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Breaking out on your own after a successful harness racing partnership that has lasted many years is supposed to be hard yakka, but Paul Court can be forgiven though for thinking it’s all a little too easy. The West Melton horseman, who was alongside his father Graham in training partnership for close to a decade, is making a pretty good fist of the solo training caper and yesterday, on the first day of the Marlborough Harness Racing Club’s Winter meeting, he picked up his first training hatrick. “It’s been a pretty dream start really, better than I could have ever expected anyway,” Court said. Yesterday’s three wins came less than 24 hours after Stunin Dude won at Forbury Park on Thursday night in the hands of Blair Orange and it was the Postman who was in the sulky for two thirds of his Friday success. Orange drove both Hypervelocity and Expressive Victor to victory while Ricky May was on board Courage To Live who won the last race of the day. “I thought that they were all good chances, but for all three to win was great. “You got to the race expecting to have a good day and often it’s the opposite.” Expressive Victor’s win in the Winter Cup Prelude was impressive. The 4-year-old mare, who was second behind Rocker Band in the 4YO Ruby at the Harness Jewels three weeks ago, overcame an early bobble to sit off the speed before unwinding brilliantly down centre track to secure victory. “The gallop was a bit of a worry, she’s usually such a good beginner. “Blair said she got a bit of a fright when the tapes went, I don’t think one on the 10 metre line was a good draw for her.” The imposing mare will start a warm order favourite on Sunday to go back-to-back on what is fast becoming her favourite track. From five starts on the Waterlea Raceway surface she’s won twice and placed on as many occasions with her only failure coming when she choked down and crashed to the deck at the Summer meeting earlier this year. Both Hypervelocity and Courage To Live will both also be in action on Sunday.   The former will have to deal with the impressive Franco Cristiano who made light work of his race track return earlier in yesterday’s programme for Robert and John Dunn. Courage To Live also has a tough ask from a wider draw, but his free going racing style means he will be on the speed at some stage in the race and that’s here he seems to race best. “He probably lacks that really high speed, but he will just keep going. “I was pretty impressed with the way he won, he looked like he could have kept going at that speed too. “He’s just got better and better each time I’ve taken him to the races.” Closely related to Terror To Love, the Jereme’s Jet colt was one of two winners for Terry McDonald who also shares owns Hypervelocity. McDonald went had the perfect day on Friday with Letspendanitetogetha, who he owns with good friend Reg Storer, finishing second to Courage To Live. While Court’s three wins was impressive, Orange’s driving talents were on full display. He won three races to go with the three he picked up on Thursday night, taking him to 117 winners for the season and 16 wins clear in second position on the national premiership which is being led by Dexter Dunn. Dunn endured a winless day at the office and will have to wait until next week to get New Zealand win No. 200 as he’s on a plane to drive Christen Me in Queensland on Saturday night and isn’t returning to Blenheim for Sunday’s meeting. Matt Markham

Harness Racing Trainer Paul Court has a Blenheim winter double in mind to wind down Expressive Victor's stellar season on a high.  Court will start the Harness Jewels runner-up in the Winter Cup Prelude on the first day of the Marlborough Harness Racing Club's double header and she is likely to go again in Sunday's Winter Cup. Expressive Victor was given a week off following her second in the four-year-old Diamond behind Rocker Band. She has not been sighted publicly since but her West Melton-based trainer is confident she is forward enough to be competitive on both days Waterlea. "If anything she might be better for the run on Friday, but I wouldn't be coming if I didn't think she could (win)," Court said. Expressive Victor starts off 10m in Friday's Prelude but being the reliable and speedy beginner she is from the stand, the winner of seven races should be able to find the front if Blair Orange wants it. Court believes Expressive Victor is versatile and is not concerned if she does not lead. The daughter of Changeover raced by the De Novo Syndicate has chalked up five wins and six minor placings from 16 starts this season to exceed Court's expectations. "We always thought she was a pretty handy horse that could win two or three pretty quick but she just keeps stepping up." But Expressive Victor has not been the only bright point of Court's first season training on his own accord. Before Thursday night's Forbury Park meeting, he had already tallied 25 winners and could not be happier with how the season has panned out. He spent seven seasons training in partnership with his father Graham - highlighted by three consecutive New Zealand Trotting Cup victories with champion pacer-turned-sire Terror To Love. Thirty winners for the season looks possible but Court is not targeting any specific number. "I'm over the moon really. I didn't think about how many we might get beforehand, I just like to let it play out and see what happens. "I've been really happy with how many runners we have had in the Group races and how competitive we have been in them," Court said. Court also has a couple of leading hopes in c1 races over 2300m on the first day at Blenheim. Hypervelocity​ (race 6) and Courage To Live (race 9) both start from barrier two and although Court is not brimming with confidence, he rates both winning chances. The Bruce Hutton-trained Ideal Arden, who won the Nelson Winter Cup Prelude and Nelson Winter Cup will look to repeat the double in Blenheim. Highview Freddy​ ran two placings behind Ideal Arden at Nelson with stablemate Graduate Under Fire finishing just in behind with two top five finishes for the Robert Dunn stable. "Highview Freddy would have to be the pick of them just on that Nelson form," stable representative John Dunn said.      The highlight for the Dunn stable will be the return of exciting pacer Franco Cristiano​ who makes his makes his comeback from a long injury layoff in the c2-c3 pace over 2300m. The three-year-old was one of the main challengers to the All Stars colts before fracturing a pedal bone earlier this season. "He's pretty forward, he's had two nice trials," Dunn said. Mat Kermeen

Talented 2yo filly Delightful Memphis will get her shot at Group 1 glory next week when she contests the $110,000 Woodlands Stud Caduceus Club Fillies Classic at Auckland. The connections of the Mark Jones filly, who last week was gallant in defeat after sitting parked almost the entire way, have stumped up the large $15,000.00 late payment fee. Jones was suitably impressed by the run last week and a start in the Caduceus Classic was an obvious choice. “She’s come through last week’s run really well, and with their only being three Group 1s for the 2yo fillies it makes sense to have a crack at this one while we are up here” said Jones. Blair Orange will take back the reins next week after Jones handled her himself last week. “Blair couldn’t drive her last week due to the premier meeting at Addington, but it worked out well as I didn’t mind driving her myself just to see how she handled that way around” “It’s an even bunch of fillies this year and it all comes down to whoever draws the best and receives the best trip, they can all run the time, you just have to be close enough at the 400m to win” said Mark. The late payment also makes Delightful Memphis eligible for the Peter Breckon Memorial Ladyship Stakes in December this year. Delightful Memphis is co owned by Wayne Higgs, cricket commentator Simon Doull, Sir Lions Limited, Pete & Debra Smith, Kaysan Farming Limited, BM & JH Holdings Ltd   Meanwhile the Paul Court trained filly Jewel on the Beach is unlikely to pay the late entry fee with connections set on featuring in next season's top races. Andrew Fitzgerald

Talented 2yo filly Delightful Memphis will get her shot at Group 1 glory next week when she contests the $110,000 Woodlands Stud Caduceus Club Fillies Classic at Auckland. The connections of the Mark Jones filly, who last week was gallant in defeat after sitting parked almost the entire way, have stumped up the large $15,000.00 late payment fee. Jones was suitably impressed by the run last week and a start in the Caduceus Classic was an obvious choice. “She’s come through last week’s run really well, and with their only being three Group 1s for the 2yo fillies it makes sense to have a crack at this one while we are up here” said Jones. Blair Orange will take back the reins next week after Jones handled her himself last week. “Blair couldn’t drive her last week due to the premier meeting at Addington, but it worked out well as I didn’t mind driving her myself just to see how she handled that way around” “It’s an even bunch of fillies this year and it all comes down to whoever draws the best and receives the best trip, they can all run the time, you just have to be close enough at the 400m to win” said Mark. The late payment also makes Delightful Memphis eligible for the Peter Breckon Memorial Ladyship Stakes in December this year. Delightful Memphis is co owned by Wayne Higgs, cricket commentator Simon Doull, Sir Lions Limited, Pete & Debra Smith, Kaysan Farming Limited, BM & JH Holdings Ltd   Meanwhile the Paul Court trained filly Jewel on the Beach is unlikely to pay the late entry fee with connections set on featuring in next season's top races. Andrew Fitzgerald

The sixth heat of the Nevele R Fillies Series is up for decision at the harness racing meeting at Forbury Park on Thursday night and RR Sand Dollar has all the form on the board to be the one to beat here. A three year old filly from the first crop of the now defunct Rob Roy Mattgregor, RR Sand Dollar has nothing in her favour except class and even from barrier seven over the 1700 metres trip she looks to carry too many guns for the opposition here.  RR Sand Dollar was beaten a nose here at Forbury Park in December over the 1700 metres at her only start on the track and she has improved dramatically since then. Three runs back she was beaten a nose by the brilliant Nek Time in a brilliant 1:54.8 mile rate at Addington Raceway and followed that with two effortless wins down south, with the big late finish at Winton especially impressive. Trainer Paul Court has enlisted the services of Blair Orange, the hottest driver in the south over the last few weeks to take the reins again and only bad luck should really beat her. Take out RR Sand Dollar and the race becomes very even, with four or five big winning chances. The Gavin Smith pair of Scarlett Banner and Allison Stokke have both shown enough at various stages this season to be big chances here from their draws of one and two. Scarlett Banner has been racing Golden Goddess, Piccadilly Princess, and Luisansbelle Midfrew most of the season and will appreciate the huge dropback in class here while Allison Stokke has run two beauties in her last two starts behind two very smart maidens in Heavens Rocks and Fiddlethefool and looms as a big improver here.  Rakarazor continues to go good races every week and her third in 1:54.1 for the mile at Winton on Saturday is good form for this race. Rakarazor has high gate speed and Clark Barron is sure to use that and attempt to lead all the way from barrier four with catch me if you can tactics. And so we come to Emily Blunt. Three months ago she would have been a hot favourite in this race and although she has performed admirably since, she has not been her old self lately. Blinds come off tomorrow night in an effort to sharpen her up and that just be enough to right the ship here.. She has the ability to beat most here and weather she has the aptitude we will see on Thursday night. Selections RR Sand Dollar is the clear first pick for us and should win barring accidents Scarlett Banner and Emily Blunt may not have the best form on the board right now but they are two high class fillies at their best and we found it hard to split them for second or third.  It is the same for 4th and 5th with Allison Stokke and Rakarazor both going consistently well and both are capable of finishing first four. Trifecta and First Four  8 --- 2, 3, 4, 5 Harnessjlink Media

The two year old pace at the harness racing meeting at Addington Raceway tonight looked a fairly open race with several runners being well supported on the tote. Mongolian Storm was sent out the favourite but Tere The Terminator and Nicol Shard were very close up in the betting market as well. Tere The Terminator led from barrier one for Blair Orange and was out by a couple of lengths passing the mile marker and then for no reason galloped and veered out and almost collected Nicol Shard and Dexter Dunn who were improving on his outer. Mongolian Storm and Ricky May took the opportunity to work to the front and then hand up to Nicol Shard who after getting skittled by Tere The Terminator showed speed to whip around the field and lead. The order stayed the same until Bettor To Be Tricky went up and applied real pressure passing the 500 metres mark. Turning for home Bettor To Be Tricky surged to the front and looked the likely winner but Mongolian Storm slowly but surely started to real him in the last 150 metres and went on by in the last 50 metres for a deserved win. Bettor To Be Tricky stuck on really well for second with the first starter Cobra Banner running on late for third. In the coolish windy conditions, Mongolian Storm paced the 1950 metres in 2:24.1, a mile rate of 1:58.9 with the closing sectionals of 58.4 and 29.1. Trainer Paul Court was happy with the run by the son of Courage Under Fire " He has missed a bit of work lately so he was pretty short tonight." " I thought he might be vunerable because of that but class has got him home." " That run will tighten him up bigtime and he can go to the Sires Stakes heat next week now." " Also I think he is better driven with a sit because he has such high speed."  " Whatever he does at two is a bonus as I think he will make a lovely three year old," Paul said. Driver Ricky May was also happy with the run of Mongolian Storm. " He has actually won that a lot easier than it looked." "I was trying to look after him throughout the race as I knew he was short of race fitness." " It was really windy out there as well so it was a  good effort,"  Ricky said. Brad Mowbray, the trainer of Tere The Terminator was still shaking his head when asked for comment on his smart two year old. " He galloped for no reason really which is frustrating but I suppose you can say he is a work in progress."  "He did make up a lot of ground after his gallop to finish where he did so there is no problem with the ability". " We just needs the manners to come right," Brad said Harnesslink Media  

Although there are only seven runners in tonights Young Guns heat at the harness racing meeting at Alexandra Park, the depth of the field is very strong with five of the runners having strong claims. The All Star barn has two entered in Pacing Major and More The Better and both are huge chances. They have provided the quinella in both the Sapling Stakes and the Kindergarten Stakes at their last two starts and look to be peaking nicely for the Young Guns Final next week. Pacing Major has beaten More The Better in his last two but More The Better has the better of the draws this week and it wouldn't surprise if he turned the tables on the stablemate. Both of the All Star runners were beaten at Alexandra Park in their debut runs and while they deserve to start favourite, there is plenty of class in the heat which will keep them honest. The three juveniles that stand in the way of an All Stars stable victory are headed by Vasari from the Ray Green barn who has drawn barrier one which makes him a serious player here. A winner earlier in the season in 2:03 for the 1700 metres showed he would be very competitive here but he needed a good draw as well in our opinion and he has got it. Billy Badger from the Robert Dunn barn is another smart juvenile drawn well tonight who after a couple of nice thirds, beat Pacing Major at the New Years Eve meeting at Alexandra Park. A last quarter in that race in 26.2 was further proof if any was needed that Billy Badger will be a major player in any race he starts in. Billy Badger looks the likely leader from barrier two and will give his supporters a good sight in front like he did at his last start. Mongolian Hero from the Paul Court stable has had the misfortune to draw the outside of the gate but that won't stop him playing a major role here. He has improved with every run this campaign and his third behind More The Better and Pacing Major at Addington where he was beaten by a margin of two heads after sitting parked for the last 1000 metres showed he is right up there with the best juveniles this season. Tonights heat of the Young Guns series should give us a much better idea of  the relative merits of five of the best two year olds going round this season, especially as the $100,000 Young Guns final is only a week away. Harnesslink Media

This Saturday's Sapling Stakes at Ashburton Raceway may have only drawn a field of six runners but there is plenty of harness racing talent on show and labelling a winner is not that straight forward. The All Star barn have three runners engaged including the horse many consider the one to beat in More The Better. More The Better was super impressive last week in working during the running and still having too much in the tank in the straight. Driver Tim Williams was thrilled with the effort as he thought the son of Bettor's Delight was a run short going into last weeks race and would be a better horse this week. " He needed that run last week and should strip a much fitter horse this week." " His work this week has been excellent and I think he will be very hard to beat," Tim told Harnesslink today. The stablemate Pacing Major who has only been beaten by a head in both his first two starts has drawn out at six which makes things difficult but Dexter Dunn takes the drive so he has to be a major player here. The third of the All Stars runners is the $200,000 yearling sales purchase in You Gotta Have Faith who has drawn barrier one and will have the services of stable reinsman, Matt Anderson. On his trial efforts to date he has shown enough to be a serious place chance but both the other stablemates look more forward at this stage. So the All Stars barn looks very capable of winning another Sapling Stakes but we think that the Paul Court trained Mongolian Storm can upset the All Stars trio on debut. A $16,000 purchase at last years New Zealand Premier Yearling Sale at Christchurch, Mongolian Storm has had a thorough grounding leading into the Sapling Stakes, winning his last four trials and workouts in some style. The son of Courage Under Fire was super impressive in his latest trial win at Addington last Monday, swooping past the competition in a few strides when driver Blair Orange asked him for an effort at the top of the straight. Mongolian Storm has drawn beautifully at barrier two and with that speed he displayed on Monday, he becomes the horse to beat in our opinion. Trainer Paul Court is really looking forward to Saturday and seeing how his charge measures up. " He is a lovely horse and I think he will go a big race on Saturday." " I am just not sure he is ready to run 1:55 at this stage which they may go on Saturday but he is capable of winning the Sapling Stakes with a run to suit." " I haven't really asked him to run time as yet but I think this race will really bring him on in that respect with a view to the future," Paul said. Paul has been having a dream debut season training on his own account with his barn having two high class two year olds to represent him. Mongolian Hero put in a huge effort for a close third behind More The Better and Pacing Major at Addington last Friday and looms as a major player in all the major two year old races later in the season. He will head back to Auckland for the Young Gun Series early next week while after Saturday, Mongolian Storm will remain in the South Island to target the Kindergarten Stakes and Sires Stakes heats. " I want to keep them apart at this stage for their own benefit," " I am really excited by having two juveniles as good as these two in the barn in my first year training on my own account." " I know how hard it is to get one two year old of this quality so to have  two in the barn is a big thrill," Paul told Harnesslink this afternoon. Whatever the outcome of the Sapling Stakes this weekend, one thing you can be sure of going forward is that Mongolian Storm and Mongolian Hero are are going to be serious players when the juvenile classics are decided over the next four months. Harnesslink Media

Lin Lang is a name that is quickly becoming known throughout the racing world downunder as the deeds of his horses with the "Mongolian" prefix find their way to the winners circle more and more. Through his company Inner Mongolia Rider Horse Industry Ltd, Lin has been very active in establishing branches in most equine fields. The thoroughbred champion Mongolian Khan is his obvious flagbearer but his harness racing side of the racing empire has also had a good start downunder. Brilliant Strike 1:55.3 ($122,164) has flown the flag initially and this seasons two year old Mongolian Hero has looked very promising with a gallant  third in the two year old race at Addington Raceway on Friday night but surprisingly he is not among the nominations for this weekends Sapling Stakes. Instead the Paul Court stable have nominated another youngster owned by Lin Lang for this weekends Group 3 juvenile classic in the form of Mongolian Storm and judging by his performance today at the Addington trials, he looms a major winning hope. Purchased for just $16,000 at last years New Zealand Premier Yearling sale at Christchurch, Mongolian Storm has won his last four trials and workouts and has seemingly improved off each run. The son of Courage Under Fire settled well back in the running today for driver Blair Orange but when he asked him for an effort at the 200 metres, the response was immediate and he raced past a couple of handy two year olds in Kiwi Bloke and Time Traveller in a few strides and shot clear, winning easily by 3 1/2 lengths. The closing sectionals off the front in the very blustery conditions of 57.8 and 28.4 were smart but Mongolian Storm would have bettered those by a margin and gave the impression there was more left in the tank. At this point there are only seven nominations for the Sapling Stakes which has seen the closing time for nominations extended until 9am on Tuesday. The All Star barn holds three of those in the form of More The Better, Pacing Major and You Gotta Have Faith and hold a very strong hand but the manner of the trial win today by Mongolian Storm would suggest Lin Lang may be celebrating come Saturday night. Harnesslink Media

The legendary New Zealand Hall of Fame harness racing trainer Roy Purdon was all smiles last night as his promising two year old More The Better cemented favoritism for next Saturday's Sapling Stakes at Ashburton with a narrow but impressive victory in the  two year old race at Addington Raceway. The beautifully bred son of Bettor's Delight from a full sister to the former champion Christian Cullen was thought to be slightly underdone by his connections going into last nights race and was considered vulnerable to both his stablemate Pacing Major and the the Paul Court trained Mongolian Hero. Wide early for driver Tim Williams in the 1950 metres event, More The Better assumed control from Pacing Major and Ricky May at the 1300 metres and applied plenty of pressure, running the next two quarters under 30 seconds. Blair Orange brought Mongolian Hero out to challenge at the 600 metres and sat on More The Better's wheel and these three smart two year olds drew away to fight out the finish. Most of the way up the straight it appeared that first Mongolian Hero and then Pacing Major would get the better of More The Better but it was not to be with the colt proving too strong in a tight finish. Pacing Major was a head away second with a further head back to a very game Mongolian Hero. More The Better paced the 1950 metres in a very sharp 2:22.5, a mile rate of 1:57.5 with closing sectionals of 56.6 and 27.1. More The Better was purchased out of last years New Zealand Premier Yearling Sale at Christchurch by Mark Purdon for $62,500 and he subsequently gifted his father a half share. Roy has since taken long time friend and racing partner David Levine into his share as well and it appears they are in for a big season with the colt. Last night Roy was struggling to remember the last time he had won a race as an owner at Addington. "Well its too long to be honest." "Probably back when Mark Roy was winning the Derby." " I won the Oaks down here with Pacific Flight about the same time." "David is very excited and I have to say it is great to win a race down there again," Roy said. The gap between drinks is significant with Mark Roy and Pacific Flight which were both co-owned by Roy winning the Derby-Oaks double in 1993 in the hands of Mark Purdon. Driver Tim Williams was suitably impressed with the winning effort. "It looked tight in the end but he was cruising half way down the straight and might have eased up a bit." "I expect he will go to the Sapling Stakes now," Tim said. With the Sapling Stakes only a week away,last nights three placegetters all gave their supporters plenty of encouragement heading forward to next weeks classic. Harnesslink Media    

Harness racing trainers Graham and Paul Court have had a bit of an up and down season with their team this year and with the retirement of stable star Terror To Love on Saturday night, things were looking a bit light on rising talent in the stable with the exception of smart three year old Brilliant Strike. However today at the Chertsey Trotting Club's Trophy day at Ashburton Raceway, Graham produced a very smart three year qualifier who had star written all over him and he looks capable of keeping the red and black colours to the fore over autumn racing. Named Cable Beach, the Australian bred son of Somebeachsomewhere produced a super run to qualify ten seconds under qualifying time without being put under any real pressure. Away smartly from the gate for Graham, Cable Beach settled in the trail behind Here Comes Pacific who set a quick tempo in front. Passing the 900 metres mark, Graham sent Cable Beach forward and he found the front passing the 800 metres mark. From there the heat turned into a procession and the further they went, the further Cable Beach went clear. By the finishing line, Cable Beach with Graham sitting quietly in the bike had distanced the competition with the official winning margin a large 17 1/2 lengths. Cable Beach paced the 2400 metres from the mobile in 3:02, a mile rate of 2:02 with closing sectionals of 57.6 and 27.9. Graham has a fair bit of time for Cable Beach " I have always really liked him but he took a fair bit of time to get organised." " He has gone forward a lot since we took the overcheck off him." " I brought him through Brian Hancock when I was in Sydney and Brian still owns a share in him, " Graham said. A lovely type of colt in the flesh, Cable Beach is bred to be way above average. Not only is he by the champion North American sire Somebeachsomewhere, but Cable Beach is a half brother to the former outstanding age group star Bonavista Bay 1:56.3 ($504,499) while his dam Our Lady Rena 2:00.5 ($76,512) is a half sister to the three time Inter-Dominion champion Our Sir Vancelot 1:55.4 ($2,197,990). Graham is in no hurry with his smart three year old. " He is pretty inexperienced and has a fair bit to learn." " We will just to grade racing while we teach him the ropes," Graham said. Somebeachsomewhere got away to a slow start down under but smart colts and fillies seem to be popping out of the woodwork throughout Australasia at the moment. Harnesslink Media 

Rising harness racing star Jason Lee must have been a good boy this year. Given his frequent visits to the winners’ circle during the past couple of days, even Lee has come to the same conclusion! Lee has notched six wins across two meetings, including his first quartet at Terang last Sunday night. He then backed up with a double at Bendigo yesterday. “Christmas has come early,” Lee declared. “Four winners at Terang was an early present for sure. “That was my first quartet and is something I will remember for a long time. It was all the more special given it was at our home track.” Lee’s local wins were Our Guy Supreme, Keayang Active, More Than Modern and Keayang Mercedes, with the latter three prepared by the reinsman’s mother, Marg. Lee then scored with Liston and Jilliby Royal at Bendigo. Jilliy Royal is trained by Lee’s cousin, Glen Craven. “I’ve had a really good couple of days and with a bit of luck it can continue into the New Year,” Lee said. Paul Courts  

FINALLY ! !  Last night Australian harness racing followers got to see what all the fuss Kiwis make about Terror To Love is all about. The Cranbourne Cup on paper looked a two horse war between Christen Me and Terror To Love but it was hard to find anybody who actually thought the "Terror" could roll the Miracle Mile champ. Ricky May was one who did and when speaking to Harnesslink midweek left no one in any doubt that he was over the moon with Terror To Love's run in the Miracle Mile and gave himself a big chance of turning the tables in the Cranbourne Cup. " He went huge in the Miracle Mile and I was rapt in his run." "If I had gone three fence earlier, he would have been a lot closer," "I don't know if Terror To Love can sit outside Christen Me and beat  him but we are going to find out," Ricky said. Last night as expected Christen Me led easily from barrier one for Dexter Dunn with Terror To Love and Ricky May settling three back in the running line. With 1100 metres to go Ricky May came out three wide and found the death seat with 900 metres to go and from there it turned into a Bonecrusher/Waverley Star type of race with the two champions going head to head and the rest of the field struggling to stay in touch. On the corner Christen Me pinched a wee advantage but Terror To Love kept coming and was not to be denied as he grabbed Christen Me in the shadows of the post for a memorable win which will talked about for years to come. Ricky May is not one to show a lot ot emotion normally but last night was an exception. "I'm thrilled for the horse to finally silence the knockers and for Graham and Paul to have finally shown the Australians what a great horse Terror To Love is." " The plan was to try to turn it into a staying race and thats how it turned out. " He felt great on that track, the surface was a credit to the club". " I hadn't intended to look Christen Me in the eye but  down the back Terror To Love latched on and was really keen" "I wasn't that confident on the home turn as Christen Me was traveling as good as we were but with 100 metres to go I knew "Terror" was going to pick him up, " Ricky said. Christen Me went super but found one a touch better on the night while the rest of the field were outclassed with Flaming Flutter third over 20 metres away. While Christen Me now heads home to New Zealand, Terror To Love will head to Ballarat for a showdown with Beautide, Guaranteed and rising star Philadelphia Man which should fill the stands next Saturday night. Kiwi's have known for a while that Terror To Love is a champion in every sense of the word and he has a huge following in his homeland and last night Australians got a wee taste of why Kiwis are so passionate about this great horse. Harnesslink Media  

Three-time New Zealand Trotting Cup winner Terror To Love has won a classic Group 1 Decron Cranbourne Pacing Cup after a memorable battle with last-start Miracle Mile champion Christen Me. The finish to tonight’s $100,000 feature race will have harness fans talking for years – two champion horses with two superstar reinsman aboard fighting tooth and nail to the finish. But there can only be one winner and tonight it was Ricky May aboard Terror To Love, who narrowly out-stayed Christen Me and Dexter Dunn in the $100,000, 2555m event. “He’s had no luck with the draws and he showed his true worth tonight,” May said of Terror To Love, who paid $3.10 on the tote. Terror To Love took off to sit outside of Christen Me mid-race and the pair kicked well clear of the field as they headed towards the home turn. Once in the straight it was clear the star Kiwis had it between them, Terror To Love slowly but surely reigning in Christen Me before sticking his head in front right on the line for a remarkable victory. “He’s been at his best all the way through. He might have been just down a wee notch for the (New Zealand) Cup,” said May. “We decided the only way we had a show of beating him (Christen Me) was to try and out-stay him.” May’s tactics worked a treat, Terror To Love proving too strong for the gallant runner-up, who was odds-on favourite, with a further 20m back in third place to Flaming Flutter, who enjoyed a cosy run on the leader’s back throughout for trainer/driver Geoff Webster. The winner’s mile rate was 1:57.1  with the last half covered in 55.4. Uncle Wingnut was fourth, Hilltop Hustler fifth and Im Corzin Terror sixth. Bitobliss failed to finish, choking down after pulling in the run, and will have to trial before racing again.   by Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria

If we could hear it 'from the horse's mouth', it's pretty obvious what harness racing superstar Smoken Up will be wishing for. With today (1st of September) the beginning of the Australian season, Smoken Up and his standardbred counterparts are celebrating their birthday. Marking his 12th birthday with a party and cake at trainer Lance Justice's stable in Melton, Victoria, Smoken Up is on the verge of retirement. To be more precise, the son of Tinted Cloud is due to have his last start at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday night. Taking that into consideration, Smoken Up is likely to be wishing for a 'fairytale ending'...least that's what Justice and the gelding's connections are looking to achieve with the multi millionaire. Justice was fortunate to enjoy a perfect end to former stable star Sokyola's career at Moonee Valley on June 22, 2007 when the son of Soky's Atom accounted for The Warp Drive and The Phantoms Guest. "We were lucking enough to have a happy ending with Sokyola and with a bit of luck we can enjoy the same with Smoken Up at Tabcorp Park next Saturday night," Justice said. "We will know how our chances are shaping up a little better on Tuesday when the fields come out and can see where he has drawn. "I'm a realist and am fully aware it's unlikely to happen, but at the same time we can enjoy the ride, hope for a good draw and then hope for the best on race night. "Whether he wins or not, it's going to be a joyful and sad occasion at the same time as it's the end of an era." Successful upon debut for Justice at Yarra Valley on March 8, 2007, Smoken Up has registered a further 71 victories and 48 placings from 141 starts for earnings of $3,588,949 to be Australasia's third richest pacer behind Blacks A Fake ($4,575,438) and Im Themightyquinn ($4,567,456). His wins include two Miracle Miles, four South Australia Cups, four Len Smith Miles and the Victoria Cup, with his best time of 1:48.5 coming at Tabcorp Park Menangle on April 30, 2011. Smoken Up has claimed 13 Group Ones across the Southern Hemisphere, won at 15 tracks and set numerous records, including becoming the first standardbred on this side of the equator to better 1:50. PAUL COURTS

Leviathan harness racing owner Emilio Rosati is set to transfer his team out of New South Wales. While a few are already in Queensland and Victoria, the rest will be sent south of the Murray River during next couple of months. Rosati’s stock is estimated to be between 30 and 40 horses, with star youngster Allblack Stride headlining the crew. Other than confirming the Group One winning son of Christian Cullen is becoming a Victorian, Rosati stated he isn’t ready to announce which trainers will be in charge of his team. Rosati’s horses carry the ‘Stride’ prefix, with former stars Excel Stride and Idol Stride among his best performed pacers. “Although they haven’t raced yet, a lot have moved and the rest will be moved soon,” Rosati said. “I won’t put a number on how many horses I have, but it’s a lot. “I’m not ready to say which horses will go to which trainer, but it will be known in good time.” Rosati’s decision to vacate New South Wales is based on his ‘principles', with the astute owner citing the integrity of the industry as the primary reason for the switch. When asked to elaborate, Rosati stated he’d “leave it at that.” “I have no problem with the people running the sport, I just have a problem with the integrity of it,” Rosati said. “I don’t want to harm the industry, I’m just frustrated with the way it is at the moment. “I’m not doing this because I want to...I have to, based on my principles. “Ideally I’d prefer to be in New South Wales and hopefully the problem gets fixed and I will return them. “I will still stay on as a sponsor there.” Paul Courts

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