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A big, bullocking colt may well form the frontline in the Victorian resistance as the raiders threaten to again claim the prized Downbytheseaside Victoria Derby. Youaremy Sunshine's gate five draw has him well placed for a forward running for trainer-driver Damien Burns, but with New Zealand-turned-New South Wales race favourite Line Up (for Anthony Butt) and Queensland hope Governor Jujon (for Grant Dixon) drawn on his inside, the task is tall to reverse the trend. Victorians have only won their three-year-old classic twice in the last eight years, with Our Little General saluting for Emma Stewart in 2017 and Menin Gate in 2015. Along with polemarker Soho Hamilton ($11 with, Pacifico Dream ($11) and Mirragon ($13), Youaremy Sunshine ($21) is among those next best in the market. "We think he's (close to his peak), definitely," Burns told Trots Talk. "Going into the heat we had a week without a race and we probably thought he was going in a little underdone, even though he had a bit of racing. From the heat and with this week he should be as good as we could get him." Youraremy Sunshine was third in his heat, bustling in the breeze as is often his way but unable to make ground on leader Pacifico Dream in the closing stages. "The race was a bit of a funny one, there was no pressure on whatsoever, it was literally only a 500-metre sprint." Burns said. "My bloke, his legs couldn't go any faster, he ran quite strong to the line, I just couldn't pick up any ground on the leader. Things will definitely be different this week. "They are funny, heats, the main thing is to qualify. You definitely want to win it if you can, but the pressure's on and if you miss you can be made to look a bit silly." There will be no thinking about tomorrow in Saturday night's $200,000 final and Burns is optimistic about using his mid front-row draw to advantage. "It's a funny draw, there's a lot worse draws there. It gives us a couple of options," he said. "He has got high speed and we haven't used it to date, when you are in the big one, a faint heart never won a fair lady. We may light him up early and have a go. "If we don't do that I can see him probably running similar to the way he has been, except it won't be a 500-metre sprint home in the Final, it will be a survival of the fittest that's for sure." CLICK BELOW TO TUNE IN TO TROTS TALK:   HRV Trots Media - Michael Howard

Having paid $30 on the tote for his Downbytheseaside Victoria Derby heat win, Line Up has rocketed into series favourite for Saturday night's $200,000 classic after a favorable draw, which was broadcast live on Sky Racing 1 this morning. The Anthony Butt trained and driven three-year-old produced an eye-catching all-the-way win at Ballarat in Saturday night's heat, winning in a quicker time than the PETstock Ballarat Pacing Cup. The installed him as $2.40 favourite for the final after he drew gate three, directly inside fellow heat winner and Queensland entrant Governor Jujon ($2.80). "Everything says (Line Up) is in the zone,"'s Adam Hamilton told the broadcast. "No horse has probably had a more solid preparation, he's going to be rock hard fit. I don't see Governor Jujon having the gate speed to challenge (for the lead). "He's going to need a lot to go right, there's not a hope he can sit outside Line Up and beat him on what we saw last week." Of the contenders, the emergency Be Happy Mach (gate 11) is next shortest, while fellow Victorians Soho Hamilton (gate 1) and heat winner Pacifico Dream (gate 9) were both listed as $9 chances. "Pacifico Dream had the run of all runs last week," Hamilton said. "He's got to be respected if they go hard up front." Good Form analyst Blake Redden has broken down the Derby hopes runner-by-runner: 1: Soho Hamilton ($9 with The draw gives him options but looks the perfect opportunity to sit on Line Up and take his chance via the sprint lane. 2: Hesty ($81 with Acquitting himself well to this level but unlikely to burn the gate and he’ll need luck. 3: Line Up ($2.40 with Looks like firing forward early and if he finds the pegs as expected he’ll give a mighty sight. 4: Governor Jujon ($2.80 with On paper a lovely draw, but when you consider the horse inside is the likely leader and won’t be handing over that advantage, it could get a bit tricky in transit. 5: Youaremy Sunshine ($26 with Tough customer so expect him to drift back early and work around if the speed slackens at any stage. 6: Mach Dan ($41 with Somewhat of an unknown commodity off the gate but he’s drawn very wide so unlikely to have been done many favours. 7: Virgil ($101 with He’ll be going back to the rear and looking for luck. 8: Bad To The Bone ($26 with Likely to end up three poles early and his best option looks to be playing for luck and looking for late gaps. 9: Pacifico Dream ($9 with Strong heat winner who draws the running line but he’ll need to improve out of his qualifier to be winning. 10: Perfect Stride ($11 with Hasn’t drawn particularly well but he might be suited to letting it all unfold early and then using his speed late. 11: Be Happy Mach (emg) ($4.50 with Poor in his heat and even if he gets a run he’ll need to turn it around pretty quickly. 12: Mirragon ($11 with Solid in his heat but the barrier draw has cruelled any hope he had. 13: Mach Da Vinci ($15 with Excellent in his heat but from outside of the second row he’s going to need everything to go right.   HRV Trots Media - Michael Howard

The Pryde's EasiFeed Victoria Oaks has been thrown wide open after pre-draw favourite Stylish Memphis drew outside the back row, which has meant opportunity knocks for her rivals in the $150,000 classic. Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen's talented raider was impressive in winning her heat but the fellow Kiwi who pushed her all the way, Dr Susan, has rocketed into favourite for Saturday night's 2760-metre Group 1 after drawing gate 5. "First money that came in was for Dr Susan," TAB's Adam Hamilton told this morning's live Sky Racing broadcast. "I expect her to lead." Dr Susan shortened from $3 into $2.50 post-draw, while Stylish Memphis eased from $2.70 to $2.80 and Victoria's leading hope Maajida, who drew gate 9, eased from $3 to $3.20. "It looks a match in two and a half," Hamilton said. "I thought Maajida was just OK winning her heat. She will be a lot fitter for the run. "There's almost no scenario in which Stylish Memphis isn't sitting outside the leader with a lap to go. I think she's faster than she is strong, it might not be down her alley. Maajida looks probably our only hope of fending off the Kiwis." Good Form analyst Blake Redden has broken down the Oaks hopes runner-by-runner: 1: Jenden Strike ($14 with Perfect draw after an excellent heat performance. She comes in as a serious winning chance now. 2: Amelia Rose ($17 with Was less than spectacular in her heat and would have to jump out of the ground to be a factor even from the nice gate. 3: Rockingwithsierra ($31 with Draws handily but probably can’t cross the polemarker and she may be a half level below the better fillies. 4: Good Faith ($51 with One of the eye catchers out of the heats and she draws to lob somewhere handy to the speed, which makes her the best roughie in the race. 5: Dr Susan ($2.50 with This draw may look OK on paper but when you consider where her major dangers have drawn, it’s bordering on spectacular. Favourite now? 6: Its Ebonynivory ($201 with She’ll be going back and look to run on late. 7: Itz Longtall Sally ($101 with Similar story to the above and she’s unlikely to feature but has a bright future. 8: Soho Gloria Jane ($41 with This girl doesn’t have many options but she can follow through early and hope to end up no worse than three pegs. If she lobs behind the leader then she’s a solid place hope. 9: Maajida ($3.20 with This filly is no one-trick pony so the draw doesn’t cruel her and from the running line Amelia Rose uses her gate speed, she may be able to get in front of her major dangers. 10: Dasha The Great (emg) ($201 with She’ll be looking for a quiet run if she gets into the field. 11: Alice Kay ($26 with Sit/sprint filly who will need luck but the draw may not be as bad as it first looks on paper. 12: Its Beaujolais ($151 with Nice filly who will look for the pegline early and hope to be running on. 13: Stylish Memphis ($2.80 with Truly horrible draw for what could have been the odds-on favourite. She comes right back to the field now and while she can clearly still win, her job has been made incredibly difficult.   HRV Trots Media - Michael Howard

The trotter with the fragile feet and the driver with the dodgy back will hope this carnival delivers the most glorious peak of their seven-year injury riddled rollercoaster ride. Reinsman Neil McCallum returned to the sulky in August after a horror car crash sidelined him for four months, having suffered a broken vertebra and two broken bones. But he had to wait until late December to get his hands back on Savannah Jay Jay, the gifted trotter who he will partner in tonight’s Group 2 E B Cochran Trotters Cup. “He just had a few little problems with his feet,” McCallum said. “(Trainer) Stan (Cameron) looks to have got back on top of it. “It’s part and parcel of life, I’m not sure who’s been injured the most – me or Savannah Jay Jay – between us we’ve had a fair history. But we are back and having a crack. “It’s exciting. I’ve been racing him since day one, Stan drove him for his first trial and since then it’s been me, except for when I got injured. “He has always had that touch of something, that he’s a bit better than average, it has just taken a lot of races until it comes to fruition.” While McCallum was waylaid talented young reinsman James Herbertson steered Savannah Jay Jay to victory in the Australasian Trotting Championship, a first Group 1 for the now nine-year-old trotter. McCallum would love nothing more than to add a second this TAB Summer of Glory carnival, which takes in tonight’s trotters cup and builds to the What The Hill Great Southern Star on February 1, Australia’s richest trotting race. Savannah Jay Jay has the widest back row in tonight’s feature, having been out of the draw after breaking last start. It was his second since returning from a spell, with each run more eye-catching than the figure form may suggest. “He had a hiccup last week, it’s one out of the box for him,” McCallum said. “Stan’s had him reshod, he trialled on Sunday and trialled damn good. “We are up in grade now, you have to be damn good to have a shot. The whole field is a nice field, but that back line is pretty classy. He won’t be far away if they run it the way he wants.” And then all focus will turn to the February 1 Group 1 at Tabcorp Park Melton. “He’ll be even better after his run this week and by the Great Southern Star he’ll be knocking on the door,” McCallum said. “When you are doing this all your life, these are the races you want to be in, the big ones. The Great Southern Star is a great race and it brings the best horses.”   HRV Trots Media - Michael Howard

Jason Lee will lie-in-wait, ready to pounce with prodigiously talented Code Bailey, allowing the rhythm of Saturday night's PETstock Ballarat Pacing Cup to dictate the time to strike. A second row draw dissolved any hopes of the Marg Lee-trained five-year-old replicating his career best all-the-way win in the Bendigo Pacing Cup, but the Terang reinsman told Trots Talk Code Bailey had the tools to adapt. "We are not expecting him to go out and do what he did at Bendigo, but he should run another great race, it's just going to come down to the tempo of the race and what sort of run we get to where we are going to be in our finishing position," Lee said. "Hopefully everything does fall our way and he will be running a very big race. "I think he's pretty versatile. His first-up run was awesome I thought, all three runs this prep have been really good. I know he got beat first up, but he made really good ground in a fast last half against Ride High. "I don't think he has to be in front or has to be in the first couple to have a big chance of finishing well up, but it comes down to what happens in the run as to whether we do try and make a move or, if tempo's not too bad, when we come with a run. "Against this sort of elite level, you have to have a fair bit go your way. You can't be having any bad luck or having to try and make up ground in crazy last quarter fractions." Code Bailey's reputation ballooned off the back of his 12-metre Bendigo win, a high point of a promising career that has included stints with Rob Pike north of the border, with Vince Vallelonga, with the Lee stable and then back to Pike before the current group of owners snapped him up in September 2018. He has since missed a place only once - when checked by a galloper - and now finds himself well in the market for the coveted Ballarat Cup. "It's a hot field and it's a nice race to be a part of, it's good to have a runner in a Ballarat Cup," he said. "Hopefully he can just go well again. It's his first crack at open class level against Grand Circuit performers, so if we can go well and get him into the Hunter Cup that would be absolutely terrific." CLICK BELOW TO LISTEN IN TO TROTS TALK:     HRV Trots Media - Michael Howard

Ultimate Sniper left no doubt as to who was the premier horse of the 2019 Inter Dominion with a brutal Championship victory, sitting in the breeze throughout to cap a perfect series. Trained by Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen and driven by the latter, the All Stars continued an exceptional night in the $500,000 feature, when Ultimate Sniper became the first four-year-old since 1991 to sweep the series. The victory was apart of the stable winning seven of the opening nine races, including a clean sweep of the trotting (Winterfell) and pacing Inter Dominion finals as well as an extraordinary performance by Another Masterpiece to win the consolation. "We thought when the fields come out we could have a good night with a bit of luck," Rasmussen said. "This bloke (Ultimate Sniper) didn't have too much luck but he was good enough. We just can't believe it." Nothing has come easy for Ultimate Sniper throughout the series and that didn't change in tonight's final, with expectations that he would waltz to the lead proving unfounded. While the peg-line would ultimately settle A G's White Socks ahead of Mach Shard, On The Cards and My Kiwi Mate, Ultimate Sniper moved into the breeze with San Carlo on his back. WINTERFELL STARS TO SALUTE IN THE 2019 INTER DOM FINAL "I thought it could pan out like that, I didn't bustle him too early and he did all the work," Rasmussen said. "He relaxed so well and he's so kind and lovely, and then when I asked him he just had that kick left." With a lap to go the three-wide line emerged with Chase Auckland followed by stablemates Cruz Bromac and Thefixer, with Ultimate Sniper nosing A G's White Socks by the turn and then it was a matter of could he hold the chasers? Mach Shard emerged down the sprint lane and Thefixer was the best of those running on wide, but Ultimate Sniper had all the answers. "He was tired on the line, he just didn't give up," Rasmussen said. "For a four-year-old to come out and do it the way he has done it, he's never had an easy run or anything, but he made his own luck. I'm just absolutely rapt with the horse. "I've been so lucky to drive so many great horses, but this is really quite special tonight. For a four-year-old to go undefeated in a traditional series, all through the heats and the final, just a wonderful feat." While the All Stars Racing team have had many a magical night, this was a particularly special one at Alexandra Park. "They see Mark and I winning, they don't realise the crew behind it and the people involved - from the breeders to the preparers to the people at home getting them ready. All our staff ... they will just be thrilled to bits. It just touches so many people." Of the TeamVic quartet, Cruz Bromac finished fourth, Sicario seventh, My Kiwi Mate ninth and San Carlo 11th. WHERE DID YOU FINISH IN TROTSTARS? CLICK HERE   HRV Trots Media - Michael Howard

A huge night for TeamVic with Cruz Bromac, San Carlo, My Kiwi Mate and Sicario all advancing to the Inter Dominion Pacing Championship, the $500,000 Grand Circuit feature at Auckland's Alexander Park on December 14. And to make the celebrations all the greater, Victorian trotter Big Jack Hammer did enough to book himself a berth in the $150,000 final for trainer David Aiken, reinsman Luke McCarthy and owner Dom Martello.  Cruz Bromac - the Victorian part-owned, sometimes trained, Trans-Tasman warrior - was outstanding in holding off All Stars' stablemate Thefixer and looms as the horse most likely to challenge Ultimate Sniper for the coveted crown. Sicario was enormous tonight in running fourth for trainer Brent Lilley and his proud group of owners, while San Carlo again did plenty of work to earn every point for co-trainers Stephen O'Donoghue and Rebecca Bartley, and finally My Kiwi Mate clawed in to the final with a determined final burst for trainer-driver Craig Demmler. Qualification is a huge result for the teams and their connections, who have invested so much to chase success and now they are only one race away, albeit with a mighty throng of Kiwis between them and the crown. HOW ARE YOU DOING IN TROTSTARS? CLICK HERE FOR RESULTS IRT Inter Dominion Pacing Championship heat five Ultimate Sniper put an exclamation mark on the Inter Dominion pacing heats with a third, stirring three-wide salute that leaves no doubt who will start favourite for the final regardless of draw. All Stars co-trainers Natalie Rasmussen and Mark Purdon produced another one-two, with Ultimate Sniper again outpointing Chase Auckland, but it was the former who shone out and reinforced his standing in his reinswoman's eyes. "(Chase Auckland) had a great trip. He probably should have beaten me (and Ultimate Sniper)," Rasmussen said. "He's had good runs in every heat and he's run second, second, second - he probably should have won one. This guy's been three wide every trip, this is the better horse." Victory came in a fairly torrid affair as the Australian raiders declared they'd not go quietly into the night, with San Carlo and Colt Thirty One advancing in the early stages to lead the peg line and Our Uncle Sam and Conviction the running line. Ultimate Sniper emerged three-wide with a lap to go and Rasmussen had plans to advance to the breeze but it wasn't to be. "Probably just didn't pan out the way I thought, I thought Our Uncle Sam would hand up, especially to this horse, but that's racing," Rasmussen said, with Ultimate Sniper instead holding the three-wide line midfield until nearing the final bend for a last burst. "I just think they were going too hard for me down the back, I wasn't getting involved in that. He can just sit out there, and then when I asked him in the straight he really (went). "He's such a good horse. People don't realise how quick he is as well. He's tough and he's quick." And Rasmussen expects him to take no harm from the run for the December 14 final. "I just felt a bit sorry for him tonight doing all that work, but I just know how well he is." Colt Thirty One ran on well to finish third but that won't be enough to revive his Inter Dominion campaign, with connections instead likely to pursue a consolation final win. San Carlo is expected to wave the TeamVic and Australian flags though on the $500,000 Grand Circuit stage, with the mid-race placing likely to be enough to see him advance. Image Interiors Inter Dominion Trotting Championship fifth heat Temporale looks well and truly back to being a Grand Circuit contender after controlling tonight's fifth Inter Dominion trotting heat and then holding all challenges at bay for a second successive victory. While Paramount King's fantastic campaign continued as he ran second, Tough Monarch's third will see the New South Wales raider advance to a final and Marcoola's fast-finishing fourth will have him a tight price for the big one Saturday week, the credit sits comfortably on the shoulders of Temporale, his reinsman Tony Herlihy and training pair Michelle Wallis and Bernie Hackett. "We all know how good he can be when his right. Bern and Michelle have done a great job with him at the beach," Herlihy said. "He's in the zone, I know they were getting a bit close to him at the end, but he's done it nice." Outstanding in front, Temporale cruised to the lead and knocked off comfortable quarters before getting home in 27.9 when the chasing trio made their play, but Herlihy said a front row finals draw wouldn't be neccesary for his charger to be in the finish in the $150,000 final. "As we know he's a great follower of speed too if he draws awkward, he's pretty adaptable." Matamata Vet Services Inter Dominion Pacing Championship sixth heat Cruz Bromac led, controlled a steady pace, held at bay Thefixer's final charge and reaffirmed this is anything but a one-horse series. Having switched from trainer Dean Braun, to Kevin Pizzuto, to All Stars Racing, to Amanda Grieve and back to the All Stars amid several years of elite racing, Cruz Bromac's New Zealand Trotting Cup success and now ID19 front running is being shared far and wide, most of all by Geelong co-owners Danny and Jo Zavitsanos. They would have been beaming again tonight after Mark Purdon took control of the race, handing the lead to Thefixer before a retake to keep the pressure where he wanted it. "(Natalie Rasmussen and Thefixer) worked to get past me, but then we backed off the speed quite a bit," Purdon said. "I really wanted to keep the pace on with this guy." There was little pressure from the running line until Bling It On's three-wide surge to the breeze from the back of the field, which would seem to take a heavy toll on the New South Wales pacer who would fade out of contention in the final straight. Conversely, Cruz Bromac only grew stronger, getting home in a 26.7-second final quarter to salute. "He's got better with each round of heats as far as handling the track and tonight he was just superb," Purdon said. "He's going to go second or third favourite in the final." A wall of runners battled for third and all-important championship points, with Triple Eight getting to the line first ahead of fourth-placed Sicario, A Gs White Socks, Another Masterpiece and My Kiwi Mate, whose seventh placing claimed enough points to qualify. Alabar Majestic Son Inter Dominion Trotting Championship sixth heat Winterfell delivered a grand message that the All Stars' trotter's ready to peak with a commanding victory in the night's final heat, which had co-trainer and driver Mark Purdon optimistic the challenging but talented Majestic Son five-year-old had turned a corner. "He likes this way around, but he's settled down a lot too - he seems a real happy horse at the moment," Purdon told Sky Racing post-race. TeamVic's Big Jack Hammer initially led then handed to Massive Metro who ceded to Winterfell and nothing but a second heat victory to the latter looked on the cards from that point forward. Majestic Man man put some pace into the race from the breeze, but Winterfell was cruising and won comfortably from Massive Metro. "He enjoyed rolling around in front," Purdon said. "He had a little pressure from Majestic Man but he felt good. "He's almost turned the corner. It's as if he's picked it all up and starting to work together, which is a big help." Big Jack Hammer boxed on to sixth, which was enough to extend his campaign into the final.   HRV Trots Media - Michael Howard

"It should be a great race," says reinsman Chris Alford as excitement builds for Saturday night's Decron Cranbourne Gold Cup, when a number of Emma Stewart's runners will attempt to bring the heat to their next-big-thing stablemate. Hurricane Harley, the Lauriston Bloodstock bred four-year-old who's already banked $355,640, will step from gate two in his Trots Country Cups Championship debut, with heavyweights Tam Major, Rackemup Tigerpie, Code Black and Phoenix Prince ready to pounce from the back row. Alford will again take the reins of Tam Major, whose finished third in each of his three cups this season. "The (inside back row) draw makes it a bit tricky for Tam, he likes to get out and do a bit of bullying," Alford told Trots Talk. "He's racing really well and he'll give it a huge shake. "He seems to like being up the front end. Cranbourne's not the sort of track that you can sit back and come with one run ... the bends aren't kind to horses out three and four wide, so first plan would be to try and get him up there unless the speed's crazy." That would likely mean applying pressure to likely leader Hurricane Harley, who can call on all the gate speed in the world to gain the early ascendancy. Alford, whose six drives on Hurricane Harley yielded four wins and a second, will instead be plotting against the Bettors Delight. "It's always tricky jumping up to the top class," he said. "When he led last week he had to burn for 200 off the gate, got a real easy run and ran a quick half (home), but I don't think cup races are run like that too often these days. He is brilliant, but I don't think he's unbeatable." Alford will also take the reins of Born To Be Watched in The H & F Abrahams Caduceus Club 3YO Cup, where Emma Stewart's colt will attempt to make it three from three. He will need to be good to upstage the likes of Victoria Derby hope Soho Hamilton, but Alford said while Born To Be Watched was "a little bit green" he had "loads and loads of ability" and "the same sort of talent" as Be Happy Mach, who dominated last year's two-year-old racing. CLICK BELOW TO LISTEN TO THE FULL EDITION OF TROTS TALK     HRV Trots Media - Michael Howard

Grand Circuit plans appear in Emain Macha’s path after Greg Scholefield’s talented six-year-old further enhanced his reputation with Sunday’s second Trots Country Cups Championship victory of the season. Emain Macha and reinsman James Herbertson were in full control of the Talquist Trees Stawell Pacing Cup, despite the presence of championship contenders Code Black and Phoenix Prince who were breathing fire late. “He’s the best I’ve trained, there’s no doubt about that,” Scholefield told TrotsVision. “He’s a genuine racehorse. If he keeps going this way I’ll certainly be putting him in (Grand Circuit) races, that would be a great thrill not only for the horse but for me as well. Privileged to have a horse like him.” The victory also inserted Emain Macha into the $35,000 Trots Country Cups Championship conversation ahead of this week’s double-header at Cranbourne on Saturday night and Gunbower on Sunday. While he's not backing up this weekend, Emain Macha’s two starts – in the St Arnaud and Stawell cups – produced two victories, acquiring 10 championship points, second only to Code Black (19 points), who will build on his lead in Saturday’s Decron Cranbourne Gold Cup. Herbertson shot to the front at Stawell and controlled the race, quickening in the third quarter to make it difficult for Emma Stewart’s horses to advance and holding them at bay in the 27.2 final quarter. “When I revved him up off the back he was right there and that last quarter pretty much puts it into words,” Herbertson said. “Great thrill, I’ve always dreamt of winning country cups and now I’ve won two on this horse and just living the dream at the moment. “He’s just a pure racehorse. He wears no gear, just the ear plugs, his manners from the first time I drove him, which was a while ago at Melton, to now - he’s just come forward in leaps and bounds.” Making the efforts all the more meritorious is Emain Macha's recovery from a near fatal illness. “He nearly died on us, but he came back,” Scholefield said. “This preparation, being a six-year-old, he’s settled in his races a bit now, we can drive him on a bit of cotton and settle him back in the field, he wasn’t doing that before. “He’s just the perfect horse now. He will go home and eat everything tonight and be cheeky as billy-o in the morning. He’s got a personality for sure, he’s a different horse, I love him, he’s good.” The $25,000 Maori’s Idol Trotting Championship could also be shaped with this weekend’s Cranbourne-Gunbower double-header, with only two points separating the top eight on the table, which is led by Chris Svanosio’s pair Magicool and Kyvalley Finn. The former will contest Saturday night’s Aldebaran Park Bruce Skeggs Memorial Cranbourne Trotters Cup along with Dance Craze and likely favourite Tornado Valley, who can leap up the championship leaderboard with a victory. The stakes will also be high in Sunday’s Cohuna Car Sales Bill Poxon Memorial Gunbower Trotters Cup, where third-placed Jerichos Trumpet and equal fourth-placed Father Christmas will be among those chasing maximum series points.   HRV Trots Media - Michael Howard

If he hadn't already - he had! - Ultimate Sniper has stamped himself the horse to beat in this year's Inter Dominion pacing championship with an extraordinary victory in the fourth heat. The Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen trained four-year-old went two-from-two with a sprint distance victory, despite having to do plenty in the run including sit three-wide for much of it. "He's just a great trier," reinswoman Rasmussen told Sky Racing. "He just wants to win for you and do his best, and he still felt good on the line." And in a warning shot to all other contestants Rasmussen said Ultimate Sniper should only be better come Friday's final heat. "He loves a bit of a distance," she said. "He just seems to be in a great place and bring on Friday." Victorian co-owned Cruz Bromac, who wears his TeamVic silks this ID19 series, hit the line well to run into second and reaffirm his contender reputation, while Mach Shard was third and Classie Brigade fourth. Double-crossed early, Victorian fancy San Carlo was luckless, having suffered a puncture at the final turn, but battled on gamely to finish sixth and secure vital points. The race also saw a vastly improved performance from Victoria Cup winner Bling It On, who come from the back of the field to finish fifth, but will be chasing big points this Friday to ensure final qualification. CLICK HERE FOR THE FINAL FINISHING ORDER IRT Inter Dominion Pacing Championship Heat 3 A G's White Socks, the flyer of this year's Inter Dominion Pacing Championship, doubled down on his night one heroics to lead and win in the opening pacing heat of night two at Alexandra Park. The new addition to Barry Purdon's stable crossed polemarker Chase Auckland and then led a peg-line domination, which would see Victorian hope My Kiwi Mate turn a three-pegs placement into a third placing. There were big smiles again in the Sky Racing Active post-race interviews when reinsman Maurice McKendry revealed A G's White Socks overcame an early hiccup to score. "One of the shorterners come out so I had to pull it early, so he wasn't as sharp out of the gate as he could have been, (but) it all worked out," McKendry said. "He's in the zone at the moment, but he's got a hard one in a couple days time - 2700 - that will sort them out." The heat was a horror show for highly-rated Queenslander Colt Thirty One, who never settled, having been three-wide for much of the trip and fading to last for another low-point result, which will put his finals qualification under a huge cloud. It was a much better story for Sicario who ran on well to finish sixth and stay in the mix for trainer Brent Lilley and his Victorian owners. CLICK HERE FOR THE FINAL FINISHING ORDER Caduceus Club Inter Dominion Trotting Championship fourth heat Temporale's career has new life after the Tony Herlihy trained and driven trotter added to an impressive comeback story with victory in tonight's final heat. Giving much credit to the preparation work of Michelle Wallis and Bernie Hackett, Herlihy worked to the lead, crossing Bonnie Highlander who had earlier crossed favoured Marcoola. Heat two winner Paramount King loomed likely in an impressive late go and Marcoola flew home late along the peg line to run second, but the headline belonged to Temporale. "As we know, I owe a lot to Michelle and Bernie," Herlihy told Sky Racing. "He's going great, going like he can. I think the runs will do him no harm, he will get better with them." That includes this Friday's 2700-metre final night of heats. "It won't worry him at all. He's a good stayer, he's trotting really good - that's the main thing - and doing really well." It was a rough race for TeamVic's Big Jack Hammer, who galloped in the final straight to drop out, while Tough Monarch recovered from a horror start when he galloped from the gate to run fifth. CLICK HERE FOR THE FINAL FINISHING ORDER Southern Bred Southern Reared Inter Dominion Trotting Championship Heat 3 Majestic Man flew the gate and made a mighty statement in the third ID19 trotting heat, dominating the all-Kiwi affair. With Habibi Inta on his back Majestic Man had no difficulty in shrugging off his trailers, using his high speed to salute for reinsman Brad Williamson and trainer Phil Williamson. Habibi Inta held on to run second with Massive Metro third and heat one winner Winterfell fourth, but it was a happy Brad Williamson who spoke to Sky Racing Active post-race. "Tonight he had a nice draw and just made it look easy," Williamson said. "I just went with them out of the gate. He wanted to come out a whole lot quicker than he did, but he crossed them so quickly I was just a passenger early and he just travelled so easily the whole way. He won really easily in the finish. "Dad's done a super job with him, bringing him up here after his run in the Dominion ... and turned his form around. The horse is flying. He's a privilege to drive." CLICK HERE FOR THE FINAL FINISHING ORDER   HRV Trots Media - Michael Howard

Sweeping a Trots Country Cups Championship night was so night Kate Gath would love to do it twice, with the leading reinswoman to steer a talented duo in Sunday's Stawell pacing and trotting cups. Having guided Phoenix Prince to Saturday night's Geelong Pacing Cup and War Spirit to the trotting equivalent, both in track record time, Gath joined Trots Talk this week ahead this Sunday's Stawell features. "(Winning country cups is) what it's all about and it's good reward for the hard work - definitely makes it worthwhile," Gath said. "(Phoenix Prince) was pretty impressive the way he hit the line. He was jogging the whole way and felt like he was doing it pretty easily, even though they were running. "He felt like he'd get up the straight pretty good if I got a decent run at them somewhere and we were lucky enough to get that and full credit to him. He was still good enough to get the job done against pretty quality horses." Phoenix Prince beat Code Black, leader in the $35,000 Trots Country Cups Championship, into second at Geelong and the Emma Stewart trained pair will go head to head on Sunday in the Talquist Tree Stawell Pacing Cup. "It's a little bit harder on the smaller, tighter tracks off the second row to make up the ground, but it's not a full field and with a little bit of luck he won't be too far away at the finish," Gath said. She will also steer Chief Runningcloud in the Grampians Excavations Stawell Trotters Cup, with the lightly-raced five-year-old to come off 10 metres along side Jerichos Trumpet. "He trialled quite well (at Melton) on Monday night," Gath said. "He's pretty good from the stand. It doesn't have a whole lot of depth in it, obviously Kyvalley Finn's the one to beat, but providing he handles the track hopefully he won't be too far away." CLICK BELOW TO LISTEN TO THE FULL EDITION OF TROTS TALK:     HRV Trots Media - Michael Howard  

Often-underrated mare Reciprocity will attempt to make a leap to the state's elite via this year's Flying Brick Cider Co. Geelong Pacing Cup, fresh from a one-lap last to first dash at Melton. Having won nine of 30 starts for trainer Peter Manning at an average starting price of $8.83, Reciprocity will launch from gate three in Saturday night's feature and has been installed as a $13 outsider with Reinswoman Kerryn Manning told Trots Talk the six-year-old mare "needs to step up and see what happens". "It's a very strong field, she's just drawn a bit awkward in three, where she's going to need to get in the running line probably and hopefully get some good cover." While co-favourites Tam Major and Trots Country Cups Championship leader Code Black loom large on the back row, Manning will be hoping the big guns pour plenty of pace into the race to allow Reciprocity to invoke her fast finish. That was certainly on display last Friday night, when she came from last at the bell to climb over the 12-horse field and win the $20,000 pace. "The race was run to suit - the leaders went pretty hard up front, we got a nice cart up, albeit three back and three wide, but she's a pretty smart horse on her day," Manning said. "It was pretty pleasing to go on and win." The world's most successful reinswoman is hoping that form can translate to Saturday's higher grade. "She's quite versatile, she has shown at times she can sit-sprint or she can do a bit of work. She's probably going to have to rely on a bit of luck, but if the speed's on she will run on really well. "The owner's a lovely fella, Henry (Campbell), and hopefully she can go well in the cup. It's a bit harder again this week but she deserves to be there." Manning has also prepared Pantzup, the pacer turned trotter who was a nominee for Victorian trotting mare of the year. Previously trained by Gavin Lang, who's battling illness, Pantzup will step off the back mark in Saturday's Yabby Dam Racing McNamara Memorial Trotters Cup. "Again we will need a lot of luck in a big field, but it's a nice even field, if she improves off St Arnaud (Cup) and gets a little bit go her way they will know she's there." CLICK BELOW TO LISTEN TO TROTS TALK:   HRV Trots Media - Michael Howard

The rise and rise of Magicool will be put under the griller at Tabcorp Park Melton this Friday night when Chris Svanosio's stable star takes on some of Victoria's best in the Aldebaran Park Lenin Trotters Free For All. Fresh off superb victories punching the breeze at Melton at Melton on November 2 and then in the Yarra Valley Trotters Cup the following Thursday, Magicool opened a $1.80 favourite with for Friday's feature despite his outside-the-front-row draw. He's since eased to $2.25, with Jilliby Babavska shortening from from $3.80 to $2.40, a movement that won't surprise trainer-driver Svanosio. "It will be pretty tough just looking at it quickly from the draw," Svanosio told the Trots Talk radio show. "He's drawn barrier seven, he's done it pretty tough his last couple of starts, but I will still probably end up back closer to the tail of the field against some pretty good horses, so he will have to step up again to be in the finish I'd say. "You've got to have a few things go right when you are drawn out there, it will be tough, he's well, but it will be tough for him." Having said that, the lightly-raced six-year-old has shown the ability to surprise even his trainer, including with his Trots Country Cup Championship victory at his last start. "He's old enough, but he hasn't done a lot of racing. To have those two runs five days a part, sit in the chair both times and the way he finished off at Yarra Valley I was very impressed with how he handled everything," Svanosio said. "He surprised me at Yarra Valley, I didn't think he should have been able to do that - to sit there over 2600 and sprint home like he did on a pretty ordinary day. He was fantastic." CLICK BELOW TO LISTEN TO TUNE IN TO TROTS TALK   HRV Trots Media - Michael Howard

Opportunity knocks for a couple of classy pacers to further prove their wares in the hands of reinswoman Kima Frenning, who will chase a cup and a championship amid a couple of quality days of trots racing. Frenning will be hopeful Shelby Bromac can build on his competitive 3SH Swan Hill Pacing Cup fourth placing in tomorrow's United Petroleum Yarra Valley Pacing Cup, before she takes the reins of speed machine Hurricane Harley in the star-studded COGS 4YO & 5YO Championship at Melton on Saturday. Frenning joined Trots Talk radio show ahead of tomorrow's cup at 4.30pm, when Shelby Bromac will advance from gate three for trainer David Aiken. "It's a real quality field," Frenning told Trots Talk. "(Shelby Bromac's) going really good. The Swan Hill Cup was probably his first test against these types of horses and he really proved he could be in it. "He's been working really, really well since. With a bit of speed on and a bit of luck, he's competitive. It will be hard for him to win, but he's not far off the really good one's. He's pretty versatile." Shelby Bromac is rated a $12 chance with for tomorrow's cup, with the market dominated by Maryborough Pacing Cup winner Code Black. The latter opened at $2.80 and has been backed into $2.50 favourite ahead of his easing Emma Stewart stablemate Maraetai ($4). Another Stewart horse will garner plenty of Frenning's attention in the upcoming days with the reinswoman to steer Hurricane Harley in Saturday night's $75,000 Group 2 feature. The COGS 4YO & 5YO Championship will be Frenning's second steer on Hurricane Harley, having won last start when they first teamed. "It's an amazing feeling when he really lets down, he's so quick and probably matured a little bit as well," she said. More will be learned as Hurricane Harley faces arguably the most stern test of his prodigious career, with the four-year-old to take on Grand Circuit winner Colt Thirty One and five-year-old Stewart stablemates Tam Major and Ride High amid a quality field. Frenning was optimistic Hurricane Harley would give them a run for their money. "He's pretty versatile, he sat in the breeze when I drove him last time and left them really easy," she said. "He's a good sit-sprinter as well, he shouldn't be too far away." CLICK BELOW TO TUNE INTO TROTS TALK:   HRV Trots Media - Michael Howard

The going will get a little tough and that will see only the tough get going at Yarra Valley tomorrow, according to trainer Brent Lilley who will be among the thousands enjoying grass track racing’s Victorian return tomorrow. The former Kiwi’s well accustomed to grass track trots from his New Zealand roots and has a trotter running in each of tomorrow’s two standing starts on the turf. “It’s great,” Lilley said. “I wish there was more of it.” The going will likely be lush after 30 millimetres of rain fell in the area since Saturday, with Lilley predicting the 1950-metre trots will be a test of the fittest. “I think the distance between the first horse and the last will be big, a lot will get tired,” he said. “It will probably be an advantage to those who have raced on it before, it can be pretty taxing. If there’s a bit of rain about you wouldn’t want to have pads under their shoes because it can become slippery.” Both races will feature in extended coverage of the raceday on’s Trots Vision which will be live from the first at 10.44am, with host Paul Campbell roving on-course to deliver the pre- and post-race interviews on a huge Melbourne Cup Day celebration at the Yarra Valley. Lilley said “it’s a great day” and was hopeful his grass track entrants would deliver bold showings, including Trotting Rockstar, who steps out as the backmarker (off 20 metres) in the United Petroleum Trotters Handicap at 12.36pm. “Trotting Rockstar started off on the wrong foot last week,” Lilley said of the five-year-old, who began badly when resuming from a spell at Bendigo last Tuesday. “He made up a bit of ground without being thrashed about and I think he’s my best chance.” It will be Trotting Rockstar’s first go on the grass, while stablemate Belles Son will have his fourth career start on the turf when he steps out for the De Bortoli Trotters Handicap at 2.35pm. The nine-year-old Majestic Son gelding was third at Motukarara Raceway in November 2016 before running sixth and eighth in Group 3 races on the Christchurch grass track. “He had no issues with the grass back home,” Lilley said. “But he’s not going as good as he was in his heyday, his best days are probably behind him.” Amid a busy national racing schedule, the day’s first three races (10.44am, 11.19am and 11.59am) will feature on Sky Racing 1, while the remaining six races will be on Sky Racing 2. All nine races will stream on Trots Vision amid live, free and extended coverage.   HRV Trots Media - Michael Howard

Two grass track races with deep fields headline a nine-race card that's set to thrill Yarra Valley racegoers, more than 5000 of whom are expected to file into Tuesday's showcase Melbourne Cup trots race day. For the first time in 16 years grass track racing returns to Victoria's calendar and participants have responded with enthusiasm, with a full field nominating for the United Petroleum Trotters Handicap at 12.19pm and a further 11 for the De Bortoli Trotters Handicap at 2.12pm. It's a move welcomed by Trots Clubs Victoria manager Toby McKinnon, who joined regional radio program Trots Talk last night. "The club's gone with some grass track racing which is great to see ... it will really bring the racing right out to the people," Mr McKinnon said. "They will almost be able to lean over the fence and touch the horses as they go past." The first race kicks off at 10.35am and the last at 4.10pm amid a busy national racing schedule, which centres around the Melbourne Cup at 3pm. Owing to that schedule, races one (10.35am), two (11.05am) and three (11.39am) will be on Sky 1, races four to eight will be on Sky 2 and race nine - the Ritchies IGA 3YO Pace - will only be broadcast live on Trots Vision at The exclusive final race coverage will form part of fantastic coverage on Trots Vision, with Paul Campbell engaged as track side host to deliver post-race and participant interviews throughout the day. FOLLOW THIS LINK TO ENJOY TROTS VISION'S LIVE AND FREE RACING The nine-race card is a fantastic turnout by participants, with the 84 starters double those who fronted last year (42). It follows on from a seven-race card the previous night at Terang and shares the Melbourne Cup day with Cobram and Swan Hill. "There are things happening everywhere at the moment," Mr McKinnon told Trots Talk. "On Melbourne Cup Eve Terang has their Ladies' Night down there, one of their feature nights of the year. "Then we roll into Melbourne Cup Day where Cobram have a beautiful day where the non-TAB meeting is very relaxed, with nice green grass and picnics on the lawn, Swan Hill on Melbourne Cup night and Melbourne Cup Day at Yarra Valley is probably our biggest attended event of the year with 5000 people out there. "It's just a wonderful day with all the things you would expect at a Flemington event. The Fashions on the Field and the racing and the big screens, there are just no queues - that's the beauty about it." CLICK BELOW TO LISTEN TO THE LATEST TROTS TALK EDITION     HRV Trots Media - Michael Howard

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