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An incredible $12,000 was raised at Ballarat and District Trotting Club last night when it hosted its annual Girls Night Out fundraiser. The event has long raised much-needed funds for charity groups that either support or raise funds to fight breast cancer and this year’s supported the Love Your Sister Charity founded by Gold Logie winning actor Samuel Johnson and his beloved late sister Connie. Samuel made a special trip to be on-course on the night, which added a personal touch to an already popular evening. Once the details of the event were released the 380 available dining packages were sold within weeks. The night was a huge success with the $12,000 raised on-course on the night through raffles, sponsorship of races, live auctions in addition to the trotting club donating $10 from every dining package to the cause. Club spokeswoman Belinda Eden said the support of local businesses and the response from the community was a key reason the night was such as success. "The local businesses that either donated prizes or gave up their time to offer their services on the night was such a big reason this fundraiser was such a success and puts into perspective on why clubs play such an important role in our community," she said. Samuel played a key part in the night, entertaining the sold out event with stories, book signings and photos. His energy and passion for the cause was infectious. He also tried his hand at harness racing, participating in the HRV pony trot challenge where he raced against leading reinswomen Kerryn Manning, Kate Gath and Jodi Quinlan, who are also Team Teal ambassadors, the Harness Racing Victoria fundraiser for Women’s Cancer Foundation.   The Trots Victoria

Persistence and patience blended with talent to see Glenferrie Typhoon win the Pryde’s Easifeed $300,000 Great Southern Star, a super harness racing training and driving performance by Andy and Kate Gath. After a season plagued by disappointing runs, Glenferrie Typhoon’s undoubted talent spilled on to Tabcorp Park Melton with a blistering run, stopping the clock at a 1:58.0 mile rate, 1.5 seconds under the old track record. The all-the-way win gifted the $300,000 feature, the richest trotting race in Australasia, to a proud group of owners and a triumphant local stable. “It’s a huge thrill,” Andy Gath said. “I know he had the draw and everything, but he still had to do it. “I’ve always had a great affinity with the trotters and they have really emerged in Victoria, there are so many good trotters around and it’s such a great race to win and great to have it on like this with the Hunter Cup. Such a big night and it’s a huge thrill.” Sharing that delight was his wife, Kate Gath, who had been put through the ringer as Glenferrie Typhoon battled to re-find form. The Majestic Son gelding ran second in this feature last year amid an outstanding run, made all the meritorious by the fact he was suffering from a bladder stone. He resumed late in 2016 but two poor performances saw him tipped out for another spell. A sixth placing in The George Gath at Shepparton preceded a win against far more modest competition at Melton on January 30, when Glenferrie Typhoon appeared to switch off and have his considerable lead gobbled up.  “He’s done my head in over the last couple of months, I did everything I could to get him trotting,” Kate Gath said. “I haven’t conceded. I tried a few different things again on Monday and he couldn’t trot it out up the straight. I didn’t know what else to do, I know he’s got the ability and thank goodness we got it right on the night that we needed to get it right on.” From gate one Glenferrie Typhoon held off Maori Time’s advance to find the front, but the pressure was persistent with one challenger after the next coming to the breeze to press forward. Josh Dickie then guided favourite and reigning champion Speeding Spur on to Glenferrie Typhoon’s back and when they hit the straight it became a race in two. “If I got a lot of pressure I was going to play it by ear and see how I felt, but he just travelled so good the whole way I couldn’t hand handed up if I wanted too,” Kate Gath said. “When Speeding Spur got on my back I thought “oh no, this isn’t good, this wasn’t part of the plan”. “(Glenferrie Typhoon) was just travelling so well the whole way. When I got to the corner he was still travelling and I know he can get a bit hot in the straight and I thought, all right, we’re going to run now, they are going to have their chance but they are going to have to catch me.” And in the match-race between Glenferrie Typhoon and Speeding Spur it was the Victorian who held on by a half-neck. “His ability’s always been there, we know how good he is, so it’s just fantastic that he was able to get the job done tonight,” Kate Gath said. “All the owners are here, absolutely over the moon.” Sunny Ruby ran a brave third for Sam Smolenski, having been the best runner from deep to finish 9m shy of the leader. Michael Howard (HRV Media/Communications Co-Ordinator)

K D Muscles proved her toughness yesterday at Gunbower when she scooped up a second harness racing win in three days, having won at Melton on Friday and then Sunday’s Cohuna Car Sales Bill Poxon Memorial Gunbower Trotters Cup over 2630m. The Muscle Mass six-year-old mare, who lead throughout in Friday night’s Haras Des Trotteurs Trot, received a penalty from her Melton win and in the Cup started outside of the 20m mark, instead of the inside. After stepping safely, she worked forward into the box seat before Kate Gath came three-wide at the bell. After pressuring 2015 winner Dead Cat Bounce at the 1200m, K D Muscles found the lead but copped pressure from Aleppo Sunrise and Tenno Dance. In Gath’s hands she found some breathing space with a 28.2 third quarter, holding off second-placed  Aleppo Sunrise in the straight to win by 6.1m in a 2:03.4 mile rate. Trainer Andy Gath heaped praise on his “really nice mare”. “She has a good turn of speed with a really good gait about her,” Gath said. “(She) has come a long way in a short space of time since we’ve had her, and just about every run she has had has been pretty good. “She’s a really strongly built mare with a really good constitution and recovers well all the time, so she’s a perfect racehorse really”. New Zealand born K D Muscles, who was bred by Grant Beckett, joined the Gath stable in February this year. “She came on the market, took a lot of persuading for my owner, Norm Jenkin, to buy as she only had the one win in New Zealand and he was put off by that a bit, but she was up against nice horses,” Gath said. “We were able to purchase her for a pretty reasonable price and she’s earned some nice money since and she has more to offer.” Gath mentioned her next run is likely to come at Melton on Saturday week in a TM1-M3 mobile in favour of the The Weekly Advertiser Stawell Trotters Cup the following day. Gath’s other runners  at Gunbower were Star Of Dionysis in the Gunbower Family Hotel Gunbower Pacing Cup, who finished last as an odds-on favourite, and Yackandandah, who finished third in the Easy Ride Sulky Gunbower Club Pace. “At this stage Star Of Dionysis has pulled up all right, there are no alarm bells going off to say there’s something wrong, but maybe the hot weather got to him,” Gath said. “Yackandandah had to come quite wide and I was happy with him, he’s a good honest horse.”  Michael Howard (HRV Media/Communications Co-Ordinator)

Endsino became a two-time Group 1 winner tonight at Tabcorp Park Melton courtesy of a stellar Kate Gath drive in the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series Trotting Mares Final for harness racing four-year-olds. After leading from the pole, Gath handed up at the mile to Aldebaran Deebee, which snookered Endsino’s main danger Sky Petite three-back on the pegs. “It wasn’t that hard, I think most people would have done the same,” Gath said. “It’s pretty simple … if we hold the front Sky Petite goes straight past us, so at some stage we had to find a horse to hand up to. I had a good look around and Aldebaran Deebee is a pretty good horse to follow. I handed up to her at Maryborough on a different horse and she got to the line well, so I thought she was a good choice … with the draw and the run we were just able to win and that’s fantastic.” Endsino (Angus Hall/Jauriol), trained by Gath’s husband Andy, out-sprinted Aldebaran Deebee (Chris Svanosio) up the straight and rated 2:01.7 (last half-mile covered in 60.7) to win by a half-neck, with Val Gardena (Greg Sugars) third and Sky Petite (John Caldow) an unlucky fourth. “She’s been a great horse, she’s already earnt $130,000 before tonight so the money they can make (trotters in Victoria) is terrific. We are so lucky to have her.” Endsino is the third Group 1 winner tonight that graduated from the Pryde’s Easifeed Australasian Premier Trotting Sale. She is raced by passionate trots owners Michael Taranto and Gennaro Sposato. Endsino won the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series Final as a two-year-old in 2014. “She’s funny she come back quite good but her last couple of starts she’s been getting pretty fired up. She wasn’t too bad but she seems to be going through a bit of a growth spurt, so maybe that’s taking its toll on her,” Gath said. Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria

Before last month's Victorian CEO's report trots harness racing trainer Andy Gath had no idea the milestone was imminent, but admits there was definite satisfaction in surpassing the 2000 career wins mark last week. “This one did mean a bit,” he said. “... I guess you’ve got to be consistent over a long period of time (to get to this mark), so yeah, I’m pretty proud of the achievement.” Three-year-old Art Major/Our Southern Rose gelding Battle Born provided the Long Forest horseman with the landmark success last Thursday at Kilmore, winning a heat of the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series three-year-old males’ division with wife Kate Gath in the driver’s seat. “I’ve had plenty of people congratulating me since and it’s just starting to sink in what sort of achievement it is,” Gath said. “I wasn’t aware I was close actually ... it was only when John Anderson (HRV CEO) put it in his monthly statement that I knew it was coming.” Along his trots journey so far Gath has amassed many a feature race triumph but he doesn’t miss a beat when asked to name his three favourite horses ever. Champion trotter La Coocaracha (Safely Kept/Poetry) heads the list. “She was a champion… in fact she remains the only ‘champion’ I’ve ever trained, in my mind,” he declared of the mare who won 23 of 36 starts for $428,911. Next up Gath nominates 2006 A.G. Hunter Cup winner About To Rock (River Khan/Karalta Cheri). “That Hunter Cup win came at a really good time of my career,” he says. Thirdly Gath nominates Caribbean Blaster, a $1.11m earner with 24 wins from 79 starts and a two-time Victorian Horse of the Year. “He was just a lovely horse to work with. You get to spend so much time with them one-on-one. Every time they step on to the track they go to war for you. They’re the sorts of horses that actually make me look good.” Gath sits second on the Renown Silverware State Trainers Premiership table this season with 89 wins from 301 starters. One of only 11 trainers to have reached the 2000 winners milestone – the others we know of being Lance Justice (3384 wins), Steve Turnbull (3272), Bill Dixon (2833), Peter Manning (2593), John Justice (2358), Julie Weidemann (2312), Paul Fitzpatrick (2291), Gary Hall Senior (2260), Darrel Graham (2239) and David Aiken (2068) – Gath says he is “proud to be in such illustrious company”. As for a horse to follow closest from his current crop, Gath says Glenferrie Typhoon is the clubhouse leader. "What he achieved last prep, to run with a bladder stone and do what he did ... you've got to think he'll be better for having the stone removed," he said. "He's defeated Keystone Del a few times on his merits, which is not easy to do.  "He's a very high quality horse." Cody Winnell

If Harness Racing Driver Kate Gath stood for any office in Port Pirie she would be elected in a landslide as she is definitely the unofficial ‘Queen’ of the South Australian industrial town. Port Pirie born and raised, Gath now lives in Victoria with her husband, trainer Andy, and her father Peter Thompson also relocated when he left his job as a postman. Each-time Gath returns ‘home’ she dominates the Port Pirie harness meeting and last Friday night took off the annual Elders Insurance Drivers Invitation series. Gath amassed 38 points to take off the series from Lance Justice and Leah Harvey who tied for second on 33. It was also a personal birthday present as she celebrated another year on Sunday. At her previous visit to the SA town in March, Kath drove a personal best five winners including her first Port Pirie Cup. The 2016 Elders Insurance Invitation Series saw Gath joined by another expatriate South Aussie Lance Justice, also now based in Victoria, along with Lisa Miles (Victoria) and Western Australia’s Kim Prentice take on the South Australians of Danielle Hill, Leah Harvey, Scott Ewen, Wayne Hill, Mark Billinger and Michael Smith. Ryan Hryhorec was also to be part of the team but was a race day scratching having had off colour for several days with suspected food poisoning. Gath staked her claim early with a win on Billy Mack ($6.60) in heat one beating Novappeal ($14.80) driven by Leah Harvey with Dani Hill third on Just Read My Mind ($3.90). Harvey went to the lead by scoring in heat two on Doubledipofheaven ($1.90 fav) beating Lance Justice on Springfield Oflynn ($10.70) with Timansi ($34.80) third for Lisa Miles. It was Dani Hill’s turn to keep the victories going for the female drivers with her victory on Rip It Up Sister ($2.10 fav) in the third heat with Michael Smith second on Uphill Battle ($6.30) and Kim Prentice third on Marzzz Barzzz Bazz ($14.10). Top pacer Glenferrie Bunter ($1.40 fav) gave Mark Billinger a comfortable victory in the fourth heat from Kate Gath on Cheersbigears ($11.40) and Lisa Miles third on Hey Hardy ($22.60). Lance Justice was at his brilliant best lifting Johnny Tsunami ($6,10) off the canvas to win the fifth and final heat beating Kim Prentice on Tahlia May ($13.90) with Mark Billinger third on Time To Dash ($1.,60 fav). Final points tally was: Kate Gath 38, Lance Justice, Leah Harvey 33; Danielle Hill 31; Kim Prentice 25; Michael Smith 24; Lisa Miles, Mark Billinger 22; Wayne Hill 20; Scott Ewen 13.   Graham Fischer

When harness racing driver Kate Gath left South Australia’s Port Pirie as a teenager bound for the big smoke she took with her lofty ambitions and big plans.  When the Long Forrest driver departed the same coastal town at the weekend – some 16 years on – she took with her a hefty haul of trophies and a big purse.  Along with husband Andy Gath, Kate dominated Saturday’s Port Pirie Cup night. She won on all five of her drives, three of which were trained by Andy, including with Star Of Dionysis in the 2016 Ubet Port Pirie Pacing Cup.  “They all had really good chances and I thought they would probably win, but in racing there is no such thing as a certainty,” Gath said. “I haven’t had that many wins before, so it was a good night.”  Born and raised in Port Pirie, Gath said she gets back to the township when she can, but this was the first time she had departed with the pacing cup in tow.  “I have all my extended family there, so they all come out and get into it,” Gath said.  “It makes for a very busy day because there is a lot of people to talk to and catch up with. It is 16 years since I left, so it is really good to get back and catch up. They haven’t changed and hopefully I haven’t changed either.”  Also unchanged is the stable’s high opinion of Star Of Dionysis, who recorded a fourth win in five starts since he was brought across the Tasman.  “He had strong form in New Zealand and is sensational in standing starts, where his form is just impeccable,” Gath said.  The six-year-old gelding by American Ideal out of Star Of Venus will get to again exercise those talents in Saturday’s Renown Silverware Ararat Pacing Cup, a standing start over 2570m.  To win Star Of Dionysis, who Gath said pulled up well from Saturday’s win, will have to outpoint Kerryn Manning’s Ouyen Pacing Cup winner Ideal Success.  Unbeaten in two starts in Australia, Ideal Success has been similarly outstanding since being imported from New Zealand, while prolific country cup campaigner Almost El Eagle has also been nominated for Ararat. by Michael Howard Race programme for Ararat, Saturday 26 March 2016

K D Muscles had only once tasted victory in New Zealand before joining Andy Gath’s harness racing stable at Long Forest, but she still managed to amass over $60,000 in winnings. “I don’t know how she accumulated that with only winning the one race but she did,” Gath said. On Monday at Horsham the five-year-old mare by Muscle Mass out of Kazzle Dazzle won the Pegasus Spur @ WoodlandsTontine Trotters Series Final (Group 3) in bold fashion, sitting in the chair throughout before outpunching Tryncatchme in the stretch for a head victory. She rated 2:05.7 for the 2700m standing start with Kate Gath in the sulky. WATCH K D MUSCLES PACK TOO MUCH PUNCH “It was a bit of a fluke that the Tontine came up on the calendar after we bought her, so we earmarked that series and she did a great job,” Gath said. “She’s a mare on the way up. To win from the death over 2700m in a feature race, she obviously has ability. “She’s still got plenty of improvement in her yet. She’s got a bigger future.” Gath said he suspected K D Muscles was a victim of bad luck in New Zealand, “always managing to find one better” in her races. And as for her next stop? “We’ll just head to the next available race for her. She’s a really good mobile horse. She runs the gate really quickly,” Gath said. Cody Winnell

Emma Hamblin has issued a challenge to champion harness racing reinswoman Kerryn Manning in the Teal Pants Championship after landing a winning treble at Mildura on Wednesday night. Hamblin became the punter's pal when she saluted on three short-priced favorites, Shadow Spar, Monumental and Murranji Track on the eight-race program. Hamblin’s treble elevated her into second place (on seven wins) behind Manning who heads the Championship on 14 wins. Kate Gath and Ellen Tormey share equal third place on five wins apiece with Victorian reinswomen chalking up a tally of 50 wins to as of February 24. The number of wins highlights the key role reinswomen play in Victorian trots with the girls averaging two wins per day since the Championship began on February 1. The Teal Pants Championship has so far raised $20,000 for the Womens Cancer Foundation- Ovarian Cancer Fund with another 16 days of the series remaining. Harness Racing Victoria 

Glenferrie Typhoon's force is looking more and more powerful every time he steps out of late. The Andy Gath trained trotter, who won Friday night’s Bacardi Lindy Trot in easy fashion, looks destined for bigger and better things. The six-year-old by Majestic Son out of Cyclone Vance now boasts back-to-back wins at Melton and next year’s Great Southern Star is potentially on the radar. After working hard three-wide for the first half a kilometre, Glenferrie Typhoon eventually found the top, giving early pacesetter Action Kosmos a trail in the 2240-metre race. Once in front driver Kate Gath applied the brakes and the gelding trotted through his first and second quarters in 32secs and 31.3secs, sprinting up down the back to get Action Kosmos off the bit and chasing (29.3secs) before blasting clear seemingly under a hold in the home straight to score by 10.8 metres in a mile rate of 1-58.9 (last quarter 27.6secs). Action Kosmos held on for second place, defiantly withstanding the challenge of Cold Sister in third. Later on the card Ellas Puppeteer beat Iceobar in the Empire Stallions Vicbred Platinum Country Series C Final. The four-year-old gelding by Shadow Play out of Smiley Ella, who smashed the track record at Charlton leading into Friday night’s race, rated 1-53.7 over 1720 metres from his inside-back-row draw. Trainer/driver Michael Stanley kept Ellas Puppeteer out of trouble early, going back to last before cruising around the field to assume control at the bell. Iceobar trailed and stuck on gamely thereafter but was no match for the winner. Ellas Puppeteer now boasts three wins from five starts and looks to have a sparkling metro career in front of him. by Cody Winnell >> Replays and results from Friday night's Melton trots.

Long Forest husband and wife Andy and Kath Gath made the trip to Swan Hill a worthwhile one on Tuesday to contest the Nyah Harness Racing Club’s September meeting after landing a stable double with a pair of four year old geldings – Mister Whittaker (Somebeachsomewhere/Twice As Hot) taking the He’s Watching @ Alabar Stud Pace for C1 class over 1750 metres and Valens (Shadow Play/Seymour Lady) the Lucky Chucky @ Stallions Australasia Pace for C2 class over 2240 metres. Mister Whittaker was ultra impressive in his event after racing in the open from gate six, with a running Earl Of Huntington (gate three) crossing One Knight Stand (gate two)  shortly after the start. Cruising to the front on the home turn, Mister Whittaker careered away in the straight to record an unextended 25.6 metre margin in advance of One Knight Stand and Graceful Art (one/one) in a mile rate of 1-54.9. Valens bred and raced by Alabar Bloodstock starting outside the front line, brought up three wins in succession after moving forward to race in the breeze from the bell, defeating Oasis Dream (gate five) from mid-field by 2.8 metres, with Tennaya (gate four) 1.5 metres away in third place after leading for the last half of the journey. The mile rate was 1-58.2. Bunbartha trainer/driver John Newberry a regular at most Swan Hill meetings, snared the Angus Hall @ Mountain View Stud Trotters Handicap for T0 or better class over 2240 metres with 8Y0 Earl/Shine On Alisha gelding Just Call Me Earl, but not before giving his supporters a scare. Galloping away from 30 metres, Just Call Me Earl settled at the tail of the field with Majestic Flash beginning swiftly from 10 metres to lead. Assisted by both Mike Titan and Jacob Alm breaking during the run, Just Call Me Earl had improved to be three back in the moving line at the bell. Easing three wide approaching the final bend, Just Call Me Earl ran home best to gain the day by a head over Declaring along the sprint lane after following the pacemaker which held down third a neck away. Raced by the Newberry family, Just Call Me Earl recorded his 13th victory in 119 outings, returning a mile rate of 2-05.9. Quality 4Y0 Bettors Delight/Linda Grace mare Linda Lovegrace made a one act affair of the Sweet Lou @ Woodlands Stud Pace for C0 class over 2240 metres much to the delight of Ken Breckon’s The Good Sports Syndicate. Formerly with Mark Purdon, Linda Lovegrace now with Kerryn Manning at Great Western, was untroubled to lead throughout from gate two with husband Grant Campbell in the sulky, accounting for Drayton (one/one – outside winner home turn) by 16.5 metres in 2-03.1, with Clontarf Guy (three back the markers) a further 17 metres away in third place. The Manning/Campbell combination were to bring up a double when impressive former Kiwi 4Y0 Bettors Delight/Princess Alberta gelding Duke Of Albany streeted his rivals in the Four Starzzz Shark @ Empire Stallions Pace for C3 to C5 class over 1750 metres and by doing so, chalked up six wins in succession, the last five on Australian soil. Surprisingly crossed from gate two by Life Of Ted (gate four), Campbell immediately eased away from the markers to assume control, before racing clear on turning to register a 2.1 metre victory over Precious Cullen which faced the breeze from the bell. Life Of Ted battled on gamely for third after using the sprint lane and will no doubt benefit from the outing. The mile rate was 1-56.7. Local Woorinen trainer Joe Costa sent punters home on a happy note when the “star of the stable” Uncle Wingnut returned to his best form to land the Hurricane Kingcole @ Egmont Park Stud Pace for C6 or better class over 2240 metres in a rate of 1-57.8. With regular reinsman Michael Bellman aboard, Uncle Wingnut was taken off the gate from outside the front line to settle four back along the markers, with only Diamond Ace (gate four) behind him after being trapped wide and another of the Manning team Jaccka Art leading from gate three. Making a mid-race move to join the pacemaker at the bell, the pair were head and head for the final circuit, with Uncle Wingnut taking the lead on the home turn. Drawing clear on straightening, Uncle Wingnut prevailed by 1.1 metres over Diamond Ace which followed him home from the bell, with Daylight Dan (three back the markers) 11 metres away in third place. An eight year old gelded son of Courage Under Fire and Paulas Way raced by the Costa family, Uncle Wingnut has faced the starter on 77 occasions, resulting in 17 victories. *** The next Nyah meeting will be Cup Night – Saturday October 17.   Len Baker

The $40,000 Gold Coast Derby at tonights harness racing meeting at Albion Park looked a bit of a gimme for the brilliant Menin Gate after he drew perfectly at barrier two and thats exactly how it played out as the big free going son of Somebeachsomewhere dealt to the field in the manner of a budding champion. Sent straight to the front by regular reinsman Chris Alford, Menin Gate applied the pressure a long way out and had them all in trouble well before the corner. Kate Gath sent Burnaholeinmypocket around to sit parked at the 1500 metres mark giving the other favoured runner Hug The Wind with Natalie Rasmussen in the bike a great sit in the one by one. However Burnaholeinmypocket punctured badly at the 500 metres and Hug The Wind showed little when asked for a big effort by Natalie at the 400 metres mark, running on for a so so fourth. It was left to Spare Me Days to flash home brilliantly from well back for a great second in front of a very game My Kiwi Mate who after being wide for most of the last lap fought on bravely for a top third. Menin Gate paced the 2138 metres in a very smart 2:33, a mile rate of 1:55.1 with sensational closing sectionals of 54.7 and 27.3 It was the eight win of the season for Menin Gate and his second Derby after his success in the Victoria Derby in early February. Menin Gate treated the opposition with disdain tonight and it is hard to see how they beat him in next weeks Queensland Derby. Harnesslink Media 

Port Pirie 2015 Elders Invitation Drivers Series Saturday night 20th June is one of the feature harness racing meetings in South Australia where five of the best drivers from Victoria challenge six drivers from South Australia. The series is run over four races on the night with the driver with the most points winning the title. This series has been going now for forty years and has brought together a good line up of drivers as you can see by their profiles. Ex Port Pirie driver Kate Gath is making a return, while local driver Brad Sims will be aiming to again win the series as he did in 2006 Victorians Lance Justice: Driven 2865 winners, started his career here in SA and was great supporter of Northern harness racing when he was here. Has had lots of success over the years here and in Victoria with many good horses with the best being Sokyola and Smokem up. Always loves coming back here, won this series back in the ninety’s, won the trainers and drivers premiership here in 2000 the year the new track was opened, loves talking with the locals. Anthony Butt: Formerly from New Zealand where he drove 1609 winners and now situated in Victoria where he has driven another 694 winners while coming to and fro. This is Anthony’s first time at Port Pirie and he would really like to increase on his winning tally. Will be a good draw card having someone very approachable from NZ come here Michael Bellman: Has driven 952 winners in his career, participated in this series in 2011 where he was runner up to Lisa Miles. Is currently having a great year, being fifth on the Victorian State driver’s premiership having driven ninety winners. Is prepared to travel all over the state, having had over 1000 drives in Victoria this season, and we welcome him back Kate Gath: Has driven 942 winners so far in her career, Born and raised here in Port Pirie where she won the Port Pirie Drivers Premiership in 2004. Currently having a very good season, driving 83 winners so far and sits sixth on the Victorian State Drivers Premiership. Has been a regular competitor in this series over the last ten years where she tied in first place in 2013. Family and friends are sure to cheer on Kate help increase the crowd. Lisa Miles: Has driven 498 winners in her career always puts her hand up to come here for the series where she has had good success winning in 2011where she came at a days notice and 2013. Does really well training her small team of horses but is a great who competitor and would really love win her third series going back to back. SA Drivers Ryan Hryhorec: Has currently driven 1380 winners, is a regular here at Port Pirie having won the Drivers Premiership in 2008, 2011, 2014 and currently well in front this season in the drivers premiership. Tied in first in this series in 2012 and 2013 and has driven 130 winners in SA and Victoria this coming season. Tough competitor and is sure to account himself well Mark Billinger: One of the state’s top drivers has had 1014 career driving wins has had 62 wins this season and is currently fourth on the states leading driving premiership table. Always gives his horses a great run and has a good strike rate in the sulky. Wayne Hill: He is another regular driver here at Port Pirie has had 768 career wins, is currently fifth on the state driving premiership having driven 52 winners for the season. Wayne has come through the junior ranks and is a good competitor who has been in the series before and will account himself well. Leah Harvey: Has had 666 career wins, now getting towards the veteran stage having won this series in 2002 and 2010. Was the leading driver here at Port Pirie in 2001 and 2012 so she well and truly knows her way around the track here. She has represented the region well over the years on and off the track and it would not surprise if Leah won her third series. Scott Ewen: Has driven has  660 winners throughout his career and has been a regular here at nearly every meeting over the past five years, winning the Port Pirie driving premiership in 2013. Is currently having a good season having driven 45 winners, has competed in the series for the last three years without much luck but this could be his year. Brad Sims: Has driven 86 winners in his career, was the leading young driver in 2005 here at Port Pirie and had good success in winning this Drivers Series in 2006. Has also driven many placing throughout his career, has taken a trainers licence out this season and has had success with that. With limited opportunity he has always given his drives every chance. Good luck to all the drivers competing and also to David Harding who would have been here if it was not for nasty fall that he had at Globe Derby on 8th June. by Neville Thomson, Port Pirie Harness Racing Club Related Links Fields for Port Pirie, Saturday 20 June 2015 Form guide for Port Pirie, Saturday 20 June 2015

The picturesque Yarra Valley Racecourse hosts what is expected to be eight harness racing action-packed races on Monday. With several stand out runners on the day all drawing barrier one, there is a particularly good chance that all eight winners could be wearing the No.1 saddlecloth. Andy and Kate Gath will hold a major key to the determination of this bizarre possibility. They have three runners drawn the pole that will almost all start favourite. Padrisimo has already proven his ability and the obvious high regard Andy has for the three-year-old when he took him up to Sydney for the NSW Derby.  He takes on a C1 class field on Monday but should prove too strong for them. Gowan Brae also competes for Andy and Kate from numero uno, coming off a return to the winners list after striking trouble at Yarra Valley the start before. He will take a power of beating in a small but strong field. The third Andy and Kate Gath runner to draw one is Destined To Take in Race 7.  He has had no luck with draws recently and will be very hard to beat, as his closest rivals on paper appear to be drawn the second row. All that said it could be Andy and Kate Gath that spoil the No.1 party.  Before those three runners, in Race 2, they will present Sir Major Stride to the races for the second time since his arrival from New Zealand.  He has drawn barrier three and will take a lot of holding out in a C0 class race. His main danger could come from where else but the pole, with local horse Temporal Join.  She has run nine placings from 14 starts, and if she is ever going to break her duck why not Monday? The other No.1s on the day include Race 1 – Thats How Weroll – A Belinda McCarthy-trained two-year-old that will appreciate a sharp drop in class and should start a firm favourite.  In Race 4, Soh Filthy Rich has been consistently improving in three runs since coming over from South Australia.  The four-year-old mare is the only horse off the front row and should give a great sight in front.  Race 6 sees Chestervale Jet get the No.1 saddlecloth.  He has been racing well from awkward draws of late and emerges a clear top pick in an otherwise even field. Finally in the last race, the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series Heat for three-year-old colts and geldings at 4.19pm, patrons will be treated to the exciting clash of two of Victoria’s upcoming stars in Wingara and Mister Wickham.  In talent it would be hard to split the pair however, Wingara has drawn barrier one, and if Nathan Jack can back the tempo off mid race and dash home could he be steering home the eighth winner from the pole.   by Toby McKinnon Related Links Fields for Yarra Valley, Monday 15 June 2015 Form guide for Yarra Valley, Monday 15 June 2015

Tuesday trots in Victoria were held at the harness arcing meeting at Shepparton in the Goulburn Valley and Long Forest trainer Andy Gath produced a nice Art Major/Our Southern Rose colt by the name of Battle Born to land the Saddleworld Shepparton 2-Y-0 Pace over 2190 metres when having his first start at the races.   Driven by wife Kate, Battle Born from gate six was taken back to the rear of the field, with polemarker Herehecomes retaining the lead and the well supported favourite Emiliana (Nathan Jack) going forward from outside the front line to park in the open giving another first starter Anything For Love one/one cover.   Despite making the final bend four wide, Battle Born ran home stylishly to record a runaway 1.4 metre victory over Anything For Love and Herehecomes in a mile rate of 2-01.1.   Aucklander Mark Burley who has seen a fair bit of Australia’s east coast recently having campaigned in NSW and now in Victoria, was successful in taking the DPR Insurance Brokers Trotters Mobile for T0 & T1 class over 2190 metres with a filly by the name of Little Miss Zigzag who is to start in the Victoria Trotters Oaks at Tabcorp Park Melton on Friday.   Settling three back in the moving line from gate two on the second row, the daughter of Love You and Meander With Earl was sent forward shortly after the start to stride past the leader Illawong Sunny (gate six) which had crossed Aldebaran Hest (gate four).   Travelling beautifully, Little Miss Zigzag gave her rivals the slip on the home turn to register an easy 8.9 metre victory in advance of a death-seating Im Havinaball and Illawaong Sunny, returning a mile rate of 2-04.5.   Popular Huntly (Bendigo) trainer Barry Quigley combined with Chris Alford aboard six year old Mach Three/Janoela Star mare Sukovia to greet the judge in the Betta Home Living Pace for C1 class over 2190 metres.   Taking advantage of a mares concession, Sukovia led most the way from gate three to defeat the hot favourite Glory Daze (gate five) by a neck which raced in the open from the bell after a poor beginning, with polemarker Sailors Sweetheart 6.6 metres away after leading out and taking a trail. The mile rate 2-00.2.   Avenel duo David and Josh Aiken have a great record at their home track and four year old Somebeachsomewhere/Arty Alice mare Beach Shack raced by Brendan James’ BFJ Bloodstock Trust brought up two wins in succession when victorious in the Neatline Homes Pace for C3 & C4 class over 2190 metres.   Racing outside the pacemaker Party Boy inside her, Beach Shack (gate four) prevailed by a nose in a tricky finish over the leader in a mile rate of 1-59.8. Holdonsu (three back the markers) finished 1.8 metres away in third place.   The Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series for Four Year Old Entires and Geldings (Heat 1) went the way of Bacchus Marsh trainer Alan Tubbs’ potential top liner Macterra Lad in a rate of 1-59.4.   Driven by daughter Amy, Macterra Lad a gelded son of Artistic Fella and Marilyn Macray raced outside the pacemaker Bryce Copper all of the way from gate five to outstay his rivals and score by a nose in advance of the heavily supported Young Modern and Sketch Me (one/three).   Macterra Lad bred by Ian Kitchin and raced by Mount Gambier’s Michael McQuade brought up his 7th success in 12 race appearances.   The Empire Stllions Vicbred Super Series for Three Year Old Fillies (Heat 1) was taken out by quality Sportswriter/Benelise filly Niki No No, much to the delight of locally based Benstud Standardbreds.   Trained at Bolinda by Kari Males and driven by regular reinsman Greg Sugars (the state’s leading driver), Niki No No wasn’t involved in the early speed from outside the front row, easing to possie three back in the moving line.   Urged forward three wide approaching the bell, the Victoria Oaks winner was surprisingly able to slide past the leader Come Cullect (gate three) which had crossed Glenferrie Baby (gate four) and proceeded to lead for the rest of the journey, accounting for Soho Tokyo (one/two – three wide home turn) and Glenferrie Baby in a rate of 2-01.2.   Invergordon trainer Stuart Govers and local concessional reinsman Riley Fortin are proving to be a formidable combination and once again joined forces to land the Shepparton BMW Pace for C2 class over 1690 metres with improving five year old Blissful Hall/Cheryls Fancy gelding Ramblenroller in a mile rate of 1-56.8.   Starting from the extreme draw, Ramblenroller raced by father Max ran home strongly from a mid-field passage to gain the day by 1.5 metres from a death-seating Lagoon Beach (gate five), with Calcavado running on late out wide to finish third.   Lockington breeder/owner/trainer Shane Pangrazio combined with Avenel based Mark Pitt to snare the Harness Breeders (Vic) Pace for C0 class over 1690 metres with Safari/Wahini Elle 4-Y-0 mare Safari Beach in a mile rate of 2-00.8.   Trapped wide from outside the front line, Pitt had no option but to go back at the start and settle at the tail of the field.   Trailing home both Pushinupdaisies and Miss Tanami three wide in the final circuit, Safari Beach finished best to blouse Miss Tanami by a head right on the wire.   The pacemaker Highly Persuasive was 4.5 metres away in third place after having every possible chance.   Len Baker

Kilmore held its memorial night last Saturday with several dignitaries honoured throughout the evening. Among them were Vin O’Sullivan, superstar journalist Bob Cain and the legendary Vin Knight. While the card is widely applauded, there is still a large contingent which believes Knight’s race should carry greater status. Some feel a metropolitan event at Tabcorp Park Melton is more befitting, while others are convinced Knight deserves a Group One. In fact, there is a Facebook page titled Vin Knight Memorial should be a Group One race. It has been almost 25 years since Knight died in tragic circumstances, but his feats and standing as one of – if not the - greatest horseman Australia has seen remain intact. Knight drove his initial winner, Dian Glenfern, at his home track of Kilmore on July 6, 1970, a little over two months after his 16th birthday. He registered his first metropolitan win with Cita Dollar at the Ascot Vale Showgrounds on May 1, 1971, four days before his 17th birthday. During the next two decades Knight added another 720 wins to his tally while competing at the Showgrounds and Moonee Valley. Included in his record 721 Melbourne victories are four quintets, (a record), nine quadruples, (another record), 45 trebles and an incredible 143 doubles. He also drove hundreds of country winners, along with numerous winners in every Australian state as well as New Zealand. Knight was leading Melbourne reinsman six times, including the years of his death despite only driving half the season! He won a record 18 Inter Dominion heats – 16 with pacers and two with trotters – and drove in 10 consecutive Inter Dominion Pacing Grand Finals – also a record. First Glimpse provided Knight with his last winner when he captured the inaugural Oceania El Dorado at Moonee Valley on April 6, 1991. Three days later harness racing in Australasia went into mourning when it was announced Knight was dead. A man who enjoyed life, and lived it to its fullest, Knight took his own life four weeks short of his 37th birthday. The champion was found dead in his car about a kilometre south Kilmore on Tuesday, April 9. Despite his inner demons, Knight was a star of the industry and was associated with topliners such as Popular Alm, Garry’s Advice, Smooth Falcon, Bag Limit, Our Maestro, Jane Ellen, Jodie’s Babe, Rockleigh Victory, Almeta Boy and Sinbad Bay. As for the race in his honour, it was captured by Bettors Package with driver Kate Gath fittingly wearing the famous Knight colours of Yellow with a Red Maltese Cross. Trained by leading horsewoman Emma Stewart, Bettors Package rated 1:55.8 for the 1680 metres when accounting for Daylight Dan and Eye Like Candy. The silks were also worn to glory in last season’s edition by popular horseman Steve Cleave. PAUL COURTS

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