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Everybody loves a home town hero and they don’t come much more popular than Great Western harness racing gun Kerryn Manning, who could again have Stawell trots fans in raptures this Sunday. Manning’s name could be etched on the Gateway Security Stawell Pacing Cup for a fourth time this weekend with her talented six-year-old, Ideal Success, beautifully drawn for a rollicking romp. “He is a nice horse and the Cup should suit him down to the ground,” the trainer-driver said. In 2004 Manning drove The Good Guy to victory in the Cup for trainer and father, Peter Manning, and then was both trainer and driver when Henchman won in 2006. The father-daughter team then broke through again in 2015 when they won by a neck with $17-1 shot Narra Operative. For Manning, winner of more than 3500 races as a driver and almost 800 as a trainer, any chance to step out at her local track is an occasion to be savoured. “I just like to have a runner at Stawell and to have one in the cup is just that little bit extra special.” And in Ideal Success she has a contender. The Kiwi joined her stable in February after 19 runs back home that yielded eight victories, all coming in his first nine races. In Manning’s hands the American Ideal gelding has again found that winning form, producing five victories from his eight starts on Australian soil, including the Ararat and Ouyen pacing cups. He returned from a spell at Tabcorp Park Melton on November 18 and, from a difficult second row draw, finished off well to run fourth amid a quality field. “He probably needed the run a bit and never really got into the race, but his times were about as good as anybody,” Manning said. “He didn’t get beaten all that far and he has tightened up since then.” The winner of that race was Young Modern from Emma Stewart’s all-conquering Smythes Creek stable and Ideal Success will not only have to turn the tables on him but also overcome Stewart’s other fancied runners Gumdrops and Metro Mike. Also looming are swooper Five Star Anvil and Im Corzin Terror, but Manning gives her hope every chance. “He has drawn quite well and should be able to hold a forward post,” she said. “Jiven Cullen is probably the early leader and is generally looking for a sit. I should be the first one there and should be a chance to lead depending on what they decide to do. From there (Ideal Success) should be right in it and a good chance. “I’ve won it a couple of times and it would be nice to repeat that performance, and he’s the type that could win it.” Michael Howard (HRV Media/Communications Co-Ordinator) Fields for Stawell, Sunday 04 December 2016 Form guide for Stawell, Sunday 04 December 2016

Tee Cee Bee Macray’s emergence as a four-year-old of significant talent was only enhanced with a commanding win at Tabcorp Park Melton on Friday night, which will have the gelding a short price for next week’s final. Heats one and two of the Empire Stallions Vicbred Platinum Metropolitan Pace, which is restricted to M0, saw the Alan Tubbs trained gelding confirm his class, coming from the back of the field to rally five-wide and run past a couple of smart types with plenty in the tank. “It was a genuinely run race, which she probably still needed that to some degree with where we settled,” driver Greg Sugars said. “Having said that, he did have a pretty good class edge on most of his rivals. He did the job nicely in the end.” SEE THE FULL RESULTS AND REPLAYS FROM FRIDAY NIGHT'S RACING Colin Rogers’ well-rated Merbein flyer Murranji Track again gave a good account of himself, facing the breeze outside Gollahgirl and while others faded the tough Grinfromeartoear gelding pressed on to run into second, getting to the line strongly to outpoint third-placed Niki No No. Their strong performances have earned them tickets to return to Tabcorp Park Melton next Friday night for the metropolitan pace final, where they will confront heat one winner Miss Dreamin. Kerryn Manning pulled all the right reins on Paul Campbell’s four-year-old mare, showing gate speed to take the lead on Miss Dreamin before allowing favourite Fake Smile to slide to the front mid-race while she took leader’s back. Come the sprint lane Miss Dreamin was hitting the line hard and had enough in the bank to win a photo finish, with just a half-head separating the winner from second-placed Masterofthurles, another half-head to third-placed Fake Smile, while Marg Lee’s Keayang Ebonyrose was a close fourth. “She went really nice,” Manning said of the mare by Lis Mara out of Karamea Dreamin. “I had the option of holding the favourite (Fake Smile) out, but she was always going to get a good trip (in the box seat) and she does sprint lane quite well we thought. “She just got there on the line, but did well. You couldn’t ask for much better really. She just keeps stepping up and has again tonight. Obviously the final will be a little harder, but she is well in it now.” Michael Doltoff trained Fake Smile, who had won eight of nine starts leading into tonight, will only be better for the run having been first up from a spell. A tantalising showdown against Tee Cee Bee Macray awaits, having last met in in February’s Group 1 Nestle Professional 4YO Bonanza, when Tee Cee Bee Macray placed third and Fake Smile fourth behind Tact Tate and Itz Bettor To Win. On Friday night the good times also rolled on for Horsham father-and-son team trainer Barry and driver Aaron Dunn. Leading in they had produced five consecutive wins and while the succession was broken when Little Lyn was unable to overcome her awkward draw in her keenly contested race, Nikkibadwagon only further enhanced her reputation. Having driven his first Melton winner only one week earlier, Aaron Dunn snapped up number two when his three-year-old filly won the University Meat 3YO Pace, having been three-wide for much of the last lap before letting down in the straight to outpace $3.30 favourite Rockstar Angel. “I (went) a bit earlier than I would have liked,” Dunn said, having been surprised Hu Hu R U crossed Dancingwithsierra to take the breeze, which left Nikkibadwagon exposed three-wide. “At least we were able get a bit of a breather down the back straight.” A 30.6 second quarter rolled into a 29.5 third quarter as Nikkibadwagon joined the front runners and ultimately scored a 3.2m win. “She’s got a lot of depth and she can really sprint home.” Milly Perez, for Marong trainer Larry Eastman, also produced another eye-catching performance, winning the Matt Laing’s Bucks Pace with Chris Alford in the sulky. A 12th career win increased the Four Starzzz Shark’s mare’s winnings to almost $200,000, with Milly Perez proving too good after having sat with cover until the last time down the back straight, when she popped out and wore her rivals down. “She’s going super,” Alford said. “I thought tonight we would get a nice easy run without doing much, but we had to come out pretty early and she was still travelling really well around the turn and picked up in the straight.” Shes Just a Delight, trained and driven by Kerryn Manning, ran on well to claim second, 3.5m in arrears of the winner. While most races largely went to script, many punters were bundled out of the quaddie when Classy Western made every post a winner to claim the Cougar Bourbon Pace for trainer-driver Allan McDonough. It was the well-respected seven-year-old’s first placing in 17 races, with the frenetic early lead time (43.9) set by a pulling Savesometimetodream, while Matt Craven’s Changing Code loomed forward from a middling start. At the back of the field Classy Western sat in wait, tailing Lets Elope into the race three-wide. As the leaders faded, Lets Elope worked clear, releasing Classy Western for a backmarkers battle down the straight and it was the Western Terror gelding who snapped up the win. “He’s been going terrific all this season really,” McDonough said. “Tonight the lead time was good and I was able to get a good cart into the race.” In other races, Nathan Jack drove a double, claiming the first – the DNR Logistics Pace – with David Abrahams trained Fabrication (Dream Vacation/Figment), and the tab.com.au pace final for Wayne Potter’s impressive three-year-old Itz Billy Hillis (Bettors Delight/Itz Got The Giggles), who has won four of his six starts. Geoff Webster produced a double of a different kind, training the first two placegetters in the Join The Pegasus Club Pace Final. Webster drove Mach Doro (Mach Three/Three Eagles) to clip stablemate Kotare York (Mach Three/Kotare Yoyo) by a head. Tenno Dance (Tennotrump/Disco Dance) won the Aldebaran Park Trot for Strathfieldsaye trainer Glenn Sharp and Bolinda driver Josh Duggan, and Black Valley (Skyvalley/Black Curlew) wrapped up the night by winning the VHRSC The Owners Voice Trot Final for Kyabram trainer Robert Shellie and Shepparton driver Rebecca Bartley. “Everything went good tonight,” Bartley said. “He travelled really well and got the job done.” Michael Howard

Ideal Success may trek a path travelled previously by star harness racing stablemate Arden Rooney and head to Mildura in search of Group 2 glory. Last night’s record-breaking Renown Silverware Ararat Pacing Cup winner could be headed north for the annual Sunraysia feature, the stable confirmed at Ararat. The five-year-old gelding, who last season set a record for number of country cup wins in New Zealand with five, has now pocketed cup victories at Ouyen and Ararat since joining the Kerryn Manning stable at Great Western. The son of American Ideal/Maheer Glen has in fact won three from three since donning the red and blue stars. “This is really special,” Manning told course MC Rob Auber post-race. “He’s such a safe beginner. He began very well tonight.” His standing start manners certainly held Ideal Success in great stead last night, making light work of the 10-metre impost in the space of about 100m before pushing on to the front. Punters who backed the ex-Kiwi into $2.80 would have been pretty comfortable with their investment from there as Ideal Success’s main danger, Almost El Eagle, lobbed the one-one. Ideal Success put a lead time of 76secs behind him before two identical 30.5secs opening splits for a 61secs first half at the bell. Manning then launched into action, upping the pressure with a 27.5 third quarter. Star Of Dionysis, who breezed throughout, started to struggle after pulling early and gave ground, which did Almost El Eagle no favours as Steam Washed battled on three-wide. Ideal Success’s stablemate The Noble Steed, who is having a super season, peeled off the favourite’s back with Grant Campbell in the cart to launch its claim at the corner, while Weallwantano (Matthew Craven) angled wider and ran on. But Manning and Ideal Success were having none of it, the champion reinswoman clearly elated with the win as her latest stable star crossed the post 2.9 metres clear, Weallwantano finishing on for second and The Noble Steed third, well clear of Delight Brigade in fourth. And in winning Ideal Success posted a track record mile rate of 2:00.5, which will never be broken as the race will become a mobile start event from next year. Representing the stable at the post-race presentation Grant Campbell thanked the club for putting on a terrific night and the sponsors for their support. He also made special mention of the stable’s “great staff” for their hard work. If Ideal Success does go on to Mildura Manning will be chasing a third victory in the Cup there after previous victories behind Go Charles in 2001 and Arden Rooney last season. Cody Winnell

“It has been a pleasure to be involved, an honour to be invited and amazing to be able to win,” and with that harness racing driver Kerryn Manning accepted the first International All Star Series title. The Victorian champion sealed the series with a seventh placing at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday, when the 22nd and final race was held among Pryde’s EasiFeed Great Southern Star night. Her success and accumulated 165.5 points also helped The Vics eclipse The World team 719 to 712, despite New Zealand’s Dexter Dunn (158) and US driver Brett Miller (152.5) enjoying outstanding weeks to fill out the minor placings. “I started slow but got a bit of momentum up as the week went on and have had a very good week,” Manning said. In fact the Great Western trainer-driver was last on the leaderboard after day one with 15 points, but a victory at Echuca on Tuesday on day two and three second placings at Maryborough on day three soon had Manning back in contention. Two victories on both days four (Ballarat) and five (Bendigo) gave Manning a 10.5-point lead over Dunn heading into the final day, which would prove unassailable. “It has been fun and exciting and I’ve met a lot of great people,” Manning said. “The visitors are just lovely people and the locals have been one happy family, I suppose you could call it, especially on that bus we go around on. “It’s been a highlight all week and it’s sad that it’s finished but I think I’m required back at home so I better head home and do some work.” HRV General Manager – Operations Vaughn Lynch said the series had been a terrific showcase of outstanding drivers from local and abroad and of the state’s country clubs. “We’ve seen a treat of racing,” Lynch said. “I’d like to thank everyone who took part, and their lovely partners, and commend them on what a fantastic week it has been.” Manning said the series could not have been such an amazing journey without the support of many. “I’d like to thank all the trainers who put horses in for us to drive and all the tracks that hosted,” she said. “They put on a great show for us every day we travelled around and they made it most enjoyable.” International All Star Series day seven leaderboard:  Kerryn Manning 165.5, Dexter Dunn 158, Brett Miller 152.5, Greg Sugars 150, Chris Alford 145.5, Yannick Gingras 143.5, Jason Lee 140.5, Anthony Butt 130.5, Corey Callahan 127.5, Gavin Lang 117.5. Overall leaderboard: Victoria 719, The World 712. Michael Howard Harness Racing Victoria

A second successive winning double has harness racing driver Kerryn Manning perched atop the International All Star Series leaderboard, with only Dexter Dunn and Brett Miller a mathematical chance to unseat her. Manning has amassed 161.5 points to lead Dunn by 10.5, with Miller third on 150.5. To claim the crown Dunn or Miller would have to win, claiming the 14 points, and have Manning finish ninth (two points) or 10th (one). Manning has been drawn to drive Majestic Grace from barrier three in tomorrow's 22nd and final race of the series, which will take place at Tabcorp Park Melton at 8.32pm. Miller will start outside Manning in barrier four with Rostevarren and Dunn has Matt Craven's Star Gun from barrier seven. Good Form analyst Jason Bonnington said it was a "difficult race with several winning hopes", but he placed Cyclone Lucky Seven (Greg Sugars) on top from Uncas (Chris Alford), Heza Boy Star (Gavin Lang) and Manning's Majestic Grace. Manning led Dunn by a point going into the final day and her stranglehold on the competition was born from winning the 19th race with Animated and the 21st race with Peking Duck. There's no stopping Kerryn Manning "It's just fun to be involved, it's an honour to be chosen and it's great to be in front." Animated was a $1.90 favourite and the Ross Graham-trained four-year-old was driven accordingly by Manning, who took the gelding to the front and then held her ground on the straight to win by 3.9m from Keayang Ebonyrose (Brett Miller) and Sluggem (Greg Sugars). Kerryn back on top Race 21 was even more conclusive for Manning and Peking Duck, who shot to the front from barrier one and raced keenly throughout, drawing clear down the straight to salute by almost 12m. Birthyday boy Anthony Butt finished second with Arrokeefe and Gavin Lang was third with Mister Hairy Maclary. Earlier, in race 17, Brett Miller began day five of the series in the same fashion as he'd finished day four, with a win, this time with My Sophisticated Lady. Trainer Jarrod Pace's three-year-old filly broke its maiden status in Miller's hands, with the $3.50 favourite saluting from Rockabella Starz (Dexter Dunn) and Albietta (Yannick Gingras). The race was a dominant result for the World team, which filled the top five placings to leave the Vics languishing and surrendering their series lead. Miller makes it two on the trot But that domination by the world was fleeting, with Victorian drivers winning all other races. Race 18 was claimed by Terang's Jason Lee, who was three back the pegs but when Chris Alford drew Boundary Row out to challenge leader and favourite Yannick Gingras on Endsino the sprint lane opened for Lee and he shot Uwouldntbelieveit into contention. Michelle Wight's four-year-old gelding pinched it on the line when it had appeared in Endsino's keeping, with Rumbaron finishing strongly for Corey Callahan to take third ahead of Alford. Lee sprints to a well timed win Like Lee, Greg Sugars hadn't tasted success since night one despite consistently being around the mark and, like Lee, that all changed tonight. Sugars drove with aggression and confidence on Repeat After Me, going three wide early down the backstretch to circle those in front and then gradually drew away from leader, Jason Lee with Machli, to win by 5.3m. The Candyman can Earlier in the day The next and final stop is Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday. International All Star Series day six leaderboard:  Kerryn Manning 161.5, Dexter Dunn 151, Brett Miller 150.5, Chris Alford 140.5, Yannick Gingras 138, Greg Sugars 136, Jason Lee 131.5, Corey Callahan 121.5, Anthony Butt 119.5, Gavin Lang 114.5. Overall leaderboard: Victoria 684, The World 680.5. Michael Howard Harness Racing Victoria Fields for Tabcorp Park Melton, Saturday 12 March 2016 Form guide for Tabcorp Park Melton, Saturday 12 March 2016

Harness racing drivers Kerryn Manning and Chris Alford led a Victorian surge on day four of the International All Star Series at Ballarat, overturning The World’s advantage. Manning drove a treble, including two series victories, and Alford was at his consistent best producing  a win, two thirds and a fourth to position himself as the night's leading pointscorer. The headlines belonged to Manning, who not only ended the day on top of the leaderboard but wiped almost a second off a track record with her all-the-way win driving trainer Matt Craven’s The Culture. The World weren’t without their shining moments. US contestant Corey Callahan had his best day yet, amassing 32 points that included two placings, and his compatriot Brett Miller produced another long-shot winner for an overjoyed group of owners. Miller brings joy to trainer The day was more difficult for Yannick Gingras (16 points) and Dexter Dunn (23.5 points), who entered the day respective $2.50 and $2.60 favourites. Dunn lost his lead on the series to Manning by a point, with the latter’s golden day continuing in race two – the first of the day’s All Stars series races – when she guided Brent Lilley’s Kyvalley Boomerang to victory. “He got knocked over early and I thought that was it for me, but to his credit he picked himself up and did a good job,” Manning said. Dexter Dunn (Zaire Diva) and Chris Alford (Glenferrie Belle) finished second and third, beaten to the post by Manning who cut the corner, found a gap and then set down wide with a swooping finish. Kerryn Manning's interview post her houdini act Race 14 of the series followed and this time it was all Alford behind Game On Bro, which shot to the lead and never looked back. The fast pace had the pack swooping late, but the Sebastian Steenhuis-trained gelding by Courage Under Fire out off Presidential Rose had enough in the tank to hit the line. “The horse was a bit keen and you’ve just got to drive them,” Alford said. “I tried to keep rating him as slow as I could without strangling him and he was good enough to go on with the job.” Jason Lee almost pinched it with Watchmaka Lombo, while Corey Callahan drove Carseblue into third. Chris Alford finding the Ballarat chill to his liking There was plenty of excitement ahead of the series 15th race, and it didn’t disappoint. Fresh off a second in the Terang Co-Op Pacing Cup and not long since running a 1:51.6 mile at Tabcorp Park Melton, Matt Craven’s The Culture is gaining a loyal following and Kerryn Manning only added to that goodwill. Manning steered The Culture to his front running role from barrier seven and while Chris Alford put highly-fancied Star Of Dionysis on his back, The Culture had too much in the straight. Corey Callahan drove Royal Hustler into second, the $19.10 chance beaten only 4.1m by The Culture who finished in a 1:53.0 mile rate, stripping 0.7 of a second of Saab Quality’s 1710m record set in 2013. Alford finished 2.4m further back in third. “He’s a lovely horse, he actually did that really easy,” Manning said. “The track’s really fast tonight and he probably could have broken that by more.” Kerryn Manning dares dream of a series win after Culture dominates The form book was thrown out for the 16th All Stars race – the last for the day – with three longshots filling the placings in a trifecta worth almost $13,000. Greg Sugars looked as though he had almost pinched it when he moved Cee Goddess to the front and drew clear, only to have Brett Miller draw Premier Rose off his back to take the $36 shot to victory for trainer Ken Tippet. “Anything can happen in a horse race and that right there proved it,” Miller said. “In fact my horse was very good, for the odds being that big, my horse was very good.” Brett Miller's review of a job well done The day began with #trotsallstars taking in historic Sovereign Hill And then the Allstars ventured to a Ballarat Wildlife Park for a cuddle Next stop will be Bendigo on Friday before Saturday’s finale at Tabcorp Park Melton. International All Star Series day four leaderboard:  Kerryn Manning 122.5, Dexter Dunn 121.5, Chris Alford 114, Brett Miller 112.5, Yannick Gingras 104.5, Greg Sugars 104, Jason Lee 95.5, Corey Callahan 93, Gavin Lang 87.5, Anthony Butt 82.5. Overall leaderboard: Victoria 523.5, The World 514. Michael Howard Harness Racing Victoria

Ideal Success and the gelding’s harness racing trainer/driver Kerryn Manning dominated on a hot Ouyen Cup Day on Sunday. The mercury hit the low 40s and several horses were scratched due to the heat policy, meaning Ideal Success’s odds were never going to match the Celsius figure. In fact Ideal Success was sent out a $1.20 by punters. And he won like it. Once he stepped well to lead from the tapes it was never in doubt. Out in front Ideal Success was never challenged but still ran time, a 29.9 second quarter followed by an electric 27.5 third split. The son of American Ideal out of Maheer Glen found the line in 28.3 for a 55.8 last 800m, defeating Uncle Wingnut by 7.1m with polemarker Primo Tapia third. Ideal Success has now won both his Australian starts since joining the Manning stable at Great Western. He's an 11-time winner from 39 starts for $95,589 in stakes. Manning finished the day with three winners, also piloting Cashwrangs Smoker and Little Lyn to victory. Cody Winnell

Charlton’s showcase race could give a trotting family an unforgettable win with an old harness racing favourite. National Service has returned from the brink of retirement to flash home and win in his last two starts, giving his Horsham owners the confidence to steer it to Sunday’s Charlton and District Community Bank 2016 Charlton Pacing Cup. WATCH NATIONAL SERVICE FLASH HOME TO WIN AT SWAN HILL Justin Lane shares ownership of National Service with wife Jo and parents Kevin and Lesley, who have been there from the start having bred and raised the horse. It was with a heavy heart that they contemplated retirement about this time last year for the then nine-year-old after National Service tore his hind suspensory. “Being the age that he is we intended to retire him,” Justin said. “But dad said jog him up and give him one more go, because you are a long time retired.” Lane oversaw a patient recovery of jogging and resting before he returned National Service on January 16 in the Shepparton BMW Pace, where he loomed up to the leaders from three wide only to tire in the straight and finish 17m last. The fade didn’t deter the loyal owners and they returned the gelding to Grant Campbell and Kerryn Manning’s stable, where he again showed plenty of cheek. “He is a bit of a funny horse, not many at the stable at Kerryn and Grant’s get along with him all that well, he has a few quirky habits, but it’s good to see him come back.” Justin, president at Horsham Harness Racing Club, has a particularly close affinity with National Service, winner of the 2014 Hamilton Pacing Cup. Not only did he breed the horse, but he trained it to nine wins from its debut in December 2008 until December 2012 before handing the reins to Campbell and Manning to “see how they can improve him and get the best out of him”. Though age 10 and off a lengthy lay-off the best may yet be to come for the gelding out of Legacy Of Power and Muckinbar Miss given his last start performance at Swan Hill. “He’s had three runs back after 12 months off and his last two races have been very good, particularly at Swan Hill where he shouldn’t have won from where he was,” Justin said. On that occasion National Service came from five-wide and well back to mow down the leaders at Swan Hill, which featured a 27.1 final quarter. National Service’s last 400m was likely not much more than 26 seconds despite curling wide. That has boosted confidence in the camp ahead of Charlton. “He’s been good at the country cups in the past and, going on those two runs, we thought we’d give him a shot at another cup," Lane said. "The Swan Hill sectionals were scintillating. With the right run he’s as good as any other horse in the field. “It will be up to Grant, but we won’t be planning anything too silly on the day. He will drive him for a bit of luck. It’s a bit of a buzz to have a horse good enough to run in any cup.” And the family fun will continue on the race day, with National Service’s half-brother Polar Opposite, trained by Lane, to run in race three. “He’s had three wins and a place from his last five starts, so there are promising signs.” Charlton Pacing Cup Honour Roll 1982    $2,000    Brahms Lullaby (Rex Kerr) FT    2250m    SS    2:07.1     1983    $3,000    Bank Buster (Daryl Nioa) 10m    2250m    SS    2:06.2     1988    $9,000    Scamp Racer (Gavin Lang) FT    2250m    SS    2:05.3     1989    $9,000    Tuned In (Ted Demmler) FT    2250m    SS    2:05.7     1990    $6,000    Rufus Young Blood (Dick Lee) FT    2240m    MS    2:01.6     1990    $6,000    Lord Greystoke (Joe Borg) 10m    2250m    SS    2:05.0     1991    $6,000    Franco Gold NZ (Jim O'Sullivan) FT    2240m    MS    2:07.0     1992    $3,500    Imprimartar (Neil McCallum) 30m    2250m    SS    2:04.5     1993    $4,500    Our Brenray (Jim O'Sullivan) FT    2240m    MS    2:01.5     1994    $5,000    Its Nero's Fiddle NZ (Stephen Dove) 10m    2680m    SS    2:06.0     1995    $6,000    Mister McKinzie (Gavin Lang) FT    2250m    MS    2:04.3     1996    $7,000    Coco's Dream NZ (Lou Austin) 30m    2680m    SS    2:04.7     1997    $10,000    Ryans Day NZ (Ahmed Taiba) FT    2680m    MS    2:03.6     1998    $10,000    Low Bronze (Julian Jobe) FT    2645m    MS    2:05.2     1999    $10,000    Rosco Robust (Graeme Morgan) FT    2645m    MS    2:03.5     2000    $12,000    Show Of Hands (John F Ryan) FT    2625m    MS    2:04.6     2001    $8,000    Loaded Hog NZ (Andrew Vozlic) FT    2625m    MS    2:02.3     2002    $8,000    Jilliby Magic (Kerryn Manning) 10m    2650m    SS    2:02.5     2003    $15,000    The Good Guy (Grant Campbell) FT    2650m    SS    2:02.6     2004    $15,000    Sir Romulus (Matthew Craven) 10m    2650m    SS    2:03.2     2005    $15,000    Cool Chip NZ (Daryl Douglas) FT    2570m    SS    2:04.0     2006    $20,000    Poppys Boy (Stuart Govers) FT    2570m    SS    2:03.2     2007    $20,000    Blakey (John Justice) FT    2570m    SS    2:02.2     2008    $20,000    Road To Rainbow (Daryl Douglas) FT    2570m    SS    2:02.1     2009    $20,000    Ohoka Utah NZ (Lance Justice) FT    2570m    SS    2:03.9     2010    $25,000    Just Wal (Damian Wilson) FT    2570m    SS    2:01.0     2011    $25,000    Our Hillview Gold NZ (Daryl Douglas) FT    2570m    MS    2:01.5     2012    $25,000    Abettorpunt (Caleb Lewis) FT    2570m    MS    1:59.8     2013    $25,000    Uncle Wingnut NZ (Michael Bellman) FT    2570m    MS    1:59.8     2014    $25,000    Five Star Anvil NZ (Gavin Lang) FT    2570m    MS    2:00.7     2015    $25,505    Barynya (John Caldow) FT    2570m    MS    1:56.5 Michael Howard

Harness racing Breeders Crown placegetter Linda Lovegrace is shooting for three wins on the spin in tomorrow night’s Harness Breeders Victoria Ian Daff Memorial at Tabcorp Park Melton. The Kerryn Manning-trained four-year-old mare, who placed in a Breeders Crown final last year, is working her way through the grades, winning at Charlton and Swan Hill at her last two outings. VIDEO – LINDA LOVEGRACE WINS AT SWAN HILL With 14 race wins and stakes north of a quarter of a million dollars she’s proving a handy earner. “She’s always been very consistent,” Manning said. “She’s been working her way through the classes but it’s getting a lot harder now.” Linda Lovegrace has drawn barrier six over 1720m tomorrow night, a “tricky draw” according to Manning, but the punters are still likely to install her favourite. “I might drive her a bit more quietly,” Manning said. “There looks to be a fair bit of speed on the front line.” Polemarker Ithappenstbeametro, Chilled Desire (gate three), Wow Shes Smooth (four), Lovelist (seven), Milly Perez (eight) and Steam Washed (10) will all be in the market in what looks a tricky quaddie first leg. IAN DAFF MEMORIAL HONOUR ROLL 2006    $15,000    Ball Gown (John Justice) FT    2100m    MS    2:01.0     2007    $14,000    Apennyspent (Kerryn Manning) FT    2100m    MS    1:59.4     2009    $20,000    Very Chic NZ (Kerryn Manning) FT    2100m    MS    1:58.6     2010    $20,000    Pacific Charm (Lisa Miles) FT    2240m    MS    1:59.1     2011    $20,000    Broadways Best (Chris Alford) FT    2240m    MS    1:59.2     2012    $20,000    Yankee Dream NZ (Greg Sugars) FT    2240m    MS    1:56.9 2013    $20,000    Repelem (Ryan Hryhorec) FT    1720m    MS    1:53.8     2014    $20,275    Victoria May NZ (Alison Chisholm) FT    1720m    MS    1:54.3     2015    $20,275    Just Cala NZ (Amanda Turnbull) FT    1720m    MS    1:55.4 by 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 

Harness racing's reigning Del-Re National A.G. Hunter Cup and New Zealand Trotting Cup champion Arden Rooney is out of this year’s TAB.com.au Summer of Glory. The pin-up horse, who made Australasian sport headlines when trainer/driver Kerryn Manning became the first woman to drive a winner in the race that stops New Zealand last November, has strained a tendon and will be sidelined for 6-12 months. “He had surgery today and it went well, now he’s got to do a rehab program,” Manning confirmed. “He’ll be out of action for 6-12 months but we got it early so it’s not as bad as they can be. “He’s had the very best of vet care and he’ll get every chance to return to the racetrack. “It’s very disappointing but we’re just lucky that he’s done what he’s done already.” Arden Rooney was second-favourite with TAB.com.au behind Smolda but the market will change significantly.  Arden Rooney winning the $765,000 New Zealand Cup Cody Winnell

The connections of Narra Operative will be hoping their honest gelding can make it back-to-back Rayners Fruit and Vegetables Stawell Pacing Cup successes on Sunday. Locally owned and trained, Narra Operative hails from the camp of Kerryn Manning in Great Western – less than 15 minutes from Stawell. “He’s a lovely horse. I always like driving him,” the New Zealand Trotting Cup winning trainer/driver said. “First-up he went real good and then second-up at Gunbower he might have been a bit flat maybe. I don’t know if it was because he was backing up so quickly.” Narra Operative has drawn barrier eight in the Group 3 2590-metre stand start race on Sunday, following out stand start debutant Yankee Rockstar, who will start a short-priced favourite. “He’s got a good draw if the one gets away,” Manning said of her charge. “Sometimes barrier one is the toughest draw for one having their first go at the stand.” Manning said the speed needed to be on for Narra Operative to be a winning chance. Stand start specialist Macho Comacho has drawn barrier three and can begin quickly, as can country cups stalwart Arber drawn in four. “He’s not really a sit-and-sprint horse so he needs the speed on, but if there’s a bit of pressure up front and he can get a soft run he’s a rough show. He can surprise them,” Manning said. Yankee Rockstar is trained by Emma Stewart and will be driven by Gavin Lang, the team behind Philadelphia Man in the Perth Inter Dominion series at the moment. From the pole if he steps away the five-year-old is clearly the horse to beat, having won 17 or 23 starts. Almost El Eagle is drawn two and is coming off back-to-back cup wins at St Arnaud and Gunbower. He’s making an early play for country cups horse of the year. Michael Stanley trains Hilltop Hustler, a smart six-year-old who resumes on Sunday and is drawn six for Greg Sugars. Expect a good show from him first-up. Last-start Melton winner Weallwantano has struck form at the right time and is drawn six, while Jivin Cullen is a former Kiwi who has campaigned in Queensland and Sydney but has recently joined the Brad Hunt stable at Great Western. He’s drawn seven. Last year’s country cups king Road To Rock will come out of nine for Haydon Gray, while Master Pip has drawn 10, Nota Lada is the emergency and is No.11, Owen Martin-trained Farmersntradies is racing well and has got barrier 12, while Smudge Bromac from the David Aiken stable – a stablemate of current Inter Dominion favourite Lennytheshark – is the lone runner from the 10-metre tape. The Stawell Times News Stawell Trotters Cup is the other feature race on Sunday. Race one will be at 1.22pm. by Cody Winnell

Twelve months ago, he was eating the dust of his stablemate Adore Me. Today, Arden Rooney claimed the country’s greatest prize in winning the Gr.1 $750,000 Christchurch Casino New Zealand Cup at Addington, Christchurch. Now prepared by leading Australian horseperson Kerryn Manning, Arden Rooney led throughout to defeat a game Smolda and Mossdale Conner in the 3200m stand start feature in a time of 3:57.4. And the triumph now elevates her into rare air because a female reinsperson has never driven a Cup winner prior to today. “This is my greatest achievement in the sport and I’m so thrilled to win this race, it’s a race that everyone involved in the sport appreciates and to win is just unbelieveable. I’ve got to make special mention of my husband Grant (Campbell) for all of his work with this horse and to Merv and Meg (Butterworth – owners) for showing the faith in me to train this horse.” A jubilant Manning stated. The transformation over the last twelve months has been extraordinary, leaving the all-conquering All Stars stables of Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen and switching to Manning's Great Western stables in country Victoria has proven to be an absolute masterstroke. Under the care of Manning, Arden Rooney has added the Hunter, Geelong, Mildura, Terang and Swan Hill Cups before winning the greatest staying contest staged in the southern hemisphere today. And plenty more beckons for the six-year-old Bettor's Delight – Tosca Hanover gelding. The victory provided Manning with her 41st Group One winner while adding to her tally of more than 3500 lifetime winners to date. Following a brilliant beginning, the stand start specialist dictated terms in front while his rivals jostled for early positions. And while rival drivers were plotting and planning their moves to bring about the undoing of the Australian visitor, Manning continued to march to the beat of the drum of Arden Rooney. With a moderate speed being set in front, many of her rivals became fierce and agitated. At the top of the straight, Arden Rooney and Smolda edged clear of their rivals and staged a great stretch duel but the Australian trained star was superior on the line lasting by a head margin while another 4 lengths back to Mossdale Conner, Franco Nelson and Messini. “I was really confident once we landed in front and then we copped no pressure which suited me just nicely, I knew he was fit enough and I was happy to have them chasing me over the final mile. “Merv always promised me a good horse and he’s delivered with Rooney, it’s just unbelievable what he achieved in the timeframe he’s been with me. Both Merv and Meg really deserve a horse like this because they put so much in through ownership and sponsorship, and Mark (Purdon) was the first to congratulate me after the race which was really great.” The next obvious major target for Arden Rooney is another shot at defending his Hunter Crown crown next February. The victory of Arden Rooney provided champion sire Bettors Delight with back to back victories in the New Zealand following the success of Adore Me last year. by Chris Barsby

Australia’s first lady of harness racing has done it again. Kerryn Manning today became the first woman driver to win a New Zealand Trotting Cup with an allthe-way victory aboard reigning Hunter Cup champion Arden Rooney in the Group 1 feature. Manning drove the perfect race aboard the Merv Butterworth-owned star at Addington in front of an enormous crowd, the Great Western pacer outgunning the might of Mark Purdon’s stable – who had won nearly everything else on the day – and the best Australasia had to throw at her over the two mile journey. Arden Rooney stepped perfectly from behind the tapes to find the lead early and was never troubled in the run, holding off the race favourite Smolda in second and Mossdale Connor in third at the finish. Manning, last year’s HRV Gordon Rothacker Medal recipient, was the first person ever to win 300 races in a single season in Australia or NZ and the first woman to drive a winner in both the Southern and Northern Hemispheres. She has driven 3529 winners and today’s was her 41st Group 1 victory.  Harness Racing Victoria

Meg and Merv Butterworth have spent a fortune buying and racing horses in New Zealand and today they got a wee bit back when their outstanding stayer Arden Rooney won the holy grail of harness racing in New Zealand, the $765,000 New Zealand Cup. Away well from barrier eight to an early lead that he never relinquished, Arden Rooney with Kerryn Manning in the bike set a very moderate tempo for the first 2000 metres before the attacks started to come. First Sky Major appeared and he was quickly followed by Smolda who sat on Arden Rooney's wheel from the 900 metres.   Kerryn Manning upped the ante down the back with a 26.9 quarter with had most gasping by the corner.   Arden Rooney turned for home in front with the only danger being Smolda and these two settled down to fight it out.   Smolda got close but couldn't reel Arden Rooney in and Cup was off to Australia.   The other highlight of the Cup this year was Kerryn Manning becoming the first female driver to salute the judge in New Zealand's premier harness race.   Following closely in the footsteps of Michele Payne's stunning win in the Melbourne Cup last week, Kerryn's win was another milestone for women in racing.   Kerryn was quite emotional post-race.   "This is the greatest thrill in my career."   "I have won Group 1 races before but nothing like this."   "Being wider on the track helped him get away today and once in front nothing came around to challenge us for a long way."   "He did pull a bit but he can do that at times."   "I wasn't sure I was going to hold on until the last wee bit," Kerryn said.   Merv and Meg Butterworth were full of praise for Kerryn and her partner Grant for getting Arden Rooney to the track in such great condition.   "They have done a super job and Meg and I are so pleased for them."   "We sat down twelve months ago and mapped out a program for him and it is so rewarding to see that plan come to fruition."   "The New Zealand Cup might not be as big as the Melbourne Cup to everyone else but it is to us - it is." "I can't tell how you thrilled Meg and I are to be part of the harness racing scene in New Zealand, Merv said.   One of the nicest things to happen to the media at Addington today was Merv, Meg and Kerryn took time out straight after the Cup to come to the Media room and answer the countless questions we threw at them.   It was much appreciated and something they should be applauded for.     Harnesslink Media

Trots trailblazer Kerryn Manning will be out to win the race that stops the nation in New Zealand – the NZ Trotting Cup – a week after jockey Michelle Payne became the first Australian woman to win a Melbourne Cup in the gallops. Manning will climb in the cart behind star pacer Arden Rooney in the $750,000, Group 1 New Zealand Trotting Cup next Tuesday at Addington Raceway, the race a chance for the 39-year-old to notch another milestone and become the first woman to win it. She already lays claim to being the first person to win 300 races in a single season in Australia or NZ, the first woman to drive a winner in both the Southern and Northern Hemispheres after guiding champion trotter Knight Pistol to victory in Norway in 1997, and last year she was awarded the prestigious Harness Racing Victoria Gordon Rothacker Medal – becoming just the second woman to claim the honour. Manning, based at Great Western, is thrilled to see so many women in the trots today, the code leading the way for equality in Australasian racing. “The number of girls in the sport now has tripled at least since I started,” she said. “There are a lot of girls coming through the ranks … I suppose it’s easier (in the trots) for girls than the gallops.”  Asked what she thought of Payne’s post-Cup comments about “… everyone else, get stuffed, because women can do anything and we can beat the world”, Manning beamed: “Good on her!” “Horses sometimes run for girls (better). It’s funny how it works, and sometimes it doesn’t make sense … but some horses just go so much better for some people. “We’ve got a lot of girls coming through now and they’re doing really well.” The leading 20 jockeys in metropolitan Victorian gallops are all men, but in the trots it is vastly different with women accounting for three of the top 10 metro driving placings – 25-year-old Amanda Turnbull third overall, with Kate Gath (32 years old) and Manning also on the list. In the junior ranks it is a similar story, three of the top Victorian 10 concession drivers being young women – Emma Hamblin, Donna Castles and Lisa Bartley. The Victorian trainers’ premiership also features plenty of women, with Turnbull third overall, while Emma Stewart is seventh and Manning eighth. On the Victorian trots’ metropolitan trainers’ top 10 table Nicole Molander’s name also features alongside Stewart and Turnbull. In fact, last season Stewart trained an incredible 48 metro winners – more than anyone in the last decade. And five women – Stewart (first), Molander (fifth), Belinda McCarthy (sixth), Turnbull (ninth) and Manning (10th) – finished inside the top 10 list for metro trainers. In New South Wales the top two metropolitan trainers this season are KerryAnn Turner and McCarthy, while 22-year-old Lauren Panella – who has been injured for the bulk of this season – won last year’s state drivers’ premiership by panels with 167 victories. Queensland sees Vicki Rasmussen the leading metro trainer and Chantal Turpin second in the state race, while in South Australia Danielle Hill is absolutely dominating the state premiership with 33 wins, 20 clear of the runner-up. TAB.com.au has Arden Rooney a $6 third favourite for the NZ Cup on Tuesday, the reigning Hunter Cup champion drawn alongside a horse called Messini, which will be driven by another Australian woman who now resides in NZ, 38-year-old Natalie Rasmussen.   CODY WINNELL

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