Day At The Track
Poster Boy,Harness racing

9.3 million reasons to be Vicbred

Vicbred horses raced for $9.13million more stakemoney than other horses in Victoria during season 2017-18. Last season, Vicbred horses picked up $4.6m in Vicbred win bonuses, while a further $4.5m of stakemoney was paid out on Vicbred-only races. This week Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) launched its 2019 Vicbred Super Series campaign, with the key message “Why wouldn’t you be Vicbred”? HRV CEO David Martin said it was important for a fresh approach to the Vicbred Super Series, one which focuses on the breeders and industry participants. “A vibrant local breeding industry is crucial to the overall wellbeing of our industry as a whole and the Vicbred program is a critical component,” Mr Martin said. “Vicbred eligible horses race for extra stakemoney through races and bonuses, so it certainly makes sense to think locally and think Vicbred during breeding season. “HRV and Harness Breeders Victoria are working hard and in regular consultation to look at ways to stimulate the breeding industry and the Vicbred program as we confront the historical challenge of a worldwide downturn in harness foal numbers.” Imamenace, who caused a boilover winning the 2014 Vicbred Super Series 2YO Trotting Final   --Stuart McCormick photo A new naming rights partner has been signed for the pacing Vicbred Super Series this year, Alabar coming on board to join Aldebaran Park which sponsors the trotting races. “Alabar and Aldebaran Park have a deep appreciation and understanding of the breeding industry and the Vicbred program and we’re rapt they’re both on board with HRV to support this important race series,” HRV General Manager – Marketing Andrew English said. HRV today announced it will for the first time attach a $1500 breeding voucher to all 12 of this year’s Group 1 Vicbred Super Series finals. “When we announced the $1500 breeding vouchers for all fillies and mares’ races in May and June we said there would be more announcements on the way and this was one of those,” HRV General Manager – Racing Stephen Bell said. “Today’s announcement means a further $18,000 worth of breeding vouchers will be made available for Vicbred Super Series winning owners and breeders to reinvest in the local industry. “These vouchers are in addition to the $115,500 we committed to be reinvested to the industry through the May/June fillies and mares’ races.” This year’s VSS marketing campaign is centred on the Vicbred horse’s journey from foaling to racehorse to Vicbred champion. Explaining the concept, Mr English said: “Winning a Group 1 race is the dream and over the years the Vicbred Super Series has allowed stables big and small to taste top-level success. These are inspirational stories to tell; stories like Betty Hall and Immanence in recent years. This is what Vicbred is all about.” Flojos Gold, from Mildura, who won the 2015 2YO Vicbred Super Series Final   -Stuart McCormick photo July 5 and 6 will see two enormous nights of Vicbred Super Series action at Tabcorp Park Melton.  The Friday night will be all about the trotter as the finalists in the Aldebaran Park Vicbred Super Series battle it out for supremacy.  The following Saturday night is all about the pacers as the Alabar Vicbred Super Series draws to an exciting climax with a cocktail function in the Legends Room on-course. Importantly, connections (including breeders) of Vicbred finalists will be treated to an evening of entertainment unlike any other as the “corporate” function becomes a colourful Vicbred celebration in the Legends Dining Room.   HRV Trots Media Cody Winnell

Lady Drivers,Harness racing

Get into the Pink Day spirit

The winners will be many at Cobram this Sunday when the spoils of the fundraising day will benefit a great cause but also reward those putting on the show. Cobram Harness Racing Club's annual Pink Day, which raises money for and awareness of the McGrath Foundation, will have plenty of prizes to help race goers, the charity minded and participants to get into the Pink Day spirit. This year’s major fundraiser is once again a raffle, with tickets sold to win the major prize of a $3000 travel toucher thanks to Flightcentre Marketplace Shepparton as well as luggage valued at $1000. Minor prizes of $1000, $500 and $100 Visa Gift Cards will also be drawn. There will be a lucky entry draw with all on-course patrons having the chance to win a Gold Coast accommodation package valued at $1600 donated by Ashmore Palms Holiday Village, as well as $200 holiday package vouchers. Trainers will have plenty of reasons to nominate their horses for the meeting with six trainers in each race being drawn throughout the day to take home products thanks to Carbine Chemicals and Hygain, as well as a lucky trainers draw for the chance to win a set of Hyland Colours. The feature race on the card is the Paul Roberts Jewellers Invitation Lady Drivers Pace. The $10,000 C1 class event will see horses randomly allocated to the following drivers: Ellen Bartley, Rebecca Bartley, Juanita Breen, Monique Burnett, Rita Burnett, Donna Castles, Laura Crossland, Kima Frenning, Lisa Miles, Ellen Tormey, Abbey Turnbull and Tania Ward. All trainers with a starter in this race will receive a Carbine Chemicals product and a Hygain-Mitavite showbag, with the winning trainer also taking home a new set of hopples donated by Trot Pace, as well as further prizes for the runners up.   Last year’s fundraising efforts raised more than $27,000 for the McGrath Foundation, which assists in placing breast care nurses in country areas, with organisers hoping to raise a similar amount for the charity once again. Raffle tickets can be purchased from any of the female drivers competing in the race or by contacting the club on 0409 401 189. Nominations for the race day close at noon tomorrow. For race day details click here.   Trots Media

Pistol Abbey,Harness racing

Aussie news

IN the end it was sheer strength of numbers which won a war of attrition for champion trainer Emma Stewart in last night’s $100,000 Group 1 Queen of the Pacific (2760m) at Melton. Stewart had four runners Victoria’s biggest mares’ race and it was the second-outsider of them - $52.40 shot Pistol Abbey – who stormed home for an easy win after an epic race. Stablemate Tell Me Tales was sensationally-backed from $2.60 to $1.80 favourite to give Chris Alford his 100th Group 1 win, but spent too much petrol in a blazing move around the field to find the lead midrace. She battled on well fourth. Mick Stanley’s classy mare Soho Burning Love sustained a long run and looked the winner on the home bend before driver David Moran moved Pistol Abbey into clear air and the four-year-old blasted home in a 1min56.1sec mile rate. Soho Burning Love ($51.20) was monstrous in second spot with another outsider Makes Every Scents ($46.30) grabbed third spot for a blowout trifecta. Kiwi mare Our Step Up had little luck at crucial times back along the inside and finished sixth. The other Melton Group 1 was the $50,000 Australasian Trotting Championship won by the country’s most improved trotter, Savannah Jay Jay in a thrilling three-way finish. Trainer Stan Cameron has rejuvenated the eight-year-old gelding who led throughout and staved-off class mare Red Hot Tooth by a half neck with another neck away to McLovin in third spot. It was also great to see Chariots Of Fire winner and Miracle Mile placegetter Poster Boy make a winning return, albeit closer than most expected, at Melton. Emma Stewart’s star led and just did enough to beat a gallant and flying Rishi by a half-neck in a 1min54.8sec mile rate for 2240m. ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ NO wonder the connections of Mirragon were gutted when a gallop cost him qualifying for the recent Australian Gold final. Emma Stewart’s freshman colt would have a been a major player in the final – won by Jilliby Nitro – judging by his powerhouse win a Home Grown Classic heat at Ballarat last Thursday night. Despite sitting outside highly-rated stablemate Pandering, who dictated the terms, Mirragon knuckled down late and snared a 1.4m win in a 1min56.3sec mile rate for 1710m. It was more the closing splits and the way he did which impressed. Mirragon closed in 56 flat and 27.1sec. Stewart almost snared both heats when first-starter Beale Street did all the work and failed by just a half-head to overpower the leader, Withouttheuh in a 1min56sec mile rate. Clearly Stewart has yet another fantastic juvenile crop he best-performed youngster Be Happy Mach ran a massive third in the Australian Gold final at Albion Park after doing the work outside winner, Jilliby Nitro. ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ FORMER star Kiwi youngster King Of Swing continued his WA resurgence with a dazzling Gloucester Park win last night (Saturday). The Gary Hall Sr-trained four-year-old led throughout and thrashed a handy field by 23m in a slick 1min56.3sec mile rate for the long 2536m trip. He ripped home in 54.7 and 26.8sec. “It’s great to see him finishing off his races so well,” Hall Sr said. “He’s got so much ability, but he has been able to lead to win his past couple. The next step is seeing what he can do in the field or outside them, but we’re thrilled with how he’s going right now.” The Gloucester Park feature was the $50,000 Pearl 3YO Classic won by underrated trainer-driver Aldo Cortopassi and his gelding Theo Aviator in a 1min55.5sec mile rate for 2130m. ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ TRAINER Ben Yole keeps smashing records in Tasmania. By far the state’s most dominant trainer, Yole created history by becoming the first trainer in the state to win 125 races in a season. It bettered his own record of 124. Yole reached the mark with four wins from the eight races at Launceston last Friday night. It was former Lance Justice pacer, 10-year-old Jeans Mattjesty, who made it 125 wins when he scored easily in the final event. ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ EVERGREEN pacer Maximan returned to winning form in the free-for-all at Menangle last night. Shane and Lauren Tritton’s 10-year-old overpowered his rivals in a slick 1min50.9sec mile with young driver Lachie Manzelmann in the sulky. Lauren Tritton drove stablemate and favourite Franco Nelson, who didn’t fire at his return from a spell and finished a distant eighth. Speedy mare Eye See Diamonds led throughout in a 1min52.9sec mile to win the Menangle feature, the Group 3 Miss Brazilian Stakes for mares. Another win of note came from former Great Southern Star winner Glenferrie Typhoon, who proved a class above his rivals for new trainer Roy Roots Jr and driver Lauren Tritton. Glenferrie Typhoon left Andy Gath for a stint in WA and was then sold to clients of Roots Jr. He’s won two of his five NSW runs and is now a nine-year-old. ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ NORTHVIEW Hustler is the latest of the Lincoln Farms pacers to enjoy the move from NZ to Queensland. The talented five-year-old turned heads with a winning debut for Alistair and Hayden Barnes in the feature race at Albion Park last night. Northview Hustler worked to the front from the standing start and always looked in control before winning well in a fast 1min57.3sec mile rate for the long 2647m trip in The Flashing Red Discretionary. It was a sign he could be a factor in the Queensland Winter Carnival features in July. ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ EMMA Stewart and Amanda Turnbull left their mark on one of South Australia’s biggest meetings at Port Pirie  last night. Turnbull trained and drove Catch A Moment to the easiest wins in the Group 2 3YO colts and geldings Southern Cross final. She then drove two-year-old filly Treasure to win an easy win in her final for Stewart. Stewart also Southern Cross finals for two-year-old colts and geldings with locally-owned One Highway Tohell. Local Port Pirie trainer Dale Afford had a night to remember, winning the 3YO fillies’ final with Shesashark and one of the consolations with Hesashark.   Adam Hamilton

Wayne Anderson,Harness racing

Bittersweet longshot win for Wayne

Barnawartha horseman Wayne Anderson had mixed feelings when he landed the money at the Shepparton harness racing meeting this week with a 25/1 longshot - and who could blame him? Wayne decided to take the reins himself with bay gelding Postal Express (Flightpath-Bye Focals (Harmony Heaven), giving his 21-year-old son Chris, an up-and-coming junior driver, the night off. "Chris works in the scaffolding business and just lately he's been doing a fair bit of travelling," Wayne said. "As well as all the miles, he's also been working hard because he just recently bought himself a house. So, I said to him that I didn't want him pushing himself to get back and drive at the trots. "And of course, everything worked out perfectly in the race for Postal Express and we landed the money, but only just!" Postal Express won by a neck from Monash (Ros Rolfe) with four metres back to Waterboy (Ryan Duffy). The mile rate was a brisk 1.57-5. View the video here! It was Wayne's first race drive on the eight-year-old, and while he was delighted with the success, he intends to stay "second fiddle" to Chris whenever he can. "Chris has had a couple of wins and my wife Margy, myself and all the other family members are keen to see him get established and do well in the sport," Wayne said. "Whenever he's home and not away working, you'll find him at our place helping out with the team, which is up to five at present. "Chris was a late-starter into trotting as he used to do very well at football and cricket. I think he can make a go of it, because he's keen and will take on any advice. Guys like David Jack, Cameron Maggs and Peter Romero have been fantastic." The Anderson farm, nestled on the outskirts of town, has been in the family since 1956. Wayne said a 700-metre granite track on the property cost "24 dozen bottles of beer and some fuel, back in the day"! "Uncle Bob, who always had horses on the place, now looks after the cattle, while my brother Steve does the cropping and our dad David keeps an eye on things to ensure everything's ticking along okay. We have 60 cattle and 350 sheep as well as the horses," Wayne said. "It's a real family affair and while two of our other sons, Mitch and Isaac, aren't hands-on with the horses, they support us. "We got Postal Express off a mate in Robbie Walters, who thought he would be just perfect for Chris to learn the ropes. "And he is a nice horse-just a gentleman to do anything with. He's improved lately since we changed his feed on the recommendation of a nutritionalist and got his teeth done. "The horse has always shown high speed, but now he's starting to find the line." Wayne said he'd been in and out of the industry for nearly 40 years. "I was trying a heap of horses there for a while but dropped off a bit when I wasn't getting any to the races," he said. "Then in December 2015, we had a wild bushfire go through. We lost 300 sheep, 400 bales and five kilometres of fencing. It also destroyed our wooden horse yards, but fortunately two colts that I was breaking-in weren't injured. "The bushfire destroyed 6000 hectares in nine hours, being fanned by 100kph winds. We saved a few lambs as well as things around the house." Wayne said while Postal Express could be one to follow from the stable, he was excited with former Queensland pacer My Magic Merlin. "Chris got beaten a head at Kilmore with him last month which was his first run for us. He's a nice type by Mach Three and still only a C1," he said. And there's a fair chance that Wayne will be among the loudest supporters for Chris at Albury on Saturday night when the junior driver competes with Miss Rixon in the opening event, followed by My Magic Merlin in race two.   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Belgian-born reinsman Sidney Van den Brande will soon feel like he's back home. After two years working with the powerful Ballarat harness racing stable of Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin, the 30-year-old is about to change scenery. He's accepted a job with prolific trotting trainer Anton Golino at Pat Driscoll's Yabby Dam Farms, at Cardigan - a move that will return Van den Brande to his harness racing roots. "Before coming out to Australia, I had only competed in trotting races in Belgium, France, Germany and Holland - I didn't drive pacers until I came to Australia. I'm excited at the opportunity to be back working again with them and Anton has an outstanding bunch," he said. "It probably sounds a little crazy, but I really have been missing the trotters. However, I have thoroughly enjoyed my time, firstly with David Aiken, of Avenel, and then more recently with Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin. "I knew nothing about pacers, but they were great and taught me a lot. And I drove some very good (pacing) horses with Emma and Clayton." Van den Brande has worked with leading trainers in the northern hemisphere but is quick to rate Australia as the best of the sport. He recently drove the 100th winner of his career - 52 of those being out here. Van den Brande said his interest in harness racing began when his older brother Nicky started helping out at a stable near the family home in Belgium. "Nicky seemed to spend a lot of time over there and the interest rubbed off onto me," Van den Brande said. "I remember the first time I was given the chance to drive a horse, I was very afraid. I was wearing shorts and the stones were flicking up onto my legs. It hurt a lot! "I was happy to just clean out the boxes and do other jobs. I had never considered wanting to be a race driver." The enthusiastic Belgian said that after spending "quite a while" honing his driving skills, he competed in an event in Holland in 2006 for concession drivers only. "The trotter I was allocated was a winner of only one of his 105 starts and I remember my opposing drivers were laughing very loudly about my unlucky draw," he said. "I was 27/1 and the only one above 10/1. So away we went, and I had the last laugh by winning - officially by 25 metres. "Another memorable time was driving in Paris. It is every young kid's dream to drive there and win. I wasn't that lucky, but it was a thrill to compete there." Van den Brande said the experience of working and driving in Europe was invaluable. "I also worked in America, but never drove in a race. In a strange twist, when I was based in the States, so was Anton. I later moved to Sweden to gain more experience, and Anton did likewise at the same time. We never did meet up but now I'm working for him!" Van den Brande has scored 19 victories this season, likely to comfortably pass his 21 of last season and the 12 he scored in a sensational start to his Australian race driving career in 2016-17. "After joining Emma and Clayton, they gave me a chance and I drove eight consecutive winners in my first eight drives. I then had a second, and then another win. That was unbelievable. "My best win so far has been with Perfect Look. We won the SA Southern Cross 3yo fillies final in Adelaide in July 2017 - that was my first Group race success. "Later the same year I won the $50,000 Tasmania Cup with Major Secret. I guess that was special as well." He rates Melton and Bendigo as two of his favorite tracks. "It's very hard to win at Melton. But I have won three races there and it was in three weeks. I thought how easy is this? Then later reality kicked in! "Bendigo has a nice shape and a good vibe." Van den Brande said naming his favorite driver was easy because Chris Alford is such a champion of the sport. "I also admire the way Gavin Lang is so cool and gets a lot from the horses, while Luke McCarthy always seems to come out of nowhere and be there at the finish," he said. "The racing here is different to back home, but the biggest difference is the longer carts. I just find myself sitting a long way back, but I'm slowly adjusting. "My parents are elderly now and weren't ever interested in horses, but they seem to be enjoying what I do. They ring me all the time so I think they must like it." Van den Brande said that with his time spent with trotters, he hoped he could sometimes offer some positive ideas at his new stable. "But maybe not as Anton is most experienced and very talented! I just want to keep finding my way and don't expect to have too many drives because there's a few above me, but that's fine." Outside of harness racing, Van den Brande admits he has become an avid fan of Formula One racing. "I went down to Albert Park, Melbourne to watch it and got hooked," he said.   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Young reinswoman Olivia Weidenbach (pictured) has made the move to Tasmania for a plum gig with the Ben Yole stable. With 65 horses in work, the Yole camp offers Weidenbach an enormous opportunity for hands-on experience at the stables and the races. Ben Yole’s stable foreman, and his dad, Wayne Yole said Weidenbach, 17, would “be a magnificent asset to the stable”. “She has a claim, which is great because we have a shortage of claim drivers,” he said. “She’ll come over here and be tutored by Mark (Yole) on the driving side of things and Ben about training. She is a very good horse person for someone so young at just 17. Of course she comes from such a strong harness racing family, with her mother being a Mifsud.” Weidenbach drove her first winner in February, when she piloted Smart Little Shard to victory at her maiden drive. Ben Yole is Tasmania’s leading trainer with 121 wins from 1789 starts so far this season. Weidenbach has four drives tomorrow night at Launceston – The Lemondrop Kid in Race 2, Give Me The Knight in Race 4, Guys Bettor Bet in Race 5 and Another Swinger in Race 8. Wayne Yole, a former Hamilton Harness Racing Club President, is now the Harness Racing and Special Projects Coordinator for Racing Tasmania.   Cody Winnell for Trots media

Members of the WA Trotting Media Guild have been impressed by former Kiwi Mathew James, with many making the Justin Prentice trained, Gary Hall Jnr driven three-year-old their star bet at Saturday’s twilight meeting. Ernie Manning, Hayden King, Tim Walker and Ryan Havercroft all made Mathew James their standout for the night. Havercroft, perhaps best, summed up the thoughts of his colleagues. “Mathew James brought up a hat-trick of wins when successful here two weeks ago over The Kraken,” he said. “On that occasion he was way too classy for his rivals and went to the line with something in reserve. He looks to have a bright future and is yet to miss the placings after six starts.” Stuart Lowe and Pat Harding can see King Of Swing saluting again. “My best bet is former star juvenile King Of Swing, who  impressed with an all-the-way win here last start,” Lowe said. “He rises in class here but likely to find the front again and be very hard to beat.” Harding agrees. “My best bet comes up in race eight with the Hall-trained King Of Swing,” he said. “He had a good win last week and coming out of barrier four he should have no trouble accounting for this field.” Matt Young is keen on Caviar Star. “Caviar Star had a lot go wrong last week and still ran a good second,” he said. “Looks to be closing back to his best and the one to beat.” Wayne Currall fancies Mister Spot to land an all-the-way victory in the seventh race. “Master reinsman Christopher Allen Lewis jumps back in the bike from the pole ... need I say more,” he said. “This John Graham-trained four-year-old is racing with admirable zest and whatever beats him will win.” VALUE BETS ERNIE: Soho Leviathan has not won in five starts since a spell, but appears primed to show form which has enabled him to score three Gloucester Park victories. The gelding impressed when a close second to highly-rated Bechers Brook at Pinjarra on Monday. HAYDEN: Captured Delight has been racing in career-best form recently and strikes a chance to really announce herself as a top-line mare. TIM: Highroller Joe is starting to settle into this class of racing. A couple of horses on the front line don’t have consistent winning form here, so hopefully with a bit of pace in the race he can be storming over the top late. RYAN: Vincenzo Perrugia rises in class but that just means you’ll get a better price about a horse in outstanding form. STUART: The value bet is Mister Spot, who followed a strong win here with a close second to Ruling Gold. Drawn well and has each-way claims. PAT: It’s time for Madame Meilland to show us she is capable of a win. This field does not have a lot of form and I think Chris Lewis can guide her to victory from gate five. MATT: Soho Leviathan is a very good frontrunner and has explosive gate speed. Solid field should suggest he’s a good each-way price. WAYNE: Black Jack Zac is racing in career-best form and gets another opportunity to earn money for his connections in the first sprint of the night. To view all of the Media Guild tips click here. Good Punting at this rare metropolitan Saturday meeting.   Ken Casellas

Talented gelding Gee Jay Kay has a history of breaking in running and racing roughly, but his trainer Vicki Lea is delighted that he has overcome those bad habits and is ready to perform strongly in the $50,000 Pearl Classic for three-year-olds at Gloucester Park on Saturday night. “He’s a different horse now and is more relaxed,” she said. “Before, he was quite angry and uptight and did things wrong in his races. When he was hopping and skipping, he was an angry horse. “He’s come a long way; he’s had some feet issues and we’ve worked through them and now we are just waiting for everything to fall into place. His whole attitude has changed and he’s now a happy horse. “It’s been a matter of what works for him. He’s a horse who is always busy; he’s always thinking and looking, and he doesn’t miss a trick. It’s been a matter of trying to find that niche for him which we think we’ve found. “We are happy with the way he’s coming along. He is starting to mature and has discovered what he’s meant to be doing. Barrier seven on Saturday night is not ideal, but we’re not the only ones who have drawn a difficult barrier. I think he should be thereabouts.” Gee Jay Kay, to be driven by master reinsman Chris Lewis, looks one of the main chances, along with Aldo Cortopassi’s Theo Aviator, the Colin Brown-trained pair of Its Rock And Roll and Patrickthepiranha and Justin Prentice’s Back In Twenty. Gee Jay Kay warmed up for the classic in good style with an effortless victory in a 2130m event at Gloucester Park on Tuesday night when he started from barrier four and raced without cover before taking a narrow lead 450m from home and cruising to the line to win, untouched by Lewis, from Jiving Jolt and the pacemaker Jilliby Jake. He could have gone considerably faster, but Lewis was quite content to give him an easy run in the breeze, with a very slow lead time of 39sec. and meandering opening quarters of 31.4sec. and 30.7sec. before he dashed over the final 400m sections in 28.8sec. and 27.9sec. The win improved Gee Jay Kay’s record to 15 starts for five wins and seven placings for earnings of $37,374 and he looks set for a bright future, with his chief mission as a four-year-old the prestigious Golden Nugget championship. The Pearl Classic was robbed of considerable interest with the absence of brilliant New Zealand-bred colt Franco Edward, who notched his 11th win from 18 starts when he set the pace and scored an easy victory at a 1.56.1 rate over 2130m in a qualifying heat of the classic on Tuesday of last week. Trainer-reinsman Kyle Harper said that the colt had been sent for a spell, explaining: “He’s been up for a while and has had a few little niggles. I wasn’t quite happy with him. He has been impressive in recent starts and racing in good form, but I think that was just because he is a high-calibre horse. “He wasn’t quite right and has gone to the paddock to make sure he gets the best opportunity to come back as a very good four-year-old. I wasn’t quite happy with the way he pulled up after his latest win, so I sent him to the paddock for a well-earned spell. The main concern is the horse and his well-being and to make sure he has a bright and long future. “It’s disappointing because I’m sure he would have been very competitive and hard to beat in the Pearl. There are still some classy horses in the race and some of the higher-assessed horses are drawn awkwardly. I think the one to follow could be Back In Twenty; he’s the one I like.” Back In Twenty, to be driven by Gary Hall Jnr, will start from the outside barrier (No. 2) on the back line and is capable of unwinding a strong finishing burst. He has led and won at two of his past three starts. Brown is hoping for a change of luck with Its Rock And Roll, who will start out wide at barrier eight on the front line. The gelding is a stout-hearted performer who has raced seven times this season for five placings after winning four times as a two-year-old. Patrickthepiranha, to be driven by Dylan Egerton-Green, is sure to be tested from the outside barrier (No. 9) but has the class to overcome this disadvantage. He won at his first seven appearances as a three-year-old before unplaced runs at his past three outings. His was last in a field of 12 in the middle stages before finishing solidly to finish seventh behind Franco Edward in the heart of the Pearl. “That was the best he’s hit the line at his past three starts,” said Egerton-Green. “He was racing a little bit flat going into the Derby two starts ago (when sixth behind Major Trojan) and then had a bit of a let-up and he’s come back a lot sharper.” Cortopassi said he was pleased with Theo Aviator’s last-start fourth behind Franco Edward when the gelding had a tough run, racing three wide early and then in the breeze. Theo Aviator, a winner at ten of his 26 starts, will begin from barrier four in the front line and Cortopassi aims to use the gelding’s gate speed in a bid for the early lead.   Ken Casellas

Outstanding young reinsman Dylan Egerton-Green is poised to achieve a wonderful and well-deserved milestone this week by landing his 100th winner for the season. He chalked up his 99th success at Gloucester Park on Tuesday evening when he drove 5/1 chance Mandy Joan to a stylish victory over the pacemaker My Prayer in a 2130m event for three-year-old fillies. Mandy Joan was restrained from barrier seven and settled at the rear before Egerton-Green brought her home with a storming three-wide burst. The victory gave Byford trainer David Thompson a welcome present for his 56th birthday which he will celebrate on Friday. The 26-year-old Egerton-Green is rapidly becoming one of the State’s finest drivers and he has already surpassed his previous most successful season when he won 69 races last season. “It’s always been an ambition to drive a hundred winners in a season,” he said. “Originally, I thought I’d have my best season when I had a claim. I lost my claim about three years ago and I’ve just been chipping away.” His victory with Mandy Joan was tinged with considerable sadness. Earlier in the day, Egerton-Green had attended the funeral of 20-year-old Lockie Hernaman, a close friend and teammate at the Harvey Bulls football club. Egerton-Green should bring up his century of winners this week either at the meeting at Narrogin on Friday night or at Gloucester Park the following evening. He has six drives at Narrogin and his better chances appear to lie with last-start winner She Said Diamonds in race one and the consistent Ultimate Offer, who is favourably drawn at barrier two in the fifth event. Egerton-Green is also looking forward to a busy night at Gloucester Park on Saturday where he has a drive in eight of the ten events. He is enthusiastic about the prospects of the Dennis Roche-trained Jaxon Jones in the opening event, the Christmas In July at the Beau Rivage Pace for two-year-olds. He has driven the gelding to impressive all-the-way victories at Bunbury at his past two starts. At his latest outing Jaxon Jones sprinted home over the final quarter in 27.5sec. and defeated Jaspervellabeach (unbeaten at his three previous starts) and Major Martini (who had won at each of his two starts). “You must respect Jaxon Jones, who beat a horse who had won at his only three starts,” Egerton-Green said. “Every time he has gone around Jaxon Jones has got better and better and I can’t see why he can’t go better this week. The draw (No. 3) makes it a bit harder because he can’t lead this week. But I really like the horse.” Egerton-Green also will drive six pacers from the stables of leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond with his best prospect among them expected to be Mighty Santana in race seven. He was impressed when he drove Mighty Santana for the only time in a 2631m stand at Pinjarra three starts ago when the five-year-old raced in the breeze for much of the way and won easily by two lengths from Captured Delight.   Ken Casellas

Hopeland trainer Debra Lewis is enjoying a golden run of successes which should continue when speedy four-year-old The War Nurse contests the www.gloucesterpark.com.au over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Saturday night. In the past 12 weeks Lewis has prepared 24 winners with The War Nurse winning at four of her six starts, and Luis Alberto (six wins), The Watch Maker (four), Carte Blanche (four), Vrai Amour (two), Lot Twenty One (two) and Pierre Whitby (two) all racing in with great enthusiasm. The War Nurse, to be handled by the trainer’s husband Chris, will start from the No. 5 barrier on Saturday night and the mare possesses such sparkling gate speed that she should be able to cross to the front and then dictate the terms of the 2130m event. Last Friday night, The War Nurse began very fast from barrier three and set the pace in the $50,000 WASBA Breeders Pace in which she fought on grandly to finish third behind Our Alfie Romeo and Rosies Ideal. She led from barrier five and won at a 1.55.8 rate from Ona Happy Note and The Trilogy a week earlier and scoring effortless victories at Pinjarra at her three previous outings. The War Nurse, who managed five thirds from 15 starts as a three-year-old, has really blossomed this season, with six wins, four thirds and three fourths from 13 starts. She is likely to be tested by smart mares in Beaudiene Beach Babe, Kitura and Purest Silk, but should emerge triumphant. Beaudiene Beach Babe, to be driven by Gary Hall Jnr for trainer Justin Prentice, is favourably drawn at barrier three and should fight out the finish. She dashed to the lead after 400m in the standing-start Race For Roses last Friday week before relinquishing the front and being shuffled back to fifth, three back on the pegs, and then running home with great determination to finish a head second to Miss Sangrial. Kitura, trained and driven by Nathan Turvey, was unlucky at Gloucester Park on Tuesday of last week when she trailed the pacemaker Breach The Beach and was badly blocked for a clear run in the closing stages when third to that pacer over 1730m. She will have many admirers this week from the prized No. 1 barrier. Purest Silk, trained by Barry Howlett, will start from the inside of the back line and should be prominent. She notched her eighth win from 25 starts when she finished powerfully to win from Crystal Sparkles and the pacemaker Cut Above at a 1.57./6 rate on Tuesday night. The Lewis stable will also have a strong following in other events on Saturday night, with Pierre Whitby (race two), Lot Twenty One (race six), Soho Leviathan (race seven) and Luis Alberto (race ten). Luis Alberto, a New Zealand-bred gelding, has been a revelation in the past few months, with his 13 starts for Lewis producing six wins and three placings. He is handily drawn at barrier three in the final event on Saturday night, the 1730m The Bridge Bar Pace, and should fight out the finish for Jocelyn Young, who has formed a strong association with the five-year-old. Considerable interest in this event surrounds the first appearance in Western Australia of Victorian performer Mad Robber, an eight-year-old stallion who has hade 43 starts for 11 wins, ten seconds and four thirds. Mad Robber, prepared by Hall of Fame trainer Gary Hall Snr, will start from the coveted No. 1 barrier and reinsman Gary Hall jnr is sure to make full use of the horse’s good gate speed over the sprint trip. Mad Robber, driven by Maddison Brown, impressed in winning a 2150m trial at Byford on Sunday morning when the horse began fast from barrier one, set the pace and sprinted the final 400m in 27.5sec. in beating Galante by one and a half lengths at a 1.57.3 rate. He will be having his first start on Saturday night since he raced in the breeze and wilted to fifth behind Rackemup Tigerpie over 1710m at Ballarat on December 26 last year.   Ken Casellas

Jovial Bill Milner of Kilmore is strictly a trainer only of square-gaiters these days - and loves every minute of it. "I'll have to be honest and say that a fair amount of patience is required with them at times, but I just keep poking along and mostly they are enjoyable," Milner said. And Bill's certainly enjoying a pleasant time in harness racing at the moment, with four-year-old Dellsun (Majestic Son-Auravale (Malhana Gindin USA) getting the job done in fine style. The gelding, nicely driven by master Melbourne reinsman Chris Alford, didn't put a foot wrong to take out the JDC Contractors Trotters Handicap at Shepparton last Tuesday night. Milner said the Shepparton circuit was quickly becoming one of his favorite tracks. "I seem to have a fair bit of success up there. Dellsun is an example because his previous victory was also at Shepparton a month ago," he said. "It's a nice easy drive from home so I'll keep racing there while our luck is in." Milner is hands-on with pretty much every aspect of the sport and does a great job with a small team. Not only does he breed all his stock, but breaks them in, does the farrier work and trains them. That virtually leaves only the driving side of it, but he says he's quite happy to watch from the other side of the fence. "I do enjoy the breaking-in part probably the most. There's a heap of satisfaction comes out of that and yes I suppose I do nearly everything myself," he said. "Over the many years I've been involved, I've learnt a hell of a lot from a great number of people. "I got started with Carl O'Dwyer when I was a teenager doing a farrier apprenticeship. Then later on when I was shoeing for greats like Vin Knight, Gordon Rothacker, Kevin Murray, Kevin Dixon and others, I would pick up more knowledge. "Early days another influential person was Frank Shinn. I remember we went off buying a horse each and mine was named Fair Baron. I was learning how to drive fastwork one day and nearly put Frank over the fence, which didn't go down all that well. "Fair Baron never won a race, but I'm certain the one Frank purchased turned out okay!" Milner now owns the property that belonged to Shinn. It's on nearly four acres and has a 400-metre track. He said he trained pacers years ago before changing his alliances to square gaiters. "Without doubt the best pacer I had would have been Vice Regal, who raced in the early 1990s," Milner said. Vice Regal (Vance Hanover USA-Pat Hanover NZ (Emory Hanover USA) finished his career with 14 wins and 24 placings for more than $74,000. After becoming a fully qualified farrier, Milner was employed by the Victoria Racing Club and worked at Seymour and Kilmore gallops meetings as well as some in Melbourne. "I used to help out with barrier duties as well and I'm still at it, nearly 50 years later," he said. Most of the Milner team go back to a daughter of Welcome Advice, Star Advice, a moderately performed race mare. However, in the breeding barn, she had six foals, including Auravale and Auravalley. Auravale, a five-race winner, had six foals with all winners, except one. Auravalley has produced three foals with the best being My Archie Way (4 wins) and Tetra (2 wins). Milner paid tribute to his success with his small team to supporter Kevin Dixon, "92 years young", who has held a licence for 76 years. "Kevin would only train two at a time back in the day, but he was very good at it. When the old Melbourne Showgrounds closed, he moved to Kilmore on a small acreage and he lives about five minutes from me," Milner said. "He has taught me a lot. He calls into my stables regularly and still attends all the meetings with me - he's a great mate."   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Ben Aubron is an integral part of the powerful Yabby Dam Racing operation in Cardigan, where the Frenchman plays a key role in the education of the yard's "babies" at the state-of-the-art stable and stud complex. And the 27-year-old was able to celebrate an extra special success on Saturday night when the one horse trained under his name saluted in the Club Menangle NSW Trotters Derby (2400m), when Xebec captured Group 2 glory at just his seventh run for Aubron. "To win a race like that ... we worked so hard to do this. We wake up in the morning dreaming about this, to win some big race like this," he said. "I think I've got a really nice horse." Picture: Ben Aubron salutes as Xebec claims Group 2 glory. Picture: Ashlea Brennan Photography. A far-reaching combination of nationalities helped achieve the triumph, with New Zealander Jack MacKinnon at the controls for the French trainer. MacKinnon settled Xebec back in the field for much of the trip and then capitalised on the early speed to run down front-runner and Yabby Dam rival All Cashed Up. In the end, Xebec raced clear to score by more than seven metres, with the Orlando Vici gelding rocketing home to pip All Cashed Up for second.  The win - at the bolter's price of $31 - came on the back of his maiden victory at Maryborough just a fortnight earlier. Xebec has now won two and placed in another two of his 10 career outings, the first three of which were for Yabby Dam's head trainer Anton Golino. Aubron said the plan was to now send the horse back to Menangle on May 25 for another Group 2, the Trots NSW 3YO Final. It's a further sign of doors opening for Aubron, who arrived in Australia close to five years ago primarily as a monte rider and joined Yabby Dam Racing after an initial stint with Craig Demmler. "It's really different from back home, the racing, but it's a really good country and good people," he said.   Tim O'Connor for Trots Media

PUNTERS think champion driver Chris Alford’s 51st birthday will be extra special at Melton on Saturday night. Alford is perched on 99 Group 1 career wins after missing out reaching the ton with minor placings in the two Australian Gold finals at Albion Park last Saturday night. But his drive in Saturday night’s $100,000 Group 1 Queen of the Pacific at Melton – Tell Me Tales – has been smashed in from $2.60 to $1.85 favourite despite a back row draw (gate 11). And it just happens to coincide with the day Alford turns 51. “It all looks good, doesn’t it … home track, a mare I love, my birthday … I think she’s going to be very hard to beat,” Alford said. “The longer distance (2760m) will really suit her. She won so well a couple of weeks back and I watched her run last week and it was huge given the run she had. “I’m sure she’s the best mare in the race and she can make her own luck, which gives you so much confidence.” Tell Me Tales sat parked to brilliantly win the first leg of Victoria’s mares’ “triple crown” the 1720m Make Mine Cullen on May 4, then did a power of work when a fantastic third to stablemate Berisari in last week’s 2240m Angelique Club Pace at Melton. “The draw gives us a great chance of staying in front of Berisari and working forward from there. She drew well and controlled the race in front last week, the draws makes it a lot harder for her this time,” Alford said. In an astonishing example of trainer Emma Stewart’s dominance, she has five of the 12 runners, including three of the first four in betting. Her runners are: Tell Me Tales (gate 11, $1.85), Berisari (13, $5), Delight Me (three, $8.50), Pistol Abbey (four, $34) and Frankincense (two, $41). Alford actually has an outside chance of bringing up his 100th Group 1 win earlier in the night with veteran trotter Kyvalley Blur, who is a $10 shot of a 10m handicap in the $50,000 Australian Trotting Championship. Andy Gath’s former Kiwi trotter McLovin (barrier one, $2.80) is favourite from the rejuvenated Savannah Jay Jay (two, $3.20).   Adam Hamilton

Electrifying two-year-old harness racing filly Pelosi, who has set tongues wagging with some astonishing performances in recent weeks, has pulled up as bright as a button from her first Group One success. Owner-breeder Wayne Honan said the horse would now be aimed at the New South Wales Breeders' Challenge series, which culminates with a $125,000 final at Menangle on June 30. "There's heats at Newcastle and then semi-finals leading into the big one. So, all going well, there's exciting times ahead. After that she will head for a spell," Honan said. "We always thought she would be something special because she looked the goods from day one, being well-gaited and unlike a few others in that breeding, didn't brush her knee. "Anna (Woodmansey) has done an exceptional job in training Pelosi. She only has two in work (the other being Photozen), but she is so thorough and spends every spare minute with them. And I have to say that both horses can be a bit 'different' at times." Owner-breeder of Pelosi Wayne Honan with trainer Anna Woodmansey --Dan Costello photo The impeccably bred Pelosi (American Ideal USA-For Dear Life (Life Sign USA) is now the fastest filly Queensland has ever produced. She scored the biggest win of her short career when successful in last Saturday night's $150,000 APG 2YO final at Albion Park. Prepared at Chambers Flat by hobby trainer Anna Woodmansey, who works in a high school administration office, Pelosi has now won four of her five lifetime starts. While the win provided Woodmansey and popular reinsman John Cremin with their first ever Group One victories, Honan has been one of Australia's most successful trainer-drivers over the years. In the heady days of the 1970s and 80s, Honan and his late legendary father Jack, of Killarney Stud, Canowindra, were a formidable team, preparing big teams of up to 35 horses. "One of our first decent horses I can recall was a mare named Fine Jade. She won the Queensland Oaks and then went onto be the dam of Prince Jade ($114,921), Genesee ($58,211), Glens Fine Jade ($25,110) as well as some others," Honan said. "As well as the Canowindra stables, we also had a property near the late and great Ron Peace at Donnybrook, near Melbourne. "The recent Brisbane wins brought back some fond memories because we made many trips north with our horses to the annual Winter Carnival over the years. We'd be based at Albion Park, but would also compete at Redcliffe and even down to Tweed Heads on the Queensland/New South Wales border. "We made a lot of friends and won some nice races during those campaigns." Pelosi comes from a successful family line boasting outstanding Group race victories, but gets her name from American congresswoman, the energetic and determined Nancy Pelosi. The 79-year-old was first elected in 2007 and is now in her third term as the speaker of the United States House of Representatives. Honan said the name seemed a fitting one for the feisty daughter of American Ideal. "From what I can see, Nancy gives President Trump heaps - she goes hard and wants to be the best. So there's a bit of meaning there," he said. For Dear Life, dam of Pelosi, was a brilliant racehorse, winning 14 races from 28 starts for over $322,000. And grand dam, the Stature mare Express Post, was exceptionally fast. "When I won the Pink Bonnet with her at Harold Park, she lowered the previous race record by three seconds. She was awesome and ended up with 11 wins from 18 starts," Honan said. In the breeding barn, Express Post was a sensation. Petousa (by Western Hanover) won $180,000 in stakes, stallion Flightpath (Artsplace) won nearly $290,000 before retiring to stand at stud and For Dear Life (Life Sign) won $322,000. Honan retains Petousa, while Moama horseman Tony Peacock has For Dear Life at his St Fort property. For Dear Life has an Always B Miki weanling colt and will be served by American Ideal this coming season. Pelosi, driver John Cremin, Anna Woodmansey and Wayne Honan --Dan Costello photo  For John Cremin, recognized as one of the Sunshine State's favorite sons, the APG Group One win was much deserved. "Cremmo", as he's known, who turns 56 next Sunday (coincidentally the same day wife Tanya celebrates her birthday) got an early present he won't forget for a long time. "I've probably been driving for nearly 40 years, so I was overdue for a win in a Group One. I guess Pelosi is proof that you're never too old as far as a driver goes!" he said. "Perhaps some might say that my years of experience are now paying off. But as a young fella I wouldn't have handled horses with little idiosyncrasies like her. With a little bit of age and experience it's finally come to me!" Cremin was quick to label Pelosi as the best of her age that's he's ever driven. "She's definitely by far the best - the complete package. She relaxes beautifully and is so versatile. My only worry is to keep her out of trouble," he said. Cremin, who trains a team of six as well as being a respected farrier, is looking forward to the coming NSW campaign for Pelosi with the memory of a Newcastle win under his belt with Home of Jack in the Cup in December 2005. Watch the Pelosi win video replay here!   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

One of world harness racing’s all-time greatest drivers Chris Alford will join RSN’s Matt Stewart for a one-hour special edition of Open Mic tomorrow from 9am. Alford is approaching 7000 career winners and is at the peak of his powers, over 100 winners clear this season on the national premiership with 268 victories from 1121 starts. The champion reinsman has driven 99 Group 1 winners and looks a huge chance to crack the century when Tell Me Tales lines up in Saturday night’s $100,000 Benstud Queen of the Pacific at Tabcorp Park Melton. Tune into RSN (927am or streamed at rsn.net.au) from 9am tomorrow as Stewart takes a trip down memory lane with the man they call “the Puppet”.   Cody Winnell

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Vicbred horses raced for $9.13million more stakemoney than other horses in Victoria during season 2017-18. Last season, Vicbred horses picked up $4.6m in Vicbred win bonuses, while a further $4.5m of stakemoney was paid out on Vicbred-only races. This week Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) launched its 2019 Vicbred Super Series campaign, with the key message “Why wouldn’t you be Vicbred”? HRV CEO David Martin said it was important for a fresh approach to the Vicbred Super Series, one which focuses on the breeders and industry participants. “A vibrant local breeding industry is crucial to the overall wellbeing of our industry as a whole and the Vicbred program is a critical component,” Mr Martin said. “Vicbred eligible horses race for extra stakemoney through races and bonuses, so it certainly makes sense to think locally and think Vicbred during breeding season. “HRV and Harness Breeders Victoria are working hard and in regular consultation to look at ways to stimulate the breeding industry and the Vicbred program as we confront the historical challenge of a worldwide downturn in harness foal numbers.” Imamenace, who caused a boilover winning the 2014 Vicbred Super Series 2YO Trotting Final   --Stuart McCormick photo A new naming rights partner has been signed for the pacing Vicbred Super Series this year, Alabar coming on board to join Aldebaran Park which sponsors the trotting races. “Alabar and Aldebaran Park have a deep appreciation and understanding of the breeding industry and the Vicbred program and we’re rapt they’re both on board with HRV to support this important race series,” HRV General Manager – Marketing Andrew English said. HRV today announced it will for the first time attach a $1500 breeding voucher to all 12 of this year’s Group 1 Vicbred Super Series finals. “When we announced the $1500 breeding vouchers for all fillies and mares’ races in May and June we said there would be more announcements on the way and this was one of those,” HRV General Manager – Racing Stephen Bell said. “Today’s announcement means a further $18,000 worth of breeding vouchers will be made available for Vicbred Super Series winning owners and breeders to reinvest in the local industry. “These vouchers are in addition to the $115,500 we committed to be reinvested to the industry through the May/June fillies and mares’ races.” This year’s VSS marketing campaign is centred on the Vicbred horse’s journey from foaling to racehorse to Vicbred champion. Explaining the concept, Mr English said: “Winning a Group 1 race is the dream and over the years the Vicbred Super Series has allowed stables big and small to taste top-level success. These are inspirational stories to tell; stories like Betty Hall and Immanence in recent years. This is what Vicbred is all about.” Flojos Gold, from Mildura, who won the 2015 2YO Vicbred Super Series Final   -Stuart McCormick photo July 5 and 6 will see two enormous nights of Vicbred Super Series action at Tabcorp Park Melton.  The Friday night will be all about the trotter as the finalists in the Aldebaran Park Vicbred Super Series battle it out for supremacy.  The following Saturday night is all about the pacers as the Alabar Vicbred Super Series draws to an exciting climax with a cocktail function in the Legends Room on-course. Importantly, connections (including breeders) of Vicbred finalists will be treated to an evening of entertainment unlike any other as the “corporate” function becomes a colourful Vicbred celebration in the Legends Dining Room.   HRV Trots Media Cody Winnell
The winners will be many at Cobram this Sunday when the spoils of the fundraising day will benefit a great cause but also reward those putting on the show. Cobram Harness Racing Club's annual Pink Day, which raises money for and awareness of the McGrath Foundation, will have plenty of prizes to help race goers, the charity minded and participants to get into the Pink Day spirit. This year’s major fundraiser is once again a raffle, with tickets sold to win the major prize of a $3000 travel toucher thanks to Flightcentre Marketplace Shepparton as well as luggage valued at $1000. Minor prizes of $1000, $500 and $100 Visa Gift Cards will also be drawn. There will be a lucky entry draw with all on-course patrons having the chance to win a Gold Coast accommodation package valued at $1600 donated by Ashmore Palms Holiday Village, as well as $200 holiday package vouchers. Trainers will have plenty of reasons to nominate their horses for the meeting with six trainers in each race being drawn throughout the day to take home products thanks to Carbine Chemicals and Hygain, as well as a lucky trainers draw for the chance to win a set of Hyland Colours. The feature race on the card is the Paul Roberts Jewellers Invitation Lady Drivers Pace. The $10,000 C1 class event will see horses randomly allocated to the following drivers: Ellen Bartley, Rebecca Bartley, Juanita Breen, Monique Burnett, Rita Burnett, Donna Castles, Laura Crossland, Kima Frenning, Lisa Miles, Ellen Tormey, Abbey Turnbull and Tania Ward. All trainers with a starter in this race will receive a Carbine Chemicals product and a Hygain-Mitavite showbag, with the winning trainer also taking home a new set of hopples donated by Trot Pace, as well as further prizes for the runners up.   Last year’s fundraising efforts raised more than $27,000 for the McGrath Foundation, which assists in placing breast care nurses in country areas, with organisers hoping to raise a similar amount for the charity once again. Raffle tickets can be purchased from any of the female drivers competing in the race or by contacting the club on 0409 401 189. Nominations for the race day close at noon tomorrow. For race day details click here.   Trots Media
IN the end it was sheer strength of numbers which won a war of attrition for champion trainer Emma Stewart in last night’s $100,000 Group 1 Queen of the Pacific (2760m) at Melton. Stewart had four runners Victoria’s biggest mares’ race and it was the second-outsider of them - $52.40 shot Pistol Abbey – who stormed home for an easy win after an epic race. Stablemate Tell Me Tales was sensationally-backed from $2.60 to $1.80 favourite to give Chris Alford his 100th Group 1 win, but spent too much petrol in a blazing move around the field to find the lead midrace. She battled on well fourth. Mick Stanley’s classy mare Soho Burning Love sustained a long run and looked the winner on the home bend before driver David Moran moved Pistol Abbey into clear air and the four-year-old blasted home in a 1min56.1sec mile rate. Soho Burning Love ($51.20) was monstrous in second spot with another outsider Makes Every Scents ($46.30) grabbed third spot for a blowout trifecta. Kiwi mare Our Step Up had little luck at crucial times back along the inside and finished sixth. The other Melton Group 1 was the $50,000 Australasian Trotting Championship won by the country’s most improved trotter, Savannah Jay Jay in a thrilling three-way finish. Trainer Stan Cameron has rejuvenated the eight-year-old gelding who led throughout and staved-off class mare Red Hot Tooth by a half neck with another neck away to McLovin in third spot. It was also great to see Chariots Of Fire winner and Miracle Mile placegetter Poster Boy make a winning return, albeit closer than most expected, at Melton. Emma Stewart’s star led and just did enough to beat a gallant and flying Rishi by a half-neck in a 1min54.8sec mile rate for 2240m. ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ NO wonder the connections of Mirragon were gutted when a gallop cost him qualifying for the recent Australian Gold final. Emma Stewart’s freshman colt would have a been a major player in the final – won by Jilliby Nitro – judging by his powerhouse win a Home Grown Classic heat at Ballarat last Thursday night. Despite sitting outside highly-rated stablemate Pandering, who dictated the terms, Mirragon knuckled down late and snared a 1.4m win in a 1min56.3sec mile rate for 1710m. It was more the closing splits and the way he did which impressed. Mirragon closed in 56 flat and 27.1sec. Stewart almost snared both heats when first-starter Beale Street did all the work and failed by just a half-head to overpower the leader, Withouttheuh in a 1min56sec mile rate. Clearly Stewart has yet another fantastic juvenile crop he best-performed youngster Be Happy Mach ran a massive third in the Australian Gold final at Albion Park after doing the work outside winner, Jilliby Nitro. ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ FORMER star Kiwi youngster King Of Swing continued his WA resurgence with a dazzling Gloucester Park win last night (Saturday). The Gary Hall Sr-trained four-year-old led throughout and thrashed a handy field by 23m in a slick 1min56.3sec mile rate for the long 2536m trip. He ripped home in 54.7 and 26.8sec. “It’s great to see him finishing off his races so well,” Hall Sr said. “He’s got so much ability, but he has been able to lead to win his past couple. The next step is seeing what he can do in the field or outside them, but we’re thrilled with how he’s going right now.” The Gloucester Park feature was the $50,000 Pearl 3YO Classic won by underrated trainer-driver Aldo Cortopassi and his gelding Theo Aviator in a 1min55.5sec mile rate for 2130m. ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ TRAINER Ben Yole keeps smashing records in Tasmania. By far the state’s most dominant trainer, Yole created history by becoming the first trainer in the state to win 125 races in a season. It bettered his own record of 124. Yole reached the mark with four wins from the eight races at Launceston last Friday night. It was former Lance Justice pacer, 10-year-old Jeans Mattjesty, who made it 125 wins when he scored easily in the final event. ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ EVERGREEN pacer Maximan returned to winning form in the free-for-all at Menangle last night. Shane and Lauren Tritton’s 10-year-old overpowered his rivals in a slick 1min50.9sec mile with young driver Lachie Manzelmann in the sulky. Lauren Tritton drove stablemate and favourite Franco Nelson, who didn’t fire at his return from a spell and finished a distant eighth. Speedy mare Eye See Diamonds led throughout in a 1min52.9sec mile to win the Menangle feature, the Group 3 Miss Brazilian Stakes for mares. Another win of note came from former Great Southern Star winner Glenferrie Typhoon, who proved a class above his rivals for new trainer Roy Roots Jr and driver Lauren Tritton. Glenferrie Typhoon left Andy Gath for a stint in WA and was then sold to clients of Roots Jr. He’s won two of his five NSW runs and is now a nine-year-old. ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ NORTHVIEW Hustler is the latest of the Lincoln Farms pacers to enjoy the move from NZ to Queensland. The talented five-year-old turned heads with a winning debut for Alistair and Hayden Barnes in the feature race at Albion Park last night. Northview Hustler worked to the front from the standing start and always looked in control before winning well in a fast 1min57.3sec mile rate for the long 2647m trip in The Flashing Red Discretionary. It was a sign he could be a factor in the Queensland Winter Carnival features in July. ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ EMMA Stewart and Amanda Turnbull left their mark on one of South Australia’s biggest meetings at Port Pirie  last night. Turnbull trained and drove Catch A Moment to the easiest wins in the Group 2 3YO colts and geldings Southern Cross final. She then drove two-year-old filly Treasure to win an easy win in her final for Stewart. Stewart also Southern Cross finals for two-year-old colts and geldings with locally-owned One Highway Tohell. Local Port Pirie trainer Dale Afford had a night to remember, winning the 3YO fillies’ final with Shesashark and one of the consolations with Hesashark.   Adam Hamilton
Barnawartha horseman Wayne Anderson had mixed feelings when he landed the money at the Shepparton harness racing meeting this week with a 25/1 longshot - and who could blame him? Wayne decided to take the reins himself with bay gelding Postal Express (Flightpath-Bye Focals (Harmony Heaven), giving his 21-year-old son Chris, an up-and-coming junior driver, the night off. "Chris works in the scaffolding business and just lately he's been doing a fair bit of travelling," Wayne said. "As well as all the miles, he's also been working hard because he just recently bought himself a house. So, I said to him that I didn't want him pushing himself to get back and drive at the trots. "And of course, everything worked out perfectly in the race for Postal Express and we landed the money, but only just!" Postal Express won by a neck from Monash (Ros Rolfe) with four metres back to Waterboy (Ryan Duffy). The mile rate was a brisk 1.57-5. View the video here! It was Wayne's first race drive on the eight-year-old, and while he was delighted with the success, he intends to stay "second fiddle" to Chris whenever he can. "Chris has had a couple of wins and my wife Margy, myself and all the other family members are keen to see him get established and do well in the sport," Wayne said. "Whenever he's home and not away working, you'll find him at our place helping out with the team, which is up to five at present. "Chris was a late-starter into trotting as he used to do very well at football and cricket. I think he can make a go of it, because he's keen and will take on any advice. Guys like David Jack, Cameron Maggs and Peter Romero have been fantastic." The Anderson farm, nestled on the outskirts of town, has been in the family since 1956. Wayne said a 700-metre granite track on the property cost "24 dozen bottles of beer and some fuel, back in the day"! "Uncle Bob, who always had horses on the place, now looks after the cattle, while my brother Steve does the cropping and our dad David keeps an eye on things to ensure everything's ticking along okay. We have 60 cattle and 350 sheep as well as the horses," Wayne said. "It's a real family affair and while two of our other sons, Mitch and Isaac, aren't hands-on with the horses, they support us. "We got Postal Express off a mate in Robbie Walters, who thought he would be just perfect for Chris to learn the ropes. "And he is a nice horse-just a gentleman to do anything with. He's improved lately since we changed his feed on the recommendation of a nutritionalist and got his teeth done. "The horse has always shown high speed, but now he's starting to find the line." Wayne said he'd been in and out of the industry for nearly 40 years. "I was trying a heap of horses there for a while but dropped off a bit when I wasn't getting any to the races," he said. "Then in December 2015, we had a wild bushfire go through. We lost 300 sheep, 400 bales and five kilometres of fencing. It also destroyed our wooden horse yards, but fortunately two colts that I was breaking-in weren't injured. "The bushfire destroyed 6000 hectares in nine hours, being fanned by 100kph winds. We saved a few lambs as well as things around the house." Wayne said while Postal Express could be one to follow from the stable, he was excited with former Queensland pacer My Magic Merlin. "Chris got beaten a head at Kilmore with him last month which was his first run for us. He's a nice type by Mach Three and still only a C1," he said. And there's a fair chance that Wayne will be among the loudest supporters for Chris at Albury on Saturday night when the junior driver competes with Miss Rixon in the opening event, followed by My Magic Merlin in race two.   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura
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