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LONDON, Ontario, February 11, 2017 -- Longtime local horseman Ross Battin and pacing mare Nadia Can Go were the headliners at tonight's awards banquet at The Raceway at Western Fair District which celebrated the best on and off the track over the past harness racing season. Ross Battin has had many honours over the years at the London, Ontario racetrack. He topped the drivers' standings on four occasions, was named horseman of the year in 1992 and was inducted to the track's Wall of Fame in 2010. Ross has won the Lampman Cup, which recognizes the leading driver in the Ontario Sires Stakes program a record seven times. Tonight he added another honour as he was presented with the Walltyme award which is given annually by Dave Wall's stable and recognizes outstanding service to the industry. Nadia Can Go was crowned the 2016 Horse of the Year. The now five-year-old daughter of Major In Art put together an impressive winning streak at The Raceway from February 17 to April 20 during which time she was undefeated through eight races. Heather Toll trains Nadia Can Go for owner Brydown Farms of Clinton, Ontario. The other award winners who were revealed this evening were caretaker of the year, which was won by Laurie Hicks, and the Ruth Herbert Horsewoman of the Year which went to Sue McNeight. The complete list of award winners is as follows: Older Pacing Horse - Irvine James Older Pacing Mare - Nadia Can Go Three-Year-Old Pacing Colt - Overthinkenit Three-Year-Old Pacing Filly - Uptown Woman Older Trotting Horse - Raising Richard Older Trotting Mare - Daylon Mermaid Three-Year-Old Trotting Colt - On The Ridge Three-Year-Old Trotting Filly - Shes All Muscle Claiming Pacer - Mighty Mouse Claiming Trotter - Jimoris Tigeress Driver - Alfie Carroll Trainer - Vic Puddy Owner - Keith Cassell Caretaker - Laurie Hicks Walltyme 'Outstanding Service' - Ross Battin Ruth Herbert 'Horsewoman' - Sue McNeight Horse of the Year - Nadia Can Go Greg Blanchard

WASHINGTON, PA, Jan. 2, 2017 -- D Gs Justlikethat, who was riding a four-race winning streak -- all compiled in the claiming ranks -- extended his streak and graduated to the elite level when he captured Monday's $20,000 Preferred Handicap Pace, the 2017 opening-day feature at The Meadows. D Gs Justlikethat followed the live cover of the first-over Kingofthejungle, swung wide out of the final turn for Mike Wilder and used every inch of the sloppy stretch to edge the early leader, Latest Desire, by a nose in 1:52.4. Atta Boy Dan shot the Lightning Lane for show. Mark Goldberg trains D Gs Justlikethat, who vaulted over $100,000 in career earnings, for Rags To Riches Of PA, which claimed the 6-year-old Major In Art-Majo Elika gelding after the third win in his current streak. Dave Palone, who in 2016 topped The Meadows drivers for the 26th straight year, got his quest for No. 27 off to a strong start when he piloted four winners, including a pair for trainer Ron Burke. by Evan Pattack, for the Meadows

Samantha Freeman celebrated her first winner as a harness racing trainer when she guided Miss Guenevere to victory in the Page Transport Pace at Carrick last Friday. It was the mare's eighth start for Freeman since she acquired the well-bred six-year-old in April from the Rattray family who had prepared her for two wins and 13 minor placings from 33 outings. Freeman sent Miss Guenevere (Major In Art-Guenevereslancelot) to the front after traveling 500 metres and she travelled well with Lord Stark (Rohan Hillier) at her wheel and he kept her company to well into the home straight the last time. But when Freeman asked the mare for the big effort 200 metres out she sped clear and went on to score comfortably from Lord Stark and Entreemaindessert that came from last. "I was rapt with the win but on her trackwork at home I am surprised she hasn't won before this," Freeman said. "It's great to finally get a winner as a trainer because I've had my licence for a year and I had my first runner at this Carrick meeting last year. "I am hoping this isn't the mare's last win for me because she has a bit of ability but maybe she goes best in front so that might be the plan in the future." Freeman only has Miss Guenevere in work but expects to have up to four in training by the New Year. Peter Staples

When the Major In Art gelding Wroxton Steel won impressively on debut in 1:59.4 at Globe Derby Park on August 5, he became the third harness racing two-year-old winner which had been sold at the 2015 South Australian Yearling Sale. Wroxton Steel, who won in runaway fashion by 23 metres, was bred by the late Alison Stevens and is the fourth foal and first winner out of the race-winning Aces N Sevens mare Lombo Viva Lamore. Arm A Princess (Art Major-Arm A Corka) and Ramsey’s Hope (Cullen’s Hope-Rhonda Ramsey) were other winners from the sale. Amazingly from just 12 pacing yearlings to go through the sale, six have raced and three are winners. Entry forms for the 2017 Harnessbred.com Yearling Sale are now available from the SA BOTRA office at Globe Derby Park or call Lois Randall on 0402 978 424. They can also be downloaded from http://www.saharness.com/2017-harnessbredcom-yearling-sale.html Entries will close at 5pm on November 1. The sale will be held on Sunday, February 12, 2017 at Globe Derby Park and will feature a non-sales section. A Sales Graduation race will be conducted in June 2018 with prizemoney of at least $10,000 depending on the number of entries. Already a number of leading breeders have thrown their support behind SA BOTRA including Sydneysider Michael Taylor who has nominated a Mr Feelgood yearling colt out of the former multiple Adelaide winner Tiabamba. By Peter Wharton

After producing a driving treble in Hobart last Friday experienced harness racing reinsman John Walters continued his good form in Launceston last night with another outstanding drive to secure a last-stride win aboard Karalta Boomer in the Crown Lager Pace over 2200 metres. Walters, 53, had the Kent Rattray-trained three-year-old perfectly positioned in the one-out-one-back position after travelling 400 metres with the well-backed Dasher Hiouli setting a solid pace in front. Dasher Houli (Rohan Hillier) looked to be travelling like the winner when he slipped clear turning for home but when Walters allowed his charge more rein the gelded son of Major In Art ran to the leader and they settled down to a two-horse war all the way up the home straight with Walters able to get everything from his charge to win by a half-head. It was Karalta Boomer's seventh win of the season and coupled with his six minor placings he has career earnings of almost $30,000. Karalta Boomer was bred by his owners Lyndon and Gail Menagon who own and operate Big Park Stud that is one of the largest standardbred breeding operations in the state. Peter Staples

Major In Art, a former Harness Racing USA 2YO of the Year and who has been represented by some promising two and three-year-olds this season, is to do stud duties in Victoria at the Goodtime Lodge stud, near Colac, of Ian and Judi Slater, alongside the brilliant unbeaten Goodtime Sammy. They are a royally-bred pair of young sires. Major In Art, who took a record of 1:50.8 at two years and won almost $900,000 in stakes, is enjoying his best ever season with 58 individual winners and progeny earnings of more than $850,000. Among his winners have been a SA Derby winner and Vicbred 2YO Final placegetter in Brallos Pass 1:53.5 ($120,432), the talented The Culture (1:51.6), Major Sam 1:54.7 ($137,781), the Bathurst 2YO Sales Classic winners Lagoon Stride 1:56.1 ($126,025) and Goodtime Stride (1:53.2), Dalton Bromac (1:52), the SA Golden Nursery winners Major Cruiser and The Big Show, recent Addington three-year-old winner Stroke Of Luck, the Vicbred Super Series heat winner Lucky Lombo (9 wins from 13 starts), Real Stride and this year’s dual NSW Breeders Challenge 2YO heat winner Bullet Stride and placegetter Art Secret. VIDEO: BRALLOS PASS WINS THE SOUTH AUSTRALIAN DERBY THIS YEAR In North America Major In Art from only three racing crops has sired the winners of $3.2-million including $1.1-million in 2015 - with 31 in the 1:55 list, seven in 1:52 and one in 1:50. Actually, Major In Art’s percentage of winners to starters – both in Australia and America – rates him highly. On the score of blood Major In Art lacks nothing. His sire Art Major (1:48.8) was a champion with stake earnings of $3.2-million and has been on Australia’s top sires for some time. He figures as the sire of three of Australia’s most outstanding pacers in For A Reason, Sushi Sushi and Avonnova. Miami Spice (1:54.8), the dam of Major In Art, was one of the many grand producing daughters of a champion sire in Jate Lobell, being out of a noted producer in Town Tattler (1:54.6), by Big Towner from Tona Hanover, by Tar Heel. This family traces back to the foundation mare The Old Maid, dam of a champion sire in Bachelor Hanover, sire of Noodlum. Other leading sires belonging to this noted family include Toliver Hanover, Dancer Hanover and Thorpe Hanover. Major In Art will stand for a fee of $1,650 including GST. Goodtime Sammy, a son of champion Somebeachsomewhere, was unbeaten in four starts as a two-year-old before fracturing his pedal bone in a semi of the Australian Pacing Gold at Menangle. He had earlier won the Victoria Youthful Stakes and a heat of the APG at Melton. Only a three-year-old, Goodtime Sammy, who is bred on the same cross as his champion sire, hails from a family of cup and classic winners. His dam, Graces Beach, is a half-sister to the Vic. Metropolitan Cup winner Goodtime Marjie, being by Beach Towel from Next Strike, by What’s Next from Arma Strike, the dam of the APG champion Exotic Strike. Goodtime Sammy will stand for a fee of $1,200 including GST with a reduced fee of $800 for the first 30 mares booked to him. Peter Wharton

“Keep yourself in the best company and your horse in the worst.” Naracoorte harness racing trainer Greg Scholefield lives by those wise words, which his uncle – trots man Harold Moody – passed on to him. The philosophy is working. Scholefield presented two horses to race at Mildura on Thursday night, unbeaten two-year-old Emain Macha and consistent three-year-old Livingston Bay. Both won. EMAIN MACHA WINS HIS THIRD RACE AT START NO.3 The two-year-old especially is exciting, says Scholefield. “He’s very promising. He’s been very easy to get going, just such an easy natured horse. A real competitor, too,” he said. Asked how Emain Macha, a son of Safari, came to be in his stable, Scholefield spoke glowingly of Dennis Wills. “He sources horses for me and does a great job,” Scholefield said. “He found Limestone Bay as well. He’s a good fella. “I’d gotten horses off Heath Redwood before and with Dennis’s help we purchased Emain Macha off Heath and brought him home. From there I haven’t had any problem with the horse.” So far in season 2015-16 Scholefield has presented 19 starters for seven wins and nine minor placings. However, a look back through the last decade’s results reveals the South Australian horseman’s success rate is no flash in the pan. Since season 2004-05 Scholefield’s results are astonishing. He has presented 265 starters at the races for 93 wins (35%), 51 seconds, 34 thirds and 21 fourths. Just 66 times his horses have finished outside the top four in 11 years. “Can I just grab a biro?” Scholefield said when his statistics were being read out, following up with: “That’s not bad” when told 54% of his runners have finished top-two since 04-05. At 67, Scholefield, a former full-time builder, is now retired and thus doesn’t mind hitting the road with a horse if it means placing one of his horse’s in a winnable race. “I don’t mind. I know a lot of good people around the industry and they’re always willing to help me out. I enjoy getting around to different places,” he said. Although he only trains a small team at any one time Scholefield has a strong list of prolific winners, including Glenferrie Rustler (who he trained to win 19 races), Mighty Maurie (10 wins), Mad House (nine wins) and The Lucky Break (six wins) just to name a few. “I named him after my dad,” Scholefield said of Mighty Maurie. In addition to his training record Scholefield has also enjoyed good success as an owner, mentioning Alesco, who he raced with Alan Tubbs, and The Rattler, who won the 1984 Inter Dominion Consolation for trainer Jim Hurley. WATCH THE RATTLER WIN HIS 1984 INTER DOMINION CONSOLATION The three-year-old son of Major In Art he had success with at Mildura last night, Livingston Bay, will now be spelled and Scholefield is confident “he’ll come back a much better horse”. And while he’s camping at Mildura for the Carnival the trainer has one more runner, Limestone Bay, who is shooting for a hat-trick tomorrow night in Race 2. Cody Winnell

Manly rugby league hero Brett Stewart has never shirked making a tackle . . . and now the harness racing pacer he part-owns, Zee Dana is set to do the same. The gelding son of Tintin In America threw the gauntlet down to New Zealand's unbeaten superstar Our Waikiki Beach when he set a world-record time for three-year-old colts and geldings on the way to smashing his rivals in the first heat of the New South Wales Derby at Tabcorp Park Menangle tonight Saturday the 20th of February. A masterly drive by Victoria Nathan Jack saw Zee Dana stop the clock in a stunning 1:54.7 for his final mile, breaking Major Secret's previous world record for three-year-olds over 2400m by a full second. Jack quickly showed his intentions when he was smartly away from gate five before taking a trail on Don't Hold Back in the opening Derby qualifier. But turning for home a split came when Power Of Red began to drop off after racing outside the leader and Zee Dana shot clear before romping away to score by almost 14 metres from Code Black (Todd McCarthy) with El Major (Mat Rue) a late-closing and impressive third. Zee Dana Jack barely had time to wipe the mud from his visor on a night hit by intermittent showers before he was back in the winners' circle in the second Derby heat, leading all-the-way with Brallos Pass to score by 2.9m from Sams The Master with another Victorian visitor Soho Tribeca (Chris Alford) flashing through to nab third. The son of Major In Art already has the SA Derby to his credit before a creditable fifth to Lazarus in the Victoria Derby. With the right draw he is now certain to make his presence felt in tomorrow week's $200,000 Coca-Cola Amatil NSW Derby. Brallos Pass The third and final Derby heat was just what the fans expected with the unbeaten Our Waikiki Beach (Natalie Rasmussen) doing just enough to make it 15 successive wins and maintain his unbeaten record. Rasmussen made her move with the gelding son of Somebeachsomewhere from last with 1000m to travel and settled outside the leader Shadow Runner before putting paid to his rivals in the straight to score in a 1:57.1 mile rate. Our Waikiki Beach The make-up for next week's 12-horse NSW Derby, with the barrier draw to be done tomorrow (Sunday) morning is: Zee Dana, Code Black, El Major, Frankie Rocks, Brallos Pass, Sams The Master, Soho Tribeca, Ascot Encounter, Our Waikiki Beach, Kingofthestars, Cant Refuse and Stanley Ross Robyn. by Michael Court                

Harness racing trainers have a hard enough row to hoe as it is without having health and injury concerns as well but that is often the reality that trainers face. Benny Hill would know that better than most at the moment as he tries to get his head around the bleeding issues with his star pacer Dalton Bromac. The big strapping son of Major In Art looked the next Grand Circuit champion in the making when he took the harness racing scene in New Zealand by storm last season. His displays of powers and speed had harness racing pundits reaching for the superlatives and when he ran 2:36.1 for 2200 metres at Auckland just before Christmas last year, the world was his oyster. However as so often happens with elite equine athletes, health issues reared their ugly head just as he was hitting top gear.  The favourite for the Harness Jewels at Ashburton at the end of May, Dalton Bromac bled from the nostrils in his final lead up race the week before the Harness Jewels and was put stood down for a month as per the regulations. Benny was in no hurry to get his star pacer back this season but a really hard winter and Dalton Bromac  being slow to come to hand meant he wasn't going to be ready for Cup Week. So Benny decided he may as well head to the McCarthys in Sydney to kick start his five year old season. Benny was confident he was in for a big season. " It was a really hard winter here and he just took longer to come to hand than I thought he would." " When he wasn't going to make Cup Week I had no hesitation in sending him to Sydney," Benny said. That looked like a really good decision when Dalton Bromac trialled recently at Menangle. " He jogged a mile in 1:53 and change and did it on his ear." " I was really confident heading into Saturday night at Menangle and so was Luke and when he only ran third I was pretty disappointed." "I was a lot more disappointed when I got a text from Luke McCarthy shortly afterwards telling me he had bled again from the nostrils after the race." " I was just gutted to be honest." " As a second timer, he cops three months out this time and having bled the last two times he has raced, he doesn't look to have a future racing down under." " The only place he can race and receive the help he obviously needs is North America and that's where his future now lies." " I have already had three calls from prospective buyers in the last 24 hours so I just have to settle on one of those." "The reality is that this is just part of training horses." "You just have to pick yourself up and go again," Benny said. With the open class ranks in New Zealand short at the moment of out and out stars, the loss of Dalton Bromac to North America at this time will be keenly felt. Harnesslink Media

Yearlings by many of the world’s greatest sires will go up for auction at the Shepparton Mixed Sale, to be held at the Shepparton Racing Complex on Sunday September 6.   The 18-strong yearling contingent features yearlings by 14 different sires headed up by champion sire Mach Three and leading trotting sire Majestic Son, as well as Modern Art, Shadow Play (3 lots), Artistic Fella, Jet Laag, Village Jolt (3 lots), Major In Art, Tell All and Mister Big.   Several exciting, young sires will be represented by their first crop and they include  USA 2YO of the Year Big Jim, the $1.6million winner Betterthancheddar, dual NZ Horse of the Year Auckland Reactor and NZ 2YO of the Year Smiling Shard.   The catalogue comprises youngsters out of 2:00 winning mares and 2:00 winner producers.   There’s colts out of the former 3YO Filly of the Year Yeronga Songbird, Melbourne winners Room With A View (1:56) and Our Favourite Girl, Got The Gold (6 wins) and Closetomyheart (Tr 2:04.2) and fillies from the USA Stakes winner Out Of Sight  1:52.4 ($200,142), the NSW Oaks placegetter Lahaini (1:57.5) and the Melton winner Kiss And Fly (1:58.4).   The sale also highlights half-sisters to   *The Youthful Stakes winner Vista Bella 1:57.9 ($110,021)   *The smart racemares Twirling ($105,707) and Golden Grinder 1:55.6 ($90,340)   * Half-brothers to the Moonee Valley winner Stormwarning, Boston Yankee (1:56.6) and The Lombo heat winner Rosemay.   For a catalogue or further information contact Shepparton Harness Racing Club manager Ian McDonald on phone 0428 231 403 or email shepparton@hrv.org.au    Pedigrees can be downloaded from the website www.sheppartonhrc.com.au   Click on the News link. Pedigrees are also available on the Shepparton HRC Facebook page.   Peter Wharton

Ballarat based Jaimie-Lee King had the last laugh on her rivals when four year old Major In Art/Laughing Meadow gelding Major Laugh blitzed his rivals in the Fishers IGA Pace at the Arrat trots on Tuesday. Trained at Smythes Creek by “boss” Emma Stewart, Major Laugh raced and driven by Jaimie-Lee starting from the extreme draw settled at the tail of the field, with polemarker Under Your Thumb kept honest all through the race by the favourite Four Starzzz Fella outside him. Send forward four wide in the last lap, Major Laugh followed Zermanion three wide in the back straight, before sprinting like a gazelle four wide to lead on the home turn, scoring by 9.5 metres over Our Sir Ivanhoe along the sprint lane after trailing the pacemaker and being held up at a vital stage, with Nobetterthanthis (one/one) third. The mile rate was 1-58.1. A winner at Mildura on June 3 when making his Victorian debut after racing mostly around the Hunter Valley, Major Laugh returned a mile rate of 1-58.1. Two relatively unknown participants of the sport were successful on the night – Bunkers Hill (Ballarat) based owner/trainer Alan Holman combining with Zac Steenhuis to land the Hygain Feeds Vicbred Pace for C1 class over 2195 metres with $61.80 chance Blude Master and Gordon’s Larry Lynch the Eastick Homes Pace for C1 class over 1790 metres with Graceful Art at $40.60. Blude Master a five year old gelded son of Attorney General and Bludegirl having start number 23 and first since April 2014 after taking a lift, was taken back at the start from outside the front row to settle at the tail of the field. Under pressure in the final circuit to follow Extra three wide, Blude Master hard driven gradually made ground and when Go Betweens four wide outside him joined in approaching the home turn, grabbed the bit and went with him to set sail after the leader Blissful Spanker. In a race than changed complexion over the concluding stages, Blude Master prevailed by a nose from Go Betweens in a mile rate of 2-01.7, with Blissful Spanker 1.6 metres away in third place.  Five year old Metropolitan/Private Affair mare Graceful Affair trained by Larry Lynch racing under the banner of Lynch Harness Horses, possied mid-field in the running line from the extreme draw with local Michael Bellman in the sulky. Held up in the last lap with horses all around her as the leaders Our Bedrock and Bellas Jet kicked clear appearing to have the race to themselves, Graceful Affair came with a withering burst of speed down the centre of the track to score by 1.2 metres over Bellas Jet which raced in the open for the majority of the journey, dropping in for a breather approaching the home turn. Saab Magic flashed home late from three back the markers after also being held up prior to the home turn to be 1.5 metres away in third place. The mile rate was 1-59.4. Great Western’s Peter Manning combined with Glen Craven aboard 4-Y-0 Christian Cullen/Precious Delight gelding Precious Cullen to snare the Ararat RSL Red Poppy Bistro Pace for C0 class over 2195 metres in 1-59.2. Sent forward three wide out of gate four to cross Space Keeper running into the first turn, Precious Cullen coming off a fifth at Horsham on June 17 when badly held up on debut, ran his rivals ragged in defeating Mister Untouchable which faced the breeze for the final circuit, with Eyesrromin (four wide last lap) third.  Huntly (Bendigo) trainer/driver Anthony Crossland has Kiwi bred 4-Y-0 Love You/Sun Goddess gelding Dieu De Lamour racing in peak form, bringing up his third victory in the last four starts by taking the Ararat Vet Clinic Trotters Mobile for T0 & T1 class over 2195 metres. Biding his time four back in the moving line from the extreme draw, Dieu De Lamour when eased three wide in the last lap exploded to the front prior to the home turn, scoring by a huge 56.5 metres in 2-03.3 over Copa Comaida which led from the pole, with Truscott Sun 5.8 metres away in third place after racing in the open for most of the trip. Terang’s Matty Craven experiencing his best season ever, had an armchair drive aboard Grinfromeartoear/Classic Malibu five year old gelding Roy George in the AME System Pace for C4 to C6 class over 1790 metres, leading all of the way from gate two in accounting for Xavier Jack which trailed and Myrniongfirecracker (one/three) in a rate of 1-58.8. The winning margin was 11.8 metres. Burrumbeet trainer Ash Herbertson took advantage of a concession for Bolinda’s Josh Duggan aboard in-form 6-Y-0 Metropolitan/Ellovalooka mare Metrofromelle to capture the David O Jones Mitre 10 Pace for C2 & C3 class over 2195 metres. Settling three back in the running line from a solo second line draw, Metrofromelle was soon off and running to park outside the pacemaker Forced Out (gate two) where Duggan was content to dictate the tempo. Taking a slender lead on the final bend, Metrofromelle outstayed her rivals to score by a neck over Our Supreme Guy along the sprint lane after following Forced Out who finished 2.9 metres away in third place. Great Western trainer Brad Hunt who assists at Peter Manning’s stable, was successful with Grinfromeartoear/Big Time Babe gelding If The Mood Suits in the E. W. Bulte Timber & Hardware 3-Y-0 Pace over 2195 metres when making his third appearance at the races. Driven by Glen Craven, If The Mood Suits (gate six) was restrained as gate sped away, going back to the tail of the field. Still a long way off the leader Katsina which had crossed the pacemaker Second Hands approaching the home turn, If The Mood Suits came from the clouds on straightening to record a 1.4 metre victory in advance of Sisulu Success (one/three – three wide last lap) and Lavish Smile (one/two) in a rate of 2-02.7. Perhaps the biggest winner of the night was Gotta Go Cullect/Princess Of Stars colt Rockstar Confusion on debut for Armstrong duo Brooke Hansen and Tim O’Brien in the Chally’s Bar & Bistro 3-Y-0 Trotters Mobile over 2195 metres. Driven by Maryborough’s Ash Matthews, Rockstar Confusion although rocky in the score-up, led from the pole only to gallop running into the first turn appearing to throw away any chance of figuring in the finish, which allowed Uwouldntbelieverit to take over. Still a mile off the leader Strazeele which had crossed to lead for the final circuit, Rockstar Confusion showed a terrific turn of speed in the last lap to get close to the front runner on straightening and in a ding-dong duel all the way up the running, gained the judge’s nod by a half head in 2-05.7. Hanging On A Dream finished 35.6 metres away in third place off a mid-field passage. Len Baker  

It is quickly coming around to that point of the New Zealand harness racing season where we start to hand out the gongs for best performed in each age group and gait divisions. Harnesslink thought we would do a review of each of the categories with our view on where the contenders sit. This is our review of the four year old colts and geldings pacing division 1) Sky Major - 2015 Season:    11 starts,    6 wins,    0 seconds,    1 thirds,    Lt $326,187  Certainly turned up when it counted in the big four year old races on both sides of the Tasman. Previously regarded as a sit/sprint specialist, Sky Major showed he had a few more strings to his bow as a four year old. Not convinced he is great stayer but has more developed more options race wise as he has matured. Devastating sprint off a soft run and won three of the four big races open to four year olds this season in Australasia. The son of Art Major looks unbeatable for the gong in this division. 2) Dalton Bromac -  12 starts,    7 wins,    2 seconds,    0 thirds,    Lt $91,692 A season of what might have been for the son of Major In Art. His form in the first six months of the season was outstanding, combining both speed and toughness and drew comparisons to Christen Me at the same stage Became crook prior to the Chariots Of Fire and put aside briefly. Although he raced well after that, am not really sure he was as sharp as he was earlier in the season. No luck at Auckland but considered a serious challenger to Sky Major in the lead up to the Harness Jewels before having a bleed at Addington in mid May and being put aside for the season. 3) Messini - 2015 Season:    14 starts,    4 wins,    3 seconds,    2 thirds,    Lt $85,787 Would get the award for travelling for sure. The son of Art Major didn't cop the Auckland way round at all in the four year old features there but his win at Addington prior to the Harness Jewels was was one of the runs of the season. His effort to run third to Sky Major in the Harness Jewels from the outside of the second line was the run of the race that day and seemed to find his best form in the later part of the season. Selection Not a difficult decision with Sky Major winning three of the four big races for four year olds during the season. Hard to see how you vote for something else. Harnesslink Media

Trois-Rivieres, Quebec – The Hippodrome 3R newest edition to their harness racing meet, a brand new Ford F250 slanted starting gate, was used for the first time Wednesday and Canbec Lindor used it to her advantage in the seventh race pace in scoring an upset at odds of 87-1 and paid $177.00 to win. Built by the Howard Starting Gate Company in Ohio, the new starting gate features a 12 foot slant between the horse starting on the rail and the horse starting from the far outside in post eight. The estimated cost for the new car, the installation of the slanted starting gate and governor system is at nearly $85,000. It is also equipped with a new governor system that automatically sets the speed at which the starting gate goes at the start of a race and can be adjusted for trotters or pacers and for younger horses. And in the seventh race, driver Stephane Brosseau used the slanted starting gate advantage in scoring the highest win price of the season at the Hippodrome 3R. Saddled with starting from the far outside in post eight, Brosseau had Canbec Lindor primed and ready to go and they left like a rocket from behind the starting gate and was able to zoom right to the lead over Wallydontlaygames (Raymond Vachon). Settled on the lead by the opening quarter mile in :28, Canbec Lindor was immediately challenged first-over by the 1/5 wagering favorite, Northern Trophy and driver Joceyln Gendron and parked them until the top of the stretch the first time. By the half mile in :57.2, Northern Trophy was then challenged first-over by Video Storage (Louis-Philippe Roy) with Shiny Mach (Stephane Gendron) following the outside flow to the three-quarters in 1:27.3. Then in the stretch drive it the patiently waiting Brosseau, who as soon as he had clearance, pulled from the pocket with Canbec Lindor and not only collared race leader Northern Trophy, but passed them by to win convincingly by two and one-quarter lengths in 1:57.3. Northern Trophy held for second place with Wallydontplaygames third. It was the first win in nine starts for Canbec Lindor and a lifetime mark for the four-year-old mare by Major In Art. She was one of just three mares in the nine horse field. She is trained and owned by Jean Tourgny of Becancour, QC with Michel Damphousse of Louisville, QC. Her win price of $177.00 surpassed the previous season high of $130.40 set back on May 31 by Anamazingdream Esa (Andre Champagne). “We are very pleased with the new starting gate,” said Vincent Trudel, general manager at the Hippodrome 3R. “Obviously the slanted gate worked in helping Canbec Lindor get to the lead in her race from post eight and she won at odds of 87-1. That was very exciting tonight. We still have some work to do on it but for the very first night that it has been used it was very good.” In the ninth race feature pace Wednesday, the betting fans had trouble declaring a wagering favorite as three horses all went off at odds of 5/2 and all three finished the race together in a photo finish. Hockey Bum (Francis Picard) wired the field and just held on in defeating race favorite Windham Hanover (Normand Bealdon) and Charlottes Tazman (Denis St Pierre) in 1:58.1. Three drivers all had driving doubles Wednesday. They were Stephane Brosseau, Denis St Pierre and Louis-Philippe Roy. Live racing resumes Sunday afternoon at the Hippodrome 3R with first race post time at 1:30 pm. For more information visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club 

The Culture produced an explosive burst when it mattered most at the harness racing meeting at Ballarat last night to win heat one of the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series for three-year-old colts and geldings.   Trainer/driver Matthew Craven said before the race he didn’t have the son of Major In Art/Henin Hardenne “as wound up” as he’d like for a tilt at big guns such as Menin Gate and Jilliby Royal, but he need not have worried because his pacer romped in by 4.5m.   Driver Glen Craven had Jilliby Royal in front to the home turn in the 2200m race with Victoria Derby winner and $1.30 favourite Menin Gate already under pressure in the chair.   Jilliby Royal covered the first half of the last mile in 60.6secs and produced a 28.2secs third quarter when Chris Alford started to ask Menin Gate for his effort.   Justbritell (Kerryn Manning) was on the leader’s back, while The Culture – who eased all the way out to $21.20 on the tote, an extraordinary price given his form lines around Jewels fourth placegetter Burnaholeinmypocket – was three back along the markers and seemingly in no man’s land.   But in the straight, Jilliby Royal started getting weary as Justbritell made his run, The Culture able to burst along the pegs to hit the lead and score what was in the end a pretty soft win.   The last quarter was clocked at 28.1secs but the winner’s final fraction was closer to 27.   "I'm going to have to take him back off the gate at the start because he can't be up over-racing outside horses of that calibre at this stage," Craven had said leading up to the race.   Mission accomplished. He summed it up well and The Culture balanced up early, settled perfectly and produced the type of burst you'd expect from a top-line three-year-old.   With five wins now from seven goes the sky looks the limit for The Culture.   Justbritell, who has been an ultra-consistent performer for trainer Terry Young, ran second, while Jilliby Royal was third beaten 5.4m.   Menin Gate finished fourth, while Jodis Choice (Jodi Quinlan) was fifth and Chief Safari (Michael Stanley) lost his chance at the start with a bad getaway to come in tailed off.   Cody Winnell

Reigning Victoria Derby champion Menin Gate takes on rising stars Chief Safari, Jilliby Royal and The Culture at the harness racing meeeting at Ballarat tonight as the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series 3YO Colts and Geldings section gets under way.   Rounding out the six-horse field in tonight's heat are handy pacers Justbritell and Jodis Choice, the race a tantalising puzzle for punters to piece together.   Trainer/driver Matthew Craven believes his son of Major In Art/Henin Hardenne, The Culture, has a big future and can play a huge role in the Super Series.   But Craven added that tonight is very much only a small step in a bigger Vicbred journey. And he’s not going in overly confident by any stretch.   “To me he didn’t do anything brilliant (first-up at Hamilton) but it was good he got the job done,” Craven said.   “To be honest he’s probably not as wound up as I’d like. He’s drawn gate seven … it’s going to be hard.   “I’m going to have to take him back off the gate at the start because he can’t be up over-racing outside horses of that calibre at this stage.   “Menin Gate and Jilliby Royal have had Derby preparations   Class carried The Culture home at Hamilton on May 20 in a C1 over 2160m, defeating Royal Safari by 1.1m.   The Culture twice beat home Burnaholeinmypocket earlier this year, form that reads well given that horse went on to run fourth in the New Zealand Harness Jewels.   But Menin Gate is the horse to beat, no doubt, the Larry Eastman-trained gelding by Somebeachsomewhere out of Dreams Of Heaven a winner of seven of his 10 starts, finishing second on the three other occasions.   Menin Gate is coming off a thrilling second at Ballarat in the Colin and Heather Holloway 3YO Classic when beaten a short half-head by My Kiwi Mate in 1:53.7 over a mile.   Jilliby Gate was involved in an early battle for the front in that race, which produced a blistering opening stanza of 26.8secs.   Show Me The Bling, who went stride for stride with Jilliby Royal through that early burn finished sixth beaten 34.2m while Glen Craven’s horse battled on strongly to be beaten six metres.   Driver Kerryn Manning gets the Terry Young-trained son of Courage Under Fire/Soho Artemis, Justbritell, out very swiftly and she’ll again be holding a forward spot here from gate one.   Michael Stanley has his team firing on all cylinders and he’s also got an exciting proposition here in Chief Safari – by Safari out of Podium Princess.   Chief Safari won his first three starts in style before a first-up second to Mrs Devine this time in after punching the breeze throughout.   Jodis Choice is from the Craig Demmler camp at Parwan and will be driven by Jodi Quinlan. The colt by Four Starzzz Shark out of Petousa is coming off a 1:58.6 win at Maryborough from barrier seven.   Odds setter Ben Krahe has priced Menin Gate at $1.5 favourite from Jilliby Royal at $4.5, with Jodis Choice and The Culture on the next line at $6.5. Justbritell and Chief Safari are $12 outsiders.   CODY WINNELL

The Big Show lived up to his name with a last to first performance in the Harness Racing South Australia SA BOTRA Two-Year-Old Colts and Geldings final (1800m) at Globe Derby Park. And it was a new set of shoes that helped deliver the victory. And luck was also on the side of part-owner-trainer Kevin Von Duve, from Glencoe in the South-East of South Australia. His car broke down on the way to the track and Kevin, and wife Lyn, the other part-owner, thought they might not make it in time but the problem was fixed and maybe a win was just meant to be. The Big Show, a $33 chance and driven by Danni Hill, scored a neck win from Tyrion ($6.60) with the pacemaker Alto Cumulus ($3.50) three and a half metres away third. Von Duve gave part-credit to the win to Timothy McLean who drove The Big Show in the semi-final a week earlier but who could not drive in the final because of other commitments. “Tim said he felt the horse wasn’t comfortable and suggested a different pair of shoes which I put on and here is the result,” Von Duve said. “I only heard on Thursday that Tim wouldn’t be able to drive so I text Danni. She accepted and did a great job.” Danni Hill was very excited after the win. “He (The Big Show) went super,” Danni said. “The pace was on and I thought he may be able to run on but couldn’t get the lead into the race that I wanted. “But he kept coming and sprinted strongly up the straight – it was brilliant.” The race was made for a swooper as Alto Cumulus led with a 30.2 first quarter but Jock Dunlop on the $2.20 favourite Regal Major was caught wide and opted to go and sit outside the leader keeping the pressure on. As a result 29.7 and 29.9 second and third quarters meant a horse from the back had the chance to run home and score and that was The Big Show in a 31.4 final quarter. Von Duve, a plumber by trade, has been involved in harness racing on-and-off for 30 years training initially, but after having a medical issue, was an owner before taking up training a few years ago. He also has the good pacer Mayorofshinetown. “I bought the Major In Art gelding in Melbourne at a yearling sale. He looked good and was in our price range ($5750) and as soon as I broke him in I thought he might be a nice type.” With a first prize of $17,378, The Big Show has already made himself a cheap buy.” by Graham Fischer South Australia Harness Racing

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