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A 1:56.3 run in last night’s Tabcorp Park Melton VHRSC Sires Classic (Group 3) saw Emain Macha further enhance his race record and give Naracoorte harness racing trainer Greg Scholefield a metro feature trophy. Scholefield has, in recent times, boasted one of the strongest strike rates in the sport and Emain Macha is his stable star, with stake earnings of over $107,000 after last night’s win, which was his 13th at start No.17. Emain Macha initially had a crack for the front but was held out by both polemarker Misterfreeze and Rocknroll Icon from gate two. Reinsman Greg Sugars slotted three-year-old gelding by Safari into third position on the pegs, following Chris Alford on Rocknroll Icon and Emmett Brosnan aboard pacesetter Misterfreeze. Inside the final mile Alford took Rocknroll Icon to the lead and at the 1200m Sugars angled Emain Macha away from the markers. You wanted to be on one or the other. Off the back the final time, Rocknroll Icon tried to pinch the race but Emain Macha always had the leader in his sights. At the home bend – after a 28.4 third split – Emain Macha swept to the front and opened up over the final 100m for a 4.3m win, sprinting home in 28.1secs. Rocknroll Icon finished second and Albarock ran his usual honest race in third. Meanwhile, Andy and Kate Gath finished with a winning treble at Melton, taking out the City of Melton Stampede with Armbro Operative-Clifton Beauty gelding Maximan, the Western Base Vicbred Pace over 1720m with Major In Art-Henin Hardenne five-year-old gelding The Culture, and the Choose Atherstone Pace Final over 2240m with four-year-old Courage Under Fire-Village Glow gelding Firenglow. Maximan added his name to the Stampede honour roll, the annual six-furlong dash at Melton seeing the Gath gelding edge out perennial fast-finisher Tee Cee Bee Macray by a half-head in a time of 1:23.5. Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

I Am Camelot delivered a career-best effort to score an impressive harness racing win in a C4-C5 event over 2200 metres at the Luxbet Racing Centre in Launceston last night. The Deborah Williams-trained gelding earned a reputation as a horse that only does his best when he leads but last night the six-year-old was able to settle back in the field from his outside second-row draw and rattle home to score an emphatic win. It was the gelding's fifth win from 10 starts this season and Gareth Rattray's fourth aboard the son of Safari from five drives. "The horse was travelling great on the back of the favourite No Spring Secrets and I was happy for that horse to take us into the race but he wasn't going well enough so we had to go six-wide on the home turn," Rattray said. "He's a horse that gets revved up and hard to handle but he settled tonight and he really finished the race off well." I Am Camelot is only lightly raced as he's only had 22 starts for five wins and as many minor placings for closing in on $30,000 in prizemoney.  

Talented pacer I Am Camelot returned to harness racing with a brilliant all-the-way win in a C1 event over 2090 metres at Luxbet Park Hobart on Sunday night. The Deborah Williams-trained gelding made the most of a front-row draw to lead from gate three and once in front the six-year-old was rated superbly by Gareth Rattray. I Am Camelot had not started since December last year but a good performance in a recent trial was enough to give punters confidence to back the gelded son of Safari in to start the $3.80 favourite. "This horse has loads of ability and I think the long break has been good for him," Williams said. "He has always been a horse that gets all worked up at the races and tonight was no exception but overall it was a good result. "We will continue to run him in Hobart because he races well here." Rattray said the horse raced fiercely early but ha d settled well enough under restraint to win the race. "I'll just keep working him through the classes but we are hoping this will be his best season. "We could have brought him back to racing sooner but we opted to concentrate on a few other younger horses and I think the extra time away from racing as done him the world of good." Peter Staples

The two semi-finals of the Sky Racing Southern Cross for harness racing two-year-old colts & geldings (1800m) has set the stage for a rematch between two exciting pacers Globe Derby Park. Emain Macha (Safari), with his semi-final win, became Australia’s most winning two-year-old taking his number of victories this season to seven, one ahead of a group on six. However, he has tasted defeat once, at the hooves of Deeceeten, which was a brilliant winner of the other semi-final meaning the barrier draw will be of big significance on Tuesday. Backed from $2 into $1.60 favourite, Deeceeten showed in his semi-final that he is not a once dimensional pacer. Nykea Courage ($2.20 to $3.50), a stablemate of Emain Macha, drove through from gate two to hold out the David Jack trained-and-driven Deeceeten which began well from barrier six. At his debut run, Deeceeten had led and run along, but on Saturday night, Jack opted to drop in behind Nykea Courage and take a trail and the big horse settled well. The Jill Neilson-trained Opinionated made a lightning move around the outside to sit outside the leader and driver Dani Hill put the pressure on and went clear coming off the back allowing Jack to bring Deeceeten off the inside and come wide. Glenrae Hanover, trained and driven by Dale Afford, sprinted very quickly past the 300m mark and looked likely to swoop to the lead but Opinionated responded, then Deeceeten wound up and dashed through. On the line, Deeceeten had six metres to spare from Opinionated ($17.40) with Glenrae Hanover ($8.90) four metres away third. Jack was delighted with the further improvement by Deeceeten and very happy the colt had shown he could settle back in a field. Emain Macha was an unbackable $1 money back favourite in the second semi-final of the Sky Racing Southern Cross but didn’t have everything his own way with the Ray Holberton-trained Stars Of Courage proving again he is a racehorse with plenty of ability. Stars Of Courage has shown ability but is still learning about racing and can get fired up which doesn’t help his winning prospects. Emain Macha, trained by Greg Scholefield at Naracoorte and driven by Jock Dunlop, led from gate two but Dani Hill had Stars Of Courage ($13.80) away quickly from barrier four and had a dip for the lead but the favourite was keen to stay in control. Stars Of Courage again raced quite keenly but the pair raced side by side for the rest of the race. With quarters of 30.9 and 31.7 early the race was set for a sprint home and so it proved with 29.3 and 28.0 final quarters and Emain Macha prevailed by 1-1/2 metres but the third horse Aquaflight ($11.80) was 18 metres away third. While Emain Macha will be further improved by the run and will go into the final at peak fitness, Deeceeten and Stars Of Courage showed enough that the final should provide an exciting contest. by Graham Fischer Race programme for Globe Derby Park, Saturday 30 July 2016

“Keep yourself in the best company and your horse in the worst.” Naracoorte harness racing trainer Greg Scholefield lives by those wise words, which his uncle – trots man Harold Moody – passed on to him. The philosophy is working. Scholefield presented two horses to race at Mildura on Thursday night, unbeaten two-year-old Emain Macha and consistent three-year-old Livingston Bay. Both won. EMAIN MACHA WINS HIS THIRD RACE AT START NO.3 The two-year-old especially is exciting, says Scholefield. “He’s very promising. He’s been very easy to get going, just such an easy natured horse. A real competitor, too,” he said. Asked how Emain Macha, a son of Safari, came to be in his stable, Scholefield spoke glowingly of Dennis Wills. “He sources horses for me and does a great job,” Scholefield said. “He found Limestone Bay as well. He’s a good fella. “I’d gotten horses off Heath Redwood before and with Dennis’s help we purchased Emain Macha off Heath and brought him home. From there I haven’t had any problem with the horse.” So far in season 2015-16 Scholefield has presented 19 starters for seven wins and nine minor placings. However, a look back through the last decade’s results reveals the South Australian horseman’s success rate is no flash in the pan. Since season 2004-05 Scholefield’s results are astonishing. He has presented 265 starters at the races for 93 wins (35%), 51 seconds, 34 thirds and 21 fourths. Just 66 times his horses have finished outside the top four in 11 years. “Can I just grab a biro?” Scholefield said when his statistics were being read out, following up with: “That’s not bad” when told 54% of his runners have finished top-two since 04-05. At 67, Scholefield, a former full-time builder, is now retired and thus doesn’t mind hitting the road with a horse if it means placing one of his horse’s in a winnable race. “I don’t mind. I know a lot of good people around the industry and they’re always willing to help me out. I enjoy getting around to different places,” he said. Although he only trains a small team at any one time Scholefield has a strong list of prolific winners, including Glenferrie Rustler (who he trained to win 19 races), Mighty Maurie (10 wins), Mad House (nine wins) and The Lucky Break (six wins) just to name a few. “I named him after my dad,” Scholefield said of Mighty Maurie. In addition to his training record Scholefield has also enjoyed good success as an owner, mentioning Alesco, who he raced with Alan Tubbs, and The Rattler, who won the 1984 Inter Dominion Consolation for trainer Jim Hurley. WATCH THE RATTLER WIN HIS 1984 INTER DOMINION CONSOLATION The three-year-old son of Major In Art he had success with at Mildura last night, Livingston Bay, will now be spelled and Scholefield is confident “he’ll come back a much better horse”. And while he’s camping at Mildura for the Carnival the trainer has one more runner, Limestone Bay, who is shooting for a hat-trick tomorrow night in Race 2. Cody Winnell

Harness racing owner John Penny is glad he listened to advice from his grandmother because it led to success in South Australia’s first feature two-year-old race of the season, the 2016 Trotsguide.Com.Au Kindergarten Stakes (1800m) at Globe Derby Park. Penny, and his son Sean (named after Sean Connery, 007) are part-owners of Emain Macha, a brilliant winner of the Kindergarten Stakes. Solid in the market at $4, Emain Macha led throughout to beat the heavily backed $1.50 favourite Stars Of Courage by three metres with Glenrae Hanover ($128.40), 22-1/2 metres away third. The gelding son of Safari from the Mach Three mare Machabella is trained by Greg Scholefield at Naracoorte. The Penny father and son share ownership of Emain Macha with Gail Davis, Peter Lamond and the trainer. “My grandmother Dulcie Scholefield, ran the tea room at the Naracoorte railway station about 50 years ago and the bread was delivered by the baker, her brother and Greg’s father,” Penny explained. “I was only about 17 at the time and I remember her saying that one day to make sure I gave a horse to Greg because he would be a top trainer. “It didn’t happen until about three years ago when, through the loss of my wife, I found I had some time and set about making contact with Greg and found myself with a share in Emain Macha. “Just over a year ago, Sean had the misfortune to have his wife pass away, so I got him involved in the horse as well to try and take his mind off the loss. “Tonight has been a great thrill.” Greg Scholefield revealed he purchased Emain Macha privately from Shepparton breeder Hugh Redwood. “I have had good success with horses I have obtained from the Redwoods and this horse is related to two of them,” Scholefield said. “He showed promise from the first time I had him in work. “I took him to Mount Gambier for his debut in a Kindergarten Prelude and he led throughout to win well and while the time looked okay, it was run on a very soft track so was better than it appeared.” In the Kindergarten final, driver Jock Dunlop took Emain Macha to the front from gate three while Stars Of Courage, which had won its only two starts, came across from gate seven to challenge for the lead but Dunlop was not letting it lead. Dani Hill, on Stars Of Courage, kept the pressure on but Emain Macha responded. Past the 600, Hill really put the pressure on with a 28.4 third quarter but the leader kept finding and holding out the challenge. Rounding the home turn, Emain Macha drifted off the inside and Hill took Stars Of Courage back to the inside for a last surge but it was to no avail as the leader prevailed. Scholefield said he would give Emain Macha only another two or three runs before a break. by Graham Fischer

Broken Hill harness racing horseman Anthony Adams is no stranger to training and driving multiple winners but his effort on Saturday night of driving three winners and training two of them was overshadowed by the performance of broodmare Parabadoo Magic. Parabadoo Magic is the mother of Im The Mighty Judd – the winner of the first race and Mister Magic Man – the winner of the last.  The brothers are both trained by Adams and he was pretty confident going into the meeting that he would have a good night. “Yeah on paper I thought I’d go pretty close with the two horses that won for me, they were very fit after competing at Mildura recently and that fitness helped them over the line on Saturday,” Adams said. “It was a good effort by Parabadoo Magic, there is a two year old filly by Safari out of her as well, she is nicely gaited and I’m looking forward to seeing what she does at the races.” Parabadoo Magic started her career at Broken Hill and raced well for Adams winning twelve races in her career, including her first three starts on her home track. “She did a good job for us, she was a little bit highly strung but she is still the holder of the 1610 metres track record.  They don’t race over that distance anymore, although they still start the races from the same spot and call it 1609 metres. “She had great point to point speed but her biggest downfall was her ability to get too excited and over race, Im The Mighty Judd has inherited that trait whereas Mister Magic Man is very tractable.” Im The Mighty Judd is named after former Carlton star Chris Judd who retired last season after 279 AFL games. “For a Carlton supporter, to give a horse a name like that you have to think he’s going to be pretty good and when he first started I really liked him and thought he was going to be a nice horse – so that’s how he got his name. “He has been injury prone, he tore his pectoral muscle and had to have a break and then had a mild suspensory tear and needed another six months off but he is going very well at the moment.” Mister Magic Man is by Mister Big and Adams is hoping to compete in the Breeders Challenge series later in the season. “He’s in the Breeders Challenge, the closest track that will have a heat will be Dubbo so if he keeps on improving I might make the trip to Dubbo with him. “It’s a fair hike but there is some nice money available so I’ll just wait and see what happens.” Adams confirmed he will continue to breed horses in the hope of finding his champion. “I think that’s what everyone is in the game for isn’t it?  To have that horse that is a top liner. “I don’t have the money to be going to the yearling sales to spend $50,000 on a young one and while it might cost me the best part of $25,000 or $30,000 by the time I breed one and get it to the races, I’m dreaming of finding that star.” Greg Hayes

Lightly raced five-year-old gelding I Am Camelot delivered one of the best harness racing performances of the night at UBET Park Hobart on Sunday to win the O A Kingston Pace over 1609 metres. I Am Camelot was having only his third start back from a two-year break that was enforced though injury. The Deborah Williams-trained gelding showed great gate speed to lead comfortably from barrier three and when driver Natalee Emery released the reins in the back straight the last time the gelding spreadeagled the field. I Am Camelot (Safari-Lady Margerica) went on to score by 18-1/2 metres from Punt Road Disco with Witch Master a metre away third. He clocked a mile rate of 1.59 and sizzled home his last half-mile (800m) in 57.6 seconds. I m Camelot suffered a slab fracture of the radical carpal bone in his off-front knee that wasn't identified until he was a three-year-old. Peter Staples  

Emma Stewart keeps putting Smythes Creek on the map. Victoria’s leading harness racing trainer scored a winning quartet on Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series semi-final night last night at Tabcorp Park Melton and set herself up for a big grand final night next Saturday. On the strength of the semi-final results Stewart looks set to walk away with at least some grand final silverware, four-year-old mare Berisari expected to lead the charge after her dominant display last night. The night's success for Team Stewart began early with Always A Virgin/Lifeline filly Lovelist taking the first race on the 12-event program, the three-year-old fillies’ first semi-final. Driven by master reinsman Gavin Lang, Lovelist powered home by 2.5 metres over reigning Vicbred champion Niki No No (Greg Sugars) with Vapar Grin (Matthew Craven) third in a mile rate for the 2240-metre trip of 1:58.6. Stewart then teamed with Sugars to win Race 4, the two-year-old fillies’ first semi-final, with Courage Under Fire/Mayhappen youngster Whirily School, who won by 2.1m win over Drumborg’s Just Wantano (Craven), with Lang piloting Heirloom Angel into third place 10.6m behind the winner. Whirily School, already a Group 2 winner via the Vicbred Platinum Home Grown Classic Final last month, worked her way to the lead 1800m out before rating 1:59.9 in victory last night. Stewart’s next winner was another two-year-old filly, this time impressive Rock N Roll Heaven/All The Magic bay Rocknroll Magic, who led from the pole and held off a late challenge by Soho Madeleine (Luke McCarthy) to score by a head in 2:02.4. Rounding out the night for Stewart was $1.10 favourite Berisari – by local sire Safari, who Stewart trained, out of Beris Holmes – winning the last race, the second of the four-year-old mares’ semis, by almost eight metres in 1:56.8. Stewart’s other qualifiers for Super Series finals were Apache Shark (fourth in the first semi-final of the two-year-old colts and geldings), Ideal For Real, who ran second to Follow The Stars in their three-year-old colts and geldings’ semi and Shadow Sax, whose superb second to Christmas Jolt in the two-year-old colts and geldings semi has him well-placed for Group 1 success next week. Click here to view the full Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series semi-final results Cody Winnell

Four-year-old harness racing mares will do battle in the second heat of their Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series at Bendigo tomorrow night.   Queen of the Pacific runner-up Berisari will be favourite in the six-horse field after snaring gate one for Nathan Jack and Emma Stewart.   Tasmanian Barynya is tipped to run a mighty race from gate three for John Caldow and Dick Eaves after her last-start win at Tabcorp Park Melton.   Other mares in this heat are Sweet Kisses for trainer John Nicholson and reinsman Zac Phillips in barrier two, the consistent Quick Draft from the David Aiken camp for Josh Aiken in barrier four, Charlie Wootton-trained Madison Louise in barrier five for Emmett Brosnan and Blitzsuzy for Hopetoun Park’s Ross and Greg Sugars out of gate six.   Cody Winnell

As the curtain falls on the harness racing career of one of Emma Stewart’s high-class mares in Victoria Oaks winner Beauty Secret, the Smythes Creek trainer has another one whose star is very much on the rise. Four-year-old Berisari has won all three of her assignments this preparation, including a last-start 3.5-metre triumph over Bettor Downunder in the Angelique Club Cup at Melton last Friday night. On Saturday night at Tabcorp Park Melton the daughter of Safari will be having her 20th race start and be shooting for an 11th victory in the $100,000 Group 1 Pegasus Club Queen of the Pacific over 2760 metres. “She’s in great form,” driver Nathan Jack said. “She’s a real professional. We haven’t had to get serious with her yet this time. We haven’t had to pull the plugs but she’s beaten plenty of good ones. She’s really in the zone.” Berisari has drawn barrier four in Saturday night’s mares’ classic, a field of 12 to go around in the stand start race. “The stand start is the query, but she’s a laid-back mare and she’s in a good camp,” Jack said. Berisari opened $3 with TAB fixed odds but quickly trimmed into $2.7, while odds-on favourite Frith has eased from her opening quote of $1.75 to $1.85. Reigning race champion Gumdrops will be an outsider on Saturday night but has been specked in early fixed odds betting. Beauty Secret, meanwhile, goes out a 24-time winner from 56 starts, the daughter of Armbro Operative/Secret Life having earned connections $425,921 during a glistening racing career. VIDEO: Beauty Secret’s 2012 Nevele R Stud Victoria Oaks Final victory at Tabcorp Park Melton VIDEO: Berisari winning last week’s Angelique Club Cup at Tabcorp Park Melton ODDS: TAB's fixed odds market for Pegasus Club Queen of the Pacific CODY WINNELL COMMUNICATIONS AND MEDIA MANAGER

Talented harness racing star Berisari continued her rise to the top with an impressive victory at Tabcorp Park Melton last night.   Making her debut against open class mares, Berisari scored an impressive win with Nathan Jack in the cart.   After trailing the pacemaker, Bettor Downunder, Berisari finished swiftly along the sprint lane to complete a three-and-a-half metre win from the leader.   The Good Times – a stablemate of the winner – was a metre away third.   Completing a hat-trick in the process, the daughter of Safari rated 1:57.7 for the 2240 metres.   Thrilled with the four-year-old’s performance, trainer Emma Stewart believes Berisari is primed for a highly successful campaign.   “She showed she was up with the best of her age last season and has come back in sensation form this time around,” Stewart said. “We couldn’t be happier with the way she is going.   “She was only beaten a short half-head in last year’s Sires’ Final and that will be her main target this time in.   “She is a wonderful mare, which should continue to get better with racing and age.”   Paul Courts

It is the best move I have made... That’s the call from harness racing owner Charlie Debono when discussing his decision to send promising pacer Another Safari to power couple Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin. Debono co-owns Another Safari with his son, Brett. Since joining the duo’s stable Another Safari has won five of his seven starts, with a second and fourth also to his credit. The pacer’s latest victory came at Maryborough yesterday when he outstayed his rivals in 1:59.6 with Gavin Lang in the cart. “They are doing wonders with him,” Debono declared. “I couldn’t be happier. “He got crook on me as two-year-old and didn’t really recover from it even at three. “He had the better part of a year off and has now only come good again this season.” With no major targets in mind for the four-year-old, Debono stated he will leave all plans up to Stewart and Tonkin. “I’ve got no schedule for him,” Debono said. “It’s up to Emma and Clayton. “They’re doing a great job and there is no point in me interfering…that’s why you send them horses.” By former tough pacer Safar – which was also trained by Stewart and Tonkin – Another Safari is from Debono’s former top mare, Living Angel. A member of the Peter Manning team, Living Angel won 23 races, including the Ararat, Echuca, Stawell and St Arnaud Cups. At stud, Living Angel boasts two starters for two winners, with Debono training the mare’s first winner, Teejay Cullen. To Debono’s dismay, the gelding was limited to 28 starts, which netted five wins and three placings. While he is happy to have Another Safari at the Stewart/Tonkin base, Debono also enjoys training as a hobby. “I like to have one or two in work,” Debono said. A passionate industry supporter, Debono’s introduction into harness racing was unusual to say the least. Spending his younger days “riding hacks” around Melton, Debono first crossed paths with standardbreds when he noticed a trainer preparing one of his stable members and basically thought the man in question had lost the plot. “I was riding hacks at the time and we would go all over the place, but I saw a bloke going around and around in circles and I thought he was crazy,” Debono said. “As it turned out that bloke was Frank Scicluna in his Kams Revenge days and little did I know how good she was.” Debono then received the misleading advice that eventually changed his life and passion for the industry. “I had a mate of mine come up to me in the late 1980s when the country was going through the recession, and he said I should buy a harness horse as they are giving them away,” Debono declared. “So I went out and got a colt, which I named Amanadas Bear, and have been hooked since. “He never won a race, only running a few placings, but it was enough to get me right in. “I soon bought more horses and have had a lot of fun. “I like to do a bit of the training myself and now I’m the crazy bloke who goes around and around in circles as I work my horses.” PAUL COURTS

Well-performed harness racing filly Viva Safari may have run her last race. Concerned with the three-year-old’s hoof, trainer Michael Azzopardi was shocked when x-rays revealed Viva Safari had broken her leg. As such, vets inserted three screws into the bone, with the injury likely to end Viva Safari’s promising career. By former tough campaigner Safari, Viva Safari had won three of her last five starts, while finishing second in the other two. “At this stage it likes her career is over,” Azzopardi declared. “She had what appeared to be an abscess in her hoof, which is what the vet originally thought it was, so we treated her for that. “Normally it would start to come good after a few days, but this didn’t, so we took her to the vet hospital and they thought the same thing. “We got her x-rayed just looking for more answers and couldn’t believe she had a break. “It looks like she may have had a hairline fracture for some time…it just wasn’t enough to really cause her pain. “But with a bit of racing, it’s gotten worse and this is the end result.” To be confined to her box for the next three months, Viva Safari will be sent to the breeding barn next season. With the likelihood of being sidelined for a minimum 18 months, there is an outside chance Azzopardi will attempt a comeback with Viva Safari as a five-year-old. “On a possible bright side she is only three, so there is plenty of time if we were to consider trying her again one day,” Azzopardi said. “For now she will spend three months in a box, then enjoy a spell before we decide on which stallion to send her to. “If after she foals and her leg is given the all clear to at least try we may attempt a comeback with her, but that is a long way off. “For now, I’m more concerned about keeping her comfortable and happy.” PAUL COURTS

The biggest buyers of harness racing bloodstock in the southern hemisphere are turning a new leaf in New Zealand next week when they consign a colt to the Australasian Classic yearling sale. Everytime you looked up in the last few years Merv and Meg Butterworth had been buying yearlings at the sales or snapping up promising racehorses in New Zealand for their huge racing empire. The Butterworths have enjoyed huge success in the last few seasons especially since they hooked up with the leading New Zealand training duo of Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen. The Butterworths have just enjoyed their best night as owners on Saturday when Arden Rooney scooped the $400,000 Hunter Cup. So next week when Lot 109 walks into the ring at Auckland the Butterworths will have come full circle. Lot 109 is named Bettor Under Fire and just like his vendors, he is from a 100% Australian maternal family. Bettor Under Fire is the first foal from the outstanding Courage Under Fire racemare in Queen Of Fire 1:57.1 ($176,809) who ran second in both the Australian Oaks and the Australasian Breeders Crown final for four year old mares. Queen Of Fire is from Penultimate who has left six other winners including Majestic Emperor 1:58.1 ($186,378) and Major Mac 1:59.2 ($72,163) and the dam of the very promising Machtwister 1:55 ($57,578) Penultimate is a half sister to six winners including Detroit Dan 1:56.8 ($118,639) Mister Motown 1:59.6 (72,163) and to Star Chaser who is the dam of four $100,000 winners including  the champion Australian pacer Safari 1:55.7 ($535,445) as well as Astronaut 1:57.1 ($141,129) Our Maid Marianne 1:57.9 ($110,338) and Major Frank 1:52 ($108,228). Kiwi buyers have had a tendency to overlook Australian bred stock in the past but Mark Purdons successful raids on the Australian yearling sales and the performance last season of Alta Orlando 1:56.2 ($173 486) who is from a West Australian mare has certainly changed that perception on this side of the Tasman. The hardest thing for Merv and Meg to get the hang of next week may well be the inclination to put their hands up when the bidding starts. Old habits are hard to break. Harnesslink Media  

Broodmare gem Monaloo completed a rare harness racing feat last night. Boasting a perfect strike rate as a matron, Monaloo produced a pair of winners in the space of a couple of hours. Even more impressive is the fact the dam’s progeny were successful in two states. Promising pacer Freds A Safari kicked started proceedings when triumphant at Globe Derby for trainer-driver Darren Billinger. Rating 1:59.6 for the 1800 metres, the four-year-old continued his unbeaten run from three outings this season. By Safari, the feature race winner extended his record to 10 wins and eight placings from 25 starts. Lord Monaloo then matched his half-brother’s feat when victorious at Shepparton for astute horsewoman Kylie Sugars. Driven by Sugars’ brother, Greg, Lord Monaloo enjoyed a three-wide trail during the latter stages before scoring in 1:56.8 over 2190 metres. Racing in consistent fashion this term, the son of It Is I has notched three wins and three placings from six starts for an overall tally of 22 wins and 24 placings from 59 starts. Monaloo next foals is an unraced two-year-old daughter by It Is I. PAUL COURTS

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