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Betezy Park Globe Derby became a sea of PINK on Saturday night when the harness racing Lady Drivers Challenge came to town.   Their were four heats on the program with the locals taking first blood when Gina Bell steered Veddy Veddy Good home in the first heat with another South Australian Danielle Hill the runner up with Lighting Shark, but from then on it became the Lisa Miles show.   The talented Victorian won the next two heats with Mount Gambier pacer Flaming Hero and Apocalypse Dream. They were two of the best drives one would ever see. Flaming Hero unleashed a powerful finishing burst while Apocalypse Dream Miles sat up one out and one back coming with a well a timed run to claim Star Brutus by three meters.   Taking an unassailable lead into the final heat Miles managed to claim third spot with Weaponry behind the Ellen Tormey driven Maywyns Zephyr.   With two of the first three finalist in the inaugural Leigh Plunkett Scholarship competing in the event BOTRA and HRSA made presentations to Ellen Tormey the winner from Victoria, runner up local junior driver Aaron Bain, who has also been selected to represent South Australia in the upcoming Australasian Junior Drivers Championship in NSW over the Inter-dominion carnival, and Narissa McMullen who was third place getter in the scholarship.   Despite the extreme heat a good crowd witnessed some brilliant racing and some very talented lady drivers who got to travel back to their motel in style in a Pink Hummer.   Gary Newton      

Harness Racing Victoria is pleased to announce that the Victorian representative for the Australasian Young Drivers Championship (AYDC) will be outstanding young talent Joshua Duggan. To be run on the grand stage of Inter Dominion week, the AYDC will pit Duggan against some of the best of his rising contemporaries in a series of races highlighted below. The week will also become a learning experience with stable tours and functions before competing in the final heat on Inter Dominion Final day. Duggan was chosen thanks to his outstanding past two seasons with 43 winners last season and a further 23 already this term. His ability to represent Victoria both on and off the track has culminated to give the 21-year-old a chance of a lifetime on one of the biggest stages in the sport. Originally from Tasmania, Duggan comes from a long line of trotting champions including father Ricky, who continues to be one of the apple isles leading drivers. His potential to become one of the best in the business has been recognised from a young age and this provides the young gun an opportunity to further develop his fledgling skills. Victoria's most recent winner of the AYDC, Ellen Tormey (2012), was last weekend awarded the inaugural Leigh Plunkett scholarship which includes an international educational trip. The 10 heat race series will commence on Tuesday 25 February and conclude on Sunday 2 March at Tabcorp Park Menangle. Blake Redden (Harness Racing Victoria)

The 2014 Reinswomens Challenge will be the feature at Betezy Park Globe Derby next Saturday with some of Australia's best talent named to represent their state. Amy Day, who will represent NSW, drove 48 last season, while exciting young 19-year-old Queenslander Narissa McMullen, who drove 96 winners, and Lola Weidemann (81 Wins in 2012/13) will don the Queensalnd colours.   Victoria is represented by Jodi Quinlan 86 wins, Ellen Tormey 75 winners, Rebbecca Bartley 47 wins, and Lisa Miles 46 wins.   The local talent includes top driver Danielle Hill, 94 wins last season, Leah Harvey 22 wins, and Gina Bell 15 wins, while Kerry Green is the reserve.   There is three races planned for the Invitation Reinswomens Challenge with the winner decided by points.   Also scheduled on the program is the running of the Nevele R Stud South Australian Oaks and the SA Heroine Stakes for mares.   Entry is by gold coin donation to Cancer Council of SA Pink Ribbon Appeal.   By Gary Newton    

Talented Dean Braun trained gelding I’m Corzin Terror NZ showed that the only thing he has been lacking in recent runs was his share of luck; he got just that in the Petstock Bendigo Pacing Cup on Saturday night and used it to full advantage. Having been narrowly beaten in both the Yarra Valley and Tasmania Cups before more recently running an unlucky fourth in the Horsham Cup, the emphatic fifteen-metre victory in the $50,000 Group Two event was well deserved. Stable mate Mustang Mach NZ, brilliant out of the gates, led early but shortly after the start Im Corzin Terror challenged for the lead and Mustang Mach NZ, with Ellen Tormey in the sulky, was happy to take the trail behind the leader.  Kiwi star Mah Sish NZ worked up to sit outside the leader.  With the tempo of the race being beautifully dictated in front by Chris Alford, with a lap to travel favourite Bitobliss made a move to speed the race to his advantage.  But this was Im Corzin Terror’s night; on the home turn he was given free rein and he sprinted impressively to win easily in a mile rate of 1:57.7, two seconds outside champion Safari’s record of 1:55.7.  Warhorse Wartime Sweetheart NZ extricated himself too late from three back on the pegs to chase him home and run second for David Aiken, with Uncle Wingnut NZ flashing home for third. $2.50 favourite Bitobliss faded to run tenth. Earlier in the night, the two American bred favourites fought out the finish of the Aldebaran Park Maori Mile, with the David Aiken trained My High Expectations USA scoring a well deserved win over Kyvalley Blur USA in a quick mile rate. The Monte race was won by the dynamic combination of Motu Young Jacob NZ and rider Daryl Douglas, who went to the front shortly after the start and was never headed from there.  Kyvalley Rap ran second for French rider Yoann Lagarde, and jumps jockey Paul Hamblin had mixed fortunes with an indifferent start but ran on well for fourth. by Lucy McCormick

Melton trainer/driver Lance Justice’s 7-Y-0 Christian Cullen/Flying Flo gelding Alchemy showed vast improvement to land the Graeme Lang Free For All for C7 or better class over 2240 metres at Tabcorp Park Melton on Thursday November 21. One of four runners from the Justice stable – the others being Dominus Vobiscum, The Smiler and Because I Can, Alchemy which had been racing in much weaker grade over the past few weeks was sent forward to cross the pole marker Giveusagrim shortly after the start. With a number of more fancied runners making forward moves including Jaccka Clive, Youranut, Mustang Mach and Broadways Best prior to the bell with Youranut first up since July occupying the breeze for the final circuit, leaving Mustang Mach on a limb three wide with Broadways Best on his back and Jaccka Clive one/one after surprisingly handing over the death-seat. Tackled strongly by Youranut on straightening, Alchemy ($16.80) fought back like a caged tiger to gain the day by a head after being momentarily headed in a rate of 1-57 (last half 56.2 – quarter 27.2), with Broadways Best third after peeling wide halfway up the running. Brother John Justice was also a winner on the program, snaring the Reg Cooper Claiming Pace over 2240 metres with $56.80 chance Whodareswins, a 7-Y-0 daughter of Presidential Ball and Mumtaz Mahal who registered her first success since July 2012 when successful at Spreyton (Tasmania). Given a sweet passage from the pole trailing the pacemaker Astral Flight after leading out, Whodareswins in a punishing finish prevailed by half head in 1-58.8 after using the sprint lane to defeat Astral Flight trained by sister Joanne Justice with Brian Gath in the sulky, with Run Forrest close up in third place after racing in the open from the bell. Bendigo’s Matt Gath was in the winners stall when promising Yankee Spider/Kingsford Ado 4-Y-0 mare Ifu Seek Flight greeted the judge in the Gus Underwood Trotters Mobile for T1 & T2 class over 1720 metres in a rate of 2-03.2. Enjoying an easy trip from the pole following the pacemaker Marios Dream, Gath angled Ifu Seek Flight away from the inside on straightening and she finished best to score by 2 metres in advance of Mallee Trapper which raced wide from the bell. Drop Us A Line ran her usual honest race to finish third after trailing the winner and using the sprint lane. Raced by Michael Taranto of Seelite Windows & Doors fame, Ifu Seek Flight has raced 12 times for 4 wins. Rochester  trainer Mark Thompson has an impeccable record when taking a horse to the races and landed the Rob Merola 3-Y-0 Pace over 2240 metres with Total Truth/Karamea Toastime filly Lies. With stable reinsperson Ellen Tormey in the sulky, Lies raced by Mark and wife Sue having her first outing since July, led throughout from the pole, defeating Geoff Webster’s Tuscan Breeze which shadowed her and Phoebe Jack (three back the markers) in a rate of 2-01.5. Parwan part-owner/trainer Jaime Madruga combined with Gavin Lang to snare the Gunbower Cup Sunday Pace for C3 & C4 class over 2240 metres with 5-Y-0 D M Dilinger/Jaja gelding Amazing Kano who can put a run in every so often. Despite racing in the open from gate five outside Discrimination, Amazing Kano surged clear on turning to win by 6.4 metres in 2-00 even over Nimble Jack off a three wide trail last lap on the back of the third placegetter Jasmine Sheffield. Gisborne’s Brendan Said provided a shock winner in 6-Y-0 Jaguar Cam/Meadow Glory mare Dainty Cloud who took out the Lisa Miles Pace for C2 class over 1720 metres in a rate of 1-57.4. Taking advantage of a mares concession, Dainty Cloud was given every opportunity one/one from gate two, with Lance Justice’s Medonc crossing This Is Your Life shortly after the start leaving Our Miss Vivienne in the breeze. Taken into the clear halfway up the running, Dainty Cloud ($42.80) finished too well for a game Our Miss Vivienne, scoring by 1.1 metres, with Medonc third. Geoff Webster and Emmett Brosnan combined to land the Harness Breeders (Vic) Pace for C1 class over 1720 metres with ultra consistent 4-Y-0 Bettors Delight/Big Time Babe mare Bit Of A Babe, leading all of the way from gate four in accounting for Union Belle (one/two) and Lady Suffragette which raced in the open from the bell. The mile rate 1-57.5. By Len Baker  

Terang trainer Marg Lee continued her remarkable strike rate, when first starter Keayang Active greeted the judge in the Bayswater Jayco 3-Y-0 Pace over 2100 metres at Charlton in Central Victoria on Monday September 25, returning a mile rate of 2-02. Driven by nephew Glen Craven who has only just returned to the sulky after having a knee attended to, Keayang Active a well supported gelded son of Art Major and the Fake Left mare Delta Dream began speedily from the pole and despite a serious challenge as the mobile pulled away by Jumbo Asakei (gate six), easily retained the inside running. Travelling boldly under a tight rein, Keayang Active bounded away on the final bend to record an untouched 5.1 metre victory in advance of In The Trenches (one/two – three wide last lap), with Jumbo Asakei which had dropped down to trail the winner after the early burn a further 1.9 metres away in third place. The heavily backed Ellen Tormey trained and driven favourite Done And Dusted also on debut, dropped out after moving to face the open mid-race. Popular Moonlight (Maryborough) trainer John Douglas made a welcome return to the winners stall when lightly raced 8-Y-0 Wind Cries Maori/Lopsided gelding Right Side Up scored in the Charlton & District Community bank Trotters Handicap for T0 or better class over 2100 metres. Making his 30th appearance at the races, Right Side Up with Bendigo’s Chris Svanosio in the cart, led throughout in accounting for a death-seating Sans Frontiere which appeared to have him covered on the home turn, with the 40 metre equal backmarker Allawart Ugo (one/one) third. The mile rate a pedestrian 2-09.5. John Douglas was one of Victoria’s top junior reinsmen in the Showgrounds and early Moonee Valley era when attached to John Harland’s Flemington stable. On a day of short priced favourites, Mildura’s Shayne Cramp combined with Nathan Jack to land the Dunlop Superdealer Pace for C4 & C5 class over 2100 metres with South Australian owned mare Spokeswoman, a 4-Y-0 daughter of Art Major and Fatalistic. Safely holding the inside running from the pole, Spokeswoman ($1.50) was untroubled to lead throughout to score from Tere T which had an early dig for the front from gate four before dropping down to be three back the markers. Aftermidnight Sam (one/one – three wide last lap) finished third. The mile rate 1-58.5. Last season’s leading trainer at Charlton, Rochester based  Mark Thompson snared the Charlton Community Newsletter Pace with classy 4-Y-0 Falcon Seelster/Karamea Toastime gelding Timeseel an unbackable $1.10 chance. Driven by stable reinsperson Ellen Tormey, Timeseel had nothing more than “a stroll in the park”, winning by 14.5 metres from Wealthy Warrior which trailed and Absolootmagic (one/one) in a rate of 2-00.6. by Len Baker

Caribbean Blaster has been named the 2012/13 Victorian Horse of the Year. In a unanimous decision, the horse from Andy and Kate Gath's Long Forrest stable enjoyed a breakout season on the Grand Circuit which saw a string of Group 1 performances. His win in the Victoria Cup will long be remembered as a triumph against adversity; starting from the extreme gate he was sent out a 30/1 chance but blew his rivals apart in the Tabcorp Park Melton straight. Leaving champions Im Themightyquinn and Smoken Up in his wake, he continued his brilliant early season form which saw him unplaced only three times in 14 starts. His Inter Dominion heat win was followed by an unlucky fifth in the Grand Final at Menangle. Many might have thought that would see him out for the season, but that wasn't the case. He returned to Melton in the Hot To Trot Stampede and produced a breathtaking performance to defeat his rivals by over 10 metres in the 1200-metre dash. Caribbean Blaster's season throughout 2012/13 demonstrated he has transformed into one of Australia's leading pacers. With a racetrack return not far off, the son of Bettors Delight is sure to be mixing it in each of the Grand Circuit races he contests in the next 12 months. Andy Gath spoke glowingly the morning after his superstar pacer received the honour. "It's not something you train horses to do, win awards, but it's a massive thrill when it comes up," Gath said. "We didn't really think about it until the nominations came out and then we thought we actually might win Horse Of The Year. "He'll come back this season and we all know how good he is, make no mistake there are some top horses out there like Bitobliss and Im Themightyquinn, it's just exciting to have our guy back next Friday." For the second year running a two-year-old has taken the Trotter of the Year award. Im Stately thoroughly dominated his juvenile squaregaiting rivals through the Vicbred Super Series and Breeders Crown. His flawless gait and high cruising speed made him a joy for punters and participants to watch as he crushed his competition in the season's biggest races. Last term's Trotter of the Year, Blitzthemcalder, took out the Three-Year-Old Trotting Colt or Gelding of the Year to make it consecutive wins in his age and gender category. A winner of the Great Northern Derby in New Zealand, he continued to carve out brilliant times and made it clear that when he is on song, there aren't many better squaregaiters in the land. The Industry Awards were also distributed for the participants who work tirelessly all year round and there weren't too many shocks. Based on premiership results, the Victorian State Trainer of the Year was taken by the Sunraysia's leading light, Shayne Cramp. Cramp took domination to a new level last season, training 155 winners at a strike-rate of over 30%. He was joined by Lance Justice who took the award for the Leading Metropolitan Trainer, one win clear of Geoff Webster. Chris Alford (Leading State Driver), Gavin Lang (Leading Metropolitan Driver) and Ellen Tormey (Leading Concession Driver) shared the honours driving honours for the past 12 months. The full list of award winners on the night has been compiled below. COMPLETE WINNERS LIST Victorian Horse of the Year - Caribbean Blaster Victorian Trotter of the Year - Im Stately Aged Pacer of the Year - Caribbean Blaster Aged Trotter of the Year - I Didnt Do It Mare of the Year - Blucolla Tigerpie 2YO Colt or Gelding of the Year (Pacing) - Major Secret 2YO Filly of the Year (Pacing) - Mindarie Priddy 2YO Colt or Gelding of the Year (Trotting) - Im Stately 2YO Filly of the Year (Trotting) - Claudys Princess 3YO Colt or Gelding of the Year (Pacing) - Guaranteed 3YO Filly of the Year (Pacing) - Itz Nosurprisesthere 3YO Colt or Gelding of the Year (Trotting) - Blitzthemcalder 3YO Filly of the Year (Trotting) - Spidergirl Victorian Trainer of the Year - Shayne Cramp Metropolitan Trainer of the Year - Lance Justice Victorian Driver of the Year - Chris Alford Metropolitan Driver of the Year - Gavin Lang Victorian Concession Driver of the Year - Ellen Tormey Harness Racing Victoria

The final calendar month of the racing season has all but drawn to a close and with one Metropolitan meeting left this Friday there is still a battle going on for the TaylorsMetropolitan trainer’s premiership. Lance Justice has continued to hold his rivals at bay all year but Geoff Webster has slowly eroded the margin and heading into the final meeting he is just one win behind the six-time premiership winner. Although Justice will likely have a larger number of runners on the night, Webster will also play his hand with Have A Bender and Kotare Roland both engaged in the nominations. Greg Sugars and Chris Alford were locked in a tussle to determine who would be the Melton Saddlery leading Victorian driver however with a string of victories inside the last three weeks, Alford has gone clear to hold an unassailable margin in the lead-up to the last meeting Saturday night. The Norfolk Food Services leading concession driver had been a battle for much of the season between Ellen Tormey and David Moran. Tormey however held her advantage over the last month and edged further in front to all-but seal the award with five days left this term. Shayne Cramp is set to be crowned The Renown Silverware’s Victorian leading trainer for the first time. With a stranglehold over the Sunraysia area, Cramp has rarely had to travel far to secure the bulk of his 151 Victorian winners so far this season. Last year’s state trainer of the year, Glenn Douglas, holds down second with 118 winners from Emma Stewart who has 110 victories under her belt. The SBG Accountants leading Metropolitan driver has been a tense battle all season but Gavin Lang holds sway with 40 winners in the big smoke, ahead of Greg Sugars on 35 and Chris Alford on 33. This year the end-of-season industry awards night won’t coincide with a Tabcorp Park Melton race meeting, giving participants the chance to let their hair down and enjoy the frivolity of a night that will see champions crowned in equine and human form. To be held at Tabcorp Park Melton on September 12, the industry awards will be a spectacular way to finish what has been an exciting season in the trots as the horse of the year awards will be decided on the night. Tickets are $65 each and include a three course meal as well as beer, wine and soft drink for the night. Those making the trek out to Melton will be able to secure a room in the hotel at the special price of $110. For more information on tickets or to book to be a part of the action call Tabcorp Park Melton on (03) 8746 0631. Harness Racing Victoria

Victoria’s leading trainer – Mildura’s Shayne Cramp took the honours at the Nyah HRC fixture held at the Swan Hill Racing Centre on Wednesday July 17, winning three of the eight races on the program, all with Shayne in the sulky. Kenneth J/Tears To Maple gelding Blacker Than Black opened his winning account when having start number four, by taking the Integrated Packaging 2-Y-0 Pace over 2240 metres. Spending the last half of the race three back along the markers after the heavily supported Just Knew was sent forward from four back in the moving line to cross the leader Glitzy Girl at the bell, Blacker Than Black was extricated to be four wide on the final bend, finishing strongly to score from Just Knew in a rate of 2-00.5, with Givemeaspell running on late for third. Former South Australian Art Major/Fatalistic filly Spokeswoman was a tough victor of the BR & C Agents Pace for C0 class over 2240 metres. Taken back at the start from inside the second line, Spokeswoman settled four back in the moving line, with the Kerang trained Op Hands Down leading from gate two. Sent forward when the speed slackened to park in the open, Spokeswoman strode clear prior to the home turn and opened up a big margin on her rivals. Although Rogers Passion ran on strongly from a mile back, Spokeswoman had too big a margin to cut down, ambling to the wire 6 metres in advance of her in a rate of 1-57.9, with Stonethachristian (one/one) third. Ex New Zealander Ona Happy Note subject to a stewards inquiry following his first up Australian outing at Mildura a week earlier, was a big winner of the Cydectin Weanerguard 3-Y-0 Pace over 1609 metres. Starting from the extreme draw, Ona Happy Note settled with most of the field ahead of him, before trailing Bretaca three wide in the final circuit with the pole marker Beachstar leading for Woorinen trainer Vince Costa. Although at least five wide on the home turn, Ona Happy Note produced a barnstorming finish down the outside fence to defeat Fakeitgood (one/one) and a death-seating Fineandsunny in a mile rate of 1-58.1. Beachstar galloped under pressure halfway up the running when still in front. Sebastian trainer Ray Sutton combined with son Leigh to land the Virbac Equimac Triple Pace for C1 class over 1609 metres with 6-Y-0 Our Sir Vancelot/Lazer Countess entire Innocent Vance. Starting from outside the second line, Innocent Vance possied three back in the moving line following Boom Boom Hall three wide ahead of him running into the final bend. Taken wide on turning, Innocent Vance ($46.10), finished all over the top of his rivals to blouse Boom Boom Hall by a nose, with the hot favourite Mumma Mia Lombo third after leading and copping plenty of pressure throughout. The mile rate 1-58.3. The biggest blowout of the night came in the Don 440 Pace for C2 class over 1609 metres, with the Terry Gange (Mildura) trained 6-Y-0 Courage Under Fire/Eastwood Ladyship gelding Eastwood Ember greeting the judge at Supertab odds of $49.60. Restrained from gate five by Echuca concessional reinsman Thomas Gilligan  to settle last on the marker line, Eastwood Ember looked to be in a hopeless position entering the straight as he was still at the tail of the field. Weaving a passage through traffic halfway up the running, Eastwood Ember sprouted wings to record a runaway 1.7 metre victory over Patos Wallet off a three wide trail last lap, with The Numbers Man third after leading. The mile rate 1-59. Team Douglas Glenn & Daryl rarely come home from Swan Hill without a winner and recent stable addition Narkoola was ultra impressive in taking the BR & C Agents Pace for C1 class over 2240 metres in a rate of 1-59.3. Spending most of the race at the rear after starting from the extreme draw with the almost unbackable favourite Aldebaran Macha leading from gate five for Shayne Cramp, Narkoola gained a three wide trail into the race following Jilliby Tarzan in the final circuit. Making the home turn wide, Narkoola a 4-Y-0 daughter of It Is I and Chunky Tanner, ran home stylishly to defeat Blissful Art which trailed the winner home, with Lerrad Maharg (one/two) third. Aldebaran Macha weakened badly after holding a handy margin on turning. Rochester trainer Mark Thompson loves competing at Nyah meetings and ever reliable 4-Y-0 Real Desire/Zora Paree gelding Drunken Desire brought up a hat-trick of wins by taking the Ivomec Pouron Pace for C2 to C5 class over 2240 metres. With stable reins person Ellen Tormey in the sulky, Drunken Desire from the extreme draw settled at the tail of the field, before following both Little Red Cloud and Talk To The Hand home three wide in the last lap. Finishing hard down the centre of the track, Drunken Desire prevailed by 1.1 metres over Little Red Cloud and Talk To The Hand in a close finish, returning a mile rate of 2-00.1. If there was such a thing as the “Drive Of The Night” award, it would have had to go to young Bendigonian Haydon Gray for his outstanding exhibition aboard the Trevor Monk (Junortoun) trained Red Riverbed in the Integrated Packaging Eze See Pace for C1 class over 1609 metres. Taking a concession, Red Riverbed from gate two on the second line was eased to settle three back along the markers, then four back when Who Broke Our Halo crossed the leader Van Celot Robyn at the bell. Easing away from the inside in the last lap to be one/one approaching the home turn, Red Riverbed three wide on the final bend finished at a great rate to score by a neck in a rate of 1-58 over Who Broke Our Halo, with Pirates Plunder running on late from last to finish third. Nyah race again at Swan Hill on Thursday September 12. Len Baker  

The Metropolitan & Country Harness Racing Association (MACHRA) - the oldest Kindred Body connected to Victorian Harness Racing, presented their annual awards for season 2011/12 at Tabcorp Park Melton last Friday night (May 17).

There were two harness racing meetings held in Victoria on Wednesday April 17 with Shepparton racing during the afternoon and Bendigo at night, the highlight being heats of the 2013 Goulburn Valley & Central Victoria Young Drivers Challenge.

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