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The South Australian heats of the  Alderbaran Park National Monte Championship at Betezy Park Globe Derby are coming up  on Saturday 23rd November (Italian Cup night).   HRSA will conduct mobile Monte Trials over the next two Sundays at Betezy Park Globe Derby to assist trainers and riders prepare for the spectral  of Monte Racing later this month. The heat on Novemberr 23rd will be  from the mobile barrier, over 1800m and there will a single front row of 8 runners. Trotters that have qualified behind the mobile are approved to start in the Monte Mobile; provided they are approved for Monte events, that is they have trialled or raced previously.   The first two placegetters qualify for the Final of the series to be held at Melton on December 14th, Victoria Cup night   Italian Cup prizemoney boost.   On the November 23rd meeting the main event will be the Italian Cup and the SA Harness Racing Club and HRSA have been working closely to return the Cup meeting to a higher profile event.   As part of this effort, the prizemoney for the feature event has been increased to $10,000, with support coming from The Safety Hub. The main race will now be known as The Safety Hub Italian Cup. Former Central District & Hawthorn champion, John Platten and Clinton Zerella from The Safety Hub have agreed to get behind the meeting.   Part of this support will include a race in honour of Clinton’s father Robert Zerella. Robert is a former president of the SAHRC and was also a great supporter of the Central Districts FC. Robert passed away recently; he was one of the original instigators of the Italian Cup race meeting.   The Italian Cup will be a C7 and better event from behind the mobile over 1800 meters.   Camp moves in on Globe Derby Park.   Mildura trainer Shayne Camp has nominated a team for Saturday night at Betezy Park Globe Derby with two runners in the main event the C6 and better Davidson Earthmovers Pace over 1800 meters, both Maastricht and Jamies Boy both coming off good runs in Victoria at their most recent runs.   Maastricht is coming off a third at Melton to Jazz King in the Vicbred Platinum and Jamies Boy who has two duck eggs next to his name but that was in the Nyah and Maryborough Cups.   However the Camp pair wont have it to themselves with Mark Dennis who has won two races and a third since moving to SA, the former top liner Malabar Man and the up and coming Harrison Maguire who has drawn the convenient pole position.   Gary Newton    

The Horse of the year awards where conducted by HRSA on Sunday at Globe Derby with a large crowd in attendance. The award winners were "Driver of the Year" David Harding who won the State Title for the ninth time in succussion, Aaron Brown won the Trainers title with 98 wins for the season while Matthew Smith was crowned the young driver of the year. Jill Nielson  won the Lady Trainers award and Danielle Hill the leading lady driver. The ill fated Zanardi took out the prestigious Horse of the Year award. He won 10 races from 15 South Australian starts after transferring to the Les Harding stable from WA. Zanardi tragically lost his life to a complication during an operation. He was by  Courage Under Fire  from the El Patron mare Dorim Hostess who also produced Big Bad Holmes (14 Australian wins) and Le Host winner of 4 races in Oz.  Broodmare of the Year went to Clarenden Diva the dam of Four Stazzz Fella and the excitring American Muscle (winner of the 4 & 5 year old Championship at Melton) and yesterday placed third after a horrid run in the Maryborough Cup. Gary Newton

Three Choice Hotel Country Cups have been run and won in the new season and champion reinsman Chris Alford made it two in a row for trainer Dean Braun, this time with Im Corzin Terror. The trainer/driver combination went down narrowly in the Nyah Cup before making amends with Chancellor Cullen in the Kilmore Cup but it was his talented stablemate that found the front, and led them a merry dance in today’s Central Goldfields Shire Maryborough Gold Cup. Starting from barrier four in the stand-start 2690-metre race, Im Corzin Terror stepped cleanly to work his way to the top in the early stages before Alford was at his brilliant best rating the race to perfection. A first quarter of 30.1 was followed by a 33.9 second quarter before he ripped home in 28.2 and 28.1. Cut For An Ace got clear and rallied late but was over four metres away in second with American Muscle rushing down the outside for third. The mile rate for the race was 2:02.5. Im Corzin Terror was first-up from a break but was well backed with TAB.com.au during the week from $4 into $2.90 in the initial stages of betting. The six-year-old Western Terror gelding has now won 13 times from his 40 starts and broke the $100,000 prizemoney barrier today. The Bendigo Bank Maryborough Trotters Cup went to Michael Thomas for Lisa Miles. Driven confidently in front, the lightly races seven-year-old relished the extended trip and cruised home by almost seven metres at the winning post. Finishing off in 28.6 and 30.6, the 10 time winner mile rated 2:06.7 for the 2690 metres as he defeated Paparazzi Snapshot and Lightning Joy. Blake Redden

David Aiken enjoyed a stellar season just past, coming within three wins of the metropolitan trainer’s premiership, but he has picked up where he left off with 12 winners from just 70 runners this term. The trend is set to continue too with a strong hand engaged at Tabcorp Park Friday night and at the Maryborough Cup meeting on Sunday for the Avenel trainer. Jaccka Clive will headline his Central Goldfields Shire Maryborough Gold Cup hopes and although he is coming in with the figure form of 0, 7, 7, Aiken is convinced he is starting to reach his peak. And his peak is well and truly up to this race, having run a placing in the past two Hunter Cup’s. “I’m pretty happy with where he is at and even though he is off the 20 metres I think he is going better than his form probably reads,” Aiken said. “My other runner, Composed, has been beaten a head two years in a row in the race (Maryborough Cup) so hopefully he can go one better this time around. “I thought he was good at Kilmore off the 20-metre mark so if he steps away he shouldn’t be far from them.” But first attention will turn to Tabcorp Park where brilliant trotting mare Cold Sister returns from a break in the Pryde’s EasiFeed Trotters Free For All. Having drawn two, she comes off a handy trial win at Shepparton where Aiken believed she had plenty in hand. “It’s just the start of her prep but we are really happy with where she is at. It’s a short race but the others are racing really well and they have a few runs under their belt whereas we will be an improver I think,” he said. “She’s a free-for-all class trotter now so there are a lot of races on for her and hopefully she will get to the Great Southern Star like last year.” Nominating his best for the weekend’s racing, the in-form horseman leant to stable stalwart Smudge Bromac, who has been around the money throughout recent claiming series without getting to the line in front. Drawn outside of the front row on Friday night, he gets his chance to work forward over the mile and stamp his authority on the race.  “Catch Your Breath has been getting in our way so with him not there he gets his chance,” Aiken said. “Catch Your Breath came out and beat Smoken Up in the Popular Alm Sprint so it’s proof that we’ve been racing well. “I’d say he will keep rolling forward from the wide barrier but I’ll just leave that up to Nathan (Jack, driver).” Jasper Jumping At Mares Races The win of Stylish Jasper at Tabcorp Park Melton may have been a fair while in the making, but that brilliant turn of foot suggested that despite being 12 months in the metropolitan wilderness, it won’t take that long to return to the Melton winners stall. Having done the majority of her racing at Tabcorp Park in the last year, Stylish Jasper returns to the track Friday night for the Harness Breeders Victoria Tailamade Lombo. And once again she has been underrated in the market, opening $21 with TAB fixed odds. She proved last time that the odds mean nothing as she stormed home at cricket score odds and her trainer, Vivian Tomren, will be hoping that’s the case again. “She went super last week and it was a good drive too which always helps,” Tomren said. “I’ve thought for quite a while that she would be competitive in these sorts of races but she kept getting balloted out so she never really got to prove it.” Having finished second in the mares feature race three weeks ago behind Bettor Give It, she drops back from the open class of her M1 win to mares grade but the competition isn’t lacking with Shake It Mama the favourite at $2.10. It’s been a pretty long road for Stylish Jasper, 92 starts for $92,000 in prizemoney indicates she has been a handy mare who has toiled her way to 14 wins. But with a lack of success coming earlier in her career, Tomren is convinced she is now ready to blossom. “I wouldn’t say she’s always had a lot of ability, she only fell in at her first win and as a younger horse she was probably a fat and lazy horse but as she’s got older and fitter she’s just kept on improving,” she said. That improvement has taken her a long way in a short time, but her trainer can also put the leap she has made down to a few other factors, namely having an open-class pacer to work with.  “Because we don’t have any paddocks at the training centre I probably started working her a little bit harder,” Tomren said. “Her workmate went to Queensland last year so when we lost her we needed something to work her with to get her up in the grades and we had In Monaco so we thought this will either make her or break her and it has certainly brought her on.” Josh Duggan will again be in the cart from barrier five for the first leg of the Quaddie to be run at 7.09pm. By Blake Redden (Courtesy of Harness Racing Australia)

Chris Alford last week became just the second reinsman in the southern hemisphere to achieve 5000 career winners. It’s an almost unthinkable number really, to continue to rack up success season after season is something any sportsperson would be envious of. And the milestone winner came, on a massive day of trotting with Alford claiming two of the three standout races on the program to thrust him towards greatness. “I thought they looked okay chances on paper, Catch Your Breath was probably a bit of an outsider but once he got the ball rolling and then Chancellor Cullen took out the Cup I was pretty confident,” Alford said. “I didn’t have a lot of time to think about it during the day; it didn’t really sink in until the end of the day. “I knew halfway coming up the straight that Macho Comacho was going to win and get me to the 5000 and it was just a great feeling.” Having that feeling of elation turning for home is something that can never be properly described and you couldn’t blame Alford for giving a salute. But he didn’t, even though he was 10 metres clear and never in any danger. He explained that was more due to having given up the outlandish celebrations. “I’m a bit past all that sort of thing; I thought that I might look like a bit of a mug-lair, I learnt my lesson with Golden Reign,” Alford said. The ball keeps rolling this week and the master driver has declared his drive in the Central Goldfields Shire Maryborough Gold Cup, Im Corzin Terror, to be well and truly up to the rigours of topline pacing. Not only could he have been competitive in last Sunday’s Group 2 Kilmore Cup won by stablemate Chancellor Cullen, he could well go on to better races this season. “He’s a very, very good horse. I don’t think he would have been out of place in a race like the Kilmore Cup last week,” Alford said. “First-up at the distance is always a test because most of the trials are only 2200 metres but he did feel really good at Melton last week. “He’s always a bit scratchy, that’s always the way he is. He will probably never have the perfect gait but it doesn’t stop him running that’s for sure.” Im Corzin Terror was heavily backed with TAB fixed odds yesterday, firming from an opening quote of $4 into $3.60 and eventually to his current price of $2.90 as the clear-cut market leader. By Blake Redden (Courtesy of Harness Racing Australia)

The Choice Hotels Country Cups are in full swing and with Melbourne Cup week approaching there’s no better place to be this Sunday than the Central Goldfields Shire Maryborough Gold Cup meeting. Fields have been released and it’s a vintage edition on paper with Cut For An Ace, Im Corzin Terror, Jaccka Clive and last year’s winner Saint Flash all engaged in the $25,000 race. Supported by the Bendigo Bank Trotters Cup, the action won’t just be on the track with a bonanza raffle set to give away a huge prize to one lucky entrant. Just by purchasing a $20 raffle ticket (which includes entry) at the gate, you could walk away with a Holden Cruze Equipe Hatch valued at $24,000. There is also a Plasma TV to be won along with petrol vouchers and plenty more prizes. Families will be taken care of too with Pony Trots on-course to entertain the kids not to mention a jumping castle, merry-go-round and lollypops and icypoles. The first race will kick off at 1.24pm with the Central Goldfields Shire Maryborough Gold Cup to be run at 4.59pm. For more information on Choice Hotels or to book, visit their website at www.choicehotels.com.au. HRV

Four year old Courage Under Fire / Be All Dilinger mare Cheval Charette a winner of five races at King Island (Tas), registered her first success on the mainland when victorious in the Mark Edmondson Electrical Pacers Handicap for C0 class over 2190 metres at Maryborough on Monday October 21. Trained and driven by Goornong’s Peter Salathiel, Cheval Charette was given a cosy passage three back in the moving line after starting inside the second line. Sent forward in the final circuit, Cheval Charette joined Stylish Ruler ahead of her on the final bend, racing clear over the concluding stages to score by 1.9 metres in a rate of 2-03.3 from Stylish Ruler, with Pacific Maddy third after trailing the heavily supported weakening pacemaker Mahjong Shark. One of the good guys of harness racing - Stanhope owner/trainer/driver Gary Pekin provided a long shot winner in 5-Y-0 Blissful Hall/Boom Boom Birdie rig Boom Boom Hall to land the Stringers Dairy Pace for C1 class over 2190 metres, paying Supertab odds of $38.40. Starting from gate two on the second line, Boom Boom Hall who’s latest success had been at Swan Hill in November last year possied four back in the moving line, with the speedy Kankkunen leading from gate two. Gaining a three wide trail home on the back of Cheshire Cat ahead of him at the bell, Boom Boom Hall produced a nice turn of speed out wide on straightening to gain the day by 3.4 metres in a rate of 1-59.8 over My Lishi (last at the bell – one/two last lap) and Bubble Art (one/one). Junortoun owner/breeders Garry and Melva Graham snared the Bendigo Party Hire Pace for C1 class over 1690 metres with 6-Y-0 Life Sign/Bonton Lady gelding Endorsement. A winner of five races from 52 outings going into the race, Endorsement driven by Toolern based reinsman Nigel Milne led throughout from the pole in comfortably defeating Cityscape which followed from inside the second row, with Clinchell Lee third after trailing the pair. The mile rate 1-57.2. Melton reinsman Clinton Welsh returned to sulky with a winner after being laid up for a number of weeks, when honest 5-Y-0 Sundon/Wheels To Go gelding Wildenstein greeted the judge in the McArdle Transport Pty Ltd Trotters Handicap for T1 or better class over 2190 metres. Raced by breeder Graham Mulhall under the banner of Mulhall Corporation Pty Ltd, Wildenstein trained at Elmore by Clinton’s father Neville (last year’s Rothacker Medal winner), Wildenstein starting solo on the 10 metre mark was smartly away as he usually is, lobbing three back along the markers, with the roughie Ourlittlelil leading from barrier two. Following Conchs Critter a stablemate of the leader which eased off the back of her in the last lap to give chase to Atego Lily which had crossed before the home turn, Wildenstein was switched down to the inside on turning before finishing best along the sprint lane to blouse Atego Lily in the shadows of the post by a half neck, with the 50 metre backmarker Paparazzi Snapshot flying home out wide from a mile back to finish third a neck away. The mile rate 2-04.1. It was Wildenstein’s 7th victory in 43 outings. Coimadai co-trainers Adam Kelly and Gavin Lang landed the Horseworld Bendigo  Pace for C2 & C3 class over 2190 metres with impressive former Kiwi 6-Y-0 In The Pocket/Lite Jade mare Lite Jagermeister in a rate of 2-00.5. Sent forward from gate four on the second line shortly after the start to be presented with the lead without spending too much petrol, Lite Jagermeister gave Lang an armchair drive as she coasted to the wire untouched 2.7 metres in advance of  the early leader Advance To Go along the sprint lane. Tere T which moved to race in the open at the bell battled on gamely to finish third. The $8,000 Final will be held at Tabcorp Park Melton on November 1. Len Baker

Hard working Whittlesea trainer/driver Mark Peace was in the winners stall at his home track Kilmore on Thursday, following the victory of consistent 4-Y-0 Badlands Hanover/Evenstar gelding Lets Go Happy in the Ian Wood Optometrist Pace for C0 class over 2180 metres. Starting from gate two on the second line, Lets Go Happy settled well back in the field with the heavily supported first starter Devils Lightning leading from the pole. Moving three wide racing for the bell to follow Dallas Argyle, Lets Go Happy let rip with a brilliant burst of speed in the last lap to race to the front on the home turn, opening up a margin on his rivals. Cruising to the wire, Lets Go Happy scored by a 9.1 metres in advance of Bruce Kennedy’s Art Prevails and Terra Beau. It was Lets Go Happy’s first victory at his 6th race appearance, returning a mile rate of 2-01.4. Quality Metropolitan/Tuscan Skies gelding Metro Mike made a one act affair of the Book Now For Pacing Cup 27 October Pace for C5 & C6 class over 2180 metres at Kilmore. Trained at Smythes Creek (Ballarat) by Emma Stewart and driven by Maryborough’s Mark Hayes, Metro Mike coming off a eye catching first-up second to Jazz King at Ballarat a week earlier wasn’t pushed from gate four, settling near last in the small field, with noted speedster Pinevale Willpower leading easily from outside the front row. Moving to be one/one for the final circuit, Metro Mike sprinted like a gazelle approaching the home turn to race away and score by 23.3 metres in a mile rate of 1-59.4 (last half 56.7 – quarter 28.3) over Itsnewstome and Pinevale Willpower which weakened rather badly. Avenel mentor David Aiken was also a winner at Kilmore when in-form Jeremes Jet/Quick Comment 4-Y-0 mare Quick Jet snared the Harness Breeders (Vic) Pace for C1 class (mares) over 1690 metres. Driven by Chris Alford, Quick Jet was sent forward shortly after the start from gate two on the second line to take up the front running role and after a heady drive, was never headed, accounting for Eleventh Command which led out from gate three before electing to take a trail, with the roughie Rosy Ogrady Lombo (three back the markers) third. The mile rate 1-59.7. Mt Cottrell (Melton District) rainer George Batsakis combined with Bolinda based concessional reinsman Kyle Marshall to land the Rix Roofing Pace for C3 & C4 class over 1690 metres with 5-Y-0 Real Desire/Barogue Pearl entire Minti Choice. Beginning with a wing on every foot to lead from gate three, Minti Choice ran his rivals ragged in defeating Future Operator off a three wide trail last lap by 1.8 metres in a rate of 1-59.2. The heavily supported favourite Nimble Jack finished third after following the runner up home. By Len Baker

Kevin Ford and Will Atone won’t necessarily have their backs against the wall come the last race at Tabcorp Park Melton on Friday night having been marked the $3.20 second favourite. But their journey to Victorian trotting HQ is a tale that surely has underdog written all over it. The squaregaiting son of Conch Deville has only had four starts in his entire life. Rewind five months and he was only just making his debut as a seven-year-old. It’s rare to see a horse emerge after so many years of failing to make it to the track, but a handful of encouraging trials back in 2010 meant his trainer couldn’t yet give up on him. “He’s broken a few pedal bones, which is what has held him back,” Ford said. “He did it just after he qualified at Maryborough so he was out for 12 months and when we brought him back in he did the same pedal bone in a different spot so he was out for another 12 months.” The luck of breaking the same bone in a different place may  have seemed almost uncanny but then Ford had to face another challenge. After finding out the horse had sustained a non-healing fracture he was forced to have a screw inserted in his leg which subsequently was infected and all but spelled the end of his career before it had ever began. “He was pretty much going to be finished then but Ian said ‘we’ll take the screw out and see what happens’ and I started working him two or three months after that,” Ford said. “We’ve sort of rolled from of disaster to another but he worked up nice when I had Allrumour at the same stage and he always worked a bit better than her and she won a few races before she broke down.” With the issues averted, they finally made it to the racetrack and albeit fleetingly, Will Atone has started to put together the potential he has always shown. After being narrowly run down on debut, he galloped at his next start but managed to pick himself up for fourth. A strong second two starts ago was followed by a break-out win at Ballarat just over a week ago. And now the task doesn’t get any easier at Melton on Friday. Drawn the second line, it will be a new test for Ford and the eight-year-old “He’s still pretty green and learning. I don’t trial him very much so if he holds together he should improve with the racing,” he said. “We haven’t drawn the second row before but I think he’ll end up being a tougher horse, he just doesn’t have that hardness into him yet.” by Blake Redden Harness Racing Victoria

‘Sydney’s Bankstown Paceway is delighted to be the only harness racing club in New South Wales to take part in the first Australian national saddle racing competition, Aldebaran Park Monté Series, which will run from October 2013 to June 2014,’ Bankstown Paceway director Andrew Ho has told Harnesslink. ‘Bankstown Paceway will stage our next saddle race for trotting horses in conjunction with the 30th Anniversary Group 1 M. H. Treuer Memorial on Saturday, December 7th, 2013,’ Mr Ho said. ‘As the New South Wales home of le trot monte racing, Bankstown Paceway is justifiably proud of our record as the harness racing industry innovator who successfully returned monte racing to our state on Saturday, December 1st, last year, and hosted the southern hemisphere’s very first international trotting saddle race on Friday, May 31st, this year, which featured riders from Australia and Sweden,’ Mr Ho added. According to Harness Racing Victoria, the rise of Monté racing in Australia is set to explode with the major announcement of the Aldebaran Park Monté Series. A schedule of races has been developed in recent months which will include not only Victoria, but also New South Wales and South Australia. A popular discipline in Europe and Scandinavia, ridden trot races require great skill from both the horse and rider and are a great spectacle to observe. The series will kick off on October 12 at Geelong and continue right through until June 21 at Kilmore with a number of the races being run as heats into finals on some of the major carnival nights. Thanks to the support of Aldebaran Park, the rider who accumulates the most points over the 22 race series (based on a 4-2-1 format) will receive a return airfare to participate in Scandinavia with the help of Aldebaran Park and Harness Racing Victoria. Each of the races will be classed for the T0 or better squaregaiters with a minimum riding weight of 65kg (all inclusive) to be adhered to. The races will include a mix of conditions and start types. With turnover figures already suggesting punters are right behind the Monté style of trotting, the addition of three races at Globe Derby and one at Bankstown will garner greater interest outside of just Victoria. The exciting concept will allow Australian trotting to take the next step in becoming a truly international product. The entire race schedule appears below: Saturday 12 October 2013   Geelong, Victoria       Sunday 27 October 2013   Kilmore, Victoria       Friday 15 November 2013   Bendigo, Victoria       Saturday 23 November 2013   Globe Derby, South Australia       Friday 29 November 2013   Ballarat, Victoria       Saturday 7 December 2013   Sydney’s Bankstown Paceway, New South Wales       Saturday 14 December 2013   Tabcorp Park Melton, Victoria       Wednesday 1 January 2014   Echuca, Victoria       Saturday 4 January 2014   Globe Derby, South Australia       Saturday 11 January 2014   Bendigo, Victoria       Saturday 25 January 2014   Ballarat, Victoria       Saturday 8 February 2014   Tabcorp Park Melton       Wednesday 26 February 2014   Maryborough, Victoria       Friday 14 March 2014   Shepparton, Victoria       Saturday 22 March 2014   Tabcorp Park Melton, Victoria       Monday 7 April 2014   Maryborough, Victoria       Tuesday 22 April 2014   Geelong, Victoria       Saturday 3 May 2014   Shepparton, Victoria       Saturday 10 May 2014   Globe Derby, South Australia       Saturday 24 May 2014   Kilmore, Victoria       Saturday 7 June 2014   Bendigo, Victoria       Saturday 21 June 2014   Kilmore, Victoria  

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

The Industry celebrated the 2012/13 season at the Victorian Industry Awards Night at Tabcorp Park on Thursday (September 12).  Congratulations to the connections of Caribbean Blaster, the Victorian Horse of the Year and Im Stately, Victorian Trotter of the Year. For the full list of winners click here.   The Year That Was The Industry Awards night was a very successful night.  Thank you to all the staff involved in the preparation for the night. In particular we thank Premier Denis Napthine for attending and delivering a stirring address. During the evening an excellent presentation was shown on the big screens entitled “The Year That Was” - voiced by Andrew Bensley and produced by Rob Gild.  I encourage you to take a few minutes to view the video by clicking here. Chris Alford What a year for Chris Alford.  Below are several stats/facts that illustrate the 2012/13 season achievements of Victoria’s superstar driver: Leading Victorian Driver with 287 wins; Leading Australian Driver with 295 wins; Drove 53 winners in the month of August, the most ever by a driver in a month, surpassing Kerryn Manning’s 48 in May 2002; Was the first person to drive the winners of the three heats of the Victoria Derby in February – Guaranteed, Lennytheshark and Macha; Has taken his overall winning tally to 4,971, closing in on being only the second driver to achieve 5,000 wins.  Gavin Lang was the first to achieve this outstanding feat. Chris is 9 years Gavin’s junior! It has been an unbelievable ride for Chris Alford since his first win on a horse called Spring Vance, trained by father Barry and part owned by yours truly, which beat favourite Victory Banner at Wangaratta back in 1984. 2012/13 Season Now that the 2012/13 season is behind us, here are some of the Victorian statistics that don’t make the headlines: 4,055 horses races; On average each horse raced 9.1 times; 823 horses earned in excess of $10,000; 20 horses earned in excess of $ 100,000; 15 drivers drove their first ever winner in a race; Top Victorian stakes earner – Caribbean Blaster - $450,000; Leading sire wins – Art Major (245 winners); Leading sire stakes – Bettors Delight ($2.25 million) Leading trotting sire – Sundon (90 wins); Second on the trotting sire list – Earl (54) who sadly passed away recently. Milestones/First Wins Rodney Petroff drove his 500th winner on Walky Talky at Ballarat on Saturday September 7; Josh Aiken drove his first winner (Chevals Racer) at Shepparton on September 11.  His father David trained a treble at the same meeting; Peter Wells became the oldest person to register a driving double.  Now in his 80th year Peter drove Dell Boy and Donkiri to victory at Ballarat on August 24.   Mildura Congratulations to the Mildura Club for increasing their contribution to stakes this season by 27% - up $30,000 to $140,000. It is a fantastic decision, which complements the recent HRV announcement.  Mildura will bring forward the HRV March rises to January.  And with the support of Mark Gurry and Associates and Seelite Windows and Doors, several features also get a rise in stakes. Well done to Barry Bottams, Mark Kemp and the Mildura Committee. Audio Visual Services For the past 16 years, Provideo has been producing the harness racing pictures which flow through to television screens and mobile devices around the world. Following an extensive tender process HRV recently announced that internationally renowned media distribution company Mediatec was successful in its bid and will commence as HRV’s contractor on November 1, 2013 for a five year period. While we look forward to a new era in broadcast services, I would like to pay tribute to Frank Verstrepen and his staff for the outstanding service HRV has received from Provideo over a long period of time. HRV’s announcement of the change can be seen by clicking here. Race Field Policy HRV charges a ‘Race Field Fee’ to wagering operators who bet on our product, such as interstate totes, corporate bookmakers and betting exchanges. While the Joint Venture with Tabcorp remains our principal funding source, Race Field Fees have become an important funding vehicle. HRV’s previous policy was to charge 1.5% on all turnover.  However from September 1 the HRV Board has approved a revised policy, which in summary is: Up to a threshold of $100,000 turnover per month the fee is 1% of turnover; For turnover in excess of $100,000 in a month the fee is 2% of turnover. Community Awards Two prominent harness racing identities have received awards from Corrections Victoria – recognising excellence and commitment in supervising offenders or prisoners performing community work: Les Chapman (Maryborough) has worked alongside offenders for over six years providing support and work opportunities.  George Crane (Hamilton) similarly provides supervision for offenders in his local area. Congratulations to both gentlemen on a great community service. Yarra Valley Congratulations are also extended to the Yarra Valley Club on the 10 year anniversary of the amalgamation of the two racing Clubs. Formerly comprising a separate thoroughbred club and harness club, the Yarra Valley model is a wonderful advertisement for co-operation between the trots and the gallops since the Club formed a single entity a decade ago. The milestone was celebrated at a gala function at the venue on August 31. Vale Harness racing has lost two of its elder statesmen recently: Jack Shelley, a prominent trainer for many years passed away in late August.  Jack maintained his A Grade trainers licence until 2008 – in his 91st year.  His son Brian continues the family tradition having been a licensed trainer/driver since the early 1990’s. I did not know Jack, however everyone speaks highly of his skill and he was certainly well regarded by industry participants; and   Long serving Ararat Committeeman Milton McKinnis passed away this week.  Milton was involved with the Ararat Club for over 50 years and served as both President and Vice President during that time.  Milton volunteered for many tasks at the Club and will be sadly missed. HRV’s condolences go out to the families of both these great servants of the trots industry.  

The track was on fire and so was the racing at the Maryborough trot meeting held on Monday September 2, with six sub two minute mile rates being registered during the afternoon including three from the Smythes Creek (Ballarat) establishment of Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin. Exciting fully American bred Rocknroll Hanover/Aston Villa colt Yankee Rockstar was the first to salute the judge, when successful in the Golden Country Motel & Villas 3-Y-0 Pace over 1690 metres. Driven by Michael Stanley, Yankee Rockstar first up since February was sent forward from outside the front row to lead and was never out of second gear, scoring by 7.9 metres in 1-55.3 from Holdonsu which trailed after leading out, with Decileight (three back the markers) third. Four year old stablemate Hes Kinky (Safely Kept/Fetish) also driven by Stanley and second up since April, snared the www.goldairbendigo.com.au Pace for C2 class over 2190 metres in 1-59.3, leading throughout from outside the front line to defeat Make A Fuss which followed and Voce from last. Bettors Delight/Party Baby 5-Y-0 gelding Fearless Leader brought up the stable hat-trick by taking the Seelite Windows & Doors Pace for C3 & C4 class over 1690 metres in a slashing 1-54.6 with freelance reinsman Ian McMahon in the sulky. Settling mid-field in the moving line from gate two on the second row, Fearless Leader ran on best to nose out Bronze Destiny which followed him home to just miss, with Hellovanite third after leading from the bell. Team Douglas (Glenn and Daryl) landed the Maryborough Highland Society Pace for C1 class over 1690 metres with recent ex-Kiwi addition Nimble Jack, a 4-Y-0 gelded son of Falcon Seelster and Toast To Cullen. Starting from inside the second line, Nimble Jack was exactly that at the finish, coming from near last at the bell to be four wide on the final bend and surge clear in the straight, defying a late challenge by Zedaguy which followed him home to gain the day by 1.6 metres in a brilliant 1-54.4. Truman (one/one - three wide home turn) finished third. The surprise winner of the day was 5-Y-0 Metropolitan/Mint mare Metromint in the McPhersons Printing Group Pace for C1 class over 1690 metres. Trained at Dunnstown by Leigh Duffy, Metromint driven by brother Philip moved three wide from three back in the last lap to score from the hot favourite Badewitz which followed him home, going down by 2.2 metres in 1-54.7, with Baracks Angel third after leading from the pole. Parwan trainer Allan McDonough's Union Guy/Classy Dream 4-Y-0 gelding Classy Guy rated 1-58 after leading throughout from outside the front row in the Peter Egan Bi-Rite Electrical Pace for C0 class over 1690 metres, defeating Across The Way which shadowed him from from the bell after moving from near last, with Red Amber Green third. Len Baker  

The Maryborough HRC again showed their support for the squaregaiter by staging four trotting events on a nine race card on Wednesday August 28, with all races over 1690 metres. The program was the annual "Humbletonian Day" sponsored by Harness Breeders (Vic) for horses which have not won a race. Majestic Son/Steffi Jay gelding Majestic Jess at start number eight was successful in the Two Year Old Vicbred Trotters Mobile. Trained at Nagambie by Chris Lang and driven by Chris Alford, Majestic Ess Jay spent most of the race in the open from gate five, before dropping to the back of the leader Suavemente approaching the home turn. Moving outside the pacemaker on straightening, Majestic Ess Jay raced clear when Suavemente galloped allowing him to register a 7.6 metre victory over Weregonnarock (one/one) and Sister Of Sonoko from last in a rate of 2-01.1. Consistent Armbro Invasion/Kwik Kiss filly Secret Kiss making her fourth race appearance snared the Three Year Old Trotters Mobile for Bolinda trainer Kari Males. Driven by co-trainer husband Paul, Secret Kiss was given a sweet trip one/one from gate three and was always travelling kindly. Dashing clear on turning, Secret Kiss just lasted by a half head from the fast finishing Desert Spur (one/three - three wide last lap) in a rate of 2-01.2, with Aldebaran Etta (three back the markers) third. . Wedderburn trainer Nick Youngson's 6-Y-0 Keystone Crosby/Lochlee Navara gelding Lochlee Jacob at start number eight landed the Vicbred Trotters Mobile for T0 class. Trapped three wide from gate six, Lochlee Jacob driven by Mark Hayes was able to work his way forward to lead and was never headed, scoring by a half neck in advance of the favourite Caledonian Breeze in 2-02.7 which had his  chance along the sprint lane after trailing. Aye Rodrigues was a further metre away in third place after racing in the open. . Bacardi Lindy/Figment gelding Did I Imagine That landed the second Three Year Old Trotters Mobile at start number ten. Trained and driven by Chris Lang for the Abrahams Family under the banner of Veritas Holdings, Did I Imagine That was given the run of the race from the pole trailing Speedy Rambo (gate four). Taken to the outside on turning, Did I Imagine That finished strongly to score by 3.6 metres from the leader in a rate of 2-00 even, with Jay Gee third from mid-field. Len Baker  

The progressive Maryborough HRC renowned for their love of the trotter, held a compact nine event program on Wednesday August 14, featuring four races for the squaregaiters. Local trainer/driver Mark Hayes snared the Freemantle Stock Feeds 2-Y-0 Trotters Handicap over 2190 metres with Bacardi Lindy/Fiduciary gelding Bacardi Breeze, paying Supertab odds of $40.20. Beginning brilliantly from barrier six to lead, Bacardi Breeze was restrained to follow Playboys Dream which moved around him hitting the back straight on the first occasion. Given a lovely trip, Bacardi Breeze eased to the outside on the home turn, surging clear on straightening to score by 6.4 metres in advance of the first starter Girls Go First (three back the markers), with Playboys Dream weakening to finish third. Raced by Mark and Sue Hayes, Bacardi Breeze returned a mile rate of 2-08.8. The Michael & Catherine Tarranto 3-Y-0 Trotters Mobile over 2190 metres went the way of Red River Hanover/Dreamworks gelding Redy To Race for Maiden Gully (Bendigo) trainer David Van Ryn and nephew reinsman Haydon Gray. Given an easy time from gate six trailing the pacemaker Super Zeck inside him, Redy To Race used the sprint lane to perfection, defeating the heavily backed Nico Serrano which raced in the open from the bell by 2.1 metres in a rate of 2-04.4. Secret Kiss ran on late from three back in the moving line to finish third. Ex-Kiwi 6-Y-0 Brylin Boyz /Star Of Pernod gelding Heza Boy Star was successful in the Stock & Land Trotters Handicap for T3 or better class over 2190 metres. Trained and driven by Chris Lang (Jnr) at Nagambie, Heza Boy Star stepped  sweetly from the 10 metre mark to settle one/one, with the rank outsider Adams Crown leading from barrier two. Not happy with the tempo, Lang eased Heza Boy Star around Buntys Bass to control the race which no doubt proved the winning move. Pouring on the pressure approaching the home turn, Heza Boy Star dashed away on straightening to score a 3.2 metre victory over Cameos Moment (three wide last lap) off the back of the third placegetter Im Demimondaine. The mile rate 2-04.8. The PJ’S Timber & Hardware/Primes Discount Store 3-Y-0 Trotters Mobile for T0 & T1 class over 2190 metres was taken out by Tatura trainer David Abrahams’ Dream Vacation/Why Worry filly I Dreamt It with Nathan Jack in the sulky. Starting from gate three on the second row, I Dreamt It settled in the second half of the field, with the Sydney visitor Dew Drop Girl leading from the pole. Set alight racing for the bell, I Dreamt It led for the final circuit in defeating Dew Drop Girl which held her ground, going down by 2.6 metres in a rate of 2-07.8, with Desert Spur running on late from mid-field in the moving line for third. Six year old trotter Abbotshall upstaged the pacers in the Waste Not Stockfeeds Pacers Handicap for C0 class over 2190 metres in a rate of 2-04.2. Trained at Bolinda by Brent Lilley, Abbotshall a gelded son of Armbro Invasion and Second Guess began safely from barrier five on the second line to possie three back in the moving line after another trotter Maoris Pocket outside the leader Its A Miss went off stride in the back straight on the first occasion. Trailing Pacific Maddi ahead of him three wide into the final bend, Abbotshall ran home strongly to gain the day from Kaka Point Coast which followed him throughout, with Pacific Maddi holding down third after leading into the straight. Videos of all the races are attached. Len Baker  

Maryborough home of "The Redwood" hosted Thursday afternoon harness racing featuring Repechage's of the Woodlands Stud Breeders Crown Series 16 for both Two and Three Year Old Trotters, all over 2190 metres. Redwood winner Daenerys Targaryen a daughter of Majestic Son and Niamey trained and driven by Mark Purdon snared the 1st Repechage for Two Year Olds. Given a sweet trip one/one from the extreme draw, Daenerys Targaryen eased three wide approaching the home turn and as expected, finished best to score from the pacemaker Guiltless in a rate of 2-05.2, with Asdenro third after racing in the open. The second Two Year Old Repechage went the way of Sutton Grange trainer Ross Graham's most consistent Monkey Bones/The Wallflower filly Four Lillies in a rate of 2-05.4. Driven by Daryl Douglas, Four Lillies scorched away from gate six to lead effortlessly, just lasting to register a nose victory over the favourite Dell Boy which trailed from the pole before easing outside the winner on the final bend. Coimadai Lodge finished third from three back in the running line. Repechage One for the Three Year Olds was taken out by Lara trainer Dean Braun's very smart former Kiwi Love You/ Dreamlands Nancy gelding Our Dreamlover. Handled by stable reinsman Chris Alford. Our Dreamlover enjoyed a cosy passage one/one from gate three, with Lance Justice's Invasive leading from gate four.  Taken three wide on the final bend, Our Dreamlover had to pull out all stops to overhaul Invasive in the shadows of the post to register a 1.9 metre margin in a rate of 1-59.9. The Boss Man battled on gamely to finish third (6.4 metres away) after facing the breeze. Parwan duo Craig Demmler (trainer) and Jodi Quinlan (driver) captured the Second Repechage with speedy Dream Vacation/Adelas Dash colt Glenferrie Dreamer, leading throughout from gate four to easily account for Lord Liam (one/one) by 2.3 metres in a rate of 2-04.1, with Fiftyshadesofbrown running her usual honest race for third after following the winner from the pole. Len Baker  

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