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Trots owners will receive the royal treatment at TAB Breeders Crown Super Sunday this weekend at Tabcorp Park Melton. The VIP owners’ enclosure will see owners, trainers and drivers congregating in luxurious surrounds, talking trots, cheering on their charge and watching the Race to Royalty trackside. “Elevating the ownership experience is a key theme for Harness Racing Victoria (HRV),” said HRV Ownership Manager Tori Glenister. “Owners are obviously such an important part of the industry. Racing a horse is fun and exciting, so the owners’ VIP enclosure is another way for connections to ‘Own the Moment’ on race day. “The enclosure is located between the Legends Café and the Sports Bar so our owners are looked after with some of the best views in the house.” AFL star Josh Jenkins is HRV’s TAB Breeders Crown ambassador this year. A racehorse owner himself, Jenkins will be in the owners’ enclosure throughout the day socialising. “Since I became interested in the trots, attending Breeders Crown day has been a goal,” Jenkins said. “The trots has quickly developed into a passion of mine and to be on track Sunday will be great fun.” Owners with a horse racing on Sunday can pick up their owners’ pack, which includes their VIP enclosure ticket for them and a guest, at the race day office. Finger food, scrumptious Breeders Crown cupcakes, decadent chocolates and Champagne will be just some of offerings in the owners’ enclosure. Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Warragul's harness racing season wound up with a well attended program of trotting on Monday afternoon. Despite a wet afternoon, quality racing was the order of the day with strong entries across a nine race card. Local trainers figures prominently among the results throughout the afternoon. Talented young district horseman Matt Cormick produced his handy seven-year-old gelding Mor Laag for a long priced victory. Carrying the silks of his late grandfather Des Kelly, Matt sent Mor Laag to the front in the closing stages to score well. Pearcedale pacer Friends won on debut for Simone Walker and driver Michael Bellman, while Drouin West horseman Gary Quinlan landed two winners on the day. Most Happy Cullen lived up to his promised ability in winning his first race for a happy syndicate of local owners. Misty Cullen won an eventful third race, as a short priced favourite. The race started nearly fifteen minutes late, after two horses threw themselves onto the track in the pre-race warm up, and had to be withdrawn by stewards. David Miles claimed two winners during the afternoon, with Twoforsixty and Black Derby both scoring. A small field of six competed in the Trotters Handicap, and Jeter overcame a 50 metre handicap to win narrowly for trainer/driver Lisa Miles. Top Sydney trainer Shane Tritton bought three horses to the meeting, while campaigning a team in Victoria for the Breeders Crown Carnival. His final starter for the day, Idunknow, claimed victory in the eighth race, run in steady rain. Tritton was impressed with the Warragul track and facilities, and indicated he would consider a trip back to the Pacing Bowl, particularly for the Warragul Cup meeting on Easter Sunday. Next race meeting at Warragul is on Wednesday, December 21. Kyle Galley

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Stewards have today concluded an inquiry into a matter emanating from the Geelong Harness Racing meeting on 31 July 2016, involving former licensed trainer and driver Mr Scott Gill. In accordance with Australian Rule of Harness Racing (ARHR) 183(d), which states: Pending the outcome of an inquiry, investigation or objection, or where a person has been charged with an offence, the Stewards may direct one or more of the following that a licence or any other type of authority or permission be suspended, HRV Stewards initially suspended Mr Gill’s trainer and driver licences as of 31 July 2016, until such time as an inquiry was conducted into Mr Gill’s failure to provide a urine sample when directed to do so by HRV Stewards at the Geelong Harness Racing meeting on 31 July 2016. Given evidence tendered by Mr Gill, HRV Stewards provided Mr Gill a further opportunity to provide a urine sample on 1 August 2016, however Mr Gill refused to do so and he then elected to relinquish his licenses with HRV. After considering all of the evidence tendered, Mr Gill was subsequently found guilty of a charge under ARHR 250A (1)(b) which states: A person carrying on or purporting to carry on an activity regulated by licence at any time or carrying on official duties at a meeting commits an offence if he or she refuses or fails to deliver a sample as directed by the Stewards, or tampers with, adulterates, alters, substitutes or in any way hinders the collection of such sample or attempts to do any of those things. The particulars of the charge being that at the Geelong Harness Racing meeting conducted on 31 July 2016, Mr Gill as the trainer and driver of Shell Green in Race 3 the ‘Flying Brick Draught Cider Pace’, failed to provide a urine sample as directed by the Stewards and furthermore after being provided another opportunity to deliver a urine sample at his registered address on 1 August 2016, Mr Gill refused to provide a urine sample when directed by Stewards to do so. Mr Gill was disqualified for a period of six (6) months with immediate effect. In assessing penalty Stewards considered the following factors: That Mr Gill had voluntarily relinquished his trainer and driver licence with HRV on 1 August 2016; Mr Gill’s previous long standing and clear prior record in the industry; Previous penalties under the relevant rule; That such offence is considered to be serious in nature; That any penalty in this instance required a general and specific deterrent in relation to such conduct. Mr Gill was advised of his rights of appeal and notified that any future application for a licence will be subject to a ‘Show Cause Sub-Committee’ hearing and him providing a urine sample to Stewards. Harness Racing Victoria

He came, he saw, he conquered – and Sunday it’s going to take one heck of a run to prevent him doing it all over again in the harness racing Group 1 $185,000 Breeders Crown final. Mark Purdon’s super Somebeachsomewhere gelding Our Waikiki Beach run down talented front runner Iceenothink, from Larry Eastman’s camp, to win his IRT Breeders Crown semi-final at Bendigo. VIDEO: OWNER TREVOR CASEY DELIGHTED WITH HIS STAR'S WIN And the Victorian bred, New Zealand trained winner of 22 of his 23 starts looks to have a stranglehold on the competition after a favourable barrier draw placed him in gate two for Sunday's Tabcorp Park Melton final, outside only emergency Carter Bromac. Leading rivals, who also qualified in last night’s semi-finals at Bendigo, Spiritwriter (barrier 5), Kingofthestars (barrier 6) and Iceenothink (barrier 7) have drawn outside the Kiwi on the front row, while Rock Of America (barrier 8) will likely be on his tail. Highly rated Kiwi Franco Cristiano, who ran fifth in his heat, will start from the back row, as will semi-final winner Soho Tribecca. The latter had a shining moment at Bendigo, where he controlled the race after driver Chris Alford found the front from barrier six on the Jayne Davies trained American Ideal colt. “He’s been running in all the good races this year and just been falling short,” Alford said. “Tonight for him to win a semi of the Breeders Crown is terrific and onwards to the final now.” VIDEO: CHRIS ALFORD CHATS AFTER SOHO TRIBECCA TAKES HONOURS Soho Tribecca was brilliant out of the gates to cross Keep On Rocking from gate one, while $1.40 favourite Franco Cristiano had a much more modest start and was swamped from gate four, which left driver John Dunn three-wide until he crept to the breeze mid-race. Soho Tribecca by contrast was able to do his own thing and when they came knocking at the final bend it was only Geoff Webster’s Keep On Rocking, from the box seat, who threatened. “(Soho Tribecca) found the front pretty comfortably and the main thing was that he relaxed pretty well the first lap and got it pretty easy,” Alford said. “When the pressure come on and they wanted to get rolling along, if you fight him he doesn’t seem to finish off so I was happy to let him stride and thankfully he held on.” Soho Tribecca won by a neck in a 1:55.7 mile rate for owner-breeder Rob Watson. “He’s had a lot of horses over the years Rob and he does put a lot of money in and so he deserves every winner he gets,” Alford said. The mile rate was 0.5 quicker than semi-final two, which ran as expected with Iceenothink leading and Our Waikiki Beach taking his back from barrier eight. It was then a waiting game until the sprint lane opened for Purdon, who gave Our Waikiki Beach a gentle urging and he found the front to win by 2.9m in a 27.9 final quarter, delighting part-owner Trevor Casey. “We had to drive him that way and hope for luck,” Mr Casey said. “We got it and that was our main mission (tonight).” Michael Howard (HRV Media/Communications Co-Ordinator)

Clayton Tonkin’s declaration that he doesn’t like comparing his two top-gun harness racing fillies Rocknroll Magic and Heavens Trend is completely understandable. They’re both lovable. The Emma Stewart and Tonkin prepared three-year-olds won their respective Woodlands Stud Breeders Crown 3YO semi-finals last night at Bendigo and then drew gates one (Heavens Trend) and eight (Rocknroll Magic) for the $185,000 final. “I don’t like comparing them too much. They’re lovely horses in their own right,” Tonkin said. The barrier draw result is intriguing. Heavens Trend clearly has the advantage from the pole and TAB has reacted by installing her $1.65 favourite for next Sunday’s final at Tabcorp Park Melton. Rocknroll Magic will trail her more fancied stablemate and is currently $3 to win the final. “She’s been unbelievable. It’s been a long, long season for her and for her to run the way she ran tonight is just unbelievable,” said Craig Cameron, who bred Rocknroll Magic (by Rock N Roll Heaven out of All The Magic) and now races the filly with a big ownership group. “She’s only a tiny little horse but she’s all champ.” VIDEO: EXCITED OWNERS OF ROCKNROLL MAGIC Heavens Trend went around $1.50 favourite last night in the First Semi-Final and after punching the breeze for the first 500m Gavin Lang took her to the front at the mile, Chris Alford happy to take cover on initial leader Dancingwithsierra. After coasting through a 61.3secs first half, Lang and Heavens Trend only really quickened considerably from the quarter pole, the filly covering the last split in 26.6secs for a 1:55.9 mile rate. At the wire Heavens Trend had 7.3m to spare over Mark Purdon’s My Mackenzie, who came from three-pegs, with Rockstar Angel in third for Michael Bellman after weaving a passage from well back on the inside. Dancingwithsierra dead-heated for fourth with Whirily School, the latter, also from the Stewart yard, fighting on gamely after sitting parked for the final mile. “I thought (she) did a good job, too,” Tonkin said of Whirily School. VIDEO: CLAYTON TONKIN TALKS ABOUT HIS FILLIES Queenslander Get In The Groove, who last year won a Breeders Crown Semi, qualified for the final by finishing sixth for driver Luke McCarthy. Rocknroll Magic came from behind in the run to win her Semi-Final, Lang extricating her off the pegs from barrier eight early before settling sixth in the running line. At the 500m Lang made his move, easing wide to get within striking distance of race leader Luisanabelle Midfrew and the breezing Nikkibadwagon. In the stretch once Lang shook up the $3.20 favourite, Rocknroll Magic rounded up the leaders and scored by 1.6m in a rate of 1:56.4. The last half-mile was trekked in 56.3. MARKETS: TAB BREEDERS CROWN FIXED ODDS Nikkibadwagon was brave in second after facing the breeze throughout, while Just Rockon Bye finished third after showing blistering gate speed to lead from five before handing up to Luisanabelle Midfrew, who ran fourth. Gina Grace appreciated the pole position draw and qualified in fifth, while Ilikemillie scraped into the final by closing late for sixth. Lang revealed late last night he would drive Heavens Trend in the Crown final. "Her heat run was very good and she was good again tonight so it all augers well for next week," he said. Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

The money has come for Petacular to win tomorrow night’s Betterthancheddar @ Alabar Breeders Crown two-year-old fillies’ second harness racing semi-final at Bendigo. The Michael Stanley-trained daughter of Somebeachsomewhere is already seven-time winner from nine starts and has a win and a third to her name at Group 1 level. Petacular took out the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series final last month at Tabcorp Park Melton in 1:58.0 from the breeze. Despite a gate 11 draw tomorrow night at Bendigo, Petacular is into $1.55 to win her Breeders Crown semi with TAB reporting an $1800 win bet at $1.7 during the week. TAB also reported significant win bets had come for Shane Tritton-trained Tingira Beach to win the Woodlands Stud Breeders Crown two-year-old colts and geldings’ first semi-final from the pole and Franco Christiano to take out the IRT Breeders Crown three-year-old colts and geldings’ first semi-final from barrier four. At longer odds support has come for Michael Doltoff-trained Rock Of America ($6 to $5.5) in the three-year-old boys’ first semi-final, and there has been a good early go for Barry Dunn-trained Nikkibadwagon ($4/$3.8/$3.5) to win the three-year-old fillies’ second semi-final from barrier six. TAB fixed odds markets are open for all tomorrow night’s semi-finals and all-in markets are available for next Sunday August 28’s TAB Breeders Crown pacing finals. Video: Good Form’s Breeders Crown 2YO Fillies Semi-Final Preview Video: Good Form’s Breeders Crown 2YO Colts/Geldings Preview Video: Good Form’s Breeders Crown 3YO Fillies Preview Video: Good Form’s Breeders Crown 3YO Colts/Geldings Preview Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Having waited a long time to unwrap his trotting gift harness racing trainer Bill Morgan’s patience has been quickly rewarded, with his talented three-year-old putting his best foot forward. Maori Law’s unbeaten streak reached four at Maryborough yesterday when the Lawman / Sundonna gelding stepped out in the Woodlands Stud Breeders Crown heat and saw off a challenge from Tony Herlihy’s short-priced entrant, Temporale. It has the Seymour stable buoyant, having stepped carefully with their lightly-raced gelding, who is owned by Fred Crews. “Early doors he looked like he was going to hit his knee (when trotting) so we put him away as a two-year-old and he must have been out for eight to 10 months,” Morgan said. “Then we worked him up, had good speed, but just wasn’t good enough to trot early, wasn’t balanced enough, so we put him away for another three months and then we had another go at him again. He was handling the early speed and so we raced him.” There was still uncertainty, but Morgan was optimistic he had a good one. “I remember one night when we were getting him going we took him up to Shepparton just to have a run about,” Morgan said. “We were only educating him, he couldn’t balance early so we would work him two-mile and then build him into it. “One particular night, when Bernadette (Page) was driving a pacemaker, I said just come off his back and let him work home in the quarter and he ran 27.7. If I had have raced him then I think I might have brought him undone because he just wasn’t balanced enough early, so we put him away and waited for him.” His debut came at Maryborough on July 18, when in Gavin Lang’s hands he won by a head via the sprint lane. “His first start here he sat behind the leader, they went slow and then sprinted. He was entitled to lose, if they had have ran it true I think he would have won it easy at his first start.” Further victories followed at Cranbourne on July 30 and Maryborough on August 7, but yesterday presented his most stern test against Breeders Crown aspirants. “He’s got stronger, in saying that of course (he hadn’t raced) the likes of the Tony Herlihys then,” Morgan said. “Each time he’s racing better horses.” From gate two yesterday Lang guided Maori Law to the front and followed a 42.7 lead time with 31.6 and 31.9 first and second quarters. Temporale remained in the one-one through a 29.6 third quarter, drawing wide at the final bend and almost level with Maori Law, but the latter matched every stride and in a 28.0 final quarter won by 2.1m, with Hudson Bay third. “I didn’t know whether he could or he couldn’t (beat the likes of Temporale), but when he got the cheap splits I had a gut feeling, and I said to young Bernadette, that I don’t know if (Temporale) can beat him now.” Next stop is the Sunday, August 28, Breeders Crown finals at Tabcorp Park Melton, where the Group 1 $60,000 prize will have Maori Law square off against fellow heat winner Sundons Courage, Vicbred champion Cruisin Around and Geoff Webster’s Big Jack Hammer among others. It’s a challenge Morgan is looking forward to, in a matter-of-fact kind of way. “Breeders Crown only comes around once a year, if it wasn’t around normally you would put him away, but he is paid up for it and after that we will put him away, give him a freshen up and in another preparation we should find him better again.” Michael Howard (HRV Media/Communications Co-Ordinator) Race programme for Tabcorp Park Melton, Sunday 28 August 2016

This time last year harness racing driver Ashlee Grives won a Semi-Final of the Breeders Crown with Ameretto. Wind the clock forward and the pair are aiming at Victorian riches again, this time in Saturday night's Group Three Breeders Crown Graduate Mares Free-For-All at Bendigo. Drawn wide in barrier seven for the $30,000 feature, Ameretto is the third elect with TAB Fixed Odds at $6. And despite hardly finishing out of the money throughout her career, the Million Dollar Cam mare produced one of the best runs to date to win at Tabcorp Park Menangle last start. She led throughout and rated 1:51.6. "I was a bit worried heading into that race because she had not raced in five weeks but she went super," Grives said. "She will racing in Victoria for a couple of weeks with the Breeders Crown Final at Melton at the end of month too." Part-owned by Grives' husband Ryan, Ameretto has won 17 of her 39 starts and Grives has been the only person to drive the four-year-old in all her races. This has aided Grives' record of steering 633 winners in her own career and it has also added to Grives 198 wins as a trainer, hence why they named their property 'Ameretto Park'. It is even their domain name for their website Ameretto is one of three New South Wales mares aimed at this weekend's feature, with the John McCarthy-trained Cyclone Kate the $2.20 favourite and the Shane Tritton-trained Miss Riviera Bella a $9 chance. Amanda Rando

Harness racing team Molander look on track to renew their acquaintances with Breeders Crown joy, with their Race To Royalty to be revived tomorrow at Maryborough. Based at Riddells Creek, trainer Nicole Molander and husband Dean have prepared two talented trotters for tomorrow’s heats in Our Regal Love and champion High Gait, winner of last year’s two-year-old Breeders Crown final. The Muscles Yankee filly was then in Mark Purdon’s powerful All Stars stable and saluted on the same night Reina Danzante won the three-year-old fillies final for Molander. Tomorrow High Gait steps out for the fourth time for Molander and expectations are high. “She is right up there with the best of them,” Dean Molander said. Since transitioning to the Molanders’ property for her New Zealand owners, High Gait was undefeated until Paul Nairn’s smart filly Wilmas Mate pipped her in an eventful Group 1 Seelite Windows & Doors Victoria Trotters Derby, when High Gait did plenty of work before being beaten 2.7m. “She came home and ate everything,” Molander said. “She’s a pretty tough little horse and has done plenty of work in quite a few runs. She only had one lead up and should tune up better for the Redwood.” Wilmas Mate will be absent from tomorrow’s heats having secured her berth in the August 26 final via a win at Christchurch’s Addington Raceway, with the three-year-old instead nominated for Friday night’s Collaborate Communications Trot at Tabcorp Park Melton. Molander said High Gait and Wilmas Mate “look the standouts”, but plenty of talent will surround them. “(High Gait) obviously has a bad barrier draw (tomorrow), but she will take her chances along the way,” Molander said. “Princess Phoenix will likely lead and whether she hands up to us or we sit outside is unclear, but she will certainly be in it at the finish.” There are a few more unknowns when it comes to Molander’s other Breeders Crown entrant Our Regal Love, a two-year-old Love You filly who, like High Gait, is Breckon Farms owned and bred. “Her running is getter better and better every start,” Molander said. “She hasn’t raced all of the season, unlike a few of the others, but we are really happy with her.” Our Regal Love placed third in the Seelite Windows & Doors Redwood Classic, having lost touch with geldings Illawong Byron and Custodian. “On Redwood day she sat in the trail and when they quickened she didn’t quite know what to do, but she is improving and won’t be far away,” Molander said. “It is a nice little heat with Sval Queen and Betty Hall drawn inside her and Illawong Shimmer on her outside. “We think she will be a top horse after she has a spell. They will both have a short break after Breeders Crown.” Michael Howard (HRV Media/Communications Co-Ordinator) Fields for Maryborough, Wednesday 17 August 2016 Form guide for Maryborough, Wednesday 17 August 2016

Some of Australia’s leading drivers were heralding their horses amid a star-studded night of harness racing at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday. In one thrilling 60-minute swoop Tee Cee Bee Macray, Hectorjayjay and Our Waikiki Beach emerged from cover to mow down their rivals and win their respective races, confirming their status as some of Australasia’s elite. Tee Cee Bee Macray was first to get the job done, again overcoming a back row draw to sweep the field and win the Decon Pace for trainer Alan Tubbs and driver Greg Sugars. “He’s fast becoming my favourite horse at the moment, that’s for sure,” Sugars said. “He’s got incredible acceleration as everyone has seen in recent times and I struggle to think of too many horses who I have sat behind that have that kind of speed.” ENJOY GREG SUGARS POST-RACE INTERVIEW The Minuteman Free For All followed and $1.10 favourite Hectorjayjay rewarded punters' faith with a 2.7m win in a 1:54.0 mile rate for trainer David Aiken and driver Gavin Lang. “He’s always had a great amount of ability,” Lang said. “This horse has got a great outlook on life and he is a pleasure to drive really. We have a race in a couple of weeks here, David said, hopefully he holds together well and Perth late in the year will be good.” WATCH GAVIN LANG’S POST-MORTEM ON ANOTHER HECTOR WIN And then it was over to the All Stars, with New Zealand trainer-driver Mark Purdon’s jet three-year-old Our Waikiki Beach recording a 21st win from his 22nd start by rounding up favourite Menin Gate and careering away for a 2m win in the Pace. “He’s a lovely horse,” Purdon said. “He’s a pleasure to work with. I think he’s close to 100 per cent, I think he will benefit from tonight’s run. We look forward to the (Breeders Crown) semi-finals now with him.” The high-calibre racing continues with the Breeders Crown trotting heats at Maryborough tomorrow, a return to racing at Tabcorp Park Melton on Friday and then the Breeders Crown pacing semi-finals at Bendigo on Saturday night. SOAK UP ALL SATURDAY NIGHT’S WINNING DRIVER INTERVIEWS HERE by Michael Howard

A second Group 1 race for mares will be added to the Victorian trots racing calendar for 2017. The Ladyship Cup will be elevated to Group 1 status and carry a $100,000 purse during the rich Summer of Glory carnival. The Ladyship Cup winning horse will also receive an invitation to the New South Wales’ Group 1 Ladyship Mile. “The decision to elevate the Ladyship Cup is in line with HRV’s ongoing emphasis on ensuring mares receive racing opportunities so they remain in our racing population for longer,” HRV Chairman Dale Monteith said. “Keeping our top mares racing will ultimately stimulate the depth of Victoria's broodmare ranks when those horses retire to the breeding barn. "The HRV Board intends to review opportunities for fillies and mares in general, including providing additional races set aside for them. Such a strategy will complement our move to provide additional group races for fillies and mares." The Ladyship Cup joins the Queen of the Pacific (2760 metres) in May as Victoria’s mares-only Group 1 races. “The Group 1 prizemoney and the fact the winning horse receives an invitation to the $200,000 Ladyship Mile at Menangle should see plenty of good mares up and going for the Summer of Glory,” Mr Monteith said. Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Some of Australasia’s greatest harness racing talent will step out at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday night providing a pre-Breeders Crown feast. Outstanding New Zealand three-year-olds Our Waikiki Beach and Franco Cristiano, and Group 1 horses Hectorjayjay, Messini, Tee Cee Bee Macray, Flaming Flutter and Menin Gate are among the stars splashed across the card’s central races. And then there’s Group 3 races the Empire Stallions Vicbred Championship final, featuring Stay And Play, and the Aldebaran Park Vulcan Trotters Free For All, featuring Maori Time. For most runners the racing presents a final tune-up ahead of Breeders Crown commitments, with all roads leading to the August 26 and 28 finals at Tabcorp Park. Among that number is Hectorjayjay, David Aiken’s five-year-old Dream Away gelding who has taken all before him in his short time at Avenel. Only a barnstorming run from Ohoka Punter in the Group 1 Blacks A Fake robbed him of a fifth board on his picket fence. Aiken said Hectorjayjay’s venture north to Menangle and then Albion Park hadn’t taxed him, which boded well for his Perth Inter Dominion campaign in December. “He’s good, he worked well this morning and has travelled well,” Aiken said. “He had a little stopover in Sydney for six days and has been really good. That’s the second trip he has had away now, having had a short trip to Mildura which (also) went well." Drawn barrier six in the Minuteman Free For All, Hectorjayjay will step out Saturday night as favourite, but will clash with a quality field and with one eye on an August 26 feature race. “This is very much a lead up run for the Breeders Crown Graduate race in two weeks’ time,” Aiken said. “We were only going to give him one run, but with the Melton Plate now just a week after (Breeders Crown) we might put him in that, then freshen him up before all things head towards Perth. “There are some challenges (Saturday night). Chilli Palmer has been very good, Messini is a good horse on the way back up, Young Modern is a nice horse when 100 per cent and Major Crocker was good last week. They are nice horses and with where we are drawn it will be a challenge, but a strength of his racing is that he can win from behind and is probably the best horse in the race. The outside draw just evens it up a bit.” Young Modern is unlikely to cause Hectorjayjay too many headaches, according to his trainer Emma Stewart. Having his first run in the stable of this year’s leading state and metropolitan trainer, Young Modern will step out for the first time in three months and the Modern Art five-year-old has given his new trainer her fair share of headaches. “He steps into the deep end and will be swimming with the sharks, but at this grade there are no easy races,” Stewart said. “We are not 100 per cent happy with him, he is not our favourite horse at the moment. He will need a couple of runs and be better for them.” The camp has higher expectations for Stay And Play, who will contest the final of the Empire Stallions Vicbred Championship, having won her heat by 7.1m. “I think she is the class runner of this race,” Stewart said. “She has trained good and drawn well, so I think she will run a really good race.” Fellow heat winner Snip Of Grand is among her rivals in the $30,575 feature. Much interest will also surround the pace with New Zealanders Our Waikiki Beach, for Mark Purdon, and Franco Cristiano, for Robert Dunn, to start from the back row, with Victorian Vicbred champ Menin Gate to take up the running from gate three. For John Dunn, driver of Franco Cristiano, the cards hadn’t fallen as he may have hoped for the Breeders Crown tune-up. His three-year-old Bettors Delight gelding trialled at Melton on Tuesday and ran second to Highview Ruler. “He drew five out of six, so I just took him back to last and they dawdled round up front, but he had a good last half and last 400 so I was happy with him,” Dunn told RSN’s trials review. “I came over a couple of weeks early to let the horse settle in and try and find a nice race. Unfortunately on paper this week’s not that good of a race for him, but we will see how we go. “He’s still not a foolproof horse. It’s quite good coming a wee bit earlier to let him have a couple of looks at the track anyway and the style of racing over here. Whatever he does this week he hopefully should improve on.” LISTEN TO JOHN DUNN'S FULL INTERVIEW ON RSN 927 A winner of eight of his 11 starts the half-brother to Ladyship Mile placegetter Cruiser Franco will start from gate 10, outside superstar Our Waikiki Beach who he will battle for Breeders Crown glory on August 28. “(Franco Cristiano) showed a fair bit as an early three-year-old and showed he could compete against Lazarus and horses like that, but unfortunately got a hairline fracture of his pastern so we put him aside, which could have been a blessing in disguise the way those three-year-olds were flying back home and over here earlier in the season,” Dunn said. “We brought him up late in the piece and that’s why I decided to have a crack at Breeders Crown.” The night will also be notable for the Decron Pace, with Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series star swooper Tee Cee Bee Macray to step out for the first time since his brave second in the four-year-old age classic. Starting from 13 in the preferential barrier draw, he will come up against the likes of in-form runners Johnny Fox (Kerryn Manning) and Major Star (Andy Gath). Michael Howard (HRV Media/Communications Co-Ordinator)

Wilmas Mate survived an action packed Group 1 to reward harness racing favourite followers and smash a track record at Maryborough in winning the Seelite Windows and Doors Victoria Trotters Derby Locking of wheels twice savaged the hopes of well-rated Victorian hopes Sundons Courage and Cruisin Around and while Wilmas Mate took full advantage to win by 2.5m from High Gait, a protest led to a wait before any champagne could be popped. Wilmas Mate’s connections - trainer Paul Nairn, driver David Butt and owner Richard Cornelius – were forced to dwell after High Gait’s driver Chris Alford protested the result because Wilmas Mate veered into the sprint lane from the lead. HRV Chairman of Stewards Nick Murray said Butt hadn’t explicitly complied with his obligations to prevent the horse shifting further into the sprint lane. Mr Murray said Wilmas Mate then trotted roughly under pressure and Butt restrained him, and it was only then High Gait made late ground, and owing to that and the 2.5m margin the protest was dismissed. Wilmas Mate, by Pegasus Spur out of Mybrotherwasastar, won in a 2:00.3 mile rate, taking 0.4 off Speeding Spur’s Maryborough and District Harness Racing Club track record set in the 2015 Derby. “It’s great to win a race in Australia,” Cornelius said. “I’ve been over here before with horses and gone home with my tail between my legs and for a minute or two I thought the same might happen again, but thankfully we got through it and won the race. “Obviously Paul again showed the master that he is. He had the horse in excellent condition to do what she has done today and David Butt again proved that he is a great driver.” Wilmas Mate found the front at the bell after advancing from the rear of the field, looping Sundons Courage (leader) and Cruisin Around (breeze), who then appeared to briefly lock wheels that led to Pizza Queen galloping. High Gait jumped out from the death to challenge Wilmas Mate who had made a break, with a recovering Sundons Courage and Cruisin Around locking again at the final bend to put paid to their hopes. It became a race in two and Wilmas Mate cleared away, looking all the world the winner only to veer into the sprint lane and lose gait in the dying moments, but being first past the post and surviving the protest. “She was getting pretty tired at the end,” Butt said. “She deserved to be, she put in a big run. They made her work but she came around and went really well.” Michael Howard (HRV Media/Communications Co-Ordinator)

Harness racing trainer / driver Jodi Quinlan and two of her biggest fans, Dr Martin Hartnett and his wife Kaye, picked up the win they wanted most today at Maryborough. In front of a huge crowd Quinlan guided two-year-old gelding Illawong Byron to a memorable victory in the $50,575 Seelite Windows and Doors Redwood Classic. “This is very special to be standing here on this stage,” she said. “I’ve always said with this horse that this is the race I wanted to win.” Illawong Byron’s owner, Dr Hartnett, whose wife Kaye bred the horse, concurred. “This is the one we always wanted. We’re very pleased with Illawong Byron,” he said. Illawong Byron (Muscle Mass-Illawong Blush) began like a pro from the 2190-metre stand start to lead from outside the front row. Once in front Quinlan rated the Tatlow Stakes winner and Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series runner-up a treat, Illawong Byron notching a 63.3 first half before taking the sting out of her rivals down the back (28.8secs). It was a winning move. “His manners today were the best they have ever been. We ran that quarter down the back and  got them off the bit,” Quinlan said. Illawong Byron then held off a late challenge by Mark Purdon’s odds-on favourite Custodian, digging deep to score by a half-neck with Quinlan drawing a rapturous applause from the crowd. The final quarter was trotted in 29.3secs for a mile rate of 2:04.4. Our Regal Love for Nicole Molander and Chris Alford ran third, beaten 15m, while Lance Justice guided Carnera to fourth at huge odds ahead of Truscott Hall. Quinlan mooted a long-range plan for one of Australasia’s rising star squaregaiters. “He’s very immature and with a bit of extra size about him in 12 months I hope we’re back here at Maryborough for the Derby,” she said. Quinlan also thanked Illawong Byron’s owners for their ongoing support. “Martin and Kaye have always been fantastic support for me. They’re 100 per cent behind me no matter what.” Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Breeders Crown 2016 is shaping as Goliath versus Goliath in more than one division. Mark Purdon’s Allstars camp is always the talk of the town in August, but Emma Stewart’s 2015-16 domination of the home-ground harness racing ranks is unwavering. Tonight at Tabcorp Park Melton Stewart’s Smythes Creek operation drew the headlines for the umpteenth time this season, notching a winning treble courtesy of stable stars Delight Me and Ideal For Real, and up-and-comer Stay And Play. Both Delight Me and Ideal For Real look early favourites for their respective four-year-old Breeders Crown categories. Heavens Trend and Rocknroll Magic are both logical top picks in the three-year-old fillies, which gives Stewart three of the six pacing Breeders Crown favourites at this stage in the Race of the Royalty. WIN A $10,000 TROTS BET, BREEDERS CROWN SKY BOX PACKAGE + 2 NIGHTS @ CROWN Meanwhile, Purdon’s here with plenty of firepower and the Allstars look to have the other three pacing division favourites in Our Waikiki Beach (three-year-old males), Partyon (two-year-old fillies) and Pacing Major (two-year-old colts and geldings). Last year Purdon pocketed three Crowns on Super Sunday while Stewart won one. This year the battle of the two power barns of Australasia certainly looks closer. Stewart combined with the state’s leading metro driver, Gavin Lang, for a double tonight, the Ice Man hitting 43 victories for the season, five clear of the Candyman Greg Sugars and the Puppet Chris Alford. Delight Me (Bettor's Delight-Cornsilk) cruised to a 1.5-metre win in the Benstud Standardbreds Pace, controlling the race from the 1100m after working to the front. She got home in 55.6secs to beat stablemate Miley Rose. That’s 11 out of 13 now for Delight Me. Is she Australia’s best mare? It’s an intriguing discussion. And fans of New South Wales pair Frith and Arms Of An Angel won’t be taking a backward step at this stage. Note, I’d include Nike Franco among Australia’s best too, but she has reportedly been sold to the US for a substantial sum and will continue her racing career there in coming weeks. Ideal For Real (American Ideal-Tamara Hall) went back to the rear early in the Cougar Bourbon Pace tonight, but the $1.04 polemarker rounded up his rivals and ran away for an easy 10.8-metre win over Phil Monty in 1:55.7. Stay And Play (Live Or Die-Play Ball) won Heat 2 of the Empire Stallions Vicbred Championship over 2240m for Stewart and Alford in 1:56.6 over Metrofromelle by 7.1m, while Snip Of Grand for Sebastopol’s Alex and Adrian Douglas won the other heat in 1:57.3 by 1.9m over Royal Hustler. Stallion honours for the night went to Shadow Play with a winning double courtesy of The Shady One (Shadow Play-Demi Plie) in the Rayner Real Estate Pace Final for Wayne Potter and John Caldow (1:58.4, 2240m) and Irish Player (Shadow Play-Hula Gold) for Mario Azzapardi and Charlie Borg in the Empire Stallions Vicbred Platinum Country Series A Final (2:01.2, 2240m). Kotare York (Mach Three-Kotare Yoyo) took the 1720m SEW-Eurodrive 4YO Pace for Geoff Webster and Emmett Brosnan in 1:59.5, and Stunning Grin (Grinfromeartoear-Rosalee Hanover) won the Exclusive Homes Pace over 1720m for Vince Vallelonga and Michael Bellman in 1:54.2. An eight-race card awaits at Bray Raceway Ballarat tomorrow night before Sunday's dual Group 1 Seelite Windows and Doors Redwood Day at Maryborough. Cody Winnell

Smart 3yo filly Alessa proved much too tough for her rivals with a slashing harness racing victory in the Morley Park Princess of the Wimmera at the Horsham Racing Centre yesterday afternoon. The beautifully bred daughter of Art Major USA sat outside the leader Jilliby Jitterbug (Jason Lee) for the majority of the 2200 metre race and cleared away from the pack over the final stages to score by 17 metres in the ultra slick mile rate of 1:56.8, just 0.3 seconds outside Spokeswoman’s Horsham track record. Trainer/driver Michael Stanley dictated the tempo of the contest, particularly over the final 1609 metres, when posting four solid quarters of 29.7, 30.6, 27.4, and 28.3 seconds. It was a case of third time lucky in the Princess of the Wimmera for owner Harvey Delmenico, who bred Alessa from his former talented racemare, No More Trouble (16 wins $133k) which was beaten a half-neck by Deanna Troy in the 2007 edition of the feature event. No More Trouble, by Troublemaker USA, is a half-sister to Mendelico (17 wins, $188k) which finished in third place for Delmenico, behind Ay Tee Em and Queen Of Fire in the 2009 Princess. Mendelico is the dam of the classy colt Heaven Rocks, winner of 5 races from 8 starts, including the Group 1 $150,000 Woodlands Emerald at Waikato in June this year. Local hope Bo Chard came from the rear of the field to pick up second money for trainer Rod Carberry and owner Robbie Connelly with the Great Western filly Plain Baby a further 5 metres away in third place, for the Peter & Kerryn Manning combo. Both the result and the tempo of The Alabar Horsham Guineas were in complete contrast to The Morely Park Princess with former Kiwi pacer Stuover (Greg Sugars) staving off a late lunge on the line from Truth And Courage (Jason Lee) to get the judge’s nod in  atight finish. Sugars had taken Stuover straight to the lead with two laps to travel and those who’d taken the $1.40 on offer would have been counting their winnings early, when the gelded son of Changeover NZ dawdled through a middle half in a pedestrian like, 62.9 seconds. The race developed into just a final quick dash up the home straight with Stuover lasting to beat a very brave Truth And Courage in a final split of 27.3 and a mile rate of 1:59.4 for the 2200 metre trip. Stuover was having his fourth start since crossing the ditch to join the Dean Braun stables at Lara. After consecutive victories at Cranbourne the bay finished a close-up second to Spiritwriter in the recent $20k VHRSC The Graduate at Meton and should go to bigger and better things for owner Tony Coniglio. Franco Jameson battled on soundly 5.5 metres away in third place for trainer Adam Kelly and driver Michael Bellman.   Anthony Logan    

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