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Imperial Whiz scored the most impressive win at Monday's Warragul trots meeting, giving his rivals a start and a beating in track record time.   The four-year-old, prepared at Melton by Danny Mullan and driven by Chris Alford, came off a 60 metre handicap in the trotters event, and dashed around his rivals at the 600 metre mark to put the race quickly beyond doubt.   Racing away to win by over 15 metres, Imperial Whiz took a half second off the previous track record time. Iona trainer Michael Hughes produced Reign Maker to win the first race narrowly.   It had been a successful few days for Hughes, who recorded a winner at the Redwood Classic meeting at Maryborough the previous day, while also running second in the Classic race itself with young trotter Is That A Bid.   Reign Maker's win was the first of a driving double for reinsman Rod Petroff, who also drove Hypersonic Drive to win race four.   Ellmers Hoofing It and Live On Broadway both started almost unbackable favourites in their respective events on Monday, but did the right thing by punters in winning.   Husband and wife Greg Sugars and Jess Tubbs combined to win the two-year-old race with Illawong Mustang, while the curiously named three-year-old Arggghhh took on the older horses in the final event of the day, and won easily for Croydon trainer Ray Woods and driver Michael Bellman.   Monday's program was the final one in the current Victorian racing season for Warragul - the Gippsland club now goes into recess as far as race meetings are concerned with the next fixture not until Sunday, December 22.       Kyle Galley

Warragul Harness Racing Club committeeman Steve Austen had one of the happiest faces on course at Sunday's Warragul trots meeting.   His five-year-old pacer Rockntingira scored an upset win in the fifth race of the day, the pacers ninth victory from 40 starts.   Steve and his wife Karen prepare Rockntingira from their Labertouche property.   Driven by Rod Petroff, Rockntingira stormed home in the closing stages to grab a narrow victory over Raptover A Rainbow and Hes An Artist.   Rock On Playboy, trained a few kilometres away at Longwarry North by Geoff Walker, scored an easy win in the fourth event when driven by Greg Sugars.   Leading throughout as a well supported favourite, Rick On Playboy proved far too good for his rivals, the three-year-old breaking through for his first victory at start 14.   Completing a treble for horses trained in the immediate area was Drouin West horse Glenledi Boy, which looked extremely well graded in the other division of the three-year-old, and produced a winning result.   It was another Warragul winner for trainers Gary and Debbie Quinlan and driver Chris Alford.   Clyde trotter Mascott led throughout to provide Alford with a double. Trainer Jayne Davies hasn't prepared a great number of trotters over the years, but the ones that have passed through the stable have been of good quality, meaning Mascott should be one to follow in future.   The first four horses over the line in the trot are trained locally.   Stazzz Princess and Smart Little Shard were the day's other winners.   The current racing season at Warragul concludes on Monday, August 5.   Kyle Galley

Reinsman Chris Alford created his own piece of harness racing history on the weekend, driving the winner of the Traralgon Pacing Cup for the sixth time.   Alford eclipsed the previous record for winning drives in the event of five held by Ted Demmler, when Sahara Tiger won the feature race at Warragul on Sunday afternoon.   Sahara Tiger overcame the inside second row draw of the mobile to win Sunday's race, with Alford getting the horse off the inside and into clear running, before sweeping past the field at the 600 metre mark and going on to record an easy win.   A three-year-old taking on older horses, Sahara Tiger became the first horse of his age to win the Traralgon Pacing Cup since Kotare Knight in 1979.   Sahara Tiger is trained by Gary and Debbie Quinlan at Drouin West, giving the stable their third win in the race, having won with Pinball and Sharazar when the event was staged at Traralgon.   Co-feature race on Sunday was the $10,000 Ken Miller Memorial Pace, won by Diamond Cullen for trainer Jodi Quinlan and driver Craig Demmler.   Family and friends of the late Ken Miller at the presentation of the Ken Miller Memorial race on Sunday                                                                                                                      --Matt Walker Photography   A good crowd attended Sunday's meeting in fine conditions. Warragul Harness Racing Club has another Sunday meeting scheduled for July 14.     Kyle Galley

Star pacer San Carlo capped a top season of harness racing with an easy victory in Sunday's $35,000 Warragul Downtowner Pacing Bowl Cup. The Goulburn Valley trained eight-year-old, finalist in the Inter Dominion Pacing Championship and recent Mildura Cup winner, went straight to the front from barrier six in a small six horse field, and driver Rebecca Bartley controlled the race to suit from the front. Sprinting the last lap of the Pacing Bowl in 58.6 seconds, San Carlo held a margin of three metres at the finish from outsiders Tough Call and Motu Gatecrasher which filled the minor placings. Trainer Stephen O'Donoghue said after the race San Carlo will head to paddock for a well earned spell over Winter, and he is hopeful the geling still has one or two seasons of racing in him. From Only 48 starts, San Carlo has won 28 races and nearly $470,000 in prizemoney for his owners, the Eichorn family. Although the appearance of San Carlo dominated the Pacing Cup, the $14,5000 Eddie Evison Memorial Trotters Cup was a more open race for punters. A confident front running drive by reinsman Greg Leight with 14/1 shot Law Legend paid dividends, with the veteran six-year-old gelding running out a two metre winner. From 113 starts, Law Legend has won 13 races for trainer Greg Leight. Gippsland trainers Gary and Debbie Quinlan won two races on Sunday. Rocknroll Pearl will be aimed at feature events in New South Wales after an easy win in the final heat of the Vicbred Platinum Mares Sprint Championship. The four-year-old has qualified for the $40,000 Final at Melton this Saturday night. Three-year-old Sahara Tiger took on the older horses and won in the third race. Cranbourne's Jayne Davies also collected two wins on the card with Alliyahs Choice and Betterman Stride, while Iona horseman Michael Hughes produced the consistent trotter Express Yourself for another victory, in what was a good day for local trainers. Huli Nien was very well backed to win the Rob Lee Warragul Guineas for trainer Jess Tubbs and driver Greg Sugars. Although crowd numbers appeared to not increase on last year, the on-course TAB holdings were up, and there was an increase in the number of horses racing at the Cup meeting this year.   Kyle Galley

Record stakemoney will be just one of the highlights of the Warragul Downtowner Pacing Bowl Cup meeting which is approaching quickly.   The traditional Easter Sunday fixture, this year on April 21, will be headlined by record prizemoney for both pacing and trotting Cup races, and exciting trainer giveaways to increase interest in the event from horsepeople.   Warragul Sporting and Social Club have again thrown generous financial sponsorship behind Warragul's flagship harness race, and with additional statewide stakemoney increases previously announced by Harness Racing Victoria, this year's Cup will be staged for a record $35,000.   The time honoured Eddie Evison Memorial Warragul Trotters Cup will be run for $14,500, and is again sponsored by the Evison and Sherar families. Support races are also expected to draw strong entries.   In an effort to significantly increase industry participation in this year's event, three $500 cash giveaways are on offer for trainers who race on the day at Warragul.   Each trainer/training partnership which races on the day will receive one ticket into the lucky draw, regardless of how many starters they have, which means that all participants will have an equal chance of sharing in the cash, whether they win a race or not.   Local finance broker Rob Lee (Liberty Financial) is a harness racing enthusiast, and his company are generously backing Warragul Harness Racing Club with support of this trainer's incentive.   Winning Formula product will also be given away to trainers of all placegetters on the day, courtesy of Origin Powders and Liquids.   Warragul Harness Racing Club Operations Co-Ordinator, Des Hughes, said that his focus for the club's premier racing event is to foster the support of the industry people who put on the show day in, day out.   "We needed to get the focus back on the participants, particularly for the Cup meeting, and keep Warragul as an attractive racing alternative for locals and visitors," Hughes said.   "If you look after those who put on the show with good facilities, a few giveaways, that sort of thing, hopefully people go away with a positive impression of our club even if their horse doesn't win."   "The same applies for those who follow the sport...we need the die hard industry fans to come out and support us and make Warragul a go to destination on the Easter weekend, as this meeting is one of a number of great country events that every harness fan should have on their bucket list."   Warragul's close location to Melbourne with direct freeway and train access lends itself to a leisurely drive on a Sunday afternoon for a top day of racing.   Legendary harness form analyst Bill Glover will be trackside to run Warragul's Punters Club, and local officials are hoping Bill's reputation as an astute student of form will lead to record ticket sales.   The first class facilities at Warragul are available for dining package bookings, which are already selling well.   A bistro and barbecue will also be on offer during the day, along with the usual fare of lucky racegoer giveaways (including $2000 in holiday vouchers), pony trots and kids activities.   Punters are spoiled at Warragul with a giant indoor screen for race viewing, excellent tote facilities, and bookmaker Tom Hogan also represented, while all facilities are indoors, overlooking the track which is one of the best in Victoria for viewing harness racing.   So far this season horse numbers at Warragul are well up on last season, and club officials are quietly confident that trend will continue for their main event.     Kyle Galley  

Trafalgar trotter Sovereign Minx scored an impressive victory at the Warragul race meeting staged on Wednesday afternoon.   Sovereign Minx led throughout to win the Drouin Signs Trotters Handicap, where three of the six starters galloped during the race. The field was spread out over 180 metres as the winner crossed the finish line.   Despite half the field making mistakes, nothing should be taken away from the win of Sovereign Minx, a four-year-old mare scoring her second victory at start 20.   She trotted faultlessly throughout for driver Rod Petroff, and carved out solid sectional times throughout the 2210 metre event.   Sovereign Minx controlled the speed to suit in front, picking up the tempo at the 1200 metre mark, and running her rival ragged in the process. Trainer Chris Hunter said after the event the plan was to find the lead and not give it away in Wednesday's race, as his horse appreciates being allowed to roll along in front.   Sovereign Minx winning at Warragul last Wednesday  - Matt Walker Photography   Trotting followers will note that Sovereign Minx produced below 30 second sectionals for the last three quarters of a mile in Wednesday's race, a very good effort for a maiden trotter and one that will give Hunter every confidence that he can win further races.   The four-year-old is out of a former smart pacer the Hunter family raced, named Golden Teardrops, however Sovereign Minx now has the score on the board as a trotting, as opposed to her dam.   Hunter's son Glenn drove Mota Mate to win the fourth race of the day for Cranbourne horseman Hugh Cathels.   Fellow local four-year-old So Much Bettor scored his second win on end at Warragul when a narrow winner in the second race of the day.   Two drivers, Glen Craven (Hail Georgie) and Jack Laugher (Lady Flora) notched up their first career winning drives at Warragul during the day, while former Kiwi mare Sumthin Special scored her second win on end for trainer Rob O'Connell and driver Zac Phillips.   Premier horseman Gavin Lang collected the last two winners, My Kiwi Lady and My Cash, to extend his lead in the Warragul drivers' premiership.     Kyle Galley

Eight races will be staged at the first trots meeting at Warragul for 2019 on Wednesday afternoon.   It will be an early start for the card with the first race at 11:41am and the last event run by 4pm.   A Morning Melodies concert, staged for the first time by the Warragul Harness Racing Club, has attracted good bookings and will be staged before the racing begins. There are some smaller fields throughout the day but the meeting has attracted support from locals, and even trainers from the state's Western District will head across to compete.   Top horseman Gavin Lang got away to a flying start in the Warragul driver's premiership with five winners at the meeting on December 23, and has a strong hand again with four drives on Wednesday.   Lang is bringing some of his own horses to compete at the meeting, and will also drive the impressive last start Warragul winner Just Anything in the Trotters Handicap for local trainer Michael Hughes.   Veteran 11-year-old pacer Astronaut, who first raced at Warragul in June 2010, is running in the last race on Wednesday.   Wednesday's meeting is part of a busy week of racing locally - there will also be greyhound racing at Logan Park on Thursday afternoon followed by the big Warragul Cup card at the dogs on Saturday night, January 12.     Kyle Galley

Top horseman Gavin Lang equalled the record for the most number of wins at a Warragul trots meeting when he drove five winners there on Sunday. Lang joins fellow top drivers Ted Demmler, Chris Alford, Jodi Quinlan and Craig Demmler as those to have landed five race wins on a single program at Warragul. His haul came courtesy of Alpha Charlie and Harpagus (who he also trains), Just Anything and Rocknroll Gold (prepared by local horseman Michael Hughes) and Sahara Tiger. Sahara Tiger is trained by Gary and Debbie Quinlan, who also produced So Much Bettor to win the fourth event. That gelding was the second of two winning drives for reinsman Chris Alford, who had driven the Jayne Davies trained 12-year-old All I Can Be to win the third race. Greg Sugars was the only other driver to win a race on the afternoon, courtesy of Wattabout Rioli, trained by his wife Jess. For all his success during over four decades in harness racing driving, the Warragul born Lang has not won a drivers' premiership on the Gippsland track. Sunday's meeting was the first of the racing season at Warragul, so Lang certainly has got away to a flying start in a bid for his first driving title. Warragul's track raced in fast order on Sunday afternoon, and field sizes and on-course turnover were excellent. The next meeting at the Warragul Pacing Bowl will be staged on Wednesday, January 9.   Kyle Galley  

Top harness racing driver Gavin Lang equalled the record for the most number of wins at a Warragul trots meeting when he drove five winners there yesterday afternoon.   Lang joins fellow top drivers Ted Demmler, Chris Alford, Jodi Quinlan and Craig Demmler as those to have landed five race wins on a single program at Warragul.   His haul came courtesy of Alpha Charlie and Harpagus (which he also trains), Just Anything and Rocknroll Gold (prepared by local horseman Michael Hughes) and Sahara Tiger.   Sahara Tiger is trained by Gary and Debbie Quinlan, who also produced So Much Bettor to win the fourth event.   That gelding was the second of two winning drives for reinsman Chris Alford, who had driven the Jayne Davies trained 12-year-old All I Can Be to win the third race.   Greg Sugars was the only other driver to win a race on the afternoon, courtesy of Wattabout Rioli, trained by his wife Jess.   For all his success during over four decades in harness racing driving, the Warragul born Lang has not won a drivers premiership on the Gippsland track.   Sunday's meeting was the first of the racing season at Warragul, so Lang certainly has got away to a flying start in a bid for his first driving title.   Warragul's track raced in fast order on Sunday afternoon, and field sizes and on-course turnover were excellent.   The next meeting at the Warragul Pacing Bowl will be staged on Wednesday, January 9.   Kyle Galley

Local trots followers are eagerly awaiting the opening meeting of the 2018/2019 Warragul harness racing season, which takes place this Sunday afternoon, December 23.   It is the first meeting staged at Logan Park since late August, and the first of several Sunday afternoon programs to be staged by the Warragul Harness Racing Club over coming months.   Numbers of local horses competing on Sunday are expected to be strong.   Last Saturday morning 17 horses competed in barrier trials at Warragul, and many of them are expected to back up this weekend for race assignments.   Local trainers Gary and Debbie Quinlan and Michael Hughes also expect to have strong representation in the events on Sunday from their stables.   Sunday's race meeting celebrates 30 years of racing on what is known as the Warragul Pacing Bowl, the racetrack of just over 800 metres in circumference which opened for competition in December 1988.   The track replaced a much smaller circuit which had hosted regular trots meetings since the late 1940s.   Warragul's current track was upgraded with an improved track surface and better camber on the corners in late 2014, and has produced faster race times since.   There will be free entry for patrons attending Sunday's race meeting, with the first race expected to start around 1pm.   A lucky racegoer raffle, giveaways and a visit from Santa Claus will keep patrons young and old amused between races.   Kyle Galley  

Top trainer Emma Stewart took over the mantle for the most number of wins prepared in a season in Australia when Tiger Storm won the fourth race at Warragul trots on Sunday afternoon. It was only the second horse Stewart had raced at the Warragul Pacing Bowl during 2018, but Tiger Storm's victory goes down in the record books with the success bringing up 300 victories for the season for the stable, passing the previous mark of 299 wins set by Queensland horseman Bill Dixon in 2010/2011. Tiger Storm ran a a short-priced favourite on Sunday, and went straight to the front at the start of the race for driver Chris Alford, one of four wins on the day for the master horseman who himself has set a national record for winners driven this season. Alford's quartet of victories enabled him to secure the Warragul Driver of the Year title for the fifteenth time. Three of those victories came for Gippsland horseman Gary Quinlan, who was once again crowned Trainer of the Year at Warragul. His winners on Sunday were Scruffy Marshall, Starofsahara and Emiliana. Feature race on Sunday was the Women in Trotting Tribute, to acknowledge the involvement of females past and present in harness racing. The race, for female drivers only, attracted seven starters, and, fittingly, local reinswoman Casey Parker drove the winner, Rocknroll Gold. It was Parker's biggest racetrack success so far, having been a past graduate of the Gippsland Harness Training Centre. Competitors in Sunday's Women in Trotting Tribute staged at Warragul -photo Matt Walker Fellow local Simone Walker drove Montenero to produce a local Quinella. The winner is trained by Michael Hughes, who produced a double on the day, after Express Yourself won the Trotters Handicap. Hughes has recently settled into a new property at Iona, and Sunday's victory by Express Yourself was the first winner from the new facility. It was also the first race success for Michelle Seamons, another past graduate of the Gippsland Harness Training Centre, who owns the talented five-year-old mare. Gippsland trainer Steve Austen was a proud man after his horse Priddy Easy won the first race of the day. Four months ago Priddy Easy suffered a nasty chest injury after a paddock accident at Austen's Labertouche property. He and his wife Karen have nursed the horse back to health, and Sunday's victory was the third for the pacer, which has also run nine minor placings. Greg Sugars drove Priddy Easy on Sunday - his wife Jess trained Fong Nien to win the sixth event to bring up a double for the top reinsman.   Kyle Galley

The significant contribution from women to the sport of trotting will be recognised at the first Ladies Day race meeting staged at Warragul Harness Racing Club on Sunday afternoon, August 26. Forty years ago the rules were changed in Victoria allowing women to drive in races against men. Although a small number of women had been competitors in races decades earlier before being banned, it wasn't until the early 1970s that women were issued with drivers licences after a lengthy campaign, enabling them to compete in organized Lady Drivers events, usually non-betting affairs staged between races at professional trots meetings. In April 1978, Boort Trotting Club in Central Victoria conducted the first professional women's race with betting, once the rules were changed to allow open competition. In August of that year, local horsewoman Debbie Turner (now Debbie Quinlan) drove Ranj Beau to defeat the men for the first time at a meeting at Terang. Since the floodgates were opened during the late 1970s hundreds of women have achieved great success in trotting, either as drivers, trainers or officials, and have won races across the country, right through to the elite events such as the Miracle Mile and Inter Dominion Championship. To pay tribute to 40 years of success on the racetrack by women, a special Ladies' Drivers race has also been programmed for the Warragul meeting. Warragul Harness Racing Club officials have invited Australia's only female race caller, Victoria Shaw, to commentate the event for on and off track viewers. Guest speaker at a Ladies Day luncheon held in conjunction with the raceday is Dianne McGrath, one of seven Australians short listed as a candidate for the Mars 100 mission, which seeks to establish permanent human settlement on Mars in 2032. The proposed journey to Mars is a one-way trip - so McGrath's story is expected to be a fascinating one. Her sense of adventure, determination and fitness has seen her sail a tall ship in the Southern Ocean, cycle extreme distances, jump from a plane, and run multiple marathons and an ultra-marathon. Live music and giveaways will also feature around the local race meeting on the day for luncheon guests. Tickets cost $65 per head and include a two-course meal and reserved indoor seating overlooking the racetrack. From every ticket sold, $10 will be donated to the West Gippsland Healthcare Group. Ticket bookings can be made by phoning the Warragul Harness Racing Club on (03) 5622 2008. Kyle Galley

Gippsland born horsewoman Michelle Phillips is making an impact in Victorian harness racing after only a handful of race drives. 20-year-old Michelle drove her first race winner, Our Sir Oliver, at Ballarat on Sunday night. And she didn't have to wait long to add to her tally, winning with Fratellino at Maryborough on Monday afternoon before further victories at Cobram and Ballarat (again with Our Sir Oliver) yesterday. From Neerim in Gippsland, Michelle has grown up around horses (her grandfather Max was a Clerk of the Course at local trots meetings for many years). Upon finishing Year 12 Michelle enrolled at the Gippsland Harness Training Centre at Warragul, and her dedicated study and natural flair with horses led her to being selected as the inaugural Harness Racing Victoria/Community College Gippsland trots intern in 2016. The internship's 12 month exposure to all aspects of the trotting industry, and leading stables in Australia and New Zealand, gave Michelle the perfect grounding to establish herself in the racing industry. Now a licenced reinswoman in her own right, on Sunday night Michelle took Our Sir Oliver to the front at the start of the 2200 metre event at Ballarat, and was able to control the tempo of the race to suit. Shooting clear of his rivals upon straightening. Our Sir Oliver raced away to win by almost nine metres for trainer Norm McVitty. Two drives later at Maryborough, however, it was a different story, with Fratellino coming from 20 metres behind at the start under the handicap conditions. Michelle sat behind the other favourite, Armchair Drive, racing up alongside her rival approaching the home turn as the two trotters dashed away from the rest of the field. In a slogging finish, Fratellino scored by a short half head, with the race time very close to the track record. Fratellino is a six-year-old gelding owned and trained by Michelle's partner, talented horseman Shaun McNaulty. The pair are presently establishing a stable of horses near Bendigo. Michelle in fact at her first race drive on March 23 almost claimed a debut driving win, when Fratellino finished second. A natural with horses, Michelle looks sets for a very successful career in race driving and continues a proud tradition of females from the Gippsland region having enjoyed success in the trotting sport. Kyle Galley

Warragul Pacing Bowl Cup winning reinsman Nathan Jack had little time to celebrate his harness racing victory on Easter Sunday. Soon after accepting trophies for the race victory with pacer Cruz Bromac, Jack made a rapid dash to Tooradin airfield, to board a light aircraft for the journey to the night race meeting at Echuca, where he had four race drives later in the program. It's doubtful a winning reinsman has soaked up a Warragul feature success in such a way before in the 60 stagings of the event. Jack had driven at the Bathurst Gold Crown meeting in regional New South Wales the night before, adding to a long, but successful weekend of racing and travel. Cruz Bromac bought up Warragul Pacing Bowl Cup win number two for trainer Dean Braun, who prepared Nike Franco to victory in 2016. Braun becomes only the fourth trainer in the long history of the race to have prepared multiple Cup winners, joining Bob Knight, Ted Demmler and Noel Alexander in an exclusive club. The exciting Falcon Seelster six-year-old Cruz Bromac has only had 25 starts, collecting 14 wins and five minor placings. Jack took Cruz Bromac to sit outside leader Rockstar Angel early in the race, and the front runners dominated the $30,000 race, with Cruz Bromac running a last half mile in 55 seconds to win by one and-a-half metres. Local Mister Wickham managed fourth spot after over racing, while Clancys Fobwatch finished behind that pacer. Across the five support races on Sunday, there were some popular local victories. My Forgotten Hero rewarded patient owner/breeder Georgie Coram and trainer/driver Simone Walker with a maiden win at start 21. The victory was the two-hundredth success for the Cranbourne Racecourse stabling complex. Yarra Glen horseman Ken Browne, a past graduate of the Gippsland Harness Training Centre, won the Eddie Evison Memorial Trotters Handicap with Chrisken Kiosk. Misty Cullen proved too strong in the Warragul Toyota Pace for owner/breeders Gordon and June Turner and trainer Gary Quinlan. There was even local success in the two pony events on Sunday. Gippsland's sole pony trotting driver, Jasmyn Fusinato, landed her first home town victory with Lily The Shark in the Pony Cup Prelude. The teenager then scored a victory in the later Warragul Pony Cup, which proved popular with the local crowd. Fusinato has now won three races in the pony trots, where youngsters from all across Victoria compete on a regular basis. Good weather conditions drew another large crowd to Logan Park for Sunday's meeting, and although horse numbers were down in races, a good day was had by those in attendance. Kyle Galley

Top harness racing driver Greg Sugars drove two of the six winners at Monday's Warragul trots meeting. The impressive three-year-old pacer Joe Nien, and Bright Shadow were driven to victory by Sugars, who has narrowed the gap between himself and Chris Alford in the race for the Warragul drivers' premiership. Alford was also in the winners' circle on Monday, when Gippsland pacer Courageous Call scored a narrow victory in a finish where less than three metres separated the first five horses across the line. The victory was a consolation for the top reinsman, who was lucky to escape injury when Sentimental Life struck trouble in the third event. The mare choked down and dropped out of the race with a circuit to travel, and crashed to the track as Alford steered the horse to the outside fence. Connections had a few anxious moments as track officials worked to remove the sulky and gear from Sentimental Life, however the eight-year-old slowly got back up and was taken from the track. Alford became the first reinsperson to crash during a race at Warragul since the refurbished track was reopened just over three years ago, a good indication of how safe the Pacing Bowl is. Visiting trainers were in the money on Monday, with Bright Shadow (Allan McDonough), The Loustar (Phillip Walters) and Joelissa (Richard Caruana) all successful. Monday's meeting was a quiet one on course, however Warragul trots officials anticipate a much larger attendance for the next race meeting, the 60th running of the Warragul Pacing Cup, on Easter Sunday, April 1st. Kyle Galley  

Star four-year-old Mach Three pacer Our Little General almost claimed the Warragul harness racing club track record when winning the $25,000 Eastern Challenge at Logan Park today. First up since winning the three-year-old division of the Breeders' Crown in August, connections used Thursday's race as a stepping stone to the upcoming Chariots Of Fire event in Sydney. Driver Chris Alford dictated terms to suit in front with Our Little General, who went within two one hundredths of a second of breaking the 2210 metre track record in defeating Beach Surge and Waimac Attack. Our Little General went past the $500,000 in stakes earnings mark with victory on Thursday, and is trained at Cardigan by Emma Stewart for a large group of owners, some of which were trackside to witness the victory. Both Alford and Stewart have now won the Eastern Challenge race twice. It was the first race win at Warragul for Stewart, despite her stables dominant success over a number of seasons. Elsewhere on the day there were mainly small fields, in particular the opening race which was reduced from six runners to four after scratchings, and became a two horse race as the field was well strung out after some mid race interference. Weight of punters support was with local Penny Bobbins, however All Major ran straight past that pacer once the two settled down to fight out the finish. All Major scored by over six metres, and is trained at Cranbourne by Michael Hughes. Oakleigh trainer Janine Stewart and her horse Glam Rock love the Warragul Pacing Bowl. Both horse and trainer have only won two races in their careers, both at Warragul. Glam Rock, driven by Greg Sugars, proved too strong for Melchoir and Rapacious. Stewart was the 2016 Graduate of the Year from the Gippsland Harness Training Centre. Eight-year-old gelding Uetliberg is another horse which likes Warragul, having recorded two wins and three placings on the circuit from eight starts. The Frank Offer trained horse overcame a 40 metre handicap to win the Windra Gidgea Memorial Trotters event, beating locals Omy Son and Just Hold On. Swedish born horsewoman Kima Frenning had her first drive at Warragul in the fourth event, and led throughout with gelding Sir Briggen. The underrated Frenning drove a perfect race behind Sir Briggen, which denied locals Mygoldengrinner and Courageous Desire victory. Warragul harness racing returns on Monday, February 11. Kyle Galley

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