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The 2014 Corio Waste Management Geelong Pacing Cup has attracted a small but select field for the historic feature. Won last year by Melpark Major and in 2011 by Smoken Up, the prestige of the race has only been confirmed this year with the ageing champion of the sport returning to try and win the race for a second time this year. And he will be joined by one of the rising stars of the sport in Chilli Palmer as the two dual at the head of the TAB.com.au market for the race. But the hype of the Cup itself has been almost overtaken by the festivities that surround the 178,000-strong country community. Headlined by the Junior Fashions On The Field and face painting, the kids will be treated to a spectacle of activities on a stunning night of racing. The adults will be kept busy with a punters club on offer throughout the night but most importantly a $1,000 cash giveaway. As an added bonus, the winner of the draw will have the chance to participate in a double-seated sulky ride at an upcoming meeting. The club have also invested in live music this year which will be sure to keep the patrons entertained as the night winds up to be one of the biggest of the Geelong social calendar. Entry is $10 for adults, which includes a racebook, while concession admission is $8. By HRV Media (Courtesy of Harness Racing Australia)

An Introduction From The CEO A very successful Del-Re National Food Group Hunter Cup Carnival has concluded with a big crowd attending and strong growth in wagering turnover. Click here for a highlights package of Hunter Cup night. Some exciting news is imminent with our next major event, the Pryde's Easifeed Great Southern Star on March 22. Follow HRV on Twitter @HRVnews Stakes Rises I am pleased to confirm that the second phase of stakes rises for the year will come into effect on March 1. A summary of the main changes: The minimum career penalty stake will rise to $6,000 (a 20% rise this year); A payment of $115 (which includes the driver's fee of $65 will be added to the stake for horses which finish between sixth and last); Metropolitan class minimum stake will rise to $17,000 for M1 or better and $16,000 for M0; With effect from July 1, the Vicbred first win bonus will rise to $7,000 for two and three-year-olds. Other stakes rises previously announced on September 1, 2013 remain in force. Fires The past week has been a tough one for many participants, with serious fires burning through several regions of country Victoria. Several of those regions housed industry people. In particular the areas of Riddells Creek, Kilmore and the Goulburn Valley were severely threatened by raging fires. HRV was monitoring the course of the fires and the likely impacts. I am pleased to say that quick action by the authorities and many in the industry meant no loss of life and minimal loss of livestock. However there has been significant damage reported to properties. Some of the areas which were closely monitored: In the Riddells Creek fires several trainers/owners in the area were forced to relocate horses as the fires headed in their direction. HRV's own Craig Rail was evacuated as the fires were close by.Apart from damage to his property his house remains intact. In the Goulburn Valley, Warwick Stud was the worst affected with the loss of barns, fencing, stallion boxes and other buildings. HRV has been assisting in replacing infrastructure to get much needed water to the property. A number of trainers in the region suffered losses to sheds and fencing and HRV is currently assisting with replacement. The local industry has responded in typical fashion and I know those affected have appreciated the extent of the industry's support. The Kilmore area was under threat for several days. A special thanks to the Kilmore Club for acting as a temporary refuge for concerned members of the racing community. The Club provided stabling, food and water for a variety of animals, which I'm sure was appreciated. A huge thank you goes out to the many fire fighters (including the helicopters) who fought so bravely to protect so many properties. Teal for Ovarian Cancer Research While on the subject of community action, the month of March will be a special one for the awareness of Ovarian Cancer. Agreement has been reached for all Victorian female drivers to wear Teal coloured driving trousers, in support of the Ovarian Cancer Institute, for the entire month of March. The initiative is being generously funded by Duncan McPherson OAM and Michael Taranto as part of the promotion of the Pryde's Easifeed Great Southern Star which is run in conjunction with the Women's Cancer Foundation - Ovarian Cancer Institute Girls Night Out. Once again, it presents an opportunity for the industry to display its leadership in supporting community causes and messages that are so close to many people's hearts. Well done to all the girls who are supporting this great initiative. And while on the subject of the Great Southern Star stand by for an announcement of two highly recognised international identities who will play an ambassadorial role for the series. Major release scheduled for next week. International Expansion Over recent months there been some debate regarding the strategic importance of building international relationships and promoting the export of HRV product into overseas jurisdictions and vice versa. In 2012/13 HRV generated more than $600,000 in International Rights Product Fees from the export of our product for wagering in overseas jurisdictions. For the first half of 2013/14 those International Rights Product Fees have increased by 68%, therefore HRV forecast generating in excess of $1 million in revenue from the export of our product this year. When we consider that the French market wagered around AUD$300,000 into the win/place pools alone for the three Trotting races exported on Hunter Cup night, it's likely this forecast could grow even further. In addition to exporting our product overseas, under these reciprocal arrangements, we've seen a recent expansion of product imported from Sweden and France into our own wagering market. Over the past few months this has resulted in $500,000 in harness wagering turnover on the Victorian tote, from which HRV derives direct revenue and market share benefit. With further expansion planned, it's important the industry understands we operate in a global racing and wagering environment and strategically it is of significant value to our bottom line. Josh Duggan - Victorian Representative Josh Duggan has been selected to represent Victoria in this year's Australasian Young Drivers Championship to be run in conjunction with the 2014 Inter Dominion in Sydney. Representatives from each State and the two New Zealand Islands will participate in a 10 race series in NSW from February 25, culminating in a final heat on Inter Dominion Grand Final Day. It is always a great experience for the young drivers. HRV last won the Championship in 2012 when Ellen Tormey was successful in Perth. We wish Josh well - seen here photographed receiving his Big V colours from Chairman, Ken Latta and Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier, Craig Ondarchie.   Milestones Congratulations to Nathan Cahir who drove his 100th winner at Hamilton on January 29. Young guns Matt Craven and Michael Stanley are within reach of 500 winners, both currently in the 480's. Get Well Paul Sad to hear of the severe injuries suffered by Paul Morrissey at his Bendigo property as a result of a training accident. Paul is currently in intensive care in Bendigo Base Hospital with broken bones and head and spinal injuries. We wish Paul a full recovery. Vale HRV passes on its condolences to members of the Jack family, many of whom are involved in the industry, on the passing of patriarch Robbie Jack. Robbie was a stalwart in the Riverina as a trainer, driver and administrator. He was 81. Did You Know? HRV will be honouring the retirement of champion Melpark Major this Saturday night, February 15 at Tabcorp Park Melton. He will lead out the field for the Inter Dominion Heat with Amy Tubbs in the sulky. Melpark Major won $980,000 in stakes, having won a Victoria Cup and a host of other feature races. He will enjoy retirement on owner Don Smith's Melton property.

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

The Jim Phillips Memorial Cobram Pacing Cup is almost upon us and there’s not a great deal of holiday rest for our hard working trainers and drivers.  Toiling particularly hard under the summer sun will be Avenel trainer/driver David Aiken.  With a large team of nine runners engaged for the day, Aiken will have his work cut out right at the business end of the day, with four competitors in the Cup itself. Stepping out for start number one hundred and two and conceding twenty metres from the standing start is nine-year-old gelding Jaccka Clive. A winner of over $480,000 in career prize money and beaten narrowly by Mah Sish in this year’s Del-Re National Food Group A G Hunter Cup, Jaccka Clive is a winner of the 2011 Cobram Pacing Cup and will be doing his utmost to add another to his trophy cabinet.  Having his first start for over a month, Jaccka Clive should be fresh and ready to perform at his best at Cobram. Lining up 10 metres in front of Jaccka Clive is stable mate and last start Melton winner Smudge Bromac, to be driven by Nathan Jack. A veteran of one hundred and thirty three starts, Smudge Bromac has been extremely consistent over the last two months of his racing career and looks set to be a danger on Friday. To be partnered by the boss himself is six-year-old Courage Under Fire gelding Wartime Sweetheart. Winner of the Sew-Eurodrive Popular Alm (Group 3) two starts ago beating a quality field including Melpark Major, Mah Sish and Broadways Best, Wartime Sweetheart is a quality pacer who will make his presence felt in the $25,000 Cobram Cup. Rounding out the Aiken team is seven-year-old gelding Composed, to be driven off the front row by champion driver Chris Alford, who has been enjoying a purple patch of form over the last few months. In a quality field for the 2014 Cobram Pacing Cup, the Aiken outfit has a strong chance of taking it out with four out of the 10 runners vying for the prize. by Lucy McCormick for HRV  

It is the most anticipated Miracle Mile in recent memory, but what does history say about the 2013 edition of the famous sprint? Smoken Up is out to win his third Miracle Mile. No horse has ever achieved that feat. Christen Me (by Christian Cullen) is trying to become the first son or daughter of a Miracle Mile winner to replicate his/her sire's success. Paleface Bubble (by Paleface Adios) and Melpark Major (by Iraklis) both finished second. Beautide is attempting to break a long hoodoo for Newcastle Mile winners. The only horse to go on to win the Miracle Mile in the same year is Westburn Grant in 1990 (Our Sir Vancelot won the Newcastle Mile in 1998 the year after winning the Miracle Mile). In what is a truly rare occurrence, the last time a horse won the Miracle Mile for the first time at his/her third attempt was Double Agent in 1984. That's the challenge for Terror To Love! There are four NSW Derby winners that went on to win the Miracle Mile. Paleface Adios, Westburn Grant, Holmes DG and Divisive. Can For A Reason join that elite group. No driver has ever won 4 Miracle Miles. Vic Frost, Tony Herlihy and Lance Justice are currently on three each. Can Lance take the lead? Before Terror To Love, the last horse to win three New Zealand Cups was False Step in 1958-60 - seven years before the first Miracle Mile was even run! I'm Victorious is trying to emulate the deed of Village Kid by becoming the first West Australian since 1987 to win the Miracle Mile "cold" without a lead-up run in Sydney. Dale Walker  

The James & Son Legends was won Saturday night by Restrepo in a sizzling finale that saw him overhaul a quality field in the Group 2 race. Starting from barrier four, Emma Stewart’s five-year-old was unable to cross the field and landed in the one by one before champion pacer Smoken Up lobbed the chair in the run. Melpark Major led the field from his wide barrier but proved no match in the straight when Smoken Up, then Catch Your Breath loomed up on his outside. The race was all but over as Restrepo loomed up and shot past his rivals halfway down the lane. Crushing his rivals in a 28.5 third quarter and 28.4 last quarter, the son of Art Major went on to score by five metres from Wartime Sweetheart and American Muscle who both rattled home in the centre of the track. The mile rate was recorded in a blistering 1:52.8. Restrepo has now won 15 from 26 in his fledgling career. The night was also highlighted by the win of Chancellor Cullen in the Caduceus Club Legends Free For All and the return to the winning stall of La Machane. The feature trot race of the night went to My High Expectations who returned in brilliant for trainer/driver David Aiken. Videos of Restrepo and Chancellor Cullen are attached. by Blake Redden Harness Racing Victoria

Jack In Flight may not have the strongest form heading into the VHRSC Classic. In fact, Bitobliss and Smoken Up will shadow him in the betting for the race. But Wartime Sweetheart almost proved there is an exception to every rule and that is what Brett Cargill will be banking on come Friday night at Tabcorp Park Melton. He is going to have to cause a massive boilover but his trainer doesn’t believe he is hopeless. Finding little luck in each of his last three runs, he is starting to show signs of returning to his best which saw him win a Warragul and Melton Pacing Cup last season. “He’s going a lot better than his form reads, his last three runs he hasn’t really got out, he has gone to the line very good. He keeps drawing badly, he’s had seven or 12 his last three or four runs but he is going very, very good,” Cargill said. “We’ve drawn the front line so hopefully that will help us but it looks like there are a few inside us that can get out pretty quick. “Because I Can, Dominus Vobiscum, Mustang Mach and even Artoc can get out so we will have to sit down and have a good look at it.” Tactics aside, the race is shaping as a turning point for the aspirations of many to kick-start a campaign towards the rich Choice Hotels Country Cups series. And Jack In Flight is no different despite skipping this Saturday night’s Nyah Cup in favour of the Melton FFA. “I might be struggling now because of his form but I’ve been setting him for the Kilmore Cup,” Cargill said. “I had him nominated for the Nyah Cup but he had 20 metres and with horses like Chancellor Cullen off 10 and the fact that it’s five hours each way, it might have just flattened him. “I really believe he is getting back towards his best, he had a bit of a setback and then he was out in a bigger yard and the grass started growing and he got very fat on me so I had to move him out of there. “The Breeders Crown run and the couple of runs after that, he just needed the racing. I just looked at him yesterday morning and he is ready to go now. I think he is a bit stronger than he was last year.” Jack In Flight has been rated a $51 chance by Harness Racing Victoria form expert Jason Bonnington. Bitobliss ($2) and Smoken Up ($2.80) are expected to fight out favouritism from Jaccka Clive ($9) and Melpark Major ($10). by Blake Redden Harness Racing Victoria      

Melbourne may have turned on a stunning day Friday but Smoken Up stunned a big crowd at Tabcorp Park to continue his freakish record in the Markovina Free For All on Melton Plate night. The winner of 68 races returned as an 11-year-old this season and with two strong second’s under his belt looked to be coming along nicely. But it was a night where he faced a stern test from rising star Caribbean Blaster, and he came through, as he always does, with grit and determination. Leading from barrier three, the first time he has drawn inside six for almost 12 months, he was able to run along at his own pace in early quarters of 29.9secs and 29.7secs before applying the pressure to Caribbean Blaster who had sidled up on his outside. On the bend the pair looked to be in major danger of a blowout as Wartime Sweetheart loomed up at 150/1 however Smoken Up gave plenty in the final dash to the post, holding his rivals at bay by a head. Wartime Sweetheart held down second from Caribbean Blaster with Melpark Major close up in fourth. The last half came in 56.4secs with the last quarter providing the quickest section of the race in 27.9secs. The overall mile rate was a speedy 1:55.5. Lance Justice heaped praise on his brave warrior following the event when he spoke to Rob Auber trackside. “He’d only had two runs from a spell and everybody forgets that he had nearly four months off, so it’s very hard to get an old horse back but he’ll only get better and better with racing,” Justice said. “He’ll have to take his turn with the good barrier draws with the quality he is racing against but he is just such a tough horse and he doesn’t like letting horses past him. “He’s run along quite good on his own tonight so it was just about making sure I had the danger outside me running along quickly enough that he was going to have to pull out a super run to beat me. “Turning for home they drew level with me but once they got into the straight he just dug deep. I saw Wartime Sweetheart coming and he loomed up but he ran out of steam the last little bit.” Smoken Up paid $2.60 on with TAB.com.au and took his record to 68 wins from 129 starts and over almost $3.4million in prizemoney. by Blake Redden Harness Racing Victoria

Dean Braun’s reputation as one of Victoria’s most astute trainers went to another level last season and with the news that Blitzthemcalder will join his Lara stables, there is no doubt the trend will continue. But more immediately focus will turn to the City Of Melton plate as the stable send three runners to Tabcorp Park Melton for the Group 2 contest worth $50,000. That represents a third of the entire field but going by the early TAB.com.au’s fixed odds, the trio comprise almost 60% of the market. History will be against Braun’s favoured runner however, as Chancellor Cullen will be shooting to become the first dual winner of the race for four and five-year-old’s. It’s a feat that can’t be underestimated either with heroes of the sport such as Bitobliss, Melpark Major, Shakamaker and Sokyola all taking out the race on just one occasion. Braun spoke on RSN’s new trot panel ‘Gait Speed’ earlier in the week about Chancellor Cullen’s lead in to Friday’s race. “We’re very happy with him, he has been in work a long time and we’ve taken him along very slowly but he was very good first-up and Chris (Alford, driver) said he wasn’t out of second gear and he has trained on very, very good since,” Braun said. “He’s definitely not wound up yet, he has a big season in front of him but in saying that he’s fairly forward to run a pretty good race on Friday night and he is a natural athlete so he keeps himself pretty right. “He had a blowout last Tuesday while I was away and Nathan Jack drove him and was very happy with him and he trained terrific yesterday (Monday) so we are very happy with him.” As mentioned, Braun won’t be going in with a lone hand as his other two chances drew closer to the pegs in their attempts to upset the favourite. With Chancellor Cullen in seven, Rule Like A King has come up with the ideal alley in one while Magical Telf starts from two. The latter has accrued a record of 13 wins from 18 starts and despite only having had one start in this grade previously; he has always been well touted by Braun. “Luke McCarthy drove them both as three-year-old’s when I took them to Menangle and he said what do you think? And I said well Chancellor Cullen is a standout but I really like the other horse (Magical Telf),” he said. “Coming off the track after having driven both of them he said ‘I don’t think he is as far off as you think and maybe in 12 months’ time who knows’. “We’ve taken him along very slowly and his owners have been patient so he is a horse with a good future anyway.” And the third of the runner from the Lara stables, Rule Like A King, has the big advantage of the polemarking draw and even had his trainer questioning whether he might be the horse to beat following his last piece of work. “I came off the track yesterday thinking that maybe Chancellor Cullen wouldn’t be able to sit outside him (Rule Like A King) and beat him but half an hour later I soon changed my mind after I’d worked Chancellor Cullen,” Braun said. “I really like him (Rule Like A King), he was a bit of a ratbag early doors but we’ve ironed him out. He just keeps stepping up and he’s won all of his last five starts.” To hear the full podcast of ‘Gait Speed’, which includes Braun talking about his recent acquisition Blitzthemcalder, simply click here. By Blake Redden (Courtesy of Harness Racing Australia)

Bitobliss may have started an odds-on favourite at Tabcorp Park Melton on Friday but there were more than few questions for the rising star of the sport. Drawn the extreme barrier over the sprint trip, he had to work three wide in the final lap but he produced a crushing display to loom up outside Melpark Major and charge through the line a comfortable winner. The early lead was taken up by Im Barney Rubble who was then crossed by Toulouse Lautrec but down the back the final time Melpark Major had loomed up out wide. As the Alan Tubbs runner shot to the front, Scott Stewart stalked the near-million-dollar pacer into the race and cruised up as they swung for home. In the end it was a no contest because the dual-Kilmore Cup winner, who is on track for a third, was barely tested as he cut loose in to record a blistering 27.4secs. They never stopped running in a stunning 1:52.4 mile rate, helped by the earlier speed burn. Melpark Major held second from the fast-finishing Broadways Best who was strung up in traffic before the bend. The True Roman Trotters Free For All was taken out by Elegant Image as he staked his claim to be the best squaregaiter in Australasia. Leading from the pole, the son of S J’s Photo was too strong for Kyvalley Blur and Mister Zion. The mile rate was timed in 1:59.3 with a 58.7 last half. by Blake Redden Harness Racing Victoria

The Victorian Industry Awards night is just over a week away on September 12 at Tabcorp Park Melton and with it will come the Horse Of The Year awards to recognise all the athletes, equine and human, who have excelled in the past 12 months. The nominations for each of the equine awards are as follows: Victorian 2YO Colt or Gelding Hectorjayjay, Major Secret, Thats Rite, Yankee Rockstar Victorian 2YO Filly Mindarie Priddy, Tallulah Bay, Whereibylong Victorian 2YO Trotting Colt or Gelding Im Stately, Miracle, Tiavons Dream Victorian 2YO Trotting Filly Claudys Princess, Edge Hill, Four Lillies Victorian 3YO Colt or Gelding Flaming Flutter, Ginger Bliss, Guaranteed, Lennytheshark, Macha Victorian 3YO Filly Getya Wings Out, Im Smouldering, Itz Nosurprisesthere, Our Femme Fatale Victorian 3YO Trotting Colt or Gelding Blitzthemcalder, Glenferrie Dreamer, Our Dreamlover, Steal A Sixpence Victorian 3YO Trotting Filly Frances Annie, Maori Time, Spidergirl Victorian Mare Of The Year Blucolla Tigerpie, Broadways Best, La Machane, Pembrook Caesar, Waikare Patricia Victorian Aged Pacer Of The Year Bitobliss, Caribbean Blaster, Melpark Major, Smoken Up Victorian Aged Trotter Of The Year I Didnt Do It, Mister Zion, My High Expectations, Waikare Patricia Victorian Trotter Of The Year Blitzthemcalder, I Didnt Do It, Im Stately, Waikare Patricia Victorian Horse Of The Year Blitzthemcalder, Caribbean Blaster, Im Stately, Melpark Major This year the end-of-season industry awards night won’t coincide with a Tabcorp Park Melton race meeting, giving participants the chance to let their hair down and enjoy the frivolity of a night that will see our champions. The industry awards will be a spectacular way to finish what was an exciting season. Tickets are $65 each and include a three course meal as well as beer, wine and soft drink for the night. Those making the trek out to Melton will be able to secure a room in the hotel at the special price of $110. For more information on tickets or to book to be a part of the action call Tabcorp Park Melton on (03) 8746 0631. HRV Media

Tabcorp Park Melton turned on a pearler of a Friday night this week as Bitobliss reeled off one of the most eye-catching finishing bursts ever seen at the track. The ever-promising dual Kilmore Cup winner looked hopelessly placed when a clear last going off the back as first-up heroes Melpark Major and Smoken Up were duelling up front. Even as they swung the final bend and Bitobliss peeled to the extreme outside, it still appeared the first two in running would duke out the closing stages. That was until, Scotty Stewart gave his star pacer full bore and he started to steam down the outside. In a matter of moments he had gone from four lengths off the leader to a full sulky length clear and eventually it was an effortless four-metre win. Smoken Up bravely fought on for second in a more than creditable first-up performance while Motu Crusader (third) and Have A Bender (fourth) swooped home to just run past Melpark Major on the line. The mile rate of 1:56.6 was highlighted by a 55.8 last half and 27.8 last quarter, of which the winner would have ran significantly quicker. Stewart spoke to Rob Auber following the race and explained that it’s more about keeping him healthy rather than improving the rising seven-year-old. “If we can keep him on the track there is a bit ahead of him,” Stewart said. “It’s a matter of keeping him right and healthy, last year we were chasing a bit because of the broken leg. There’s another one of these Free For All’s in two weeks and I’ve thought about entering (for New Zealand) but Im Themightyquinn is going so we’ll wait and see. “Tonight the horses we were following were going forward whereas last month they probably weren’t, so even though you lose ground straightening we still had momentum.” The other feature race on the program was the VHRSC 3YO Cup and Chilli Palmer produced a similar finishing burst to capture the race. The highly touted son of Elsu scored by 2.8 metres from Hilltop Hustler, who worked during the run and fought on strongly and Nowitzki, who found the led in the early stages thanks to a brilliant drive. The mile rate was recorded in 1:58.0 with the last half coming in 55.4. by Blake Redden Harness Racing Victoria

Coming off the back of what was an outstanding Breeders Crown series, it’s hard to envisage the momentum could keep on rolling but that’s just what happened when fields were released for Tabcorp Park Melton this Friday. The night, which will double as a tribute to the recently retired trotting legend Bill Hutchison, has drawn together stellar fields in the main events on the card. The Minuteman Free For All will hold much of the focus with the racetrack return of both Smoken Up and Melpark Major. Both champions of the sport, they have been on the sidelines since January and February of this year and each has trialled to be ready for the contest where they will take on Bitobliss. Melpark Major won the day at the barrier draw being the only one of the trio to draw the front row and he’ll start from three outside of Toulouse Lautrec and Wartime Sweetheart. Neither Smoken Up nor Bitobliss would have been pleased the marbles they drew, having to start from 12 and 13 respectively. It does however set the scene for an action packed race over the 2240-metre trip. The trio of stars have met in a race on three occasions with each having finished ahead of the other two once. Smoken Up will be coming off two trials this preparation following an untimely end to his last campaign from niggling issues after his brave Ballarat Cup fourth. Melpark Major has been around in the very same trials and has finished off strongly on both occasions without being tested. The last of the three, Bitobliss, has already had one run this time around and it was a slashing second when coming from the rear in the Our Maestro Free For All back in late July. Although he had to battle a minor cold, Scott Stewart has the two-time Kilmore Cup winner back on track now. The night will also be supported by the VHRSC 3YO Cup which has drawn together an exciting field of horses who will be leaving their classic year behind when the month draws to a close. One last throw at the stumps it might be, but with Chilli Palmer, No Tomorrow, Hilltop Hustler, Nowitzki and Ginger Bliss all engaged, it promises to be one of the best races on the night. For all of the fields and form for this Friday, simply click here. Harness Racing Victoria  

Nine year old home bred Iraklis/Golden Forrrest gelding Melpark Major moved a step closer to cracking one million dollars in harness racing stake earnings after winning the $25,000 TAB Geelong Pacing Cup for M0 or better class over 2570 metres at Geelong on Saturday.

Melpark Major recorded a stunning upset win in capturing todays $60,000 Group 2 Wimmera Mail-Time Horsham Pacing Cup. In downing a star studded harness racing line up that would have done justice to a Grand Circuit race, it was Melpark Major's biggest win since capturing the Victoria Cup in 2008.

Old timer Melpark Major showed that he is far from a spent force, by producing a top class staying performance to capture the harness racing $60,000 (Group 2) Wimmera Mail-Times Horsham Pacing Cup for M0 or better class over 2700 metres.

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