Day At The Track
Search Results
1 to 16 of 315
1 2 3 4 5 Next »

From Bomb to boom – the rise and rise of Basil Dooley and Paula Martin’s harness racing pacer looks set to etch another significant chapter when this year’s Trots Country Cups Championship kicks off on Saturday night. Bettor Be The Bomb appears well placed to roll into the Garrards Horse And Hound Bendigo Pacing Cup full of confidence after a second successive victory at Tabcorp Park Melton. The win added to an outstanding last five starts for the just turned seven-year-old, who's produced three victories and two placings, all at Melton and all in open class. “What a good time to be able to get back on to him,” reinsman Jack Laugher told Trots Vision after steering Bettor Be The Bomb to a second successive win in Saturday’s APG Pace. “He’s in career best form now. He seems to be getting better every time he gets out there.” On Saturday night, Laugher placed the Bettors Delight gelding in the one-one trailing Im Anothermasterpiece, with Wolf Stride on his back and Rishi rolling in front. There was only moderate early pace, which meant the winner had to find lengths in the 54.6-second last half (27.6, 27.0) to secure the half-neck win. “Tonight he showed probably a different string to his bow and how quick he can be,” Laugher said. “Coming into the country cups now, I’m sure he’s going to be a horse punching around in those and doing a pretty good job.” That looks set to begin with the season opener this Saturday at Bendigo, where he’s among the nominees for the $70,000 prize. Our Uncle Sam, Wolf Stride, Sicario and Sirletic are among other notables, in what shapes as an even affair. “He seems like the sort of horse that he’s going to be able to cope with that little bit extra step up in grade and probably the rise in distance isn’t going to hurt him either,” Laugher said. “He just covers the ground that easy. I don’t think the 2600 is going to be any troubles for him. “As most horses do in those races, you rely on the draw and the run you get, but he will definitely be thereabouts if he gets those lucky splits.” It’s a reflection of how far he’s come, having not broken his maiden status until start 16 and at age four, and then waited more than 12 months before notching win number two. But since his first start for Dooley on July 2, 2019, he’s raced 36 times for six wins and nine placings. “It’s pretty remarkable really, two years between two wins and now he’s beaten Rishi, beaten Wolf Stride and he’s looking at country cups,” Laugher said. “He’s a typical little Bettors Delight. He’s got plenty of grunt about him, he’s cocky, he knows how good he is. He’s a very smart horse. He’s got that turn of foot, if you get him off the gate he will settle. He’s just a beautiful little horse to drive.” CLICK BEFORE TROTS LIFE'S METROSPECTIVE REVIEW OF SATURDAY'S RACING: HRV - Michael Howard

An overdue change of fortune for Aldebaran Ursula delivered the harness racing two-year-old filly's connections the coveted Victorian feature race win they had been seeking since her arrival from New South Wales in October at Lord's Raceway on Friday night. And it came with the bonus of a new Australian one mile two-year-old trotting record. The supremely-talented daughter of leading Swedish sire Yield Boko - driven by Kate Gath - stamped herself as the inaugural winner of the $20,000 Group 3 Graeme Lang Aldebaran Park Trotting Mile with a standout performance on an 11-race all-trotting program dedicated to the memory of harness racing legends Graeme and Gavin Lang.  Gavin and Graeme Lang Aldebaran Ursula, trained by Andy Gath since being sent south by KerryAnn and Rob Morris, slashed more than a second off her previous best mile in finishing more than 10-metres clear of That's Not My Gait, with Evas Image for trainer-driver Chris Lang back in third. Her mile rate of 1:55.7 established a new Australian record for two-year-olds.   Aldebaran Ursula (Andy and Kate Gath) wins the Group 3 Graeme Lang Aldebaran Park Trotting Mile for two-year-old fillies     Kate Gath said the stable never doubted Aldebaran Ursula had plenty of ability, but conceded things had not exactly gone to plan in the Redwood Classic and again in the Breeders Crown when she finished eighth behind Sangreal. "We had absolutely no luck in the Breeders Crown, everything that could go wrong did," she told Trots Vision. "It was really good to win tonight (Friday) and get some redemption in a race that is quite an honour to win. "The Lang family are so synonymous with harness racing - not just in Victoria, but around Australia." The rich Vicbred Super Series lies over the horizon for Aldebaran Ursula, with Gath confident the filly is just hitting her straps "She has just continued to impress me at home all the time, but as I said, she just had no luck in the Breeders Crown," she said. "She probably would have gone so close to winning it if the horse hadn't galloped in front of her. That's the way racing is. "We were lucky this race was put on by Aldebaran Park and Bendigo, and when you can race for this sort of money at two (years-old) and as a trotter. Honestly, (with) the trotters at the moment, we are earning more money with them than we are the pacers. "There's so much upside to them and we just get our hands on as many as we can. We were extremely lucky to get sent this filly and I'd like to thank Robbie Morris and his family for doing so." Aldebaran Ursula boosted her career record to five wins and two seconds from 10 starts. Her time of 1:55.7 was clearly superior to that of Utopia (1:58.6), who won the colts and geldings division of the mile, named in honour of Gavin Lang. The Gaths now have every reason to be convinced the filly can be a major player in the Vicbred Series. "She's got a bit of strength about her, but she's also got a bit of speed. She's pretty versatile," she said. "You can't win those races with super-hard runs, but she is the type of horse that you could make a little bit of your own luck with, provided as you get a bit as well." By Kieran Iles Reprinted with permission of The Bendigo Advertiser

Talent fittingly came to the fore as Aldebaran Ursula and Utopia were impressive victors on a special night’s racing at Bendigo, where the industry celebrated the Lang family. Winning drivers Kate Gath and Greg Sugars said they were honoured to steer the first victors of The Graeme Lang and The Gavin Lang respectively, the showcase Aldebaran Park two-year-old trotting miles that headlined the night. Gavin was lost to the sport in April and his father Graeme in May, and it was fitting the celebration was also the first night patrons were able to return to the track since COVID restrictions were first put in place. For Gath, Aldebaran Ursula’s commanding 10-metre win in the fillies’ class, The Graeme Lang, was confirmation of her and trainer Andy Gath’s high opinion of the Yield Boko two-year-old, who was luckless in the recent Breeders Crown. “She obviously had ability when we got her (from New South Wales), we had absolutely no luck in the Breeders Crown,” Kate said. “It was really good tonight to get some redemption and to win a race that’s quite an honour to win. “The Lang family are so synonymous with harness racing, not just in Victoria but throughout Australia, and it’s such an honour to win this race tonight.” Previously raced by KerryAnn Morris for owners Andrew Pratt, Margaret Morris and Adam Giri, Aldebaran Ursula stopped the clock in a personal best 1:55.7 mile rate, getting home in 56.7 seconds. It was a similar all-the-way performance for Utopia in the colts and gelding’s trotting mile, The Gavin Lang, albeit Sugars was able to cruise in front and let down with a 27.9-second final quarter that kept at bay any challengers. “I got away with murder really, that’s one thing Gavin would have taught me in the past – it doesn’t matter how fast you go, as long as you get the job done,” Sugars said after winning for trainer Emma Stewart and Utopia's big group of owners. “I’ve been lucky enough to spend time with each and every one (of the Langs) over the years. Gavin in particular was an idol of mine growing up. “From the moment I decided that I wanted to be a trotting driver, he’s the one I wanted to be and … if I could replicate anything he’d done and get anywhere near his achievements I’d be pretty happy. “He taught me a lot over the years, to win this race in his honour is another feather in my cap and I’m very proud to be a part of it.”   HRV - Michael Howard

International eyes are squarely focused on Victorian trotting, says Duncan McPherson, and tomorrow night's all-squaregaiting card at Bendigo presents an opportunity to reinforce how far the industry's come. The Aldebaran Park principal joined host Jason Bonnington on SENTrack's Trots Life today to talk about the 11-race card at Lords Raceway, which includes new Group 3 two-year-old trotting miles. "There's been some recognition on the other side of the world that we are the place to be," McPherson said. "I've rung a number of studs in the last three or four days to start spruiking (Victoria's forthcoming trotting) carnival and they are all aware of where Australian trotting is now fitting as part of the global brand." McPherson was a key driver in setting the groundwork for tomorrow night's carnival, siting the need for two-year-olds to be able to run quick miles on a fast track. With Harness Racing Victoria, the proposal has evolved to honour Graeme Lang and Gavin Lang, two trotting greats who passed earlier this year.  "The Lang dynasty is second to none in Australian trotting and harness racing," McPherson said. "When I first mooted a few months ago that we might have an all-trotting night ... the objective being we have two-year-old and three-year-old flying miles, where we blackbook horses and try and have Australasian trotting records over the mile at the premier speed track in Victoria. "It then lent itself, obviously, due to the circumstances that we changed the emphasis and ... make it an on-going recognition of both Graeme and Gavin Lang." CLICK BELOW TO LISTEN TO DUNCAN ON TROTS LIFE:   Harness Racing Victoria

Boom AUCKLAND REACTOR three-year-old Willie Go West drew first blood in the Breeders Crown heats at Bendigo on Friday night (November 6), winning the opening harness racing heat in impressive style. Starting from the pole, the brown gelding pinged straight to the front, survived some early and midrace pressure and won by 3.2 metres. The mile rate for 2150 metres was a smart 1:54.6. He carved out the last two sectionals in 28.2 and 27.2. Watch the race replay click here. Willie Go West has now won four of his seven starts and $40,770 in stakes. Bred in New Zealand, he is out of Bettor Go, an unraced Bettor’s Delight mare.   Peter Wharton

The wins have flowed thick and fast for Bendigo region harness racing trainers over the past week. A magnificent seven days rolled on at Horsham on Thursday, where the team of Kate Hargreaves and Alex Ashwood notched a double with Good Cop and Beau Garcon, and later in the evening at Echuca, where the John Tormey-trained and Jordan Leedham-driven Hancocks Hero made it back-to-back wins. Ten individual trainers have accounted for 12 winners in total since Saturday night's meeting at Lord's Raceway, with the Hargreaves stable the most prolific with three.   The foundations for a successful period were laid at Bendigo last weekend. On a night dominated by the scintillating performance of pacing superstar Lochinvar Art, Bendigo region horses claimed wins in four of the nine races contested. A first metropolitan race success for Heathcote trainer Terry French with Form Analyst - driven by Tayla French - kicked-off a run of three-straight winners to start the meeting for the local brigade. Carla Innes-Goodridge was next to strike with her emerging four-year-old Zarem, driven by 2020 Bendigo Pacing Cup-winning reinsman Jason Lee, before the Hargreaves-trained Streitkid completed a clean sweep of the first three events by notching his 13th career win. A productive night was capped by a tough win to the Julie Douglas-trained Rocknroll Eyes in a keenly-contested NR 70 to 79 pace. It was career win number for 17 after 88 starts for the six-year-old son of Rocknroll Hanover, who last won at Mildura in July. There would be no letting up when racing returned to Lord's Raceway on Wednesday night, with the locals adding a further four wins. Maryborough's Ray Cross got the ball rolling, combining with Bendigo reinsman Rod Lakey, for an impressive win with the three-year-old filly Countess Chiron. Next up was Bendigo trainer Brad Stevens, who broke through for a maiden win with the three-year-old trotting filly Everybodylovesme, making it back-to-back wins for the progeny of Imperial Count following the earlier success of Countess Chiron. Everbodylovesme was brilliantly driven out in front by Ellen Tormey and was able to notch her first win at career start number seven. A win for Lockwood trainer Ron Wicks with Ambro Hugh made it three for the night, before the local win haul again hit four courtesy of Goornong's Nigel Milne and Our Doreen Days. Originally trained by legendary trotting identity, the late Colin Redwood, Ambro Hugh has had six starts for one win and a placing for Wicks following a brief stint with the Justin Brewin stable. A double at Horsham on Thursday for the Hargreaves stable lifted the young team to equal sixth on the state trainers' premiership with 57 winners, easily a career-best. The stable will have three runners at Ballarat on Saturday night, with Streitkid looking to back-up after his win last weekend, along with Well Defined and three three-year-old Beat City. Bendigo region winners since Saturday Bendigo (Saturday): Form Analyst (Terry French); Zarem (Carla Innes-Goodridge), Streitkid (Kate Hargreaves); Rocknroll Eyes (Julie Douglas). Maryborough (Monday): Rules Don't Apply (Anthony Crossland). Bendigo (Wednesday night): Countess Chiron (Ray Cross); Everybodylovesme (Brad Stevens); Ambro Hugh (Ron Wicks); Our Doreen Days (Nigel Milne). Horsham (Thursday): Good Cop, Beau Garcon (Kate Hargreaves). Echuca (Thursday night): Hancocks Hero (John Tormey). By Kieran Iles Reprinted with permission of The Bendigo Advertiser  

Three-time Group 1-winning trotting mare Dance Craze returns to harness racing at Bendigo on Saturday night. While neighbouring pacer Ride High has been taking the harness racing scene by storm, Dance Craze gets her opportunity to put her name up in lights again. Dance Craze is trained by Anton Golino - who trains at Cardigan next to the stable complex of Clayton Tonkin, who prepares superstar Ride High. Dance Craze has not raced since March, but there will be no easy return for the six-year-old. She runs straight into arch-rival Tornado Valley and emerging star Wobelee in the Yabby Dam Racing Trot, 2150m, as well as the highly credentialled Big Jack Hammer. Two starts ago Dance Craze took out the Group 1 Australian Grand Prix - adding to her group 1 2019 Great Southern Star - to reinforce her status as one of the great trotting mares of the modern era. She goes into this assignment after two trials against pacers in Ballarat. Tornado Valley, trained near Bacchus Marsh by Andy Gath, has been off the scene since March. The eight-year-old has been the benchmark for trotting in Australia for the past two years since arriving from New Zealand, winning an Inter Dominion. Tornado Valley has won seven of 12 starts this season, with two of his defeats being seconds to Dance Craze in the Grand Prix at Melton and Cochran Cup in Ballarat. Each of the two big guns also have highly regarded stablemates in the same race.Golino has the improved Imsettogo, while Gath also lines up NZ import CK Spur. While Ride High takes a week off after a fifth win on end for the season at Shepparton on Saturday night, his arch-rival Lochinvar Art races at Bendigo on Saturday. The Shepparton pacer was a disaappointing third in Ballarat on August 8. Lochinvar Art was found to have low-grade viral infection, but trainer-driver David Moran says his stable gun is ready to race again. He will again clash with the Emma Stewart-trained Major Times and My Kiwi Mate, which finished ahead of him in Ballarat. Sirletic is also engaged after finishing second to Ride Highj (twice) and Lochinvar Art at his past three starts. Ballarat district duo James Herbertson and Kima Frenning are going to the wire in their battle for the Victorian concession drivers' premiership. Herbertson from Lexton has a two-win lead over Frenning, who is now based in Ballarat. Frenning is the defending titleholder after edging out Darby McGuigan from Gordon last season.   By David Brehaut   Reprinted with permission of The Courier        

TWO of the brightest stars in Australia headline a ripper Bendigo meeting on Saturday night. Australasia’s champion trotter Tornado Valley returns from a spell, while Chariots Of Fire winner Lochinvar Art is back from a minor health scare and shock defeat at the Ballarat two weeks ago. Tornado Valley, a winner of 35 races and $767,617, steps out for the first since winning a Melton free-for-all on March 21. “He’s been ready to go for a couple of weeks, but with the regional racing we can’t race at Melton so we waited for something closer to home because he doesn’t like travel to the races,” trainer Andy Gath said.  “It’s worked well because he’s back and ready and McLovin can enjoy a bit of a break now.” Tornado Valley is drawn gate nine, while the emerging Wobelee in gate 10 after his early mistake last time saw he placed out of the draw. It’s a cracking race with former Great Southern Star winning mare Dance Craze also resuming from gate six. Multiple Group 1 winner Big Jack Hammer is there as well from inside the back row (gate eight), as is high-class and speedy mare Red Hot Tooth (seven). Lochinvar Art will need to be back on song after his viral infection to overcome an outside back row draw (gate 12) and some handy rivals. Sure he’s a league above them when right, but horses like Sirletic (gate three), Auckland Inter Dominion finalists Sicario (nine) and My Kiwi Mate (eight) as well as Major Times (11), who upset Lochinvar Art last time. “He had a couple of easy days after Ballarat and picked-up again really well,” Lochinvar Art’s trainer-driver David Moran said. “I’ll get a blood done again Friday just to make sure, but if it’s good we are all go and he’ll raring to go.” ____________________________________________________________________________________________________ GLAMOUR Kiwi filly Amazing Dream’s Albion Park debut has only been delayed one week. New trainers Darren Weeks and Kylie Rasmussen felt the darling from the All Stars’ barn “wasn’t quite ready” to have her first run for them last week and scratched her. Amazing Dream will start from outside the back row (gate 10) over 1660m, but needless to say she’s got a monstrous class edge over her older rivals, remembering she’s still a three-year-old in Aussie. Another of her All Stars stablemates, Ashley Locaz, looked very sharp winning an Albion Park trial yesterday (Tuesday). Ashley Locaz, now with Vicki Rasmussen, was allowed to stride in the last lap by driver Shane Graham and roared away to win by 33.3m in a 1min52.4sec mile rate for 1660m. He closed in 54.8 and 27.5sec. Everything looks set for the five-year-old to open his Queensland stint on Saturday week at Albion Park. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________ BUZZ former Kiwi pacer Patronus Star faces his first serious test this campaign at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The Team Bond three-year-old, who won the WA Derby at just his second run across from NZ, has stretched his unbeaten WA record to six wins after winning all four outings this campaign. He takes on older rivals from a wide draw (gate seven) in a very strong $50,000 Group 2 The Binshaw (2130m). Key rivals include classy four-year-old Sangue Reale (gate five), Forgotten Highway (two) and Mandy Joan (three). The race will tell us a lot more about how well Patronus Star, who can look lazy at times, has come back this campaign.   by Adam Hamilton

Ride High's record-breaking rout of Victorian circuits reached ridiculous new heights at Bendigo tonight with Clayton Tonkin's pacer ripping 2.7 seconds off the track record, winning in an audacious 1:49 mile rate. Built off a 26-second third quarter the five-year-old notched a 14th win in his 15th start and in doing so became only the second horse to win in Victoria in a sub-1:50 mile rate, having been only 0.4 of a second outside lead rival Lochinvar Art's spectacular 4YO Bonanza time. The performance only further whets the appetite of a mooted clash between David Moran's Lochinar Art and Tonkin's Ride High, with the star pacers so far landing blows in successive Saturday nights. For now the spotlight returned to reinswoman Kima Frenning and her pacer affectionately known as 'Chainsaw'. "There's been a bit of talk about how he hasn't beaten a lot and he's got to prove that he's really good and I think he just did that," Frenning told Trots Vision post-race. "Plugs still in and he does it so easy, it's just crazy." An aggressive Josh Aiken drive on Sirletic brought the best out of Ride High, with the former leading from gate four and running 27.6 and 27.8 first and second quarters as the trailing $1.04 favourite advanced from the back row to the running line and then the breeze. The pair then exploded through a 26.1-second third quarter that dropped the remainder of the eight-horse field, with Ride High surging ahead from the running line with an extraordinary burst of pace into the final term and becoming a conclusive 21.4-metre winner come the finishing line. Unchallenged and with plugs still in down the final straight he got home in 27.5 seconds to complete the record mile rate, almost three seconds quicker than the time Aiken set with Leonidas at Bendigo on June 6. "We fired him off the gate all his starts prior to this one and then to be able to come off the back row and relax, be off their backs and then take off and do what he did ..." Frenning said. "I mean, he doesn't spend any more energy than what he has to. I think that makes him a really, really good racehorse. "He never carries on, he never pulls. I drove him in a trial a couple of years ago now and I sat him up, he dropped the bit and as soon as I pulled out he just went. He's got the whole package. I have still never pulled the plugs on him." It's a fourth successive victory for Frenning and Ride High this campaign and another stunning 53.6-second last half, completing an extraordinary sequence of last 800-metre records having previously gone 52.7 seconds (Melton), 53.6 seconds (Melton) and 53.4 seconds (Ballarat). Tonight at Bendigo his 26.1-second third quarter was the quickest ever recorded at the track, toppling Sir Briggen's 26.7-second quarter set in a concession drivers pace, as well as being the quickest ever last half, having been some 1.9 seconds superior to Leonidas' mark. "I"m just so grateful that I get to be the littlest part of this horse's journey and it's super special," Frenning said. And the exciting part is there is no doubt more to come, with King Of Swing and Cash N Flow outstanding in Sydney, Chicago Bull back to his best in Perth, several front line Kiwis returning and a battle with Lochinvar Art looming. "There are more of the better ones coming through - Self Assured raced (Friday) - it's going to be really exciting when they all come together," Frenning said. "I wouldn't swap mine for anyone." CLICK BELOW TO RELIVE RIDE HIGH'S RECORD-BREAKING WIN: HRV - Michael Howard

Australia's two most exciting pacers Ride High and Lochinvar Art are on target to clash for the first time at Bendigo on August 1. Ride High made it three wins from as many starts this campaign when he cruised to his 13th win from just 14 lifetime runs at Ballarat over the weekend. “He just does it in second gear. There’s no need for him to open up, it’s scary that we haven’t done that yet,” driver Kima Frenning told Trots Vision. “He knows exactly what he’s doing. It’s very exciting. He’s getting sharper and sharper each run. Ride High cruised around in a 1min53.6sec mile rate for 1710m to win by 13.5m, but he grabbed another record with his 53.4sec last half (26.9/26.5) slicing a significant 0.5sec off the previous best set by Wrappers Delight in a heat of the 2018 Inter Dominion series. Trainer Clayton Tonkin said he wants to “run Ride High every fortnight” in the build-up to the Victoria Cup, which is slated for October 10 pending the impact of Victoria’s second wave of COVID. Lochinvar Art’s return from a short spell also fits the Bendigo meeting. Trainer-driver David Moran gave the four-year-old two Shepparton runs for two easy wins in April/May, which came after a short break following his mighty second in the Miracle Mile on March 7. Two weeks before the Miracle Mile, Lochinvar Art dominantly won the Group 1 Chariots Of Fire at Menangle. “He’s going to trial this week and then he’s off to the races,” Moran said. “I’m really happy with how he’s come back. He didn’t have long out so he’s come to hand quickly. “I know I’ll probably have to race Ride High first-up, but that’s OK by me. “He’s a great horse, they’re two great horses, it’ll be fantastic for the sport when they clash and hopefully it’ll be the first of many clashes.” Moran conceded beating Ride High first-up would be a real challenge. “He’s the sort of horse who thrives on racing, his record shows that. Whatever he does first-up, he’ll just keep getting better which each run after that,” he said. Before Ride High’s stunning racetrack return, Lochinvar Art was the horse on everybody’s lips. As sublime as Ride High has looked, his times winning his first two runs back at Melton were very slick, but well outside Lochinvar Art’s 1min48.6sec track record for 1720m. Lochinvar Art posted the almost unthinkable time when won the Group 1 4YO Bonanza, beating young Kiwi stars Self Assured, on January 25.   By Adam Hamilton

Liz Birnie will have more than a few nervous moments today as she watches a couple of her brood step out today, especially her Bendigo debutante. While it’s not the thrill of a race that draws Liz in as much as a love for the horse, the trots breeder will be glued to the screen when Wendys Watching steps out in the J L King & Co 2YO Maiden Pace at 7pm tonight. “I keep an eye all on the one’s I breed,” she said. “They all go in my blackbook, so I try to watch them live when I can. I always have nerves when they race.” In addition to Wendys Watching, Liz will also be tuning in when From The West contests the Hillcroft Stables Trotters Handicap at Stawell at 4.13pm today. Both are offspring of her broodmare Miss Saxony, who has given her a more personal link to the sport in which she’s long been employed. Joining Alabar almost 20 years ago, Liz said she “started off working outside, then with the young foals and have now been in the office since 2002”, most recently overseeing off-farm mares and semen transport. An initiative of the stud encouraged staff to have broodmares, with Liz initially breeding Safely Kept mare Cruiser Cougar and producing Dilinger Dreaming ($81,009), before striking an unusual deal with breeders Pam and Russell Hockham. They gifted Liz their mare Miss Saxony, but on the proviso that the Armbro Operative mare mare’s first colt would go to the Hockhams. As fate would have it, that colt would become Shadow Sax, winner of 23 of his 41 starts and $548,680 in stakes. While none of the Shadow Play gelding’s siblings would, to date, earn anything like the family star, Liz got nothing but joy for the rise and rise of the two-time Group 1 winner. “It’s different, but it has worked for them and me,” she said of her arrangement with the Hockhams. “It’s been good watching (Shadow Sax) go around. He was bred here and raised here (at Alabar), it’s always good to know you got something right. They have had a lot of fun with him.” Liz’s name is next to seven other Miss Saxony foals, including today's entrant From The West, the seven-year-old mare now with Jason Ainsworth a winner of one of her 51 starts and seven times a placegetter. Miss Skeeter, by Big Jim, is the only foal not to enjoy success, but has since been retired and bred to Vincent by trainer Clinton McSwain. Then there’s gelding Sax Player, by Shadow Play, who races out west for Debbie Padberg and had a breakthrough moment on June 6 when the three-year-old broke her maiden status. And tonight the next Miss Saxony offspring makes her debut when Wendys Watching steps out on Trots Vision at 7pm. “Wendy has been leased until she is age five and then she will come back to me as a broodmare,” Liz said. She will race for trainer Clinton McSwain, who’s arranged a syndicate to lease her off Liz. “I’m definitely more about breeding, making sure they are looked after and placing them to make sure they have a good life. And also to place them with a trainer who I know will give them the time to develop,” she said. “The trainer’s pretty happy with her. I have had a fair bit to do with Clinton and he is very excited, and he said (leasing) was a chance to get people racing who may not have been involved before. “He saw it as a chance to get a group of people interested in racing without having to deal with the upfront costs. Hopefully they will have a fair bit of fun. She sounds promising.” While the next in line, A Rocknroll Dance filly, was sold to Jason McNaulty at the 2019 Shepparton Mixed Stock Sale, any thoughts of selling now retired Miss Saxony’s 11th and final foal were soon quashed. Instead the Vincent foal will replicate Watching Wendys path, being leased to Clinton McSwain before returning to Liz for a broodmare career. “She is a very nice filly,” she said of the Vincent offspring. “She was originally for sale and I got too many people telling me I had to keep her for as long as possible.” For now though the spotlight's on big half-sis to strut her stuff at Lords Raceway tonight.   HRV - Michael Howard

Junortoun harness racing trainer Dylan Marshall has July 4 circled on his calendar. It's the date he hopes to take his in-form mare Barbie Mattgregor to Melton to contest her first race at harness racing headquarters. Marshall believes the much-improved - in behaviour as much as form - seven-year-old has certainly earned the right with a string of consistent performances during the regional racing period. Following another well-deserved win at Lord's Raceway on Wednesday, Barbie Mattgregor's record under the revised racing format reads three wins and a second for six starts. That formline is no fluke, according to Marshall. "She has just kept on improving and we have been able to get her sound and keep her sound and she's repaying the favour," he said. "Her previous 10 starts leading into it (regional racing) had been good anyway, she just hadn't had a lot of luck. "Probably the smaller field sizes have helped her a little bit a couple of times, while a few other things have gone her way at different times. "She's not the easiest horse to drive, she can get a little bit worked up. "But sound and happy are the two key words with her." Wednesday night's win, with in-form reinsman Josh Aiken in the sulky, boosted Barbie Mattgregor's overall record to six wins and 16 placings from 69 starts. All six of those wins have been achieved since her arrival from up north, where the mare had her first 29 starts on either Queensland or New South Wales tracks. With two wins and a second from her last three starts, Marshall felt Barbie Mattgregor had earned her crack at a metropolitan race.  Barbie Mattgregor (inside) wins at Lord's Raceway on May 14.  CLAIRE WESTON PHOTOGRAPHY   "That's the next step for her. She hasn't been there before, but I think she can give it a bit of a shake," he said. "She has been running good times and seems to be able to sit on the speed good. That's what you need to be able to do down there." By Kieran Iles Reprinted with permission of The Bendigo Advertiser

Brett Shipway is the first to acknowledge his harness racing mare Di Li doesn't win out of turn.  But the Craisbrook trainer-driver was able to leave Lord's Raceway on Wednesday night a happy man after the five-year-old trotter notched up her fifth career win at start number 63. It was Di Li's second victory at Bendigo in two months. She previously won the Vale Colin Redwood Trot on April 3, but had been unable to add to that tally in her next five runs, despite a pair of placings. Shipway, who was in the sulky as Di Li eased past a tiring Regal Assassin in the final stages of the race, was delighted the mare had shown plenty of pluck in running down the race leader. "Everything went her way, she had the run of the race," he said. "She's an average horse, but if she gets the right circumstances, she can get her way. "We were always driving for luck, but our mare did run on and she did lift when she got told to her." Di Li, whose five victories have been complemented by 17 minor placings, has paid an average dividend of $23.78 at her wins. "She had a few injuries as a baby, but she's battled on and done a good job," Shipway said. "She's out of our own stallion (Louey Louey Louey), who we bred and owned. "She'll probably be back at Bendigo when there's another race for her, not the next meeting, but the meeting after. "She will probably struggle going up to the next grade, but you have got to have a crack. The only way to find out is to try." With coronavirus restrictions slowly easing in Victoria, Shipway was looking forward to the possible return to racing at nearby Maryborough in July. "I'll have to drive around the block a few times because I've gotten used to travelling," he said. "The horses won't know what's hit them when they just have to go up the road." By Kieran Iles Reprinted with permission of the Bendigo Advertiser

There's an old Chinese proverb that says, 'good things come in pairs', and for harness racing driver Shane Organ, it has proved true. Just weeks after scoring a drought-breaking training win with his only horse Tiza Nightmare, the 23-year-old buttered up by landing his first win as a driver aboard the Glenn Sharp-trained Mystic Chip at Lord's Raceway, Bendigo on Monday night. Organ, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, was still on cloud nine the morning after his first driving win, while busy at work at trainer Gary Donaldson's Junortoun stables. "The last couple of months I have been getting a couple more of drives and it's starting to get better and better," he said. "He only won by half a head, but a win's a win, it doesn't matter how you get there. "I have had heaps of placings on Glenn's horses. I drove Goodtime Rusty (for Terry French) a few times and got a third on him last week, so things have been good. "It's been an amazing time, hopefully it leads into a good career in harness racing." Organ's first driving win did not go unnoticed by his peers, who were only to happy to remind him of his success. "Everyone at the track was pretty happy," he said. Among the first of the well-wishers was trainer Sharp. "Shane was more than happy, he couldn't stop talking," he said. "To drive his first winner after getting that training winner the other week, it's great for a young bloke." Mystic Chip, a seven-year-old mare, broke a six-month drought in recording her fifth career win from 74 starts. With nearly a month in between starts, Sharp, who has been training trotters for about 17 years, said Mystic Chip was arguably a little underdone, but he would gladly take the win. "It's been hard the way racing has been programmed, you don't get a run every week. It depends on the race and the number of horses," he said.     Shane Organ gets his first driving win aboard the Glenn Sharp-trained Mystic Chip   "She is probably underdone because she hasn't had enough racing, but she goes well fresh. "That's the positive we got out of it." Mystic Chip will back-up at Bendigo on Thursday night in a standing-start event. "She's usually a pretty good beginner, so if she can get away good and get to the pegs, she can get an earn again," said Sharp. "Whether she can win, I don't know." The Longlea trainer also has Bellmac Bambi knocking on the door of a win, with the filly producing three placings from her last five starts. "She's a nice little horse, touchwood, she hasn't done anything wrong up to this point," he said. "She's close to winning one. "After this she will go out for a bit of break, but once she comes back in the spring she will be a better horse next season."  Shane Organ with his only horse Tiza Nightmare. Picture: DARREN HOWE   Meanwhile, Strathfieldsaye trainer Glen Douglas extended his lead at the top of the Central region trainers' standings with a treble. Meanwhile, Strathfieldsaye trainer Glen Douglas extended his lead at the top of the Central region trainers' standings with a treble. Douglas bookended the meeting with wins with Ozzie Sunshine (driven by Ellen Tormey) and Motu Cullen (Alex Ashwood), and also picked up a victory with Diesel Don, who was having his first start for the stable. Other winners on the card included the Donaldson-trained Flaming Fives, who blitzed the field in the NR 46 to 51 trot, to win by 19.2 metres, Edwin Bromac (Greg Norman), Streitkid (Kate Hargreaves) and Rigondeaux (Maddie Ray and Haydon Gray). Rigondeaux has now won three of his five past starts since April 1, starting with a victory at Stawell before the move to regional racing. By Kieran Iles Reprinted with permission of THe Bendigo Advertiser

There's been plenty of win droughts broken since the move to regional-based harness racing in Victoria in early April. You can now add Frank Barac to the list. The Elmore hobby trainer notched his first winner since Anzac Day 2016, when Madam Reactor won the three-year-old maiden pace at Lord's Raceway on Thursday night. The filly's first win came at career start number 12 and followed a pair of previous placings, including a third at Bendigo the previous week. Barac said once back at home he celebrated with a glass of Wolf Blass Eaglehawk Shiraz. "It's been a long time (between wins), a couple of years," he said. "This filly has always had ability, but it's taken a long time to get her where she is. "She's a bit immature. I gave her a long break (after her eighth start) and gave her four months off and brought her back in slowly and suddenly she's turned the corner for me." Despite putting win number one on board, Barac said there was no rush to get Madam Reactor back to the track, albeit a crack at another three-year-old fillies pace next Thursday will surely prove tempting. "It helps when there is no long travelling involved, she's not the best traveller. Short trips to Bendigo probably suit her." he said.  Frank Barac and daughter Yvette with Madam Reactor and winning driver Rod Lakey.  CLAIRE WESTON PHOTOGRAPHY   Madam Reactor, by Auckland Reactor out of Madam Altissimo, is owned and bred by Barac and his wife Laura, with daughter Yvette charged with the strapping duties. She was driven to victory by comeback driver Rod Lakey. "He's come back with a vengeance, he's driving winners from the left and the right," Barac said. "The bloke who was stabled next to me last night said I reckon if we could put Rod on a broomstick we could win with that. "He did very well out in front, I was very happy with his drive."   To watch Madam Reactor win at Lord's Raceway click here   Before Thursday, Barac's last race win was with Shebetterwin in the Ray Woods Memorial Pace at the Kyabram Harness Racing Club meeting at Echuca on April 25, 2016. Night eight of regional racing was highlighted by a training double to Glenn Douglas with Ozzie Playboy and Torrid Saint, driving doubles to Lakey (including Nikita Adele) and Alex Ashwood (Keilah and Surbiton Pretender), and a second win on the trot for the trainer/driver combination of Darryl Pearce and Shannon O'Sullivan with Paying Your Way.   By Kieran Iles   Reprinted with permission of The Bendigo Advertiser

Tonight could well prove the start of something special for trainer Luke Stapleton, who unveils the first of a fleet of well-bred fillies. Keilah steps out in the first at Bendigo tonight, the Bayswater Jayco 3YO Maiden pace on Trots Vision at 6.17pm, with Stapleton’s hopes high for the filly, who’s only the third horse he’s had run in his name since returning from an almost 18-year training absence. “She has taken a bit of time to get going,” Stapleton said of the New Zealand-bred Art Major three-year-old, who’s a half to ThatswhatIsaid ($116,477) and I Will Rock You ($80,726). “She was a bit rough with her pacing and now she is doing everything right.” That’s been evident in her two winning trials at Maryborough this month, her first since she trialled when in the hands of Mick Stanley almost 12 months prior. Owned by Stapleton’s uncle and aunty, Brendan and Anne James of BFJ Bloodstock, he said the filly was returned to him for a spell and “I have ended up training her”. It’s been fortuitous, because she’s taken well to the neighbour’s unique training track. “I live next door to Kate Hargreaves and Alex Ashwood and use their track, which has an ascent from 800 to 600 metres and that seems to be agreeing with her.” More will be learned when she debuts tomorrow night, but she hasn’t been missed by analysts, with Good Form’s Blake Redden marking her a $2 chance and “after showing some good dash in a couple of Maryborough trials” he noted “she’s out of a good producing mare and she should be hard to beat”. And she’s not the only promising filly in Stapleton’s care. He’s also preparing unraced pair Yankee Angel and Angel Of Heaven, half-sisters who were bred by BFJ Bloodstock to their mare Arty Alice. The latter has a terrific record, not only producing Beach Shack ($148,702) and Angel Of Arts ($100,600) but Rockstar Angel, who’s building on her $406,258 in Australian earnings with success in the US. Yankee Angel is their three-year-old half-sister by American Ideal and Stapleton said she was “a nice filly”. “She is pretty small, but predominantly the family haven’t gone early, so we won’t rush her,” he said. “She is about a month away from trialling.” Similarly, two-year-old Angel Of Heaven, by Rock N Roll Heaven, will be worked up slowly. Stapleton also trains there big half-brother Tracer Bullet, who has spelled since last July but is nearing a return. “I had a win with Tracer Bullet (last campaign), he is back in work and about a month away from trialling,” he said. The quartet make up the stable of Stapleton, who drove from 1998 through to 2003, steering 37 winners across 544 starts amid stints working with Andrew Peace, Gavin Lang, Noel Alexander, David Murphy and time in the US. “I out drove my claim and it got pretty hard and so I went working for Dad,” he said. Some 15 years on the itch has returned, he’s re-established at Shelbourne and again has his hands full. “It’s good to be back training a couple and mucking around with a few,” he said. “Four is a lot, probably too much, when you are working full-time, but when they are quality like this it is pretty motivating.” TALKING TROTS ON SENTRACK: Hosts Jason Bonnington and Blake Redden have another big line-up for today's Talking Trots on SENTrack, which runs weekdays from 11am-1pm on 1377AM in Melbourne, 657AM in Perth and 1575AM in Wollongong. 11am: Mike Reed 11.15am: Maddie Ray 11.35am: Peter Tonkin on Gavin Lang After noon: Mick Guerin 12.20pm: Tim Butt Click here to listen live and for links to download the SEN app.     The good oil from the Vic trials circuit BLACKBOOKER: Bendigo, R1 N2, Keilah Settled five back on the markers before moving into a one out and one back trail at the 800m and came out three horses wide at the 600m when she won nicely. REPORT BLACKBOOKER: Bendigo, R4 N4, Angski Settled four back on the markers, moved around the field and was able to slot in behind the leader at the bell before giving chase at the 300m. She finished second (behind Just Oscar). REPORT     HRV - Michael Howard

1 to 16 of 315
1 2 3 4 5 Next »