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Kerryn Manning's long-awaited return to Victorian harness racing headquarters was a successful one last weekend, but it wasn't necessarily the triumphs on the racetrack that gave her the biggest thrill. Manning drove a winner and trained another at Tabcorp Park Melton and treated herself to a long-awaited feast of Maccas on the way home to Great Western. "My most exciting part was getting McDonald's on the way home because I hadn't had it for a couple of months," Manning said. "It was good. I was very hungry by then. I was definitely thinking about it half-way through the night when I was starving." With the state's racing regions partially opening, Manning will be back at Melton this evening with exciting duo The Bull Pen and Rupert Of Lincoln. And as far as racing tendencies go, the pair couldn't be any more different. A recent stable acquisition, The Bull Pen has been pulling hard and over-working in his races while Rupert Of Lincoln is described as a "lazy" customer by his trainer. A former New Zealander, The Bull Pen broke through for his first Australian win at Stawell on May 28 and now sets his sights on the Allied Express Pace (1720m, NR 62-69) at Melton. Manning said she had switched to an open bridle for the son of Tintin In America and hoped that would help him remain calm during the early and middle stages of the race. "Hopefully he'll settle a little bit better and relax in the run a little bit," she said. "He worked good in it but he's good at home so it's hard to tell." Manning said she was unsure if the gelding had the speed to cross the field from barrier six. "He feels quite good and he was still a little bit fat that second run (May 28) so hopefully he has tightened up a little bit more and got a bit fitter," she said. "It's a little bit stronger field (than Stawell) and he's drawn slightly awkward again. I'm not sure what the plan will be at the start - it depends on him a little bit. "He does run on good from behind here at home, so if he did settle back he would still run on well I'd think." Owned by the Butterworth family, The Bull Pen had 37 starts in New Zealand before being sent to Manning's stables following his last race at Alexandra Park in August last year. Stablemate Rupert Of Lincoln was a country cups campaigner last preparation and returned from a spell in winning fashion at Terang on May 24. "He's the opposite of the other one. He's very relaxed and you've got to make Rupert do everything," Manning said. She said it's likely the son of Lincoln Royal would be sent forward from barrier five in Friday's TAB Long May We Play Pace (2240m, NR 79-89). "He's drawn a little bit awkward, but he will probably roll forward and see what happens," she said. "He's always been better up the front of the field because he is a bit of a grinder. He's got a lot of stamina and he tries really hard, so he's got good qualities about him." Friday's seven-race card at Tabcorp Park Melton will kick off at 5.22pm, with the last scheduled to go at 8.30pm. TALKING TROTS ON SENTRACK: Hosts Jason Bonnington and Blake Redden have another big line-up for today's Talking Trots on SENTrack, which runs weekdays from 11am-1pm on 1377AM in Melbourne, 657AM in Perth and 1575AM in Wollongong. The show includes the Friday Good Form panel from noon. Then from 6-10pm it's time to tune back in for Friday Night Trackside featuring Sam Hargreaves and Tim O'Connor. The duo stream on SENTrack (1377AM) for the entire show and SEN1116 (1116AM) from 8-10pm. Click here to listen live and for links to download the SEN app.   The good oil from the Vic trials circuit Tabcorp Park Melton, R2 N7, Struve Began quickly to find the lead and rolled along at a reasonable tempo before sprinting home quickly in the final stages. He dashed home in a sizzling final quarter of 26.9 seconds and scored by a large margin. REPORT Tabcorp Park Melton, R7 N4, Egee Money Settled last of the three runners before moving away from the inside at the 300m. She finished off well to get up and defeat the early leader FORGOT TO REMEMBER. REPORT     HRV - Tim O'Connor

Astute Victorian horsewoman Kerryn Manning has put the polish on a number of former NSW harness racing horses over the years-and there are signs she might be shaping up to do it again. "I've built up a great relationship with Ashlee Grives, of Bathurst, and she recently sent another one down to us to give it a try," Manning, of Great Western, said. "He's a nice little fella and if he can get a bit tougher, you just never know how far he might go," she said. And there are certainly some positive signs with brown gelding Romero (Million Dollar Cam-Athletic River (River Khan), who, before being sent to Victoria, had won four for the Grives team. Stepping out on two occasions this month for Manning, Romero has the perfect result of two impressive wins. The four-year-old scored at Stawell on April 1 and then repeated the dose last Monday afternoon in virtually identical fashion by zipping to the head of affairs and leading all the way. "He pulled quite hard in his first win for us, but surprisingly ran a faster mile rate with 1.58-7. He didn't come with a lot of points, so we were getting balloted out. In the end we were forced to run him out of his class," Manning said. "He's a funny horse to drive. He runs with his head down but gets over the ground okay. A great thing about the horse is that he's kept improving. "The most recent Stawell meeting was a great day for us because (husband) Grant also drove a winner in Glenavril King, which he trains. It's not far to travel, just a bit up the way so under the new zoning conditions we can compete at Stawell and Terang." Manning said in the past she had taken on a few horses from Ashlee, who she become friends with years ago. "Probably a standout was Ameretto which was a lovely mare. We won several nice races in Melbourne with her. One was a Group One feature in the Queen of the Pacific, the first that she had ever won, but thoroughly deserved," she said. Ameretto (Million Dollar Cam-Eyes of Courage (Courage Under Fire) had won 17 races before being sent south to Manning in search of more suitable handicapping conditions. Her record shows she won 27 races and had 20 placings for $565,000 during a career full of highlights. Under the care of Manning, the mare won 10 races-six of these in a row. Her biggest scalp was the $100,000 G1 Queen of the Pacific in May, 2018, but victory in the $60,000 G2 Alabar Breeders Crown Graduate FFA in August, 2017, was also memorable. Ameretto returned home last year, but tragically died on the comeback trail after a suspensory injury. She contracted severe colic and failed to recover after two major surgeries. However, thanks to embryo transfer technology the mare's line continues with a Warrawee Needy filly foal born to a surrogate mare.   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

When Kerryn Manning heard the word euthanasia, her heart sank. She had resigned herself to the likelihood Motu Meteor would never race again but was entirely unprepared for the shock veterinary recommendation. Meteor’s legs had shown signs of wear and tear in the preceding months, a strong hint that his days competing at a high level may be numbered. But the little horse loved his job and always gave 110 per cent on the track, an elite equine athlete in the truest sense. His doting trainer simply refused to accept that the end of his racing career should also mean the end of his life. “Meteor was a favourite of everyone at the stables and a really genuine trier at the races,” Kerryn reflected. “So laid back, never a problem to deal with and also quite a handsome man. He just had to have the chance to find his forever home.” Vets determined that on the balance of probabilities, Meteor had strained a ligament from his medial suspensory branch into his foot. The injury could only be definitively diagnosed with an expensive MRI scan and had a poor outcome for a racing. Given his medical history, leading owner Merv Butterworth chose not to proceed with the test, accepting that the curtain had come down on the six-year-old’s 40-start career, which reaped 14 wins and $252,295 in stake earnings. “When Merv told me Meteor was going to be put down, I jumped straight on the phone to the vet,” Kerryn said. “I hoped with appropriate rehab he could be saved as a paddock companion or for light riding duties and he said there was no reason why that couldn’t happen. “Once I explained this to Merv, he was all for giving the horse the opportunity – he is a big owner who runs his harness racing interests as a business, but very kind-hearted and always wanting to do what he can for his horses." Meteor’s racing owners, in fact, took their commitment a step further, agreeing to pay for the gelding’s upkeep during the crucial early months of his recuperation. Once he completed his box confinement and the injury had healed to a stage where Meteor could be turned out into a larger area, Kerryn assumed ownership and responsibility. He is currently resting comfortably in her retirement paddock at Great Western, having come through his rehabilitation with flying colours and now been cleared for rehoming. Kerryn will be supported in the next stage of “Project Meteor” by Harness Racing Victoria HERO Program Manager Tanya McDermott. “I’ve worked with Kerryn to rehome horses from her stable for more than a decade, so when the call came through of course I was going to do all I could to help,” Tanya said, qualifying that while the horse fell outside the HERO Program’s re-education and training framework, she had made a personal promise to assist. “Both Kerryn and Merv are animal lovers who have demonstrated a passion for life after racing over many years – we previously rehomed Meteor’s older brother Motu Crusader via the HERO Program on their behalf. “It’s been a privilege to follow their shared dedication to nursing Meteor back to health - he is trotting comfortably around the paddock, the leg is looking good and we have every reason to believe he will go on to enjoy a long, happy and rewarding life. “He’s a really pretty horse (a son of super sire Bettors Delight) and not big, so he might be suitable for someone who would like a standardbred to show in hand. “His temperament would also make him ideally suited to an equine therapy role or liberty training. Our main priority will be finding him a long-term home where he will have nothing but the very best care. “He loves being around people so someone with the facilities to keep him close by and time to spend with him will be very important.”   HRV HERO

A huge sigh of relief tonight for industry champions Kerryn Manning and Grant Campbell, who were involved in a car accident on their way to the Terang trots. Near Lake Bolac, Manning said another driver allegedly drove their car directly through an intersection, resulting in the collision. The car Campbell was driving was extensively damaged, as was the float carrying three horses, but thankfully all humans and horses walked away unscathed, though the horses were scratched from their engagements at Terang. Manning took to Twitter: Happy to report we walked away with just a few sore spots, car and float not so lucky but horses were ok thank goodness. #incrediblelucky #dodgedabullettoday — Kerryn Manning (@KerrynManning) October 1, 2019 The images Manning tweeted serve as a reminder that our industry participants and staff are on the road every day and nothing’s more important than safety.   Cody Winnell HRV Trots Media

A popular square-gaiter double at Melton by Kerryn Manning had harness racing enthusiasts reliving memories of more than 20 years ago this week. The 42-year-old world champion horsewoman, based with her husband Grant Campbell in Victoria's Great Western region, was at her superb best in capturing a pair of Group Two scalps. Manning was successful with Aleppo Jewel (Angus Hall-Insulated (Safely Kept) in the IRT Australia Matriarch Trot for four and five-year-old trotting mares, and then with Dublin Chubb (Lawman-Pocket Fantasy (In The Pocket) in the Rewards Hospitality Tatlow Stakes for 2yo trotters. Aleppo Jewel is prepared by Manning, while her father, legendary horseman Peter, is the trainer of Dublin Chubb. Both races carried stakemoney of $30,000. Aleppo Jewel has been in great form since returning to the racetrack in March after six months off the scene, with three wins and four placings from 11 starts. Her dam Insulated won five from 23, with Kerryn Manning successful on three occasions as a driver when the mare was prepared by Andy Gath. Manning plans to target the coming rich Vicbred Super Series with Aleppo Jewel. Kerryn Manning aboard Aleppo Jewel winning the Group Two Matriach Trot (Courtesy Stuart McCormick) Meanwhile Dublin Chubb, who started at the luxury odds of 10/1, is going about his business in good style. The gelding has nice gate speed and Peter Manning has him trotting in faultless fashion, with his four wins from seven starts record that speaks for itself. It was way back in 1997 (that's not a misprint!) when a young and quietly spoken Manning took all before her with Knight Pistol (The Contender USA-Pacealong (Lopez Hanover), the trotting freak of his era. Knight Pistol shot Manning to international harness racing stardom in what was then a headline-making trip to Europe. The venture culminated in arguably Manning's greatest win when she became only the second female to drive a Group One winner in Europe, at Norway. Knight Pistol began his career in the early 1990s, winning the hearts of harness racing fans with sensational home-country victories before being tested in Europe. He wound up with 55 wins and 39 placings from 181 starts for over $600,000 in stakes. Manning left school after Year 10 to work on her father's property and drove her first winner at aged 16. At that same time, she had instant success in her own right, with the first horse she trained Allbenz (bought for $500) going on to win 24 races. In addition to her success, Manning has been a great ambassador for her sport, both on and off the track and she was earlier this year recognised by being the first woman inducted as a Caduceus Club of Victoria Living Legend. The club, named after a horse that was a superstar of the 1950s and 60s, established the awards to acknowledge those in the sport who contributed at the highest levels. Peter was inducted as a Living Legend in 2006 and the pair became the first father-and-daughter to be admitted to the club. Kerryn Manning said at the awards night that harness racing was something she always loved doing and was lucky enough to be "pretty good at it". Her performance record speaks volume of her distinguished career - more than 3800 winners in the sulky and a training career amassing over 920 victories.   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Victoria’s premier female drivers appear to hold the keys to this Saturday night’s $60,000 Mildura Pacing Cup Final after dominating last night’s heats.   The Mildura Pacing Cup is the only event on Victoria’s country cups circuit to be run in a carnival format, with Tuesday night’s heats over 2600 metres, followed by a Saturday night final over the same distance.   Great Western pacer Reciprocity (Panspacificflight-Weka Lass (Badlands Hanover), driven by Kerryn Manning for her father Peter, scored an emphatic win in the first heat, over Perspective and South Australian Bulletproof Boy.   In the second, Shepparton pacer San Carlo (Mach Three-Bridge Player (Classic Garry), for driver Bec Bartley, ground out a narrow death-seat victory over leader Brallos Pass, driven by Ellen Tormey, with the pair 28 metres clear of their nearest rival, Emain Macha.   Barring accident or incident, Saturday night’s final is effectively at the mercy of the three accomplished reinswomen – and it’s shaping as an intriguing battle.   Reciprocity’s victory was comprehensive – and dispelled any doubts astute mentor Peter Manning had about the mare’s ability to handle the 805-metre Mildura circuit.   The five-year-old sat back in the early stages from her barrier eight draw. She was then sent three wide by Kerryn at the bell, then careered around the final turn at Mildura four and five wide, with all the confidence in the world, posting 2:00.4 for the journey.   “That was going to be the test – whether she would handle the track or not. We’ve found she does,so that’s all we needed to know,” Manning said.   With only five days between heats and finals, and with another night of racing on Thursday night, trainers often relocate to the remote Sunraysia region for the week, but Kerryn Manning said   Reciprocity would be home in her paddock by the early hours of Wednesday morning.   “She travelled up really well on her own, and we thought it’d be best to get her home again,” Manning said.   “She did an awesome job for us tonight, everything we wanted, so we’ll just hope for one better on Saturday.” Kerryn Manning and her father Peter with Reciprocity, winner of the first heat Reciprocity is owned by Henry Campbell and came to the Manning stable from the Tamworth region. Since arriving late last year, she’s chalked up seven wins, including an MO and the Group 3 VHRSC Metro Pace Final, in Victoria. But the Group 2 Mildura Pacing Cup would be her biggest win. “I’d trained a couple of horses for a fellow up at Tamworth and he was the one who recommended to Henry that he send the horse down,” Peter Manning said. “We’re pretty glad he did. She has improved in leaps and bounds, particularly in the past couple of months. “She used to hop along a bit and we’ve done some work on her feet and let her hopples out and she’s just thrived on the sandy track at our place. “She’s a very smart horse.” In the second heat, Shepparton pair Brallos Pass (trained by Mark Watson) and San Carlo (trained by Stephen O’Donoghue) always looked the key chances on paper, and that proved to be the case, with only a head margin separating the pair at the post. Brallos Pass was sent forward by Ellen Tormey from his extreme outside (barrier six) draw, and early leader Lucky Lombo (Zac Phillips) was content to hand up. As Tormey crossed to the lead, Bartley, who had come from barrier eight, made a forward move to “death seat” outside Brallos Pass. With a lap to go, San Carlo strode up alongside Brallos Pass, and the two went to war down the back straight. "I wanted to be alongside Ellen as we got around the final corner, because I thought if she pinched a break on me, I might not be able to get it back – but I thought San Carlo would be tough enough if we were on terms,” Bartley said. She was right – but only just. San Carlo raised a final effort on the line to score narrowly from a gallant Brallos Pass.   An elated Bec Bartley after Heat Two of the Mildura Pacing Cup   Bartley and San Carlo are spending the Cup week in Mildura, with Bartley super-keen to go one better this year, after finishing runner up last year to Im the Boss (with Shakahari).   “San Carlo has pulled up really well after the race, and he’s settled in nicely where we are staying,” Bartley said.   “He’ll have a day off tomorrow and then he’ll just have a jog leading up to the final. I’ve got no doubt he’ll handle the two close runs.   “We don’t have too many problems with him these days. He’s such a seasoned horse now. He eats everything you put in front of him and come Saturday I think he’ll be jumping out of his skin.”   The full list of 11 qualifiers includes one local horse, Brocks Territory trained by Luke Watson. Other qualifiers are Assassinator, Lucky Lombo, Bulletproof Boy, Ideal World, Perspective, Brallos Pass, Resurgent Spirit, Emain Macha, Reciprocity and San Carlo.   San Carlo looks likely to draw the extreme outside of the back row for Saturday night’s final, with Reciprocity right next door on his inside. Brallos Pass may face a tricky assignment, with an inside back row barrier draw if all qualifiers accept.     Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

THE two biggest names in Aussie pacing are close to comeback races. This season’s open-class ranks were cruelled when firstly Soho Tribeca and then Chicago Bull were sidelined with serious injuries. But the pair are at the same stage of comeback preparations and only three to four weeks away from the racetrack. “All is going well at this stage. He’s about a month away, so the Len Smith is a big chance. We’d love to get there,” Soho Tribeca’s trainer-driver Stanley said. Hall Sr said: “Chicago Bull sounds like he’s at about the same stage as Soho Tribeca. He’ll be ready for a trial in three weeks or so.” There is talk about a possible Gloucester Park match race, but Stanley said his sole target for now was the Group 1 Len Smith Mile on June 30. That said, owner Rob Watson is a big picture man and will ultimately call the shots on where Soho Tribeca heads. “There’s a lot to consider and get through, but it would be amazing for the sport if a match-race happened,” Watson said. “I’d love to see and would certainly throw some money behind it.” _____________________________________________________________________________ EXCITING former Kiwi trotter McLovin capped his preparation for a return “home” with an easy Melton win last night. The Andy and Kate Gath-trained six-year-old will now head to Auckland for the Anzac and Rowe Cups. McLovin worked to the front, dictated terms and won the $24,000 Group 3 Sundons Gift Trotters’ free-for-all (2240m). He’s won six of seven starts since being bought by Norm Jenkin and joining the Gaths. _____________________________________________________________________________ FORMER young Kiwi star Ana Malak is seeing plenty of Australia. The four-year-old made a huge splash, including winning the Group 1 Golden Nugget, in his first Aussie campaign in WA for trainers Greg and Skye Bond. Worried by his handicap status in WA, the Bonds negotiated with Victorian trainer Dean Braun to take Ana Malak for a stint in Victoria. Braun has set his sights on more travel, this time to Tasmania for the $75,000 Easter Cup at Launceston on April 20. As soon as word got out Ana Malak was being set for the race, he was installed a $3 favourite. It promises to be a strong race with other mainlanders like Kerryn Manning’s exciting four-year-old Duke Of Wellington and recent Charlton Cup winner Cant Refuse are others being set for a Tassie raid. Ana Malak won four of six NZ starts before being unbeaten in three runs for the Bonds. The son of Bettors Delight hasn’t raced since winning the Nugget at Gloucester Park on December 14. _____________________________________________________________________________ COULD exciting juvenile colt Pandering be a “sneaky” for the Harness Jewels? The son of Courage Under Fire won on debut for Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin by 35.5m at Ballarat last Friday and is raced by Justin Baker, the managing owner of brilliant three-year-old trotter Alpha Male. Stewart is on record as saying if, as expected, Alpha Male heads to the Jewels she would like to take one or two juvenile pacers with the trotter to Addington. Stewart also has Victoria’s best juvenile so far this season, Be Happy Mach. Another Ballarat winner going places after a sparkling win last Friday is Andy and Kate Gath’s three-year-old trotter Majestuoso. It’s clear he’s in the top few trotters of his age in Australia after posting his fourth win of the season and scoring by 20.3m. _____________________________________________________________________________ ELLMERS Image showed he has the potential to take the next step with a gritty win in blazing time at Menangle last night. Trainer-driver Amanda Turnbull gave him a crack at the Melbourne Inter Dominion last year, but he just battled through the heats before brilliantly winning the consolation. Ellmers Image also ran a strong second to the classy Our Uncle Sam in the Group 1 Bohemia Crystal on Miracle Mile night. Last night he made a midrace move to sit parked outside the speedy Majordan, who did work hard in a 26.1sec opening quarter from a wide draw. The pair hit the line together with the photo showing a nostril margin to Ellmers Image in a 1min49.6sec mile. Former Kiwi pacer Cash N Flow was third. The win was Ellmers Image’s 14th from 52 starts and edged him close to $170,000 in earnings. Another winner of note at Menangle was former Great Southern Star winner Glenferrie Typhoon, who won his first race since being bought from Western Australia. Glenferrie Typhoon reached the top for Andy and Kate Gath before connections took him to WA for a stint. Now a nine-year-old with trainer Roy Roots Jr, Glenferrie Typhoon posted his 32nd win in a 1min59sec mile rate for 2300m. It was his first win since last October.   by Adam Hamilton

It may have taken a few runs for Scoob Operator to hit his straps since crossing the Tasman but – thanks to a bit of hard work – the Kerryn Manning-trained gelding is starting to make up for lost time. Manning, who will pilot the ex-Kiwi in the TAB Multiplier Pace at Tabcorp Melton Park on Saturday night, said the five-year-old had to overcome a few issues during the early stages of his Aussie career. “He wanted to hang and not find the line a little bit,” Manning said. “I said to Merv (Butterworth, owner with wife Meg), ‘I don’t know how we are going to go here because he doesn’t really want to try at the end’ but I have just been working him a little bit harder and he is starting to look really fit.” The five-year-old has won his past two starts, with Manning saying the most recent triumph at Stawell was his best Australian run so far. “He did a little bit of work but ended up getting a bit of cover and having not a bad run, but when I pulled out I wasn’t really expecting him to run past Jilliby Madonna as she has been going really good,” she said. “He showed a bit of toe; I was really happy with the run.” While a less than ideal draw will make things difficult on Saturday night, Manning says she expects Scoob Operative to make his presence felt in time should be draw a good alley in town. Manning also hopes Our Bare Knuckle will be in the mix for her first metropolitan win in the Beraldo Coffee Pace over 1720m. She said the mare – narrowly beaten at her last two starts, the last in a 1:54.2 mile rate over 1690m at Maryborough – had been “certainly knocking on the door”. “She has stripped a lot fitter (but drawing) four is slightly awkward; she has got nice gate speed but she’s not brilliant, so over the short we are probably going to have to work forward and hope to not do too much to get a posse,” Manning said. “It is a nice even field so she’s in with a bit of a chance if the luck goes her way.”   Shaun Campbell for Trots Media

Exciting Duke Of Wellington won tonight’s 30th renewal of the City of Melton Plate at Tabcorp Park and secured Great Western trainer-driver Kerryn Manning her second Plate success. Fifteen years had passed since Manning’s first Plate win, aboard Run Albert Run in 2004, and she declared tonight’s triumph “a big thrill” before adding she felt her four-year-old son of American Ideal was destined for big things. See bottom of article for Manning's list of $50k+ feature race wins “It’s a very nice honour roll (for the Melton Plate) and to join it is a big thrill. I think this horse can be the same as them (top-line past winners), he’s certainly got the talent but he’s still got a bit of learning to do,” she said. Perusing the honour roll of Plate champions reveals names such as Hectorjayjay, Make Mine Cullen, Melpark Major, Shakamaker, Sokyola and Tailamade Lombo just to name a few. Punters put their faith in the Duke and Manning, sending the pair out as a commanding $1.4 favourite. They rolled forward out of the gate, but War Dan ($10.70) and James Rattray found the pegs first and wouldn’t relent to the favourite. “I always thought War Dan may try to hold the front,” Manning said. “I was prepared for that.” The ensuing fight was enthralling, with first and second splits of 29.9 and 29.5 followed by a 28 third sectional and a 28.9 run home. War Dan wouldn’t lie down, but Duke Of Wellington was too classy – despite covering more ground – and held a 1.5m buffer at the wire to record a 1:54.6 mile rate. “He got a bit wobbly at the start … he over-raced quite a bit during the first lap, too. Eventually he settled at the 1200m and I was just hoping too much damage wasn’t done by then,” Manning said. Rishi ran third, with Jilliby Chevy and Somebeachshadow rounding out the top five Plate finishers. Duke Of Wellington is raced by Merv and Meg Butterworth. He has had five runs for three wins with Manning since moving to Australia after a successful New Zealand three-year-old campaign. “He’s had a little time between runs this time in, so he’s still on the way up I think,” Manning said. “His fitness is pretty good. That’ll top him off nicely.” Meanwhile, trainer Stephen Telfer combined with local reinsman John Caldow to win the Allied Express Jodi’s Babe with five-year-old Art Major mare Our Step Up, who led throughout from gate two in 1:54.0 over 1720m. Our Step Up finished 1.5m clear of Reciprocity, who was charging home for Manning in second place, with Share The Road third and Juice Brogdon fourth.  Race favourite Berisari failed to beat a runner home. Highly rated Andy Gath-trained trotter McLovin won the 2Contstruct Scotch Notch Memorial over 2240m in 2:01.0 with Kate Gath in the gig. The last-start Charlton Cup winner made it back-to-back successes by finishing 4.7m clear of stablemate Kingdom Come, with polemarker Jerichos Trumpet third and consistent Savannah Jay Jay fourth. Michael Stanley trained and drove Watch List to win the Group 3 VHRSC Victoria Sires Classic in 1:55.7 over 2240m, the $5.9 second-favourite out-sprinting the $2.1 punters’ elect Crime Writer by 2.1m. Stanley sent Watch List to the front from barrier three early before handing up and using the sprint lane late. Titan Bromac finished third, 3m from the winner, with Perfect Major fourth. Driver Kima Frenning combined with trainer David Aiken to win the night’s sprint feature, the 1200m Quest for Success Stampede, with four-year-old Mach Three gelding Higherthananeagle. Predicted fireworks didn’t eventuate as Frenning found the lead easily from gate two before thoroughly dictating terms in a gross time of 1:22.2 to jog home by 8.7m over Benicio and Vinny Chase, who both followed the peg line, with Vee Rock fourth. If the sparks had flown horses in this race might have broken 80seconds. Check out the full results from tonight’s Tabcorp Park Melton meeting   Kerryn Manning’s $50,000+ Feature Race Wins  1997 Australasian Trotting Championship Final $125k – Knight Pistol  1999 El Dorado Final (3YO C&G) $150k – Sky Strike  2000 Vicbred Super Series (4YO Mares) Final $100k – Jilliby Magic 2000 Chariots of Fire $200k – Lombo Rapida 2000 Vicbred Super Series (3YO Fillies) Final $100k – Jilliby Melody 2001 Vicbred Super Series (4YO Trotters) Final $50k – La Coocaracha  2001 Bill Collins Trotters Mile $50k – La Coocaracha  2001 Australian Trotting Grand Prix $100k – La Coocaracha 2002 SA Trotters Cup $50k – La Coocaracha 2002 Australasian Trotters Championship $100k – La Coocaracha  2002 Rowe Memorial Cup, NZ $100k – La Coocaracha 2002 Legends Mile $50k – Hearts Legend 2003 Australian Pacing Gold Final (2YO C&G) $288k – Kathryn Dancer 2003 Vicbred Super Series (2YO C&G) Final $100k – Blatant Lie  2003 Australian Pacing Gold 3YO C&G $100k – Blatant Lie 2003 Australian Pacing Gold 3YO Fillies $100k – Yada Yada Yada 2004 Australian Pacing Gold 2YO C&G Final $300k – Emmas Only 2004 Vicbred Super Series 3YO Trotters Final $50k – Broke As Usual  2004 Vicbred Super Series (2YO Fillies) Final $100k – Kinda Arty Lombo 2004 Breeders Crown (2YO C&G) Final $190k – Emmas Only 2004 Kilmore Cup $100k – True Cam 2004 Bill Collins Trotters Mile $50k – Sammy Do Good  2005 Victoria Derby $150k – Emmas Only 2005 Vicbred Super Series (4YO E&G) Final $100k – Blatant Lie 2005 Vicbred Super Series 3YO Trotters Final $50k – Tennotrump  2005 Vicbred Super Series 2YO Trotters Final $50k – Split Image 2007 Vicbred Super Series 3YO Trotters Final $50k – Donttellmehetrots 2007 George Johnson $50k – No More Trouble  2008 Tatlow Stakes 2YO Fillies Final $50k – Ananz 2008 Victoria Trotters Oaks $50k – Mystic Hush 2008 NSW Sires Stakes 2YO Fillies Final $100k – Ananz 2010 Australian Pacing Gold 2YO Fillies Final $300k – Leilani Lombo 2010 Vicbred Super Series (3YO Trotters) Final $50k – Mister Castleton 2015 A.G. Hunter Cup $400k – Arden Rooney  2015 Mildura Pacing Cup $50k – Arden Rooney 2015 New Zealand Trotting Cup $765k – Arden Rooney  2017 Vicbred Platinum Home Grown Classic Final $50k – Imprincessgemma 2017 Breeders Crown Graduate Free for All $60k – Ameretto 2017 Norm’s Daughter $50k – Ameretto 2018 Ladyship Cup $100k – Our Golden Goddess 2018 Queen of the Pacific $100k – Ameretto 2019 City of Melton Plate $50k – Duke Of Wellington     Cody Winnell for Trots Media

Kerryn Manning (pictured) can't help but have a little giggle when she talks about her stable star Duke Of Wellington. In her words, the son of American Ideal is a "big dopey thing". Despite his quirks, the lightly raced four-year-old has undeniable class and looks destined to become a regular performer at the top level. "I'm not sure how much talent he's got, but he shows quite a bit at this stage so hopefully he can keep building on that," the Great Western trainer said. "He's very large, very heavy and very dopey. "He feels like you aren't going very fast, but you are. That's a good thing..." Bought by prominent owners Merv and Meg Butterworth after nine career starts, Duke Of Wellington then claimed the Group 2 Southern Supremacy Final at Ascot Park before heading to our shores. His four Australian runs have returned two placings – including an eye-catching third in the Group 1 TAB Multiplier 4YO Bonanza (1720m) – and wins at his last two starts. And the most recent demolition job in the DNR Logistics Pace Final (2240m) at Tabcorp Park Melton has him a warm favourite to make it three on the trot at the same venue this Saturday night. Manning will be in the sulky for Duke Of Wellington's crack at the Group 2 City of Melton Plate XXX (2240m). "Obviously it's a fairly solid and strong field, so he's going to have to be at his best to beat them, but he certainly has a bit of a draw advantage (barrier four) on some of the better ones in it," Manning said. Looking forward, Manning and the Butterworths have plans to take the horse to some feature races in Tasmania or back home in New Zealand. It won't be an ultra busy night for Manning at headquarters tomorrow, but it could still prove a memorable one. She will drive her father's horse Reciprocity in the Group 3 Allied Express Jodie's Babe (1720m). Manning will also be at the controls of Maree Campbell's Lucinda Mac, which looks a nice chance from the good draw in the Economix Vicbred Trot (1720m). And her night should finish on a high in the last race of the program, the Atherstone Pace Final (2240m). Manning's husband Grant Campbell will drive Yankee Lincoln, which is a red-hot favourite to win the C1 only event. Manning also prepares this son of American Ideal for the Butterworth family. Tim O'Connor

She may be the world's most winning reinswoman/jockey and be edging towards 4000 wins as a driver and 1000 winners as trainer.......but that's not all !   Harness racing Hall Of Famer and Cadeceus Club Living Legend Kerryn Manning spoke with Anthony Logan for a Q & A ahead of her participation in the Invitation Drivers Championship on Labour Day Monday - March 11 at Horsham.   Your greatest strength - never giving up   Your greatest weakness - afraid of spiders    A question you hate answering - any question I don’t know the answer to    Strangest food ever eaten - surrstromming (rotten fish in a can) when in Sweden     Your hero - my dad    If you could spend a day with a celebrity who would it be ? - Julia Morris, she’s funny    Is the glass half full, half empty or simply has water in it - half full    Your guilty pleasure food - banana, ice cream & nutella with mint corinthians crumbled over it    If you retired tomorrow what would you do ? - clean my house out   Crowds, small group or alone ? - small group   If you could bring a famous person back to life who would it be ? - Robin Williams    If you joined the circus which act or role would you have ? - the acrobat    Favourite music, genre, artist or songs - Ed Sheeron or Pink    Last time you ran or jogged - a long time ago   A bad habit - I’m always 10 mins late         Tony Logan

Written off and forgotten, will tonight’s greatest race on the Victorian calendar be the night the local resistance returns? The Del-Re National A. G. Hunter Cup has long been Victoria’s most coveted trophy but the local hopes have been cast into the background behind a marauding Tiger and New Zealand’s brilliant pacers. It’s an all-too familiar tale, with Kerryn Manning and Arden Rooney’s win in 2015 the only Victorian triumph in the past 11 stagings of the $500,000 long distance classic. Five Victorian-trained contestants will step out tonight, of which only Flaming Flutter has won an open-age Group 1, that being the SA Cup back in January 2016. The trainer perhaps most likely to break that sequence is Swedish born Kima Frenning, the reinswoman whose first training experience with Buster Brady has secured country cups and a Hunter Cup start from gate four. “It’s ridiculous,” Frenning said of their rapid rise. “He’s been really, really good. He’s just such a cool horse to be around and I’m really appreciative to have him as my first horse. “I think he’s right up to this task here. It’s just going to depend on how this race is run.” Frenning said the winner of four of his seven Victorian starts was “super quick” and would likely roll forward from the draw, “find a spot and then see what happens from there”. It may well be a similar game plan for San Carlo and, like Frenning, Shepparton trainer Stephen O’Donoghue was optimistic about how his contender was situated for tonight’s pacing grand final. “He’s better than what he was this time last year, there’s no doubt about that,” O’Donoghue said. “He’s a bigger horse, a more mature horse, this is the race I probably set him for. All the way through, this is the one. It means so much to me. The longer distance, he’s a stayer, that’s not going to worry him.” Gate six certainly “makes it a little bit harder” but “you never know, whether we go forward, whether we go back, it’s hard to gauge”. The scenario will likely be simpler for fellow Victorian Wrappers Delight, who’s normally in Frenning’s hands but tonight will be driven by Gavin Lang for trainer David Aiken. Drawn gate eight, Wrappers Delight looks set for a soft pegs run behind Our Uncle Sam and likely leader Tiger Tara and then it’s a matter of taking your opportunities when they present. Similarly, long shot Victorians Flaming Flutter and Cant Refuse, the last of the locals, will likely look for every short cut before attempting to launch for the money late in the race. Michael Howard For Trots Media

Kerryn Manning was tonight inducted into the Caduceus Club of Victoria’s Living Legends, the first female to be bestowed the harness racing honour. The most winning female reinswoman/jockey in the world, Manning was born into the sport and helped change its landscape, with her deep list of achievements celebrated at the MCG tonight as part of the Del-Re National A. G. Hunter Cup barrier draw. The 27th award inductee, Manning joins her father, Peter, who was inducted in 2006. “You work hard and get some results and that helps you each day to do what you love,” Manning said. “I’d just like to thank everybody who helps me. My husband, Grant, who’s a big part of Allbenz Park. He’s the backbone and without him I couldn’t do what I do. “All my staff, all my owners and all my family – my father who’s taught me everything that I needed to know early in life.” Manning left school after Year 10 to work on her father’s Great Western farm, driving her first winner on Gorgeous Gambit in Ararat at age 16 and then the following year won on her metropolitan debut steering Scotty Wiper. They were a sign of things to come, with Manning since amassing 3825 victories from 16,126 starts in the sulky, in addition to launching a training career from 2003-04 that has accounted for 922 wins from 3831 starts. There have been many peaks in her storied career which still, at age 42, has many heights to scale. Chief among them is her Scandinavian tour with Knight Pistol in 1996, when the 21-year-old reinswoman and 10-year-old pacing-bred trotter would overcome their torrid 56-hour trip to win the Norway Harley Davidson Trot, galvanising the pair instant celebrity status among Europe’s trotting-mad audience that would remain today. “I was pretty young and excitable,” Manning said. “I wasn’t expecting to win that day, I was just hoping to trot all the way and it was a bit of a dream come true. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. “You couldn’t get a tougher horse than he was, such a trier. He wanted to get out and do it.” International success came again in 2016 when she crossed the Tasman with 2015 A. G. Hunter Cup winner Arden Rooney, leading all the way to win the 2016 New Zealand Trotting Cup, the first women to achieve such a feat.   by Michael Howard for Trots Media  

Lazarus has a rival for the biggest Down Under name to tackle some of the world’s best over the next week. Record-breaking Aussie driver Kerryn Manning (pictured) celebrates the 21stanniversary of arguably her most amazing achievement when she heads back to Scandinavia this weekend. It was 1997 when Manning teamed with star Aussie trotter Knight Pistol to win the Harley Davidson Trot in Norway, becoming just the second female to drive a Group 1 winner in Europe. Manning made such an impact with the a win and during an extended stint driving Knight Pistol in Europe, she got a call “out of the blue” from Swedish officials with an all-expenses paid trip across to drive in the Ahsell Legends Invitational Drivers’ race at Solvalla in Stockholm on August 14. “It’s half a lifetime ago, literally, for me. I can’t believe they still remember,” Manning said. “Obviously they do. Fred Crews has just been across there for the Elitlopp with Maori Time and told me there were lots of people asking after me. It’s amazing really. “It was only three or four weeks ago I had a missed call from a Swedish number and I thought it might have been one of scam calls. I listened back to the message and it was the invite to come across for this race. “It’s a busy time with the Breeders Crown just around the corner here, but Grant (Campbell, Manning’s husband) talked me into it. He can’t come, so Mum (Barb Manning) is coming with me instead. “We leave Friday, have Saturday at the big race meeting in Gothenburg then the race I’m in is back in Stockholm (Solvalla) next Tuesday.” Manning was told the race has become an annual highlight for the Swedes since being launched in 2013. “Stig Johansson is the legend over there. He retired from driving to focus on training a few years back, but he makes a one-off comeback every year to drive in this race only,” she said. “My experience over there with Knight Pistol was incredible it will be great to get back over there, even if it’s just for a few days.” Closer to home, Manning said her pair of glamour mares – Ameretto and Our Golden Goddess – could both be Inter Dominion-bound. “Ameretto has proven herself at Grand Circuit level and she’ll definitely go to the Victoria Cup and Inter Dominion,” she said. “Ability-wise Our Golden Goddess is right there with Ameretto and she looks to have come back better than ever. The next few runs will shape what we do with her. She’s got the Breeders Crown mares’ free-for-all and then the Breeders Crown Open free-for-all as well. Ameretto won both last year.” Our Golden Goddess has looked fantastic winning both runs this campaign.   Adam Hamilton

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

Just a week ago the Ameretto team dared to talk Inter Dominions and now we know why. Beating “the girls” is one thing, but Ameretto took the next step by thrashing all-comers, including ageing champ Lennytheshark, in last night’s Golden Reign free-for-all at Melton. Yes the race was put on for here when Lennytheshark and stablemate Im The Boss blazed through a 41.5sec lead time, but Ameretto zoomed to the front on the home bend to win by 11.1m in a flying 1min54.6sec mile rate for 2240m. Just back on that lead time for a moment – it’s the fastest ever run at Melton and took 0.4sec off what The Gold Ace and Im Themightyquinn blazed in the 2012 Victoria Cup won by Caribbean Blaster. So Im The Boss and Lennytheshark still did well to finish second and third respectively. But this was Ameretto’s night and came just a week after she crunched Australia’s best mares in the Group 1 Queen of the Pacific at Melton. Despite the latest win, trainers Kerryn Manning and Grant Campbell reaffirmed plans to stay in Victoria rather than chasing next month’s Len Smith Mile at Menangle or Queensland winter riches. ____________________________________________________________________________________ Tim Butt opted to stick to Menangle rather than chase the slightly richer Newcastle Mile with his Miracle Mile winner My Field Marshal. While the emerging Majordan blew his rivals away at Newcastle last night, My Field Marshal cruised to a 1min52.4sec mile win against a moderate bunch at Menangle. It was just another step towards the Len Smith Mile then Queensland Winter Carnival. ____________________________________________________________________________________ La Grange, by Muscle Hill out of former Rowe Cup winner La Coocaracha, comfortably won the $30,000 NSW 3YO Trotters’ final at Menangle. She was the first leg of a feature Menangle double for trainer Anton Golino and driver Nathan Jack, who also combined to win the $30,000 2YO final with All Cashed Up (Ready Cash-Pepperell Magic). Speedy Victorian mare Red Hot Tooth won the 4&5YO Trot at Menangle for trainer Kari Males and driver Zac Phillips. ____________________________________________________________________________________ Glamour combo Emma Stewart and Chris Alford strutted their stuff in Tasmania last Friday. The main reason for the Launceston raid was the $40,000 Bandbox 3YO Fillies’ final which they won by a cricket pitch with Somebeachsomewhere filly Nostra Beach. Nostra Beach won her qualifier by 49.2m at Launceston on May 14 then worked to front and won the final by 16.4m in a 1min57.7sec mile rate for 2200m. She’s won eight of her 14 starts and almost $240,000, mainly via last season’s Australian Gold 2YO final triumph. Just for good measure, Alford and Stewart combined for another four wins on the night, making it five wins from their seven runners. One of their winners worth following is definitely Ride High, a son of Art Major, who has won his only three starts by a thumping aggregate of 69.3 metres. Insiders say the stable thinks Ride High has Group 1 potential. There was also plenty to like about Another Safari’s powerhouse 25m win in the fast-class race where he took more than two seconds off the 2200m standing-start track record. ____________________________________________________________________________________ Former Kiwi trotter Tornado Valley didn’t take to regain winning form. He won seven on end and was ranked by many as Australia’s best trotter before a 10m handicap and tough run saw him tire late for a gallant third in the Group 1 Australasian Trotting Championship at Melton last Saturday week. Six days later he again did all the work in a strong field and dug deep to win the Group 3 Jack Slack Trotters’ Memorial (2200m) at Ballarat. Tornado Valley just held-off Fabrication, who ended his winning streak six days earlier. The measure of the latest win was the fact Tornado Valley was three-wide for much of the trip in a sharp 1min59sec mile rate in cold conditions. ____________________________________________________________________________________ He is bred to be anything, his trainer “loves” him and the early signs are good. That’s the story of Bletchley Park so far, who is the baby brother of Bling It On and half-sister to Miracle Mile winner Baby Bling. The Mike Reed-trained son of American Ideal made it two wins from three starts when he used to lead throughout for a no-fuss Gloucester Park win last Friday night. Shannon Suvaljko dictated terms in front and out-zipped and equally exciting Bitcoin in a cosy 1min59.4sec mile rate for 2130m. ____________________________________________________________________________________ Still at Gloucester Park and it great to see popular trio Vultan Tin, driver Chris Voak and trainer Phil Costello jag another win. The gelding ran the race of his life when fourth to Lazarus in the Perth Inter Dominion last December. This was his fourth win since. Voak threw everything at Vultan Tin at the start and was able to hold the lead from hot favourite Bettors Fire and that changed the race. ____________________________________________________________________________________ Rumours of Jack Mac’s demise were greatly exaggerated. A sustained absence from the racetrack by last season’s Western Australian juvenile star sparked plenty of talk his career was over or even worse. Just last week Jack Mac’s connections posted on his own twitter handle: “I didn’t die of a snake bite (wtf lol), I haven’t been sold to the US, I didn’t get a positive swab and I haven’t broken down. #RumoursAreFun Will be back soon though.” Soon was last Friday night when the former Kiwi colt returned to racing with an arrogant all-the-way in the $50,000 Group 2 Pearl Classic at Gloucester Park. Trained by Barry Howlett and driven by Chris Lewis, Jack Mac dictated terms in front and really just sprinted home a last quarter in 27.7sec to win by 8.2m. It was his eighth win from as many starts since moving from NZ to WA. He was winless in five NZ starts. Jack Mac was spelled after winning WA’s major two-year-old race, the Golden Slipper, on July 1 last year. He returned to win by a big space at Pinjarra in January, but hadn’t been again until his Gloucester Park last Friday night.   Adam Hamilton

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