Day At The Track
Search Results
65 to 80 of 33142

Catch up on the week’s harness racing action in our weekly review, thanks to Darren Clayton. THE GOOD They may have combined for more winners than they care to remember over the years but on Saturday night brothers Charlie and Stephen Cini went home with three winners, all sequentially. A different driver was in the bike for each of the three winners, with Narissa McMullen, Lachie Manzelmann and Shane Graham at the reins respectively. True Confessions was second-up in Queensland for Stephen - the younger of the Cini brothers - when starting from inside the second line in race five. Following the leader throughout, the five-year-old made the most of the cosy trip to scoot to victory up the passing lane. It was a good night out for Stephen, who had three horses engaged and went home with all three finishing in the money. The other two were Tactical Response and Speedy Dominic, both contesting the opening race of the night. While unable to get near the winner Kingofthestars, the pair ran second and third with Tactical Response showing he is ready to win very soon. Not to be outdone by his younger brother, Charlie produced a smart piece of training to have Chevrons Reward in the winner’s circle first-up for his stable. Sent for a spell in May, the mare trialled at Newcastle for trainer Clayton Harmey in readiness for another campaign before being sent North. Taken back early from gate seven, Lachie Manzelmann bided time at the rear, making a three-wide move at the 400-metre point, accelerating strongly in the stretch to score. Completing the double for Charlie, and it was another mare that claimed the spoils, this time Corsini proved too strong when sitting outside the leader throughout. The mare ended a luckless run in claiming victory, the win her second at The Creek since joining Charlie’s stable back in June. With only the two mares entered for the night, the elder Cini managed to edge out his younger brother for bragging rights, with a perfect two for two on the night. While they may not have the firepower at present for some of the upcoming Summer Group contests, rest assured the Cini name will bob up somewhere on the support programmes. Whether it’s Stephen or Charlie, the brothers are never far from a winner.   THE BAD One Change’s undefeated streak in Queensland has ended when the three-year-old was forced to settle for second placing on Saturday night in the Racing Queensland NAIDOC Celebration Pace. However, the colt would have lost no admirers such was the strength of his defeat. With The Fortunate Son working to the front, One Change was obliged to sit parked outside the free-running leader. Covering the opening half in 56.6 seconds, a third split of 27.5 saw One Change moving up to challenge the leader. Rolling up the track under the pressure, One Change was forced three-wide around the turn off the back straight which in-turn allowed L L Cool J to dive through and take the lead. Nathan Dawson exploited his opportunity to perfection when taking the lead and immediately tried to pinch a break as One Change was shifted wider. It proved a winning move as L L Cool J held on to claim a one-metre victory over the gallant One Change. The upcoming Summer Carnival remains the target for One Change, with connections floating the possibility of stepping the colt up against Open company. Meanwhile L L Cool J - who is now two from two for trainer/driver Nathan Dawson - will be looking to the Ted and Edna Badcock 4YO Championship, with connections also toying with the idea of a possible tilt at the Blacks A Fake.   THE WILDCARD Producing a winner first-up from a spell is a great training achievement. Producing a winner first-up when that break has been nearly three years is that little bit more special. If that winner is a mare first-up back at the track and has also had a foal in the time off - well there are plenty of superlatives that would probably still fall short of describing how great an effort the win is. That is what happened at Redcliffe on Sunday night when Gabi Get Along was successful for the father and son combination of David and Andrew Millard. The now six-year-old started her career three years ago when stepping out in a Pot Of Gold Series. That series would feature the likes of Fame Assured, Our Major Day and Pinup Boy, meanwhile Gabi Get Along was struck down with a tendon injury - an injury that appeared career ending. With the opportunity to secure an immediate service to Changeover, the decision was made to put the filly in-foal. Successfully delivering a Changeover colt 11 months later, the life of a broodmare looked on the cards. They say time is a great healer and given time, the Millards opted to put the mare back into work. Continuing to progress, the now six-year-old was showing enough to progress to the trialling stage. Taken to Redcliffe for the hit-out, the mare was successful in that trial and rather than opting for a further trial, Gabi Get Along was nominated for a race. Starting from barrier two with owner Andrew Millard in the bike, the mare was sent straight to the front and from there led every step for one of the great comeback victories. With a rising two-year-old that is QBRED eligible and Gabi Get Along also having QBRED options, the financial incentive is a lucrative kicker.   THE MILESTONE Trotting veteran Our Overanova reached a milestone with victory in the third heat of the Darrell Alexander Memorial on Saturday night. Scoring victory from a 30-metre handicap, the ten-year-old veteran claimed his 50th victory at Albion Park - the gelding sitting second to Destreos for most wins at The Creek. Quickly closing in on $500,000 in stakes, the grand campaigner extended his overall record to 63 career victories from his 187 starts. Arriving with the Grant Dixon stable back in 2013 as a winner of one race, the gelded son of Monarchy was victorious at Gold Coast on July 18 of that year first-up for Dixon. Quickly racing his way through the grades, Our Overanova was successful in 18 of his first 20 race starts in Queensland. Included in that sequence of victories was the 2014 DJA Final when winning a heat of that series on the way to claiming the final from a 30-metre handicap. Owned by Greg and Sharon Mitchell under the banner of GSM Racing, not only has Our Overanova dominated trotting at Queensland harness racing headquarters, the gelding holds track and age records at three tracks. Holding a number of records that have since been eclipsed, those that Our Overanova still possesses are: Albion Park 4YO 3157-metre stand start; Redcliffe 1780-metre mobile; Redcliffe 4YO 2040-metre mobile and; Gold Coast 3YO 2100-metre stand start. A two-time winner of the DJA Series, Our Overanova will give the 2020 Series a mighty shake from his 30-metre impost.   THIS WEEK The week ahead in Queensland harness racing action will see six race meetings held from Tuesday through Sunday. Normal transmission will resume as Albion Park will host meetings on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. Redcliffe will fill the Wednesday night and Thursday afternoon slots and Marburg steps in for a Sunday afternoon meeting. Racing from Albion Park on Saturday night will see the second round of the Darrell Alexander Memorial Trotting heats conducted over the 2138 metre distance. The three Round One heat winners looking for sweep of the heats are BD Khaosan, Gee Up Neddy and Our Overanova. Saturday night will also see a three-year-old event sponsored by Ultimate Tools offering strong stakemoney and gift vouchers for the winning owners, trainers and drivers courtesy of the sponsor. This race shapes as the likely return run for Blacksadance who has been super impressive in a pair of recent trials where a possible clash with his in-form stablemate Major Fernco looms.   Darren Clayton

The Bold Eagle filly Eagle Eye Sherry firmly clinched her claim to being the best three-year-old filly of the season in Sweden when she won the $360,000 Swedish Breeders Crown Final at Sundbyholm racetrack. Starting from the pole, the filly dominated the classic leading from the outset and running out the 1-5/16th mile trip in a 1:56.4 mile rate. Earlier in the season Eagle Eye Sherry captured the $600,000 Swedish Oaks at Solvalla. Love You, a leading member of the Haras Des Trotteurs’ sire roster, sired important winners on both sides of the Tasman recently.  The bonny Love You two-year-old filly Queen Elida NZ took out a heat of the Breeders Crown at Maryborough, her second success from three starts on Australian spoil, while comeback trotter Dreamcatcher, who will stand at Haras Des Trotteurs in 2021, completed back-to-back successes at Kilmore. To round out a big weekend for Love You, his three-year-old daughter Wanna Snuggle was a dashing end-to-end winner by 5-1/2 lengths at Alexandra Park, Auckland. Wanna Snuggle provided the second leg of a winning double for Haras Des Trotteurs at Auckland’s ‘ribbon of light’ with the Quaker Jet mare Expensive Crumpet notching her third success on the back of a flying 57.9 seconds closing half. Haras Des Trotteurs’ emerging, young sire Used To Me was represented by the impressive Breeders Crown two-year-old heat winner Dont Care, who posted his second win from seven starts. The gelding is a member of Used To Me’s third crop which also produced the Melton two-year-old winner Surprise To Me. Orlando Storm, a four-year-old mare and one of the brilliant first crop of Orlando Vici, won her fourth race at Canberra. Orlando Vici has left 10 winners and a placegetter from 11 foals from his first racing crop.     by Peter Wharton

New Zealand's most successful ever horse racing stable is being disbanded in news that will stun the industry. All Stars Racing, the all-conquering harness racing stable of champion trainers Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen, will cease training from December 31. The pair remain together as a couple but has decided to take a year away from training horses and if and when they choose to return it will be on a much smaller scale than the huge operation they run at Rolleston on the outskirts of Christchurch. Their state of the art property will remain open but be run by current stable foreman Hayden Cullen and his wife Amanda, with Purdon and Rasmussen happy to help out around the times of the major carnivals if needed.   But the days of the All Stars machine which has dominated harness racing on both sides of the Tasman and is clearly one of the best in the world, are over. "It is time for a break," Purdon told the Herald. "Between us Nat and I have been training or working with horses almost 70 years combined," says Purdon who is 56. Rasmussen is 43. "We want to have a break, freshen up and take time to enjoy life next year. "And during that break we will take time to consider what our future looks like." Purdon says he will retain his race driving licence so he can still drive at major race meetings but Rasmussen is still considering whether she will. "Hayden is a good young trainer and we have made a commitment to him that at least initially we will drive the horses at major carnivals if needed. "We have told him we are happy to come help out leading in to these carnivals but the stables are going to be his with his wife Amanda's and the business will be theirs, definitely not ours.   "All Stars Racing will be closed down from December 31 and if we even come back to training full time I would say it would be a on a lot smaller scale. "But that is something we will think about during our year off." Purdon will take a team of elite horses to Australia for a small campaign in late summer to target major races there out of respect for their owners and the fact Cullen will be busy setting up his new business. Purdon and Rasmussen dominated the New Zealand Cup carnival at Addington last week, winning the New Zealand Cup for the sixth time the last seven years as well as three other group one races. Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen Their domination is like nothing ever seen in New Zealand racing before with the stable having broken every record there is in the harness industry. Purdon is bred to be a champion trainer, like his father Roy and brother Barry but since he went out on his own training in 1995 he has trained the winners of a staggering $58million in New Zealand alone while he has won most of Australia's richest races multiple times.   Rasmussen joined him as life and training partner in 2013 and the All Stars operation went up a level, with the Australian trainer having a relentless work ethic and organisational skills as well as being a wonderful big race driver. Their army of superstar pacers is too long to list but is headlined by Lazarus and in the last 12 months they have trained the winner of the New Zealand and Auckland Cups as well as the Inter Dominion Pacing and Trotting Finals. Winning normal group ones like Oaks and Derby races are so common they barely register. Purdon and Rasmussen told their staff of their decision to step away from the industry full time this morning and were pleased many of their owners not only support their move but say they will support Cullen in his new business from the All Stars property. But the change to the landscape of New Zealand harness racing will be enormous. The stable dominate betting markets and race days and well as the yearling sales. For many of their rivals their leaving will create opportunity and even renewed optimism about their chances to win at the highest level. And new faces winning the biggest race won't do New Zealand harness racing any harm.   Will Purdon, and even Rasmussen, eventually return to fulltime training? Probably. But will the juggernaut that is All Stars Racing ever re-start and conquer all in its path? Almost certainly not. So today's news is not just the end of an era, but the end of one of the greatest chapters in New Zealand racing history.   Michael Guerin Courtesy of New Zealand Herald

No trouble for Chicago Bull Champion pacer Chicago Bull warmed up in style for Friday night’s $300,000 Fremantle Cup when he was not extended in winning the 2130m $25,000 Pat Cranley Memorial at Gloucester Park on Sunday afternoon. “Stewie drove him perfectly,” said trainer Gary Hall snr after Stuart McDonald, substituting for the suspended Gary Hall jnr, drove Chicago Bull to an effortless victory over Shockwave and the up-and-coming Perfect Major. The race was due to be run on Friday night, but that meeting was postponed after three events when the mobile barrier was unable to gain traction on the waterlogged track. “Missing the race on Friday night wasn’t ideal,” said Hall snr. “So, I was a little bit relieved that Chicago Bull came out and cemented his position as favourite for the Fremantle Cup. It’s moving into the unknown when Junior is not driving him. “But Stewie did everything right; he’s a very good horseman and he has all the attributes to progress to the top as a reinsman.” The 26-year-old McDonald was driving Chicago Bull for only the second time --- after he was in the sulky when the gelding finished third behind Bettors Fire and Soho Tribeca in the Village Kid Sprint 1052 days ago (on December December 29, 2017) and he admitted that he was somewhat apprehensive in the week before the race. “The past week has been a little bit nerve wracking, but I think I handled it pretty well,” he said. “The delay from Friday to Sunday didn’t help and I had to go through the nerves again. I put more pressure on myself than what Senior has been putting on me. But I slept well last night, and nerves are not connected to the track. As soon as I’m behind the mobile I’m fine. “Senior told me not to push him early (from barrier three), but I was able to cross to the front anyway, and everything worked out perfectly. Our plan was to sit in the breeze but Convert Denarion (barrier one) didn’t hold up, and as long as we stayed in front of Shockwave was all that mattered. That was our goal. “Chicago Bull was bolting at the 400m mark when I pulled the plugs as soon as I saw Shockwave pull out. I was making sure Shockwave didn’t catch us and Chicago Bull was bolting in the straight --- and I was struggling to pull him up. He did it easily and didn’t turn a hair. He certainly feels good and is the best horse I’ve sat behind.” There was an early surprise in the race when $126 outsider Argyle Red began speedily and burst straight to the front. McDonald then urged Chicago Bull, favourite at $1.30, forward and he sped to the front after 250m. The lead time was an ambling 38sec. and after opening quarters of the final mile in 31sec. and 30.1sec. Chicago Bull gave his rivals no hope by speeding over the final 400m sections in 27.5sec. and 26.4sec. to win at a 1.55.6 rate. He won by just under two lengths from the $4.60 second fancy Shockwave, with $26 chance Perfect Major fighting on grandly to be third after working in the breeze for much of the way. The win, Chicago Bull’s 59TH from 88 starts, gave Hall snr his fourth success in the Cranley Memorial, after winning with El Padrino (2012), Soho Jackman (2014) and Run Oneover (2017).   Bond quinella in classic Champion trainers Greg and Skye Bond will go into the $125,000 Westral Mares Classic on Friday week full of confidence after an impressive quinella result in the $50,000 group 2 Norms Daughter Classic at Gloucester Park on Sunday afternoon. Our Alfie Romeo, the $3.40 second favourite, set the pace for Ryan Warwick and dashed over the final 800m in 56.1sec. but was unable to hold off a spirited late challenge from stablemate and $7.40 chance Wainui Creek, who rated 1.56.4 over the 2130m journey. Dylan Egerton-Green got Wainui Creek away fast from the No. 5 barrier and raced in the breeze for the first 500m before $14 chance Typhoon Tiff sustained a strong three-wide burst to move outside the pacemaking Our Alfie Romeo. Wainui Creek then enjoyed the perfect passage, one-out and one-back, before surging to the front about 45m from the post. The $3 favourite Gotta Go Gabbana started from the No. 1 barrier and was beaten for early speed by Our Alfie Romeo. She trailed that mare all the way and was badly hampered for room for much of the home straight before getting clear late and finishing solidly to be third. Queen Shenandoah ($23) maintained her excellent form and finished strongly, out wide, from sixth at the bell to be third. Balcatherine ($4.40) was eighth at the bell and battled on gamely into sixth place.   Gran Chico back on track High-priced New Zealand import Gran Chico has recovered from a tendon injury and he looks set for a successful campaign after a fighting victory in the 2536m Trevor Itzstein Pace at Gloucester Park on Sunday afternoon. The New Zealand-bred four-year-old, making his second appearance after a five-month absence, was a $7.60 chance from out wide at barrier seven, and reinsman Mark Reed enlivened proceedings when he dashed the gelding forward (from last) to take a narrow lead from Sokys Big Bullet after about 550m. Sokys Big Bullet withstood the challenge and he had a much-needed breather with a comfortable opening quarter of the final mile in 31sec. before the tempo lifted and the speed was right on with the following 400m sections in 28.4sec. and 27.5sec. Gran Chico eventually gained the upper hand and got to the front about 500m from home. He held on in a slow final quarter of 30.6sec. to beat Roman Aviator by a half-head. Gran Chico, a winner at six of his 13 New Zealand starts, was having only his sixth Australian start for owners Jim and Wilma Giumelli and trainer Mike Reed. He made his Australian debut with a Gloucester Park win on November 15, 2019 before finishing sixth in the Four-Year-Old Classic and tenth in the Golden Nugget Championship on December 13, 2019. His next run was on May 29 this year when he led and faded to fifth behind Destined To Rule. It was then discovered he was affected by a leg problem. “Scans revealed tendon damage to his nearside foreleg,” said Mike Reed. “The problem wasn’t too serious, and a recent scan showed that the injury has healed well. “He is a good horse, and I will nominate him for the Fremantle Cup, and hope he gets a start. The quicker they go, the better he likes it. Mark said before the race that we wouldn’t die wondering. The horse has a lot to prove, but I think he will.”   Dead-heat and a protest There was plenty of action on and off the track when Tuas Delight and Where Ya Bin fought out a thrilling dead-heat in the 2130m Bob Carlier Pace at Gloucester Park on Sunday afternoon. After the race Ryan Warwick, the driver of Where Ya Bin, lodged a protest, contending that Tuas Delight’s driver Callan Suvaljko had not complied with the new whip rule --- and this had given Tuas Delight an advantage. Suvaljko contended that he had not breached the new rule. After considering submissions from both drivers, the stewards deliberated at length and finally dismissed Warwick’s protest. They advised both drivers that each had failed to comply with the whip rule that drivers must wield the whip with only a flicking motion and they must not use the whip outside the confines of the sulky. Tuas Delight, an $8.50 chance trained by Suvaljko, sustained a strong three-wide burst from seventh at the bell to hit the front about 90m from the post. Where Ya Bin ($11) was ninth at the bell and finished solidly.   Copy N Pace on the way up Copy N Pace showed that he has the ability to develop into a contender for the rich four-year-old classics early next year when he scored a decisive victory in the Colin Cowden Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The American Ideal gelding, favourite at $2.70, prepared by Gary Hall snr and driven by Stuart McDonald, raced wide early and then in the breeze before gaining the one-out and one-back trail on his way to bursting to the front on the home turn and winning by just over a length from the fast-finishing Riverina Flash. Tiffany Rose, the only filly in the 2130m event, was a $23 chance who surprised by beginning brilliantly from the outside barrier (No. 9) and charging to the front after 80 metres. She fought on gamely at her second outing after a spell to finish fourth. The New Zealand-bred Copy N Pace gave part-owner Tina Chapman an enjoyable birthday present. She races the three-year-old in partnership with her husband Steve and their children Danielle and Ben. Copy N Pace, who was making his second appearance after a spell, has earned $41,576 from six wins and four seconds from 16 starts. He is a full-brother to two other talented pacers owned by the Chapman family --- My Hard Copy and My Carbon Copy. My Hard Copy retired after racing 89 times for 27 wins, 23 placings and stakes of $1,271,592. His major victories were the WA Pacing Cup in 2015 and 2016, the 2018 Fremantle Cup and 2018 Pinjarra Cup. Four-year-old My Carbon Copy has had 33 starts for ten wins, 14 placings and $116,468 in prizemoney.   Euphoric Moment ends a lean run Euphoric Moment, a hardy four-year-old who thrives on racing, ended a losing sequence of 17 when he finished with a spirited burst to defeat the pacemaker and $1.38 favourite The Kraken in the 2536m Enrique Aldana Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Starting at the handsome odds of $13.40 after finishing second four times from his previous six starts, Euphoric Moment made the most of an unusual lucky break. Deni Roberts had Euphoric Moment travelling well in sixth position in the one-out, two-back position when Western Arterra suffered an atrial fibrillation about 1250m from home, forcing Dylan Egerton-Green to ease the gelding out of the race. This enabled Roberts to assume the favourable one-out, one-back position while The Kraken was bowling along in front. Euphoric Moment swept to the front 90m from the post and won by just under a length from The Kraken, with Blue Blazer ($7.50) flying home between horses after being badly blocked for a clear passage to finish an eye-catching third. Euphoric Moment is trained in Collie by Errol Ashcroft, who said that the gelding relished a strenuous racing program. “I’ve always been a past master at looking after my horses and keeping them going,” he said. Euphoric Moment has had 81 starts for 12 wins, 26 placings and $103,929. The well-named gelding is by American stallion and former star pacer Mr Feelgood and is out of the Kinney Hanover mare Barleys Hope, who had 59 starts for six wins, 15 placings and $50,126. “I gave Barleys Hope to Scott and Cathy Glover, who live in New South Wales, and they bred Euphoric Moment at Mike Hackett’s property,” Ashcroft said. “I’m also training Euphoric Moment’s two-year-old half-sister Sats Maloo, who is showing promise.”   Chloe’s birthday present Chloe Brown received a surprise 29TH birthday present on Friday night when her partner Dylan Egerton-Green drove a brilliant race to land $51 outsider Tyler Brett the winner of the 2130m Chris Carr Pace at Gloucester Park. Brown, who races Tyler Brett on lease from Collie breeder John Bell, was at work as a receptionist at St John of God Murdoch Hospital while Egerton-Green was saturated and covered in mud as he guided Tyler Brett to his upset win. It was a daring drive by Egerton-Green which paid dividends. Tyler Brett began brilliantly from the outside barrier (No. 9) on the front line, but he was unable to wrest the early lead from the polemarker and $1.38 favourite Chiaroscuro. The lead time was a fast 36.3sec. and Egerton-Green was able to angle Tyler Brett across to the pegs and take the trail behind Chiaroscuro, relegating the $5.50 second fancy As Happy As Larry to three back on the pegs. When the breeze horse Jimmy Mack began to wilt approaching the home turn, Egerton-Green was able to get Tyler Brett into the clear and the six-year-old finished strongly to get to the front with about 65m to travel. Tyler Brett won comfortably from the fast-finishing As Happy As Larry and Chiaroscuro. Egerton-Green said that he had no preconceived plan to get Tyler Brett away so fast and to make a bid for the lead. “I just wanted to see how the horse felt, and he wanted to go,” he said. “So, I persuaded him to go a bit quicker, and we managed to find a spot behind the leader; it was a race-winning move. “If we had been forced to race without cover, we would have found it harder to win. But I’m sure he still would have run a good race. He has been racing really well.” Tyler Brett has been a good moneyspinner, with his 51 starts producing 16 wins, 15 placings and $144,721. He is by the Fake Left stallion Robin Hood, who amassed $796,567 from 24 wins and 18 placings from 77 starts. His wins included the 2005 Kilmore Cup, the 2005 Cranbourne Cup, the 2006 Ballarat Cup, the 2007 Victoria Cup and the 2008 Treuer Memorial at Bankstown. Robin Hood also finished third to Be Good Johnny and Slipnslide in a three-way photo in the 2005 Miracle Mile. Tyler Brett is the only one of four foals out of Jossies Belle to race. Jossies Belle, by Orleans, won only three times from 51 starts.   Sugar Street beats the fillies The adage that a good colt will always beat a good filly was proved to be correct when Sugar Street, the only colt in the field, proved the master of his five rivals, all fillies, in the Coco Hseq Pace at Gloucester Park on Sunday afternoon. Sugar Street, second fancy at $2.70 for Busselton trainer Barry Howlett, was driven confidently by Chris Voak and the Bettors Delight colt chalked up his second win from ten starts when he defeated the $1.65 favourite American Arma, who had won impressively against her own sex at her first two starts. Joelene, third fancy at $9, galloped badly when attempting to lead 120m after the start, and Bettor Beach Belle ($17) set the pace in an Indian file affair until Colin Brown eased American Arma off the pegs in fifth position after a lap had been covered. Voak then followed Arma, who raced in the breeze before taking the lead 220m from home. Sugar Street enjoyed the benefit of a comfortable passage throughout, sprinted home strongly to get to the front on the home turn and then win by a length and a half from American Arma.   Babyface Adda enjoys leading Boyanup horseman Cody Wallrodt took full advantage of Babyface Adda’s ability as a frontrunner when he drove the four-year-old to a smart all-the-way victory in the 2130m Graham Compson 80TH Birthday Pace at Gloucester Park on Sunday afternoon.    Babyface Adda, the $1.22 favourite from the No. 1 barrier, had to withstand a spirited bid for the early lead from The Black Cardinal ($16) before covering the first two quarters in 30.7sec. and 30.5sec. and then sprinting over the final 400m sections in 28.1sec. and 28.4sec. on his way to winning by 2m from $23 chance Henwood Bay, who fought on determinedly after working in the breeze. Wallrodt races the Rich And Spoilt gelding on lease and has prepared him for his past six starts for Sunday’s victory and two placings. Babyface Adda, who ended a losing sequence of ten, is a noted frontrunner who has set the pace in seven of his 11 wins in a 50-start career.   It’s Therugo at last Speedy seven-year-old Thereugo, beaten on the 13 previous occasions when he set the pace, broke through for an overdue win and ended a losing sequence of 23 when he enjoyed the benefit of a slow lead time of 38.9sec. and a leisurely opening quarter of 31.8sec. to win the 2130m It’s Your Birthday Casey Greenfield Pace at Gloucester Park on Sunday afternoon. Favourite at $2, the Lindsay Harper owned, trained and driven Thereugo revealed his normal sparkling gate speed from barrier six to burst straight to the front and he was not seriously challenged before he sped over the final quarters in 27.8sec. and 28.2sec. to win by just under a length from $6 chance Sergeant Oats, rating 1.58. Nineteen of Thereugo’s 21 victories have been achieved when he has set the pace and Sunday’s win boosted his earnings to $192,180. By American stallion McArdle, Thereugo is out of the Live Or Die mare Janice Franco, who earned $76,782 from eight wins and 19 placings from 110 starts.   Ken Casellas

David Moran has outlined a busy summer campaign for his superstar pacer Lochinvar Art following last night’s TAB Preux Chevalier win. The Del-Re National A.G. Hunter Cup is the long-range target, with the more immediate goal either the Breeders Crown Free-for-All or the four-year-old Championship next Saturday. “We’ll go to either the Crown Free-for-All or the four-year-old next week, I’m not 100 per cent sure but we’ll nominate for both and figure it out,” Moran told Trots Vision. “We’ll push on to Vicbred in December, then in January you have the Bendigo, Shepparton and Ballarat Cups on the way to the Hunter Cup. Then possibly the Newcastle Mile on the way to the Miracle Mile.” The Chariots of Fire and Pryde’s EasiFeed Victoria Cup champion cruised home last night at Tabcorp Park Melton, rating 1:55.0 for the 2240-metre trip from the breeze. “He got a little bit keen tonight,” Moran said post-race. “I guess last start he got revved off the gate a bit … it was a month between runs and I haven’t done a hell of a lot with him at home, so he was a bit fresh tonight.” Moran said Lochinvar Art was doing a “lot of swimming” and he was confident last night’s run would “top the race fitness off” going into next Saturday night’s TAB Breeders Crown finals night. Meanwhile, gun mares Dance Craze and Red Hot Tooth continued their dominance over the fast-class trotting ranks with a quinella in the Aldebaran Park Lenin Trotters Free-for-All. Jason Lee took Dance Craze to the front from gate six early before handing up to Kerryn Manning aboard Red Hot Tooth in gate seven. The race didn’t change complexion after that, with Dance Craze sprinting sharpest up the sprint lane to score a 1.5m win in 1:56.4. Matthew Craven-trained Gus An Maori continued his strong form with a third placing, while Wobelee (seventh) and McLovin (eighth) couldn’t get into the race after settling rearward from back-row draws.   HRV - Cody Winnell

Exciting young Kiwi Mexicana is a hot favourite to cap a remarkable Aussie raid by winning next Saturday night’s Breeders Crown final for two-year-old trotting fillies. Already with the Group 1 Redwood in the bag, Mexicana was wayward winning her Crown heat, but snared he coveted pole draw for the final. She’s a $1.65 Aussie TAB favourite to make it three-from-three in Australia for young Kiwi trainer Josh Dickie and driver Greg Sugars. Kate and Andy Gath’s filly Aldebaran Ursula, who has chased home Mexicana at her past two runs, is drawn to follow her throughout from inside the back row (gate eight). She’s $5.50 equal second favourite with another Kiwi raider, Brent Lilley’s Queen Elida (gate two). Another former Kiwi, Anthony Butt’s Have No Fear, heads the betting in the 2YO colts and geldings Crown final from the pole. He was beaten in his heat, but looks the leader from the pole and will be as hard to beat as any in a more open race. Lilley’s Aldebaran Zeus (gate four, $3.40) and Jodi Quinlan’s headstrong but talented Illawong Barmah (gate 12, $4.80) look the other major players. And NSW visitor Watts Up Majestic has had good support ($6 into $4.60) from gate three. In the other Crown trotting finals, Matty Craven’s Queen Of Crime is $3 favourite from the pole in the 3YO fillies with Im Ready Jet drawn behind (gate eight, $3.50) and looking the main danger. One of very few trotters Emma and Clayton Tonkin train, Cover Of Darkness, is $2.25 favourite to stretch his unbeaten record to six starts from gate two in a strong 3YO colts and geldings final. It’s likely he’ll ease with so many other key players like NSW raiders Gimondi (gate six, $4.50), Elite Stride (10, $6.50) as well as the tough and talented local Powderkeg (gate three, $4.50). ______________________________________________________________________________________ The Kiwi connections flows into the 3YO colts and geldings Crown pacing final with former Kiwi Zeuss Bromac favourite from the pole. He’s kept getting better over time for trainer Blake Fitzpatrick and a superb Kerryn Manning drive helped him win the strongest semi last night. Manning takes the reins again in the final on the $2.60 favourite, who’s good draw is made even better with his major dangers all off the back. They are headed by Mach Dan (gate nine, $4), Pacifico Dream (13, $6.50) and Loorim Lake (12, $9). The 3YO fillies final looks one of the weakest of the series with Techys Angel and Sweet Marie winning the semis. ______________________________________________________________________________________ Tough Tilly has the draw to end the unbeaten streak of her glamour stablemate Ladies In Red in the Breeders Crown 2YO fillies’ pacing final. In fact, Tough Tilly was so impressive leading throughout in her semi-final for driver Kate Gath she is favourite to use gate two to lead and win again. Ladies In Red has sparkled winning all five starts, including a powerhouse semi final win, but has to overcome the back row (gate 10). Tough Tilly heads the market at $1.70 from Ladies In Red, to be driven by David Moran, at $2.30. One of the big guns of the 2YO colts and geldings series Beyond Delight failed to make the final after suffering cardiac arrhythmia and leading and dropping out in his semi. But his trainers Emma Stewart and Clayton still dominate the final with semi winners Major Moth and Act Now drawn gates one and two. Mick Stanley’s NSW Breeders Challenge winner Bar Room Banta could be the blowout from inside the back row (gate eight).   Adam Hamilton

VICTORIA Cup winner Lochinvar Art picked-up where he left off at Melton last Saturday night. Having his first run for five weeks and “in need of the hitout” according to trainer-driver David Moran, Lochinvar Art still totally toyed with a handy field in the Preux Chevalier free-for-all. He came around the field early from the back to sit parked outside former NZ Cup winner Cruz Bromac, but had him beaten before the home turn. Moran really just nursed Lochinvar Art in the run home to win by 6.3m over the emerging Wolf Stride with Sicario third and Cruz Bromac fourth. The mile rate was 1min55sec, but Lochinvar Art blazed home in 54 flat and 26.7sec. “He did that easier than I thought he would because it’ll really bring him for next week,” Moran said. “It’s the best he’s ever felt winning first-up from a break.” Lochinvar Art backs-up next week, either in Friday night’s $60,000 Group 2 Breeders Crown Graduate free-for-all at Melton or the $50,000 Group 2 4YO Crown final on Saturday night. Either target should be another walk in the park. Beyond that, Moran will make a final decision a possible Queensland trip, which is looking less and less likely by the day. “I’m leaning more and more towards staying home, going for the Vicbred 4YO series and then those Country Cups in January before the Hunter Cup,” Moran said. _______________________________________________________________________________________________ CHICAGO Bull and Shockwave will be on the quick back-up when they headline the field for Friday night’s $300,000 Group 1 Fremantle Cup at Gloucester Park. They were due to clash at Gloucester Park last Friday night, but the meeting was postponed just minutes before their race was scheduled because of heavy rain. The race was moved to yesterday and they eventually clashed in the Pat Cranley Memorial where Chicago Bull made the most of a better draw again to stretch his sequence of wins over Shockwave to four races. But, Chicago Bull has drawn better and dictated all four of those races. Shockwave, who beat Chicago Bull when he led first-up, has run second to him at their four clashes since. There’s nothing between them and they look the standout players in the Fremantle Cup and the $450,000 Group 1 WA Pacing Cup on December 4. Team Bond’s Vampiro and, to a lesser extent, Mighty Conqueror look the other notable runners. It’ll be interesting to see if trainer Ross Olivieri throws exciting former Victorian Perfect Major into the big league after he sat parked and ran a ripper third to Chicago Bull yesterday at his first free-for-all attempt. Classy former Kiwi mare Wainui Creek is getting better with every run for Team Bond in WA. She beat most of WA’s best mares to win the Group 2 Norms Daughter in a 1min56.4sec mile rate for 2130m at Gloucester Park yesterday when she came out of a one-one trail to rundown stablemate Our Alfie Romeo. Wainui Creek’s past two wins have her nominal favourite for the state’s biggest mares’ race, the Group 1 WA Mares’ Classic at Gloucester Park on Friday week. _______________________________________________________________________________________________ A BLAZING opening half cost veteran star Bling It On his 50th win at his 100th start. The Victoria and Hunter Cup winner scorched a 53.5sec opening half to eventually find the lead, had to be vulnerable and actually fought on well for a close third to Fouroeight. Bling It On worked from the outside draw in a 26.5sec first quarter then had to run a 27 flat second split to wrest the lead from outsider Golden Year. They ran home in 28.9 and 28.5sec for a 1min50.9sec mile and Mat Rue’s Fouroright finished too strongly for Mafuta Vautin with Bling It On just 3.4m from the winner in third spot. Bling It On remains on target for a Queensland raid later this month with the Group 1 Blacks A Fake on December 12 the major target. McCarthy and trainer Craig Cross teamed later on the Menangle card for yet another win with star mare Bettor Enforce. The rising eight-year-old, fresh back from a terrific second in the Group 1 Queen Of The Pacific at Melton, worked to the front and posted her 12th win from 24 runs this season in a 1min52.1sec mile, capped by a 53.9sec last half. _______________________________________________________________________________________________ STAR Kiwi pacer One Change’s unbeaten Queensland romp came to an end last Saturday night. But the three-year-old certainly lost no admirers with a fantastic second to recent Kiwi import L L Cool J, who had a lovely run behind the leader while One Change did all the work.  L L Cool J, who won six of his 19 NZ runs, has looked good winning both starts for trainer-driver Nathan Dawson. They ran a slick 1min52sec mile rate for 1660m and One Change was only beaten 1.3m. It was his first defeat in six runs for Vicki Rasmussen. It’s unlikely to change plans for him to tackle fast-class in coming weeks as a test before a possible tilt at the Group 1 Blacks A Fake on December 12. Another ex-All Stars pacers Turn It Up is one of the early favourites for the Blacks A Fake. He was due to run at Albion Park last Saturday night, but the race was scrapped with a lack of acceptors. _______________________________________________________________________________________________ THE best of Dance Craze is something special. Trainer Anton Golino has nursed her through her challenges along the way, but she is still the best trotter in Australia at her best. And she showed it again, albeit thanks to a lovely run and superb Jason Lee drive, to win the Group 2 Lenin free-for-all in a blistering 1min56.4sec mile rate for 2240m at Melton on Saturday night. Dance Craze began well, but not quick enough to hold-out her main rival Red Hot Tooth, but it turned out sitting behind her was the perfect scenario. Red Hot Tooth overraced a tad in front, setting-up the slick time, and Dance Craze was simply too slick along the sprint lane at the finish to beat her by 1.5m. The sustained speed up front made it too hard for those back in the field like the classy Wobelee and McLovin, who finished seventh and eighth respectively.   Adam Hamilton

Talented West Australian reinswoman Emily Suvaljko doesn't hesitate when she's asked what she loves about her job - it's "getting across that line first". Suvaljko last week notched up her 100th winner for the extended harness racing season (the count was a very creditable 78 for the 2019-20 season proper) but she's now setting her sights on an even more important mission - her first group one drive at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The youngster is nominated on Vultan Tin for Phil Costello in the Fremantle Cup, but Suvaljko admits a lot will come down to the barrier draw tomorrow. "The two favorites will be Chicago Bull and Shockwave of course, but Vultan Tin's been able to beat both of them in the past if he can get to the front. So we need a good barrier draw, but I'm so excited to have the opportunity - if we get a start, it will be something special," she said. It's been a whirlwind few years since Emily gained her junior's licence midway through the 2018 season. She managed 11 winners from 156 starters that year, then followed up with 60 wins (from 715 starts) in 2019. She has built a well-deserved reputation as a composed and competent driver with maturity beyond her years and continues to notch up personal milestones including a State concession driver's premiership, a number of regional premierships, and last year becoming the second-youngest woman in WA to drive a treble. Big wins have included the Albany Cup on Culpeka (Mach Three - Tuapeka Maddy (Christian Cullen) for Busselton trainer Barry Howlett, but Emily says getting wins for smaller trainers is one of the most enjoyable aspects of the sport. And she lists a modest country front race at Collie earlier this year as her career highlight so far. "My favorite win was on a horse called Caruba (Caribbean Blaster - Spirit Away (Safely Kept) for Peter Tilbrook because it was in my Nan and Grandad's memorial race," she said. The favorite of Emily Suvaljko’s 172 wins – her grandparents’ memorial race at Collie in March this year on Caruba "My grandad (Joe Suvaljko) was well known around Collie and there's been a memorial race for him for a long time. Grandad died when my dad was only in his 20s so I didn't really know him, but we lost my Nan Margaret last year and this was the first time the race had been in her name as well. "The horse I won on is also owned by Larry Nelligan, who is a longtime family friend - so that win really meant a lot to me." Suvaljko is the daughter of talented trainer-driver Shannon Suvaljko, and with a raft of family connections in the sport she admits her first career choice was probably never going to be anything but harness racing. "I went through a bit of a spell when I wasn't really involved as a kid, but then I started with the pony trots and helped my uncle break in my pony. I'd be with my dad at Gloucester Park on Friday nights with his horses and my pony," she said. Suvaljko built her knowledge with on-the-job learning at top stables including Greg and Skye Bond, Nathan Turvey and Colin Brown and since gaining her junior driver's licence in 2018 has clocked up the miles travelling the arduous distances to race at regional WA tracks. "I guess it's something I was always destined to do - dad has always had horses, as well as my uncles Cal and Joe, and their dad before them. I did think about other options, and did year 11 and 12 for my ATAR, but I started driving also that year," she said. "After I left school, I started a bridging course to Curtin Uni, but it was just too difficult with all that I was doing. I'm only 28 wins from losing my junior claim (at 200 wins) now, though, so I'm looking at some study again. "I have a fair few loyal trainers, and I don't use my concession claim all that much now, so hopefully I will be able to keep getting the drives even when my claim runs out. I don't think it hurts to have a Plan B!" she said. But it doesn't appear likely the young reinswoman will need a backup plan, particularly if she can notch up another personal milestone on Friday night with Vultan Tin. "It's pretty exciting. Before this my goal has been to just beat my personal record each season, one season to the next," she said. "I've driven a couple of Phil's (Costello) horses and he's always happy to put me on...but it's pretty exciting to get a drive for him in the Cup."   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Auckland Reactor sired a winning harness racing double with Love The Blues NZ and Atomic Blast NZ at The Meadowlands, New Jersey on Saturday night (November 14). Love The Blues won in 1:50.8 and Atomic Blast was successful in a career-best 1:51.4. Both geldings are owned by leading international bloodstock agent John Curtin, managing owner of JC International. Love The Blues, who posted his fourth win in 12 starts in North America, is out of the Bettor’s Delight mare Delightful Lover. Atomic Blast, who has won three and been twice placed from nine starts in the US, is from Caroline’s Cullen, a Christian Cullen mare who took a record of 1:51.4 and banked $450,140 in stakes. Atomic Blast winning at the Meadowlands Imported from America after her racing career by Curtin, Caroline’s Cullen has produced two foals in Atomic Blast and the two-year-old filly Bettor Blast. Auckland Reactor was also represented by Nuclear Poker, who posted his fifth lifetime success at Bunbury on Friday night (November 13). The gelding is out of an Aces N Sevens mare.   Harnesslink Media

Changeover, the former Kiwi champion who now stands at Burwood Stud in Queensland, was represented by winners in both hemispheres last week. Darkershadeofpale and Glenferrie Bronte, a pair of New Zealand-bred daughters of Changeover, won at Harrah’s Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Freehold Raceway, New Jersey respectively. The former won 1:53 and the latter in 1:58.2. Notorious, a NZ bred son of Changeover, posted his seventh win at Albion Park and his eleventh lifetime success on Thursday night (November 12). The gelding clocked 1:54.6 over 1660 metres with the closing 800 in 56.1. Promising three-year-old Rudi Sarnel made it five wins from nine lifetime outings at Port Pirie, while Lock It In Eddie won for the second time at Winton in NZ’s Southland region. Changeover has left 68 individual winners in Australia so far this season and progeny earnings of $1.66 million.   By Peter Wharton

The Yirribee Pacing Stud stallions enjoyed spectacular success both on and off the racetrack in the last fortnight. Tintin In America, the sire of reigning USA Horse of the Year Shartin, left winners in three different States headed up by the Albion Park winner Nimah Franco NZ (1:54.8) and the Gloucester Park victor Cavalry Call (1:57.8). The three-year-olds Boston Busker, a winner in a career-best 1:55.4 at Penrith, and Destiny Jane (1:59.4, Redcliffe) were other recent winners sired by Tintin In America. Ultra-consistent sire Million Dollar Cam produced six individual winners across USA, Canada and Australia. The list included Young Cambo, a runaway winner in 1:58.3 at the Blayney Cup meeting, Westernhouse (Bunbury), Seeknyoushallfind (Pinjarra) and the North American winners Its Only Rocknroll, who was bred by Yirribee Pacing Stud and won in 1:52.6 at Pocono Downs, Atomic Million Cam (1:55.6) and Justa Camilion (1:59.2). Warrawee Needy, the former world mile record holder, was represented by a winner at Woodbine Mohawk Park in the three-year-old Elroy Shiner (1:54). Fear The Dragon, whose frozen semen is available at Yirribee, left a couple of high priced yearlings at the Standardbred Horse Sale in Maryland. Twin B Slayer, a colt, fetched $125,000, while the filly Mayport Dragonfly was sold for $92,000. Fear The Dragon had four yearlings sell for an average price of $74,000.   By Peter Wharton

The TAB Breeders Crown finals fields have been set and the barriers drawn, and the series has again proven the plaything of Emma Stewart's stable. The Ballarat district trainer delivered again, producing five winners on pacing semi-finals night and qualifying an extraordinary 14 for the November 21 Group 1 finals, including the first five home in the night's opening heat. Ladies In Red, Tough Tilly, Techys Angel (pictured) and Mach Dan swept the night's first four heats for Stewart and then Act Now added another, while her training partner, Clayton Tonkin, one another with Major Moth. Zeuss Bromac (for Paul Fitzpatrick) and Sweet Louise (for Phil Chircop) rounded out the winners, and all trainers and drivers will now be closing analysing the finals barrier draws, which were drawn live on Trots Vision during tonight's semi-finals coverage. The trotting and pacing Breeders Crown finals draws are as follows: 2YO TROTTING COLTS AND GELDINGS: Click here for the heats recap: Barmah turns up the heat with all-the-way win Click here for the TAB.com.au market 2YO TROTTING FILLIES: Click here for the heats recap: Mexicana holds on but 2YO rivals emerge Click here for the TAB.com.au market 3YO TROTTING COLTS AND GELDINGS: Click here for the heats recap: Unbeaten colt advances to 3YO Crown final Click here for the TAB.com.au market 3YO TROTTING FILLIES: Click here for the heats recap: Tess smashes track record with audacious win | Click here for the TAB.com.au market 2YO PACING COLTS AND GELDINGS: Click here for the semi-finals recap: Major chance knocks for Damian and Parkers Click here for the TAB.com.au market 2YO PACING FILLIES: Click here for the semi-finals recap: Stunning final showdown looms as fillies fly Click here for the TAB.com.au market 3YO PACING COLTS AND GELDINGS: Click here for the semi-finals recap: Dan and Zeuss emerge from bruising 3YO semis Click here for the TAB.com.au market   3YO PACING FILLIES: Click here for the semi-finals recap: 3YO fillies Sweet results for Phil and Emma Click here for the TAB.com.au market   Harness Racing Victoria

The Pryde’s EasiFeed three-year-old fillies’ class was tonight turned on its head with Emma Stewart’s series favourite failing to qualify, a stablemate making her claim and then Sweet Louise monstering the second TAB Breeders Crown semi-final. The latter was a great sign for trainer Phil Chircop and owner-breeder John Dorrington, with their lightly-raced Sweet Lou filly knuckling down in the closing stages and leaving her rivals in her wake. Having her first start for reinsman Chris Alford, Sweet Louise crossed to the lead from gate two and controlled proceedings from there. “She got out pretty good at Bendigo last week and I thought the one horse (Beautiful Woman) wouldn’t be in for too much of a battle, it was just whether we could come out quick enough to hold the wide ones and she did that pretty well,” Alford told Trots Vision. “They all seemed to grab hold so it worked out pretty well.” Sweet Louise had it largely her own way until the final bend when seasoned Amelia Rose emerged to throw down the gauntlet. “Around the last turn she was half loafing,” Alford said. “Phil said she might hang a bit on the last turn and she was running a bit sideways, and (Amelia Rose) got to her real quick and I thought it might zip straight past her. “I pulled the ear (plugs) off and she just really knuckled down and ran up the straight pretty strong.” Off a 27.8-second third quarter Sweet Louise hit the line in a 27.5-second final quarter to put 14 metres on the rest of the field, with Its Beaujolais running into second. And it would seem there is a lot of improvement left in her. “For a big girl and a three-year-old she’s like driving a little baby, she just runs in and out,” Alford said. “When she has her mind on the job she’s all right, but just while she’s in front she was just floating all over the place. “John (Dorrington)’s been in horses for a long long time, as has (trainer) Phil (Chircop), so it would be great if they could get a big win next week.” Sweet Louise advances to next Saturday’s finals along with Its Beaujolais, Dr Susan, Amelia Rose, Soundsofcash and Burnfouru. There they will have to contend with Techys Angel, who earlier won the grade’s first semi-final with an eye-catching performance. The race was notable for series favourite and reigning champion Maajida tiring into eighth and therefore failing to qualify, but that didn’t detract from the performance of the winner, Techys Angel, for reinswoman Kate Gath and trainer Emma Stewart. "Clayton (Tonkin) said all along that she's not just fast, she's tough as well,” Gath told Trots Vision. “Her revving up had made that tricky a couple of starts ago, but she's much better now. As a result she showed what she's able to do and she's definitely got a terrific hope next week.” Impressively, Techys Angel seemed to take no harm from being used early, with Gath guiding the Alto Christiano filly from gate seven to the breeze in a 44.6-second lead time. “She's got pretty good gate speed, but so do a few of the others,” Gath said post-race. “We got around not too hard and she relaxed good.” There was plenty of activity throughout with leader Keayang Jackie holding the front while the running lane cycled through a series of horses in the breeze, which would ultimately see Techys Angel shuffled four back in the running line. Gath showed a patient hand before emerging with 200 metres to go, drawing off The Pantheist’s back to win by 4.8 metres, with the latter claiming second while Louisiana Jo, Final Peace, Keayang Jackie and Belladonna Girl also booked finals places. "She was great,” Gath said of the winner. “Tonight she showed what she's able to do and what Clayton's said that she can do the whole time. Those second and third quarters she was just jogging in behind them, she just did that really easily.”   HRV - Michael Howard

Damian Wilson is daring to dream of delivering loyal supporters, owner-breeders Len and Irene Parker, with a TAB Breeders Crown after winning impressively with Major Moth in tonight’s first VHRC Caduceus two-year-old colts and geldings’ semi-final. Wilson had to roll through plans A, B and C in the run but ultimately pulled the right rein to see his Art Major colt emerge victorious for trainer Clayton Tonkin. “It was a very tricky draw tonight,” he told Trots Vision, having started in gate eight behind Sayitaintso Joe. “It was hard to work out what was going to happen in the run and what everyone thought would happen was totally opposite to what did happen. “I was (originally) happy just to drive him quiet, hit the line and qualify for the final tonight, but after being four back the fence everything changed. Just one of those things.” As he described, Major Moth was buried deep on the pegs in the first 100 metres, prompting Wilson to move into the running line and then follow up the three-wide train for the last lap. The race changed complexion when leader and favourite Beyond Delight suddenly dropped out, but Major Moth plowed on, tracking up One Two Many and then running past leader Bar Room Banta to salute by 8.5 metres. “He proved (he’s a contender) tonight and last week,” Wilson said. “(Last week) he probably went as quick a lead time as anything and got home in 26.8. Not many horses can do that. He’s definitely a chance." And it paints the prospect of rewarding a long-time backer. “I’ve known Lenny (Parker) for probably 10 or 12 years. He always sticks behind me. I might put a bad one in, but he’s always got my back. He’s a good bloke," Wilson said. “(Breeders Crowns) don’t come around very often and I’ve got the chance this year, so let’s hope I can make the most of it.” His main threat may well come from Emma Stewart’s Act Now, who found the front from gate three in the second semi-final and led all-the-way to win by three metres. On an eventful night it was a rather uncomplicated race for reinswoman Jodi Quinlan and owner-breeders Bruce and Vicki Edward. “He’s really in his element when he can lead and just bowl along,” Quinlan told Trots Vision. “He likes to bowl along at a nice rate. He foxes a little bit, when they come up outside of him he feels enormous, and then when they drop off a bit he drops off a bit with them. He does wait for them a little bit, but when he goes, he goes all right.” Their real test came at the top of the straight when Kerryn Manning emerged off the leader’s back to make a play for the win on Watts Up Sunshine, but Act Now had all the answers and was able to hold the Rickie Alchin runner’s challenge at bay. “When Kerryn came to the outside of him I had to shake him up a little bit, but he’s one of those – when they get to his wheel he just plods along at his own tempo.” Joining Act Now and Watts Up Sunshine in advancing to the final from the second semi-final were Jacks Hawk, Go Dancing, Tuppence and Electric Eye. They will be joined by first semi-final qualifiers Major Moth, Kimble, Swayzee, Bar Room Banta, One Two Many and Drain The Swamp.   HRV - Michael Howard

There was little in it as Mach Dan and Zeuss Bromac emerged from the fray to stamp themselves as TAB Breeders Crown contenders in eventful IRT Australia three-year-old colts and geldings semi-finals. Mach Dan came late to pip Jilliby Nitro at the post and Zeuss Bromac won a brusing battle to the line with top tier types Pacifico Dream and Willie Go West to reaffirm that this remains an extremely competitive class. We begin with the first semi-final, and it was Emma Stewart's Mach Three gelding, Mach Dan, who further proved his Group 1 chops for reinsman Greg Sugars. "He's in a real purple patch at the minute," Sugars told Trots Vision. "The trip away (to New South Wales) helped him step up his game and he's come back in terrific order." And he needed to be good in the running, with the race dramatically changing complexion leading into the final turn. Leader Imnopumpkin hung out which disturbed the running line, forcing favourite Loorrim Lake to temporarily veer three-wide and then sit outside Ranger Bomb, who had snuck up on the inside. Rounding the bend Loorrim Lake then appeared to hang in and the lead pair were soon swamped, first by Jilliby Nitro and then by Mach Dan. "We went from getting a good run through to shuffling up quite quickly, but thankfully it all worked out fine for me," Sugars said. "It's good to see him (win in) two completely different ways. In the heat he obviously dominated from in front and held them off quite comfortably, tonight he's come from last and rounded them up. "It gives you hope going forward that, however the cards fall in the draw, he's going to be a chance." Joining the first pair in advancing to next week's semi-finals were third-placed Perfect Stride, Mirragon (fourth), Scorcha and Loorrim Lake. They will be joined by Zeuss Bromac, Pacifico Dream, Willie Go West, Monsieur Delacour, Jemsoms Pet and Sahara Sirocco after they finished in that order in the second semi-final. After an initial disruption, when Big Black Diamond galloped on the pegs and then Krafty Bart followed suit, the second semi-final was a more settled affair once Chris Alford advanced favourite Willie Go West to the lead from gate seven and Kerryn Manning hustled Zuess Bromac into the breeze from the second row. "He got a good run through early," Manning told Trots Vision. "A little bit of a scrimmage on the first turn messed up a few others plans and I was able to lob the death without really doing a lot." Decision time then came with a lap to go when Kate Gath advanced on highly-fanced Pacifico Dream, with Manning initially hesitant to allow the Stewart runner to glide into the breeze. "I was happy to sit there and when Kate came I was in two minds whether to hand up. "I had a little look at (leader) Chris (Alford) and he said no, Kate kept coming and it's not a bad horse to sit on. "I was in a good spot most of the way, maybe he had to come out a little early - I was umming and aarghing whether to stay on Kate's back and chance my arm or come out. So he had to come out fairly early in the back straight and do a fair bit of work in the last lap." But he proved up to it, clawing over the leaders amid a 27.5-second last quarter to record an eye-catching win and potentially set himself up with favourtism for the final. "He seems a nice little horse," Manning said. "He's not very big at all, he's quite nuggety, a cute little fella and it was a pleasure to get to drive him. It was a really good run, he kept going to the line and the run will probably do him good."   HRV - Michael Howard

Ladies In Red and Tough Tilly stamped themselves the class of the Captain Crunch two-year-old fillies with stunning victories in the first two races on TAB Breeders Crown semi-finals night. The grade was a full flex from Emma Stewart's stable, with the Ballarat district trainer filling the first five in heat one and then following up by winning the second semi-final with Tough Tilly. Ladies In Red certainly would have lost no admirers with her win, which keeps her in the box seat heading into the Group 1 final at Tabcorp Park Melton next Saturday (November 21). "She was really good tonight," reinsman David Moran said of Ladies In Red, who started from gate seven and followed Rogue Wave three-wide in the early stages. As they emerged at the head of affairs, Rogue Wave dropped into the running line while Ladies In Red marched to the front, with stablemate Treachery taking leader's back. It was a clear indication of the pecking order in the stable and that was further justified in the closing stages, with Ladies In Red clearing away to win by 7.4 metres. Treachery finished second ahead of Rogue Wave, Joanna and Dangerous Hand, with Michael Stanley's Soho Bollinger the only non-Stewart runner to book a finals place from the first semi-final.  "She had to do a little bit of work three-wide, but it was a pretty steady lead time and she managed to find (the front) comfortably," Moran told Trots Vision. "She's a special little filly. She seems to be very versatile, as we've seen she can come off the speed really good and she can tough it out. "She was travelling pretty good, she flattened out on the line a little bit, but that was because I knocked off on her a little. She had a bit in reserve." Any thoughts though that Ladies In Red had both hands on the Breeders Crown were soon shaken in the second semi-final, when stablemate Tough Tilly finally plucked a favourable draw and made it count. Reinswoman Kate Gath guided her two-year-old to the lead from gate two and was unchallenged, finding separation with a 28.7-second third quarter and letting down to the line with a 26.6-second final quarter. That created a 15-metre gap to second placed Momentslikethese who ran on well to qualify for Jess Tubbs, while Platinum Sparkle, Treasure Rainbow, Jo Rocks and Star Of Timpany also booked finals place. But it was all about Tough Tilly, who stopped the clock in a 1:55.2 mile rate, a 10th quicker than Ladies In Red in the first semi-final. "There's not much between them, there wasn't before tonight and obviously Ladies In Red has had the upper hand on Tough Tilly, albeit a short half-head both times," Kate Gath told Trots Vision. "We finally got a good draw tonight, she just enjoyed that. Did that pretty easy. She's pretty laid back. "Had to give her a little wake up and she did that well. She just strolled around really. She was happy to drop the bit and I gave her a little tap and away she'd go. The way she hit the line, she felt she was just enjoying it and doing her thing. She didn't feel flat out." The all-important barrier draws will be plucked live on Trots Vision after race nine tonight and, naturally, Gath said "wouldn't we love (gate) one?". "As far in as we could get would be great," she said. "She really does deserve to win one of these big races and I'd love to see her do it for the Butterfly Foundation and everything that she represents. "It's really important. We can only hope that we get a good draw. Ladies In Red will be hard to beat, she was super impressive tonight as well, but clearly Tough Tilly's the one who's got closest too her." Tough Tilly races for Benstud Standardbreds and a syndicate under Cure EB, part of a cause dedicated to finding effective treatments and a cure for Epidermolysis Bullosa. Click here for more details.    HRV - Michael Howard

65 to 80 of 33142