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On the back of experiencing his best season to date harness racing trainer-driver David Miles is willing to try something new. The 704-time winning reinsman will add a touch of pink to his regime next month. He and 68 other Victorian drivers have signed up to take part in the ‘Pacing for Pink’ initiative. In order to raise much-needed funds for the McGrath Foundation and continue the fight against breast cancer, reinsmen and reinswomen will be sponsored to wear pink pants throughout the entire month of May. “They are very pink . . . hot pink,” Miles said. “I can’t say I’ve worn pink pants before but it’s great to be part of this initiative. “I’ll be campaigning interstate in Sydney this Saturday night, the night it all kicks off, and I asked the Harness Racing New South Wales stewards if I can wear my pink pants. “They granted me permission, so I will be wearing my pink pants in the La Coocaracha on Moonshine Linda at Menangle on Saturday night. “I’m being sponsored by Stay Safe, which is owned by Sal Ferraro who bred the likes of Don’t Hold Back and Braeview Bondi, and that money will be donated to the cause.” Pacing for Pink’s major fundraising day is scheduled for the Shepparton Harness Racing Club on Sunday, May 23 and will feature giveaways to trainers, drivers and owners, as well as continuous raffles throughout the afternoon. Two major auction items are on offer, with a pink Equissage back pad, show rug set, vest, polo and cap package valued at over $6,000, alongside a framed set of Lochinvar Art’s shoes accompanied photos. The event at Shepparton will mark the 10-year anniversary of the special trots initiative. Event co-ordinators Margaret Watson and Donna Castles have been overwhelmed by the support of sponsors and people willing to donate raffle items this year after Pacing for Pink was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Event co-ordinator Donna Castles is also one of the drivers wearing pink throughout May. “We have had some other clubs also jump on board such as Ararat and Terang and fundraise in their local areas to help support the day. Ararat will be having their own raffles and fundraising day at their meeting on May 11,” Castles said. “The industry has really come together once again and this could be our biggest year yet.”   By Amanda Rando for Harnesslink

Plans are in place for the 2021 Pacing for Pink day at Shepparton, where the industry throws its support behind the McGrath Foundation and its fabulous breast cancer nurses. This year the major fundraiser will be held on Sunday May 23, the highlight of a month-long drive that will build on the thousands of dollars the trots initiative has raised over the past decade. Event organiser and reinswoman Donna Castles said they were “really looking forward to making our 2021 campaign the biggest yet”. “It was really unfortunate that we had to cancel the 2020 fundraiser due to COVID, but we wanted to make sure all our wonderful sponsors that have come on board received the recognition they deserve and pushing the campaign back 12 months allowed us to do that,” Castles said. “The pants with the original sponsors names are currently being made and will be distributed to drivers in the new year.” This coming May, 78 drivers who sought individual sponsorships will wear pink driving pants to raise awareness for the McGrath Foundation, with the May 23 centrepiece to see special rugs awarded to race winners and many giveaways and fundraising activities. More details will be announced as the initiative nears.   Harness Racing Victoria

Ian Chambers is hopeful his debutant at Shepparton today will have a bit of a sting in his tail as the trainer prepares what he anticipates will be his last first starter. The long-time Kyabram Harness Racing Club administrator unveils Faragalioni in the Barastoc 3YO Maiden Pace, which streams at 6.30pm on Trots Vision. Regally bred, with his dam a full-sister to Hunter Cup winner Sting Lika Bee (pictured by Gary Wild), Chambers said the gelding would be “my last hurrah”. “As I stand this will be my last horse,” said Chambers, who’s had a hand in the sport for 55 years. “I have lived in Kyabram for over 50 years but am moving to Geelong in October to make it easier for myself and my daughter.” It will be an end of an era for Chambers and the Kyabram club, where he has served throughout his time in the township, including nine years as president. Aged 73, his trots connection began as a 17-year-old driver and though he “changed direction” after marrying Lyn five years later, they enjoyed "a lifetime association with the Kyabram club".  “I have generally trained one or two myself, but only potted around as a hobbyist,” Chambers said. “It has always been a passion. I was in the era of horses. My dad had a working team of draught horses, I started going to the races and it just grew and grew. Horses have always been in our DNA.” But he hasn’t had a starter since May 5 2016, an absence in large part to the sad passing of wife Lyn. It explains why Faragalioni hasn’t debuted before tomorrow night, deep into his three-year-old. The Grinfromeartoear progeny's been with Chambers since he snapped him up from Lemon Tree Stud breeder Ross Gange in May 2018. And you don’t have to delve too far into the breeding lines to see the attraction. Faragalioni's name's taken from the three rock formations that sit off the coast of Italy’s Capri island, with the three-year-old’s dam named Foxy Capri, who's “a full-sister to some very, very, very good horses”. In particular the aforementioned Sting Lika Bee, the 2007 Hunter Cup winner who accumulated $1,042,381 in career stakes. “He was just a very, very tough horse,” said Chambers, who recalls being there the day Sting Lika Bee was sold at Shepparton sales by Lemon Tree Stud in 1999 for $30,000. “He was a week old,” Chambers recalled. “That was a good price then.” The price was fuelled in large part to Stinga Lika Bee (and Foxy Capri’s) full-brother Hi Ho Silverwheels, who won $1,197,987 in the US and would go on to be a stallion of note. They are good bloodlines from which Chambers’ Faragalioni will launch his career from gate seven tonight, entering off three trials that produced two fifth placings and a last start third. “His trials have been encouraging (but) he has got a way to go,” Chambers said. “The barrier draw tomorrow night is no help whatsoever. Over the mile, you nearly have to go back and be better than the rest to go around them. As handy as he is, if he gets a place I would be really happy.” And Chambers is confident that his “last hurrah” will bring some memorable moments. “We’ve only got a couple of little things to iron out, but the horse has ability – no doubt about that. “He certainly has gait speed, except for the trial against Lochinvar Chief he has led in them all and handed up. He has speed and I think he will get stronger, but he’s just got a lot to learn at this stage.”   HRV - Michael Howard

It’s not about breaking records, Kima Frenning said after Ride High cruised to a 10th consecutive victory, incidentally breaking Shepparton’s last quarter track record in the process. The Clayton Tonkin-trained star pacer was in cruise mode in winning tonight’s Neatline Homes Pace, a flawless performance that would have warmed the hearts of many, including those at the centre of Ride High’s sale that unfolded throughout the night. The Art Major five-year-old entire is set to be partly sold to Alabar, reported Adam Hamilton on Sky Racing, and connections prospective and present would have only had their confidence reinforced tonight. Ride High worked to the front in a 28.4-second first quarter with Sirletic happy to take the sit, enabling the $1.04 favourite to cruise through 31.2 and 28.6-second quarters before dropping the hammer for the trip home. With a 26.2-second last quarter he ran half-a-second faster than any horse had done at Shepparton in the final 400 metres, putting 8.4 metres between himself and Sirletic, with Repeat After Me some 25 metres shy of the winner. “There’s a lot of talk about breaking records and stuff, I don’t think there’s any need to do that,” Frenning told Trots Vision, with Ride High posting a 1:54.1 mile rate, more than five seconds slower than his last start win at Bendigo. “He does this on his own and he stays happy when he gets to do what he wants to do. And it keeps me happy as well.” Frenning has steered Ride High for all five starts this campaign, in which he’s joined the select group of 71 horses to produce 10-race winning streaks since 2000, and it’s clear he’s only just getting warmed up. “He’s just so professional,” Frenning said. “I was thinking about it when we were circling around at the start, there’s not that many horses that will just warm up, walk around, they won’t tippy-toe or anything, they just walk around and take everything in – and he’s exactly that. “When the gate let go he left with Sirletic and as soon as he got to the front he just dropped the bit and relaxed again, which is a really, really good asset to have.” And it’s an experience that Frenning’s savouring. “It’s amazing. When we are out there it’s just me and him and it’s the best feeling in the world. After the line it took me 400 to pull him up because he just wanted to keep going.” His gifts are also being enjoyed by his rivals, who can’t help but be unabashed fans. Among that number is reinsman Josh Aiken, who’s seen plenty of Ride High, having steered Sirletic to consecutive second placings behind him at his last two starts. “Ride High might be the best horse in the world,” Aiken told Trots Vision. “Watching the American free-for-allers, I’m not sure there’s a horse over there who would beat him. He’s as impressive (as any) animal I’ve seen. It’s just awesome to race against those horses. “Horseman and trainers and drivers are in awe of horses like that. Just to watch him warm up in a race, he’s just something else. No doubt he’s a great racehorse and I think he’s going to make a great stallion going forward.” Aiken and Sirletic threw their best shot at Ride High at Bendigo, holding the favourite in the breeze amid a 26-second third quarter only to watch their rival stride clear at the turn. “We were going a 26 quarter off the back of a 55 half and I’d never been that fast on a 1000-metre track before. I was still on the bit going top speed and Kima flicked him up and he went into a gear that we didn’t have. That was just unbelievable. I’ve never seen a horse accelerate off a 26 quarter like that.” But Aiken remains excited about the path ahead of Sirletic, who’s trained by his dad David and wears the late Gavin Lang’s colours, an ode to his former trainer and co-owner Meagan Lang. “We were really proud of our horse at Bendigo last start, (Sirletic) went 1:50.5 himself and he was fantastic,” Aiken said. “Tonight we adopted different tactics. We tried those tactics at Bendigo and we found out where we were and how good that horse (Ride High) is. “We were rapt with (Sirletic) tonight, we will back him up at Bendigo next week off that nice run. He’s the sort of horse that’s going to be competitive against those really good horses and probably benefit when there’s more of them in the race, when a few of those titans meet and he’s in behind them he will benefit a lot from that.”     HRV - Michael Howard

Another pacer looks set to take a step in the right direction for Mick Gadsden, who’s latest reclamation project strides on to the track at Shepparton tonight for her first start, an achievement that's no small feat. Supremely bred Sporting Model makes her debut in the Equine After Care 3YO Maiden Pace tonight, something of a milestone for her owners, including trainer Shaun McNaulty, who snapped her up at the 2018 Australian Pacing Gold sales. The Art Major filly is out of 27-time winning mare All Eyes On Me ($349,926), which makes her a full-sister to Breeders Crown Graduate winner All Eyes On Us ($307,515). However, that royal breeding hasn’t yet shone through. McNaulty recently handed the three-year-old to Gadsden, hoping the latter's extensive experience as a farrier could overcome the prospect’s early difficulties. “She had a few tries with Shaun and was getting on her knee a bit,” Gadsden said. “He decided to send her to me to try and get her sorted out.” Two months on and good progress has been made, including a competitive third placing in a Stawell trial on July 1. Gadsden said being a professional farrier made it much easier for him to continually experiment with different practices to overcome the pacer’s troubles. “I can work with her, make changes and little adjustments, trial and error,” he said. “I think we have got the knee knocking under control and am pleased she is starting to look like a racehorse.” It’s not an unfamiliar situation for the Charlton trainer, who is one half of Mickbeigh Racing, along with partner/driver Denbeigh Wade. “Nearly all the better horses we have had have come with foot issues, including King Denny and Ainthatrightmacca,” he said. “It’s definitely a challenge I enjoy and it can give you an edge to be able to shoe your own horses and fix things there and then.” Having said that, his expectations are modest for Sporting Model in tonight's third race, which streams at 6.23pm on Trots Vision. “She is quite a large horse for a three-year-old, well over six or seven hands, and is a little slow picking things up,” Gadsden said. “She definitely has a race in her, but it may take her four or five races to learn what it takes to be a racehorse. Being the size she is and the issues with her knee knocking she has lost a bit of conficence, but I feel she is improving each time.” Gadsden will also race Markleigh Caz tonight, with the consistent six-year-old mare contesting the Saddleword Shepparton Pace. “She’ll need the run. She lost out a bit when the Maryborough meeting was called off. She needs to race once a week to stay in race shape, so she’ll be a run short,” Gadsden said. “She draws awkward, but she will run an honest sort of race.” Markleigh Caz is a consistent race day presence for the stable, which has recently relocated to Charlton’s training centre and is thriving. “We’re up to working 12 now with another due to come back in,” Gadsden said. “We have had a few wins and King Denny was good first up and will be in at Shepparton on Saturday night. “There is a Charlton meeting next Monday and we are looking to have three or four there, and it will be good to get out on the new home track.”   HRV - Michael Howard

A first superstar showdown between Ride High and Lochinvar Art appears set for August 15, with both camps bookmarking the Shepparton race night. Ride High’s fortnightly forays on to the racing scene are becoming the stuff of legend as Clayton Tonkin’s Ballarat beast continues to leave rivals in his wake and the clock quivering, most recently with a breathtaking 1:49.0 mile rate at Bendigo last Saturday. The asterix next to claims of him being Australia’s best pacer has been the absence of Grand Circuit rivals, but Lochinvar Art looks set to change that with trainer-driver David Moran orchestrating a heavyweight bout in 10 days. His Shepparton star returned by cruising to a win on his home deck on July 25 and will be second-up at Ballarat this Saturday night. Moran told Sky Racing’s In The Gig he tuned into Ride High’s record-breaking Bendigo run and said he “was awesome”. “It’s a pretty big build up for when they do meet,” Moran said. “We are trying not to plan too far ahead. We will get Ballarat out of the way Saturday night and then possibly go to Shepparton the following week – I think Clayton was pretty keen to do the same (night).” While Moran said there was plenty of water to go under the bridge before fields were finalised next Tuesday, he said “a great clash” between “two great horses” was on the cards. “It’s going to be pretty awesome to watch,” he said. “Shepparton is down for a mile race, it’s going to make it very interesting. “We have got to draw outside of him, we will just see what happens when the time comes, and have a look at the nominations and go from there. And also see how he pulls up from Ballarat, but he seems really good at the moment, so it’s a little bit exciting.” Tonkin has flagged August 15 as Ride High’s next hit-out, with both top-line pacers building towards the Pryde’s EasiFeed Victoria Cup on October 10. Confidence is certainly high in the camp, only further fuelled by the extraordinary Bendigo performance. “(Ride High’s) great for the industry because he is an excitement machine,” Tonkin told In The Gig. “I still think he’s got a little bit more left to season him up a little bit. The times he’s running, it’s crazy to think that he can run them times and do it so easy.” Tonkin said Ride High had “missed a fair bit of racing” and the stable “will definitely make up for it now and get after some good races”. “He’s a beautiful race horse, great speed, he’s everything you want in a great horse. He’s next level.”   HRV - Michael Howard

Isn’t it nice when a plan just works. That’s certainly been the case for Shayne Eeles, who with family invested in a broodmare and two generations on continues to reap rewards. The Rochester trainer’s colt Allshookup continues an eye-catching three-year-old season tonight, when he steps out for the Saddleworld Shepparton 3YO Pace, which streams at 6.04pm on TrotsVision. A winner at consecutive starts before a last-start eighth when he overraced, Allshookup has impressed his trainer in his second campaign. “He seems to have a bit of bottom too him,” Eeles said. “I have a high opinion of what he can do.” It’s an educated opinion that was fostered under the tutelage of Barry Purdon, whose camp Eeles joined as an 18-year-old. He remained there for almost seven years, spending nearly half the year on the road helping Purdon rack up winners with the likes of Holmes D G and Surprise Package, before returning to Victoria and training in his own right from February 2001. A tick over six years later, with wife Roslyn and her parents Robert and Jenny Viney, Eeles purchased broodmare Teen Talk and her one-year-old foal, who would become Ballandella Baby, off breeder Peter Gleeson. “It’s a super family – that Hot Foot-Larrakeyah Lady family,” Eeles said. “The family keeps landing winners.” Teen Talk’s great grand-dam is Hot Foot, dam of Larrakeyah Lady, who has in turn produced rivers of pacing gold. Among her foals are Safe And Sound ($995,606), Massarua ($282,692), Gold Rocket ($393,387) and The Good Times ($201,024) to name a few, while descendants include Rocknroll Magic ($466,183), Major Secret ($464,872), Beauty Secret ($425,921), Lovelist ($222,889) and a five-year-old up and comer they call Ride High ($259,427).    In the case of Eeles’ purchase, Teen Talk’s produced eight winners, with Ballandella Baby the second most prolific for wins (11) and stakes ($84,000) before being retired for a broodmare career. “She did a good job, was a good mare for us,” Eeles said. “Getting her up and going, winning a few nice races and breeding a good one out of her, I enjoy that sort of thing – educating horses, giving them time, watching them develop. I get a kick out of it.” Ballandella Baby was pared with A Rocknroll Dance for her second foal, Allshookup, who has his 12th start today. His second campaign has delivered much of the $15,010 stakes his banked, having chased Vicbred Super Series success as a two-year-old but with a win on Humbletonian Day at Maryborough the only time he finished better than eighth in his initial six starts. “I probably made a blue and threw him in the deep end as a two-year-old,” Eeles said. “It probably didn’t help him, but he had qualified well and trialled well. “I only do a handful of horses and he hadn’t worked with other horses much. It was a little too much too early and he was chasing his tail a little. I battled with him last year, I always thought a lot of him, but he was never 100 per cent.” Allshookup had a tick over eight months on the sidelines before returning at Shepparton on June 19 with a fourth placing, which was followed by a second (June 29), two victories (July 6 and 19) and a last start eighth. “He had a really good break, I brought him up slow this time and got a proper preparation into him. He is not a big horse, but he is a strong little bloke, a good pacing horse and does his work well. “Doing a fair bit of work doesn’t bother him too much.” He led all-the-way to comfortably produce his two victories this time in, before overracing last start which he paid for late. “The occasion got to him a little too much the other night and he fired up and that cost him in the finish,” Eeles said. “I have changed gear a little bit, taken the block blinds off to get him to relax, switch off and do what (driver) Chris (Alford) wants him too.” Tonight Allshookup is drawn outside lead rivals Monterei Heaven and Hesty but still likely to advance to a forward post. “There is a little bit of depth there, a couple who go good enough. I think this little bloke, if he is on his game and relaxes, he will be right in it. “He will probably go forward. I don’t give Chris too many instructions, I wouldn’t worry if he relaxed him off the gate, but he will probably go forward.” And a good performance and continual maturation could have Eeles against chasing Vicbred Super Series success come year’s end. “He probably won’t have a lot of time off between now and the end of the year,” he said. “The sires stakes are the plan. He probably needs to get a bit more seasoned. I won’t overrace him and he might need a freshen up, but I would like to give him three to four more runs, get him more seasoned and build his confidence. “If he measures up to the better ones I will press on. I think he is pretty capable of doing a job. I like him, hopefully he keeps stepping up.”   HRV - Michael Howard

ON a weekend of greats wins, Lochinvar Art’s return was as good as any of them. Self Assured pumped us all up with his breathtaking first-up win at Addington when he really had no right to on Friday night. Just hours later, Perth’s pin-up boy Chicago Bull continued his remarkable comeback when he again crushed classy rival Handsandwheels and went close to breaking the track record in the middle of winter. Then it was Lochinvar Art’s turn last night at Shepparton. In a week where talk has been all about a possible match race with Victoria’s other buzz pacer, Ride High, Lochinvar Art made quite a statement. Whatever you think of his opposition, he came from back in the field in a slowly run race, went to the “death” and pulled his way to the front before coasting home to win by nine metres. Watch the race replay click here. On a seriously cold night, he ran home in 55.5 and 27.1sec – and could’ve gone much quicker. “He needed that,” Moran said. “I only decided late to run him this week, instead of trialling him at Shepparton last Thursday because I didn’t there’d be enough in the trial to get a serious hitout. “I’m glad I did. It was just the sort of run I wanted first-up. He did that really well. It’s great to have him back. “He’ll be better for it when he races again in two weeks.” Moran said immediate plans hinged on whether the match-race with Ride High – touted for August 15 or 22 – eventuated and if the Victoria Cup progressed when scheduled on October 10. “It’s all up in the air a bit until we know what’s on when,” he said. “But, give him another run in a couple of weeks, and he’ll be ready for whatever we throw at him.”   By Adam Hamilton

The much-anticipated return of champion Victorian reinsman Daryl "Dasher" Douglas to the racetrack is pencilled in. Douglas, 47, has been booked for at least four drives at this Saturday night's Shepparton Harness Racing Club fixture. Club manager Ian McDonald said the former premiership driver's homecoming to the sport after a five-year absence was the icing on the cake for a meeting promising to be one of the biggest nights in his 14-year association with the club. "The comeback of Daryl Douglas is an added bonus. We are all looking forward to that. If Daryl can return to anywhere near the heights he reached previously, he is set to be a tremendous boost for harness racing." The club has a nine-race program framed for Saturday night, including five $20,000 events. "Looking across the board, it would be fair to say it's nearly our best-and that's taking in some of our successful cup meetings," McDonald said. "We've attracted some classy horses like brilliant pacers in Lochinvar Art and San Carlo. Then the Trot sees last-start winner Wobelee up against McLovin and Magicool. Douglas, a six-times leading Australian driver, was relicensed earlier this month and has driven 4219 winners. His younger brother Glenn, who prepares a team for his father-in-law and successful owner Eric Anderson at Strathfieldsaye, near Bendigo, said he was elated to again be joining forces. "Yes, I'm rapt to have him back. I can say that Daryl was a bit undecided if he wanted to return, but Eric was probably the main driving force, along with myself," Glenn said. "He had to go back to the trials and do 15 drives. He's looking forward to competing at Shepparton and easing himself back into it. "I reckon he will probably just pick and choose and go from there. He's not going to go 'full on' like previously because he still wants to keep his job working on the roads." The brothers formed a lethal combination for nearly a decade from the mid-2000s, posting wins in nearly every State. They enjoyed considerable success with Bold Cruiser and Make Mine Cullen. Daryl Douglas and Make Mine Cullen winning the 2010 Silver Chalice at Melton  (Stuart McCormick photo) Glenn said he was especially looking forward to his association with brother Daryl off the track. "There are fun times travelling to and from meetings. You do miss the camaraderie so it will be great to have him back at whatever level he's involved," he said. "Some of the best memories like winning the Kilmore, Nyah, Tassie, Renshaw and Mildura Cups with Bold Cruiser. Make Mine Cullen was a brilliant mare, too, and she won two Breeder Crowns, the Ladyship Mile, Kilmore Cup and the Queen of the Pacific."   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Shane Hall is celebrating everything about last night’s win aboard Dynamic Diesel (pictured) in the Schweppes 2YO & 3YO Trotters Handicap at Bendigo because “you never know when the next one’s coming”. For Hall, 53, it was just his second win as a driver but 18th as a trainer. “It’s pretty special to be able to breed the horse, train the horse and drive your own horse, so I enjoy every moment and celebrate every win,” he said. Dynamic Diesel stepped superbly from the 30-metre tape last night, running to the front and absorbing plenty of pressure from Countess Chiron in the run before holding off Quaker Maker late to clock a 2:08.2 rate for the standing start success. “My bloke was doing it pretty easily and I knew he’d stick on,” Hall said. “He’d been trialling well and I didn’t have to move on him much at the end. I just had to keep talking to him.” While observers may at first glance assume the pressure Rod Lakey put on aboard Countess Chiron at the bell may have made it harder for Dynamic Diesel to win, Hall believes it actually helped. “It wasn’t until Lakey came up that my boy started wanting to go. He can be a fizzy sort of horse and he races better with another horse beside him, so it actually did him a favour. Early when he was out in front he nearly switched off a little bit. As the race wen on he just got better and better and felt more comfortable in himself,” he said. Hall admitted getting “nervous as … anything” in the lead-up to a race he’s to drive him but said once in the cart he’s fine. “I only drive my own horses and it was great to get my second win. And the horse picks up the bonus which keeps the cogs turning,” he said. Meanwhile, legendary reinsman Brian Gath was back in the winners’ stall last night at Bendigo after taking out the Aldebaran Park Trot aboard Nephew Of Sonoko. The four-year-old gelding from the stables of Ross Graham has prodigious ability but seemingly also a strong mind of his own, which has many times brought him undone on race day. But for B.R. Gath, who has driven Nephew Of Sonoko at his past two starts for a second placing and now a win, the son of Danny Bouchea has looked only the professional. Last night’s win was 75-year-old’s Gath’s fourth this season, having previously driven seven winners in seasons 2017-18 and 18-19, which followed eight in 16-17. If you go back to 2006-07, Gath drove 163 winners from 774 starters for a ridiculously good strike rate of 21 per cent. ‘Comeback kid’ Lakey drove a double courtesy of Lynne Mercieca-prepared Art Finest in the Best Accounting & Audit Pace and Hashtag for trainer Shaun McNaulty in the Garrards Horse & Hound Pace. Trish McVeigh trained and driven Angus Bromac finished second to Art Finest, McVeigh almost nailing her first winner in the sulky since season 2014-15. She has only driven 11 times in that five-year period. For the trivia buffs, her last win was aboard the then five-year-old Angus Bromac at Albion Park on September 1, 2014. And Glenn Douglas and Ellen Tormey combined for a winning double via Torrid Saint in the Max Bakery & Café Pace and Elegant Jewel in the Yabby Dam Racing Pace. David Murphy took driving honours at Tabcorp Park Melton yesterday with four-year-old Romany Brown successful in the COGS Pace for trainer John Murphy, and Karlene Tindale-trained Ammichhi winning the Talking Trots on SENTrack 3YO Pace. Today’s double-header kicks off with Shepparton trots before tonight the spotlight turns to Kilmore. Check out Trots Centre for a detailed preview. First-Starter Form for Today A look at those horses making their debut today at the trots…   Shepparton Race 1 Romances (3yo filly by Yankee Boy out of The Secret Dance) Dam was a US-born two-time winner in Queensland by Keep It A Secret. This is her first foal to race. Registered a confidence-boosting win at the Shepparton trials in a leisurely rate of 2:17.0 in March.  More recently was second in 2:05.8 beaten 20m by Sultan Sass. Trained and driven by Cameron Maggs.   Race 2 Watchmedazzle (2yo gelding by Hes Watching out of Shoom Shoom) Second foal to race from the Grinfromeartoear mare who was unraced. Granddam was African Dancer, who won 21 races and produced several winners, including Prophesy (13 wins from 66 starts, 1:53.2 and $131k), Redbank Blaze (18 wins from 111 starts, 1:51.2 and $230k), Bamako Mali (13 wins from 33 starts, 1:55.6, $259k) and Shezallatitude (11 wins from 23 starts, 1:55.1 and $252k). Trained and driven by David Aiken. More detail in the Trial File extract below via Craig Rail.   Upright (2yo colt by Art Major out of Pretty Interest) Second foal to race from this mare, who also produced Interest Me (3 wins from 11 starts to date). Granddam was Pretty Smooth, mother of Anvil Vance, a 17-time winner for $450k in stakemoney, Anvil Vance was a fast-class star and placed third in the 1998 A.G. Hunter Cup behind Try A Fluke and Sovereign Hill. Trained by Steve Duffy, driven by Bec Bartley, won a recent trial, which is detailed below via Craig Rail’s Trial File.   Giannis Ay Macray (2yo gelding by Grinfromeartoear out of Macray Rosewood) Bred by well-respected breeder Ian Kitchin, this gelding is out of a Rustler Hanover mare who didn’t race but several of her siblings did for moderate success. Also referenced in the below extract from most recent trial. Trained and driven by Justin Torney.         Race 3 Gallifrey Direct (3yo gelding by Changeover out of Oliveleven) Dam was a three-time winner by Kinney Hanover and a half-sister to two other winners, Sharman (9 wins from 102 starts, 2:00.1, $47k) and Kankkunen (11 wins from 94 starts, 1:55.9, $55k). Trained and driven by Luke Bryant. Trialled OK for fifth at Bendigo on 30 March.   Jukebox Jet (3yo gelding by Rock N Roll Heaven out of Beautifulsmile) This horse’s mother raced 10 times for two wins and five minors. This is her first foal. Trained by Peter Hall and driven by Ryan Sanderson. Has trialled at least seven times during the past 12 months with three minor placings but no wins.   Kilmore Race 1 Split Ear (3yo gelding by Night Of The Stars out of Voce) From a Red River Hanover mare who won six races from 50 goes. One of just two foals by Night of the Stars, who won nine races and is a son of Christian Cullen. Trained by Brent Lilley and driven by Chris Alford. Showed strong gate speed in recent trial and fought on bravely to be overhauled late by Theultimate, who is showing terrific promise, and they rated 2:01.6 with a 58.1 last half.   Ideal Cullect (3yo gelding by Big Jim out of Cullectakiss) First foal from unraced Gotta Go Cullect mare. Trained by Don Gee, driven by Rod Petroff. Ran fifth in Shepparton trial on March 17.   Race 3 Hotel Kyvalley (2yo colt by Father Patrick out of Lindys Two Step) From a four-time winning daughter of Muscles Yankee, who has also produced Glenferrie Belle (9 wins from 67 starts, 2:00.9, $59k) and Morgan Mylee, a three-time winning squaregaiter who showed promise as a youngster by winning an Oaks Trial and placing fifth in the Breed for Speed Bronze. Trained by Brent Lilley and driven by Chris Alford. Sure to be well-educated in this camp off the back of several trials. If you check out the Search function at the (see magnifying glass under teal ribbon at home page) and type in a horse’s name, you can view all of Craig Rail’s Trial File commentary about each horse. That would be handy for this fella.   Here Comes Kyvalley (2yo colt by Muscle Mass out of Nice One Kenny) From two-time winning Sundon mare, this guy is a half-brother to Princess Kenny, which has already amassed eight wins from 19 starts. Produced a solid second placing in a recent trial. Trained by Brent Lilley, driven by Josh Duggan.   Kyvalley Heist (2yo colt by Muscle Mass out of U Dream) Dam is a two-time winning daughter of Love You. This is her first foal. Granddam was Galleons Dream, who produced the brilliant Galleons Sunset (14 wins from 50 starts, 1:58.9, $315k), winner of the 2008 Inter Dominion Grand Final as well as the Bill Collins Trotters Mile. Has trialled twice for a fourth and a second. Another trained by Brent Lilley, driven by Brad Chisholm.   Watch And Act (2yo gelding by Skyvalley out of Misty Elle) First foal from unraced Pegasus Spur mare. Granddam produced Frances Annie, a 15-time winner who earnt over $100k in stakemoney. Comes to the races with the benefit of four trials and under the guidance of trainer-driver Chris Svanosio, who is doing a stellar job with trotters.   HRV Trots Media - Cody Winnell

Victoria's harness racing scene has been split into six regions to attempt to curb the spread of coronavirus — and Shepparton will be one of nine venues used across the state.  

Any win is welcome for young harness racing drivers, but Goulburn Valley reinswoman Abbey Turnbull took out a race recently that she says will always have a special place in her heart. The talented concession driver, based at Tatura, near Shepparton, won the second division of the Tiffany Murray Memorial at Echuca on Friday night with six-year-old gelding Mangochililime (McArdle-The Land Lover (Badlands Hanover). "I was just pleased to be invited to be part of the Tiffany Murray Memorial races. It was such an honor, but to be successful, it will definitely be a win I will cherish forever," Turnbull said. "Tiffany was loved by everyone because of who she was and her beautiful ways and she's someone I aspire to be like," she said. Aged just 22 when she was diagnosed with multiple brain tumors, Tiffany Murray was a popular figure in the industry. She had twice beaten cancer as a child and had lost her own mother just a few years earlier, also to cancer. With her fiance Leigh Sutton and their baby daughter Milla by her side every step of the way, Tiffany fought a short but brave battle before her death in 2011. The Tiffany Murray Memorial was established in her honor the following year, and this year was the first since its inception that the race was conducted in two divisions. Local trainer Susan Hunter was successful in the first division with enigmatic pacer Monash (Somebeachsomewhere-Nightn Georgia (Safely Kept), who was well rated by in-form Heathcote junior Shannon O'Sullivan. Part owner of Monash Shane Gourley with victorious driver Shannon O’Sullivan accepting the rug for winning the first division of the Tiffany Murray Memorial (Photo Echuca Harness Racing) The female drivers' race has always carried significance for those invited to compete, and Turnbull said she is now hoping to again be part of the special night next season. "It was just lovely because members of Tiffany's family were all there. They went onto the track to present the rugs. It was awesome," she said. "And it was just the perfect race to get my first Team Teal win." Abbey Turnbull crosses the finish line to win the second division of the Tiffany Murray Memorial with Mangochililime (Photo Echuca Harness Racing) In addition, Turnbull was the toast of her parents Craig and Rebecca, who recently took over the training of Mangochililime. "That was only his second start for us and dad trains him, so yes it was a good result. The horse has some ability, so they will have fun," she said. Turnbull, whose grandfather is the legendary AD (Tony) Turnbull, of Bathurst, works for her father as well as doing university studies. "I spend one or two days at Bundoora in Melbourne where I'm studying osteopathy. I've still got a few years to go, but I'm enjoying it," Turnbull said. "Luckily I can do a bit on-line at home because dad's stable numbers seem to be increasing," she laughed.   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

ELMORE trainer Keith Cotchin celebrated his first winner since a short break with the victory of Karlos at Shepparton on Wednesday night. The five-year-old pacer produced a sustained run to overhaul the pacemaker Always Grinning in the shadows of the post to earn career win number three at his 23rd start. Only 15 of those runs, including all his wins, have come under Cotchin's training. His victory was in stark contrast to his previous two front-running performances at Shepparton and Echuca in April this year, with Karlos coming from towards the tail of the field. "He keeps on improving .... we've been keen to try him from behind, which we did in (Wednesday night's) race," he said. "He's not the smartest tool in the shed. He gets in front and when they get at him and go past him, he seems to get going again. "We just haven't had the opportunity to have him come from behind too often. "He's an improving type, so hopefully he can win another race or two." Formerly trained in New South Wales, Cotchin expects Karlos to have his next run on Melbourne Cup day, at either Swan Hill, Yarra Valley or Cobram. The win followed a couple of weeks lay-off for the Elmore trainer, who enjoyed a short holiday. "We only went away for two weeks, but we put all the horses out and it's taken a while to get them back in," said Cotchin, who has just six horses in work at the moment. "We had our first runners the other night (October 16) and they didn't go too bad, but we were lucky to get the money (on Wednesday night). "We'll bring a few more back soon, but being spring time, I like to give the young ones a bit more of a break." They include his promising four-year-old Betternbetter, who is set to return to training at the end of this month. As they more often than not do, Bendigo region trainers and drivers again made their presence felt at Shepparton. Marong trainer David Van Ryn and driver Haydon Gray combined to land a winner with the five-year-old trotting mare Maorishadow; Heathcote trainer Ron Sheppard returned to the winner's list with pacing mare Chooz Reactor; while the Kate Hargreaves stable continued its excellent strike-rate this season with a fifth career win for Bootleg Bert. The six-year-old trotter was driven by Alex Ashwood, who now has eight wins for the season. Gray's win aboard Maorishadow was his second for the season in only seven drives.   by Kieran Iles Reprinted with permission of The Bendigo Advertiser

Heathcote harness racing driver Tayla French is riding the crest of a wave at the moment and the hard working 22-year-old thoroughly deserves her success. Somehow Tayla juggles working part-time at a Bendigo stable three or four mornings a week, a job as a medical receptionist in her hometown, helping her father Terry prepare his team and somehow fits in race driving a couple of nights a week. "It does get a bit hectic, but I'm enjoying it. It usually all falls into place so that's all good," Tayla said. And over the past 10 days, the junior concession reinswoman has been in sensational form on the racetrack. Competing at Shepparton, Kilmore and Bendigo meetings, French has chalked up five wins and is well on the way on improving on her debutante 2018-19 season of eight victories and 40 placings. "It has been great. I think I'm getting better at reading races and if things don't initially go to plan, I don't get fazed and work out then what might be best," she said. "The highlight was obviously getting my first winning race double at Kilmore - the first leg was with Nuclear Nikky (Auckland Reactor-Nickle Miss (Grinfromeartoear), prepared by dad. He's only had the horse for a fortnight and that was her first start, but she did trial nicely four days before. "The other Kilmore success was Blissfull Mind (Blissfull Hall-Mind Dance (Megamind), for Charlie Farrugia, who I had won on at his previous start." French said despite wanting to join the police force at one stage, it was "probably always going to be horses" after studying Year 12. "I can remember driving fast work for dad as a kid and it just continued on from there. When I made the decision to pass on the police force, for the time being, it meant commit to harness racing and that's what I'm wanting to do," she said. French started driving only in August of last year and three weeks in, landed her maiden winner. "Dad has been fantastic in teaching me things about the industry. My mum Kym's unfortunately allergic to horses, but she gives me heaps of support, too," she said. "l work part-time in Bendigo for local trainer-driver Chris Svanosio, and he also has been a terrific help." The winning streak by French kicked off at Bendigo last Tuesday week when she was successful for trainer Jess Tubbs on Illawong Mustang (Mach Three-Light In Every Day (Artiscape). The following night at Shepparton, the youngster drove a well-judged race for her father Terry to land the money on Joeys Hangover (Well Said-Without Guile (Art Major). French then headed down the road to the same venue seven days later to team up with an old favorite in 12-year-old Lights And Music (Jet Laag-Computerize (Stand Together) and they posted the gelding's 28th career win for trainer Colin Godden. Her memorable double at Kilmore was last Thursday. Five-year-old daughter of exciting sire Auckland Reactor In Nuclear Nikky had to do it the hard way after racing in the death-seat for the majority of the race. "I got through early from barrier 11 to land in the one-one, but then the horse outside the leader went to the front so I was posted. We only just go there, but she did it tough and deserved it," French said. Blissfull Mind wrapped up the double for her. The gelding led until the bell, took cover, but then finished full of running in the latter stages to get the prize. French said she used to enjoy playing other sports including netball and cricket. "I just don't have the time now. But I'm happy with what I'm doing," she said. French now has six wins and nine placings for the 2019-20 season...and on her current form, there are more winners just around the corner!   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

NANNEELLA trainer Colin Godden predicts good opportunities ahead for emerging Heathcote-based region Tayla French after combining for a win at Shepparton on Wednesday night. French notched up her fourth winning drive of the new harness racing season, from limited opportunities, aboard the veteran pacer Lights And Music. It was the 28th career win for the now 12-year-old pacer, who has had an amazing 245 starts for Godden, and won his first race back in 2010 at Maryborough and qualified for a Vicbred Super Series final as a four-year-old. Lights And Music has developed quite a cult following across the Goulburn Valley region, where he is trained, and in other pockets of Victoria. Godden was full of praise after French's winning drive - her second aboard the horse. "(Lights And Music) has a real affinity for the girls. Abbey Turnbull has been driving him a bit and Tayla has been doing a good job with him too," he said. "They both get on really well with him. "Tayla's been on him about six or seven times now and they won a few weeks back (September 9) at Maryborough and her first drive they ran second. "She does a great job. She doesn't get great big opportunities, but hopefully they come to her in the future and she gets a few nicer horses to drive. "I'm sure there'll be a few more people putting her on their horses." The installation of a water-walker on his property about 12 months ago had not just prolonged, but rejuvenated Lights And Music's career, according to Godden. "That's why he has had a real good patch the last 12 months or so," he said. "He's been well looked after and has been part of the family all his life. "The water-walkers are tremendous things, no doubt about it. "He has always had bad feet - not bad legs - but his feet have long been a problem and it's taken all the pressure off him jogging and working on the track all the time. "I'm sure he'll tell us when he's ready to give the racing away, but at the moment, leg-wise and all that stuff, he's like a two-year-old an his heart-rate is still fine. "There's not one year of his (racing) life he hasn't won a race." Lights And Music will likely have his next run at Kilmore on October 24. The win at Shepparton boosted his prize earnings to $166,485, with 28 wins complemented by 65 placings in a remarkably consistent career.   by Kieran Iles Reprinted with permission of The Bendigo Advertiser

Popular Shepparton harness racing trainer-driver Donna Castles got a belated 50th birthday present this week when talented square gaiter Fatouche turned it on with a faultless display. "She is nice mare on her night, especially if she doesn't get a head of steam and start pulling a lot," Castles said. Seven-year-old Fatouche (Yankee Spider USA-Whatu Eat NZ (Frugal Gourmet USA) certainly looked the goods in the Bendigo event on Tuesday night when she cruised to the lead mid-race. "When she settled so well, I decided to put her into the race early and whip around them. I thought on paper she was one of the top chances," Castles said. Based at Ardmona with partner Doc Wilson, Castles rated her charge to perfection with a steady clip (31, 29, 29.9 and 29.4) to score easily in the end from Illawong Sunny and Black Valley. The mile rate for the 2150m trip was a handy 1.59-4. Fatouche showed at Shepparton early last month that another win was just around the corner with a strong third placing after locking wheels. She then pulled hard at that same track 17 days later when a close-up fourth. The mare has now won eight races and amassed 12 placings for over $53,000 for enthusiastic Sydney owner Greg Corbett. "Greg has been a fantastic owner for us for about 14 years. He breeds all of his own horses and at the moment we are training 10 or 11 for him. Greg was a trainer years ago and his dad before that and never misses watching them on sky channel," Castles said. Castles, daughter of legendary Sydney horseman Jim Castles, shifted with Wilson to Victoria in the early 2000s. The pair are training a team of 30 horses and enjoyed a successful 2018-19 season. "The win was a great birthday present - my birthday was actually the day before the trots. I can't believe I am 50 - I'm getting old!" she joked.   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

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