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The result may have given harness racing trainer Peter Manning his first Group 1 victory in more than a decade but it was not all smooth sailing when Plymouth Chubb won the Aldebaran Park Vicbred Platinum Home Grown Classic at Melton tonight. Manning has built his illustrious career as a renowned juvenile conditioner and the 76-year-old trained 2700 winners since the 1980/81 season. And even after all that success and experience, nothing prepares you for that feeling when you watch your young trotter gallop and giveaway ground. That is what happened when Plymouth Chubb headed around the first turn tonight in the $50,000 feature. Manning’s daughter Kerryn Manning was in the sulky, a veteran of 4021 wins and even she was “worried”. “He came out quite good and then a gap opened up behind Puppet (Chris Alford) and as I made up my mind to go there, just as I pulled him down he put in a roughie and went off stride,” she said. “I managed to get him down reasonably fast but I had to make the ground back up and he didn’t steer great after that he wanted to hang in all the way. “I was in a bit of trouble at the 800m and once I got him in the middle of the track by himself he made ground. “I was a bit worried but the horse was pretty good.” Despite his mishap, Plymouth Chubb cruised to the line to beat his rivals by more than 17 metres. Clocking 2:00.0, the two-year-old gelded son of Majestic Son and In The Pocket mare Pocket Fantasy extended his record to four wins in five starts. Watch the replay here:   By Amanda Rando for Harnesslink

Peter and Kerryn Manning know what Group 1 glory feels like, but it's been quite some time since harness racing's dynamic Great Western duo has combined for elite level success. In fact, it’s been more than a decade. The father-daughter trainer-driver team last joined forces to win a Group 1 with Leilani Lombo all the way back in 2010, with Kerryn steering the horse to victory in the $300,000 Australian Pacing Gold 2YO Fillies Final at Albion Park. This weekend, the pair has a great chance to break the drought. Kerryn will drive Plymouth Chubb, one of two runners from the Peter Manning stable in the Aldebaran Park Vicbred Platinum Home Grown Classic 2YO Trotting Colts and Geldings Final at Tabcorp Park Melton. The son of Majestic Son has won his past three starts, including the only heat of the series at Maryborough when he beat all of the rivals he meets this Saturday night. Kerryn said Plymouth Chubb had been great following his debut run on March 10, when he had excuses. "He has shown some pretty nice form in his four runs," Manning said. "His first start he probably had a bit of an excuse. That was the night we had an accident just before we got to Melton and hit a car. "They vetted him and he seemed fine, but it wasn't the ideal scenario going into your first start. He went away good and just went out of his gear on the first turn and then that was the end of him that night. But he did feel good. "Since then, he sort of hasn't put a foot wrong. He's still learning, but he's got the talent that's for sure..." Plymouth Chubb is a half-brother to stablemate Dublin Chubb, who was a promising juvenile that finished fourth in the time-honoured Redwood Classic as a two-year-old, but has failed to win since late 2019. Fellow stablemate Mangana Joe is in Saturday night's Group 1 and will be driven by Jason Ainsworth, who will be looking to better the horse's eighth placing from the heat when he galloped early in the race. "Mangana Joe I think is going to win races eventually. He is just sort of working it all out, but he has shown enough on his few runs that he has got a bit of speed about him (and) that he shouldn't be far off a win in time," Kerryn said. "Plymouth Chubb seems to have it over him a little bit at this stage, but there's not a hell of a lot between them. I went with the one with the form." The Aldebaran Park Vicbred Platinum Home Grown Classic 2YO Trotting Fillies Final is the other Group 1 on the Melton card. Geoff Webster-trained Aldebaran Misty won the first of the heats at Maryborough back on April 30, before Brad Angove's Ebonys Avenger took out the second. They look among the leading chances for the $50,000 feature. Another highlight of the meeting is the return of Tornado Valley, who continues his search of the million-dollar prizemoney mark when he lines up in the DNR Logistics Vulcan Trotters Free For All. If successful, the Andy Gath-trained star will become just the ninth Australasian-bred squaregaiter to reach the milestone.   HRV - Tim O'Connor

A popular square-gaiter double at Melton by Kerryn Manning had harness racing enthusiasts reliving memories of more than 20 years ago this week. The 42-year-old world champion horsewoman, based with her husband Grant Campbell in Victoria's Great Western region, was at her superb best in capturing a pair of Group Two scalps. Manning was successful with Aleppo Jewel (Angus Hall-Insulated (Safely Kept) in the IRT Australia Matriarch Trot for four and five-year-old trotting mares, and then with Dublin Chubb (Lawman-Pocket Fantasy (In The Pocket) in the Rewards Hospitality Tatlow Stakes for 2yo trotters. Aleppo Jewel is prepared by Manning, while her father, legendary horseman Peter, is the trainer of Dublin Chubb. Both races carried stakemoney of $30,000. Aleppo Jewel has been in great form since returning to the racetrack in March after six months off the scene, with three wins and four placings from 11 starts. Her dam Insulated won five from 23, with Kerryn Manning successful on three occasions as a driver when the mare was prepared by Andy Gath. Manning plans to target the coming rich Vicbred Super Series with Aleppo Jewel. Kerryn Manning aboard Aleppo Jewel winning the Group Two Matriach Trot (Courtesy Stuart McCormick) Meanwhile Dublin Chubb, who started at the luxury odds of 10/1, is going about his business in good style. The gelding has nice gate speed and Peter Manning has him trotting in faultless fashion, with his four wins from seven starts record that speaks for itself. It was way back in 1997 (that's not a misprint!) when a young and quietly spoken Manning took all before her with Knight Pistol (The Contender USA-Pacealong (Lopez Hanover), the trotting freak of his era. Knight Pistol shot Manning to international harness racing stardom in what was then a headline-making trip to Europe. The venture culminated in arguably Manning's greatest win when she became only the second female to drive a Group One winner in Europe, at Norway. Knight Pistol began his career in the early 1990s, winning the hearts of harness racing fans with sensational home-country victories before being tested in Europe. He wound up with 55 wins and 39 placings from 181 starts for over $600,000 in stakes. Manning left school after Year 10 to work on her father's property and drove her first winner at aged 16. At that same time, she had instant success in her own right, with the first horse she trained Allbenz (bought for $500) going on to win 24 races. In addition to her success, Manning has been a great ambassador for her sport, both on and off the track and she was earlier this year recognised by being the first woman inducted as a Caduceus Club of Victoria Living Legend. The club, named after a horse that was a superstar of the 1950s and 60s, established the awards to acknowledge those in the sport who contributed at the highest levels. Peter was inducted as a Living Legend in 2006 and the pair became the first father-and-daughter to be admitted to the club. Kerryn Manning said at the awards night that harness racing was something she always loved doing and was lucky enough to be "pretty good at it". Her performance record speaks volume of her distinguished career - more than 3800 winners in the sulky and a training career amassing over 920 victories.   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Victoria’s premier female drivers appear to hold the keys to this Saturday night’s $60,000 Mildura Pacing Cup Final after dominating last night’s heats.   The Mildura Pacing Cup is the only event on Victoria’s country cups circuit to be run in a carnival format, with Tuesday night’s heats over 2600 metres, followed by a Saturday night final over the same distance.   Great Western pacer Reciprocity (Panspacificflight-Weka Lass (Badlands Hanover), driven by Kerryn Manning for her father Peter, scored an emphatic win in the first heat, over Perspective and South Australian Bulletproof Boy.   In the second, Shepparton pacer San Carlo (Mach Three-Bridge Player (Classic Garry), for driver Bec Bartley, ground out a narrow death-seat victory over leader Brallos Pass, driven by Ellen Tormey, with the pair 28 metres clear of their nearest rival, Emain Macha.   Barring accident or incident, Saturday night’s final is effectively at the mercy of the three accomplished reinswomen – and it’s shaping as an intriguing battle.   Reciprocity’s victory was comprehensive – and dispelled any doubts astute mentor Peter Manning had about the mare’s ability to handle the 805-metre Mildura circuit.   The five-year-old sat back in the early stages from her barrier eight draw. She was then sent three wide by Kerryn at the bell, then careered around the final turn at Mildura four and five wide, with all the confidence in the world, posting 2:00.4 for the journey.   “That was going to be the test – whether she would handle the track or not. We’ve found she does,so that’s all we needed to know,” Manning said.   With only five days between heats and finals, and with another night of racing on Thursday night, trainers often relocate to the remote Sunraysia region for the week, but Kerryn Manning said   Reciprocity would be home in her paddock by the early hours of Wednesday morning.   “She travelled up really well on her own, and we thought it’d be best to get her home again,” Manning said.   “She did an awesome job for us tonight, everything we wanted, so we’ll just hope for one better on Saturday.” Kerryn Manning and her father Peter with Reciprocity, winner of the first heat Reciprocity is owned by Henry Campbell and came to the Manning stable from the Tamworth region. Since arriving late last year, she’s chalked up seven wins, including an MO and the Group 3 VHRSC Metro Pace Final, in Victoria. But the Group 2 Mildura Pacing Cup would be her biggest win. “I’d trained a couple of horses for a fellow up at Tamworth and he was the one who recommended to Henry that he send the horse down,” Peter Manning said. “We’re pretty glad he did. She has improved in leaps and bounds, particularly in the past couple of months. “She used to hop along a bit and we’ve done some work on her feet and let her hopples out and she’s just thrived on the sandy track at our place. “She’s a very smart horse.” In the second heat, Shepparton pair Brallos Pass (trained by Mark Watson) and San Carlo (trained by Stephen O’Donoghue) always looked the key chances on paper, and that proved to be the case, with only a head margin separating the pair at the post. Brallos Pass was sent forward by Ellen Tormey from his extreme outside (barrier six) draw, and early leader Lucky Lombo (Zac Phillips) was content to hand up. As Tormey crossed to the lead, Bartley, who had come from barrier eight, made a forward move to “death seat” outside Brallos Pass. With a lap to go, San Carlo strode up alongside Brallos Pass, and the two went to war down the back straight. "I wanted to be alongside Ellen as we got around the final corner, because I thought if she pinched a break on me, I might not be able to get it back – but I thought San Carlo would be tough enough if we were on terms,” Bartley said. She was right – but only just. San Carlo raised a final effort on the line to score narrowly from a gallant Brallos Pass.   An elated Bec Bartley after Heat Two of the Mildura Pacing Cup   Bartley and San Carlo are spending the Cup week in Mildura, with Bartley super-keen to go one better this year, after finishing runner up last year to Im the Boss (with Shakahari).   “San Carlo has pulled up really well after the race, and he’s settled in nicely where we are staying,” Bartley said.   “He’ll have a day off tomorrow and then he’ll just have a jog leading up to the final. I’ve got no doubt he’ll handle the two close runs.   “We don’t have too many problems with him these days. He’s such a seasoned horse now. He eats everything you put in front of him and come Saturday I think he’ll be jumping out of his skin.”   The full list of 11 qualifiers includes one local horse, Brocks Territory trained by Luke Watson. Other qualifiers are Assassinator, Lucky Lombo, Bulletproof Boy, Ideal World, Perspective, Brallos Pass, Resurgent Spirit, Emain Macha, Reciprocity and San Carlo.   San Carlo looks likely to draw the extreme outside of the back row for Saturday night’s final, with Reciprocity right next door on his inside. Brallos Pass may face a tricky assignment, with an inside back row barrier draw if all qualifiers accept.     Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

They will be doing thing BIG on Sunday’s Mathews Petroleum Hamilton Pacing Cup day with big family fun, community involvement and race fields. The 11-horse $35,000 Group 3 pacing feature shares the 10-race card with the 12-horse Alexandra House Hamilton Trotters Cup on what club CEO Chrissy Hawker hopes will be a super Sunday. “To get the fields out and have 10 races on the card, super strong fields overall, it’s going to be a competitive racing day,” Ms Hawker told One Out One Back on RSN 927. “Last year we only had six horses in the trotters’ cup, so get so many this year is unbelievable for our club – we are pumped and ready to go.” Among this year’s number are King Denny and Fratellino, who top the Maori’s Idol Trotting Championship, while the pacing cup at 5.24pm will include a showdown between Kerryn Manning’s Stroke Of Luck and Reciprocity, who is trained by her dad. Peter Manning said Reciprocity, who has won four of five since joining the stable, had continually improved for Tamworth owner Henry Campbell. “She’s in form now and getting better all the time,” Manning said, with Sunday to be an important step up and hit-out ahead of a potential tilt at the summer’s leading mares’ races. “We are working towards (the Group 1 mares’ races), we will nominate, run in them and see how we perform. On what she’s shown the last two starts she won’t be far away.” It all bodes for a great cup day and Ms Hawker said they had a huge amount of attractions for families and children plus, for the first time, a Community Charity Cash Cup, in which patrons will help local clubs win for their chosen charities. “We try to do something every year. We can only give it a crack and just hope that people come out and support us.” And, hopefully, the winners will keep coming in the Good Form Grassroots Gold, the initiative that has a Harness Racing Victoria form analyst serve a $500 game plan for a local club. Sunday’s beneficiary is the Hamilton Kangaroos Football-Netball Club, which Ms Hawker said was a great friend of the trots. “Hamilton Kangaroos are our business partner, they are great supporters of Hamilton harness as we are of them.”   Trots Media

Bendigo Harness Racing Club will turn back racing’s clock as the club stages its Memorial Race Night on Friday night. The BHRC has assembled one of the best lists of master drivers available in Victoria to compete in the Oxley Feed Mills Veteran Drivers Trot, a feature race of $10,000. Combined the veteran drivers have six Inter-Dominion victories as well as Hunter Cups, Breeders Crowns, Oaks, Derbies, Country Cups and just about every other major race feature listed on their career records.  The combined total of winners driven by the 12 competitors is more than 11,000, with Brian Gath heading the group with more than 3300 wins. Longlea-based Gath and dual Inter-Dominion winning driver Jim O'Sullivan, based at Heathcote, are in the star studded line-up at Bendigo.  Melbourne Showgrounds harness racing veterans include dual Inter-Dominion winner Graeme Lang and Hunter Cup winner and driver of more than 1300 winners, Elmore’s Neville Welsh. The wizard of Great Western, Peter Manning, a perpetual state leading trainer who on several occasions topped the national rankings, will don his silks, along with Inter-Dominion winning driver Cliff Powell (Elmore) and well-known Junortoun horsemen Keith Pratt. Recent additions to the “65-year-old veteran ranks” taking their place in the field are Noel Shinn and Ginger Gleeson.  Past winners of the Veteran Drivers Trot Dick Lee and Graeme Whittle are also back chasing further glory, while dual Maryborough Cup-winning driver Bill Spitiri rounds out the field. As a further highlight of the Memorial Race night six races have been named to remember the significant contributions to Bendigo district harness racing of past participants Merv Dillon, Henry McDermott, Ted Manton, Ron Pocock, Les Pratt and Daphne and Ken Pocock. The night will also feature the official opening of the Henry McDermott Collection. This includes the unveiling of a feature wall of memorabilia that documents Henry’s many successes and contributions to harness racing over a long period.  The collection was compiled with the assistance of the McDermott family, who will be on track for the official opening, and will add to the Bendigo club’s considerable history and memorabilia collection. The history and memorabilia room will be open to the public for viewing throughout the night. The combined total of winners driven by the 12 competitors is more than 11,000, with Brian Gath heading the group with more than 3300 wins. Fittingly the Markovina Free For all, in which Interdominion contenders Hector Jay Jay, Yankee Rockstar, Restrepo, Flaming Flutter Stunning Grin and warhorse Smudge Bromac clash, honours Markovina , which was was trained and driven by Gath to victory in the 1978 Interdominion  

It has been some time in the making, but it feels like a whirlwind. Harness Racing trainer Donna Lewis’ aptly named three-year-old trotter Into The Unknown burst into the limelight with a blazing Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series heat, winning amid a stacked field to enter Friday night’s Group 1 final the favourite. “This is by far the most important race I have had a horse in,” Lewis said. “I had a runner in the semis of the Vicbred pacing years ago, and have had trotters before but only one got to the races. “Her being pacing bred and me not having much experience with trotters, we are learning as we go along.” There is plenty experience in her favour. The daughter of famed trainer Peter Manning, Lewis worked for trainer Graeme Lang for about four years before working with Harness Racing Victoria for about eight years in registrations and racing. She stepped away to pursue a family with husband and trainer Dean Lewis, who is now a full-time farrier, but continued training. Donna Lewis’ stable was once 10 horses strong, but with family commitments she likes to limit it to two or three and at present Into The Unknown is her only horse racing. The filly by Grinfromeartoear out of Dolly Jasper came into Lewis’ stable to be broken as a pacer. “Russell Hockham bred her. Two years ago when she was a weanling I got her, Shadow Sax and Spirituality,” Lewis said. “I had had Into The Unknown’s mum (Dolly Jasper) and her mum’s mum (Navy Girl), basically the whole family. Russell kept Shadow Sax, I trained Spirituality and said I’d love to lease Into The Unknown. “She broke into pace, but when she was pacing she wasn’t very good at it. I got Clarrie Hamilton, a friend of mine, to drive her and left the hobbles off her. She trotted and he said “I think she might make a trotter”. We left the hobbles off her and she run along really well.” Into The Unknown’s first taste of the track came as a two-year-old trialling at Bacchus Marsh on July 11, 2015, when was fourth of four starters. “She had two trials, on the first one she ran well but broke once and the second one she broke at every turn,” Lewis said. “I put her in the paddock, then the next time she was worse, so I put her in the paddock again and hoped that would fix things. “When she came out the next time she put every foot right.” She trialled twice in May of this year, then placed fourth on debut at Bendigo when up against the boys in a three-year-old trot, which had her start her second race as favourite at Ararat when she placed second on June 8. Next stop was the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series heat at Bendigo on June 22. “She did everything right before I went to Bendigo,” Lewis said. “I think she had the hardest of the heats. I thought that if she qualified for the final you would have to think she was going well and deserves to be there. “When she came up the back straight I thought it looks like she might qualify, and then she went straight past them.” Driver Kerryn Manning placed Into The Unknown in the breeze going around the back straight for the last time, and then with a 28.8 last quarter she blew away Rift Valley ($2.90) and leader Princess Phoenix ($1.80 fav) to win by 3.1m. And suddenly expectations are high. “We are still feeling our way of how much work we need to give her. She is just being her usual self,” Lewis said. “She has never done anything to inspire confidence at home. I have to growl at her all the time to get her to do anything like fast work speed. She just does it so easy.  “Now I feel like I can’t do any more. We will see what happens, I just hope that she goes around like she has the previous weeks.” Michael Howard

The memory of trotting legend Knight Pistol will live on at Stawell’s Laidlaw Park, following the unveiling of a memorial plaque on Tuesday. The plaque, made by Bruce Hemley out of horseshoes from the Peter Manning stables, was unveiled during Stawell Harness Racing Club’s Australia Day meeting. Known affectionately as Trigger, the memorial plaque recognises Knight’s Pistol’s achievements and his induction into the Victorian Harness Racing Media Association Hall of Fame. Knight Pistol’s career was at the crossroads before joining the Manning stables in Great Western. After three ordinary efforts in the double blue silks, he had his act together and in February 1997 the nine year old bay took out the $125,000 Group 1 Australasian Trotters Championship at Moonee Valley. He ended up having 181 career starts for 55 wins. The same year he won the Australasian Trotters Championship, he flew to Norway where he won the Group 1 Harley Davidson Trot. Knight Pistol still holds the record over 3200 metres (2.04.4) which he set at Moonee Valley in 1998. Reprinted with permission of the stawelltimes.com. site

As he did at two, Christmas Jolt (3G, Village Jolt/Christmas Cullen) has made a winning start to his three-year-old harness racing campaign. The Peter Manning trained pacer notched his eighth win at start 19 last night at Echuca, defeating a small field in the 2QN Radio 3YO Pace over 2160 metres. Working to the lead in the front straight the first time, Christmas Jolt (driven by Kerryn Manning) paced his last mile in 2mins 1.7secs courtesy of a slow 63.7secs first half before coming home in 58secs. Last season Christmas Jolt exploded on to the scene with five wins at his first six starts, including victories in the Premiere Stakes and a heat of the Australian Pacing Gold at Melton. He went on to win a semi-final of the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series by 5m over eventual Vicbred and Tatlow Stakes winner Shadow Sax. He won six races overall as a two-year-old, Peter Manning even declaring him potentially the best youngster he’d ever trained. So far at three he’s won in 1-59.2 at Ballarat over 1710m and in 2mins tonight at Echuca. Meanwhile, Secret Agenda (4M, Secret Life/Live Or Die) broke through for her first win at start No.14. A full-sister to Perfect Life (fourth in a Vicbred Super Series Final at four and third in HBV Silver Chalice) and half-sister to Victoria Oaks winner Beauty Secret and two-time Group 1 winner Major Secret, Secret Agenda is a blueblood. Trained by Emma Stewart at Smythes Creek, John Caldow guided the mare home in 2-01.4 in the Echuca New Year's Day Night Meeting Pace over 2160m Cody Winnell

Ballarat based Jaimie-Lee King had the last laugh on her rivals when four year old Major In Art/Laughing Meadow gelding Major Laugh blitzed his rivals in the Fishers IGA Pace at the Arrat trots on Tuesday. Trained at Smythes Creek by “boss” Emma Stewart, Major Laugh raced and driven by Jaimie-Lee starting from the extreme draw settled at the tail of the field, with polemarker Under Your Thumb kept honest all through the race by the favourite Four Starzzz Fella outside him. Send forward four wide in the last lap, Major Laugh followed Zermanion three wide in the back straight, before sprinting like a gazelle four wide to lead on the home turn, scoring by 9.5 metres over Our Sir Ivanhoe along the sprint lane after trailing the pacemaker and being held up at a vital stage, with Nobetterthanthis (one/one) third. The mile rate was 1-58.1. A winner at Mildura on June 3 when making his Victorian debut after racing mostly around the Hunter Valley, Major Laugh returned a mile rate of 1-58.1. Two relatively unknown participants of the sport were successful on the night – Bunkers Hill (Ballarat) based owner/trainer Alan Holman combining with Zac Steenhuis to land the Hygain Feeds Vicbred Pace for C1 class over 2195 metres with $61.80 chance Blude Master and Gordon’s Larry Lynch the Eastick Homes Pace for C1 class over 1790 metres with Graceful Art at $40.60. Blude Master a five year old gelded son of Attorney General and Bludegirl having start number 23 and first since April 2014 after taking a lift, was taken back at the start from outside the front row to settle at the tail of the field. Under pressure in the final circuit to follow Extra three wide, Blude Master hard driven gradually made ground and when Go Betweens four wide outside him joined in approaching the home turn, grabbed the bit and went with him to set sail after the leader Blissful Spanker. In a race than changed complexion over the concluding stages, Blude Master prevailed by a nose from Go Betweens in a mile rate of 2-01.7, with Blissful Spanker 1.6 metres away in third place.  Five year old Metropolitan/Private Affair mare Graceful Affair trained by Larry Lynch racing under the banner of Lynch Harness Horses, possied mid-field in the running line from the extreme draw with local Michael Bellman in the sulky. Held up in the last lap with horses all around her as the leaders Our Bedrock and Bellas Jet kicked clear appearing to have the race to themselves, Graceful Affair came with a withering burst of speed down the centre of the track to score by 1.2 metres over Bellas Jet which raced in the open for the majority of the journey, dropping in for a breather approaching the home turn. Saab Magic flashed home late from three back the markers after also being held up prior to the home turn to be 1.5 metres away in third place. The mile rate was 1-59.4. Great Western’s Peter Manning combined with Glen Craven aboard 4-Y-0 Christian Cullen/Precious Delight gelding Precious Cullen to snare the Ararat RSL Red Poppy Bistro Pace for C0 class over 2195 metres in 1-59.2. Sent forward three wide out of gate four to cross Space Keeper running into the first turn, Precious Cullen coming off a fifth at Horsham on June 17 when badly held up on debut, ran his rivals ragged in defeating Mister Untouchable which faced the breeze for the final circuit, with Eyesrromin (four wide last lap) third.  Huntly (Bendigo) trainer/driver Anthony Crossland has Kiwi bred 4-Y-0 Love You/Sun Goddess gelding Dieu De Lamour racing in peak form, bringing up his third victory in the last four starts by taking the Ararat Vet Clinic Trotters Mobile for T0 & T1 class over 2195 metres. Biding his time four back in the moving line from the extreme draw, Dieu De Lamour when eased three wide in the last lap exploded to the front prior to the home turn, scoring by a huge 56.5 metres in 2-03.3 over Copa Comaida which led from the pole, with Truscott Sun 5.8 metres away in third place after racing in the open for most of the trip. Terang’s Matty Craven experiencing his best season ever, had an armchair drive aboard Grinfromeartoear/Classic Malibu five year old gelding Roy George in the AME System Pace for C4 to C6 class over 1790 metres, leading all of the way from gate two in accounting for Xavier Jack which trailed and Myrniongfirecracker (one/three) in a rate of 1-58.8. The winning margin was 11.8 metres. Burrumbeet trainer Ash Herbertson took advantage of a concession for Bolinda’s Josh Duggan aboard in-form 6-Y-0 Metropolitan/Ellovalooka mare Metrofromelle to capture the David O Jones Mitre 10 Pace for C2 & C3 class over 2195 metres. Settling three back in the running line from a solo second line draw, Metrofromelle was soon off and running to park outside the pacemaker Forced Out (gate two) where Duggan was content to dictate the tempo. Taking a slender lead on the final bend, Metrofromelle outstayed her rivals to score by a neck over Our Supreme Guy along the sprint lane after following Forced Out who finished 2.9 metres away in third place. Great Western trainer Brad Hunt who assists at Peter Manning’s stable, was successful with Grinfromeartoear/Big Time Babe gelding If The Mood Suits in the E. W. Bulte Timber & Hardware 3-Y-0 Pace over 2195 metres when making his third appearance at the races. Driven by Glen Craven, If The Mood Suits (gate six) was restrained as gate sped away, going back to the tail of the field. Still a long way off the leader Katsina which had crossed the pacemaker Second Hands approaching the home turn, If The Mood Suits came from the clouds on straightening to record a 1.4 metre victory in advance of Sisulu Success (one/three – three wide last lap) and Lavish Smile (one/two) in a rate of 2-02.7. Perhaps the biggest winner of the night was Gotta Go Cullect/Princess Of Stars colt Rockstar Confusion on debut for Armstrong duo Brooke Hansen and Tim O’Brien in the Chally’s Bar & Bistro 3-Y-0 Trotters Mobile over 2195 metres. Driven by Maryborough’s Ash Matthews, Rockstar Confusion although rocky in the score-up, led from the pole only to gallop running into the first turn appearing to throw away any chance of figuring in the finish, which allowed Uwouldntbelieverit to take over. Still a mile off the leader Strazeele which had crossed to lead for the final circuit, Rockstar Confusion showed a terrific turn of speed in the last lap to get close to the front runner on straightening and in a ding-dong duel all the way up the running, gained the judge’s nod by a half head in 2-05.7. Hanging On A Dream finished 35.6 metres away in third place off a mid-field passage. Len Baker  

Trainer Peter Manning has freshened up exciting harness racing gelding Christmas Jolt in time for the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series. The son of Village Jolt/Christmas Cullen hasn’t been to the races since finishing second to Soho Lexington in the Group 2 Consolation at Menangle on April 26. Christmas Jolt will resume in the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series (2YO Colts and Geldings 2nd Heat) tomorrow night at Bendigo, drawing barrier three with Kerryn Manning to drive. The exciting juvenile won his first four races before finishing second to Dont Holt Back in the Sapling Stakes at Tabcorp Park Melton. Belinda McCarthy has Thats How Weroll engaged in barrier four tomorrow night with Greg Sugars to drive, while exciting Brallos Pass has drawn gate six for Nathan Jack and trainer Mark Watson, David Miles has Time Keepa Lombo in barrier eight and Shadow Sax (Peter Tonkin and Gavin Lang) will be out to emulate his last-start Charlton success and has snared the pole draw. Cody Winnell

The Cormack family had a bonanza when the harness racing grey Adam Cartwright returned to winning form in the Ewen Racing Stables SA BOTRA Four-and-Five-Year-Old Entires and Geldings final (2230m) at Globe Derby Park. Generally a feisty customer, the Ponder gelding appreciated being able to settle second behind a good pace set by Nevabendrules before using the sprint lane in the home straight to score. A $22.20 chance Adam Cartwright won by three and a half metres from the fast finishing Force Ten Gale ($20.80) with the $1.80 favourite Nevabendrules fading to third a metre and a half away. Part-owner-breeder Adam Cormack said it had been fantastic to see the grey back in winning form. “He has had a lot of issues – so much that I reckon we nearly own the veterinary clinic in Ballarat,” Cormack said. ”Trainer Peter Manning left him here in Adelaide after last week’s heat and worked him on our new track at Two Wells on Tuesday and was really pleased with his work. Hopefully, all his issues are now behind him.” Adam Cartwright was bred by the Cormacks out of the Oaks winner Lombo Regalia and they have a yearling, two-year-old and three-year-old also out of the mare in training and hopefully to keep the winners coming. There is no doubt the grey appreciated the tempo with Nevabendrules going 30.8 then firing up a bit for 28.8 and 28.7 second and third quarters which allowed him to come home in 29.8 to grab victory. But this final was where luck ran out for the Cormacks. Regal Major was beaten in the two-year-old colt’s final, then Thepresidentslady was a race track scratching after hurting herself in the score up to the two-year-old fillies’ final. by Graham Fischer Harness Racing South Australia   

There were plenty of talking points after the two semi-finals of the two-year-old harness racing feature last week, the Golden Nursery (May 22nd) at Globe Derby Park. After the Alabar Bloodstock first heat it was about the winner Thepresidentslady, and after the second, the manners of the money back $1 favourite Rocknroll Magic. But the two semi-finals again confirmed that Gawler trainer Peter Bain has two nice fillies in Hilltop Sophia and Hilltop Rose. In the Alabar Bloodstock first semi, Thepresidentslady a filly by Real Desire owned and bred by the Cormack family in South Australia, but trained at Great Western by Peter Manning, was backed from as much as $2.10 into $1.50 favourite and gave her rivals no cause for concern going straight to the front and scoring a nine and a half metre win. Hilltop Sophia ($5.10) came from well back in the field to grab second a metre in front of Don’t Tell Linda ($21.40). Driver Jock Dunlop got away with a 64.3 first half and the filly sprinted home 29.3 and 28.7 last quarters making it impossible for her rivals to catch her. Part-owner Ben Cormack said Thepresidentslady was out of a mare the family raced called Mixed With A Twist, herself out of another their mares Glowing Angel. The ease of the win did not surprise the family and they are looking forward to the final. The SA BOTRA semi-final saw the Emma Stewart trained Rocknroll Magic, a $1 – money back – favourite from gate one with David Harding aboard. Anyone who took the short odds was left white faced when the filly was refusing to score up properly, eventually galloping and putting herself out of the race. Driver Aaron Bain, on the $10.30 second favourite Hilltop Rose in gate five, saw the issues with the favourite and drover his filly straight to the front. In a repeat of the first semi, Bain recorded 34.7 and 32.8 first quarters allowing his filly to dash home in 29.5 and 28.6 to score by 17-1/2 metres from Comicopera ($21.30) with Gifted Artist ($96.20) three metres away third. “I could see the favourite wasn’t filling her position in the score up,” Bain said. “So when the mobile sped away I decided it was time to put the foot down and we were able to cross and lead and I was able to rate the race to suit. “She sprinted home beautifully to win and it is great to have both fillies in the final.” A filly by Rocknroll Hanover, Hilltop Rose is now unbeaten in three starts, including a Ladyship Stakes, and is proving one of the state’s best two-year-olds. David Harding said he was aware of a possible problem with Rocknroll Magic when the field went onto the track. “She had a bee in her bonnet,” Harding said. “She didn’t do things right in the preliminaries and then when asked to score up she wanted to run up the track and I had her on one rein and as a result she knocked  herself and went into a gallop – unfortunately that’s racing.” by Graham Fischer Harness Racing South Australia Related Links Race programme for Globe Derby Park, Friday 29 May 2015

The two heats of the SA BOTRA Two-year-old Golden Nursery for colts and geldings last week at Globe Derby may have lacked numbers but set the stage for an exciting harness racing final. Alto Cumulus, trained by Robin Maguire, was a most impressive all the way winner of the Combined Transport heat one. Backed from $1.90 into $1.60, the two-year-old colt by Tinted Cloud was taken straight to the front by David Harding from gate four and the colt had no trouble in scoring a three-and-a-half metre win from Fragility ($5.60) with Presidentmach ($3.20)  four and a half metres away third. Harding has been impressed by the winner. “This was my third drive on him and he keeps improving,” Harding said. “He was always in control tonight and won well.” But it would surprise if Regal Major, winner of the Mike and Nathan Woods heat two, does not start favourite in the final. Alto Cumulus rated 2:01:5 in his win and was unextended while Regal Major recorded 2:02:1 in doing a bit of work but still winning comfortably. A well backed $1.70 favourite, the two-year-old gelding by Art Major, owned by the Cormack family and trained by Peter Manning, showed no gate speed from four but after the first 200 metres Jock Dunlop had no hesitation sending him to the front. Time To Dash moved alongside to test for the lead but Dunlop had no intent of handing up and instead allowed the gelding to keep in a rhythm. The early leader Tyrion($4.50) trailed the winner and tried to come through on the inside up the home straight but Regal Major held on to win by two-and-a-half metres. Reva ($20.20) was 10 metres away third. Part-owner Ben Cormack was impressed by Regal Major’s win. “He is a tough horse who keeps on giving and I’m sure we will be positive early in the final.” by Graham Fischer South Australia Harness Racing       Related Links Race programme for Globe Derby Park, Friday 29 May 2015  

A trio of top-notch harness racing two-year-olds took out yesterday's Australian Pacing Gold two-year-old colts’ and geldings’ heats at Tabcorp Park Melton. Christmas Jolt (Village Jolt / Christmas Cullen), Goodtime Sammy (Somebeachsomewhere / Graces Beach) and Kingofthestars (Sportswriter / Kirrilee Joy) all impressed and have ticked off the first important box ahead of the $322,000 final later this month at Menangle. Smythes Creek trainer Emma Stewart trains both Goodtime Sammy and Kingofthestars. The jury’s out regarding which of Stewart’s strong crop of two-year-old pacers is the best, but several have impressed, including today’s winners. Goodtime Sammy was particularly impressive. The colt – a half-brother to Goodtime Bobby – worked to the lead early doors in the 1720-metre race before putting a gap on his rivals down the back straight, racing about 30 metres clear. When he swung for home Goodtime Sammy was still well in front and, while runner-up Most Happy Cullen cut into the final winning margin late, reinsman Greg Sugars hardly moved a muscle aboard Goodtime Sammy who coasted home by 4.7 metres in a mile rate of 1:56.8. It was the winner’s third triumph from three starts following a debut victory over Brallos Pass at Charlton and a last-start 7.9-metre triumph over Rocknroll Gold. As good as Goodtime Sammy was the murmurs around the traps are that stablemate Kingofthestars might be even better. Driven by Nathan Jack, Kingofthestars was able to work to the lead and hold off all comers late for a 13.5-metre win over Brallos Pass in a mile rate of 1:56.5. Today’s meeting opened with Christmas Jolt taking out the first heat of the APG for Peter Manning and reinswoman daughter Kerryn Manning. Christmas Jolt, who won his first four races before running second to Don’t Holt Back in blistering time at Melton, bounced back today to make it five from six with a nine-metre win over Herehecomes in a 1:57 flat mile rate. Christmas Jolt dictated out in front before cruising home, punters who took the shorts – $1.60 – at no point nervous. It was a good day for favourite punters, with Goodtime Sammy ($1.04), Kingofthestars ($1.80), Glenferrie Burn ($1.80), Bettor Downunder ($1.50), Wingara ($1.10) and Kyvalley Vice ($2.10) all prevailing. >> Video Replays Goodtime Sammy runs his rivals off their legs! Christmas Jolt bounces back to winners' list Kingofthestars makes it two APG Heat winners for Stewart by Cody Winnell

Local harness racing fans were cheering as the Great Western father-daughter team of Peter and Kerryn Manning combined to take out the Stawell Pacing Cup today. The record-breaking duo scored with outsider, Narra Operative, which upstaged his more fancied rivals in the 2590-metre feature. After racing behind the leader, Road To Rock, the gelding finished strongly along the passing lane to account for the pacemaker and Lord Monaloo. Narra Operative rated 2:03.3 to complete consecutive country cup victories. The son of Armbro Operative annexed Wedderburn’s flagship event on December 14. On the subject of multiple provincial feature wins, Neville Vaughan is proving the ‘King’ of the country trotters’ cups. The nine-year-old overcame a 30-metre backmark to capture the Stawell Trotters’ Cup for trainer Ryan McMillan. Neville Vaughan’s latest triumph - in a track record 2:02.8 for the 2590 metres - adds to his St Arnaud and Wedderburn Trotters’ Cups. Driven by Matthew Craven, the son of Britewell relegated Unico Crown and Looks A Moral to the placings. McMillan indicated Neville Vaughan will continue to follow the cup circuit, with Horsham shaping as a likely target. HRV Media

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