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Harness racing driver Ellen Tormey produced an absolute pearler of a drive aboard Miss Fisher to land the Elite Horse Transport Trot on Tuesday night at Shepparton. In fact, so impressed was long-time harness racing stalwart Bill Glover that he phoned this scribe to sing her praises. Check out the video replay and it’s not hard to see what impressed Bill so immensely. Tormey made all the right calls, avoided plenty of troublesome situations and guided the five-year-old daughter of Tennotrump/Miss Laura Loo to a 5.4-metre triumph. “She was back in the score-up 10 metres and horses 2 and 3 both break. She keeps her horse trotting – and it’s a risky trotter at the best of times – then 60 yards down she has to avoid another one galloping. Then at the 500 she’s one-by-three and Doc (Wilson) pulls three-wide on Illawong Red, Leannes Legacy gets put four-wide and she pokes through the middle. Then she eases out five-wide at the corner. At the 175 Leannes Legacy gallops and I reckon brushes her, but Ellen gets around it and the horse comes away,” was how Glover recalled the drive. “I’d say that was about the best drive I’ve seen without using sprint lanes or anything, on a trotter where you can’t make those sharp moves. It was just a wonderful drive,” he added. The win provided Pompapiel’s John Davidson with his first victory as a trainer in 13 years. “John’s done a great job with her and it was his first win in a fair while, so that was really nice. They’re the wins that really make it worthwhile,” Tormey said. Davidson raced the smart mare Passionfruit in the 1980s. Tormey humbly played down her drive, but said she had felt reasonably confident Miss Fisher would run a big race. “She’d trialled really well on the Monday when I drove her but the key was that she just stayed trotting,” she said. “I knew she had enough speed but I just had to try and eliminate the risk. “She wasn’t trotting smooth in the score-up so I just allowed her to settle and I also knew the ones in front had a habit of doing things wrong. “Around the first turn one galloped and I went to go around it and it went wider, but I eventually got around it. “There was one that knocked me over the start before (Leannes Legacy) so I wanted to get off its back as quickly as I could at the end.” Leannes Legacy mustn’t like Tormey much because she very nearly cost her victory in the straight on Tuesday by galloping again. But Tormey and Miss Fisher avoided the hiccup and coasted home out wide. Tormey made it two wins in two nights last night at Bendigo driving Sheer Strength to victory for trainer and partner Scott Dyer. “He’s quite a nice horse,” she said of the four-year-old son of Shadow Play/Kateeshar. “He’s won seven out of 17 now. He races good over a mile.” Tormey, whose father John is also a trainer, said the stable had bred quite a few young horses in recent years and they were looking forward to finding the next “good one”. “Hopefully there are some nice ones. You always strive to get a good one,” she said. Tormey would also welcome more opportunities in the gig. “I’m realistic. I know it works after you lose your claim,” she said. “You find you have your good runs … but if I’m not getting the opportunities I’m also happy enough to stay at home and keep working on the younger ones.” Given her form, Tormey can expect to pick up a few more drives in coming weeks. Cody Winnell

The Feature race on a big night of trots at Melton on Saturday is the Group 2 City of Melton Plate and harness racing trainer Vince Vallelonga is hopeful his star pacer Major Crocker can use it as a stepping stone to gaining a start in this year’s Inter Dominion in Perth. “We paid the first payment the other day so we will go there if we can. I’m hopeful we can win Saturday Night to sneak up the rankings a bit,” he said. Vallelonga hasn’t ruled out a trip to Queensland if needed to help him gain a start but would prefer to qualify in his home state. “If he doesn’t win Saturday Night we will look at other options like the QPC next week.  Ideally I don’t want to travel that far then have to come back and then go to Perth.” A terrific run last week finishing off well in a blistering last half behind Philadelphia Man Vallelonga is extremely happy with how the horse pulled up from that run. “He is going good, he came through it really well and I am pretty happy with him.” He is the only horse drawn the second line on Saturday night so driver Greg Sugars will have options early and Vallelonga will leave it all up to him. “Once they’re out there things can change so I’ll just leave it up to Greg, he has driven enough races to know what to do and he knows the horse inside out.” Vallelonga has two other runners engaged on the program including the luckless Stunning Grin in the first, who is racing very consistently and would thoroughly deserve his M0 win, and also Manuka Man in Race 6, who has been freshened after having issues with his feet but has drawn well for the claim of Jason Lee. by Matt Jackson Related Links Fields for Tabcorp Park Melton, Saturday 10 October 2015 Form guide for Tabcorp Park Melton, Saturday 10 October 2015

Keystone Del’s team will hope to build on his latest harness racing winning streak on Saturday night at Tabcorp Park Melton and leave recent injury woes well in his wake. The eight-year-old will be favoured to record a fourth successive win in the Group 3 City of Melton Scotch Notch Memorial, a fine comeback since a right kidney tear threatened to derail his 2015. Dean Molander, husband of trainer Nicole, said connections were eager to “just take it one race at a time”. “So far so good,” he said. Keystone Del reeled off 13 consecutive wins from March 22, 2014, beginning with the Group 1 Great Southern Star. Coincidently, it was the 2015 staging of the same race – when Keystone Del faded to finish seventh – that concerns emerged about the gelding’s ailing health. “He had quite a bit of blood is his urine when he was getting swabbed,” Molander said. “It happened a few times.” The repeat incidence made connections believe it was more than muscle tie-up. Keystone Del was sent to the University of Melbourne, where he was placed on a dialysis machine and across three days of testing the tear was discovered, with rest the anecdote and enabling his return.  “After every run now he has a urine test and is monitored,” Molander said. And, to repeat, “so far so good”. “He set a track record two starts ago and Chris Alford said if he let him go last time he would have broken it again.” It was August 14 at Melton where Keystone Del ran a track record 1:54.5 mile rate, fittingly eclipsing favourite Maori Time, who eight months earlier broke Keystone Del’s 13-race winning streak. Alford then guided Keystone Del to a 6.7m win in Group 3 True Roman Trotters Free For All at his last start, having been called to have “coasted” in a “one-act affair”. Notably, Pretty Sunday (second), Aleppo Midas (third) and Aleppo Sunrise (fourth) were among those in his wake and they’ll return for potentially a repeat dose Saturday night in the City of Melton Scotch Notch Memorial. “Everything being equal you’d expect he will go very close, and he trialled very well at Geelong on Monday,” Molander said. The pre-race trial is common practice for Keystone Del, who Molander said was not one to overtrain, “and if we give him one decent run the week of his race that just brings him right up.” He said Kyvalley Blur would be “the hardest to beat” Saturday night, but added “the only time he has beaten him was when he had those kidney problems”.  “(Kyvalley Blur) is a very good horse and has a good record, but I’m sure the rest of the runners are more scared of us than we are of them.” All going well, Keystone Del will be directed at the Bill Collins Trotters Mile in November before, longer-term, a return assault on the Great Southern Star in March where the team will attempt to adhere to some unfinished business. by Michael Howard Related Links Fields for Tabcorp Park Melton, Saturday 10 October 2015 Form guide for Tabcorp Park Melton, Saturday 10 October 2015

After crossing the Tasman Sniggihdis (Race 3 tonight at Melton) popped up at Yarra Valley for his Australian debut and won like a very nice pacer. Three starts later he seems to have lost form, but don't write him off yet warns trainer/driver Lance Justice. "He's still going okay. He wasn't  given much chance last start. I still think he goes all right," Justice said. >> Check out the fields for tonight's 10-race program at Tabcorp Park Melton WILL ARDEN ROONEY BOUNCE BACK TO WINNING FORM? If Hunter Cup champ and summer star Arden Rooney is to return to New Zealand on a New Zealand Trotting Cup campaign he'd want to improve tonight at Tabcorp Park in the My Lightning Blue Free for All.  Trainer/driver Kerryn Manning says the stayer looks in great order at home on the training track but needs to put it together on race night after two below-par runs this time in.  >> Can Arden Rooney bounce back to winning form in My Lightning Blue FFA? TOP DRIVERS HEAD TO MILDURA FOR ANNUAL C/SHIP MEET The annual Drivers Invitation Championships meeting at Mildura is always an absolute cracker. Nice weather, people looking to party on after watching the AFL grand final in the daytime, great racing with the best reinsmen and reinswomen heading to the track and some wonderful on-course promotions. All roads lead to Mildura tomorrow night. Don't miss it! >> Find out more about Mildura's big meeting tomorrow night   The Tipping for Teal continues at Melton tonight! See our panel's $20 plays of the night below. Follow the leader board each week to see how much money will be donated to the Women's Cancer Foundation - Ovarian Cancer Institute after Feb 28, next year.  FLEXI TRIFECTA  RACE 3 4 / 1,8 / 1,3,5,8,12,13 $20 gets you on for 200%   $20 ALL-UP (2 legs) RACE 2 No.5 ZHENYA into RACE 5 No.2 WHEREIBYLONG $20 ALL-UP (4 legs) RACE 1 No.1 DESIRING KATE into RACE 2  No.5 ZHENYA into RACE 5 No.2 WHEREIBYLONG into RACE 6 No.8 PHILADELPHIA MAN $20 ALL-UP (2 legs) RACE 2 No.5 ZHENYA into RACE 4 No.6 SAVESOMTIMETODREAM AFL Grand Final weekend so we're having a bob each-way on Hawks & Eagles with $5 EACH-WAY on horses celebrating the pair. Firstly for the Brown and Golds Race 5 No.6 GLENFERRIE COLLEGE and for the Coasters Race 6 No.2 COPPER COAST The Leader Board image has suffered from a technical glitch this week, hence the poorly put together graphic above. HOWEVER, it tells a story that both Jase ($43.33) and Cody ($70) made profits last week to remain Nos 1 and 2 on the ladder. Dan Mielicki got a small percentage of the quaddie but not enough to profit for the week while Blake and The Omen registered zero collects.   TROTS AUDIO FILES   Follow on Twitter | Like us on Facebook | Forward to a friend  

This Saturday night our attention will turn to Mildura where a cracking nine-race harness racing card has been assembled highlighted by the running of the Invitation Drivers Championship. Some of the top drivers in Victoria, South Australia and New Zealand will be doing battle across the four heats. The drivers are as follows: Chris Alford (VIC), Michael Bellman (VIC), Gavin Lang (VIC), Emma Hamblin (VIC), Lisa Miles (VIC), Kerryn Manning (VIC), Anthony Butt (VIC), Kimberly Butt (NZ), Mark Billinger (SA) and Leah Harvey (SA). Secretary of the Mildura Harness Racing Club Mark Kemp is ecstatic with the quality of drivers for the Invitational Championship. “This is one of our big nights of the year. We always look forward to this, having the 10 invited drivers and would you believe they have driven 20239 winners for 158 million in prizemoney, so it’s a pretty impressive group," he said. Kemp is adamant that the club has the right mix of young drivers and the more experienced drivers. “We have some very talented juniors in Emma Hamblin and Kimberly Butt from NZ and obviously some very talented drivers like Gavin, Chris and Anthony so you have th best of the best at that end and we feel we have some extremely promising juniors as well.” The Championship will be conducted over four heats. In two heats however the field size hasn’t allowed all drivers a drive so in that case that driver will be allocated six points. There will be plenty of extra entertainment on track as well throughout with a Punters Club, with a guaranteed minimum $1000 pool in operation, plus a llimited number of caps available with the names of the drivers inscribed. Gates open at 4pm and the first 50 kids on course will receive a bag full of goodies. It is also free entry for women as the club encourages the girls to have a night out. There is still dining available upstairs, $35 for a three-course meal with all ladies receiving a free glass of champagne and a $5 betting voucher. To book a table you can contact Mark Kemp on 03 5023 2454. by Matthew Jackson

Victorian Harness Racing participants are reminded of the provisions of the Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 194 which provides: A person who procures or attempts to procure or who has in his possession or on his premises or under his control any substance or preparation that has not been registered, labelled, prescribed, dispensed or obtained in compliance with relevant State and Commonwealth legislation is guilty of an offence. Participants are encouraged to exercise extreme caution with respect to the possession and use of supplementary products upon their horses. No product should be purchased or used without seeking appropriate veterinary guidance to ensure that the product is necessary, registered, labelled, prescribed, dispensed or obtained in compliance with the law. Participants are warned against purchasing or using any product that does not have a label listing all active constituents. Participants are also warned about purchasing or using any product from sources of unknown repute. The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) is the Australian government authority responsible for the assessment and registration of pesticides and veterinary medicines. The APVMA have a publicly available database which can be used to check whether products that claim to be veterinary products are registered. It can be found here: In addition to checking with their veterinarian, participants may also contact the APVMA directly or the HRV Integrity Department regarding any queries they have regarding a particular product or substance. Harness Racing Victoria

Harness racing reinswoman Cheyenne King-Davies broke through for her first Victorian winner after having previously chalked up 10 wins in Western Australia on Monday at Yarra Valley. King-Davies guided Long Forest trainer Andy Gath’s Grinfromeartoear/Ballroom Belle gelding Vae Victus to victory in the De Bortoli 3YO Pace over 2150 metres. Starting from gate five, Vae Victus slotted on the back of the pole-line leader Rocknroll Gold enjoying a sweet trip most of the way. Easing to the outside on the final bend, Vae Victus finished best to score from Rocknroll Gold in a mile rate of 2-00.7.  Cheyenne works with the Andy Gath stable. Len Baker Harness Racing Victoria

Last summer’s champion Arden Rooney needs to improve Friday night in the My Lightning Blue Free for All at Melton for harness racing  trainer Kerryn Manning to be confident he’d be a good show at cups time in New Zealand. The Hunter Cup winner has not flattered at either run to date this time in, finishing eighth beaten 17.6 metres in the Gammalite first-up over 2760m (off a 40m handicap) and sixth of seven in the Preux Chevalier Free for All over 2240m, beaten 24.5m by Franco Ledger after sitting in the breeze. But 2014 Gordon Rothacker medallist Manning changed Arden Rooney’s training regime following his most recent run. “I put the hopples on him at home because I thought I had to try something,” she said. “His work’s been really good. The horse looks super. “I probably had him 85 per cent before the first-up run, but he had an impossible task from the handicap and the times they ran that night. “Second-up I thought he was more like 95 per cent but he just got tired. He’d had enough by the home bend.” Arden Rooney will start from barrier seven on Friday night over 1720m, a distance range he’s never won at. He’ll face opposition such as Philadelphia Man (1-52.6 best mile rate overall and 1-53.4 best mile rate over trip at Melton) and Franco Ledger (1-53.7 best rate over 1720m). Philadelphia Man is the lone runner off the second row on Friday night, while Franco Ledger will come out of gate six. The battle for early supremacy over the short course looks intriguing with Arber (one), Exciteusinthecity (three) and Major Crocker (four) all likely to be handy and potentially wanting to hold the front if they can find the markers first. So what does Manning hope to do aboard Arden Rooney from her draw out in the cheap seats? “I think most of that front line would let him go if we put enough pressure on,” she said. “He came out pretty good last time.” Arden Rooney won last year's Kakoura Cup and is likely to cross the Tasman in coming weeks to defend the crown before heading to the NZ Trotting Cup in November. by Cody Winnell

Punters betting on the Ararat trots on Tuesday were subjected to a number of rough results, resulting in the TAB Quaddie paying a massive dividend of $31,107.80 for a one dollar outlay. Leg one – the Chally’s Bar & Bistro Concessional Driver Of The Year for C2 & C3 class over 1790 metres going the way of $46.50 chance LongTan Bliss guaranteeing a healthy payout regardless of what the other legs presented. Trained at Concongella (Stawell) by Owen Martin, Longtan Bliss (Blissful Hall/Longtan Ebony) taking a concession for son-in-law Michael Sullivan settled mid-field in the moving line from gate two on the second line, with the speedy Our Bedrock taking over from gate four. Sent forward three-wide solo in the final circuit, Longtan Bliss outstayed his rivals to score by a half-head in a thrilling finish over Lynden Abbey which gained a late split after spending most of the race along the markers, with Gnotuk a gutsy third after facing the breeze 1.2 metres away. The mile rate 2-00.5. The second leg – The Jason Bond Memorial Pace for C1 class over 1790 metres saw $2.70 favourite Im Intense (Four Starzzz Shark/Oh Ren Ishi) successful for Melton’s Beau Tindale with Jason Lee in the sulky taking a concession. Trapped in the open from gate three, Im Intense gained cover at the expense of Pelling at the bell and when eased wide on straightening, put the race beyond doubt in a couple of bounds to register a 6.4-metre victory from Doyouseewhatisee which followed the winner throughout. Mac Department finished third after using the sprint lane off the back of the weakening leader Frosty Orielly. The mile rate 2-00.8.  The Peter Manning trained and Jason Lee driven Union Guy/Miss Incline 7-Y-0 gelding Garabaldi Union returned to form in the third leg – the Ararat HRC Horse Of The Year Pace for C4 to C6 class over 2195 metres, paying $34.90. Bred and raced by former HRV Board member Peter Bourke, Garabaldi Union led virtually throughout from gate two, rallying after appearing to be a spent force approaching the home turn when the runner-up Farmersandtradies seemed to have his measure. Showing terrific fighting qualities, Garabaldi Union prevailed by a half-neck, with Our Supreme Guy a neck away in third place after easing three wide in the straight. The mile rate 2-00.1. Eight-year-old Washington VC/Relentless Lady gelding Electric Ollie gave Beau Tindale a double and Jason Lee a treble when a huge victor of leg four – the Victorian Police Service Blue Ribbon Foundation Claiming Pace over 2195 metres in a rate of 1-58.1. Trapped wide from gate six, Lee pressed forward to assume control and Electric Ollie careered away in the last lap to blitz his rivals by 36.9 metres in advance of Our Mels Dream from last to give the stable the quinella. Accountability was a further 13.5 metres away in third place after a mid-field passage. The opening event on the program went to local owner/trainer/driver Emma Hamblin’s 8-Y-0 Village Lasper/Ive Got Rhythm gelding Broadway Classic. Moving the wide from mid-field at the bell after starting from gate three on the second line, Broadway Classic joined the pacemaker Babalaas Jack on the home turn and proved far too strong over the concluding stages, scoring by 2.6 metres in 2-00.5 over Babalaas Jack and Sassy Man which ran on late fron mid-field along the markers. Armstrong dup Brooke Hansen (trainer) and Leroy O’Brien (driver) combined to land the R & L Emerson Trainer Of The Year Pace for C0 class over 1790 metres with ex-trotter Illawong Dreamtime, a 5-Y-0 gelded son of Grinfromeartoear and Illawong Dream. Raced by Tim O’Brien, Illawong Dreamtime led throughout from gate two and after being rated to perfection by the local plumber, ran out a 5.7-metre victor over Showem Shifty which trailed and Shadow Of Fortune which faced the open for the last lap. The mile rate 2-03.3. Hamilton trainer David Lewis snared the Sgt John McNally Memorial Pace for C0 class over 1790 metres with 4-Y-0 Jeremes Jet/Frosty Mattina mare Ennaellie in a rate of 2-04.8. With stable reinsman John Caldow in the sulky, Ennaellie starting from gate six was trapped three wide before set alight shortly after the start to take over and from there on, the issue was never in doubt, scoring by 6.5 metres from a death-seating Audaz Bonita and Vision And Courage which trailed the winner after leading out from gate four. Octogenarian Daylesford trainer Bob Conroy combined with son Glenn to land the Dr John Brennan Trotter Of The Year Trotters Handicap for T0 or better class over 2165 metres with 30 metre backmarker Button Brigade in a mile rate of 2-05. Driven patiently, Button Brigade moved to possie three back along the markers after a number of runners went off stride, with Bee Are Dee running along at the head of affairs. Extricated to be three wide running into the final bend, Button Brigade (Band Of Chips/Red Buttons) was too strong over the concluding stages to register a 14.6 metre margin over the Glenn Sharp (Longlea) stablemates Tella Tall Tale from a mile back and Spud which faced the breeze. It was Button Brigade’s 12th success in 154 outings. by Len Baker Harness Racing Victoria

The Puppet, Chris Alford, is not in town at the harness racing meeting at Melton tomorrow night but The Puppeteer sure will be. Ellas Puppeteer, who set chins wagging and people scouring the record books with a 1-52.8 win at Charlton last time out, will line up in the Empire Stallions Vicbred Platinum Country Series C Final. It is Race 10 at 10.40pm but punters will want to stay up late to see what eventuates. Ellas Puppeteer has had four starts for two wins and two seconds, the four-year-old gelding winning his last two with ease – his most recent win in track record time at Charlton. At his most recent triumph Ellas Puppeteer was parked outside leader Iceobar throughout before pulling clear for a mighty win by 12.4 metres, Stanley expertly pulling the strings. “It’s interesting because everyone has said that to me,” the reinsman said when asked about driving the gelding along coming around the home turn last time out. “On the track though, in the race it always felt like I had the leader covered.” Ellas Puppeteer is superbly bred, by top sire Shadow Play out of Smiley Ella, who the Stanleys raced for two wins from five starts. Smiley Ella won a Vicbred Super Series heat at two defeating Glenferrie Inn by 6.6 metres in 2-01.5 but bowed a tendon and only raced twice more after a lengthy stint on the sidelines. Smiley Ella’s dam, Exotic Strike, was also trained by the Stanley stable and won $171,945 in stakes – including victory in the rich Australian Pacing Gold Final at Moonee Valley in 2000. Ellas Puppeteer is also a half-brother to Arms Of Ink, who won two from two last year before also injuring a leg. His scans are all clear now and he’ll return to the track soon. As for Ellas Puppeteer he’s a C1, but not for long. “We think he can measure up (to the top-class four-year-olds)." :To be honest, the horse has got that much improvement in him,” Stanley said. “Once he develops a bit of gate speed he’ll be a lot better." "He’s learning how to race more every time.” Drawing eight behind likely pacemaker Iceobar from the pole is not ideal, Stanley freely admits. “It’s a hard one,” he said. “Dad and I were talking about it last night and he’s of the view that you take the luck out of it and come off the fence." "I think Iceobar would probably hold the lead." “But at the end of the day the horse (Ellas Puppeteer) has a long future and will win better races than this.” Cody Winnell

The Andy Gath stable has been low flying lately and he heads to the harness racing meeting at Tabcorp Park Melton tomorrow night with two recent acquisitions to his stable that look like having terrific futures. In Race 2 he has Arts Stride engaged and Gath admitted he hasn’t been particularly happy with his past couple of starts. “His last two runs he probably hasn’t gone quite as well compared to his previous two but in saying that when he got challenged at Cranbourne he really knuckled down. He is inexperienced but definitely on the way up," Gath said. He has won five of his 11 starts overall in what has been an injury interrupted career (he had over a year off the scene with a severe injury) but Gath is hoping he can develop into a nice horse. “I’ve had him a long time as he had to have an operation on a hind leg but he has come back really well." "He isn’t a superstar but he is a really nice horse you would think would get to metro class.” Friday Night he has drawn well in what shapes as a fantastically competitive race and Gath rates the Amanda Turnbull-trained Star Black as the horse to beat. The battle early will play a pivotal role in the race. “He has got pretty natural gate speed, obviously his main danger is Star Black drawn two, who has gate speed, too." "He doesn’t have to lead but it’s quite a competitive race.” Gath’s other runner on the night might be a future trotting star in Glenferrie Typhoon. He has only had the three starts for his stable and Gath has been extremely happy with what he has seen so far but it hasn’t surprised him." “He has performed well in all of his runs so far, we were lucky enough to acquire him when he came on the market and he has always been a quality horse so it’s no surprise to see him doing what he’s doing.” Formerly trained by Craig Demmler he had a taste of the big time last campaign and Gath said that is the level he expects him to get to this time in. “He has had a little taste of open company and he performed well so hopefully this time in he can measure up to the better ones." "He has really high speed for a trotter but in saying plenty others at that level do as well.” It shapes as a wonderful night of racing at Headquarters with the first of 10 at 6pm. Matt Jackson  

As he did at two, Christmas Jolt (3G, Village Jolt/Christmas Cullen) has made a winning start to his three-year-old harness racing campaign. The Peter Manning trained pacer notched his eighth win at start 19 last night at Echuca, defeating a small field in the 2QN Radio 3YO Pace over 2160 metres. Working to the lead in the front straight the first time, Christmas Jolt (driven by Kerryn Manning) paced his last mile in 2mins 1.7secs courtesy of a slow 63.7secs first half before coming home in 58secs. Last season Christmas Jolt exploded on to the scene with five wins at his first six starts, including victories in the Premiere Stakes and a heat of the Australian Pacing Gold at Melton. He went on to win a semi-final of the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series by 5m over eventual Vicbred and Tatlow Stakes winner Shadow Sax. He won six races overall as a two-year-old, Peter Manning even declaring him potentially the best youngster he’d ever trained. So far at three he’s won in 1-59.2 at Ballarat over 1710m and in 2mins tonight at Echuca. Meanwhile, Secret Agenda (4M, Secret Life/Live Or Die) broke through for her first win at start No.14. A full-sister to Perfect Life (fourth in a Vicbred Super Series Final at four and third in HBV Silver Chalice) and half-sister to Victoria Oaks winner Beauty Secret and two-time Group 1 winner Major Secret, Secret Agenda is a blueblood. Trained by Emma Stewart at Smythes Creek, John Caldow guided the mare home in 2-01.4 in the Echuca New Year's Day Night Meeting Pace over 2160m Cody Winnell

Long Forest husband and wife Andy and Kath Gath made the trip to Swan Hill a worthwhile one on Tuesday to contest the Nyah Harness Racing Club’s September meeting after landing a stable double with a pair of four year old geldings – Mister Whittaker (Somebeachsomewhere/Twice As Hot) taking the He’s Watching @ Alabar Stud Pace for C1 class over 1750 metres and Valens (Shadow Play/Seymour Lady) the Lucky Chucky @ Stallions Australasia Pace for C2 class over 2240 metres. Mister Whittaker was ultra impressive in his event after racing in the open from gate six, with a running Earl Of Huntington (gate three) crossing One Knight Stand (gate two)  shortly after the start. Cruising to the front on the home turn, Mister Whittaker careered away in the straight to record an unextended 25.6 metre margin in advance of One Knight Stand and Graceful Art (one/one) in a mile rate of 1-54.9. Valens bred and raced by Alabar Bloodstock starting outside the front line, brought up three wins in succession after moving forward to race in the breeze from the bell, defeating Oasis Dream (gate five) from mid-field by 2.8 metres, with Tennaya (gate four) 1.5 metres away in third place after leading for the last half of the journey. The mile rate was 1-58.2. Bunbartha trainer/driver John Newberry a regular at most Swan Hill meetings, snared the Angus Hall @ Mountain View Stud Trotters Handicap for T0 or better class over 2240 metres with 8Y0 Earl/Shine On Alisha gelding Just Call Me Earl, but not before giving his supporters a scare. Galloping away from 30 metres, Just Call Me Earl settled at the tail of the field with Majestic Flash beginning swiftly from 10 metres to lead. Assisted by both Mike Titan and Jacob Alm breaking during the run, Just Call Me Earl had improved to be three back in the moving line at the bell. Easing three wide approaching the final bend, Just Call Me Earl ran home best to gain the day by a head over Declaring along the sprint lane after following the pacemaker which held down third a neck away. Raced by the Newberry family, Just Call Me Earl recorded his 13th victory in 119 outings, returning a mile rate of 2-05.9. Quality 4Y0 Bettors Delight/Linda Grace mare Linda Lovegrace made a one act affair of the Sweet Lou @ Woodlands Stud Pace for C0 class over 2240 metres much to the delight of Ken Breckon’s The Good Sports Syndicate. Formerly with Mark Purdon, Linda Lovegrace now with Kerryn Manning at Great Western, was untroubled to lead throughout from gate two with husband Grant Campbell in the sulky, accounting for Drayton (one/one – outside winner home turn) by 16.5 metres in 2-03.1, with Clontarf Guy (three back the markers) a further 17 metres away in third place. The Manning/Campbell combination were to bring up a double when impressive former Kiwi 4Y0 Bettors Delight/Princess Alberta gelding Duke Of Albany streeted his rivals in the Four Starzzz Shark @ Empire Stallions Pace for C3 to C5 class over 1750 metres and by doing so, chalked up six wins in succession, the last five on Australian soil. Surprisingly crossed from gate two by Life Of Ted (gate four), Campbell immediately eased away from the markers to assume control, before racing clear on turning to register a 2.1 metre victory over Precious Cullen which faced the breeze from the bell. Life Of Ted battled on gamely for third after using the sprint lane and will no doubt benefit from the outing. The mile rate was 1-56.7. Local Woorinen trainer Joe Costa sent punters home on a happy note when the “star of the stable” Uncle Wingnut returned to his best form to land the Hurricane Kingcole @ Egmont Park Stud Pace for C6 or better class over 2240 metres in a rate of 1-57.8. With regular reinsman Michael Bellman aboard, Uncle Wingnut was taken off the gate from outside the front line to settle four back along the markers, with only Diamond Ace (gate four) behind him after being trapped wide and another of the Manning team Jaccka Art leading from gate three. Making a mid-race move to join the pacemaker at the bell, the pair were head and head for the final circuit, with Uncle Wingnut taking the lead on the home turn. Drawing clear on straightening, Uncle Wingnut prevailed by 1.1 metres over Diamond Ace which followed him home from the bell, with Daylight Dan (three back the markers) 11 metres away in third place. An eight year old gelded son of Courage Under Fire and Paulas Way raced by the Costa family, Uncle Wingnut has faced the starter on 77 occasions, resulting in 17 victories. *** The next Nyah meeting will be Cup Night – Saturday October 17.   Len Baker

The Harness Racing Victoria​ (HRV) Integrity Unit has been proactive in recent weeks taking out-of-competition samples from various stables. HRV Integrity Unit has attended a number of stables over the last fortnight and taken samples from horses that are going to compete that day/evening or later in that week. HRV Integrity Unit devotes resources and funding on out-of-competition testing and a strong emphasis on this type of testing will continue. This strategy is consistent with recent sampling of (15) horses at Melton trials on September 1, and these initiatives help to give harness racing participants, the wagering public and the community confidence that integrity in the industry is paramount. “Out-of-competition testing is a key element of our overall integrity strategy to ensure harness racing participants a level playing field in Victoria,” said HRV Investigations Manager Brent Fisher. Harness Racing Victoria  

Who needs the little white wedding chapel when the Cranbourne Harness Racing Club is offering up its committee room on a Saturday night? Guests for Wayne Thornton’s 60th birthday bash at the weekend had a night at the trots like no other, eventually finding out the shindig was actually to be his wedding to fiancée Monika. “The staff were amazing. They kept it a secret because it was to be a surprise. I can’t speak highly enough of everyone involved at the club,” Wayne said. The happy couple had planned the night for about three months, even securing the services of celebrity celebrant Greg Evans – famous for hosting TV show Perfect Match. “My wife said, ‘If we’re going to get married we should get Greg’,” Wayne explained. “He was so much fun – very laidback, which was just what we were after.” The idea came about after Wayne’s sons bought him a mobile barrier ride at the club via a Red Balloon promotion. “I’ve always been a racing fan in general,” Wayne said. “The mobile barrier ride was great. The club actually gave us a couple more, so my son and son-in-law both got a go. I couldn’t believe how the horses nudged the gate at the start. The starter was terrific explaining things and the driver was fantastic, too.” Wayne said his guests were shocked when it came time for the ceremony. “A few of the girls said they thought they knew it but everyone was yelling and screaming. “We’ll definitely be coming back to the trots. “It’s a great place since they’ve done it up. It was just superb. Even the bar staff, I can’t thank the club enough.” Want to ride in the Hot Seat at the trots? CODY WINNELL

Despite the fact he's nine years old, Five Star Anvil has never raced better. It's a sentiment shared by harness racing trainer Adam Kelly, who has the son of McArdle/Alta Vista in winning form ahead of Friday night's Preux Chevalier Free For All at Tabcorp Park Melton.  A brilliant winner last week in The Gammalite, Five Star Anvil returns to the a mobile start but Kelly is adamant he will be ultra competitive. “He is going good. He is probably the best I have had him. He only needs a little bit of luck and he will hit the line pretty strong and it wouldn’t surprise me if he did win," Kelly said. The trainer hasn’t ruled out a trip to Perth for the Inter Dominion later in the year, either. “With the right trip he is not out of that class, his run a fortnight ago if he had any sort of luck he goes very close in a similar field.” My Bella Starr goes around in the opening race Friday night for Kelly, who admits the mare is in the twilight of her career and motherhood awaits. “We are going to get her in foal this year, we will retire her in the next month or so," he said. Kelly is hoping she can win her M0 before that day comes. “She has had a pretty chequered preparation this time, a few things have gone wrong. She has definitely got the ability. She is good enough to win, drawn out wide she will just need some luck but I wouldn’t think she would be too far away.” Also in the first Kelly has The Family Guy resuming but he has drawn badly and had a minor setback about a month ago when a virus hit the stable. “I got a bit of a bug in the stable a good month or so ago and he actually got it. It’s his first run back and he has drawn out the back but as long as he hitting the line nicely that’s all im looking for.”                Outrageous El is the last of the Kelly gang Friday night and he was a terrific winner last week making a mid-race move and winning comfortably. Kelly is happy with where he is at. “He is going good, he is one of those horses in that if he gets the right run and is close enough I think he is quite capable of winning.” Friday Night also honours the memory of Danielle Lewis, who tragically lost her life doing what she loved last year. Her memorial is one of the features along with the Group 3 Maori’s Idol Trotters Free For All on a bumper 10-race card. The first kicks off at 5.30pm with the Danielle Lewis Memorial Race 5 at 8.30pm. by Matt Jackson Harness Racing Victoria

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