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TWO of the major Inter Dominion players – trotter Tornado Valley and pacer Shadow Sax - had easy warm-up wins at Melton last Friday night. The first was Inter Dominion trotting favourite Tornado Valley, who effortlessly made it 13 wins from his past 15 starts. He’s the $3 favourite on the Aussie TAB for the trotting final from Kiwi star Speeding Spur at $3.80. Kate Gath took Tornado Valley straight to the front from gate three, cruised through a 62sec middle half and really just sprinted a 28.2sec to win hard-held by four metres in the Group 3 Lenin Trotters’ free-for-all (2240m). The fact Kyvalley Blur performed so well in his two NZ Cup Week runs last week speaks volumes for Tornado Valley’s form given he’s been easily beating that horse in Victoria of late. Shadow Sax and San Carlo clashed in the Group 3 Popular Alm free-for-all (2240m), but it proved a fizzer. Shadow Sax cruised to the lead, while San Carlo was three pegs and that was the race. Driver Chris Alford dictated terms in front and ripped home in 54.7 and 26.9sec to win easily on Shadow Sax, while San Carlo only saw daylight late and charged home for second. The Emma Stewart-trained Shadow Sax has won his past two on end from good draws and boasts 23 wins from just 37 career wins. _________________________________________________________________________________________ TOP WA trainers Greg and Skye Bond will make a final decision this week on a Melbourne Inter Dominion raid. The Bonds have set last year’s finalists Galactic Star and the emerging Vampiro for the series, but have travel concerns. “If they stick with this requirement to be in Melbourne five days before the first round of heats, then we won’t go,” Greg Bond said. Galactic Star, who finished fifth to Lazarus in last year’s final, has returned with wins at his two starts after a let-up. The latest win came in strong style at Gloucester Park last Friday night where Ryan Warwick gave him a lovely one-one trail and he scored by 3.4m in a 1min54.2sec mile rate for 1730m. It was part of a big night for Team Bond, who also won the $50,000 4YO Championship with the exciting former Kiwi, Mighty Conqueror. The son of American Ideal won three of his four NZ runs before heading to Team Bond where’s easily won all four starts. But it was last Friday’s win which stamped him as a major Golden Nugget player. Mighty Conqueror won a blazing 200m sprint for the lead at the start then copped plenty of midrace heat from Golden State – who finished a distant last – and still held-off the classy Bechors Brook to win easily by 7.7m. His 1min53.9sec mile rate for 2130m was just 1.0sec outside Beaudiene Boaz’s track record. “We thought he could make a Nugget horse and he keeps stepping-up,” Bond said. Team Bond already has a major Nugget hopeful in buzz Kiwi import Ana Malak, who makes his debut for the stable at Pinjarra tomorrow (Monday). Another winner of note last Friday night’s Gloucester Park meeting was former star Kiwi filly Our Angel Of Harlem, who overcame a wide draw to score easily for father/son Mike and Mark Reed. It will be interesting to see if they throw the now fiur-year-old mare in against the “boys” in the Nugget. _________________________________________________________________________________________ LET It Ride looks right on target for the Inter Dominion despite being beaten at Menangle last night. Anthony Butt drove the Group 1 Blacks A Fake winner more aggressively from the outside draw at his third run from a spell and Let It Ride ran a mighty race in slick time. He did all the work outside the leader and was in front until the emerging Ellmers Image nabbed him in the last 50m. They went a 1min49.9sec mile. Ellmers Image’s win gives Amanda Turnbull two good Inter Dominion heat drives, the other being Joes Star Of Mia, trained by her father Steve. The other feature race at Menangle, the Group 3 Sue Kelly Stakes for mares’, went to the flying Village Witch in a 1min50.9sec mile. _________________________________________________________________________________________ THE rise and rise of young Swede Kima Frenning continues to build momentum. Frenning has enjoyed a stellar 2018 through her relationship with open-class pacing stars Wrappers Delight and Im The Boss. And Wrappers Delight gives her a serious chance of winning the Inter Dominion final. Frenning scored another career first when former classy Kiwi pacer Buster Brady won easily at Cranbourne last night. It was Frenning’s first win as a trainer in her own right. _________________________________________________________________________________________ DAVID Aiken thinks his recent stable addition Big Jack Hammer won’t be out of his depth in the Inter Dominion trotting series. The six-year-old, raced in the same interests as Aiken’s leading Inter Dominion pacing hope Wrappers Delight, looked sharp winning at Melton last Friday night. It was just his second run for Aiken. Big Jack Hammer was backed for plenty on debut for Aiken in the Yarra Valley Trotters’ Cup, but made a mess of the start and caught the eye making up loads of ground afterwards. His manners were much better from the mobile start last Friday, pushing forward from gate five to find the front and never looking in danger. The eye-catching run came from runner-up Aleppo Murphy, who galloped at the start, lost at least 30-40m, but flew home to get within 3.3m of the winner. The flop was Inter Dominion hopeful Magicool, who went into the race with nine wins and two seconds from 11 starts, but weakened after sitting parked to finish almost 30m away in seventh spot.   Adam Hamilton

Tornado Valley may head to New Zealand for a crack at the feature Kiwi trot races next month before returning home for the TAB Inter Dominion Trotting Championship after winning tonight’s Group 1 Aldebaran Park Bill Collins Trotters Sprint at Tabcorp Park Melton. First-up from a spell, Tornado Valley was aided by a 10-out-of-10 Kate Gath drive, going hard enough early for potential pest Conon Bridge to drop on to her steed’s back. “I thought if I keep on running through early it’s a chance of dropping on my back and that made a big difference. As soon as he did, I was able to ease the tempo straight away,” Gath said. Tornado Valley trotted his first split in 29.3 and his second in 31.1, which forced major danger Kyvalley Blur to launch from the back earlier than he would have liked, and the rest was elementary. Tornado Valley got home in 56 seconds. Dance Craze rattled home into second place for Anton Golino and Rodney Petroff, while Kyvalley Blur sustained his long effort to finish in third. Tornado Valley’s mile rate was 1:55.7. “I think he’ll be good with a sit as well,” Kate Gath said when asked about Tornado Valley’s plans in coming months. “I don’t think he has to be driven this way (tonight). At home, he’s really good with a sit. I think he’s versatile.” Tornado Valley – a son of Skyvalley – is now the clear TAB Inter Dominion Trotting Championship favourite. Representing race sponsor Aldebaran Park, Duncan McPherson remarked “to see Skyvalley sire the winner is a great thrill for us”.  Skyvalley stands at Aldebaran Park. Read about Tiger Tara's enormous Pryde's EasiFeed Victoria Cup victory Book your ID18 tickets online now   Cody Winnell Trots Media

The Jet Roofing Kilmore Pacing Cup kicks off a bold new era Thursday night and has drawn one of the more open editions of the race in recent memory. The Group 2 showpiece will be the 55th running of one of Australia’s greatest races, which will be race seven on the card and the first of 25 cups in the 2018-19 Trots Country Cups Championship. Andy Gath is one of three trainers with two runners in the field, preparing Burnaholeinmypocket and Three Ways, while Glenn Douglas has readied Bernie Winkle and Shortys Mate and David Aiken Im The Boss and Audi Hare. The cup's preferential barrier draw was arranged on prizemoney earned in the last four starts, which hasn’t advantaged Gath with Three Ways, who has been racing very consistently, drawn the back row and Burnaholeinmypocket outside the front row. The latter looks to be getting back towards peak form and might well deliver Gath's second Kilmore Cup, which True Cam won in 2004 when beating Sokyola. He said Kate Gath would drive Three Ways and, in Alex Ashwood's absence, it would be a pick of the available drivers, with leading lights Chris Alford, Gavin Lang and John Caldow among those seemingly yet to have a designated drive. “I like the concept of the barrier draw being done on the last four starts prizemoney, rather than the metro class, and it should prove to be a good point of where you’re at rather than a historical metro class form," Gath said. “The draw probably hurts Burnaholeinmypocket, he has had bad draws most of his life and this is the third time in a row he has drawn the outside of the front row, so it’s not ideal. "But it’s not a fast front row, he has got really good gate speed. We didn’t come out quick on him the other night as we knew he had no chance of crossing Audi Hare or Love Ina Chevy, but he does run the gate pretty quick and I think it is probably a race where he will probably come out pretty solid and try and get a forward position. “He has run over the distance (2690m) a couple of times before and has gone average, but both of them were on really hot days and he has a bit of a breathing issue. When it is really hot he doesn’t perform at his best. He has probably got an each-way hope, it’s a pretty even race." The stable considers its main chance to be Three Ways, who draws the second row, so tactics will likely differ to recent runs. “We know from the draw he is not going to lead, obviously, but sitting off the speed he has put in some really good runs and he won a race at Ballarat in nearly track record time with a cold sit against Hughie Green," Gath said. “I don’t think any of them, maybe apart from My Kiwi Mate, could probably make their own luck and win. I think (Three Ways) is going to have to have a bit of luck from that draw and if things go right he is a winning chance at the top of his game." Gath said Three Ways had gotten stronger as he got older and was handling his workload better, but in regards to the longer distance, "you don’t know until you go over it”. “His 2200m record is pretty good, but if it’s like last year - a last man standing affair when there wasn’t many in it - we don’t really know. He will probably be driven with a sit, but we’ll drive to tempo." Gath also shared his thoughts on his Cup rivals. “I thought My Kiwi Mate was really good last start when he won, he is a Bendigo Cup winner, he is a very seasoned and well performed horse at this level, but he is not the only one. "Bettermatch was fantastic when he won at Menangle, as it looked like he’d just joined in, but how you line up his form coming off a long spell and in this race is pretty hard to say. "Obviously Im The Boss is a proven country cups horse too, but he is first-up, so it’s going to be pretty tough for him to win this type of race." Gath has two more runners on the night in the classy Star Of Memphis in race six and the very progressive Diamonds N Cash, a half-brother to former top class stablemate Diamonds N Furs. “Unfortunately in the 4YO & 5YO Championship Star Of Memphis galloped and knocked his tendon and bruised it really bad and kept him off the scene for virtually 12 months. He has always been a good horse, again he has drawn eight, but in saying that he has probably drawn behind the eventual leader, Makes Every Scents, which obviously brings him into the race in a pretty even field. “(Diamonds N Cash) has done a really good job since he's been here, he is a horse that only started racing as a three-year-old in New Zealand, so this is virtually his first racing preparation. “Win, lose or draw he’ll go for a bit of a break after this race and then get him ready for the 4YO & 5YO Championship on November 10. He has a really good future and we’ll put him away after this run and give him a bit of a break and hopefully he develops into a Chariots Of Fire horse down the track." The other feature on the night is the Group 3 McIvor Estate Kilmore Trotters Cup, the only race left in Victoria run over more than 3000m, where Father Christmas has opened a $2.80 favourite with TAB fixed odds over Margaret Ruth ($3.80), Majestic Ess Jay ($5), Destinée Jenilou ($6) and Kyvalley Barney ($6.50). This race kicks off the 2018/19 Maori’s Idol Trotting Championship. Luke Humphreys’ Jet Roofing Kilmore Pacing Cup Preview 1 BERNIE WINKLE ($81 TAB.com.au fixed odds): Consistent type that very rarely runs a bad race. Had absolutely no luck at Mildura two starts back before down the field on Saturday night at Melton. Will find a few too good but should get every chance from the gate one draw. Trainer Glenn Douglas has won the race twice with Bold Cruiser in 2008 and Make Mine Cullen in 2010. 2 SHORTYS MATE ($151): Stablemate to Bernie Winkle who was fourth behind two rivals at Melton on Saturday night. Racing ok but outclassed. 3 BAD BILLY ($17): Has been racing well without winning and will be hoping to enjoy an economical run here. Did win the Hamilton Cup in January over a similar distance. 4 MAGICAL MARN ($10): Renowned for his barnstorming finish, which got him past the post first in multiple races during the winter at Melton. If anything, should be starting to come into his own even more now being a five-year-old. Hasn’t won for a while but has been racing respectfully. 5 BLACKBIRD POWER (EMG $151): Emergency runner but if he gained a start he could finish in the first half of the field as he has been racing well in Sydney. Formerly prepared by Ross Sugars, now in New South Wales with Gavin Kelly. 6 IM THE BOSS ($5): Multiple Cup winner last season at Cobram, Mildura and Shepparton including a narrow second to Cruz Bromac at Warragul. Personally surprised to see him open favourite as he was a bit disappointing towards the end of last campaign. He was a little bit disappointing in my eyes in his second trial back. Tactics will be interesting from the draw. Trainer David Aiken won the race in 2017 with Lennytheshark. 7 BURNAHOLEINMYPOCKET ($18): One of two Andy Gath runners that can race very well but also on occasions poorly. Has been very good in his last couple of runs including a two-race stint at Mildura for two wins, which definitely would’ve got his confidence up. He produced a marvellous trial at Melton on August 28 when beating Magical Marn in 1:53.8 leading all the way. Was then a very good third in The Gammalite behind My Kiwi Mate and Magical Marn from a poor draw and has run respectfully at Swan Hill and Melton since when sitting outside the leader on both occasions. Poor draw and two runs over this distance range have produced down the track finishes in the 2015 Queensland Derby and 2017 Maryborough Gold Cup. In good form though and can’t be dismissed. 8 KEEP ON ROCKING ($34): Could be the roughie of the race. Likely to enjoy a very economical run on the pegs and has been racing in good form. Won after getting it way too easy at Melton last Saturday and that was unlucky not to be a second consecutive win as he was run down very late the week before. 9 MY KIWI MATE ($2.70): Former Bendigo Cup winner in 2017 and second in this race to Lennytheshark in 2017, making him the only horse in the field to have run in this race before. Absolutely brilliant win in The Gammalite when running down Magical Marn after having no luck early and passing every single horse out very wide in the final 400 meters. On that run without a shadow of a doubt is the one to beat here and there is already good support for him on TAB Fixed Odds. Ted Demmler, the father of trainer/driver Craig Demmler, won the race in 1984 on Raging Bull. 10 THREE WAYS ($31): Another one that looks juicy overs despite drawing poorly. If you go back through his form he has run in the placings in Group 1 races behind Lazarus, including a second in the 2016 Derby. His last two wins have been when he led and enjoyed very easy runs and that is unlikely to be the case here. Have always thought he is a better stayer than sprinter, however, and that could go in his advantage late. 11 BETTERMATCH ($4.80): Tim Butt trained New South Wales raider who is the winner of 11 from 13 including his last five, all of them in good time at Wagga, Young and Menangle. Formerly trained by Colin Thomas before being purchased by the Butt stable and on his debut for them stormed down the outside to win at Menangle in 1:50.4. This since has subsequently raised the eyes of many and made him a possible aspirant for races such as the New Zealand Trotting Cup. However this particular race will answer a lot of questions, one of mine being he has never in his life started over a distance further than 1800 meters. Tim Butt is a great staying trainer, however, this will be a completely different experience for this lightly-raced six-year-old compared to previous wins. 12 ELLMERS IMAGE ($4.80): The other raider from New South Wales in the field prepared and driven by Amanda Turnbull. Has been racing very consistently up at Menangle and had two very deserving wins in the Group 3 Mount Eden Stakes and an absolutely brilliant M1 win in 1:50.7 just under two weeks ago. A bit like his fellow NSW raider this will be a completely different race and the barrier draw hasn’t helped, but can’t knock his last couple of runs. 13 AUDI HARE ($31): Remarkably despite winning the Group 2 Breeders Crown Free For All over the Breeders Crown meeting pops up at $31 for this, with that reason obviously being due to the barrier draw. Had a trial earlier this month where he ran very well and was not disgraced at Melton last Saturday when caught late by Love Ina Chevy. Will need the correct run into it. Selections: 9 My Kiwi Mate 10 Three Ways 4 Magical Marn 8 Keep On Rocking   Luke Humphreys Trots Media

The unofficial queen of Port Pirie Kate Gath returns home on Sunday to take part in the annual Elders Insurance Mid North Drivers Invitation. The entire six-race Port Pirie program are invitation races featuring a host of top drivers from across Australia. Wayne and Danielle Hill along with Jayden Brewin will represent South Australia competing against Victorians Michael Bellman, Anthony Butt and Kate Gath. Western Australia has Nathan Turvey and Shannon Suvaljko, Queensland’s rep is Pete McMullen and Chris Geary from New South Wales completes the invitation field. Gath tied with Ryan Hryhorec in the 2013 Elders Insurance Invitation and won outright in 2016.  Anthony Butt is a previous winner having scored in 2015. The 2018 version looks tight with no standout having scored the best of the drives, but Gath does look to have a good chance of taking out the series. She will partner the Heather Stevens-trained Bettorhavtime in heat one over 1609m which from gate two should get a good run and looks an each-way hope and an excellent chance of running into the placings. Gath drives Timansi for Greg Sims in heat three over 2050m and a place would appear the best hope. The Dale Afford-trained Cheersbigears is her drive in heat four over 2050 metres and again the gelding looks a place chance at best in a tough heat. Top Port Pirie trainer Lyndon Hall has Two Kays in heat five over 2050 metres. The three-year-old filly has failed to flatter in seven starts and is resuming from a break.  Two Kays did show improvement in a recent Port Pirie trial and might surprise. Gath will partner the Les Harding-trained The Shooting Star in the sixth and final event. The Shooting Star will come from gate five in a field of six where the Claire Goble-trained Clarenden Valour looks her strongest rival. Clarenden Valour will be driven by Shannon Suvaljko, currently Western Australia’s leading reinsman. Suvaljko has a number of handy drives in the Elders Insurance series and must be considered as a possible victor. His other drives are Goodtime Scout (heat one), Hez Declan (heat three), Quadentate (heat four) and Little Growl (heat five). See how form expert Ben Harding has analyzed the Elders Insurance Mid North heats at trotsguide.com.au with comments, selections and speed maps for all six races. Graham Fischer

An incredible $12,000 was raised at Ballarat and District Trotting Club last night when it hosted its annual Girls Night Out fundraiser. The event has long raised much-needed funds for charity groups that either support or raise funds to fight breast cancer and this year’s supported the Love Your Sister Charity founded by Gold Logie winning actor Samuel Johnson and his beloved late sister Connie. Samuel made a special trip to be on-course on the night, which added a personal touch to an already popular evening. Once the details of the event were released the 380 available dining packages were sold within weeks. The night was a huge success with the $12,000 raised on-course on the night through raffles, sponsorship of races, live auctions in addition to the trotting club donating $10 from every dining package to the cause. Club spokeswoman Belinda Eden said the support of local businesses and the response from the community was a key reason the night was such as success. "The local businesses that either donated prizes or gave up their time to offer their services on the night was such a big reason this fundraiser was such a success and puts into perspective on why clubs play such an important role in our community," she said. Samuel played a key part in the night, entertaining the sold out event with stories, book signings and photos. His energy and passion for the cause was infectious. He also tried his hand at harness racing, participating in the HRV pony trot challenge where he raced against leading reinswomen Kerryn Manning, Kate Gath and Jodi Quinlan, who are also Team Teal ambassadors, the Harness Racing Victoria fundraiser for Women’s Cancer Foundation.   The Trots Victoria

Persistence and patience blended with talent to see Glenferrie Typhoon win the Pryde’s Easifeed $300,000 Great Southern Star, a super harness racing training and driving performance by Andy and Kate Gath. After a season plagued by disappointing runs, Glenferrie Typhoon’s undoubted talent spilled on to Tabcorp Park Melton with a blistering run, stopping the clock at a 1:58.0 mile rate, 1.5 seconds under the old track record. The all-the-way win gifted the $300,000 feature, the richest trotting race in Australasia, to a proud group of owners and a triumphant local stable. “It’s a huge thrill,” Andy Gath said. “I know he had the draw and everything, but he still had to do it. “I’ve always had a great affinity with the trotters and they have really emerged in Victoria, there are so many good trotters around and it’s such a great race to win and great to have it on like this with the Hunter Cup. Such a big night and it’s a huge thrill.” Sharing that delight was his wife, Kate Gath, who had been put through the ringer as Glenferrie Typhoon battled to re-find form. The Majestic Son gelding ran second in this feature last year amid an outstanding run, made all the meritorious by the fact he was suffering from a bladder stone. He resumed late in 2016 but two poor performances saw him tipped out for another spell. A sixth placing in The George Gath at Shepparton preceded a win against far more modest competition at Melton on January 30, when Glenferrie Typhoon appeared to switch off and have his considerable lead gobbled up.  “He’s done my head in over the last couple of months, I did everything I could to get him trotting,” Kate Gath said. “I haven’t conceded. I tried a few different things again on Monday and he couldn’t trot it out up the straight. I didn’t know what else to do, I know he’s got the ability and thank goodness we got it right on the night that we needed to get it right on.” From gate one Glenferrie Typhoon held off Maori Time’s advance to find the front, but the pressure was persistent with one challenger after the next coming to the breeze to press forward. Josh Dickie then guided favourite and reigning champion Speeding Spur on to Glenferrie Typhoon’s back and when they hit the straight it became a race in two. “If I got a lot of pressure I was going to play it by ear and see how I felt, but he just travelled so good the whole way I couldn’t hand handed up if I wanted too,” Kate Gath said. “When Speeding Spur got on my back I thought “oh no, this isn’t good, this wasn’t part of the plan”. “(Glenferrie Typhoon) was just travelling so well the whole way. When I got to the corner he was still travelling and I know he can get a bit hot in the straight and I thought, all right, we’re going to run now, they are going to have their chance but they are going to have to catch me.” And in the match-race between Glenferrie Typhoon and Speeding Spur it was the Victorian who held on by a half-neck. “His ability’s always been there, we know how good he is, so it’s just fantastic that he was able to get the job done tonight,” Kate Gath said. “All the owners are here, absolutely over the moon.” Sunny Ruby ran a brave third for Sam Smolenski, having been the best runner from deep to finish 9m shy of the leader. Michael Howard (HRV Media/Communications Co-Ordinator)

K D Muscles proved her toughness yesterday at Gunbower when she scooped up a second harness racing win in three days, having won at Melton on Friday and then Sunday’s Cohuna Car Sales Bill Poxon Memorial Gunbower Trotters Cup over 2630m. The Muscle Mass six-year-old mare, who lead throughout in Friday night’s Haras Des Trotteurs Trot, received a penalty from her Melton win and in the Cup started outside of the 20m mark, instead of the inside. After stepping safely, she worked forward into the box seat before Kate Gath came three-wide at the bell. After pressuring 2015 winner Dead Cat Bounce at the 1200m, K D Muscles found the lead but copped pressure from Aleppo Sunrise and Tenno Dance. In Gath’s hands she found some breathing space with a 28.2 third quarter, holding off second-placed  Aleppo Sunrise in the straight to win by 6.1m in a 2:03.4 mile rate. Trainer Andy Gath heaped praise on his “really nice mare”. “She has a good turn of speed with a really good gait about her,” Gath said. “(She) has come a long way in a short space of time since we’ve had her, and just about every run she has had has been pretty good. “She’s a really strongly built mare with a really good constitution and recovers well all the time, so she’s a perfect racehorse really”. New Zealand born K D Muscles, who was bred by Grant Beckett, joined the Gath stable in February this year. “She came on the market, took a lot of persuading for my owner, Norm Jenkin, to buy as she only had the one win in New Zealand and he was put off by that a bit, but she was up against nice horses,” Gath said. “We were able to purchase her for a pretty reasonable price and she’s earned some nice money since and she has more to offer.” Gath mentioned her next run is likely to come at Melton on Saturday week in a TM1-M3 mobile in favour of the The Weekly Advertiser Stawell Trotters Cup the following day. Gath’s other runners  at Gunbower were Star Of Dionysis in the Gunbower Family Hotel Gunbower Pacing Cup, who finished last as an odds-on favourite, and Yackandandah, who finished third in the Easy Ride Sulky Gunbower Club Pace. “At this stage Star Of Dionysis has pulled up all right, there are no alarm bells going off to say there’s something wrong, but maybe the hot weather got to him,” Gath said. “Yackandandah had to come quite wide and I was happy with him, he’s a good honest horse.”  Michael Howard (HRV Media/Communications Co-Ordinator)

Endsino became a two-time Group 1 winner tonight at Tabcorp Park Melton courtesy of a stellar Kate Gath drive in the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series Trotting Mares Final for harness racing four-year-olds. After leading from the pole, Gath handed up at the mile to Aldebaran Deebee, which snookered Endsino’s main danger Sky Petite three-back on the pegs. “It wasn’t that hard, I think most people would have done the same,” Gath said. “It’s pretty simple … if we hold the front Sky Petite goes straight past us, so at some stage we had to find a horse to hand up to. I had a good look around and Aldebaran Deebee is a pretty good horse to follow. I handed up to her at Maryborough on a different horse and she got to the line well, so I thought she was a good choice … with the draw and the run we were just able to win and that’s fantastic.” Endsino (Angus Hall/Jauriol), trained by Gath’s husband Andy, out-sprinted Aldebaran Deebee (Chris Svanosio) up the straight and rated 2:01.7 (last half-mile covered in 60.7) to win by a half-neck, with Val Gardena (Greg Sugars) third and Sky Petite (John Caldow) an unlucky fourth. “She’s been a great horse, she’s already earnt $130,000 before tonight so the money they can make (trotters in Victoria) is terrific. We are so lucky to have her.” Endsino is the third Group 1 winner tonight that graduated from the Pryde’s Easifeed Australasian Premier Trotting Sale. She is raced by passionate trots owners Michael Taranto and Gennaro Sposato. Endsino won the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series Final as a two-year-old in 2014. “She’s funny she come back quite good but her last couple of starts she’s been getting pretty fired up. She wasn’t too bad but she seems to be going through a bit of a growth spurt, so maybe that’s taking its toll on her,” Gath said. Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria

Before last month's Victorian CEO's report trots harness racing trainer Andy Gath had no idea the milestone was imminent, but admits there was definite satisfaction in surpassing the 2000 career wins mark last week. “This one did mean a bit,” he said. “... I guess you’ve got to be consistent over a long period of time (to get to this mark), so yeah, I’m pretty proud of the achievement.” Three-year-old Art Major/Our Southern Rose gelding Battle Born provided the Long Forest horseman with the landmark success last Thursday at Kilmore, winning a heat of the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series three-year-old males’ division with wife Kate Gath in the driver’s seat. “I’ve had plenty of people congratulating me since and it’s just starting to sink in what sort of achievement it is,” Gath said. “I wasn’t aware I was close actually ... it was only when John Anderson (HRV CEO) put it in his monthly statement that I knew it was coming.” Along his trots journey so far Gath has amassed many a feature race triumph but he doesn’t miss a beat when asked to name his three favourite horses ever. Champion trotter La Coocaracha (Safely Kept/Poetry) heads the list. “She was a champion… in fact she remains the only ‘champion’ I’ve ever trained, in my mind,” he declared of the mare who won 23 of 36 starts for $428,911. Next up Gath nominates 2006 A.G. Hunter Cup winner About To Rock (River Khan/Karalta Cheri). “That Hunter Cup win came at a really good time of my career,” he says. Thirdly Gath nominates Caribbean Blaster, a $1.11m earner with 24 wins from 79 starts and a two-time Victorian Horse of the Year. “He was just a lovely horse to work with. You get to spend so much time with them one-on-one. Every time they step on to the track they go to war for you. They’re the sorts of horses that actually make me look good.” Gath sits second on the Renown Silverware State Trainers Premiership table this season with 89 wins from 301 starters. One of only 11 trainers to have reached the 2000 winners milestone – the others we know of being Lance Justice (3384 wins), Steve Turnbull (3272), Bill Dixon (2833), Peter Manning (2593), John Justice (2358), Julie Weidemann (2312), Paul Fitzpatrick (2291), Gary Hall Senior (2260), Darrel Graham (2239) and David Aiken (2068) – Gath says he is “proud to be in such illustrious company”. As for a horse to follow closest from his current crop, Gath says Glenferrie Typhoon is the clubhouse leader. "What he achieved last prep, to run with a bladder stone and do what he did ... you've got to think he'll be better for having the stone removed," he said. "He's defeated Keystone Del a few times on his merits, which is not easy to do.  "He's a very high quality horse." Cody Winnell

If Harness Racing Driver Kate Gath stood for any office in Port Pirie she would be elected in a landslide as she is definitely the unofficial ‘Queen’ of the South Australian industrial town. Port Pirie born and raised, Gath now lives in Victoria with her husband, trainer Andy, and her father Peter Thompson also relocated when he left his job as a postman. Each-time Gath returns ‘home’ she dominates the Port Pirie harness meeting and last Friday night took off the annual Elders Insurance Drivers Invitation series. Gath amassed 38 points to take off the series from Lance Justice and Leah Harvey who tied for second on 33. It was also a personal birthday present as she celebrated another year on Sunday. At her previous visit to the SA town in March, Kath drove a personal best five winners including her first Port Pirie Cup. The 2016 Elders Insurance Invitation Series saw Gath joined by another expatriate South Aussie Lance Justice, also now based in Victoria, along with Lisa Miles (Victoria) and Western Australia’s Kim Prentice take on the South Australians of Danielle Hill, Leah Harvey, Scott Ewen, Wayne Hill, Mark Billinger and Michael Smith. Ryan Hryhorec was also to be part of the team but was a race day scratching having had off colour for several days with suspected food poisoning. Gath staked her claim early with a win on Billy Mack ($6.60) in heat one beating Novappeal ($14.80) driven by Leah Harvey with Dani Hill third on Just Read My Mind ($3.90). Harvey went to the lead by scoring in heat two on Doubledipofheaven ($1.90 fav) beating Lance Justice on Springfield Oflynn ($10.70) with Timansi ($34.80) third for Lisa Miles. It was Dani Hill’s turn to keep the victories going for the female drivers with her victory on Rip It Up Sister ($2.10 fav) in the third heat with Michael Smith second on Uphill Battle ($6.30) and Kim Prentice third on Marzzz Barzzz Bazz ($14.10). Top pacer Glenferrie Bunter ($1.40 fav) gave Mark Billinger a comfortable victory in the fourth heat from Kate Gath on Cheersbigears ($11.40) and Lisa Miles third on Hey Hardy ($22.60). Lance Justice was at his brilliant best lifting Johnny Tsunami ($6,10) off the canvas to win the fifth and final heat beating Kim Prentice on Tahlia May ($13.90) with Mark Billinger third on Time To Dash ($1.,60 fav). Final points tally was: Kate Gath 38, Lance Justice, Leah Harvey 33; Danielle Hill 31; Kim Prentice 25; Michael Smith 24; Lisa Miles, Mark Billinger 22; Wayne Hill 20; Scott Ewen 13.   Graham Fischer

When harness racing driver Kate Gath left South Australia’s Port Pirie as a teenager bound for the big smoke she took with her lofty ambitions and big plans.  When the Long Forrest driver departed the same coastal town at the weekend – some 16 years on – she took with her a hefty haul of trophies and a big purse.  Along with husband Andy Gath, Kate dominated Saturday’s Port Pirie Cup night. She won on all five of her drives, three of which were trained by Andy, including with Star Of Dionysis in the 2016 Ubet Port Pirie Pacing Cup.  “They all had really good chances and I thought they would probably win, but in racing there is no such thing as a certainty,” Gath said. “I haven’t had that many wins before, so it was a good night.”  Born and raised in Port Pirie, Gath said she gets back to the township when she can, but this was the first time she had departed with the pacing cup in tow.  “I have all my extended family there, so they all come out and get into it,” Gath said.  “It makes for a very busy day because there is a lot of people to talk to and catch up with. It is 16 years since I left, so it is really good to get back and catch up. They haven’t changed and hopefully I haven’t changed either.”  Also unchanged is the stable’s high opinion of Star Of Dionysis, who recorded a fourth win in five starts since he was brought across the Tasman.  “He had strong form in New Zealand and is sensational in standing starts, where his form is just impeccable,” Gath said.  The six-year-old gelding by American Ideal out of Star Of Venus will get to again exercise those talents in Saturday’s Renown Silverware Ararat Pacing Cup, a standing start over 2570m.  To win Star Of Dionysis, who Gath said pulled up well from Saturday’s win, will have to outpoint Kerryn Manning’s Ouyen Pacing Cup winner Ideal Success.  Unbeaten in two starts in Australia, Ideal Success has been similarly outstanding since being imported from New Zealand, while prolific country cup campaigner Almost El Eagle has also been nominated for Ararat. by Michael Howard Race programme for Ararat, Saturday 26 March 2016

K D Muscles had only once tasted victory in New Zealand before joining Andy Gath’s harness racing stable at Long Forest, but she still managed to amass over $60,000 in winnings. “I don’t know how she accumulated that with only winning the one race but she did,” Gath said. On Monday at Horsham the five-year-old mare by Muscle Mass out of Kazzle Dazzle won the Pegasus Spur @ WoodlandsTontine Trotters Series Final (Group 3) in bold fashion, sitting in the chair throughout before outpunching Tryncatchme in the stretch for a head victory. She rated 2:05.7 for the 2700m standing start with Kate Gath in the sulky. WATCH K D MUSCLES PACK TOO MUCH PUNCH “It was a bit of a fluke that the Tontine came up on the calendar after we bought her, so we earmarked that series and she did a great job,” Gath said. “She’s a mare on the way up. To win from the death over 2700m in a feature race, she obviously has ability. “She’s still got plenty of improvement in her yet. She’s got a bigger future.” Gath said he suspected K D Muscles was a victim of bad luck in New Zealand, “always managing to find one better” in her races. And as for her next stop? “We’ll just head to the next available race for her. She’s a really good mobile horse. She runs the gate really quickly,” Gath said. Cody Winnell

Emma Hamblin has issued a challenge to champion harness racing reinswoman Kerryn Manning in the Teal Pants Championship after landing a winning treble at Mildura on Wednesday night. Hamblin became the punter's pal when she saluted on three short-priced favorites, Shadow Spar, Monumental and Murranji Track on the eight-race program. Hamblin’s treble elevated her into second place (on seven wins) behind Manning who heads the Championship on 14 wins. Kate Gath and Ellen Tormey share equal third place on five wins apiece with Victorian reinswomen chalking up a tally of 50 wins to as of February 24. The number of wins highlights the key role reinswomen play in Victorian trots with the girls averaging two wins per day since the Championship began on February 1. The Teal Pants Championship has so far raised $20,000 for the Womens Cancer Foundation- Ovarian Cancer Fund with another 16 days of the series remaining. Harness Racing Victoria 

Glenferrie Typhoon's force is looking more and more powerful every time he steps out of late. The Andy Gath trained trotter, who won Friday night’s Bacardi Lindy Trot in easy fashion, looks destined for bigger and better things. The six-year-old by Majestic Son out of Cyclone Vance now boasts back-to-back wins at Melton and next year’s Great Southern Star is potentially on the radar. After working hard three-wide for the first half a kilometre, Glenferrie Typhoon eventually found the top, giving early pacesetter Action Kosmos a trail in the 2240-metre race. Once in front driver Kate Gath applied the brakes and the gelding trotted through his first and second quarters in 32secs and 31.3secs, sprinting up down the back to get Action Kosmos off the bit and chasing (29.3secs) before blasting clear seemingly under a hold in the home straight to score by 10.8 metres in a mile rate of 1-58.9 (last quarter 27.6secs). Action Kosmos held on for second place, defiantly withstanding the challenge of Cold Sister in third. Later on the card Ellas Puppeteer beat Iceobar in the Empire Stallions Vicbred Platinum Country Series C Final. The four-year-old gelding by Shadow Play out of Smiley Ella, who smashed the track record at Charlton leading into Friday night’s race, rated 1-53.7 over 1720 metres from his inside-back-row draw. Trainer/driver Michael Stanley kept Ellas Puppeteer out of trouble early, going back to last before cruising around the field to assume control at the bell. Iceobar trailed and stuck on gamely thereafter but was no match for the winner. Ellas Puppeteer now boasts three wins from five starts and looks to have a sparkling metro career in front of him. by Cody Winnell >> Replays and results from Friday night's Melton trots.

Long Forest husband and wife Andy and Kath Gath made the trip to Swan Hill a worthwhile one on Tuesday to contest the Nyah Harness Racing Club’s September meeting after landing a stable double with a pair of four year old geldings – Mister Whittaker (Somebeachsomewhere/Twice As Hot) taking the He’s Watching @ Alabar Stud Pace for C1 class over 1750 metres and Valens (Shadow Play/Seymour Lady) the Lucky Chucky @ Stallions Australasia Pace for C2 class over 2240 metres. Mister Whittaker was ultra impressive in his event after racing in the open from gate six, with a running Earl Of Huntington (gate three) crossing One Knight Stand (gate two)  shortly after the start. Cruising to the front on the home turn, Mister Whittaker careered away in the straight to record an unextended 25.6 metre margin in advance of One Knight Stand and Graceful Art (one/one) in a mile rate of 1-54.9. Valens bred and raced by Alabar Bloodstock starting outside the front line, brought up three wins in succession after moving forward to race in the breeze from the bell, defeating Oasis Dream (gate five) from mid-field by 2.8 metres, with Tennaya (gate four) 1.5 metres away in third place after leading for the last half of the journey. The mile rate was 1-58.2. Bunbartha trainer/driver John Newberry a regular at most Swan Hill meetings, snared the Angus Hall @ Mountain View Stud Trotters Handicap for T0 or better class over 2240 metres with 8Y0 Earl/Shine On Alisha gelding Just Call Me Earl, but not before giving his supporters a scare. Galloping away from 30 metres, Just Call Me Earl settled at the tail of the field with Majestic Flash beginning swiftly from 10 metres to lead. Assisted by both Mike Titan and Jacob Alm breaking during the run, Just Call Me Earl had improved to be three back in the moving line at the bell. Easing three wide approaching the final bend, Just Call Me Earl ran home best to gain the day by a head over Declaring along the sprint lane after following the pacemaker which held down third a neck away. Raced by the Newberry family, Just Call Me Earl recorded his 13th victory in 119 outings, returning a mile rate of 2-05.9. Quality 4Y0 Bettors Delight/Linda Grace mare Linda Lovegrace made a one act affair of the Sweet Lou @ Woodlands Stud Pace for C0 class over 2240 metres much to the delight of Ken Breckon’s The Good Sports Syndicate. Formerly with Mark Purdon, Linda Lovegrace now with Kerryn Manning at Great Western, was untroubled to lead throughout from gate two with husband Grant Campbell in the sulky, accounting for Drayton (one/one – outside winner home turn) by 16.5 metres in 2-03.1, with Clontarf Guy (three back the markers) a further 17 metres away in third place. The Manning/Campbell combination were to bring up a double when impressive former Kiwi 4Y0 Bettors Delight/Princess Alberta gelding Duke Of Albany streeted his rivals in the Four Starzzz Shark @ Empire Stallions Pace for C3 to C5 class over 1750 metres and by doing so, chalked up six wins in succession, the last five on Australian soil. Surprisingly crossed from gate two by Life Of Ted (gate four), Campbell immediately eased away from the markers to assume control, before racing clear on turning to register a 2.1 metre victory over Precious Cullen which faced the breeze from the bell. Life Of Ted battled on gamely for third after using the sprint lane and will no doubt benefit from the outing. The mile rate was 1-56.7. Local Woorinen trainer Joe Costa sent punters home on a happy note when the “star of the stable” Uncle Wingnut returned to his best form to land the Hurricane Kingcole @ Egmont Park Stud Pace for C6 or better class over 2240 metres in a rate of 1-57.8. With regular reinsman Michael Bellman aboard, Uncle Wingnut was taken off the gate from outside the front line to settle four back along the markers, with only Diamond Ace (gate four) behind him after being trapped wide and another of the Manning team Jaccka Art leading from gate three. Making a mid-race move to join the pacemaker at the bell, the pair were head and head for the final circuit, with Uncle Wingnut taking the lead on the home turn. Drawing clear on straightening, Uncle Wingnut prevailed by 1.1 metres over Diamond Ace which followed him home from the bell, with Daylight Dan (three back the markers) 11 metres away in third place. An eight year old gelded son of Courage Under Fire and Paulas Way raced by the Costa family, Uncle Wingnut has faced the starter on 77 occasions, resulting in 17 victories. *** The next Nyah meeting will be Cup Night – Saturday October 17.   Len Baker

The $40,000 Gold Coast Derby at tonights harness racing meeting at Albion Park looked a bit of a gimme for the brilliant Menin Gate after he drew perfectly at barrier two and thats exactly how it played out as the big free going son of Somebeachsomewhere dealt to the field in the manner of a budding champion. Sent straight to the front by regular reinsman Chris Alford, Menin Gate applied the pressure a long way out and had them all in trouble well before the corner. Kate Gath sent Burnaholeinmypocket around to sit parked at the 1500 metres mark giving the other favoured runner Hug The Wind with Natalie Rasmussen in the bike a great sit in the one by one. However Burnaholeinmypocket punctured badly at the 500 metres and Hug The Wind showed little when asked for a big effort by Natalie at the 400 metres mark, running on for a so so fourth. It was left to Spare Me Days to flash home brilliantly from well back for a great second in front of a very game My Kiwi Mate who after being wide for most of the last lap fought on bravely for a top third. Menin Gate paced the 2138 metres in a very smart 2:33, a mile rate of 1:55.1 with sensational closing sectionals of 54.7 and 27.3 It was the eight win of the season for Menin Gate and his second Derby after his success in the Victoria Derby in early February. Menin Gate treated the opposition with disdain tonight and it is hard to see how they beat him in next weeks Queensland Derby. Harnesslink Media 

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