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The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) yesterday considered applications lodged by Lisa Bartley, Nathan Jack and Mark Pitt for review of the decision of the Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board made on 16 November 2018. The HRV RADB Board decision, to dismiss an appeal against the determination of the HRV Stewards to invoke Australian Harness Racing Rules 183(c), 183(d) and 15(d) after Ms Bartley, Mr Jack and Mr Pitt were found guilty of charges under Section 195C of the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic), can be viewed here. After hearing the submissions of legal counsel for all parties, Senior Member Ian Proctor reserved his decision, which is expected to be handed down in the coming days.     Harness Racing Victoria

The Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board today handed down its decision in relation to an appeal lodged by licensed persons Lisa Bartley, Nathan Jack and Mark Pitt against the decision of the HRV Stewards to invoke Australian Harness Racing Rules 183(c), 183(d) and 15(d) after they were found guilty of charges under Section 195C of the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic). The HRV RAD Board considered submissions from all parties on 9 November 2018, and today determined that the appeal be dismissed. Therefore, from midnight on 23 November 2018, all licenses held by Lisa Bartley, Nathan Jack and Mark Pitt are suspended, any horses owned or trained by them are prevented from racing or trialling and they are excluded from attending any racecourse. The full decision of the HRV RAD Board can be viewed here.   Harness Racing Victoria 

Shadow Sax’s surge towards the Melbourne Inter Dominion gained some serious momentum with an easy Sokyola Sprint win at Melton last night. After some brave runs from bad draws in strong races, Shadow Sax drew superbly in gate three and used it to lead and dominate. With Chris Alford away at Globe Derby for the Australian Drivers’ Championship, Mark Pitt took the reins on Shadow Sax and always looked in control. And he beat fellow key Inter Dominion hopefuls Wrappers Delight and Menin Gate in the process. Shadow Sax clocked a 1min52.5sec mile rate for 1720m – just 1.8sec outside Cruz Bromac’s track record – and closed with splits of 55.0 and 26.6sec. Wrappers Delight’s run was enormous given he sat parked early then took the one-one trail on Menin Gate, but had to swing three-wide and make-up good ground in the blistering last quarter for second. The concern from the race was how sharply Menin Gate, who returned from a long spell with a terrific Swan Hill Cup win – dropped out to finish a distant last. Stewards queried the race and stood him down pending vet tests. ______________________________________________________________________________________________ An emerging star and a rejuvenated veteran stole the show in the Group 3 Nick Robin Free-For-All (1609m) at Menangle last night. And both of them – Joes Star Of Mia and Maximan – could be Inter Dominion-bound. Joes Star Of Mia has made a stunning step into Menangle’s big league, following a ripper fourth and eye-catching second with a sub-1min50sec win last night. Despite being part of a slick 26.5sec quarter as driver Amanda Turnbull fought to lead, Joes Star Of Mia followed with splits of 28.0, 27.3 and 27.5sec to win brilliantly in a 1min49.3sec mile. Most thought the currently sidelined Atomic Red was trainer Steve Turnbull’s next star horse, but Joes Star Of Mia has pinched that title, at least for now. Maximan’s slashing second, coming from a mile off them and finishing well ahead of Let It Ride, has got trainers Shane and Lauren Tritton thinking. “We’re talking with the owners about paying the late entry for the Inter Dominion. He won a couple in a row and he’s smashed the clock finishing second in both runs since,” Shane Tritton said. “I’ll be talking to HRV about it. He’s going well enough to give it a go for sure.” Maximan’s stablemate, My Alpha Rock, tired late but wasn’t disgraced in eighth spot after sitting parked. Let It Ride settled near last and was standing-up the leaders a huge start on the home bend before finishing well for fifth, less than five metres from Joes Star Of Mia. He’s now got two runs under his belt and shows every sign he will appreciate getting over further than a mile. ______________________________________________________________________________________________ Many of the biggest names in Australian driving ranks locked horns at Globe Derby last night. There were eight heats of the Australian Drivers’ Championship and it went right down to the last heat to decide the winner. And it was NSW young gun Todd McCarthy who snatched victory by just two points over Queensland-based Adam Sanderson with WA veteran Chris Lewis another four points away in third spot. McCarthy only won the one heat – heat two about Imprincessgemma – but was consistent through the right races, also snaring a second and three fourths. Final standings were: Todd McCarthy (72pts), Adam Sanderson (70), Chris Lewis (66), Greg Sugars (63), Pete McMullen (63), Dani Hill (62), Ricky Duggan (59), Ellen Rixon (51), Todd Rattray (45), Chris Alford (44), Shannon Suvaljko (40) and Ryan Hryhorec (37). ______________________________________________________________________________________________ Former Kiwi pacer Vampiro continued his rapid rise through the ranks with the biggest win of his career at Gloucester Park last Friday night. Driver Ryan Warwick made the most of a good draw (gate three) and Vampiro’s gate speed to lead and always looked in control in the $50,000 Group 2 James Brennan Memorial (2130m). After cruising through a 61.4sec middle half, Vampiro finished-off in 56.0 and 27.9sec to hold-off a gallant and revitalised stablemate Our Jimmy Johnstone in 1min57sec mile rate. Vampiro’s won five of his past seven starts and 17 of his 38 career runs and with Chicago Bull sidelined he is pressing for the top seeding in WA’s open-class ranks. “I liked him from the start, but Bondy (co-trainer Greg Bond) wasn’t so sure. He rushed through his grades and took a few runs in open-class to take the next step, but he’s into it now,” Warwick said. Vampiro is one of two “Team Bond” pacers being set for the Melbourne Inter Dominion. The other, Galactic Star, is slated to return to racing next Friday night at Gloucester Park. Team Bond’s other emerging open-class player. Mitch Maguire, also impressed winning last Friday night, coming from a 10m handicap to score by 16m in a slick 1min58.8sec mile rate for the long 2503m from the stand.   Adam Hamilton

On 7 September 2018 in accordance with Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 183(c), (d) and 15(d), Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Stewards provisionally suspended the licenses of Mr Nathan Jack, Mr Mark Pitt and Ms Lisa Bartley after they had been found guilty of charges under Section 195C of the Crimes Act (1958).  These charges relate to engaging in conduct that corrupts or would corrupt the betting outcome of an event or event contingency. Mr Jack, Mr Pitt and Ms Bartley were also prevented from racing or trialling any horses owned by them and excluded from attending any racecourse. Parties were provided with the opportunity to provide submissions to Stewards as to why these restrictions should not remain in place pending the completion of the Stewards investigation.  Stewards have considered all relevant information, including; the decision of Magistrate Murphy in the Wodonga Magistrates Court on 7 September 2018, submissions provided on behalf of the participants, the need for the protection of the integrity of the Harness Racing industry and to maintain the confidence of the conduct of races. It is the Stewards decision to continue the invocation of the provisions of the relevant AHRR until the completion of the Stewards investigation. The participants have been advised of their rights of appeal against this decision and any such appeal must be lodged with the HRV Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board Registrar by 5:00pm on 1 October 2018. As the Magistrates Court decision regarding the criminal charges remains subject to an appeal, HRV will not be making any further comment at this time Harness Racing Victoria

On 7 September 2018, Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Stewards suspended the licenses of Mr Nathan Jack, Mr Mark Pitt and Ms Lisa Bartley after they had been found guilty of charges under Section 195C of the Crimes Act (1958).  These charges relate to engaging in conduct that corrupts or would corrupt the betting outcome of an event or event contingency. Mr Jack, Mr Pitt and Ms Bartley were also prevented from racing or trialling any horses owned by them and excluded from attending any Victorian racecourse. Parties were provided with the opportunity to provide submissions to Stewards by 5pm on 17 September 2018, as to why these restrictions should not remain in place pending the completion of the Stewards investigation.  Following requests from the parties legal counsels Stewards have allowed an extension for the lodging of submissions, with them now due by 5pm on 20 September 2018.  The provisional restrictions placed upon Mr Jack, Mr Pitt and Ms Bartley shall remain in place pending final determination by the Stewards. As the Magistrates Court decision regarding the criminal charges remains subject to an appeal period, HRV will not be making any further comment at this time.   Harness Racing Victoria

Victorian harness racing licenced participants Nathan Jack, Mark Pitt and Lisa Bartley were today found guilty of charges under Section 195C of the Crimes Act (1958), which relates to engaging in conduct that corrupts or would corrupt the betting outcome of an event or event contingency. Mr Jack was found guilty of charges relating to Race 4 at Cobram on 22 June, 2015, and the training arrangements of Airbournemagic leading up to the event. Mr Pitt was found guilty of a charge relating to the aforementioned race. Ms Bartley was found guilty of charges relating to the training arrangements of Airbournemagic. Mr Jack and Mr Pitt were convicted and fined $20,000 and $15,000 respectively. Ms Bartley was fined $5,000 without a conviction being recorded.  In light of the parties being found guilty Mr Jack, Mr Pitt and Ms Bartley have had all harness racing licences suspended. Horses owned by them are prevented from racing or trialling and all three have been excluded from attending any Victorian racecourse. These restrictions were imposed immediately pending submissions being provided as to why these embargoes should not remain in place until the completion of a HRV investigation. A final decision with respect to these embargoes is expected to be announced by the HRV Integrity Department by 5pm on 19 September 2018. As today’s decision of the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria is subject to an appeal period, and all parties being required to appear before HRV for further proceedings, HRV will not make any further comment at this time.   Harness Racing Victoria

THE world awaits top Aussie trotter Sparkling Success. And the Victorian regained feature race winning form just ahead of his trip to the US for the $1 million Yonkers Interational Trot in October. It’s one of the great stories given he’s trained by dairy farmers John and Mary Meade, who have sold the farm to concentrate on campaigning Sparkling Success in the US. After two sound runs back from a spell, regular driver Chris Svanosio obviously felt Sparkling Success was primed to do some work and launched him a daring and race-winning midrace move around the field to take the lead. It left main danger and hot favourite Maori Time parked doing the work in the $35,000 Group Breeders Crown Graduate Trotters’ free-for-all. Sparkling Success was always in control, winning by 3.7m in a slick 1min58sec mile rate for 2240m “This is the race he won last year which showed how good he was and Meady thought he was getting back to his top so I was happy to do a bit of work on him. He felt terrific,” Svanosio said. Meade said Sparkling Success could race again at Melton on September 8 before boarding a flight to the US seven days later. The adorable Meade told : “There’s a lot of thing I don’t know yet, there’s probably a lot of things when I come home I won’t know either, but anyway. “We are going. I still haven’t got my visa. I haven’t got a credit card and I haven’t got a mobile phone. I have got a passport. “I’ve only got to just get on my computer – computers and me aren’t real good – I’ve been busy trying to get my licence and organise my cows for sale.” ____________________________________________________________________________ YOU may never see another race quite like what Dance Craze did in the Group 2 Breeders Crown 4YO Mares’ final at Melton last Friday night. It wasn’t the way she won, but rather how as a $1.10 favourite she did two staggering things to beat herself. About 100m from the winning post with a lap to go, she shied at something, broke badly while leading,  caused chaos in the field, but recovered well enough to zoom around take the lead again down the back straight. Driver Nathan Jack cut her loose on the final bend and she got to the 100m mark in the home straight with a huge lead before … doing exactly what she did a lap earlier. This time she galloped, lost all chance and finished ninth. For the record, the race was won by Margaret Jean for trainer Chris Svanosio and driver Mark Pitt. ____________________________________________________________________________ GLAMOUR mare Our Golden Goddess’ unbeaten streak this campaign came to an end when she could only manage third in the $60,000 Group 2 Breeders Crown Graduate Open free-for-all (2240m) at Melton last Friday night. The scratching of favourite and big threat Shadow Sax left Our Golden Goddess a dominant $1.70 favourite, but much-improved leader Audi Hare dictated in front and found plenty to win by a head over Nikkibandwagon (behind leader). Our Golden Goddess was another head away third and timed to run her last 800m out three-wide without cover in 54.9sec. Such has been Audi Hare’s improvement, trainer David Aiken touted a possible Melbourne Inter Dominion tilt for the rising six-year-old. ____________________________________________________________________________ CHICAGO Bull stole the show at Gloucester Park last Friday, but a couple of Greg and Skye Bond’s exciting four-year-olds delivered nice cameos. Former buzz juvenile Mitch Maguire and the emerging former Kiwi Vampiro both look headed to bigger and better things. Mitch Maguire sat parked, but simply blew away a handy field for a speed with a 55.4 closing half to score in a 1min56.4sec mile rate for 2130m. It was his fourth win from his past five starts and his 17th from just 26 career runs. Vampiro, who looks every bit a serious open-class player in the making, didn’t win as easily but was even more impressive. After rapidly rising through the grades, Vampiro had been good without winning of late, but turned it around when he dropped back in grade slightly and to a standing race off 20m. Ryan Warwick stepped him away well, made an early move to sit parked and then went crunch through the middle stages with a 56.1sec split from the 1200-400m. Vampiro tired late, but held on to beat stablemate Courage Tells by 1.4m in a sharp 1min57.7sec mile rate for the long 2503m standing-start. The Bonds snared a treble on the night with Mighty Mr Sharkey led throughout to upset stablemate El Jacko in the fourth event. ____________________________________________________________________________ A WIDE draw and tough run saw NZ Cup hopeful Tiger Tara finish just midfield in the Group 3 Vic Frost Cup (1609m) at Menangle last night. Kevin Pizzuto’s stable star was only second-up from a spell and worked hard three-wide then outside the leader and winner My Alpha Rock before tiring late for a 7.1m fifth. My Alpha Rock continues to emerge as a open-class player and there was plenty to like about his bold front-running win in a 1min50.9sec mile. The flop of the race was former All Stars’ pacer Cash N Flow, now in the Craig Cross barn, who had a good trip, but failed to beat a rival home. ____________________________________________________________________________ A LATE surge from Lauren Tritton left her one with short of winning the Menangle drivers’ premiership. Todd McCarthy’s early treble last night gave him a three-win lead, but Tritton hit back with victories on My Alpha Rock and Petes Big Jim. Petes Big Jim, a placegetter and Jewels and Vicbred finals, had to pull-out all stops to beat Tim Butt’s recent Kiwi import Izzy Dagg in the Garrards Ready 2 Run Sale Stakes in a slick 1min52.9sec mile.   Adam Hamitlon

The intrigue ahead of the three-year-old IRT Breeders Crown Grand Final was akin to the goings on in Canberra this week, but there can only be one winner in any power struggle. And tonight at Tabcorp Park Melton rising superstar Ride High produced a lethal mix of ridiculous speed, ironclad strength and versatility to blow away his rivals in the race touted by many in the lead-up as “the best Crown contest in years”. “He’s done it with ease,” beamed winning reinsman Mark Pitt (pictured winning tonight on Hurricane Harley) aboard the Emma Stewart-trained colt affectionately known by stable name ‘Chainsaw’ and a son of megastar Alabar stallion Art Major. “He’s only lightly raced and every time he goes out there he just keeps getting better and better.” If a good drive is “a peach” then Pitt produced punnets – making a lighting move seven furlongs out to arrest control from Queenslander Grant Dixon aboard polemarker Colt Thirty One. Once Dixon relented, and Poster Boy and Ignatius – two of the race’s big guns – lagged back and didn’t pour on the mustard, Pitt was riding high. “I was a little bit surprised there weren’t a lot of challenges but the tempo was very genuine and I suppose it made it hard for the backmarkers,” Pitt said. Ride High notched a mile rate of 1:55.2. Colt Thirty One held on for second, with Poster Boy third. Earlier, another Art Major young star Our Princess Tiffany made it nine wins from nine career starts for New Zealand champion trainer Mark Purdon. Our Princess Tiffany twinkled under the Melton lights, parking outside boom filly Kualoa and finding gears at the finish when the others had simply nothing in reserve to take the Always B Miki at Alabar two-year-old fillies’ final. “She was very courageous and full credit to her. She took quite a bit out of herself over-racing, which surprised me a bit. Down the back I just let her roll so we got down the back pretty good. We were off the bit at the quarter, but it just survival of the fittest,” Purdon said. Our Princess Tiffany went 1:55.3, with Kualoa a brave second and Enchanted Stride third. Wrappers Delight continued marching towards an Inter Dominion 2018 campaign, blowing away a strong line-up in the Hygain four-year-old Crown final. Driven by Kima Frenning – the former Swedish monte rider who now boasts a huge Australian fan base – Wrappers Delight dominated to score by almost 10m. “I just have got absolutely no words,” Frenning said. “I’m just shaking my head. I’m so grateful that I get to drive him and Aiks (trainer David Aiken) has done an amazing job with this horse to get him where he is today. It’s been such a cool ride to be on.” To kick off the night – in glorious winter sunshine – Kiwi Stress Factor remained unbeaten on Australian soil with victory in the Woodlands Stud Breeders Crown for in-form trainer Brent Lilley and champion driver Chris Alford. Stress Factor dictated in front to beat Anywhere Hugo and Kyvalley Finn in 2:00.4. Alford went back-to-back in the second race, the Aldebaran Park Breeders Crown 2YO Trotting Fillies’ Final, courtesy of Sleepee – trained and owned by wife Alison. “Colin was kind enough to give us the opportunity to lease (Sleepee) and mum jumped in and took a share with me. It’s a little surreal, I never thought I’d own one, I always wanted to own one, and I said to Chris on Thursday I’m starting to get a bit nervous. He said I could have told you that on Monday.” Our Show Gait captured the three-year-old trotting fillies’ final for NZ trainer Regan Todd and Purdon, rating 2:01.2 to defeat Moonshine Linda. The two-year-old pacing final lived up to the hype, with Emma Stewart training the quinella as Hurricane Harley finished like a whirlwind to defeat Centenario to deliver driver Pitt the crown. “… He really dug deep and deserved to win,” Stewart said of the performance. Speak No Evil extended her winning streak to six in the Woodlands three-year-old fillies’ final – another win for Stewart/Alford – holding off Angel Of Arts in second and My Harmony Blue in third. “She’s had an amazing season really, winning this and winning Vicbred and an unlucky second in the Oaks as well,” Alford told Trots Vision. “You can’t ask much more.” Kyvalley Clichy secured Alford his fourth crown for the evening but in controversial circumstances, having to withstand a protest from runner-up Kate Gath aboard Dream Mastar after the winner broke stride in the run to the post. “I’m extremely happy. This is a race I’ve been very fortunate in over the last 18 years. I’m just very lucky and hope the luck continues,” said winning owner Jim Connelly. Dean Braun-trained Carlas Pixel showed she had classes on her rivals in the Nevele R Stud Breeders Crown four-year-old mares’ final, thoroughly dominating. Driven by Pitt – who won three crowns tonight – Carlas Pixel had to work to find the front early but had plenty left at the finish to score by almost 7m over runner-up Cherry Stride in 1:54.2. “She’s a fantastic mare. Every time we have taken her out she’s just got better and better,” Braun told Trots Vision. “She’s just got an amazing constitution, she never really gets sick. She’s just one of those horses; she’s a pleasure to train and the owners are really, really good people. She’s a star. She’s got a motor as big as herself.” Cody Winnell

IT DIDN’T take an Australian Pacing Gold graduate long to make its way into the winners’ circle during tonight’s Breeders’ Crown semi-finals. In fact, a filly purchased at the 2016 Sydney Sale captured the opening event on the card. Prepared by premier horsewoman Emma Stewart and driven by in-form reinsman Mark Pitt, Pistol Abbey proved too slick for her rivals to book her berth in next week’s Group One Final. After enjoying the perfect one-one trip from barrier two, the daughter of Western Terror was angled to the pegs around the home turn before finishing stoutly along the sprint lane. Rating 1:56.7 over 2150 metres, the three-year-old stretched her record to four wins and four placings from 12 starts for earnings of $61,990. Pistol Abbey captured her Breeders’ Crown heat at Shepparton 10 days ago when first-up since last February. “After getting a good trip like that she was always going to be hard to hold out,” Stewart said. “It was a good drive from Mark and the filly hit the line well. “That was only her second run from a six-month break and will top her off perfectly for the Final. “Without knowing the draw, but all things being even, she will be hard to beat in the Final.” APG Media

The New Zealand Oaks may have had an Australian flavour to it, however the New Zealand undertones to the success are prominent throughout. Australian breeder George Tennent was at Addington having travelled from Victoria to watch his pride and joy take on the best fillies in New Zealand on Friday night, and his recipe for success is one of many highs and lows. George bred Shez All Rock after eying up her mother at the New Zealand Yearling sales in 2011. “I bought the mare Irish Loch at the Yearling Sales where I had up to six people check her over and nobody could fault her," he said. “Murtel McCarthy told the people I had inspecting the filly she was looking for a huge amount which had me worried, but I managed to pick her up for $11,500. “And then the Earthquake happened, and I was thrown to the ground and had never experienced anything like it before!” “I’d been doing research on a filly that had been racing with Hamish Hunter and he had a horse called Timely Loch and I’d seen her race a bit. Next thing I see the sale book over there and here’s Irish Loch." Irish Loch is the Mach Three dam of Shez All Rock and was out of the lightly tried Falcon Seelster mare, Lady Loch. While the Mach Three/Falcon Seelster cross was lightly tried at the time, it would go on to produce the likes of Fly like An Eagle, Fiery Falcon and Venus Serena. Timely Loch (Christian Cullen) was easily the best of the Lady Loch foals who were seven fillies no less. Timely Loch would win three races for Hamish Hunter and one for Michael House before racing in New South Wales and retiring with 12 wins to her name. The irony and good fortune for her owners is she has just this season left her first foal, a colt by Rock N Roll Heaven no less but we come back to them shortly via the Shez All Rock purchase! There had been a slew of good horses come out the family and you don’t have to look much further then Shez All Rock’s fifth dam Heatherloch (Lumber Dream) who was an honest mare that won six races. She was sold by Roydon Lodge at a dispersal sale after failing to set the world alight as a broodmare, but that would soon change. She was sold with a Yankee Reb colt at foot whose deeds among her other progeny would credit her with New Zealand Broodmare of the Year in 1989. Yankee Loch (Yankee Reb colt sold at foot with mare) was the only trotting bred foal from the mare but he would win the Rowe Cup, Interdominion Trotting Final and New Zealand Trotter of the Year in the same season his mother was awarded Broodmare of the Year. Other good performers from the maternal family included Scottish Loch, Patches, Global Force and Black Loch who was injured after winning the Sapling Stakes and prematurely being retired from racing. While it was a solid family, it wasn’t a great one given the number of foals that were bred and the top sires many of them were by. However, patience was eventually rewarded for those that have persisted with the family. Tennent unfortunately never got the opportunity to try his acquisition as a racehorse after taking her home to Victoria. “I should have left her in New Zealand with Ernie Knight to be broken in but I made a big mistake before bringing her back to Australia," he said. "Usually I do a lot of research with the people I send my horses to be educated with. But someone told me to send it to such and such and it was the biggest mistake I ever made because they wrecked the filly before she could even get started and she never recovered. “I tried with various trainers to correct her issues and bad habits but a Mach Three filly who had that much speed was never to recover from being broken in poorly. She never even qualified. She has developed into a beautiful mare but you move on and we made the decision to breed from her. “I then had contact with a man in South Australia called Robert O’Court who does breeding analysis and sets up the bloodlines, and he reckoned Rock N Roll Heaven was the one. “She was prepared for the sales and she had only had a few people inspect her over the three days the sales were on. "Frustratingly she went for only 12,500. It was disappointing because other ones we had bred were averaging around $30k, and I guess she was quite small and I’m not sure if the white blaze on her face put people off. “She’s missed at stud and slipped at stud, but is safely in foal to Pet Rock this season,” he said. Pet Rock currently sits fourth on the USA 3 year old sires list and stood his first season at stud in New Zealand this year. “When we sell our yearlings, sometimes my wife will say kiss er goodbye because they can go to the wrong people. “But Mark Pitt whose a lovely fella and we get on well, he purchased the filly even though a lot of people were trying to turn him off buying her. But his family are part of a very famous harness family in New South Wales called the Dieberts, and they purchased Timely loch, and that’s where the connection come up. “They knew all about the family and originally Timely Loch was trained by Hamish Hunter down south where she broke down. Somehow or another Timely Loch ended up in Michael House’s care and he was able to get her to win in a very fast time at Ashburton over a mile (1:55.5) and sold her to the Dieberts. Shez All Rock must have shown some ability because they sent her to Rock N Roll Heaven,” he said. “They had a few problems breaking her in I believe but I got a call some months later asking me if there any more progeny out of the mare which in hindsight tells you she might have been a bit special." Shez All Rock was looking to join a very select list of fillies to complete the New Zealand, Victorian and new South Wales Oaks on Friday night. Dream About Me, Fight For Glory, Copper Beach and Pullover Brown have pulled off the Victorian/NZ Oaks double in recent years and Elect To Live and Under Cover Lover had done the NSW/NZ Oaks double. Only Bonnie Frost in 1970 had ever done the three-peat showing just how remarkable the accomplishment is. “Mark Pitt called me on Friday before the Oaks and told me that Mark was happy with how she was working. And it was such a thrill to travel over and watch her win the New Zealand Oaks from the birdcage. The hospitality we experienced was unbelievable and you people treated me like royalty it was just remarkable. “When she won the Victorian Oaks there was only one board member present and there wasn’t even an official presentation,” he said. The filly with a blaze Sweet Lou would be proud of was hard to miss as she made her way around Addington in the green Harness Jewels colours, and even harder to miss were the tears of joy in Tennent's eyes as he tried to take it all in. It is what we breed horses for and the emotion and buzz from seeing your stock win races like that is not a thrill you can get from a bottle. Tennent says the mare will be mated this season with Art Major as it is a cross he is keen to try before the stallion retires. “There is plenty of time to go back to Rock N Roll Heaven,” he joked. Whoever Irish loch is served by, you can bet George Tennent who is a seller of his stock will do better than the $12,000 he got for her first foal when he takes the next one to the sales! This article featured in the Breeders Update, click here to read the most recent issue: Click here to subscribe:   Courtesy of Brad Reid NZ Standardbred Breeders Association  

Brilliant Australian three-year-old pacing filly Shez All Rock and Chariots Of Fire winner Jilliby Kung Fu have been announced as the latest recipients of an invitation to the 2018 Harness Jewels. Shez All Rock In winning the Victoria Oaks last Friday night for trainer-driver Mark Pitt Shez All Rock became the first filly since 1989 to collect the rare Victoria Oaks/New South Wales Oaks double. The daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven has now been defeated just once in eight career starts, with her only other race resulting in a second place at Cobram in February. Trained by Mark Pitt in those eight starts, Shez All Rock was purchased by expat Kiwi trainer Chris Ryder in late February. She will now transfer to the care of Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen to tackle the New Zealand Oaks on Friday 18 May and now for certain target the Harness Jewels on Saturday 2 June. The intention for Ryder is to return the filly to Australia after the Jewels to head to the Vicbred Series and the Breeders Crown but was unsure as to when she will head to the Northern Hemisphere. “It’s still to be determined. I had a little bit of an idea to leave her down there as a four-year-old but I haven’t looked into it much. Either way I’ll give her a good break and just decide at the time,” said Ryder. Originally from Greymouth, Ryder is based in Allentown, New Jersey and has been living in the States for 29 years. He made the move after his wife Nichola received a transfer with her job to work in New York city as an accountant, and after a two years he decided to start a training career there. Ryder been associated with some exceptional pacers during his training career there, including Put On A Show ($2.4 million and former 3YO US Filly of the Year), I Luv The Nitelife ($1.94 million and former 3YO Filly of the Year in the US and Canada), Art Major for the early part of his career, and he also trained McArdle who earned $2.6 million before heading to stud. Ryder had previously been very keen to purchase a filly down under. “I’d been trying to buy a couple of horses around New Zealand without much luck and Mark Purdon had been at the Miracle Mile and saw Shez All Rock win the New South Wales Oaks. He thought she might be available to buy,” explained Ryder. “After looking at her replays there was everything to like about her. So Mark (Purdon) called them up and we got her bought.  It was quite a simple deal and I was very happy to be able to buy her at the time.” “So far it’s working out very well.” Ryder was keen to make the trip down to New Zealand to witness his filly race, but due to it being spring currently at home his training schedule didn’t allow for him to be here. However Ryder will be keenly waiting for news from his family down under admitting he has a sister ‘who is pretty handy on the telephone.’ Despite being half a world away Ryder was grateful for the opportunity to start a horse in a feature race in his home land. “We are very pleased to be invited. We appreciate it.”   Jilliby Kung Fu Australia’s next emerging star, Jilliby Kung Fu, has been announced the recipient of an invitation into the Four-Year-Old Emerald at this year’s Harness Jewels. The 2018 Chariots Of Fire winner will represent Australia in the Four-Year-Old Emerald on Saturday 2 June at Cambridge Raceway. In his Chariots win he recorded a sizzling 1.48.8 over a mile, and followed that win with a brave second placing to My Field Marshall in the Miracle Mile. On that occasion he was beaten by a mere head when just caught on the line, with the winner recording a new Australasian record of 1.46.9. Since then the horse has had a month spelling and all things going to plan will start in a fresh state on Harness Jewels day. A son of Four Starzzz Shark, Jilliby Kung Fu is trained by Marg Lee of Terang, Victoria and is driven regularly by her son Jason Lee. At just 22-years-old Jason has focused on his harness racing career diligently and this year it has really paid off. Being associated with a horse like Jilliby Kung Fu has presented Lee with some remarkable opportunities to compete at the highest level. The horse has continued to go from strength to strength. “To do what he did in the Miracle Mile was really quite special when you go back and think about it. At the time you were probably disappointed just to get beat but it was quite an extraordinary effort from a four-year-old,” said Lee. Jilliby Kung Fu has raced 29 times for 14 wins and 10 placings, and has earned just over $492,000 in stakes. His impressive resume already includes the Group One Chariots Of Fire, Group One 4YO Bonanza, Group One Vicbred 3YO Final and a Group Two  APG 2YO Consolation Final. And whilst the horse faces a big ask coming into the Jewels potentially in a fresh state, Lee was positive about the trip. “It’s one of those things if you don’t go and try you may never get a horse or the opportunity to go and try and do it again.”   To listen to the full interviews with Chris Ryder and Jason Lee click here   Jess Smith

Australia's buzz filly Shez All Rock heads to the All Stars’ barn on Monday. And she makes the trip having become the first filly to complete the NSW and Victoria Oaks double since the brilliant Jane Ellen way back in 1989. Just for good measure, Shez All Rock smashed the race record winning last Friday night’s $150,000 Group 1 Victoria Oaks narrowly, but oh so impressively. Her 1min55.1sec mile rate for 2240m took 0.6sec off the race record her jointly by Miss Graceland (last year) and Barynya (2014). “I thought she was better going into the final than the heat and knew she’d need to be. I expected a real contest tonight and she got it,” trainer-driver Mark Pitt said. “She had to do a fair bit to get to the front and then we kept rolling when Nostra Villa came up alongside me. “She gave a great kick rounding the home bend and kept finding when the second filly came at me.” Shez All Rock’s lead time was a very fast 43.7sec then she ran through the middle half in 60sec and 28.3sec between the 800-400m. She was still able to reel-off a 28.3sec closing quarter. Emma Stewart’s much-improved filly Speak No Evil improved again of her heat win to sustain a big three-wide around the field and get within a neck of the winner in record time. Although Pitt temporarily hands over the training of Shez All Rock, he will be trackside when she tackles the Group 1 NZ Oaks at Addington for the All Stars barn on May 15. “I’ll be there for sure. I might go to the Jewels as well if she runs there,” he said. Pitt said the plan was for Shez All Rock to return to his stable after the Jewels to chase the Vicbred and Breeders Crown at Melton to round-out the season. Australia’s other top filly, Soho Burning Love, had to be content with yet another minor placing  behind Shez All Rock, but she stormed home late for an eye-catching third in last Friday’s Victoria Oaks. She now seems unlikely to head to the NZ Oaks with owner Rob Watson declaring an intention to take her to the Group 1 WA Oaks at Gloucester Park next Friday night. An NZ trip is tricky for Soho Burning Love as Shez All Rock would surely rate above her for the Aussie invite to the Harness Jewels. That means Soho Burning Love would seemingly have to win the NZ Oaks to earn enough stakemoney to snare a spot in the Jewels. Adam Hamilton

Buzz filly Shez All Rock looks to have Friday night’s $150,000 Group 1 Victoria Oaks (2240m) at her mercy. The Kiwi-bound filly was by far the most impressive of the three heat winners last Saturday and has now drawn ideally in gate three for the final. She should stroll to the front. Shez All Rock’s gun draw was amplified when key rivals Nostra Villa (gate seven), Soho Burning Love (nine), Aqua Miss (11) and Speak No Evil (13) drew much worse. “She did it really well last week, has come through it well and the draw is terrific,” trainer-driver Mark Pitt said. “I though she’d be the one to beat from any draw, but I’ll take three for sure.” This is Shez All Rock’s last run for Pitt before heading to the All Stars’ barn to tackle the NZ Oaks and Harness Jewels. Plans are for her to return to Pitt to chase the Vicbred series and Breeders Crown later in the season. ____________________________________________________________________________________ MIRACLE Mile winner My Field Marshal faces another fascinating stoush with former Kiwi pacer Franco Nelson in Saturday night’s $50,000 Group 2 Bulli Cup (1609m) at Menangle. My Field Marshal improved off a lacklustre first-up seventh at Menangle to sit three-wide the trip for second - and still beat home Franco Nelson (third) – behind Mach Doro at Melton two weeks ago. Mach Doro is there again from gate eight. ____________________________________________________________________________________ SHE is bred to be a superstar and the early signs are good. Soho Nolita is a brother to Grand Circuit star Soho Tribeca and half-sister to recent Ladyship Mile winner Carlas Pixel. The Mick Stanley-trained filly won on debut then raced very greenly when a below par fourth in her Australian Gold heat. She bounced back to smash the clock and win a repechage by 20m, stamping herself as the one to beat in Saturday night’s $328,000 Gold final (1609m) at Menangle despite drawing wide (gate 11).   Adam Hamilton

Shez All Rock looks a bit special and she’s chasing something very rare on Friday. So many great fillies have tried and failed to win the NSW and Victoria Oaks. Amazingly, the last to do so was Bob and Vin Knight’s former Tasmanian filly Jane Ellen way back in 1989. Champion filly Frith ran second to Itz Nosurprisesthere in the 2013 NSW Oaks then won the Victoria Oaks. Off the back of a sparkling NSW Oaks win and dominant Victoria Oaks heat win at Melton last Saturday night, the Aussie TAB has Shez All Rock $2.80 favourite in the pre-draw market for Friday night’s $150,000 Nevele R Stud Victoria Oaks final (2240m). It’s her last target before joining the All Stars’ team to chase the NZ Oaks and Harness Jewels. Young trainer-driver Mark Pitt has done a superb job with the daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven, who has raced just seven times for six wins and a second. The switch to Purdon and Rasmussen was agreed to former Kiwi and now US-based Chris Ryder paid a reported $220,000 to buy Shez All Rock just days after her NSW Oaks win. “The plan is for her to come back to me after the Jewels for a crack at the Vicbred series and the Breeders Crown,” Pitt said. “Chris (Ryder) said there’s a chance he might leave her with me for her four-year-old season as well. “I’ll be over there in NZ cheering for her in the Oaks and Jewels, don’t worry about that.” For now, Pitt’s sights are firmly set on Friday night’s Oaks and with a serious dash of confidence. “She’s still only had a handful of runs really and she’s green. Every race is a learning curve and it was the same the other night when I really buzzed her at the start for the first time. Like everything else, she handled it well,” he said. “Molly Kelly really worked me for that first 500m or so and tested me, but then I got a bit of a breather before Nostra Villa came around and I knew I’d have a race on my hands. “When I was able to drop Nostra Villa on the bend, I knew I was home, but I also knew Nostra Villa wouldn’t give it away.” Shez All Rock ripped home in splits of 27.5 and 27.7sec to beat Nostra Villa by 4.1m in a 1min56.9sec mile over 2240m. Emma Stewart’s Speak No Evil led throughout to win the second heat and weakest of three heats in a 1min57.5sec mile rate. The third heat went to Grant Dixon’s Queensland raider Aqua Miss. She roared home late to rundown a gallant Soho Burning Love, who did all the work outside the leader in a 1min58.2sec mile rate. Andrew Stuart’s Kiwi filly Sociable was a real eye-catcher in that third heat. She was badly bailed-up behind a tiring leader Nostra Beach and flashed home late for third, just 4.6m from the winner. The Aussie TAB pre-draw market for the final has Shez All Rock at $2.80, Nostra Villa ($3.20), Speak No Evil ($5.50), Soho Burning Love ($6.50) and Aqua Miss ($9) and Sociable ($17).   Adam Hamilton

NSW Oaks winner, Shez All Rock, is all set for a visit to All Stars now after a few issues have been settled as a result of her sale to the United States which added the NZ Oaks to her programme. Mark Purdon was involved in the deal from early on but her move to New Zealand has only now been confirmed after connections baulked at the GST tax situation facing her if she came to New Zealand. "We were at the wedding of Peter Ryder's daughter, Larissa, and Chris had come over from the States for it" Mark said. "He mentioned he was looking for a smart filly and Shez All Rock had impressed me at Menangle so she was my suggestion. The business was done and the idea was for her to race over there in features such as the Vicbred series before going to America and then to send her over here for the NZ Oaks. The catch was that if she came to NZ and then left for America  GST was to be charged and the buyers had already paid GST in Australia and were obviously not happy about paying some more.  If she races here and goes back to Australia that doesn't apply so it was decided to do that. She has some racing coming up over there before coming here but it the intention at this stage for her to race in the Oaks out of our barn" Shez All Rock was  owned and trained by the Pitt family, Mark Pitt and his parents, Mark having selected the filly from the APG sale to be placed with Emma Stewart who did the early work with the filly. By Rock n Roll Heaven whose stud career seems to be enjoying a second chance, she is from a Mach Three-Falcon Seelster-Lordship cross and traces to Heatherlock dam of the outstanding trotter Yankee Loch.  Mark Pitt has handled the filly through her racing career which only comprises five starts going back to September and she did not race at two. She has yet to be further back than second.   Courtesy All Stars Website

Young Victorian reins man Mark Pitt gave a salute to the stars as he scored an amazing harness racing win in tonight's John Gibson Memorial New South Wales Oaks at Tabcorp Park Menangle. The Shepparton reinsman brought Shez All Rock with a burst of speed up the inside running to win by three metres from Soho Burning Love (Greg Sugars) in a world record equalling time of 2:50.4 with the plucky Nostra Villa (Chris Alford) clinging on for third. Pitt drove a patient race with the daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven, settling in about seventh spot and biding his time until the field hit the home running. The charges looked to be coming from out wide and just as it looked as if Soho Burning Love and Nostra Villa would fight out the finish Pitt and Shez All Rock appeared from nowhere up the pegs for an amazing win. Now Victorian-based, Pitt showed his delight to be back in his former home state with a mighty flourish of the whip as he crossed the line for a win he rated among the best of his career. "This was always going to be a tricky race but she had a good trip tonight and god the job done," said Pitt. "It's always good when you come away from home and win a race like this and go home with a trophy, it's really special. "I have to thank Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin for all the help they have given me with this horse and I also think Mum and Dad deserve some of the credit too. Without them none of this would be possible.       3 7:17pm JOHN GIBSON MEMORIAL NSW OAKS (GROUP 1) 2400M $200,000 3YO Fillies. RBD. Mobile Results Pl  Horse Prize- money   Row & Br TAB # Trainer Driver (C = Concession) Mgn (m) Starting odds Stewards' Comments  1 SHEZ ALL ROCK      Fr4 5 Mark Pitt Mark Pitt   $ 4.80       BROWN FILLY 3 by ROCK N ROLL HEAVEN USA out of JUST IRISH LOCH NZ (MACH THREE CA)  Owner(s): I D Pitt, L M Pitt  Breeder(s): G F (George) Tennent 2 SOHO BURNING LOVE      Fr10 11 Michael Stanley Greg Sugars 3.2m $ 13.20     3 NOSTRA VILLA      Fr7 8 Emma Stewart Chris Alford 7.5m $ 2.70 fav    4 CALLMEQUEENBEE      Fr8 9 Gemma Rue Mat Rue 9.1m $ 95.30     5 MY SWEETCHILLIPHILLY NZ      Fr6 7 S P Tritton, L R Tritton Lauren Tritton 9.3m $ 35.70     6 WAR DAN BAD GIRL      Fr5 6 Steve Turnbull Nathan Jack 9.5m $ 42.30     7 FAME ASSURED      Fr3 4 Grant Dixon Grant Dixon 10.4m $ 4.60     8 IMPRINCESSGEMMA      Fr1 2 Emma Stewart Luke McCarthy 21.7m $ 6.30     9 IDEAL PLEASURE NZ      Fr2 3 S P Tritton, L R Tritton Natalie Rasmussen 22.5m $ 16.10     10 MACEY JAYDE      Fr9 10 Michael Stanley Michael Stanley 29.8m $ 46.20     Scratchings   REDBANK ADDI 1 PROPHESY 12 Track Rating: Gross Time: 2:50:4 Mile Rate: 1:54:3 Lead Time: 54.9 First Quarter: 29.3 Second Quarter: 30.1 Third Quarter: 27.8 Fourth Quarter: 28.3 Margins: 3.2m x 4.3m   Sean Vella  

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