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The rise and rise of Magicool will be put under the griller at Tabcorp Park Melton this Friday night when Chris Svanosio's stable star takes on some of Victoria's best in the Aldebaran Park Lenin Trotters Free For All. Fresh off superb victories punching the breeze at Melton at Melton on November 2 and then in the Yarra Valley Trotters Cup the following Thursday, Magicool opened a $1.80 favourite with for Friday's feature despite his outside-the-front-row draw. He's since eased to $2.25, with Jilliby Babavska shortening from from $3.80 to $2.40, a movement that won't surprise trainer-driver Svanosio. "It will be pretty tough just looking at it quickly from the draw," Svanosio told the Trots Talk radio show. "He's drawn barrier seven, he's done it pretty tough his last couple of starts, but I will still probably end up back closer to the tail of the field against some pretty good horses, so he will have to step up again to be in the finish I'd say. "You've got to have a few things go right when you are drawn out there, it will be tough, he's well, but it will be tough for him." Having said that, the lightly-raced six-year-old has shown the ability to surprise even his trainer, including with his Trots Country Cup Championship victory at his last start. "He's old enough, but he hasn't done a lot of racing. To have those two runs five days a part, sit in the chair both times and the way he finished off at Yarra Valley I was very impressed with how he handled everything," Svanosio said. "He surprised me at Yarra Valley, I didn't think he should have been able to do that - to sit there over 2600 and sprint home like he did on a pretty ordinary day. He was fantastic." CLICK BELOW TO LISTEN TO TUNE IN TO TROTS TALK   HRV Trots Media - Michael Howard

Fresh from their blistering one-two finish in yesterday's Trotting Free For All, Tough Monarch and McLovin have drawn front row starts in Friday's Airpark Canterbury Dominion. The $300,000 Group 1 - the richest trot race in Australasia - will launch from the standing start at 2.38pm ADST, with Tough Monarch drawing gate six and McLovin gate 10, but with two emergencies on their inside. McLovin's trainer Andy Gath told Sky Racing they "were really proud of him and he's pulled up really good, so we are looking forward to Friday now". "You travel this far and you always want your horse to perform well and he performed really well," Gath said. "The standing start over two-mile is completely different to what we had today, so far to us it looks like he's pulled up well, he'll be raring to go on Friday." Leading local fancies Marcoola (gate one) and Oscar Bonavena (gate 17) emerged at opposite ends of the draw, with the latter off the unruly. Friday's card at Addington also includes the Woodlands NZ Pacing Free For All, which will feature Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen's trio Cruz Bromac (gate 6), Spankem (gate 7) and Thefixer (gate 9), who are coming off respective first, second and fifth placings in yesterday's New Zealand Trotting Cup.   HRV Trots Media

Ride High allayed any fears his trainer Clayton Tonkin had following a potentially taxing trial performance with an impressive return to racing on Saturday night. In his first run back from more than a year on the sidelines, the ultra-talented four-year-old made it nine wins from 10 career starts by taking out the Group 2 COGS 4YO & 5YO Championship (2240m) at Tabcorp Park Melton. After zipping out of barrier two, Ride High ($1.50) was given an easy time in the lead by Greg Sugars and then scorched home in a 53.7-second last half to just hold off the fast-finishing Hurricane Harley. Tonkin, the partner of Emma Stewart who was having the first runner in his name since July 2004, said he thought Ride High might have worked too hard in a recent trial, where he and Tam Major equalled Lennytheshark’s 2040-metre Melton record. “I thought they probably did a bit too much last week, but the money was sort of good and there wasn’t a heap of speed in the race,” Tonkin said after the win. “It really worried me tonight the way the racing was run because nothing in the breeze or in front was (winning)… it was a bit of a swoopers' night. I was a little bit concerned being first up. The track hasn’t raced real true tonight.” Saturday night was the first time Sugars had steered the 2018 Breeders Crown 3YO Colts and Geldings champion in a race and he liked what he saw. “I’m very excited to be given the opportunity to sit behind a horse like this,” Sugars said. “It doesn’t matter how good you are, it’s always hard to come up against a quality field that is already wound up when you are on the way up. “But thankfully he had the barrier draw in his favour and got away with very steady sectionals for the first lap and was able to be too slick up the straight.” Stewart runners filled the placings with Hurricane Harley sizzling home to be beaten just a half-neck, while stablemate Tam Major was third. Another feature on the night was the Allied Express Cinderella Stakes (1720m, mares NR 70-120) and it was Margaret Lee’s Keayang Shekitout ($26.30) that caused a major boilover.                                                                                      --Stuart McCormick photo Stewart runners Berisari and Nostra Villa were both well fancied in the race, but weren’t able to fire as Keayang Shekitout sat outside the leader and toughed it out to score a narrow success. The win was the six-year-old’s ninth in a career spanning 33 starts and was one of three winners on the card for her trainer. Lee also scored with Iam Erik ($3.80) in the Heathglen Retirement Village Pace (1720m, 4YO and older) and Jilliby Chevy ($2.10) in the Keilor East Probus Group Pace (1720m, NR 90-105). Jason Lee drove Iam Erik and Jilliby Chevy, while Glen Craven (Keayang Shekitout and Dance Craze, $1.10) and James Herbertson (Jodan, $34.20, and Are Doubleyou, $27.80) also celebrated winning doubles. Dance Craze’s success came in the other Group 3 race on the card, the Apco La Coocaracha Trotters Free For All (1720m, trotting mares NR 70-120) for trainer Anton Gollino.   HRV Trots Media - Tim O'Connor

Winning his first-ever country cup yesterday, junior reinsman James "Herbie" Herbertson showed the brilliance that stamps him one of Victorian harness racing's brightest young stars. The 20-year-old, based at Lexton, near Ballarat, teamed up with well-performed six-year-old gelding Emain Macha (Safari-Machabella (Mach Three) to win the 2019 $14,500 Weirs Supa IGA St Arnaud Pacing Cup. Showing a cool head and a touch of class to weave through tight traffic after despatch, Herbertson balanced Emain Macha up then made a race-winning move to ping him to the death-seat with 1000 metres to go. "He's a real nice horse that's for sure. I asked him to do a bit of work and then he responded on the home corner when I went for him," Herbertson said. "It's always a great day at St Arnaud, but getting my first country cup win there made it extra special," he said. Emain Macha showed plenty of grit to hold out the fast-finishing Rupert of Lincoln (Kerryn Manning) and Hashtag (Tayla French). The victory was another success for his astute Naracoorte-based trainer, Greg Scholefield, who continues to bob up with winners from just a small stable of runners. Scholefield, a builder by trade, has concentrated solely on horses for the past decade and races Emain Macha in partnership with Gail Davis, Peter Lamond, and father and son John and Sean Penny. Scholefield had his stable star back to his best after a short let-up and made use of Herbertson's junior claiming status to be eligible for the cup. "I've been to St Arnaud on three previous occasions-going back quite a few years ago-and was lucky enough to get two wins, while another runner cut himself and was a late scratching," Scholefield said. "Emain Macha went very well to win the cup and he's pulled up terrific. I got told the time was .9 of a second outside the race record so we're thrilled," he said. "James certainly deserves credit as he got him through to a lovely spot after starting on the outside of the back row. They had to work early, but the horse finished off well." Scholefield said he hadn't picked out where he would race next. "We'll sit down and look at suitable races, but it will most likely be at Melton because with the national ratings system he will be high up with points and it's hard to place him," he said. Emain Macha has now won 28 races with 12 placings from 48 starts. He has earnt more than $230,000 in stakemoney. The win continues a satisfying run for Herbertson who has now landed winners at three different tracks in the past three days. He got the money with Im Shadow Boxer at Bendigo on Friday night for his father Ashleigh, and then followed up the next night at Melton with a longshot double-Jodan (33/1) for the Tindall camp, and Are Doubleyou (25/1) for Kevin Wheatley. He continues a rapid rise in the sport. This season, just his fourth, is shaping well with 27 wins and 49 placings to date. This follows his record-breaking 2018-19 term when he drove more than 100 winners for the first time. "I copped a two-week suspension a while ago which put a dent in things, but the season is going along nicely with a fair few trainers giving me race opportunities," Herbertson said. The St Arnaud club was again thrilled with the success of its annual Cup meeting - with a big crowd enjoying perfect weather and great racing at the picturesque Northern Victorian track. The other feature event on the program, the St Arnaud Sporting Club Trotters Cup was taken out by the in-form Chris Svanosio, who trained and drove Kyvalley Finn.   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

POTENTIAL superstar Ride High marked two comebacks with his $75,000 Group 2 4&5YO Championship win at Melton last night. The entire was first-up after 16 months sidelined by a suspensory ligament injury following his Breeders Crown 3YO win. And his trainer, Clayton Tonkin, had his first runner in his own name for almost 15 years, having been the silent partner with Emma Stewart for so long. “I’ve got a special connection with this horse and it just felt right to take out my licence again for his comeback,” Tonkin said. Driver Greg Sugars used gate two to lead, controlled the race with a cosy 62.8sec middle half then zoomed home in 53.7 and 26.8sec to win, albeit by just a half-neck. Virtual stablemate Hurricane Harley smashed the clock, running his own last half in 53.4sec to almost rundown Ride High, while another Emma Stewart runner, Tam Major, was third after trailing the leader. The race lost plenty of gloss at the start when Victoria Cup runner-up and Auckland Inter Dominion contender Colt Thirty One galloped and effectively took no part in the race. Ride High’s win was his ninth from just 10 starts (he ran third in the Group 1 Vicbred final at his only defeat) and it will be fascinating when Tonkin opts to try him at the elite level, potentially in races like the Hunter Cup and/or Miracle Mile. _______________________________________________________________________________________________ TRAINER Craig Cross had half the field in Menangle’s feature race last night (Saturday), but didn’t punters any favours. That’s because the outsider of his quintet, the much-improved Wrangler, stormed to victory as a $61 shot over stablemate and $1.65 favourite Cash N Flow. Little Rascal grabbed third to make it a trifecta for Cross. The scorched over the mile in 1min49.9sec.  Steve Turnbull’s two Auckland Inter Dominion contenders, Atomic Red and Conviction, ran fourth and seventh respectively.  Atomic Red was terrific after leading at just his second run back from a long spell and finishing just 5.8m from Wrangler.  Wrangler’s win was the fourth on the night for Cross, following Admiral Bronski, Under Worked and Bettor Enforce. _______________________________________________________________________________________________ GREAT Southern Star winner Dance Craze just did enough to make a winning return at Melton last night (Saturday). The Muscle Hill mare led home a trifecta for trainer Anton Golino and the Yabby Dams team in the Group 3 La Coocaracha free-for-all with Destinee Jenilou second and Amour De Frere third. Another classy trotter to win on the night was former superstar juvenile, Wobelee, who clocked a 1min59.6sec mile rate for 2240m. _______________________________________________________________________________________________ TEAM Bond won the big race at Gloucester Park last Friday night, but just not with the horse punters hoped for. It was Vampiro, the outsider of Greg and Skye Bond’s three runners in the $50,000 Group 2 JP Stratton Cup, who poked his head out on the line to snatch a head win over stablemate and favourite El Jacko. Their other runner, Ana Malak, was the run of the race after sitting parked in quick time and fighting on strongly for a close fourth. They mile-rated a slick 1min54.7sec for the 2130m trip. Driver Colin Brown challenged for the lead early on Vampiro, then took a trail on Ana Malak and finished strongly in a 55.8sec last half. Team Bond will be a major force in January’s Fremantle and WA Cups with last night’s trio along with buzz pacer Mighty Conqueror heading its charge. Another impressive winner on the night was much-travelled five-year-old Bill Haley. The Kiwi-bred created a big impression during a short Queensland stint before heading to Debbie Lewis stable in WA where he’s unbeaten in three runs. Bill Haley is still racing through the grades, but has elite speed and could be a major race player. _______________________________________________________________________________________________ BUZZ Kiwi-bred Wildwest is turning the tide for top WA trainer Gary Hall Sr. In recent months he’s lost stable stars Chicago Bull and Major Trojan to injury. But, such is his stable depth, Wildwest has quickly stepped-up. The four-year-old son of Raging Bull made it eight wins from as many starts with by far his best and biggest victory so far at Pinjarra last Monday. Wildwest drew wide on the back row in a cracking field, but driver Gary Hall Sr showed his confidence on the gelding by making a midrace move to sit parked outside the talented leader, Patrickthepiranha, who was dictated terms. Just when it seemed Patrickthepiranha was doing enough, Wildwest lifted late in closing splits of 54.8 and 26.7sec to snatch a half-head win in a 1min56.8sec mile rate for 2185m. It was the win of a very serious horse. And WA’s string of four-year-old feature races, headed by the Group 1 Golden Nugget, are just around the corner. _______________________________________________________________________________________________ INTER Dominion champ Tornado Valley found a 50m handicap beyond him in the Group 3 Yarra Valley Trotters Cup last Thursday. It was the rejuvenated Magicool who continued trainer-driver Chris Svanosio’s recent red hot form, by popping out of the trail to beat the leader, Father Christmas. Tornado Valley chased hard, but was a never a winning hope before closing strongly late for third. The Group 3 Yarra Valley Pacing Cup went to Emma Stewart’s in-form Code Black, who was simply too good despite sitting parked in a 1min59sec mile rate for 2650m in wet and miserable conditions. Lance Justice’s underrated Rishi ran second while former classy Kiwi pacer Sicario was third.   Adam Hamilton

Tasmania's powerhouse Yole harness racing team is about to wrap up a successful three-month campaign in Victoria. "We decided to dip our toe in the water and give it a real crack and we probably ended up with better results than we were expecting," an elated Ben Yole said. "It's quite on the cards that we'll be back sometime early next year. We are now back to having two meetings per week of racing in Tasmania so we'll concentrate on that for a bit, and then sort it out," he said. The Yole family team, comprising Ben and his brothers Mark and Tim, along with their father Wayne, are based at Sidmouth, a small rural community in the Western Tamar Valley region. It has a population of about 400 people and is 45 minutes north-west of Launceston. "We campaigned with about 18 horses in Victoria, but some of them got off to a late start because they were crook for a little while," Yole said. "That left around 35 back home in Tassie and our hard-working team of staff are doing a great job with them. Recently they've been competing well at Hobart and Devonport with big numbers," he said. Handy pacer Tiwanaku scored at Melton last month for the Yole team and was claimed on Tuesday at Yarra Glen. He’s pictured with victorious driver Jack Laugher and stable representative Tim Yole          --Stuart McCormick photo The Victorian statistics sit very nicely for the stable with Ben positioned in the top 10 on the trainer's premiership for the 2019-20 season. He has posted 15 wins, 18 seconds, 19 thirds and 25 fourths for over $100,000 in stakemoney. "It's been a bit strange at times, because we've had more than our share of second placings - for instance, just recently we took three to Bendigo in Machitelli, Somedan and Shestryintactics and they were all runners-up!" Yole said. "It has been a bit weird in that way, but we aren't complaining," he said. "Our success was certainly due in a big part to the hospitality of friends Paul and Rosie Weidenbach, who are based near Shepparton. We trained out of there and they have super facilities." Yole said he was "always on the lookout for other horses" and hoped to again build on numbers soon. "We turned a few horses over during the campaign - some were sold, and we also had others that were claimed out of the claiming races. But in saying that, we have also ended up with four new ones," he said. "I want to climb back up again - the stakes are great in Tasmania and there's plenty of worthwhile feature events coming up around Christmas-New Year." Yole, previously based at Hamilton in Victoria, hasn't looked back since shifting to Tasmania over a decade ago. He has been the leading trainer since 2015 and has passed the magical 100-winner mark every season since. In the recently completed 2018-19 season he smashed all previous records with a sensational 181 winners in Tasmania. In addition, he finished second on 200 occasions, had 208 thirds and 249 fourths for over $1.2 million in earnings. The Yole season figures represented an increase of a whopping 57 winners on the previous season and an extra 81 placings. At last month's awards night, apart from Ben picking up the leading trainer trophy, brother Mark was leading driver (88 wins); junior driver Samantha Gangell was female driver of the year (29 wins); and Conor Crook took the junior driver's title (31 wins). "We mix up our training routines by going to the beach as well as jogging on a number of different tracks we have on a bush property. We find it keeps them fresh as it's not the same old grind," Yole said. "I'm lucky to have staff who are willing and dedicated. And of course, without our owners we wouldn't have the success we've enjoyed. Their support in buying new horses to add to our team enables us to keep ticking along."   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Greg Sugars is confident he can deliver Clayton Tonkin his first success as a trainer in some 15 years when he drives Ride High in Saturday night’s COGS 4YO & 5YO Championship. The horse will be Tonkin’s first runner in his name since July 27 2004, with the 2018 Breeders Crown 3YO Colts and Geldings champion resuming from a leg injury that halted his career in August last year. The brilliant son of Art Major tuned up for his return to the track with a two-horse trial alongside Tam Major last Saturday night. Sugars was in the sulky behind Ride High as the pair equalled Lennytheshark's 2040-metre Tabcorp Park Melton record, which was set in January 2018 and stood until this year's Victoria Cup. “We probably didn’t go out there with the intention to go quite that quick, but they are two obviously very high quality horses and they needed a good hit-out,” Sugars said of the trial. “We expected them to sort of dash up and run some good times, but to see a (former) track record equalled was probably a bit of a surprise.” HEAR THE TRAINER'S LIVE VERDICT OF THE STUNNING TRIAL: Sugars thinks Ride High, a winner of eight of nine career runs, can return in style at Melton on Saturday night. “He has got the barrier draw advantage over his main rivals, which is obviously a big help in this class of racing,” he said. “The fact that Clayton has made a comeback to training after some 15 years without a horse in his name probably speaks volumes for what he thinks of this horse’s ability. “Even though he has had the good hit-out the other day, he is still first-up racing for quite some time. Although he should be very close to the mark, you’d say there would be still some sort of improvement in him with natural race progression.” While Tonkin will chase a long-awaited success with Ride High, his partner Emma Stewart also has three runners in the $75,000 event. As well as Tam Major (Chris Alford), Stewart’s Hurricane Harley (Kima Frenning) and Thats Perfect (Darby McGuigan) help make up the small field of seven. Saturday night’s other feature is the Allied Express Cinderella Stakes (1720m, mares NR 70-120). Sugars will partner Stewart’s Berisari, which is having her first start since narrowly being beaten in a free for all at Melton back in mid August. Nostra Beach (Kate Gath) and Nostra Villa (Chris Alford) also represent the Stewart camp, while Margaret Lee has two runners in Keayang Ebonyrose (Jason Lee) and Keayang Shekitout (Glen Craven). There is 11 races on Saturday night’s card, with the first to kick off from 6.03pm and the last to go off at 11.10pm. CLICK BELOW TO HEAR FROM GREG SUGARS ON HIS SATURDAY NIGHT DRIVES:     HRV Trots Media - Tim O'Connor

Melton-based harness racing legend Lance Justice headed north this week-and went home with a training double. Justice made the four-hour trek to Swan Hill on Tuesday night and, apart from the two victories, also collected two runner-up prizes. "It was probably only the third time I've ever been up there to race, but each time I've been lucky enough to get a winner. Apart from being a big trip, I really like the track and there's good people on the committee," Justice said. "I must admit that I do always try and take up a nice horse. I think some of my previous wins have been with Lov e Ina Chevy and maybe Phil Monty," he said. While Justice this time took the reins with Miss Victoria (Shadow Play-Waltzing Matilda (Presidential Ball) to win the Toshiba Air Conditioning Pace, he engaged in-form Heathcote reinswoman Tayla French on Justice Served (Rock N Roll Heaven-Keepers Daughter (Ace's N Sevens),and the pair got the money in the Braemar Air Conditioning Pace. Justice now has driven a massive 3432 winners. Justice said Miss Victoria (5/1), who is expected to be offered for sale soon, was a regular star performer at home. "If she ever takes her trackwork to the races, she will be something real special. She just shuts off and looks like she's struggling, but, in reality, she has plenty left," he said. "The racing style at Melton probably doesn't suit her because she has to work hard early, and then later is called on to rally again. The smaller country tracks are right up her alley. "At Swan Hill, her first half was 59.8 and then her closing quarters were 28 and 29. She will do that any day of the week." The second leg of the Justice training double was five-year-old gelding Justice Served, who rated just over a second off the track record. "He certainly gave Tayla a few anxious moments. He's such a free rolling horse, who can get up on the bit and pull very hard," Justice said. "The horse has done it to me. I told Tayla to let him bowl along and drive him like he's a horse with a bit of credit. He was getting tired towards the end, but got there okay." French, who gets a concession claim, is driving in sensational form at the moment. She also went home with a driving double, after landing Karlos (Sportswriter-Kept For Pleasure (Safely Kept) for Keith Cotchin at 15/1. Justice combined with super horse Smoken Up (Tinted Cloud-Carnlough Bay (Mark Lobell) to enthrall harness racing fans around the world during a dominant period of 2007 to 2014. After teaming up to win their first 10 starts on end, the pair went on to record a further 64 breath-taking victories in Australia and New Zealand for earnings of over $3.6 million. Smoken Up, fondly known as Trigger, had his swansong run at Melton on Sept 6, 2014-he ran 4th to Exciteusinthecity. Lance Justice and his old mate “Trigger” out for a jog Justice recently hinted he too might join his mate in retirement, at least from driving, with injuries starting to catch up with him. "I'm suffering aches and pains from race falls over the years and I have pretty severe arthritis. I've twice broken both legs in smashes-one still has 12 screws in it, while the other has only two screws, but a plate as well," he said. "My hip plays up badly now and again and I haven't got much feeling in one foot, so I think the signs are there that I haven't got all that much longer in my race driving career. But I'm not complaining because I've had a fantastic time in the sport." Justice has again had the call up in this Friday coveted night's Invitational Driver's race at Bendigo - finishing second to the race's home-town legend Brian Gath. "I've only competed in it once before and that was last year. I thought I had it wrapped up for the win and along come B. Gath down the outside and got me! So, yes, I am hoping to go one better this year!"   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

With 52 millimetres of rain falling in the Yarra Valley since Saturday today's planned grass roots trotting races have returned to the harness racing track. Harness Racing Victoria Stewards have conducted an inspection this morning of the Yarra Valley thoroughbred track. This inspection revealed that the track is not suitable for racing with surface water present between the 900m and 600m. As a result races four and seven, which were scheduled to be run on the thoroughbred track, have been transferred to the harness track with the distance amended from 1950m to 2150m. The races remain a standing start with the barrier draw and handicaps unchanged. With more than 5000 expected to flock trackside for the nine-race card you can enjoy live, free and extended coverage via Trots Vision:   HRV Trots Media

The going will get a little tough and that will see only the tough get going at Yarra Valley tomorrow, according to trainer Brent Lilley who will be among the thousands enjoying grass track racing’s Victorian return tomorrow. The former Kiwi’s well accustomed to grass track trots from his New Zealand roots and has a trotter running in each of tomorrow’s two standing starts on the turf. “It’s great,” Lilley said. “I wish there was more of it.” The going will likely be lush after 30 millimetres of rain fell in the area since Saturday, with Lilley predicting the 1950-metre trots will be a test of the fittest. “I think the distance between the first horse and the last will be big, a lot will get tired,” he said. “It will probably be an advantage to those who have raced on it before, it can be pretty taxing. If there’s a bit of rain about you wouldn’t want to have pads under their shoes because it can become slippery.” Both races will feature in extended coverage of the raceday on’s Trots Vision which will be live from the first at 10.44am, with host Paul Campbell roving on-course to deliver the pre- and post-race interviews on a huge Melbourne Cup Day celebration at the Yarra Valley. Lilley said “it’s a great day” and was hopeful his grass track entrants would deliver bold showings, including Trotting Rockstar, who steps out as the backmarker (off 20 metres) in the United Petroleum Trotters Handicap at 12.36pm. “Trotting Rockstar started off on the wrong foot last week,” Lilley said of the five-year-old, who began badly when resuming from a spell at Bendigo last Tuesday. “He made up a bit of ground without being thrashed about and I think he’s my best chance.” It will be Trotting Rockstar’s first go on the grass, while stablemate Belles Son will have his fourth career start on the turf when he steps out for the De Bortoli Trotters Handicap at 2.35pm. The nine-year-old Majestic Son gelding was third at Motukarara Raceway in November 2016 before running sixth and eighth in Group 3 races on the Christchurch grass track. “He had no issues with the grass back home,” Lilley said. “But he’s not going as good as he was in his heyday, his best days are probably behind him.” Amid a busy national racing schedule, the day’s first three races (10.44am, 11.19am and 11.59am) will feature on Sky Racing 1, while the remaining six races will be on Sky Racing 2. All nine races will stream on Trots Vision amid live, free and extended coverage.   HRV Trots Media - Michael Howard

Chris Svanosio produced a magical winning treble at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday night, when the Bendigo-based trainer-driver scored wins with three of the four horses he took to the races. Kyvalley Finn got the ball rolling with a narrow triumph in the Alderbaran Park Trot (2240m, NR 70-79), stablemate Norquay then won the Woodlands Trot (2240m, NR 52-61) before Magicool defeated the well fancied Jilliby Babavska to take out the Niota Bloodstock Trot (2240m, NR 80-100). “It’s my first Melton treble as a trainer,” Svanosio told Trots Vision after Magicool’s success. “Every week they are just great fields down here. You have got to wait your turn a bit - some weeks the fields are just that hard. We are happy to have a couple competing down here and going good.” Svanosio was in the sulky for the wins behind Kyvalley Finn and Magicool, with Michelle Phillips partnering Norquay to her victory. Svanosio is now seventh on the state metropolitan drivers’ premiership and eighth in the standings of the metro training title. For Kyvalley Finn, his hard-fought win over longshot Jerichos Trumpet was his ninth and first since July this year. The five-year-old has now collected more than $150,000 in prizemoney. Norquay has won four of her last five starts and the success at Melton on Saturday night followed a down-the-track finish when breaking at the same track a week earlier. The Majestic Son mare is now a winner of five of her 15 career outings. Magicool was able to turn the tables on Jilliby Babavska from their meeting on October 12, running down the leader in the home straight to nab his 12th career triumph. While it was a standout night for Svanosio and his team, the powerful Emma Stewart stable also landed a winning treble. Phoenix Prince won the feature Allied Express Sokyola Sprint (1720m, NR 90-120) for Greg Sugars, while Chris Alford was at the controls for the wins of Nostra Villa (Benstud Vicbred Pace, 2240m, mares NR 70-89) and Freddy Funk (Cogs Claiming Pace, 2240m). Alford scored his other win for the evening with Shaun McNaulty-trained gelding Hashtag in the IRT Australia Pace (1720m, NR 80-94). Alford remains three wins behind Kate Gath on the metro drivers’ premiership standings, while Stewart is now level on nine wins with Andy Gath on the metro trainers’ leaderboard.   HRV Trots Media - Tim O'Connor

It’s not uncommon for horses to show potential not many knew they had later in life and that’s exactly what Gary Quinlan is hoping for with his talented pacer Rocknroll Pearl. Quinlan has fingers crossed that the five-year-old can emulate her mother Jazzam (pictured), which many will recall as a quality mare that went on to win 24 races and more than $230,000 in prizemoney. Rocknroll Pearl is a long way off that mark, but a promising return from a short let-up at Cranbourne on October 21 has things pointing in the right direction. Quinlan said the horse didn’t quite seem herself following a three-start Sydney campaign through June that reaped a Group 3 success and two third placings, one of which was in the Group 1 NSW Breeders Challenge 4YO Mares Final. After that, the daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven placed fourth and eighth in races at Melton before she was given a break. Following the freshen-up, Rocknroll Pearl produced a nice third placing at Cranbourne, hitting the line hard from three back the pegs behind winner War Dan Delight. “She looks a treat and was working really good before Cranbourne. I thought she would go good, but I hadn’t trialled her and I was just hoping I’d see what I’d seen at home,” Quinlan said. “I was pretty happy with what she did at Cranbourne and she doesn’t seem to have gone backwards since.” Rocknroll Pearl, a winner of eight races, will tackle Saturday night’s Benstud Vicbred Pace (2240m, mares NR 70-89) at Tabcorp Park Melton. The horse has drawn barrier four in the small field of eight and Quinlan said he’s happy for driver Jason Lee to roll forward from the mobile and see what opportunities present from there. And while Quinlan thinks Emma Stewart’s Nostra Villa looks the likely winner of the race on her best form, he’s confident of a good showing from his charge. “Being realistic, if the right Nostra Villa turns up it would be winning the race so I’m under no illusions how good it is,” he said. Jazzam, who won the Group 3 Ladyship Cup at Moonee Valley back in 2009, has had just one other foal reach the races. That is Dison, a winner of two races from seven career outings. “Rocknroll Pearl’s mother really came good as a four-year-old, at the same age she has,” Quinlan said. “So I’m hoping history repeats itself.” The Allied Express Sokyola Sprint - for horses rated between 90 and 120 - is the feature race on Saturday night’s card. A quality field of horses has been assembled for the $24,000 event, with the likes of Phoenix Prince (Emma Stewart), My Kiwi Mate (Craig Demmler) and Wrappers Delight (David Aiken) among the leading fancies. CLICK BELOW TO HEAR FROM TRAINER GARY QUINLAN:   HRV Trots Media - Tim O'Connor

Jovial Horsham harness racing trainer-driver Aaron Dunn is usually all smiles - but at the moment he certainly has every reason. Dunn made a conscious decision a few years ago to give the sport a red hot go, and this week struck a patch of red hot form, landing three winners in the space of 24 hours. "I don't bet, but gee a few of them were at good odds," Dunn said. "Their work at home had been great and they have been racing really well, so the wins weren't complete surprises." Dunn's winning streak started at Bendigo on Tuesday night with tough five-year-old mare Marjorie Jean (Blissfull Hall-Longtan Ebony (Village Jasper), who did it hard outside the leader Millah Joy ($2.10 fav) but pulled out plenty to score easily at 15/1. Dunn said he had decided to increase the mare's workload because she puts on weight "in the blink of an eye". "She is a funny horse. Sometimes her work can be great and then she doesn't take it to the races - but she was in one heck of a mood at Bendigo which usually means she's going to go okay!" he said. And the luck rolled on when Dunn's talented three-year-old Sporty Azz won the very next event. The handy son of Sportswriter was a 6/1 chance and led from the start, packing too many guns for Rock On Playboy, the $2.20 fav. Both winners were driven to perfection by youngster Jackie Barker, who got away with a leisurely speed early on Sporty Azz, then slipped him into another gear for a 56.2 last half. Sporty Azz was bred by Aaron Dunn, out of the family's consistent race mare Madazhell, and has now won three of his past four. "Madazhell was a handy performer who just couldn't quite crack it for a win in Melbourne, but she ended up winning seven races and a heap of placings for us, so she paid her way," he said. The third winner in a superb 24 hours came in the far north-west at MIldura when Keayang Kookai (Sportswriter-Melita (Whats Next), and again, it was Barker in the sulky, rating the pacer to perfection. Jackie Barker and Keayang Kookai, which has won its last two The result was never in doubt and punters who took the short odds would have been happy a long way from home with Keayang Kookai scoring a runaway 24 metre victory. The pacer had also saluted 10 days earlier at Maryborough and that win was a good effort. "He's a bit one-paced, but we did think he would take some beating in the Mildura event." Dunn was at the Bendigo meeting, but passed up the four-hour trip north the next night to watch Keayang Kookai. "I got home from Bendigo at 2am and I was up at 5.30am baling hay. So I didn't get much sleep, then I pulled a hamstring that morning, so I was a scratching from Mildura! It would have been fantastic to be there, but I just wasn't up to it." Dunn has jumped out of the blocks this season, preparing five winners and four placings from 17 starters for nearly $23,000. He has established a terrific training complex near Horsham on 240 acres. It features a 1350 metre track with two hill runs, well fenced 50 x 30 yards with shelters and numerous paddocks. "I decided in the past few years to set it up properly-I spent a lot of time doing the paddocks because I just got sick of fixing them all the time," Dunn said. "I've been running my own mobile seed cleaning business for the past 20 years and operate three trucks. It's only seasonal, but I'm hoping to perhaps take more of a back seat soon and concentrate on the horses. "We have six well-bred broodmares and over the years we've bred our own or got one or two from the sales. Although in saying that, we haven't been too often to the sales in the past 13 or 14 years." Dunn said he still got a helping hand from his dad Barry and a friend from Mortlake in Stevie Blacker. "Stevie and I go back a long way - we played junior football together. He comes here probably three days a week," he said. "And my brother Bryan who is an owner and lives in Tasmania, picks out which races may be best suitable for each of our horses. I think he's got Melton or the coming St Arnaud Cup pencilled in for Marjorie Jean." Dunn said junior reinswoman Jackie Barker, a granddaughter of a legend of the sport, Jim Barker, was a most competent driver. "I never give her any instructions-she knows our horses and drives them well. I'm on the sidelines with a suspension at the moment, but even when I'm back I'll still be using her often," he said.   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

An audit commissioned by the Office of the Racing Integrity Commissioner has revealed Harness Racing Victoria’s (HRV) integrity processes to be “industry leading”. The 46-page report titled Audit Report into the End-to-End Management of Investigations – Review of Harness Racing Victoria outlines that HRV has made “significant improvement in integrity since around 2016-17” and declares HRV the racing “industry leader” in the areas of integrity processes and animal welfare framework. The report, which focused on investigations and enquiries – both race day and non-race day – also praised HRV’s establishment of animal welfare training programs and has recommended that the other codes “follow HRV’s lead”. “HRV sample investigations appeared to be comprehensive, conducted in accordance with policy, and fair dealings with licenced persons, including explaining rights to those accused persons,” the report states. “HRV has improved its integrity processes since around 2017 to the point where this audit finds that in terms of the requirements in this audit with respect to investigations, it is the industry leader. “HRV has taken a number of positive steps in recent years in order to promote the importance of welfare and establishment of the HRV Animal Welfare Framework Online Training Program and the Stable Inspections Framework. Requiring licenced participants to pass the online training module in order to maintain accreditation is a commendable step towards protecting animal welfare and we have recommended that the other codes follow HRV’s lead in this regard.”  HRV General Manager of Integrity Brent Fisher (pictured) praised his team and said HRV “had much to be proud of in the integrity space”. “This annual audit shows HRV is on the right track in regards to the manner in which we police the industry and I’m proud of the integrity team for the great results we’ve achieved in the last couple of years,” Mr Fisher said. HRV Interim CEO Luke Spano also praised the work of the integrity team. “This kind of recognition highlights the great improvement HRV has made in this important area in recent years and should give the industry confidence that our processes are conducted fairly and without fear or favour. I congratulate Brent and his team on their ongoing good work,” Mr Spano said.   HRV Trots Media - Cody Winnell

Lance Justice is considering calling time on his extraordinary driving career, with upcoming steers in Bendigo’s Veterans’ Race and Wayville’s Black Friday Bash a potential swansong. Justice revealed he was “tossing up whether to hand the reins in” while talking to Paul Campbell ahead of Bendigo’s November 8 Legends Night, featuring the Oxley Feed Mills Veteran Drivers Trot and the Victorian Harness Racing Hall Of Fame awards. “I’ve had a pretty good run of it,” Justice said. “I’ve driven over 3000 winners, I think I’m top three or four in the state, still behind Gavin (Lang) and Chris (Alford), and Kerryn (Manning’s) there alongside me.” Justice has had 3015 victories from more than 17,000 starts, which stretch back to 1984-85 and have yielded his connections more than $17 million in stakes. “I thought about it a month ago, retiring, and thought I can’t retire until after the series at Bendigo,” Justice said. “Then Wayville rang up … and said can you come over and drive there because you won it last year. I will weigh my options up after those two nights.” Wayville, which attracted a huge crowd on return last year, will be on December 13. Bendigo’s November 8 Legends Night kicks off at 5pm with an awards night and inductions into the Victorian Harness Racing Hall of Fame. For ticket details click here. To view Lance’s full interview with Paul Campbell click here.   HRV Trots Media

Two grass track races with deep fields headline a nine-race card that's set to thrill Yarra Valley racegoers, more than 5000 of whom are expected to file into Tuesday's showcase Melbourne Cup trots race day. For the first time in 16 years grass track racing returns to Victoria's calendar and participants have responded with enthusiasm, with a full field nominating for the United Petroleum Trotters Handicap at 12.19pm and a further 11 for the De Bortoli Trotters Handicap at 2.12pm. It's a move welcomed by Trots Clubs Victoria manager Toby McKinnon, who joined regional radio program Trots Talk last night. "The club's gone with some grass track racing which is great to see ... it will really bring the racing right out to the people," Mr McKinnon said. "They will almost be able to lean over the fence and touch the horses as they go past." The first race kicks off at 10.35am and the last at 4.10pm amid a busy national racing schedule, which centres around the Melbourne Cup at 3pm. Owing to that schedule, races one (10.35am), two (11.05am) and three (11.39am) will be on Sky 1, races four to eight will be on Sky 2 and race nine - the Ritchies IGA 3YO Pace - will only be broadcast live on Trots Vision at The exclusive final race coverage will form part of fantastic coverage on Trots Vision, with Paul Campbell engaged as track side host to deliver post-race and participant interviews throughout the day. FOLLOW THIS LINK TO ENJOY TROTS VISION'S LIVE AND FREE RACING The nine-race card is a fantastic turnout by participants, with the 84 starters double those who fronted last year (42). It follows on from a seven-race card the previous night at Terang and shares the Melbourne Cup day with Cobram and Swan Hill. "There are things happening everywhere at the moment," Mr McKinnon told Trots Talk. "On Melbourne Cup Eve Terang has their Ladies' Night down there, one of their feature nights of the year. "Then we roll into Melbourne Cup Day where Cobram have a beautiful day where the non-TAB meeting is very relaxed, with nice green grass and picnics on the lawn, Swan Hill on Melbourne Cup night and Melbourne Cup Day at Yarra Valley is probably our biggest attended event of the year with 5000 people out there. "It's just a wonderful day with all the things you would expect at a Flemington event. The Fashions on the Field and the racing and the big screens, there are just no queues - that's the beauty about it." CLICK BELOW TO LISTEN TO THE LATEST TROTS TALK EDITION     HRV Trots Media - Michael Howard

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