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Champion Victorian trainer Emma Stewart brought five harness racing fillies to Tabcorp Park Menangle in Sydney and completely dominated heats of the New South Wales Oaks. Incredibly, Stewart won all three heats and qualified all five of her fillies for next weekend's $200,000 final. Tough Tilly, Joanna and Beach Music were the undoubted stars, winning their heats with impressive efforts. Stewart shared the riches around too with Kate Gath, Amanda Turnbull and David Moran the winning drivers, giving all three the opportunity to win next week's feature for a stable that has dominated Victorian harness racing in recent years. The first heat saw short-priced favourite trainer Emma Stewart's Tough Tilly quickly tackle Chrissy Chic for the front and thereafter show her mettle to take the 2400m race in a 1:59 mile rate. Kate Gath was quick to indicate her intentions to control the race from the front and the Captaintreacherous filly did the rest. When the star Victorian youngster was able to get away with a 31.9s opening split of her final mile, Gath looked to have something in hand in the straight as Tough Tilly held off Chrissy Chic and the fast-finishing Rogue Wave, who was the only runner to make ground from back in the field. "She had a bit of a look around which isn't something she normally does, but once she knuckled down in the straight she got to the line well," said Gath. "It's such a big track here at Menangle it often takes the Victorian horses a run or two to adapt but this was the perfect hit-out for next week and she did the job well." To watch the video replay of Tough Tilly winning click here The second heat saw Stewart again provide the short-priced favourite Joanna, with Amanda Turnbull taking the reins. Turnbull wasted no time surging to the front and the classy Somebeachsomewhere filly did enough to win. It was not dis-similar to the first heat as they dawdled through the middle half before surging home in a 1:55.2 mile rate with the last quarters in 27.2 and 27 seconds as Joanna held off a gutsy stablemate in Platinum Sparkle with Prestige Stride third after settling behind her on the pegs and appeared to have every chance to run her down in the straight. "I didn't want to go too slow because I know how tough she is," said Turnbull after the win. "She was good out of the gate tonight and she was never going to let that other horse get past her in the straight. "She never wants to do too much on her own and she'll improve on that next week." To watch the video replay of Joanne winning click here The third heat saw Moran cement Stewart's stranglehold on the Oaks final when the Somebeachsomewhere filly Beach Music held off a gallant Anntonia, who raced without cover the entire journey and held on well for second, with Arma Renegade third in a 1:55.4 mile rate. "I think the trip suited her down to the ground and when she got the lead back she was able to dictate terms, which was perfect. "This horse has been racing against some of the best fillies, like Tough Tilly and down the track she is showing the benefit of that." To watch the video replay of Beach Music winning click here. The final field for the NSW Oaks is: Tough Tilly (by Captaintreacherous from Beninjurd by Art Major) Chrissy Chic (by Major In Art from Beach Baby Beach by Jennas Beach Boy) Rogue Wave (by Somebeachsomewhere from Perfect LIfe by Live Or Die) Joanna (by Somebeachsomewhere from Repelem by Dream Away) Platinum Sparkle (by Bettors Delight from Bollinger Baby by Christian Cullen) Prestige Stride (by Sweet Lou from Bee Jays Money by Christian Cullen) Beach Music (by Somebeachsomewhere from Musical Delight by Bettors Delight) Anntonia (by Bettors Delight from Perfect Pennt by Christian Cullen) Arma Renegade (by Captaintreacherous from Arma The One by Badlands Hanover) Soviet Stunner (by Mach Three from Russian Rocket by Pacific Rocket) Celestial Fragrance 1st em (by Terror To Love from Neavenly Scent by Rock N Roll Heaven) Whos My Mother 2nd em. (by Sweet Lou from Dancing Dixie by Bettors Delight) By Mandy Madern

A delicious Zac Phillips drive set up a dominant Wolf Stride victory in tonight’s Terang Co-Co Pacing Cup, and the winner's “miracle” early move to the front may well lead to a Miracle of another kind. Co-trained by Anthony Butt and Sonya Smith, the five-year-old gelding is on a path north to chase qualification in the $1 million Miracle Mile and will head in full of confidence after a peerless performance in tonight’s $50,000 Group 2. Watch the race replay click here Despite his gate 12 draw, Phillips had the race favourite in the lead within 500 metres of the green light going on in the 2680-metre Cup, having glided past Malcolms Rhythm and the latter’s stablemate Sirletic who were first to the pegs. Somewhere Secret emerged at Wolf Stride’s outside but there was little pressure throughout and when Phillips urged the leader on in a 55.1sec last 800 metres the win was always in hand. Accepting the trophy post-race for winning connections, Amanda Grieve told Trots Vision Phillips had declared his intentions to her in the lead-up and told her he was “either going to look like an idiot or I’m going to pull this off”. And pull it off he did. “He’s pretty special,” Phillips said of the winner, who’s now won 13 of his 27 starts. “Anthony and Sonya have done quite a remarkable job with him, it’s just really a credit to them. “I’ve really got to pay credit to all the staff at home, Anthony’s been away and Sonya and all the team have done a remarkable job, not just with this horse but the whole lot of them.” Butt is up north for Sydney’s Carnival Of Miracles and Phillips said he would soon be joined by Smith and Wolf Stride, who was chasing a place in the March 6 Miracle Mile. “(Wolf Stride will) head up Monday,” Phillips said. “Anthony’s up there at the moment, Sonya’s going to head up on Monday for the Miracle Mile qualifiers and fingers crossed he can get into that.” The victory propelled Wolf Stride to the top of the Trots Country Cups Championship, having amassed 12 points this season courtesy of wins at Bendigo and Terang and a third at Ballarat. Terang also delivered a new leader in the Maori’s Idol Trotting Championship, with Well Defined producing a perfect performance to back up his success at Ararat for trainer Kate Hargreaves and reinswoman Ellen Tormey. “It all worked out perfectly,” Tormey said of tonight’s win from the standing start. “After we went away and found the front it was always the first suitable one that we could hand up to and Robbie Royale was that – he’s a really good front runner and been in really good form, so he was a good one to follow.” While it was easy going out front, there was drama behind with local favourite Pink Galahs breaking gate early and having to spend much of the race recovering lost ground, while McLovin advanced to the breeze and kept things ticking over only to surprisingly tire and fade. That enabled Robbie Royale and Well Defined to clear out in the closing stages and the latter overrun Brent Lilley’s seven-year-old in the 28.6-sec last quarter to score. “He’s a little beauty to drive,” Tormey said. “He’s a little bit difficult in the warm up, but once those tapes go he just rockets away and then puts himself in such a good position every time. “I think he just makes you look good. He goes away that fast you are nearly in front or behind the leader every race. He’s got that nice little sprint, so when you are in that spot he’s going to run a nice little place or be near about. “These stands and the 2600, they suit him down to the ground. He runs them out really well. Whatever he does the owners and trainer are really rapt with the job he’s done.”   HRV - Michael Howard

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - It was one for the harness racing chalk players and one for those who like bombs in the two $17,500 Play Meadowlands Series Finals at The Meadowlands Friday night. In the division for pacing fillies and mares, Its Mesmerise N completed a two-race sweep of the event for trainer Darran Cassar and driver Scott Zeron. Sent to the gate as the 1-5 public choice for a second straight start despite facing a tougher field this time around, Zeron had the 7-year-old daughter of American Ideal-Cullens Charm in the three-hole early before brushing to the top at the half, which was clocked in a quick :54.2. Windsong Parisian, the 10-1 fourth choice in the 10-horse field, applied pressure to the leader while first-over past the half and three-quarters (1:22.1) and appeared to be done off the turn as they straightened away in the stretch, but she kept on digging all the way to the wire through a slow final quarter of :30.2 to come up a neck short of pulling off an upset. Misty Memory N was third.   "I wish I could have bided my time a little more," said Zeron of moving Its Mesmerise N to the lead. "She raced unbelievably given the pressure and the fractions. When I had to move as early as I did at the half, it was a bit of a concern and the immediate pressure didn't help. [Windsong Parisian] raced well. Both fillies cruised around the last turn and both hung in there down the lane. I think my horse is classier than these horses. I had been racing her from off the pace because she likes a target but had been a victim of being too far back. She showed tonight she can do it any which way." Its Mesmerise N paid $2.60 to win after completing the mile in 1:52.3 for her 18th lifetime win from 69 starts. She now has earnings of $117,364. Longshot lovers got their way in the Play Meadowlands for trotters as driver Steve Smith saved ground with Take A Wish from start to finish before bursting through between rivals late to score at 30-1 in 1:55.2. After racing Take A Wish at the rail in eighth in the 10-horse field in the early going, as the flow developed on the rim, Smith advanced the Dawn Anderson trainee to the four-hole along the inside at the half. Remaining glued to the cones around the far turn, Smith waited until there was room and came with a rush in deep stretch to score the upset by a head and return $62.40. Life Well Lived closed well on the far outside to get second while third-place finisher Gruden, the 2-1 favorite, failed in a second straight attempt to go wire-to-wire.   Take A Wish, a 6-year-old mare by Wishing Stone-Take A Taste, won for the 12th time from 85 lifetime outings and upped her earnings to $210,836. A LITTLE MORE: Handle topped the $3-million mark again as a total of $3,080,321 was put in play on a 13-race card conducted over a sloppy track that saw snowy conditions for the first third of the program. Wagering has now surpassed $3 million on three straight Fridays, and 10 times overall for the 14 cards conducted thus far in 2021. ... Driver of the Week Dexter Dunn kept on rolling, racking up three winners to up his Big M leading-driver victory tally to 42. He's scored 15 times over the last four programs. ... No one hit the 20-cent Pick-6, setting up Saturday's wager with a carryover of $7,222. .... First-race post time on Saturday is 6 p.m. The Pick-6 begins in race eight. Free past performances for every race of every Meadowlands card are available by going to playmeadowlands.com. For full race results, click here. By Dave Little, for the Meadowlands  

LEBANON, OH - Kobe Bryant would have been proud! Black Mamba AS added the $25,000 championship leg of the Howard Beissinger Memorial Medley trot series at 1-1/4 miles to her impressive harness racing resume on Friday (Feb. 19), trotting gate to finish line in front in 2:25.2 at Miami Valley Raceway. "I knew she'd have a big shot," exclaimed driver Tyler Smith. "Anette (Lorentzon, the trainer) keeps all her horses fit and sharp and the added quarter mile didn't bother her or me a bit." A six-year-old daughter of Lionhunter, Black Mamba AS recorded her 16th lifetime victory and boosted her career bounty to $342,912 with the score. She has finished on the board in 42 of her 77 trips behind the starting gate. Merci Monsieur AS (Kayne Kauffman) made a valiant late surge to get within a length of the winner, with Compelling (LeWayne Miller), the even money favorite, finishing third. Say You Do (Brett Miller) and Perfect Chapter AS (Chris Page) picked up the minor spoils in the lucrative final. ACI Studeri AB of Paris, Kentucky, owns Black Mamba AS and were involved in the breeding and early lessons of Merci Monsieur AS and Perfect Chapter AS, although the latter two have changed hands in recent years.   Black Mamba AS paid $11.60 to win, coupled with Merci Monsieur AS the exacta returned $129.20, and a 50-cent trifecta was worth $79.63 with favored Compelling completing the ticket. The Howard Beissinger Memorial Medley, which featured preliminary legs at 5/8ths of a mile and the traditional mile, pays homage to the Hall Of Fame trainer-driver who was born and lived his entire life in Hamilton, Ohio, just a stone's throw from Miami Valley Raceway. Beissinger won three Hambletonians with Lindy's Pride, Speedy Crown and Speedy Somolli and maintained his base of operations in southwest Ohio throughout his career. A $20,000 Mares Open Pace was also showcased on the Friday program at Miami Valley. Bettor's Up (LeWayne Miller) pulled a mild 9-1 upset over Checks On The Way (Trace Tetrick) and Gone Girl (Tyler Smith). Using her inside post position to full advantage, the winner enjoyed a two-hole trip behind Checks On The Way through fractions of :27.3, :56.1 and 1:24.2 before pulling on the leader and wearing her down in the final furlong. The 1:52.3 win was the 25th of Bettor's Up's career and boosted her bankroll to $981,752 as she seeks millionaire status in the coming weeks. The Platinum Stables of Indiana own the seven-year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight. Racing resumes Saturday (Feb. 20) at Miami Valley with the $25,000 championship of the Bill Dailey Memorial Medley, at 1-1/4 miles, and a $22,000 Open Handicap Pace highlighting the program. Miami Valley has announced a make up card for Wednesday (Feb. 24) with the entry box closing at 1:00 on Saturday (Feb. 20) for the added card. The condition sheet for the added program is available on the USTA website. For full race results, click here. From Miami Valley Raceway                

Melady's Monet is getting up in age but remains young at heart. The 12-year-old male trotter has three wins and a second in four starts this season and will look for career victory No. 71 when he visits The Meadowlands for Saturday's $22,500 conditioned trot. "He's doing really good," trainer Hermann Heitmann said. "Nothing has changed with him (over the years). He is still acting like a young horse, actually. He likes to play around in the paddocks, he enjoys his lunch, he doesn't look like he wants to slow down yet. "He just likes to race." Melady's Monet is a son of Revenue S out of Keystone Melady. He was bred by Ester Balenzano and her husband Luca, who passed away last year. Ester remains the horse's owner under the Melady Enterprises banner. For his career, Melady's Monet has won 70 of 224 races and $1.73 million. He has earned more than $125,000 in each of the past eight years. He won the 2016 Vincennes Invitational at The Meadowlands and later that season was second to Bee A Magician in the $250,000 Yonkers Invitational. In 2015, he won The Meadows Maturity and had third-place finishes in the Cutler Memorial and Crawford Farms Open Trot. In recent years, he has remained a consistent performer in top-level trots at various East Coast racetracks, particularly Yonkers. The gelding was sidelined for five months in 2018 because of colic surgery but has earned a paycheck in 49 of 54 starts since his return. "He's like the horse of a lifetime," Heitmann said. "There are not too many around like him." On Saturday, Melady's Monet heads to The Meadowlands to race for the first time since December 2019. He will start from post five with driver Scott Zeron and is 9-2 on the morning line. Kenziesky Hanover is the 5-2 favorite. "I'm sure he will put in a good effort," Heitmann said. What makes Melady's Monet successful in fending off rivals as well as Father Time? "His attitude," Heitmann said. "He knows when we're going to the races and he likes the competition. He tries unbelievably hard, always. He never gives up. "Attitude is everything with him. He just wants to do it. You can't teach that to any horse, they either have it or they don't. He wants to do it." Racing begins at 6 p.m. (EST) at The Meadowlands. The Big M and TrackMaster have teamed to regularly provide free past performances for each race card. Past performances can be found here on The Meadowlands website. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

Major North American owners Gordon Banks and Marc Hanover have teamed up with 15 time North American Breeders Crown winning owners Richard Gutnick,Thomas Pontone, and Joseph Lozito Jr. to acquire New Zealand’s superstar four-year-old harness racing pacing mare Amazing Dream (Bettor's Delight - Christian Dreamer - Christian Cullen)! Jean Feiss agreed to sell her four-year-old, seven time Group 1 winning mare, winner of over $890,000 for an undisclosed six figure sum to this powerhouse combine, perhaps opening the door to more significant standardbred investments in Down Under Bloodstock by this group. Banks and Hanover have long been active Down Under and have had considerable success with Australian Breeders Crown two-year-old pacing filly winner Passions Promise, Dual Group 1 aged pacing star Majordan, NZ 2 year old Sire Stakes champion Joannes Delight, current 3 year old star American Dealer (last year’s 2 year old NZ Sire Stakes Champion), old warhorse Ouch, and the great pacing filly Tupelo Rose, amongst many others. Banks and Hanover co-own this year’s North American two-year-old Breeder’s Crown trotting filly winner, Lady Chaos, with Gutnick, Pontone, and Lozito, so the team is hoping to build on their success together. Lady Chaos winning the $600,000 Breeders Crown Richard Gutnick has owned four Breeders Crown winners, the winners of the 2012 Hambletonian, the Canadian Trotting Classic, The Maple Leaf trot, and numerous other North American classics. His two greatest horses have been Hambletonian winner Market Share, and racing star Chapter Seven, who is now one of the world’s most desired trotting stallions. Gutnick horses in North America have earned well over US$10,000,000. Gordon Banks the master mind of an AMAZING deal Thomas Pontone has owned horses that have won an incredible 10 Breeders Crowns and two Hambletonians. He is the owner of superstar and super sire Muscle Hill, and he has owned Art Major, McArdle, Shark Gesture, Metropolitan, Strong Yankee, Red Bow Tie, and the great mare  Cathedera Dot Com, amongst many other equine stars. Joe Lozito Jr. won his first Breeders Crown (2020) with two-year-old filly Lady Chaos (2t,1:53.1) $584,131, and has owned numerous top horses. For Gutnick, Pontone, and Lozito this acquisition marks their first venture Down Under, and it is a real feather in New Zealand’s cap that the standardbred industry has produced stars capable of attracting this kind of North American investment and investors! Banks and Hanover, who will be the managing partners, have confirmed to Harnesslink that the group plans to keep Amazing Dream racing in New Zealand through this year’s Harness Jewels, then race the mare in Australia through the Interdominion and, perhaps, next year’s one million dollar Miracle Mile. Amazing Dream, the champion four-year-old mare beating the best boys in the 2020 Auckland Cup Then plans are for Amazing Dream to go to the States to take on North America’s best aged mares. It is also hoped that Amazing Dream will return to New Zealand this year for the New Zealand Cup. Plans are for THE DREAM to remain in New Zealand with Hayden Cullen, with Mark Purdon handling the driving...Tentative Australian plans are for Kevin Pizzuto to care for Amazing Dream in NSW and Nathan Purdon to handle Victoria in this COVID age. According to Banks and Hanover the entire ownership team hopes to get to see their new star racing in person for the Inters or Miracle Mile, if foreign travel possible then.... Harnesslink Media

Australia’s pinup pacer Lochinvar Art has been a shock withdrawal from tonight’s rich AVE Technologies Newcastle Mile. Owner Kevin Gordon made the announcement a short time ago on social media – but Gordon assured it was still all systems go for the Garrards Miracle Mile at Menangle in a fortnight. “It’s nothing major – a corn was found in the sole of his foot. It’s in the horse’s best welfare not to run,” Gordon said. “All will be okay in the Miracle Mile in two weeks.” Lochinvar Art, trained by David Moran at Shepparton, was a short-priced favorite in tonight’s AVE Technologies Newcastle Mile Group One, worth $100,000. The disappointment came after Moran made a last-minute dash last Friday to get over the border to NSW ahead of a snap five-day COVID-19 lockdown in Victoria. Undoubtedly the best standarbred currently racing in Australasia, Lochinvar Art posted his seventh Group One victory in the $500,000 Hunter Cup at Melton recently, taking his earnings to $1,368,456 (courtesy of 28 wins from 50 starts). The Moran team is stabled in NSW at the Cobbitty property of Belinda and Luke McCarthy. The scratching leaves the race wide open, but Queensland-trained Turn It Up is now likely to firm into favoritism.   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Breeding authority Peter Wharton presents all the harness racing news on breeding from Australia, New Zealand and North America every Friday brought to you by Garrard’s Horse & Hound Paleface Adios Stakes winner Expensive Ego, who has won three races in quick time this season highlighted by his success in the Group 2 $60,000 Paleface Adios Stakes, and has graduated to a NR90 mark, is regarded as one of the best young pacers in the country. Expensive Ego is a four-year-old by the Rocknroll Hanover horse, Rock N Roll Heaven (sire of Heaven Rocks, etc), from Art Start, who took a record of 1:58.2 and won 14 races. She produced earlier winners in Arts Treasure 1:50.9 ($152,542), a winner at Group 1 level, Bohdi Tree 1:52.1 ($192,854) and Golightly (1:55.3). Art Start is by the American bred sire Perfect Art from Sweet Clementine (1:59.6), an Oaks winner by Land Grant from the Jerry Adios mare Sue Adios, dam of the QBred Triad winner Sweet Liberty 1:57.9 ($102,706), Vanston Adios, Sir Galahad and Sweet Sue. This is a long-established NZ family and earlier top youngsters belonging to it include My Liberty Belle, Philadelphia Man and Centenario. A half-brother by Betting Line to Expensive Ego will be offered at the Nutrien Equine Standardbred Yearling Sale at Oaklands Junction in April.   WA Golden Nugget to Minstrel Western Australia’s premier race for four-year-olds, the $200,000 Golden Nugget, run at Gloucester Park, was won by Minstrel, and although Magnificent Storm, rated the top four-year-old of his year, finished second after coming from last, this fact could not detract from the merit of Minstrel’s success. Minstrel                --Jodie Hallows Photo He has now won four of his seven starts in WA and eight of his 17 lifetime starts for $208,803 in stakes. His sire, Rocknroll Hanover, was one of the best performed sires to come to Australia, being by Western Ideal, a son of Western Hanover. Rocknroll Hanover had a record of 1:48.6 and was one of America’s greatest ever three-year-olds. His ‘down under’ stock include King Of Swing, Foreclosure, Rockstar Angel, Yankee Rockstar, The Storm Inside and others, and in America he sired 84 in 1:50 including Rock N Roll Heaven (1:47.6). Ovaride, the dam of Minstrel, was a Mach Three mare from a capable racemare in Top Gear (1:55.9), by Falcon Seelster from Fill The Purse, by Holmes Hanover from Village Rose, by Clever Innocence. Ovaride (2:00.2), a three-year-old winner, left earlier winners in The Achiever (1:57.6) and Rollova (1:57.4), who won at Melton the day after Minstrel won.  Top Gear was a half-sister to Fill The Bank (1:53.2), Vanilla Rose (1:57.5), Bank Raider and to Magic Marg, the dam of the prolific Menangle winner Magic Oats 1:51.5 ($225,278). The most distinguished member of this family was a top flight three-year-old in City Rogue (1:49.6), who won 27 races in NZ, Australia and America and $502,734 in stakes.  His successes included the Australian Derby, Redcliffe Derby, NZ Kindergarten Stakes and NZ Rising Stars 3YO Championship. Others from this family included Raukapuka Ruler (1:50.4), winner of the NZ Great Northern Derby and Ashburton Cup, the NZ Sapling and Kindergarten Stakes winner War Dan Delight, Atom Of Courage 1:52.2 (Parkes and Tamworth Cups) and the Addington free-for-all winner Village Chief (1:57.9).   Delightful Jazz is top mare Bought for $75,000 and now a winner of $126,660, Delightful Jazz continues to prove herself in the top bracket of pacing mares in Victoria. Delightful Jazz                             --Stuart McCormick Photo   She is a member of one of New Zealand’s top ranking standardbred families, being a five-year-old Bettor’s Delight mare from a handy racemare in Hotinthecitytonite (1:58.8), a Christian Cullen mare who has produced others in Dancintothebeat (1:56.5), who won twice at Albion Park recently, and Major Hippie (1:57.5). Hotinthecitytonite was out of Hot Shoe Shuffle 1:57.9 ($295,011), a Group winning mare by Falcon Seelster from Off Beat, by Vance Hanover from the Lordship mare Broken Drum and tracing to the taproot Regina (by Berlin). Hot Shoe Shuffle produced two high class pacers in Glenferrie Shuffle (1:57), a winner of 13 races and $279,839 including the Breeders Crown 2YO Final, and Jivin Cullen (1:54), a winner of 14 races and $190,713. Others from Hot Shoe Shuffle were the exported Joshua Mac 1:57.8 ($107,760) and the NZ Sales Graduette winner Sem’s Delight (1:57). Hot Shoe Shuffle figures as the second dam of the Menangle winner Zanadu (1:55), Kezzamac (1:56.5) and the promising NZ filly Passion And Power (1:58.6), a heat winner of the Young Gun Series.   Act Now is Derby material Act Now, who comfortably won in restricted age company at Melton and is regarded as Derby material of the highest order, is a three-year-old colt by Somebeachsomewhere from Molly’s Ideal, an American-bred mare. Act Now            --Stuart McCormick Photo   Act Now is a member of the an-old time family, which was represented by the winner of the Graham Head Memorial at Shepparton recently in Patsbeachstorm. He was placed at his next start in the $100,000 Caduceus Club Classic. Molly’s Ideal is an American Ideal mare from Molly’s Lucky Star (1:54.4), by Bettor’s Delight from Pacific Destiny, by Artsplace from One More Kiss, by Big Towner. One More Kiss was the dam of the million dollar earner Pacific Fella (1:48.4), who sired winners in Australia. Molly’s Ideal ranks as a half-sister to the WA Diamond Classic winner Askmeilltellya 1:54.8 ($136,136), War Dan Star (1:59.3) and Pin Stripes (1:53.7).   Well related three-year-old Cheyella, who won the String Of Pearls at Albury, showed ability as a two-year-old last season when she was twice placed in five attempts. She has opened her season on a winning note and will be well in line for the major juvenile classics. Cheyella is a filly by the American Ideal horse, Heston Blue Chip, from Chiquita Bromac (1:58.7), the dam also of Celerina (1:57.5), a winner of five races and a placegetter in Group company. Chiquita Bromac ranks as a sister to the Victoria Derby heat winner Crown Bromac 1:54.1 ($139,878) and a half-sister to the Franklin Cup winner Attorney General 1:48.4 ($323,098) and the Victoria Youthful winner Cullen Bromac (1:55.1), being by McArdle from Classic Blue Jeans, by Camluck from the American-bred Oh Please, by Albatross. This is the family which produced such winners as the NZ Cup and Free-for-all winner Cruz Bromac (1:50.1), Falcon’s Blue Jean 1:51.8 ($442,232), Our Cullen’s Crown 1:52 ($491,044) and the top Tasmanian pacer The Majority. Cheyella was bred and is raced by Ballarat breeder Verna El-Khishin.   Siblings win at Melton It was no mean feat for the half-brothers President Roydon (by The Pres) and Majestic Hurricane (by Majestic Son) to win on the same night at Melton last weekend. Both bred by Roydon Lodge Stud are from Dear Diedre, a trotter herself, and who has left other straightout trotting winners in Duchess Diedre, The Earth Moved and Lord Roydon. Dear Diedre was by the Arndon horse Sundon (nine-time Group winner) from a fine racemare in Diedre’s Pride, by Game Pride from Roydon Diedre, by Arndon.  Other members of this family have been the Breeders Crown champions Conon Bridge (1:56.6), Im Ready Jet (1:55.6) and Hurricane Flyer, Destiny Jones (Ordeal Trotting Cup), Sunny Ruby 1:54.7 (Harness Jewels), Wee Man Trouble, the dual Vicbred champion Aldebaran Eve and Sunoflindenny. On their best form, President Roydon and Majestic Hurricane are both expected to graduate far beyond their present rating.   Eighth on end  Papinik won his eighth race on end at Gloucester Park recently when he soundly trounced intermediate grade rivals, rating a career-best 1:54.5 for 2130 metres. He is by the In The Pocket horse, Advance Attack, a full brother to the great Courage Under Fire. Papinik                           --Jodie Hallows Photo   Papinik is out of Artist’s Impression, by Perfect Art from Rakamo, by Admiral Halsey from the Lumber Dream mare Sentimental Belle, a daughter of Sentimental Lass, the dam of the free-for-aller Mister Fallacy 1:57.3 ($142,212), a high class pacer in Master Scamp and others. Papinik is a brother-in-blood to the Westbred 2YO Classic winner Heez On Fire 1:54.7 ($287,607) and the Western Crown victor Brush With Courage (1:58.9) and a member of the same family as outstanding young pacers in Mitemptation and Rakarolla.   Half-brother to De Lovely Zadaka, who came from last to win the $30,000 Ararat Pacing Cup, is an eight-year-old half-brother by Mach Three to the champion New Zealand racemare De Lovely 1:54 ($613,355), the Menangle winner Coppagoodone (1:57) and Le Girl (1:58). They are out of a dual Oaks winner in Copper Beach 1:58.6 ($179,794), by the American import Beach Towel who was out of Les Payzen Star, by Payson’s Brother from Interchange, by New York Motoring. Interchange was a most successful broodmare, being also the dam of the Inter Dominion champion and dual Auckland Cup hero Elsu 1:53.6 ($2 million), the NZ 2YO Championship winner Revonez, Falcor (1:53) and Mombassa. Copper Beach was a half-sister to the exported Metekhi (1:54), CC Star (1:57.1) and to Rose Vear, the dam of Elias Bromac (2:00.8).   Four winners by Rock N Rock Heaven The Rocknroll Hanover horse, Rock N Roll Heaven, a grand pacer himself and now a leading sire, left four winners on the one night at Albion Park last weekend. His winners were Cardlesfromheaven (1:53.5), Thats How Weroll (1:54), Clarry (1:54.9) and Rockita (1:56.9).   First winner by Bling It On Bling It On, a well performed American Ideal horse from a champion broodmare in Alldatglittersisgold, by Caprock, was recently represented by his first winner in the two-year-old filly Finery, who led throughout at Bathurst. Finery had shown up strongly at the Menangle trials prior to her debut. Bred by Glenn Wilmont, Finery is out of the Bettor’s Delight mare, Dazzle N Daze, whose dam, Amboseli (1:58.7) was by Christian Cullen from the New York Motoring mare Rafiki (2:00.8), who left several useful winners including the Perth and USA winner The Freedom Fighter 1:52 ($147,036) and Our Friend (1:53).     by Peter Wharton

The Abela father-and-son harness racing team of Joe and Tyrone have been making every post a winner this year—and an enviable strike-rate tells the story. “It’s a nice change that’s for sure. We couldn’t take a trick in 2020 – nothing went right for us!” Tyrone said. “One of our very nice horses in Carmy Dan had us scratching our heads. I think he had four zeros and a rating of only 50 at one stage. At his peak he was in the high 60s and nearly going to Melbourne to race, but he had a real bad patch where he was dropping out at the bell,” he said. “It was things like this that we were coming up against, but we’ve worked through them and come out the other side, thankfully!” Tyrone said they had found Carmy Dan had stomach issues and the pacer has bounced back with a Melton second and wins at Cranbourne and Maryborough. “His ‘Aunty’ in Misschanel wasn’t taking her promise at home to the races either,” Tyrone said. “So we decided to get her in foal and away she went. She won three and we retired her after her last victory at Maryborough. “We were hoping she could win enough to pay for a Rock N Roll Heaven service fee—she did more than that and covered the cost of two services to Sky Valley!” The Abelas only have three or four horses in work at any one time, but over the past six or seven weeks have landed two doubles and with a bit of luck, it could have easily been three. “The enjoyment is certainly back now,” Tyrone said. The investment manager lives with his family at Ocean Grove, and his parents Joe and Carmen live on a picturesque 220-acre horse training property at Balliang, halfway between Bacchus Marsh and Geelong. “We work as a team and we’ve done it like that for a long time,” Tyrone said. “I drive over to my parents’ place to do them and Mum is very much hands-on with feeding and cleaning—she is probably dad’s right hand really. And we also have a helper in Cathrine who turns up every day to help us with fastwork and jogging.” The Abelas have been in sensational form this year with an impressive win and place percentage to starters strike rate of 69 percent. So far, they’ve had 13 starters for five wins, three second placings and one third. “We recently trained our 100th winner which was a nice milestone because we’re only a hobby outfit and pretty much just breed all of our own,” Tyrone said. “It’s usually about 50/50 in trotter and pacer numbers, although we do have more trotting broodmares in foal at the moment. I suppose deep down we all have a real love for the trotters. “Probably our best horse over the years was a square gaiter named Solar Active, who we raced for about four years. In his last year he ran third in an Inter-Dominion heat in Melbourne and then sixth in the final to Sundons Gift, which was a huge thrill. “Then as an 11-year-old he won his last start at Kilmore, driven by the late Gavin Lang.” Harness Racing Authority records show that Solar Active (Sundon-All Action Gal (Speed In Action) won 23 races and had 22 placings for over $180,000 in stakemoney. The family is now pinning its hopes on a smart trotter in Madena Sky (Angus Hall-Dreamscape Aurora (Safely Kept) to keep the success going. “We’ve had some nice types over the years, but she has the ability to potentially be our best,” Tyrone said. Madena Sky ran second to Fear The Yankee at Bendigo on Wednesday night in the second heat of the Lyn McPherson Memorial Breed for Speed Silver Series. She now has six wins and seven placings from 39 starts. Tyrone said his father got involved in the sport in the late 1970s, “poking around with just one horse for ages.” “When I started driving in 1993 as a junior, it stepped up to three or four horses. We later put in a 1500m jog track, a 1150m fastwork track along with swimming facilities,” he said. “I drove about 60 winners, but I only occasionally take the reins now, and I don’t miss it. Chris Alford, who knows our horses, has been really good to us and we also use Jodi Quinlan and Greg Sugars.” As a youngster, Tyrone worked for Danny Norris, Gavin Lang and John Justice, while during his early driving days competed against Kerryn Manning and her now husband Grant Campbell. “They were great times, and I was lucky to get such a good grounding. I will always cherish my time with Gavin. It was an experience being with him and I was lucky to work some of his best horses,” he said.   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Harness racing driver LeWayne Miller is a fan of the three-leg Howard Beissinger Memorial Medley Trot at Miami Valley Raceway, and has a "compelling" reason to look forward to Friday's (Feb. 19) $25,000 final. Miller will be driving the morning-line favorite, Compelling.   Compelling and Miller will start from post five in the final, which will be contested at the added distance of 1-1/4 miles. Compelling won a first-leg division of the medley, raced at five-eighths of a mile, and finished second in a second-round split, which was raced at the standard distance of one mile.   Perfect Chapter As is the 7-2 second choice in the final. The 7-year-old gelding won a second-leg division and was third in an opening-round division. The Ron Burke trainee will start from post six with Chris Page in the sulky. Shake It Mary, who won both of her preliminary legs, is 5-1 from post seven. The 5-year-old Sherif Cunmulaj-trained mare will be driven by Dan Noble.   Compelling, a 7-year-old mare, was an Indiana Sire Stakes champion at age 4. She is owned by Verlin Yoder and has spent the majority of her career at Harrah's Hoosier Park. Lifetime, the daughter of Swan For All out of First Lady Two has won 18 of 72 starts and $270,378.   "She's a very nice mare," said Miller, who is training and driving Compelling while she competes at Miami Valley. "She knows where the wire is, and she likes that last quarter (of a mile)."   Compelling used her finishing kick to win her first leg in the Beissinger. She was sixth at the half-mile point, nearly eight lengths from the leader. She won by a head.   "I was a little concerned about the five-eighths because it's such a short distance and she's a little lazy, so sometimes it takes her a little bit longer to get in gear," Miller said. "But she definitely closed strong. I think the pace was hot enough early that they just got a little tired late."   Compelling's racing style gives Miller reason to be optimistic in the Beissinger's extra-distance final.   "I like the mile-and-a-quarter for her because her best game is at the end of the mile," Miller said. "You approach (the race) the same way, you just have to be a little bit patient and manage when to use your horse. I think she will be all right in there."   The medley series honors Howard Beissinger, a Hall of Fame trainer-driver and the winner of three Hambletonian Stakes. Beissinger, who died in 2018, maintained his base of operations in Hamilton, Ohio, less than 10 miles from Miami Valley Raceway, throughout his career.   "I love the idea of it and like the way they have it set up," Miller said about the varied-distances event. "It's a nice thing to have. It's fun."   Racing begins at 4:05 p.m. (EST) Friday at Miami Valley. For the card's complete entries, click here.   by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

It has been reported by Karsten Bønsdorf, USTA Senior Newsroom Correspondent that affter the defeat Sunday afternoon in the Prix de France, where Face Time Bourbon finished second, his regular driver, Björn Goop, was sacked by the main owner, Italian Antonio Somma. Somma has long been unsatisfied with Goop as the driver of maybe the world’s best trotter at present, and just after the race, Somma wrote on Twitter that Goop was sacked. Today Somma was interviewed on the French racing television channel Equidia and said that Sebastian Guarato, who trains Face Time Bourbon, was free to pick any of these five drivers in the future to drive the top trotter: Eric Raffin, Gabriele Gelormini, Yoann Lebourgeois, Matthieu Abrivard and Franck Nivard. Sebastian Guarato had already made his choice and made it public, that Eric Raffin is the new driver of Face Time Bourbon. “Raffin is an obvious choice,” Guarato said. “He has driven Face Time Bourbon twice in races and has won both times.” Eric Raffin will drive Face Time Bourbon on March 6 in the Prix de Selection at Vincennes. Björn Goop has driven Face Time Bourbon in 29 races and has 24 wins and four seconds. On Jan. 31, Face Time Bourbon (with Goop) was an easy winner of the famous Prix d’Amerique for the second year in a row. From the USTA

MILTON, ON - February 18, 2021 - Woodbine Entertainment today announced that all slots for the 2021 Mohawk Million have officially been sold and the $1 million race for two-year-old trotters will be contested on Saturday, September 25 at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The deadline to purchase one of nine slots in the Mohawk Million was February 15 and Woodbine has received purchase contracts to fill all slots. A $50,000 (CAD) payment was required by the February 15 deadline and all the slot purchasers will now have until June 1 to submit the remaining $50,000 (CAD) of the $100,000 slot fee. "We are very excited to announce that the second edition of the Mohawk Million is officially moving forward," said Jim Lawson, CEO of Woodbine Entertainment. "The Mohawk Million is a race that impacts many avenues of our industry and brings notoriety to our sport. "On behalf of our entire team at Woodbine, I'd like to extend a special thank you to the owners that have purchased slots and are helping support a race that raises the prominence of our world class sport. I'd also like to acknowledge and thank Jessica Buckley, Bill McLinchey and our entire team for persevering in pulling this event together in spite of these challenging times." The names of the nine slot owners for the 2021 Mohawk Million will be unveiled by the end of the month. Woodbine Mohawk Park continues to compile a list of all the horses nominated to its 2021 stakes from the recent February 15 deadline. The tenth and final slot in the Mohawk Million will be awarded to the winner of the William Wellwood Memorial on Saturday, September 11. The Mohawk Million card on September 25 will be Canada's richest night of racing for 2021 with over $2.6 million in purses. The rising stars of harness racing will be the focus of Mohawk Million night, as the $850,000 Metro Pace for two-year-old pacers and $540,000 Shes A Great Lady are part of the rich evening. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment          

YONKERS, N.Y. – It’s common for harness racing horses shipping over from New Zealand or Australia to need change: a new style of racing and training, to add Lasix, or just a change of scenery. And often, there is nowhere to go but up for those horses. Take standout Nifty Norman import Let It Ride N as an example. He lost 10 straight races in Australia before coming to the U.S., added Lasix, and became the next rising star pacer. However, when Some Waratah A arrived in Amanda Kelley’s stable from Australia on a five-race win streak, she worried there was nowhere to go but down.  “That put a lot of pressure on me because I was like, ‘I don’t want to screw this horse up,’ ” Kelley said. Despite Kelley’s fears, after two races in the U.S., Some Waratah A extended his win streak to seven. First, taking a $25,000 Yonkers Raceway overnight Feb. 8 and then capturing the $30,000 open handicap pace one week later. “He’s doing everything right over there and he’s coming in and having to go up in class. That put more pressure on me,” Kelley said. “He wins that, second start in the U.S., welcome to America, here’s the Yonkers open. But he handled it.” By Somebeachsomewhere out of 3-time Group 1 winning and AU$564,770-earning mare Lady Waratah, Some Waratah A began his career in Australia in 2017. He went 4-for-13 through December 2018 before going on the shelf for just over a year. Some Waratah A returned to the races in January 2020 and through August 2020, won just two of 14 starts, including a claimer going for AU$6,120 at Tabcorp Park Menangle Aug. 10. Some Waratah A’s luck began to change Sept. 14, 2020 when he captured another claimer at the same level at Menangle. He then won two straight races at Canberra Sept. 21 and 28 before returning to Menangle Oct. 3 in thee FFA pace. By now, he had caught the eye of agents like Chris Scicluna, who Kelley and owner Fred Scheigert work with, and they were interested in Some Waratah. In that FFA pace, Some Waratah A gunned to the lead and parked rival Dee Double You through a :26.5 first quarter. Some Waratah A faced pressure throughout, getting a half in :55.9 and three-quarters in 1:23.1. The plugs came out as Some Waratah A turned for home on the lead with a wall of horses fanning out behind him to take their shots. They all missed. Some Waratah A utilized a :27.2 final quarter to kick away from the field, scoring by open lengths in a lifetime b Kelley and Scheigert struck a deal to buy Some Waratah A and bring him to the U.S., but the previous owners wanted to race him one more time. “The dreaded one more time,” as Kelley calls it.est 1:50.3. “I go through them, watch a bunch of replays, see how they move, see what we like about them and go from there,” Kelley said. “He just kept impressing us. He covers the ground effortlessly. He’s really floaty, he’s light on his feet, he’s really quick off the car and he showed that in all of his replays.” They entered Some Waratah A in a Group 3 stakes at Menangle Oct. 10. From an inside post, he again went straight to the lead and parked rival Marty Major through a blistering :25.6 first quarter. Some Waratah A got to the half in :54.2 and seemed vulnerable as Marty Major drew on even terms, Dee Double You and Escalera wound up wide, and Lets Katchmeifucan loomed in the pocket at the midway point of the final turn.  But just like last time, the plugs came out at the top of the stretch and Some Waratah A revealed another gear. He held on to earn his first stakes win. “Even the announcer didn’t think he could keep going, but he did; he dug in and won by a head. That heart in a horse really appealed to me,” Kelley said. Some Waratah A shipped to the U.S. Nov. 2, 2020. Upon arriving in her Saratoga, N.Y. stable, Kelley was impressed by how athletic the 7-year-old gelding looked, even comparing him to a Greyhound.  “When we started working with him, I was really pleasantly surprised. You never know how they’re going to come. They have such a different style,” Kelley said. “Some of them can be a little difficult or stubborn or hot. He’s just pleasant to be around. He doesn’t do anything wrong. He’s friendly, he meets you at the gate, he wants you to brush on him and pet him, he likes his cookies. Just about anybody could jog him.” Kelley worked with Some Waratah A for about two months until he was ready to qualify Jan. 23, 2021. She took Some Waratah A to the Meadowlands, where she intended to race him. Almost nothing went according to plan despite employing the driving services of Todd McCarthy, who won with Some Waratah A at Menangle in April 2020. Still, Some Waratah A finished second by a neck in 1:56.2. “It was frigid. It was one of the worst, coldest days that we had and it was bitter. The first one, you want them to come back off the car, have a nice easy qualifier, maybe kick home a little bit. It ended up just a mess in there,” Kelley said. “Todd told me he had to leave with him and retake with him. He said he was OK. I don’t think he wowed him, but he was OK. I didn’t get a good read off of that one.” Set to race another horse on the Jan. 29 program at Yonkers, Kelley decided to change plans with Some Waratah A and enter him to qualify at the Hilltop before the card. With Tyler Buter in the bike, Some Waratah A enjoyed a pocket trip before winning by 3/4 lengths in 1:56.4. “He got around the track really well and Tyler said he was really good, so I decided to put him back in there to race,” Kelley said. In his Yonkers debut Feb. 8, Some Waratah A had to change tactics. Coming from off the pace, Buter saved ground the first three-quarters before shifting out behind Twin B Speedo. Some Waratah A angled three-wide into the stretch and quickly engulfed pacesetter Moonshine Kisses. He then raced Artie’s Ideal to the wire, holding the closer off by a neck to post a 7-1 upset. “We didn’t know what to expect his first start because as a general rule, when they get put in the box as a foreign horse, money doesn’t matter, you get put in non-winners of $20,000 (last five), but he had more money made than that, so we had to go in the winners over,” Kelley explained. “I was a little worried about that just off of two qualifiers. He surprised me when he got a good trip and found the wire. “That’s not really his style,” Kelley continued. “He’s a leaver. He goes to the front and he likes it there. That’s where he does his best work, so I was a little worried about him even coming off the car and trying to get a trip. He did it that way, too so I was pleased. Any horse that will do it both ways is nice.” Some Waratah A returned in the Yonkers open handicap pace and this time, got to flaunt his speed. Buter sent him to the top through a :27.1 opening panel and played catch me if you can through fractions of :55.3 and 1:24.1 on a track rated good. With Shnitzledosomethin and Rockapelo parked the mile and Pat Stanley coming from 8 1/2 lengths behind, Some Waratah was home free, earning a length victory in the Hilltop’s featured pace in 1:53.2. “I decided to put him back in because he came out of his first start pretty well and afterwards, Tyler told me he was pretty sharp and he was really good,” Kelley said. “I was pretty surprised at the effort and he got a decent trip, some of the favorites got parked and it worked out for us.” The win put Kelley in a predicament, however. She hadn’t planned on racing Some Waratah A at Yonkers and hadn’t expected to win the open handicap so soon. She certainly wasn’t thinking about the Borgata Pacing Series before that win, which came just one day before the series nominations closed. Ultimately though, she opted not to stake him. “We only had the one start going in and we didn’t have a good gauge on him,” Kelley said. “I don’t like to push them that hard when he just started racing here. We’re a three-hour ship, too, so I was a little worried about the distance for a six-week long event. I didn’t want to hurt him yet, push him that hard yet.” Some Waratah A earned a week off after his open victory, but will likely reappear in the open ranks at Yonkers and Saratoga throughout the spring. “I’ll probably bounce between them,” Kelley said. “He likes Yonkers, obviously, so we’ll definitely be seeing some Yonkers.” Yonkers Raceway features live harness racing Monday through Friday with a first post time of 7:15 p.m. For entries to the races, click here. by Brandon Valvo, for the SOA of NY  

Shes Pukka N wins the Mares Open Pace at Dover Downs on Wednesday night. Harness racing driver Tony Morgan left alertly as opposed to taking back off the pace last week. That strategy was a winning one. Shes Pukka N left aggressively and relinquished the early lead to Infinite Symbol A at the quarter. Infinite Symbol N was able to control the race fractions thru splits of :27.2 ,:55.2 and 1:23 flat.     Soho Burning Love A, the 4/5 race favorite and driver Tim Tetrick moved off the rail past the half from last.  Soho Burning Love A paced without cover to the three quarter pole but was void of pace. Machnhope shadowed Soho Burning Love A down the backstretch but never threatened the leader. Morgan chose to pull from his pocket position with Shes Pukka N and attacked Infinite Symbol A in the lane.  Shes Pukka N muscled her way to the top and won by a half length in 1:50.2  She paid $16 to win.   Shes Pukka N (Betterthancheddar) is owned by Peter Paul Venturini and is trained by Brian Malone. Infinite Symbol A accepted the step up in class and finished second for trainer Dylan Davis.  Dexter Dunn drove.   Soho Burning Love A was a fast closing third for trainer Jim King Jr. Thursday night, Dover Downs will again offer a $5,000 guaranteed pick 5 wager with a fifty cent minimum.  The wager begins on the 9th race and concludes on the 13th race on the betting card.  The take out is 15%. Post Time at Dover Downs is 4:30 pm. For full results, click here. by Alex Kraszewski, for Dover Downs  

Enigmatic five-year-old Wildwest, by far the least experienced runner in the $50,000 Governor’s Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night, should make the most of the coveted No. 1 barrier and win the Group 2 feature event at his second outing after a five-month absence. “The way he is working and the motor he’s got, he should just lead and win,” said champion reinsman Gary Hall Jnr. Wildwest reappeared after a spell last Friday night when he finished an eye-catching fourth behind The Bird Dance in a 2536m Free-For-All. With Talktomeurmattjesty setting a brisk pace, Wildwest, from the No. 6 barrier, raced in sixth position in the Indian file affair and was blocked for a clear run in the home straight. Hall had the opportunity to ease Wildwest off the pegs in the back straight after Our Jimmy Johnstone moved into the one-wide line 600m from home. He defended his decision by saying that he felt Wildwest would have finished in the same position had he opted to travel wide over the final 500m. “To my way of thinking Wildwest looked like he was running out of room only late,” Hall explained. “If you transfer a pegs run to going four wide, I reckon he would have still finished in the same spot, considering the extra amount of ground he would have had to make up. “This week he has got the draw and will be hard to beat. He is still not quite tractable but is getting better. He got around good enough at his latest start.” Wildwest is prepared by champion trainer Gary Hall Snr, who won the Governor’s Cup with Chicago Bull in 2018. Hall Jnr has won the event twice, scoring with Chicago Bull and the Justin Prentice-trained Rocknroll Lincoln in 2019.   In what looks an even field, Wildwest, the winner at nine of his 14 starts, is expected to receive the stiffest opposition from Mirragon, Vultan Tin, Major Times and Cyclone Banner. Four-year-old Mirragon, the youngest runner in the field of 12, produced an excellent run when fourth behind Minstrel and Magnificent Storm in the Golden Nugget last Friday night. He was shuffled back to tenth at the bell before finishing strongly, covering the final 800m in 55.5sec. “Mirragon is a nice horse and I think he can figure in the finish in this week’s race,” said Lewis who won the 2010 Governor’s Cup with the Tony Svilicich-trained Has The Answers. Vultan Tin, lining up for his 173rd start, cannot be underestimated. Since finishing powerfully to win the 2936m WA Pacing Cup from Chicago Bull early in December, he has competed in fine style, with his past two runs resulting in seconds to Galactic Star over 2636m and Bletchley Park over 1730m. The hardy nine-year-old to be driven by Emily Suvaljko, will start from the outside of the back line in this week’s 2130m event and should be storming home. Major Times, a six-year-old former Victorian performer, will be making his West Australian debut for trainer Ross Olivieri. The stallion, who boasts an excellent record of 48 starts for 18 wins and 20 placings, will start from barrier No. 2 on the back line. Major Times, to be driven by last season’s leading reinsman Chris Voak, warmed up for this week’s assignment in fine style by setting the pace and winning a 2150m Byford trial on Sunday morning from Bettor Party at a 1.58 rate. The final quarters were run in 29sec. and 27.2sec. Olivieri will be looking for his second success in the Governor’s Cup after winning with Chief Thundercloud in 2016. Leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond, who won the 2017 Governor’s Cup with Our Jimmy Johnstone, will be pinning their faith on that evergreen 12-year-old and Wainui Creek, the only mare in the event. Our Jimmy Johnstone (Deni Roberts) will start from the No. 4 barrier, while Wainui Creek (Ryan Warwick) will start from the inside of the back line.  Aiden de Campo, who won last year’s Governor’s Cup with the fast-finishing $9 chance Handsandwheels, has been engaged by trainer Nathan Turvey to handle the up-and-coming five-year-old Miracle Moose, who has been exciting the fans with his powerful finishing bursts in recent weeks. Miracle Moose, who faces a steep rise in class, is favourably drawn at barrier No. 2.   Ken Casellas

Well done and congratulations to astute harness racing Victorian breeder Helen Head in breeding her Somebeachsomewhere mare Beach Box to the impressive son of Rocknroll Hanover, Yankee Rockstar, in 2018. That $1500 Service Fee turned into a strong colt that sold for $21,000 at the recent APG Melbourne Yearling Sale. The colt (Lot 281) was the sole representative of Yankee Rockstar at that Sale and caught the eye of the Cranbourne training team of Jayne Davies and Noel Alexander, who purchased him for a long-time stable client. “He was from a very good Family, was a nice individual with a good attitude.  He has been a real gentleman to break in so far”  said Jayne recently. This comment is very typical of what many breeders and trainers have communicated to date about their Rockstar progeny  -  strong, well grown athletic types that are well mannered and quick to learn. Yankee Rockstar has completed another good season at Northern Rivers Equine with around 90% of the mares he bred being in foal.  He had as a stable mate this season his younger half-brother Poster Boy, who was exceptionally well supported by Australian breeders, breeding 129 mares. Yankee Rockstar has two further Yearlings being offered at Yearling Sales over the next six weeks. Canberra breeder Frank O’Sullivan will offer Lot 706 at the Sydney APG Sale on 7th March  -  a tall athletic filly from his $100,000 winning mare Pretty In Pink.   Frank says she is a “dead ringer” for her Sire and is a half-sister to Trittrittbangbang, who has won his past two starts in Victoria, Yorkshire Park Standardbreds (Dennis and Brenda Bice) will offer a stunning Filly (Lot 15) at the Nutrien Sale in Melbourne on 10th April. The strongly built filly is from the Modern Art mare Ima Ritzi Lombo, so carries a 3 x 3 cross to the champion sire Artsplace as well as a 4 x 5 x 5 cross to the influential mare Wendymae Hanover (the Dam of Western Hanover). Harnesslink Media

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