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Prominent breeders from most states have thrown their weight behind the 2019 Shepparton Mixed Stock Sale to be held at the Shepparton Harness Racing Club’s Kialla complex on Sunday, July 14 at 12 noon.   The sale comprises 67 well bred lots – 47 pacers and 20 trotters - including weanlings, broodmares, two and three-year-olds and tried and untried stock with strong consignments from two of the country’s most successful breeders, Robert Watson and Duncan McPherson.   Of the 16 weanlings going up for auction three are by the great American Ideal, two by A Rocknroll Dance and Sunshine Beach with single entries by high profile sires including Sweet Lou, Betting Line, Heston Blue Chip, Auckland Reactor and Majestic Son.   The weanling section includes A Rocknroll Dance half-sister to the outstanding pacer Shadow Sax, a Heston Blue Chip half-brother to the dual Listed winner Sophies Ideal, a Sweet Lou colt out the $120,000 winner So Shesachristian, a Betting Line half-sister to the good Gloucester Park winner Soho Changeling and A Rocknroll Dance filly closely related to Mother Courage.   Among the mixed stock listed in the catalogue are Jamm Kiss NZ (1:57.1), a Somebeachsomewhere two-year-old half-sister to The Graduate winner Stars Align (1:50.4), an unraced three-year-old half-brother to the dual Group winner Lombo Kotakinabalu, a three-year-old half-sister to the NSW Breeders Challenge winner Shezallapples and an American Ideal two-year-old half-brother to Soho Changeling.   There’s 30 broodmares in the sale highlighted by the millionairess Miss Galvinator, Our Awesome Lover, a sister to Under Cover Lover; Frances Lombo, dam of Lombo Kotakinabalu; Lethal Mee NZ, dam of NZ 2YO Filly of the Year Susie Maguire; the $130,000 winning trotter Countessa Hest NZ, Mossdale Gabby (Tas. Mother of Pearl), Aspenglow USA, the mother of cups winner Cold Sister; Ushaka Bromac NZ (winner of $144,000) and Sundons Babe NZ, a daughter of NZ Trotter of the Year Merinai.   Broodmares are in foal to well credentialled sires such as Sportswriter, Four Starzzz Shark, Pet Rock, Sunshine Beach, Hes Watching, Tintin In America, Auckland Reactor, Yankee Rockstar and Aldebaran Eagle.   Catalogues are available from Melton and most Victorian country clubs.   To request a catalogue email shepparton@hrv.org.au or phone Shepparton club manager Ian McDonald on 0428 231 403.   by Peter Wharton

Euroa-based harness racing trainer-driver Cameron Maggs produced a nice winner on debut at Shepparton last Friday - and punters didn't let it get under their guard. Four-year-old mare Maddielea (Auckland Reactor-Allison June (Major In Art) was heavily supported into favoritism on fixed odds and the issue was never in doubt. Maggs sent Maddielea to the head of affairs in the $7000 Alabar Pace for C0 only pacers and looked to have things well under control from that point. The first split was 28.2, followed by a 31.4, and then the mare was allowed to stretch out in 28.3 and 29.6 to win by 15 metres in a sharp 1.57-5. Despite not being sighted at the trials for some time, the course commentator Brendan Delaney advised shortly before the start that the fixed odds that had been put up regarding Maddielea had been knocked down from $19 to $4. Betting then tightened to $3.50 and $3.20, with the eventual starting price $3.50. "The winner landed some big bets, and someone has their pockets full for the weekend, you would think!" Delaney quipped after the race. To watch the video replay of this race click here. Maddielea certainly looks a horse destined for a bright future and is expected to make it two wins in under a week as she has come up the top selection at Shepparton this Wednesday afternoon in the CO-C1 mares' event. The daughter of Auckland Reactor, who continues to stamp his mark as a quality sire, goes about her business in trade-like fashion. With a nice gait, she has some of her dad's renowned grit as well. Maddielea, raced by P.L and S.L Maggs, was bred by her trainer Cameron Maggs. She is out of an unraced mare in Allison June (Major In Art-Miss Nightowl (Our Sir Vancelot). The recent winner also has a three-year-old full brother, yet to be named. Miss Nightowl was only lightly raced with four wins and seven placings from 26 starts for earnings of $14,480. The mare was successful for Maggs at Wagga and Echuca, while Nathan Jack was the winning driver at Bendigo and Mildura. It was also a very good outcome for connections who also took home a lucrative first win VicBred bonus. Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura               P 0498 490 672   E hello@newsalertpr.com.au   W www.newsalertpr.com.au      

When enthusiastic Cranbourne harness racing trainer Matthew Martin needs some expert advice, it's never far away. "I've got a nice network of family and friends to lean on when I need a bit of help or guidance regarding horses, so I'm very lucky," he said. And Martin, 32, was thrilled to see his one-and-only stable representative in Final Chapter (Art Major USA-Nyanjee (Classic Garry) get the money at Sunday's Mooroopna at Shepparton twilight meeting. "The race did look ideal for her and I thought if she could lead over the short trip, we'd be hard to beat," Martin said. "I've since read that a punter had $30,000 on at $1.65 - and I can guarantee that it wasn't anyone that I know!" he laughed. Driven perfectly by Kima Frenning (who also showed awesome touch with three winners for the Emma Stewart stable the previous night in Adelaide) Final Chapter was always going to be the one to beat. A first quarter of 29.9 was followed by a casual 33, then 29.1 and 27.9. "When Kima got that easy second quarter, I did think she had pinched the race," Martin said. Matt Martin and Kima Frenning are all smiles after the Shepparton win (Courtesy Shepparton HRC) Final Chapter, raced by Martin, his wife Kym, and successful gallops trainer Luke Oliver, had been placed at Melton, Warragul and Shepparton before her maiden victory. Martin, who's based at the Cranbourne Harness Training Centre, said he learnt a lot as a teenager when working horses with his father Alan. "I realise now that probably I should have listened a bit more, because if I can't get one to pace properly or it needs sorting out, I send it straight up to dad at Marong," he said. "But the other trainers based at the centre are awesome too - if it wasn't for them I would have been in the deep end and struggling along. I've definitely learnt so much and we all help each other out." But Martin also has some impressive cross-code expertise he can call on - in the form of Black Caviar trainer, Peter Moody. "I got to know Peter through my horse farrier business and, even though he was doing gallopers, I did pick up a lot about training and conditioning horses in general," Martin said. "Peter's ethic was to work them hard with lots of swimming, and his horses would go to the races so fit first-up, and that's rubbed off onto me, which I've tried to replicate." Martin said the Cranbourne centre was a "fantastic venue", boasting A1 facilities. "We have the use of a racetrack, 1200m jog track and a 600m heavy track and all of those are prepared daily. There's also a swimming pool, eight horse walking machine and a treadmill - we are spoilt rotten that's for sure," he said. Martin completed a four-year farrier apprenticeship in 2008 and has since built up a big clientele, including three days a week at Caulfield racecourse and the other two at the Romsey stables of Luke Oliver. His work days start when the alarm clock goes off between 4 and 4.30am and in a juggling act, he then gets back to Cranbourne in the early afternoon to train his pacer Final Chapter. "I recently decided to retire Mulgrave, a horse I got out of the claimers which actually gave me my first winner - Kima also drove him, but he was struggling towards the end," Martin said. "I've trained two others which didn't make it. So, all in all, I've only ever had just the four horses. I've held a trainer's licence for four years and now have six wins from probably not many more than 50 starters. "But it's an enjoyable sport and my only other hobby is supporting the mighty Collingwood AFL team." And it's not hard to miss the Martin stable--a race sulky in the Pies black and white colors, drivers colors likewise, while Matthew and Kym's two-year-old son George has his own set, which he wears with pride at the meetings.   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Skillful harness racing reinsman David Moran, is hot property at the moment. Moran, based at Kialla, near Shepparton, landed a winning treble at his home track on Monday and four days later was at his very best with a bag of four winners at Wagga Wagga. "To be honest they all did look to be strong chances on paper at Wagga, but we've probably all learnt not to get ahead of ourselves in this caper!" Moran said. "It all worked out okay this time and I think I have been lucky enough to get four previously at Wagga, Leeton and Shepparton," he said. Moran's Shepparton meeting got off to a flying start with the boom youngster Lochinvar Art (Modern Art USA-Ponder In Paris (Ponder USA), trained by Moran with partner Laura Crossland, cruising to victory in a tick over 1.57 for 2190m. A relative newcomer to their stable, Mamas New Dude (Western Terror USA-Shake It Mama (Mach Three), looked good in bringing up Moran's second winner, taking out the Alabar 3YO Pace. To complete the trio of winners, Moran then piloted the Patrick Ryan-prepared Starsbythebeach (Somebeachsomewhere USA-Maid For You Lombo (Sportswriter USA) to take out the BMW 2yo Pace. (Bendigo conditioner Glenn Douglas, who has his team absolutely up-and-about at the moment, shared the honors with Moran at Shepparton-also landing a treble.) Moran said he was pleased the way Lochinvar Art went about his business. "He had a bit up his sleeve and it was his first start back after taking out the Gold Chalice Final at Bathurst about seven weeks ago," he said. "We're aiming him for the Breeders Challenge semi-finals and final at Menangle next month, so we are on target. "We chose the Breeders Challenge rather than the prestigious IRT Harness Jewels in Addington, NZ, next Saturday because over there we would have come up against a 'handy horseman' by the name of Mark Purdon!" Moran was the punter's pal in his trip over the border to Wagga Wagga on Thursday, duly getting the prize on three favorites and a second-favorite. It was again none other than the Kevin Gordon-owned flying machine Lochinvar Art, getting the ball rolling, zipping over the 1740m trip in 1.53-8. Moran then landed a double for the powerful Stewart/Tonkin team at Ballarat with Victoria Brew (Sportswriter USA-Charlotte Brew NZ (Mach Three) and Hardhitter (Mach Three-Grace Robinson (Perfect Art). His fourth for the day was for Victorian Gippsland co-trainers Gary and Deb Quinlan, of Drouin, in Rocknroll Pearl (Rock N Roll Heaven-Jazzam (Christian Cullen NZ). "It's nice to pick up a few drives for Emma and Clayton and it's good to do okay for them and stay in the mix because they have a lot of horses going around," Moran said. Moran's four-win efforts are not his best, though - he joined a select group of drivers in March, 2015, when he bagged five winners at a meeting. "That was exciting, and I remember it well because it was the Albury Pacing Cup meeting and I won five of the eight races on the card," he said. The in-form driver is also enjoying a great season as a trainer, with his partner and co-trainer Laura Crossland. The training partnership was formalised recently and has 11 wins, 16 placings from 44 starts. "Laura is a bit under-rated as a driver, because the horses do run for her," Moran said. "I'm always happy to watch her take the reins and I do think it's a bit surprising that more trainers don't use her services," he said. Demonstrating the commitment required of today's professional reinsmen, after driving at Wagga, Moran caught a plane to Shepparton and then drove his car to the Ballarat meeting that night. "The fairytale unfortunately didn't continue - I had one drive and didn't do any good as the horse jumped a shadow and ended up back in fifth spot in the 3yo Classic," he said. Moran, who has been at Kialla for eight or nine years, got involved in harness racing through well-known and highly successful trainer-driver David Aiken, of Avenel. "I grew up with his son David junior. We were best mates as kids," he said. "It was a natural transition to start with the Aiken stable once I finished school."   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura      

Barnawartha horseman Wayne Anderson had mixed feelings when he landed the money at the Shepparton harness racing meeting this week with a 25/1 longshot - and who could blame him? Wayne decided to take the reins himself with bay gelding Postal Express (Flightpath-Bye Focals (Harmony Heaven), giving his 21-year-old son Chris, an up-and-coming junior driver, the night off. "Chris works in the scaffolding business and just lately he's been doing a fair bit of travelling," Wayne said. "As well as all the miles, he's also been working hard because he just recently bought himself a house. So, I said to him that I didn't want him pushing himself to get back and drive at the trots. "And of course, everything worked out perfectly in the race for Postal Express and we landed the money, but only just!" Postal Express won by a neck from Monash (Ros Rolfe) with four metres back to Waterboy (Ryan Duffy). The mile rate was a brisk 1.57-5. View the video here! It was Wayne's first race drive on the eight-year-old, and while he was delighted with the success, he intends to stay "second fiddle" to Chris whenever he can. "Chris has had a couple of wins and my wife Margy, myself and all the other family members are keen to see him get established and do well in the sport," Wayne said. "Whenever he's home and not away working, you'll find him at our place helping out with the team, which is up to five at present. "Chris was a late-starter into trotting as he used to do very well at football and cricket. I think he can make a go of it, because he's keen and will take on any advice. Guys like David Jack, Cameron Maggs and Peter Romero have been fantastic." The Anderson farm, nestled on the outskirts of town, has been in the family since 1956. Wayne said a 700-metre granite track on the property cost "24 dozen bottles of beer and some fuel, back in the day"! "Uncle Bob, who always had horses on the place, now looks after the cattle, while my brother Steve does the cropping and our dad David keeps an eye on things to ensure everything's ticking along okay. We have 60 cattle and 350 sheep as well as the horses," Wayne said. "It's a real family affair and while two of our other sons, Mitch and Isaac, aren't hands-on with the horses, they support us. "We got Postal Express off a mate in Robbie Walters, who thought he would be just perfect for Chris to learn the ropes. "And he is a nice horse-just a gentleman to do anything with. He's improved lately since we changed his feed on the recommendation of a nutritionalist and got his teeth done. "The horse has always shown high speed, but now he's starting to find the line." Wayne said he'd been in and out of the industry for nearly 40 years. "I was trying a heap of horses there for a while but dropped off a bit when I wasn't getting any to the races," he said. "Then in December 2015, we had a wild bushfire go through. We lost 300 sheep, 400 bales and five kilometres of fencing. It also destroyed our wooden horse yards, but fortunately two colts that I was breaking-in weren't injured. "The bushfire destroyed 6000 hectares in nine hours, being fanned by 100kph winds. We saved a few lambs as well as things around the house." Wayne said while Postal Express could be one to follow from the stable, he was excited with former Queensland pacer My Magic Merlin. "Chris got beaten a head at Kilmore with him last month which was his first run for us. He's a nice type by Mach Three and still only a C1," he said. And there's a fair chance that Wayne will be among the loudest supporters for Chris at Albury on Saturday night when the junior driver competes with Miss Rixon in the opening event, followed by My Magic Merlin in race two.   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Jovial Bill Milner of Kilmore is strictly a trainer only of square-gaiters these days - and loves every minute of it. "I'll have to be honest and say that a fair amount of patience is required with them at times, but I just keep poking along and mostly they are enjoyable," Milner said. And Bill's certainly enjoying a pleasant time in harness racing at the moment, with four-year-old Dellsun (Majestic Son-Auravale (Malhana Gindin USA) getting the job done in fine style. The gelding, nicely driven by master Melbourne reinsman Chris Alford, didn't put a foot wrong to take out the JDC Contractors Trotters Handicap at Shepparton last Tuesday night. Milner said the Shepparton circuit was quickly becoming one of his favorite tracks. "I seem to have a fair bit of success up there. Dellsun is an example because his previous victory was also at Shepparton a month ago," he said. "It's a nice easy drive from home so I'll keep racing there while our luck is in." Milner is hands-on with pretty much every aspect of the sport and does a great job with a small team. Not only does he breed all his stock, but breaks them in, does the farrier work and trains them. That virtually leaves only the driving side of it, but he says he's quite happy to watch from the other side of the fence. "I do enjoy the breaking-in part probably the most. There's a heap of satisfaction comes out of that and yes I suppose I do nearly everything myself," he said. "Over the many years I've been involved, I've learnt a hell of a lot from a great number of people. "I got started with Carl O'Dwyer when I was a teenager doing a farrier apprenticeship. Then later on when I was shoeing for greats like Vin Knight, Gordon Rothacker, Kevin Murray, Kevin Dixon and others, I would pick up more knowledge. "Early days another influential person was Frank Shinn. I remember we went off buying a horse each and mine was named Fair Baron. I was learning how to drive fastwork one day and nearly put Frank over the fence, which didn't go down all that well. "Fair Baron never won a race, but I'm certain the one Frank purchased turned out okay!" Milner now owns the property that belonged to Shinn. It's on nearly four acres and has a 400-metre track. He said he trained pacers years ago before changing his alliances to square gaiters. "Without doubt the best pacer I had would have been Vice Regal, who raced in the early 1990s," Milner said. Vice Regal (Vance Hanover USA-Pat Hanover NZ (Emory Hanover USA) finished his career with 14 wins and 24 placings for more than $74,000. After becoming a fully qualified farrier, Milner was employed by the Victoria Racing Club and worked at Seymour and Kilmore gallops meetings as well as some in Melbourne. "I used to help out with barrier duties as well and I'm still at it, nearly 50 years later," he said. Most of the Milner team go back to a daughter of Welcome Advice, Star Advice, a moderately performed race mare. However, in the breeding barn, she had six foals, including Auravale and Auravalley. Auravale, a five-race winner, had six foals with all winners, except one. Auravalley has produced three foals with the best being My Archie Way (4 wins) and Tetra (2 wins). Milner paid tribute to his success with his small team to supporter Kevin Dixon, "92 years young", who has held a licence for 76 years. "Kevin would only train two at a time back in the day, but he was very good at it. When the old Melbourne Showgrounds closed, he moved to Kilmore on a small acreage and he lives about five minutes from me," Milner said. "He has taught me a lot. He calls into my stables regularly and still attends all the meetings with me - he's a great mate."   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

When star Victorian harness racing reinsman John Caldow set off up the highway to the Shepparton meeting on Friday night, he was entitled to believe he had a few nice drives. “I must admit that on paper I really did think I could do okay - but I have to be honest and say I wasn’t counting on landing five winners!” a jubilant Caldow said. “It was just one of those nights where you think this might happen, or that could be the case, and then it just all goes to plan and falls into place,” he said. “Absolutely amazing, but hell it was heaps of fun.” The quintet of wins was a first for the freelance reinsman, who, with wife Maree, has a training complex at Melton. “I did get five in total once before, but I couldn’t count it as such – one winner at Maryborough in the afternoon and then four that night at a Melton fixture,” he said. “I have actually had four a fair few times. But the prospect of five at one meeting has probably never entered my head.” The popular reinsman said Shepparton had been something of a happy hunting ground for him in recent seasons. “I’ve been getting heaps of support from trainers up that way and I really enjoy driving on the track. Besides I have lots of friends in the area so it’s great to get up there and see them as well.” The Caldow winning run started with Keith Cotchin four-year-old Karlos (Sportwriter-Kept For Pleasure (Safely Kept). To watch the video replay of Karlos click here. Then it was an all-the-way win with Sheer Modern (Shadyshark Hanover-Modern Society (Modern Art) for Brent Thomson. To watch the video replay of Sheer Modern click here. After being runner-up in the next, Caldow bounced back for wife Maree when successful with Meziah (Bettors Delight-Mesmerizing (Our Sir Vancelot). To watch the video replay of Meziah click here. He then scored a surprise win with $28 long shot Jackson Square (Bacardi Lindy-Front And Square (Yentls Image) in the Trotters Cup, landing the prize for Mick Blackmore. To watch the video replay of Jackson Square click here. Caldow’s fifth winner kept it an enjoyable family night, providing Maree with a training double courtesy of impressive 2YO colt Andover Sun (Andover Hall-Solar Flash (Sundon USA) in the Abrahams Trotters Classic. To watch the video replay of Andover Sun click here. And for Caldow followers wondering the outcome for a $10 all up bet on Caldow’s five winners?  A handsome $42,077 would have been the result . Landing winners is certainly nothing new for Caldow, who is up there with the best of them. He has driven more than 100 winners in a season on 20 occasions. And no-one would begrudge him his success (despite perhaps the one flaw in his make-up, some may say, of being a fanatical Collingwood supporter in the AFL!). After a horrific road accident in the 1980s claimed the life of his older brother Peter and severely injured his father Jack at Boundary Bend in Victoria’s far north west, John was given the task of running the stables, then located at Echuca. “I was only 13 years old at the time and I now sometimes look back on it and wonder how I did it,” he said. “Mum had to get special leave from the Education Department so I could quit school and takeover the stable duties of preparing a team of 12 horses. “But I couldn’t have done it without the help of a lot of people.  Probably the one who stood out was Russ Thomson, who had a set-up near Moama at the time, but many others gave us a hand. “I can remember having a team of 20 in work when I was 16 years old as that’s when I applied to get a trots driver’s licence.” The Caldow family relocated to Melton in early 2000 and John has continued to cement himself as one of the true success stories of the industry. Caldow said he was certain to remember his quintet of winners in years to come. “It was actually a huge two days as I went to the football the previous night at the MCG with Glenn Douglas, Mick Stanley and some other diehard Collingwood fans and we got a win over the Bombers,” he said. “You could say I’m on a bit of a roll…!” Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Shepparton harness racing trainer-driver Damian “Damo” Wilson was in two minds this week whether to make the demanding road trip to Yarra Valley – but he was glad he did in the end.   “It’s not a big or long trip, probably about 170 Kms, but a major part of it is winding roads and that sort of stuff, so you have to keep your eyes open,” Wilson said.   But Wilson had the last laugh when bay gelding Winkn Nod (Grinfromeartoear-Mull of Kintire (Chandon) impressively took out the Hargreaves Hill Brewery Pace.   Winkn Nod was ignored in betting starting a 20/1 chance. He scored from the Jayne Davies-trained pair Betterman Stride ($2 fav) and British General ($49 chance). The mile rate posted by the winner of 1.55-5 was just 1.4 seconds outside the track record.   “He has turned out to be a good money-spinner for the owners, who are Norm and Joan Visca from Moama,” Wilson said.   Norm Visca       Cobram Harness Racing Club photos   “I reckon I’ve given him 11 starts for two wins and eight placings – the other start he was unplaced after having absolutely no luck at all one day at Cobram,” he said.   “It would be great to have a few more like Winkn Nod because he just gets out there and tries his heart out.”   Wilson said the enthusiastic Viscas were “good people with an unbelievable love for harness racing”.   “They never miss a meeting when I’m racing a horse they own, which is great. And the way they support the industry is really good,” he said.   “Norm has been around horses for years. He usually breeds a few, but, also, if he sees a horse he likes he’ll buy it.   “You would go a long way to find people with more passion than the Viscas, that’s for sure.”   Starting from the outside of the front row, Wilson eased Winkn Nod back at the start. He popped into the one-out, two-back spot, but after a few forward moves by some of his rivals, he was again near last at the bell.   “I wasn’t overly-concerned because they’d set a solid pace up front (quarters of 29.9 and 29.5 for a first half of 57.4) and that suited me. I thought I would have something left in the tank because we hadn’t done much in the run,” Wilson said.   And his assessment was spot on as Winkn Nod worked stylishly around the field down the back straight. The gelding joined Betterman Stride on straightening and the two settled down to a ding- dong battle.   Winkn Nod did best, by a narrow margin, to the cheers of lucky punters who collected $20.90 for a win ticket on the TAB.   View the race replay here   Wilson, who trains on a 50-acre property at Byrneside, near Shepparton, has a team of 10 horses in work.   “I’ve got another racehorse in Miss McManus, who’s also owned by Norm and Joan. She was pretty consistent late last year and early this year,” he said.   “We had two wins and seven placings, but her last few have been a bit below par. They also have a three-year-old and a trotter so hopefully there will be a lot more trips to the races for them.”   Wilson said his trip to Yarra Valley was a rare occurrence.   “I haven’t taken a horse there ever since I’ve had my place at Byrneside, and that’s over two-and-a- half years,” he said.   “I probably shouldn’t leave it that long until my next visit, because the hard drive home didn’t worry me one bit after the win!”   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Members of the Shepparton Harness Racing Club were among the large contingent of harness racing devotees who attended the Nic Dewar Memorial meeting at the Young Paceway last Wednesday night. Victorian driver Brad Chisholm catapulted to the top of the pointscore ladder to claim this year's crown, winning the final two races with Abitmorebliss and Twentyeightblack. Boorowa's Codi Rauchenberger and Young's Blake Micallef finished second and third respectively after leading the series following wins in the opening two races at Shepparton. Following race five an emotional presentation was made to all drivers involved in the Nic Dewar Memorial. This was the first of what is expected to be an annual event that will be shared by both the Young and Shepparton clubs. The nine race program opened with the running of the Glen Mia Saddlery Pace over 2100m, the well supported Canberra gelding About The Attitude ($2.00) for Will Rixon was able to secure the leading position and was able to lead throughout in an impressive winning mile rate of 1:59.2. Race two was the Nic Dewar Memorial race of the night won by Abitmorebliss trained by Ellen Bartley from Coleambally. Junee postman Bruce Harpley secured a last minute start when his five year old mare Rubbies For Tash ($14) who set a new track record for the distance of 1:54.8, that win will see Bruce head for Menangle on April 13 for the very lucrative final. Attention then turned to the second heat of the Nic Dewar Memorial and local plasterer Glen Wilmot produced a very striking black Courage Under Fire gelding in the shape of Twentyeightblack ($4) to start favourite and take out the race by a convincing margin in a mile rating of 1:58.4 for the 1720m race. Long time supporter of the Young club, Peter Bullock had another welcome win with the evergreen pacer Smack Dab Shannon ($23) driven by Amy Rees in race five. Nic Dewar Memorial drivers, Dewar family members and Young Harness Racing and Harness Racing NSW officials following Wednesday night's presentation. Race six was the Club Menangle Where Horses Fly Heat over the sprint 1720 meters with Rock Bottom ($1.35) sent out a short priced favourite. Stablemate Young Cambo ($5.50) decided he was the better horse on the night by defeating Rock Bottom. The seventh race was another highlight of the night with Freddy Funk ($2.80) trained and driven by Nathan Turnbull, making a fast forward move mid-race to skip away at the bell. In race eight Miss Fifi and driver Ananda Turnbull were joined mid race by second favourite Bustling Barney ($4) who sat outside leader before applying the pressure at the 400m, eventually coming away to secure victory. The final race of the night accommodated the three year old pacers with the well supported Junee pacer Western Secret ($4.80) who firmed dramatically from $14 early fixed odds to run away in the straight capping off another top night of quality racing at the Young Paceway.  The club to conduct another meeting next Tuesday night, March 26. By Stewart Maxwell Reprinted with permission of The Young Witness

With a smile on his face and a small chuckle, Shepparton’s Chris Hazelman says he has a suspicion who may have nominated him for a Medal of the Order of Australia. The former City of Greater Shepparton mayor and current manager of the Ethnic Council of Shepparton and District has had an extensive career spanning several community organisations and government roles around Greater Shepparton. With a CV that includes five terms as mayor, treasurer of Goulburn Valley Primary Care Partnership, board member of Goulburn Valley Health and president of the Tallygaroopna Recreation Reserve Committee, it is easy to see why he has been recognised for his service to the community. ‘‘My initial response was, ‘wow, what does it all mean?’ — you get a little bit reflective looking back on your career,’’ Mr Hazelman said. ‘‘I felt all the emotions, you feel very humble, proud, appreciative and grateful; it is a fantastic honour to even be considered ... in that reflection time you look back on stuff that you’ve done and the people you have helped.’’ The current City of Greater Shepparton councillor said his stint as mayor from 1998 to 2002 was one of the most rewarding times of his career and one which oversaw significant changes to the municipality. Not long before securing the role, Greater Shepparton City Council was formed after merging the shires of Rodney and Shepparton with the City of Shepparton. This merger brought new structures and processes and was one which involved developing a truly representative group of councillors. ‘‘It was a completely new municipality; there was going to be a lot of capital works infrastructure types of projects ... it was in the time of a new council, it was like a greenfield site merging all of that together,’’ Mr Hazelman said. ‘‘It was an amazing experience, I think now, to serve five consecutive terms; I must have been crazy and I would not recommend to anyone to try and do it now.’’ In 2006 Mr Hazelman began working as the manager of the Ethnic Council of Shepparton and District, a role which he said now filled most of his days. It is evident Mr Hazelman is passionate about his work, speaking highly of the thousands of refugees and migrants he has worked with upon their arrival in Shepparton. ‘‘The challenges there and the people you’re both working with and for is incredibly rewarding,’’ he said. ‘‘Shepparton’s been a destination point for non-traditional migration ever since the irrigation system started here ... In its demographics Shepparton is unique for a conventional regional city, you won’t find another one with the cultural diversity for comparison that we’ve got.’’ With an extensive list of community positions, including president of the Shepparton Harness Racing Club and time spent on the board of Word and Mouth, The Community Fund Goulburn Valley and Fairley Leadership Program, it is evident Mr Hazelman values his time in the community. He said Shepparton’s disadvantage due to a lack of state and federal resources had driven a number of his community projects, and stressed the importance of reducing the imbalance between regional towns. ‘‘Projects and issues that I have been involved in over the years have been driven by the fact that the perception, if not the reality, is Shepparton has not got its fair share of state or federal resources,’’ Mr Hazelman said. ‘‘We’ve been disadvantaged, I think that’s been a motivating factor for a number of things I’ve been involved with — to try and redress that imbalance — sometimes successfully, sometimes not.’’ Receiving life membership at Tallygaroopna Cricket Club in 2005 and a recipient of the Centenary Medal for the City of Greater Shepparton in 2001, Mr Hazelman is passionate about community work and volunteering. He encouraged people to get involved with their local sporting clubs and smaller organisations which continually struggle to find support. While reflecting on his most recent achievement, Mr Hazelman said he could name a number of local leaders who deserved to be recognised, stating the experience had encouraged him to rethink our culture of acknowledgement. ‘‘When I got notified I could think of a dozen people I could name that deserve to be recognised, and you think, ‘oh well, there’s probably the scope there to develop a culture of community recognition’,’’ he said. ‘‘We do it on a local level through the local Citizen of the Year awards, but more broadly we don’t seem to recognise people through the Australian Honours System the way we possibly could.’’ By Liz Mellino Reprinted with permission of The Shepparton News

Despite coming off second best more times than he’d like to remember, Shepparton harness racing trainer-driver Danny Ferris has the utmost respect for pacer Dayseedee. “She has kicked me out of the cart, smashed me up, knocked me down and probably done all she can, but when I look at my stopwatch after a track workout, all is forgiven,” Ferris says. Dayseedee (Artistic Fella-Pebbles Stride (Somebeachsomewhere) gave a glimpse of her potential with a sparkling win first-up from a spell at Cobram on Monday in the De Maria Mitsubishi C0 Pace. The four-year-old mare was completely ignored in betting starting at over 50/1, but was sent forward by Ferris at the start.  From that point, she was never going to lose. Dayseedee rated a tick over 1.57 for the short 1670m trip, with splits of 27.8, 31.3, 29.3 and down to the wire in 29. Ferris, who has been dabbling with horses on-and-off for the past 45 years, predicts a bright future for Dayseedee. “She has got so much high speed, but on the other side of the coin she’s a horse with a hot temper!” Ferris said. “We started racing her as a 3yo in December 2017.  She didn’t have a lot of luck with barrier draws or in her races, but we did score an all-the-way win at Echuca in March last year,” he said. “After two more unplaced runs we decided to tip her out. She had become sour and she was far from happy, so we gave her a good six- or seven-month spell.” Ferris said the break “did her the world of good” and her work had been awesome leading up to her racetrack return. “Her first run back was supposed to be at Kilmore on January 10, but after breaking free from me at the course, she bolted and ended up stuck over a rail,” he said. “There were moments where I thought we were going to have a horse with a broken back leg as it was somehow wrapped around an upright pipe. “Thankfully (leading Victorian driver) Greg Sugars came to our aid, wriggled in under her and got the leg free using a lead rope. “I have no doubts that had she lashed out, we were in big trouble. But the horsemanship shown by Greg is something we’ll never forget.” Ferris, of Congupna, near Shepparton, races Dayseedee with his wife Dianne. “I work as a farmhand on a huge 10,000-acre property, doing sheep and cropping but fortunately I find enough time to train a few pacers,” he said. “Over the years there have been times when I haven’t raced that many, but I’ve always had a horse or two around the place.” The likeable hobby trainer obtained his trainer-driver license as a teenager and did a stint with the legendary Gordon Rothacker at his Doreen property. Ferris said he learnt much from the master horseman during his nine years with Rothacker. “Over the years I’ve also worked out never to rely on horses to make a living, so I’ve had that many other jobs I’ve lost count! There was dairy farming, looking after cattle, working at a horse stud, casual milking, I was employed at a car yard, and probably quite a few other jobs,” he said. However, Ferris did say harness racing had been good to him as he enjoyed success with Victory Joe who won seven races as a youngster in the 1980s, and in later years, Barefoot Sally, who raced through her classes. “Barefoot Sally was extraordinary going from a maiden to a M4 in 34 starts, winning 12 races for us a couple of seasons back,” he said. “I suppose I’ve drifted out of the sport a bit when I found my heart wasn’t in it, but my enthusiasm is sky high at the moment!” Ferris said a lot of hard work goes into training horses and he’s learnt to “really appreciate it when a win comes along”. “Hopefully Dayseedee can give us heaps more appreciation over the next few months!” Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Harness racing trainers have their eyes fixed firmly on the prize for the annual Neatline Homes Shepparton Gold Cup, one of the most exciting country cup races in regional Victoria. Running on Saturday night, January 12 at the Shepparton Harness Racing Club, the first race commences at 6:30pm with gates opening from around 4:30pm onwards. Shepparton Harness Racing Club manager, Ian McDonald said, “This year there is lots of off-the-track entertainment, with live music, jumping castles, fashions on the field and free giveaways for both kids and adults. “Only the best horses can win a Neatline Homes Shepparton Gold Cup and many of our previous winners have gone on to win the Hunter Cup, Victoria Cup or Interdominion. “Courtesy buses will run from most hotels in Mooroopna or Shepparton, which is a great added bonus for those looking for a good time.” The cup will run at Kialla Raceway, Melbourne Road, Kialla. You can contact the club on 0488 231 403 or visit www.sheppartonhrc.com.au for more details. By Ash Beks Reprinted with permission of The Adviser

Shepparton Harness Racing Club has paid tribute to Ben O'Donoghue, who passed on Monday. Mr O'Donoghue served as President of Shepparton Harness Racing club from 1996 until 1999. He remained on the committee until 2002 and is a life member of the Shepparton club. Mr O'Donoghue was heavily involved in the redevelopment of the Shepparton harness racing complex. Upon arriving in Victoria, he and his family set up Morley Park, which is now a harness racing stud run by his son, Stephen. Mr O'Donoghue is survived by his wife Anne, eight children, their partners and grandchildren. HRV sends its condolences to Mr O'Donoghue's family and friends.   Harness Racing Victoria

Breeders Crown champion Nostra Villa won’t be back to defend her title later this month. Trainer Emma Stewart said last season’s juvenile pacing filly final winner was feeling the effects of a hard season so has gone for a spell. "She has done a lot of hard racing and it was time for her to have a break,” said Stewart. That still leaves Stewart with four fillies in the three-year-old series as she charges toward the culminaton of her record-breaking season, with the Victorian heats for the three-year-old fillies at Shepparton on Thursday night. Even without Nostra Villa the stable has the warm favourite for the series in Speak No Evil, who is rated the stable’s best chance of the whole Breeders Crown, even after drawing the outside of the front line in her heat on Thursday. “She has gone from strength to strength,” says Stewart. “She trialed really well last week and has come on from the Vicbred win so she is clearly the best of our chances in her division and probably in the overall two and three-year-old series.” The Victorian fillies heats kick off with the juveniles at Ballarat tonight and Stewart has Vicbred quinellamates Kualoa and Two Times Bettor in the same heat. “They seem to be doing that a lot these days, putting the two good stablemates in the same heat and I think they should be split. “But they are both ready to go good races. Kualoa is the one to beat this week and, and this stage, the best of our chances in the final.” The glamour boys of the freshman division have their turn at Kilmore on Wednesday night with Vicbred winner Centanario up against his runner-up on that occasion in Nostra Ideal and Bathurst Gold Crown winner College Chapel. An interesting Victorian debutant is Whereyabinboppin, who has joined the in-form Tim Butt stable after being unbeaten in three starts. Stewart dominates the other heat with Hurricane Harley and Hardhitter going head to head. Michael Guerin

A sharp trial has confirmed plans for a shot at the Queensland Derby. Victorian three-year-old Code Bailey produced a resounding performance to win a public trial last night (Thursday) at Shepparton as he readies himself for the Blue Riband classic at Albion Park on July 21. The Christian Cullen colt led throughout in the 2190m workout and rated 1:57.9 while covering his final half in 55.2 seconds. “It was a nice effort given where he’s at with his fitness and he went through his gears nicely, I’m looking at starting him down here next week before heading north.” Pike said. Code Bailey has not raced since winning at Shepparton on May 16. A winner of 8 of his 14 starts this season, trainer Ross Pike is eyeing the Sunshine State winter carnival features in the coming weeks. Targets will include the Gr.3 $30,540 South East Derby on July 14 before tackling the Gr.2 $75,540 Queensland Derby the following week. Chris Barsby

Since being claimed for just $11,000, Im The Boss has secured harness racing connections in excess of $111,000 in seven months. The six-year-old’s remarkable rise continued at Shepparton last night in the $50,000 Group 11 Neatline Homes Shepparton Gold Cup as the curtain came down on a successful 2017-18 Victorian Trots Country Cups Championship. Im The Boss set a new Shepparton record for the 2690m trip, the David Aiken-trained pacer overhauling champion stablemate Lennytheshark in the shadows of the post for a 1.5m win in a blistering mile rate of 1:56.1. An elated Swedish monte rider turned reinswoman Kima Frenning couldn’t speak higher of her champ post-race. “I just don’t know what to say,” she said. “To be able to run down a horse like Lennytheshark on a horse we claimed for $11,000 … he’s just the biggest fighter of all time. I’ve never driven a horse who tries as hard as him. It’s ridiculous.” Expected by many to be in front shortly after the start, Frenning’s plan A was thrown out of the cart when Nathan Jack and Cruz Bromac crossed from gate seven. Im The Boss trailed Cruz Bromac in the box seat until just inside the 400m when Lennytheshark, who had been punching the breeze for the previous mile, was driven to the front by David Aiken. Im The Boss got off the pegs and tracked his more celebrated stablemate – who literally had a huge tent full of supporters cheering him on – until the home straight when Frenning peeled to the outside. To use a cliché, Lennytheshark was as brave as Lennytheshark, fighting on like Lennytheshark right to the wire. But in the last 50m his death-seating efforts took effect and Im The Boss capitalised. The last quarter was in fact the slowest section of the race at 30.8secs, a rip-roaring 27.1secs down the back ensuring it game-on a fair way out. “I’m shaking my head. Even from Mildura, I was very edgy coming on to the track tonight – it’s always very nerve-racking against the good horses. You just hope you’re good enough and this horse does not stop trying,” Frenning said. And so the Inter Dominion discussion begins. With Victoria hosting the big dance for the first time in 10 years, it’s expected Im The Boss will target the riches. Since joining the Aiken camp in September last year, the six-year-old by Major In Art (out of Golden Navajo) has shown he’s adept at backing up. He won the Cobram Cup two days after his previous start, and followed a track record-breaking Mildura Cup heat win with a brutal victory in the Group 2 Final four days later. Meanwhile, Lennytheshark lost no admirers whatsoever. In fact, the superstar reached another career milestone, taking his career earnings past the $3 million mark by finishing second. Brallos Pass ran a super race for third, with Ellen Tormey in the sulky, narrowly defeating Cruz Bromac. Earlier Rickie Alchin trained and drove Tough Monarch to win the Alabar Shepparton Trotters Cup by 12.3m over runner-up Regal Pepperell, with Father Christmas third in 2:02.9. Trots Media - Cody Winnell

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