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Smart 3yo filly Alessa proved much too tough for her rivals with a slashing harness racing victory in the Morley Park Princess of the Wimmera at the Horsham Racing Centre yesterday afternoon. The beautifully bred daughter of Art Major USA sat outside the leader Jilliby Jitterbug (Jason Lee) for the majority of the 2200 metre race and cleared away from the pack over the final stages to score by 17 metres in the ultra slick mile rate of 1:56.8, just 0.3 seconds outside Spokeswoman’s Horsham track record. Trainer/driver Michael Stanley dictated the tempo of the contest, particularly over the final 1609 metres, when posting four solid quarters of 29.7, 30.6, 27.4, and 28.3 seconds. It was a case of third time lucky in the Princess of the Wimmera for owner Harvey Delmenico, who bred Alessa from his former talented racemare, No More Trouble (16 wins $133k) which was beaten a half-neck by Deanna Troy in the 2007 edition of the feature event. No More Trouble, by Troublemaker USA, is a half-sister to Mendelico (17 wins, $188k) which finished in third place for Delmenico, behind Ay Tee Em and Queen Of Fire in the 2009 Princess. Mendelico is the dam of the classy colt Heaven Rocks, winner of 5 races from 8 starts, including the Group 1 $150,000 Woodlands Emerald at Waikato in June this year. Local hope Bo Chard came from the rear of the field to pick up second money for trainer Rod Carberry and owner Robbie Connelly with the Great Western filly Plain Baby a further 5 metres away in third place, for the Peter & Kerryn Manning combo. Both the result and the tempo of The Alabar Horsham Guineas were in complete contrast to The Morely Park Princess with former Kiwi pacer Stuover (Greg Sugars) staving off a late lunge on the line from Truth And Courage (Jason Lee) to get the judge’s nod in  atight finish. Sugars had taken Stuover straight to the lead with two laps to travel and those who’d taken the $1.40 on offer would have been counting their winnings early, when the gelded son of Changeover NZ dawdled through a middle half in a pedestrian like, 62.9 seconds. The race developed into just a final quick dash up the home straight with Stuover lasting to beat a very brave Truth And Courage in a final split of 27.3 and a mile rate of 1:59.4 for the 2200 metre trip. Stuover was having his fourth start since crossing the ditch to join the Dean Braun stables at Lara. After consecutive victories at Cranbourne the bay finished a close-up second to Spiritwriter in the recent $20k VHRSC The Graduate at Meton and should go to bigger and better things for owner Tony Coniglio. Franco Jameson battled on soundly 5.5 metres away in third place for trainer Adam Kelly and driver Michael Bellman.   Anthony Logan    

Check out the winning harness racing drivers’ immediate reactions after their success at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday night. Jodi Quinlan and Lauren Tritton both picked up a winning double, while Michael Stanley continued his run of form with two-year-old fillies by taking out the Tatlow Stakes aboard Soho Angel. Rodney Petroff won the Seelite Windows and Doors Winter Trotters Cup Final aboard Our Twentyten, the dual Breeders Crown winner defeating Blue Sky Commander and Sky Petite, who are both talented four-year-olds. See the winning driver interviews here Trots Media

Soho Angel scored a well-deserved harness racing victory in tonight’s $50,575 Renown Silverware Tatlow Stakes at  Tabcorp Park Melton. The win gave Burrumbeet trainer-driver Michael Stanley his second two-year-old fillies’ feature race triumph in a fortnight after Petacular’s Vicbred Super Series success earlier this month. Soho Angel (Bettor's Delight/Soho Champagne) ran third in the Vicbred final but was supreme tonight from gate three in an action-packed race that saw three horses involved in a bad fall and driver Zac Phillips taken to hospital for scans on his arm. Four Be Two (Phillips) and Jiggy Rhythm (Josh Aiken) locked wheels down the side the final time, and as they were trying to unhook from one another Arm A Princess (Jason Lee) took a tumble while travelling ahead of them. The resultant tangle saw the trio of drivers catapulted to the track. Lee and Aiken were cleared by medical staff to fulfil their remaining drives, but Phillips was taken to hospital with a suspected arm injury. All horses got to their feet and were walked off the track but Arm A Princess was transferred to Werribee Equine Hospital for tests. Meanwhile, Soho Angel bolted clear of her rivals at the top of the straight and went on to score by 3.6m over a fast-finishing Miss Dangerfield (Greg Sugars) with Perfect Sense (Mark Pitt) third in a mile rate of 1:58.7. A member of owner-breeder Rob Watson’s Soho team, Soho Angel now boasts four wins from 10 starts for stake money approaching $100,000. New South Wales husband and wife team Shane and Lauren Tritton combined to win the Apco Tatlow Stakes for colts and geldings with their rising star Blue Moon Rising (Santanna Blue Chip/Lady Moonlight). Now a winner of six of seven lifetime starts, Blue Moon Rising led and defied all comers from the pole to score a 7.7m win over fast-finishing Our Little General (Pitt), with Manly Mach (Greg Sugars) third in a 1:56.7 mile rate. “He’s not paid up for anything so it’s good to get a win like this,” Lauren Tritton said post-race. “All the horses who have won the big races at home he’s beaten them.” Tritton said Blue Moon Rising would go to the paddock for a spell before “coming back bigger and better as a three-year-old”. Cody Winnell

Michael Stanley’s pet project has brought great joy to his Burrumbeet stable when the harneess racing trainer-driver’s stellar two-year-old, Petacular, lived up to her top billing. The Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series victory in the two-year-old fillies final at Tabcorp Park Melton tonight rewarded Stanley’s resilience, having invested in a training facility, overcome an untimely horrific injury and come out the other side a Group 1 winner. “It’s a great thrill, that’s my first Vicbred winner, probably my first proper Group 1 as a trainer,” Stanley said. “She’s a tough filly and had to do it the tough way, but she just showed her versatility and was the best one on the night.” Petacular, a filly by Somebeachsomewhere out of Ideal Priority, lobbed one-out three-back at the start, on the back of his main threat Perfect Sense, who Gavin Lang improved to the lead. Stanley moved Petacular into the breeze at the bell and from there it was a match-race. Leading into the final bend Emma Stewart-trained Perfect Sense kicked away, with Stanley taking leader’s back. “The other horse (Perfect Sense) gave me something to chase that’s for sure,” Stanley said. “It had us off the bit at the top of the straight, (Petacular) just showed how gutsy she is.” With 50m to go Petacular regained the lead and took the honours by 2.4m, with Stanley’s other runner Soho Angel running into an outstanding 2.3m third. “When it came to the crunch, when I came off the back again, she really wanted to dig deep and find the line,” Stanley said. “I can’t say enough about her. From the first time that we got her and fast worked her she has done everything right from day one.” The victory brought up a rare double for Ballarat breeder Bruce Edward, who produced both the victor but also bred and owns second-placed Perfect Sense. Certainly one group who believes it owns Edward a great debt is the PETstock Racing Syndicate, according to part-owner David Young. “Bruce Edward from Ballarat is a really good customer (of PETstock) and a great supporter of the Ballarat club,” Young said. “We went out to his property, he had a few to choose from and he pointed us in the right direction and said this (Petacular) is probably the best bred. “The syndicate’s all made up of work colleagues from PETstock, obviously that’s where the name Petacular comes from. It’s awesome, we are all good friends and it has been a great joy the syndicate. Mike’s done an excellent job with the horse in such a short period of time, so it is nice to get one who has the ability to win a race like this.”  On the eve of the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series finals, Michael Stanley invites trots fans behind the scenes at his Burrumbeet farm. Michael Howard Harness Racing Victoria

Petacular hasn’t put a foot wrong all season and is consequently at the top of the market for Saturday night’s Harness Racing Group 1 Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series two-year-old fillies’ pacing final. The Michael Stanley-trained daughter of Somebeachsomewhere/Ideal Priority overpowered Our Celebrity and Perfect Sense to win her semi-final at Melton last Saturday night from barrier 12. In this Saturday night’s $115,000 final Petacular has drawn barrier nine and Stanley will pilot the rising starlet. “Her form all season has been outstanding,” Stanley said. “Since we’ve stepped her up to 2200m she’s really thrived.” Petacular has won five races from seven starts and never finished out of the top three.  She ran third in the Australian Pacing Gold Final at Menangle when she covered ground in the run, with Stanley stablemate Soho Angel finishing on powerfully to run fourth in that race. Soho Angel (Bettors Delight/Soho Champagne) also qualified for this Saturday night’s final courtesy of a fast-finishing second in the semi-final last weekend from barrier 12. “Soho Angel was a big run. I probably had to pull four-wide a bit too early at the 400m. If I could have waited I’m sure she could have won.” West Australian whiz Gary Hall Jnr will drive Soho Angel for Stanley and owner Rob Watson. Stanley’s chances of winning the three-year-old colts and geldings’ Vicbred final improved markedly at the barrier draw with Sportswriter/Striking Spirit gelding Spiritwriter snaring pole. The impressive pacer was unlucky in his semi-final when held up in the straight to finish 5.5m behind Iceenothink and Dont Hold Back. “He’s just improved the whole way along,” Stanley said. “He’s really strengthened and taken the next step this campaign.” Stanley spoke of Spiritwriter’s versatility. We’ve seen him swoop home with a blistering last quarter to win during the International All Star Series at Melton, and narrowly pipped by Senor Macray when leading at Ballarat. “It’ll take a pretty good one to beat him (in three-year-old males’ final).” And punters take note Stanley also made special mention of a 50-1 shot in Soho Tokyo, who will start in the four-year-old mares’ final. “She’s been an outstanding horse for me and was the one that put me in the big races a couple of years ago. She’s a really tough horse,” he said. Stanley will also put the polish on Ideal Lifestyle and Alessa in the three-year-old fillies’ final. Cody Winnell

Burrumbeet harness racing trainer-driver Michael Stanley looks a leading light in the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series two-year-old fillies, winning one heat and placing in the other. Petacular, by Somebeachsomewhere out of Ideal Priority, was outstanding in coming from last to first to win the first semi-final, while stablemate Soho Angel ran second in the second semi-final. And Soho Angel is well-placed for a significant crack at next Saturday night’s final, drawing barrier two with Petacular to start on her back from barrier nine. It capped a great night for Stanley, whose six runners all qualified for the July 2 super series’ finals. Petacular had to work hard for her win, taken back from barrier 13 the front runners were able to lead with comfort, requiring a super effort by Stanley to run down Emma Stewart’s pair Our Celebrity and Perfect Sense. “The race probably didn’t pan out ideally, easy lead time and easy first quarter, but (Petacular) has got a bit of toughness and class about her and did the job nicely,” Stanley said. And, he said, she was improving all the time. “You only have to look at her to know she hasn’t filled out and has a lot of growing to do,” he said. “I’m sure whatever she does this year she can go with it next year.” He was starved of training a fillies double by Flying Moth, who won the second semi-final with driver Damian Wilson for Moama trainer Tony Peacock. By Art Major out of Moody Moth, Flying Moth had the leader’s (Keayang Secret) back and when Jason Lee’s frontrunner tired Wilson dove down the sprint lane to get a sniff of a win amid a tight finish. Soho Angel made a big run outside and Valbarann loomed up on the pegs, but Flying Moth nudged clear to win by a head and a neck for her thrilled connections. “She lacks a little bit of high speed but she does give her best when she’s right,” Wilson said. “The other heat looked like the stronger heat, but she is in there with a fighting chance and with a good draw we will see what happens.”   Barrier draws: Two-year-old fillies pacers 1: Keayang Secret 2: Soho Angel 3: Emoji 4: Perfect Sense 5: Valbarann 6: Artara 7: Flying Moth 8: Wongalea Jatz 9: Petacular 10: Six Elements 11: Chic Boutique 12: Atusa (emg) 13: Our Celebrity   Michael Howard

Smythes Creek harness racing trainer Emma Stewart holds plenty of aces in next Saturday night’s Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series finals. The three-year-old pacing fillies’ division appears to be one of her strongest hands. Stewart has four runners in the field and semi-final winner Whirily School’s stocks only rose when she pulled gate one at the barrier draw. “It was one of those cases where the wide barrier draw was actually to her advantage,” Greg Sugars said of Whirily School’s semi-final win tonight. “We were able to press forward and once she was able to take up the lead she was always the one to beat. “It’s probably a very honest and fair assessment to say she’s probably a length or so behind the very best of her age group, but she is certainly not far behind them . With a bit of luck in the final she is definitely in with a chance.” Whirily School (Courage Under Fire/Mayhappen) worked forward to eventually find the lead through a 45secs lead time and posted quarters of 30.5, 32.5, 28.9 and 28.9 for a mile rate of 1:58.7. Stablemate Rocknroll Magic will take a power of beating in the final though, despite drawing barrier 11. The filly by Rock N Roll Heaven out of All The Magic made it 15 career wins from 22 starts tonight, notching a 1:57.5 mile rate in the chair (55.2 last half) to overhaul leader Rockstar Angel by a half-neck. “I probably expected that is where I would land in the run but I was still confident enough she’d be good enough,” winning driver Gavin Lang said. “She’s one of the main players (in the final), as you know with Emma and Clayton’s horses this time of the year they’re always on song.” Rockstar Angel has drawn barrier eight so will follow Whirily School. In the three-year-old colts and geldings’ final, semi-final winners Soho Tribeca (American Ideal/Pixel Perfect) and Iceenothink (Art Major/Decethree Lombo) have drawn gates three and four for the Final. Iceenothink finished powerfully tonight for Chris Alford and trainer Larry Eastman (who combined to win this section last year with Menin Gate), holding off Mario Attard and Don’t Hold Back, who also savaged the line from well-back. Iceenothink posted a 1:57.4 mile rate. Soho Tribeca, trained by Jayne Davies and driven by Alford, scored by a half-neck over Carter Bromac, with Brallos Pass third in a rate of 1:57.4. “He was going to get a good run through, (it was) just whether he could stay in front of Brallos Pass. That didn’t work out but he (Brallos Pass) had to do a fair bit of work,” Alford said. “Just got to hope he gets a good draw and he can play a part next week.” Burrumbeet trainer-driver Michael Stanley is set for a busy Vicbred finals night once again, qualifying six pacers through tonight’s semis. His three-year-old Spiritwriter drew the pole in the males’ division and that brings him right into contention.   Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series 3YO Fillies Final Barrier Draw 1: Whirily School 2: Ideal Lifestyle 3: Kalinda 4: Platinum Power (em) 5: Just Wantano 6: Nikkibadwagon 7: Flojos Gold 8: Rockstar Angel 9: Alessa 10: Celebrity Guest 11: Rocknroll Magic 12: Rockabella Starz 13: Champagne Taste Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series 3YO Colts & Geldnigs Final Barrier Draw 1: Spiritwriter 2: Battle Born 3: Soho Tribeca 4: Iceenothink 5: Keep On Rocking 6: Senor Macray 7: Brallos Pass 8: Herehecomes 9: Professor Tom 10: Showgun Thomas 11: Illawong Maestro 12: Dont Hold Back 13: Carter Bromac ..................................................................................................................................................................................... Advantage Sundons Courage and Princess Phoenix after the three-year-old trotters' barrier draws for the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series finals. Drawn on Friday night amid the pacers' semi-finals, Sundons Courage drew the front row in the colts and geldings and fellow heat winner Cruisin Around will start from barrier eight, while Sky Majesty will start from barrier 12 in the fillies, opening the door further for her rivals. The three-year-old fillies semi-final promises to be an evenly fought and engaging final, with several winning hopes. Among them is Princess Phoenix, a $1.80 favourite in the second heat at Bendigo last Wednesday, who led but was beaten into third by winner Into The Unknown, from Donna Lewis’ Toolern Vale stable, and Geoff Webster’s Rift Valley. The first heat was all about Sky Majesty (Skyvalley/Mystic Hush). Bacchus Marsh trainer-driver Jodi Quinlan was rapt with her filly’s heat win, which she said was one of her “best runs to date”. The 12m victory came after she found the front and careered away, and Sky Majesty should be right in the final despite the tough draw. “I was very happy with her heat,” Quinlan said. “She’s a good chance. There’s not a lot of difference between the horses in the grade, it is pretty even. “(Sky Majesty) can sit and sprint. She is not a class above them, but I think they have all come back to each other.” The three-year-old colts and geldings final also promises much, not the least of which is another showdown between Cruisin Around (Bacardi Lindy/Cloud Chaser) and Sundons Courage. Both won their heats, with Sundons Courage (Sundon/Truscott Photo) a 1.6m winner for Muckleford trainer Chris Angove and Bolinda driver Chris Alford, with Brent Lilley’s $34-shot Kyvalley Tinman running into second. Cruisin Around’s win was even tighter. Driven to one-out one-back by Myrniong’s Greg Sugars, Cruisin Around lost touch with front runners Calder Knight and Big Jack Hammer at the final bend but wound up sufficiently in the straight to win by a short half-head. Bannockburn trainer-driver Geoff Webster’s three-year-old Big Jack Hammer (The Press/Running Pinevale) punched on for second in the breeze and will be a threat come next Friday’s final, says Cranbourne’s Michael Hughes, trainer of Cruisin Around. “There are three or four really good horses,” Hughes said. “(Cruisin Around) has always had a ding-dong battle with Sundons Courage. Big Jack Hammer looked back on song, and a few others are also a chance. It will all come down to who has the best luck.” Hughes’ confidence about his own charge’s horse were only emboldened with Cruisin Around’s heat win. “I think he went pretty good. I was a little worried when he lost ground at the top of the straight, but he did a good job to pick them up in such a quick quarter,” Hughes said. “I give him a really good chance as long as he does everything right. The horse is really good, feels really good, there are no issues. He is a good sit-sprinter, but has also done it the tough way and led before.”   Barrier draws: Three-year-old colts and geldings trotters 1: Kyvalley Tinman 2: Skyflyer 3: Big Jack Hammer 4: Calder Knight 5: Sundons Courage 6: Cargerie 7: Sun Valley Road 8: Cruisin Around 9: Diamond Wes (emg) 10: Sky Me A River 11: Menewa 12: Shetland  13: Imahe Man (ODM)   Barrier draws: Three-year-old fillies trotters 1: Aldebaran Eve 2: Never Never Land (emg) 3: Princess Phoenix 4: Mizurri 5: Defence Power 6: Into The Unknown 7: The Cooler 8: Tension Seeker 9: Getthenet 10: Illawong Bliss 11: Rift Valley 12: Sky Majesty 13: Scottish Sardius (ODM) Michael Howard/Cody Winnell

Michael Stanley’s two-year-old fillies again showed their Group 1 potential, with Soho Angel and Petacular building on outstanding debut seasons with harness racing victories in Saturday night’s Empire Vicbred Super Series heats at Bendigo. Having both been prominent in the $322,000 Australian Pacing Gold final, the pair look certain to be in this celebrated Victorian series all the way to the July 2 Group 1 finals, with Soho Angel registering a 3m win in heat two and Petacular running down previously unbeaten Our Celebrity to win heat three by a neck. That trio, in addition to the key combatants in the thrilling first heat, when Perfect Sense won a ripping battle with Keayang Secret to kick-start the series in style, emerged as leading lights in the field, and will be among those to front for semi-finals at Tabcorp Park Melton on June 24. “She’s a gutsy little trier and we love her,” Stanley said of Soho Angel after she claimed heat two, using the sprint lane to outpace leader Mammals Magic and win in a 1:59.9 mile rate. “She’s a beautiful little Bettor's Delight, there’s no fuss about her.” And Soho Angel, who is out of Soho Champagne and owned by Robert Watson, will only improve, Stanley said. “The barrier helped and she probably was a little bit underdone, because  she did have a good freshen up after that APG series,” he said. “I think she is a very good chance (to win the series). “She’s probably not fully wound up, she hasn’t done a lot of work since the APGs, so we have a good break until the semi-finals to get a bit more work into her. I’m sure that she will race very well through the rest of the series.” And similar goes for Petacular, who is by Somebeachsomewhere out of Ideal Priority. She had to do plenty of work to claim her heat win, having improved three-wide mid-race from barrier seven to take the death seat and then rounded highly-rated Our Celebrity at the bend to win a final straight showdown by a head. “This filly’s a different filly to (Soho Angel),” Stanley said. “She does have a fair bit of depth to her.  She hasn’t had a great preparation before tonight after the APG and she will hopefully only improve on what she did tonight. “You’ve got to have bit of versatility and depth in your horses and I’m sure that she does have that.” Dean Braun-trained Carlas Pixel, driven by Greg Sugars, boxed on well down the sprint lane to place a close third in the heat. One of the night’s key showdowns came in the first heat, when Perfect Sense and Keayang Secret separated themselves from the field to run first and second. Perfect Sense, Emma Stewart’s Art Major filly who has placed in all five starts including a second in the $322,000 Australian Pacing Gold final, led from the pole mark and as expect Jason Lee placed Keayang Secret on to her tail from gate eight. There they remained until the final straight, where Keayang Secret (Always A Virgin/Feel The Magic), trained by Marg Lee from Terang, challenged the front marker but had to ultimately settle for second, with their 27.4 last quarter creating a 1:59.3 mile rate and a 23m gap to third-placed Atusa. The last of the heat winners brought the biggest surprise for punters when $17.20 shot Gilty Hanover won for Bolinda trainer Kari Males and driver Greg Sugars. The filly, by Rocknroll Hanover out of Gilt Bromac, burst through down the sprint lane to win in 2:01.4 mile rate.  “She has only had a couple of starts and is still learning about the racing caper, but she showed a bit of promise at the trials and in those starts,” Sugars said. “It wasn’t completely out of the equation to see her in the finish, but she put in a really good performance tonight. “This is the first time I have driven her. She’s not a 100 per cent tractable racehorse yet, so whatever she does now is probably a bonus. The thing about babies and their racing, they can improve so much in a short period of time, so the more times she goes around and sits in the field and gets runs like that where she hits the line, it’s only going to do her confidence the world of good and she will be a better racehorse because of it.” Michael Howard

Michael Stanley’s Burrumbeet stable is well positioned to strike gold in Saturday night’s $322,000 Group 1 for harness racing fillies. The trainer-driver has qualified Petacular and Soho Angel for the Australian Pacing Gold final at Tabcorp Park Menangle, after both delivered outstanding semi-final performances. They’ve been disadvantaged by the draw for Saturday night’s mile, drawn sixth (Petacular) and eighth (Soho Angel) when emergencies are excluded, outside short-priced runners Emma Stewart-trained Perfect Sense (barrier two), Queensland hope Park Life (barrier one) and Shane Tritton’s favourite High Rolling (barrier three). CLICK HERE FOR THE TAB'S FIXED ODDS FOR THE APG FINAL But that hasn’t dulled Stanley’s enthusiasm for his two-year-olds. Petacular, a winner at three of her four starts, has cruised through the APG heat and semi-final, leading in both and clearing out to win without much urging. “We’ve always had a really good opinion of Petacular and she’s been developing nicely with each run,” Stanley said. “There are plenty of horses that show promise that get to race day and don’t deliver, it is good that she has shown she can put it together on the race track. In the heat and semi she has been able to get two soft runs and improved each time.” Soho Angel, on the other hand, was taken north with more gentle expectation, but Stanley said “since she got up here to New South Wales she has really thrived". “I think if she had have got a clear run early she would have won her semi-final,” he said. “She is getting better every time she goes to the races. She’s got a wide barrier and will go back. She probably needs them to go hard and if they do and she gets the right run into it she will be coming. With the big straight here at Menangle we can use that speed she’s got.” Petacular’s route to the finish line is not so set in stone. Despite having led or faced the breeze in all four starts, a challenge for the lead from barrier six could come at a cost. Stanley will take the reins and said he’d respond to the opportunities that present. “The favourite runners got the better of the draw, but if (Petacular) takes the next step I am really confident she can go close,” he said. “She’s got real gate speed. High Rolling is fast out and they have put it out there that they will lead and turn it into a staying test. Petacular can settle early and make a move mid-race, or if they are going fast I can sit up on her. She’s a very versatile filly.” David Aiken’s Avenel stable will also have two representatives contest the APG final, with She Envy, who finished second in both her heat and semi-final, to start from barrier five and Jiggy Rhythm from barrier eight. A host of Victorians will also feature in the $50,000 consolation final, including Peter Manning’s Toolern Art Miss and Rocknroll Baby, Dean Braun’s Carlas Pixel, Vince Vallelonga’s All Done Up and Geoff Webster’s Intrusive. Stanley’s assault on the night doesn’t begin and end with the APG final. He has Young Modern drawn barrier two in the Group 2 Lands Legal Carousel Final, worth $50,000, and Stanley said with cover “he will hit the line really well”. Fellow Victorian trainer Vince Vallelonga has Stunning Grin drawn in barrier one. Our Overnova will contest the Group 3 Michael Gamble Bulli Trotters Cup, and Stanley said the gelding had been luckless in his three starts at Menangle but was “training really well and if she is on her best behaviour she can win it”.  And Kurahaupo Gambler, who Stanley said had been “hitting the line really well”, will contest the Pace in race two to kick off a big day for the stable. by Michael Howard

Burrumbeet’s Michael Stanley produced an Australian Pacing Gold winning double at yesterday's harness racing meeting at Tabcorp Park Menangle. Stanley produced Soho Angel and Petacular to win their respective APG heats, both fillies progressing to the $30,000 semi-finals on April 23 ahead of a tilt at the rich $322,000 final on April 30 at Menangle. “There’s good money up for grabs in these races throughout the series,” Stanley said. Exciting Somebeachsomewhere/Ideal Priority filly Petacular ran a 1:55.8 mile today, working forward to find the lead from gate four heading into the first turn. She got home in 56.2secs. “She’s always shown above average ability. She got a cold after her last run at Kilmore and was underdone heading into today but she still got the job done,” Stanley said. WATCH PETACULAR WIN TODAY AT MENANGLE Soho Angel (Bettors Delight/Soho Champagne) ran 1:56.8 to defeat odds-on favourite Jovial Rock by a short half-head today. “She’s really thrived up here at Menangle,” Stanley said. “She trialled nicely last week and then raced the way she’d been working.” Cody Winnell 

Newly adopted Victorian trotter Our Overanova will start this weekend in the Gr.1 Pryde’s Easifeed Great Southern Star at Tabcorp Park Melton. Recently transferred to the harness racing stables of talented horseman Mick Stanley at Burrumbeet, near Ballarat, Our Overanova lines up in the second $50,000 qualifying heat where he takes on star performers Keystone Del and boom Kiwi Speeding Spur. Our Overanova will start from gate four in the 1720m feature event. And a forward showing is expected according to his new mentor. “He’s a great addition to the stable and although we’re still getting to know one another, he’s in great order and I’m confident he can do enough to qualify for the final. This is something new for both of us but I’m looking forward to the challenge.” Stanley said. The Great Southern Star is the ultimate test of speed and endurance, this event will showcase the very best of Australasian Trotting. It is the only event of its type in the Southern Hemisphere with horses racing off in Elimination Heats in order to qualify for a starting place in the Final on the same program. Total stakes for this year’s event will be $400,000. In order to qualify for the final which caters for ten runners, both qualifying heat winners gain automatic entry while the remaining eight places in the final will be taken by the horses with the eight fastest times from the two elimination heats. Our Overanova had little luck last start in the Gr.1 $54,000 Trotters Cup at Tabcorp Park Menangle when 9th behind On Thunder Road after copping an early check before making a break himself. The Monarchy gelding is yet to miss to place in three starts at Melton to date.   “We’re clearly in the strongest heat with the likes of Keystone Del and Speeding Spur among others lining up but I’m more than happy with the way he’s worked for me in preparation for this series since he arrived last week. “His overall record is very impressive and every time he’s ventured south previously, he’s always performed well including his efforts down here last year when he was with Luke and Belinda (McCarthy). “While I’m yet to discuss tactics with Greg (Mitchell – owner), my early thoughts are to go back at the start because I can see plenty of early pressure with the likes of Michael Thomas, El Paco and Speeding Spur all looking to go forward to work Keystone Del from his inside draw. But that decision will ultimately rest with Greg so I’m fairly open at this point, I’m sure we’ll work out a game plan which will give us a great opportunity of qualifying.” Meanwhile, Stanley was active at last week’s Australian Pacing Gold yearling sale in Brisbane with owner Grantley Davis securing two lots. Davis paid $15,000 for lot 427, an Always A Virgin – Layback Cullen filly before buying lot 449, a Shadow Play – Too Much Rum colt for $13,000. Both youngsters are eligible for the exclusive $100,000 Sales race next year at Albion Park. by Chris Barsby

There will be no shortage of genuine harness racing Victorian chances in tomorrow night’s Group 1 UBET South Australian Pacing Cup. Flaming Flutter ($1.60) and Major Crocker ($3.50) dominate the market for the annual Globe Derby feature after their Inter Dominion campaigns in Western Australia, while fellow Victorians Barimah and Star Chamber are $11 shots with, Hotasel is $12, Lets Elope $26, Crusader Acey $31 and Ona Rocky Beach $101. Seven-year-old gelding Star Chamber will have his first run for trainer Michael Stanley in the $100,000 event after joining the Burrumbeet camp from the stables of Nathan Ford in Tasmania. The 15-time winner from 57 starts is coming off a second to Lets Elope beaten 7m in the Tasmania Cup and two starts back won the City of Launceston Cup defeating Lets Elope from an extreme barrier draw. “He’s a nice pickup for the stable,” Stanley said on his way to Adelaide where Star Chamber’s regular reinsman Ford will be in the sulky behind the son of Our Sir Vancelot. “He went to New South Wales for a stint and ran a couple of solid seconds behind some really proven horses, and he beat Im Corzin Terror to win the Tasmania Cup last season. So his Tasmanian form is against more than only Tasmanian horses.” Star Chamber has become "a bit out-graded in Tasmania" and has been sent to Stanley at a time when the Victorian calendar is full of fast-class options. Stanley mentioned the Kilmore Cup and possibly the Terang Cup, among others, as potential targets for Star Chamber. The pacer is not nominated for the Victoria or Hunter Cup, but there is a late nomination clause available to connections should they change their minds. “We haven’t thought much beyond this weekend,” Stanley said. “We’ll see how he goes there. He’s got a good barrier and it should give us a good guide as to what we target next.” market for tomorrow night's SA Cup 1: Cillas Boy (EM) $101/$13.5 2: Star Chamber ($11/$2.25) 3: Hotasel ($12/$2.37) 4: Ona Rocky Beach ($101/$13.5) 5: Flaming Flutter ($1.60/$1.07) 6: Global View ($31/$4.75) 7: Some Kinda Tactics ($41/$6) 8: Crusader Acey ($31/$4.75) 9: Barimah ($11/$2.25) 10: Come On Frank ($31/$4.75) 11: Major Crocker ($3.50/$1.31) 12: Lets Elope ($26/$4.12) Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria

Glenferrie Typhoon's force is looking more and more powerful every time he steps out of late. The Andy Gath trained trotter, who won Friday night’s Bacardi Lindy Trot in easy fashion, looks destined for bigger and better things. The six-year-old by Majestic Son out of Cyclone Vance now boasts back-to-back wins at Melton and next year’s Great Southern Star is potentially on the radar. After working hard three-wide for the first half a kilometre, Glenferrie Typhoon eventually found the top, giving early pacesetter Action Kosmos a trail in the 2240-metre race. Once in front driver Kate Gath applied the brakes and the gelding trotted through his first and second quarters in 32secs and 31.3secs, sprinting up down the back to get Action Kosmos off the bit and chasing (29.3secs) before blasting clear seemingly under a hold in the home straight to score by 10.8 metres in a mile rate of 1-58.9 (last quarter 27.6secs). Action Kosmos held on for second place, defiantly withstanding the challenge of Cold Sister in third. Later on the card Ellas Puppeteer beat Iceobar in the Empire Stallions Vicbred Platinum Country Series C Final. The four-year-old gelding by Shadow Play out of Smiley Ella, who smashed the track record at Charlton leading into Friday night’s race, rated 1-53.7 over 1720 metres from his inside-back-row draw. Trainer/driver Michael Stanley kept Ellas Puppeteer out of trouble early, going back to last before cruising around the field to assume control at the bell. Iceobar trailed and stuck on gamely thereafter but was no match for the winner. Ellas Puppeteer now boasts three wins from five starts and looks to have a sparkling metro career in front of him. by Cody Winnell >> Replays and results from Friday night's Melton trots.

The Puppet, Chris Alford, is not in town at the harness racing meeting at Melton tomorrow night but The Puppeteer sure will be. Ellas Puppeteer, who set chins wagging and people scouring the record books with a 1-52.8 win at Charlton last time out, will line up in the Empire Stallions Vicbred Platinum Country Series C Final. It is Race 10 at 10.40pm but punters will want to stay up late to see what eventuates. Ellas Puppeteer has had four starts for two wins and two seconds, the four-year-old gelding winning his last two with ease – his most recent win in track record time at Charlton. At his most recent triumph Ellas Puppeteer was parked outside leader Iceobar throughout before pulling clear for a mighty win by 12.4 metres, Stanley expertly pulling the strings. “It’s interesting because everyone has said that to me,” the reinsman said when asked about driving the gelding along coming around the home turn last time out. “On the track though, in the race it always felt like I had the leader covered.” Ellas Puppeteer is superbly bred, by top sire Shadow Play out of Smiley Ella, who the Stanleys raced for two wins from five starts. Smiley Ella won a Vicbred Super Series heat at two defeating Glenferrie Inn by 6.6 metres in 2-01.5 but bowed a tendon and only raced twice more after a lengthy stint on the sidelines. Smiley Ella’s dam, Exotic Strike, was also trained by the Stanley stable and won $171,945 in stakes – including victory in the rich Australian Pacing Gold Final at Moonee Valley in 2000. Ellas Puppeteer is also a half-brother to Arms Of Ink, who won two from two last year before also injuring a leg. His scans are all clear now and he’ll return to the track soon. As for Ellas Puppeteer he’s a C1, but not for long. “We think he can measure up (to the top-class four-year-olds)." :To be honest, the horse has got that much improvement in him,” Stanley said. “Once he develops a bit of gate speed he’ll be a lot better." "He’s learning how to race more every time.” Drawing eight behind likely pacemaker Iceobar from the pole is not ideal, Stanley freely admits. “It’s a hard one,” he said. “Dad and I were talking about it last night and he’s of the view that you take the luck out of it and come off the fence." "I think Iceobar would probably hold the lead." “But at the end of the day the horse (Ellas Puppeteer) has a long future and will win better races than this.” Cody Winnell

Michael Stanley says Soho Tokyo is back to her best and the Burrumbeet trainer is confident the filly will produce a big run on Friday night in the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series three-year-old fillies' first semi-final at the harness racing meeting at Tabcorp Park Melton. "She's definitely back to her best," Stanley said. "She had a lot of back issues early this preparation, which probably came about due to her long two-year-old season. We've had a lot of work done by chiropractors and the vets but I think we've got on top of that now and she's racing really well." Soho Tokyo is by super sire Bettors Delight out of former Australian juvenile of the year Pelicanrama and has won two of her past three starts. She made up ground to win at Maryborough three starts back off a 56.8secs last half before a second to Niki No No at Shepparton when she worked three-wide on her own and attacked the line. Last time out at Shepparton she won a C0 after leading, Stanley explaining that she's not at her best when in front. "She'll still win from in front but she's got a powerful sprint from behind," he said. From barrier five, Soho Tokyo will be punching forward early and Stanley says she's the stable's best chance at a Super Series trophy this year. Stanley will also line up Soho Berlin in the three-year-old fillies' category, the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere snaring the pole draw in the second semi-final. "Barrier one gives her every chance to qualify for the final," Stanley said. "I'd be disappointed if she didn't run in the top six but I'm realistic about where she stacks up compared to the better ones." Stanley hopes Young Modern can put his best foot forward in the four-year-old entires and geldings' first semi-final and the horseman is thrilled with how the son of Modern Art is travelling. "I'm rapt with him. He's had a super prep and his work has been great. He's on the right path," Stanley said. "He's probably got the hardest four-year-old group of any year I can remember. In the past there have always been one or two standouts, but the depth of this class is really strong. "It's been the same the whole way through for these horses. "Any other year he might have gone in as first or second-favourite, but this year he could quite easily go in sixth or seventh." Stanley said Young Modern would work forward into a handy spot and try to make his own luck. "He's a genuine free-for-all horse in my opinion. And he was probably only 80 per cent the other day so he'll come on a lot this Friday night." Rounding out the stable's Vicbred chances is APG Consolation winner Soho Lexington in the second semi-final for two-year-old colts and geldings. "I'm really happy with him," Stanley said. "I'd expect him to make the final and while he's not the best two-year-old he's the sort of horse who if the best ones are down on their game, he can win a big race." The first on a huge 12-event Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series Semi-Final card kicks off at 4.50pm on Friday. CODY WINNELL

Leading reinsman Luke McCarthy tipped more feature wins are in store for All Eyes On Us after the son of Art Major’s all-the-way win in the Group Two Lands Legal Carousel Final at the harness racing meeting at Tabcorp Park Menangle today.   After sustaining pressure from equal favourite Bettor Downunder for much of the 2400-metre journey, All Eyes On Us strode away along the straight to score a three-metre win over the fast-finishing Barimah, with Stormont Czar third, rating 1:55.6.   Trained by Luke wife’s Belinda, the four-year-old missed the majority of his three-year-old season due to an operation to remove bone fragment in his hind ankle.   “In the long run that could be the best thing to have happened to him,” Luke said. “This win will also be a great tonic for part-owner Emilio Rosati, who has been having some back and foot problems.   “All Eyes On Us’ other part-owner Tony Pace has also been a great supporter of harness racing for many years and I’m sure this horse could have some more good wins in store for him.”   Spearing to the front from gate three, All Eyes On Us was given little rest as Michael Stanley sent Bettor Downunder forward, turning the race into a stern staying test.   Turning for home Bettor Downunder began to feel the pressure of his hard run, enabling All Eyes On Us to kick clear before staving off a late charge from Victorian visitor Barimah, which came from near the tail of the field with a flashing finish.   All Eyes On Us provided the McCarthy stable with consecutive Carousel wins, having scored with Beetson, which was handled by James Rattray, last season.   Michael Court - Courtesy of National Trotguide  

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