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Acclaimed racing broadcaster Andrew Bensley will return to the airwaves later this year, signing with broadcaster SEN to host mornings on the new SENTrack.   The show, named Bensley, will run in all eastern seaboard SENTrack markets – including the new SENTrack 1539AM and DAB+ in Sydney which launches on 22 August; Wollongong 1575 AM, Gosford 801 AM, Melbourne 1593 AM, and in Queensland on Ingham 96.9 FM, Atherton 99.1 FM and from 4th September in Brisbane on 1053AM and Gold Coast 1620AM.   The line up on the new SENTrack 1539 AM in Sydney includes a dedicated local breakfast show hosted by rugby league personalities Joel Caine and Jimmy Smith – which is already off and racing on SENTrack 1575 AM Wollongong and 801 AM Gosford.   Bensley will follow Breakfast with Joel and Jimmy, Monday to Thursday from 8.30am plus Saturday mornings from 1 December.   “I love radio and racing and to get the chance on an exciting new station like SENTrack I can’t wait to cut loose with all the news plus interviews with trainers and jockeys,” Bensley said.   “It’ll be a fast-paced show that will set the day’s race news agenda plus form analysis with all the winning info.”   SEN Chief Executive Officer Craig Hutchison said he was thrilled to welcome Bensley to the station.   “Andrew Bensley is hugely respected by the racing industry and punters who have loved listening to him on radio and TV for decades,” Hutchison said.   “To welcome him to SENTrack is a tremendous honour and we look forward to the expert insight and fun he will bring to our listeners in the mornings as they settle into the day’s racing.   The new sound of chasing, pacing and racing now has the destination for what shapes the industry each day.”   Until Bensley arrives, Joel and Jimmy will split hosting duties nationally of “The Early Crow” from 8.30am each morning Monday to Thursday.   SENTrack launched in March and is Australia’s first independent racing, harness and greyhound radio racing service. SENTrack 1539 AM in Sydney becomes the 7th of its kind nationally including Melbourne on 1593 AM, Perth on 657 AM, Wollongong 1575 AM, Gosford 801 AM, Ingham 96.9 FM, Atherton 99.1 FM and will commence broadcasting on 4th September in Brisbane on 1053AM and Gold Coast 1620AM. It can also be heard via the SEN app.        

Team Tritton successful once again. Ex Down Under harness racing driver Lauren Tritton recorded her first race driving win on Friday night at Yonkers Raceway in New York. She did it aboard the consistent Down Under pacer of Flaming Flutter N. The pair were too good in the $17,250 pace, scoring in a time of 1:51.4 around the half mile track (800m). It was Lauren Trittons first race day driving success in North America. The partnership of Lauren and Shane Tritton have had a great start to their North American harness racing career since relocating from Australia just four months ago. As a trainer Shane Tritton has won 12 races in North America with the win taking Flaming Flutter N to over $800,000 in stake earnings.    Team Trittons successes have been highlighted by mare My Ruebe Star N, who was successful again on Thursday night pacing a winning mile of 1:52.2 in a $33,000 Fillies and Mares Open Pace at Yonkers Raceway. It was the daughter of Falcon Seelster’s fifth straight victory from five starts in America and extended her career stake earnings to over $100,000.   Monday 27th July Saratoga Harness NY Le Reveur N – Time: 1:57.2, Stake: $4,800   Yonkers Raceway NY Kendra N – Time: 1:53.0, Stake: $16,500 The Moonshadow N – Time: 1:52.1, Stake: $16,500   Woodbine Mohawk Park CA General Joy A – Time: 1:51.1, Stake: $14,000       Tuesday 28th July Saratoga Harness NY Kiwi Tintin N – Time: 1:56.2 Stake: $3,500 Crockets Cullen N – Time: 1:52.4, Stake: $8,500 Epaulette A – Time: 1:54.4, Stake: $5,150   The Downs At Mohegan Sun Pocono PA Border Control A – Time: 1:53.1, Stake: $6,800 Kerford Road A – Time: 1:50.3, Stake: $8,800     Wednesday 29th July Harrahs Philadelphia PA Shes Sporty A – Time: 1:52.1, Stake: $7,600 Its Mesmerize N – Time: 1:52.0, Stake: $11,600 English Rose N – Time: 1:54.4, Stake: $6,800 Queen Lostris N – Time: 1:51.1, Stake: $10,000   Ocean Downs MD Betacool N – Time: 1:55.0 Stake: $5,700   Saratoga Harness NY Onspeed N – Time: 1:56.0 Stake: $4,250 Pasultimatedelite N – Time: 1:56.1, Stake: $5,150 Miss Irish Rose A – Time: 1:54.2, Stake: $8,500 Hereslooknatyou N – Time: 1:57.1, Stake: $4,250   Scioto Downs OH Cyclone Kiwi N – Time: 1:52.2, Stake: $5,500   Grand River Raceway CA Marty Monkhouser A – Time: 1:55.4, Stake: $7,000     Thursday 30th July Harrahs Philadelphia PA Torrid Bromac N – Time: 1:52.4, Stake: $8,800 Need Luck N – Time: 1:55.4, Stake: $8,800   Plainridge Park MA Tisadream A – Time: 1:53.0, Stake: $12,000   Scioto Downs OH Luttucerockthem A – Time: 1:53.2, Stake: $7,500   Yonkers Raceway NY Followthewind N – Time: 1:53.4, Stake: $9,375 My Ruebe Star N – Time: 1:52.2, Stake: $33,000 Fizzing N – Time: 1:53.1, Stake: $14,250     Friday 31st July Batavia Downs NY Mr Euroman N – Time: 1:55.4, Stake: $7,000 Harry Hoo N – Time: 1:55.3, Stake: $7,600   Harrahs Hoosier Park IN Brilliant Strike N – Time: 1:51.0, Stake: $10,000 Prince Mcardle N – Time: 1:50.1, Stake: $9,000   Yonkers Raceway NY Vasari N – Time: 1:53.0, Stake: $9,375 Military Master A – Time: 1:54.3, Stake: $9,375 Flaming Flutter N – Time: 1:51.4, Stake: $17,250 Don Domingo N – Time: 1:52.3, Stake: $14,250   Woodbine Mohawk Park CA Seaswift Joy N – Time: 1:50.3, Stake: $26,000 Tuapeka Jessie N – Time: 1:53.3, Stake: $17,000     Saturday 1st August Harrahs Hoosier Park IN Majestic Player A – Time: 1:51.4, Stake: $18,000 Late Night Date A – Time: 1:51.2, Stake: $12,500   Meadowlands NJ Effronte A – Time: 1:50.4, Stake: $9,500   Northfield Park OH He Can Fly N – Time: 1:51.4, Stake: $9,500   Running Aces Casino & Racetrack MN Hoo Nien A – Time: 1:51.1, Stake: $10,000   The Downs At Mohegan Sun Pocono PA Our Zak Whitby A – Time: 1:50.2, Stake: $11,200   Hiawatha Horse Park CA Cullen Keefe N – Time: 1:54.4, Stake: $5,000   Woodbine Mohawk Park CA Mongolian Hero N – Time: 1:51.1, Stake: $16,000     Sunday 2nd August Harrahs Philadelphia PA Iammrbrightside N – Time: 1:52.4, Stake: $8,800   The Downs At Mohegan Sun Pocono PA Golden Quest N – Time: 1:53.2, Stake: $12,000 Kendra N – Time: 1:51.0, Stake: $17,200 Lucky Artist A – Time: 1:52.0, Stake: $11,200   Click here for previous weeks articles   Carter Dalgety

Isn’t it nice when a plan just works. That’s certainly been the case for Shayne Eeles, who with family invested in a broodmare and two generations on continues to reap rewards. The Rochester trainer’s colt Allshookup continues an eye-catching three-year-old season tonight, when he steps out for the Saddleworld Shepparton 3YO Pace, which streams at 6.04pm on TrotsVision. A winner at consecutive starts before a last-start eighth when he overraced, Allshookup has impressed his trainer in his second campaign. “He seems to have a bit of bottom too him,” Eeles said. “I have a high opinion of what he can do.” It’s an educated opinion that was fostered under the tutelage of Barry Purdon, whose camp Eeles joined as an 18-year-old. He remained there for almost seven years, spending nearly half the year on the road helping Purdon rack up winners with the likes of Holmes D G and Surprise Package, before returning to Victoria and training in his own right from February 2001. A tick over six years later, with wife Roslyn and her parents Robert and Jenny Viney, Eeles purchased broodmare Teen Talk and her one-year-old foal, who would become Ballandella Baby, off breeder Peter Gleeson. “It’s a super family – that Hot Foot-Larrakeyah Lady family,” Eeles said. “The family keeps landing winners.” Teen Talk’s great grand-dam is Hot Foot, dam of Larrakeyah Lady, who has in turn produced rivers of pacing gold. Among her foals are Safe And Sound ($995,606), Massarua ($282,692), Gold Rocket ($393,387) and The Good Times ($201,024) to name a few, while descendants include Rocknroll Magic ($466,183), Major Secret ($464,872), Beauty Secret ($425,921), Lovelist ($222,889) and a five-year-old up and comer they call Ride High ($259,427).    In the case of Eeles’ purchase, Teen Talk’s produced eight winners, with Ballandella Baby the second most prolific for wins (11) and stakes ($84,000) before being retired for a broodmare career. “She did a good job, was a good mare for us,” Eeles said. “Getting her up and going, winning a few nice races and breeding a good one out of her, I enjoy that sort of thing – educating horses, giving them time, watching them develop. I get a kick out of it.” Ballandella Baby was pared with A Rocknroll Dance for her second foal, Allshookup, who has his 12th start today. His second campaign has delivered much of the $15,010 stakes his banked, having chased Vicbred Super Series success as a two-year-old but with a win on Humbletonian Day at Maryborough the only time he finished better than eighth in his initial six starts. “I probably made a blue and threw him in the deep end as a two-year-old,” Eeles said. “It probably didn’t help him, but he had qualified well and trialled well. “I only do a handful of horses and he hadn’t worked with other horses much. It was a little too much too early and he was chasing his tail a little. I battled with him last year, I always thought a lot of him, but he was never 100 per cent.” Allshookup had a tick over eight months on the sidelines before returning at Shepparton on June 19 with a fourth placing, which was followed by a second (June 29), two victories (July 6 and 19) and a last start eighth. “He had a really good break, I brought him up slow this time and got a proper preparation into him. He is not a big horse, but he is a strong little bloke, a good pacing horse and does his work well. “Doing a fair bit of work doesn’t bother him too much.” He led all-the-way to comfortably produce his two victories this time in, before overracing last start which he paid for late. “The occasion got to him a little too much the other night and he fired up and that cost him in the finish,” Eeles said. “I have changed gear a little bit, taken the block blinds off to get him to relax, switch off and do what (driver) Chris (Alford) wants him too.” Tonight Allshookup is drawn outside lead rivals Monterei Heaven and Hesty but still likely to advance to a forward post. “There is a little bit of depth there, a couple who go good enough. I think this little bloke, if he is on his game and relaxes, he will be right in it. “He will probably go forward. I don’t give Chris too many instructions, I wouldn’t worry if he relaxed him off the gate, but he will probably go forward.” And a good performance and continual maturation could have Eeles against chasing Vicbred Super Series success come year’s end. “He probably won’t have a lot of time off between now and the end of the year,” he said. “The sires stakes are the plan. He probably needs to get a bit more seasoned. I won’t overrace him and he might need a freshen up, but I would like to give him three to four more runs, get him more seasoned and build his confidence. “If he measures up to the better ones I will press on. I think he is pretty capable of doing a job. I like him, hopefully he keeps stepping up.”   HRV - Michael Howard

SPRINGBOARD TO SUCCESS Friday night saw the running of the Springboard Series Finals for both the two and three-year-old trotters at Albion Park. It was the second running of the two-year-old series, with victory claimed by the filly Aldebaran Selena. Having claimed the 1628-metre track record in winning a heat of the Series, the daughter of Majestic Son lowered that mark once again in claiming the Final. Showing clean manners, the filly stepped straight to the front and was never bothered thereafter, trotting safely in scoring a four-metre victory over Defensive Guy, with Okanagan a further 18 metres away in third place. Trained and driven by New South Welshman Rickie Alchin, Aldebaran Selena looks to have a bright future and looks set to pave the way for continued growth of the juvenile trotter in Queensland. Meanwhile in the three-year-old division, Indefensible was looking to add the 3YO Series to his 2YO victory in this Series last year. However, the Terry Hancock-trained and Narissa McMullen-driven Aurora was the worthy winner, with a perfect display in front. Stepping straight to the front, the fill led throughout to take the inaugural Springboard for the three-year-olds. A model of consistency throughout the series, she has been faultless in her manners, stepping cleanly on every occasion. Giving nothing a look-in from the front, Aurora cruised home to an 11-metre victory, making a clean sweep of the Series in the process after taking our all four heats.   THE GOOD Racing needs good stories and the tale of Maywyns Best fits that bill. The rising 11-year-old is in career best form for trainer Graham Dwyer and on Saturday night stretched Cruz all the way over the Albion Park mile, spearing out to lead from gate four with the speed on all the way. With the slick 3.3 lead time followed by a sizzling 26.6 second opening quarter, Pete McMullen kept the gelding rolling throughout. Despite having the sit on Maywyns Best, it took Cruz until deep into the stretch to reel in the leader, scoring a near two-metre victory. It was a brave effort by ‘Bestie’ who set the quarters of 26.6, 29.6, 27 and home in 27.7 to hold on for second. Having trained the gelding for a large portion of his career for previous owners Rob and Pam Essex, the opportunity to purchase the then eight-year-old out of a claiming race was too good to pass up for Dwyer. Despite an injury enforced five months on the sidelines immediately after being claimed, Dwyer and his team have rejuvenated the son of Blissful Hall. In a tremendous season, the gelding has scored eight wins and placed a further 12 times, while running a career best winning time of 1.51.0 on June 6. It has been a watershed season for Dwyer, who currently sits in sixth position in the State Trainers Title. Career best figures look set to rise by season’s end for Dwyer, currently leading in 64 winners and a further 102 placings.   THE BAD The Winter Carnival did not eventuate the way it was envisaged, but then again nothing in 2020 around the world has really gone to script. If anyone had suggested that Cruz would be the star of the revised Queensland winter, there may well have been people scoff at the suggestion. With his position on the pecking order seeing him down the line behind the likes of Cash N Flow, King Of Swing, Alta Orlando and Replaced Eye at his home barn, he was sent to Queensland in the hope of making hay while the winter sun shines. Not only did he re-gain winning form, the Craig Cross prepared pacer has taken all before him and on Saturday night was able to secure another race victory to stay undefeated in his three starts this campaign. Without doubt the highlight was his victory in the Wondai’s Mate Open Pace, when scorching around the Albion Park oval in a 1.50.4 mile rate. That effort saw him equal the track record once held outright by one of the greatest pacers ever, in the shape of Im Themightyquinn. Following his scorching mile, the gelding backed that up with another dominant victory in the Mr Feelgood over the 2138-metre trip, in a run that was not too far off the track record held by Bling It On. Completing the hat-trick with another slick mile victory on Saturday night when stopping the clock in a 1.50.8 mile, Cruz has been the bright light of the Cross stable in Queensland. Not bad for a horse that struggles to be in the top five at home!   THE WILDCARD Always In Command started favourite in the Mr Feelgood at Egmont Park Pace on Saturday night, despite going into the contest with a ‘duck-egg’ next to his name in four of his previous five starts. That didn’t deter punters however, who were keen to support the Donny Smith-trained gelding that looked the likely leader in the 1660m event. Eh Ef El - drawn in gate one - and driver Shane Graham had other plans and hustled hard with the benefit of the inside alley to repel the challenge of Always In Command through a lightning fast 26.6 second opening split. That left Nathan Dawson at the reins of Always In Command forced to cut the breeze. Content to hold that position, Dawson put the leader away at the 400-metre mark and looked to kick clear and breaking free of the pack, holding off the closing challenge of Sir Julian to score by a head. It was a new career PB for the eight-year-old, stopping the clock in 1.51.8 for the mile. It was the 10th success since being prepared by Smith, with the former Redcliffe track record holder proving he was Always In Command.   THE MILESTONE Taleah McMullen became the latest Queensland Centurion when steering Rancho Man to success at Marburg on Sunday. Heading into the meeting, the youngest of the four McMullen siblings was on 99 winners for the term and soon made the breakthrough to triple figures for the first time in her career. Second only to Angus Garrard on the Queensland Concession Drivers Premiership, Taleah became the second female to make it 100 driving wins for the season. In the process, Taleah has joined eldest sister Narissa and brother Pete in reaching 100 wins for the term. After searching the record books, it appears that it may well be the first time in Australian harness history that three siblings have all recorded triple figures in the same season. Highlights for the youngest daughter of John and Janette have been the success of her own horse Tommy Under Fire who returned from a break triumphant in late June. More pleasing for McMullen has been the fact that the Courage Under Fire gelding spent a long time on the sidelines and took plenty of care and rehabilitation to get him back to the track.   THIS WEEK Following the five heats of the Marburg to Albion Series held on Sunday, this Saturday will see the Final held on the Albion Park Saturday night card. Winners of the heats were Bukthsystem, Pago Pago, Rancho Man, Allstar Sea and Viewbytherock who will be looking to claim a second success after taking out the last of these popular events for trainer/driver/owner Megan Gee. Friday at Albion Park will also see heats of the Australian Pacing Gold, Brisbane Sales Graduate Series. Heats for the $100,000 Group 1 Final are restricted to those horses from the 2019 APG Draft entered for the Brisbane Sale. Recent QBRED Triad winner Jasper looks set to be a big player in the series, with Don Heston - a recent acquisition to the Grant Dixon stable - also looking like he will be one to watch.   Darren Clayton for Racing Queensland

Brilliant Lucky Chucky three-year-old filly Aurora completed a clean sweep of the Springboard Trotting Series at Albion Park when she scored an effortless win in the $15,000 Final last Friday (July 31). She led from end to end and won by 10 metres, clocking 59.3 for the last 800. Watch the win click here The filly had captured all four heats of the Series and from 10 lifetime starts she has won seven with two placings for $26,876 in stakes. Out of a Sundon mare, Aurora was bred by Eddy Bidder and is owned by Don Hancock. Lucky Chucky has the excellent record of eight winners and three placegetters from 13 starters in Australia. While in New Zealand, Lucky Chucky has left seven winners and six qualifiers from 26 foals three-year-old and older.  

Time is running out –just over a fortnight to go. If you want to have a chance to win a service to champion Australian juvenile pacer Poster Boy or World Champion Sweet Lou USA you have to purchase a ticket in the 2020 WASBA Stallion Service Raffle, closing on Wednesday 12 August 2020. FIRST prize is the winner’s choice of one of these very exciting stallions. Both stallions are outstanding choices. SECOND prize is a service to the remaining stallion after the first prize winner has made their choice. THIRD and FOURTH prize winners each receive $1,000 service fee Vouchers, to be used on service fees for any stallion not fully booked at Northern Rivers Equine Victoria or Woodlands Stud NZ. All prizes are for the 2020/21 breeding season. First and second prize are open to all Australasian breeders. The Voucher prizes are restricted to WASBA members (you can pay $20 Ordinary or $30 Family membership by 12 August 2020 to be eligible). Poster Boy – 1:49.1, $803,310 is the winner of 22 races from age 2 through to 5, and retired sound. From 30 starts he was unplaced only once. He is a multiple Group 1 winner including the 4YO Chariots of Fire in a lifetime best 1:49.1. His 4yo career was interrupted by illness but he came back at 5 and won his only 3 starts before the impact of Covid on the race program halted his racing career. By world champion Somebeachsomewhere USA, one of North Americas greatest racehorses and sires, he is out of 2019 Australian Broodmare of the Year Aston Villa (Artsplace), winner of her first 3 race starts. Aston Villa is the dam of 5 winners from her first 5 foals with 3 at Group level and stakes of $1.5 million. Sweet Lou - 1:47.0, US$3,478,894 Winner of 33 races from 2 to 5 and retired sound. Dan Patch 2YO Pacing Colt of the Year winning 10 out of 12 starts. 2014 Dan Patch US Pacer of the Year. He won over US$1 million in each of his 3yo and 5yo season. He had a 10 race win streak in NA FFA ranks, including 6 in sub 1:48. His dam Sweet Future is also the dam of dual Breeders Crown champion Bettor Sweet 1:47.2 $2,782,353 and the granddam of millionaires Captain Crunch 1:47.2 and Youaremycandygirl 1:48.2. Sweet Lou is already on the way to champion sire status, with Warrawee Ubeaut 1:48.3, Blood Money 1:50, Double Expresso, Sweet On Me etc from just one full season and a Covid restricted second season. There are only 200 tickets in the raffle at $100 each. Tickets still remain, but be quick. The raffle will close on 12 August and be drawn on Friday 14 August 2020. Complete the flyer, and return to WASBA by email or the mailing address listed on the form, or just email the details to info@wasba.com.au (so that WASBA can send you a ticket) or phone 0447 053 040. You can pay by credit card, cheque or direct deposit (to the WASBA bank account BSB 036 043 Acc. 129810 with your surname as bank reference). To access the flyer, go to www.wasba.com.au and download it from there, or use this link http://www.wasba.com.au/images/2020/WASBA_2020_Stallion_Service_Raffle.pdf . Woodlands Stud and Lauriston Bloodstock have provided great support with their fantastic stallions. Funds raised go back to the industry in stakes, incentives, and funds for rehoming.   Jeanine Diederich, WASBA

Western Victorian harness racing trainer Aaron Dunn has to go back a long way to remember a horse in his stable with better prospects than his precocious youngster Bondi Lockdown . The two-year-old made very comfortable work of a 28.5 final quarter (MR 1:57.1) in a super-impressive debut win around the tight Stawell circuit and Dunn couldn't be happier with the colt he bought on a whim at the Fosters Gold yearling sale. "He just went a bit rough on the home turn but otherwise he was perfect. I did have to wake him up in the straight, but once he got down to work, he went really well," Dunn said. "He's pretty exciting. Dad and I think that he's potentially the best-looking horse and the best moving horse we've had on the farm since Dee Dees Dream." Watch the replay click here: And that's no small wrap! Dee Dees Dream (Camtastic-Westburn Tess (Windshield Wiper) won 19 of his first 30 starts, including the Gr 1 VicBred (2yo) Super Series Final, the Vic Golden Nursery Stakes, the Victorian Sires Classic and the Tasmanian Derby, before injury ended his career in 2008 with 38 wins and more than $400,000 in stakes. In the past Dunn and his father Barry have been regular buyers at the yearling sales. Other than Dee Dees Dream, other handy acquisitions have been Speedo George (17 wins) and Nikki Badwagon (11 wins). But Aaron's focus recently has been mostly on breeding at his Horsham property and the Bondi Lockdown buy was the result of his first venture to the yearling sales in 13 years. "When I bought him I really didn't go to the sale looking to buy anything other than a filly, mostly to breed from in future," Dunn said. "I did get a filly and I think she'll be handy, but I also was bidding on a few just because I thought they were good value. "I saw this bloke and he looked great and when you look at the cost of a service fee to Somebeachsomewhere, I just thought he was going too cheap not to have a go at. His half-brother Rocknroll Eyes had won two or three at the time and was looking like a nice horse, and I ended up getting Bondi Lockdown for $20,000." It's not hard to see why he took a second glance at the good-looking colt, though. Bondi Lockdown is out of handy broodmare Without Guile (Art Major-Innocent Eyes (Safely Kept). The mare has previously produced three foals for three winners: Rocknroll Eyes (15 wins); Joeys Hangover (eight wins); and Without Hesitation (four wins). Bondi Lockdown's grand-dam Innocent Eyes won more than $400,000 in her 18 victories. Dunn is keeping his feet on the ground but is hoping that Bondi Lockdown might make 2020 entirely memorable for all the right reasons. "It's pretty obvious why we named him Bondi Lockdown - being by Somebeachsomewhere and this year being what it's been," Dunn said. "We've been very excited with how he's come on since he came back from the breaker Rod Barker but you don't really want to get ahead of yourself, and we really had been hoping to go first up to either Ballarat or Terang, being bigger tracks, but the races didn't stand up," he said. "His win at the Ballarat trials a couple of weeks back put a bit of hype around him, so I was just rapt that he did go so well at Stawell. When you have a high expectation you just hope it all pans out!" The win was the high point of a very good day at the office for Dunn. He brought up a double with Vanity Bay (Western Ideal-Forest Bliss (Blissful Hall) and went within a nose of owning (or part-owning), training and driving three winners when narrowly defeated on Keayang Shady (Shadyshark Hanover-Alimar Star (Safely Kept). Dunn said he would wait to see how the youngster developed and how the unpredictable season 2020 season unfolded before making too many plans for Bondi Lockdown - but the sires, VicBred and 2yo features are definitely on the radar. "I've tried to wrap him in cotton wool to a degree up until now, because I've thought he was quite a bit above average for six months or so," Dunn said. "I'm really the only one to drive him. He's good in nature, but I was worried that, being a colt, he might get a bit over the top. "At this stage we know he's got speed, but he will need to get tougher and will still have to take another step to match it with the good ones." Bondi Lockdown's next assignment is on Wednesday night at Terang, where he meets an interesting field on paper - including a Michael Stanley-trained first starter in Hammers Hellpatrol, a full brother to Breeders Crown champion Menin Gate ($574,000).   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Harness racing will resume in Victoria tomorrow night with the scheduled Shepparton meeting. Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) will not reschedule today’s cancelled Maryborough meeting and participants who had horses engaged will receive compensation. HRV cancelled the Maryborough meeting immediately after being made aware of a potential participant COVID-19 close contact shortly before the first race. HRV CEO Dayle Brown explained there was only one option.  “We acted immediately. There is only one choice when you cannot be certain of the circumstances surrounding this virus – people’s health and wellbeing is top priority and will remain so,” Brown said. “We communicated to participants immediately and commenced enquiries. I am comfortable with the great work of our team conducting these enquiries and the processes that guide them.” After enquiring into the circumstances surrounding the participant who is a potential close contact, four people were identified as having had some incidental contact with this participant in recent days. The four individuals will not attend race meetings or interact with industry participants until the test result from the potential close contact is known. The potential close contact and the four individuals did not attend Maryborough today.  HRV takes this opportunity to remind all participants and staff that if they or their family members have any symptoms or are feeling unwell, getting tested and isolating are the only courses of action. HRV is comfortable after making enquiries that no other participant or staff member is at an increased risk of contracting the virus.   “Our protocols, which have guided us through this virus to this point, remain in place and must be adhered to all times. I cannot stress this enough. Our stewards are ensuring compliance and I thank the industry for the way they have looked after each other in recent months,” Brown said. Some of the protocols that have been in place at Victorian harness racing tracks in recent months include observing physical distancing measures at all times, restricting attendance to required licenced people only and essential staff, declaration forms upon entry, temperature testing and mandatory wearing of masks or a face cover at all times. The protocols can be viewed here. Media enquiries: cwinnell@hrv.org.au   Harness Racing Victoria

Progressive pacer While They Pray will get a chance to prove his feature race credentials when he steps up to Free-For-All company later this campaign. The four-year-old produced the best performance of his career in Friday night’s Kerry Clarke 4&5YO Classic when he wore down proven Free-For-All pacer Rock Me Over. While They Pray wasn’t able to work to the front and had to sit behind Rock Me Over in running. The gelding ran home in 57.1 to score by 2.9m in an exciting finish to the feature. Trainer Michael George told TABradio Gary Hall Jnr’s drive was crucial in securing the win in the $30,000 event. “It was a fantastic race,” he said. “We didn’t expect to get to the front easy enough and we never did and I certainly never expected to be sitting on Rock Me Over for the first lap. “It was a 10 out of 10 drive by Junior. “He knew what horse he had and he executed that pretty well.” While They Pray took his record to 14 wins from 30 starts, including success in three of his past four. George stopped short of declaring the son of Alta Christiano a Cups contender but was hopeful of giving him a shot in FFA company in the coming weeks. “He’s obviously got the ability, he’s got the times and he’s proven himself that he can run speed,” he said. “I’d like to teach him how to race a little bit better every week but how can you when he’s earning and winning so well. “If I could get him to settle and sit up, whether he’s Cups horse I’m not sure. “I still think the horse could get better with maturity and he’s still only four and just turning five.” George added he would likely have to find another driver for While They Pray if he stepped him up to FFA company, due to Hall Jnr’s commitment to driving Chicago Bull. Chicago Bull continued his winning ways on Friday and kicked off a big weekend for some of the sport’s shining lights. Self Assured, Ride High, King Of Swing and Chicago Bull all won over the weekend as they continue to build up towards feature races later this year. Listen to Michael George on TABradio below:   Tim Walker

N late 2007 Broadmarsh trainer-driver Heath Woods walked away from harness racing instead deciding to concentrate on his young family. A few years ago, his son Aaron showed interest in racing and Heath didn’t need much temptation to get back into the industry that he loved and what an enjoyable ride back it has been. Since his first start back with The Shallows on 26 January 2019, Heath has had 28 starters for 11 wins and eight placings with his latest winner being with the impressive four-year-old gelding The Shallows in Hobart on Sunday night. Settling one-out and six-back in the early stages Heath was able to gain a three-wide and two-back cart into the race from the bell before having to peel out four and five wide on the home corner to score by 1.2 metres over the well supported Resurgent Storm with Frostyflyer third. The mile rate for 2090 metres was 2m 0.0s with the last half-mile leader to winner recorded in a slick 56.7, and trainer-driver Heath Woods was impressed with the win. “He went really good, we knew he was pretty fit, but as he hadn’t raced for five months, we knew he would need the run,” said the winning trainer-driver. “I just had a little query that drawn so bad he would have to do a bit of work, but luckily we got a bit of a cart into it, he pulled up pretty well and no doubt he will take benefit from the run,” added Woods. “When he got to them on straightening up he just knocked off a little bit, so I had to keep him going up the straight,” explained Woods who said that he hadn’t looked too far ahead with the pacer who has now won 10 of his 21 starts to date. Pipers River trainer Marc Butler believes any pre-race media interviews are detrimental to his horses chances, but followers of Tasracing’s From the Stables Podcast would have been cashed up last night when the trainer increased his excellent strike rate. Butler was represented by four runners on the Hobart card across three races, and he won them all. Bettabrown Tiger was first-up for the Butler stable, and the gelded son of Betterthancheddar raced up to his terrific form on the Hobart track, winning his fifth race at the venue from seven starts and he has been runner-up at his other two starts on the track. Peaceful Thomas was well-graded when winning race seven, all the gelded son had to do was bring his racing manners after disappointing punters by galloping in his three starts prior. He was the 100th career win for reinsman Conor Crook. The victory of Armchair Drive in the trotters event rounded out Butler’s treble. One of Butler’s former pacers Full Speed Ahead was the winner of last night’s fast class event. The gelded son of Art Major was claimed by a client for the Zeke Slater stable after his last start third in Hobart on 24 July. From outside of the front row on Sunday he was able to ping straight to the early lead in the standing start event. Full Speed Ahead was rated a treat in front by last season’s leading driver Mark Yole, to lead all the way and score by 4.2 over Ryley Major and Sea Double Ugrant. The race favourite Scooterwillrev finished fifth. The mile rate for the 2090-metre trip was 1m 59.1s, just 0.4s outside the track record which is held by Resurgent Spirit who won off a 30-metre handicap in October 2016.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

While They Pray triumphs While They Pray, described by champion reinsman Gary Hall jnr as a lunatic who is gradually getting more sensible, gave further proof that he has the ability to develop into a contender for rich feature events at the summer carnival when he won the group 3 $30,000 Kerry Clarke Four And Five-Year-Old Classic at Gloucester Park on Friday night. “He went super, and it all worked out perfectly,” said Hall. “It felt like that he was always going to get there. He likes a fight and on the line he felt like he could have gone another lap. “I don’t know why he’s got such strength. He didn’t handle our work when we had him (as an unraced two-year-old and early three-year-old). Michael George works him off the jogger and he doesn’t work him that hard on the track. It’s hat’s off to him; he’s obviously found the key to the horse who is a bit tricky. “While They Pray has always been quite a handful and even now one of his unusual characteristics is that he won’t go near the swab box, and if he does he’s likely to freak out (in the confined space).” While They Pray is raced on lease by Michael George, who prepares the WA-bred four-year-old at Pinjarra, was favourite at $1.30, with Rock Me Over ($4.80) and Pierre Whitby ($8) the only other runners quoted at shorter than $23 in Friday night’s feature event. While They Pray revealed his usual sparkling gate speed from barrier five but was unable to burst past the five-year-old Rock Me Over (barrier four). Hall wisely elected to take the sit with While They Pray behind Rock Me Over after 250m before he eased the gelding off the pegs at the bell. Then Rock Me Over and While They Pray surged away from the opposition and the third quarter of the final mile whizzed by in 27.6sec., with Rock Me Over keeping his rival at bay. Finally, While They Pray forged to the front on the home turn and went on to win by just under a length, rating 1.55.1 over the 2130m. Pierre Whitby, who raced in third position throughout, fought on to be third, just ahead of the strong-finishing The Verandah. Bolta ($81) did a good job to run on solidly from last at the bell to be fifth. While They Pray certainly has gone ahead in leaps and bounds since George prepared him for his first couple of starts (as a three-year-old) early last year when the gelding was successful in modest company at Williams and Collie. While They Pray now has earned $116,490 from 14 wins and eight placings from 30 starts. By Alta Christiano, While They Pray is the second foal out of the Bettors Delight mare Slick Bird, who had 34 starts for ten wins, nine placings and $89,999 for leading trainer Gary Hall snr. Slick Bird’s first foal is Slick Artist, who has earned $175,670 from 11 wins and 22 placings from 58 starts. Slick Artist had 18 starts in WA for six wins and six placings before being sold to race in America.   Chicago Bull survives a scare Champion pacer Chicago Bull narrowly avoided disaster when rank outsider Saleahs Comand galloped badly about 75m after the start of the 1730m TABtouch Race Replays Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Chicago Bull, the $1.04 favourite, was working his way forward from the outside barrier in the field of six when Saleahs Comand ($81) broke into a fierce gallop soon after passing the winning post in the early stages of the 1730m event and veered up the track, causing Gary Hall jnr to take evasive action and switch Chicago Bull out four and five wide on the track. Meanwhile Chiaroscuro was setting a fast pace from Ideal Liner and the first 400m section of the final mile went by in a slick 28.3sec. Chicago Bull lost valuable ground before Hall drove the little gelding forward to take the lead with 1100m to travel. After a second quarter of a moderate 29.7sec., Chicago Bull dashed over the final sections in 28.7sec. and 27.2sec. to win easily at a 1.53.7 rate, beating Chiaroscuro by two lengths, with Ideal Liner fighting on to be third. “It was just one of those things,” said a relieved Hall. “There’s always a spanner in the works, and it depends on what size it is. This caused me to take a bit longer to get to the front. I had to get around the galloping horse and I had to open Chicago Bull up because I was so far off them --- and they were already running. The first quarter was 28.3sec. and we would have run it pretty fast. “Chicago Bull was really sharp tonight, which was good. When I asked him to go, he really wanted to.” This was Chicago Bull’s sixth win from nine starts over 1730m at Gloucester Park and it took his record to 52 wins and 22 placings from 80 starts for earnings of $1,868,306.   A first for Young Talented driver Jocelyn Young notched a significant achievement when she drove skilfully to land Has No Fear an impressive winner of the 2130m Better Your Club With TABtouch Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Has No Fear’s fast-finishing defeat of A Boy Named Rosie gave Young her first success in a city-class event as a trainer of a pacer. Her only other metropolitan-class winner as a trainer was with square gaiter Im Not Eyre, who finished fast to beat the pacemaker Tenno Sho in a 2503m stand last November. “I haven’t had many metro starters,” said Young, who is increasing her involvement as a trainer and now is preparing six horses from her grandparents’ farm in Pinjarra. Four-year-old Has No Fear was an $8.70 chance from the inside of the back line on Friday night and Young bided her time with the mare, who enjoyed a good trip three back on the pegs in fifth position while the $3.40 favourite Sightseeing Anvil was setting a solid pace, with Talkerup ($6.50) in the breeze. Has No Fear was sixth at the 400m, was eased off the pegs with 220m to travel and finished strongly from fifth at the 50m mark to get up and win by a neck from A Boy Named Rosie ($4.40), with Talkerup in third place. “I knew that I could come off the pegs down the back, but I wasn’t sure that I might run into a dead-end, so I decided to be patient and wait,” Young said. “So, turning for home I knew I could get off and it was just a matter of still being patient and gently easing out. “Hass No Fear now goes up a grade, but I’m sure she will be competitive.” Has No Fear, originally raced by a Trotsynd syndicate and trained by Justin Prentice, gave Young her first group 1 success when she drove the pacer to victory over Delightfulreaction and Majorpride in the WA Oaks in May 2019. She then had a losing sequence of 15 when she joined Young’s stable four months ago, and on Friday night was having her eighth start for her new trainer. “Trotsynd was looking to move Has No Fear on because the syndicate felt she was on her mark,” explained Young. “She was going to go to an APG sale, but then Duro (Margaretic) decided that he would like to buy her, and he bought Trotsynd out and some members of Trotsynd bought back in, and she came to me.” Has No Fear now has earned $210,758 from eight wins and 13 placings from 42 starts.   Boom Time set for rich feature Lightly-raced New Zealand-bred six-year-old Boom Time will be set for the $50,000 San Simeon Classic next Friday night after impressing with a convincing victory in the 2130m Off The Track Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. “That’s his mission,” said Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri. “And I also will be setting Just Wing It for that event.” Boom Time, who had been unlucky at several previous starts, was excellent value at $7.90 from barrier No. 4, with stablemate Just Wing It a hot favourite at $1.40 from the more favourable barrier at No. 2. Just Wing It, driven by Chris Lewis, took the lead 120m after the start and set a moderate pace, with opening quarters of the final mile in 30.7sec. and 30.5sec., with Chris Voak enjoying an ideal passage in sixth position in the one-wide line with Boom Time. Boom Time was still sixth with 300m to travel and moved forward to fourth, four wide, on the home turn before sustaining his strong finishing burst to win by almost a length from Just Wing It, rating 1.58.1. Art Tutor fought on to be a good third after working hard in the breeze all the way. “Boom Time went really well,” said Olivieri. “He’s been looking for an opportunity, but he hasn’t had it for about three or four runs.” Boom Time, a winner at two of his five starts in New Zealand, raced seven times in Victoria for three wins and three seconds, and his 11 WA starts have produced three wins and a second placing. ONE   Spell for The Good Life      Smart two-year-old The Good Life has earned a well-deserved break from racing after scoring an effortless victory in the $14,400 Better Your Bet With TABtouch Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Second favourite at $4.90, The Good Life showed his class by sprinting home powerfully, out three wide, from ninth at the bell to win by ten metres from Star Of Willoughby ($18), with Arma Einstein ($15) a good third. Otis, the $1.90 favourite from the No. 2 barrier, was beaten for the early lead by $16 chance Powerplay and he wilted to fifth after enduring a tough run in the breeze. The Good Life was restrained to the rear from the outside barrier (No. 9) before Michael Grantham, replacing trainer Aiden de Campo (under suspension), sent the Mach Three colt forward, three wide, approaching the bell. His run was followed by Robbie Rocket, who battled on gamely to finish fourth. The Good Life was not extended after bursting to the front 400m from home. “He will go out for six weeks now,” said de Campo. “He has been up for a while and has been in all the big races (for two-year-olds). He’s not a racehorse yet, and when they were running quick quarters in those races, he was getting a bit lost. “And on his work at home I was a bit disappointed that he didn’t finish a bit closer in the big races. I changed a bit of gear with him and smartened him up a bit at home. So, it’s now for a spell and I’ll bring him back for the three-year-old races next season. “The WA Derby is his target, but there’s a really good crop of rising three-year-olds, and there haven’t been any imports yet. “From the outside barrier tonight, the plan was to drop out. He gets a bit keen in the breeze, so we went back with him. His speed is his best asset, but he showed a bit of toughness tonight. I’ve always been confident that he will be a nice horse. Before winning at his past two starts his only other win was when he beat Mighty Ronaldo. He’s always had the ability but hasn’t had the race smarts.” The Good Life, purchased for $57,500 at the 2019 APG yearling sale, has raced ten times for three wins, two placings and $25,622 in stakes. By Mach Three, The Good Life is the second foal out of Artistic Copper, whose first foal Some Copper Beach has earned $83,116 from seven wins and five placings from 20 starts.   Eighth win for Fifty Five Reborn Fifty Five Reborn reinforced her standing as one of the State’s best three-year-old fillies when she gave a powerful performance to win from Miss Eerie and Askmeilltellya in the 2130m Better Your Industry With TABtouch Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. This gave the Renaissance Man filly her eighth win from 20 starts and boosted her earnings to $91,946. Fifty Five Reborn, a $7 chance from the outside barrier (No. 9) was restrained back to last in the field of 12 before her trainer Colin Brown sent her forward, three wide, after a lap to sit outside the pacemaker and $4 favourite Miss Eerie before taking a narrow lead 450m from home. She then fought on tenaciously to defeat Miss Eerie by a head, with Askmeilltella ($6) surging home from seventh at the bell to be a half-head away in third place. The win was some compensation for Fifty Five Reborn’s unlucky eighth behind Star Of Diamonds at her previous outing when she was checked and broke 200m from home. “She was going to run third before the interference,” said Brown. “Before tonight’s race I wasn’t sure whether she was ready for the paddock or had just become more dour. I was none the wiser after we tracked her, so we made the decision to put her into the race tonight and put the pressure on them (the opposition) and find out. “I still had to ask her to go to the breeze. She’s done a mighty job and deserves a spell. She will have four weeks off and then come back and race for some more three-year-old bonus money before Christmas.” Fifty Five Reborn’s win on Friday night came the race after her two-year-old full brother Arma Einstein had finished an excellent third behind The Good Life. “His work was better than Fifty Five Reborn’s during the week and I’m looking forward to next season with him,” Brown said. “I think he will develop into a really nice horse.”   Our Rhythm N Blues breaks through New  Zealand-bred six-year-old Our Rhythm N Blues, with one victory from his previous 28 starts, bounced back to winning form when he gave a spirited display to beat Madame Meilland and The Black Cardinal in the 2130m Community TAB Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. A well-supported $3.60 chance from barrier two on the back line, Our Rhythm N Blues raced in seventh position in the one-wide line before Gary Hall jnr sent him forward, three wide, approaching the bell. He overhauled the pacemaker Jilliby Jake 270m from home and raced away to win by one and a half lengths at a 1.56.7 rate. “I thought I’d got to the front too early, but he just kept going and ran away from them,” said Hall. “He surprised me a lot. But it was a pleasant surprise. He’s always thereabouts and is a horse you would love to own.” Our Rhythm N Blues, prepared by Gary Hall snr, has raced 73 times for ten wins, 26 placings and $140,656 in prizemoney. He had 38 starts in New Zealand for five wins and 12 placings and his 35 WA starts have produced five wins and 14 placings.   Kiwi Bloke is a stand specialist Kiwi Bloke gave owner Merv Butterworth, trainer Ross Olivieri and reinsman Chris Voak a double when he proved too strong for his rivals and scored an easy win in the TABtouch Giddyup Premium Form Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. They had combined earlier in the night to win with Boom Time. Olivieri produced Kiwi Bloke, a New Zealand-bred six-year-old in splendid condition for his first-up all-the-way victory over Im Rocknroll Magic and Major Shard. “His work at home has been exceptional,” said Olivieri. “He probably needed the run and will improve on tonight’s effort. I’ll probably stick with stands with him because he’s such a good beginner. With some horses, you throw away that advantage by putting them in mobiles.” Indeed, Kiwi Bloke has proved to be a standing-start specialist. He has raced 35 times for seven wins, seven placings and $49,640. Twenty-two of his starts have been in stands for six wins.   Two doubles to Egerton-Green Dylan Egerton-Green maintained his splendid form in the sulky when he drove two winners at Gloucester Park on Friday night and another two at Northam the following evening. He caused a minor upset at Gloucester Park when he brought $10.40 chance and last-start winner Machs Gold home with a powerful burst to beat the $2.65 chance Robbie Easton and the fast-finishing $71 outsider Bad Round in the 2130m Download The TABtouch App Today Pace. And then he finished the night on a high note by driving $1.50 favourite Mandy Joan to a runaway all-the-way victory in the TABtouch Pace for mares. Mandy Joan also completed a training double for Aiden de Campo, who was successful in the opening event with The Good Life. Mandy Joan is in a purple patch and has won in fine style at each of her past three starts to improve her record to 36 starts for 11 wins, nine placings and $130,660 in stakes. Machs Gold, prepared at Byford by David Thompson, was the lone back-line runner and he raced in seventh position, four back on the pegs, before unwinding a spirited finishing burst. At Northam on Saturday night Egerton-Green was successful behind $20 chance Brewery Lane and $3.50 favourite Newsletter.   Ken Casellas

A night at Melton doesn't get much better for young up-and-coming drivers than the one Kyal Costello experienced on Friday. The 19-year-old ticked off three significant career milestones from his book of six drives at Victorian harness racing headquarters. Costello scored victory with Mario Azzopardi's Radical Major in the Woodlands Stud Pace (1720m) and then captured his first-ever double at a single meeting when taking out the Breckon Farms Maiden Pace (1720m) with odds-on favourite Charisma King for trainer Peter Peacock. Costello then picked up his maiden metropolitan winner aboard Delightful Jazz for his new master Freddy Taiba in the $20,000 TAB Long May We Play Pace (2240m). That success also completed a breakthrough treble in the gig. Costello, who now lives and works at Taiba's Sunbury property, went awfully close to making it four with stablemate Zoliver, who just fell short in the Nevele R Stud Pace (1720m). "It was really good," Costello said of Friday night's results. "It was a shame I couldn't get the last over the line for the fourth, but what can you do?" Costello, whose father Brad is a hobby trainer, has been working for Taiba for the past fortnight and says he is keen to try and make a career in the sport. "If I can keep progressing the way that I've been going, I think I might be able to make a living out of it. That's the goal," he said. Costello's big night at the office didn't land him outright driving honours, however. He was forced to share that honour with John Justice, who scored victories with his horses Pippo Nien, Justice Served and Hatchback. Much was made about the return of Hatchback to the races and he didn't disappoint. After stepping cleanly from the standing start, the four-year-old Group 1 placegetter made a one act affair of the Alderbaran Park Trotters Handicap (2240m) with a dominant front-running success. His 14-metre triumph was the sixth of his career. The win of Justice Served, who narrowly held off Zoliver, was also a special one for the stable. "I reckon he did that run tonight for his little brother... he's in Werribee Hospital fighting for his life," Justice said on Friday. "It was ironic Justice Served went so good tonight for his brother." Justice's treble also secured him training honours on the eight-event card. Racing will return to Melton next Friday night.   HRV - Tim O'Connor

The progeny of Derby winner Renaissance Man, a newcomer to the Yirribee Pacing Stud sire roster, are firing on all four cylinders recently. Star three-year-old filly Fifty Five Reborn sat without cover before defeating a strong field at Gloucester Park last Friday (July 31), rating 1:57.3 over 2130 metres with the last 800 in 57.2. It was her eighth lifetime success and took her career earnings beyond the $90,000 mark. Renaissance Man was also represented by a ‘new’ two-year-old winner in Artful Jack (1:59.2, Newcastle), while the three-year-old Medieval Man won for the fourth time this season at Pinjarra. Renaissance Man has now sired 19 individual winners from 31 starters and boasts an average of $17,200 per starter! Whatta Conk, a gelding by Million Dollar Cam, put the exclamation mark on another busy week for his sire when he won in a career-best 1:53.5 at the Menangle midweek meeting. It was his sixth lifetime success. Plumpton Road (1:59.6, Wagga), Neville Shannon (1:58.6, Tamworth), Getaloadathisgirl (Redcliffe) and at the American pacer Eastend Eddie (1:56.8) were other recent winners sired by Million Dollar Cam. Warrawee Needy, Australia’s second leading first season sire in 2019/20, was represented by the smart Wagga two-year-old winner Menames Needy (1:58.7) and a pair of Canadian three-year-old winners in Frownie’s Miracle (1:57) and Wine Tyme (1:59.4). Meanwhile, Tintin In America, the sire of reigning USA Horse of the Year and world champion racemare Shartin, led in the ‘new’ Globe Derby Park three-year-old winner Tinhorn (1:59.9) and the Saratoga, New York victor Kiwi Tintin NZ (1:56.4). To complete a big week for Yirribee Pacing Stud, the champion Lombo Pocket Watch provided the third leg of a study treble at Wagga with The Clock Winder (1:59.7).   By Peter Wharton

Former "Down-under" champion harness racing reinswoman Lauren Tritton couldn't have scripted it any better. Lauren, wife of accomplished trainer Shane, landed her first win in the USA with 11-year-old gelding Flaming Flutter at last Friday's Yonkers Raceway and Empire City Casino at New York. The old timer (by Bettors Delight-Twice As Hot (In The Pocket) showed there's still spirit in those aging legs with a tough victory in a $17,250 event. It was just Lauren's fourth drive in the US after moving from Australia four months ago. "It was pretty exciting. It did give us a real buzz, particularly doing something like this on the other side of the world," Lauren said. "It would certainly be up there with my most memorable achievements-it was a life goal I'd always thought about," she said. "And it's a nice feeling to have the monkey off my back!" Lauren makes no secret that Flaming Flutter, who Team Tritton races on lease from well-known Victorian horseman Geoff Webster, is her stable favorite. "There was some talk of the horse being retired when we decided to try our luck in the US-but Shane talked them around," she said. "He's a lovely old horse and I was just so rapt with his win because he had to do it hard over the last half. And his time of 1.51 for the race was super." Watch the final stages of the race click here:  Shane said he had to convince the other owners not to retire "Flame" and it did take some doing! "I really wanted to bring him with us, but the funny thing is that I haven't sat in the seat behind him since! Lauren adores him and does all the work with him and he's her favorite by a long stretch." Lauren Tritton has a highlight reel as long as your arm as a driver back home in Australia. She's driven over 850 winners, became the youngest woman in Australian history to drive 500 winners, was the first female to win the NSW Metropolitan Driver's Premiership and she is a winner of over one hundred group-listed races. Harness racing is unquestionably a male-dominated sport in the US, and despite Lauren's passion for competing at the top level, she isn't planning on regular engagements outside her Team Tritton appointments. "I know there's quite a few over here who are surprised to see her drive, but I'm just so proud to see her out there competing," Shane said. "There's no way Lauren would ever just want to do the races as a driver - you have to commit totally to it to be successful, and that means 24 hours a day, seven days a week," he said. "She thoroughly enjoys occasionally driving some of our team and maybe she will inspire some young girls to give it a go. There seem to be others who drive, but just at fairs and not the top level." The maiden victory in the US by Lauren was part of "a good couple of days" for the team. Stable pin-up girl My Ruebe Star (Falcon Seelster-Zenola Star (New York Motoring) made it five wins from five starts when she claimed the $33,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap at Yonkers on Thursday. "She's really on fire and we're so pleased because we really had to twist the arm of (NZ-based) owner Mike Siemelink to bring her to the US," Shane said. "Mike sent her over to us from NZ in May last year with the idea to win some races at Menangle and get some quick times to her name and then breed from her. She won six races and was 4th in a Group 3 Final to Bright Energy in 1.50 after storming home from last," he said. "So it was a bit of a radical change of plans, but of all of our horses, 'Ruby' has been the one to acclimatize the quickest. She's in great order; she's dappled up and jumping out of her skin and now we'll look at some of the big mares' races next year with her. "Jordan Stratton has been driving her over here and he's stoked by the way she keeps stepping up. He hasn't had to pushed her right out yet and she's pulled up a treat again." Shane said there was still a learning curve when it came to changes in training methods from the Australian way to the US. "Probably one of the big differences is that we don't work them anywhere near as hard as we did back home. There's been a few other little adjustments along the way, but we'll keep learning and chipping away," he said. "Obviously at some point they'll get on their marks, so we'll just keep making hay while the sun shines." Team Tritton has established an enviable strike-rate since shipping to the States, winning a dozen races from about 40 starters.   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

EX-PAT Aussie Shane Tritton said Ride High reminds him of the great Christian Cullen and he’s sure he would hold his own anything in the world. Tritton, who is making a real splash in the US after making it home earlier this year, said Ride High’s track record-smashing 1min49sec flat for 1650m at Bendigo last night would equate to at least 1min47sec in the US. “That’s as close to Christian Cullen’s Miracle Mile run I’ve ever seen,” Tritton said. “I have no doubt in my mind the tracks and carts are two seconds quicker over here. One of the best (US) pacers went 1min47.2sec over the mile on a 1000m track the other day (here) and broke the track record. “Ride High would’ve matched that on what I saw tonight and he looks like he isn’t flat out. And he sat outside them. “From what I’ve seen, they need to put a plan in place to get him to The Meadowlands (New Jersey) in the next 12 months. “We might see something the world has never seen before.” Ride High’s 14th win from just 15 starts was his most mind-blowing yet. He drew the back row, came three wide around to sit parked at the 1200m, crushed the leader Sirletic and was nursed to the line for the 100m or so to win by 21.4sec. Watch the race here click here. His 1min49sec mile rate for 1650m (not a mile) was a staggering 2.7sec inside the precious track record. And he appeared to have plenty of petrol left in the tank. Trainer Clayton Tonkin and driver Kima Frenning have been telling us after each win this campaign that Ride High is just warming-up and the best is yet to come. They were right. “There’s been a bit of talk about ‘he hasn’t beaten a lot’ and ‘he still has a lot to prove’ … I think he just did that,” Frenning told Trots Vision after the win. Tonkin added: “We knew he had that in him. For all the great horses we’ve had, this guy is out of the box. Something very special. “If I didn’t have Ride High and know what he was capable of, I didn’t think I’d ever see a horse run that time at Bendigo and be eased down the last bit.” Ride High’s cruised to four wins from as many runs on the comeback trail from a throat operation and now boasts nine wins on end. Tonkin plans to stick his model of racing Ride High every fortnight, meaning his next run will be at Shepparton on August 15. That’s Lochinvar Art’s home track. Lochinvar Art is likely to chase second wins from as many runs back from a spell at Ballarat next Saturday night. Would his trainer-driver David Moran back him up a week later against Ride High at Shepparton? With talk of a match-race subsiding, let’s hope they meet in a race very soon, maybe even Shepparton on August 15. “Peter (Gleeson, Ride High’s owner-breeder) isn’t keen on a match-race, certainly not unless they put up some really serious money, so we’ll just stick to racing him every second week,” Tonkin said. “The problem is I don’t think they’ll run the Victoria Cup on October 10 with the way things are in Victoria, so there’s nothing big to set him for in the next couple of months at least.”   By Adam Hamilton

ON any normal night, the Miracle Mile returning from a spell with a sparkling win would be the headline. But King Of Swing, for all his brilliance, was “Ride High-ed” last night and left to play a distant second fiddle. Ride High’s mind-blowing 1min49sec win over 1650m when parked at Bendigo was still trending on Aussie twitter while King Of Swing made it five wins (and second) from his six starts since being sent across from WA to Craig Cross and Luke McCarthy in NSW. McCarthy declared him primed pre-race and he looked it, winning without being asked for a lot and pacing a 1min49.8sec mile, capped by closing splits of 53.8 and 26.2sec. “He did that really well. He’s not the sort of horse who runs away from them, but he felt terrific,” McCarthy said. Watch the video click here. “It’s great to have him back and he’ll go around again at Menangle in two weeks.” King Of Swing capped yet another massive night for Craig Cross and McCarthy with four wins, the others being Ian Dobson’s Wrangler, Seeuinnashville and Zahven Banner, Blake Fitzpatrick also had a driving double on the night, including talented former Kiwi pacer Mach Da Vinci, who won his first run for new trainer Peter Hanson in a 1min52.4sec mile. ______________________________________________________________________________________ COMEBACK superstar Chicago Bull won his 52nd race at Gloucester Park last Friday night. It continued his remarkable comeback, which has so seen him race 14 times since just April 17 for nine wins, four seconds and a third. In contrast to his past two epic winning performances, last Friday was a stroll in the park for Chicago Bull. Classes above his rivals, Gary Hall Sr allowed him to balance-up early from a wide draw then whiz around the field to take the lead and coast to a 5.8m win in a 1min53.7sec mile rate for 1730m. “We knew he’d need a lot of racing to get super fit again and that’s how it’s played out. It seems like he’s had a lot racing, but he’s thriving on it. He’s getting better,” Hall Jr said. Life will get a lot harder in coming weeks with the likes of Shockwave, Mighty Conqueror and Vampiro are shaping-up to return to racing. But “Bully” genuinely seems back to something like his very best pre-injury form and will be awfully hard to beat in anything. Trainer Gary Hall Sr said Hunter Cup and Miracle Mile raids next year were on the cards if Chicago Bull continued his great form through the Fremantle and WA Cups at the end of this year. ______________________________________________________________________________________ IT was great to see the Justice clan dominating the Melton card last Friday night. John Justice, recently back from a stint on the sidelines, trained a drove a treble with Pippo Nien, Justice Served and promising trotter Hatchback. And Lance Justice trained and drove warhorse Love Ina Chevy to win the fast-class race. He’s the pacer who narrowly cheated death after a desperate battle following a snake bite a few years back. He’s gone on to win 26 races now and close to $300,000. The other star of the night was promising junior driver Kyal Costello, who snared his first double with Radical Major and Charisma King, then went a step further making it a treble with Delightful Jazz in race six. ______________________________________________________________________________________ QUEENSLAND’S Winter Carnival is over, but the fun continues for NSW trainer Craig Cross and his revitalised speedster Cruz. The six-year-old made it three wins from as many runs during his Albion Park raid when he blazed a 1min50.8sec mile rate for 1660m in a free-for-all last night. It was just 0.4sec outside the track record Cruz himself shares with former champion pacer Im Themightyquinn at 1min50.4sec. Chris Geary took the reins last night and also drove Cross’ other winner on the night, former Kiwi gelding Shanway. ______________________________________________________________________________________ TALENTED former Kiwi trotter C K Spur is going to have some fun in Australia. The son of Pegasus Spur cruised to his second win from just three Aussie runs (he ran a terrific second in the other) at Bendigo last night. The only query was stepping away from barrier one at stand, which he did superbly and led throughout to win as he liked by 9.1m in a 2min4.1sec mile for the 2650m stand. His cause was helped when the other class runner eight wins from 12 starts, Pink Galahs, galloped at the start and lost her winning hope. She ran on well for third. ______________________________________________________________________________________ IT was great to see one of Australia’s better three-year-olds Youaremy Sunshine back and winning easily at Bendigo last night. The Ballarat pacer looked top shelf around Victoria Derby time and ran a slashing fourth in the final before being sent to Craig Cross for a tilt at the NSW Derby, but never looking happy. Trainer-driver Damien Burns spelled him after his disappointing stint with Cross and he returned in sparkling style last night, winning by 8.2m in a 1min55.1sec for 2150m. He’s won seven of 19 starts and could be a serious Breeders Crown and Vicbred 3YO player if he builds as expected on last night’s return.   Adam Hamilton

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