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Victorian trotter, One Muscle Hill will have his only North Island start at Cambridge Raceway on Friday night. The Nicole Molander trained 2-year-old son of Muscles Hill will line up as one of the favourites in the $8,000 Lone Star Riccarton 2yo Sires Stakes Prelude. Even though he is being temporarily being stabled with Dave and Clare McGowan at Pukekohe, the bay colt is being cared for by Molander's stable employee, Monique Burnett. Molander's husband Dean flies in today (Thursday) to take over from Burnett. "We think a lot of him, but need to know just how good he really is, and that's why we have brought him to New Zealand. He is one of a shipment of horses that was bought in New Zealand by his American owners Mark Hanover and Gordon Banks," Molander (Dean) said. "He's all paid up for the Sires Stakes and Yearling Sales races, so we thought why not. Hopefully he can get enough dollars and also qualify for the Jewels final," he added. Tony Herlihy (MNZM) will have his one and only drive behind One Muscle Hill on Friday before his brother-in-law, Mark Purdon takes over the reins. "He will head to Mark and Natalie's (Rasmussen) stable after Friday's race." One Muscle Hill was a half-neck winner of his only start at Maryborough on March 2 - the $7,000 Seelite Redwood 2yo Trotters Handicap. He started from gate six and was driven by Gavin Lang. He paced the 1690m mobile in 2:12.5 with a 2:06.1 mile rate. His sectionals were: Lead time: 8.0; first quarter: 32.8; second quarter: 31.9; third quarter: 29.7; fourth quarter: 30.1. He was the $7.50 fourth favourite. "We think a lot of him but the best gauge will be to see how he goes in New Zealand. We would love him to qualify for the Jewels Final at Ashburton in early June and then come back here and prepare for the Breeder's Crown," Molander said. Hanover and Banks paid $57,500 for One Muscle Hill to his breeders Lex and Heather Williams of Waimate’s One Over Lodge at last year’s New Zealand Premier Yearling Sale in Christchurch. One Muscle Hill is the third of five foals out of the three-win Earl mare, Landora’s Pearl. “He’s always looked and acted like a good racehorse over here. He really loves eating. He’s such a laid back character, which should help him in his racing. He never seems to get fired up. “The owners were real keen to bring him to New Zealand. He qualified well here and has carried that into race-day form. We just hope he can repeat that in New Zealand. “We know it’s much tougher over there and that’s why we want to send him there to see exactly where he is at,” Molander said. Only five runners will greet starter Colin Courtney in the 1700m mobile. Toughest for One Muscle Hill to beat will be the John and Josh Dickie trained Paramount King, who has drawn the ace. That 2-year-old son of Love You and Paramount Star has won his last two Auckland non-tote races very easily. Duane Ranger

STAR Kiwi trotter Speeding Spur will have to overcome a tricky draw when he returns to Melton to chase another Group 1 win on Saturday night.  In contrast, another classy Kiwi trotter Sunny Ruby looks the main threat on the strength of her recent fantastic form and a favourable barrier (gate four) in the $100,000 Group 1 Australian Trotting Grand Prix (2240m).  Speeding Spur has drawn barrier seven, but will come into six if emergency Its Not Dark Yet doesn’t gain a start.  Speeding Spur and Sunny Ruby ran second and respectively when they last met in the Group 1 Great Southern Star behind Glenferrie Typhoon on Hunter Cup night.  Glenferrie Typhoon has since succumbed to injury and been spelled.  Sunny Ruby, now in the care of Sonya Smith and Anthony Butt, has gone on to post three wins, two of them at Group 1 level.  Although Andy and Kate Gath don’t have Glenferrir Typhoon in the feature, they have two runners in former Kiwi mares Clover Mac (gate one) and K D Muscles (12).  The other Kiwi flavour in the race comes with Daryl Boko and Prince Fearless.  Daryl Boko, who has been switched from Tim Butt to Sonya Smith for an extended Aussie campaign, has gate two.  The enigmatic Prince Fearless was transferred from the All Stars’ barn to Nicole Molander after winning a support race on Hunter Cup night and has gate six this week.  Molander also has a strong hand in another of the features, the $50,000 Group 1 Breed For Speed Gold final (1720m) with High Gait from barrier three.  The main threats look to be Red Hot Tooth (gate three), Sky Petite (eight) and Heavenly Sister (10).  Also of note is the enormous growing influence of Yabby Dams owner Pat Driscoll and his private trainer Anton Golino.  They have a staggering seven of the 11 runners in the $60,000 Need For Speed Princess final for three-year-old trotting fillies.  Golino has repeatedly said Dance Craze, to be driven by Gavin Lang, is the pick of his fillies when she does everything right. Adam Hamilton

LENNYTHESHARK wasn’t the only horse to beat the amazing All Stars team on Miracle Mile night.  Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen had runners in the five major races, won three of them and finished second in the other two.  Lennytheshark nosed-out Smolda in that epic Miracle Mile with the other All Stars runners third (Lazarus) and fourth (Our Waikiki Beach).  Their other second came when last year’s Miracle Mile winner Have Faith In Me returned to something like his best with a fantastic effort in the Group 1 Bohemia Crystal free-for-all (2400m).  But the race went to the emerging and exciting Tact Tate for trainer-driver Amanda Turnbull.  It marked the most important step yet for the five-year-old’s charge towards being a genuine Grand Circuit horse.  Tact Tate ran out of racing room late and caught the eye when luckless fifth to Hectorjayjay in the Canadian Club Sprint a week earlier.  Turnbull drove him to his strength – sheer speed – and needed plenty of luck at the time, but it came courtesy of dream runs along the marker pegs late.  Tact Tate found the room he needed, exploded through the inside and stormed past a gallant Have Faith In Me to win by 2.2m in a sizzling 1min53.6sec mile rate. That’s just 0.9sec outside the track record Smolda set in the same race last year.    Tact Tate’s win was 14th from just 39 starts and he’s now won $303,470 in stakemoney.   Have Faith In Me was trapped deep early, worked around to sit parked and ran a mighty race.  SHANE and Lauren Tritton had a Miracle Mile to forget, but they salvaged something from the night when stable buzz pacer Anything For Love smashed a handy field in the last race.  The four-year-old, who ran a close fourth in the Chariots Of Fire, underlined his exceptional potential with a sizzling 1min49.5sec mile.  The time was just 0.3sec slower than Lennytheshark clocked in the Miracle Mile.  “He’s so exciting,” Shane Tritton said. “He’s come a long way so quickly and is still learning.  “He’s run himself into the ground a couple of times, but he’s learning about racing all the time.  “We were happy to let him run (last night) and he just ran them ragged.”  Anything For Love, purchased out of Victoria a few months ago, ran his splits in 26.6, 29.1, 27.1 and 26.7sec.  He easily held-off a game Saloon Passage, who sat parked, and Charlaval, who enjoyed the trail.  Also in the beaten brigade were horses like Blazin N Cullen, Shannonsablast and Monifieth, who have contested Inter Dominions.  It will be interesting to see where the Trittons take Anything For Love next.  FORMER Kiwi trainer Nicole Molander made a triumphant return to the scene of some of her greatest moments on Miracle Mile night.  When Molander and husband Dean first made the move from NZ to live in Australia, Menangle was their backyard.  They won a stack of races there with champion trotter Keystone Del – including the now defunct Group 1 Glenferrie Challenge twice.  Molander was back on the big stage winning another feature trot last Saturday night with another former Kiwi trotter, seven—ear-old mare Dead Cat Bounce.  Taking the mare to Menangle has been an inspired move. She was struggling to regain peak form in Victoria and has won three on end at Menangle.  Last Saturday night was by far the biggest in the $54,000 Group 1 Australian Pacing Gold Trotters’ Cup (1609m).  Just moments after he won the Miracle Mile, Chris Alford produced another gem of a drive, weaving through gaps late to dash past the leaders in a 1min54.1sec mile.  ONE of the highlights of Menangle’s three-week Carnival of Miracles has been the strong presence of the Queenslanders.  And the star of them has been Grant Dixon’s Leos Best, who won all three starts during his Menangle raid.  The four-year-old produced a career-best performance to lead throughout in the $52,000 Group 2 Miracle Mile Invitational Drivers’ race in a blistering 1min54.5sec mile rate for 2400m.  Mat Rue, who won a Miracle Mile on former star mare Baby Bling, took the reins on Leos Best and beat his old boss, Luke McCarthy, aboard Match Point by 5.7m.  In the other invitational race, for Lady Drivers, young Martelle Maguire scored the biggest win of her career when she led throughout on $60.20 outsider Epaulette in a slick 1min50.8sec mile.  IT was great to see champion driver Kerryn Manning back in action at Geelong last Saturday night.  It was Manning’s first night back in the sulky since suffering a string of nasty injuries including three broken ribs, a punctured lung and severe concussion in a fall at Charlton on December 16, last year.  Manning had three drives for a third, a fourth and an eighth placing.  EMERGING star Brallos Pass would not have been out of place in one of the features at Menangle on Miracle Mile night.  So that made him close to a certainty when connections opted to go to the Albury Cup instead.  And the four-year-old won accordingly, sitting parked and cruising home by 9.1m in a 2min3.1sec mile rate for the 2555m trip with Ellen Tormey aboard.  Brallos Pass, who a NSW Derby heat last season, ran second to Lazarus in the 4YO Bonanza on Hunter Cup night.  He’s now won 12 of his 32 runs with another 15 placings and has the makings of a serious open-class player in time to come.  The Albury Derby was won in similarly dominant fashion by Josh Aiken’s talented three-year-old The Defiant.  With Aiken at Menangle to drive Hectorjayjay, Mark Pitt took the reins on The Defiant, who led throughout and was eased right down late to win by 2.8m.  SOME big and luckless runs through last year’s Perth Inter Dominion could have been the making of classy WA pacer Our Jimmy Johnstone.  The Greg and Skye Bond-trained former Kiwi was unlucky to miss qualifying for the final and ran third in the consolation.  There has been plenty to like about his past two wins, the latest in the $50,000 Group 2 Governors Cup (2130m) at Gloucester Park last Friday night in a sharp 1min55.2sec mile rate.  The other feature on the night went to young trainer Justin Prentice, but not with the mare most punters hoped for.  Prentice’s stable star Major Reality was sent out a $1.20 favourite in the $50,000 Group 2 Empress Stakes, but faded after sitting parked in a 1min56.8sec mile rate for 2536m.  It was her stablemate The Parade, driven by Gary Hall Jr, who stormed to victory over Jungle Jewel.    Adam Hamilton

He is the ultimate professional harness racing reinsman and prolific Victorian winner Chris Alford showed just why when he won the Group One $54,000 Australian Pacing Gold Trotters Cup at Tabcorp Park @Club Menangle tonight. Alford quickly found the front with the Nicole Molander-trained Dead Cat Bounce and defied all efforts to run him down in the straight, scoring a 2.6m win over Glenferrie Burn and Uncas, rating an impressive 1:54.1 for the flying mile. As the field swung for home there looked to be challenges coming from near and far but Alford and Dead Cat Bounce held them all at bay to give Victoria another Group One for the night. Just 45 minutes earlier Alford scored one of the biggest wins of his stellar career, taking out the Miracle Mile with Lennytheshark, but rather than rest on his laurels he was back in the bike and drove another fabulous race to add to one of his best nights at Menangle. Not a bad effort when you consider Alford has driven thousands of winners in a stellar career that win earmark him as one of the greats of this sport. The unusually-named Dead Cat Bounce has now won three in succession and gave the former NSW trainer Molander her first Group One trotting success since she lost ace trotter Keystone Del from her stable. Dead Cat Bounce is by the Swedish stallion Revenue from the Straphanger mare Wee Annie. It was her 13th lifetime victory.        

Star Kiwi raiders Vincent and Jacks Legend are the prepost Victoria Derby favourites, but both have wide draws to overcome in their qualifying heats on Saturday night. Mark Purdon’s Vincent, the Aussie TAB’s $1.70 prepost favourite for the final, is $1.30 to win his heat despite drawing outside the front row (gate seven) in the second heat. Barry Purdon’s Jacks Legend – who will race in Aussie as Be Jacks Legend – is a $2 shot in the opening heat from the outside (gate seven). Be Jacks Legend faces a serious test with the highly-rated Somewhere Secret drawn the pole, Emain Macha in gate five, SA Derby winner Our Jimmie in six and exciting WA raider Im Rockaria in gate eight. Vincent looks a class above his rivals with Shane Tritton’s Blue Moon Rising (gate two) and Emma Stewart’s Rocknroll Icon (three_ the next best credentialled. Former Mark Purdon-trained pacer You Gotta Have Faith, now with Nicole Molander, has drawn gate eight in Vincent’s heat. Mark Purdon’s Derby second-stringer, Motu Meteor, gets his chance from the pole in the third heat. His major rivals are Jilliby Kung Fu (gate two), Astride (four) and Breeders Crown 2YO winner A Little General (five). There is also plenty of Kiwi flavour in Saturday night’s $50,000 Group 1 Dullard Cup (2240m) – the last lead-up to next week’s Group 1 Great Southern Star. Sam Smolenski’s Sunny Ruby is a key player from gate four, Quite A Moment has barrier 11, while former Kiwi trotter Great Things Happen has gate 13. Early favourite is NSW trotters On Thunder Road from gate two. The race also marks the return of former champ Keystone Del (gate 10), who trialled well against the pacers at Maryborough last Sunday. The X-factor in the race is Swedish-bred former Victorian and now WA-trained trotter Cardigan Boko. Cardigan Boko is trained by Clive Dalton and champion WA driver Chris Lewis is making the trip across to take the reins Adam Hamilton

Harness racing team Molander look on track to renew their acquaintances with Breeders Crown joy, with their Race To Royalty to be revived tomorrow at Maryborough. Based at Riddells Creek, trainer Nicole Molander and husband Dean have prepared two talented trotters for tomorrow’s heats in Our Regal Love and champion High Gait, winner of last year’s two-year-old Breeders Crown final. The Muscles Yankee filly was then in Mark Purdon’s powerful All Stars stable and saluted on the same night Reina Danzante won the three-year-old fillies final for Molander. Tomorrow High Gait steps out for the fourth time for Molander and expectations are high. “She is right up there with the best of them,” Dean Molander said. Since transitioning to the Molanders’ property for her New Zealand owners, High Gait was undefeated until Paul Nairn’s smart filly Wilmas Mate pipped her in an eventful Group 1 Seelite Windows & Doors Victoria Trotters Derby, when High Gait did plenty of work before being beaten 2.7m. “She came home and ate everything,” Molander said. “She’s a pretty tough little horse and has done plenty of work in quite a few runs. She only had one lead up and should tune up better for the Redwood.” Wilmas Mate will be absent from tomorrow’s heats having secured her berth in the August 26 final via a win at Christchurch’s Addington Raceway, with the three-year-old instead nominated for Friday night’s Collaborate Communications Trot at Tabcorp Park Melton. Molander said High Gait and Wilmas Mate “look the standouts”, but plenty of talent will surround them. “(High Gait) obviously has a bad barrier draw (tomorrow), but she will take her chances along the way,” Molander said. “Princess Phoenix will likely lead and whether she hands up to us or we sit outside is unclear, but she will certainly be in it at the finish.” There are a few more unknowns when it comes to Molander’s other Breeders Crown entrant Our Regal Love, a two-year-old Love You filly who, like High Gait, is Breckon Farms owned and bred. “Her running is getter better and better every start,” Molander said. “She hasn’t raced all of the season, unlike a few of the others, but we are really happy with her.” Our Regal Love placed third in the Seelite Windows & Doors Redwood Classic, having lost touch with geldings Illawong Byron and Custodian. “On Redwood day she sat in the trail and when they quickened she didn’t quite know what to do, but she is improving and won’t be far away,” Molander said. “It is a nice little heat with Sval Queen and Betty Hall drawn inside her and Illawong Shimmer on her outside. “We think she will be a top horse after she has a spell. They will both have a short break after Breeders Crown.” Michael Howard (HRV Media/Communications Co-Ordinator) Fields for Maryborough, Wednesday 17 August 2016 Form guide for Maryborough, Wednesday 17 August 2016

Star Kiwi filly High Gait will be one of the headline acts when the countdown to the harness racing Breeders Crown continues at Maryborough tomorrow (Wednesday). All six races are trotting heats of the Crown and High Gait will be a dominant favourite despite drawing the outside in her qualifier for the 3YO fillies’ division. It’s her first run since a fantastic second to another star Kiwi filly Wilmas Mate in the Group 1 Victoria Trotters’ Derby at the same track last Sunday week. High Gait has drawn seven, but will start from the six alley with the scratching of Princess Venom. High Gait’s trainer Nicole Molander also has another Kiwi, Our Regal Love, drawn gate three in the second race, a heat for two-year-old fillies. Another Kiwi, Tony Herlihy’s Temporale, will be favourite from gate six in his heat of the 3YO colts and geldings series. He finished chased home Wilmas Mate and High Gait in the Victoria Derby. It will be an interesting contest with exciting, unbeaten local Maori Law drawn gate two at by far his biggest test. Australia’s top juvenile trotter Illawong Byron, last-start winner of the Group 1 Redwood at the same track, will be chasing his seventh win from just 11 runs in the third race. It will also be great to get another look at the superbly-bred Nieta, a grand-daughter of La Coocaracha and by Muscle Mass. She was given a break after easily winning only start and sharpened-up for her return with impressive recent Melton trial win. Adam Hamilton

Punters left Tabcorp Park Melton on a high after favourites dominated the nine-race harness racing card, including well-travelled three-year-old High Gait, who added a third Australian Group 1 to her decorated career. Driver Chris 'Puppet' Alford brought up his 200th win in Victoria for the season in the Noel Simpson Memorial Victoria Trotters Oaks when he steered High Gait to a hard-earned victory, with the Muscles Yankee filly out of Regal Volo having to fight off a terrific Red Hot Tooth to claim the bulk of the $60,575 stakes. “(High Gait) is a professional little horse. They have probably caught up to her a little bit from last year, but she was still good enough to win,” Alford said. “It’s always good to drive a real nice trotter and ones like this don’t come along too often.” The win rewarded the efforts of trainer Nicole Molander, who has taken back responsibility for the filly after a stint in leading Kiwi trainer Mark Purdon’s care. The Group 1 win was hard earned, with Kari Males’ filly Red Hot Tooth (Yankee Paco/Karaka Tooth) defying her $36 odds to lead impressively. She was joined by the favourite at the 400m mark but never gave up the fight, with High Gait’s class edge bearing fruit in the dying stages to win by 1.3m. “There was plenty of action early and I had to probably come out earlier than what I would have liked,” Alford said. “She got to the front and, I’m not sure what happened, she was going to win by a length and just clocked off, but fortunately she held on.” It was the second of a double for Alford on the night, having earlier steered Our Missionary Man (Jeremes Jet/Hawthorne) to victory in the DNR Logistics Pace for trainer Emma Stewart. Stewart also walked away with a double after Major Secret’s return from a lengthy lay-off continued to bring success, having claimed the tab.com.au Pace for two consecutive victories in the hands of driver Gavin Lang. “For a horse that’s come back after nearly 12 months off and to win two races in a row like that, it’s really a credit to everybody involved,” Lang said of the five-year-old by Art Major out of Secret Life. “We all know how good he has been, but to come back and race at this level and show the ability he has got, to sundry and all it’s a great effort.” Alan Tubbs’ four-year-old Ponder gelding, Tee Cee Bee Macray, again produced a show-stopping burst to salute, this time winning the Empire Stallions Vicbred Platinum Metropolitan Pace final for driver Greg Sugars. “He’s got tremendous speed,” Sugars said. “That’s a pretty impressive last quarter … he would have run clearly under 27 (seconds). Very fast horse, very bright future in front of him.” From last at the bell, Tee Cee Bee Macray was given cover into the race before taking off four-wide around the last corner to pursue Kerryn Manning’s heat winner Miss Dreamin and Mildura flyer Murranji Track, who emerged from the box seat into the sprint lane. None could match Tee Cee Bee Macray’s irresistible pace. “He’s turning into more and more of a racehorse every time he steps out on to the track,” Sugars said. “That speed he’s got, it’s going to hold him in good stead when he’s up in grade against better horses, because he can follow any speed and still finish off just as quick. He’s an exciting animal.” Others to venture into the winners’ circle included talented trotters Illawong Byron and Claudys Princess. Trainer-driver Jodi Quinlan's two-year-old gelding by Muscle Mass out of Illawong Blush registered a fourth win from seven starts when Illawong Byron won the Group 2 Haras Des Trotteurs Tatlow Stakes. “He was very fired up tonight in the warm up,” Quinlan said post-race. “I always planned to press forward, I just had to really balance him early. He was just trying to go a little bit too hard and starting to mix his gear a little bit. That’s all an experience thing and if he settles he doesn’t usually trot like that, he usually trots quite good. He is just getting a little fired up.” But despite being a temperamental two-year-old he proved too good, as did Claudys Princess (Bacardi Lindy/All Finesse) who by contrast was once again on her best behaviour to win the Group 2 Bacardi Lindy Mares Trot for trainer Michael Blackmore and driver Gavin Lang. “That’s been the great thing about (Claudys Princess), her manners have been exemplary all her life and, as you know, in the trotting ranks you are halfway home when they are like that,” Lang said. There were further smiles in trainer Michael Barby and driver Anne-Maree Conroy’s camp after It Is Billy also confirmed his top billing to win the Mittys Young Pedro Free For All, a second straight success for the It Is I gelding out of Glenlyon Glad. Having led throughout a 26.8 last quarter clinched the deal for It Is Billy. “He can move when he wants too,” Conroy said. “It’s terrific that he did win. The (owners) are happy all the time, it’s great to win for them.” Also making it two wins in as many meetings at Tabcorp Park Melton was Tenno Dance, who won the Aldebaran Park Trotters Handicap for trainer Glenn Sharp and driver Josh Duggan. The five-year-old by Tennotrump out of Disco Dance registered a half-head win from Jimbo Johnson. The night closed with an old favourite from trainer David Aiken’s stable, Smudge Bromac, winning the Cogs Claiming Pace, a 34th career win for the 10-year-old veteran of 189 races. “He went awesome,” driver Josh Aiken said. “He knows his job and loves racing and it’s just good he can still win at age 10.” by Michael Howard

High Gait gets her chance to atone for a recent string of minor placings in Friday night’s Noel Simpson Memorial Victoria Trotters Oaks at Tabcorp Park Melton. The daughter of Muscles Yankee (fourth on the Australian 3YO trotting sires’ list this season) out of Regal Volo, bred by Breckon Bloodstock, has drawn barrier 10 in the 2240-metre Group 1 race, which carries a purse of $60,575. CHECK OUT TAB.COM.AU’S FIXED ODDS MARKET ON THE TROTTERS OAKS The multiple classic-winning youngster has been out of the winners’ list since March 12 when she won the Need for Speed Final, but trainer Nicole Molander said she was particularly pleased with High Gait’s last-start effort in the New South Wales Trotters Oaks at Menangle. “She had a pretty hard run the other day … she still went very good, especially with the run she had,” Molander said. “They ran a world record time for three-year-old fillies over the 2400m and she was wide then parked the whole way. “If she had have had the sit on another runner then she would have finished over the top of them.” Champion reinsman Chris Alford has won five races aboard High Gait. “Chris is a top driver to have on from the tricky draw, so that will be his job,” Molander said. Molander said Pizza Queen and Keayang Yankee were two major dangers in what looks an open Trotters Oaks field. Matt Jackson

And then were two. Seven short days ago, five Australian runners were confirmed to contest the 2016 Harness Jewels at Cambridge Raceway but following a dire week for Harness Racing New Zealand's (HRNZ) marquee event of the season, that number has shrunk to two. Reina Danzante's​ withdrawal from the four-year-old Ruby over the weekend further compounds the misery following Illawong Byron (two-year-old Ruby) and Arms Of An Angel (four-year-old Diamond) both being withdrawn last week. Reina Danzante, trained by ex-pat Kiwi Nicole Molander​, broke soon after leaving the mobile gate in a race at Ballarat on Friday night and refused to settle. Following the disappointing showing, connections made the decision to stay home and skip the Jewels. Arms Of An Angel was taken out because of a suspected virus and connections of Illawong Byron chose to stay home when the trotter was placed on the unruly. HRNZ racing manager Darrin Williams said only having two Australian invites was frustrating but it was only bad luck that saw the other three withdraw. The only Australian invites to wear the green Jewels colours will be My Kiwi Mate, who is  a $12 chance in the four-year-old Emerald, and Heza Bromac, who is a $26 chance in the three-year-old Emerald. Nominations for the top 20 in each of the nine categories went up on the HRNZ website on Sunday evening and trainers have been sent acceptance notices. Final withdrawals close on Friday with fields, including barrier draws to be out on Friday afternoon. The top 13 stake earners in the seven divisions without an Australian invite will make the cut but only the top 12 qualify in the four and three year-old Emerald races to make way for the Australian invite. Better B Chevron's maiden win at Oamaru on Sunday is enough to lift the Ken Barron-trained runner into the top 12 for the two-year-old Diamond. Another two-year-old to win at Oamaru, James Dean, still sits just outside the main field for the two-year-old Emerald in 16th spot. Sunday's Oamaru meeting was the final opportunity to qualify for the Jewels. Destiny Jones, a race winner at Addington on Saturday, has forced her way into the top 12 of the four-year-old Ruby for Waterlea trainer Dean Hunter. The horse she beat, Great Things Happen, has been withdrawn. Last year's two-year-old Ruby winner Missandei​ has just managed to sneak into the three-year-old Ruby field in 13th position. Missandei blew her chances of a win at Forbury Park​ on Thursday night when she galloped away from the start as a $1.40 favourite. A win would have made her spot in the Jewels much more comfortable. Better B Chevron James Dean Mat Kermeen

HRNZ have made significant moves today to confirm several more Australian Harness Jewels invites. The latest runner to be officially invited is 4yo Armbro Invasion trotting mare Reina Danzante, trained by Nicole Molander. Owner Pat Driscoll is said to be delighted to have received an invite, and quickly snapped up his chance to come over and compete. Nicole Molander is very keen to have a jewels starter and is looking forward to the trip with her handy mare. Reina Danzante becomes the 5th invite, joining Arms Of An Angel, Heza Bromac, My Kiwi Mate and Illawong Byron as the other Australians set to cross the ditch and do battle. Owners of Eljaykay Phoenix and Princess Phoenix, along with their trainer David Aiken appreciated the interest shown in their two stars, but declined invites today with both set to focus on home features. HRNZ are not finished and are working on several other options for the remaining invites. Andrew Fitzgerald

Less than a month out from the Summer of Glory harness racing carnival Daylesford star It Is Billy is the talk of the town. Trainer Michael Barby’s seven-year-old scored his biggest win yet last night at Geelong, pocketing the lion’s share of the prize money and the silverware in the Group 3 Corio Waste Management Geelong Pacing Cup. Driven a treat by Barby’s wife Anne-Maree Conroy, It Is Billy signalled his arrival on the grand stage by out-sprinting race favourite Hectorjayjay at the end of the 2570-metre feature. In the run you wanted to be on either race favourite Hectorjayjay ($2.40), who pinged off the arm from gate one to lead easily, or It Is Billy ($5.5), who trailed the leader from eight. At the quarter pole the leader looked to have plenty in hand after 29.3, 29.8 and 29.1 opening splits of the final mile. But once the sprint lane opened up Conroy and It Is Billy blasted into top gear to overhaul the leader in a final split of 27.7secs for a 1:56.6 mile rate. Underrated stayer Im Corzin Terror (Greg Sugars) ran third but his was the run of the race outside the winner, covering ground three-wide from the half-mile and beaten only half a length at the finish. The night’s other cup feature, the Flying Brick Cider Company McNamara Memorial Trotters Cup was taken by Dead Cat Bounce (Revenue/Wee Annie) for trainer Nicole Molander and reinsman Chris Alford. The six-year-old mare stepped like a professional from the tapes and was never overtaken on her way to a 2:04.3 win – her second country cup success since crossing the Tasman. There will be plenty of horses to follow from the Geelong meeting with winners Macterra Lad, Emmanuel, Cruz Bromac and Ellas Puppeteer all rising stars. by Cody Winnell

The harness racing Molander stable has bolstered its stock with the inclusion of a former Kiwi named Dead Cat Bounce, who will make her Australian debut in the St Arnaud Sporting Club Trotters Cup on Sunday. Trainer Nicole Molander is hopeful the well-named daughter of Revenue/Wee Annie can defy her “lazy track work” since arriving at Riddells Creek.  “We were warned beforehand and I’m glad we were because she’s the laziest thing I’ve ever seen at home,” Molander said. “She arrived last Sunday and I think she’ll be the type who’ll hopefully put it all together on race day.” Dead Cat Bounce won two of her last five starts at Addington before crossing the ditch and has a 41:7-4-8 record overall. “The owner of Cillas Boy, John Green, had been looking to sell that one for a while but wanted to replace him with another horse for the stable. Dean (Molander) had been watching Dead Cat Bounce for a while … and John said go for it,” Molander said. Dead Cat Bounce has barrier three for Sunday’s 2520-metre stand-start cup but with the scratching of Maorisfavouritesun she’ll only have one horse – Tiroroa Tom – drawn to her inside. The Trotters Cup will be run at 3.43pm. Molander will saddle up two runners for the Weirs Supa IGA St Arnaud Pacing Cup in Cillas Boy and Im Meticulous. “He thought he was king pin when he won three in a row and last start he didn’t get much chance,” she said of Cillas Boy. “A lot will depend on whether he steps away on Sunday.” On Im Meticulous Molander was more confident, nominating it her best winning shot for the afternoon. “He came back making a horrible noise last start after a disappointing run. We had him scoped and he’s fine now. He flipped his palate, so we’ve popped the Cornell Collar on to remedy that.” by Cody Winnell

Keystone Del’s team will hope to build on his latest harness racing winning streak on Saturday night at Tabcorp Park Melton and leave recent injury woes well in his wake. The eight-year-old will be favoured to record a fourth successive win in the Group 3 City of Melton Scotch Notch Memorial, a fine comeback since a right kidney tear threatened to derail his 2015. Dean Molander, husband of trainer Nicole, said connections were eager to “just take it one race at a time”. “So far so good,” he said. Keystone Del reeled off 13 consecutive wins from March 22, 2014, beginning with the Group 1 Great Southern Star. Coincidently, it was the 2015 staging of the same race – when Keystone Del faded to finish seventh – that concerns emerged about the gelding’s ailing health. “He had quite a bit of blood is his urine when he was getting swabbed,” Molander said. “It happened a few times.” The repeat incidence made connections believe it was more than muscle tie-up. Keystone Del was sent to the University of Melbourne, where he was placed on a dialysis machine and across three days of testing the tear was discovered, with rest the anecdote and enabling his return.  “After every run now he has a urine test and is monitored,” Molander said. And, to repeat, “so far so good”. “He set a track record two starts ago and Chris Alford said if he let him go last time he would have broken it again.” It was August 14 at Melton where Keystone Del ran a track record 1:54.5 mile rate, fittingly eclipsing favourite Maori Time, who eight months earlier broke Keystone Del’s 13-race winning streak. Alford then guided Keystone Del to a 6.7m win in Group 3 True Roman Trotters Free For All at his last start, having been called to have “coasted” in a “one-act affair”. Notably, Pretty Sunday (second), Aleppo Midas (third) and Aleppo Sunrise (fourth) were among those in his wake and they’ll return for potentially a repeat dose Saturday night in the City of Melton Scotch Notch Memorial. “Everything being equal you’d expect he will go very close, and he trialled very well at Geelong on Monday,” Molander said. The pre-race trial is common practice for Keystone Del, who Molander said was not one to overtrain, “and if we give him one decent run the week of his race that just brings him right up.” He said Kyvalley Blur would be “the hardest to beat” Saturday night, but added “the only time he has beaten him was when he had those kidney problems”.  “(Kyvalley Blur) is a very good horse and has a good record, but I’m sure the rest of the runners are more scared of us than we are of them.” All going well, Keystone Del will be directed at the Bill Collins Trotters Mile in November before, longer-term, a return assault on the Great Southern Star in March where the team will attempt to adhere to some unfinished business. by Michael Howard Related Links Fields for Tabcorp Park Melton, Saturday 10 October 2015 Form guide for Tabcorp Park Melton, Saturday 10 October 2015

Conon Bridge defeated Cyclone Chief by a metre to claim Group 1 glory in the Aldebaran Park Breeders Crown 2YO Colts and Geldings Trotters Final at Melton’s Super Sunday program. The Paul Nairn-trained son of Raffaello Ambrosio/Diedre’s Girl survived a protest from the second horse, with the winner veering inwards in the home straight. However, stewards couldn’t be satisfied that the interference cost Cyclone Chief the race and the first horse over the line held his position, much to the relief of the favourite punters. Bob Butt drove the winner and Todd MacFarlane was aboard the second horse. Conon Bridge started $1.40 and led throughout from the pole, his winning mile rate 2:03.9. Cruisin Around ran a mighty race for trainer Michael Hughes and driver Greg Sugars to finish third, while Sundons Courage was fourth from three back along the pegs, running on well after a slow early pace up front. Reina Danzante goes all the way in fillies' final Reina Danzante won her second Group 1 for trainer Nicole Molander and driver Chris Alford with an all-the-way triumph in today’s IMV Technologies Breeders Cown Final for 3YO trotting fillies. The daughter of Armbro Invasion out of champion mare La Coocaracha led from barrier four to score by a neck in a mile rate of 2:00.9, Glenferrie Burn running on for second and My Arya finishing third. “Nicole and Dean (Molander) have done a super job,” Alford said. “Two Group 1s has been great and she should only get better too.” Once in front Reina Danzante posted a 31.4secs first quarter before a 29.4 second split. Reina Danzante got home in 58.7secs. Reina Danzante won the Vicbred Super Series earlier this season. by Cody Winnell

Reina Danzante became a harness racing Group 1 winner at just her fourth trip to the races tonight at Tabcorp Park Melton. The well-bred daughter of Armbro Invasion out of former champion mare La Coocaracha enjoyed a comfortable run in the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series 3YO Trotting Fillies Final before bursting through late to defeat Sky Petite. Driven by Chris Alford for trainer Nicole Molander, Reina Danzante began well but was crossed by Sheza Amason and Rebecca Bartley. Reigning Vicbred Super Series champion Endsino was caught without cover for the trip after getting a good run through from her second-line draw, Alford able to sit quietly until the home straight. Sky Petite (Steve Duffy) made a strong run turning for home and almost looked the winner, but Alford and Reina Danzante fired up late to get the victory by 2.4 metres, with Val Gardena (Chris Svanosio) rattling home out wide for third. “She’s come in leaps and bounds since she came down,” Alford said. “They (Nicole and Dean Molander) do a good job with their horses. They don’t have a big team but they’re all pretty spot-on.” Donski finished fourth and Zaire Diva fifth. Watch Reina Danzante win her Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series Final Cody Winnell

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