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Maryborough was a happy hunting ground for trainer Andy Gath today – the Long Forest harness racing horseman qualifying two horses for the two-year-old trotting fillies Breeders Crown final. Gath’s rising stars Endsino (by Angus Hall out of Jauriol) and Naked Majesty (by Majestic Son out of Starcus) both saluted in their crown heats, with Andy’s wife Kate driving both winners. Endsino started long odds-on in her heat and never looked like getting rolled, leading all the way in a mile rate of 2:04.2 to score a 7.7-metre win over Glenferrie Burn. Naked Majesty won by 3.3m in her heat, overpowering early leader Meadow Valley Road late in the race. Gath sat quietly aboard Naked Majesty behind the leader, the filly peeling to the outside in the stretch to win in a rate 2:05.7. Fabrication recorded a half-neck win in the second heat of the two-year-old colts and geldings crown, defying a fierce challenge from runner-up Kyvalley Boomerang in the home stretch. Driven by Daryl Douglas for Tatura trainer David Abrahams, Fabrication found the front early and controlled the race before Kyvalley Boomerang launched his claim late. Kyvalley Boomerang got on terms with the leader 100 metres from home but it wasn’t to be, the early leader kicking on gamely to earn a ticket into the crown final. King of the trotters, Chris Lang, prevailed victorious with One Over Da Moon in the three-year-old trotters second heat. The colt by Majestic Son cruised around the field early to find the lead before going to the line with a 2.1-metre advantage over runner-up Four Lillies, with underrated Coimadai Lodge hitting the line hard out wide for third. Shared Interest announced himself a major player in the two-year-old colts and geldings’ division with a comfortable heat win over race favourite Eljaykay Phoenix. Driven by Nathan Jack, Shared Interest cruised up to the long odds-on elect at the 400m, eventually peeling into the sprint lane to shoot clear for a 3.3m win. Eljaykay Phoenix battled on for second, but has clearly come back to his rivals somewhat after dominating throughout the Vicbred Super Series, while Illawong Armstrong was third beaten 22.1m. Our Twentyten took out the final Breeders Crown heat for the day, the Brent Lilley trained and Rodney Petroff driven son of Muscles Yankee 3.7 metres too strong for Claudys Princess in their three-year-olds heat. Filly Claudys Princess punched the breeze throughout and battled on gamely for second, while Asdenro secured a beaut run on the leader’s back and was a clear third. by Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria

A fluke is defined as “an unlikely chance occurrence, especially a surprising piece of luck”. So one could mount an argument that to pinch a win over a highly rated opponent in horse racing is a fluke, but to do it twice in two starts? Not so much. Kept Under Wraps is no longer the hunter in his mini-rivalry against Birdy Mach – he has to be hunted by virtue of his two-from-two record against the highly rated New South Welsh colt. The colt by Bettors Delight in the care of Bolinda trainer Brent Lilley took out the 11th heat of the American Ideal @ Woodlands Breeders Crown Series for two-year-old colts and geldings at Shepparton last night with a blistering fourth quarter of 26.8 seconds. Birdy Mach ($1.50) and reinsman Luke McCarthy pinged off the arm to find the lead early from the 2190-metre start with Kept Under Wraps ($2.70) straight on to his back for in-form Greg Sugars. Kate Gath took the third favourite Burnaholeinmypocket ($13.60) to the breeze from gate seven, the trio jogtrotting through the middle stages of the race to make it near impossible for the backmarkers to make late ground. With a third quarter of 30.5 seconds after earlier splits of 31.4 and 32.1 it was always going to be hard to topple Birdy Mach in the straight, but once Kept Under Wraps gained  the sprint lane in the home stretch his withering burst of speed carried him over the line first. The final margin of a half-head was closer than when Kept Under Wraps defeated Birdy Mach in the Tatlow Stakes (1.1m) the start prior. Burnaholeinmypocket battled on gamely for third. Lilley admitted Birdy Mach might still be a little bit green and said that horse lacked nothing in the ability stakes before heaping praise on his fella. “Last night to come home with a really quick last quarter like that was a pleasant surprise,” he said. “He’s really come along nicely in the time I’ve had him down here.” Lilley said leading New Zealand trainer Mark Purdon was likely to take Kept Under Wraps and Messini, who Lilley has also enjoyed immense success with of late, back for the Breeders Crown semi-finals and finals next month. “I’ve definitely enjoyed having them here, that’s for sure,” Lilley said. Lilley used to work for Purdon in New Zealand before starting his own training operation at Kaiapoi, near Christchurch. “The relationship with Mark goes back a long way,” Lilley said. “I worked for him when he started out about 15 years ago, then I went out on my own and I’d work a fair few horses on the beach. “Mark would send some down to me that were suited to beach work and he actually sent me a really good horse in Cool Hand Luke (16 wins from 36 starts).” Lilley puts the polish on Messini tomorrow night at Bendigo in heat nine of the Roll With Joe Breeders Crown three-year-old colts geldings series. Messini has won four races on the trot – including an 8.8m success in the Group 1 Vicbred Super Series Final two starts back. Meanwhile, Scott Stewart trained-and-driven Its Just Kenny made it two wins from two starts with a 3.4m win in the 10th heat of the two-year-old males’ Breeders Crown series last night, the Kenneth J gelding going 1:59.8 to defeat Mojo Major by 3.4m. The other heat winner was Show Me The Bling, who defeated Mach Doro by 1.4m in a fast rate of 1:58.4 (last half 56.9). Show Me The Bling is trained by David Aiken and was steered by Nathan Jack. By Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria

Champion New South Wales mare Frith added the Harness Breeders (Vic) Jane Ellen to her list of feature race wins at Tabcorp Park Melton on Friday night. The six-time Group 1 winner found the lead comfortably from the 2240m start before controlling the race to score by 2.6m over runner-up The Good Times, with Broadways Best rocketing home for third. Frith, a Bruce Harpley-trained daughter of Four Starzzz Shark, has now won 26 from 35 race starts. Frith’s winning mile rate was 1:56.7. She finished with a last half-mile of 55.7 after splits of 29.8, 30.2, 27.6 and 28.1. Emma Stewart’s The Good Times was given a cushy run by Gavin Lang on the back of the favourite before using the sprint lane to run second. Chris Alford steered in-form Broadways Best into third, powering down the outside late to edge out Beauty Secret, which ran fourth, while Miracle Mile winner Baby Bling wound up fifth. Frith already boasts Group 1 victories in New South Wales, Western Australia and Victoria. She will be looking to add a second Breeders Crown success to her resume next month after taking out the three-year-old fillies’ title last year. Frith Father-son combination Ross and Greg Sugars won the first three races on Friday night’s program. Illawong Magic kicked off proceedings with a 3.7m win in the Granny Reilly Performance Mix Vicbred Trot. The seven-year-old gelding found the lead early and never looked like losing, pinching a break approaching the home bend before holding off David Van Ryn pair Paris Pepperell and Enjoy A Coldie in the home straight. The Sugars’ team then combined for success with Bettor Rock On in the first heat of the Tabcorp Park Melton Winter Championship. Punters who took the short odds for the son of Bettors Delight were surely sweating with 50m to go, as Bettor Rock On was taking forever to reel in Tandias Bromac. But the $1.10 shot poked his head in front just in time to win by the narrowest of margins. Bettor Rock On posted sectionals of 29.0, 29.9, 28.5 and 28.4, with his mile rate a slick 1:54.9. Mulgrave then made it three from three for Team Sugars, defeating Gotta Go Henry in the Alabar 3YO Pace Final over 2240m. Mulgrave won by 2.8m in a mile rate of 1:58.3. The in-form David Aiken stable absolutely dominated the Granny Reilly Sole Mate Mix Trot over 2240m, Thanesan defeating stable-mate Vics Cheval by 5.1m. Junior driver Josh Aiken, who drove his first Group 1 winner last weekend, steered the winner, while his father David drove the second horse over the line. Amanda Grieve and Chris Alford combined to win the Granny Reilly Perfect Pacer Pace over 2240m with Magical Telf, who scored a half-neck win over Teo Enteo. Long odds-on favourite Almost El Eagle took out heat two of the Winter Championship for Steve Duffy and John Caldow. Ginger Bliss made it a winning double for Josh Aiken with victory in the Granny Reilly Maintain Mix Pace over 1720m, the talented four-year-old clocking 1:55.3 to beat Exciteusinthecity by 1.2m. Ginger Bliss found the lead early and dictated terms before cranking things up in the last half-mile, with third and fourth splits of 27.7 and 27.9 for a 55.6 last half. Exciteusinthecity ran a bottler of a race for Tim McLean, while Washmepockets poked through for third for Haydon Gray. Our Twentyten showed he is right on song for the Trotters Derby with an 8.9m win in the Redwood Day 20 July 3YO Trot, the Brent Lilley-trained son of Muscles Yankee defeating runner-up One Over Da Moon and third placegetter Daenerys Targaryen. The last race on the card, the Book Now For Breeders Crown 2YO Trotters Handicap, saw Greg Sugars snare win number four for the night and gave Lilley a winning double when My Arya got the chocolates. My Arya was the only filly off 10m in the race, the daughter of Angus Hall stepping sweetly early and trotting perfectly throughout to score by 2.3m over debutant Shared Interest (Nathan Jack), who ran a crackerjack race on debut and will be winning soon, while Sheza Amason was about 20m away in third. By Cody Winnell (Harness Racing Australia)

Queensland young gun Pete McMullen is counting down the days. Like sands though the hourglass. On Saturday night, McMullen gets the opportunity of a lifetime when he partners harness racing megastar pacer Im Themightyquinn in the Centenary Classic Mercedes Benz Open Pace at Albion Park. Only last week, McMullen took the lines behind the $4.5 million earner in a trial which prepped him for his stunning track record breaking victory in the Sunshine Sprint. Now, it’s the real deal and the talented third generation horseman can’t wait. “I have to keep pinching myself, I still can’t believe I’ve been entrusted with duty of driving this champion pacer under race conditions. It’s such a massive thrill and a huge honour, I can’t wait to get out there and get amongst it.” McMullen said. It would be understandable if McMullen was suffering from nerves but they have been erased following his trial triumph last week. The focused and dedicated horseman came to the attention of Gary Hall months ago after the Perth based trainer noticed similarities with his son, star reinsman Gary Jnr. “I like his style and he drives with controlled aggression just like Gaz and I had no hesitation in securing his services when I came to Brisbane. I told him after the trial last week that I would put him on if the race stood up this week and I’m happy to have him aboard.” Hall said. Since transferring to the stables of Hall back in October, 2008, Im Themightyquinn has had a total of six different drivers which includes Gary Hall Jnr, Clinton Hall, Kim Prentice, Nathan Jack, Shayne Cramp and Greg Bennett. On Saturday night, McMullen will become lucky number seven. “He’s not the easiest horse to drive because he has own little tricks and idiosyncrasies but I was thrilled when young Pete handled him perfectly in the trial, they both seemed very comfortable out there together. “Gaz was very keen to return this week and drive him but I’ve got Beaudiene Boaz set to trial this Sunday at Byford and I wanted him to drive him before he starts next week in the Golden Slipper. Gaz will be back to drive him next week in the feature. “He’s trained on very well since his victory last week and he’s really enjoying his time here in Queensland. I’m sure he will be very hard to beat again this weekend, the extra distance will actually suit him better.” Victory this weekend will take Im Themightyquinn closer to all time prizemoney record which is currently held by retired Queensland champion Blacks A Fake at $4, 575, 438. by Chris Barsby Queensland Harness Racing

Allies Mate made it two wins from two starts in impressive style at Shepparton on Tuesday night. The Jason Donohoe trained-and-driven son of Mcardle sat parked throughout in the 2190m second heat of the Congram Livestock Transport Vicbred Platinum Country Series A, dashing clear in the home straight for a 10.4m win. Despite doing the lion’s share of the work Allies Mate was cruising at the home turn, David Farrar-trained Arriens looming up strongly into second but no match for the winner. Donohoe sat quietly on Allies Mate, which was sent out second favourite behind odds-on pop Royal Hustler, and had a sustained look around at the home turn to sum up the situation. Once he flicked the reins, it was lights out for his rivals and Allies Mate broke clear to record a winning mile rate of 2:00.7 (last half in 57.6 and last quarter 27.6). Donohoe said the horse had trained on well after its first-up win and once the favourite was out of play on Tuesday night, he was confident he could get the job done. “He had trained on well after that first win. The favourite was sort of the only one I was really worried about,” the Marong trainer said. Arriens held on for second for junior driver Mark Pitt, while Black Jasmin was third for Haydon Gray. Royal Hustler galloped at the start and missed the kick badly, failing to make up ground and finishing down the track. Allies Mate became punters’ foe on debut at Bendigo last month when he defeated long odds-on favourite Kept Under Wraps at cricket score odds. On the strength of Tuesday night’s triumph, he won’t be starting at huge odds again anytime soon. Meanwhile, trainer-driver Donna Castles finally broke through for win number three with her four-year-old Lombo Mandingo mare Tennaya. Tennaya, $1.80 on Tuesday night, had endured a frustrating run of second-place finishes, coming in runner-up at six of its past seven starts. But she finally broke through, proving 2.6m too strong for nearest rival Liams Lass (Jim O’Sullivan) despite punching the breeze throughout. Tennaya ran 2:01.4 for the mile rate with a last half of 58.4. The Truth took out the Finley Bowling Club and Finley RSC Trotters Handicap at his first run back from a spell for Kari Males and Paul Males, narrowly edging out race favourite Kains Boy in the first race. Chris Lang trained and drove the winner of the second, the Kelly Grain Trot, with Aldebaran Eastwood, which started $3.10. David Aiken and son Josh Aiken combined to win the McNaughts Transport Pace over 1690m with polemarker Wounded, which led all the way to score by 1.3m over Royal Deviate. Maree Caldow and John Caldow had success in the Tuppal Hotel 3YO Pace with Lost In Bangkok, the gelding saluting by 5.9m in a rate of 1:58.3 over Arrokeefe. And Raylan Gibbins gave driver Nathan Jack victory in the Euroa Excavation Pace for trainer Melinda Thackeray. by Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria

Lennytheshark looks to have a stranglehold on the harness racing Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series 4YO entires and geldings’ series after a commanding semi-final win. The David Aiken-trained rising superstar produced a stunning performance on Friday night at Tabcorp Park Melton to obliterate his rivals in his semi, beating the second horse over the line, Valley Of Diamonds, by 13.7m. Reinsman Chris Alford took the son of Four Starzzz Shark to the lead midrace after initially easing to midfield early from his gate-six draw. Once in front, Lennytheshark was eyeballed by Smart Major until the home turn when Alford and the favourite broke the Forbes-trained pacer’s resistance. In the straight, Lennytheshark let down like a champion, putting daylight on a handy batch of four-year-olds for a memorable win in a mile rate of 1:58.5. While he has shown a tendency to lay out in the home straight in recent starts, Lennytheshark hasn’t had many horses to keep him company in the latter part of his races as they simply can’t keep up. The other 4YO boys’ semi-final was taken out by Lennytheshark’s arch enemy Guaranteed – considered by most punters to be the only horse capable of landing the knockout blow to the favourite in next Saturday night’s grand final. The Emma Stewart-trained son of Artsplace overhauled Ginger Bliss in the home straight for a 9.9m win in a mile rate of 1:58.2. Gavin Lang produced another typically masterful drive aboard the winner, extricating it from a four-back-the-pegs position early after the horse was shuffled back with no speed from its pole draw. From there, Lang got cover out three-wide before making a sharp run towards pacy Ginger Bliss on turning for home. Guaranteed packed too big a punch in the stretch, Ginger Bliss battling on strongly for second, with Three Pints snaring third. The eye-catcher from the race was Boyz Torque, which made up enormous ground along the inside in the last 100m to finish fourth. Diamond Castle – raced by Harness Racing Victoria ownership program Raceapacer – scored a 1.8m win over Missed By Red in a rate of 2:02.2 in the second semi-final for 2YO fillies. Trained and driven by David Miles, Diamond Castle was having just her second start after a debut second at Ballarat first-up. The daughter of Art Major settled well back in the field with $1.20 favourite Lovelist finding the lead comfortably. But at the business end the roles were reversed, with Diamond Castle finishing too well to get the win. Lovelist ran third. Talented Kari Males-trained Niki No No captured the other 2YO fillies’ semi-final, Greg Sugars steering the daughter of Sportswriter to victory. Niki No No did plenty of work early and recorded a winning mile rate of 1:59.8, with Yankee Showgirl second and Our Star Dust third. Courageousnquick scored an impressive start-to-finish win in the 4YO mares’ second semi-final, holding off Mcrita, Union Belle and the fast-finishing Pressplay in the home straight. Trained by Brent Lilley and driven by Kyle Marshall, Courageousnquick held out Earth Angel to find the lead at the start before seeing off all challengers in the home straight at the finish for a neck win in a rate of 2:00.4. The other 4YO mares’ semi went to Im Smouldering for Doreen trainer John Yeomans, who teamed with Gavin Lang. Im Smouldering’s winning margin was 2m and his mile rate 1:56.7. The 2YO colts and geldings’ semi-finals were taken out by Virgil Hilts at big odds for trainer-driver Lisa Miles and Major Invictus for trainer/driver Michael Stanley. Hectorjayjay (for the in-form Bill and Simone Walker team) and Messini (Brent Lilley and Chris Alford) took out the 3YO colts’ and geldings’ semis, while Berisari (Emma Stewart and Nathan Jack) and Tasmanian star Barynya (Dick Eaves and Rohan Hillier) won the 3YO fillies’ races. Friday night's races were held in windy conditions. Videos of all races are attached above. The Super Series grand final nights will be held this Friday (for the trotters) and Saturday (pacers). Twelve Group 1 races will be contested across the two-day carnival of meetings. by Cody Winnell

The Emma Stewart stable has the potential to dominate this Friday night’s colossal Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series Semi-Final night at Tabcorp Park Melton. Stewart has 10 runners engaged across the 12-race program, including numerous expected prepost favourites. Headlining her chances are unbeaten two-year-old filly Lovelist ($1.60) in the 2YO fillies’ second semi-final and Group 1 star Guaranteed ($1.60) in the 4YO males’ first semi-final. Since arriving on the scene with a win at Maryborough on April 7, Lovelist has won twice at Tabcorp Park Melton – including victory in the Group 2 Vicbred Home Grown Final – before a last-start 5m win at Maryborough in the Super Series 2YO Fillies second heat. “She’s our best two-year-old filly,” Stewart declared on Wednesday. “She’s done everything right. I’d expect her to get through on Friday night and then we hope she goes on to win the final. “While we don’t know exactly how good she is yet, she’d have to be right up there with the best two-year-olds we’ve trained.” Lovelist comes out of gate four on Friday in Race 10, with her main dangers expected to be highly rated David Miles-trained Diamond Castle (drawn 10) and Amanda Turnbull’s Missed By Red (gate five). Harness Racing Victoria’s popular ownership program Raceapacer owns Diamond Castle, which will have an enthusiastic group cheering her on in Friday night’s race. Stewart is confident four-year-old Guaranteed can win through to the Super Series Final but admitted to being concerned about the Chariots of Fire winner’s gate-one draw on Friday night. “I can see us being buried away back on the pegs again,” she said. “But as long as we get through to the final, that’s the main thing.” Stewart believes Ginger Bliss will lead on Friday night before handing up to something else, which would shuffle Guaranteed three back on the markers. However, if Ginger Bliss leads as expected and doesn’t hand up, Guaranteed should be able to hold its back and secure its shot at victory via the sprint lane. Another scenario would be Ginger Bliss pings out early to lead clearly and something else – maybe Classy Guy or Boyz Torque – drops in behind the leader, shuffling Guaranteed back early. Stewart said she would prefer Guaranteed to be off the markers and doing some work rather than being buried away on the inside, but added it was up to driver Gavin Lang to assess the situation on Friday night. “Gavin’s got to weigh it up,” she said. When asked about Guaranteed potentially starting near $1.60, Stewart replied: “That’s pretty short…” Stewart’s three-year-old gelding Presidentialsecret ($6.50) could be her each-way value runner for the night, the trainer spruiking the horse as one “she really likes”. “He does need a bit of luck because he’s not the strongest horse going around but I really like the way he’s working at home and if we can get into the final and then draw a nice gate, he’d be a good chance,” she said. Stewart opens the marathon program with Goodtime Marjie ($3) in the 4YO mares’ first semi-final from gate six. “She’s a really top-class mare but she can do a few things wrong,” the trainer said. “It depends which Goodtime Marjie turns up.” The daughter of Village Jasper has turned up more often than not though, winning seven of her 11 starts to date. Stewart also has a likely favourite in Race 2, the first semi-final of the 2YO fillies’ division with Licinia drawn gate three. “I like her. We’ve only had her for three starts for us and she’s won two of them. She can go forward and do some work so the gate looks ideal.” Punters also look set to put their faith in yet another Stewart runner in Race 6, the 4YO mares’ second semi-final, with Our Femme Fatale drawn gate six. “She’s the most underrated horse we’ve got, I think,” said Stewart. “You always know what you’re going to get from her; she always tries her hardest. She’s a great mare.” Our Femme Fatale sat in the death and out-toughed Earth Angel, which has drawn five on Friday night, last time out at Kilmore. In the 3YO fillies’ first semi-final Stewart will put the polish on Berisari from gate two, with Nathan Jack to take the drive. “If you’d said to me at the start of the year that she’d be one of our best fillies I’d have laughed,” Stewart said. “But she’s going really, really well, and she’s a really good show on Friday night. “Nathan drives her very well. She can go forward and do some work but she also has a sharp sprint on her, so I’m not fussed about tactics. I’ll leave it up to Nathan.” Of Hes Kinky (gate 12 for the second semi-final of the 4YO boys) Stewart said: “He’s a good sit-and-sprint horse who is up in class. He’s a chance.” And in the last race of the night Stewart will have two runners, Tuscan Breeze (John Caldow, gate two) and Bettors Package (Gavin Lang, gate 10). “We were happy with Tuscan Breeze’s first start with us. She’ll keep improving. “Bettors Package is a lovely filly. She’s only tiny but she tries her hardest and with a little bit of luck she can hopefully go very close.” By Cody Winnell

It was a milestone that crept up on leading Bathurst harness racing reinswoman Amanda Turnbull but it was one that she will savour for many years to come. On the eve of her relocating to Victoria to start a new facet of her life with partner Nathan Jack, Amanda landed her 1000th winner at the Peak Hill Harness Racing Club's TAB Carnival of Cups meeting on Sunday afternoon in what can only be described as a mighty effort. The 24 year old who has inherited the ability of her famous grandfather AD Turnbull and her equally talented father Steve not only busted through the 1000 winner barrier but she also bagged four winners and three placegetters on the eight race program. Amanda didn't have to wait very long to crack the marvellous milestone as it came up in the second race of the afternoon when she combined with her brother Josh to score with Forever Texas ($2.30) in the Elders Rural Services Pace (2250m). She charged the gelding out of gate three to lead and then proceeded to set a brisk pace. And although the gelding was shortening stride as the race drew to a close, he boxed on determinedly to score by a head over Major Gambler ($18.30, Blair Hurst) which had applied plenty of pressure over the final 800 metres and was gallant in defeat. Veracity Red ($3.80) was given every chance by Amy Day who tracked the leaders into the straight but he had to settle for third placing after failing to get on terms with them. There were plenty of supporters on hand to offer congratulations to Amanda and she was presented with flowers and a specially made cake, inscribed with the milestone. Shiraz Shannon ($1.80) scored a clear win in a lack lustre affair which was the Tony & Jill McGrath Pace (2250m) to give Amanda her second winner for the afternoon and trainer Bruce Dumesny his first winner in over 30 years. And it was simply a case of the horse who got the best run got the money with Amanda landing the one out, one back trail with Shiraz Shannon who sprinted quickly at the top of the lane and pinched a winning break. Tee Tiny ($11.90, Andrew Cassell) came from last to grab the second prize narrowly in advance of Snags Hall ($3.10, Steve Dowton) which led and had every chance. Precious M ($1.80) continued the "mid meeting" assault Amanda inflicted on her opponents, taking out the Yardy and Rita Davis Memorial (2250m). This time she was seen up in the death chair with Precious M and the horse was always travelling well within itself until Amanda hit the go button on the home turn. The gelding dashed past the leader and then had to hold off a late challenge from Getaloadaher ($10.90, Blair Hurst) which had followed the winner every inch of the way. Ryans Lane ($5.70, Steve Turnbull) was the pacemaker and although he was well rated in front, he failed to see out the distance and had to settle for third. Cracka Stride ($1.30) could not have been more impressive than he was in taking out the Menangle Where Horses Fly Country Series Heat (1800m), completing Amanda's quartet of winners. After enduring a real charge for the lead, Cracka Stride eventually worked to the lead with 1400 metres to run and Amanda simply ran her opposition off their legs, recording 1.57.9 on the way to a thirteen and a half metre victory. Bohemian Art ($16.60, Anthony Winnell) was the early leader and then sat on the winner's back throughout, holding on strongly for second while Hallycould ($12.50, John O'Shea) ran a respectable race for third after being the other horse in that early speed battle. The Peak Hill Ex-Services & Citizens Club Final (1800m) promised to be a great race and it was certainly shaping that way until the field reached the 400 metre mark when the two favourites for the race, Fantasy Level and Half Crown Gap struck trouble with the latter hitting the deck and dislodging driver Steve Turnbull. Meanwhile, I Surf ($15.20, Murray Sullivan) emerged out of the pack after enjoying a cosy run and got clear near the line to score a strong win over Janets Ace ($15.50, Terry Robb) and Blessedbythebest ($8.50, Amanda Turnbull). I Surf which is owned by prominent Penrith Solicitor, Greg Harris rated 1.58.3 and continued the great run of success being enjoyed by Forbes trainer Jason Gaffney who is building up a nice team of pacers. It was a similar scene in the Tabcorp Park Menangle Country Series Heat (1800m) when Murray Sullivan took a nasty tumble from Bee Mine with 500 metres to run. Stewards deemed the fall was caused by a racing incident and couldn't lay blame on any individual. Thankfully Sullivan escaped with minor injuries as did Steve Turnbull in the previous race. Highview Aria ($3.00) led in the race and again, Amanda Turnbull set a brisk pace. Heza Nuther Melody ($10.50) was able to slot in behind the pace and it was at the 500 metre mark that driver Garth Hot shunted his way into the clear and went out after Highview Aria. The pair settled down to a two horse war for the last furlong and Heza Nuther Melody got the upper hand over the concluding stages to record a strong three and a half metre win. Grouse Party House ($18.10, Robert Clifford) worked home well after racing back along the pegs and he grabbed the third prize. Amy Day made the long trip up from Goulburn worthwhile when she drew early blood in the opening event, the Rosewood Stud 3yo Pace (2250m) with Red Onahi ($3.50). Day always had the flashy chestnut well placed in the running line and despite only winning by a nose, Red Onahi appeared to be the one to beat a long way from home. Amy's cousin, Michael Day Junior was the one who almost upset the apple cart as he brought Pride Of Flight ($11.20) home with a well-timed run from near last and the close finish even left race caller, Craig Easey a little embarrassed as he went the wrong way. Happy Napa ($29.50, John O'Shea) flashed up late to run third, just two metres in arrears. Forbes trained youngster, Karinya Mully ($25.40) recorded a popular win in the Langlands Hanlon 3yo Pace (2250m) giving trainer, driver Gary Eyre and Trundle owners Tom and Col Quade a well-deserved win. Eyre sat patiently at the back of the field for the majority of the trip and when he moved Karinya Mully to the centre of the track with 400 metres to run, the gelding sprinted quickly and rounded the leaders up in the twinkling of an eye. On the line, he had a two and a half metre advantage over Artista Lombo ($2.10, Amanda Turnbull) which settled with a trail but then found the death seat with 800 metres to run. Team Of Starzzz ($3.40, Amy Day) sat behind the leader and appeared to get his chance after seeing daylight in the straight. Harness Racing New South Wales

Amanda Turnbull’s first winner as a trainer at Charlton on Monday with Highview Conall was her 991st victory in the sulky. If Amanda can bring up nine more winners in the next four months, she will become the youngest ever driver to reach 1000 wins. “That would be pretty special … I can’t believe it,” she said when told how close she was to setting a new record. The former Bathurst-based reinswoman, who is 24 years, four months and four days old, now splits her time between her former home base interstate and her new hometown in Shepparton with partner Nathan Jack. Despite the trip back home taking six-and-a-half hours, Amanda has been clocking up the kilometres to help her father – NSW’s leading trainer Steve Turnbull. Amanda, who leads the NSW state drivers’ premiership with 160 wins, drove 203 winners last year – achieving the double ton after a frenetic final month in the sulky. “When I got close with a month to go and was pushing towards the 200, that last month was really hard,” she said. “We just kept on pushing and it got down to the last week, but we got there in the end.” Now Amanda wants to help her father reach the 200-win mark. Steve has trained 158 winners this season from 909 race starts and Amanda is eager for him reach 200 winners after he got so close last season, winding up on 199. “We’re going to be trying to get him over the 200, so I’m still living half here and half there,” she said. “Shepparton’s perfect really because it’s only a six-and-a-half-hour trip from here.” If Turnbull can become the youngest driver to reach 1000 wins she will relegate Western Australia’s Morgan Woodley to second position. Woodley reached 1000 wins when he was 24 years, eight months and seven days old in August last year. Other young guns who reached four figures early in their career include Luke McCarthy (25 years, one month and two days) in December 2007, Kerryn Manning (25 years, eight months and seven days) in March 2002, Gary Hall Jr (26 years, seven months and 17 days) in March 2009, Greg Sugars (26 years, eight months and seven days) in June 2011, and Chris Alford (27 years, five months and 26 days) in November 1995. By Cody Winnell (Harness Racing Australia)

Kialla pacer Gangster Boy will be chasing Group 3 success in the Empire Stallions Vicbred Championship Final on Friday night at Melton’s Tabcorp Park. The five-year-old Modern Art gelding, whose mother is Gangster Girl, overcame the outside back-row draw at $33 to score in the second heat of the series last Friday night, knocking favourite punters out of the park. Trainer David Farrar praised the drive of concession reinsman Mark Pitt, whose pre-race plan was to find the back of Manuka Man. “We had a bit of a plan. Mark had done the form and decided Manuka Man was the horse to follow and he was able to get on to his back,” Farrar said. “Mark works for a good mate of mine, Wayne Potter, who does a really good job educating these young drivers. “Mark has driven for me for a little while now. He actually drove a double for me at Cobram the other day (May 19), which was his first double. And Friday night was his first metropolitan drive … it’s a bit like an AFL player kicking a goal with his first kick, so that was a good achievement.” Farrar said he had always deliberately supported young drivers because “they are the future of our sport”. And he says five junior drivers have actually scored their first winning double with his horses over the years – Rosalind Fox, Nathan Jack, Thomas Gilligan, Riley Fortin and now Pitt. Gangster Boy has had an ultra-consistent season, winning three races and being placed a further 11 times in 19 starts. “We swim him a lot. That’s where he gets his fitness and strength from,” Farrar said. “He’ll do his best this Friday night. Hopefully we can get a bit of luck with the draw.” Meanwhile, Farrar’s six-year-old Mach Three gelding Attackamach has successfully returned from injury after two stem cell operations and a 12-month rehabilitation stint in Dederang. “He’s pretty special,” Farrar said. “If he stays sound I’m confident he’ll win a city race.” Attackamach, whose mother was by the great Kiwi pacer Iraklis, resumed from over two years off with back-to-back seconds at Swan Hill and Bendigo before a 7.9m win last start at Cobram in a mile rate of 1:58.3. “He can reel off a quick sectional. He’s a really nice horse,” Farrar said. Attackamach has had nine wins and four seconds from 15 starts and finished sixth as a two-year-old in the Australasian Breeders Crown Final. By Cody Winnell (Harness Racing Australia)

Ultra consistent pint sized six year old Western Terror/Awesome Flowers mare Gumdrops was rewarded for her consistency by brilliantly taking the $100,000 (Group 1) Pegasus Club Queen Of The Pacific, a designated race for Mares M0 or better class (Discretionary Handicapped) over 2760 metres at Tabcorp Park Melton on Friday. Having her first standing start attempt, Gumdrops stepped safely from barrier four as starter Todd Matthews released the field, as did Bluecolla Tigerpie to lead from outside the front line along with Steam Washed (barrier five) who pressed forward to assume control leaving Gumdrops momentarily in the open. Queenslander Forever Gold also making her standing start debut began swiftly from 10 metres, with Kylie Rasmussen immediately sending her forward to race in the open giving Gumdrop the sit she was looking for. Born Again Sassy (barrier two on the second line) slotted in beautifully trailing Gumdrops, being followed by Broadways Best and Carpenters Daughter which had missed the start. No changes were made until Luke McCarthy commenced a forward move three wide solo from the rear with 20 metre backmarker Baby Bling racing for the bell, being trailed by Vansumic ahead of her after being tardily away from the second line. Extricated into the clear on the home turn, Gumdrops sprinted sharply to challenge Steam Washed halfway up the running and following a deafening roar from all of her supporters which would have done credit to a Melbourne Cup crowd, drew clear to record a 5.1 metre victory over a game Steam Washed, with The Good Times using the sprint lane from three back the markers to finish third 12.5 metres away ahead of Carpenters Daughter and Baby Bling. Raced by Coimadai (Melton District) residents Ron and Connie Mallia along with trainer Steve Zammit who is based at the Mallia property, Gumdrops recorded a mile rate of 1-59.4 (last half mile 57.6 – quarter 28.9) which is only .3 seconds outside Our Sixpence’s race record set last year. It was the 11th time that Gumdrops has greeted the judge in only 41 outings, taking her earnings to $143,105. Steve Zammit was lost for words immediately following the event saying “he could not believe what had happened” in giving him his biggest win in the sport. On a night full of highlights, the $50,000 Empire Stallions Vicbred Platinum Home Grown Classic 2-Y-0 Fillies Final went to the Emma Stewart trained and Gavin Lang driven Lovelist, a daughter of Always A Virgin and Lifeline. Gifted the lead racing for the bell by stablemate Licinia, Lovelist coasted to the wire 4.4 metres in advance of the roughies Starzzz Of Icon and Union Ally in a mile rate of 1-58.                                                                               Lara trainer Dean Braun’s outstanding Kiwi bred four year old Elsu/Make It Hot gelding Chilli Palmer showed he is on target for next week’s $50,000 Four and Five Year Old Championship with a devastating victory in the TAB.com.au Pace for M1 & M2 class over 2240 metres, giving young Terang teenager Jason Lee a thrill he will never forget. Settling a “mile” off the leader Amajorjoe, Chilii Palmer taking a concession, reeled off a brilliant last quarter smashing the clock to blouse the dead-heaters Machin Out and Composed in a mile rate of 1-56.7.    Nathan Jack took driving honours with a treble – apart from Gumdrops, Tezz Khora trained by father Russell in the Empire Stallions Vicbred Platinum Country Series N Final for C1 class over 1720 metres and giant killer Wartime Sweetheart (David Aiken) the Captain Sandy Free For All over 1720 metres, defeating Five Star Anvil and Smoken Up in 1-54.5. By Len Baker (Harness Racing Australia)

It was Moama Bowling Club Echuca Pacing Cup night at Frank Ryan Raceway situated on the banks of the Campaspe River on Friday March 21, with a large crowd in attendance to witness harness racing on the tight 804 metre circuit. A massive ten event card was programmed keeping those on track active all throughout the evening in anticipation of the feature event scheduled as race number eight. The Cup itself, a $25,390 standing start race (Discretionary Handicapped) for M0 or better class horses over 2530 metres was taken out by the in-form Philip Nott bred and raced seven year old Village Jasper / Any Danger gelding Arber. Trained at Anakie by Tim Bolitho who should take plenty of accolades for the marvellous job he has done with the horse since joining the stable, Arber driven by Greg Sugars was quickly away from a lone 10 metre handicap, with Sugars wasting no time in sending him forward to park outside the favourite Jadahson which crossed the old timer Baltic Eagle after travelling a couple of hundred metres. Gavin Lang urged Riverboat Jasper (one/three) forward mid-race to shadow the leader giving Arber the cover he was looking for and nothing changed until the bell when Kerryn Manning angled Narra Operative three wide from near last to commence a run. Arber was eased three wide in the back straight on the final occasion and quickly joined Jadahson prior to the home turn. Finishing brilliantly, Arber had 1.2 metres to spare on the wire to defeat Jadahson in a rate of 2-02.2 (last half 58.9 – quarter 29.9), with the Riverina visitor Itcan Happen using the sprint lane from five back the markers after a slow beginning third. It was Arber’s third country cup for the season, having already captured both the Stawell and Wangaratta features. Seven year old Sierra Kosmos / Panbrake gelding Tsonga was a tough victor of the $12,390 J A Connelly Crystal Bucket for T5 or better class trotters (Discretionary Handicapped) over 2530 metres. Trained at Bolinda by Paul Males and driven by Shepparton based David Moran, Tsonga stepped cleanly from a 30 metre backmark on this occasion to tack on to the field, with Gazoline showing his customary slick beginning tolead from barrier four. With the speed nothing to write home about, Nathan Jack sent the favourite Theywannacallmesue forward through the middle stages to join the leader, with Tsonga also being sent forward with a lap and a half to travel. Trapped on a limb three wide for the remainder of the journey, Tsonga showed tremendous courage to join the leaders on straightening a forge clear to score by 5.4 metres in a mile rate of 2-06 over Wildenstein (three back the markers – one/one home turn), with Gazoline holding down third. A former smart juvenile, Tsonga had recorded 14 wins and 24 placings from 76 race appearances. Narrandera trainer/driver Blake Jones a regular visitor to the Victorian scene, took the honours for the night with a stable double – Rustys Reject taking the Kevin Phillips Pace for C4 to C6 class and Bryce Cooper the 3rd Heat of the George Croxford Tribute for Three Year Olds. Videos are attached Len Baker Courtesy of Harness Racing Victoria

Wednesday night trotting was held at the Swan Hill Racing Centre when the Nyah HRC conducted a neat seven event card, highlighted by the running of the $25,505 Alabar Bloodstock Northern Region Championship Final for C1 & C2 class over 2240 metres which contested the heats and Semi-Finals held at Mildura on March 6 and 12. Mildura’s Shayne Cramp (Victoria’s leading trainer of last season) held a strong hand with four of the 12 runners in the final and snared the quinella with four year old Mach Three/Aldebaran Bromac gelding Aldebaran Macha defeating Changing Code in a rate of 1-57. Driven by Nathan Jack, Aldebaran Machastarting from gate three on the second line settled a mile off the Lake Boga leader Gollahman (gate four). In a race where the position outside the leader chopped and changed several times as three of the Cramp runners took turns to face the breeze, Aldebaran Macha latched to the back of Beach Star from four back in the running line at the bell which originally parked outside the leader as the start was effected. Gaining a lovely ride home, Aldebaran Macha after an easy time raced to the front halfway up the running and in a punishing finish, held off Changing Code from mid-field by a half neck in a thrilling finale, with Beachstar  a game third after leading on turning. Wood Wood owner/breeder/trainer Greg Fleming does a grand job with his small team and captured the Ray & Grace Hepworth Memorial 3-Y-0 Pace Final over 2240 metres with Armbro Operative/Highly Rated gelding Rate Highly, giving the locals something to cheer about. Driven by Ararat’s Mick Bellman, Rate Highly possied three back in the moving line form gate six, with Dawson Street leading from gate three. Taken three wide in the final circuit, Rate Highly ran home stylishly to gain the day in advance of Billy Mack which raced in the open from the bell, with Glitzy Gal running home late from last to finish third. The mile rate 1-58.9. The wraps were huge on the first starter Midnitedelite in the Courage Under Fire 2-Y-0 Pace over 1609 metres and the Bettors Delight/Aimee Sheffield colt on debut didn’t let his supporters down. Trained at Elmore by Keith Cotchin and driven by Bendigo based Scott Dyer, Midnitedelite led throughout from the pole to easily account for Justbritell which raced outside him in a rate of 1-57.9. Will Cooper(one/three – three wide last lap) finished third. By Len Baker (Courtesy of Harness Racing Australia)

Saturday March 22 marks the second edition of the unique Pryde's Easifeed Great Southern Star. Of equal importance is the fundraising for the Women's Cancer Foundation - Ovarian Cancer Institute. Outstanding gesture by our many female drivers to spread the awareness message during March by wearing the teal pants (see Kerryn Manning photo attached). Busy Night Pryde's Easifeed Great Southern Star night has quickly become one of the most important nights on the Australasian trotting calendar. Some of the activities that make this night a must: The Great Southern Star (GSS) brings together Australasia's best trotters to compete in a $400,000 series of heats into a final on the same night. The two heats will be races 3 and 4 on the card, with the final to follow as race 9; A sold out function in the Toolern Room raising funds for the Women's Cancer Foundation. Last year over $80,000 was raised - in memory of Lyn McPherson who sadly succumbed to ovarian cancer in 2010. Many thanks to our female drivers who have worn the teal pants through March in support of the ovarian cancer cause. Fashions on the Field offers $6,000 in prizes with GSS Ambassador Chantal Sutherland to judge. The Girls' Night Out theme extends to the exclusive Cocktail Marque. The Breed for Speed trotting series finals; In action will be America's top driver this year Corey Callahan and we also welcome leading trainer Jonas Czernyson as guests of HRV. Jonas is a Swede turned American top trainer with some champion trotters in his barn, including multiple award winning trotting mare Maven. We are very grateful to the State Government for its financial assistance in promoting the big night - contributing in excess of $100,000 through its Raceday Attraction Program. The Premier and Minister for Racing, Dr Denis Napthine will be attending the night and announcing further enhancements to the already lucrative Vicbred Platinum scheme. HRV also appreciates the work of Duncan McPherson and Michael Taranto in promoting the GSS and the Women's Cancer Foundation - Ovarian Cancer Institute. International Growth I often hear comment (positive and negative) on HRV's strategy to promote our sport internationally. With a mature wagering market in Australia, the future growth of harness racing in Victoria is largely dependent on international growth. It is important for HRV to increase the import of international product which Sky Racing telecasts and Tabcorp offers wagering on. Equally important is Victorian product being exported which also provides strong financial returns to HRV. As an example of the opportunity presenting itself, HRV exported three trot races on Hunter Cup night into France, where trotting enjoys a 50/50 share with thoroughbred racing. Despite the races being telecast into France in an unfavourable timeslot (late morning), the French Tote (PMU) held $568,000 on the three races. That is the equivalent of an entire Saturday night meeting in regional Victoria. It indicates the importance of pushing Victorian trotting further into European markets for future revenue growth. The French have also taken The Knight Pistol (March 7) and the Australian Trotting Grand Prix (March 15). We look forward to seeing strong returns from these two feature races. Drug Research I would like to congratulate the racing industry's drug laboratory Racing Analytical Services Ltd for the establishment of its Biological Research Unit (BRU). The BRU was set up two years ago, courtesy of welcome State Government funding of $1 million over four years. The BRU has quickly established itself as one of the leading laboratories in the world. In the past 12 months it has developed screening methods for proteins and peptides. The peptide screening developed by the BRU has resulted in the first prosecution for illegal peptide use. Ongoing research will provide a comprehensive solution to peptide doping as well as significant improvement in protein screening technology. Victorian Fires Several industry participants were affected by the fires during February. Fortunately there was no loss of life or racing stock, however there was significant property damage. As usual the industry rallied around those affected. In the case of HRV's own Craig Rail, his property was damaged so badly he has been forced to hand feed his horses until there is sufficient growth in his paddocks. Accordingly the HRV stewards' panel and the Mildura Club have chipped in and raised sufficient funds to finance enough bales of hay to keep Craig's stock going until the growth returns, for which he has expressed his gratitude. Another "First" Hot on the heels of the first standardbred to compete in the Garryowen (courtesy of Kathleen Mullan's 'Jimmy') comes another great story of a potential 'first' for a standardbred. Nicole Tassone does a great job of training up retired race horses for a life after the track, under the banner of "Raising The Standards". 'Bob' is now a couple of months into training to become a member of the Victoria Police's Mounted Branch. If he is successful, he will become the first standardbred to be accepted into the Force. ('Bob' raced as Mossdale Allan which had 44 race starts for 4 wins and 8 placings.)  'Bob' picture is attached proudly leading out a patrol in South Melbourne. Nicole is rightly proud of her achievement and we wish 'Bob' all the best in being accepted for a new career. Vale Rocky Baker The Toolern Room at Tabcorp Park was the venue for a memorial service for popular industry figure Ray 'Rocky' Baker. Rocky passed away suddenly on February 15. Speakers at the service followed a consistent theme of Rocky's love for the people in the industry and his generous nature. Through his company Carbine Chemicals, Rocky donated a significant amount of product to Clubs and participants on a regular basis - particularly to those in need. Rocky was also a sponsor of several Clubs and HRV, including prominent signage at the Tabcorp Park track. Our condolences go out to his family. Milestones Several drivers have achieved or are nearing milestones: Nathan Jack drove his 100th winner for the season on Artique at Yarra Valley on March 12; Greg Sugars is sitting on 99 winners for the season; Another of our young guns Matt Craven is on 497 career wins after driving a treble at Ballarat on March 11. Welcome HRV Finance Manager, James Cardona and his wife Andrea, welcomed their first child on March 4, a daughter Emilia. Congratulations to the proud parents. Did You Know? On February 25, the APG Trotters Handicap at Menangle was won by 4YO gelding Vincennes. He was TAB number 20. When was the last time a horse carrying saddlecloth 20 won a trot?     

The early season two-year-old form is starting to take shape and with the Youthful Stakes for the fillies fast approaching, one man who is set to play a strong hand is Avenel trainer Wayne Potter. His pair in Naevia and Wegottarocketmachine both went around at long odds-on when making their debut and each scored impressive victories. But the barriers have not been kind for their first try in feature race company; Naevia has six while Wegottarocketmachine will start from one place wider on the front row in seven. And the field has plenty of talent with well-spruiked debutante Keayang Gertie, debut winner Queen Of Pop and highly touted Ballarat filly Soho Tokyo. That being said, Potter would still be pretty comfortable with his two lightly raced commodities. “She’s pretty casual (Naevia) and pretty green so I’d say she will be a lot better from behind but she’s got a bit of speed and a bit of strength about it,” Potter said. “It was a bit hard to line up how Wegottarocketmachine went on debut but I think she’s a bit better than the other filly. “She’s still learning but she has a bit more speed. I think she knocked off a bit when she was in front but Nathan (Jack) was pretty happy with her and she did go 1:57.8 on a slow day.” Despite both fillies being on the up, each has to contend with the outside of the front row draws but it’s not something their trainer will dwell on. With Nathan Jack electing to drive Wegottarocketmachine, Potter is declaring her the better of the two; at this stage. “It’s not a really good draw for either of them, I would have preferred to draw the back line and come with one run but they’ll just keep working forward I suppose and see where they lob,” he said. “Naevia keeps improving but at this stage Wegottarocketmachine is a little more brilliant and is fairly strong so she has a bit of everything. “Naevia will head off to Bathurst after this but we will just keep the other filly here because she isn’t nominated for too much else in the near future.” by Blake Redden Harness Racing Victoria  

Im Corzin Terror continued a consistent harness racing season when taking out the Terang Co-Op  Pacing Cup in gritty fashion over Abettorpunt and Our Blackbird. In a race that was built up as a speed war, that very scenario ensued as Arber help out Im Corzin Terror with Abettorpunt three-wide and unable to cross the pair. Eventually Arber relented and Im Corzin Terror found the top from Abettorpunt who was forced to sit parked throughout the 2680-metre journey. The blistering lead time of 1:17.1 was followed by easy quarters of 32.8secs and 31.1secs  before they wound up in 29.2secs and 27.8secs for the final section. Im Corzin Terror kept his rivals at bay by 2.7 metres with Abettorpunt holding off Our Blackbird and Arber for the minor placings. The Western Terror gelding, now a six-year-old, took his prizemoney earnings to over $200,000 in 16 wins from his 52 starts for trainer Dean Braun and driver Nathan Jack. by Blake Redden Harness Racing Victoria

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