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Caribbean Blaster has been named the 2012/13 Victorian Horse of the Year. In a unanimous decision, the horse from Andy and Kate Gath's Long Forrest stable enjoyed a breakout season on the Grand Circuit which saw a string of Group 1 performances. His win in the Victoria Cup will long be remembered as a triumph against adversity; starting from the extreme gate he was sent out a 30/1 chance but blew his rivals apart in the Tabcorp Park Melton straight. Leaving champions Im Themightyquinn and Smoken Up in his wake, he continued his brilliant early season form which saw him unplaced only three times in 14 starts. His Inter Dominion heat win was followed by an unlucky fifth in the Grand Final at Menangle. Many might have thought that would see him out for the season, but that wasn't the case. He returned to Melton in the Hot To Trot Stampede and produced a breathtaking performance to defeat his rivals by over 10 metres in the 1200-metre dash. Caribbean Blaster's season throughout 2012/13 demonstrated he has transformed into one of Australia's leading pacers. With a racetrack return not far off, the son of Bettors Delight is sure to be mixing it in each of the Grand Circuit races he contests in the next 12 months. Andy Gath spoke glowingly the morning after his superstar pacer received the honour. "It's not something you train horses to do, win awards, but it's a massive thrill when it comes up," Gath said. "We didn't really think about it until the nominations came out and then we thought we actually might win Horse Of The Year. "He'll come back this season and we all know how good he is, make no mistake there are some top horses out there like Bitobliss and Im Themightyquinn, it's just exciting to have our guy back next Friday." For the second year running a two-year-old has taken the Trotter of the Year award. Im Stately thoroughly dominated his juvenile squaregaiting rivals through the Vicbred Super Series and Breeders Crown. His flawless gait and high cruising speed made him a joy for punters and participants to watch as he crushed his competition in the season's biggest races. Last term's Trotter of the Year, Blitzthemcalder, took out the Three-Year-Old Trotting Colt or Gelding of the Year to make it consecutive wins in his age and gender category. A winner of the Great Northern Derby in New Zealand, he continued to carve out brilliant times and made it clear that when he is on song, there aren't many better squaregaiters in the land. The Industry Awards were also distributed for the participants who work tirelessly all year round and there weren't too many shocks. Based on premiership results, the Victorian State Trainer of the Year was taken by the Sunraysia's leading light, Shayne Cramp. Cramp took domination to a new level last season, training 155 winners at a strike-rate of over 30%. He was joined by Lance Justice who took the award for the Leading Metropolitan Trainer, one win clear of Geoff Webster. Chris Alford (Leading State Driver), Gavin Lang (Leading Metropolitan Driver) and Ellen Tormey (Leading Concession Driver) shared the honours driving honours for the past 12 months. The full list of award winners on the night has been compiled below. COMPLETE WINNERS LIST Victorian Horse of the Year - Caribbean Blaster Victorian Trotter of the Year - Im Stately Aged Pacer of the Year - Caribbean Blaster Aged Trotter of the Year - I Didnt Do It Mare of the Year - Blucolla Tigerpie 2YO Colt or Gelding of the Year (Pacing) - Major Secret 2YO Filly of the Year (Pacing) - Mindarie Priddy 2YO Colt or Gelding of the Year (Trotting) - Im Stately 2YO Filly of the Year (Trotting) - Claudys Princess 3YO Colt or Gelding of the Year (Pacing) - Guaranteed 3YO Filly of the Year (Pacing) - Itz Nosurprisesthere 3YO Colt or Gelding of the Year (Trotting) - Blitzthemcalder 3YO Filly of the Year (Trotting) - Spidergirl Victorian Trainer of the Year - Shayne Cramp Metropolitan Trainer of the Year - Lance Justice Victorian Driver of the Year - Chris Alford Metropolitan Driver of the Year - Gavin Lang Victorian Concession Driver of the Year - Ellen Tormey Harness Racing Victoria

Short priced favourites collected most of the races at the Warragul trots on Monday afternoon. Four of the winners started "odds-on" with TAB punters, and another two tote elects also scored on the eight race card. Husband and wife Andy and Kate Gath took honours with a double, courtesy of Glenferrie Affair and Western Rockstar, which both won easily. Pakenham horseman Tony Mallia won the sixth race with the well-bred Broadway Avenue, which had finished last at its only other start at Kilmore in July. Broadway Avenue started at long odds in its win. Champion reinsman Chris Alford stitched up another Warragul drivers' premiership when Im Living The Dream took out the fifth race in fast time. Members of the National Servicemen's Association were in attendance at the meeting, which helped boost crowd numbers. Members of branches as far afield as Monash and the Mornington Peninsula enjoyed the Warragul Harness Racing Club's hospitality. With Monday's meeting completing Warragul's racing season, the next trots program is not due at Logan Park until Monday, December 2. Kyle Galley

Barrier draws for the 2013 Blue Chip Farms Breeders Crown semi-finals have just been released and the eight qualifiers have been defined by the way the numbers have fallen. Plenty of favourites have drawn to advantage, while others will have to overcome trickier starting positions, but it’s something they must all conquer to be crowned Breeders Crown champion on August 18. In race 1 on the program, the American Ideal Breeders Crown semi-final for two-year-old colts and geldings, Kiwi pair Messini and Our Maxim have drawn wide on the front line in five and six respectively. Messini was a brilliant winner in his heat at Bendigo back on July 23, while Our Maxim has taken out New Zealand’s most prominent Sales race the PGG Wrightson, before accounting for a small heat field across the ditch. The Belinda McCarthy-trained Bling It On won’t have it easy from 11 (10 if the emergency is scratched) while Motor Smoker, who continues to improve, has drawn two on the front row. In the second event of the night, the Bettors Delight Breeders Crown semi-final for three-year-old fillies, likely favourite Frith had her grip tightened on the race as she drew pole position over the 2200-metre trip. A winner of the Victoria and WA Oaks already this season, the four time Group 1 winner has only lost one race for the entire season and looks set to extend her outstanding record. It won’t be a walkover however, with Kiwi-cum-Tasmanian filly Delightful Christian drawn directly behind the pole marker and coming off a string of wins that included a Breeders Crown heat success over subsequent repechage winner Nola Mayhem. Southern Cross winner Getya Wings Out will also compete in the same heat, having drawn three to continue her vein of good form. In the first heat for the three-year-old colts and geldings, Tasmanian hope Pachacuti has drawn wide on the front in barrier six, while Victorian fancy Ginger Bliss will need to navigate his way from 10. Echeveira will begin from the extreme draw for Long Forrest team Andy and Kate Gath. The second semi-final for two-year-old colts and geldings has drawn together a class field and last start winner Our Sky Major will no doubt be in the forefront of punters minds from his kind draw of one. With a thoroughly dominant Bray win already under his belt, he will have to compete with Vicbred Super Series winner Major Secret (2) as well as NSW star Lettucerockthem who will follow out Emma Stewart’s half-brother to Beauty Secret. Gritty Bendigo heat winner, All Eyes On Us, will come out of four if the emergency is scratched. Recent Group 1-winner Im Smouldering has drawn two (comes out of one if the emergency is scratched) in the next race while QLD marvel, Montana Marie, will start from directly on her outside for Darrell Graham. Gypsy Babe has been a revelation in recent times but her awkward draw of three on the second row won’t do her any favours in a tricky semi-final. Some of the most talented three-year-old’s in the series have drawn in the second semi-final for the boys and the barrier draws have divided opinions. Bit Of A Legend for Cran Dalgety will start from five while compatriot Border Control starts from just inside him in four. Standout Victorian Nowitzki had his chances dealt a blow when he drew the 11 marble while the promising Chilli Palmer will have to come from the second-widest draw of 12 to qualify for the final. Mindarie Priddy – arguably the star of the pacing series – has drawn seven, giving her the chance to find her feet early in a small field of eight for the first of the semi-finals for two-year-old fillies. New Zealand’s main hope for the juvenile girl’s series, Te Amo Bromac, will start from barrier four with Des McQueen Classic winner Fon Design in pole position. The last race on the night has seen repechage winner Quick Draft come up with barrier one for David Aiken and Chris Alford. Out wider is Whereibylong for Emma Stewart, who produced the filly for a strong first-up win in her heat late last month. For the full fields, barrier draws and form on Saturday night’s Blue Chip Farms Breeders Crown semi-final meeting at Ballarat simply click here. by Blake Redden Courtesy of Harness Racing Victoria

The Nyah Harness Racing Club held a terrific meeting at the Swan Hill Racing Centre on Thursday June 27, with winners coming from far and wide.

Harness Racing returned to the Swan Hill Racing Centre on Tuesday April 2 when the Nyah HRC staged a neat eight event card dominated by visitors.

This Saturday night's (March 23) Pryde's EasiFeed Great Southern Star will double as a major charity event for the Women's Cancer Foundation Ovarian Cancer Institute.

The spotlight was on the squaregaiters at the Bendigo harness racing fixture held on Saturday March 9, with the commencement of the Lyn McPherson Memorial Breed For Speed Series for trotting mares over 1609 metres.

It is not often that a horse who is coming off back-to-back Inter Dominion wins, and who was a dominant winner of his final lead-up, doesn't create a dominant impression with bookmakers.

The Victorian heat of the harness racing ID13 was a battle of three of the state's top pacer in the final 100 metres with Caribbean Blaster edging out his rivals to claim a place in the final to be run on March 3. Kate Gath, who drove the winner, exploded off the arm to take the early lead away from Keayang Cullen who had drawn the pole.

The Master Blaster is ready to roll. That is the message from leading Long Forest trainer Andy Gath after nursing Chariots of Fire and Victoria Cup champion Caribbean Blaster through a low grade virus earlier this week

With temperatures around 37 degrees, those in attendance at Charlton certainly braved the extreme heat to witness some exciting harness racing.

Sundons Gift has been one of Australia's most lauded squaregaiters. A globetrotter in the true sense of the word, his harness racing career was halted after illness crippled him to a point where the Lang team thought he was best served in a retirement paddock.

It's a term that is not new to Scott Stewart heading into the Del-Re National Food Group A G Hunter Cup. Harness racing X-Factor. It may have been used on more than the odd occasion to describe his talented but injury-plagued pacer, Bitobliss, in the past.

The Group 1 SA Derby may have only attracted a small field of eight runners but it lacks nothing in class.Harness racing ex pats Geoff Webster with Flaming Flutter, a smart 2yo and a winner at Melton at his only start at 3, has drawn ideally in barrier two, while the other former SA trainer driver Lance Justice has Lenny the Shark starting from barrier 5.

Two harness racing meetings were conducted in Victoria on Wednesday December 19, with Maryborough racing in the afternoon and Geelong at night.

Two of Victoria's leading reinswomen - Kate Gath and Jodi Quinlan stole the show at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday December 15, winning the two big feature harness racing events on the program - Kate the $400,000 (Group 1) SEW-Eurodrive Victoria Cup aboard Caribbean Blaster and Jodi the $50,000 (Group 1) SEW-Eurodrive V. L. Dullard Trotters Cup with I Didnt Do It.

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