Fury by a half-head. 2YO FILLIES 3rd HEAT Finishing order Video replay 3YO FILLIES 3rd HEAT Finishing order Video replay 3YO FILLIES 4th HEAT Finishing order Video replay Cody Winnell

Charlie Runkle and Princess Phoenix won last night’s Empire Stallions Vicbred Platinum Home Grown Classic Finals at Tabcorp Park Melton for harness racing two-year-old trotters. Charlie Runkle (by Angus Hall out of Star Spangled Banner) took out the colts and geldings’ final for trainer Gary Quinlan and driver Chris Alford, while trainer David Aiken and reinsman son Josh combined with Princess Phoenix (by The Pres out of Dodo Rocket) to win the fillies’. From gate two Charlie Runkle showed gate speed from the 1720m start and easily found the pegs after polemarker Sundons Courage galloped away. Alford handed up to Aiken on Skyflyer and waited for his turn along the sprint lane, Charlie Runkle finishing fast for a 3.4-metre victory in a rate of 2:00.6. “(He) came out really well and got a bit keen being his first time under lights, but he was travelling well at the turn and once the sprint lane opened he got to it like an old pro,” Alford said. Race favourite Cruisin Around ran third after covering ground three wide with no cover. Princess Phoenix rated 2:03.7 for her win. At the 400m she was eased three-wide by Aiken but was still 15m off frontrunner Truscott Law, who had trotted opening quarters of 32.7, 31 and 30.3. Princess Phoenix sprinted sharply and went on to put her opposition away with apparent ease due to an impressive 400-metre burst. “She’s a fast filly. I said the other day she might be a pretty serious filly. And she’s confirmed that,” Josh Aiken said. Plenty of punters found both the Home Grown winners, each backed in late to $3.30. “I think the owners might have tipped a few into her on the way here,” Aiken quipped. Aiken explained Princess Phoenix had fired up during the warm-up but relaxed better when the mobile started to roll. “It’s very daunting for the babies to come here under the lights. She turned it on a bit during the preliminary but once they were scoring up she became a racehorse.” Truscott Law held down second while Maoris Got Muscle and reinsman Caleb Lewis finished third. by Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria

The 2015 edition of the Australasian Young Drivers Championship was decided today at the Timaru Harness Racing Club's meeting at Phar Lap Raceway. Conducted over seven races at four different tracks over four days, the championship was keenly fought for by six young drivers from Australia and four from New Zealand. Robbie Close representing New Zealand's South Island went into the last two races today with a twelve point lead over his nearest rival Andre Poutama and Robbie quickly put the contest to bed when he won the first of today's two heats with a lovely drive on the trotter Saint Michel. Away well from barrier one to lead early, Saint Michel was taken on in the mid stages and ended up three back on the inner going past the 400 metres mark. Angling off the inner on the point of the turn, Robbie pulled Saint Michel out four wide as they turned for home and slowly reeled in the leader Clean Break with Trent Moffat in the bike while Price Of Fame and Josh Aiken flew late for third just in front of Peterhof and Jake Webster. With the 17 points for the win, Robbie had an unassailable lead of 27 points going into the last heat of the series later in the day. Mind you all the other drivers still had plenty to aim for and after a stirring race Coringa Delight and Tom Buchanan had a half head to spare from Secret Lotion and Dylan Ford with 6 1/2 lengths back to Indian Arrow and Josh Aiken and a further 1 1/2 lengths back to Betabcool and Michele Neilson with Robbie Close only picking up one point with a last placing. When all the points were tallied up the final result looked like this. 1st - Robbie Close (NZ)  -  77 2nd - Andre Poutama (NZ) -  52 3rd = Tom Buchanan (WA) -  51 3rd = Michele Neilson (NZ) -  51 5th - Dylan Ford (TAS) -  48 6th - Jake Webster (SA) -  44 7th = Trent Moffat (QLD -  39 7th = Josh Aiken (VIC) -  39 9th - Robbie Morris (NSW) -  27 10th - Ben Butcher (NZ) -  26 This season has been Robbie's best to date with 24 wins so far and 88 wins lifetime which is a great achievement with the limited opportunities for junior drivers overall in New Zealand compared to their Australian counterparts.  We here at Harnesslink would like to congratulate Robbie on winning the title and wish him all the best for the rest of the season. Harnesslink Media

This years Lone Star Riccarton Australasian Young Drivers Championship got under way at last nights harness racing meeting at Cambridge and the defending champion Andre Poutama immediately showed that he wasn't going to give up the title without a real fight. This years series is being run over seven races at four race meetings across New Zealand and last night saw the first two of those seven races run. First blood went to the defending champion Andre Poutama from New Zealand who settled Sapphire Castleton in the trail behind the pacemaking Tereskova driven by Tom Buchanan from Western Australia and then used the passing lane to good effect to nail Tereskova right on the line. Silver Stream off 50 metres with Dylan Ford from Tasmania in the bike ran on well to grab third in front of Madam Simone and Jake Webster from South Australia. The second heat saw New Zealand's South Island representative Robbie Close grab the early lead with Balius with the hot favourite Forever An Angel and Josh Aiken sitting in the death seat after Robbie wouldn't hand up the front with Balius. Passing the 800 metres Forever An Angel went into a wild gallop and caused a bit of carnage back in the field which left Balius clear in the lead. The only danger was Elusive Edgar with Dylan Ford in the bike in the trail and try as they might, they couldn't run down Balius.  Mach Cullen and Andre Poutama flew home late for third after copping a interrupted run with Stars Star and Jake Webster running on into fourth. Robbie Close can count himself a little bit fortunate to win the race as he copped a $250 fine  from stewards for squeezing Elusive Edgar up when crossing to the lead early. After the first two heats the points table sits like this. Andre Poutama     26  Robbie Close        21 Dylan Ford           21 Tom Buchanan     18 Jake Webster       14 Robbie Morris        9 Michele Neilson     7 Josh Aiken            6 Trent Moffat           6 Ben Butcher           4 The series continues tonight at Alexandra Park before shifting to Addington tomorrow and Timaru on Sunday Harnesslink Media  

The David Aiken stable had a hugely successful night at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday with four harness racing winners. While David trained four winners, son Josh drove three of them and finished the night with a perfect three-from-three record thanks to wins aboard Cold Major (Art Major/Vangold) in the Bold David Free-for-All, in-form Bryce Cooper (Four Starzzz Shark/Lombo Heart Beat) in the Homestead Stud Pace, and absolute trooper Composed (Our Sir Vancelot/Troys Dream) in the SEW-Eurodrive Claiming Pace. The stable’s other winner came in the Australian Pacing Gold 2YO Fillies Consolation Final with Rockstar Angel (Rocknroll Hanover/Arty Alice) scoring an impressive triumph with David in the sulky. Rockstar Angel, heavily backed with fixed odds markets, officially started a $3.50 second favourite but defeated $3 shot Love And Desire by 7m in a mile rate of 1:58.0 for the 1720m trip. Cold Major and Bryce Cooper it could be said won their races at the start, Josh taking both runners to the front in their respective events from barrier four. Cold Major defeated The Good Times by 5.1m in a mile rate of 1:57.8 over 2240m, while Bryce Cooper – who last week found the top from the back row – held out Classy Guy at the end this time to win by 1.1m in a 1:55.6 mile rate over 1720m. Composed took a while to get the better of leader Ardle Mcardle at the end of the 2240m claimer, but eventually the eight-year-old was able to draw clear, rating 1:57.1 over 2240m to notch his 30th career victory. Our White Knight got home late to run second from a tired but brave Ardle Mcardle. Meanwhile, trainer Emma Stewart also picked up a winning double at Melton courtesy of Berisari (Safari/Beris Holmes) scoring an impressive win in the Harness Breeders Vic Chalice over a brave Just Cala, who worked hard in second place, and Fremarks Ceejay (Village Jasper/Fremarksjodie), who got around stablemate Bit Of A Babe early before controlling proceedings in the GBL Property Constulants Pace over 1720m. The feature trot for the night went to Kyvalley Blur (Chocolatier/Duo Val Car) for Brent Lilley and Anthony Butt, while other winners were Jilliby Jitterbug (Rock N Roll Heaven/Keppel Bay) in the Australian Pacing Gold Fillies Final for Marg Lee and Jason Lee, Tallulah Bay (Metropolitan/Bye The Deep South) for Sebastian Steenhuis and Zac Steenhuis in the Del-Re National Food Group Pace Final and flying mare Illawong Helios (Majestic Son/Shining Sun) in the Mittys Trot for trainer Ross Sugars and driver Greg Sugars. Re-live Aiken's Saturday night successes Rockstar Angel Cold Major Bryce Cooper Composed - 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

Talented harness racing participant Josh Aiken will represent Victoria in the 2015 Australasian Young Drivers’ Championship. The series is scheduled to be held in May in New Zealand, with the opening heat in Cambridge on the 7th. Open to drivers under 25 at the beginning of the Australian or New Zealand racing seasons, the series will be spread across four race meetings. Aiken will compete against drivers from each Australian state and four from New Zealand, along with defending champion, Andre Poutama. Thrilled to represent his state, Aiken stated he is keen to pit his skills against a host of the Southern Hemisphere’s rising stars. “It’s obviously a big privilege to be chosen at all, but the junior drivers are very strong at the moment,” Aiken declared.  “I’ve never driven in New Zealand, and I’m looking forward to everything, including driving on new tracks. “Dad (leading horseman, David) still talks about the drivers’ series he has been in.  I’m going to have the time of my life.” 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 Tab.com.au 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

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