In an exciting announcement for the Pryde's EasiFeed Great Southern Star, it has been revealed that star US reinsman Corey Callahan will be in Australia for the International extravaganza on March 22. In just its second year, the $400,000 Pryde's EasiFeed Great Southern Star trotting series held across one sensational night at Tabcorp Park Melton has attracted some massive names and it continues with Callahan adding his name to the list of visitors for the richest squaregaiting event in the southern hemisphere. Having only started his career at the age of 27, eight years later he has quickly become one of the leading drivers in North America. Growing up under the tutelage of his father Nick, Corey decided to turn his hand to college ambitions before returning to harness racing where he has driven thousands of winners. In fact since 2010 he has never driven less than 500 winners in a season, an extraordinary statistic that proves just how prolific the talented driver has been. He is also currently leads the United States Trotting Association Drivers' Premiership, 29 ahead of Ron Pierce . And it's not just his consistency that has him on top, he has also mixed it at the top level, taking out the $500,000 Hoosier Cup with Mr Wiggles in 2009 and competed in the World Driving Championship, representing the US. But it was 2013 which was the year that put the 35-year-old on the world stage as he raked in over $9.7 million in stakes earnings, placing him in the upper-Echelon in North America. He drove standout winners like Golden Receiver, D'Orsay and Drop The Ball. But, Australian trots fans will know him for his association with Ma Chere Hall, owned by Australian interests, however his win with Allstar Partner in the $260,000 PA Sires Stakes Championship was the highlight of his season. Callahan has been a fixture of some of the best tracks in America, racking up over 100 wins at The Meadowlands last season. Callahan will be involved during the week of the Great Southern Star and will compete in the Drivers Invitational on the all-squaregaiting night. Callahan arrives in Australia on March 18 and is available for drives. Interested trainers should call the Racing Office on (03) 8378 0200. For media enquiries contact Brett Boyd on (03) 8378 0250. BLAKE REDDEN COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER [Harness Racing Victoria]
After producing the 2013 Western Australian 2yo Colt of the Year Mister Jadore, Grinfromeartoear has maintained the standard this year with four individual 2yo winners already. His fourth individual 2yo winner for the season came in Saturday night’s Victorian Sapling Stakes at Tabcorp Park Melton when Luvumum rated a brilliant 1:57.6 over the 1720 metres to win by 15 metres from Viva Safari and Locks Of Gold. Gloucester Standardbreds have four colts and two fillies by Grinfromeartoear in their 2014 Western Australian Yearling Sale which will get under way at 1:00pm on Sunday 23rd February at the Belmont Park Sales Complex. One of the two Grinfromeartoear fillies being offered is from the outstanding 2yo filly Sheza Clout which included a Group One Diamond Classic among her nine wins at that age. Harness Racing Australia
It looked the toughest heat on paper and it was on for young and old as the Victorians fought out a tooth and nail battle to secure the three Inter Dominion spots on offer in heat three at Tabcorp Park Melton tonight. In the end it was $10 outsider Keayang Cullen who found another gear in the straight to run down favourite Restrepo to score an amazing win. Another outsider, the 80-1 shot Wartime Sweetheart held out Caribbean Blaster to run third, meaning Andy Gath's stable star, who endured a hard run outside the leader, would have to sweat on an invitation from officials if he was to make the trip to Sydney for the final in two-week's time. Champion reinsman Gavin Lang must have been giggling on the home turn, so well was Restrepo travelling. It had been a race of changes, though, with no prisoners taken as several contenders made mid-race dashes in an effort to put themselves in contention. After a 58.1 first half of the last mile, Restrepo didn't get much peace in front with a 27.4 split third quarter as the runs began to come. As they blazed home in 27.5, Keayang Cullen obliterated Smoken Up's track record, knocking .3 of a second off it with a mile rate of 1:53.1. The first three are on their way to Sydney and all are capable of surprising when they get there. Harness Racing NSW
An Introduction From The CEO A very successful Del-Re National Food Group Hunter Cup Carnival has concluded with a big crowd attending and strong growth in wagering turnover. Click here for a highlights package of Hunter Cup night. Some exciting news is imminent with our next major event, the Pryde's Easifeed Great Southern Star on March 22. Follow HRV on Twitter @HRVnews Stakes Rises I am pleased to confirm that the second phase of stakes rises for the year will come into effect on March 1. A summary of the main changes: The minimum career penalty stake will rise to $6,000 (a 20% rise this year); A payment of $115 (which includes the driver's fee of $65 will be added to the stake for horses which finish between sixth and last); Metropolitan class minimum stake will rise to $17,000 for M1 or better and $16,000 for M0; With effect from July 1, the Vicbred first win bonus will rise to $7,000 for two and three-year-olds. Other stakes rises previously announced on September 1, 2013 remain in force. Fires The past week has been a tough one for many participants, with serious fires burning through several regions of country Victoria. Several of those regions housed industry people. In particular the areas of Riddells Creek, Kilmore and the Goulburn Valley were severely threatened by raging fires. HRV was monitoring the course of the fires and the likely impacts. I am pleased to say that quick action by the authorities and many in the industry meant no loss of life and minimal loss of livestock. However there has been significant damage reported to properties. Some of the areas which were closely monitored: In the Riddells Creek fires several trainers/owners in the area were forced to relocate horses as the fires headed in their direction. HRV's own Craig Rail was evacuated as the fires were close by.Apart from damage to his property his house remains intact. In the Goulburn Valley, Warwick Stud was the worst affected with the loss of barns, fencing, stallion boxes and other buildings. HRV has been assisting in replacing infrastructure to get much needed water to the property. A number of trainers in the region suffered losses to sheds and fencing and HRV is currently assisting with replacement. The local industry has responded in typical fashion and I know those affected have appreciated the extent of the industry's support. The Kilmore area was under threat for several days. A special thanks to the Kilmore Club for acting as a temporary refuge for concerned members of the racing community. The Club provided stabling, food and water for a variety of animals, which I'm sure was appreciated. A huge thank you goes out to the many fire fighters (including the helicopters) who fought so bravely to protect so many properties. Teal for Ovarian Cancer Research While on the subject of community action, the month of March will be a special one for the awareness of Ovarian Cancer. Agreement has been reached for all Victorian female drivers to wear Teal coloured driving trousers, in support of the Ovarian Cancer Institute, for the entire month of March. The initiative is being generously funded by Duncan McPherson OAM and Michael Taranto as part of the promotion of the Pryde's Easifeed Great Southern Star which is run in conjunction with the Women's Cancer Foundation - Ovarian Cancer Institute Girls Night Out. Once again, it presents an opportunity for the industry to display its leadership in supporting community causes and messages that are so close to many people's hearts. Well done to all the girls who are supporting this great initiative. And while on the subject of the Great Southern Star stand by for an announcement of two highly recognised international identities who will play an ambassadorial role for the series. Major release scheduled for next week. International Expansion Over recent months there been some debate regarding the strategic importance of building international relationships and promoting the export of HRV product into overseas jurisdictions and vice versa. In 2012/13 HRV generated more than $600,000 in International Rights Product Fees from the export of our product for wagering in overseas jurisdictions. For the first half of 2013/14 those International Rights Product Fees have increased by 68%, therefore HRV forecast generating in excess of $1 million in revenue from the export of our product this year. When we consider that the French market wagered around AUD$300,000 into the win/place pools alone for the three Trotting races exported on Hunter Cup night, it's likely this forecast could grow even further. In addition to exporting our product overseas, under these reciprocal arrangements, we've seen a recent expansion of product imported from Sweden and France into our own wagering market. Over the past few months this has resulted in $500,000 in harness wagering turnover on the Victorian tote, from which HRV derives direct revenue and market share benefit. With further expansion planned, it's important the industry understands we operate in a global racing and wagering environment and strategically it is of significant value to our bottom line. Josh Duggan - Victorian Representative Josh Duggan has been selected to represent Victoria in this year's Australasian Young Drivers Championship to be run in conjunction with the 2014 Inter Dominion in Sydney. Representatives from each State and the two New Zealand Islands will participate in a 10 race series in NSW from February 25, culminating in a final heat on Inter Dominion Grand Final Day. It is always a great experience for the young drivers. HRV last won the Championship in 2012 when Ellen Tormey was successful in Perth. We wish Josh well - seen here photographed receiving his Big V colours from Chairman, Ken Latta and Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier, Craig Ondarchie. Milestones Congratulations to Nathan Cahir who drove his 100th winner at Hamilton on January 29. Young guns Matt Craven and Michael Stanley are within reach of 500 winners, both currently in the 480's. Get Well Paul Sad to hear of the severe injuries suffered by Paul Morrissey at his Bendigo property as a result of a training accident. Paul is currently in intensive care in Bendigo Base Hospital with broken bones and head and spinal injuries. We wish Paul a full recovery. Vale HRV passes on its condolences to members of the Jack family, many of whom are involved in the industry, on the passing of patriarch Robbie Jack. Robbie was a stalwart in the Riverina as a trainer, driver and administrator. He was 81. Did You Know? HRV will be honouring the retirement of champion Melpark Major this Saturday night, February 15 at Tabcorp Park Melton. He will lead out the field for the Inter Dominion Heat with Amy Tubbs in the sulky. Melpark Major won $980,000 in stakes, having won a Victoria Cup and a host of other feature races. He will enjoy retirement on owner Don Smith's Melton property.
Parwan trainer Craig Demmler will be relying on a dual Glenferrie attack on Friday night’s Tontine Finals at Bray Raceway. It’s shaping up as a massive few months for the experienced horseman, having just secured one of Australasia’s brightest – and most enigmatic – young trotters in Blitzthemcalder. But the focus will immediately land on Ballarat and with the Tontine Series’ often a pointer to future stars of the sport, Demmler will send the exciting Glenferrie EJ to the pacing version of the finals with five wins from her last six. “She did all the work the other day and hit the front and she probably just knocked off a little bit late and the other horse just came out wide and nabbed us right on the post,” Demmler said. “They’ll know she’s there on Friday night and I’m sure she will only get better too. That defeat may have been her first in almost 12 months, but for much of that she was laid up in the paddock. Having always shown ability, Demmler admits that she was actually on the verge of going straight to the top as a juvenile. “There wasn’t much between her and (Breeders Crown winner) Glenferrie Shuffle as younger horses but it’s just good to have two horses like that in the stable,” he said. “She’s been through hell and back really, she was off the scene for six months after having a mishap at the trials one day but she’s actually come back really well.” The other Glenferrie to grace the track on Friday will be Typhoon. Forming part of a lethal three-year-old crop of trotters last season, which included new stablemate Blitzthemcalder, they were unanimously touted as the best group of the modern era. Having returned in style with a brave second first-up, the signs are positive for the progeny of exciting stallion Majestic Son. It doesn’t get any easier this week though, with Demmler having to take on the very same horse who defeated him in the heat, Unico Crown. “He went super first-up, I’ve always liked him but last year was his first year of racing. He went out for a spell and he’s come back a bit stronger which I was hoping he would,” he said. “He did a good job to sit outside Dean’s horse but I think on Friday night he will have a bit of a task again because that horse is drawn inside us again but I’m sure we’ll take benefit from the first run.” It’s often noted that leaping from age-restricted racing to the open class isn’t the easiest transition. With that in the back of his mind, Demmler isn’t setting overly lofty ambitions however he believes that ‘Typhoon’ has all the attributes needed to take the step up. “He’s pretty right, he’s good from a stand and he’s got good manners so that sort of helps him,” he said. “It was a race I targeted a long time ago thinking he was probably good enough; to do what he did in one year, I think he should be able to go through his classes pretty quickly.” The other news to emerge from the stable is that Blitzthemcalder will have his first run for the team next Friday night in a TM0-1 race at Tabcorp Park Melton before heading to Sydney for the Chambers Challenge on Inter Dominion day. By Blake Redden (Harness Racing Australia)
Gippsland trainer Michael Hughes collected three winners at Monday's Warragul harness races. The Warragul local, who has recently relocated his training operation to Cranbourne, is enjoying great succcess with his team and that looks set to continue given the quality of horseflesh on display at Warragul. Winners Atomic Horizon, Apollo Thirteen and Call Me Bond all carry good wraps among local harness racing followers, and should win further races. Call Me Bond is raced by long time stable supporter Garry Rogers, while Michael's other two winners are owned by the Curran family, who have invested a great deal of time and money into trotting in recent years and are starting to reap the benefits. The trio were driven by Nathan Jack, while Michael Hughes has now taken the lead in the Trainer of the Year award at Warragul. Another local victor with a bright future is Live In Doubt who was most impressive in winning for trainer/driver Glenn Hunter. The underrated horseman has placed Live In Doubt well during its short career - the horse also won at the previous Warragul meeting on January 31. Glenn and his father Chris have been enjoying good success in recent times with their team of pacers and trotters. Both Live In Doubt and Call Me Bond will compete in an $8000 Final at Tabcorp Park Melton on February 21. Last Monday's feature race was the $8000 Ken Miller Memorial Pace Final, sponsored by the Warragul and District Light Harness Club in memory of their past President. In what was a keen and exciting race, Melton pacer Bushi grabbed victory right on the post for Lance Justice. Bushi has been in excellent form since returning from a spell for his large group of owners. Racing returns to Warragul for the $25,000 Eastern Challenge race on Monday, March 24. Photos of Atomic Horizon being urged to victory in the shadows of the big top - the circus is in town in Warragul this week Also Call Me Bond parading after his race win and the field charging down the home straight in the main race, along with Bushi narrowly scoring in the Ken Miller Pace Final
Thursday's Kilmore Trots Transferred To Melton Due to the bushfires currently affecting the Kilmore region Harness Racing Victoria has made the decision to transfer Thursday's meeting to Tabcorp Park Melton. All trainers, owners, drivers and punters are advised to note that race times will not change with the first to be run at 1.15pm and the last at 5.33pm. Distances of the races however will change slightly with all programed short-course races (1690 metres) to now be run over 1720 metres with the middle-distance events (2180 metres) switching to the standard Melton 2240-metre journey. All fields will stay the same and are available for viewing here. BLAKE REDDEN COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER
Harness Racing NSW Handicappers in conjunction with the NSWHRC met this afternoon (Monday) to determine the rankings for the 2014 TAB.COM.AU Inter Dominion Qualifying Heats to be run this Saturday night (February 15) between 8pm and 10pm AEDT. The number of horses to progress from each Qualifying Heat to the $750,000 Grand Final on Sunday March 2 is as follows; Addington (NZ) 1st & 2nd Tabcorp Park Menangle (NSW) 1st & 2nd Tabcorp Park Melton (VIC) 1st, 2nd & 3rd Tabcorp Park Menangle (Supplementary) (NSW) 1st & 2nd Albion Park (QLD) 1st Gloucester Park (WA) 1st & 2nd Additionally two Wild Card invitations will be issued following the running of the final Qualifying Heat to complete the field of 14.
The 'Northern Fascia 2YO Pace' at Kilmore on Wednesday night again proved why the rich Vicbred incentive scheme is so widely lauded in the harness racing community. Paying off handsomely to winning connections, a massive $7,000 first win bonus was garnered by Miss Condoleezza, in what looks to be the first of many wins, just for being paid up to the Vicbred program. And that’s on top of the almost $4,000 winner’s cheque that owners received. The additional prizemoney makes the debut win of any horse who is Vicbred eligible a bonanza that equates to the prizemoney of winning a race at Metropolitan race at Tabcorp Park Melton. The first win bonus is a part of the extraordinary $7.3 million that will be distributed in the 2013/14 season thanks to the continued support of the Vicbred scheme. For more information on how Vicbred works, just visit the website at www.vicbred.com.au Harness Racing Victoria
Victorian trainer Andy Gath is planning on giving Caribbean Blaster only two more runs this campaign before the stallion heads to the paddock for a well deserved break. The son of Bettors Delight will head towards the Inter Dominion heat at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday week and if he qualifies will proceed straight to the final. "It is something that is different compared to what happened twelve months ago because last year I decided to give him a run at Geelong in between the Inter Dominion heat at Melton and the final at Menangle," Gath said. "The reason I did that last year is because he had contracted a virus which made his joints blow up and I was always pushing to have him fully fit because of the work he had missed during a crucial part of his campaign. This year with no hiccups it will be heat and then hopefully final." Gath was happy with how Caribbean Blaster recovered from his second placing in Saturday night's Hunter Cup. "That is one of his best attributes, he has an unbelievable recovery and even on Saturday night when he was swabbed after the race the attendant joked with me that surely the horse he was swabbing wasn't Caribbean Blaster because he didn't look like he had just competed in a two mile race." "I was really proud of him on Saturday night, even when he loomed up on the turn I didn't think he was the winner, he doesn't possess that real breathtaking quarter and if they broke 28 seconds for the final 400 metres I knew he was going to be up against it." Despite winning the Chariots Of Fire at Menangle Gath admits the horse has performed below his best when racing on the 1400 metre track recently. "He seems to drop the bit at Menangle and he did that in the Ballarat Cup last month and I now think he might have a tendency to do that when he is racing between horses so Kate (Gath driver) is going to have to keep that in mind in the future." Nancy O'Grady | Executive Assistant | Harness Racing New South Wales |
My High Expectations proved again why many believe him to be harness racing's best trotter in Australia when he raced clear in the Group 1 Chiko Australasian Trotting Championship final. Bobbling away from the start, much in the same way he did in his heat, he was quick to return to his gait and started to work around the field with second favourite Blitzthemcalder safe, but slowly away from his mark. When My High Expectations loomed up turning into the straight on the first occasion Lightning Joy’s driver Gavin Lang was quick to hand over the front as David Aiken took his improving trotter straight to the top. With Mister Zion and then Blitzthemcalder starting a three wide move mid-race, they both went up to find the death seat and one by one position but with Aiken increasing the tempo off the back he started to put his rivals under pressure. Officially running home in sharp splits of 28.8secs and 28.7secs, My High Expectations went on to win by just over five metres from Blitzthemcalder with Cold Sister running into third as Mister Zion galloped close to the line. The mile rate was recorded in 2:02.1 as the winner took his record to 74 starts for 26 wins and over $300,000 in prizemoney. My High Expectations will now be aimed at the 2014 Pryde’s EasiFeed Great Southern Star after running third in the race last year. by Blake Redden Harness Racing Victoria
The Kiwi’s struck their first blow on harness racing's Hunter Cup night with Our Maxim in the third and final Victoria Derby heat. Barry Purdon and Zac Butcher combined to upstage favourite Lettucerockthem via the passing lane. It turned into a race of tactics with Our Maxim utilising his front row draw as he kept working forward to eventually find the top but Luke McCarthy and Lettucerockthem came with to take the front mid-race. Rather than allowing a speed battle to develop, Butcher eventually relented, handing over the lead to the favourite who was working through a sizzling 28.2sec second quarter of the last mile. That mid-race pressure might have proved the difference as Our Maxim just pegged back the favourite in the straight to run a mile rate of 1:55.9. The official margin was a neck by 5.6 metres with Vicbred Super Series winner Major Secret sitting parked for the last lap and putting in a brave performance to make it into the final. Our Maxim has now taking his earnings to in excess of $215,000 from his 18 starts in what was his fourth win. by Blake Redden Harness Racing Victoria
The first of the Victoria Derby heats for 2014 kicked off harness racing's Del-Re National Food Group Hunter Cup night in style and it saw a brilliant performance from blistering New South Wales three-year-old Bling It On. The half-brother to Miracle Mile winner Baby Bling was stuck three wide early before rolling around the field to take up the running in the early stages. It was a heady Luke McCarthy drive that kept his rivals at bay in even quarters of 30.8secs and 30.5secs to open the last mile before he let rip off the back and flew through the third quarter in 27.5secs. Fellow New South Wales visitor Yayas Hot Spot returned to near his best while trailing the leader into the race and never giving up even in a slashing last quarter of 26.5secs. The official margin was just under four metres with Kiwi invader Our Sky Major working mid-race to find the breeze and holding on for third clearly. The overall mile rate was 1:54.8 with the winner, Bling It On, appearing to cruise to the line with something left in the tank for next week’s final. by Blake Redden Harness Racing Victoria
Fixed Odds delight for harness followers Punters who are fans of pacing and squaregaiting have been served up a treat this weekend. TAB has Fixed Odds markets open on a stack of feature races from Tabcorp Park Melton and Tabcorp Park Menangle. Melton's huge meeting on Saturday has seen early markets released for the Hunter Cup, Australasian Trotters Championship, Trotters Cup and Mares Sprint Championship. In the Hunter Cup, Christen Me has been rock solid at $5.00 since the market opened. Pembrook Benny, who opened up equal favourite, has drifted slightly and is now out to $6.00 while there are also familiar faces under double figures such as Smoken Up and Caribbean Blaster. The Australasian Trotting Championship appears to be a two-horse race with My High Expectations and Blitzthemcalder at $1.80 and $3.00 respectively. TAB's Inter Dominion market has also been open for some time now and is likely to be influenced by the results of the Hunter Cup. Beautide is the favourite at $4.80 ahead of Christen Me, For A Reason and Im Victorious. To check out all the latest markets and prices on feature races from the harness racing world, head to the Futures section of the Racing page at www.tab.com.au Nancy O'Grady | Executive Assistant | Harness Racing New South Wales |
The second annual Australasian Premier Trotting Sale, sponsored by Pryde’s EasiFeed, will be held on Sunday, March 23 at Tabcorp Park Melton, the day following the running of the Group 1 $400,000 Great Southern Star. The sale has attracted 44 nominations – up from 40 last year – and will feature the cream of the crop of Australia's trotting yearlings. And, to give the sale a truly international flavour, 40 percent of the catalogue are out of overseas mares – three USA, 14 NZ and one Europe. Duncan McPherson, a Director of the sales company, said: “The sale represents an opportunity for purchasers to buy at any level of the market. With 18 stallions represented there’s a horse in the sale for every pocket. Never before in Australia has such an offering and variety of yearlings been made available to the Harness industry. “Full credit goes to the vendors of the yearlings who have shown great faith not only in the sale but also in the initiatives taken by Harness Racing Victoria in its efforts to internationalise and globalise the Trotter.” A feature of the sale will be the first Australian crop of former USA superstar and now siring sensation Muscle Hill. He will be represented by two colts, one out of a half-sister to Calder Sensation and to the dam of Blitzthemcalder, and the other from the American-bred Let’s Be Happy, the mother of Vicbred heat winner Verbier. Muscles Yankee, the sire of Muscle Hill, has a single entry, a filly out of the multiple Group 1 winner Adella’s Dash, dam of the SA Trotters Derby winner Glenferrie Dreamer. Muscles Yankee’s highest stakes earning entire son ‘Down Under’, Skyvalley ($322,675), has by far the biggest draft with seven fillies and two colts. The top picks could be the colt out of former top racemare Jauriol, the colt from the sister to Swedish star Yield Boko and fillies out of Aldebaran Dream (Vic. Trotters Oaks) and the Muscles Yankee mare Charming Yankee. Besides Muscles Yankee and his sons, the catalogue boasts stock by established sires such as Angus Hall, Majestic Son, Pegasus Spur, Monarchy and Conch Deville and the exciting newcomers Bacardi Lindy, Federal Flex, Great Success, Lawman, Armbro Variable, The Pres, Bad Boy Truscott, Tennotrump, Aldebaran Yankee and Zooma. Angus Hall, one of America’s most successful sires of all-time, has four nominations including a gelding from the 1:57 $150,000 winning Muscles Yankee mare Lindy’s Two Step, two colts out of mares from the wonderful Maori Miss tribe and a colt from the classics-winning Pinevale Ellason. Another sire with a strong representation at the sale is Majestic Son, last year’s leading sire of two-year-old trotters. His five entries include a half-brother to the Vicbred champion Split Image, a colt out of a half-sister to Skyvalley and Allegro Agitato, a half-brother to the Derby placegetter Our Dreamlover and a filly out of a half-sister to the cup class trotter Danny Cash. While Pegasus Spur, the sire of three Breeders Crown champions, has fillies out of Shez Allrighty ($85,431), Kyvalley Bling (family of Kyvalley Road) and the Muscles Yankee mare Aldebaran Honey and a colt out of Maori Sunshine (Lightfoot Laurels). Other well performed racemares with progeny in the sale include the Trotters Oaks winner Running Pinevale, Speedy Naomi ($77,316), Aldebaran Maori ($74,581), Cloud Chaser (VSTA Cup), Poppy, Strike Destroyer, Enjoy A Champers and the Breeders Crown placegetter Pocket Fantasy. There’s a sister to the dual Vicbred champion Brunelleschi and close relatives to a swag of Group and Cup winning trotters including Galleon’s Assassin, Merinai, Spidergirl, Danny Bouchea, Stoned I Am, National Interest, My Missindependent, Jazz Legend and Tucumcari. All prospective purchasers should note that the $7,000 Vicbred First Win bonus is applicable to Vicbred eligible horses as is Breeders Crown and Need For Speed Series. All purchasers are encouraged to become members of the Victorian Harness Racing Sports Club as owners bonuses are available to all those horses owned by members in selected events during their racing careers. The online catalogue for the Australasian Premier Trotting sale can be viewed at www.austrottingsale.com.au Hard-copy catalogues can be requested from Harness Racing Victoria on phone 8378 0200 in early February. by Peter Wharton
Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) has determined that Cranbourne and Shepparton Cups winner The Gold Ace is eligible to contest the Del Re National Foods AG Hunter Cup to be held on Saturday night 1 February at Tabcorp Park Melton. A condition of the Hunter Cup is that "a horse must have contested and began safely in a minimum of one standing start race in the 12 months prior." In the standing start Shepparton Gold Cup on Saturday night 18 January Stewards noted that The Gold Ace broke after the start. HRV Chairman of Stewards Neal Conder reviewed the start this morning from several camera angles and made the following determination * The Gold Ace stepped away from the tapes safely * Shortly after the start Im Corzin Terror shifted up the track across the line of The Gold Ace * As a result The Gold Ace was forced to shift wide and in doing so galloped for a short distance * The Gold Ace got back into a pace and did not inconvenience another horse Mr Conder is satisfied that The Gold Ace fulfils the eligibility criteria for the Hunter Cup. Mr Conder said "while The Gold Ace galloped after the start, the horse did begin safely. By The Gold Ace making up the handicap to Im Corzin Terror so quickly, the shift of that horse forced driver Luke McCarthy to steer wider." Mr Conder also noted that any comparison to Smoken Up being ruled ineligible in previous years in irrelevant. Smoken Up failed to contest a standing start race, which meant he clearly did not satisfy the condition for the race. Harness Racing Victoria