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It was a night to remember at Tabcorp Park for Amanda Turnbull’s team as five-year-old Speak No Evil and four-year-old Catch A Moment served up bold front-running performances to not only take line honours but flag that bigger things were to come. Speak No Evil held out the challenge of $1.60 favourite Our Princess Tiffany to win the Angelique Club Pace, blowing open the Elizabeth Clarke Mares Triple Crown, which concludes with next Saturday’s $100,000 Benstud Queen Of The Pacific. Earlier in the night Catch A Moment was stunning in winning the Alabar Vicbred Championship first heat by 34 metres, despite reinsman James Herbertson trying to keep the Art Major entire under a hold and fresh for next week’s final. And the hits kept coming throughout the night. Red Hot Tooth also produced an eye-catching margin win, saluting by almost 20 metres in the Aldebaran Park True Roman Trotters Free For All, leaving in her wake some of the squaregating heads of state including Dance Craze, McLovin and Wobelee. One race earlier, Mister Wickham wound back the clock to beat a talented field, replete with four Victoria Cup contenders, in the TAB Long May We Play Bold David Free For All, which proved a bruising battle that would see the contenders spread across the track in the dash to the line. And that’s not to mention the two Group 2s, with Emma Stewart winning both The Big Screen Company Tatlow Stakes. Act Now led all the way for reinswoman Jodi Quinlan to build a picket fence of victories for owner-breeders Bruce and Vicki Edward, winning the $50,000 Group 2 for two-year-old colts and geldings. “He felt enormous when Michael (Stanley)’s horse (Soho Bollinger) was outside of him and he skipped away and was looking at the clerk of the course on the inside pricking his ears,” Quinlan told Trots Vision. “I’d really like to see him go when one does really test him and see what he can really do. He did that pretty comfy tonight.” And the Stewart stable's flex was even more significant in the two-year-old fillies Tatlow Stakes, where the trainer filled the first six places, including the winner Ladies In Red for reinsman David Moran (pictured below). “There’s not much of her, she’s got it all, she can tough it out, she’s got very high speed,” Moran said. She’s going to make a very nice racehorse.” Which will be music to the ears of Lauriston Bloodstock’s Bill and Anne Anderson, who not only enjoyed success in the Tatlow Stakes but also with Speak No Evil’s win in the aforementioned Angelique Club Pace. “They’ve got a wonderful breed and some really nice horses at the moment,” Turnbull said. She was rapt with Speak No Evil’s performance, having initially been concerned how the four-year-old had trialed in the lead-up. “We wanted to come last week because it was only over the mile, but her trial wasn’t quite good enough, so we just stuck at home and got a bit of work into her,” Turnbull told Trots Vision. “It was a little bit of a worry being first up over the 2200, but she handled it good. She was a different horse again tonight, she knew it was race night, she was a lot more relaxed and a lot better to handle, so she knows what she’s doing.” Elizabeth Clarke Mares Triple Crown standings  Our Princess Tiffany  10  Speak No Evil  8  Rock N Roll Chapel  8  Maajida  6  Goodtime Heaven   4  No Win No Feed  4  Pick Up Line  1  Nostra Villa   1                   It makes for a delicious entrée to next week’s Benstud Queen Of The Pacific, which carries not only the Group 1 status and $100,000 purse, but will also decide the inaugural winner of the Elizabeth Clarke Mares Triple Crown. For the first time, the horse who scores most points in the series takes home a $10,000 bonus.Speak No Evil won by a short half-head from Rock N Roll Chapel, who sat leader’s back throughout and almost won in the closing strides, while No Win No Feed pipped Our Princess Tiffany for third, with the latter failing to make ground in the straight after sitting in the breeze for a tick more than the last lap. Turnbull confirmed Speak No Evil will be there and it could also be a big night for Catch A Moment, who will take some topping when he backs up in the $30,000 Alabar Vicbred Championship final after tonight’s blazing win. “We’ve always had really high hopes for him and he’s been thereabouts all the time,” Turnbull said. “Now he’s grown into himself, he’s a big fella and looks amazing, and he’s putting it on the race track too.” He certainly impressed reinsman James Herbertson tonight. “To get behind a horse like that is really something else,” Herbertson said. “And to be still trucking like he was at the finish, he still had another gear left, pretty incredible. “I was trying to get him to go as slow as possible, because he’s got the race next week. To be able to get home in 27.7, the way that he did it, it’s pretty crazy.” Torrid Saint will also advance to the final on a high note, having won the night's second heat for trainer Julie Douglas and reinsman John Caldow. The night's other standout winner was Maajida in the DNR Logistics Argent 3YO Classic, with the classy filly swoop with a long, strong run to win by five metres and reaffirm that she was again at the head of her class for trainer Emma Stewart and reinsman Greg Sugars.   HRV - Michael Howard

Some elite talent will pass through Chris Alford’s hands tonight, with just three of his horses having already amassed more than $2.3 million in stakes and 14 Group 1s. Across races five, seven and eight 'the Puppet' will steer Cruz Bromac ($1,056,075 winnings, 5 Group 1s), Our Princess Tiffany ($852,262, 6 Group 1s) and Wobelee ($415,239, 5 Group 1s), an extraordinary collection of talent that signals a great night’s racing ahead at Tabcorp Park Melton. “The way the season went, all the good horse are back in getting primed for the big races, so it’s really exciting,” Alford told Trots Talk. The shortest of his stars will likely be Our Princess Tiffany, a $1.60 favourite in the Angelique Club Cup, leg two of the Elizabeth Clarke Mares Triple Crown. Elizabeth Clarke Mares Triple Crown standings  Horse   Points  Our Princess Tiffany  8  Maajida  5  Goodtime Heaven  3  Rock N Roll Chapel   2  Pick Up Line   1             The four-year-old, who’s raced for Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen’s All Stars for much of her career but crossed to Dean Braun for her Victorian campaign, was extraordinary in winning last week’s Benstud Make Mine Cullen. It was her first start since jumping the Tasman and has her well placed to not only win the new $10,000 prize for the best horse in the series, but potentially the $20,000 bonus for sweeping all three races. “She was (stunning),” Alford said of last week’s win. “First up from a mini break after coming from New Zealand, to do what she did was pretty amazing, it just shows how classy she is. “She’s pretty professional like a lot of the Purdon horses are, they can do pretty much everything. “She flopped along at the back of the field and when the speed came on at about the 600 she knew it was time to go, she grabbed the bit and just wanted to get on with it. “Around the last turn I had a stranglehold on her just to keep her off (Goodtime Heaven’s driver Mick) Stanley’s head, trying not to clip his wheel as she came out because she was that wound up ready to go.” And expectations in the camp are that she should just get better tonight and into the $100,000 Benstud Queen Of The Pacific on October 31, the final leg of the series. “Dean said she’s trained on really well since then, so all looking forward to the next leg of it and hopefully she can get the second leg down and go into the big one the week after,” Braun said. Before then he’ll take hold of Cruz Bromac in the TAB Long May We Play Bold David Free For All, with the million-dollar pacer having his third Victorian start after disappointing first-up and then rattling home to finish sixth in the Pryde’s EasiFeed Victoria Cup. “He was terrible (first-up), left everyone scratching their heads a bit, but he’s trained a bit harder since then,” Alford said. “Because he’s an eight or nine-year-old now, he probably just took a bit more work than what he did the year before, so he seems to be getting wound up now. “The draw didn’t work out that well for us in the Vic Cup, but apart from the winner his sectionals were quicker than any other horse in the race, and that was only his second-up run in 12 months, so he should improve again this week.” Alford’s also hopeful of improvement from star trotter Wobelee, who’s trained by his wife Alison and looks well placed for a late charge at likely leaders Red Hot Tooth and Dance Craze in the Aldebaran Park True Roman Trotters Free For All. “The trotters are really really strong at the moment,” he said. “You have the two mares off the front row and McLovin, Wobelee and Savannah Jay Jay off the back. It’s going to be a pretty tactical race, hopefully there’s a fair bit of speed on which will suit us. “(Wobelee) went all right in the Bill Collins race, he was probably just a run short because he hadn’t run in three weeks. Hopefully that tightened him up for this week.” While Alford may not have a drive in The Big Screen Company Tatlow Stakes Group 2 for two-year-old fillies, with Rogue Wave the emergency, he’ll drive quality in the colts and geldings division in Idyllic, albeit from the outside-the-back-row draw. He’ll also partner Treasure for Isabel Walsh in the DNR Logistics Argent 3YO Classic, Brevity for David Aiken in the Alabar Vicbred Championship second heat and Kyvalley Clichy for Brent Lilley in the Aldebaran Park Vicbred Trot.   HRV - Michael Howard

When Woodlands Stud picks a stallion the process is not a decision made over night. With over 25 years of success in shuttling stallions, Woodlands Stud remains Australasia’s leading stallion base and the decision to acquire the equal fastest pacer in history, Lather Up, was a fastidious one. Lather Up was simply one of the USA’s greatest pacer’s in recent times. He broke two world records and became the fastest four-year-old in history over a mile and the single fastest horse over a mile and one eighth. Lather Up won the 3yo race all horses aspire to when he won the North American Cup in 1.48.1, he bankrolled over USD $1.9 million and was a genuine star. Lather Up not only brings speed, stamina and a great gait, he brings two of Australasia’s greatest ever producing sires in Bettor’s Delight and In The Pocket to the table. Lather Up’s sire, I’m  Gorgeous, was amongst the best 3yos of his generation and the maternal side of the family is very rich in vein with his dam, Pocket Comb, a mother of nine winners from 10 foals. Simply his pedigree rocks! The great news for breeders is that Lather Up has a number of mares in foal early on both sides of ‘the ditch’ and his semen quality is outstanding. Standing along side super sire American Ideal at Northern Rivers Equine at Kyabram, Lather Up has a quality book of mares for a first season sire, amongst them Australian mares of the year and mares who won seven figures on the racetrack! Lather Up’s service fee is $6600 GST INC, with discounts applicable. When we shuttled ‘Sweet Lou’ down under, some pundits scoffed at our decision and all the hard yards Sweet Lou has done have proved that a stallion like Lather Up has a place in Australasia. Australian breeders have taken notice over time that when you breed to a Woodlands Stud, you are breeding to stallions that are meticulously chosen. In a results driven business, we get results. For bookings to Woodlands Stud stallions in Australia, contact Woodlands Australian manager Mark Hughes on 0451 650707 or via email at CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS ABOUT WOODLANDS STUD

Breeding authority Peter Wharton presents all the harness racing news on breeding from Australia, New Zealand and North America every Friday brought to you by Garrard’s Horse & Hound Two-year-old trotters mile record A fresh Australian mile record for a two-year-old trotter was established by the Yield Boko filly Aldebaran Ursula of 1:56.8 – bettering her own national record of 1:59.1 by 2.3 seconds – when she won at Menangle recently. Aldebaran Ursula, who has now won four of her six starts – she finished second in a heat of the NSW Foundation Series and an unlucky fourth in the Final – is a member of the same family as the Inter Dominion champion Winterfell. Bred by Aldebaran Park stud, Aldebaran Ursula is a second foal, being by Yield Boko from the Continentalman mare Ushaka Bromac Tr 1:59.3 ($144,985), whose dam Ursula Bromac was by Live Or Die, a champion sire of pacers by Die Laughing from Universal Kim, by Holmes Hanover from Kim Bromac, by Bo Scot’s Blue Chip. Ushaka Bromac, a winner of 16 races, was a half-sister to Put Your Lights On (2:00), Badlands Bromac (2:00.1) and Garbo, all pacing winners. Their dam, Ursula Bromac, who was unraced, ranks as a sister to Una Bromac, dam of the outstanding trotters Winterfell Tr 1:58.1 ($426,384) and Escapee Tr 1:57.4 ($263,115), a top Queensland trotter in Needle Tr 1:57.4 ($122,481) and Caligula, who established an Australian mile record for a trotting gelding of 1:54.4 at Menangle last March. Ursula Bromac was a half-sister to the NZ, Australian and USA winner Ulrica Bromac 1:49.6 ($250,339) and the Albion Park victor Kylie Bromac 1:55.6. In the back removes of Aldebaran Ursula’s pedigree are pacers of the calibre of Menin Gate, Smooth Showgirl, Allwood’s Chief, Astral Francais and Beefy T but in some branches of the family the emphasis has been on trotters.     Close relatives win at Penrith Far Out Bro, Backintown and Sport Cadet, who won on the same night at Penrith recently, are all members of the same family. All were bred by the Sloy’s Company. The three-year-old Far Out Bro (by Mach Three) and four-year-old Backintown (by Bettor’s Delight) are half-brothers, both being out of Far Apart (2:01.5), an Art Major mare from the good Harold Park winner Come Together (1:58.5), by Western Hanover from the NSW Sires Stakes champion Miss Chevious 2:00.7 ($166,786), by Troublemaker. Sport Cadet, a five-year-old gelding by Sportswriter, is out of the Bettor’s Delight mare Nothin Bettor (1:56), a half-sister to Far Apart, the dam of Far Out Bro and Backintown. Nothin Bettor, who won three races at Menangle, is also the dam of the Albion Park winner Hot Red Heaven (1:52.6). This is the family which produced such winners as Luda (1:52.5) and Spicy Stride (1:52.8), both NSW Breeders Challenge champions, the Bathurst Gold Crown winner Astride (1:53.6), Oyster Stride (1:53.5) and Steel Screens (1:53.7).   Keayang Ninja is top two-year-old trotter When he won the $50,000 Vicbred Platinum Home Grown Classic Final at Melton last Saturday, Keayang Ninja scored his fourth success, and he is entitled to be rated as this season’s top two-year-old trotter. From five starts, he has won four and been placed once for $40,390 in stakes. Keayang Ninja      --Stuart McCormick photo   Keayang Ninja is by the Conway Hall horse Wishing Stone, a world champion trotter himself and now at the stud in Italy. Wishing Stone is out of the Valley Victory mare Meadowbranch Magic, a member of the noted Minnehaha tribe which has produced a host of winners in both Australia and NZ over the years and included a top pacer in Poster Boy, a dual Vicbred champion and Derby winner, and Five Star Anvil, who won feature races in NZ, Victoria and Tasmania. On his dam’s side, Keayang Ninja has something in his favour. His dam Another Clare (Tr 2:02), by Keystone Crosby, is a granddaughter of the Caliburn mare Downsouth’s Sister, dam of the NSW Trotters Derby and Bill Collins Mile winner Clare’s Brother Tr 1:58.6 ($179,007). Downsouth’s Sister was a sister to a fine trotter in Downsouth Clare, the winner of 19 races and $101,313 and one-time holder of the Australian trotting mare’s mile record of 1:59.2, and a half-sister to former Trotter of the Year and cups winner Game Ebony Tr 2:03.7 (29 wins and $181,636) and the Chris Howe Cup winner Mister Everest. Their dam, Lucy Clare, a good winner in the Melbourne Showgrounds era, was a half-sister to a capable trotter in Supreme Soon, dam of the Derby heat winner Uncle Grubby. Other members of this family have been Sparkling Success Tr 1:53.9 ($420,170), a dual Breeders Crown champion and winner of the Great Southern Star, and the dual Bill Collins Mile winner Will Trapper Tr 1:59.9 ($266,100), Trapper’s Salute Tr 1:54.2 ($222,685) and Trapper’s Puzzle (SA Trotters Cup). Keayang Ninja was bred by Marg, Jason and Paddy Lee.   Well related three-year-old Adira, who won a semi-final of the NSW Breeders Challenge at Menangle, showed ability as a two-year-old last season when she won twice from three attempts. She has maintained her solid form as a three-year-old winning seven races and will be among the leading fancies for the $125,000 Breeders Challenge Final on Saturday. Adira is by the Mach Three horse, Somebeachsomewhere, from the Bettor’s Delight mare Our Lissome (2:05.8), and is her first foal. Our Lissome ranks as a half-sister to three winners including Lislass (2:01.3), dam of the Albion Park winner Escalera (1:53), being out of the American-bred Lisdargan, by The Panderosa from the Abercrombie Lisaleen, a sister to the champion racehorse and sire Albert Albert. Lis Mara 1:47.6 ($2.1 million), a US Breeders Crown winner and successful sire, a top flight filly in I Luv The Nightlife 1:48.8 ($1.9 million) and the smart colts Captain Victorious (1:48.6) and De Los Cielos Deo (1:50) also belong to this family.   Blue blooded filly Soho Broadway, who cleared novice class at the Harness Breeders Victoria meeting at Maryborough, is a two-year-filly who can claim some worthwhile blood. By Bettor’s Delight, she is out of the prized Art Major mare Pixel Perfect, whose dam, Amarillen, ranked as a sister to the Oaks winner Tenirama (2:00.1) and a half-sister to Group winners Terryrama (1:56) and Cody Maverick (1:58.9), their dam, Nellirama, being out of the dual Oaks winner Nellie Robins. Soho Broadway ranks as a half-sister to four Group winners including Soho Tribeca 1:53.8 ($1.1 million), now at the stud in Victoria, the NSW Ladyship Mile winner Carlas Pixel 1:49.5 ($480,128) and the APG Final winner Soho Nolita 1:53 ($238,220).   Vicbred Platinum two-year-old winner Sheza Pleasure, who won the $50,000 Vicbred Platinum Home Grown Classic Final for two-year-old trotting fillies at Melton, is a Bacardi Lindy filly from the same family as that which produced a top NSW trotter in Arizona Blue. Sheza Pleasure       --Stuart McCormick photo Sheza Pleasure, who had been placed in her heat, overcame a difficult draw and a wide passage to post her first success in the Group 1. A member of an old time family, she ranks as a half-sister to Milly’s Magic, who won at Globe Derby Park on the same night as Sheza Pleasure won. A half-brother in Lord Lohki was placed at Shepparton two nights earlier. Sheza Pleasure’s dam, Sheza Comment, was by a top American trotter in Sierra Kosmos (Tr 1:53.8, who traces back to the thoroughbred mare Sally Sovereign, by Sovereign), from Sheza Cop (Tr 2:04.5), by Keystone Gondola (son of Speedy Crown) from Arctic Fox, by North Pole (son of Meadow Skipper) from All Aflame, by Scottish Brigade from All States. This family has had an association of some 80 years in Australia, and is has been responsible for a long line of winners such as Arizona Blue Tr 1:56.9 ($236,465), a winner of 21 races including the Victoria and NSW Derbies and Bruce Skeggs Trotters Cup, the SA Derby winner Ima Cop Too, The Keystone Cop (26 wins), the prolific Menangle winner Chalcis (Tr 1:59.3), Sheza Amason (Tr 1:59.5) and Keystone Maori (Strathalbyn Trotters Cup). The first three dams of Sheza Pleasure have left 15 winners from 27 foals.   Shoobee Doo on top Shoobee Doo, a winner of the NSW Rod Fitzpatrick Memorial and recently a winner at Melton, is one of the most promising four-year-olds in Victoria at present. Shoobee Doo        --Stuart McCormick photo He has won $124,270 in stakes, a worthwhile return for the $16,500 paid for him as a yearling. By the Artsplace horse Shoobee’s Place, and one of first crop, he is out of Lavish Art (1:56.9), by Modern Art from Lavish Franco, by Soky’s Atom from the Lordship mare Lady Barbara. Shoobee Doo is a brother to the dual Menangle winner Katchar Shobee (1:53.7).   Star three-year-old by American Ideal A bright future is being predicted for the American Ideal three-year-old The Ideal Touch, whose success at Gloucester Park last Friday was his fourth winning run in as many starts in WA. He has a good deal in his favour on the score of blood. Apart from being by American Ideal, a leading sire in both NZ and Australia, The Ideal Touch is out of the Mach Three mare Touch Of Rose (2:00.1), the dam of earlier winners in Ferritt’s Sister (1:56.9), Fiery Ferret (1:58.3) and Delightful Gloria (1:59.2). Touch Of Rose, a Listed placegetter as a two-year-old, was out of Rose Sands (TT1:57.8), by Holmes Hanover from the good producer Sonorous (1:59.9), by Noodlum from Panasonic, by Jerry Adios from the NSW Oaks winner Strafe. The family, which traces to the Blackwood Abdallah mare Miss Kate, producer a champion pacer in Shakamaker 1:55 ($2.2 million), who won 46 races, including the Inter Dominion and Victoria Cup, and other top pacers in Haughty, who won two New Zealand Cups, Destreos and Report For Duty.   Won Pot of Gold Major Fernco, who won the Pot of Gold Final at Albion Park and now won three races from six starts in Queensland, promises to make rapid progress through the classes. Bred in NZ’s Southland district, Major Fernco is a three-year-old colt by Art Major from Sniper’s Lair, by a NZ Cup winner in Changeover (an In The Pocket horse who is now standing stud in Queensland) from Lil’s Dream (TT1:55.7), by Smooth Fella from Miss Denover  Sniper’s Lair, who was unraced, is a half-sister to Outtasight 1:59 (4 NZ wins) and to the Artsplace mare National Gallery (1:54.4), a winner of 11 races including the Golden Wattle Cup and dam of the Listed winner Rocknroll Icon 1:53 ($136,403), Mach Up (1:55.1), Looking Fabulous (1:56) and the unbeaten three-year-old Honolua Bay (1:55.6). Another half-sister in Limerick Star (1:59.2) left None Bettor 1:48.8 ($562,075), now racing successfully in North America, the Victoria Sapling Stakes winner Abouttime (1:52.9) and the APG heat and semi-final winner Rosie Oreilly (1:56.5). Major Fernco can boast a pedigree with some real background with a strong staying influence behind it.   From SA Oaks winner A smart three-year-old filly in SA so far this season is Fairiesdelight, who was bred and is raced by the Cormack family. A filly by Bettor’s Delight, she is out of the SA Oaks and Sires Produce winner Awaywiththefairies (1:58.3) and the first of her produce to race. She has won four races and been placed in the SA Oaks and Ladyship and looks a three-year-old with the potential one would expect of her breeding.   by Peter Wharton

Nine-year-old gelding Image of Courage might have had a few years away from the winners' circle, but that didn't discourage Ballarat harness racing driver Brent Murphy from taking a chance on "the old boy". Murphy was confident he could get the pacer to again hit his straps, and his faith wasn't misplaced. Not only did Image Of Courage (Courage Under Fire-Its Sealed With A Kiss (Falcon Seelster) score his first win in nearly four years recently, he's now made it back-to-back victories with a win at Melton on Wednesday afternoon. Murphy said the association with Image of Courage came after he was lucky to pick up a drive on the horse at Bendigo a few months ago for local trainer Wayne Gretgrix. "Jayden Brewin was down to drive the horse, but he was obliged to handle another one in the same race, so I ended up on Wayne's pacer," Murphy said. "I'd driven the old boy a few times-and I reckon on one occasion he missed out on running second by a nostril," he said. "The horse didn't go as well as he can that day, and I got talking to Wayne after the race and he virtually said to me if I thought I could do any good with the horse, take him. Dad was hesitant at first, but because he was race fit and I was keen to have a crack, we ended up with him." Murphy admitted the first few starts with the pacer "weren't all that flash". "He played up at our first go, then hit the sulky wheels in the run at his next start and then hung-but he wasn't getting beaten by all that much," he said. "When we won at Terang, I made the decision to sit outside them and he went enormous. At Melton I grabbed hold and went back to last early, then with the slow pace I decided at the 1200m mark to get around them quick smart. "We've got him worked out at the moment in that you can use him, then he will settle. Wayne's just rapt for us. He's been so supportive and sends congratulation texts to us. When we're finished, he wants him back because he's organized a home for life for the horse." Image of Courage's follow up win nine days later at Melton also set up a career highlight for his talented young driver, as the first leg of Murphy's first ever driving double. "I'm not too sure how long Image Of Courage can keep up this form, but he has improved with each run," Murphy said. The 18-year-old, a son of respected trainer-driver David, also scored with Colossal Stride (Bettors Delight-Tailamade Lombo (Troublemaker) for visiting Sydney-based horseman Anthony Butt. "I've never driven for Anthony before, so I was thrilled to be offered the drive. It had a bit of irony about it. Anthony helped me to get my very first double, but my dad David actually gave Chris Butt (Anthony's son) his first winning drive years ago," Murphy said. "I only just got the win in the end by a narrow margin. I actually thought I may have got pipped on the post. I got on my bike pretty quick as I knew Kate (Gath) on Hit The Sky would storm home, but Colossal Stride lasted to beat her by half a head." David Murphy shows his winning style          -Stuart McCormick photo Image Of Courage has now won 12 races with 14 placings for over $80,000. His previous win prior to the two-from-two recently, was way back in November 2016, when successful at Maitland and trained by Roy Roots junior. The Terang win also provided a special piece of Murphy family history, and a rarity of the sport with father and son winning on the same program. Brent was victorious on Image of Courage in race two, and then David followed suit in the very next event by leading all the way with Metro Man (Metropolitan-Beach Kat (Safely Kept) for breeder/owner Garry Loats. Metro Man has now won five races in his career, three of these at the Terang circuit.   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

The Terang Owners, Trainers and Supporters’ Group wish to thank all participants in the 2020 Terang Stallion Tender. Only two stallions are still available – Auckland Reactor (St Fort Stud, service fee $3,000) and Great Success (Niota Bloodstock, service fee $1,320) Bids need to be at least 60 percent of the published service fees. Bids can be lodged with Marg Lee on phone 0417 922 747 or Michael Taylor on email    

Looks like a tough night to find winners at Gloucester Park on Friday night, but a few members of the WA Trotting Media Guild have settled on the same best bets for the 10-event card. Radio Great Southern’s form analyst and leader in the Guild’s tipping competition Warren Wishart and TABradio’s Matt Young have declared Vampiro in race five. “My best bet is No. 1 in race five, Vampiro,” Wishart said. “Been waiting for this guy to draw a gate and he finally gets that here. He is going well but, as we saw last preparation, he went to a new level leading in the State’s features and finished no further back than second. Should lead and win. Followers of the column have had a golden six weeks - let’s hope that can continue.” And Young echoes those comments. “Vampiro has come up with the perfect draw and gets reacquainted with Colin Brown,” Young said. “No question marks over whether he will go forward this week - he will lead and win over the longer trip.” Veteran trotting journalist Ken Casellas, fresh after a week’s sojourn down south, is keen on Quick Stride in the last race on the program. “Five-year-old Quick Stride has managed just one win from his past 21 starts, but he should appreciate a drop in class and is my best bet at on Friday night when he will start from the inside of the back line in the final event,” Casellas said. “The Ross Olivieri-trained gelding had no luck at all last Friday night when he raced three back on the pegs and was badly hampered for room in the last lap when fifth behind Lord Rosco.“ However, The West Australian’s Racing Co-ordinator Ryan Havercroft and longshot guru Pat Harding don’t abide with Casellas’ summing up of the race. They are both in the camp of Marquisard, who has drawn the pole. “Marquisard resumed last week from a middle draw and only emerged late to catch a few runners in the closing stages,” Havercroft said. “He does his best racing on the speed and, having the inside barrier, should be right there for his second-up assignment.” And Harding agrees with his younger colleague. “Looks like a tough night at GP this Friday night with no obvious standouts,” Harding said. “My best bet comes up in the last race of the night with No. 1 Marquisard. He ran eighth to Liam Neil first-up last week, but is ideally drawn here and with Chris Voak aboard, who has a habit of winning the last race, I expect a forward showing.” The West Australian’s Ernie Manning has opted for the speedy Lord Rosco as his best bet for the night. “Lord Rosco, looking primed to score his eighth win in nine starts, has become one of WA’s most consistent pacers since joining Stephen Reed’s stable a year ago,” Manning said. “His overall tally in 23 starts for Reed is 12 wins, five seconds, three thirds and two fourths. The gelding was most impressive when he led and won last Friday night.” Guild president Wayne Currall has settled on Mister Flying Ideal in the stand as his star bet. “Ryan Warwick, the stable foreman for the Bond stable, had the choice of drives between J B Mauney and Flying Mister Ideal and he chose the latter,” Currall said. “That’s a very good lead for punters and Flying Mister Ideal is quick away from the tapes and can post an all-the-way victory.” VALUE BETS WARREN: Best value race 10 No. 1 Marquisard. Looks another good night for saddlecloth 1 and we know Marquisard improves when he’s on the pegs. Doesn’t have the figure form so will be overlooked by many and get out in the market. Will give a great sight. MATT: The last race is an open affair with a bit of speed in the event. I am going to give Henwood Bay another chance. Even from the awkward draw, he should be value and is capable. KEN: For value, I suggest Star Fromthepalace in the opening event, in which she will start from the outside of the back line. She is wonderfully consistent and has resumed from a spell in fine style. Her past 10 starts have produced five wins and three placings. RYAN: Look for Stroke Of Luck to be sitting on Vampiro’s back and enjoying a run which should see him earning a minor cheque. PAT: My value bet comes in race three with No. 4 Liam Neil. He had an excellent win last week and I expect him to make it three wins in a row. He should be at a good price. ERNIE: Henwood Bay looked ready to win when placed two starts ago and his eighth last Friday night can be discarded. His sulky locked wheels and sustained a flat tyre. The gelding is a winner only once from his past 13 starts, but he has a total of 15 victories. WAYNE: Last week I threw out Euphoric Moment as my value tip and he almost got the money at good odds. He’ll be at double-figure odds on Friday night and he can go one better with an ounce of luck in running. To view all of the Media Guild tips click here. Good punting.    Wayne Currall

Young trainer-reinsman Corey Peterson is hoping that a change of shoeing will enable Cant Refuse to return to the winning list when he contests the 2130m Off The Track Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Peterson admits that he was disappointed when Cant Refuse lacked sparkle and finished a well-beaten sixth behind Jack Farthing last Friday night, two weeks after his strong first-up victory at his first appearance for his new trainer. Last week Cant Refuse raced without cover before wilting in the final circuit. This week he is favourably drawn at barrier two on the front line and Peterson is hoping he will make amends for last week’s failure. “After racing in the breeze last week, he didn’t let down in the final 600 metres,” Peterson said. “He was bolting before that. I now have found a few issues with him; it was mainly problems with his feet that was causing the headache. I’m hoping that a change of shoeing will do the trick.” Cant Refuse started from barrier five two starts ago when he wasn’t bustled early and raced wide before getting to the front after 650m. He was then untroubled to set the pace and win by a length from Sightseeing Anvil and Henwood Bay. Adding considerable interest to this week’s race will be the return to racing of the talented New Zealand-bred four-year-old Gran Chico, who will be having his first start since leading and fading to fifth behind Destined To Rule over 2130m on May 29. Gran Chico, trained by Mike Reed and to be driven by Mark Reed, has won at six of his 13 starts, but faces a stiff first-up test from the outside barrier (No. 9) in the field of 12. He set the pace in a 2150m Byford trial on Sunday morning and wilted in the home straight when second to the fast-finishing Mattjestic Star when the final 800m was covered in a modest 58.2sec. Mattjestic Star will start from the No. 1 barrier and Shannon Suvaljko looks set to set the pace and make a bold bid for an all-the-way victory. Other runners expected to be fancied include stablemates Liam Neil and Mister Bushido, Braeview Bondi, Dredlock Rockstar and Baylan Jett. Star reinsman Gary Hall Jnr has chosen to drive Liam Neil (barrier four) in preference to Mister Bushido (six), saying: “Liam Neill is going really well and is a good each-way chance.” Liam Neill, trained by Gary Hall Snr, has set the pace and won very easily at his past two starts, but on Friday night he could find it difficult to wrest the lead from Mattjestic Star in the early stages. The Michael Brennan-trained Braeview Bondi should prove hard to beat after finishing strongly to be placed at his past two starts. Hall Jnr predicted a strong showing from My Carbon Copy (barrier seven) in the 2130m Better Your Industry With TABtouch Pace. “It’s a big drop in grade and if it was a 2500m race I’d declare him,” he said. “However, over 2100m, it gives the others a chance. I probably can’t go forward and probably will have to rely on a strong finish. He can run 56sec. for the last 800m, off the track.”   Ken Casellas

Chicago Bull is indisputably Western Australia’s champion pacer, and for an inexperienced performer to extend him in a track workout is indeed a notable achievement. Last week four-year-old mare Balcatherine impressed with a strong trackwork display against Chicago Bull and her effort was a firm indication that she would prove to be hard to beat, first-up, in the $22,000 Download The TABtouch App Today Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Balcatherine, prepared by Gary Hall Snr, is a promising, lightly-raced New Zealand-bred pacer who has had only 13 starts for six wins and four placings. She is favourably drawn at barrier No. 2 in Friday night’s 2130m event for mares in which she will be driven by Gary Hall Jnr. This will be her first appearance for five months. “She’s got the draw advantage and will go well first-up,” said Hall Jnr. “She’s working very good and she worked with Bully on the track last week when she really stretched his neck. She is going to need the run, but she should take advantage of the draw.” Hall aims to set the pace with Balcatherine, who is expected to receive strong opposition from Wainui Creek, the richly-talented newcomer from New Zealand who is prepared by leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond and will be driven by Dylan Egerton-Green. Wainui Creek, the only runner on the back line, made an impressive Australian debut at Gloucester Park last Friday week when she raced without cover all the way and fought on with great determination to finish second, just a nose behind the pacemaker Millwood Molly, with a final quarter of 27.3sec. Capel trainer Aiden de Campo holds a powerful hand in this week’s race with Millwood Molly (barrier six) and Mandy Joan (barrier three). He has given punters a lead by deciding to drive Mandy Joan, who is in splendid form and has won at four of her past eight starts. Millwood Molly, a smart seven-year-old de Campo has driven to victory seven times, will be handled by Chris Lewis, who has driven the mare once, 36 starts ago when she finished boldly from the rear to win over 1609m at Bunbury on July 23, 2016. Our Alfie Romeo, a stablemate of Wainui Creek, and recent winners Typhoon Tiff, Has No Fear and Vivere Damore also will have admirers in what should prove to be a highly-competitive event. The powerful Bond stable holds an extremely strong hand in the $25,000 Better Your Club With TABtouch Pace, a 2536m event in which it has six of the nine runners, Vampiro, Galactic Star, Our Jimmy Johnstone, The Bird Dance, Ocean Ridge and Mighty Conqueror. Vampiro, to be driven by Colin Brown, makes strong appeal after drawing the prized No. 1 barrier. The New Zealand-bred six-year-old is a speedy beginner and Brown will be attempting an all-the-way victory with the gelding he has handled 12 times for four wins and three placings. Last season’s WA Pacing Cup winner Mighty Conqueror (Dylan Egerton-Green) also should prove very hard to beat, despite drawing the outside barrier in the field of nine. The brilliant five-year-old made an excellent return to racing after an eight-month absence when he raced wide early and then in the breeze before fighting on solidly to finish second to the pacemaker Convert Denario over 2130m last Friday week. Leading reinsman Ryan Warwick will drive Galactic Star from barrier four, Michael Grantham will drive Our Jimmy Johnstone (barrier five), Aiden de Campo has been engaged for The Bird Dance (barrier six) and Deni Roberts will handle Ocean Ridge (barrier eight).   Ken Casellas

Victorian-bred four-year-old Perfect Major has thrown off the effects of troublesome knees and is poised to stretch his winning sequence to five by proving the master of his 11 rivals in the Preux Chevalier Pace, a $30,000 Group 3 feature event at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Prepared by eight-time premier WA trainer Ross Olivieri, the much-travelled but lightly-raced Perfect Major has created a big impression at his first two appearances in this State, working hard in the breeze before sprinting home powerfully to score in fine style at Gloucester Park and Pinjarra. He dashed home over the final quarters in 28.4sec. and 27.4sec. to win by a length from Triroyale Brigade over 2130m at Gloucester Park last Tuesday week and won by three lengths from Tellmetoattack over 2185m at Pinjarra on Monday this week, with final quarters of 27.9sec. and 27.1sec. Perfect Major is one of three runners in Friday night’s race, with Olivieri declaring that the gelding was his best prospect, ahead of stablemates Diamond Life and Just Makemine Diamonds. Chris Voak, the regular reinsman for the three Olivieri pacers, has given punters a good lead by choosing to handle Perfect Major, who has been successful in Tasmania, South Australia and Victoria and boasts a career record of 28 starts for ten wins and nine placings. Perfect Major was off the scene for 12 months before having his first two starts for Olivieri. He qualified for the Victoria Derby by finishing second in a Derby heat at Ballarat in January 2019, but knee problems forced him to miss the final of the classic. He then resumed after a two-month break and had 16 starts in seven months, culminating with a striking performance to win by a head over 2240m at Swan Hill on October 25, 2019. After setting a slow early pace, Perfect major sprinted brilliantly to dash over the final 400m sections in 28.1sec. and 26.7sec. After that victory he succumbed to knee problems. “He was then put out for six months or more before being jogged up and sent over to me,” Olivieri said. “He showed in Victoria that he is very fast but didn’t do a lot of tough stuff. He’s got really good speed, and now that he is not feeling his knees, he is getting a bit tougher.” Chris Lewis will drive Diamond Life from the No. 2 barrier on the back line and Mitch Miller will handle Just Makemine Diamonds from barrier four on the front line. Olivieri said that he expected both pacers to be prominent on Friday night. “Diamond Life is a definite chance,” he said. “We gave him a bit of space between his runs and he was off his head at his most recent run, so we’ve now jammed a bit more work into him. His form prior to his latest run was very good. At his latest appearance Diamond Life raced wide before working in the breeze and wilting to sixth behind The Last Drop over 2536m last Friday night. Voak drove the six-year-old to convincing wins at each of his three previous starts, all at Gloucester Park. “Just Makemine Diamonds would shake the life out of this field if she was able to lead,” said Olivieri. “But I’m doubtful whether she will be able to cross to lead. However, she will have a bit of a dash (for the lead).” Collie trainer Errol Ashcroft will be hoping that Euphoric Moment will take advantage of the prized No. 1 barrier and end a losing sequence of 16. The four-year-old has impressed with strong finishing bursts to record excellent second placings at three of his past five starts. The experienced performer will be handled by his regular driver Deni Roberts and though he is generally regarded as a strong sit-sprinter, he also possesses good gate speed and has won after leading. Another four-year-old in the Chris Willis-trained The Verandah is favourably drawn at barrier No. 2. He is a strong frontrunner but is not always reliable at the start in mobile events. Michael Grantham has been engaged to drive the son of Alta Christiano. Alta Intrigue, prepared by Gary Hall Snr, is awkwardly drawn at barrier six and faces a stern test. The six-year-old reappeared last Friday night after an absence of 28 months when he enjoyed the one-out, one-back trail and fought on to finish fifth behind The Last Drop. Star reinsman Gary Hall Jnr said that he expected Alta Intrigue to improve on his first-up effort, saying: “He definitely needed the run, big time, first-up.”   Ken Casellas

Outstanding three-year-old filly Double Expresso’s future is under a cloud. A cyst on a hind pastern is causing the problem and she will undergo surgery on Thursday when a screw will be inserted in a bid to mend the damaged pastern. “She will then need three months off,” said trainer Ross Olivieri. “The prognosis is pretty good, and she has an excellent chance of recovery. “She will be unable to contest coming events for three-year-old fillies and the major feature events for fillies and mares (the $50,000 Norms Daughter Classic on November 13 and the $125,000 Westral Mares Classic on November 27). “I would say that Double Expresso was affected by this problem during her latest campaign; it might have taken the edge off her. All going well, it is possible she could be fit to resume racing in May. But we might even give her a bit of extra time and set her for the big races for mares at the end of next year.” Double Expresso has been a shining light as a two and three-year-old and has a wonderful record of 22 starts for 12 wins, seven placings and $313,196 in prizemoney. As a two-year-old she won two Group 1 features for fillies, the Sales Classic and the Westbred Classic, and as a three-year-old she won two Group 2 events, the Daintys Daughter Classic and Sales Classic, as well as the Group 3 Caduceus Club Classic when she beat Major Martini. She also finished a head second to Sports Package in the WA Oaks and a half-length second to Blockjorg in the Diamond Classic.   Ken Casellas

The Love You juggernaut continues…in New Zealand and Australia! Love You produced the quinella pair, Wanna Play With Me and Outamyway in the Group 2 $50,600 Haras Des Trotteurs Sires Stakes Championship for three-year-old trotters at Addington, Christchurch on Friday (October 16). The third placegetter, Bitamuscle, is out of a mare by Love You. Despite sitting parked throughout, Wanna Play With Me lowered the NZ record for 1980 metres by a full second, winning by 3-1/2 lengths in a 1:58.8 rate. She has won four with a placing in seven starts for $46,021 in stakes. Another son of Love You, the Swedish-bred Dreamcatcher, made a triumphant return to the racetrack at Bendigo after a four-year lay-off to win impressively at his second start. Leading from the outset, the seven-year-old entire, who is out of an American-bred daughter of Andover Hall, zipped over the last 800 metres in 59 seconds to win by 8.6 metres. Dreamcatcher, who served a few mares in between racing campaigns, is slated to stand his first commercial season at Haras Des Trotteurs in 2021. Meanwhile, Brandlo Prince, the richest ‘down under’ bred son of Orlando Vici, maintained his devastating form when he outstayed a top field at Melton in a career-best 1:58.9 over 2240 metres It was the four-year-old’s 10th lifetime success and lifted his bankroll to $80,320. Orlando Vici has sired 12 winners from 14 Australian-bred starters from 19 foals.   by Peter Wharton

Star Kiwi mare Our Princess Tiffany dominates betting to make it two-from-two in this Aussie raid at Melton tomorrow (Friday) night. Now in the care of Dean Braun, the mighty mare blitzed a similar field at Melton last week and should only be better suited by the stretch from 1720m to 2240m for this week’s Group 3 Angelique Club Pace. It’s one of a string of features at Melton, including the two Tatlow Stakes’ for juveniles which are dominated by Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin. Stewart has eight of the 13 (including the emergency) in the fillies’ race, headed by $1.85 favourite Ladies In Red from gate five. Stewart and Tonkin have six of the 13 in the colts and geldings where Act Now is $2.15 favourite, but Major Moth ($7 into $3) and Beyond Delight ($5 into $4) have been well-backed. There’s also been a big betting move in another of the Melton features with Mick Stanley’s Iolanta crunched from $9 into $2.30 from gate five in the Argent 3YO Fillies’ Classic. Kiwi interest in that race sits with Victoria Oaks winner Dr Susan, but she’s got the task ahead as a $8.50 shot from outside the back row (gate 13). Another highlight of the card will be the True Roman Trotters’ free-for-all where glamour mares Dance Craze (gate six, $2) and Red Hot Tooth (five, $2.80) dominate the betting. _____________________________________________________________________________________ It is the dream clash Aussie trotting fans have been waiting for. The superbly-bred and brilliant Elite Stride taking on the history-making Pink Galahs and it happens for the first time in a heat of the Victoria Trotters’ Derby at Maryborough on Sunday. Elite Stride heads into the race with 10 starts for nine wins, a second and some mesmerizing performances already under his belt. But it was less than two week’s ago when Pink Galahs – who boasts 11 wins from 17 starts herself – upstaged Australia’s best open-aged trotters to win the Group 1 Bill Collins Sprint. Despite that, Elite Stride will be a warm favourite on Sunday because of his stellar record and better barrier – he’s drawn three and Pink Galahs has gate five. Some may have preferred they didn’t clash until the Derby final, but having them come together in the heat only adds to the intrigue of the final for mine. The most fascinating runner by far in the other Derby heat is Tim Butt’s French import Holzarte Vedaquais. The colt raced nine times in France for four wins and five placings and has the pole in by far the weaker of the two heats with Anthony Butt to drive. He clocked good times when a 5.5m second to Elite Stride in a recent Melton trial. NSW visitor Gimondi (gate four) and talented locals Cover Of Darkness (five) and Is That A Bid (three) look the other key runners. _____________________________________________________________________________________ The comeback of former Kiwi pin-up pacer Turn It Up continues at Albion Park on Saturday night. There was so much to like about his late-surging third to Colt Thirty One after storming home from last at Albion Park two weeks ago. That was his first outing for new trainer Vicki Rasmussen and his first start since winning the Harness Jewels 4YO final back on June 1, last year. Turn It Up’s got the outside front row (gate seven) to overcome, but there’s no Colt Thirty One this week and he’s certain to be a lot sharper for that first-up run. _____________________________________________________________________________________ The clash of star stablemates Vampiro and Mighty Conqueror headlines the Gloucester Park card tomorrow (Friday) night. Chicago Bull and Shockwave have the night off, so Vampiro, who ran a terrific third to that pair last week, gets his chance, Vampiro, with Colin Brown to drive, gets the pole, looks the leader and is a $1.35 favourite. Mighty Conqueror, just second-up from a long spell, has the outside draw (gate nine) to overcome and will probably still be improved by whatever he does this week.   HRNZ

Driving a school bus means Stephen Maguire's life is as regular as clockwork - but his harness racing driving, on the other hand, is providing plenty of excitement this year. Maguire, who lives at Mirrool, 50kms south of West Wyalong, in the fertile Riverina district of NSW, is riding the crest of a wave with talented four-year-old pacer Major Roll (Roll With Joe-Courlivia (Art Major). The gelding, with seven wins to his name this year, has certainly developed into somewhat of a "cups king". Major Roll's most recent victory was last weekend in the 2020 West Wyalong Services and Citizens Club Pacers Cup, worth $17,850. "It was certainly a great day for me and the other part-owner Dave Hargrave. West Wyalong always puts on a fantastic Cup day," Maguire said. "I go into there to trial and some of the guys were talking about the cup ages ago. I thought: 'gee I'd better remember when that's coming up'," he said. "The race has been a very good one for me over the years because I reckon I've probably been fortunate enough to win it either five or six times." On this occasion, Maguire got a nice run through from the back row after the field was released, and landed in the one-one. "I had to go early because the favorite made his move, so I went to the top with him on my outside," he said. "The 2540m trip suited us and the horse responded really well, because there was a bit of pressure there. "Only part-owner Dave was able to attend due to the COVID restrictions. My wife Robyn was at home watching it on the television. She's just got a new knee, but she said she was yelling and screaming at the end!" Major Roll was tough in winning by two metres from Kanena Provlima (Justin Reynolds) with the luckless Firestorm Red (Mitch Turnbull) a neck away in third place. The warm favorite Golden Year ($1.75) was close-up in fourth spot. Major Roll in full flight           (Photo: Meg Maguire) The West Wyalong win provided Major Roll with his third country cup for the year-he took out the $14,790 Junee Pacers Cup in late January after winning a qualifying heat the previous week and then claimed the $10,200 Coolamon Pacers Cup in March. "The horse has been terrific, without being a superstar. I think he's won at least 50 percent of the time we've taken him to the races, so I may be playing him down a little," Maguire said. He is indeed! Major Roll has faced the starter on 37 occasions for an amazing strike rate of 19 wins and eight places for over $145,000. As a two-year-old, the pacer won a heat of the Breeders Plate at Leeton before recording a runaway win in the $40,000 final. Six months later he took out the $30,000 Group Three Breeders Challenge at Bathurst. "We travelled to Menangle in June for a heat of the Cordina Chickens and he won that. We've been there a few other times and I remember finishing second on one of the trips," Maguire said. "I'm working five at the moment, but Major Roll is the best one. There's only one other that's racing so we'll just keep poking along." Over the years, the stable has also taken out the Wagga Cup with former talented pacer Ras Destra. They've also won the Leeton Cup a few times as well as the Cootamundra Cup. In the late 1990s, Maguire had some " big guns" in Albibby Boy (Happy Bobby-Popular Trick (Overtricks) and Big Wal (Big Band Sound-Winter March (Winterlight). Albibby Boy finished with 14 wins and six placings from only 29 starts for $78,000 while Big Wal was awesome with 29 wins and 20 placings from 82 starts for over $150,000. Maguire said he enjoyed doing the morning and afternoon school bus run. "We've been at it for 21 years, so we know our way around," he laughed. "I sometimes get a few of the horses done before the morning shift because I do get busy. We also have a small farm of about 300 acres. Apart from cropping enough for ourselves, we run about 100 cross-bred ewes so there's always something to do. "We also breed a few each year. Dave and I have a some broodmares, and we really enjoy the breeding side." For the moment, though, it's fair to expect their pin-up boy Major Roll will still have more than a few memorable moments to deliver yet for the pair.   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Westbury trainer Michael Laugher has been enjoying a good run in recent weeks, and that continued in Hobart on Tuesday night where he prepared a double on the eight-race card. Six-year-old gelding Emjays Black Chip was the first of the winners for the Laugher stable when the pacer brought up his third win of the season. Drawing outside of the front-row driver Rohan Hillier worked forward over the mile journey before being able to slot into a one-out two-back position before leading up the three-wide line over the final circuit to score by two-metres over Jackson Neptune and Black Ops in 2m 0.7s. “He had been going well but hasn’t been having much luck,” said trainer Michael Laugher about the pacer. Emjays Black Chip is raced by Michael’s wife Toni along with Matailta Rawlings, daughter of the late Sharyn Slater, with the pacer recording six wins and 11 placings in a 60-start career. Laugher was also full of praise for the drive from Rohan Hillier. “He is a good form analyst and summed up both races pretty good,” he said. Hillier was also in the sulky for the last leg of Laugher’s double with Karalta Courage. The three-year-old Roll With Joe gelding was third-up from a break and recorded an easy 7.4-metre win, rating 2m 2.5s for the 2090-metre journey, coming from a one-out and two-back position. “He had been working good going into the race, he got wide in Launceston first up and it looked like he was going to run second but just died on his run. I then took him to Devonport, and he had no luck from the wide draw,” said Laugher said about the pacer who started $8 on the Tasracing Offical Price. “We will just look for a similar class of race, he will get better when he gets older, as he is still immature,” explained the trainer. Leading trainer Ben Yole was once again the standout performer with a training treble on the card winning with Hear the Call, Kiavino Stride and Gauci. Taylor Ford extended her lead in the state’s female trainer and drivers title scoring with Big Bang Raj by a narrow margin and the pacer then had to survive a protest that was subsequently dismissed. Charlie Castles was another junior driver to taste success on the card scoring aboard Resolute Ruler, Castles last year spent a number of months in New South Wales with trainer James Rattray and the driver has another trip earmarked in coming weeks. Victoria Pass was an impressive winner of a rating 46 to 55 event for trainer-driver Zeke Slater. Hobart is the venue for harness racing in Tasmania on Sunday night with the Group 2 Dandy Patch and Evicus Finals that are a part of the 10-race card.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

She was an eye-catcher at her last start when breaking her maiden status and Richie Caruana hopes to soon learn whether that sizzling finish was more than a drop in the ocean. The trainer-driver-owner’s three-year-old trotter, Excellent Drop, returns from a spell at Echuca tonight for the Jodale Cleaning Echuca Trotters Handicap, where a good performance to kick off her second campaign may prompt a crack at forthcoming age group features. “We will see how we go but there are a couple of good age group races coming up,” Caruana said. Excellent Drop’s return tonight in race four, which will stream on Trots Vision at 8.01pm, pits the lightly-raced trotter against some much more experienced rivals, including sharing the 10-metre line with 97-race veteran Valley Ess Jay. It could be a telling second campaign for the Bacardi Lindy filly, who Caruana broke in for breeder Joe Aquilina, with the latter a “pretty close” friend who “virtually gave me the horse”. “I liked her as a two-year-old, but didn’t push her,” Caruana said. “I like to see if their natural ability shines through. She’s a little-bit-better-than-average trotter. She’s always been pretty honest. I haven’t had any problems with her gait.” Excellent Drop didn’t break stride (touch wood) in any of the six races in her first campaign, which produced four placings and then in her last start at Melton a breakthrough maiden win, despite being shuffled to the back of the field. A tiring Aldebaran Leroy had seemed to put paid to Caruana’s filly's chances in the June 1 trot, but she zoomed home to pick off the tiring front runners in an eye-catching finish. “She worked good prior to that race,” Caruana said. “I was pretty confident she would run a place, but when she got shuffled back on the turn I didn’t think she had a chance. She picked them up pretty good, though they didn’t run great time.” Caruana expects a miracle late dash won’t be required tonight, with Excellent Drop drawn the outside of the three horses on the 10-metre line amid a six-horse field. “First up I don’t know what to expect really,” he said. “I reckon she’s coming up good. She might need another run to get to where she was. “I feel a little better with her behind horses, but it is a leader’s track. I don’t know exactly what will happen at the start. I will drive her safely and if she steps well she will be thereabouts. “These older horses are more experienced, but the young horse are pretty smart too these days.”   HRV - Michael Howard

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