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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)

Soho Angel scored a well-deserved harness racing victory in tonight’s $50,575 Renown Silverware Tatlow Stakes at  Tabcorp Park Melton. The win gave Burrumbeet trainer-driver Michael Stanley his second two-year-old fillies’ feature race triumph in a fortnight after Petacular’s Vicbred Super Series success earlier this month. Soho Angel (Bettor's Delight/Soho Champagne) ran third in the Vicbred final but was supreme tonight from gate three in an action-packed race that saw three horses involved in a bad fall and driver Zac Phillips taken to hospital for scans on his arm. Four Be Two (Phillips) and Jiggy Rhythm (Josh Aiken) locked wheels down the side the final time, and as they were trying to unhook from one another Arm A Princess (Jason Lee) took a tumble while travelling ahead of them. The resultant tangle saw the trio of drivers catapulted to the track. Lee and Aiken were cleared by medical staff to fulfil their remaining drives, but Phillips was taken to hospital with a suspected arm injury. All horses got to their feet and were walked off the track but Arm A Princess was transferred to Werribee Equine Hospital for tests. Meanwhile, Soho Angel bolted clear of her rivals at the top of the straight and went on to score by 3.6m over a fast-finishing Miss Dangerfield (Greg Sugars) with Perfect Sense (Mark Pitt) third in a mile rate of 1:58.7. A member of owner-breeder Rob Watson’s Soho team, Soho Angel now boasts four wins from 10 starts for stake money approaching $100,000. New South Wales husband and wife team Shane and Lauren Tritton combined to win the Apco Tatlow Stakes for colts and geldings with their rising star Blue Moon Rising (Santanna Blue Chip/Lady Moonlight). Now a winner of six of seven lifetime starts, Blue Moon Rising led and defied all comers from the pole to score a 7.7m win over fast-finishing Our Little General (Pitt), with Manly Mach (Greg Sugars) third in a 1:56.7 mile rate. “He’s not paid up for anything so it’s good to get a win like this,” Lauren Tritton said post-race. “All the horses who have won the big races at home he’s beaten them.” Tritton said Blue Moon Rising would go to the paddock for a spell before “coming back bigger and better as a three-year-old”. Cody Winnell

Having done their homework and taken the plunge, a Werribee harness racing father-son team has scooped the brightest prospect to grace their stable. Trainer Jeff Tabone and co-owner Luke Tabone will be hoping the good times continue when their unbeaten two-year-old gelding, Cruz, steps out for his city debut in the Group 2 $50,575 Apco Tatlow Stakes. “He is probably the best young horse I have had,” Jeff Tabone said. “He has given me and my son a lot of excitement.” Cruz won by 3.7m on debut at Cranbourne on June 14, then followed up by mowing down Our Uncle Sam by a head at Geelong via the sprint lane. It’s form that was validated when Our Uncle Sam won the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series Silver Pace at his next start, and Mygoldengrinner was beaten a half-neck to third in the bronze pace, having earlier finished second to Cruz at Cranbourne and third to Cruz and Our Uncle Sam at Geelong. “There has been a lot of form around him,” Tabone said. “Most the horses than have finished second or third behind him have come out and won.” It’s encouraging reward on investment for the Tabones, whose gelding by American Ideal out of Close To Heaven has briskly seen his stocks rise. “We scooped him up in New Zealand from video trials,” Tabone said. “He’s well bred and in his trial he pushed out well.” Cruz was with renowned Kiwi trainer Tony Herilhy, a “good friend” of Tabone, whose phone call pursuing purchase led to a successful negotiation, and there is a sense the gelding has thus far only scratched the surface. “He has a lot more development to come,” Tabone said. “If he wasn’t Breeders Crown eligible I would have put him in the paddock and he would come back more educated next time around. “He’s a terrific horse at home, a very well-mannered horse, but when you put the sulky on he pulls a bit and he wants to run. His second run he was a bit more keen and pulled.” His behaviour will be tested on Saturday night at Tabcorp Park Melton, when he will run into Team Tritton’s talented Blue Moon Rising, Terang flyer Jilliby Kung Fu and Emma Stewart’s Vicbred placegetter Our Little General. “They are seasoned horses and nice horses,” Tabone said. “They are coming out of Vicbred and going well and have had a lot of racing. “I’m just hoping (Cruz) handles it well. I’m sure he will, he’ll be thereabouts. Hopefully he will finish in the first four, acquit himself well and improves on his previous run. He’s a nice horse and he should be running among this echelon of horses.” Michael Howard (HRV Media/Communications Co-Ordinator) Fields for Tabcorp Park Melton, Saturday 16 July 2016 Form guide for Tabcorp Park Melton, Saturday 16 July 2016

Harness racing trainer Emma Stewart combined with champion driver Gavin Lang to take out both the Alabar Tatlow Stakes races at Tabcorp Park Melton last night.  Rock N Roll Heaven/All The Magic youngster Rocknroll Magic took out the fillies’ division and later on the card Shadow Play/Miss Saxony two-year-old Shadow Sax won the colts and geldings’ Tatlow. Rocknroll Magic, which has now won six of nine career starts, was clearly the dominant filly in her $50,505 Group 2. With no pace on throughout, Lang was able to lead early and dictate terms, Rocknroll Magic’s lead time of 48secs a crawl before the first half was covered in 62.5secs. The last-start Southern Cross heat winner in Adelaide only had to dash home in 56.6secs to hold off Three Squared (11.7m away in second), with My Sophisticated Lady in third in a rate of 2:00.1. Shadow Sax, the last-start Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series champion, overcame barrier seven to score by 2.5m in 1:59.5. Three-wide early, Lang slotted the talented gelding into the running line midfield as the leader Christmas Jolt jogged through a 48.1secs lead time. With an opening half of 62.1secs, three-time Melton winner Christmas Jolt looked on track to notch his seventh career victory overall. But in the home straight Shadow Sax rounded up the leader and then held off Zee Dana along the sprint lane. Shadow Sax has won four from eight lifetime starts. by Cody Winnell

Harness racing may not be as glamourous as the music industry but Katy Perry is a genuine star in both. Since touching down in Australia, the New Zealand bred filly Katy Perry hasn’t looked like losing and she continued to roar today in the Betterthancheddar @ Alabar Breeders Crown 2YO Fillies Final. The daughter of Bettors Delight out of the In The Pocket mare Karen Donna found the lead early after crossing Soho Tokyo, and in the finish proved too strong for Joanne’s A Delight by a head, with Cyclone Kate in third making it a New Zealand trifecta. Victorian Niki No No ran a huge race to finish fourth after working hard in the run. Trained by Cran Dalgety and driven by Dexter Dunn, Katy Perry churned out sectionals of 30.8secs, 29.7secs, 28.8secs and 28.5secs to hold off the late challengers, clocking a mile rate of 1:58.7. Katy Perry took out the Tatlow Stakes before landing successes in a Breeders Crown heat and semi-final before today. She has now won seven of her 10 races and could end up being more recognisable than her pop star namesake. Cody Winnell - Harness Racing Victoria

A fluke is defined as “an unlikely chance occurrence, especially a surprising piece of luck”. So one could mount an argument that to pinch a win over a highly rated opponent in horse racing is a fluke, but to do it twice in two starts? Not so much. Kept Under Wraps is no longer the hunter in his mini-rivalry against Birdy Mach – he has to be hunted by virtue of his two-from-two record against the highly rated New South Welsh colt. The colt by Bettors Delight in the care of Bolinda trainer Brent Lilley took out the 11th heat of the American Ideal @ Woodlands Breeders Crown Series for two-year-old colts and geldings at Shepparton last night with a blistering fourth quarter of 26.8 seconds. Birdy Mach ($1.50) and reinsman Luke McCarthy pinged off the arm to find the lead early from the 2190-metre start with Kept Under Wraps ($2.70) straight on to his back for in-form Greg Sugars. Kate Gath took the third favourite Burnaholeinmypocket ($13.60) to the breeze from gate seven, the trio jogtrotting through the middle stages of the race to make it near impossible for the backmarkers to make late ground. With a third quarter of 30.5 seconds after earlier splits of 31.4 and 32.1 it was always going to be hard to topple Birdy Mach in the straight, but once Kept Under Wraps gained  the sprint lane in the home stretch his withering burst of speed carried him over the line first. The final margin of a half-head was closer than when Kept Under Wraps defeated Birdy Mach in the Tatlow Stakes (1.1m) the start prior. Burnaholeinmypocket battled on gamely for third. Lilley admitted Birdy Mach might still be a little bit green and said that horse lacked nothing in the ability stakes before heaping praise on his fella. “Last night to come home with a really quick last quarter like that was a pleasant surprise,” he said. “He’s really come along nicely in the time I’ve had him down here.” Lilley said leading New Zealand trainer Mark Purdon was likely to take Kept Under Wraps and Messini, who Lilley has also enjoyed immense success with of late, back for the Breeders Crown semi-finals and finals next month. “I’ve definitely enjoyed having them here, that’s for sure,” Lilley said. Lilley used to work for Purdon in New Zealand before starting his own training operation at Kaiapoi, near Christchurch. “The relationship with Mark goes back a long way,” Lilley said. “I worked for him when he started out about 15 years ago, then I went out on my own and I’d work a fair few horses on the beach. “Mark would send some down to me that were suited to beach work and he actually sent me a really good horse in Cool Hand Luke (16 wins from 36 starts).” Lilley puts the polish on Messini tomorrow night at Bendigo in heat nine of the Roll With Joe Breeders Crown three-year-old colts geldings series. Messini has won four races on the trot – including an 8.8m success in the Group 1 Vicbred Super Series Final two starts back. Meanwhile, Scott Stewart trained-and-driven Its Just Kenny made it two wins from two starts with a 3.4m win in the 10th heat of the two-year-old males’ Breeders Crown series last night, the Kenneth J gelding going 1:59.8 to defeat Mojo Major by 3.4m. The other heat winner was Show Me The Bling, who defeated Mach Doro by 1.4m in a fast rate of 1:58.4 (last half 56.9). Show Me The Bling is trained by David Aiken and was steered by Nathan Jack. By Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria

Of the three two-year-old fillies Breeders Crown heat wins at Ballarat on Saturday night, Niki No No’s was the most resounding. The Kari Males trained filly’s fifth win from seven starts assured her a spot in the Breeders Crown semi-finals at Ballarat next month – and the fact she shaved 1.5 seconds off Ballarat’s age record showed she’s the real deal. Niki No No’s winning mile rate of 1:57.5 was 3.5 seconds quicker than Big Lucy’s heat victory in Race 3 and 3.6 seconds slicker than Soho Tokyo’s in the last race. Greg Sugars took Niki No No ($1.90 race favourite) straight to the lead from gate two, while John Caldow sent the second-favourite, Smooth Showgirl, to the spot outside the leader. Niki No No kept her rivals chasing throughout the 2200m journey, punching out sectional times of 29.9, 29.9, 29.5 and 28.9 on her way to a 1.5m win over Missed By Red. The recent win of New Zealand pacer Katy Perry in the Tatlow Stakes didn’t bode well for the Australian brigade of two-year-old fillies, as the filly named after one of the world’s biggest pop stars is one of three very talented – and evenly matched – Kiwi horses heading Down Under in pursuit of the two-year-old girls’ Crown. The other two are Joanne’s A Delight and Supersonic Miss. But as one of Niki No No’s owners, Rob Auber, told me last week. “We know we’ve got a pretty serious racehorse ... we’re certainly not running scared”. And Saturday night’s win certainly cemented Auber’s view. “Nothing’s changed,” he said on Monday morning. “She broke the age track record by 1.5 seconds. We’re thrilled with how she’s going. “She’ll have a freshen-up now and then we’ll head to the semi-final.” By Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria

Andy Gath’s rising star two-year-old Padrisimo has been scratched from tomorrow night’s Breeders Crown heats at Shepparton. Gath told Harness Racing Victoria this morning the horse would be scoped and is possibly suffering a cold, which is the affliction that ruled him out of the Harness Jewels in New Zealand earlier this year. “It is bad luck but you’ve just got to put the horse first,” Gath said. Birdy Mach spearheads the line-up for the three Breeders Crown two-year-old colts and geldings heats at Shepparton. Belinda and Luke McCarthy’s colt will line up in gate four in heat 11 of the series (Race 7 at Shepparton), hoping to bounce back after a shock defeat in the Tatlow Stakes last start. Birdy Mach took a two-from-two record into the Tatlow and was heavily backed before having his colours lowered by Kept Under Wraps. Team McCarthy has huge wraps on the son of Mach Three though, and if he can reproduce his Sydney form he will be very hard to beat. Kept Under Wraps is back for another crack though and has drawn pole in his bid to beat Birdy Mach again. The Brent Lilley trained son of Bettors Delight will be driven by in-form reinsman Greg Sugars and another victory would thrust him to the top of betting calculations for the Crown finals. Gath-trained Burnaholeinmypocket will contest the same heat as Birdy Mach but is drawn seven and will find it tough, his trainer says. “He’s a very quality racehorse but the way the numbers have fallen realistically there’s no way he can run in the first two,” Gath said. “But we’re not too deterred because realistically the first five or six in the repechage can usually make their way into the final.” The first of the three heats tomorrow will feature Vicbred Super Series champion Feeling Arty. Trainer-driver Cameron Maggs is hoping Feeling Arty can bounce back after dropping out badly in the Tatlow last time out. “I followed through OK last time but I just couldn’t get in unfortunately and when they run those times it makes it tough,” Maggs said. “I was a bit disappointed. His recovery wasn’t real good on the night but he ate up afterwards and has worked good since.” Maggs said although Feeling Arty led throughout his Vicbred campaign the horse had previously raced off the speed. “I’ll probably have to follow through again … but the only time he’s led in his races are in those Vicbred races,” he said. “He can sit in behind them and come with a run at the finish if he needs to race that way.” By Cody Winnell (Harness Racing Victoria)

Two of the better two year olds from the current harness racing season in Kept Under Wraps 1:57.1 ($81,903) and Birdy Mac 1:53.8 ($15,855) fought out a thrilling finish to the Tatlow Stakes for two year old colts and geldings at Tabcorp Park at Melton recently. It was a great race between two very talented horses with the ring craft of Kept Under Wraps helping him just overcome the raw talent of Birdy Mach. The racing public haven't had to wait long for the rematch with both horses lining up in the same  Breeders Crown heat  for two year old colts and geldings at Shepparton tomorrow night Tuesday the 29th of July. The Brent Lilley trained Kept Under Wraps has drawn the ace on the front line which will give driver Greg Sugars plenty of options with Birdy Mac also drawn well at four on the front line. Driver Luke McCarthy may try to use Birdy Mac's gate speed to grab the front so there could be plenty of fireworks early on. However it plays out both of these lovely two year olds should progress to the Breeders Crown semis and final where they will come up against the likes of Follow The Stars 1:53.8 ($272,010). Both Kept Under Wraps and Birdy Mac have the breeding to match their performance. Kept Under Wraps was brought out of the Sydney leg of the Australian Pacing Gold sales last year for just $18,000 by Kiwi trainer, Mark Purdon. A son of champion sire Bettors Delight, Kept Under Wraps is from a half sister to Genuine Number 1:53.6 ($190,112). The grand dam Classic Figure is a full sister to Saab 1:57.1 ($577,197)  Talladega 1:57.8 ($411,680) and Saabella 1:59.2 ($205,745) while the third dam is none other than the former Australian Broodmare Of the Year in Soky's Number. Birdy Mac was bred by one of Australia's leading  breeders in Robert Watson from Western Australia. A son of outstanding sire Mach Three, Birdy Mac is from the young Art Major mare in Pixel Perfect. The dam is a half sister to the former outstanding pacer in Village Gem 1:52.1 ($587,403) and a full sister to the smart Manellina 1:56.9 ($97,625). Both of these very smart two year olds look to have big futures ahead of them and tomorrows night clash should be the first of many over the next few years. Kept Under Wraps and Birdy Mac in the Tatlow Harnesslink media    

Top harness racing trainer Cran Dalgety has complete faith in his star two-year-old filly Katy Perry. That is why he has allowed her to bypass this weekend’s ABC heats for two-year-old fillies at Ballarat after what was a taxing week for the Group Two Tatlow Stakes winner. “She was a wee bit down after the flight over and having raced last week,” Dalgety said on his Kentuckiana Lodge website. “But because we started in the heat at Cambridge (second to Joanne’s A Delight, July 10) she’s eligible for a Repechage on August 6, so we’ll hold back for that,” he added. The risk in that is that if Katy Perry doesn’t win her repechage her Breeders Crown bid will come to an abrupt end, but if her dominant front running display in last week’s Tatlow Stakes at Melton is anything to go by that shouldn’t be a problem. After working through from her second-line draw, driver Dexter Dunn soon had Katy Perry up challenging for the lead. Dunn then gave her a nice run in front, holding her back to the field before releasing the hand-brake at the 200 metres, allowing the Bettor’s Delight filly to roar away for a comprehensive win. One person who will be particularly pleased with Dalgety’s decision to bypass this weekend’s round of heats for two-year-old fillies is fellow New Zealand trainer Mark Purdon, who has Big Lucy engaged in the first heat of the night. The Badlands Hanover filly, who was desperately unlucky in her first two starts when unable to find clear racing room on both occasions, has remarkably drawn one on the second-line for the third time in a row, however this time she has no horses drawn on her outside so driver Chris Alford should have no problem getting her away from the fence. From there you can expect the talented filly, who was brilliant at the trials prior to making her race debut, to prove too classy for her seven rivals and progress through to the semi-finals with no qualms. By Mitchell Robertson  

After seeing Katy Perry roar at her Australian debut at Melton on Saturday night, the local two-year-old fillies' Breeders Crown contingent must be a tad jittery. At her most recent start before the weekend's Tatlow Stakes win at Tabcorp Park, Katy Perry came in second behind Joanne’s A Delight in a Breeders Crown heat in New Zealand. Joanne’s A Delight is headed Down Under along with another filly in Linda Lovegrace to contest the Breeders Crown. They finished second and third behind Supersonic Miss on Harness Jewels Day and were considered ahead of Katy Perry in Breeders Crown pecking order before Saturday night. So the Aussies it would seem might need to find a few metres. Katy Perry defeated highly rated Soho Tokyo by 2.5 metres on Saturday night, working to the lead early despite a back-row draw and comfortably holding off all late challengers. But who's to say Australia's leading Crown contender has already been seen? Maybe there’s a yet-to-race filly capable of grabbing headlines between now and Breeders Crown finals. Watch this space. By Cody Winnell (Harness Racing Australia)

Harness racing owner Kevin Riseley confirmed last week that Lennytheshark is out of Breeders Crown contention this year, owners preferring to give the classy four-year-old a spell before chasing summer riches. But Riseley and fellow connections of two-year-old Bettors Delight colt Kept Under Wraps have a serious live Crown chance after the Brent Lilley-trained youngster upstaged boom Sydneysider Birdy Mach in the $50,505 Garrards Horse and Hound Tatlow Stakes for colts and geldings at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday night. Kept Under Wraps, driven by Greg Sugars, raced one-out, one-back for the bulk of the journey while Birdy Mach ran along in front for Todd McCarthy in the 2240m race. The Sydney colt, which started $1.60 favourite after two blistering wins to start its career at Menangle, found the lead easily early with no one willing to challenge. This allowed last-start Vicbred Super Series winner Feeling Arty to dash to the death chair for Cameron Maggs, which gave the eventual winner cover in the running line. When Birdy Mach pinched a 10m lead coming off the back straight Sugars sent Kept Under Wraps out after him, while Iceobar, from the Brent Lilley yard with Mark Purdon in the spider, followed into the race stylishly. In the straight Birdy Mach led, Iceobar used the sprint lane and Kept Under Wraps came down the outside. Birdy Mach kept on kicking but Kept Under Wraps had more in the tank and nailed the early leader on the line to win by 1.1m, while Iceobar was a further 3.5m away in third place. The winning mile rate was 1:57.1 with a fourth quarter of 29.3secs and a last half of 58.3. Kept Under Wraps now boasts four wins from six starts. Kept Under Wraps The $50,505 Group 2 fillies’ Tatlow Stakes went to New Zealand star Katy Perry, who scored by 2.5m over Michael Stanley-trained Soho Tokyo, while Read About Lexy was third for Bernie Hewitt. Katy Perry, who started from the back row, whipped around the field early for reinsman Dexter Dunn before taking the lead and holding off all comers late. Katy Perry clocked a winning mile rate of 1:59.4 with a last half of 57.2. Katy Perry Earlier on the program Messini continued his dominance of the Victorian three-year-old ranks with a 5.5m win over Epaulette in the A Rocknroll Dance The Graduate. Despite starting from gate 13, Chris Alford guided the Brent Lilley-trained son of Art Major home in a mile rate of 1:56.5. Bettor Rock On remained unbeaten in five Australian runs with victory in Race 8, the Yeomans Slate and Stone Winter Championship Final for in-form father-son combo Ross and Greg Sugars. Bettor Rock On scored by 3.5m over the 1720m trip in a rate of 1:54.4 (last half 56.2) to defeat Essbee Doubleyou in second and Tandias Bromac in third. by Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria

Top New Zealand filly Ideal Belle has been scratched from her two-horse Australasian Breeders’ Crown heat at Alexandra Park tomorrow night and has been ruled out of the rich series by trainer Barry Purdon. The New Zealand Oaks winning filly, who would have been one of the favourites for the Group One 3YO fillies division, has suffered a leg injury after being caught in a fence at Purdon’s Clevedon property. The tall American Ideal filly, who showed she was right on song for the series with a smart workout last week, will now head to the spelling paddock. Her scratching means that the Geoff Small trained Zeta Bromac will get a walkover ABC heat win, as will Ideal Belle’s stablemate Sky Major who is still well on track for the 3YO colts and geldings division of the series. In other Breeders Crown news, the Tim Butt trained Field Marshal is set to arrive in Melbourne on August 6 in preparation for the ABC after qualifying in a one horse heat at Cambridge last week, while Katy Perry, who was defeated in her Cambridge heat by Joanne’s A Delight, is already in Australia and will compete in the Tatlow Stakes (Group Two) at Melton on Saturday before heading to a Breeders' Crown Repechage. Katy Perry is just one a strong contingent of Kiwi trained or owned horses that are seat to do battle in feature races across the Tasman this weekend. Others include Messini, Kept Under Wraps, Iceobar, Bettor Rock On, My Arya, Primz Luck, One Over Da Moon, Our Twentyten, and Daenerys Targaryen. However the two highlights of the weekend may come from champion Australian pacers Im Themightyquinn and Smoken Up. ‘Trigger’ (Smoken Up) is set to have his last start in New South Wales at Menangle on Saturday and his trainer-driver Lance Justice is expecting a big performance, while ‘Quinny’, who will be reunited with Gary Hall Jnr, will battle it out with Mach Beauty, Suave Stuey Lombo, and Avonnova for Group One glory in the Blake’s A Fake at Albion Park on Saturday. After much talk about drivers leading into the race, Lauren Panella has decided to stick with Mach Beauty, while Bart Cockburn, who has been sacked from Avonnova after his interesting drive in the Sunshine Sprint, will take the reins behind Suave Stuey Lombo. Replacing Cockburn in the sulky behind Queensland star Avonnova is Shane Graham, who was victorious in his only drive on the gelding. By Mitchell Robertson  

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

Birdy Mach might be the best two-year-old Luke McCarthy has ever driven, the champion harness racing reinsman says.  The unbeaten Mach Three colt went 1:53.8 to win on debut last month before making it two from two at Menangle on July 1.  Birdy Mach will contest the colts and geldings' Garrards Horse and Hound Tatlow Stakes (Group 2) this Saturday night at Tabcorp Park Melton. He has drawn gate two for the 2240m event, alongside unbeaten polemarker Burnaholeinmypocket from the Andy Gath stable.  “He’s really good. On raw ability he’s right up there with the best two-year-olds I’ve driven,” McCarthy said. “He’s pretty special. “He’s still got a bit to learn but we wanted to get him down to Melbourne to settle in before the Breeders Crown and the Tatlow looks a really nice race.”  Birdy Mach's first lifetime start Smooth Showgirl will also head to the Breeders Crown via the Tatlow Stakes for fillies, the Art Major youngster put away for a spell after winning the Group 1 Nursery Final at Albion Park in May.  “We turned her out after the Nursery, elected to bypass the Vicbred and head straight to the Breeders,” McCarthy said.  “She’s had a couple of trials at home and won them both. She’ll be in good order.”  Todd McCarthy will steer both horses at Melton this weekend while Luke pilots stable big guns Chilli Palmer and Bling It On at Albion Park.  Bling It On has won eight straight races and will be a hot favourite in the Queensland Derby on Saturday night.  “He’s a great horse. Let’s hope he can make it nine from nine this week and then we’ll head to the Breeders Crown head up there next Friday,” McCarthy said.  Chilli Palmer will race in the Group 3 4YO Championship after his last-start win last Saturday night at Albion Park.  By Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria

In the last couple of years in Australasia, the influence of Angus Hall on the trotting half of the harness racing industry has really come to the fore. This son of Garland Lobell has had a brilliant stud career in the Northern Hemisphere with stakes won to date totalling $77,583,707. First up down under we had his biggest stakes winning son in Majestic Son taking all before him in both Australia and New Zealand. In the current season in New Zealand, Majestic Son will win both the two and three year old sires premiership for trotters while in Australia he leads the two year old section and is a close second in the three year old section. This season Angus Hall himself has small crops of two year olds via frozen semen in both Australia and New Zealand and with the season drawing to a close, he has already established himself as sire to be reckoned with. In New Zealand Angus Hall has had 18 two year olds to represent him this season. Arya would be the pick of them winning three races and $36,788 and only missing the money once in seven starts when she was controversially disqualified from second in the Harness Jewels when placed in under 1:57. Arya is headed for the Breeders Crown and on her record to date, would have to be a serious player. Springbank Eden ($5,642) also won this season while the ultra-impressive trialist Petite One 2:01.9 makes her race debut on Friday night at Addington and will be very tough to hold out. The stablemate of Petite One in Alannah Hall 2:02.1 has also trialled up stylishly while Sansa Stark has also qualified. Angus Hall presently sits third on the New Zealand sires list for two year old trotters. In Australia he has a first crop of just 15 two year olds and four have started to date for two winners including the smart Endsino ($9,645) who finished a close up third in the Group Two Tatlow Stakes and the recent winner Elegant Angus ($4,932). Angus Hall presently sits fifth on the Australian sires list for two year old trotters. With Angus Hall doing so well and his son Majestic Son excelling at the same time, the influence of Angus Hall on the trotting breed down under looks set to grow even larger in the years to come. Harnesslink media

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