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The 2018 Seelite Windows and Doors Maryborough Trotters Cup brings together converging formlines from right across the state. While horses like Father Christmas, King Denny and Fabrication are returning from tackling the TAB Inter Dominion, there are others that haven’t been through the rigors of that series. One of those is the Brad Stevens-prepared Endsin A Party. A Yabby Dam Racing McNamara Memorial Geelong Trotters Cup winner two starts back, he thrived over the staying trip when able to lead all the way to defeat Inter Dominion contender Save Our Pennys. “I’m sure Save Our Pennys wasn’t fully wound up but it was nice to see him go so well through the Inter Dominion,” Stevens said. “I’d love to see him in one of these longer races be able to sit back and use his speed when they are running along. He definitely doesn’t need to lead; it’s all tempo dependent.” The story of how the gelding came to be with Stevens is one of sheer luck. For all intents and purposes the horse was ready to move interstate before a late change. “He was up for sale and someone from Sydney was buying him but the sale fell through so we were lucky enough to get him in the end,” Stevens said. “I’m pretty good mates with Matty Gath so I knew the horse had ability and he told me it had ability so it was just a matter of trying to convert it into winning races.” With a bright future ahead, the son of Pegasus Spur won’t be aggressively targeting the $10,000 Maori's Idol Trotting Championship - awarded to the leading trotter across the season's country cups - despite sitting prominently on the leaderboard. Instead his trainer plans to race him sparingly over the summer to get the most out of his steed. “We might look at the Cobram Trotters Cup after this and then maybe a break, I think he probably races his best when we keep him fresh,” Stevens said. Father Christmas is currently the $4.60 TAB Fixed Odds favourite for the Maryborough Trotters Cup with a wide array of chances in the market including Fratellino ($5), The Boss Man ($6), Destinee Jenilou ($6), Fabrication ($7.50) and Egee Money ($10). Endsin A Party has firmed from his opening price to be a $19 chance.   Blake Redden

Maryborough’s final straight presents as a field of dreams for Thursday’s Humbletonian, when 10 of the 95 contestants will break their maiden status. The combatants have collectively contested 679 races without success, but that could all change with the Harness Breeders Victoria-sponsored day and the wait will make the work all the more worthwhile. None have been there and not done that more times than Rebecca Wardlaw’s much-loved mare Sucralose, the Village Jolt four-year-old who’s gone oh-so-close with 10 placings in her 42 starts. “She’s been knocking on the door,” trainer Wardlaw said. “She was a real puller, she would just over race all the time and it has taken a lot to get her to settle. “She would always throw in a gallop right when you need her not too. She’s so close to winning it’s not funny. She loves to run, she just can’t quite get everything right on the day. But she’s just an awesome little horse.” The mare has been in Wardlaw’s keeping for all her starts, having been snapped up after Rebecca’s husband, Stephen, and Wallace Van Niekerk, his workmate at Pyrenees Hay Co-Operative in Avoca, hatched the plan amid their long and varied chats during late-night shifts. It’s a plan that seems certain to soon reap significant dividends, with Sucralose finishing top four in his last six starts including a second placing in the hands of Chris Alford at Kilmore on July 25. “At Kilmore I thought that one was going to be ours,” Wardlaw said. “We were so close.” The trainer’s optimism extends into Thursday’s Humbletonian, when Sucralose will contest race eight – the Harness Breeders Victoria Vicbred Pace – with Mark Hayes to take the reins from gate nine. “I think she’s got a pretty good chance on Thursday,” Wardlaw said. “I prefer her on the outside, hopefully she will run through behind Chris Alford and be somewhere close when it counts at the end.” For those who do salute the rewards will be many. All are Vicbred eligible, so victory for those aged two, three and four would secure their full $7000 bonuses, and in addition Harness Breeders Victoria will gift a $250 bonus to each winner’s breeder and the Victorian Square Trotting Association a further $250 to its successful members who are on course. “I think it’s fantastic,” Wardlaw said. “We’ve got one more crack at it and are hoping to break through. It’s a great initiative at a great track that gives everyone a good opportunity.” In addition to breaking her horse’s maiden the second last day of the season also gives Wardlaw a final chance to break a maiden of her own, having been winless in her 111 starts in 2017-18. “I have had a tough year. If I was to break through I’d be ecstatic,” she said. While success hasn’t been forthcoming it hasn’t dulled her families’ passion for the sport. Her daughter, Tamara, serves as a Clerk of the Course and husband, Stephen, has for 30 years been a track attendant at Maryborough. “We run our own farm, cut our own chaff and grow our own hay and then harness racing is what we do as a family. Some days it’s hard, but we wouldn’t do anything else.” Michael Howard

Always Ready rewrote Maryborough's record books with a blistering run in the final Breeders Crown heat, setting the stage for a ripping finals night at Tabcorp Park Melton. Thursday's heats at Maryborough narrowed the Breeders Crown contenders for the prized finals on August 25, with $90,000 up for grabs in the two-year-old classes and $75,000 in the three-year-olds. None were more impressive than Yabby Dam Farms trotter Always Ready, with the Vicbred and Tatlow Stakes winner and Redwood Classic runner-up stopping the clock at a 2:00.8 mile rate, cutting a second off Wobelee's two-year-old track record. That was the eighth of the days heats and provided a clearer picture of who would contest the Crown finals, though final fields will not be declared until the commencement of tomorrow night's meeting at Bendigo in line with the pacing finals. Below are the fields as they stand ahead of the barrier draws, which will feature as part of the festivities for tomorrow's pacing semi-finals at Lords Raceway. The draws will be streamed live at www.thetrots.com.au in a special barrier draw telecast hosted by Rob Auber and Craig Rail. Tune in from 5pm. For more details click here. Yabby Dam Racing Breeders Crown 3YO trottting fillies final: Drawn on Trots Live after race 3 (6.02pm) on Saturday night at Bendigo. CADENAS DAMOUR NZ DI LI HADES SKY MAR PACIFICO MEADOW VALLEY SKY MOONLIGHT DREAM MOONSHINE LINDA OUR SHOW GAIT NZ PARISIAN OPERA PRETTY MAJESTIC THE GREAT REDEEMER NZ WILKES BARRE ALEPPO JEWEL (1st Em) Aldebaran Park Breeders Crown 2YO trotting fillies final: Drawn on Trots Live after race 4 (6.34pm) on Saturday night at Bendigo. COMMAND ME DENEUVE STAR EMERALD STRIDE GATESYS ALLEY GEORGIAS PRIDE IMSETTOGO MY LITTLE COMET ORLANDO STORM SLEEPEE SO TICKLE ME PINK NZ STARLIGHT RED WALKABOUT SUNRISE DELAROSE (1st Em) Woodlands Stud Breeders Crown 3YO trottings colts and geldings final: Drawn on Trots Live after race 5 (7.02pm) on Saturday night at Bendigo. ALDEBARAN PETE ALDEBARAN WILLO NZ ANYWHERE HUGO FIELDS OF KYVALLEY IMPERIAL WHIZ NZ KYVALLEY FINN LA GRANGE MAJESTIC COURTNEY NZ MAJESTIC PLAYER NEXTA NUNN STRESS FACTOR NZ WHIZZBANG DAN DELLSUN (1st Em) Aldebaran Park Breeders Crown two-year-old trotting fillies final: Drawn on Trots Live after race 6 (7.30pm) on Saturday night at Bendigo. ALDEBARAN ROCKY ALWAYS READY ARCHLEO CALIGULA NZ DREAM MASTAR JILLIBY BULLDOG KYVALLEY CLICHY MAJESTUOSO NZ MONTPELLIER ONEOFTHECLAN ORLANDO JOLT NZ XEBEC GLAD ALL OVER CRITICAL ADVANTAGE (1st Em) Michael Howard Trots Media

A pair of former Kiwis combined with Australia’s greatest to win the $75,000 Group 1 Victoria Trotters’ Derby at Maryborough. Brent Lilley, who has trained more than 700 winners since calling Australia home, and his recent Kiwi import Stress Factor joined forces with champion driver Chris Alford. It was a huge and immediate reward for the syndicate who just recently bought Stress Factor from the All Stars’ barn to move to Lilley’s barn in Victoria. The syndicate includes Fred Crews of Maori Time fame along with John Wilkinson, Bruce and Denise Morrison, Gary Dowling and Robert Owen. Just as he did winning his first Aussie start eight days earlier, Stress Factor showed good gate speed and found the lead, but this time he was hard for Alford to rate in front. “I’d like to have gone slower, but he was keen and wanted to keep rolling,” Alford told Trots Vision after the win. “They don’t get the chance to race much over 2600m if ever – just today – it’s hard to know if they’re going to finish it off and all of those ones back in the field are in the same boat. “I thought we were holding on pretty good until about the last 50 (metres). Kyvalley Finn did rush though really quickly, but I did thing we hung on on the line.” Only a few weeks back Alford was in the box seat to win the Derby with his own stable star Wobelee before injury hit. “Luckily this horse came along and I was able to continue my good record with Lil (Lilley),” Alford said. Next stop for Stress Factor is the Breeders Crown. Alford/Lilley also combined for an easy win with rejuvenated veteran Kyvalley Blur in the free-for-all. As usual, Alford summed the race up superbly on the rising 11-year-old when he blast around the field midrace to take the lead and went on to easily beat the very classy Sparkling Eyes by 10.2m in a 1min59.5sec mile rate for 2190m. Kyvalley Blur, a US-bred who started his career with Chris Lang Sr, has now won 26 races and more than $475,000 from his 110 starts. Lilley finished Australia’s biggest all-trotting meeting with four wins after El Paco won the opening event and On Fast Forward won race five. _______________________________________________________________________ TOP Aussie trotter Sparkling Success didn’t win first-up at Maryborough, but he left the track a winner. This season’s Great Southern Star winner has officially been invited and accepted the challenge to tackle the $US1 million Yonkers International Trot in the US on October 13. Victorian farmer and hobby trainer John Meade and his wife Mary gleefully accepted the invite. “We’ve got everything in place. We’re doing this,” Mary said. “We’ll head across in mid-September.” _______________________________________________________________________ WHEN Emilio and Mary Rosati bred Emerald Stride they had every reason to be optimistic the filly would win a seriously big race. After all, Emerald Stride is by Bettors Delight out of Emilios Stride, who is a half-sister to Well Said, a former US Pacer of the Year. But although Emerald Stride did qualify as a pacer he wasn’t quick slick enough according to trainer-driver David Miles and, after a nudge driver Rod Petroff after driving her in a trial, Miles opted to switch her to trotting. Just a few months later she snared Australia’s most prized juvenile trotting race, the Group 1 Redwood Classic. “I always thought she was a trotter, but she was paid-up for the APG and it’s a lot of money to pay up for those series, so we tried to get her to that series,” Miles told Trots Vision. “She trialled as a pacer at Bendigo one morning and Rod Petroff drove her and said ‘I think she’s a trotter.’ “A week later she went to Melton and ran a mile in five, they don’t that after only having the trotting shoes on for a week.” The win was a huge buzz for Rosati. “Winning any big race is great, but Mary loves the trotters so winning this race is extra special,” he said. _______________________________________________________________________ TIM and Anthony Butt were left wondering what might have been after their emerging three-year-old trotter Majestic Courtney completed a hattrick of wins and strolled home in the fourth race at Maryborough. Majestic Courtney hadn’t quite done in his only three starts to make the Victoria Trotters’ Derby field and was first emergency, but didn’t gain a start. Instead he tackled a virtual “consolation” and won as he liked by 11.9m in a 2min1sec mile rate for 2190m. In windy conditions, Majestic Courtney’s mile rate stacked-up well against the 2min3.3sec Stress Factor went over the longer 2690m of the Derby.   Adam Hamilton

An extraordinarily well-bred pacer has scooped one of the most prized trotting titles on the calendar with Emerald Stride claiming the Seelite Windows and Doors Redwood Classic. A delighted trainer-driver David Miles swept past leader Always Ready via the sprint lane to salute in the Redwood Day feature at Maryborough today. “Unbelievable,” Miles told Rob Auber on Trots Vision post-race. “I was having a look on Friday at the honour roll for this race and some great trainers and drivers have won it. To be amongst them now is really special.” Miles said prolific owner Emilio Rosati would be “stoked” with the Group 1 triumph by his two-year-old filly, who’s not only sired by pacing great Bettors Delight but is out of Emilios Stride, a half-sister to US Pacer of the Year Well Said. “We did qualify her as a pacer, she just wasn’t quite fast enough,” Miles said. “The day we switched her over we knew she was something special. “I always thought she was a trotter, but she was paid up for the APG and it’s a lot of money to pay up for those series, so we tried to get her to that series. She trialled as a pacer at Bendigo one morning and Rod Petroff drove her and said, ‘I think she’s a trotter’. “A week later she went to Melton and run a mile in five, they don’t do that after only have the trotting shoes on a week.” That trotting destiny was fulfilled with victory in today’s $50,000 Classic, when Emerald Stride ripped off the second row to challenge favourite Always Ready for the lead before settling on leader’s back and pouncing late. “To land where she did off the second row was amazing,” Miles said. “When the barrier draw come out I was really shattered because I thought if she drew the front line she was going to be super hard to beat and to win off the back row here is very hard to do. “(Behind) leader was the perfect spot in this sort of race. It was very windy. The leader did a great job, that wind down the back straight really hurt the horses out in the open and I just had the perfect trip.” Michael Howard

It may have been an all-too familiar sight for rivals at Maryborough today when reinsman Chris Alford and his two-year-old trotter produced an eye-catching win. Sleepee kicked off the Vicbred Super Series Aldebaran Park trotting heats at Maryborough on Monday with a romp from seventh at the bend to first at the line, with Alison and Chris Alford’s red-and-white silks making it impossible to avoid comparisons to last year's two-year-old Victorian trotter of the year Wobelee. Winner of the Redwood Classic at this track a little under 12 months ago, Wobelee’s owner-breeder Colin Murphy also bred Sleepee, who he has since leased to Alison and her mum, Vicki Woodhouse. Making her debut Sleepee was backed into $2.50 favourite for today’s opening heat and, after a quiet run at the back of the field, hit the line to win by a half-neck from Michael Hughes’ entrant Gatesys Alley. “It was a very big surprise,” Chris Alford told Trots Vision post-race. “She’s been trotting OK at the trials without showing a lot, but she sprinted home really well today, which will keep the wife and the mother-in-law very happy.” Expectations for the big filly, who is by Dejarmbro out of Safely Safely, were kept low-key despite the impressive win. “Hopefully she’s just a nice little racehorse and can pick up some prizemoney along the way,” Alford said. The remaining Aldebaran Park fillies' heat was won by Mario Magri’s polemarker and race favourite Georgias Pride, who beat Empire Stallions Vicbred Platinum Home Grown Classic winner Fear The Yankee by a half-head. “She’s a lovely filly,” Georgias Pride’s reinsman John Caldow told Trots Vision post-race. “A natural two-year-old, she’s great to drive.” Today’s leading performers will advance to the VSS trotting finals at Tabcorp Park Melton on Friday July 6, as will the victors of today’s colts and geldings heats. The first of those was claimed by Anton Golino’s Always Ready in Nathan Jack’s hands, having sat in in the breeze for the last lap and won by 6.8m from Zarem. It sets up a ripping final, with David Jack’s Home Grown Platinum winner Moreton Bay looming large having advanced to four wins from seven starts with today’s comfortable victory by 15.4m over Dream Mastar in the last heat. “Wide draw and I was quite happy with him,” Jack told Trots Vision. “He’s a big fella and he probably should be a better horse next year. He’s going on ability, not the manners yet that will come with it.” The Aledbaran Park Vicbred Super Series trotting heats continue tomorrow night at Bendigo when the three-year-olds step out, with the four-year-olds to follow at Geelong on Thursday. Michael Howard

He's big, he’s still a bit raw and gee he’s got a motor. That’s exciting Victorian pacer San Carlo in a snapshot as he heads towards the Perth Inter Dominion series with a deserved X-factor tag. The formguide says he ran sixth at his biggest test so far, but what a run it was after coming from the outside draw and drifting back to get a mile out of his ground, then weave through some traffic issues late. He smashed the clock and seemed to hit the line better than anything else in the Group 1 race on October 14. Now, the sparingly-raced seven-year-old heads to Sunday’s surprisingly strong $30,000 Group 3 Maryborough Cup as favourite from gate two. It’s actually a race he needs to win to justify the growing buzz around him. His rivals are headed by high-class Kiwi pacer My Field Marshal (gate 11), another Perth Inter Dominion possible in Mr Mojito (six), David Aiken’s recent Kiwi import Thereal Usain Colt (one) and other quality performers like: My Kiwi Mate (four), Ideal Success (five), Tee Cee Bee Macray (seven), Burnaholeinmypocket (eight) and Keayang Steamer (12). It’s a cracking race. But San Carlo will be the focus as he looks to post his 20th win from just 24 starts. San Carlo has already firmed from $2.40 to $2.30 with the Aussie TAB, while My Field Marshal is also in from $3.80 to $3.40. Mr Mojito is next at $6.50. The Maryborough Cup is race eight on Sunday at 7.17pm NZ time. Adam Hamilton

Humbletonian 2017 at Maryborough yesterday saw 10 horses register their first ever racetrack win and $63,000 paid out in Vicbred First Win bonuses from Harness Racing Victoria. Additionally Harness Breeders Victoria paid out $2500 in breeder bonuses across yesterday’s 10-race card, the Victorian Square Trotters Association offered $250 bonuses for trot race winning owners who were on-course and the Maryborough Harness Racing Club offered $250 breeder bonuses for pacing breeders that attended. The important ongoing role played by breeders in the trots was on display at Maryborough with three winning horses yesterday owned and trained by the person who bred them – Mascott (Race 1) for Jayne Davies, Crazy Ideas (Race 3) for Kari Males and Tobi John (Race 4) for Darren Cole. A further three horses were bred, owned and trained by family members – Seattle Grace (Race 7) for Brad and David Barnes, No Republic (Race 9) for Virginia, Julija and Emmett Brosnan, and Live On Broadway (Race 10) for Christian McLean and Shannon McLean. For Jayne Davies, the debut win of Mascott was extra special. Davies purchased Mascott’s mother, Maidstone Miss, from New Zealand in 2011 and debuted her on Australian Soil in the Group 1 Redwood Classic at Maryborough. She won, and now, six years later, Maidstone Miss’s first progeny to hit the racetrack has won on debut at the same venue. “It’s really nice to have him follow in his mother’s footsteps by winning at Maryborough first-up,” Davies said. “I’ve sold the mare to Pat Driscoll (Yabby Dam Racing). I took an embryo from Maidstone Miss actually, and he (Mascott) is the result.” Davies only qualified Mascott – by Majestic Son – last Saturday from the mobile. “He probably wasn’t quite ready and still has a couple of problems, but he trotted OK yesterday. He’s a nice little horse and he’s got a lot of improvement in him as a three-year-old,” Davies said. Being the overseer of a racehorse’s transition from foal to racetrack and first win is a special experience, says Davies. “It is a bit special,” she said. “And days like yesterday where the maiden horses are given that opportunity to pick up nice bonus prizemoney are really important for the industry.” Find out more about the Victorian breeding industry  Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

The premier country two-year-old trotting race in Australia is without doubt the Seelite Windows and Doors Redwood Classic and it is that time of the year again. Held at Maryborough each year, the Redwood Classic is an iconic race steeped in prestige. It attracts a big crowd and this Sunday's renewal promises to deliver. Harness Racing Victoria, the Maryborough club and the AVCHRC have once again combined to run the TAB.com.au Redwood Rattler, a chartered 'train to the trots' experience now in its second year. Last year the Rattler was a huge success with 161 people booked aboard. This year's train will carry 220 passengers, a percentage increase of 36.64%. The Rattler will also carry an extra lounge carriage and revellers are sure to be well catered for both to and from the Redwood. Past winners of the Group 1 Redwood Classic, sponsored by long-time trotting aficionado Michael Taranto of Seelite Windows and Doors, include inaugural champion Young Trouper, driven by Gavin Lang in 1986, prolific winner Dark Edge for Barry Alford in 1988, Ghia in 1991, the mighty Wagon Apollo in 1993 for Graeme Lang, Lacey Truscott in 1997 for Chris Angove, Andandon in 2000 to net Gavin Lang a second Redwood Classic trophy, Kyvalley Road for Chris Lang in 2002 – this horse won 20 out of 27 all up including two Breeders Crown trophies, Jauriol in 2004 for Chris Lang, Lord of the Gym in 2007 for John and Maree Caldow, Eljaykay Phoenix in 2014 for Team Aiken and Illawong Byron last year for Jodi Quinlan. The event is a standing-start race but is not a handicap, with starting positions drawn at random. Some fast facts to consider when you are trying to pick the winner on Sunday include: The last 5 winners are filly/gelding/filly/gelding/filly/gelding... Black Cat Claw ($71) & Our Renezmae ($9) are fillies.   Gavin Lang (One Muscle Hill $5) & Chris Alford (Wobelee $1.65) are the only multiple Redwood winning drivers in Sunday's field. Sundon has sired 4 of last 20 winners. He is the grandsire of Fend Off ($10), Tomahawk Phoenix ($61) & Wobelee ($1.65). Safely Kept has sired 2 of the last 20 winners. He is the grandsire of La Grange ($10) & Black Cat Claw ($71) on Sunday. Illawong Byron holds the Redwood race record mile rate of 2:04.4. He is a stablemate of Fend Off ($10) for @JodiQRacing Trial form from behind the tapes can give a pointer to how these juveniles might handle Sunday's standing start. Click here to view some of the key standing-start trials. TAB.com.au has fixed odds markets open for both the Seelite Windows and Doors Redwood Classic and the Seelite Windows and Doors Victoria Trotters Derby, which is also run on Sunday at Maryborough. Race 1 at Maryborough will be 11.40am Sunday morning and the 10-race program will finish with the Alf Simons Memorial Trot at 5.07pm.  Racetrack address is 106 Chaplins Rd, Carisbrook. Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager) Fields for Maryborough, Sunday 06 August 2017 Form guide for Maryborough, Sunday 06 August 2017

At first glance, Sovereign Minx might not have enough experience on the board to gain a start in next Sunday's (August 6) $50,000 Redwood Classic for harness racing two-year-old trotters at Maryborough in central Victoria. But if her stable's past history in the race, and two impressive recent placings have any influence on the field selection, then the Trafalgar trotter is in with a live chance should she start in this weekend's feature. Despite having to float his horse hundreds of kilometres just to be able to compete, Trafalgar horseman Chris Hunter more often than not has a young trotter in the stables. This season it is Sovereign Minx, a filly which has produced two eye-catching placings in recent weeks from only three starts to date.   The first was at Melton on July 19, while last week at Ballarat, Sovereign Minx dwelt at the standing start, but made up plenty of ground from back in the field to finish second. The Ballarat race was over a longer distance, and Sovereign Minx handled that, and the travel, well in her recent start. It's a long way to any race for a two-year-old trotter trained in Gippsland, given that there are no events for those horses run in the district. The closest races are usually at Melton or Ballarat, or perhaps at Kilmore or Geelong. It will be a 600 kilometre round trip for the Hunter's on Sunday just to get to the track if Sovereign Minx gains a start in the Redwood. This travel does not deter Chris Hunter or his son Glenn - in fact, the pair have won the Redwood Classic twice between them, overcoming the odds and defeating the more fancied stables with Blue Rock in 2003 and I See Icy Earl in 2010. Sovereign Minx has a way to go to reach the heights of those two feature race winners, but, on what she has shown so far, her trainer is confident the filly will "make the grade." Sovereign Minx's dam, Golden Teardops, won six races for the Hunter's as a pacer, however, as a broodmare, four of her five foals have been trotters. Best performed so far has been Dawn Tears, a winner of six races. The Redwood Classic is the race all trotting purists want to win - for the Hunter's to have won it twice despite their isolation from the main trotting action in Victoria is testament to their dedication. Their stable is in good form at present, and the Redwood Classic isn't always won by the best backed horse, but usually the best mannered on the day. Should Sovereign Minx make the field, and trot as safely as she has in recent weeks, you wouldn't mind having a few dollars on her if she is within sight of the lead coming around the home turn at Maryborough.   Kyle Galley

More races will be offered in March and April to give as many horses as possible the chance to compete. Following on from offering a supplementary race on every card, Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) has boosted programs with three extra races for three-year-old trotters and two extra races for two-year-old pacers. These additional races are recognition of the considerable amount of horses being readied for racing in these categories. A $5000 mobile start three-year-old trotters race has been added to each of the programs at Maryborough on March 23 (2190m), Charlton on April 10 (2100m) and Bendigo on April 26 (2150m). The first of those, at Maryborough, has been well patronised by trainers, with 18 nominations already received. In addition, $5000 two-year-old pacing races have been added to programs at Kilmore on April 12 (1690m) and Bendigo on April 20 (1650m). HRV will also program $7000 consolation races at Tabcorp Park Melton on March 31 and April 22 for horses balloted out of the M0, M1 and M2 races. The intention is to provide opportunities for horses in these classes to compete against similarly graded horses and should help keep these horses in our racing population by providing more chances for them to win and to earn. The announcements follow the running of three supplementary races since the trial started on March 6, with a further three to be run in coming days, one at each of Tabcorp Park Melton tonight, Boort on Sunday and Tabcorp Park Melton on Monday. Michael Howard

Former Kiwi star Ohoka Punter heads to his new stable in winning form. The much-travelled seven-year-old worked to the lead early and impressively won Sunday's Group 3 Maryborough Cup (2690m) at his last run for young trainer Nathan Purdon. News broke last week that connections had agreed on a switch to champion WA trainer Gary Hall Sr for Ohoka Punter’s Perth Inter Dominion campaign. “I was asked to train him and was told Nathan (Purdon) didn’t want to spend a month in Perth with the horse at a time when he’s trying to establish himself in Victoria,” Hall Sr said. It seems Purdon made that decision after learning Anthony Butt had been chosen to replace him as Ohoka Punter’s driver. Butt took the reins yesterday and had an armchair ride after finding the lead without too much fuss after 300m and cruising through a 61.7sec middle half. The heat went on down the back straight with main danger Yankee Rockstar at his wheel and Chilli Palmer three-wide in a 27.5sec split. But Ohoka Punter was cruising on the home bend and kicked clear to win by 6.3m in a 28.1sec last quarter and 1min58.1sec mile rate. Young Modern charged late for second with dual Inter Dominion placegetter Flaming Flutter third. Yankee Rockstar, first-up after some hoof issues, weakened late but still ran a sound race in sixth spot, just 7.7m from the winner. Hall Sr said it was likely Ohoka Punter would be flown to Perth early next week. “He’s a great horse to have join the stable,” he said. “I’m keen to get him here in time to settle him into to our training routine.” Hall Sr said the plan and “hope” was that his son, Gary Jr, would be able to drive both Ohoka Punter and current stable star Beaudiene Boaz through the Inter Dominion heats and then choose if both made the final as expected. “You’d like to think they would be kept apart in the heats,” he said. Beaudiene Boaz pleased Hall Sr with a fighting fourth after sitting parked in quick time behind Libertybelle Midfrew at Gloucester Park last Friday night. “I think I’ve got him back where I want him now,” he said. “He broke that track record a few runs back and has held his form well from bad draws since. It’s all about draws in the fast-class races at Gloucester Park.” Hall Sr is also buzzing about the pint-sized Chicago Bull in the countdown to the triple crown of 4YO features during the Inter Dominion carnival. “He’s a special. I know Gaz (Gary Jr) thinks he’s better than Beaudiene Boaz was at the same time,” he said. “I agree. I think he’s the best four-year-old we’ve had, although it’s hard to believe when you see him because he’s so embarrassingly small.”   Adam Hamilton

The son of a harness racing metro-winning pacing mare and a million-dollar winning pacing stallion has taken out one of the state's leading trotting titles. Super Zeck was named the Victorian Square Trotters Association's Trotter of the Year at last night's awards night at Maryborough, which honours outstanding Victorian-trained trotters performances throughout Australia. Points are awarded five for a first placing, two for second and one for a third, with Darren Cole's Terang trotter Super Zeck awarded for an outstandingly consistent season in which he peeled off 10 wins, six seconds and three thirds, including the Group 2 Woodlands Stud Breeders Crown Free For All. The winners are: 2YO MALE TROTTER OF THE YEAR (donated by Victorian Harness Racing Sports Club): Won By: Illawong Bryon (Muscle Mass – Illawong Blush) Owned By: Martin & Kaye Hartnett Trained By: Jodi Quinlan 2YO FEMALE TROTTER OF THE YEAR (donated by Stawell Harness Racing Club): Won By: Illawong Shimmer (Muscle Mass – Shinning Sun) Owned By: Martin & Kaye Hartnett Trained By: Ross Sugars 3YO FEMALE TROTTER OF THE YEAR (donated by Ballarat Harness Racing Club): Won By: High Gait (Muscles Yankee – Regal Volo) Raced By: Breckon Farms Ltd, Super Seven Syndicate Trained By: Nicole Molander 3YO MALE TROTTER OF THE YEAR (donated by Cranbourne Harness Racing Club) Won By: Sundons Courage (Sundon - Truscott Photo) Owned By: Brad Angove Trained By: Chris Angove CHRIS E HOWE - COUNTRY TROTTER OF THE YEAR (donated by Loddon Valley Stud): Won By: Gidah (Noopy Kiosk – Disco Dance) Raced By: Chris & Glenn Sharp Trained By: Glenn Sharp TROTTER OF THE YEAR (donated by Darren and Katrina Fitzpatrick, and Mark and Sue Hayes): Won By: Super Zeck (Modern Art – Me Dolli Kit)     Owned By: Darren, J & A Cole & D Saunders Trained By: Darren Cole YANKEE SPIDER TROTTING RACEMARE OF THE YEAR (donated by Brenda Rice): Won By: Sky Petite (Sky Valley – Thepowerofhealing)     Owned By: Noel Pattison Trained By: Dean Pattison TROTTING SIRE OF THE YEAR (donated by Alabar Farms): Won By: Bacardi Lindy and Skyvalley •    Based on Individual winners of Victorian-based sire. •    Bacardi Lindy & Skyvalley are both first time winners of the Award •    Barcardi Lindy is owned by Ross Simpson •    Skyvalley is owned by Aldebaran Park TROTTING BROODMARE OF THE YEAR (donated by Mildura Harness Racing Club) Won By: Disco Dance (Keystone Salute – Cool Disco) Owned By: K J Bell •    In the breeding barn she has had five live foals with three of those were winners of 35 races. •    This seasons winners were Gidah, Tella Tall Tale & Tenno Dance TROTTING DRIVER OF THE YEAR (donated by Electrical Asset Services): Won By: Chris Alford •    Chris Alford has taken out this award six times, winning in 2009 and then the last five years in a row. TROTTING TRAINER OF THE YEAR (donated by PJ and BJ Rothacker Stock Feeds): Won By: Brent Lilley BREEDER OF THE YEAR (donated by Aldebaran Park): Won By: Duncan McPherson   Michael Howard (HRV Media/Communications Co-Ordinator)

Harness racing team Molander look on track to renew their acquaintances with Breeders Crown joy, with their Race To Royalty to be revived tomorrow at Maryborough. Based at Riddells Creek, trainer Nicole Molander and husband Dean have prepared two talented trotters for tomorrow’s heats in Our Regal Love and champion High Gait, winner of last year’s two-year-old Breeders Crown final. The Muscles Yankee filly was then in Mark Purdon’s powerful All Stars stable and saluted on the same night Reina Danzante won the three-year-old fillies final for Molander. Tomorrow High Gait steps out for the fourth time for Molander and expectations are high. “She is right up there with the best of them,” Dean Molander said. Since transitioning to the Molanders’ property for her New Zealand owners, High Gait was undefeated until Paul Nairn’s smart filly Wilmas Mate pipped her in an eventful Group 1 Seelite Windows & Doors Victoria Trotters Derby, when High Gait did plenty of work before being beaten 2.7m. “She came home and ate everything,” Molander said. “She’s a pretty tough little horse and has done plenty of work in quite a few runs. She only had one lead up and should tune up better for the Redwood.” Wilmas Mate will be absent from tomorrow’s heats having secured her berth in the August 26 final via a win at Christchurch’s Addington Raceway, with the three-year-old instead nominated for Friday night’s Collaborate Communications Trot at Tabcorp Park Melton. Molander said High Gait and Wilmas Mate “look the standouts”, but plenty of talent will surround them. “(High Gait) obviously has a bad barrier draw (tomorrow), but she will take her chances along the way,” Molander said. “Princess Phoenix will likely lead and whether she hands up to us or we sit outside is unclear, but she will certainly be in it at the finish.” There are a few more unknowns when it comes to Molander’s other Breeders Crown entrant Our Regal Love, a two-year-old Love You filly who, like High Gait, is Breckon Farms owned and bred. “Her running is getter better and better every start,” Molander said. “She hasn’t raced all of the season, unlike a few of the others, but we are really happy with her.” Our Regal Love placed third in the Seelite Windows & Doors Redwood Classic, having lost touch with geldings Illawong Byron and Custodian. “On Redwood day she sat in the trail and when they quickened she didn’t quite know what to do, but she is improving and won’t be far away,” Molander said. “It is a nice little heat with Sval Queen and Betty Hall drawn inside her and Illawong Shimmer on her outside. “We think she will be a top horse after she has a spell. They will both have a short break after Breeders Crown.” Michael Howard (HRV Media/Communications Co-Ordinator) Fields for Maryborough, Wednesday 17 August 2016 Form guide for Maryborough, Wednesday 17 August 2016

Wilmas Mate survived an action packed Group 1 to reward harness racing favourite followers and smash a track record at Maryborough in winning the Seelite Windows and Doors Victoria Trotters Derby Locking of wheels twice savaged the hopes of well-rated Victorian hopes Sundons Courage and Cruisin Around and while Wilmas Mate took full advantage to win by 2.5m from High Gait, a protest led to a wait before any champagne could be popped. Wilmas Mate’s connections - trainer Paul Nairn, driver David Butt and owner Richard Cornelius – were forced to dwell after High Gait’s driver Chris Alford protested the result because Wilmas Mate veered into the sprint lane from the lead. HRV Chairman of Stewards Nick Murray said Butt hadn’t explicitly complied with his obligations to prevent the horse shifting further into the sprint lane. Mr Murray said Wilmas Mate then trotted roughly under pressure and Butt restrained him, and it was only then High Gait made late ground, and owing to that and the 2.5m margin the protest was dismissed. Wilmas Mate, by Pegasus Spur out of Mybrotherwasastar, won in a 2:00.3 mile rate, taking 0.4 off Speeding Spur’s Maryborough and District Harness Racing Club track record set in the 2015 Derby. “It’s great to win a race in Australia,” Cornelius said. “I’ve been over here before with horses and gone home with my tail between my legs and for a minute or two I thought the same might happen again, but thankfully we got through it and won the race. “Obviously Paul again showed the master that he is. He had the horse in excellent condition to do what she has done today and David Butt again proved that he is a great driver.” Wilmas Mate found the front at the bell after advancing from the rear of the field, looping Sundons Courage (leader) and Cruisin Around (breeze), who then appeared to briefly lock wheels that led to Pizza Queen galloping. High Gait jumped out from the death to challenge Wilmas Mate who had made a break, with a recovering Sundons Courage and Cruisin Around locking again at the final bend to put paid to their hopes. It became a race in two and Wilmas Mate cleared away, looking all the world the winner only to veer into the sprint lane and lose gait in the dying moments, but being first past the post and surviving the protest. “She was getting pretty tired at the end,” Butt said. “She deserved to be, she put in a big run. They made her work but she came around and went really well.” Michael Howard (HRV Media/Communications Co-Ordinator)

Harness racing trainer / driver Jodi Quinlan and two of her biggest fans, Dr Martin Hartnett and his wife Kaye, picked up the win they wanted most today at Maryborough. In front of a huge crowd Quinlan guided two-year-old gelding Illawong Byron to a memorable victory in the $50,575 Seelite Windows and Doors Redwood Classic. “This is very special to be standing here on this stage,” she said. “I’ve always said with this horse that this is the race I wanted to win.” Illawong Byron’s owner, Dr Hartnett, whose wife Kaye bred the horse, concurred. “This is the one we always wanted. We’re very pleased with Illawong Byron,” he said. Illawong Byron (Muscle Mass-Illawong Blush) began like a pro from the 2190-metre stand start to lead from outside the front row. Once in front Quinlan rated the Tatlow Stakes winner and Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series runner-up a treat, Illawong Byron notching a 63.3 first half before taking the sting out of her rivals down the back (28.8secs). It was a winning move. “His manners today were the best they have ever been. We ran that quarter down the back and  got them off the bit,” Quinlan said. Illawong Byron then held off a late challenge by Mark Purdon’s odds-on favourite Custodian, digging deep to score by a half-neck with Quinlan drawing a rapturous applause from the crowd. The final quarter was trotted in 29.3secs for a mile rate of 2:04.4. Our Regal Love for Nicole Molander and Chris Alford ran third, beaten 15m, while Lance Justice guided Carnera to fourth at huge odds ahead of Truscott Hall. Quinlan mooted a long-range plan for one of Australasia’s rising star squaregaiters. “He’s very immature and with a bit of extra size about him in 12 months I hope we’re back here at Maryborough for the Derby,” she said. Quinlan also thanked Illawong Byron’s owners for their ongoing support. “Martin and Kaye have always been fantastic support for me. They’re 100 per cent behind me no matter what.” Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

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