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The Victorians were the stars of the harness racing show at Globe Derby on Saturday Night, with trainer David Lewis and driver John Caldow combining for a winning double, on the eight race program. With only a small team in work, the Lewis stable has made many successful trips to Adelaide over a long period of time, with stable star Abettorpunt making many appearances over the years, including wins in the 2012 Italian Cup, as well as a win the a heat of the Breeders Crown back in 2011, where interestingly he beat former star grand circuit pacer Caribbean Blaster. No the doubt the biggest win for the stable, at Globe Derby Park, in the past was back in 2009 where there talented filly Lewisienna Jo scored an upset result in the Group 1 SA Oaks, getting up right on the line to defeat star juvenile filly Ananz. Saturday night continued the stables impressive strike rate, with both runners saluting. The first of them was in race 2 on the program, the Paceway Restaurant 3yo pace, with improving filly Ennaellie. Well supported on UBet, she was sent out as a warm favourite at $2.10, having been in good form at her past few runs in Country Victoria, and meeting a field lacking depth on Saturday, she certainly looked very hard to beat. Showing good speed from gate 2, driver John Caldow found the front early, and then elected to take a sit, behind tough pacer Lombo Del Rosso, and she was able to use the sprint lane in the home straight, to score an easy win. Trainer David Lewis was certainly pleased to notch another win with the improving 3yo. “Its nice to win another one, she seems to be improving with racing, so hopefully we can continue to have a bit of fun with her” “She is a 3A1 now, so hopefully he can pick up another 3yo race, before the end of the season” he added The second leg of the double was with a stable favourite, with open class pacer Amajorjo making a successful return to the racetrack, in the final event on the program, the Gowans Homes And Renovations Pace. With only a field of six lining up, it looked a race in two on paper between Amojorjo and star local pacer Come On Frank. Amajorjo was having his first run back from a long spell, and drawn ideally in gate 4, he was well supported in betting, sent out as a $1.40 favourite, on Ubet tote. Sent straight to the lead by Caldow, he looked to be in trouble on the home corner, with Come on Frank looming on his outside, and it was certainly a grandstand finish in the final stages. With Come on Frank hitting the lead half was up the straight, he looked the winner, but Amajorjo was able to kick back near the line, to score a narrow win. A great money spinner throughout his career, for connections, Amajorjo took his earning past the $105,000 mark on Saturday, and Lewis is ecstatic to have the son of Art Major back at the races. “Hes got his fair share of ability, and hes run some good races in the past, and although first up tonight, he had trialled well in the lead up, against good horses” “I was confident he would be hard to beat” “Hes won 15 races now, so the hard thing now will be to try and find suitable races going forward, but hopefully he can continue getting the job done” he added   Graham Fischer

The Fat Man and So Demanding will carry Hamilton trainer David Lewis’s Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series hopes on Friday night at the harness racing meeting at Tabcorp Park Melton. Lewis says both horses have solid chances of qualifying for the July 4 Super Series finals but added both would find winning on Friday night difficult. The Fat Man, who traditionally races near the front of the field, has drawn inside the back line in the four-year-old entires and geldings’ second semi-final. Hectorjayjay flies the arm and is drawn to lead in gate two, which should see The Fat Man buried away at least three back on the pegs behind polemarker Field Major. Lewis doesn’t mind that outcome, though freely admits winning from there with a horse not known for his turn of foot will be tricky. “We’ll get our chance ... I think Hectorjayjay leads, which puts us three back on the inside. My gut feel is something else will come around,” Lewis said. “He’s the sort of horse who needs to get out and roll along a bit but it’s not a bad spot to be in in terms of qualifying for the final. “I reckon he’ll improve sharply this Friday, he’s just no good as a sit-and-sprint horse. “If he was to get into the final and get the right draw he could spring a surprise.” So Demanding will start from pole in the four-year-old mares’ second semi-final, Lewis hoping the mare can utilise her lethal turn of foot at the right time. “She’s pretty limited but she can rip through a pretty quick quarter,” he said. “She can’t do any work. She’s drawn for a soft trip, so that’ll help.” Regular driver John Caldow is committed to Barynya, drawn barrier eight, so Luke McCarthy will pick up the drive on So Demanding. CODY WINNELL

Art Major filly Kira Jo hasn’t had much luck this preparation and unfortunately for trainer Vivian Tomren the run of misfortune appears to have extended to the barrier draw for tomorrow night’s fourth race at the harness racing meeting at Ballarat. Kira Jo has drawn barrier 11 in the 12-horse field for the second heat of the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series (3YO Fillies) and will have to be pretty good to overrun the likes of Morton Plains (barrier two), Lovelist (four) and Keayang Ebonyrose (12). Kira Jo resumed this time in at Cranbourne, her home track, on April 27 and ran into a dead-end on her way to a fast-finishing fourth behind Wemen Sporty. Second-up she drew wide on the front row at Maryborough, went back and couldn’t make up the necessary ground after a slow early tempo. She then tackled the Argent 3YO Classic at Melton but didn’t fire after initially getting caught without cover before being shuffled four-back the running line off a mediocre early tempo. And at her most recent outing Kira Jo drew SR3 at Yarra Valley and three-pegged it before making up some ground along the sprint lane. Tomren says the daughter of smart mare Jasper Jo is working well at home but will need luck from the draw tomorrow night. “She is working a fair bit better now and we’re quite happy with her,” she said. “Hopefully she can qualify. We decided to run her in this heat because it gave us the option of running at Maryborough (next Thursday).” Tomren said Kira Jo wouldn’t prove to be a one-dimensional sit-sprinter but circumstances of late have required her to be driven cold early in her races. It’ll be the same tomorrow night and Tomren is hopeful the frontrunners will burn along. “If they go quickly up front then that’ll help,” she said. “When she won that good race (the Group 2 Vicbred Platinum Home Grown Classic 3YO Fillies Final) she did work three-wide that night and raced tough.” On that occasion Kira Jo just held out Snip Of Grand when both were at big odds. Interestingly Snip Of Grand was barrier seven that night and Kira Jo was 11 (exactly the same barriers as they are tomorrow night at Ballarat). They will also both be good odds. Hamilton trainer David Lewis has two runners in the race, impressive last-start Horsham winner Mistressofillusion (by Jeremes Jet out of Whodyou Wantmetobe) and Mygirljo (by Jeremes Jet out of Lewisienna Jo). Ben Krahe's market 1 – Charlies System: $21 2 – Morton Plains $5 3 – Mistressofillusion $12 4 – Lovelist $2.20 5 – Bee Bee Elle $101 6 – Glenferrie Blade $6.50 7 – Snip Of Grand $12 8 – Diamond Castle $10 9 – Juliustigres $51 10 – Mygirljo $26 11 – Kira Jo $21 12 – Keayang Ebonyrose $8 Cody Winnell  

Each runner drawn for tomorrow night’s Coca Cola Amatil Sprint have arrived at Harness Racings New South Wales’s Retention Barn at Tabcorp Park Menangle. Due at Menangle by 11 o’clock this morning, many of the connections decided to arrive early with scorching weather predictions of nearly 40 degrees scheduled today. Trainer Scott Stewart, who prepares Bitoblisss, travelled overnight from Victoria and arrived the earliest. “We got here nice and early and I gave him a look at the track,” Stewart said. “He’s travelled nicely and I’m happy with the set up with the retention facility.” Another Victorian mentor, David Lewis, is also impressed with the facility. Lewis trains Group One winning pacer, Abettorpunt. “I’m very happy, it looks very comforting for the horses and that’s the main thing,” Lewis said. HRNSW’s Manger Integrity and Chairman of Stewards Reid Sanders has been pleased with the Retention Barn since its inception at this year’s Inter Dominion. “We’ve been able to use it a few times now and we are more than happy with the way it has progressed,” Reid said. “With the assistance of Owen Mulligan, Jimmy Chang and the team at Menangle we have been able to make it a smooth transition for all concerned.” The Group One $100,000 Coca Cola Amatil Sprint is race seven on tomorrow night’s stellar program. HRNSW Media

Talented Victorian pacer Abettorpunt is expected to be a major improver in tomorrow night’s harness racing Grand Circuit opener. Sent north for a two-start Queensland campaign, Abettorpunt failed to settle into his new surroundings ahead of his last week’s Gold Coast Cup. Although the son of Bettors Delight performed admirably when third behind Avonnoa, trainer David Lewis wasn’t happy with Abettorpunt’s condition heading into the feature. “He just wouldn’t settle in during the first few days,” Lewis said. “Before last week’s run he had barely eaten and was in a sooking mood. “I think it came down to being in a small yard instead of his normal open paddock and he just didn’t like it. All he would eat was a bit of hay and that was when we stayed with him and watched him. “When no one was there keeping him company, he just wouldn’t eat.” To Lewis’ joy, Abettorpunt has “picked up” this week, including eating his feed and bouncing around the yard, as he heads into the Queensland Pacing Championship at Albion Park. “He has settled in a lot better as his stay has gone on,” Lewis said. “He has picked right up, is eating better and is in a general better mood. “I expect him to improve in the Championship, although the draw hasn’t helped.” As Lewis pointed out, Abettorpunt will begin from the middle of the second row, with in-form local, Avonnova, and proven star For A Reason faring better along the front line. One of two Belinda McCarthy-trained runners, For A Reason will begin from three, with Avonnova to come out of five. “Avonnova is the one to beat,” Lewis said. “If he can get to the front and have a quiet time of it, I don’t think he will be beaten. “Our draw isn’t the best, but sometimes in these big races being off the second row can help if they go hard up front. “I’m much happier with him this week, but we’ll just have to see how the race pans out.” PAUL COURTS

Harness racing trainer David Lewis says there may be no better punt in tonight’s Gold Coast Cup at Albion Park than Abettorpunt. Drawn barrier four in the Group Two, Abettorpunt is second-up from a spell, having scored at his return a fortnight ago. Following a seven-month break, the seven-year-old resumed at Ballarat in a star-studded Lightning Mile, blousing favourites Maximan and Keayang Cullen in a track record-equalling 1:53.1 over a mile. John Caldow retains the drive behind Abettorpunt after timing his run to perfection at Ballarat, but Lewis says he is expecting his stable star to be more forward in the run than his previous outing. “Four makes it interesting. It allows us to be around the front in the run,” Lewis said. “He doesn’t like going wide on the corners, so the good draw is really handy. “I think once he gets to the ‘death’ he won’t be wanting to hand up to anything. He’s pretty strong when he’s right and I reckon if he’s not 90 per cent, he’s pretty close to it. “We’ll have him close to 100 per cent for his ‘grand final’ next week.” Lewis’ “grand final” comment is in reference to the $200,000 Queensland Pacing Championship, which doubles as the beginning of the Grand Circuit. As for the task at hand, Lewis described Abettorpunt as a “huge winning chance”. “Avonnova will probably lead and hopefully Luke (McCarthy, driver of For A Reason) will want to take a sit behind us,” Lewis declared. “He’s a great traveller and he travelled really well. I flew up with the horse this morning and he was straight into his tucker.” HRV Media

Victorian pacer Abettorpunt moved closer to a berth in the Shaky Isles’ premier harness racing event – New Zealand Cup – with his victory at Ballarat tonight. Thanks to his success in the Lightning Mile, Abettorpunt is bound to maintain his position among the top ranked candidates for the standing start feature. Before the win, the David Lewis-trained gelding was sitting 10th, with defending champion Terror To Love at the top of the table. It’s fair to say Abettorpunt is safe within the 15-horse field, which will contest the Grand Circuit gem on November 11. Along with a trip across the Tasman, Abettorpunt will also have enhanced his prospects of a Miracle Mile campaign. First-up from a seven-month break, the son of Bettors Delight covered the 1609-metre trip in a track record equalling 1:53.1. With John Caldow in the sulky, Abettorpunt scored by a metre-and-a-half from Maximan, with Keayang Cullen three-and-a-half metres away third. The seven-year-old’s time matched Smoken Up’s mark set in last year’s edition of the Group Three. Lewis stated a New Zealand trip will depend on Abettorpunt’s form during the next three weeks, while the Miracle Mile at Tabcorp Park Menangle remains a priority. Abettorpunt is no stranger to top shelf glory at the world class venue, having captured the Group One Bohemian Crystal at his last outing before being sent for a spell. PAUL COURTS

Trainer David Lewis says Abettorpunt cannot afford another setback if he is to contest this year’s New Zealand Trotting Cup in November. Lewis said Abettorpunt had recently fallen victim to a virus which flattened the majority of his Hamilton stable, but the six-year-old is now back in full work and a $31 shot for the NZ Cup with “We had a little hiccup unfortunately. Most of my horses had a virus so I had to lay him down for a few weeks and we missed the Breeders free for all. That had been the aim,” Lewis said. “Now I’m hoping to get a couple of runs into him in Melbourne before I go and hopefully everything goes right between now and then, because if he’s not 100 per cent he won’t be going.” Lewis said Abettorpunt was still an “85-90 per cent” chance of contesting the NZ Trotting Cup but said the son of Bettors Delight couldn’t afford any more mishaps. “Plan B might be to take him to Queensland for a feature race there, then it’ll be up to Sydney,” he said. “The Inter Dominion is the plan in the New Year and I’d like to go back to South Australia for the SA Cup and work my way back through Victoria for some country cups. A bit similar to last year, I was happy with the pattern we went with.” Lewis said fans were yet to see the best of Abettorpunt, who finished his last preparation with a Group 1 triumph in the Bohemia Crystal Free-For-All at Menangle. He also won last year’s Casey Classic at Tabcorp Park Melton and ran an unlucky fourth in the Del-Re National Hunter Cup. Brett Cox, who works for Lewis, will travel with Abettorpunt if he heads to New Zealand while Matthew Craven will take the reins. “He loves the stand start and distance races so it would certainly suit him,” Lewis said. Terror To Love is $4.40 favourite for the NZ Trotting Cup, just ahead of Christen Me at $4.60, with Smolda ($5.50), Im Themightyquinn ($6.50), Adore Me and For A Reason ($10), and Locharburn ($12) next in the market. Cody Winnell - Harness Racing Victoria

ANDERSON, Ind.-July 24, 2014 - Freshman pacing colts were in the spotlight at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Thursday, July 24 in the second round of Indiana Sires Stakes action but the night belonged to trainer Jeff Cullipher and driver Sam Widger. The Cullipher-Widger duo teamed up to score in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for two-year-old pacing colts with Toni's Affection in 1:51.4 and then just a few races later in the $25,000 consolation for two-year-old pacing colts with Ima Full Time Job in 1:52.3. Cullipher sent out three of the ten entries in the $75,000 final from his stable and in the end it was Toni's Affection prevailing in a hard fought battle to the wire. Stablemates Harfo Hanover and Mr. Julian finished second and fifth, respectively. Leaving from post two, Widger sent Toni's Affection away from the gate just enough to secure an early position along the rail in second. Camturo Rock and Dave Magee would get the first call through the opening panel in :26.3 but quickly yielded the lead to the post time favorite, Freaky Feet Pete and Trace Tetrick. Freaky Feet Pete carved out fractions of :55 and 1:23.3 before feeling a threat by Skyway Dante and Peter Wrenn who were On The Attack first-over. As the field turned for home, Freaky Feet Pete began to labor on the front with the rest of the field closing in. Camturo Rock surged from the pocket to take a short lead but was unable to hold off the hard charging Toni's Affection. Toni's Affection utilized a :27.4 final quarter to win by a head in a lifetime best effort. Camturo Rocked finished second but was placed third after a judge's disqualification in the stretch leaving Harfo Hanover and Tyler Smith to inherit the second place honors. Slightly dismissed at the betting window, Toni's Affection returned $18.40 to his backers. "This is the toughest group of Indiana-bred two-year-old pacing colts that I've ever seen," Cullipher noted after the victory. "I've always had faith in this colt though, he has been the perfect horse to train all winter and I had a lot of confidence in him tonight." "This is just amazing," he continued. "His namesake was here tonight and everything worked out for us. He is a nice, nice colt." Toni's Affection was a $19,000 Harrisburg Yearling Sale purchase and was later re-named after co-owner David Lewis Linker's wife. Linker co-owns the son of Always A Virgin-Yankee Affection with Thomas Pollack. Toni's Affection has now amassed $71,250 from four lifetime starts for his connections. Pollack and Linker would find the winner's circle once more with the Cullipher-Widger duo this time in the $25,000 Indiana Sires Stakes consolation for two-year-old pacing colts with Ima Full Time Job in 1:52.3 who is owned in tandem by the partnership of Randall Bendis, David Linker and Thomas Pollack. In much the same fashion, Widger had Ima Full Time Job forwardly place through hot opening fractions of :26.1 and :55.1 set by the heavily favored Kelly D and Trace Tetrick. When the field hit the three quarter mark in 1:24.4, Kelly D was clinging to the lead while the rest of the field closed in. Widger was able to find the late racing room he needed in the stretch and Ima Full Time Job did the rest. Using a :27.3 final quarter, Ima Full Time Job coasted home a winner to finish a length in front of Rockin Jimmy and Lewayne Miller. Much like his stablemate a few races earlier, Ima Full Time Job was slightly dismissed at the betting window and returned $17.20 for the win. "This colt may be the sleeper," Cullipher noted after the race. "He's had some bad racing luck with post positions and trips earlier in the season but take nothing away from him, he's a nice colt." It was a maiden breaking victory for the son of I Scoot Hanover-Mother Alberta in just his fourth career start. The freshman colt has now earned $50,350 for his connections. Indiana Sires Stakes action returns to Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, July 25 with the second of five $75,000 finals for the two-year-old pacing filly division. With a daily post time of 5:15 p.m., live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule. by Emily Gaskin, for Hoosier Park  

As brilliant as Birdy Mach might be, harness racing punters won’t be ignoring the undefeated Andy Gath-trained Burnaholeinmypocket in the Garrards Horse and Hound Tatlow Stakes for 2YO colts and geldings on Saturday night at Tabcorp Park Melton. The son of Bettors Delight boasts impeccable form lines; beating subsequent Group 1 winners despite starting from awkward draws and working in the run at both his starts to date. Burnaholeinmypocket sprouted wings late in his debut race, beating Justbritell (winner of the Shakamaker Classic at Melton in March) by 1.9m and Feeling Arty (winner of the Group 1 Vicbred Super Series colts’ and geldings’ final) by 7.3m. At start number two, Burnaholeinmypocket drifted a long way back early from gate seven before getting caught three-wide with no cover on the last lap. Despite covering a stack of ground from the bell to the finish post, Burnaholeinmypocket still proved 1.7m too good for Waves Of Fire, who would go on to win the Group 1 Nursery Final at Albion Park in 1:58.4. “He’s pretty gifted,” Gath said of his fledgling gelding. Asked if gate one was a definite bonus, the Long Forest trainer responded: “Always”, adding: “He had the second row at his first start and then seven at his second. I think he’ll hold his own out of the gate. Whether or not he can hold out Birdy Mach, we’ll wait and see, but my bloke’s shown he’s very strong.” Birdy Mach is the likely thorn in Burnaholeinmypocket’s side; the Sydney colt unbeaten in two runs at Menangle and from the powerful Belinda McCarthy yard at Cobbitty. Such is the boom about the son of Mach Three that champion reinsman Luke McCarthy said on Tuesday: “He’s right up there with the best two-year-olds I’ve ever driven”. Birdy Mach has blitzed his rivals in two runs so far, and on debut last month he clocked a 1:53.8 mile rate (last half 55.7secs). Saturday’s Tatlow field is full of top-quality youngsters including Kept Under Wraps, winner of three of five starts and a member of the Brent Lilley team, David Aiken-trained Show Me The Bling, runner-up in his Vicbred Super Series semi-final and the final, and Feeling Arty, who provided trainer-driver Cameron Maggs with his maiden Group 1 success recently in the Super Series at Melton. Gath will line up Looks Like Heaven in the fillies’ Tatlow Stakes and, like her stable-mate in the boys’ section, she’s drawn sweetly. The daughter of Lombo Mandingo will begin from pole if emergency Bubbling Gypsy fails to gain a start. Looks Like Heaven won on debut at Kilmore before trekking north on a Bathurst Gold Tiara mission. She won her Tiara heat by 8.8m but galloped in the final and finished down the track. “She’s going through a growth spurt at the moment ... We’ll see how she goes on Saturday and make a decision on the Breeders Crown after that,” Gath said. Team McCarthy filly Smooth Showgirl resumes in this race from gate 12 after winning the Group 1 Nursery fillies’ final at Albion Park in May. Also off the back row will be highly rated Kiwi Katy Perry, to be steered by Dexter Dunn, and Michael Stanley’s exciting Soho Tokyo, who ran second beaten a head by Tricky Styx in the 2YO Diamond Classic at Gloucester Park last time out. Hamilton trainer David Lewis will line up Luvumum in the Tatlow, the daughter of Grinfromeartoear boasting a one-from-one record after a sensational debut win at Melton in the Sapling Stakes. Luvumum was backed into $1.70 before scoring by 15.2m over Viva Safari in 1:57.6 in the February race. She’s pretty good. Punters aren’t generally a forgiving lot, so one suspects Lovelist might be on the drift. The Emma Stewart-trained Always A Virgin filly was rolled in the Vicbred Super Series semi-final after being sent out a $1.20 pop and then was beaten 11.8m in the final. Her previous form (four wins from four starts) was solid. The Tatlow Stakes races will be Races 5 and 6 at 7.32pm and 8.05pm. by Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria Related Links Fields for Tabcorp Park Melton, Saturday 19 July 2014 Form guide for Tabcorp Park Melton, Saturday 19 July 2014

Parwan’s Jodi Quinlan took driving honours at Tabcorp Park Melton last night with a winning double. Sunset Invasion kicked off proceedings with victory in Race 1, the first heat of the Seelite Windows and Doors Winter Trotters Cup, the long odds-on favourite scoring a comfortable win over Unico Pegasus and Stephen John in a mile rate of two minutes even. Two races later Quinlan produced a perfectly timed drive aboard Valley Of Diamonds to upset heavily backed favourite Garibaldi in the $10,000 Guaranteed First 4 Pools Pace over 2240m. The second heat of the Trotters Cup went to Brief Glance for Bacchus Marsh father-daughter team Alan and Amy Tubbs. The six-year-old gelding sat three-wide for the last lap, clocked a mile rate of 2:01.7 and came home in a last half-mile of 58.9secs, scoring a tough half-neck win over Mister Gunsen, with odds-on favourite Our Dreamlover third. Hamilton trainer David Lewis and reinsman Matthew Craven combined for victory in the Tabcorp Park Melton Pace over 1720m with Amajorjo, a talented five-year-old by Art major out of smart mare Jolaura, getting home by 7.9m over Magical Telf, with Discrimination a further 1.4m away in third. The winner’s mile rate was a slick 1:55.1, the last half covered in 55.9secs. Punters copped a blow when $33.20 shot Kotare Rowland saluted victorious in the Vermont Panels Enduro over 2760m for trainer Geoff Webster and driver Emmett Brosnan. Brosnan drove a patient race aboard the five-year-old son of Julius Caesar, coming from well back along the pegs to get up in the last hop over race favourite Five Star Anvil, while Our Blackbird ran a good race for third after getting checked early. Lite Jagermeister returned to her best form with victory in the Pace over 2240m, the Riddells Creek-trained chestnut mare from the Adam Kelly stable proving 3.2m too strong for long-shot Amazing Kano, who never shirked the issue in the home straight and was brave in defeat, wihle Essbee Doubleyou ran on well for third. The Renown Silverware Pace Final wrapped up the night with Ken Whelan’s five-year-old gelding Kisartis scoring his first win since last July with a half-head victory over Mary Mon. The even-money favourite Suerte finished third, with the winner’s mile rate 2:00.2.   FAST FACTS FROM LAST NIGHT'S MELTON MEETING * Quaddie paid $6991 on numbers 9-7-1-2 * Early quaddie paid $898.10 on numbers 6-9-6-9 * Fastest mile rate: Amajorjo 1:55.1 * Most wins by driver: Jodi Quinlan (2) By Cody Winnell (Harness Racing Australia)

This is the time of the season for Vicbred horses to shine. Over the next few weeks you will see many heats for Vicbred eligible horses leading into a fantastic weekend of Group 1 Finals on July 4 & 5. Our appreciation to sponsor Empire Stallions who do a great job in promoting themselves during this series.   Growth of 2YO Trotters The growth in trotting ranks has been highlighted by the number of two-year-olds who have presented at the races so far this season. By the end of May, 55 two-year-old trotters had raced (of which 50 are Vicbred). At the same time last year 33 two-year-old trotters had raced. A 67% increase in the number of starters can in part be credited to the Vicbred Platinum Home Grown series which recently boasted separate $50,000 finals for both colts and fillies. Those two finals included five graduates from the inaugural Australasian Premier Trotting Sale (APTS) in March 2013. The first winner purchased from the APTS was Dream Vacation gelding Livin The Life which won at Kilmore on June 10. Well done to all involved at the Cranbourne Club. Fastest Last Half Ever David Lewis trained Amajorjo may not have won a major race yet, but he does now lay claim to the fastest last half mile in Australian history. At Maryborough on May 16, Amajorjo won The Leo Crameri, finishing off in a last half mile of 53.3 seconds, the quickest on record. Victorian tracks hold the first five places on the national speed chart with Chilli Palmer, Ideal Scott, Macha and Bling It On all recording sub 54 second last halves at Tabcorp Park Melton. Harness Racing worth $422m in Victoria During May the Premier and Minister for Racing Dr Denis Napthine released a Size and Scope Study into the Victorian Racing Industry - conducted by experts IER. The report concluded that harness racing in Victoria generates $422m for the Victorian economy - a 63% increase since the previous study eight years ago. Some of the other highlights specific to harness racing in the study included: 4,000 full time equivalent jobs; 19,000 people involved as employees, participants or volunteers; 8,000 owners and syndicate members; 3,000 breeders; Highest Regional Contribution comes from the Goulburn Valley ($58m) followed by Loddon ($50m). A full copy of the 96 page study is available by clicking here. Ballarat Stakes Reduction The Ballarat & District Trotting Club is the first Club to announce a reduction in its contribution to stakes due to the impost of a new State Government gaming tax. The new tax will cost the Ballarat Club an extra $200,000 per year so the Club has decided to cut approximately $100,000 from its contribution to stakes. Most affected will be the Ballarat Pacing Cup, which reduces from $175,000 to $100,000. Admirably, the Ballarat Club will continue to invest heavily in its community and charity work, neither of which will be impacted by the new gaming tax. For the full statement from Ballarat click here. Incidentally, the new tax will have a $400,000 impact on HRV. Management is currently working through next year's budget in order to minimise the impact on overall stakes. Queen's Birthday Honours A pair of harness racing identities were awarded Queen's Birthday Honours earlier this week. Keith McGowan OAM Keith received an OAM for services to the media, however the honour also recognised his "ownership of Harness horses for in excess of 25 years and his support for the industry over many years". Despite Keith's passing late last year we are all proud of Keith's award, and in particular for his family, including son Nathan. John Ballestrino OAM John received an OAM for services to the community, particularly sporting organisations. One of the sports John is associated with is harness racing, in his role as Vice President of the Geelong Harness Racing Club. Congratulations to John and the McGowan family on being recognised in such a way. Vale HRV was saddened to learn of the passing of two industry stalwarts. Norm Fear Norm was a trainer back in the 60's and 70's and later a HRV Board member from 1984 to 1988. He loved harness racing and was always positive about the sport. The most appropriate comment I have read is from Russell Edwards on Facebook. Quote "Norm was a true gentleman who volunteered countless hours to the game he loved....I never heard anyone utter a bad word about him". And as the Shepparton Club said on their Facebook page "Norm was simply the best". Edo Bettiol Edo had a long term interest in harness racing and previously owned several horses. He was also an esteemed member of the Caduceus Club. His son Greg is equally passionate about the sport and is a member of HRV's Pegasus Club. Our condolences to Greg and Edo's family. First Winners Harness racing in Victoria continues to be the breeding ground for young participants becoming involved in the sport. During the month of May a couple of young drivers experienced the thrill of driving their first winners: Robert Caton (19) drove his first winner on Lombo Mini Lamouch at Bendigo on May 8; and Zac Steenhuis (16) drove his first two winners, Village Spirit and Tallulah Bay, at Terang on May 18. Not so young, but still enjoying his first win was Darren Manton on Prettyboytoby at Ballarat on May 10. Josh Aiken Josh is quickly becoming a young star of the industry. Son of David, Josh has had a roller coaster ride over the past two weeks. Here is a summary: Drove his first Metropolitan winner at Tabcorp Park on May 30 on Composed; Became the youngest person (at 20 years of age) to drive a treble at Tabcorp Park on June 6; Celebrated his 21st birthday on June 10; Appeal against a three week suspension dismissed by the HRV Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board on June 10. Milestones Amanda Turnbull With her win on Tezz Khora at Charlton on June 12 Amanda, now residing in Victoria, has driven 999 winners. If she makes it to 1,000 in the next couple of days, she will become the youngest ever to achieve the feat in Australia. Brian Kiesey Brian trained the first two winners at Charlton on June 12, his first double since Elmore in 2001. The first of the double was Candy Digger, which hadn't won since March 2012 at Warragul. Since then she had 132 starts without success. Second placegetter in the same race Master Kiesey, also trained by Brian, achieved the milestone of 300 starts in a race. Geoff Kay Dr Napthine has advised that Board member Geoff Kay's term has been extended for a three year period - until May 2017.

Terang based brothers Matthew and Glen Craven had a day out at the Stawell trots on Thursday, with Glen snaring a driving treble and Matt also providing a winner, as well as figuring in two quinella’s during the afternoon. Matt continued his stellar season when It Is I/Shy Star gelding Okelerho Lad was a brilliant all of the way winner of the Doctor DC 3-Y-0 Pace over 2175 metres, running his rivals ragged from gate three in accounting for the hot favourite Our Petite Soeur (one/one) and Usage (one/two) in a rate of 2-01.1. Glen and Matt Craven fought out a thrilling finish to the James McLeod Memorial Pace for C1 class over 2175 metres when Partnersinvancelot nosed out Our Uptown Girl. Trained at Dunnstown by Robert McCartney, Partnersinvancelot did all of the work from gate three racing outside Our Uptown Girl (Matt) which exploded away from outside the front line to lead. Dropping down to follow the pacemaker for a brief breather approaching the home turn, Partnersinvancelot when asked for a supreme effort on straightening, rallied under hard driving to gain the decision in a tricky finish, with White Eyed Girl (one/two – three wide at bell) third. The mile rate 2-01.3. Glen partnered Hamilton trainer David Lewis’4-Y-0 Life Sign/Royal Franco mare Twentyfivetolife first up since November to register an impressive victory in the Stawell Farm Supplies Pace for C2 & C3 class over 1780 metres. Starting outside the front row, Twentyfivetolife settled four back in the running line, with the pole marker Big Gorilla leading easily as the mobile gate pulled away. Easing three wide at the bell, Twentyfivetolife was accommodated by Paris To Berlin coming out ahead of her, thus receing a nice trail home. Charging down the centre of the track in the straight, Twentyfivetolife scored by 1.6 metres over the well supported The Ole Buckaroo along the sprint lane after trailing the leader, with Arr En Special third from three back the markers. Glen was to finish the day with a driving treble after border hopper Forced Out greeted the judge in the Landmark Harcourts Pace for C1 class over 1780 metres. Trained at Allendale East by David Kemp, Forced Out a most consistent 5-Y-0 daughter of Safely Kept and May Be Trouble led throughout from gate two in defeating Peters Ace (Matt) by 4.5 metres in a rate of 1-58.8 giving the brothers another quinella for the day. Bella Hotshot (one/three – three wide last lap) finished third. By Len Baker (Courtesy of Harness Racing Australia)  

t’s taken longer than a lot might have expected, but the highly talented Abettorpunt is ready to announce himself on the big stage. A top flight two and three-year-old, the David Lewis-trained gelding notched up victories in heats of the Breeders Crown and Victoria Derby in his juvenile and classic seasons. With a season or two plying his trade, the son of Bettors Delight struck back with a vengeance as a late five-year-old and early six-year-old. And after a preparation interrupted by two or three uncharacteristic performances, Lewis has his stable star fighting fit for the sport’s holy grail. “He was very good in the Hunter Cup, we were a little bit happier with him during the week because he had had a few niggles with that foot probably the last month or so and it had burst out,” Lewis said. “He felt really going into that race so we’re really happy with him. He’s work has been great this week, I’m still really happy with him so there will be no excuses Saturday night; I think he will be at his absolute best.” His best has him touted as a Grand Circuit star of the future just a few months ago and following his slashing fourth in the Hunter Cup, the stars have aligned. Lewis won’t be left wondering what if either. The confidence he has in the horse means that even in a race where qualifying for the Inter Dominion is priority one, Abettorpunt will be out to crush his rivals. “We’ll probably follow through and be the first to pull out three-wide and sit out there and see if we can get home in the straight,” he said. “It won’t be easy because they will be running home really quick but we’ll try and make it into a staying test. I don’t think we can afford to just sit back and wait for something to happen. “I think if the opportunity arises early and they want to slow up a little then we’d be inclined to go around. It’ll just be about what unfolds early in the race.” Known for his sprinting ability early doors, his trainer has noticed a shift in his racing style. And it’s something that will be music to the ears’ of any punters ready to step into the $17 TAB fixed odds for the Inter Dominion final because the gruelling 3009 metres at the Menangle track is likely to suit Victoria’s rising star down to the ground according to Lewis. “Further into his career he seems to have changed direction; I always thought he was a sit-sprinter but maybe I don’t think he is now.  Every race he’s been in the last seven or eight he has been making ground late,” he said. “When he has run at Menangle as well he has hit the line full of running so if you go to the 3000 metres and he gets in then he can make it very interesting I’d say. “We’re pumping as much work as we can into him because he seems to be able to handle it. Every time we step it up at home in the last three or four months he has handled it so we are just cruising along now.” Blake Redden (Harness Racing Australia)

HAMILTON-trained colt The Fat Man will start from the pole in the third heat of the Nicola Victoria Derby  tomorrow night at Melton’s Tabcorp Park, and driver Matthew Craven is hoping the son of American Ideal can extend his two-win streak. Craven said the up-and-comer from the David Lewis stable had impressed in both his wins this time in, including a last-start triumph at Hamilton on Wednesday from a wide draw. “He won’t have taken any harm from the two runs that’s for sure,” Craven said. “He’s gone well both times. Obviously this is a step up in class but he should get a good run from the draw.” The Fat Man took out the Terang Silver Vase at Melton two starts back by over 9m before Wednesday’s workmanlike performance at his home track. Highly rated Bettors Delight gelding Our Maxim, from the Barry Purdon barn in Auckland, impressive last-start Mt Gambier Derby winner Major Secret from the Emma Stewart team, and outstanding New South Wales Art Major three-year-old Lettucerockthem are The Fat Man’s stiffest competition in the third heat. Lettucerockthem is from the in-form Belinda McCarthy yard, and the Cobbitty stable must be thrilled with their Derby prospects with Bling It On expected to be hot favourite in the first heat from barrier four. The brilliant Breeders Crown champion from last season blitzed his rivals at Cranbourne last time out by 36.7m in 1:57, coming home in 54.4. And giving the McCarthys an even stronger Derby hand will be Allblack Stride in the second heat, who has drawn barrier two. The last-start Cranbourne winner came home in 55.2 in scoring by 16.9m after running third in the Simpson Memorial behind Iam Mr Brightside and Lettucerockthem in the Simpson Memorial at Menangle two runs back. And astute Heywood trainer Kevin Brough will be hoping to produce the knockout blow with Paua Fella in the second heat, the last-start SA Derby winner to be driven by Craven. The first heat of the Derby kicks off a huge Hunter Cup program tomorrow night at 6.05pm By Cody Winnell (Harness Racing Australia)

Terang trainer Marg Lee snared the quinella in the Terang Co-Op Free For All for C9 or better class horses over 2200 metres at the Terang HRC fixture held at Tabcorp Park Melton on Friday with stable superstars Keayang Steamer and Keayang Cullen. In what was a heady drive by nephew Glen Craven, Keayang Steamer starting from the extreme draw was sent forward early in the race to park outside Keayang Cullen which exploded away from outside the front row with Jason Lee in the sulky. Content to allow “Cullen” to dictate the terms in quarters of 31.1, 29.6, 28.3 and 28 for the last mile, “Steamer” moved on terms with his stablemate on the final bend, before outstaying him to score impressively by 3.1 metres in a rate of 1-56.5. Old timer Melpark Major in search of cracking the one million dollar stake barrier, moved a step closer by finishing third 5.1 metres away. Keayang Steamer was victorious in winning the Horsham Cup on January 5, while Keayang Cullen finished second in the Hamilton Cup on January 12. On what was a “night of nights” for the Craven family, Matt Craven was successful aboard Hamilton trainer David Lewis’ American Ideal/Atomic Fusion colt The Fat Man in the Terang Harness Racing Club Silver Vase for Three year olds 3C0 to 3C2 class over 2240 metres. Having his first outing since last July, The Fat Man raced by David and Terry Lewis led throughout from gate two, running his rivals ragged to score by 9.1 metres in a rate of 1-59.4 over Stormy Lecture and Gotta Go Henry. By Len Baker courtesy of Harness Racing Victoria

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