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Terang’s Matthew Craven took driving honours with a treble at Horsham on Monday. Joining forces with Terang trainer Tony Harrison, talented Modern Art/Moroni colt Clark Griswold was first to arrive, scoring easily in the Conways Pace over 1700m. Having his first outing since March, Clark Griswold wasn’t pushed out from his outside-front-row draw, gradually moving forward to cross the pacemaker Sign No More, which had worked three-wide from gate four to lead running into the first turn. Once in front, Clark Griswold coasted for the remainder of the race to score by 16.8m in a rate of 2:00.2 from Sign No More, which battled away gamely for second. It was Clark Griswold’s third win from four starts. It Is I/Shy Star gelding Okelerho Lad, trained by Craven, was a big winner of the Westvic Race Pix 3YO Pace over 2200m. Beginning brilliantly from the extreme draw, Craven wasted little time in sending Okelerho Lad forward to race outside the pole line leader Rockin Roger, where he dictated terms. Surging to the front approaching the home turn, Okelerho Lad was too strong over the concluding stages to score a 4.3m win in advance of ex-Kiwi Ark, with Game Cullen third in a rate of 1:59.6. Burrumbeet trainer Ashleigh Herbertson’s much-improved four-year-old It Is I/But Ler Raine mare Its Raining was successful in the Nat’s Rug And Harness Repair Vicbred Pace over 2200m. Sent forward from gate six to park outside leader Raw Steel (gate two), Its Raining outstayed her rivals to score by 32.9m over Extra, which was behind the leader and then one-one for the last lap, and Linora Dawn, which had raced three back on the markers. The mile rate was 1:59.5. It was a great day for the western district with Great Western owner/trainer Michael Gadsden landing the Moore Bulk Haulage Pace over 1700m with seven-year-old Village Jasper/Tennessee Songbird gelding Xavier Jack in a rate of 2:01.0. Driven by Denbeigh Wade, Xavier Jack led from gate three, running his rivals ragged to score by 6.1m from a death-seating Longtan Tigerman and Nicnac Bromac (three back the markers) in third. Redan’s Michael Stanley produced a nice type in Big Spending Telf, a colt by Changeover from Super Telf (a half-brother to metropolitan pacer Magical Telf) to take the Betta Electrical Horsham 2YO Pace over 1700m on debut. Allowed to find his feet from gate two with Wotplanetrufrom (gate four) leading, Stanley put the foot to the floor once balanced and Big Spending Telf showed exceptional speed to lead racing for the bell. Challenged strongly by Frostyflyer approaching the home turn, which had been outside him for the final circuit and almost crossed, Big Spending Telf rallied like a good horse on straightening to draw clear in the shadows of the post and register a 5m win in 2:00.7, with Shadow Spar third. By Len Baker (Harness Racing Australia)  

Star filly Tricky Styx is being set for the $125,000 Golden Slipper on July 18 after she produced her typical whirlwind finishing burst to snatch a thrilling last-stride victory in the group 1 $100,000 Del Basso Smallgoods Diamond Classic at Gloucester Park on Friday night. "I think she has earned the chance to run in the Slipper," Northam trainer Jesse Moore said after Aiden De Campo had driven Tricky Styx to a head victory over Soho Tokyo. And the 22-year-old de Campo is looking forward to the challenge of contesting the Golden Slipper with Tricky Styx against the colts and geldings, saying: "She's a quality filly who has proved that she can race against the boys with her win in the Champagne Classic." Tricky Styx showed her class in the group 2 Champagne Classic early in May when she overcame the outside barrier and the task of charging home from the rear after settling in last position. Tricky Styx, who started from barrier two on the back line on Friday night, was sent out at the surprisingly good odds of 9/2, with Major Reality (10/9) and polemarker Sea Me Smile (13/4) more popular with punters. Major Reality was smartest into stride from the No. 3 barrier, but was unable to cross Sea Me Smile, who kicked up strongly on the inside to hold out Soho Tokyo and Tricky Styx. Justin Prentice quickly was able to get Major Reality into the one-out, one-back position behind Soho Tokyo (in the breeze), with Tricky Styx settling in seventh position. Massive Attack started a three-wide move after about 500m and Prentice eased Major Reality three wide with 950m to travel. It was a line of three in front passing the 400m mark, with de Campo having eased Tricky Styx out of a pocket and into the three-wide line 450m from home. Michael Stanley got Soho Tokyo (8/1) to a narrow lead on the home turn and Tricky Styx was fourth (and winding up) 90m from the post. She then flew to gain the verdict over Soho Tokyo in the final stride. The final quarters were covered in 28.7sec. and 29.1sec. and Tricky Styx rated 1.58.1 over the 1730m. "We got a dream trip," de Campo said. "But at the 400m she didn't let down as good as I thought she could. However, at the top of the straight she really started motoring. I think that she might have been a touch below her very best, but she still got the job done. Jesse wasn't one hundred per cent happy with her before the race. He said that her past two runs had not been as good as her two previous runs. Jesse is a very astute trainer and will have her ready for her next assignment. "I didn't pull the plugs because she doesn't respond to that. She has the plugs in, but you don't pull them. She is quite temperamental and you can't hit her too hard, either. "She is not the easiest horse to drive and she gets around a bit and it is a credit to Jesse that her race manners have improved immensely over the past six to seven weeks. She is probably green more than anything. Jesse had the block blinkers on early and then he took them off and put the Dollies on --- and that has been a big key to how she has been racing." Tricky Styx, by American stallion Jeremes Jet, is certainly proving a wonderful bargain for the 69-year-old Moore, who paid just $NZ5000 to buy the filly for his wife Maree at the New Zealand yearling sales in Christchurch early last year. Tricky Styx now has earned $110,435 from five wins and one placing from eight starts. Ultimate Major makes it four to Lewis Champion reinsman Chris Lewis was in dashing form at Gloucester Park on Friday night, landing four winners. He ended the night on a high with an astute frontrunning drive to score a smart win with 13/4 chance Ultimate Major in the 2536m Del Basso Smallgoods Pace for three-year-olds. He had been successful earlier in the night with the Ross Olivieri-trained trio of Shelby Cruzin, Might Be Luck and Selkie. Ultimate Major, a relatively inexperienced New Zealand-bred colt, gives promise of developing into a very smart pacer, and Aiden De Campo, son of Capel trainer Andrew De Campo, said that long-range plans for Ultimate Major included the rich group 1 Golden Nugget Championship next season. "He's a funny horse with a lot of speed and his record in New Zealand was very good and, hopefully, he will continue to improve," de Campo said. "The Golden Nugget will be his main aim. "After he arrived from New Zealand in February he tried rushing him for the WA Derby and didn't have enough time to have him ready. At his WA debut early in April he went very badly in the Western Gateway Classic (distanced behind Elegant Christian). So we freshened him up and now he's racing well. "He is a funny kind of horse. When he's in front he switches right off, like he did tonight. But when that horse (Mista Rush) got to him he lifted and was running through the line strongly." Ultimate Major clearly won the start from the No. 1 barrier and Lewis was able to give the colt an easy time early, with the first 400m section of the final mile going by in a pedestrian 32.3sec. before he increased the tempo with sections of 30.2sec., 29.1sec. and 28.4sec. He led clearly half-way down the home straight and had almost a full length to spare in defeating 3/1 second fancy Mista Rush, who was last at the bell and unwound a sparkling late burst. Soho Lennon, the 6/4 favourite, had a tough run before finishing third. He was trapped three wide for the first 500m and then worked hard in the breeze. Ultimate Major, owned by Paul and Tony Poli, won at two of his four New Zealand starts and he now has a record of nine starts for five wins, one placing and stakes of $37,225. He is a half-brother to Pas Ultimate Delight, who has had three starts in New South Wales for two wins, including a group 3 event for mares in Dubbo. Ultimate Major's maternal granddam Abbeybell produced Our Awesome Armbro, a winner in New Zealand, Australia and America before retiring with a fine record of 184 starts for 37 wins, 42 placings and $849,309. Lewis and de Campo continued in winning vein at Bunbury on Saturday night, with Lewis driving three winners (Major Rush, Miss Atomic and Onedin Crusader) and de Campo training a double with Captain Proud and Typhoon Tan. Olivieri praises Selkie Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri predicted a bright future for Selkie after Chris Lewis had driven the five-year-old to an effortless victory in the first heat of the Little Caesars Pizzas Lombardo Pace for mares at Gloucester Park on Friday night. "She is one of the better mares I have trained," he said. "I have trained a lot of good mares and Selkie rates pretty highly with some of the best of them. "Gliding Princess is the best mare, by far, that I have trained. She is only the third filly in history to have won the New South Wales Derby and Oaks. Ima Spicey Lombo and Miss Bo Scott were pretty good, but Selkie is much better than Elysees Crest (23 wins and $228,290) and Slick Lavra (15 wins and $143,026). The latter two were not in the same class as Selkie. "Selkie is fast, tough and versatile and when she's doing a 30sec. quarter she's absolutely cruising. Chris said that she was cruising on the line tonight." David Gravolin, an Oakford trainer whose property is about 5km from Olivieri's Oakford stables, recently cut down his training activities to concentrate on his thriving bitumen paving business and he handed over Finbar Abbey and Selkie to Olivieri to prepare them for racing. Olivieri then won the Easter Cup with Finbar Abbey and the Race For Roses with Selkie. He said that Selkie, who has had 24 starts this season since arriving from New Zealand, would continue racing. "Apart from qualifying for the final of this event for mares, she will run in suitable stands," he said. "She is a brilliant beginner in stands. She may require a break somewhere along the line, but at this stage she's not sending out any distress signals." Selkie was hot favourite at 2/1 on in Friday night's race and Lewis opted out of the early speed battle when polemarker Maggies Mystery led from the fast-starting Am Opulent. Lewis then sent Selkie to the front after 450m and she was untroubled to beat Maggies Mystery by just over a length at a 1.57.7 rate over 2130m, with the final three quarters being covered in 28.1sec., 29sec. and 29.8sec. Her 24 WA starts have produced five wins and three placings and she has a career record of 49 starts for ten wins, six placings and 79,920. Lennys In Heaven relishes a return to a stand Experienced seven-year-old Lennys In Heaven, an inconspicuous seventh at each of his first two starts after a spell, in mobiles on country tracks, relished a return to a standing-start event when he set the pace and scored an easy win over Pembrook Henry and Sonic Classic in the 2503m Sealanes Foodservice Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. This ended a losing sequence of eight, stretching back to a win in a 2518m stand in Kalgoorlie last November. The New South Wales-bred gelding, a 10/1 chance trained at Pinjarra by Michael George, was driven for the first time by Morgan Woodley. The gelding resisted an early challenge for the lead from Mister Sarkozy and then was rated perfectly after Finbar Abbey, favourite at 9/4, moved into the breeze 550m after the start. After the first 400m section of the final mile was covered in 30.9sec., Woodley lifted the gelding's rating and the final three quarters went by in 29.4sec., 28.3sec. and 29sec. Lennys In Heaven was not extended in beating Pembrook Henry, who raced three back on the pegs before finishing solidly along the inside. Lennys In Heaven, by Blissfull Hall, is out of Panorama mare Merry Rama, who had 33 starts for five wins, 18 placings and $31,267. His 17 West Australian starts have produced three wins and two placings to take his career record to 95 starts for 17 wins, 24 placings and $118,079. Soho Highroller bred to be a smart pacer Five-year-old Bettors Delight gelding Soho Highroller has inherited a good deal of his ability from his dam Pelicanrama and he looks set for many more wins after scoring an easy victory in the 2130m Del Basso Butchers Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Soho Highhroller, ended a losing sequence of ten when he was favourite at 7/4 on and dashed to the lead after 400m before bowling along in front and beating Barkers Hall by five metres at a 1.57.4 rate. He was most impressive in sprinting home over the final 400m in a sizzling 27.7sec. Trained at Serpentine by Gary Hall sen., Soho Highroller gave Gary Hall jun. an armchair drive with opening quarters of the final mile in 30.5sec. and 30.3sec. before dashing over the final 800m in 57.2sec. Polemarker Barkers Hall led for the first 400m before enjoying the perfect trail behind Soho Highroller. Soho Highroller, bred by Rob Watson, is a full brother to Soho Tokyo, who finished a very close second to Tricky Styx in the group 1 Diamond Classic for two-year-old fillies later in the program. He has earned $71,264 from nine wins and 18 placings from 48 starts. Pelicanrama was an outstanding juvenile performer before enjoying a successful career of 149 starts for 55 wins, 37 placings and $730,271 in prizemoney. Her wins in feature events as a two-year-old included the $250,000 Australian Pacing Gold and $75,000 NSW Sires Stakes at Harold Park and $30,000 Tatlow Stakes at Moonee Valley in 1999, and as a three-year-old she won the $100,000 NSW Sires Stakes. Her full-brother Mustang Fighter earned $292,566 from 29 wins and 26 placings from 108 starts. My Hard Copy is on the way up My Hard Copy maintained his standing as one of the State's most consistent four-year-olds when he set a brisk pace and strolled to victory over Heez Orl Black and The Feather Foot in the 2130m Top Cut Meats Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. His easy win graduated him to an M2 classification and he should have no difficulty in maintaining his excellent form and moving swiftly to open-class ranks on his way to contesting rich feature events during the summer carnival. Friday night's win completed a double for trainer Gary Hall sen. and reinsman Gary Hall jun. Soho Highroller was favourite at 3/1 on and Hall sen. notched yet another quinella result, with Lauren Jones bringing 8/1 chance Heez Orl Black home with a solid burst after enjoying the run of the race behind the pacemaker. My Hard Copy, owned by Steve, Christina and Danielle Chapman, has earned $134,167 from 13 wins and 13 placings from 39 starts. He won three times from 16 starts in New Zealand and twice from six starts in Victoria before arriving in WA where he has raced 17 times for eight wins and three placings. Change of training aids Shelby Cruzin Victorian-bred pacer Shelby Cruzin, described by his trainer Ross Olivieri as "a little fatso," has responded to a change in his training routine and made amends for a dismal failure at his West Australian debut with a stylish victory in the 1730m Del Basso Importers And Exporters Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He was a 10/9 on favourite at his first WA appearance three weeks earlier when he was a major disappointment, racing at the rear and then out wide in the final circuit, finishing eighth in a field of nine behind Loose Wire. He was favourite at 7/4 on on Friday night when he finished full of running to win by a half-length from 86/1 tote outsider Local Rogue, who had threatened to cause a major upset after starting from the outside of the front line and then racing out four wide for the first 350m before taking the lead 100m later and then setting the pace after a blistering first quarter in 27.3sec. Shelby Cruzin made the most of the prized No. 1 barrier by leading for the first 400m, but Chris Lewis then took the sit behind Local Rogue, who boasted a losing sequence of 16 since his previous win 18 months ago. Local Rogue was still travelling well when he led clearly approaching the home turn. But Lewis was able to ease Shelby Cruzin off the pegs 150m from home when Caesars Cloud, in the breeze, began to fade. Lewis then drove Shelby Cruzin hard and the five-year-old finished determinedly to hit the front in the final 20m. The winner rated 1.57.2. Olivieri said that Victorian trainer Geoff Webster had telephoned him recently to ask him to train Real Hammer and Shelby Cruzin. Olivieri was happy to oblige and he said that the two horses were entirely different. "Shelby Cruzin has been a bit hard to work out, but I have changed his training and the result was that he went a mile better tonight than he did first-up," Olivieri said. "First-up, he fooled me. I thought he was fitter than he was. He's a little fatso, and you've got to get into him. I've made him more interested in his work by galloping him on the sand instead of hoppling him. I haven't hoppled him since his first-up run, apart from one trial." Shelby Cruzin now has earned $44,520 from ten wins and ten placings from 48 starts. He is the eighth winner out of South Australian-bred mare Motoring Sassie (five starts for two wins and one placings for $2169). Motoring Sassie's progeny includes Sassy Gina (12 wins and $80,405) and Ombudsman (13 wins from 23 starts for $54,480 in prizemoney). Paramedic ends losing sequence of 27 Noted frontrunner Paramedic took full advantage of the coveted No. 1 barrier at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he set the pace and caused an upset in winning by just over a length from 5/4 on favourite Bettor Party in the 2130m Action Industrial Catering Westbred Pathway Pace. Paramedic started at 6/1 and ended a losing sequence of 27, stretching back to February 2013, and his win foiled Bettor Whitby from extending his winning sequence to four. Part-owned and trained by John Rogers, the six-year-old Paramedic was driven assertively by Kyle Harper. Bettor Party began out wide, from the No. 6 barrier, and he raced four wide for the first 300m. He then was trapped three wide before Colin Brown eased him back to last after a lap. Bettor Party was eleventh and last at the bell and he sustained a spirited burst, out wide, to finish second. Paramedic covered the final 800m in 58.5sec. and rated 1.58.4 in improving his record to 69 starts for ten wins and 15 placings for earnings of $75,823. He is related on his dam's side to former talented juvenile performer Shes Royalty, who had 96 starts for 24 wins, 27 placings and $288,146. Might Be Luck excels in front Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri told star reinsman Chris Lewis that West Australian-bred gelding Might Be Luck was a certainty to win the 2503m Del Basso Foodservice Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night if he was able to set the pace. Might Be Luck, a 5/1 chance from barrier No. 3 off the front line, began well and Lewis drove the gelding vigorously in an attempt to get to the front in the early stages. Polemarker Bartowski galloped out briefly, but was able to hold Might Be Luck at bay for the first 250m before he wilted under pressure and his rival forged to the front 250m after the start. Might Be Luck relished his pacemaking role and dashed over the final three quarters in 29.7sec., 29.1sec. and 29.9sec. to make life tough for his rivals. Bartowski fought on doggedly to finish second, just more than a length behind Might Be Luck, who rated 2.1.4. "I said to Chris that if he could lead, he would not lose," Olivieri said. "He's a horse who hasn't had a lot of luck, and tonight he led them a merry dance. On his trackwork at home he's one of the best four or five in my stable. Once he's in front, any horse has to be pretty good to catch him." Trojan Bromac impressed in thundering home, six wide, from tenth at the bell to finish third. Might Be Luck, a Northern Luck gelding bred and owned by Bob Fowler, has had 43 starts for ten wins, five placings and $48,982. He is related on his dam's side to former top-flight performer Buck the Odds, who earned $307,547 from 31 wins and 29 placings from 121 starts. Dalton drives first Perth winner Former Victorian horseman Clive Dalton landed his first Gloucester Park winner as a reinsman when he drove Retained to an all-the-way victory in the 2503m Del Basso Foodservice Trotters Handicap on Friday night. Retained, a 7/2 chance and trained at Herron by Dalton, jumped straight to the front from the inside barrier on the front mark and led throughout, holding on grimly to beat 22/1 chance Nicky Eileen by a nose. The 55-year-old Dalton, who has driven almost 500 winners in Victoria, enjoyed plenty of success as a trainer of square gaiters in Victoria. He prepared Right Interest to group 1 and group 3 victories in Victoria and Magic Interest for his victory in the group 1 Australasian Breeders Crown for two-year-old trotters at Bendigo in August 2008. Retained, an eight-year-old gelding owned by Jennifer O'Byrne, is a seasoned campaigner who has had 113 starts for 16 wins, 19 placings and $145,265 in stakes. He was successful in a $20,000 group 3 event over 2760m at Melton in October 2012. Dalton kept up the good work at Bunbury on Saturday night when he trained Miss Atomic (Chris Lewis) for her win at 6/1. by Ken Casellas To unsubscribe, please click here. To forward, please click here.

Boyanup harness racing trainer Justin Prentice is finding it difficult to separate Major Reality and Quite A Delight in the $100,000 Del Basso Smallgoods Diamond Classic at Gloucester Park on Friday night, but he is leaning slightly towards Major Reality because of her better barrier. "At this stage I'll be driving Major Reality," he said on Tuesday night. "I haven't spoken to the owners, but purely on the barrier draw I'll probably go for Major Reality." Major Reactor will start from the No. 3 barrier on the front line, with Quite A Delight out at No. 6. Prentice drove Major Reality and Quite A Delight when they scored easy victories at their debuts in heats of the classic on Tuesday of last week. Major Reality was untroubled to lead from the No. 1 barrier and rated 1.59.1 over 1730m when she beat Is There A Dream by nine lengths. Quite A Delight rated 1.58.9 when she won her heat by two lengths from Straittothehilton. She started from the outside of the front line and was restrained back to last before she started a three-wide move approaching the bell. She moved to the breeze at the 450m before taking the lead 200m later. "Major Reality worked super this morning and has improved since her heat run," Prentice said. "She worked with an older horse and left him for dead. Quite A Delight just went steady this morning. "Major Reality is a big, gross filly, a bit immature looking, but she is powerful and is in a 59 and a half inch hopple. Quite A Delight is a little pitter-patter thing in a 55-inch hopple. But she's got a massive heart and lungs and her recovery is unreal. She can do so much work and she just keeps running. "Both are very good chances, but obviously it helps Major Reactor drawn at No. 3. Hopefully we can get her to the front. We will be doing what we can to get to the front." Prentice is hoping to go one better in the Diamond Classic than he did two years ago when he finished second with Bettor Dreams behind stablemate Eagle Rox. Both fillies were prepared by his father Kim. Last year, Justin drove his own nomination The Parade into fourth place behind Highest Royalty. There are many chances in this year's classic, with Victorian reinsman Michael Stanley expecting an improved performance from Soho Tokyo, whose eight starts have yielded two wins, four placings and stakes of $82,308. The 33-year-old Stanley had his first drive in Western Australia on Tuesday of last week when Soho Tokyo was a 3/1 on favourite in her heat in which she set the pace from barrier one, hung out and was overhauled in the final 25m when a close second to Massive Attack. Soho Tokyo, who arrived in WA about a month ago and entered Glenn Elliott's Northam stables, gave a sample of her class at her previous start when she finished powerfully to be a neck second to Queen of Pop in the group 1 Australian Pacing Gold final for two-year-old fillies at Menangle. "She has been in the top Echelon back home (in Victoria) and in Sydney," Stanley said. "She was fairly new when she raced at Gloucester Park. She had a good look around and didn't race tractably, which normally is her best asset. She is such a professional, but she didn't show that in that race. Hopefully that experience will sharpen her up for the final. "It was a shame that she hung. Normally she lugs in a bit, if anything, so it was a real surprise that she wanted to run out. That was her first race on an 800m track. She is trained round a half-mile track at home in Ballarat, but that is a lot different to race pressure." Gary Hall sen., trainer of Massive Attack, said he gave his filly little chance after drawing the outside of the back line in the field of twelve. Chris Lewis, who has won the Diamond Classic with Dilingers Reign in 2005 and Sensational Gabby in 2011, will have many admirers in this year's classic in which he will handle the promising Sea Me Smile from the coveted No. 1 barrier. Sea Me Smile, trained by his wife Debra, has started from wide barriers at her three starts, for a win at Pinjarra and second placings at Bunbury and Gloucester Park. In her heat last week Sea Me Smile was restrained tom last from the outside barrier before Lewis sent her forward, three wide, after 400m. She raced in the breeze over the final 1200m and finished second, three lengths behind the pacemaker Tricky Styx, who rated 1.59.1. Tricky Styx, trained at Northam by Jesse Moore, has excellent ability and has impressed in winning at four of her seven starts. She unwound a powerful finish to win the $50,000 Champagne Classic early last month. HALL SINGS SOHO LENNON'S PRAISES Leading trainer Gary Hall sen. has declared Soho Lennon "unbeatable" in the Del Basso Smallgoods Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night after the gelding's dazzling victory at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon. Gary Hall jun. drove Soho Lennon at Pinjarra when he set a sizzling pace and reeled off quarters in 28.2sec., 29.8sec., 27.5sec. and 27.3sec. to beat Simply Susational by five lengths, rating 1.53.3 which set a track record for a three-year-old over 1684m. Robert Watson, breeder and managing owner of Soho Lennon, requested that Victorian reinsman Michael Stanley drive the talented youngster in Friday night's 2536m event in which he will start from the No. 4 barrier on the front line in the field of eight. Stanley drove Soho Lennon in all his 14 runs in Victoria as a two and three-year-old for wins at Ararat, Bendigo and Geelong. "Soho Lennon is a very good horse and he is right up there with Elegant Christian and Machtu," Hall said. That is praise indeed. Elegant Christian, trained by Hall, has won at six of his eight starts, including the group 3 Caduceus Club Classic and group 2 Western Gateway Pace. Elegant Christian also finished fourth behind Three Blind Mice in the group 1 WA Derby, in which stablemate Machtu finished third. Boyanup trainer-reinsman Justin Prentice does not agree with Hall's assessment that Friday night's event will be a one-act affair and he gives Mista Rush a very good winning chance, saying: "On pure ability I think he is right up there with the best three-year-olds in the State. "Barrier five is neither here nor there and I'm not one hundred per cent sure what we'll do. Mista Rush has got lightning gate speed, but Ultimate Major and Back On Board, on his inside, are also quick. "The main thing is to get Mista Rush around this track a bit better. At his latest start he just battled around the last bend. So I have made a little adjustment to his shoeing. I want to get him spot on for the Westbred races in just under a month." Ultimate Major, trained at Capel by Andrew De Campo, has won at four of his eight starts and is a good frontrunner who will be suited from the No. 1 barrier, with Chris Lewis in the sulky. Ultimate Major led and won over 2500m at Bunbury two starts ago and then was a fast-finishing close second to Three Kings over 2100m on the same track last Saturday night. The Michael Brennan-trained Back On Board will be driven by Gary Hall jun. from barrier three. The Christian Cullen gelding has made most of the running to win twice from his past three starts on country tracks. Forrestdale trainers Greg and Skye Bond also hold a strong hand in the race with three smart three-year-olds in Zacharia, Bettor Offer and Black Mr Mach. SELKIE MAKES GOOD APPEAL New Zealand-bred five-year-old Selkie has improved in leaps and bounds since entering the Oakford stables of Ross Olivieri recently and she makes strong appeal in the first qualifying heat of the Little Caesars Pizzas Lombardo Pace for Mares at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Punters will be keen to support her after watching her come from eighth on the pegs at the bell with a scorching late burst, out wide, to finish third behind Famous Alchemist and Korobeit Angel in the 1730m WASBA Breeders Stakes last Friday week. Two weeks before that, at her first start for Olivieri, Selkie gave an impressive frontrunning display to score an easy victory over Salliwood and Leda McNally in the 2503m Race For Roses. On Friday night Selkie will start from the No. 2 barrier in the field of seven in the 2130m event and she is likely to be involved in an early battle for ascendancy with the polemarker Maggies Mystery, who has a losing sequence of 18, but is a capable frontrunner with good prospects of causing an upset. Maggies Mystery's most recent win was early in January when she set a brisk pace and beat Rocky Marciano and Heez Orl Black at a 1.56 rate over 1730m. Leading trainer Gary Hall sen. has two in-form runners in Askmenow and Korobeit Angel. Gary Hall jun. will handle Askmenow from barrier three and Lauren Jones will drive Korobeit Angel from barrier six. Am Opulent, from barrier four, also has sound claims for trainers Greg and Skye Bond. She began speedily from the No. 7 barrier and set them pace before winning from Capricorn Monique and Ticket To Nowhere over 2185m at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon. HALL LEANS TOWARDS MY HARD COPY Champion trainer Gary Hall sen. favours My Hard Copy to beat stablemates Slick Chapel and Heez Orl Black in the 2130m Top Cut Meats Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. But while he is confident of achieving a trifecta result, he believes little separates the three stablemates. "I lean towards My Hard Copy only because of the barrier draw," he said. My Hard Copy, who finished a fighting close second to Slick Chapel in the final of the 2130m Pure Steel Pace last Friday night, will be driven by Gary Hall jun., who replaces his brother Clint, who received a nine-day suspension for causing interference in a race at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon. My Hard Copy is favourably drawn at No. 2 on the front line, with Heez Orl Black drawn the pole and Slick Chapel barrier two on the back line. Slick Chapel dashed to an early lead and sprinted home in a sizzling 55.5sec. when he defeated My Hard Copy by one metre last Friday night. My Hard Copy, who trailed Slick Chapel, fought on with great determination. BARRON LANDS HER FIRST CITY WINNER Letitia Barron drove a patient copybook race to land her first winner at Gloucester Park when rank outsider Mistress Bliss finished solidly to beat Coltrain Blues in the 1730m Retravision Pace for mares on Tuesday night. Mistress Bliss, trained at Pinjarra by Heather Herbert, started from the outside of the front line and was a $61.70 chance. Barron got Mistress Bliss away smartly and quickly angled the five-year-old into the prime one-out, one-back position, following Disturbia, who was left in the breeze after being fastest into stride from the No. 4 barrier, but then being unable to cross to the pegs in front of polemarker Hilmore Disco. Barron bided her time before easing Mistress Bliss three wide 220m from home. Mistress Bliss burst to the front 120m from the finish and went on to beat Coltrain Blues by two metres, rating 1.58.4. ALTA CHRISTIANO FIT FOR QUEENSLAND Star four-year-old Alta Christiano is still on track to travel to Queensland to contest feature events next month after extensive X-ray examinations cleared him of any damage to his hind legs. Alta Christiano was a shock last-minute scratching from the Pure Steel final at Gloucester Park last Friday night after reinsman Gary Hall jun. was concerned over his pacing action during the preliminary. "He's good," a relieved trainer Gary Hall sen. said on Tuesday. "The X-rays revealed nothing and it looks like he's got a bruised hoof. The farrier reckons it is a bruised hoof and I tend to agree with him. He hasn't missed any work and he's still going to Queensland." Hall said that champion Im Themightyquinn, narrow winner of the $50,000 Pinjarra Cup, on Monday afternoon, was also on track for a trip to Brisbane. "It was a sensational run by Quinny in the Cup," Hall said. "He ran the half (800m) before the final quarter in 54 seconds, which is pretty quick, three wide. He will probably have one more run before heading to Queensland." by Ken Casellas  

Champion harness racing trainer Gary Hall sen. has a stranglehold on the $25,000 Australian Marine Complex Pure Steel final at Gloucester Park on Friday night with five runners in the field of 12 and he issued a chilling warning to rival trainers when he declared that sensational four-year-old Alta Christiano was at the peak of his powers. "He has gone super since his latest run and he'll go as good as he's been going," he declared. Alta Christiano, to be driven by champion reinsman Gary Hall jun., fared the worst in the random draw, but he has the speed and class to overcome the considerable disadvantage of starting from the outside barrier (No. 7) on the front line. A winner at 13 of his 18 starts, the New Zealand-bred son of Christian Cullen is in devastating form and he notched his fourth successive victory when he started from the back line and burst to the front 1100m from home before careering away to win by more than six lengths from Pride of Colorado at a 1.56.7 rate over 2536m last Friday night. He was not extended in winning over 2130m twice and 1730m at his three previous outings. Most punters will bank on Hall providing the quinella, trifecta and first four on Friday night, with his other runners My Hard Copy, Slick Chapel, Vapour and Heez Orl Black expected to be fighting out the minor positions behind the all-conquering Alta Christiano. Four-year-old My Hard Copy will be driven by Kim Prentice, and from the coveted No. 1 barrier, he is capable of a bold effort. The four-year-old should set the early pace and is capable of running a fast time over the 2130m journey. He impressed at his first appearance for just over four months when he gave a bold frontrunning display to win easily from the fast-finishing Heez Orl Black, rating 1.56.9 in a qualifying heat over 2130m last Friday night. Vapour, another talented four-year-old, is racing with tremendous enthusiasm and has won at 12 of his past 27 starts. He is ideally drawn on the inside of the back line and Lauren Jones looks set to enjoy a perfect passage behind the freewheeling My Hard Copy. Slick Chapel will be driven by Clint Hall from the No. 3 barrier on the front line and Justin Prentice will drive Heez Orl Black from barrier four. Slick Chapel is in sparkling form and he warmed up for Friday night's event with an effortless win over 2150m at Harvey last Saturday night when he overcame a check in running and raced three wide and then in the breeze before winning by four lengths from Captain Proud at a 1.57.3 rate over 2150m. The best of the runners outside the Hall camp appear to be Robbery (Robbie Williams), Firebomb (Ryan Warwick) and the Ross Olivieri-trained Finbar Abbey. These three horses are in sound form, but face a monumental task of breaking Hall's grip on the race. ADDA RISING STAR HAS THE RUNS ON THE BOARD Punters face a particularly tough challenge in trying to find the winner of the $30,000 RSM Bird Cameron Pace for Westbred mares at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Perhaps the best advice is to boil down their choice to four-year-olds Adda Rising Star, Lucky Joy and Mon Lamour, each of whom has drawn awkwardly in the 2130m feature event. But they appear to have a slight advantage in class on their rivals. Adda Rising Star, trained at Bunbury by Frank Bonnett, has the best winning percentage (27) of the 12 runners and Lucky Joy has the second best percentage (22). And they have the ability to overcome unfavourable barriers, with Adda Rising Star starting from No. 4 on the back line and Lucky Joy from the outside (No. 7) on the front line. Mon Lamour, in the Hazelmere stables of Mike Reed, is an improving type who boosted her winning percentage to 17 when she notched her fourth win from 24 starts by racing three back on the pegs before finishing fast along the sprint lane to defeat Hoylakes Firstlady over 2185m at Pinjarra last Monday week. Adda Rising Star, to be driven by Callan Suvaljko, has the most impressive record of the 12 runners, with earnings of $143,234 from 14 wins and 17 placings from 51 starts. She fought on from sixth in the middle stages to be fourth behind Mon Lamour and she caught the eye two starts before that when she covered a lot of extra ground before finishing strongly to win from Kanata Queen and Lucky Diva over 2150m at Harvey. Lucky Joy is a little filly with a big heart who has been a model of consistency for trainer-reinsman Robbie Williams. She overcame a wide barrier at Northam on Thursday of last week when she surged home, out wide from the rear, to win from Cheeryrose and Sweet Charlee over 2190m. MR NICKEL IS READY TO FIRE A five-year-old who has been unplaced at his first two outings since resuming after an injury-enforced absence of 17 months looks one of the star bets on the ten-event program at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He is the New South Wales-bred Mr Nickel, who will start from the coveted No. 1 barrier in the 1730m Sadliers Nexus Pace for Forrestdale trainers Greg and Skye Bond. "He suffered a serious fetlock injury and had a fair bit of time off," said ace reinsman Colin Brown. "He has recovered and has had two runs in stands off back marks (30m) at Pinjarra and he was unable to get into either race. "First-up last Monday week he just couldn't get into the 2631m race when they ran home in very quick time (29.1sec. and 26.7sec. for the final two 400m sections) and it was the same story on Monday this week when they got home pretty snappy (when Mr Nickel finished seventh behind Barrow Street over 2116m when the final 800m was covered ion 56.7sec.). "He felt good on Monday and punters should be aware that he is a class horse who has won a fair bit of stakemoney. After two runs off a long spell they shouldn't forget him. This is an ideal draw and he is a very quick horse." Mt Nickel, who has won at four of his nine starts in Western Australia, has amassed $284,124 in stakes from 16 wins and nine placings from 42 starts. He is the winner of two group 1 events --- the Australian Pacing Gold for two-year-old colts and geldings at Melton (when he beat Magic Bliss and Soho Valencia) and the Tasmania Derby at Elwick in March 2012. Mr Nickel's main rival is likely to be five-year-old Soho Highroller, who will be having his first start for leading trainer Gary Hall sen. for almost four months. He will be driven by Gary Hall jun. from barrier three on the front line. Soho Highroller has a losing sequence of nine and was unplaced at his past eight starts. But he warmed up for his return to racing in fine style when he set the pace and rated 1.57.3, beating his top-flight stablemate Toretto by two metres after sprinting over the final 400m in 28.2sec. JUNGLE JEWEL WORKS IN SENSATIONAL STYLE Smart New Zealand-bred filly Jungle Jewel worked in dashing style at Greg and Skye Bond's Forrestdale track on Tuesday morning to boost her prospects in the $17,000 Bell-Vista Fruit And Veg Company Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. "I drove her and she felt sensational," said Colin Brown. "It was the best she has ever felt and she can overcome the back-line draw in Friday night's race. "She was suffering from the effects of a virus in the WA Oaks prelude (on May 2 when she led before fading to the rear) and then she showed that she is back in form with her win at Harvey last Saturday night. And she stepped up a notch this morning on the track when she felt sensational. "Greg added a Murphy blind for her run at Harvey and this made a dramatic difference. She was always inclined to get on one rein and the Murphy blind has had the desired effect. Shed raced a lot straighter, even though she wanted to get up the track a bit, instead of getting down the track." At Harvey on Saturday night Jungle Jewel, driven by Ryan Warwick, raced without cover early before getting to the front and sprinting over the final 800m in 56.8sec. when she beat Dontdoubtme and The Parade. Trainer Gary Hall sen. Is confident that Dontdoubtme will improve on her Harvey performance when she faced the breeze for most of the way. "She is each-way for ever," he declared. "Her Harvey run was very good; she's not a breeze horse and she probably needed the run." Reinsman Aiden De Campo, son of Capel trainer Andrew De Campo, said that he expected a strong showing from his father's filly Typhoon Tan, who is nicely drawn at barrier two on the front line. Typhoon Tan will be driven by Dylan Egerton-Green, who replaces Aiden De Campo, who will be driving at Melton in Victoria on Friday night. "She went very well at Harvey on Saturday night when she trailed the leader Three Blind Mice and finished second to that pacer," he said. "She has good gate speed and if she leads she'll be a pretty good chance. Sitting is not really her go and if she rolls along in front she'll give plenty of cheek." Typhoon Tan led and won twice in fast time at Bunbury at two of her past four starts. Boyanup trainer-reinsman Justin Prentice also gives his smart filly The Parade a good winning chance, despite drawing the outside of the front line. "The Parade started from a wide barrier (six) at Harvey on Saturday night and after racing three wide for most of the way did very well to finish third behind Jungle Jewel. "I was stoked with her run," he said. "I thought that it was one of her best runs. They have come home in 56.8sec. They went 28 flat down the back and I've made up about three lengths." DE CAMPO TO REPRESENT WA IN VICTORIA Outstanding reinsman Aiden De Campo will leave Perth on Thursday morning to represent Western Australia in a Young Drivers' Challenge series. He will drive Turnoffate in the first heat and Philotes in the second heat at Shepparton on Thursday night, Field Major at Melton on Friday night and Oils Jay Bee and Sign of Oro in the final two heats at Ballarat on Saturday night. In his absence, Dylan Egerton-Green will drive Typhoon Tan in race one at Gloucester Park on Friday night; Chris Lewis will replace him behind the consistent Conniving Major Dave in the fourth event, the 2130m R. H. Trotter Pace, and Kaiden Hayter will replace him behind Vertical Four in the Mortgage Choice in South Perth Pathway Pace. "Number four is a good barrier for Conniving Major Dave," de Campo said. "I don't know whether he'll find the top or not. If he does, he'll give a lot of cheek. His latest run was probably his best run this time in. He sat in the breeze against some pretty good horses and he finished second to Oneheart Twofists." STANLEY LANDS A WINNER AT FIRST WA VISIT Victorian reinsman Michael Stanley celebrated his first appearance at Gloucester Park on Tuesday night when he brought Enjoy A Malabu with a spirited burst to win the International Animal Health Products Trot by a head from the 6/4 favourite Hot Holiday and The Beau Brummell. Enjoy A Malabu, a 16/1 chance, ran home strongly from sixth at the bell. The gelding is trained by Stanley's uncle Bruce Stanley and is owned by his aunty Pauline. "This was my first drive for Uncle Bruce and it was a thrill to win the race," Michael Stanley said. by Ken Casellas  

The first harness racing mobile start Warragul Cup was a great success on Easter Sunday. Ballarat horseman Michael Stanley took out The Linc Group Warragul Pacing Cup with Hilltop Hustler, a four-year-old who had no luck in the Mildura Pacing Cup at its previous run, but is an up-and-coming pacer of the future, and will be aimed at further feature races going forward. Hilltop Hustler has recorded 10 wins and 8 placings from only 35 starts, and was well supported by punters. The Cup for Trafalgar horseman Glenn Hunter was over soon after it started, as Astronaut galloped and virtually took no part. It capped an up and down day for Glenn - he placed third in the Trotters Cup with Dawn Tears but earlier lost the opening race in the stewards room after debutante Lazy Sunday drifted in in the home straight when first past the post. Runner up in the Cup was Loveable Larrikin, with Savesomtimetodream finishing third. The 2:00 mile rate barrier was broken for the 2620 metre distance, indicating the quality of the Warragul track. The co-feature on Sunday, the Eddie Evison Memorial Trotters Cup, was won by Eisenhower for Kilmore husband and wife team Peter Lane and Anita Burke. In another exciting contest, Eisenhower held off his rivals to score narrowly from Im Whitney, with local Dawn Tears having no luck in finishing a close up third. Four generations of the Evison family were on hand to present the silver Cup to the winning connections. Longwarry pacer Intergalactic took out the final race of the day for trainer Lee Evison and driver Josh Duggan. A large group of happy owners were on hand to accept the trophy after Melita Bromac won the Warragul Club and Downtowner Guineas. Melita Bromac will head for the rich Victorian Oaks series after her Warragul win. A good crowd enjoyed an exciting day of racing on Sunday, with TAB betting up considerably on last year. Footballer's 'Crackers' Keenan and Peter Daicos and legendary trotting horseman Ted Demmler were among the special guests on the day. The quality of the field in the Pacing Cup supported the Warragul Harness Racing Club's decision to switch the event from a handicap to a mobile barrier start. Last year's Miracle Mile winner Baby Bling was among the entries, a winner of over $800,000 in stakes, and horses of that calibre gracing the local track gave the club extra publicity. Kyle Galley

Result of the appeals held before the Harness Racing Victoria Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board on 28 March 2014.   Matthew Craven Against a 3 week suspension imposed by the stewards under Rule 149(1). Appeal upheld. HRV RAD Board Panel: Anthony Burns (Deputy Chairman), Rod Osborne Appellant Representative:  Damian Sheales HRV Representative:  Shane Larkins   Michael Stanley Against a 10 day suspension imposed by the stewards under Rule 163(1)(a). Appeal Dismissed. HRV RAD Board Panel: Anthony Burns (Deputy Chairman), Rod Osborne Appellant Representative:  Rob O’Connell HRV Representative:  Neal Conder   Jim O’Sullivan Against a 4 week suspension imposed by the stewards under Rule 149(1). Appeal upheld. HRV RAD Board Panel: Anthony Burns (Deputy Chairman), Rod Osborne Appellant Representative:  Self HRV Representative:  Neal Conder

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.

Top Victorian harness trainer Dean Braun is no stranger to winning feature races in Tasmania and on Sunday night he looks like adding another cup to the burgeoning content in his trophy cabinet. Braun will hitch up the favourite Im Corzin Terror in the $40,000 Tasmania Cup over 2579 metres. Im Corzin Terror has been racing in the silk department in Victoria of late placing in the $100,000 Group 1 Cranbourne Cup behind The Gold Ace and Terrorway two starts back and he followed up last week with a second to Savesomtimetodream in the $25,000 Yarra Valley Cup over 2650 metres. Im Corzin Terror has drawn gate three on the front line on Sunday night so should his driver Chris Alford push forward and successfully find the lead the race could be all over bar the shouting. Braun also has entered Mustang Mach that finished seventh in the Yarra Valley Cup but only 3.2 metres behind his stablemate. The only other interstate invader in the Michael Stanley-trained Queenslander Western Mail that comes of a last-start fifth behind Slick Bromac in the City of Launceston Cup last Sunday night and prior to that he was ninth at Gunbower when first-up from a three-month spell. Ransom Olds led up from gate one last Sunday night in the City of Launceston Cup and from gate two he should have enough early speed to contend for that spot again but he has Dappa Dana on his inside and if this young gun can muster enough speed from the pole he could hold them all out. Dappa Dana loomed to win the City of Launceston Cup last Sunday night but just when it looked as if he would mow down his rivals he galloped for no apparent reason and driver Ricky Duggan had to take hold and he was retired from the race. Rohan Hillier will take the reins on Dappa Dana on Sunday night while Duggan will resume his association with the in-form stablemate Our Chan of Command that comes of a last-start win in a free-for-all over 2090 metres in Hobart two weeks ago that followed an emphatic win in the Cannonball Charge over 1609 metres at the same track on November 24. Our Chain of Command (barrier six) is a nine-year-old but he is racing like a much younger horse. Slick Bromac surprised everyone except his trainer last Sunday when he won the City of Launceston Cup and while he looks outclassed here he will be a chance if the race is sun to suit with a strong pace on and he can get cover. By Peter Staples

The Choice Hotels Country Cup Season is in full swing. Over the weekend we saw Savesomtimetodream win the Yarra Valley Cup and Macho Comacho win the Wedderburn Cup. The next Cup is at Cobram on December 27 followed by Horsham on January 5. SEW-Eurodrive Victoria Cup Night Once again the SEW-Eurodrive Victoria Cup lived up to expectations as one of Australasia's greatest races. Congratulations to Luke McCarthy and the connections of For A Reason on becoming the latest addition to the heavyweight championship honour roll. For the punters, courtesy of a TAB jackpot, the First 4 on the Victoria Cup paid over $6,000. That is an enormous dividend given that the First 4 comprised the three placegetters from the Miracle Mile (Beautide, Christen Me and For A Reason) plus the reigning champ Caribbean Blaster. All four were excellent runs and it looks like a new breed of Grand Circuit competitors has arrived. In the Dullard Cup the striking looking Habibti blew everyone away which adds more excitement for the trotting gait. We now have the prospect of two 4yos going head to head, the mare Habibti and the outstanding colt Blitzthemcalder. Both will be major drawcards for the Great Southern Star in March. One of the most impressive wins on Victoria Cup night was 3yo Young Modern for Michael Stanley in the 3yo Sires Classic, franking his trial form at Ballarat a week earlier. Finally, a special thanks to Rob Merola and the team at SEW Eurodrive for their support of the Carnival. Vicbred 1st win bonus - $7,000 The first 2yo race for the season in Victoria was run at Geelong on December 5. While it may have gone relatively unnoticed, it was a significant event for Darren Cole - owner of winner Spot Ona Shadow. Darren was the first owner to benefit from the increased first win bonus under the Vicbred scheme from $5,000 to $7,000 this season. Added to the winner's stake for the race of $3713, meant a total earn of nearly $11,000 for the win. The second 2yo race at Kilmore on December 11 was also won by a Vicbred eligible filly (Viva Safari) therefore she also provided the Azzopardis with a $7,000 first win bonus. Ian Kitchin I was surprised to hear that Ian Kitchin has stepped down as Secretary of Harness Breeders Vic (HBV) at its recent Committee Meeting. Ian has been a tower of strength for HBV in that role for the best part of a decade. In that time HBV has become a respected organisation representing its membership of 700. In particular, Ian has been a great supporter of the HBV sponsorship deal with HRV, which promotes fillies and mares racing opportunities. The depth of Victoria mares racing is largely attributable to the support of HBV. I hope that Ian remains involved with HBV and continue his breeding interests. He has been a terrific servant to the industry. Australasian Premier Trotting Sale The second Australasian Premier Trotting Sale will be conducted the day after the Great Southern Star on March 23, 2014, following the very successful inaugural sale this year. Click here for the 2014 Sale Catalogue including the pedigrees for some outstanding trotting yearlings. A reminder also that the APG Yearling Sale is set down for Sunday February 2, the day after the Hunter Cup. HRV Community Grants As part of HRV's commitment to the community, through our venue at Tabcorp Park, HRV makes available $50,000 per annum for: Community support Welfare of the Community; and Local infrastructure On Thursday December 5 HRV Chairman Ken Latta, presented the $50,000 cheque to the City of Melton, to be distributed to this year's successful applicants: Kurunjang Primary School Coburn Primary School Brookside College Combined Pensioners and Superannuants Association of Victoria The Gap on Graham Lynda's Hampers Derek Foden Rover Crew Rotary Club of Melton Valley Little Diggers Playgroup Western Regional Health Centre Melton Combined Youth and Special Needs Club Association Multiple Sclerosis Melton Community Safety Register Melton Chinese Friendship Association Charity support HRV once again has been a major supporter of charities during 2013. Quite apart from the $50,000 Community Fund above, HRV has supported the following charities in 2013: Children's Tumour Foundation Women's Cancer Foundation - Ovarian Cancer Institute Leigh Plunkett Foundation - Leukaemia Melton Rotary (State Emergency Services - Local Community Groups) HRV Staff Neal Conder Neal has been appointed to the position of Chairman of Stewards, having been acting in the role for some months. Neal is a highly regarded member of the HRV integrity team and together with General Manager Integrity Andy Rogers they form a formidable team to deal with the both the industry challenges and the demands of the statutory governance requirements. I wish Neal well for a long and successful career. Milestones Gary Bennetts is the latest staff member to achieve a milestone having completed 20 years continuous service. In reviewing the list of milestones, I am amazed to see that HRV has no fewer than 25 full time employees who have served 10 years or more at HRV. Of those 25, 3 have achieved 30 years and a further 4 are in the 20 years plus category. Vale Con Rigby HRV was saddened to hear of the passing of Con - a respected trainer driver - at the age of 83. Based in the Macedon Ranges area for a long period of his life, Con was involved with a number of well performed horses such as Champagne Soky, Romile, Bullengar Tealsby, Polish and the smart trotter Carol Rose. Con's last winning drive was on Funnyfaceiloveyou at Kilmore in June 2004. Arthur Bell Victorian trotting's longest serving bookmaker Arthur Bell passed away suddenly in late November. Arthur had worked at every Victorian track at one stage and quite often in the early days would work a double header travelling hundreds of miles between venues. One of his great loves was the Mildura Cup meeting each year, rarely missing one. Armbro Operative HRV also recognises the contribution made to the Australian breeding industry by Armbro Operative, which passed away recently at the ripe old age of 27. Having sired 2,238 Australian bred foals, his progeny here went on to earn $37.3m in stakes. His highest earner was Fleur De Lil. She earned in excess of $1m. Did You Know? The first 2yo winner for the season Spot Ona Shadow was by Alabar's Shadow Play - that stallion's first Australian starter. The Manning family trained the entire card at the Ararat meeting on December 10 - Peter (4), Kerryn and Michelle each training winners. Christmas/New Year Office Hours HRV's office will close at 3pm on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. It's business as usual on all other days except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day. I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a safe, prosperous 2014!  

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.            

A night of competitive racing was held at Kilmore on Tuesday November 26, with the Avenel area taking the honours. Former Kilmore trainer Wayne Potter now based at Avenel, snared the Jet Roofing Pace for C4 & C5 class over 1690 metres with sit/sprint specialist Tombstone Eden in a mile rate of 1-58.8. Driven by Nathan Jack, Tombstone Eden from gate two on the second line settled four back in the moving line, before gaining a beaut three wide trail home in the last lap on the back of Gangster Boy ahead of him. Despite making the final bend four wide, Tombstone Eden sprinted home brilliantly to defeat Post It Away (one/one – outside the leader Whosgunnagetit from the bell) and Easy Lighting who was never better than three wide the trip. A five year old daughter of Armbro Operative and Eve Of Eden, Tombstone Eden has recorded nine wins from 37 race appearances. Other Avenel winners on the program were five year old Art Major/Vangold entire Cold Major for David and Josh Aiken who was successful in the Goulburn Murray Credit Union Pace for C2 & C3 class over 2180 metres following a gigantic performance at Shepparton a week earlier and promising mare Vics Cheval who was first up since June in A Harness Christmas At Kilmore 11 December Trotters Handicap for T0 or better class over 2150 metres. Taking a concession, Cold Major bred by Queensland millionaire Clive Palmer had little luck from gate four being trapped wide,before being sent forward to park outside the pacemaker Fifth And Broadway (gate two) who was the favourite. Gaining cover mid-race after Amazing Kano moved to face the breeze, Cold Major when eased wide on turning, finished his race off well to score from Big Zee (mid-field) using inside runs prior to the home turn before easing wide on straightening and Major Deed in a mile rate of 1-59.7. David was to finish the night on a high note when extremely talented Yankee Boy/Vics Lady four year old mare Vics Cheval recorded her 4th victory in 16 outings. Starting from the pole, Vics Cheval raced very roughly as the starter released the field, being given plenty of time to find her feet, settling four back along the markers with the roughie Ifu Seek The Luck leading from barrier three. When Jumeirah Jane ahead of her was eased away from the inside to face the open for the run along the back straight on the final occasion, Vics Cheval immediately latched to her back for a nice ride home. Issuing a strong challenge to Jumeirah Jane on the home turn, Vics Cheval gained the upper hand shortly after and coasted to the wire 17.6 metres in advance of the 60 metre backmarker Miss Southern Land, with Jumeirah Jane a head away in third place. The mile rate 2-07.7. Both Cold Major and Vics Cheval were bred by Queensland millionaire Clive Palmer and are raced by David Aiken. Melton trainer Sue Hunter combined with Gavin Lang to land the Kilmore H.R.C Trotters Mobile for T2 & T3 class over 2180 metres with smart pacing bred 6-Y-0 Elsu/Amanda Woodward gelding Mister Elwood. Having his first outing since May, Mister Elwood starting inside the second line was soon travelling just of the speed in the running line, with Conchs Critter leading from the pole. His task was made a lot easier as two of the main fancies Chevals Racer (gate two) and Star Style (gate five) galloped away. Send forward three wide gradually in the final circuit, Mister Elwood raced clear over the concluding stages to defeat the honest mare Sultry Lady which moved to face the open at the bell from three back the markers after an unsuccessful bid for the front running from gate four, with Tawonga South third off a three wide trail last lap from last on the back of the winner. The mile rate 2-02.4. Glen Park’s Sebastian Steenhuis has a wonderful strike rate and was successful Safari/Truly Sue gelding Bobby Fabulous in the Kilmore HRC 3-Y-0 Pace over 2180 metres with Michael Stanley in the sulky. Leading out from gate two, Bobby Fabulous ran his rivals ragged, accounting for Ruato Bay off a three wide trail from six back in the running line at the bell and Christian Torado (one/two) returning a mile rate of 1-59.8. Dunnstown based Nathan Cahir was also a winner on the night when five year old Metropolitan/Cornelia Lombo gelding No Bettertime greeted the judge in the Ashley’s Kids Rides Pace for C1 class over 2180 metres. Driven by Nathan, No Bettertime was given a sweet passage from gate four trailing the well supported Pass It To Billy which flew the gate from barrier five and was always travelling beautifully. Using the sprint lane, No Bettertime dashed clear halfway up the running to score by 1.7 metres over the flying Dont Wanadie (four back the markers), with Packedtotherafters coming from near last to finish third. The mile rate 2-00.1. Len Baker

Victorian trainer Michael Stanley has two runners engaged at Goulburn this Friday afternoon including talented four year old pacer Hilltop Hustler. The son of Presidential Ball will compete in the Gr. 3 Tab Rewards Championship Final and will be looking for his seventh win in his past eight starts. "I got him from New Zealand and I always thought Hilltop Hustler had plenty of ability but he has really charged through the grades so this race series looked a really nice option for him," Stanley said. "For winning the heat he only copped a country penalty and the money is just about the equivalent of winning his M0 in Melbourne so it made sense to make the trip to Sydney and now he finds himself in a $30,000 race." Hilltop Hustler won his heat in 1:53.9 accounting for Gliding Rose and has drawn barrier two in the final. "There looks to be a bit of speed in the race, Franco Noriega likes to lead in his races and if we were able to slot in behind a horse like Freyberg and lob into the 1-1 then that would be ideal but if he gets shuffled back I wouldn't be afraid to make a move because he is pretty tough and can do some work in his races." "When I travel to Sydney I like to get up there the day before the race, when I race at Menangle I normally stay at the Morris's but because this week's meeting is at Goulburn, I will travel up on Thursday and stay with Graham Moon just near the track, it will be ideal." Stanley has confirmed his talented mare Blucolla Tigerpie is being set for the Robin Dundee Stakes, a Gr. 2 event for mares on Miracle Mile night. "She is only two weeks away from the trials, I am really happy with her and that race at Menangle fits into her campaign really well, the only problem with her now is that she is so highly assessed that it is going to be tough to find her a couple of races to compete in beforehand." Nancy O'Grady || Harness Racing New South Wales |  

Smythes Creek (Ballarat) trainer Emma Stewart and freelance Bacchus Marsh reinsman Gavin Lang each recorded doubles at Saturday's Cranbourne fixture, Stewart with two six year olds - Mister Sheedy in the Tintin In America Pace for C6 or better class over 2080 metres and Tara Toplady the Cranbourne Trainers Bonanza for C4 & C5 class (mares) over 1609 metres, while Lang was successful aboard Gatesys Girl in the Aldebaran Park Trotters Handicap for T1 or better class over 2575 metres and Flaxton Filly in the Bayside Group Pace for C1 class over 1609 metres. Mister Sheedy a gelded son of Presidential Ball and Intoxicating driven by Michael Stanley, was surprisingly able to head off the favourite Astronaut shortly after the start from gate five and after an easy time, proved too strong for Astronaut along the sprint lane in a rate of 1-59.4 (last half 56.9 - quarter 28.3), with the Cranbourne specialist Stylish Jasper close up in third place after following the pair. Bettors Delight/Perfect Passion mare Tara Toplady taking a concession for reinswoman Jaimie-Lee King, was a big winner of her race after being trapped three wide from gate four and eventually working to the lead at the bell.  Joined by Arber for the final circuit, the pair raced away approaching the home turn with the race to themselves, with Tara Toplady giving plenty to hold a margin of a neck on the wire. Jasmine Sheffield (one/one) was 8.2 metres away in third place. The mile rate 1-56.9. Smart 5-Y-0 Conch Deville/Glamor Loch mare Gatesys Girl is good when she's on her game and was at Cranbourne with a tough victory in a mile rate of 2-07.4.  Trained in Gippsland at Longwarry by Michael Hughes, Gatesys Girl stepped cleanly from a 10 metre handicap, with Lang having no hesitation is sending her forward to park outside the pole line leader Mallee Trapper.  Appearing to be under pressure on the final bend with the leader holding a clear margin, Gatesys Girl rallied under desperate driving to score by a head right on the wire in a rate of 2-07.4. The 40 metre backmarker Earl Or Nothing ran on late from last to finish third. Eight year old Village Jasper/Turn To Gold mare Flaxton Filly which had recorded 6 wins from 86 outings prior to the race, was given a cosy trip three back on the marker line from inside the second row, with the heavily supported Obama leading from gate four with Monique Burnett in the sulky for trainer Maree Caldow. Extricated into the clear on straightening, Flaxton Filly came with a brilliant burst of speed to register a runaway victory in advance of Obama which offered no resistance, with Zoomba third after racing in the open. The mile rate 1-59.8. Lara trainer Dean Braun made it three from three with recent stable addition Sals Mo in the Ade Turf Equipment Pace for C2 & C3 class over 2080 metres. Beginning with a wing on every foot for Nathan Jack from gate five, Sals Mo was untroubled to lead throughout, winning by 9.6 metres in a rate of 1-58 from Conflict Of Interest (one/two) and Courageous Spirit which trailed the winner. A five year old Art Major/Dream Chaser gelding, Sals Mo is the 6th winner from the dam, the most noticeable being 18 race winner Detriot Dan (By Oil Burner). Len Baker

Former Ballarat Trotting Club Secretary/Manager Colin Holloway returned to the scene of his greatest triumphs when 4-Y-0 Live Or Die /Inclination gelding Excuse To Live greeted the judge in the Seniors Starquest 10/10 Pace for C0 class over 1710 metres at Bray Raceway on Tuesday September 17, returning a slick mile rate of  1-57 Raced by Colin, wife Heather and son Brett, Excuse To Live trained by Colin and driven by Brett, settled three back in the moving line from gate two, before being pushed back a spot when Daryl Douglas urged Desiring Kate forward three wide at the bell after being trapped wide from the outset after starting from outside the front line. Latching to the back of Crazy Dave ahead of him three wide in the final circuit, Excuse To Live received a lovely trail home and when taken wide in the straight, finished strongly to defeat Crazy Dave by 3.6 metres, with the roughie Chesney (death-one/one at bell) third. Excuse To Live was bred by former HRV Board member Peter Bourke. It was welcome back to the winners stall for Campbells Creek trainer/driver Kevin Ford when lightly raced 8-Y-0 Conch Deville /Wringing Wet gelding Will Atone scored in the Diamond Rewards Trotters Mobile for T0 class over 2200 metres. Raced by Kevin and mother Kath who was victorious in winning both the 1988 and 1992 Australasian Trotters Championships aboard Fair Tally and Penny Brown, Will Atone making only his fourth appearance at the races led throughout from gate three, scoring by 1.9 metres in advance of Ballan Road which trailed and Ifu Seek The Luck which moved outside the winner approaching the home turn after a one/one trip. The mile rate 2-04.7. Rocknroll Hanover /Aston Villa colt Yankee Rockstar raced by a large syndicate under the banner of  Peter Tonkin Racing Syndicate No 3 and Lauriston Bloodstock Pty Ltd, had an effortless victory in the Flying Horse Bistro 3-Y-0 Pace over 1710 metres. Touted by many as a star of the future, Yankee Rockstar trained at Smythes Creek by Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin was second up since February and with Michael Stanley in the sulky, led throughout from gate six, coasting to the wire 9.9 metres ahead of Ideal Majority which trailed sticking to his guns well, with Eliseos Falcon third 8.4 metres away after racing in the open. The mile rate 1-56.2. Five year old Armbro Operative /Sexy Lexy Whitby entire Black Caprice chalked up his eighth success in 35 outings, when victorious in the Laser Electrical Pace for C2 class over 1710 metres in a rate of 1-56.2. Trained at Bacchus Marsh by Alan Tubbs and driven by daughter Amy, Black Caprice from gate two was able to cross the red-hot favourite Goodtime Veejay inside him at the start who immediately moved away from the markers to race outside him. With Amy making the favourite chase hard a long way from home, Black Caprice held a handy margin on the final bend, maintaining a 6.3 metre buffer on reaching the wire. Future Operator (one/one) finished third. Len Baker

The track was on fire and so was the racing at the Maryborough trot meeting held on Monday September 2, with six sub two minute mile rates being registered during the afternoon including three from the Smythes Creek (Ballarat) establishment of Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin. Exciting fully American bred Rocknroll Hanover/Aston Villa colt Yankee Rockstar was the first to salute the judge, when successful in the Golden Country Motel & Villas 3-Y-0 Pace over 1690 metres. Driven by Michael Stanley, Yankee Rockstar first up since February was sent forward from outside the front row to lead and was never out of second gear, scoring by 7.9 metres in 1-55.3 from Holdonsu which trailed after leading out, with Decileight (three back the markers) third. Four year old stablemate Hes Kinky (Safely Kept/Fetish) also driven by Stanley and second up since April, snared the www.goldairbendigo.com.au Pace for C2 class over 2190 metres in 1-59.3, leading throughout from outside the front line to defeat Make A Fuss which followed and Voce from last. Bettors Delight/Party Baby 5-Y-0 gelding Fearless Leader brought up the stable hat-trick by taking the Seelite Windows & Doors Pace for C3 & C4 class over 1690 metres in a slashing 1-54.6 with freelance reinsman Ian McMahon in the sulky. Settling mid-field in the moving line from gate two on the second row, Fearless Leader ran on best to nose out Bronze Destiny which followed him home to just miss, with Hellovanite third after leading from the bell. Team Douglas (Glenn and Daryl) landed the Maryborough Highland Society Pace for C1 class over 1690 metres with recent ex-Kiwi addition Nimble Jack, a 4-Y-0 gelded son of Falcon Seelster and Toast To Cullen. Starting from inside the second line, Nimble Jack was exactly that at the finish, coming from near last at the bell to be four wide on the final bend and surge clear in the straight, defying a late challenge by Zedaguy which followed him home to gain the day by 1.6 metres in a brilliant 1-54.4. Truman (one/one - three wide home turn) finished third. The surprise winner of the day was 5-Y-0 Metropolitan/Mint mare Metromint in the McPhersons Printing Group Pace for C1 class over 1690 metres. Trained at Dunnstown by Leigh Duffy, Metromint driven by brother Philip moved three wide from three back in the last lap to score from the hot favourite Badewitz which followed him home, going down by 2.2 metres in 1-54.7, with Baracks Angel third after leading from the pole. Parwan trainer Allan McDonough's Union Guy/Classy Dream 4-Y-0 gelding Classy Guy rated 1-58 after leading throughout from outside the front row in the Peter Egan Bi-Rite Electrical Pace for C0 class over 1690 metres, defeating Across The Way which shadowed him from from the bell after moving from near last, with Red Amber Green third. Len Baker  

The Stawell Harness Racing Club paid tribute to those who have assisted the club over the years when a seven event card was held at Laidlaw Park on Wednesday August 7 in very wet conditions. Former Ararat based trainer Aaron Brown now domiciled in South Australia, made a successful trip home when Presidential Ball/Lombo San Jan gelding Whata Player greeted the judge in the Reginald Cooper Life Member 2-Y-0 Pace over 1790 metres. Driven by Greg Sugars, Whata Player led throughout from the pole to defeat the well backed Just Call Me Mac (one/one - three wide home turn) in a rate of 2-05.8, with the first starter In The Trenches third after moving to face the open for the last lap. The Terry McManus Life Member 3-Y-0 Pace over 2175 metres was taken out by the Peter Manning (Great Western) trained and Matt Craven driven Armbro Speedstar in a rate of 2-03.9. Starting from gate two on the second line, Armbro Speedstar (Armbro Operative/Princess Of Stars) settled with most of the field ahead of him, with Sapper Ford leading from gate four. Sent forward three wide solo in the final circuit, Armbro Speedstar was too strong at the finish for the hot favourite Galleons Warrior which did a power of work from the outset to park outside the pacemaker.  When Galleons Warrior surged clear approaching the home turn, Armbro Speedstar was hot in pursuit and finished best to score by 2.2 metres in a rate of 2-03.9, with Rising Power third from mid-field. Ultra consistent P Forty Seven/Just Moonstrike 4-Y-0 gelding Arr En Special notched up his 4th victory for the season in the Leslie McLeod Life Member Pace for C0 class over 1780 metres. Trained at Allendale (Mount Gambier) by David Kemp and driven by David Murphy, Arr En Special was trapped four wide from outside the front row running into the first bend, before angling into the one/one spot. Easing three wide at the bell, Arr En Special raced three wide uncovered for the rest of the journey, exploding to the front approaching the home turn. Although tackled by Peters Ace (four wide last lap from last) on straightening, Arr En Special held a margin to the wire, registering a 4.9 metre margin in a rate of 2-02.1. Kurraca Knight (one/one last lap) finished third. Arr En Special usually races at most Western District meetings and was making his 51st appearance at the races (19 this season). Redan (Ballarat) trainer/driver Michael Stanley may have something special in ex-Kiwi 3-Y-0 Presidential Ball/Pamela Pamela gelding Hilltop Hustler who brought up a hat-trick of wins by taking the Life Members Pace Final for C1 class over 1780 metres. Settling three back in the moving line with the tearaway leader The Kingston Flyer making every post a winner, Stanley wasted no time in sending Hilltop Rustler forward to face the breeze at the bell. Doing a lot of chasing, Hilltop Raider dropped in for a short breather approaching the home turn. When asked for a super effort on straightening, Hilltop Hustler responded in grand style to record a four metre victory in 1-58.2 over the leader, with Roman Abbey a further 26 metres away in third place. Former Portland trainer Peter Tonkin now based in Ballarat, snared the Colin Prockter Life Member Pace for C1 class over 2175 metres with Guvs Boy, a 4-Y-0 gelded son of Artiscape and Natashas Rose. Taking a concession for much improved Bendigo youngster Haydon Gray, Guvs Boy from the pole led throughout,  ccounting for In The Frame Lombo which trailed, using the sprint lane to no avail, with Burston Holme third after following the pair. The mile rate 2-07.7. The Gregory Cooper Life Member Trotters Mobile went the way of Longlea (Bendigo) trainer/driver Paul Morrissey's 5-Y-0 Malabar Maple/Lady Clare mare Canadian Dream. Spending most of the race buried three back the markers from gate three, Canadian Dream was extricated to be three and four wide on the final bend, finishing with a wet sail to blouse the pacemaker A Stylish Jewel in the last stride, with Hezminenotyours a game third after racing in the open. The mile rate 2-11.8. Three year old Artesian/Soky Sue colt Easy Lighting trained and driven by Ahmed Taiba of Sushi Sushi fame, landed the Geoffrey Sanderson Life Member Pace for C2 & C3 class over 1780 metres in a rate of 2-01.7. Held in a firm pocket three back the markers after starting inside the  second line, Easy Lightning finished hard along the sprint lane to tip out  Make A Fuss also along the sprint lane ahead of him after trailing the weakening leader Tara Tom. Mathias a stablemate of the pacemaker finished third off a three wide trail last lap from last. Len Baker Len Baker len-baker@bigpond.com 03 9307 5265 0401 679 745  

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