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Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) will honour the state’s most experienced stand-start pacer of season 2015-16 with the running of the Hollys Miss Molly Pacers Handicap at Tabcorp Park Melton on Thursday, August 4. The fan favourite grey mare (by Jet Laag out of Panorama mare Lombo Luvbird) notched her 25th career win at Kilmore yesterday in superb fashion, providing locally based trainer-driver Robbie Walters and his family with a huge thrill. This season Hollys Miss Molly has contested 23 stand-start races, 10 more than any other horse. “We always like to win, but on the home track where we train every day, and being win number 25, it was a bit extra special,” Walters said. “My wife (Caroline) works at the local hospital and she ducked out for 10 minutes to watch her race. We love her. “She’s a mare we picked up for $4000 at the yearling sales (Alabar Blue Ribbon Sales) and she’s won 25 races and over $140,000. The win meant a lot to the whole family. If you can’t celebrate a 25th win when can you celebrate?” A catchy name, the fact everyone loves a grey and that she’s a lovably consistent performer on the race track means Hollys Miss Molly boasts a loyal fan base. But the six-year-old’s following increased markedly recently when the warm-natured mare visited a local nursing home in Kilmore. Caroline works at the centre and asked Robbie if the horse was quiet enough to visit. She certainly was. Hollys Miss Molly’s behaviour while inside the nursing home lunchroom was exemplary, gently allowing patrons the opportunity to have a pat and a chat with her. “There was one woman who apparently doesn’t talk at all, but she lit up when she saw the horse. She was patting her and cuddling her, and talked for the first time in years,” Robbie said. Hollys Miss Molly’s stake earnings stand at $142,851 with 47 minor placings alongside her 25 victories from 176 starts. She is expected to be stepping out in the race named in her honour at Melton on August 4. Walters said Hollys Miss Molly might get her opportunity to become a mum next season. Check out the August-September Harness Racer Magazine for more on Hollys Miss Molly's nursing home visit in an article by Lucy McCormick Cody Winnell

Harness Racing Victoria Stewards have issued charges against licensed trainer Mr Joe Bajada under the Australian Harness Racing Rules (AHRR) relating to the alleged raceday treatment of the horse Major Calipso. It is alleged that Mr Bajada stomach tubed Major Calipso with an alkalinising agent or agents preceding that horse’s engagement in Race 1 at Tabcorp Park Melton on 29 April 2016. The charge will be heard by the HRV Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board on a date to be fixed.    

Check out the winning harness racing drivers’ immediate reactions after their success at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday night. Jodi Quinlan and Lauren Tritton both picked up a winning double, while Michael Stanley continued his run of form with two-year-old fillies by taking out the Tatlow Stakes aboard Soho Angel. Rodney Petroff won the Seelite Windows and Doors Winter Trotters Cup Final aboard Our Twentyten, the dual Breeders Crown winner defeating Blue Sky Commander and Sky Petite, who are both talented four-year-olds. See the winning driver interviews here Trots Media

Super sire Bettor's Delight is developing a name for himself in the harness racing squaregaiting community. On Thunder Road, by Bettor's Delight out of Holmes Hanover mare All The Way Home, took his lifetime record to 23 wins from 50 starts at Tabcorp Park Melton last night with victory in the Group 3 Sumthingaboutmaori Trotters Free for All. The Darren Hancock trained-and-driven six-year-old ran to the lead from his gate 10 draw inside the final mile in the 2240m trot before comfortably holding Maori Time (Anthony Butt) by 3.4m at the finish posting a mile rate of 1:57.4. Coming off the back frontrunner On Thunder Road and Maori Time raced clear of the rest of the field, Maori Time glued to the back of the race leader. Hancock asked On Thunder Road to go a fair way from home and the New South Welsh trotter found plenty, while Maori Time could only chase gamely to finish a clear second. VIDEO: On Thunder Road wins the Sumthingaboutmaori at Melton Maori Time’s stablemate from Brent Lilley's Bolinda yard, Kyvalley Blur, ran on as he usually does and finished third 8.8m behind the winner. Already a Group 1 winner – after his Trotters Cup victory on Miracle Mile day at Menangle – On Thunder Road’s stake earnings are now nudging $240,000. Earlier this year Bettors Delight sired Three-Year-Old Ruby Trot winner Donegal Bettorgretch at New Zealand's Harness Jewels race day. Bettor's Delight leads the Australian sires’ overall chart with 316 wins from 5427 starts and 479 starters for an average prizemoney per starter of $19,609. On rankings by average prizemoney per starter Bettor's Delight is second overall behind American Ideal, whose progeny average $20,737. Bettors Delight’s progeny have had almost four times more starts than American Ideal’s. Illawong Helios ran on for fourth last night in the Sumthingaboutmaori, while punters who put their faith in Super Zeck ($6.50 fourth-favourite) were left feeling flat, that horse racing well below the form he showed when powering away with the Noopy Kiosk title on July 1. Last night he ran last beaten 62.4m. Cody Winnell

The rise of exciting four-year-old My Kiwi Mate continued at Tabcorp Park Melton last night when the Craig Demmler-trained gelding captured the harness racing Decron Winter Championship Final. Working hard to find the front for the first 600m of the 1720m contest, long odds-on favourite My Kiwi Mate eventually arrested the lead off plucky polemarker The Dapper Don. Tonight’s 7.1secs lead time was 0.2secs above average and the first quarter of the final mile was a sharp 28secs, followed by a 29.4secs second split. My Kiwi Mate’s last half-mile was trekked in 55.4secs (28.4secs and 27secs) and his winning mile rate was 1:52.2 (1.4secs off Cold Major’s track record). The victory was the first leg of a winning double for Parwan reinswoman Jodi Quinlan, who later guided Lucky Lombo home in the Ride the Redwood Rattler Pace for trainer Graham McDermott. My Kiwi Mate’s first place cheque of $20,048 took his stake earnings in excess of $213,000 and, given the quality of Victoria’s four-year-old ranks – highlighted in the recent Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series by Ideal For Real, Tee Cee Bee Macray and Menin Gate, some ripping clashes await. The Group 2 male four-year-old Breeders Crown Championship on Super Sunday August 28 could be a marketer’s dream should the stars align. Meanwhile, the second placegetter behind My Kiwi Mate last night, The Dapper Don, looks a good thing in an M0 in the not-too-distant future. Irymple trainer Boris Devcic quite simply has this four-year-old Julius Caesar gelding flying and to get within a half-neck of a proven Group 1 performer in 1:52.2 – and with momentum up at the line – punters will be queuing up to back him if he lobs a good draw in a similar class race next time. Third placegetter Pepe Bromac from the Isabelle Walsh camp chased hard for third while Macha did all the work from his back-row draw and was only beaten 11.8m in fourth. VIDEO: Re-live My Kiwi Mate taking out the Decron Winter Championship Final  Cody Winnell

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

Some harness racing people might say Our Twentyten is a tad underrated. The dual Breeders Crown winner paid $10.10 on the Victorian tote tonight defeating Blue Sky Commander ($2fav) and Sky Petite ($3.30) in the Seelite Windows and Doors Winter Trotters Cup at Tabcorp Park Melton. Afterwards trainer Brent Lilley declared more Breeders Crown riches were being sought with the Breeders Crown Open a target. Steered to perfection by Rodney Petroff, who has developed a great affinity with the son of Muscles Yankee/Regal Volo, Our Twentyten got his head in front right at the wire in the 2240-metre race. Petroff drove confidently out of the gate, pushing through a gap from a back-row draw before working to the breeze and eventually grabbing one-one cover when Sky Petite (Steven Duffy) obliged. Miracle set the tempo despite an outside-front-row draw, Josh Duggan taking the gelding to the front where he reeled off 31.4, 32.1 and 28.4 splits between the mile and the quarter pole. VIDEO REPLAY: Our Twentyten takes out the Winter Trotters Cup Sky Petite and Blue Sky Commander (Kerryn Manning) placed bold bids for victory approaching the home turn but they must have heard Our Twentyten’s hoof beats in hot pursuit. Blue Sky Commander got the better of Sky Petite at the 100m, but Our Twentyten made up the required half-length he needed to get the win inside the final 50m. “He’ll have to meet the better performed horses in the Breeders Crown but he got it (the Breeders Crown) as a three- and four-year-old,” Lilley said. His winning mile rate tonight was 1:59.3, the last quarter covered in 29secs. Blue Sky Commander was gutsy in second, while Sky Petite hung on for third just ahead of Lightning Calder and Savannah Jay Jay. 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

It was fitting that a graduate of the Gippsland Harness Training Centre should win a race at Warragul's trots meeting on Monday afternoon, on a day when the Centre's importance to the Victorian harness racing industry was recognised. The Gippsland Harness Training Centre has operated at the Warragul Pacing Bowl for almost 20 years, enhancing the life skills of and creating employment opportunities for hundreds of graduates over the past two decades. One such graduate, Yarra Valley horseman Ken Browne, landed a well deserved win in the third race on Monday with Hi Tech Fury. Browne has been a long standing participant in the Gippsland area, and is currently based at the Gruyere property of veteran horseman Peter Goudie, after recently leaving the position of track curator at the Cranbourne harness venue. Browne is also a regular among the raceday staff at Warragul. Driver Michael Bellman took Hi Tech Fury to the front in Monday's race, and despite the pace of the race quickening sharply heading into the last circuit, the nine-year-old gelding kept on finding in the home straight, to score his eleventh win at start 139. Champion reinsman Chris Alford landed two of the seven winners on the day. Soho Ledger gave Alford and trainer Jayne Davies few concerns when winning the Trotters Handicap as a red hot favourite. The horse made it wins at successive Warragul meetings after a victory on the track a fortnight earlier. Alford also steered the Allan McDonough trained Tiz A Jamane to victory in the final event. Mornington Peninsula horseman Trevor Reid landed the opening race of the day with Elteearr, the five-year-old mare's first race victory at start five. Young driver Zac Phillips also showed his talent with race wins in successive events. Phillips drove Starzzz Of Icon to win the fifth event for Melton horseman Adam Kelly, while Gozo Lighting showed a welcome return to form for trainer George Batsakis in the sixth. Fellow junior reinsman Patrick Franklin steered Glenhuggard to victory in the fourth race for trainer Paul Green. Glenhuggard was another veteran winner on the day - the nine-year-old having raced 124 times previously for nine wins and 21 placings. Warragul hosts its final meeting of the 2015/2016 Victorian racing season on Monday, August 20. Kyle Galley

It was billed as the race of the harness racing series and it didn’t disappoint.  The Empire Stallions $115,000 Vicbred Super Series Final four-year-olds, on the cusp of Grand Circuit racing, dazzled under the Tabcorp Park Melton lights, none more so than Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin trained star Ideal For Real. Despite getting parked outside the Birchip Bull and reigning Victorian horse of the year Menin Gate, a noted fighter when in front, Ideal For Real packed too much punch in tonight’s Group 1 final and delivered a knockout 3.9-metre win over runner-up Tee Cee Bee Macray, who produced a super run rocketing home from the back, with Menin Gate boxing on gamely for third beaten 4.7m. Driven by “Group 1 Gavin Lang”, who notched his third top-level trophy for the evening with the victory, Ideal For Real rated 1:56.1. “We expected that’s how it would unfold in the race,” Lang said. “He cornered so well … in the straight he wanted to make a bit of a beeline to the outside … but he’s a great little racehorse and it was a great training performance from Emma and Clayton.” Ideal For Real (by American Ideal out of Tamara Hall) started from gate five and notched his fifth straight success this time in from five starts. Ideal For Real has now won 11 of 19 starts for almost $300,000 in stakes. And the future for the powerful pacer is bright, according to Lang. “With the four-year-olds their next step is the Grand Circuit racing next year so it’s harder as we go along but I’m quite sure this little guy will take that step,” he said. “He had too much speed for his own good when he was young. When you would show him a little bit of daylight he would try and go from A to B too quickly. He wasn’t sort of ready for that and he had a couple of little issues early as you can see now the team have turned him into a great little racehorse.” Stewart said the stable would take a cautious approach to Grand Circuit racing for Ideal For Real. “He’s a nervous sort of horse so we’ll take him slow," she said. “He’s a lovely horse and I think the second horse (Tee Cee Bee Macray) is a terrific horse too so I look forward to those clashes in the future." Lang drove four Group 1 winners tonight, all four legs of the quaddie.  Ideal For Real was bred by Bruce Edward of Durham Park.  Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria

You won’t see too many performances in harness racing more impressive than what Delight Me produced tonight at Tabcorp Park Melton to win the Empire Stallions $115,000 Vicbred Super Series four-year-old mares’ final. The powerful daughter of Bettor's Delight/Cornsilk sat wide for basically the entire trip before putting her opposition away in the straight to claim Group 1 glory. For the mare’s driver, Gavin Lang, the victory was his fourth Group 1 for the night – and fifth across both nights of the Vicbred finals after guiding Sparkling Success home last night. “There won’t be too many pats on the back for me for that drive,” Lang said post-race. “Andrew Peace a few years ago, I said to him, 'You didn’t drive that one too well, Andrew' and he said, 'well, nobody’s going to know because it won'. “That one didn’t pan out like we hoped but like I say the horse obviously trained to the minute. She’s a special horse really to do what she had to do to win.” Lang drove all four Group 1 quaddie leg winners tonight – Rocknroll Magic, Dont Hold Back, Ideal For Real and Delight Me. He also finished second in the two-year-old fillies’ final aboard Perfect Sense. “People often say ‘that was a good win’ and I always say ‘all wins are good, just that some are better’,” Lang said. “Nights like this are what it’s all about though. It’s not about quantity it’s about the quality of the race you win. “I’m fortunate to drive for the right stables, good horses, and it’s very satisfying but I don’t get too far ahead of myself because I know I’m only as good as the horses I drive.” Delight Me produced a slick 1:55.3 mile rate despite covering extra territory, with stablemate  Starburst Girl (Mark Pitt) finishing 4m away in second place and Paul Campbell-trained Miss Dreamin (Kerryn Manning) producing a huge run for third at big odds. Delight Me was bred by Rob Watson and is raced by John Clements. Stewart spoke Delight Me being a personal favourite, adding: "It's been a great night and it was great to see Michael Stanley get a Group 1 too, so it was a good night for Ballarat".  On the run of Delight Me, Stewart said: “I was very worried early on, she had a torrid run, but it just shows you how good she is." Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria

Mario Attard handed the keys to harness racing driver Gavin Lang and ‘Group 1 Gav’ did the rest, guiding his beloved three-year-old colt to Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series glory at Tabcorp Park Melton tonight. Dont Hold Back won to rapturous applause for owner-trainer Attard and his sea of supporters, with the colt by Courage Under Fire out of Braeview Express mowing his opponents down in the straight to claim the Group 1. “I’m really excited,” Attard said. “I’ve got a great family and a great bunch of friends. It’s a lot of fun.” It was Lang’s first drive on the colt, who Attard had previously steered, but with the $110,000 prize pool decided to call in another. “I thought (Gavin’s) the man to give the horse every chance,” Attard said. “I believe he is the best around and he was the right man for the job.” Lang was only too happy to accept, and was up to the challenge of overcoming Dont Hold Back’s tricky barrier draw. Soho Tribeca took up the front running, with Brallos Pass joining him by taking the breeze before the bell. Lang was one-out and five-back, and took Iceenothink’s back to get an armchair ride into the race. At the 100m mark they were a line of four, come the finish line it was Dont Hold Back by 2.8m to Iceenothink, with Brallos Pass a further 3.2m back in third. “Gav being Gav, he knew that Gary Hall was on Iceenothink and he knew he was going to pull out in front of him, the guy is a genius,” Attard said. “I’m very happy,” Lang said. “It was a big decision for Mario to step down and let somebody who had only ever watched the horse before step up and drive him. A little bit of perceived pressure I suppose to get the job done and fortunately the horse was good enough to deliver.” Michael Howard Harness Racing Victoria

Harness racing connections of the Group 1 three-year-old fillies winner at Tabcorp Park Melton tonight have every reason to rock’n’roll all night long after adding the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series Group 1 title to their talented charge’s list of achievements. Favourite Rocknroll Magic delivered Emma Stewart’s Smythes Creek stable the first of three Group 1 wins for the night, when in Gavin Lang’s hands the filly strode four-wide and gobbled them up in the straight. “She’s been going gangbusters this preparation, great effort to get over a good quality line-up tonight,” Lang said. Connections admitted concern when Barry and Aaron Dunn’s in-form flyer, Nikkibadwagon, found her way to the front, with Rocknroll Magic some way adrift and with plenty of work to do. But Lang found a good sit on stablemate Celebrity Guest to round the field and, come the straight, blazed past Nikkibadwagon to win by 4.5m in a 1:56.9 mile rate. “Nikkibadwagon, once she found the lead, I didn’t know if we would be able to round her up,” Lang said. “Full credit to this little girl, she has got a great motor. “Great breed this one that Bruce Cameron has put together. He introduces a lot of owners, they really enjoy it.” Cameron, breeder and part-owner, heads a huge ownership group who delighted in their filly by Rock N Roll Heaven out of All The Magic’s success. “It’s been great tonight. We have people who have come from Tasmania, Victoria, New South Wales, Adelaide – and they are all here to have a great time to see this little filly get her well-deserved Group 1 win,” Cameron said. “This filly’s ability has shone through tonight to be able to nail a Group 1.”  Michael Howard Harness Racing Victoria

A Newcastle harness racing breeder ventured to Tabcorp Park Melton and produced the thrill of his trots life. Owner-breeder David Carpenter’s two-year-old colt, Tingira Beach, was a long-time in the making but the effort paid off when Harrington Park husband-and-wife team Shane (trainer) and Lauren (driver) Tritton delivered him the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series final win. “I’m overwhelmed at the moment,” Carpenter said. “I’ve been racing horses over 25 years and this is my first Group 1 race winner tonight. “I bought the mare (Western Tingira) in America as a yearling, brought her out here and have been able to breed a really nice colt (by Somebeachsomewhere). To see him come out and win a Group 1 race is beyond my wildest dreams. “It’s pretty exciting to be able to produce a horse like this that can win on a night like this.” Lauren Tritton, from barrier four, gently eased Tingira Beach forward, taking the breeze and then the lead with Geoff Webster’s Wrappers Delight taking the box seat. There they settled, with Tingira Beach’s primary threat, Emma Stewart-trained Our Little General driven by Chris Alford, placed three back the pegs. There they remained to the final bend, with Tingira Beach creating a gap in the field with his 28.3 third quarter, which enabled Alford to sweep Our Little General wide and set up a final straight showdown. Tingira Beach held on by a head, winning in a 1:56.4 mile rate, with Wrappers Delight a further 7.8m back in third. “This horse is really tough,” Lauren Tritton said. “He still looks around a bit and I don’t think we will see the best of him until he grows out of that, but tonight I can’t take any credit away from him, he has done the job well. “Full credit to the second horse (Our Little General), he’s gone massive tonight. This fella, he’s got the job done and I couldn’t be happier for the owners, they put a lot of time and money into this sport and they deserve it more than anybody.” Trainer Shane Tritton said it might be only the beginning for his talented colt. “He is very green and up until now, his last two starts, he has only just started to switch on,” he said. “We are very proud of him and Lauren, who handled the pressure well and drove him a treat. He’s probably a better horse when he’s not in front because he is very green, but he is starting to switch on, which is helping. Once (Tingira Beach) learns to race we will see a better horse, but we are very proud of him and happy to be here.” Michael Howard Harness Racing Victoria

Michael Stanley’s pet project has brought great joy to his Burrumbeet stable when the harneess racing trainer-driver’s stellar two-year-old, Petacular, lived up to her top billing. The Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series victory in the two-year-old fillies final at Tabcorp Park Melton tonight rewarded Stanley’s resilience, having invested in a training facility, overcome an untimely horrific injury and come out the other side a Group 1 winner. “It’s a great thrill, that’s my first Vicbred winner, probably my first proper Group 1 as a trainer,” Stanley said. “She’s a tough filly and had to do it the tough way, but she just showed her versatility and was the best one on the night.” Petacular, a filly by Somebeachsomewhere out of Ideal Priority, lobbed one-out three-back at the start, on the back of his main threat Perfect Sense, who Gavin Lang improved to the lead. Stanley moved Petacular into the breeze at the bell and from there it was a match-race. Leading into the final bend Emma Stewart-trained Perfect Sense kicked away, with Stanley taking leader’s back. “The other horse (Perfect Sense) gave me something to chase that’s for sure,” Stanley said. “It had us off the bit at the top of the straight, (Petacular) just showed how gutsy she is.” With 50m to go Petacular regained the lead and took the honours by 2.4m, with Stanley’s other runner Soho Angel running into an outstanding 2.3m third. “When it came to the crunch, when I came off the back again, she really wanted to dig deep and find the line,” Stanley said. “I can’t say enough about her. From the first time that we got her and fast worked her she has done everything right from day one.” The victory brought up a rare double for Ballarat breeder Bruce Edward, who produced both the victor but also bred and owns second-placed Perfect Sense. Certainly one group who believes it owns Edward a great debt is the PETstock Racing Syndicate, according to part-owner David Young. “Bruce Edward from Ballarat is a really good customer (of PETstock) and a great supporter of the Ballarat club,” Young said. “We went out to his property, he had a few to choose from and he pointed us in the right direction and said this (Petacular) is probably the best bred. “The syndicate’s all made up of work colleagues from PETstock, obviously that’s where the name Petacular comes from. It’s awesome, we are all good friends and it has been a great joy the syndicate. Mike’s done an excellent job with the horse in such a short period of time, so it is nice to get one who has the ability to win a race like this.”  On the eve of the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series finals, Michael Stanley invites trots fans behind the scenes at his Burrumbeet farm. Michael Howard Harness Racing Victoria

At 71 years young trainer-driver Brian Gath wrote another page in his book of legend, winning the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series final for harness racing two-year-old fillies at Tabcorp Park Melton Friday night. A maiden before tonight, Betty Hall is now a Group 1 winner for owners Norm and Joan Visca having produced a shock win in the night’s last Vicbred trotting final, scoring at a staggering $119 on the tote. “I have trained a few Group 1 winners, but there is nothing like training one for good people,” Gath said, who drover Betty Hall a treat, placing her on the back of favourite Illawong Shimmer. When leader Watts Up Rainbow galloped and sent the field scattering, Gath steered Betty Hall wide and then rejoined on Illawong Shimmer’s shoulder. Betty Hall was then the best horse in the straight, winning by a head from Kyvalley Kyrie with Illawong Shimmer a half-neck further back in third. For Gath,  who turns 72 on Tuesday, the victory by the Angus Hall filly out of Nirvana Castle was reward for persistence. “To train one for a Group  1 race, it takes a lot of lot of work and this filly’s had a lot of work from my son (Mathew), Anthony Crossland spent hours on it for me, and myself  of course,” Gath said. The win in a 2:05.7 mile rate has only further fuelled Gath’s love for the sport. “I don’t really want to stop,” Gath said. “I get more pleasure out of training, I’m really happy on the farm working my horses and that. If I’ve got one good enough I will take off to the races, but I enjoy doing it. “For the last 25 years I have been off racing every day nearly and every week and Matty has been at home training, he’s the backbone of our stable.” Michael Howard (HRV Media/Communications Co-Ordinator)

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