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David Aiken has long been one of the state’s leading harness racing trainers since locating to Victoria over a decade ago and following a double at Tabcorp Park Melton last Saturday, repeated the dose at Bendigo on Tuesday when in-form mare Vics Cheval scored in the Bendigo Tafe Monte and smart juvenile Hadrians Phoenix the Aldebaran Park 3-Y-0 Trotters Handicap over 2150 metres. Vics Cheval a five year old daughter of Yankee Boy and Vics Lady raced by David, with overseas rider Kima Frenning in the sadlle, raced in the open from outside the front row for the entire journey, before toying with her rivals to register a 23.1 metre victory over Illawong Moonshine which followed her for the final circuit, with Hakuna Sunset a further 3.7 metres away in third place after trailing the weakening leader Bill Peperell. The mile rate 1-57.4. An interesting aspect to the race was that cross country rider Paul Hamblin made the trip to Bendigo to ride rank outsider Shea Keystone in the race after competing in the first two highweight races at the all new Pakenham complex during the afternoon.  Eilean Donon/Dodo Rocket gelding Hadrians Phoenix driven by Gavin Lang was given plenty of time to find his feet from barrier two, settling three back along the markers, before being sent forward to take over mid-race from Sugar Free (barrier six). Nursed to the wire, Hadrians Phoenix had 1.1 metres to spare on the wire over Sugar Free and the 10 metre backmarker Aldebaran Midnite which sprinted swiftly to join the winner on the home turn. The mile rate 2-06. Sunbury trainer/driver Ahmed Taiba has picked up a handy performer in Colonel Joy who snared the Alabar Breeders Crown 3-Y-0 Pace over 1650 metres in a rate of 1-58.4 when first up since winning at Kilmore in April last year. A gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere and Lady Joy who is half brother to quality racehorses Captain Joy (Mach Three) 26 wins, Master Joy (Art Major) 17 wins, Lightning Joy ( Western Terror) 12 wins, plus Another Joy (Presidential Ball) 9 wins. Colonel Joy is also a full brother to Admiral Joy (5 wins). Settling mid-field in the moving line from gate two on the second row, Colonel Joy was off and running to park outside the pacemaker Aurelius at the bell and after applying pressure on turning, strode clear over the concluding stages to score by 2.3 metres from Aurelius and Secret Agenda which trailed the front runner. Kyabram trainer Mark Watson usually comes up with a handy horse each season and landed the Bendigo Advertiser 2-Y-0 Pace over 2150 metres with Major In Art/Miss Athens colt Brallos Pass. Driven by Chris Alford, Brallos Pass coming off an eye catching second to Mar Nien at Shepparton a week earlier possied one/one from gate two on the second line, with the heavily backed Thats How Weroll from the Belinda McCarthy camp working to the front for Greg Sugars from gate five. Sent forward three wide in the last lap, Brallos Pass sprinted brilliantly to take a slender lead on the final bend and score by 9 metres in 1-59.6 over the pacemaker, with first starter Blazedale (three back the markers) 13.4 metres away in third place. Melton based Maree and John Caldow have Kiwi bred Art Major/Tootsie filly Nicky Delight going great guns at present and was successful in taking the Vantage Fuels Pace for C0 class over 2150 metres. Sent forward from gate four to assume control hitting the back straight on the first occasion, Nicky Maguire well rated was never headed, greeting the judge by 14.2 metres in 1-59 from Classic Shark which trailed and Smooth Mikaela who was always handy. Eight year old Pass The Mustard/Ladybird Joy gelding Mister Pickles registered his first victory since May 2012 when successful in the Petstock Pace for C1 class over 2150 metres. Backed for bundles when narrowly beaten by Lights And Music at Swan Hill on May 14 when first up since December, Mister Pickles trained at Junortoun by Danny O’Bree and driven by stable reinsman Scott Dyer went forward from outside the front row to take over within a lap, before running his rivals ragged, scoring by 14.4 metres in a rate of 1-59 over a death-seating Art Of Locksley and Baranduda off a three wide trail last lap on the back of Our Bold Lustre. Lance Justice was in the winners circle following the victory of speedy Aces N Sevens/Smooth De Babe four year old entire Four Smart Aces in the Schweppes Pace for C3 & C4 class over 1650 metres. Driven with aggression from gate five to cross Admiral Joy inside him, Four Smart Aces was too slick over the short trip for Admiral Joy which tried hard in the straight, going down by 1.4 metres in a brilliant 1-54.3. Polemarker Blue Seelster finished third after trailing the pair. Andy and Kate Gath gained some spending money for a trip to the Harness Jewels in Ashburton over the weekend, when three year old Always A Virgin/Shove Off gelding Always Arjay led throughout from the pole to land the Great Ocean Road Real Estate Pace for C2 class over 2150 metres. Bowling along at his leisure, Always Arjay defied all challengers to score by a head from Arden Castle which trailed, using the sprint lane to just fail in a rate of 1-59.1, with Our Petite Soeur third after racing in the open from the bell. Len Baker Harness Racing Victoria

Another of the Melbourne Inter Dominion champions will be honoured at Tabcorp Park Melton on Friday night with the running of the harness racing Young Pedro Free-For-All. One of the lesser-known winners of the time-honoured series, Young Pedro captured the feature at the Ascot Vale Showgrounds in 1959 in what was the 18th running of the Trans Tasman event. Owned, trained and driven by South Australian Leo Hunt, Young Pedro became just the second four-year-old to secure the Championship, following Springfield Globe’s triumph in Launceston 20 years earlier. Foaled in 1954, the chestnut colt was by Van Derby from Pedro’s Salute by Pedro Pronto from Royal Salute by Royal Lulu. Fifth in his opening heat won by Dusty Miller, Young Pedro was then successful on the second night before running third behind Caduceus in his third qualifier. Caduceus and Dusty Miller were the only unbeaten performers during the heats. The rank outsider at 33/1 in the 12,000 pound Final over 14 furlongs (2800 metres), Young Pedro began well from the front line to settle in the coveted one-one as Dusty Miller led. Angled into the clear on the last bend, Young Pedro dashed past the pacemaker at the top of the straight before scoring by three yards from Dusty Miller, which was second favourite at 9/2. Billabong Scott, which also won a second round heat, was two yards away third at 25/1. Caduceus, a 6/4 favourite despite his 36-yard handicap, could only manage fifth. Young Pedro rated 2:11.8 in front of a crowd of 30,153, which was considered disappointing due to “bad weather conditions”. Overall, the four-night series attracted 92,042 patrons. Young Pedro’s triumph rounded out a hat-trick for South Australia, with Radiant Venture winning in Perth in 1957 and Free Hall in Adelaide in 1958. Young Pedro was also victorious in the 1959 South Australia Cup with Hunt in the sulky. As for this week’s race in Young Pedro’s honour, Chilli Palmer is the one to beat despite his awkward draw. Filling the placings behind Lennytheshark during his last two outings - including eye-catching second last weekend - Chilli Palmer should have little trouble registering an overdue win for trainer Dean Braun. The son of Inter Dominion winner Elsu will begin from barrier six, with Braun confident of victory. “He has been racing really well and is ready to get back into the winners’ circle,” Braun said. “The draw makes it a little tricky, but he should be able to overcome it.” Paul Courts

Life is about to get tougher for the handy harness racing performer Columbias Deejay.   Racing in ultra-consistent fashion this season, Columbias Deejay has been set for the rich Vicbred Super Series following his victory at Geelong yesterday.   Pleased with the four-year-old’s progress, trainer David Magri believes the Bacardi Lindy gelding is capable of making his way into the Final.   The $60,000 decider is scheduled to be run at Tabcorp Park Melton on July 3 as part of a stellar weekend, which will see 12 Group Ones conducted at the venue across two nights.   “He has come along really well this season and is capable of mixing it with some of the better ones in his age,” Magri said. “Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying he will come out and win the Final, but he is good enough to get into it.   “Once you’re in the race you never know what might happen.   “He’s certainly capable of winning a heat, so that’s the way we will head. The heats are still a few weeks away, so I will give him another start or two before then, including Melton next Friday night.”   With Magri in the cart during his latest win, Columbias Deejay led throughout from three to score by eight-and-a-half metres from Tommy Kay, with Tawonga South a metre-and-a-half away third.   “Once he got to the front I knew they wouldn’t run him down,” Magri said. “He was down in class on what he has been racing against, so I felt he would be hard to beat.”   Paul Courts

Lennytheshark made it back-to-back 4YO & 5YO harness racing Championship wins last night at Tabcorp Park Melton. Only two horses had ever done it before, the great mare Tailamade Lombo and modern day superstar Smoken Up – and Lenny displayed true champion qualities last night after scorching through a 27.6 secs second quarter and a 29.3secs third split, forced to work overtime to find the top when he came hunting at the bell. Anthony Butt (Major Secret) had been riding the breeze outside race leader Bryce Cooper and he wasn’t eager to simply let Lenny cruise by. Chris Alford had to go full-throttle well before he’d envisaged and Lennytheshark finally got to the front turning out of the straight the final time. Desperately in need of some reprieve Alford applied the brakes in a bid to save Lenny up for one final burst to the wire. Off the back Major Secret hit the wall and Hectorjayjay and Simone Walker arose three-wide to stake their claim. Hectorjayjay clearly headed the Shark on the bend but you got the feeling there was another twist in the tale as Alford got to work. Although the pair went stride for stride in the early part of the home run, and logic suggested this would be Hectorjayjay’s night, the Shark was not going to be culled without one hell of a fight. The son of Four Starzzz Shark rallied and stuck his head back in front, Hectorjayjay valiant but simply not able to match his rival. Chilli Palmer was the one final hurdle Lennytheshark had to clear as the powerful pacer thundered down the centre of the track late and got past Hectorjayjay. But he couldn’t nab Lenny, falling 1.2m short. The winner rated 1:55.9 after a 27.3 third quarter. “The speed was slow early so I had to make a decision and when I went I went quick,” Alford said. “Anthony Butt kicked up, which made things a bit awkward for me. “Hectorjayjay probably got 2m on me on the corner … but being as good as Lenny is he dug deep.” Hectorjayjay held on for third with Hotasel (Simon Jardine) working home with Upanatom for fourth and fifth. The win was Lennytheshark’s 19th from 38 starts. by Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria

Charlie Runkle and Princess Phoenix won last night’s Empire Stallions Vicbred Platinum Home Grown Classic Finals at Tabcorp Park Melton for harness racing two-year-old trotters. Charlie Runkle (by Angus Hall out of Star Spangled Banner) took out the colts and geldings’ final for trainer Gary Quinlan and driver Chris Alford, while trainer David Aiken and reinsman son Josh combined with Princess Phoenix (by The Pres out of Dodo Rocket) to win the fillies’. From gate two Charlie Runkle showed gate speed from the 1720m start and easily found the pegs after polemarker Sundons Courage galloped away. Alford handed up to Aiken on Skyflyer and waited for his turn along the sprint lane, Charlie Runkle finishing fast for a 3.4-metre victory in a rate of 2:00.6. “(He) came out really well and got a bit keen being his first time under lights, but he was travelling well at the turn and once the sprint lane opened he got to it like an old pro,” Alford said. Race favourite Cruisin Around ran third after covering ground three wide with no cover. Princess Phoenix rated 2:03.7 for her win. At the 400m she was eased three-wide by Aiken but was still 15m off frontrunner Truscott Law, who had trotted opening quarters of 32.7, 31 and 30.3. Princess Phoenix sprinted sharply and went on to put her opposition away with apparent ease due to an impressive 400-metre burst. “She’s a fast filly. I said the other day she might be a pretty serious filly. And she’s confirmed that,” Josh Aiken said. Plenty of punters found both the Home Grown winners, each backed in late to $3.30. “I think the owners might have tipped a few into her on the way here,” Aiken quipped. Aiken explained Princess Phoenix had fired up during the warm-up but relaxed better when the mobile started to roll. “It’s very daunting for the babies to come here under the lights. She turned it on a bit during the preliminary but once they were scoring up she became a racehorse.” Truscott Law held down second while Maoris Got Muscle and reinsman Caleb Lewis finished third. by Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria

Steam Washed has long been near the top of the crop in the Australian harness racing mares’ scene and tonight at Tabcorp Park Melton was her night in the spotlight. The six-year-old from the Ruth and Noel Shinn stables produced an all-the-way win in the Pegasus Club Queen of the Pacific for reinsman son Chris Shinn. It was the second career Group 1 for the daughter of Washington VC / Laura Lace, who has now won 19 races and over $260,000 in stakes. She had run second in the Queen of the Pacific last year. “She was terrific,” Chris Shinn said post-race. “She’s been racing against the best colts, too. She’s been terrific.” Steam Washed stepped from the tapes like a consummate stand-start professional, spearing across from barrier seven to find the lead. But it was also this early move that meant she had to win the race on the track and then again in the stewards’ room, with Nathan Jack, the driver of second horse Berisari, protesting against the winner on the grounds the runner-up was hampered early. Stewards agreed with Jack that there was interference caused by Shinn aboard Steam Washed but Chairman of Stewards Shane Larkins said the stewards could not be satisfied the second horse would have won given the final margin (1.2m) and despite the interference the protest was dismissed. Steam Washed paced through a lead time of 87.6secs before splits of 28.3, 29.6 and 28.5. Turning for home the final time Berisari in the breeze was sticking on gamely and making it clear that if Steam Washed was to relent, she was ready to strike. But Shinn and his girl found plenty, Steam Washed digging in for the fight and holding her rival off with a 30.6secs final quarter to win by 1.2m at odds of $12.40. "I was holding my breath up the straight," said Ruth Shinn. "She did deserve it, she's bright as a button. She's terrific." Berisari was gutsy, losing no supporters whatsoever on the strength of her effort, the $2.30 shot holding off stablemate The Good Times by 0.7m with Majorly Foxy Styx fourth for Michael Stanley. The winner’s mile rate was 1:59.3. Race favourite Frith finished ninth.  by Cody Winnell

With only two horses in work at his Muckleford camp, harness racing trainer Chris Angove would achieve quite a remarkable feat if he were able to secure a Group 1 winning double at Tabcorp Park Melton tomorrow night. But he’s a genuine live chance with his pair of juvenile trotters both well in the market in the finals of the Empire Stallions Vicbred Platinum Home Grown Classic Finals. Sundons Courage (by Sundon out of Truscott Photo) has won three from four starts and defeated Charlie Runkle in his Platinum heat by 2.1 metres. Having secured gate one for tomorrow night’s final over 1720 metres, the impressive young squaregaiter has to be considered a huge chance at securing the lion’s share of the $50,000 stake money with reinsman Haydon Gray in the cart. Angove then puts the polish on Truscott Law (by Lawman out of Yankee Truscott) in the fillies’ final, the last-start Maryborough heat winner to come out of gate four for driver Ashley Matthews. The Home Grown Classics are Races 3 and 4 on the Melton card and will be run at 6.28pm and 6.57pm. VIDEO: Sundons Courage wins his Vicbred Platinum heat by Cody Winnell Related Links Fields for Tabcorp Park Melton, Saturday 23 May 2015 Form guide for Tabcorp Park Melton, Saturday 23 May 2015

Lennytheshark will become just the third horse to win the University Meat 4YO & 5YO Championship twice if he can overcome a back-row draw in Saturday night’s harness racing Group 2 at Tabcorp Park Melton. The David Aiken-trained five-year-old has drawn gate nine in an 11-horse field after the scratching of Sydneysider Yayas Hotspot and will be hot favourite in the 2240-metre, $50,505 race. To be driven by Chris Alford, the son of Four Starzzz Shark out of Botswana will follow out noted fast beginner Hectorjayjay early, which should be ideal. Lennytheshark ticks all the form boxes, with a last-start win in the Golden Reign (1:57.4) defeating flying It Is Billy. That followed a third in the Len Smith Mile at Menangle behind Smolda and Beautide in 1:50.6. If successful in his title defence in the race, Lennytheshark will join two modern day harness racing greats in Tailamade Lombo and Smoken Up as back-to-back winners of the event. The 4YO & 5YO Championship is scheduled to run at 7.27pm. VIDEO: Lennytheshark notches his 18th career victory in last week's Golden Reign FFA VIDEO: See how Lenny did it last year CODY WINNELL COMMUNICATIONS AND MEDIA MANAGER

As the curtain falls on the harness racing career of one of Emma Stewart’s high-class mares in Victoria Oaks winner Beauty Secret, the Smythes Creek trainer has another one whose star is very much on the rise. Four-year-old Berisari has won all three of her assignments this preparation, including a last-start 3.5-metre triumph over Bettor Downunder in the Angelique Club Cup at Melton last Friday night. On Saturday night at Tabcorp Park Melton the daughter of Safari will be having her 20th race start and be shooting for an 11th victory in the $100,000 Group 1 Pegasus Club Queen of the Pacific over 2760 metres. “She’s in great form,” driver Nathan Jack said. “She’s a real professional. We haven’t had to get serious with her yet this time. We haven’t had to pull the plugs but she’s beaten plenty of good ones. She’s really in the zone.” Berisari has drawn barrier four in Saturday night’s mares’ classic, a field of 12 to go around in the stand start race. “The stand start is the query, but she’s a laid-back mare and she’s in a good camp,” Jack said. Berisari opened $3 with TAB fixed odds but quickly trimmed into $2.7, while odds-on favourite Frith has eased from her opening quote of $1.75 to $1.85. Reigning race champion Gumdrops will be an outsider on Saturday night but has been specked in early fixed odds betting. Beauty Secret, meanwhile, goes out a 24-time winner from 56 starts, the daughter of Armbro Operative/Secret Life having earned connections $425,921 during a glistening racing career. VIDEO: Beauty Secret’s 2012 Nevele R Stud Victoria Oaks Final victory at Tabcorp Park Melton VIDEO: Berisari winning last week’s Angelique Club Cup at Tabcorp Park Melton ODDS: TAB's fixed odds market for Pegasus Club Queen of the Pacific CODY WINNELL COMMUNICATIONS AND MEDIA MANAGER

Every Queensland harness racing fan remembers the deeds of Be Good Johnny. In fact, most involved in harness racing know the name of Be Good Johnny. A dual Miracle Mile champion who amassed more than a million dollars during a highly decorated career from the stables of John McCarthy. He was a true modern day great. Now, there’s another pacer that carries a similar name that could be headed to sunny Queensland for the winter carnival features during the month of July at Albion Park. His name is Oh Jonny B Good. A New Zealand bred colt now based in the stables of outstanding couple Amanda Turnbull and Nathan Jack at their Shepparton base. The Mach Three – Maikona three-year-old created a huge impression when successful first-up at Bendigo on May 12 when he scored by an ever expanding margin and created a new track for 2150m with a mile rate of 1;54.9. In many ways, his speed that night brought back memories of Be Good Johnny. Now connections are looking at their feature race options. Oh Jonny B Good starts again this Saturday night at TABCORP Park, Melton in the Bourne Bathroom and Kitchen Centre Final but where he heads after that is unknown. But options seem endless. “We’re still in the mix with the New Zealand Jewels because he currently ranked 16th and if things fall our way, we would definitely head back because we already have Glenferrie Bronte and Just Cala heading over. If we don’t make the cut off, the Queensland Derby looms as a logical target for him.” Jack said. The Gr.1 $NZ150,000 KPMG Private Enterprise Emerald will be staged at Ashburton on Saturday May 30. The Queensland winter carnival offers plenty including the Gr.1 $150,000 Queensland Derby on July 18, the Gr.1 $100,000 Nursery Fly on July 4 and the Gr.3 $40,000 Gold Coast Derby on July 11. “It’s nice to have options and Queensland definitely makes strong appeal, I don’t think we could do both trips but it’s unlikely we’ll make the field for the Jewels in New Zealand so Queensland is looking likely at this stage. He’s got to hold his form because it won’t be easy up there. When he first arrived we weren’t overly impressed but as it turns out, he’s just a really bad track worker because he was excellent winning first-up and there should be further improvement to come from him. If New Zealand doesn’t eventuate, we’ll look at the E K Bray Country Clubs Cups series next before heading north to Brisbane. He’s a nice horse in the making and his form in New Zealand backs that up, he’s raced some of their best over there and performed well so we’re prepared to give him his chance.” Currently, Nathan Jack sits third on the Victorian Drivers Premiership with 146 victories while Amanda Turnbull is ranked fifth on the Victorian Trainers Premiership 53 winners. With Amanda still driving regularly in her home state of New South Wales for her father Steve, she is ranked second in the driver’s premiership with 89 winners. by Chris Barsby

Frith has provided her Wagga Wagga owners Bernie and Di Kelly with some great harness racing memories during her successful career. Bernie Kelly trained Frith as a two year old before the daughter of Four Starzzz Shark was transferred to Bruce Harpley at three. Kelly has watched Frith win a number of Gr. 1 races but admitted that he is more nervous this week in the lead up to the Queen Of The Pacific at Melton than he has been in the past. "I don't get nervous before the big races normally but this time it is totally different, I'm very nervous and I can't really work out why I am feeling this way," said Kelly. "On Saturday night I will be sitting in my comfy seat at home watching the races on my television and cheering for her, I haven't had many conversations with Mark Purdon or Luke McCarthy since she left Bruce's stable but in the couple of chats I've had they seem happy with her." Kelly confirmed he was shocked when Harpley contacted him after the Renshaw Cup at Penrith and mentioned a change of stable for the multiple feature race winner. "It was a major surprise for me, I don't know what happened in that traffic jam on the way up to Penrith but it made his mind up for him, he made the decision and after Bruce did such a good job with Frith I respected what he was saying." "I still haven't really discussed a long term plan with Mark Purdon about what races she will target, there was some discussion that she would have a break after the Queen Of The Pacific but that was a while ago so I'm unsure what will happen after Saturday night." "Whether she has a break that'll be up to Mark now but I don't care if he looks to leave her in Australia either." Frith has never raced from the stand but did win a trial at Tabcorp Park Menangle recently. "Bruce is really confident she will step safely, he doesn't think you could get her to gallop away and while he never gave her a run in a standing start race he did give her a lot of practice at home." "She has done such a marvellous job during her career, it is going to be a big step for her to go to that next level against the best but I'm looking forward to seeing her race on after Saturday night." Kelly has two relations to Frith at home and is hoping their bloodlines will take them a long way. "I've got a half sister to Frith by Tell All and she has just been broken in, I really like her but I'm not one of those people who gets too excited early, I like to see what they can do once they are ready to trial." "There's a full sister to Frith there as well, she is just a weanling at the moment but I think I will keep her rather than take her to the sales." The Queen Of The Pacific is race seven at Melton on Saturday night and is scheduled to begin at 8:30pm. Greg Hayes - Harness Racing New South Wales

Exciting filly Amarula has drawn to extend her unbeaten Australian record at the harness racing meeting at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Saturday night.   Successful at her five starts since crossing the Tasman, Amarula will begin from the pole in the New South Wales Trotters’ Oaks, with trainer Maree Caldow confident the youngster can continue her winning streak.   “She is in top shape and will be hard to beat again, especially from the draw,” Caldow said. “This is her biggest test for us, but everything she has done so far suggests she is up to the challenge.”   Kept fresh since her South Australia Trotters’ Derby triumph a fortnight ago, Amarula shapes as the early leader, but is expected to take a trial behind the raging favourite, My Arya, which will begin from gate seven.   My Arya is unbeaten from six Aussie starts this season, including a track record victory at Cranbourne last weekend.   “We will be out to make the most of the draw,” Caldow said. “Whether it is to try and lead all the way or take a trail is up to John (Caldow, driver) when the race unfolds.   “My Arya is clearly the one to beat despite her wide draw.”   In what is destined to be an all-Victorian finish, classy filly Endsino is also expected to make her presence felt.   Winner of two of her three starts this campaign, the Andy Gath-trained daughter of Angus hall is no stranger to Group One glory, having captured last season’s Vicbred Super Series Final at Melton.   Paul Courts

The field for Saturday night’s $100,000 Group 1 Pegasus Club Queen of the Pacific at the harness racing meeting atTabcorp Park Melton has been unveiled with exciting mare Frith to take on rising star Berisari and a host of other potential topliners.   Frith has drawn gate 11 in the 2760m standing start handicap race, while Berisari will begin from barrier four.   Reigning race champion Gumdrops has drawn gate six and Steam Washed will begin from outside the front line.   Majorly Foxy Styx, a stablemate of Frith from the Belinda McCarthy yard, has drawn the pole.   No runner has been handicapped this year.   Meanwhile, Lennytheshark will come from barrier nine in the University Meat 4YO & 5YO Championship.   The reigning race winner will be one of two horses in the event for trainer David Aiken, who also puts the polish on polemarker Bryce Cooper, which has won three on the spin.   Hectorjayjay (barrier 2) and Major Secret (barrier 4) both look well in at the draw, while Chilli Palmer and Yayas Hot Spot have drawn out the back in gates 11 and 12.   Trainer Dean Braun has three runners in the race, Mister Livan (gate five), Rule Like A King (gate 10) and Chilli Palmer.   Saturday night's 10-race card gets under way at 5.23pm with the last at 10pm.   Cody Winnell - Harness Racing Victoria

Whirily School and Showgun Thomas have taken out the Empire Stallions Vicbred Platinum Home Grown Classic two-year-old Finals at the harness arcing meeting at Tabcorp Park Melton last night.   Whirily School won the fillies’ final for trainer Emma Stewart and driver Greg Sugars as an odds-on favourite at $1.50, while Chris Alford combined with trainer Heath Redwood to take out the colts and geldings’ final with Showgun Thomas at $12 after race favourite Hellbewright galloped early and lost all chance.   Whirily School, by Courage Under Fire out of Mayhappen, found the front early from the 1720-metre start and controlled the race, jogging through a 32.7secs second quarter after an opening stanza of 29.9secs for a 62.2secs first half.   Greg Sugars had his rivals stacked up off the back after a third split of 30.7secs before the impressive young pacer extended and left his rivals paddling, dashing home in 27.4secs for a 3.3m win in a mile rate of 2:00.2.   New Romantics finished second after trailing the leader throughout from the pole, while Courageous Call moved to the breeze early and battled on for third just ahead of Swiftly Tothebeach.   Showgun Thomas, by Bettors Delight out of Forest Charm, won a roughhouse affair in the two-year-old boys’ division, Alford driving the polemarker through along the sprint lane from the leader’s back spot in the home stretch to edge out Pop The Cork (Anthony Butt) and Four Starzzz Forsa (John Justice) in a thriller.   The second horse had to survive a protest post-race from the third and fifth (That’s How Weroll) placegetters.   Showgun Thomas rated 1:57.0.   Cody Winnell - Harness Racing Victoria

Talented harness racing star Berisari continued her rise to the top with an impressive victory at Tabcorp Park Melton last night.   Making her debut against open class mares, Berisari scored an impressive win with Nathan Jack in the cart.   After trailing the pacemaker, Bettor Downunder, Berisari finished swiftly along the sprint lane to complete a three-and-a-half metre win from the leader.   The Good Times – a stablemate of the winner – was a metre away third.   Completing a hat-trick in the process, the daughter of Safari rated 1:57.7 for the 2240 metres.   Thrilled with the four-year-old’s performance, trainer Emma Stewart believes Berisari is primed for a highly successful campaign.   “She showed she was up with the best of her age last season and has come back in sensation form this time around,” Stewart said. “We couldn’t be happier with the way she is going.   “She was only beaten a short half-head in last year’s Sires’ Final and that will be her main target this time in.   “She is a wonderful mare, which should continue to get better with racing and age.”   Paul Courts

John Justice’s smart two-year-old Four Starzzz Forsa is lightning-quick off the arm, but that won’t help him in the Empire Stallions Vicbred Platinum Home Grown Classic at the harness racing meeting at Tabcorp Park Melton on Friday night.   The gelding is by Four Starzzz Shark and out of Soho Paris, who never raced but is a half-sister to the brilliant It Is I and La Speranza.   He pinged out to lead in his heat last start from outside the front row.   Once in front, Four Starzzz Forsa paced his lead time in 6.4secs and a first quarter of 29.5 before Justice applied the brakes.   Ambling through a second split of just 35.6secs, Justice always knew his youngster would have a strong kick late, and he got home in 58secs for the final 800m (30.4secs and 27.6secs third and fourth stanzas) to score by 3.9 metres.   But having drawn the back row on Friday night, the early lead won't be an option.   “He’s still learning to race so I was pleased he was able to settle so well,” said Justice of the last-start victory.   While the barrier draw hasn’t helped his cause, Justice said Four Starzzz Forsa would still give a strong account of himself.   “He’s probably best suited as a sit-sprinter at this stage,” he said. “It’ll be a bit different as he gets a bit older and a bit stronger, but he’s a good horse.”   Justice said a win for Four Starzzz Forsa in the $50,000 Group 2 Final would be even more special than usual as the pacer was 33 per cent owned by his mother, who turns 84 this month.   “It’d make a nice birthday present,” Justice said.   Meanwhile, Justice will also line up Mar Nien in the Home Grown Classic Final from barrier seven.   Justice has booked comeback reinswoman Tanya Cavallaro to pilot Mar Nien, a son of Rock N Roll Heaven out of Champagnesheffield.   “He goes well for Tanya,” Justice said.   “He’s a good little horse who has had no luck at the barrier draw. But if they go quick up front he can be getting home at the end.”   - HRV Media  

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