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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

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

Up-and-coming Victorian harness racing trainer Jess Tubbs admits she loves nothing better than being around horses - something quite the contrary to when she was growing up. "I actually disliked them big time when I was young. All my friends would be off doing fun things and I'd have to go home and care for the horses," Jess said. "It was hard work, but I guess I was born into it, so I didn't have much choice. But over the years I grew to enjoy them and love them." Jess now operates the successful Larajay Farms stable with her husband Greg Sugars at Myrniong and it would be fair to say that she is relishing being part of the industry. A recent Yarra Valley win by two-year-old gelding Illawong Mustang (Mach Three-Light In Every Day (Artiscape USA) brought up a well-deserved milestone for Jess - it was her 100th winner as a trainer. Illawong Mustang (Greg Sugars) made it two in a row with a win at Warragul on Monday "I really had no idea. But it was a pleasant surprise when a friend told me. I've held a licence for about 18 months and we have been ticking along nicely, but it's not just about me," Jess said. "Greg and I are so lucky to have his parents Ross and Kerry helping us out, along with his sister Kylie, and a few others," she said. "There's a great deal of work goes into running big stables and we're trying to keep it to 20 horses. We did get up to 30, but it was too many for us to keep a handle on it." Jess and Greg are enjoying a more than handy season - Greg (as of July 31) has driven 240 wins (365 placings) this season, with a 46% win-place strike rate. Jess combines training with being the Racing and Marketing Manager at The Meadows Greyhounds, a position she recently moved to after three years with the club. "A normal day for me starts at 5.30am because it's my job to mix feeds, then feed-up and help plan the daily training schedules," Jess said. "I'm also around for a day midweek, but it's all about teamwork and everyone does their bit." Jess and Greg enjoy a picturesque and functional setup at their property, which is about 75 kilometres north west of Melbourne. "We have a great place here - we just love it," Jess said. "We bought the property about three and a half years ago and started from scratch. We've put everything into it, and we are quite proud." Jess got to know Greg while working for Harness Racing Victoria, a position she held for 12 years. "We met at the races one day and it just went from there," she said. Jess is now following in the footsteps of her late dad, highly-respected horseman Alan, and her talented sister, former driver Amy, who now operates an agistment property. Alan died two years ago this October after enduring many years of kidney disease-related ill health. Who could forget the Alan and Amy Tubbs 2007-2013 roadshow when the pair combined with brilliant pacer Melpark Major (Iraklis-Golden Forrest (Forrest Skipper) to finish with 36 wins for $980,000? And this week Jess and Amy caught up with the old marvel Melpark Major. "He's retired at the Melton property of owners Don and Bev Smith. The horse had the biggest impact on our family that's for sure. We had a cup of tea and fed Melpark Major a heap of carrots. We all catch up quite often," Jess said. "Dad and Amy won a lot of races with him, including a Victoria Cup. If I could have one wish, I'd love to be able to add that Cup to my list." However, at the moment, Jess is focused on getting Tee Cee Bee Macray (Ponder-Wya Wya Macray (Pacific Fella) back into the winner's circle. "The horse was a favorite with dad but hasn't won since he passed away. The new national ratings have helped him because he had reached the point where he was non-competitive at the top level," Jess said. "I'm so determined and think I'm getting closer now that he's over a few issues."   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

The Angelique Club has welcomed the news Victoria Shaw will call three harness racing meetings for Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) this month. Ms Shaw has had stints calling all racing codes during a long association with the industry, but tomorrow will be the first time she’s called a full Victorian harness meeting. “We’d like to take this opportunity on the week of International Women’s Day (Friday March 8) to publicly support and congratulate Victoria,” Angelique Club President Judy Rothacker. Ms Shaw will also call trots meetings at Warragul on Monday March 18 and Cranbourne on Tuesday March 26. “I think it’s brilliant. I welcome the opportunity for Victoria to demonstrate her skills, which she’s long held in the race calling space,” HRV Board Member, Pearl Kelly Award and Gordon Rothacker Medal recipient Elizabeth Clarke said. “I have been involved in this industry for 50 years and I’m proud to say that not once in that time in harness racing have I ever felt treated any differently because I am a woman. “Victoria is very passionate about her racing and I look forward to her being afforded future opportunities in the broadcasting space.” See below for the Angelique Club’s statement:   Angelique Club welcomes Victoria Shaw to Victorian trots race calling ranks The Angelique Club, an organisation which has honoured and promoted the role of women in harness racing for the past 25 years, welcomes the addition of Victoria Shaw to our state’s harness race calling ranks. Victoria has an extensive background in race calling and racing journalism, and we’re thrilled to see a female represented in the race calling space, an area which, for whatever reason, hasn’t had strong female representation in the past. Our club understands Victoria will call three race meetings for Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) this month, starting with Yarra Valley tomorrow, and we’d like to take this opportunity on the week of International Women’s Day (Friday, March 8) to publicly support and congratulate Victoria. Victoria joins a proud list of prominent women in our sport to have held key industry positions and our club is thrilled that women have been so well represented in all facets of harness racing, including on the track, in the board room, club leadership positions, stewarding panels and many other areas.   Trots Media

Lara harness racing trainer Dean Braun has had the uncanny knack over the years of consistently producing a more-than-handy pacer. And his latest “find” could easily be up there with his best, judging by an eye-catching performance on debut at Yarra Valley on Wednesday afternoon. Holy Basil (Changeover-Artistic Lass NZ (Artiscape USA) gave a sensational display to take out the first heat of the Thank You Dallas Sutton 3yo Pace and will almost certainly - and deservedly - start a warm favorite in next Friday’s $10,000 final at Melton. The three-year-old gelding really couldn’t have been much more impressive, stopping the clock at 1.54-2, just a whisker outside the track record. To watch the video replay click here. “He’s right up there with the best I’ve had and while he has phenomenal speed, he’s also just so sensible,” an elated Braun said. “I must say that I’d had my eye on him for a while and we didn’t hesitate when the chance to buy him from New Zealand came along a few months ago,” he said. Holy Basil Holy Basil is raced by Braun’s partner Pauline McColgan and longtime friend and stable client, Todd Struthers, of Tasmania and the pacer’s win was the second leg of a winning double for Braun at Yarra Valley.  He won earlier with War Dan (Bettors Delight-Kalypso (Safely Kept USA). Braun said Holy Basil caught his eye when he was watching a workout at Ashburton, NZ, and saw him ping off a last quarter of 25.5 secs. “He was obviously unraced then, but his performance was electric,” Braun said. “At this stage, I wouldn’t say that he is as quick as Chilli Palmer (who Braun trained to 12 wins, 11 placings and a brilliant 1.51-5 in Feb. 2014, Melton) but the indications are that he will be a special horse. “We were rapt with the way he went about his business at Yarra Valley. He’s still only a baby and it was great the way he handled it all, including working through the field from the back row in that blistering 27sec first quarter. “Then later when driver Greg Sugars found the front, there was a fair bit of pressure at one stage, so it was all pretty awesome.” Braun said he planned to give Holy Basil a short let-up after next week’s Melton run. Holy Basil “To be honest he’s probably not going quite as quick as he was a month ago, so a bit of a break will do him the world of good,” he said. “Then we might aim him for the Queensland Derby, but we’ll see how he comes back and what races are around.” Braun has seven in work and was quick to give his helpers a pat on the back for their valuable assistance. “Amanda Grieve is back with us, while Carson Miller helps out whenever he gets time off work, and my partner Pauline completes the team,” he said. In recent times, some well-credentialed speedsters have flown the flag for the Braun stable, in Carlas Pixel, Chilli Palmer, Magical Telf, Chancellor Cullen, Mustang Mach and Duplicated, to name a few. And it won’t be all that long before Holy Basil is spoken in the same breath! Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

At picturesque Yarra Valley racecourse today, Shepparton pacer San Carlo (pictured right, by Nikkita Ross) took another mighty step towards scaling the TAB Inter Dominion pinnacle. The brilliant eight-year-old dazzled as he sat parked outside one of the toughest horses in the caper in the United Petroleum Yarra Valley Pacing Cup before scooting clear in the last 200m for an emphatic win. San Carlo’s driver, Bec Bartley, only needed to gently flick the reins when she wanted her charge to go, and go he did, the pair romping home by 4.8 metres as Hickstead ran the race of his life in second place and early leader Im The Boss battled into third. “He took himself to the front, and as soon as I pulled the plugs he took off,” Bartley said of the 1:56.8 win. “He was so strong right to the line. We’re super happy with him.” Today’s win came at just his third run back from a spell and trainer Stephen O’Donoghue has San Carlo on track to peak during ID18, which kicks off on Saturday night December 1 at Tabcorp Park Melton. It was 12 days ago that San Carlo fiercely fended off Tiger Tara in the Decron Cranbourne Gold Cup. That pacer is a serious player in the New Zealand Trotting Cup on Tuesday. So it is little wonder TAB today slashed San Carlo’s ID18 price from $10 this morning into $7 by early evening. San Carlo was ranked No.6 at the most recent ID18 rankings released on October 31 after initially being No.14 when nominations closed. When the fourth and final rankings are revealed on Wednesday November 21, he’ll be higher again. Read more here   Cody Winnell Trots Media

A monster week of celebration and racing awaits at Yarra Valley racecourse where the trots will again be in the thick of the Spring Racing Carnival action. The picturesque Yarra Glen course will again be a magnet to race goers with Tuesday's trots racing amid Melbourne Cup day followed by Thursday's Yarra Valley pacing and trotting cups. Club chief executive Brett Shambrook joined hosts Michael Howard and Nims Azoor on Trots Talk ahead of their Trots Country Cups Championship leg. "It's what we work towards all year round - it's our grand final basically," Mr Shambrook said. "To kick off with Melbourne Cup Day, which is traditionally a massive event for the club, and then following on Thursday - Oaks Day - it's sort of a new event for us. It's our fifth Cup that we've conducted on that day and it's really growing into something for the club." Of course it's about much more than just racing, being also a feast of fashion, food and famiy fun. "We're very fortunate we are smack in the middle of a tourism destination," Mr Shambrook said. "The Yarra Valley's pretty iconic for great food, great wine and we are right in the middle of it. Beautiful country scenery, we are only 65km from the CBD and (visitors can) experience country racing at its best. "We have all the amenities you would probably get at a metropolitan club, but in a much more relaxed environment, very family friendly." And, in Thursday's cup day, some great trots racing. "I'm really looking forward to Thursday, it could be a mini Inter Dominion heat with the calibre of horses that we are expecting. "We've been getting great fields in recent years, Lennytheshark won the cup last year which really put the stamp on the event as a great country cup. "Fingers crossed some of those horses heading to the Inter Dominion that the Yarra Valley Cup works into their program and they come here Thursday. It's a great opportunity for people to see really good quality horses, and with Flemington races all on the big screen." More details via   Trots Media

THE old boy seems to be getting quicker.  At least that’s what the clock says about the great Lennytheshark.  David Aiken’s eight-year-old smashed the clock despite showing his wayward and wobbling racing ways again in today’s $30,000 Group 3 Yarra Valley Cup – his last lead-up run to the start of the Perth Inter Dominion on November 24. Lennytheshark paced the marathon 2650m trip in a scorching 1min55.3sec mile rate. It smashed the previous track record of 2min0.1sec set by retired star Restrepo in last year’s Cup. Most remarkably, Lennytheshark roared home his last two splits in 26.9 and 27.3sec. It was his third sparkling victory from as many starts this campaign. Knowing he had his main rival, My Field Marshal, parked outside him, driver Chris Alford poured on the pressure down the back straight. As he so often does, Lennytheshark wobbled, hung-out, drifted-in and looked oh so wayward at times. But he was simply a class above them and won by 3.9m. Driver Anthony Butt had to make a midrace move from a trail to sit parked on My Field Marshal once Alford had found the lead and was able to dictate. My Field Marshal never looked like winning, but ran yet another gallant race for second. He’ll be glad to see Lennytheshark head west as My Field Marshal stays in Victoria for some other country cups. Talented sit-sprinter Tee Cee Bee Macray sustained a booming three-wide run around them in those blistering closing splits and ran one of his best races for a close third. And former Kiwi stayer Messini, who returned to form winning the Swan Hill Cup at his previous run, franked that form with a strong fourth. Adam Hamilton

Some of the greatest racehorses in the world will be celebrated amid some of the finest drops of champagne and nibbles as the annual racing celebration engulfs the Yarra Valley. The two-day delights moulds the Spring Racing Carnival's Melbourne Cup and Victoria Oaks with some fantastic trots racing, which peaks with Thursday’s Yarra Valley pacing and trotting cups. And not only will horse racing fans be able to savour the deeds of gallops favourites Marmelo and Aloisia on the big screen, but they will be able to see first-hand the two-time Victorian Horse Of The Year. Lennytheshark has been nominated amid a field of nine, which also includes talented topline pacers My Field Marshall and Tee Cee Bee Macray, for the pacing cup, a welcome addition for Yarra Valley club chief executive Brett Shambrook. “Lennytheshark is the trots equivalent of Winx, so hopefully he will attract more people to come along and enjoy him before he goes to Perth,” Mr Shambrook said. “He’s a great attraction.” Thursday’s Yarra Valley cups will cap a huge week that will begin with the club’s eight-race meeting on Melbourne Cup Day, when thousands will pour into the Yarra Glen racecourse to soak up the race that stops the nation away from the Flemington fervour. “It’s shaping up really well,” Mr Shambrook said. “Our pre-bookings are more than we have ever had before. We have 80 mini-marquees and the dining room is almost sold out. A few thousand people have booked and paid. “There are a lot of families who come year after year. It’s a nice family crowd. We’ve got eight races and the racing department – Gary Bennetts and his team – have done a fantastic job putting that together.” Two days after the public holiday the race track will be buzzing again for its dual cups on Oaks day. “We’ve found a home for our cup, which had been moved around. The dining room is booked, we will have a dozen marquees, the lounge is booked out with 150 people come and we will have a huge fashions on the field. “This year we are celebrating 70 years of harness racing in the Yarra Valley. Racing commenced in Healesville 70 years ago before coming across to Yarra Glen after it merged with the racing club. “We will have memorabilia from the old racecourse on track and the racebook will be a souvenir edition with historical stories.”  Trots Media - Michael Howard

Yarra Valley Racing will celebrate 70 years of harness racing at its ‘Trots Tradition’ race day next Tuesday, 7 November, thanks to a $78,000 boost supported by the Andrews Labor Government. The Labor Government is contributing more than $30,000 from the Victorian Racing Industry Fund for the event and Yarra Valley Racing is providing more than $48,000. The Trots Tradition is an annual family-friendly race day which includes rides, supervised games and activities for kids, musical entertainment and giveaways. Racegoers will be entertained with live music throughout the day by several groups including the Hurricane Duo. The Fashions on the Field competition, with almost $10,000 of prizes on offer, will be popular with fashionistas. A big screen will broadcast all the Melbourne Cup action from Flemington. Complimentary return buses will transport racegoers safely to the track from Lilydale Station. The Healesville Trotting Club held its first race meeting at Healesville Racecourse on 17 January 1948. To celebrate the occasion, a collection of historical memorabilia from past race meetings will be on display at this year’s event. Since 2014, the Labor Government has provided more than $180,000 to support harness racing at Yarra Valley, including $50,000 for two infrastructure projects and $130,000 for four RAP events. The racing industry in the outer Melbourne region generates more than $375 million for the Victorian economy annually and helps sustain more than 13,590 full-time equivalent jobs locally. Quotes attributable to Minister for Racing Martin Pakula “Melbourne Cup Day is an iconic event on Victoria’s racing and social calendar, and the Yarra Valley provides a scenic backdrop for people wanting to enjoy a great day at the trots.” “We’re proud to get behind this family-friendly event as part of ongoing efforts to support racing at Yarra Glen.” Quotes attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes “This is a fantastic event which will draw thousands to the Yarra Valley and deliver a welcome boost to the local economy.” Quotes attributable to Yarra Valley Racing CEO Brett Shambrook “We thank the Victorian Government for its contribution to an amazing day spent with family, friends, a picnic rug, entertainment and a great atmosphere.” “We encourage people across Melbourne and Yarra Valley to come down for a great day at the trots on the most iconic day in Victoria’s racing calendar.” Holly Little 0437 381 620 |

Trafalgar harness racing trainer Chris Hunter said he was relatively confident going into today's Yarra Valley trots meeting that his mare, Feel The Rhythm, could win if she put her best hoof forward. She did that, with Chris Alford aboard from the pole, the Elsu-Rhythmaka mare scoring her first ever win at start number 46, leading all the way over 2150m in a mile rate of 2:00.2. Hunter joined Trots Media's Cody Winnell to chat about the jubilation of Feel The Rhythm's maiden win. For the trivia buffs, it was the first time Alford has ever driven a free-legged pacer to victory. Hunter said he took the hobbles off Feel The Rhythm in her races recently and it hade a huge difference. He's always worked the mare free-legged and clearly she is enjoying the freedom. Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

The Boss Man landed a knockout blow in today’s Zonzo Estate Yarra Valley Trotters Cup to deliver the harness racing silverware to Junortoun trainer Scott Dyer and reinswoman Ellen Tormey. The seven-year-old son of Bacardi Lindy (out of Sundon mare Oh Yes Indeed) came off 10m in the Group 3, $20,000, 2650-metre standing start event and clocked a rate of 2:03.0 – the fourth-fastest race time ever. “Once Ellen pulled him out today, off he went,” Dyer said. “He’s that sort of horse. Once you pull him out he tows you in to the race.” Dyer had plenty of praise for Tormey’s drive and said her intimate knowledge of the gelding held her in good stead. “I’m rapt for her. She drove him very well … He’s the sort of horse you need to know a fair bit and Ellen gets along with him well.” Stepping away well from the tapes The Boss Man settled one-one, which eventually became one-two when El Paco marched to the breeze inside the final mile. Leader Lord Liam trotted through his first half in 61.9secs and appeared certain to have a good kick left, but when Tormey took her charge three-wide down the back it was almost game over by the quarter pole. The Boss Man rounded up the leaders with absolute authority, pinching a 10m-or-so break at the bend before coasting to the line with 8.9 metres to spare on runner-up K D Muscles (Kate Gath), with Aleppo Sunrise (Haydon Gray) a further 5.1m back in third. The last 400m was covered in 28.3secs, so the winner’s bettered 56.9secs home. Dyer said the Aldebaran Park Bill Collins Trotters Sprint at Tabcorp Park Melton was potentially a short-term aim for The Boss Man. VIDEO: RE-LIVE THE BOSS MAN'S WIN “I’m more than happy to take him to Melton to take on Keystone Del in the mile race. I know it’s a huge step up but he’s got to start racing them if he’s to take that next step,” he said. Asked if there was one race more than any other he’d like to win Dyer replied, “I’m a bit old-school, so I just take it one race at a time.” It has been an eventful experience training The Boss Man, Dyer said, the 17-time winner overcoming a serious illness caused by a suspected spider bite a year ago. “He nearly died,” Dyer said. “It was a bit like Love Ina Chevy. He’s had to overcome a fair bit.” The Boss Man leads the Maori’s Idol Trophy series (Victoria’s trotting country cups premiership) on five points, one clear of El Paco and Majestic Ess Jay. Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

A window of opportunity was all Matt Cormick needed to let his battle-hardened pacer surprise punters and please his favourite harness racing trainer, grandpa. On Monday Mor Laag pinched the lead on the back straight off Fireinthehole when the front runner hung out and then boxed on to win the Bob Dixon Memorial Pace at Yarra Valley racecourse. The win at $56 may have surprised punters but not trainer-driver Cormick, of Chelsea Heights, who said Mor Laag had been knocking on the door in the eight starts since he took over the training responsibilities from his grandpa Des Kelly. “It wasn’t a surprise for us to see him go that good. He won first up for me (at Warragul) and all his starts since have been reasonable, bar last week (at Cranbourne) when I gave him an easy week,” Cormick said. “It was only a matter of a bit of luck and I thought he would be thereabouts. Yesterday he got all the luck in the world, but still needed to be good enough to win.” RELIVE MOR LAAG'S WIN AT YARRA VALLEY Mor Laag ran a personal best winning mile of 1:56.2 to register his fourth career win for breeder and owner Daniel Kelly, who is Cormick’s uncle. It is that family tradition that made Monday’s win all the more satisfying. Des Kelly, who trained at Heatherton and is now at Iona, learned much from his father, also a trainer, while of Des’ 10 children Daniel Kelly and his sister Sue have been notable owners and their brother Michael drove in the industry. Three generations on Cormick is keeping that tradition going through Mor Laag and stablemate Framed And Hang, who he trains at Ted Demmler’s Carrum Downs stable and spells at his grandpa’s Iona property. “My grandfather is winding down as he is getting on a little bit. Over a long period of time he put a fair bit of work into (Mor Laag) and had some success,” Cormick said. “I spent a lot of time with grandpa and to be able to get a horse off your grandfather and for the horse to run his best time and win when Grandpa was there at the track, well he probably was more happy than me that the horse did so well.” Cormick drove Mor Laag to the box seat from barrier three and sat behind Fireinthehole to the back straight when John Caldow’s front runner started to hang out, enabling Cormick to drive Mor Laag to the front along the pegs. “He is the sort of horse that you have to wind him up and on the straight alone he will take too long to wind up,” Cormick said. “When the horse in front rolled off I thought this was about as good a scenario as I could have hoped for and had no hesitation taking the lead. I was able to wind him up from far away and he kept rolling along.” A 1.5m win from Geoff Webster’s Kotare York and Twoforsixty secured the bulk of the $6,325 stakes. “He had to earn it, although he had all the luck, he still earned the win and ran the time,” Cormick said. “How far he can go I’m not sure, but he is a nice racehorse who drives hard.” Michael Howard 

Harness racing trainer Simone Walker is hoping Hectorjayjay can measure up to Grand Circuit class this summer and his journey starts tomorrow in the United Petroleum Yarra Valley Pacing Cup. Last season’s four-year-old Breeders Crown champion has had one trial last month to prepare for his first-up outing, finishing a narrow second to It Is Billy at Melton. Hectorjayjay came from last in that trial with a scintillating final 800 metres in probably sub-54 seconds. “We’ve got him about the same as he was at for that trial and I’m really happy with how he’s going. He’s very good actually,” Walker said. Already a 22-time winner from 45 starts, it would surprise some to know he’s yet to break through for Group 1 success. Walker is hoping that changes this summer either on the country cups circuit or during the Summer of Glory on Victoria or Hunter Cup night. “Ultimately the Victoria Cup and Hunter Cup is the aim. He’s acquitted himself well with what he’s done so far so hopefully he can measure up,” she said. Tomorrow will be the first time Hectorjayjay has seen the standing start tapes. “He might be a little iffy at his first (standing) start. He’s had a couple of trials from the stand – he was good once and not so good the other time,” Walker said. “The small field and the long distance of the race should suit even if he does step away poorly. I’d like to think him being the lone runner off 10 metres will be a blessing at his first go because he won’t have all that open space in front of him, he’ll be able to see other horses.” Champion reinsman Gavin Lang will pilot Hectorjayjay tomorrow. In-form Barimah is another pacer on the Summer of Glory trail for Moama trainer Tony Peacock. A winner of three of his past four starts, Barimah is coming off an M0 win at Tabcorp Park when he defeated Beach Shack by a neck in 1:53.4 over 1720m. Savesomtimetodream, an M3 assessed gelding, has barrier two and is a three-time winner from standing-start conditions. Conditions suit him tomorrow. Meanwhile, Kotare Roland has the pole and is also safe from the stand. He ran second at Gunbower in the cup two starts back behind Almost El Eagle beaten a head. Charlie Machsheen, nine-time standing start winner Macho Comacho and Glenferrie Hood are the other runners tomorrow. The Zonzo Estate Yarra Valley Trotters Cup is Race 5 and features former Kiwi Dead Cat Bounce, who has made a strong start to his Australian career for Nicole Molander with wins at Gunbower and Melton. The seven-event Yarra Valley Cup program kicks off at 1.57pm. by Cody Winnell

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

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