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Queensland warrior Destreos is hoping for a change of luck. The Ken Rattray trained veteran gelding lines up in his fifth Redcliffe Cup this Saturday night at the bayside club and victory is proving to be quite elusive. But this could be the year. The Gr.3 $40,000 Moreton Bay Regional Council Redcliffe Gold Cup has drawn together a very strong field highlighted by a huge representation from the leading stables of Grant Dixon who has five entrants including last year’s winner Only The Brave. While club officials were hopeful of attracting champion pacer Im Themightyquinn who swept all before him recently at Albion Park, a competitive field has been assembled. Destreos returns from a successful three start Sydney campaign and heads to Redcliffe in great form leaving connections hopeful of forward showing. The best result for Destreos so far was back in 2010 when a runner-up behind Nickys Falcon. “He’s returned from his Sydney trip in very good order and knowing that Im Themightyquinn and Avonnova are not starting gives me plenty of confidence. We’ll still need plenty of luck but you can’t knock his recent form, I thought he performed really well in all of his starts in Sydney including his latest effort behind Freyberg and Smoken Up in 1;51.7.” Rattray said. Destreos starts from a 10m handicap and will follow out last start winner and in-form pacer Majestic Major. Regular pilot Kelli Dawson will reunite with the Astreos gelding. “In recent times I’ve tried to restrict his racing to mile events but he’s performing really well currently and I thought he deserved his chance in this race again. We’ve been close on a few occasions in the past including his narrow second to Nickys Falcon so hopefully we can win it this time around. “He’s got a good record at Redcliffe and he’s never had any issues with the track despite boasting a great record at Albion Park. If we get a good trip from the draw, I think he’ll be right in this finish. “His last start sixth in Sydney was very good because we got left without cover and he was still in the mix until the final 75m and the time was very good on a cool night. We went to Sydney to avoid the winter carnival stars but still ran into the likes of Smoken Up and a few others.” Rattray was quick to highlight star mare Forever Gold as one of the hardest to beat despite the fact she must overcome a 20m back mark handicap. The Darren Weeks/Kylie Rasmussen prepared mare caught the eye last start when running on strongly behind Im Themightyquinn in the Gr.1 $100,000 Blacks A Fake at Albion Park on July 19. “That mare went super last start at Albion Park and I’m sure she will prove very hard to beat, she’s such a professional and she always rises to the challenge. “It’s a very even field and most could win it with even luck, this is a race that can throw up a roughie.” The $20,000 Redcliffe Oaks is the other feature on the program and a strong field has also been gathered. Last start Queensland Oaks placegetters Charming Allie and Beef City Safari must overcome second-line draws while speedy fillies Heavenly Cullen and Morethanmeetstheye have drawn ideally. The first of nine races is scheduled to start at 5.35pm. By Chris Barsby (Harness Racing Australia)

Two of the stallions that appeared on the Alabar Stallion Roster in 2013 will be heading for new farms in the upcoming breeding season. Firstly Major In Art, the 2008 USTA Two Year Old of the Year will be heading north of the border to Darren Reay’s Medowie Lodge on the outskirts of Newcastle. The handsome son of Art Major is not far outside the Top Ten on the Australian Three Year Old Sires List in this current season. He has sired 21 winners of over $310,000 to date including the smart Queensland pacer Major Sam 1:54.7 and the Bathurst based pacers Smack Dab Shannon 2:00.1 and Lagoon Stride 1:59.8. The Two Year Old colt Artillery Major was a fast finishing second in $102,000 Pearl Classic Final at Gloucester Park in mid June. Medowie Lodge is based in the strong Harness Racing area surrounding Newcastle and Major In Art should be a welcome boost for breeders in that area and indeed for breeders throughout NSW. Darren Reay can be contacted by phoning 0429 817 199. The trotting stallion Great Success is the other lad on the move. He will be taking a trip across the Tasman to take up residence at Ken and Jan Wills’ property of Niota Bloodstock at Girgarre (near Shepparton) in Victoria. The now ten year old stallion sired the exciting, but injury plagued gelding, Roy Hobbs tr 2:00.2 in his first crop and has since sired the recent multiple winners Boundary Row, Jeter and Senitas Success. Ken and Jan Wills can be contacted on (03) 5854 6572. Finally an update on Safari, the powerful son of Fake Left. He will be heading back to Alabar’s Echuca property next month to join the other seven stallions that are based at the northern Victoria property. July has been a good month for the progeny of Safari and in particular three fillies. Berisari had only the smallest of noses that separated her from a victory in the $110,000 Vicbred Final for three year old fillies, whilst on the same night Viva Safari finished runner up in the two year old Vicbred Final for fillies to take her seasons earnings past $50,000. Meanwhile in Queensland, the three year old filly Beef City Safari finished second and then a fast closing third to star filly Nike Franco in the Gold Coast and Queensland Oaks respectively. Safari’s service fee will be unchanged from that of last season - $1,650 (incl GST). Alabar Stud

As brilliant as Birdy Mach might be, harness racing punters won’t be ignoring the undefeated Andy Gath-trained Burnaholeinmypocket in the Garrards Horse and Hound Tatlow Stakes for 2YO colts and geldings on Saturday night at Tabcorp Park Melton. The son of Bettors Delight boasts impeccable form lines; beating subsequent Group 1 winners despite starting from awkward draws and working in the run at both his starts to date. Burnaholeinmypocket sprouted wings late in his debut race, beating Justbritell (winner of the Shakamaker Classic at Melton in March) by 1.9m and Feeling Arty (winner of the Group 1 Vicbred Super Series colts’ and geldings’ final) by 7.3m. At start number two, Burnaholeinmypocket drifted a long way back early from gate seven before getting caught three-wide with no cover on the last lap. Despite covering a stack of ground from the bell to the finish post, Burnaholeinmypocket still proved 1.7m too good for Waves Of Fire, who would go on to win the Group 1 Nursery Final at Albion Park in 1:58.4. “He’s pretty gifted,” Gath said of his fledgling gelding. Asked if gate one was a definite bonus, the Long Forest trainer responded: “Always”, adding: “He had the second row at his first start and then seven at his second. I think he’ll hold his own out of the gate. Whether or not he can hold out Birdy Mach, we’ll wait and see, but my bloke’s shown he’s very strong.” Birdy Mach is the likely thorn in Burnaholeinmypocket’s side; the Sydney colt unbeaten in two runs at Menangle and from the powerful Belinda McCarthy yard at Cobbitty. Such is the boom about the son of Mach Three that champion reinsman Luke McCarthy said on Tuesday: “He’s right up there with the best two-year-olds I’ve ever driven”. Birdy Mach has blitzed his rivals in two runs so far, and on debut last month he clocked a 1:53.8 mile rate (last half 55.7secs). Saturday’s Tatlow field is full of top-quality youngsters including Kept Under Wraps, winner of three of five starts and a member of the Brent Lilley team, David Aiken-trained Show Me The Bling, runner-up in his Vicbred Super Series semi-final and the final, and Feeling Arty, who provided trainer-driver Cameron Maggs with his maiden Group 1 success recently in the Super Series at Melton. Gath will line up Looks Like Heaven in the fillies’ Tatlow Stakes and, like her stable-mate in the boys’ section, she’s drawn sweetly. The daughter of Lombo Mandingo will begin from pole if emergency Bubbling Gypsy fails to gain a start. Looks Like Heaven won on debut at Kilmore before trekking north on a Bathurst Gold Tiara mission. She won her Tiara heat by 8.8m but galloped in the final and finished down the track. “She’s going through a growth spurt at the moment ... We’ll see how she goes on Saturday and make a decision on the Breeders Crown after that,” Gath said. Team McCarthy filly Smooth Showgirl resumes in this race from gate 12 after winning the Group 1 Nursery fillies’ final at Albion Park in May. Also off the back row will be highly rated Kiwi Katy Perry, to be steered by Dexter Dunn, and Michael Stanley’s exciting Soho Tokyo, who ran second beaten a head by Tricky Styx in the 2YO Diamond Classic at Gloucester Park last time out. Hamilton trainer David Lewis will line up Luvumum in the Tatlow, the daughter of Grinfromeartoear boasting a one-from-one record after a sensational debut win at Melton in the Sapling Stakes. Luvumum was backed into $1.70 before scoring by 15.2m over Viva Safari in 1:57.6 in the February race. She’s pretty good. Punters aren’t generally a forgiving lot, so one suspects Lovelist might be on the drift. The Emma Stewart-trained Always A Virgin filly was rolled in the Vicbred Super Series semi-final after being sent out a $1.20 pop and then was beaten 11.8m in the final. Her previous form (four wins from four starts) was solid. The Tatlow Stakes races will be Races 5 and 6 at 7.32pm and 8.05pm. by Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria Related Links Fields for Tabcorp Park Melton, Saturday 19 July 2014 Form guide for Tabcorp Park Melton, Saturday 19 July 2014

Harness racing trainer Greg Franklin prepares a big team of two. Just two pacers. And both will start this Saturday night at Albion Park, his first runner Beef City Safari will contest the Gr.1 $75,000 Queensland Oaks while his other runner Rakarebel will tackle champion pacer Im Themightyquinn for the second straight week. The popular figure prepares his pair of pacers at the Redcliffe Paceway, where Franklin is the track manager. “I’ve only got time for the two horses between my other commitments at the track but I’m lucky to have two handy types. The filly has been a strong improver all season long while Rakarebel keeps proving he’s got a real zest for racing.” Franklin said. The arrival of Beef City Safari into Franklin’s care came out of the blue following a missed call at Redcliffe on a racenight when Franklin was driving the water cart. Bernie and Carmel Clifton from Rockhampton left a message for Franklin and after making the return phone call, the filly was on her way to his stables. With four wins and nine placings from 21 career starts, Beef City Safari aims up for her shot at Group 1 glory when she locks horns with some of the best fillies in the country this weekend. “I’ve always liked this filly and I think she’s a good little stayer, she enjoys the races when the speed is on and I’m sure these fillies will be running from the start this weekend. Obviously Nike Franco is very talented but we’ll give it our best shot. “She’s trained on really well since her last and keeping her fresh in between runs has agreed with her. It was a very good effort in the Triad Final while her effort in the Gold Coast Oaks was also very strong. “We’re drawn directly alongside Nike Franco and I think Mathew (Neilson – driver) will give her a good run from there. I think she will perform well again and then we will look at the Redcliffe Oaks with her in a couple of weeks.” While Beef City Safari faces a big challenge getting over the top of Nike Franco, spare a thought for Rakarebel.   The well-travelled veteran was a former stablemate of Im Themightyquinn when previously prepared by Gary Hall before popping in and out of many stables since those glory days in Perth where he strung together eight straight victories at Gloucester Park. Last week, Rakarebel ran a cracking fourth in the Sunshine Sprint behind Im Themightyquinn in track record time after starting from a shocking second-line draw. “Everybody keeps telling me he’s past it but his form suggests otherwise, I know he still hasn’t won for me yet but his last couple of starts have been great in super time. “If he puts in another forward showing on Saturday night, he’ll back-up in the Blacks A Fake before we head to the Redcliffe Cup. He’s healthy and happy so we’ll keep chipping away with him." by Chris Barsby Queensland Harness Racing

Niki No No gave on-course harness racing MC Rob Auber a huge thrill tonight, winning the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series two-year-old fillies’ final at Tabcorp Park Melton. Auber is one of the owners in the Kari Males-trained Sportswriter filly, who toiled in the breeze early, eventually worked to the lead and then still had enough left to hold off all comers at the finish. Niki No No, driven by Greg Sugars, was panels ahead of her nearest rivals in this series, because her semi-final win a week ago was equally as gutsy as tonight’s performance. After posting a quick first split of 28.8secs, punters who took the short odds about Niki No No might have been breaking into a sweat despite the chilly conditions. A 32.4secs second quarter however gave Niki No No some respite before she came home in 58.9secs for the last half to hold off Viva Safari, driven by Michael Azzopardi, by 3.6m, with Yankee Showgirl third for Chris Alford. by Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria

Bring on the Queensland winter carnival. That was the message following a super night of harness racing at Albion Park last night (Saturday) which boasted a cavalcade of stars. With the winter carnival officially starting on July 5, a great entrée was provided with features including the Gr.2 $50,000 Kevin &Kay Seymour Premiers Cups Final, the Gr.3 $30,000 TattsBet Gold Coast Oaks, the Gr.3 $35,000 QBRED Breeders Classic Finals and the Listed $15,000 Statewide Taxation Services Trotters Marathon. Another highlight was the appearance of Australia’s best three-year-old Bling It On. Staged for the first time at Albion Park, the Premiers Cup Final proved to be a survival of the fittest with Major Moment ($8.20) sprintlaning to beat a gallant Five Card Draw ($21.60) and Alleluia ($1.60 Fav). The 2647m standing start contest was loaded with action from the start with Major Moment leading from his prime draw but the moves soon followed with Alleluia, Slipaslygrin and Five Card Draw all taking off before the mile marker. Alleluia found the lead but gained no peace as Five Card Draw attacked on his outside, Major Moment who gained the perfect trail then used the passing lane to finish best from Five Card Draw and Alleluia. The time of 1;57.0 clearly smashed the track record which was previously held by Devil Dodger. The last mile was run in 1;54.9. It was a case of third time lucky for co-owner and Queensland Harness Racing Board member Greg Mitchell who has been a runner-up the two previous years with Only The Brave and Major Strike. The Gold Coast Oaks was dominated by brilliant filly Nike Franco who toyed with her rivals after working to the lead at the 1500m point of the 2138mcontest. Thereafter, the McArdle filly travelled kindly and was never threatened and scored comfortably defeating consistent fillies Beef City Safari and Freedom Is. The winning milerate was 1;56.2, just outside the race record of 1;56.0 set by Baby Bling in 2011. Recently taken over by Luke and Belinda McCarthy, the filly now heads to the Gr.1 $75,000 Queensland Oaks on July 12. The QBRED Breeders Classic Final for two-year-old fillies was taken out by Bettor Promise who led throughout to beat race favourite Feel The Faith and Bettorthanspecial. Prepared by Shannon Price and Scott Miller, the regally bred filly was rated perfectly in front by Brad Cowen and rated a career best time of 1;56.8. Bred by her owners, Tony and Katy Price, Bettor Promises ranks as a half-sister to former triple Oaks winner All Promises. In the colts and geldings Final, an inspiring drive from trainer/driver Donny Smith aboard A Good Chance saw him take the prize defeating a game Major Coup and Constantlysideways. Race favourite Mista Natural was crossed quickly at the start and Smith quickly followed through at the start before finding the lead before the end of the first quarter leaving the favourite to race without cover. The Mr Feelgood colt fought strongly in the straight and scored by a half head margin in a time of 1;58.7. Talented former Kiwi trotter Our Overanova maintained his unbeaten Queensland record with an all the way victory in the trotters marathon. The Grant Dixon trained and driven Monarchy gelding proved too strong holding out Goldstar Invasion and Its Three By Two in a time of 2;08.9 for the 3157m event. Our Overanova has won nine straight races and eight in Queensland since being purchased by Greg Mitchell. Boom pacer Bling It On didn’t disappoint his legion of fans with another effortless victory in the Knudsens Betta Home Living Pace. The American Ideal colt blasted home in splits of 27.7 and 27.4 seconds while recording a mile rate of 1;57.7. And the weekly $16,000 Seymour Rising Stars Championship Final was taken out by the Bart Cockburn prepared Miss Real in a time of 1;56.5. For further information regarding the Queensland winter carnival, contact either Racing Queensland or the Albion Park Harness Racing Club. by Chris Barsby

Argentan is in the heart of the Normandie breeding industry, and the red dust track which holds Saturday's UET Masters Series, the 100,000 euro Group Two Criterium de Vitesse de Basse Normandie, is near the centre of town. It is fitting then, that so many of the names which have become synonymous with the booming French breeding industry are located near the town. Take Coktail Jet, the sire who is credited as starting the Franco-American revolution, who won this race in 1995, resides not 25 minutes away at Jean-Etienne Dubois' luxurious establishment, which spreads between two former properties at Haras de la Perriere near the village of Belfonds. When Coktail Jet won the race, it was just the second time it had been raced over the imperial mile distance (increasing from 1600m) and he showed his credentials by lowering the from 1.12.8 to 1.11.8 (1.57.1 to 1.55.3MR). Six years later Coktail Jet sired the mare Ivory Pearl for Jean Luc Bigeon to win in 2001 before Jean-Etienne himself captured this race with a son of Coktail Jet, Jam Pridem in 2002. His father, France's greatest modern breeder, Jean Pierre Dubois, whose Haras de la Brosse is 20 minutes north at Nonant Le Pin, captured the race with another son of Coktail Jet, a certain Love You in 2005, who then himself sired another winner Quaker Jet (2012) - owned by Jean Etienne (who also owned and trained 1999 winner Giesolo de Lou). Jean-Etienne will be back again with Turbo Jet, who despite his name is a son of Joyau d'Amour and no relation to his namesake. The other prominent member of the Dubois clan Jean Philippe, who resides 15 minutes away from both at Fresneaux to the south-east owned last year's winner Texas Charm, who was driven that day by his son, Julien and stands there at stud at Haras de Fresneaux, which as is usual, has a full training facility. The pair again combine in this race, with trainer Philippe Moulin with Valse Darling while Jean-Philippe's other son Etienne will be behind Voyage de Reve while Jean-Philippe himself will be partner Volcan d'Urzy in a three-way assault on the race. To carry on the family connections, Louis Baudron, who is the grandson of both Jean Pierre Dubois and Roger Baudron, who won the race in 1986 with Navigo, is represented by Vive Majyc, and will be keen to carry on the strong family tradition. None of the other trainers have succeeded in capturing the race although some of the real heavyweights of the game are from this region and have horses entered. Thierry Duvaldesin is also in the "arrondiseement of Argentan" at Le Ferte-Frenel and he fronts with one of the favourites Swedishman, a well accomplished journeyman gelding as is Fabrice Souloy, who has Quinoa du Gers which he trains at his base at Ginai, 30 minutes away in the same region. And leading trainer Sebastien Guarato, originally from Bordeaux, but who learned his trade mostly at Haras de Ginai, and trains at nearby Clopin is represented by Reve de Beylev. And trainer Jean Paul Marmion, who briefly trained with Roger Baudron but trains in Maupertuis in central France, has two runners in one of the favoured runners Roi du Lupin and Talicia Bella. A race so close to home, for so many of the participants will surely provide one of the highlights of the weekend. CRITERIUM DE VITESSE DE BASSE NORMANDIE, Argentan 26/04/14 FR UET MASTERS SERIES Group II Int 1609m (1 mile) 4-10 100 000e 1 Swedishman (g Gogo - Volgana) Dr: Thierry Duvaldestin Tr: Thierry Duvaldestin 2 Quinoa du Gers (h Ganymede - Targa du Chalange) Dr: Franck Nivard Tr: Fabrice Souloy 3 Valse Darling (m Prodigious - Fly Darling) Dr: Julien Dubois Tr: Philippe Moulin 4 Roi du Lupin (g Fleuron Perrine - Helia de Saint Pol) Dr: Anthony Barrier Tr: Jean Paul Marmion 5 Talicia Bella (m General du Pommeau - Illicia Bella) Dr: Antoine Wiels Tr: Jean Paul Marmion 6 Quarry Bay (m Cygnus d'Odyssee - Barcarolle) Dr: Pierre Levesque Tr: Mike Lenders 7 Une Fille d'Amour (m Infant du Bossis - Never So Great) Dr: David Thomain Tr: Cyril Raimbaud 8 Reve de Beylev (h Fortuna Fant - Heloise Poterie) Dr: Eric Raffin Tr: Sebastien Guarato 9 Volcan d'Urzy (h Password - Jabotte d'Urzy) Dr: Jean Philippe Dubois Tr: Philippe Moulin 10 Quel Chef (g Chef du Chatelet - Herveyer) Dr: Fabien Michel Andrieu Tr: Fabien Michel Andrieu 11 Turbo Jet (h Joyau d'Amour - Elite d'Atout) Dr: Jean Etienne Dubois Tr: Jean Etienne Dubois 12 Spirit Beji (h Kiwi - Galaxie Cosmos) Dr: Christopher Corbineau Tr: Stephane Provoost 13 Safari Dream (g Gai Brillant - La Memoria) Dr: Loic Peschet Tr: Loic Peschet 14 Seduisant Fouteau (h Gazouillis - Elisalde) Dr: Charles Dreux Tr: Andre Dreux 15 Vive Majyc (m Baccarat du Pont - Mammy Blue) Dr: Louis Baudron Tr: Louis Baudron 16 Voyage de Reve (h Password - Kiocalba) Dr: Etienne Dubois Tr: Philippe Moulin by David Sanders, for Harnesslink.com

Talented Dean Braun trained gelding I’m Corzin Terror NZ showed that the only thing he has been lacking in recent runs was his share of luck; he got just that in the Petstock Bendigo Pacing Cup on Saturday night and used it to full advantage. Having been narrowly beaten in both the Yarra Valley and Tasmania Cups before more recently running an unlucky fourth in the Horsham Cup, the emphatic fifteen-metre victory in the $50,000 Group Two event was well deserved. Stable mate Mustang Mach NZ, brilliant out of the gates, led early but shortly after the start Im Corzin Terror challenged for the lead and Mustang Mach NZ, with Ellen Tormey in the sulky, was happy to take the trail behind the leader.  Kiwi star Mah Sish NZ worked up to sit outside the leader.  With the tempo of the race being beautifully dictated in front by Chris Alford, with a lap to travel favourite Bitobliss made a move to speed the race to his advantage.  But this was Im Corzin Terror’s night; on the home turn he was given free rein and he sprinted impressively to win easily in a mile rate of 1:57.7, two seconds outside champion Safari’s record of 1:55.7.  Warhorse Wartime Sweetheart NZ extricated himself too late from three back on the pegs to chase him home and run second for David Aiken, with Uncle Wingnut NZ flashing home for third. $2.50 favourite Bitobliss faded to run tenth. Earlier in the night, the two American bred favourites fought out the finish of the Aldebaran Park Maori Mile, with the David Aiken trained My High Expectations USA scoring a well deserved win over Kyvalley Blur USA in a quick mile rate. The Monte race was won by the dynamic combination of Motu Young Jacob NZ and rider Daryl Douglas, who went to the front shortly after the start and was never headed from there.  Kyvalley Rap ran second for French rider Yoann Lagarde, and jumps jockey Paul Hamblin had mixed fortunes with an indifferent start but ran on well for fourth. by Lucy McCormick

Four year old Live Or Die/Inclination gelding Excuse To Live had everything go right for a change when successful in the $6,000 Community Day Pace Final for C1 class over 1780 metres at the Stawell HRC meeting conducted on Monday December 30 for those which qualified in the heats held at Terang on Sunday December 22 Trained at Sebastopol (Ballarat) by Colin Holloway and raced by the Holloway family (Colin, wife Heather and son Brett) who drove the horse, Excuse To Live led throughout from the pole to defeat the raging hot favourite Keayang Starzzz from near last by a half neck in 1-57.1, with Dancing Feet running home late from a mile back to finish third. Excuse To Live rarely has any luck in his races and probably should have finished closer in many of them. Popular Sebastian owners Garry and Brenda Jackson finished the year on a high note, when their honest five year old Pegasus Spur/Cassies Miss mare Mosquito Spur landed in the Stawell Windows & Glass Trotters Handicap for T0 or better class over 2175 metres. Trained and driven by Garry, Mosquito Spur began with a wing on every foot from the 10 metre mark to cross Family Decision shortly after the start, with her task being made easier when all of the favoured runners were badly away. Bowling along at her leisure, Mosquito Spur although shortening stride over the concluding stages, scored by 2.5 metres in a mile rate of 2-08.9 over Frances Annie which they away all chance at the start and was meritorious in making up many lengths to get so close at the finish. Rough Voyage (three back the markers) was third. Melton breeder/owner/trainer Charlie DeBono's Safari/Living Angel gelding Another Safari snared the 2nd Heat of the Stawell Veterinary Clinic Platinum Country Series I for Three Year Olds over 1780 metres in a rate of 2-00.5. Driven by Zac Phillips, Another Safari had little difficulty in leading from the pole, just lasting to defeat Always Wantano along the sprint lane after trailing by a half neck, with Notjustanotherlombo (one/one - three wide home turn) third a neck away after racing roughly prior to the post. Another Safari's mother Living Angel a multiple cup winning mare, won the Stawell Pacing Cup in 2001. Peter Manning kept his Stawell record intact by winning the Gold Reef Clothing Pace for C1 class over 2175 metres with in-form Art Major/Ananz filly Znana. With daughter Kerryn in the sulky, Znana led throughout from the pole to defeat her stablemate Additallup which raced outside her by 3.4 metres, with Amberlu Angus (one/one) third. The mile rate an easy 2-04.8. It was Znana's sixth victory. Armstrong trainer Brook Hansen's beautifully bred four year old Blissful Hall/My Cherie gelding Blessed IsThe Boy broke his maiden status at start number 12 when successful in the Carey Covers Pace for C0 class over 2175 metres, returning a mile rate of 2-01.7. Driven by Kerryn Manning, Blessed Is The Boy starting from the extreme draw commenced a forward move from last racing for the bell, being accommodated by the favourite Fearless Courage coming out ahead of him from three back in the running line. Making the final bend very wide, Blessed Is The Boy rattled home at a great rate to blouse the leader Urban Shadow by a half head in a tricky finish, with Onlyeconomyclass third after switching down to the sprint lane from mid-field on turning. Another four year old winner on the day was Jet Laag/Pandoras Reign gelding Pandoras Jet for Marong part-owner/trainer Col Latter in the Stawell farm Supplies Pace for C0 class over 1780 metres. Driven by Terang based "whiz kid" Jason Lee, Pandoras Jet showed blistering speed out of gate four to cross the pole marker Peters Ace on the first turn, defying all challengers to score in a rate of 2-00.7 from Peters Ace which used the sprint lane to no avail and Sir Dasher Dee which followed the pair. Former HRV Board member Peter Bourke now Chairman of Australian Pacing Gold, enjoyed a day of days at Stawell as apart from breeding the main race winner Excuse To Live, also bred and races Garabaldi Union the victor of the Hygain Feeds Pace for C2 & C3 class over 1780 metres. Trained by Peter Manning at Great Western, Garabaldi Union a five year old Union Guy/Miss Incline gelding which has been on fire of late, possied three back in the moving line from gate five, with Secret Ruby leading from the pole being shadowed by Metrofromelle. Easing three wide racing for the bell, Garabaldi Union showed plenty of staying prowess to wear down both Suerte (one/one) which shifted down to the sprint lane on straightening by a head and a game Metrofromelle in a mile rate 1-58.3. This is my final column for HARNESSLINK - thank you for all the support over the years and best wishes for a healthy and prosperous 2014. Len Baker                                      

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

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

Harness Racing South Australian Horse of the Year Luncheon will be held at Betezy Park Globe Derby on Sunday 3rd November.   The finalist in each category was announced today .   Panel members will cast their votes in each category and the winners will be announced at the function. The members will also vote for the SA Horse of the Year, which will come from one of the category winners.   The 2 year olds are headed by Southern Cross winners Fred’s A Safari  (5 wins from 9 starts) and star filly Flagbearer (who won 5 of her 6 starts in SA & qualified for the Breeders Crown Final in Victoria)  joining them in that category is Doug’s Courage (3 wins -8 starts) ,Limestone Bay (6 wins - 8 starts), Major Cruiser (4 from 17) and That’s Rite (3 from 10 but won the Tatlow Stakes in Melbourne)   The 2 year old trotters division has just two nominations Boundary Row who won 6 from 9 and Majestic Whiz who won only 1 race but was very consistent with 6 placings.   Three year old pacers consists of Victorian trained Getya Wings Out who won the Fillies Southern Cross Final, Glenferrie Rustler who won 9 of his 13 starts, Lord Lincoln 11 wins 14 starts, Nothing In Between 10 from 16 and Quadentate the Andy Gath trained pacer who claimed the Southern Cross Colts & geldings division.   Trotters division for 3yo Hackashaq  3 wins, Just Spur Me On 2 wins, Reinforcement 2 wins and Solar Spirit 4 wins in a even division.   The 4yo and older are headed by cult horse  Come On Frank won 6 races and finished third in SA Cup and the ill-fated Zanardi who won 10 races, others are recently retired star mare Repelem 8 wins, Aitch Cue 3 wins and Country Cups king Shanghai Knight 5 wins and 11 placings from 24 starts.   The open trotters: Long May She Reign, Me An Kel, Rejuvenation, Siegfried and Vee Salute.   And the claimers get a category, Campbell Wallace, Conte Centovalli, Fourmoore, Silver Ranger, Together We Do  and  Washies Chance.   Panel of 11 members will now cast their votes in each category and the winners will be announced at the function. The members will also vote for the SA Horse of the Year, which will come from one of the category winners. Gary Newton

Weanlings by the well credentialled sires Shadow Play, Art Official, Major In Art, Grinfromeartoear, Tell All and Skyvalley will go up for auction at the Alabar Blue Ribbon Yearling and Broodmare Sale to be conducted by Davidson Cameron & Co Dubbo Pty Ltd on Sunday, October 6 at Alabar Bloodstock, Echuca. A total of 27 yearlings have been nominated including four by both Major In Art and Santanna Blue Chip and two by Shadow Play and Art Official. The offering includes a half-brother by Grinfromeartoear to the Spring Championship winner Crimson Knight, a Santanna Blue Chip grandson of Majestic Tess (Breeders Plate), a Kenneth J half-brother to the Inter Dominion heat winner Faking It, an Allamerican Ingot colt out of a half-sister to Wally Walton, a Safari filly out of the Bathurst Gold Tiara winner Donna Lombo, Shadow Play and Major In Art fillies both closely related to Rocknrolla. There’s yearling colts and fillies from the families of ‘black type’ performers Alta Christiano, Saint Flash, Hilarious Guest, Her Sparky Self, Gotanedge, Six Oclock Rock and Newsbreaker. The sale also features broodmares in-foal to leading sires such as Art Major, Mach Three, Rock N Roll Heaven, Armbro Operative, Live Or Die, Shadow Play, Mr Feelgood, Sportswriter, Village Jasper, Roll With Joe, Mister Big and Grinfromeartoear. The online catalogue for the Alabar Blue Ribbon sale can be viewed at www.graemeboard.com Hard-copy catalogues can be requested from Peter Dow on 0412 195 986 or the office on (02) 6884 8355 or email gboard@dcco.com.au by Peter Wharton

Leading Victorian reinsman Chris Alford showed why he is considered one of the best Australia has to offer, with a brilliant display aboard 5-Y-0 Sundon/Geena Hest mare Maidstone Miss (winner of the 2011 Redwood Classic) in the Lilydale Instant Lawn Trotters Handicap for T0 or better class over 2150 metres at Yarra Valley on Monday September 9. Trained at Clyde (Cranbourne) by owner Jayne Davies with whom Alford has had a long association winning many feature events over the years including the 1995 (Christchurch) Inter Dominion with Golden Reign, it was a classic Alford exhibition to greet the judge. Adopting “catch me if you can” tactics after beginning brilliantly to pounce in front from outside the front line, Alford summed the race up to a nicety, setting his rivals the task of chasing Maidstone Miss all through the race. Showing no signs of stopping, Maidstone Miss scored by 24.1 metres in advance of the hot favourite El Paco off a 40 metre backmark, with My Name Is Earl a further 15 metres away in third place. The mile rate 2-06. Cranbourne trainer Hugh Cathels’ 6-Y-0 Bettors Delight/Star Chaser gelding Astronaut was a tough winner of the De Bortoli Pace for C5 & C6 class over 2150 metres in 2-00.1. Driven on this occasion by Lisa Miles, Astronaut was trapped four wide from outside the front row, before being restrained to the rear of the field, with Franco Jackson retaining the lead from the pole. When Vinni Gambino ahead of him made a mid-race forward move, Astronaut immediately latched to his back, before parking outside the pacemaker for the final half of the journey. Under a tight rein approaching the final bend, Astronaut gained the upper hand on turning and raced clear to register a most impressive 5.6 metre victory over Franco Jackson, with Vinni Gambino third after switching down to the sprint lane on turning. Raced by Hugh and Lorraine Cathels, Astronaut a half brother to multiple winners Our Maid Marianne and Safari, has fronted the starter on 77 occasions, winning 14 times. by Len Baker  

Echuca on the Campaspe River close to the Victorian/N-S-W border, held a neat eight event harness racing card on Tuesday August 6, with border hoppers Kenmor Albertina and Victoria May both saluting the judge. Kenmor Albertina a 4-Y-0 gelded son of Artiscape and Sky Hy trained at Narrandera by David Kennedy was successful in the Carmel Ryan Memorial Pace for C1 class over the sprint trip of 1755 metres. Driven by Shepparton's Nathan Jack, Kenmor Albertina settled three back in the moving line from gate two on the second line, with The Numbers Man leading from gate three. Despite being pushed wide in the final circuit by Earls Reign (one/one) inside him, Kenmore Albertina proved too strong over the concluding stages for Earls Reign in a rate of 2-00 even, scoring by 1.9 metres, with Hezupnabout (three back the markers) using the sprint lane for third. Four year old Holmes Hanover/Ides Of May mare Victoria May also trained at Narrandera by Shaun Snudden snared the Christies Welding Pace for C4 & C5 class over 2160 metres in a mile rate of 2-00.1. Taking a concession for stable "apprentice" Paul Diebert, Victoria May came out running from gate two, safely holding out Hellovanite (gate four) which issued a serious challenge. Even though she was inclined to over race after being revved up early, Victoria May kicked clear on straightening to record a 5.9 metre victory in advance of the Elmore mare Madam Altissimo which trailed using the sprint lane to no avail, with Donoson first up for 12 months running home late from near last for third. Nagambie's Chris Lang notched up yet another winner in the trotting ranks when 4-Y-0 Kadabra/Kyvalley Diva gelding Kyvalley Rap scored in the Peats Office Equipment Trotters Handicap for T0 or better class over 2530 metres. With Chris in the sulky, Kyvalley Rap starting from inside the 10 metre mark, possied three back along the markers, before moving to trail the leader Dabbsey when Family Decision galloped. Coming away from the inside on the final bend, Kyvalley Rap quickly put the race away to record a 14.6 metre victory in 2-07.2 from Dabbsey which battled on well to hold off a death-seating Sans Frontiere. Ballarat trainer Craig Knowles combined with Greg Sugars aboard 4-Y-0 Modern /ArtHitch To Fitch mare Modern Hitch to land the Awards Night September 21 Vicbred Pace for C1 class over 2160 metres, leading throughout to comfortably defy all challengers, accounting for A Chance Taken which trailed and Longtan Tigerman which followed the pair in a mile rate of 2-05.1. Orrvale (Goulburn Valley) trainer Steven Duffy also used the services of Greg Sugars to capture the Echuca Moama Storage 2-Y-0 Pace over 1755 metres with Safari/Delldale gelding Hooper Road which was making his second appearance at the races. Settling at the tail of the field after starting from the extreme draw, Hooper Road gained a lovely three wide trail home in the last lap following the well supported Sutter Man which quickly moved outside the leader Macworthy on debut approaching the home turn. Joining Sutter Man on turning, Hooper Road wasn't knocked around in winning by a neck, with Macworthy holding down third. The mile rate 2-01.2.  Undera (G-V) trainer Glenn Freeman has revitalized 8-Y-0 Panorama/Lady Bye Bye stallion Goforzoe airborne at present, resulting in an all of the way victory from the pole in the Moama Bowling Club Pace for C2 & C3 class over 2160 metres. Driven by Daryl Douglas, Goforzoe was allowed to bowl along at his leisure with the well supported Charlotte Two (gate four) caught in the open. Still travelling on the final bend, Goforzoe never looked like being beaten, coasting to the wire 4.3 metres in advance of Charlotte Two and Hes Real from last in a rate of 2-02.6. Union Guy/Velcro gelding Whos That Guy landed the Like Us On Facebook 3-Y-0 Pace over 1755 metres from gate three in almost identical fashion, giving Daryl Douglas a driving double. Given his head approaching the final bend, Whos That Guy trained at St Arnaud by Leon Clohesy bounded away to score by 7.2 metres in a rate of 2-02 from Del Rosario (three back the markers) and a death-seating Black Jasmin. Corowa trainer John Low joined forces with Nathan Jack to land the Follow Us On Twitter Pace for C0 class over 1755 metres with 4-Y-0 Precious Bunny/Yeronga Quicksilver mare Bunny Rapid in a rate of 2-01.9. Settling mid-field in the moving line from gate four on the second row, Bunny Rapid sprinted with a wing on every foot in the final circuit to lead on turning, defeating the pacemaker Nolagalile and Artois Stone which faced the breeze. Len Baker Len Baker len-baker@bigpond.com 03 9307 5265 0401 679 745  

The Blue Chip Farms Breeders Crown series is starting to heat up as we head into the final weeks of July and there is no better advertisement for that than the next two days racing. In all, eight heats of the futurity series will be run and won with four for the two-year-old pacing colts and geldings at Bendigo tomorrow night and a further four for the three-year-old fillies at Ballarat on Wednesday night. The aptly named All Eyes On Us will line up in the first of the qualifiers and with Belinda and Luke McCarthy bringing down a strong hand for the series he is well favoured to kick it all off on a winning note. The colt by Art Major has drawn two in Race 2 at Bendigo and has been rated a $1.20 chance in today’s Herald Sun. Hectorjayjay ($8) was a winner of his Vicbred Super Series heat just a few weeks ago at big odds and will start from the running line in an intriguing race. The following race will see the re-emergence of Vicbred Super Series champion Major Secret however the barrier gods haven’t been as kind this time around. He will have to contend with mobile position six as the arms fold back but has still been marked the $2.10 favourite for the race. The McCarthy’s appear to have the biggest danger with Jedi Mind ($2.30) a close second to stablemate Lettucerockthem in a Breeders Crown heat seven days ago at Menangle. The well-travelled Bespoke Artist ($8) has drawn the extreme barrier for David Aiken and Chris Alford but is still in the market following his sixth in the Vicbred Super Series final. The third of the heats has been blown open with the scratching of likely favourite Zacharia. Mark Purdon’s juvenile was set to play a major role in the overall series before it was announced today he will be withdrawn. Handsome Major, for Adam Kelly, and Gowan Loch, for Andy Gath, will both start from the second row but now loom as the key chances along with the consistent Motor Smoker who won the Shakamaker Classic back in April. The final heat comes in Race 8 on the program at 9pm and Purdon will be searching to exact revenge with Messini who was just touched off in the Vicbred Super Series final last time. The two-year-old colt already has a win at the track under his belt thanks to his Vicbred heat win back in June and has been marked $1.40 from gate four. The claiming drivers will take the reins on those considered the biggest threat with David Moran steering Another Safari from the second row while Zac Phillips will jump in the cart behind Theartofconfusion for Brett Cotterill. by Blake Redden

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