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Former New Zealander Unico Crown was again the victor in Heat Two of the prestigious Tontine Series for Trotters T0 or better class over 2590 metres at Stawell on Monday February 3. A winner of the first round heat at Geelong on January 27, Unico Crown was again eligible to compete due to a paucity of numbers accepting for the race and scored in almost identical fashion. Trained at Lara by Dean Braun and driven by Chris Alford, Unico Crown as he did at Geelong began swiftly from the 10-metre mark to lead and was never headed, defeating Craig Demmler’s smart gelding Glenferrie Typhoon which raced outside him for the majority of the trip when first up since August, going down by 3.6 metres in a rate of 2-08.9, with Will Atone (20 metres) 44.1 metres away in third place after making a mistake hitting the back straight on the final occasion. Unico Crown four year old gelded son of Monarchy and Sunny Gem will now head to the $7,000 Semi-Finals to be conducted at Terang this Sunday, with the $30,000 Final to take place at Ballarat on February 14. Last season’s very smart Yankee Spider/Rockolina gelding Miracle resumed in the Grampians Estate 3-Y-0 Trotters Handicap  over 2175 metres and as expected was untroubled to score. Trained and driven by Bolinda’s Chris Alford for owner Dolores Murphy, Miracle an almost faultless trotter, led throughout from the pole, winning with something in hand over Bacardi Breeze which trailed, moving to the outside on turning to fail by 1.5 metres in a rate of 2-10.8. No Trumps No Glory (three back along the markers last lap was a further 16.5 metres away in third spot. Miracle hadn’t been seen since finishing fourth in The Redwood at Maryborough on July 14. Mingbool (Mount Gambier) trainer/driver David Drury has a terrific strike rate when he crosses the border and landed the Renown Silverware Pace for C2 & C3 class over 1780 metres with four year old Blissful Hall/Art For Art Sake gelding Big Gorilla. Driven with aggression from gate two, Big Gorilla led throughout to record a 4.8 metre victory in 1-59.4 over Evil Trickster which raced outside him, with Jerry Marshall (one/one) dropping down to use the sprint lane on straightening to finish third 1.8 metres away. Heywood co-trainers Kevin Brough and Bec East have their team firing on all fours at present and snared the Brian Gunnell Memorial 3-Y-0 Pace over 1780 metres with ever reliable Total Truth/Mama Tembu gelding Always Wantano in a rate of 2-00.8. Starting from the extreme draw, driver Matt Craven sent Always Wantano forward from near last racing for the bell to park outside the pacemaker My Mach Scooter for the final circuit. Gaining the upper hand on straightening, Always Wantano scored by 3.4 metres in advance of Bungalally Boy which trailed the leader easing wide on turning, with My Mach Scooter weakening to finish third a head away. The Kaye Matthews Tribute a C1 class race over 2175 metres named in honour of the late Kaye Matthews an administrator with the club for a number of years, went the way of Long Forest trainer Andy Gath’s most consistent Mach Three/Fingers Crossed four year old mare Lems Cameo. Driven by wife Kate, Lems Cameo (gate four) made an unsuccessful bid for the front running as the mobile gate pulled away, but couldn’t head off Sorority Sister (gate two). Gaining cover shortly after when Cullen Time moved to race in the open, Lems Cameo enjoyed a perfect passage. Easing three wide in the last lap, Lems Cameo sprinted sharply to lead on the home turn, before racing away to record a 12.8 metre victory from Franco Seelster from last off a three wide trail in the final circuit, with Additallup flying home late for third after being shuffled back from three back the markers when Beau Ciel ahead of him was held up for a clear passage. The mile rate 2-02.7. Childers Cove duo Ange and Clare McDowell made a long awaited return to the winners list, when four year old Blissful Hall/Childers Elite gelding Masterofthurles (unplaced in six starts prior) greeted the judge in the Mussett Upholstery Pace for C0 class over 1780 metres. Despite racing without cover from gate three for the entire trip, Masterofthurles outstayed his rivals in defeating Glenway Hustler which led and Rose Devine (one/one) in a rate of 2-01. Great Western’s Michelle Wight was victorious with Armbro Operative/If Iseeyouinheaven five year old mare Shanira in the Pyrenees Smallgoods Pace for C1 class over 1780 metres. Given every opportunity one/one from gate five, Shanira when eased three wide at the straight entrance, finished best to score by a half neck over a death-seating Khaleesi and Tipperary Seelster which led in a rate of 2-01. By Len Baker (Courtesy of Harness Racing Australia)

Terang trainer Marg Lee snared the quinella in the Terang Co-Op Free For All for C9 or better class horses over 2200 metres at the Terang HRC fixture held at Tabcorp Park Melton on Friday with stable superstars Keayang Steamer and Keayang Cullen. In what was a heady drive by nephew Glen Craven, Keayang Steamer starting from the extreme draw was sent forward early in the race to park outside Keayang Cullen which exploded away from outside the front row with Jason Lee in the sulky. Content to allow “Cullen” to dictate the terms in quarters of 31.1, 29.6, 28.3 and 28 for the last mile, “Steamer” moved on terms with his stablemate on the final bend, before outstaying him to score impressively by 3.1 metres in a rate of 1-56.5. Old timer Melpark Major in search of cracking the one million dollar stake barrier, moved a step closer by finishing third 5.1 metres away. Keayang Steamer was victorious in winning the Horsham Cup on January 5, while Keayang Cullen finished second in the Hamilton Cup on January 12. On what was a “night of nights” for the Craven family, Matt Craven was successful aboard Hamilton trainer David Lewis’ American Ideal/Atomic Fusion colt The Fat Man in the Terang Harness Racing Club Silver Vase for Three year olds 3C0 to 3C2 class over 2240 metres. Having his first outing since last July, The Fat Man raced by David and Terry Lewis led throughout from gate two, running his rivals ragged to score by 9.1 metres in a rate of 1-59.4 over Stormy Lecture and Gotta Go Henry. By Len Baker courtesy of Harness Racing Victoria

An Introduction From The CEO It has been a week of scorching heat and I thank those participants who have braved the conditions. A reminder of HRV's Heat Policy, which specifies that when temperatures are forecast to be over 38 degrees, trainers may scratch before 8.30am without penalty. HRV has also moved day meetings through the week to earlier timeslots and shifted night meetings back to avoid the hottest part of the day. Stewards at meetings have been monitoring the condition of horses and personnel. Follow HRV on Twitter @HRVnews Premier on the Spot The float carrying 4yo Art Major Colt Arts Professor was involved in a nasty accident on the Ring Road, heading to Yarra Valley (January 16). One of the first on the scene was Premier of Victoria and Minister for Racing Dr Denis Napthine. Dr Napthine, a qualified vet, stopped to render assistance. He reported to HRV that apart from some scratches, the horse was in good condition. Click here for a photo of the Premier inspecting Arts Professor. Wagering - 6 months to December 31 We have now completed the first half of the financial year, so it is opportune to share some of the key indicators. HRV's revenue and stakemoney are dependent totally on wagering on harness racing. Over the past couple of years we have seen a significant shift in the way punters bet on our product. Only as recent as five years ago, the Joint Venture arrangement with Tabcorp was virtually the single source of HRV wagering revenue. The betting with Tabcorp was all 'parimutuel' betting - the traditional form of tote betting. In recent times there has been a material shift away from the parimutuel form of betting. Unfortunately the products increasing in popularity do not provide the higher returns to the industry. Any shift away from parimutuel tote betting to other forms of betting will provide lower marginal returns. These products are: "Fixed Odds" betting with Tabcorp; Corporate bookmakers and betting exchanges. HRV has fought hard to ensure all corporate bookmakers pay a fair return to the industry. Despite the shift to fixed odds (Tabcorp) and the corporates providing a lesser return to the industry than the traditional parimutuel, it is clearly the market responding to punter preference. The diminishing size of parimutuel pools is a concern to HRV. HRV has made representation to Tabcorp to merge the pools with NSW to provide pool size and encourage betting back into the pools. For the six months ended December 2013, some key indicators, compared to the same period in 2012: Revenue from Tabcorp 'Parimutuel' ↓11.9% Revenue from Tabcorp 'Fixed Odds' ↑146.3% Combined Tabcorp Revenue ↓1% Revenue from Corporate Bookmakers ↑50% The Gross Turnover numbers for six months are: Tabcorp Parimutuel $205 million Tabcorp Fixed Odds $55 million Corporates $87 million Our market share of Tabcorp Revenue is slightly up on last year. At the commencement of the year HRV budgeted for a profit of $1.6 million. To the end of December we are not forecasting any material variation to that figure by the end of June. Raising The Standards There are a number of people and groups doing a fantastic job in caring for, and placing horses post their racing career. We remember Kathleen Mullan and 'James' participating in the Garryowen and the horses from the Northern Standardbred Riding Group leading the Bendigo Parade, for example. In particular I draw your attention to the work being done by Nicole Tassone at 'Raising the Standards'. With State Government and HRV support, Nicole is doing a great job giving standardbreds a second chance after their racing career is over. There are some awesome stories of horses being cared for at Raising The Standards and then moving on to another life. I recommend that you 'Like" the Raising the Standards Facebook page or go to www.raisingthestandards.com.au to read some of the heart-warming stories. Cranbourne Training Centre David Scott is retiring from his position as Chief Executive at Cranbourne at the end of January. We wish David well in his retirement, particularly in his continued breeding interests. One of David's major legacies will be the establishment of the Cranbourne Training Centre. Attracting joint State Government, HRV and Cranbourne Club funding, the project has proved to be an overwhelming success and a blueprint for future expansion around Victoria. I am pleased to hear that with two new trainers taking up residence late in 2013, the centre is fully occupied. I am equally pleased for David that he can leave knowing that his efforts have been rewarded with a barn full of horses and many winners. Vale Keith McGowan HRV was shocked and saddened at the sudden passing of radio legend and harness racing devotee Keith McGowan. Keith was fanatical about the trots.A prolific breeder and owner, he was a regular attendee at the track, whether it be a feature or regional weekday meeting. His last trotter Simon Tappertit, which he raced in partnership with fellow 3AW legends Ross Stevenson and Tony Leonard, won 14 races. Always one for a quirky horse name, among Keith's other successful horses were Dick Swiveller (14 wins) and Comedy of Eros (15 wins). Keith's highly successful radio career spanned 54 years, the last 21 as host of the 3AW overnight shift. Our condolences to his family, including his son Nathan, HRV's Racing Manager. Barry Garbutt HRV was also saddened to learn of the peaceful passing of Barry Garbutt on New Year's Eve. Barry held a trainer/driver license for many years and was associated with some very good horses - most recently Sunset Invasion. Barry fitted the description "colourful" character - instantly recognisable at Melton with his large cowboy hat and, on big occasions, his pink suit. Milestones Congratulations to Cassandra Troon who drove her first winner in a race at Kilmore on New Year's Day behind Armbro Higgens. She combined with the same horse a week later at the same venue for her second win. I witnessed Tania Ward drive her second winner behind Nuggets brother at Echuca on New Year's Night. I neglected to congratulate her on her first winner as a driver behind What A Fine Fella in June 2013 at Cobram. Rising star Jason Lee drove his 100th winner in late December behind Keayang Starzz at Terang. His cousin Matt Craven is closing in on 500 winners. This week at Kilmore (January 15) Chris Alford added to his milestone when he became the first driver in Australia to driver 100 winners for the season - the 13th quickest century in history. Did You Know? Gordon Rothacker Medallist Graeme Lang drove his first winner since July 2011 when he won on 3yo trotter Maybelina at Tabcorp Park on January 10.

The weather was stifling, and so were the times at the third annual Garrards 2YO Trialling Sale at Tabcorp Park, Menangle, last Sunday. A crowd of 500 or so people sweltered in 38 degree heat to see 45 youngsters trial then go under the hammer. The top price, at $115,000, was a New Zealand-bred Gotta Go Cullect filly, from Russian Rocket, offered by Christchurch-based horseman, Greg Payne, and bought by veteran Victorian enthusiast, Jack Knight, to join the astute Wayne Potter stable. The filly electrified the crowd with her half mile trial with splits of 28.1s and 27.6s, never flinching. Knight and Potter also signed for a $70,000 Somebeachsomewhere colt from More Sassie Lombo, which was offered by Young-based studmaster, Ken Smith, and which finished off with a solid 27.8s on the back of a 31s first quarter. Alliex Express' father-and-son team of Colin and Dean McDowell bought two youngsters - a Somebeachsomewhere gelding from Scoots Away for $30,000, and $36,000 for another Gotta Go Cullect filly, from Glowable. Industry virtual newcomer Brad Canty, whose background is in the greyhound industry, was active with four purchases, three for Brisbane's Mat Neilson and another for local horseman Blake Fitzpatrick, who is training a New Zealand-bred, the only Bettors Delight progeny in the sale, a filly from Beaudiene Bianca, which brought $44,000. Neilson took home a $9000 colt by The Globe from Just Sweet, a $30,000 Real Desire colt from My Spirit Of Tara and a Sportswriter-Tycoon Tess gelding for $13,000. Experienced Riverina-based horseman, Steve Harris, brought two colts, which sold well: a Sportswriter-Stylish Storm to Rob Davis for $44,000 and a Quick Approval half-brother to Majorlicious, which went to Doug Johnson for $32,000, while Trec Saverio paid $50,000 for a Victorian-bred Modern Art gelding from Soaring Franco. Veteran South Coast New South Wales identity Bill Green spent $30,000 on the half-brother to Jedi Mind, a colt by Live Or Die, to join Robbie Morris and Kerry Ann Turner, who also took home a striking syndicate-owned New Zealand-bred Santanna Blue Chip colt for $35,000 from Payne. The crowd included enthusiasts from as far afield as Western Australia, Tasmania, Queensland and Victoria, with the likes of young Perth-based horsemen Ryan Bell and Kody Charles, north-western Tasmanian owner, Michael Filleul, Queensland trainers Daren Garrard, Darrel Graham and Mat Neilson and Victorians David Aiken, Michael Stanley and the father-and-son combination of Peter and Matt Craven. Local figures in the throng included Jarrod Alchin, Darren Binskin, Ron Cooper, Neil Day, Blake Fitzpatrick, Paul Fitzpatrick, Damian Gallagher, Anton Golino, Darren McCall, John McCarthy, Luke McCarthy, Robbie Morris, Kerry Ann Turner, Steve Turnbull and Peter Walsh. The day proved a complete entertainment package, with a performance by singer-songwriter Luke Koteras and the Garrards Industry Day and Trade Fair. A small number of bought-back lots are still on the market, through the agency of Australian Standardbred Consultancy Pty Ltd, by contacting Kerry Baker on 0402 336 598 or at kausbred@bigpond.net.au Courtesy of Harness Racing NSW                   Nancy O'Grady | Executive Assistant | Harness Racing New South Wales |   22 Meredith Street Bankstown NSW 2200   T: 02 9722 6600| F: 02 85805792 | E: nogrady@hrnsw.com.au| W: www.hrnsw.com.au & www.trotstv.com.au       Warning to recipients:   This email and any attachments are confidential and subject to copyright. If you are not the intended recipient any use, disclosure or copying is unauthorised. If you have received this email in error please advise us immediately by reply email and delete all copies. It is your responsibility to examine this email and any attachments for viruses. Any personal information in this email must be handled in accordance with privacy legislation.            

Great Western trainer Peter Manning’s Art Major/Anannz filly Znana was successful in the Wimmera Mail-Times 3-Y-0 Pace over 1700 metres at the Horsham trots meeting held on Monday November 25. Bred and raced by Adelaide’s Cormack family, Znana (Ananz spelt backwards) was given a charmed passage by Matt Craven from gate two trailing her pole line stablemate Adam Cartwright raced in the same interests and when eased off his back on turning, finished full of running to score by 3.1 metres in a new track record mile rate of 1-55.3. Racer finished a further 30.2 metres away in third place after racing in the open. Ananz (Aces N Sevens) died while foaling to Somebeachsomwhere recently with the foal not surviving. On a day of multiple wins, Peter Manning landed a double when seven year old Presidential Ball/Colada Hanover gelding The Avoca Flyer, a half brother to the great Blacks A Fake snared The Horse Shed Shop Melton Pace for C1 class over 1700 metres, recording his first victory in almost 12 months. Driven by Matt Craven, The Avoca Flyer began with a wing on every foot from outside the front line to lead all of the way, defeating the heavily supported Suerte (three back the markers – outside the winner home turn) and Big Gorilla (one/one) in a mile rate of 1-56.3. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Four year old Union Guy/Echelon Express mare Sorority Sister broke her maiden status at start number eighteen by taking the Moore Bulk Haulage Pace for C0 class over 1700 metres in a mile rate of 1-59.2. Raced and trained by Marnie Bibby from nearby Navarre and driven by Daryl Douglas, Sorority Sister led throughout from gate three, accounting for the favourite Gee Mae which trailed, making no impression over the concluding stages, with Pandoras Jet third after facing the breeze. Daryl Douglas was to chalk up a successive double after piloting Ararat hobby trainer Gary Hull’s five year old mare Frameworks Pride to victory in the Become A Sponsor Trotters Handicap for T0 or better class over 2200 metres. Beginning speedily from the 10 metre mark, Frameworks Pride a daughter of Framework and Yawithme was sent forward to take over from Family Decision within a lap, before cruising to the wire 4.1 metres in advance of Champ Devine which raced outside her in a mile rate of 2-06.1. Looks A Moral showed a return to form in finishing third from three back in the moving line. Making three for Douglas and two for Bibby was very much in-form four year old Attorney General/Bludegirl gelding Blude Master in the Finn-Tack @ Horze Aust. Pace for C1 class over 1700 metres. Restrained from inside the second row, Blude Master settled three back in the moving line, with the pole marker Thewaytolive retaining the front running. Sent forward to park outside the pacemaker for the final circuit, Blude Master led on turning and held a margin to the wire to score by 5.4 metres over Mightbeme from last and Venus Williams (one/three – three wide last lap) in a rate of 2-00.1. Michelle Manning’s highly promising Four Starzzz Shark/Talilia four year old gelding Jackabeams recorded his 3rd victory in 5 outings, when successful in the H&DHRC Membership Pace for C1 class over 1700 metres with sister Kerryn in the sulky. Coming off a disappointing 4th to Chilli Palmer at Melton nine days earlier after leading, Jackabeams an unbackable $1.10 favourite again led from gate two and was never headed in defeating father Peter’s Additallup which raced outside him, with Miss Dilly (three wide last lap from mid-field) third. The mile rate 1-57. Mildura (Merbein) trainer Brian McGinty made the journey south with Kiwi bred four year old Bettors Delight/Invisage mare Our Mischievious Miss a happy one, as she saluted the judge in the Horsham Salutes G.A. Lang Pace for C2 & C3 class over 2200 metres. Taking a concession, Our Mischievious Miss led from gate two and after looking to be in trouble on turning, just lasted to nose out Bubble Art (one/two – four wide home turn) in a rate of 2-00.2, with Peace Of Art (one/one – three wide home turn) a head away in third place in the most thrilling finish of the afternoon. Ararat trainer/driver Michael Bellman does a great job with his select team and landed the Wimmera Roadways Pace for C0 class over 2200 metres with Witzend, a four year old gelded son of Dawn Ofa New Day and Fake Trick, leading throughout from gate two in defeating Rinashi which trailed and Saab Magic which faced the breeze in a rate of 2-0 By Len Baker

Peter Manning’s Armbro Invasion/Free Rider 3-Y-0 gelding Weregonnarock brought up four wins in a row by taking out the Seelite Windows & Doors Vicbred Trotters Mobile for T0 class over 2190 metres at Maryborough on Friday November 22, but not before giving his supporters heart flutters. In what was a superb performance, Weregonnarock galloped away from the pole as the start was effected settling a long last, with Thekiwikid working to the front. Commencing a forward move three wide racing for the bell, Weregonnarock was left on a limb until he exploded to the front on the final bend and raced away to record a brilliant 18.6 metre victory in advance of Ships Shui (three back the markers) and Ballan Road from mid-field in a rate of 2-03. Western District (Hawkesdale) trainer Graham Gee’s very smart Blissful Hall/Weona Rena 4-Y-0 entire Bliss Man chalked up his 6th victory when successful in the Redpath Tyres & Battery Service Pace for C1 class over 1690 metres. Taking a concession for Terang young gun Jason Lee, Bliss Man was sent forward from outside the front row to lead for the majority of the trip in easily accounting for Zedaguy which trailed after leading out, with Rosy Ogrady Lombo (one/one) last lap third. The mile rate 1-55.1. Jason was to finish the day with a double after piloting cousin Matt Craven’s Kiwi bred 5-Y-0 Real Desire/Explosive Franco gelding Dont Tell Jim to victory in the Bristol Hill Motor Inn Pace for C1 class over 2190 metres. First up since July, Dont Tell Jim enjoyed a cosy passage on the back of the leader Rapid Art Beat after the favourite Bettor Move galloped in the back straight on the first occasion. \Using the sprint lane, Dont Tell Jim sailed to the front in the shadows of the post to score from the pacemaker and a death-seating Exsalont in a rate of 2-00.6. Congupna trainer Danny Ferris has a potential top liner in Bacardi Lindy/Strapon filly Barefoot Sally who made it two from three when successful in the Yield Boko @ Aldebaran Park 3-Y-0 Trotters Mobile over 2190 metres. Driven by Chris Lang (Jnr), Barefoot Sally starting solo on the second row, possied one/one trailing the favourite Spidergrace (gate six) which shadowed the pacemaker Riegle Deception (gate four). Easing wide on straightening as Spidergrace got the better of the leader, Barefoot Sally ran home stylishly to register a 1.2 metre victory over Spidergrace, with Rumbaron third after trailing the front runner. The mile rate 2-03.8. Eight year old Dream Vacation/Maori Princess gelding Maori Vacation snared the Red Samurai Trotters Handicap for T3 or better class over 2190 metres for veteran Stanhope trainer Malcolm Shaw. Driven by Gavin Lang, Maori Vacation first up since August settled mid-field in the moving line after starting from 20 metres, with old timer Kingofthedesert leading from the pole. Set alight three wide racing for the bell, Maori Vacation had little difficulty in parking outside the leader and was always travelling kindly. Surging to the front approaching the home turn, Maori Vacation had plenty in hand at the finish, winning by 1.7 metres from Balletto (four wide home turn after a bad beginning) and Imagunnadogood (three wide last lap) in a rate of 2-06. The Adam Kelly/Gavin Lang (Coimadai) combination were successful with Kiwi bred 6-Y-0 In The Pocket/Lite Jade mare Lite Jagermeister in the Maryborough & District Advertiser Pace for C5 & C6 class over 1690 metres. Taking advantage of a mares concession, Lite Jagermeister (gate four) was sent forward to obtain the front running racing for the bell off the pole marker Night Affair. Travelling smoothly for the rest of the journey, Lite Jagermeister coasted to the wire 5.3 metres in advance of Night Affair in a rate of 1-56.3, with The Unionist (three wide last lap from last) running home strongly for third. Len Baker

Underrated Great Western trainer Warren Bird has picked up a smart performer by the name of Death Defying which greeted the judge in the Sign Online Trotters Handicap for T0 or better class horses over 2175 metres at the Stawell HRC fixture on Monday November 18. A recent addition which scored for the stable on debut at Maryborough on November 3, Death Defying a five-year-old daughter of Life Sign and Lombo Luvbird starting from a 30-metre equal backmark began swiftly for reinsman Greg Sugars to settle one/one on the back of Peter Manning’s Sunnyandcher (20 metres) which raced in the open covering Candy Digger (10 metres). When Sunnyandcher gained the upper hand to lead on the final bend, Death Defying immediately pounced and raced clear in the straight to score by 2.5 metres in advance of the local hope Baltimore Boy which trailed the winner all of the way, with Sunnyandcher 5.9 metres away in third place. The mile rate 2-06.2. It was Death Defying’s fourth victory in 11 outings. Kyneton trainer Mario Callus was victorious with four-year-old Four Starzzz Shark/Taras Gift gelding Tenfour, taking out the Stawell Dry Cleaners Pace for C0 class over 2175 metres. Driven by Daryl Douglas, Tenfour led throughout from gate three and although headed in the shadows of the post by Sassy Man along the sprint lane after trailing, fought back like a caged lion to gain the day by a half head in a rate of 2-02.6 to break his maiden status at start number 24. The heavily supported I Am Mister Red finished third after facing the open. Navarre trainer/driver Marnie Bibby caused an upset in the first leg of the TAB Quaddie, when seven-year-old Lake Hills Jeb/Wrap Around gelding Hellovanite snared the Stawell Farm Supplies Pace for C4-5 class over 2175 metres. Given an easy time from gate two trailing the leader Seven Nations inside him with the red-hot favourite Kickittochris racing in the open after starting outside the front row, Hellovanite trained at Stawell by breeder Owen Martin at one stage of his career, used the sprint lane to gain the day by 1.3 metres over Kickittochris, with Kiwi Rage (three back the markers) also using the sprint lane for third. The mile-rate a slick 2-00.3. Burrumbeet (Ballarat) trainer Ash Herbertson is a regular competitor at most Stawell meetings and landed the Stanley Anyon Memorial Pace Final for C1 class over 1780 metres with ultra-consistent five-year-old Metropolitan/Ellovalooka mare Metrofromelle who chalked up her fifth win in 33 race appearances. Driven by Matt Craven, Metrofromelle (gate four) raced outside the pole line leader Beau Ciel for the entire journey, proving the better stayer on the day to defeat Venus Williams along the sprint lane off the back of the pacemaker, with Beau Ciel weakening over the concluding stages to finish third. The margins 3.1 metres by 1.4 metres in a mile rate of 1-57.8. The sprint lane was the place to be on straightening throughout the day and another winner to benefit from it was much travelled five-year-old Life Sign/Velvetsledgehammer gelding Mayorofshinetown for Mt Gambier’s Kevin Von Duve in the Lillies & Lattes Restaurant Pace for C1 class over 2175 metres. Having start 67, Mayorofshinetown with Terang concessional reinsman Tim McLean in the sulky, settled on the back of the heavily supported pole line leader Mystic Soldier who was kept honest all through the race by the last start Swan Hill winner Blude Master. Gaining an inside passage on turning, Mayorofshinetown finished best to blouse a game Blude Master by a half-head, with Tres Hombres (three wide last lap) finishing hard to be a head away third in the most thrilling finish of the day. The mile rate 2-02.4. Peter Manning rarely goes home from Stawell without a winner and iron four-year-old gelding Boyz Torque kept the record intact when successful in the Stawell Florist Pace for C2-3 class over 2175 metres. Driven by daughter Michelle, Boyz Torque (Union Guy/Hot Reaction) was sent forward from gate two on the second line to park outside the pacemaker Amberlu Angus which led easily from the pole. Joining the leader on the home turn, Boyz Torque having his 60th outing, raced away in the straight to score easily by 4.5 metres over the fast finishing Mister Rufus from mid-field in a rate of 2-03, with Garibaldi Union a stablemate of the winner third after racing wide from the bell. Len Baker

Underrated Great Western trainer Warren Bird has picked up a smart performer by the name of Death Defying which greeted the judge in the Sign Online Trotters Handicap for T0 or better class horses over 2175 metres at the Stawell HRC fixture on Monday November 18. A recent addition which scored for the stable on debut at Maryborough on November 3, Death Defying a 5-Y-0 daughter of Life Sign and Lombo Luvbird starting from a 30 metre equal backmark began swiftly for reinsman Greg Sugars to settle one/one on the back of Peter Manning’s Sunnyandcher (20 metres) which raced in the open covering Candy Digger (10 metres). When Sunnyandcher gained the upper hand to lead on the final bend, Death Defying immediately pounced and raced clear in the straight to score by 2.5 metres in advance of the local hope Baltimore Boy which trailed the winner all of the way, with Sunnyandcher 5.9 metres away in third place. The mile rate 2-06.2. It was Death Defying’s 4th victory in 11 outings. Kyneton trainer Mario Callus was victorious with 4-Y-0 Four Starzzz Shark/Taras Gift gelding Tenfour, taking out the Stawell Dry Cleaners Pace for C0 class over 2175 metres. Driven by Daryl Douglas, Tenfour led throughout from gate three and although headed in the shadows of the post by Sassy Man along the sprint lane after trailing, fought back like a caged lion to gain the day by a half head in a rate of 2-02.6 to break his maiden status at start number 24. The heavily supported I Am Mister Red finished third after facing the open. Navarre trainer/driver Marnie Biiby caused an upset in the first leg of the TAB Quaddie, when 7-Y-0 Lake Hills Jeb/Wrap Around gelding Hellovanite snared the Stawell Farm Supplies Pace for C4 & C5 class over 2175 metres. Given an easy time from gate two trailing the leader Seven Nations inside him with the red-hot favourite Kickittochris racing in the open after starting outside the front row,  Hellovanite trained at Stawell by breeder Owen Martin at one stage of his career, used the sprint lane to gain the day by 1.3 metres over Kickittochris, with Kiwi Rage (three back the markers) also using the sprint lane for third. The mile rate a slick 2-00.3. Burrumbeet (Ballarat) trainer Ash Herbertson is a regular competitor at most Stawell meetings and landed the Stanley Anyon Memorial Pace Final for C1 class over 1780 metres with ultra-consistent 5-Y-0 Metropolitan/Ellovalooka mare Metrofromelle who chalked up her 5th win in 33 race appearances. Driven by Matt Craven, Metrofromelle (gate four) raced outside the pole line leader Beau Ciel for the entire journey, proving the better stayer on the day to defeat Venus Williams along the sprint lane off the back of the pacemaker, with Beau Ciel weakening over the concluding stages to finish third. The margins 3.1 X 1.4 metres in a mile rate of 1-57.8. The sprint lane was the place to be on straightening throughout the day and another winner to benefit from it was much travelled 5-Y-0 Life Sign/Velvetsledgehammer gelding Mayorofshinetown for Mt Gambier’s Kevin Von Duve in the Lillies & Lattes Restaurant Pace for C1 class over 2175 metres. Having start 67, Mayofshinetown with Terang concessional reinsman Tim McLean in the sulky, settled on the back of the heavily supported pole line leader Mystic Soldier who was kept honest all through the race by the last start Swan Hill winner Blude Master. Gaining an inside passage on turning, Mayorofshinetown finished best to blouse a game Blude Master by a half head, with Tres Hombres (three wide last lap) finishing hard to be a head away third in the most thrilling finish of the day. The mile rate 2-02.4. Peter Manning rarely goes home from Stawell without a winner and iron 4-Y-0 gelding Boyz Torque kept the record intact when successful in the Stawell Florist Pace for C2 & C3 class over 2175 metres. Driven by daughter Michelle, Boyz Torque (Union Guy/Hot Reaction) was sent forward from gate two on the second line to park outside the pacemaker Amberlu Angus which lead easily from the pole. Joining the leader on the home turn, Boyz Torque having his 60th outing, raced away in the straight to score easily by 4.5 metres over the fast finishing Mister Rufus from mid-field in a rate of 2-03, with Garabaldi Union a stablemate of the winner third after racing wide from the bell. By Len Baker  

Victorian trainer David Lewis will base himself in Sydney for the rest of November in an attempt to qualify his star pacer Abettorpunt for the Miracle Mile at Tabcorp Park Menangle. The six year old gelding will compete in Saturday night's Newcastle Mile but has been given the visitor's draw and has barrier eleven. "I was a bit concerned when I first saw the draw but after I had a look at the horses drawn around him and thought it through a bit more I was a little bit happier because the speed early looks to be drawn out wide too," Lewis said. "His run in the Nyah Cup at Swan Hill was good, he just couldn't zip up with the leaders but he did sit wide for the last 1400 metres and the first two horses went to the Kilmore Cup and dominated there so in hindsight his run wasn't too bad." Abettorpunt was impressive winning the Geelong Rocket the start prior and Lewis acknowledged the victory convinced him to give the son of Bettors Delight a chance to qualify for the Miracle Mile. "I thought it was about time that he had a go at these bigger races. I cuddled him a bit early in his career, he has only had 47 starts and I've kept him away from the big races and when I was ready to have a go at them last season he had a few issues but I'm really happy with how everything is going right now." "I'm going to base myself at Cobbitty for the month, I'm going to have to travel up the freeway to Newcastle which they tell me is a couple of hours but for the rest of the time we aren't staying too far from Menangle." Lewis will also start Amajorjo at Newcastle on Saturday night and is confident of a forward showing. "I'm really happy with Amajorjo, he is a great track worker and is feeling very well at the moment, I doubt Abettorpunt could beat him here at home at the moment." "Matt Craven will be flying up to drive the horses during the carnival, I'm really looking forward to the trip." Harness Racing NSW (HRNSW) is the controlling body for harness racing in New South Wales with responsibility for commercial and regulatory management of the industry including 31 racing clubs across the State. HRNSW is headed by an industry-appointed Board of Directors and is independent of Government. Dale Walker (Harness Racing NSW)  

The Horsham trotting meeting held on Monday October 28 belonged to the Western part of Victoria and South East South Australia with five of the eight winners coming from those areas. The highlight of the day being a driving treble to Terang based reinsman Matt Craven and a double to Hamilton trainer David Lewis, the first of which came up in the Wimmera Roadways 3-Y-0 Pace over 1700 metres taken out by Grinfromeartoear/Joelaura gelding Smileawayjo. Starting from the pole, Smileawayjo making his third racetrack appearance, led throughout from the pole to score by 9.1 metres in a rate of 1-57.5 over Johnos Jet a winner on debut at Swan Hill eight days earlier which was given every chance one/one, with Winterfeel third after following the runner up all the way. Stablemate Twentyfivetolife a 4-Y-0 Life Sign/Royal Franco mare, was a tough winner of the Rosehill Farm Vererinary Practice Pace for C1 class over 1700 metres in a rate of 1-58.7. Despite sitting in the open after starting from gate four, Twentyfivetolife was equal to the task as she defied all challengers in accounting for Mayorofshinetown which trailed the weakening pacemaker Ynobe Coby and Armbro Speedstar three back the markers. The mile rate 1-58.7. The middle leg of Craven’s treble came about when 6-Y-0 Falcons Icon/Evil Eva gelding Iconic Art trained at Barham by Ruth Arthur greeted the judge in the BGS Folly @ Mountain View Vicbred Pace for C1 class over 2200 metres. Spearing away from gate five to lead easily, Iconic Art ($21.40) was untroubled to lead all of the way in a rate of 2-01.3, defeating Panorama Wealth which trailed, with the well supported Ruby Heart (one/two – three wide last lap) third.  Glencoe (Mount Gambier) trainer Kevin Von Duve also provided a long shot winner, when 6-Y-0 Modern Art/Good Night Irene mare Joolz Art snared the Moore Bulk Haulage Pace for C0 class (mares) over 1700 metres, paying Supertab odds of $26.90. Sent forward three wide out of gate three by Terang based Tim McLean, Joolz Art was able to angle to the back of the leader Belated inside her, receiving a sweet passage all of the way. Angling three wide on straightening, Joolz Art at start number 27 broke her maiden status by overpowering Belated in the shadows of the post to score by  a neck in a rate of 1-59.9 over Belated and Dilingers Princess which raced in the open from the bell. Last season’s “Trotter Of The Year” at Horsham Allawart Ugo registered his fifth success on the track and sixth overall, when victorious in the Conch Deville @ Loddon Valley Trotters Handicap for T0 or better class over 2200 metres. Part-owned  and trained locally at McKenzies Creek by veteran Ken Exell, Allawrat Ugo a 8-Y-0 Allawart Ray/Allawart Liz gelding bred in the area by Geoff and Mabel Foreman with Hamilton’s Rod Barker in the sulky, settled four back in the moving line, with the old stager Master Kiesey (13 years of age) leading from the 20 metre mark. Gaining a three wide trail on the back of Champ Devine (one/one) in the last lap, Allawart Ugo despite being four wide on the final bend, finished best to land the major prize by 2.3 metres in a rate of 2-07.2 in advance of a death-seating Ollie Nova and Rusty Bouchea which trailed the pacemaker from the pole when making his race debut. Woorndoo trainer Bob Mahncke’s 8-Y-0 Die Laughing/Forest Flame gelding Extricate put his best foot forward to land the Smiling Shard @ Alabar Pace for C2 & C3 class over 2200 metres. Taking a concession for Ararat based Emma Hamblin, Extricate spent most of the race buried three back along the markers after starting from the pole, with the speedy Manningham Park leading from gate three. Angling away from the inside to be one/one approaching the home turn on the back of Valentino Rustler which had raced in the breeze, Extricate when eased three wide on straightening, ran home solidly to score by 5.7 metres in a rate of 1-59.1 from a game Valentino Rustler, with the Mildura visitor Pirates Plunder (one/two – four wide home turn) 3.9 metres away in third place. Len Baker

Ararat has always been a happy hunting ground for nearby Great Western trainer Peter Manning and the Manning family and it certainly was on Wednesday October 23 when Peter chalked up three winners and daughters Michelle and Kerryn one training winner each, while Kerryn drove a winning double. The first of Peter’s treble was former Kiwi bred 7-Y-0 Sundon/Cherourwishes mare Sunnyandcher in the G. Ferguson Trotters Mobile for T0 & T1 class over 2195 metres. Driven by Kerryn, Sunnyandcher starting outside the front row possied three back in the moving line, with The Final Cut leading from gate three. When Safe Leone another Manning runner surged past the leader in the last lap, Sunnyandcher was in hot pursuit making the final bend three wide, with Gavlenn Sunset (one/one) in the centre. Finishing best, Sunnyandcher scored by 6.6 metres from Gavlenn Sunset in a rate of 2-06.1, with Candy Digger (three back the markers) third. It was Sunnyandcher’s 4th victory in 51 outings. Iron 4-Y-0 Union Guy/Hot Reaction gelding Boyz Torque having his 7th start for the season and 56 overall, was once again a tough winner when successful in the Spiller Family Sprint Series Final for C1 class over 1790 metres which qualified in the heats held at the same track on October 13. Driven by Terang young gun Jason Lee for Peter, Boys Torque was trapped three wide out of gate three, before parking outside the leader Big Gorilla. Keeping the pressure on throughout, Boyz Torque outstayed Big Gorilla to record a 8.5 metre victory in advance of Big Gorilla who is probably better off with a sit. Peter Manning’s second stringer Additallup (three wide last lap from the rear) finished third. The mile rate 1-59.6. Five year old Union Guy/Miss Incline gelding Garabaldi Union made it three for the stable when victorious in the Benson Catering Pace for C1 class over 2195 metres with Terang’s Matt Craven in the sulky. Bred and raced by former HRV Board member Peter Bourke, Garabaldi Union was sent forward from gate five, working hard to park outside the 10-Y-0 pacemaker Vinnies Jet. Taking over approaching the home turn, Garabaldi Union showed tremendous fighting qualities to come again after being headed by the more fancied stablemate Armbro Speedster halfway up the running to gain the day by 1.6 metres in a rate of 2-01.8, with Graceful Affair 18.8 metres away in third place after always being handy. Kerryn Manning snared the Bill Sutton Claiming Pace over 2195 metres with 6-Y-0 Live Or Die/Chipover gelding Waterhorse in a rate of 2-00 even. Restrained from outside the front row to settle closer to last than first, Waterhorse ran home strongly wide in the last lap to defeat a game Cowboy Cadillac which moved to face the breeze mid-race by a neck in a punishing finish. Keeper Of The Fire (one/one) finished in third place. Michelle Manning’s smart 4-Y-0 Four Starzzz Shark/Tarlilia entire Jackabeams made it two from two when successful in the Mark Smith Pace Final for C0 class over 1790 metres. A winner of his heat on debut, Jackabeams driven by Kerryn led virtually throughout from gate three, accounting for a death-seating Modern Chic which went down fighting by 1.5 metres in 2-00.2, with Xbolt (one/one) third. On a night of multiple victories, Matt Craven continued his stellar season by driving a treble and Burrumbeet trainer Ashleigh Herbertson prepared a double. Matt’s other winners were Citysneak in the C. Dunn Vicbred Platinum Country Series F (1st Heat) for C0 class over 2195 metres and BlissfulKisses in the Life Members Pace for C2 & C3 class over 1790 metres, both trained by Herbertson. Citysneak a 4-Y-0 Metropolitan/Sneak Peak mare starting from the pole, broke her maiden status at start number eleven after using the sprint lane from three back the markers to blouse Michelle Manning’s Aheadofhistime which led by a head in 2-01.4, with Susie Badland third after following the pacemaker. Six year old Blissful Hall/Ebony And Ice mare Blissful Kisses was given a lovely passage one/one from inside the second row following the favourite The Red Opal, before being switched down to the markers approaching the home turn and using the sprint lane to score by 2.5 metres in 1-59.7 over The Red Opal which battled away gamely. Peter Manning’s Valentino Rustler (one/three) finished third after looking a big chance out wide approaching the final bend. By Len Baker  

The Horsham & District Harness Racing Club recently presented awards for the 2012/13 season at their annual club dinner for sponsors, committee, officials, staff and volunteers.   President Justin Lane congratulated all winners and presented them with certificates and trophies on behalf of the Club's long-time, valued sponsors;   * Betta Electrical Trainer of the Year - Peter Manning - 39 points with 59 starters, 7 wins, 2 seconds & 7 thirds. * West Vic Racepix Driver of the Year - Matt Craven - 76 points with 49 drives, 17 wins, 1 seconds and 6 thirds. * Conways Greg Smith Memorial Concession Driver of the Year - Jayson Finnis - 30 points with 33 drives, 3 wins, 8 seconds and 2 thirds. * Graeme Eeles Saddlery Horsham Horse of the Year - Cheap Tint - won all 3 starts at Horsham during the season for SA owners Malcom & Wendy Walker and trainer Kevin Brough. * Dahlsens Local Trainer Strike Rate - Ken Exell courtesy of his only horse, the consistent trotter Allawart Ugo.    Special guest John Peck, who is currently researching the Club's history, for Horsham's Centenary race meeting in March 2014, captivated guests with an amazing description of  trotting in Horsham and district from the 1880's through to the early 1950's. HRV board member Geoff Kay and AVCHRC President Paul James were also in attendance for the highly enjoyable gathering.   Tony Logan

Last year's Central Victorian Pacing Championship winner Restrepo a Breeders Crown placegetter, was victorious in taking out the $30,000 (Group 3) Tooleybuc Sporting Club Nyah Pacing Cup for M0 or better class (Discretionary Handicapped) over 2790 metres at the Swan Hill Racing Centre on Saturday, giving him a free ticket into this Sunday's $70,000 Kilmore Pacing Cup. Trained at Smythes Creek (Ballarat) by the all conquering Emma Stewart/Clayton Tonkin combination, Restrepo (Gavin Lang) was a little slow to begin from barrier two, but quickly regained his composure to settle close and handy one/one. When last year's victor Saint Flash was sent forward early by Daryl Douglas, Lang went ahead of him to again possie one/one, before being shuffled back a spot after the heavily supported favourite Chancellor Cullen circled the field to race outside the lamp lighter Uncle Wingnut. In a race with plenty of action, second elect Abettorpunt commenced a forward move three wide solo from last at the bell, with Restrepo able to latch to his back running into the final bend. When Chancellor Cullen dashed away at the straight entrance, it looked as though he may have pinched the feature, however after the easy passage, Restrepo finished the better to claim him in the shadows of the post, scoring by 2.7 metres in a new track record mile rate of 1-58.4 (last half mile a blistering 54.8 - quarter 27.6). Abettorpunt was game in finishing 2.4 metres away in third place. A 5-Y-0 entire by Art Major from Shes Innocent, Restrepo has recorded 14 wins from only 24 race appearances. The $12,000 Jim Roberts Nyah Trotters Cup named in honour of Nyah legend Jim Roberts a former club President and one time HRV Board member, was taken out by 6-Y-0 Earl/Howdoudo gelding Thewannacallmesue for Shepparton (Lemnos) father and son Russell and Nathan Jack in a rate of 2-07.5. Despite racing in the open throughout from barrier three outside the pacemaker Gluteus Major inside him after a slow beginning, Theywannacallmesue raced by the Shellie family outstayed his rivals to record a strong neck victory over Gluteus Major, with Michael Thomas (one/one) third. One of the highlights of the evening was the $12,000 Ian Ray Betta Home Living Swan Hill Mile for C6 or better class over the true 1609 metre journey, with Hamilton trainer David Lewis' smart Art Major/Jolaura 5-Y-0 stallion Amajorjo victorious. First up since June, Amajorjo driven by Terang's Matt Craven from gate five tried unsuccessfully to head of Jackson Painting's Living Lord (gate two), resulting in him being left in the open for the entire trip. Surging to the front on the final bend, Amajorjo scored a meritorious head margin over the hot favourite Magical Telf off a three wide trail from last in the final circuit, with Our Walden Bury (one/two) third. The mile rate 1-53.5 (last half 55.5 - quarter 27.4) which smashed the track record of 1-54.8. Len Baker

Six year old Bettors Delight/Frosty Mattina gelding Abettorpunt was a most impressive winner of the $30,000 (Group 3) Sew-Eurodrive Geelong Rocket for M0 or better class over 1609 metres at Geelong on Saturday October 12, much to the delight of owners - the Lewis and Krause family who also bred him. Trained at Hamilton by part-owner David Lewis, Abettorpunt driven by Terang's Matt Craven settled mid-field in the moving line from gate two on the second line, with the heavily supported Mildura Pacing Cup and recent Tabcorp Park victor Five Star Anvil safely retaining the inside running from the pole. Set alight racing for the bell to park outside Five Star Anvil for the final circuit, Craven applied plenty of pressure to the favourite approaching the home turn, before gainingthe upper hand halfway up the running to record a 1.3 metre victory (last half 55.7 - quarter 27.2) over the roughie Garnet River along the sprint lane after trailing the pacemaker which finished a further 1.5 metres away in third place.  The mile rate 1-55.3 which was a second outside Penny Veejay's track record of 1-54.3 set in 2007. Geelong's Nott family scored a unique double at Geelong when 5-Y-0 Yankee Paco/Galleons Bliss mare Red Hot Chilli landed the SEW Galaxy Vicbred Platinum Country Series E (1st Heat) for Trotters T0 & T1 class over 2100 metres and 7-Y-0 Village Jasper/Any Danger gelding Arber the SEW Meteor Pace for C3 & C4 class over 1609 metres Red Hot Chilli part-owned by Craig Nott, trained and driven by Bolinda's Chris Alford came from near last to score in a rate of 2-05.1 from Slowly Does It and Desert Spur which led, while Arber trained locally by Tim Bolitho, bred and raced by father Philip Nott scored in almost identical fashion, coming from last to defeat Kisartis which followed him home and Manningham Park which led in 1-55.7. Len Baker  

A neat and compact meeting was held at Tabcorp Park Melton on Friday September 27, featuring the $20,000 Claiming Masters Final and the $16,000 tab.com.au Pace for M2 to M4 class. Smiles of joy turned to disappointment following the victory of six-year-old Aces N Sevens/Alesco gelding Cut For An Ace in the University Foods Claiming Masters Final over 2240 metres. Trained at Bacchus Marsh by Alan Tubbs, Cut For An Ace driven by daughter Amy was sent forward from gate five to stroll past Thats Mister Ali inside him shortly after the start and proceeded to run his rivals ragged. Kicking away on straightening, Cut For An Ace (claiming price $25,000) scored by an untouched 12.7 metres in a brilliant mile rate of 1-55.7 over Smudge Bromac from near last and Kotare Roland (one/one) which trailed the heavily supported favourite Catch Your Breath. Cut For An Ace who in winning chalked up his 13th victory in 62 outings, was claimed in the race and will do his future racing in the care of Geoff Webster at Bannockburn in the Geelong area. Hamilton part-owner/trainer David Lewis’ quality six-year-old Bettors Delight/Frosty Mattina gelding Abettorpunt resumed from a short break with a brilliant near last to first performance to take out the fast class event over 2240 metres. Driven by Matt Craven, Abettorpunt starting from the extreme draw settled at the tail of the field, with the roughie Pinevale Willpower leading from gate four. Although wide in the final circuit, Abettorpunt raced away on straightening to record a 7-metre victory in advance of Saint Flash and Victors Delight in a mile rate of 1-57.9. It was Abettorpunt’s 19th victory in 45 outings. Bolinda co-trainers Kari and Paul Males brought up another Melton victory with nine-year-old Sundon/Tender Annie gelding Tender Don listed in the racebook as being trained by Kari, taking out the $16,000 Glenferrie Farm Trotters Mobile for TM1 to TM3 class over 2240 metres in a mile rate of 2-00.8.. Driven by Greg Sugars, Tender Don (gate five) had little difficulty in crossing Jingling Silver (gate two) shortly after the start, before coasting to the wire 10.4 metres in advance of a game Prettylilangeseyes (one/one – outside winner home turn) after galloping in the score up. Armed Guard finished third. Avenel horseman David Aiken has been having a great run in recent weeks (especially around the provincials) and landed the Aldebaran Park Trotters Mobile for TMO class over 1720 metres at Melton with Kiwi bred mare Brylin Crescent in a slick rate of 1-59.5. Driven by David, Brylin Crescent a seven-year-old daughter of Brylin Boy and Another Starlet led virtually throughout from gate two, easily accounting for Goldstar Invasion (one/one) which raced outside her for the last lap. Just Call Me Earl came from last to finish an eye catching third. Next Friday’s Melton program will feature the $50,000 (Group 2) City Of Melton Plate for four and five-year-olds over 2240 metres and promises to be one of the highlights of the season. Len Baker

A neat and compact meeting was held at Tabcorp Park Melton on Friday September 27, featuring the $20,000 Claiming Masters Final and the $16,000 tab.com.au Pace for M2 to M4 class. Smiles of joy turned to sadness following the victory of 6-Y-0 Aces N Sevens/Alesco gelding Cut For An Ace in the University Foods Claiming Masters Final over 2240 metres. Trained at Bacchus Marsh by Alan Tubbs, Cut For An Ace driven by daughter Amy was sent forward from gate five to stroll past Thats Mister Ali inside him shortly after the start and proceeded to run his rivals ragged. Kicking away on straightening, Cut For An Ace (claiming price $25,000) scored by an untouched 12.7 metres in a brilliant mile rate of 1-55.7 over Smudge Bromac from near last and Kotare Roland (one/one) which trailed the heavily supported favourite Catch Your Breath. Cut For An Ace who in winning chalked up his 13th victory in 62 outings, was claimed in the race and will do his future racing in the care of Geoff Webster at Bannockburn in the Geelong area. Hamilton part-owner/trainer David Lewis’ quality 6-Y-0 Bettors Delight/Frosty Mattina gelding resumed from a short break with a brilliant near last to first performance to take out the fast class event over 2240 metres. Driven by Matt Craven, Abettorpunt starting from the extreme draw settled at the tail of the field, with the roughie Pinevale Willpower leading from gate four. Although wide in the final circuit, Abettorpunt raced away on straightening to record a 7 metre victory in advance of Saint Flash and Victors Delight in a mile rate of 1-57.9. It was Abettorpunt’s 19th victory in 45 outings. Bolinda co-trainers Kari and Paul Males brought up another Melton victory with 9-Y-0 Sundon/Tender Annie gelding Tender Don, taking out the $16,000 Glenferrie Farm Trotters Mobile for TM1 to TM3 class over 2240 metres in a mile rate of 2-00.8.. Driven by Greg Sugars, Tender Don (gate five) had little difficulty in crossing Jingling Silver (gate two) shortly after the start, before coasting to the wire 10.4 metres in advance of a game Prettylilangeseyes (one/one – outside winner home turn) after galloping in the score up. Armed Guard finished third. Avenel horseman David Aiken has been having a great run in recent weeks (especially around the provincials) and landed the Aldebaran Park Trotters Mobile for TMO class over 1720 metres at Melton with Kiwi bred mare Brylin Crescent in a slick rate of 1-59.5. Driven by David, Brylin Crescent a 7-Y-0 daughter of Brylin Boy and Another Starlet led virtually throughout from gate two, easily accounting for Goldstar Invasion (one/one) which raced outside her for the last lap. Just Call Me Earl came from last to finish an eye catching third. *** Next Friday’s Melton program will feature the $50,000 (Group 2) City Of Melton Plate for four and five year olds over 2240 metres and promises to be one of the highlights of the season.  By Len Baker

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