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Classy youngster Our Little General is in a solid position to join an elite 'troop' at Tabcorp Park Melton on Sunday. Engaged in one of eight harness racing Group One Australasian Breeders’ Crown Finals, the Australian Pacing Gold graduate has drawn to lead throughout from barrier three. Should he emerge triumphant, Our Little General will become just the third colt/gelding three-year-old to successfully defend the title he captured the season before. Bit Of A Legend was the first to achieve the feat, having scored in 2012 and ’13, followed by Our Waikiki Beach. Also an Australian Pacing Gold graduate, Waikiki Beach was successful in 2015 and ’16. Two fillies have completed the double, with Sassy Sarah leading the way in 2001 and ’02, followed by Lady Waratah in 2005 and ’06. Like Our Little General and Waikiki Beach, Lady Waratah is a member of the APG family. Blessed with gate speed, Our Little General worked to the lead from barrier seven last season before accounting for Astride and Wrappers Delight. Winner of his semi-final at Bendigo last weekend, the son of Mach Three is in top shape for his title defence according to trainer Emma Stewart. “I’m very happy with where he is at going into the Final,” Stewart said. “He had a good run in the semi and has come throughout it fine.” Our Little General will be joined in the rich decider by APG stock Jilliby Kung Fu, Solid As A Rock, Stars Align and Wrappers Delight. by APG Media

The two-year-old pacing males Breeders Crown Final shapes as one of the toughest nuts to crack from a harness racing punting viewpoint this coming Sunday at Tabcorp Park Melton. Last night’s Semi-Final winners, Sicario and King Of Swing – both Kiwis – were awesome, and Poster Boy was enormous in defeat.  Then there’s Colt Thirty One, who made up many lengths from the back for Grant Dixon – a renowned presenter of young talent when he treks to Victoria, Master Moonlite – another Kiwi, and his trainer Cran Dalgety doesn’t visit Melton without a live chance – and then the sleepers, probably spearheaded by Braeview Bondi, who promises to deliver a big blow on the big stage at some stage. Sicario, which hails from the all-conquering Mark Purdon Allstars camp, was at his career best so far last night at Bendigo, comfortably handling his opposition and clocking the second-fastest mile rate of the night, only behind potential free-for-all star mare Amaretto. “The last six to eight weeks he’s gone to another level,” said winning reinsman Luke McCarthy shortly after climbing out of the cart aboard Sicario. “His trials and races have been very good and tonight he just felt fantastic. He ran super. Especially on a cold night – it’s gotten quite cold now, that time is fantastic.” Earlier in the night King Of Swing went 1:55.1 to win his two-year-old boys’ division semi-final for trainer Ray Green and reinsman David Butcher. And his run was enormous. Three-wide the last lap without cover, King Of Swing held off the two horses who followed him into the race. “He’s improving with every run and I can’t fault the run (tonight),” Butcher said. “Hopefully we can do the job on Sunday. I think he’ll improve off (tonight) … he seems to get better all the time.” Of the beaten brigade last night boom youngster Poster Boy was brave to run second after being inconvenienced early then parking for the last lap. He lost no admirers. The draw for Sunday’s Woodlands Stud sponsored final has made life tricky for Sicario (gate 10), while Poster Boy also lobbed the second row (gate nine). Meanwhile, King Of Swing landed the pole draw, which shortened his odds dramatically. Colt Thirty One has gate six and Braeview Bondi barrier five. WATCH THE REPLAY OF THE 2YO BREEDERS CROWN C&G 1st SEMI-FINAL WATCH THE REPLAY OF THE 2YO BREEDERS CROWN C&G 2nd SEMI-FINAL $285,000 Woodlands Stud Breeders Crown Series 20 (2yo colts & geldings) Final (Group 1) 1 - King Of Swing NZ by Rocknroll Hanover from a Artsplace mare - David Butcher 2 - Kasbah Kid by Art Major from a Western Terror mare - Greg Sugars 3 - Forte Courage by Courage Under Fire from a Aces N Sevens mare - Glen Craven 4 - Tam Major by Art Major from a Camluck mare - Rodney Petroff 5 - Braeview Bondi by Somebeachsomewhere from a Badlands Hanover mare - Josh Duggan 6 - Colt Thirty One by Mach Three from a Perfect Art mare - Grant Dixon 7 - Beltane by Bettor's Delight from a Artsplace mare - John Caldow ........................................................Second Row....................................................... 8 - Joe Nien by Shadow Play from a Art Major mare - Greg Sugars 9 - Poster Boy by Somebeachsomewhere from a Artsplace mare - Chris Alford 10 - Sicario by Somebeachsomewhere from a Bettor's Delight mare - Luke McCarthy 11 - Mister Moonlite NZ by Art Major from a Christian Cullen mare - Anthony Butt 12 - Seeuinnashville by Mach Three from Fake Left mare - Nathan Jack 13 - Tin Roof Raider by Mach Three from a Life Sign mare - Michael Bellman  Em 1 Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

The big-race barrier curse of Petacular has been lifted. The marbles fell the way of the harness racing star Burrumbeet filly last night at Bendigo shortly after her Breeders Crown Race to Royalty Semi-Final win. Petacular drew gate three for Sunday’s $190,000 Woodlands sponsored three-year-old fillies Breeders Crown Final at Tabcorp Park Melton, a welcome change for connections who have endured horror luck at the draws in big races over the last 12 months. Petacular has also been made to work hardest several times in key qualifiers, so last night’s comfortable win was music to trainer/driver Michael Stanley’s ears. “It worked out really well,” he said of the Somebeachsomewhere daughter’s Semi-Final win, which saw her rate 2:00.8 after the 2150-metre race became just a dash up the straight (26.5s last quarter) after opening sectionals of 33.5s, 33s and 30.5s. “I was happy to go as slowly as I could once I was able to get to the lead because she’s had a few hard runs this year, and most of her semi-finals have been hard,” Stanley said. “It’s good that she’s had an easy one for a change. Hopefully we can go in (to next Sunday’s Breeders Crown Final) with a different game plan this time.” Partyon was a significantly quicker Semi-Final winner last night for trainer Mark Purdon and driver Luke McCarthy. The Allstars filly stopped the clock at 1:56.1 in the first semi, also leading throughout, but will have to negate a back-row draw on Sunday. Partyon has drawn gate nine, trailing out Gilty Hanover in two, whose runner-up effort to Petacular last night was full of merit for Kari Males and Zac Phillips. New South Wales filly Shezallapples will start from pole, which brings her absolutely into contention with the coveted leader’s back position behind Petacular a logical aim for reinsman Jimmy Douglass. Fellow NSW raider My Casino Belle has barrier four for the final, inside Better B Chevron, Perfect Look and Oaks winner Miss Graceland rounding out the front row. Tasmanian El Jays Mystery has the inside-back-row draw, just inside Partyon, with Lincolns Superstar, Six Elements, Be Not Afraid and Petacular’s stablemate Soho Angel, giving Stanley two runners in the final, rounding out the back row. Emma Stewart also has two runners qualified – Miss Graceland and Perfect Look. Video replay: Woodlands Stud Breeders Crown 3YO Fillies 1st Semi-Final at Bendigo Video replay: Woodlands Stud Breeders Crown 3YO Fillies 2nd Semi-Final at Bendigo $190.000 Woodlands Stud Breeders Crown Series 19 (3yo Fillies) Final (Group 1) 1 - Shezallapples by Sportswriter from a Fake Left mare - Jim Douglass 2 - Gilty Hanover by Rocknroll Hanover from a Courage Under Fire mare - Zac Phillips 3 - Petacular by Somebeachsomewhere from a Western Ideal mare - Michael Stanley 4 - My Casino Belle NZ by Bettor's Delight from a Christian Cullen mare - Brad Hewitt 5 - Better Be Chevron NZ by Bettor's Delight from a In The Pocket mare - Luke McCarthy 6 - Perfect Look by Art Major from a Live Or Die mare - Sidney Van Den Brande 7 - Miss Graceland by Rocknroll Hanover from a Fake Left mare - Chris Alford ........................................................Second Row....................................................... 8 - El Jays Mystery by Live Or Die from a Perfect Art mare - Anthony Butt 9 - Partyon NZ by Bettor's Delight from a Beach Towel mare - Luke McCarthy 10 - Lincolns Superstar NZ by Mach Three from a Beach Towel mare - Ashlee Grives Em 1  11 - Six Elements - by Art Major from a Classic Garry mare - David Miles 12 - Be Not Afraid by Courage Under Fire from a Lucky Camilla mare - Rodney Petroff 13 - Soho Angel by Bettor's Delight from a Artsplace mare - Michael Stanley Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

The 2017 TAB Breeders Crown barrier draws have been completed in front of a big harness racing crowd at Lord’s Raceway Bendigo. This weekend's Super Sunday will see eight Group 1 finals at Tabcorp Park Melton as the Race to Royalty draws to an electric finale. $190.000 IRT Breeders Crown Series 19 (3yo colts & geldings) Final (Group 1) 1 - The More Than Better NZ by Bettor's Delight from an In The Pocket mare - Luke McCarthy 2 - Solid As A Rock by Rocknroll Hanover from a Life Sign mare - John Caldow 3 - Our Little General by Mach Three from a Western Terror mare - Chris Alford 4 - Alabrock by Rocknroll Hanover from an Albert Albert mare - Christopher Shinn - Em 1 5 - Mista Lombo by Somebeachsomewhere from a Blissfull Hall mare - Emmett Brosnan 6 - Big Mach NZ by Mach Three from an Elsu mare - Nathan Jack 7 - Cruz NZ by American Ideal from a Dare You To mare - Gavin Lang ...........................................Second Row................................................ 8 - Stars Align by Art Major from a Albert Albert mare - Anthony Butt 9 - Wrappers Delight by Bettor's Delight from a Christen Cullen mare - Greg Sugars 10 - Motu Meteor NZ by Bettor's Delight from a Falcon Seelster mare - Kerryn Manning 11 - King Solomon NZ by Bettor's Delight from a Badlands Hanover mare - Anthony Butt 12 - Jilliby Kung Fu by Four Starzzz Shark from a Perfect Art mare - Glen Craven 13 - Rock Diamonds NZ by Rocknroll Hanover from a Bettor's Delight mare - Luke McCarthy   $190.000 Woodlands Stud Breeders Crown Series 19 (3yo Fillies) Final (Group 1) 1 - Shezallapples by Sportswriter from a Fake Left mare - Jim Douglass 2 - Gilty Hanover by Rocknroll Hanover from a Courage Under Fire mare - Zac Phillips 3 - Petacular by Somebeachsomewhere from a Western Ideal mare - Michael Stanley 4 - My Casino Belle NZ by Bettor's Delight from a Christian Cullen mare - Brad Hewitt 5 - Better Be Chevron NZ by Bettor's Delight from a In The Pocket mare - Luke McCarthy 6 - Perfect Look by Art Major from a Live Or Die mare - Sidney Van Den Brande 7 - Miss Graceland by Rocknroll Hanover from a Fake Left mare - Chris Alford ........................................................Second Row....................................................... 8 - El Jays Mystery by Live Or Die from a Perfect Art mare - Anthony Butt 9 - Partyon NZ by Bettor's Delight from a Beach Towel mare - Luke McCarthy 10 - Lincolns Superstar NZ by Mach Three from a Beach Towel mare - Ashlee Grives Em 1  11 - Six Elements - by Art Major from a Classic Garry mare - David Miles 12 - Be Not Afraid by Courage Under Fire from a Lucky Camilla mare - Rodney Petroff 13 - Soho Angel by Bettor's Delight from a Artsplace mare - Michael Stanley   $285,000 Woodlands Stud Breeders Crown Series 20 (2yo colts & geldings) Final (Group 1) 1 - King Of Swing NZ by Rocknroll Hanover from a Artsplace mare - David Butcher 2 - Kasbah Kid by Art Major from a Western Terror mare - Greg Sugars 3 - Forte Courage by Courage Under Fire from a Aces N Sevens mare - Glen Craven 4 - Tam Major by Art Major from a Camluck mare - Rodney Petroff 5 - Braeview Bondi by Somebeachsomewhere from a Badlands Hanover mare - Josh Duggan 6 - Colt Thirty One by Mach Three from a Perfect Art mare - Grant Dixon 7 - Beltane by Bettor's Delight from a Artsplace mare - John Caldow ........................................................Second Row....................................................... 8 - Joe Nien by Shadow Play from a Art Major mare - Greg Sugars 9 - Poster Boy by Somebeachsomewhere from a Artsplace mare - Chris Alford 10 - Sicario by Somebeachsomewhere from a Bettor's Delight mare - Luke McCarthy 11 - Mister Moonlite NZ by Art Major from a Christian Cullen mare - Anthony Butt 12 - Seeuinnashville by Mach Three from Fake Left mare - Nathan Jack 13 - Tin Roof Raider by Mach Three from a Life Sign mare - Michael Bellman  Em 1   $285,000 Always B Miki Breeders Crown Series 20 (2yo Fillies) Final (Group 1) 1 - Passions Delight by Bettor's Delight from a Modern Art mare - Gavin Lang 2 - Our Bettor Joy NZ by Bettor's Delight from a Road Machine mare - Gavin Lang 3 - Our Angel of Harlem NZ by Mach Three from a Bettor's Delight mare - Anthony Butt 4 - Red Charmer by Mr Feelgood from a Fake Left mare - Grant Dixon 5 - Amelias Courage by Courage Under Fire from a Art Major mare - Kerryn Manning 6 - Hows The Memory by Mach Three from a Troublemaker mare - Bill Trembath 7 - Angel Of Arts by Art Major from a Artiscape mare - Josh Aiken ........................................................Second Row....................................................... 8 - Goodtime Heaven by Rock N Roll Heaven from a Village Jasper mare - Glen Craven 9 - Captured Delight by Bettor's Delight from a Million To One mare - Chris Voak Em 1 10 - My Sweetchilliphilly NZ by Betterthancheddar from a In The Pocket mare - Chris Geary 11 - Molly Kelly by Four Starzzz Shark from a Albert Albert mare - Chris Alford 12 - Nostra Beach by Somebeachsomewhere from a Fake Left mare - Mark Pitt 13 - Nostra Villa by Art Major from a Sands A Flyin mare - Chris Alford   $65,000 Woodlands Stud Breeders Crown Series 19 (3yo Trotting Colts & Geldings) Final (Group 1) 1 - Our Fast Forward by Skyvalley from a Dream Vacation mare - Chris Alford 2 - The Male Model NZ by Muscle Mass from a Sundon mare - Anthony Butt 3 - The Spanyen by Blissfull Hall from a Yentls Image mare - Jullian Attard Em 1 4 - Aldebaran Prince by Angus Hall from a Muscles Yankee mare - Lisa Miles 5 - Kheiron by Majestic Son from a Great Success mare - Chris Alford 6 - Clarkes Hill by Metropolitan from a Chiola Hanover mare - Chris Svanosio 7 - War Spirit NZ by Monarchy from a Gee Whiz 11 mare - Kath Gath ........................................................Second Row....................................................... 8 - Claudys Prince by Bacardi Lindy from a Wind Cries Maori mare 9 - Empire Bay by The Prez from a Monarchy mare - Greg Sugars 10 - Truscott Hall by Angus Hall from a SJ's Photo mare - Brad Angove ODM 11 - Mano De Dios by Great Success from a Keystone Salute mare - Anthony Butt ODM 12 - Hammers Law by Lawman from a Safely Kept mare - Gavin Lang ODM 13 - Jilliby Babavska by Sundon from a Continentalman mare ODM   $65,000 Yabby Dam Racing Breeders Crown Series  (3yo Trotting Fillies) Final (Group 1) 1 - Hotjane Bling by Eilean Donon from a Muscles Yankee mare - Josh Aiken  2 - Chevron Express NZ by Muscle Mass from a Sundon mare - Anthony Butt 3 - Four Walls by Armbro Variable from a Ganymede mare - Matthew Craven 4 - Iona Spider by Yankee Spider from a Our Sir Vancelot mare - Chris Alford 5 - Dance Craze by Muscle Hill from a Safely Kept mare - Nathan Jack 6 - Breezin Around by Skyvalley from a Windsong's Legacy mare - Greg Sugars 7 - Hiding My Heart Fin by Like A Prayer from a Super Punk mare ........................................................Second Row....................................................... 8 - Une Belle Allure by Angus Hall from a Onyx Du Goutier mare - Zac Phillips 9 - Andyou by Majestic Son from a SJ's Photo mare - Kerryn Manning 10 - Skyeski by Angus Hall from a Wagon Appolo mare - Rodney Petroff 11 - Kinvara Sue by Yankee Spider from a Pegasus Spur mare - Jason Lee 12 - Downtown Miss by Majestic Son from a SJ's Photo mare - Ellen Tomey - ODM Em 1 13 - Bigonluck by Muscle Mass from a Malabar Maple mare - Alex Ashwood - ODM   $90,000 Aldebaran Park Breeders Crown Series 20 (2yo Trotting Colts & Geldings) Final (Group 1) 1 - Kyvalley Frank by Majestic Son from a Sundon mare - Anthony Butt 2 - Wobelee by Down Under Muscles from a Sundon mare - Chris Alford 3 - Smashthemcalder by Lucky Chucky from a Balanced Image mare - Anthony Butt 4 - One Muscle Hill NZ by Muscle Hill from a Earl mare - Gavin Lang 5 - Majestic Eyes by Majestic Son from a Maori's Idol mare - Ginger Gleeson 6 - Maziah by Bettor's Delight from a Our Sir Vancelot mare - John Caldow 7 - La Grange by Muscle Hill from a Safely Kept mare - Zac Phillips ........................................................Second Row....................................................... 8 - More Shades Of Gold NZ by Majestic Son from a Evander's Gold mare - Nathan Jack 9 - Whizzbang Dan by Danny Bouchea from a Classic Adam mare - Christopher Shinn 10 - Imperial Whiz NZ by Imperial Count from a Gee Whiz 11 mare - Jim O'Sullivan 11 - Runaway Success by Great Success from a Ok Bye mare - Greg Sugars 12 - Bebubbalouie by Louey Louey Louey from a Keystone Salute mare -  Brett Shipway - ODM 13 - Tomahawk Phoenix by Angus Hall from a Sundon mare - Josh Aiken - ODM Em 1   $90,000 Aldebaran Park Breeders Crown Series 20 (2yo Trotting Fillies) Final (Group 1) 1 - Our Renezmae NZ by The Prez from a Lindy Lane mare - Anthony Butt 2 - Miss Kaikoura NZ by Majestic Son from a Dream Vacation mare - Alex Ashwood 3 - Princessa Ruth by Down Under Muscles from a Wagon Apollo mare - Josh Aiken 4 - Moonshine Linda by Majestic Son from a Sundon mare - Nathan Jack 5 - Louieville Lass by Louey Louey Louey from a Earl mare - Brett Shipway 6 - Moresuccess by Great Success from a Wagon Apollo mare - Greg Sugars 7 - Amour De Frere NZ by Love You from a Sundon mare - Zac Phillips ........................................................Second Row....................................................... 8 - Meadow Valley Sky by Skyvalley from a Wagon Apollo mare - Josh Duggan 9 - Hades Sky by Skyvalley from a The Wrath Of Pan mare - Tony Xiriha 10 - Fairytale Hall by Angus Hall from a CR Commando mare - Nathan Jack 11 - Aleppo Jewel by Angus Hall from a Safely Kept mare - Kerryn Manning 12 - Di Li by Louey Louey Louey from a Dr Ronerail mare -  Brett Shipway  Em 1 13 - Allthemoves by Muscles Yankee from a Sundon mare - Chris Alford Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

It was fittingly a Group 1 win at Tabcorp Park Melton that would see Gavin Lang join the elite harness racing group of two Southern Hemisphere winners of 6000 races as a drive. Lang won the Captain Treacherous Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series final for three-year-old fillies with Tell Me Tales to join Chris Alford on the magical mark. Lang said the victory was a “good feeling”, with the win all the more significant for the fact it was done representing Emma Stewart’s stable. “These colours have been very good to me for a lot of years now,” Lang said. “I’m quite happy to achieve this tonight, especially for these guys. 6000 wins, I’m nearly 60 years that’s only 100 a year so it’s not much when you add it up like that.” The modesty belied a cracking drive that brought up the victory, with Tell Me Tales upstaging highly fancied favourites Petacular and Miss Graceland, who worked to the front but with the latter overracing it kept the door ajar for the contenders. Come the final stages it was Tell Me Tales hitting the line best to secure the bulk of the $120,000 prize. “Everything worked out well for her,” Lang said. “The barrier draw came out and (12) was not what you would have chosen if you had the choice, but you knew full well the ingredients were there that it might be a genuinely run race and when you’re drawn bad that’s what you require. “She’s progressively got better each run Emma and Clayton have had her.” The win was one of three Group 1s captured on the night by Stewart’s stable, with Poster Boy and Nostra Villa winning the two-year-old features, both with Alford in the sulky. For results and video replays of races from Tabcorp Park Melton click here. Michael Howard (HRV Media/Communications Co-Ordinator)

Tabcorp Park Melton was the scene for the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series Semi-Finals tonight and the harness racing action was electric. Here’s what the winning drivers had to say post-race ahead of the Grand Final double-header next Friday and Saturday back here under lights at Victorian Trots Headquarters. R1 Jodi Quinlan on General Dodge (Courage Under Fire) “I wouldn’t swap him. He can carve out 27-second sectionals and he feels like he’s doing it in third gear. Next week will be harder again. He wanted to over-race in patches tonight. You’ve got to remember he’s only had 10 starts so it’s all still pretty new to him. It’s scintillating the speed that he does possess. He’s a really exciting horse.” R2 Michael Bellman on Rockstar Angel (Rocknroll Hanover) “She’s pretty exciting. The hard part’s done now, she’s into the final. Josh and David, and Kima and the rest of the gang have her in perfect order and everything’s ticking along beautifully. Brendan’s idea a couple of weeks ago was to send to Menangle and do her prep up there in the water walker and a bit warmer weather, and her coat suggests that’s worked quite well. One thing’s for sure, she’ll be hard to beat next week.” R3 Craig Turnbull on Major Occasion (Art Major) “She’s coming along. (I’m) very thankful to Anthony and Chris for sending her down to me. The draw was vital but she did the job well. It suits her just coming out and relaxing. She can be a bit of a nutter here and there. She can get out of the gate but we pay the penalty during the race and at the end.” R4 Chris Alford on Nostra Beach (Art Major) “She’s a lovely filly she’s got speed, she’s got good strength and she relaxes so well. Once she gets into a fight she’ll really dig deep. She stills seems to be on the rise. This filly she just seems to go through her races pretty well and have something in reserve. She’s pretty good at the moment.” R5 Greg Sugars on Wrappers Delight (Bettor's Delight) “He’s been a very well performed horse right throughout his entire career. He had a good draw tonight, which really helped. Against the very best he’s probably a bit more of an opportunist but given the right run and the right circumstances he’s very good and good enough to knock off the best.” R6 Greg Sugars on Whirily School (Courage Under Fire) “She’s had a couple of starts early this prep where she was not quite right but ever since then Clayton and Emma have done a great job to resurrect her. She really knuckled down hard the last 400, 500 metres and hit the line strong.” R7 Anthony Butt on Stars Align (Art Major) “(That was a) big run. We got running down the back and Chris got me off the bit. Lucky we had a wee breather. He really picked up and felt strong when I did that and felt really strong at the line. He was one of the Purdon army as a three-year-old. It’s not easy getting a horse off Purdon. Sometimes you’re on a hiding to nothing. He’s three-out-of-three here. Dean’s a master trainer in his own right and he’s proven it with this horse.” R8 Gavin Lang on Major Times (Art Major) “He’s bred to be a good horse but he’s a big gangly guy at the moment. He possesses his share of ability. His run at Bendigo last week was awesome really. He should be good for next week. He’s a veteran of three, four starts, so don’t worry … if I had have got more fair dinkum with him I’m sure he could have done more than he did. He’s going through it pretty well at the moment. I’ll wake him up when the time needs. When he ran home here in the Youthful Stakes he hit the line very good. He’s pretty versatile, which is a nice asset to have.” R9 Kim Prentice on Soho Tribeca (American Ideal) “I hadn’t been here before so he had to show me around. He just got left alone. I was hoping the six-horse would stay outside of me a lot longer. Next week we’ll have the pull-ups on him and he’ll find the line next week. He’ll be so, so much better next week.” R10 Chris Alford on Poster Boy (Somebeachsomewhere) “He’s racing really well. He’s so beautiful and relaxed and does everything you ask of him. He came out nice and once the speed backed off. He roared up the straight.  The draw will be interesting. Emma and Clayton will have six or seven in the final. He doesn’t have to lead. I wouldn’t swap him for any of the others.” R11 Chris Alford on Miss Graceland (Rocknroll Hanover) “She zoomed up the straight good. She sort of knocks off a bit when she’s out by herself. She won as she liked, really. She had a bit of a break before the heat and tonight would have topped her right off.” R12 Michael Stanley on Petacular (Somebeachsomewhere) “That’s the first times I haven’t had to pull the ear plugs, she’s normally pretty casual. Shows she’s starting to learn what it’s all about. She does it so comfortably. She’s been a top filly all the way through and hopefully we can keep her together.” > Facebook Gallery of the Winners > Fields for Super Series Grand Finals > Semi-Final Facebook Live video wrap > Semi-Final Results Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager) Michael Howard (HRV Media/Communications Co-Ordinator)

On 22 June 2017, Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Stewards conducted an inquiry into the activities of unlicensed person Nea Fresenius at the Tabcorp Park Melton race meeting on 17 June 2017. After considering all available evidence, licensed trainer Vince Vallelonga pleaded guilty to a charge under the provisions of Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 90A(2.9)(a) which states:         The holder of a trainer’s license shall ensure that all persons carrying out the activities         of a stable hand are licensed as stable hands. The particulars of the charge being that as a licensed trainer Mr Vallelonga failed to ensure that Nea Fresenius was appropriately licensed when carrying out stablehand activities at Tabcorp Park Melton on 17 June 2017. In assessing penalty Stewards took into account Mr Vallelonga’s guilty plea, that the offence was an isolated episode due to his recent injury and previous penalties for offences under this rule. Stewards accordingly imposed a fine of $200.    After considering all available evidence, Nea Fresenius pleaded guilty to a charge under AHRR 91(1)(a) which states:         A person shall not carry on an activity regulated by licence -                 (a) if that person is not the holder of a current licence; The particulars of the charge being that on 17 June 2017 Ms Fresenius did carry on an activity regulated by licence, namely as a stablehand for trainer Vince Vallelonga, when not the holder of an appropriate licence. In assessing penalty Stewards took into account Ms Fresenius’ guilty plea and previous penalties for offences under this rule. Ms Fresenius was fined $200. Harness Racing Victoria

Due to a major electrical fire at Cranbourne, Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) today advised Sunday’s trots meeting has been transferred to Tabcorp Park Melton. “Unfortunately the magnitude of the electrical fire at the club means we are not able to run Sunday’s meeting, so we appreciate the co-operation of Tabcorp Park Melton who have agreed to host the meeting in the interests of the industry,” Cranbourne Club CEO Neil Bainbridge said. Click here to view the alterations to race distances due to the transfer Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Exciting harness racing filly Nostra Villa has joined Australian Pacing Gold’s ever-growing list of feature winners. Trained by Emma Stewart, Nostra Villa captured last night’s Youthful Stake at Tabcorp Park Melton at just her second start. Thrilled with the two-year-old’s progress, Stewart has set her sights on the Vicbred Super Series, which begins with heats at Bendigo on June 20. Should all go according to plan, the daughter of Art Major will progress to the $120,000 Final at Melton on July 8. “That’s two wins from two starts, so you can’t ask for more than that,” Stewart said. “She is a very nice filly, which can a string a few more wins together as she goes along. “She will keep ticking along now as she works towards the Sires’ in a couple of weeks.” Driven by premier reinsman Chris Alford during her latest victory, Nostra Villa led throughout from barrier two to score from the Nicole Molander-trained pair Saphirique and Passion Delight in 1:55.1 over 1720 metres. With Nostra Beach fourth, the first four fillies across the line were all APG graduates. A half-sister to Group One winner Mister Jadore, Nostra Villa was purchased at last year’s Melbourne leg of the Australian Pacing Gold Sales. APG Media

There is nothing shaky about star two-year-old Wobelee, who looks every bit the stable star at Alison Alford’s camp. Driven by husband Chris, the fledgling son of Down Under Muscles-Tupenny Bit made it back-to-back feature successes at Tabcorp Park Melton tonight, careering away with the Group 2 Alabar Tatlow Stakes. At the completion of the 2240m trip Wobelee had 16.3 metres to spare over runner-up Smashthemcalder. It was a majestic combination of power and professionalism from the young mover. “He was really good tonight,” his driver stated post-race. But for the second time in succession Alford pointed out Wobelee had been “a bit stirred up before the race”. However, behavioural issues have not been a feature of the two-year-old’s races to date, his manners impeccable while some of his adversaries have struggled to find their feet. Barrier one didn’t hurt Wobelee’s hopes tonight, either, Alford able to hold the front and control the tempo, eventually posting a mile rate of 2:01.3. Owner-breeder Colin Murphy said Wobelee’s manners held him in good stead. “They’ve just got to trot,” he said. “They’re two-year-olds and a lot of them are not ready. This horse has a particular gate that makes him not gallop as much. One thing with the trotters, they’ve got to have a good gate,” he surmised. Meanwhile, although most punters were struggling in the moments after Race 5, the Allied Express Pace, trainer-driver John Justice was beaming. His Gotta Go Cullect-Jill Forsa six-year-old Gotta Go Henry had just wired its rivals in the 1720m M1 contest at rank outsider odds of $67.10. Justice issued a salute at the line. “He’s been a marvellous horse,” he said before adding: “It shows you there is a god because I’ve been down on my luck a bit. I was sad when I saw the barrier draw at the start of the week, but he showed a lot of speed and a lot of heart today, so I’m really happy with him.” History shows if Gotta Go Henry is able to head off his rivals early then there might as well be a continuous white line painted up the stretch, because he’s a hard horse to overtake. Tonight he dashed around in 1:54.8 for the 1720m sprint trip, with Hoo Nien chasing gamely in second and Perspective, who most thought would lead from the pole, battling into third after travelling leader's back. Speaking of horses bouncing back to form, eight-year-old It Is I-Glenlyon Glad gelding It Is Billy refound winning touch in the TAB.com.au Pace.  The Mick Barby-trained, Anne Maree Conroy-driven fan-favourite went 1:56.9 for the 2240m trip to overpower Bad Billy by a head, with Cold Major half a neck away in third place. The win broke the longest run of outs for It Is Billy in his long and illustrious career, which has seen him capture a Geelong Cup and multiple metro free-for-all races. “Every time you come back from a spell they’re a bit older and it takes them a bit longer to get them up against the hard ones,” Conroy said. “It has taken two or three runs to find his fitness and to show he’s got it again tonight.” Other winners at Melton were Stagger Lee (Major In Art-Lets Go Cullen) in the 2240m DNR Logistics Pace for Maree and John Caldow in 1:57.0, Whirily School (Courage Under Fire-Mayhappen) in the 1720m Empire Stallions Vicbred Platinum Metropolitan Pace Final for Emma Stewart and Greg Sugars in 1:55.0, Our Dreamlover (Love You-Dreamlands Nancy) for Matt Craven and Chris Svanosio in the Aldebaran Park Trotters Handicap over 2240m in 2:02.4, Anton Golino-trained Glenferrie Burn (Muscle Hill-Adellas Dash) in the Group 2 Bacardi Lindy Trot for four and five-year-old mares, Josh Aiken driving the mare to victory in 2:00.1, and Vinland (American Ideal-Sagrantino) for Emma Stewart and Mark Pitt in the Own the Moment Pace Final over 2240m in 1:57.6. The night’s feature race, the Noel Simpson Memorial Trotters Oaks, went to Une Belle Allure for Golino and Zac Phillips. Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

It looked a great harness racing card Tuesday morning and a little trickier come the draws, but young gun reinsman Zac Phillips could well churn out another super Saturday at Tabcorp Park Melton. The leader of the Victorian concession drivers’ premiership seems well positioned to continue his trotting success with drives behind Anton Golino’s talented juveniles Une Belle Allure and Amour De Frere before reuniting with Group 1 gun Red Hot Tooth. Fresh from winning the New South Wales equivalent, Une Belle Allure will tackle Saturday night’s Noel Simpson Memorial Victoria Trotters Oaks, but her presumed favouritism was zapped by a gate 13 draw, with pole marker and stablemate Kinvara Sue instead gaining punters’ favour. “It’s definitely going to be hard, in those Group 1 races you always need a bit of luck in running and good draws to go your way and by the look of it she hasn’t got either,” Phillips told RSN927’s Gait Speed program. “I definitely think she’s the best filly in the field, hopefully that’s good enough to get her over the line. She showed her best in the New South Wales trotters’ oaks a couple of weeks ago, if she can repeat that performance she should be a top chance.” The scenario’s only slightly better for Amour De Frere in the Alabar Tatlow Stakes, a $30,000 Group 2 for two-year-old trotters. Golino’s Love You filly has drawn gate seven but must be considered a chance after an outstanding two runs to date, winning on debut before a cracking second after breaking amid the standing start. “I think she is going to be a top class filly going forward,” Phillips said. “Her manners let her down last start but she is still learning, she’s very green, another one who hasn’t drawn to kindly but if she gets a little bit of luck in running she definitely won’t be far away.” The same draw, gate seven, has befallen Red Hot Tooth in the Bacardi Lindy Mares Trot, a crack at a fifth Group level win for Kari Males' prized trotter. While passing up the drive on Golino’s Glenferrie Burn wasn’t an easy one for Phillips, sticking with Red Hot Tooth was. “Those decisions are never easy, you don’t like getting off a horse and disappointing anyone,” Phillips said. “I am certainly committed to Red Hot Tooth and wouldn’t think about getting off her. “I’ve driven Red Hot Tooth for a few years now and drove her all through her three-year-old year, she looks to be a grand circuit horse going forward. “It doesn’t look an easy field and another one who hasn’t drawn too kindly, but she is a fast mare and can make her own luck if need be.” Michael Howard (HRV Media/Communications Co-Ordinator) Fields for Tabcorp Park Melton, Saturday 03 June 2017 Form guide for Tabcorp Park Melton, Saturday 03 June 2017

An ultra-impressive My Field Marshall mowed down some of Victoria’s best harness racing front runners to land another blow for those from the south-east of the Tasman. Just when the locals thought it was safe to return to the Tabcorp Park Melton straight after The Orange Agent's earth-scorching three weeks concluded, Kiwi trainer Tim Butt’s My Field Marshall nosed out Maximan and Major Crocker to claim tonight’s TAB.com.au Golden Reign Free For All. “He’s a beautiful horse, very adaptable, so he’s lovely to drive, hopefully he’s got a big couple of years ahead,” driver Anthony Butt said after My Field Marshall won for a second time in as many weeks, coming on the back of his TAB 4YO & 5YO Championship win. Butt showed intent from the outset tonight, working forward from gate six and advancing to the breeze to sit outside leader Stormfortheboys amid a 43.4-second lead time. Cover came when Guaranteed and then Major Crocker claimed the chair, with the frontrunners finding little time to reclaim their breath amid a sequence of sub-30 quarters. Come the final turn Kate Gath guided Maximan from the box seat and set foot after Major Crocker who had grabbed a length, with My Field Marshall taking the last crack at them. Butt timed it a treat, with My Field Marshall nosing ahead of Maximan on the line, while Major Crocker and fast finishing Milly Perez were just 1.4m back in third and fourth. “It was a really good run tonight, probably a step up on the field from last week but he felt really good and he was sharp,” Butt said. “He came out (of the gates) good tonight. He’s not blazing, but he can get out pretty good when you want him to. “When I came out on the corner he really sprinted, so he’s really going great. Last week he sort of outstayed them but (tonight) he really showed his speed.” It’s timely form, with My Field Marshall’s campaign geared towards the June 25 $106,000 Group 1 at Tabcorp Park Menangle. “He’s going to go to the Len Smith Mile, it’s just a matter of whether he stays here for a race in two weeks or the Golden Mile at Menangle in two weeks,” Butt said. “That will be up to Tim, but the way he’s going he’s fitted in really good down here, he seems to like the track so I will be pushing for him to stay here for the two weeks and then go to the Len Smith Mile later. Tim will decide that.” My Field Marshall The Fuel Fast Pace, an M1 to M2, also went the way of a visitor, with South Australian trainer Greg Norman taking the honours when his six-year-old grey Adam Cartwright produced a withering burst. Driver Greg Sugars said the trainer deserved all credit. “Anyone who knows anything about South Australian harness racing knows the history of the Norman family, one thing they are for sure is great horseman and Greg is no exception,” Sugars said. “He does a very good job. “(Adam Cartwright) just needed an ounce of luck. It was a reasonable lead time and then the breaks came my way when it was time to get off and the horse did the rest.” The night also featured the Own The Moment Vicbred Platinum Metropolitan Pace heats, with Jason Lee grabbing a break at the turn to guide Keayang Ebonyrose to victory ahead of favourite Rocknroll Magic in the second heat and trainer-driver Rodney Petroff winning the first heat with Brocks Territory. They will return for the $30,000 final on June 3. Of the trotters, Conon Bridge won a competitive $14,000 Aldebaran Park Monte Championship by a length from Vics Cheval and debutant K D Muscles, and Fabrication was impressive again in winning the Haras Des Trotteurs Trot, to the delight of driver David Murphy. “As a two, three, four-year-old he was probably a rung below the better ones but I always felt like he would get up to them and he’s making the transition into open age racing really well,” Murphy said. Michael Howard (HRV Media/Communications Co-Ordinator)

Exciting former Kiwi Van Mara (Lis Mara-Van Seraa) can overcome his extreme draw at Tabcorp Park Melton tomorrow night, says harness racing trainer Andy Gath. Speaking with Nadia Horne on RSN Friday morning, Gath spoke glowingly of his four-year-old, who is two-for-two since joining the Kate and Andy team. “He had really good form in New Zealand. It tapered off a little bit before he came over to us but he’s a horse we have a pretty big opinion of,” Gath said. Van Mara, to be driven by Andy's wife, Kate, starts from outside the second row in the DNR Logistics Pace Final (Race 2) at 5.55pm. “He can do it tough if he has to,” Gath said. “And he’s got good speed, even if he’s back in the field. He’s a horse that we think is going to develop into a pretty nice horse. He’ll be fighting out the finish.” Gath has always had an eye on Van Mara and always expressed interest in purchasing the gelding. “Finally he came down to a price I was comfortable at and I was fortunate enough to be able to get him in the stable,” the Long Forest horseman said. GET THE INSIDE WORD FROM ANDY GATH Meanwhile, TAB.com.au has a projected Quaddie pool of $125,000 ($20,000) jackpot tomorrow night at Tabcorp Park Melton. Sign up to receive your GoodForm Game Plan delivered hot off the press daily from our dedicated team of form analysts.  Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Former gallops jockeys Darren Gauci and Matt Pumpa are eager to face off in a double-seater sulky race at Tabcorp Park Melton after making their trots-track debut at Bendigo’s Harness Racing Training Centre on Tuesday. Gauci and Pumpa, who mentor apprentice jockeys full-time as part of Racing Victoria's Apprentice Jockey Training Program, were on hand to learn more about the other code’s development of trainers and drivers. Gauci said the experience was a thrill. “I really enjoyed it. It was the first time we’ve done that and it was great. We were amazed, it was a real insight to see just how much speed they have out there,” the four-time Melbourne premiership winning jockey – and three-time Melbourne Cup runner-up – said. “Hopefully we get the opportunity on a race night to actually have a race against each other in a double-seater sulky. I think that would be a lot of fun.” The trots Training Centre in Bendigo delivers training and assessment to about 200 students (from trots, gallops and greyhounds). The centre’s stables, located behind the Bendigo trotting track, have been run by Roma Pocock for a long time and recently she has been joined by leading horseman Glenn Douglas, who assists in a part-time capacity mentoring the students. The Training Centre is approaching the end of the first semester and there are vacancies in the stable for semester two. If you know someone who is interested in becoming a stablehand, trainer or driver please contact the school on (03) 5449 3590 or 0447 032 770. Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Saturday night’s monte at Tabcorp Park Melton will be a star-studded affair after harness racing trainers Andy Gath and Ross Sugars elected to stick saddles on two of their leading trotters. Gath will run Group 1 placegetter K D Muscles in the $14,000 Aldebaran Park Monte Championship, the first time the trainer of almost 9600 starters has entered the saddled racing. The 87th monte run in Victoria will also mark Sugars’ first participation in the class since Illawong Magic contested four montes between May and July in 2014. “There is always a bit of apprehension, but I expect both to benefit from their first go in the monte,” Sugars said. “It’s something completely different in their training. It’s like taking a horse who has always been training on the track and you take it swimming and it gets a different outlet and some new lease on life. It doesn’t work for all, but for most it will.” The trainers arrive at the monte from different perspectives. For Sugars it’s a chance to freshen Illawong Helios and possibly extend his season, having had 12 starts since January 23. For Gath it’s a chance to give K D Muscles, owned by Norm Jenkin, a hit-out in a race that doesn’t also feature another Jenkin’s runner. “She has the same owner as Clover Mac who is in for Ballarat's (John Slack Memorial Trotters Cup) on Friday night and instead of doubling up we will take advantage of the $14,000 race on Saturday to avoid the clash,” Gath said. “(K D Muscles) hadn’t run under a saddle before Monday morning. Michelle (Phillips) did half-a-dozen laps on her and then she trialled on Monday night and handled it well. She ran good time.” Beyond that the jury is out. It’s expected the talented trotter will be competitive with the likes of Conon Bridge, Brent Lilley’s Breeders Crown winner who’s a veteran of four montes, and Vics Cheval, David Aiken’s trotter who returns to the montes for the first time since 2016 when she won three races under saddle. “It’s a little hard to know what affect it will have,” Gath said. “We will see how she recovers from having carried weight on her back instead of a sulky. “I thought she trialled good under saddle and she will have Ben Aubron riding her and he is quite experienced. I think she will acquit herself well.” Sugars has little apprehension about throwing Illawong Helios into the championship, the calendar’s richest mobile start monte. “Both her and K D Muscles I think will perform really well,” Sugars said. “The short-course will suit them and I think it will be a very good race between Conon Bridge, K D Muscles and Illawong Helios. “This has come at the right time (for Illawong Helios). She had progressed well this campaign and then levelled out.” Sugars said putting Illawong Helios into a monte had “always been in the back of the mind”, having trained her under saddle “three or four times” last October before she was put out for a spell. “It might keep her in work longer and if she benefits I won’t just race her in montes but put her back in normal racing,” Sugars said. “It might get a few others thinking about it and having a go, because the monte racing has definitely improved as better horses have taken to it.” Michael Howard (HRV Media/Communications Co-Ordinator) Fields for Tabcorp Park Melton, Saturday 27 May 2017 Form guide for Tabcorp Park Melton, Saturday 27 May 2017

A filly purchased for less than $1000 at a Shepparton harness racing dispersal sale has netted 25-year-old Armstrong trainer Leroy O’Brien his biggest thrill in the trots. Imprincessgemma (Village Jolt-Melody Stride) didn’t even fetch four figures at the Shepparton sale, O’Brien explaining he paid “$900 plus GST” for the filly. Tonight she won the $50,000 Empire Stallions Vicbred Platinum Home Grown Classic 2YO Fillies Final at Tabcorp Park Melton, netting O’Brien and his mum, co-owner Sharryn, $25,000. “This was really special,” O’Brien said. “This one we owned ourselves, this was only her second lifetime win. She is really special to us. She’s named after my niece by my Mum. She really is one of our favourites.” Driven by Kerryn Manning tonight, Imprincessgemma took the lead early off Hakuna and once in front never looked like losing. She paced a 1:54.8 mile rate, her last half-mile split up in 28.8 and 28.4secs. “She carried herself well (at the sale),” O’Brien said when asked what had caught his eye at Shepparton. “Melody Stride was from the Stride family and Village Jolt was a fairly new sire when we purchased her. She was just very cheap and I thought she was definitely worth a go. “Me and my dad (Danny) actually went up there to buy a trotting mare in foal, but it went a little bit too dear. I had an eye for her (Imprincessgemma), so I had to ring mum to transfer some money so I could buy her. I had no money but I liked the horse.” O’Brien is positive he wants to make a full-time go of the trots. “I really do. I’m a plumber by trade, but I’ve done my time with the business and put that aside to have a real good go with the horses. There’s nothing better than waking up and working with them. I love them to bits. I really want to make it in the future and have a real good crack at it while I can. And I’ll give it 110 per cent, that’s for sure.” O’Brien also adds that the trots operation is very much a family project. “My mum gets up at daylight and gets out there with her nighty on, she loves it. It’s a massive team effort. Dad does a great job too and my girlfriend Kristy helps out along the lines too. I’ve got massive support from my family.” Manning was full of merit for O’Brien post-race. “She’s a lovely horse to drive and Leroy does a great job with his horses. He knows them very well and he’s got a good head on his shoulders,” she said. O’Brien returned the praise. “I put Kerryn on tonight because I wanted to put the best on to give her every chance. And you can’t beat Kerryn Manning.” Meanwhile, in the Group 1 Empire Stallions Vicbred Platinum Home Grown Classic trotting finals Wobelee (Down Under Muscles-Tupenny Bit) and Viksun (Fling It-Summerline) won the male and female divisions respectively. Wobelee is trained by Alison Alford and was driven by husband Chris, whose fans tonight donned #Puppet6000 t-shirts to celebrate Alford’s recent 6000th winner in the gig. “I’m very proud of this little fella,” Alford said. “He’s normally really well-mannered but he went for a little bit of a canter in the score-up, which scared me, but once he found the front he was going to be hard to beat.” Wobelee rated 2:00.8 to score by 6.5m over Whizzbang Dan, with Chissy in third. Viksun won the fillies’ final in 2:01.2 for trainer Billy Muscat and driver Michael Muscat. Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

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