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A WORKOUT the Auckland-way of going is all that stands between former Kiwi trotter McLovin and an Anzac/Rowe Cup raid. Trainer Andy Gath admitted a mix of relief and excitement when McLovin bounced-back to winning form and smashed the clock at Melton last Saturday night. It made a lie of his flop seven days earlier and took his Aussie record with Gath to three wins from four starts. “He beat a good field and ran time. He’s very smart,” Gath said. “We’d almost shelved Auckland after the previous run, but he’s put his hand up again for sure. “He’s certainly good enough to take. We know he’ll be competitive. One of the races is a mobile, the other a stand. He’s now won two of each for us.” Gath said McLovin had come through Saturday’s win well. “We’ve got the time to give him another run here,” he said. “As far as a decision on Auckland goes, that hinges on when we try working him that direction at home. If he handles it, we’ll head across.” Interestingly, McLovin tends to hang out a little in his Aussie races so he could actually be even more comfortable going the opposite direction. The other upside of an Auckland trip now is the experience ahead of heading back for the Inter Dominion series at the end of the year. Meanwhile, the reigning Inter Dominion winner and stablemate Tornado Valley is out spelling. Team Gath’s huge recent success with trotters looks set to continue with them adding another former Kiwi, Il Pirata, to the stable. The eight-year-old son of Love You only won seven races from 75 NZ starts, but did run another 31 placings and – in recent times – has been up against hot opposition. Il Pirata’s last-start run was a close second to emerging star Sundees Son on March 3. “His form certainly reads well. Yes he’s a veteran and hasn’t actually won that many races, but he’s run lots of placings. I guess what we’ll find out is how genuine he is once he starts racing over here,” Gath said.   Adam Hamilton

Andy Gath is hoping promising trotter McLovin can bounce back from his first defeat in Australia last week and use Saturday night’s North West Ag Services 2019 Charlton Trotters Cup as a springboard to the top. Gath said McLovin, who has drawn the pole in the Group 3 race over 2760m, run in the Group 1 Hygain Australian Trotting Grand Prix was “totally out of character”. “He went awful really, compared to what he can go like,” Gath said. “But he has pulled up well; we have had him checked out and his work has been good. We just have to put it down to one of those things, he just put in a shocker. It was pretty average for his standards. “You don’t go to the races with a lot of confidence after a poor performance but we can only go on by what he has done here at home and his work has been as good as it was with his previous races so we expect him to go pretty well.” McLovin did a power of work before fading as Big Jack Hammer stormed home to salute in the Grand Prix. But the six-year-old’s prior Australian form – which included a commanding win in the Group 2 Lion Pty Ltd South Australian Trotters Cup and a South West Conveyancing Terang Trotters Cup victory – was faultless. McLovin won’t have everything his own way as he faces a talented field headed by the ultra-consistent group performer Deltasun. But Gath said he felt the six-year-old had a promising future regardless of the result. “His three runs prior to last week have been top class, in our opinion, against quality opposition,” he said. “Obviously we got a dent in our confidence last week but we can see him competing in all the big races next season.” The Gaths, who will also be taking November Guy (DNR Logistics Trot) to Melton, are hoping for a better run of luck than last week, when Tornado Valley’s incredible nine-race winning streak – which netted four Group 1s, five Group 3s and $229,500 in prizemoney – ended in the Grand Prix. He said the superstar was now enjoying a spell. “The writing was probably on the wall a little bit at his previous start, when he won but he didn’t go as good,” Gath said. “(But) he has done more than we thought he would able to do - I would have bought him myself if I knew. He will have about six weeks off – it will be his first decent spell since I have had him.” The North West Ag Services Charlton Trotters Cup shares top billing with the Group 3 Charlton & District Community Bank Charlton Pacing Cup, with both races held at Melton this year as construction continues on the Charlton Harness Racing Club’s revamped home, part of the town’s $4.2 million community hub. Shaun Campbell for Trots Media

ANDY Gath openly admits this is by far Tornado Valley’s biggest test. There’s no question the line-up Tornado Valley faces in Saturday night’s $250,000 Group 1 Great Southern Star is significantly strongly than the rivals he beat to snare the Inter Dominion crown last month at Melton. And that’s largely because of the presence of NZ’s best trotters, Marcoola. “Marcoola may simply be a better horse than Tornado Valley, at the very least I’d have to say he’s on par on what I’ve seen him do in NZ,” a frank Gath admitted. “He’s a seriously good trotter and when you throw in Temporale along with Speeding Spur, Tough Monarch and others, this is certainly the biggest test Tornado Valley’s had. “But we’re looking forward to it, especially now he’s drawn well. “I think he’ll lead, but we’re expecting pressure and I think he’s up to it. “We think he’s clearly better than Glenferrie Typhoon, who copped pressure all the way and still won a Great Southern Star. Tornado Valley is stronger and a much better racehorse.” But Gath admits to being surprised at how short Tornado Valley is in Aussie TAB markets at $1.50. “It’s hard to see why he should be shorter than the Inter Dominion when he’s only won his past two starts by a metre and this is such a stronger field,” he said. “If the best Marcoola turns up, I’m sure the fans are in for a fantastic contest and there’s certainly enough other really good horses in the race to come and beat us both if the race is run to suit them.” Gath sharpened-up Tornado Valley with a Melton trial on Tuesday. “We skipped the race at Ballarat last week and decided to go to the trial instead. He hit the line well and it’s right where we want him,” he said.   Adam Hamilton

This is it….this is what we’ve been waiting for! The two best  trotters from either side of the ditch are coming head to head for the first time this season. Tornado Valley vs Marcoola. And the battle ground is TABCORP Park, Melton this Saturday night. Its leg three of the 2018/19 Australian Pacing Gold Trotting Masters and as it stands, they sit equal at the top of the leaderboard following their respective victories in the Inter Dominion Grand Final and the Dominion. Both have collected 100 points to date. So the winner walks away with more than bragging rights. Who will take the Gr.1 $250,000 What The Hill Great Southern Star? Will it be Tornado Valley and his relentless hard running or will the sublime speed of Marcoola be on full display? And they will have a great view of each other early after drawing ideally off the front-line; they will start side by side in the 2760m mobile start event. The Andy and Kate Gath prepared Tornado Valley has landed gate two while the Ken and Clint Ford conditioned Marcoola starts to his immediate outside in gate three. The Gath’s combined with Glenferrie Typhoon who proved triumphant in 2017. Speedy Sydney prepared performer Tough Monarch has landed the coveted inside gate and looms as the knockout runner following his effortless last start victory at TABCORP Park, Menangle. Inter Dominion runner-up Sky Petite will start from gate four for trainer Mick Stanley and young driver Ryan Duffy; the speedy mare will carry plenty of support yet again. Outstanding young horseman Anton Golino prepares both Pizza Queen (gate 5) and Dance Craze (gate 13) and both will also have plenty of support owing to their consistent form. New Zealand stars Speeding Spur (gate 7) and Temporale (gate 12) are no strangers to success on Australian soil and both return with brilliant recent form, while the barrier draws aren’t kind they will certainly make their presence felt. Speeding Spur won the Great Southern Star back in 2016. Last start E B Cochran Cup winner Save Our Pennys (gate 8) represents father/son combination of Graeme and Gavin Lang and commands respects given his ultra-consistent form surge of late. Classy mare Red Hot Tooth (gate 9), a last start winner of the George Gath at Shepparton can only improve on effort from last season when finishing at the rear of the field, the Kari Males prepared mare is more seasoned and mature commodity and appeals as a knockout hope. Veteran performer Kyvalley Blur (gate 10) is also looking to improve on last year’s effort (10th behind Sparkling Success) and is drawn to follow out behind Marcoola, the Brent Lilley prepared gelding performed well at his most recent start in the George Gath behind Red Hot Tooth. Emerging talent Big Jack Hammer (gate 11) continues to thrive on racing in the elite company this season and although the draw is unkind, the David Aiken prepared gelding can’t be completely overlooked. With defending champion Sparkling Success absent owing to injury, the depth in the field this year is outstanding with total class spread across the field. Since conditions changed in 2017, Australian trained trotters have proved victorious but will that trend continue this year? What a contest…what a race! The Great Southern Star is scheduled as race six and listed to start at 9.00pm local time.   Chris Barsby  

INTER Dominion winner Tiger Tara again showed his vulnerability in sprint racing despite winning the Group 3 Brian Hancock Cup over a mile at Menangle last Saturday night. Dropped back from an easy 2300m Menangle win a week earlier, Tiger Tara worked to the front, dictated the terms and just scrambled home by a half-head. Fellow Inter Dominion finalist Maximan returned from a freshen-up with a ripping second where he was timed to run a 25.8sec last quarter. Tiger Tara’s splits for the mile were 26.9, 30.3, 29.4 and 26.1sec, which showed turning it into a sprint home probably didn’t suit him ideally. Now it’s back to the staying distance for the $500,000 Group 1 Hunter Cup at Melton on February 2 then a Miracle Mile quest. Earlier in the night at Menangle, another two Inter Dominion contestants – My Alpha Rock and Village Witch – ran the quinella in a 1min51.4sec mile. While Paul Court’s Kiwi raider, Hail Christian, made it four wins from just five NSW starts winning in a 1min51.1sec mile in the third event. ___________________________________________________________________________________________ INTER Dominion finalist Spankem sharpened-up for his Chariots Of Fire quest with a slick Ballarat win last Saturday night. Staggeringly, the gelding was able to drop back to race C3/4 class and won accordingly  by 4.3m in a slick 1min53.8sec mile rate for 1710m with Natalie Rasmussen aboard. He goes straight into next Saturday night’s Group 1 4YO Bonanza at Melton against the likes of Im Pats Delight, Ride High and Poster Boy where only the winner gets a Chariots Of Fire invite. ___________________________________________________________________________________________ NSW star trotter Tough Monarch booked a trip back to Melbourne and more Group 1 racing with a sparkling first-up win at Menangle last Saturday night. Rickie Alchin’s gelding, who ran so well through the Inter Dominion series, will head back to Melton to tackle Tornado Valley, Marcoola, Speeding Spur and others in the Group 1 Great Southern Star next Saturday night. He thrashed his rivals when first-up from a short break at Menangle where he trotted 1min58.2sec for 2300m and won by 21.5m. Another major Inter Dominion player, Save Our Pennys, showed he too would be a key Great Southern Star player with an easy Group 2 Cochran Trotters’ Cup win at Bendigo last Saturday night. Making the most of Tornado’s Valley’s absence, Save Our Pennys led throughout for trainer Graeme Lang and driver Gavin Lang to win easily by 5.2m over a gallant Dance Craze, who ran second after being parked, in a 1min59.8sec mile rate for 2200m. ___________________________________________________________________________________________ LEADING Chariots Of Fire contender Ignatius has made the trip from Tasmania to NSW, is back with Jimmy Rattray and will trial at Menangle on Tuesday. Regular trainer Todd Rattray had planned to give the four-year-old a race in his home state before returning to NSW, but a minor “bug” prompted his scratching two weeks ago. Ignatius, who boasts 16 wins from 19 starts, has not raced since a luckless but still slightly disappointing seventh in the Breeders Crown 3YO final at Melton on August 25, last year. “He seems well. We will get through the trial then decide whether he goes to the Hondo Grattan or we wait a week later for the Paleface Adios,” Jimmy Rattray said. The countdown to the $200,000 Group 1 Chariots of Fire at Menangle on February 15 really hots up with the Group 1 4YO Bonanza at Melton next Saturday night. The field will be headed by star Kiwi pair Spankem and Im Pats Delight taking on Emma Stewart’s glamour duo of Ride High and Poster Boy. Crucially, only the winner of the 4YO Bonanza gets a ticket into the Chariots, meaning the others will have to tackle one of the Menangle qualifiers – Hondo Grattan (February 2) or Paleface Adios (February 9). ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ONE of Team Bond’s stellar four-year-old Bettor Aim looks to have Perth’s Nights of Thunder final at his mercy. The former Kiwi son of Bettors Delight smashed the clock with a 1min52.4sec heat win at Gloucester Park last Friday and looks a league above his rivals. Greg Bond thinks Bettor Aim is right up there with his other top four-year-olds, Ana Malak and Mighty Conqueror, and we saw why last Friday. Bettor Aim finished behind Ana Malak in the Golden Nugget. Mighty Conqueror is about to race again and Bond is considering a Sydney raid to try and qualify for the Chariots Of Fire. ___________________________________________________________________________________________ SOUTH Australian pin-up pacer Email Macha scored one of the most important wins of his career when he snared the Wedderburn Cup yesterday (Sunday). The five-year-old gelding worked around to the front and found plenty to post his 26th win from just 29 starts. He’s won six of his eight runs this season. ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ANDY Gath hoped an Inter Dominion campaign would take his former Kiwi trotter Kingdom Come to the next level and it seems to have done just that. Kingdom Come ran a string of good races through the series won by stablemate Tornado Valley. Dropping back big time in class at Melton last Friday, Kingdom Come came from a back row draw, sat parked and thrashed his rivals by 19.4m in a 2min0.1sec mile rate for 2240m.     Adam Hamilton

Big dreams are bubbling in Andy Gath’s harness racing stable as Tornado Valley’s Victorian domination lays the groundwork for a European tilt. The seven-year-old Skyvalley gelding continued his winning ways with victory at Tabcorp Park Melton in Saturday night’s Aldebaran Park 2019 Maori Mile, stopping the clock in a 1:54.1 mile rate, just 0.2 of a second outside the record set by Sparkling Success last year. Comparisons are noteworthy given Sparkling Success was set for a Yonkers campaign before injury cruelled John Meade’s trotter only days before he was about to head to New York, and now the international spotlight has fixed firmly on Tornado Valley. The former Kiwi trotter has been linked with the May 26 Elitloppet in Sweden, contested last year by fellow Victorian Maori Time, and interest is building as briskly as the Group 1 wins are being notched. Andy Gath told trots interviewer Paul Campbell he and Tornado Valley’s owner Norm Jenkin met with Harness Racing Australia chair Michael Taranto in the wake of Tornado Valley’s TAB Inter Dominion win. “Probably before then we didn’t have a lot of interest, but since we sat down, spoke to Michael we are pretty keen,” Gath said. “The timing of it’s perfect for him, because he’s not missing out on anything on this side of the world. We will get a few more big races and then sit down and work out which way we are going to go with him. “If he comes through it good, we’d love to go. There’s no doubt about that. It’s a great opportunity.” Principle among those “big races” is the January 26 Whatthehill Great Southern Star, the $250,000 trot that’s part of night one of the TAB Summer Of Glory. It will be an opportunity for Tornado Valley to add to his four Group 1 wins since joining Gath’s stable in February, success that has continued with his present eight-race winning streak. “He’s 18 out of 22 since we got him in Australia and a couple of times he got beat we had a few excuses for,” Gath said. “To keep getting the job done against quality opposition, it’s a great thrill to have a horse like him.” Those qualities were on display Saturday night when he found the front with ease and controlled proceedings, winning by 1.3m from Gavin Lang’s Save Our Pennys. “Obviously his gate speed’s such a great weapon and he used it again tonight. Such a beautifully gaited horse, he’s a pleasure to train, keeps winning these Group 1s and it’s lucky for us to have him.” Tornado Valley’s potential European bid is music to the ears of Aldebaran Park principal Duncan McPherson, whose stud sponsored Bendigo’s showcase trot. “A horse such as Tornado Valley can put Southern Hemispherical racing on the map around the world and follow in the footsteps of Maori Time and the opportunities offered to Sparkling Success,” Mr McPherson said. “To think that in the space of 12 months potentially there are three international invitations to our trotters. They are starting to take our product down here as a serious threat on a global scale and I think it’s just absolutely wonderful. “I’d love to see Tornado Valley take them on overseas, he’s got blinding gate speed and we saw that again tonight. That’s a weapon we should be able to use. The rest of the world was watching tonight and they were watching after the Inter Dominion. There are invitations there.” Trots Media - Michael Howard

A blistering beginning and brave finish saw Tornado Valley capture the TAB Inter Dominion Trotting Championship in the hands of reinswoman Kate Gath, who became the first female to salute in the great race. Long Forrest trainer Andy Gath and Kate, his wife, again proved a formidable force in Australasian racing with a thrilling victory by a neck from surprise packet Sky Petite, saluting in front of packed stands at Tabcorp Park Melton. “To win the Inter Dominion tonight blows my mind. It’s the race everyone wants to win and I’ve won one,” Kate said. “I can’t believe how lucky I am in my career to win the races I’ve won. It’s astonishing.” Andy said the pair had “been fortunate to have a lot of good horses win a lot of big races but to win an Inter Dominion is the ultimate”. “We just love this horse, he just knows how to win and we are very fortunate to have him in our stable.” Kate flew the gates from her widest front row draw and found the front after 300m, pocketing the second favourite and well-fancied Kiwi Speeding Spur. It would be the critical move, with Tornado Valley in control out in front as they notched a moderate lead time into a 30.2 first quarter. The challenges threatened in the running line, first Save Our Pennys, then Tough Monarch, but Tornado Valley saw them all off. At the turn it was Sky Petite who emerged from three-wide and loomed next to Tornado Valley, fighting on brilliantly before losing by only a neck in the hands of talented young reinsman Ryan Duffy for trainer Michael Stanley. But it was to be Tornado Valley and Kate Gath’s night. “Leading early was that little bit of luck we needed to be hard to beat and once we led I was happy, but I burned really hard to lead,” Kate said. “I came out pretty aggressively to get him across. Everything fell into place and I’m pretty lucky.”     Michael Howard Trots Media     7 9:08pm TAB INTER DOMINION TROTTING CHAMPIONSHIP GRAND FINAL (GROUP 1) 2760M $150,000 TM0 Or Better. RBD. Mobile Results Pl  Horse Prize- money   Row & Br TAB # Trainer Driver (C = Concession) Mgn (m) Starting odds Stewards' Comments  1 TORNADO VALLEY NZ      Fr6 6 Andy Gath Kate Gath   $ 1.70 fav  PRS GS L 1 PH SWAB ST HT   BAY GELDING 7 by SKYVALLEY NZ out of BEGIN (NZ) ()  Owner(s): N R (Norm) Jenkin  Breeder(s): P L Gaugler, T M McMillan 2 SKY PETITE      Fr7 7 Michael Stanley Ryan Duffy NK $ 104.00   PRS T/F RAS 12 3WL SWAB ST HT D/S D/F 3 SPEEDING SPUR NZ      Fr1 1 J W Dickie, J I Dickie Josh Dickie 9.60 $ 3.00   PRS GS 3 SWAB ST HT 4 MONTY PYTHON NZ      Fr2 2 Phil Williamson Anthony Butt 9.80 $ 46.70   PRS PRU 5 5 SAVE OUR PENNYS      Fr3 3 Graeme Lang Gavin Lang 10.20 $ 14.30   PRS GS 3WE 4 6 WILMAS MATE NZ      Sr4 12 Tim Butt John Caldow 15.50 $ 140.00   PRS 10 7 ROMPERS MONARCHY NZ      Fr4 4 J A Rando, M J Rando David Morris 15.90 $ 201.00   PRS 7 HI CMP 8 KYVALLEY BLUR USA      Sr3 11 Brent Lilley Chris Alford 16.60 $ 13.00   PRS PRU 8 QUER VXAR SCOPE 9 RED HOT TOOTH      Sr5 13 Kari Males Zac Phillips 21.70 $ 121.00   PRS PRU RES 11 10 BIG JACK HAMMER      Fr5 5 David Aiken Kima Frenning 24.60 $ 34.80   PRS PRU GS 6 11 KINGDOM COME NZ      Sr2 10 Andy Gath Alex Ashwood 24.80 $ 166.00   PRS 9 12 TOUGH MONARCH      Sr1 9 Rickie Alchin Rickie Alchin 29.50 $ 19.80   PRS 3WM 2 QUER VXAR SCOPE Scratchings   ILLAWONG ARMSTRONG 8 Track Rating: GOOD Gross Time: 3:24:9 Mile Rate: 1:59:5 Lead Time: 87.6 First Quarter: 30.3 Second Quarter: 29.5 Third Quarter: 29.1 Fourth Quarter: 28.4 Margins: 1.0m x 8.6m  

NOT even a bad barrier could be enough to stop home town star Tornado Valley from winning the Inter Dominion trotting final. While his key rivals have been falling by the wayside of mixing form through the heats, Tornado Valley looks in the zone and on the up. The only scare Andy Gath’s former Kiwi trotter had at Cranbourne last night was when a rear bandage unravelled in the home straight and fans watched, grimacing in the hope he didn’t step on it. Crisis averted, Tornado Valley cruised to his third win from as many heats and firmed from $2 to $1.60 to win the final ahead of tomorrow’s barrier draw. If he draws to lead easily he will be $1.30 or so. And even from the worst draw – say inside back row (eight) our outside the back (12) – it’s hard to see him starting longer than $2-2.20ish. There’s no doubt classy Kiwi Speeding Spur is his major rival, but there is a doubt whether he’s thriving through the gruelling series like Tornado Valley. Speeding Spur was arrogant winning on night one, brave running third to Tornado Valley at Ballarat then workmanlike winning in the weaker heat at Cranbourne last night. Driver Josh Dickie nursed Speeding Spur as much and as long as he could for a 1.6m win over the emerging Big Jack Hammer. It was considerably slower time than Tornado Valley’s win and looked much harder work. Speeding Spur will need to draw well and Tornado Valley poorly for the Kiwi to have a realistic chance of upsetting the local in the final. Outside the star pair, veteran Kyvalley Blur was sound again last night, Save Our Pennys used another gun draw and soft trip to chase home Tornado Valley and Tough Monarch ran his third brave race in the heats. But is either of that trio good enough to beat Tornado Valley? Only if plenty goes wrong for the favourite it would seem. Kiwi pair Monty Python and Wilmas Mate also made the final, but look out of their depth on what we’ve seen in the heats. INTER DOMINION TROTTING FINAL FIELD AND MARKET $1.60 TORNADO VALLEY, $3.60 Speeding Spur, $10 Kyvalley Blur, $14 Save Our Pennys, $16 Tough Monarch, $31 Big Jack Hammer, $61 Kingdom Come, Red Hot Tooth, Sky Petite, $71 Monty Python, $81 Wilmas Mate, $101 Illawong Armstrong (1stemerg), $151 Rompers Monarchy, $201 Enrolled (2nd emerg). Adam Hamilton

The form guide held true with Tornado Valley and Speeding Spur reinforcing their reputations with opening night wins in the TAB Inter Dominion trotting championship. While Victorian hopes Save Our Pennys and Maori Law would have only gained admirers, the big two retained that title with the pre-series favourites, who are both stabled at Andy Gath’s Long Forrest property, amassing complete performances. Speeding Spur, for New Zealand father-and-son team Josh and John Dickie, skipped to the front and after a pedestrian 32.2-second first quarter was untroubled, his 56.2-second last half putting 8.5m between himself and second placegetter Maori Law. “He’s very good,” trainer John Dickie said post-race of Speeding Spur. Tornado Valley’s wide draw meant reinswoman Kate Gath would have to work harder to find the front and, once she did, Save Our Pennys, in trainer-driver Gavin Lang’s hands, was menacing on the leader’s back. After a 27.7-second third quarter they got home in 29.2 and stopped the clock at a 1:57.0 mile rate, only a second outside Keystone Del’s track record, with Save Our Pennys 1.4m off Tornado Valley while Tough Monarch, who did plenty of bullying work, was a further 14.7m back in third. It was a satisfied Andy Gath post-race, who said it was nice to have Tornado Valley “show a bit of a statement”. “We came here knowing that he was in good order and it’s always nice to come to the first heat and show what you can do,” Gath said. “We were pretty pleased, he had to work hard to get the lead and then he got mid-race pressure and challenged by Save Our Pennys and was still really strong on the line. He’s just got a great knack for winning.” Gath was confident the tough run did his trotter no harm. “He’s pulled up really good. I’ve already taken him home and he’s good as gold, jumping out of his skin. I don’t think it will hurt him or affect him, it will probably just make him better if anything,” Gath said. “He’s a horse we think will thrive through this series, he can cop racing, can cop work and always pulls up really good.” Speeding Spur winning his heat on night one.          - Stuart McCormick photo And so the focus turns to Tuesday night’s second lot of heats at Ballarat, when the Tornado Valley-Speeding Spur rivalry will only be magnified after they were drawn in the same heat. Both are outside the front row, with Tornado Valley (gate seven) outside his rival (gate five) and Save Our Pennys looming ominously in gate two. “We know he’s drawn wide and we have Speeding Spur and Save Our Pennys drawn inside us, and they were really good performers as well,” Gath said. “You expect both of those (Save Our Pennys and Speeding Spur) to be going forward and we’ll be going forward as well. “It’s a really strong heat. Realistically we probably can’t lead from there, but he’s a really good short-course horse. He’s going to have his work cut out but he’s a good horse. “We always try and win every race we are in and it won’t be any different Tuesday night.” Click here for Videos and results for first night of Inter Dominions   Michael Howard Trots Media  

SHANE Tritton is someone who walks it like he talks it. Tritton is often outspoken about pre-race tactics and delivers on what he says. That’s why he giggled to himself when some doubted his vow “300 per cent My Alpha Rock will be holding the lead if he can” in the opening heat of the Inter Dominion pacing series at Melton on Saturday night. “Of course we want to lead. He’s won all his races leading or sitting parked. Why wouldn’t anyone think we would want to look for a soft option after drawing barrier one. We’re there to win, not run second or third,” Tritton said. “Not only will he hold the lead if we can, but we will bowl along. That’s his style, he’s a free-runner this horse. It’s how he goes best. “I think he’s the one to beat if he leads. I can’t see how they’ll get past him.” By “they”, Tritton is referring to two of the big guns of the series in Tiger Tara (gate four) and Wrappers Delight (two) in the strongest of the opening round pacing heats. If My Alpha Rock holds the front, this heat as all the ingredients of a seriously heated contest. Wrappers Delight is sure to try for the front and can get fired-up, while Tiger Tara only knows one way and he’s sure to be right up in the firing line. It could bring zippy Kiwi four-year-old Im Pats Delight ($7.50) into the mix from a good trailing draw (gate nine) with Gavin Lang aboard. Punters, buoyed by Tritton’s confidence, have backed My Alpha Rock from from $4.40 into $3.40. Tiger Tara has eased from $2.60 to $3.10, while Wrappers Delight has been $2.90 to $3.20. Tritton also holds the key to the second pacing heat with Franco Nelson (gate two), who has eased from a crazy $2.30 opening price to $2.60. “This is his chance with such a great draw to compared to his main dangers. I’m as keen as anyone to see how he measures up. He’ll be very hard to beat if he can find the front,” Tritton said. The support has been for star Victorian pair San Carlo (gate 10, $5 to $4.20) and Shadow Sax (gate 10, $7 to $6) despite their back row draws. Mach Doro has also firmed from $7 to $6 from the pole. Other chances in that strong second heat include WA raider Galactic Star (gate four, $9.50) and emerging NSW talent Ellmers Image (gate three, $10). The third pacing heat is a all about Cruz Bromac as far as betting goes with the All Stars’ NZ free-for-all winner firming from, $1.50 to $1.28 given he looks the leader from gate four. Plenty of eyes will be on Let It Ride as well, but he will need from lots of luck from an inside back row draw (gate eight). _________________________________________________________________________________ AUSSIE punters have unleashed on the two big guns of the trotting series to win their heats. In the opening heat, Australia’s best hope Tornado Valley – the $2.60 favourite for the final – has been crunched from $1.70 into $1.45. Kiwi star Speeding Spur is even shorter at $1.28 (in from $1.35) in the second heat after drawing to find the lead in the weakest of the heats from gate two. Tornado Valley’s trainer Andy Gath found himself having to dismiss “rumours” the star trotter was under an injury cloud. “Not sure where the rumours originate from that Tornado Valley is under an ‘injury cloud’. I can assure you that I couldn’t be happier with him at the moment. Admittedly he had a foot abscess some weeks ago, but (he’s) good as gold now,” Gath tweeted. Tornado Valley is drawn wide on the front row (gate six), but has plenty of gate speed and and is sure to press for the front from the likes of Wilmas Mate (one), Tough Monarch (two) and Alderbeck (four). Speeding Spur’s heat lacks depth, he possesses early speed and gate two give him every chance to lead, control the race and win as he likes. Adam Hamilton

KIWI trainers can breath a little easier with Australia’s top trotter Tornado Valley staying home instead of raiding Cup Week in Christchurch. Trainer Andy Gath and owner Norm Jenkin tossed the decision around for two days after Tornado Valley’s stunning Cranbourne win last Saturday night. “In the end, we’ve decided to stay home,” Gath said. “The two major reasons are he’s not a good traveller and it’s a big trip from Melbourne to Sydney by road then fly to Christchurch. And we’ve also got an Inter Dominion and the Great Southern Star still to come in our own backyard. “He travelled a better to Cranbourne (about two hours from Gath’s Long Forest stable last weekend), but it’s a lot bigger ask getting him across Christchurch. “You know me, I love to tackle the best races anywhere when we’ve got the right horse, but this time we’re better staying home and focusing on the Inter Dominion given it’s just around the corner.” Tornado Valley made it 12 wins from just 16 Aussie starts for Gath when he produced a career-best performance in the Group 3 Chris Howe Trotters’ Cup (2555m) at Cranbourne last Saturday night. Best known as a front-of-the-field horse, the gelding showed his versatility by sitting back and coming with a big, sustained run in the last lap to blow away many of Victoria’s best trotters. His speed blitz including a privately-time 26.9sec split from the 800-400m and powered clear to win by 13.5m over talented mare Sky Petite and top class veteran Kyvalley Blur. “We were thrilled with him. He’s come back really well. He had to do plenty of work in the last lap, but he ran away from them in the end. And that’s saying something given how well Kyvalley Blur has been going,” Gath said. Kyvalley Blur ran another solid race for third and his Christchurch raid remains on target. Adam Hamilton

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

ALL the talk is about Chicago Bull, but another top Aussie is also being set for a New Zealand Cup Week raid. Top Victorian trainer Andy Gath this week unveiled plans for his star trotter Tornado Valley tackle races on both Tuesday and Friday at Addington. Tornado Valley is back in work and not far of returning from a break following his amazing first campaign with Gath which netted 10 wins a second and a third from just 14 starts. The former Kiwi roared through the grades to win a Group 1 race another eight races at Group 3 level. “We liked him as soon as we got him, but he still surprised us how well he handled every new challenge we asked of him,” Gath said. “It’s good to have been able to give him that break ahead of all the big race at the end of the year.” Tornado Valley’s meteoric rise through the ranks saw him sit alongside Australia’s best trotters when he was spelled after a third at Melton on July 21. “His first big target is the Bill Collins Mile on Victoria Cup night (October 13),” Gath said. “Then it’s over to NZ all going well. We’ve had NZ in mind for quite a while because he’s from there and the money is good for those races. “He showed last time in work he could match it with the best.” The Group 1 Dominion Handicap is Tornado Valley’s major Kiwi target and Gath is no stranger to winning big NZ trotting races, albeit a while back now when he won the 2002 Rowe Cup with the brilliant mare La Coocaracha. Beyond the NZ trip, Tornado Valley looms as the one of the key players in the reinstated Inter Dominion trotting series during the Melbourne Inter Dominion in December. In other stable news, Gath and his wife Kate have high hopes for their exciting recent Kiwi import Diamonds N Cash. One of their many horses raced by Norm Jenkin of Flashing Red fame, Diamonds N Cash was bought from Ken Breckon and the John Dunn stable and his five Aussie runs for the Gaths have been most encouraging. “We threw him in the deep end because it was Breeders Crown time and to finish second in that three-year-old final, which was the strongest Crown final I can recall for many years, was terrific,” Andy Gath said. Diamonds N Cash dropped back in grade and humbled a handy field at Ballarat last Wednesday night, sitting parked, but still dashing home in 55.3sec to win easily. “Gee he felt fantastic,” Kate Gath said. “He’s pacing better every run he has for us and the other night is as sharp as he’s been. “I think he’ll measure-up to the really good ones in time. “He’s only a C3 now so we pick our way through the classes then look at the bigger four-year-old races later in the season.”   Adam Hamilton

THE Harness Jewels remains very much “front and square” in the minds of the Jilliby Kung team. Although the Chariots of Fire winner and Miracle Mile placegetter is yet to be officially invited to the Jewels, it looks a formality if trainer Marg Lee and the team want it. “The Jewels is the plan at this stage,” driver Jason Lee said. “I’d say he’s three weeks or so away from a race. “We need to race the big boys to get better and for the spectacle of the game.” What a great attitude and what a coup it would be for Cambridge. Jilliby Kung Fu hasn’t raced since his fantastic second to My Field Marshal in the Miracle Mile on February 24. With Custodian invited and Jilliby Kung Fu, Wobelee and Carlas Pixel surely soon to follow. Then a bunch of others chasing invites, this will take the Aussie presence at the Jewels to a new level. Yes I’m biased, but surely this is the year an Aussie wins a Jewels final for the first time. ________________________________________________________________________________________________ AGEING champ Lennytheshark will try to break the $3 million stakemoney barrier without a lead-up race. Connections had hoped to run at Bendigo last Friday night, but the race was scrapped so will have to settle for a trial on Tuesday. “Sure we’d have loved a race, but he’s got a great first-up record and ‘Aikey’ (David Aiken) will have him ready for a race like this,” part-owner Martin Riseley said. It will be an emotional night with Lennytheshark needing just $4915 to reach $3 million with his 79 starts netting 39 wins and 30 placings so far. “We’ve had this planned for a long time. The chance to chase a milestone like this at his and Aikey’s home track is so exciting,” Riseley said. ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ANDY Gath admits an Addington raid in November is tempting, but first he wants to win a Group 1 at home with his new stable star Tornado Valley. The former Kiwi trotter made it six wins on end when he did the work and won as he liked in a slick 1min56sec mile rate for 1720m in the Group 3 Uncle Petrika Trot at Melton last night. Gath’s immediate target is the $50,000 Group 1 Australasian Trotting Championship at Melton on May 19. “We loved him the first time we worked him, but the best part is he just keeps getting better and better in his work and he’s thriving on racing just about every week,” Gath said. “Other than the Australasian Champs next month there’s nothing big for him, but if he can just keep picking off these free-for-alls it’s money in the bank.” Tornado Valley has already banked more than $120,000 from just nine Aussie runs for Gath. Asked about NZ, Gath said: “We did think about the Anzac and Rowe Cups. We like to travel with out horses for the right races, so the Dominion is definitely an option later in the year.” ________________________________________________________________________________________________ FORMER buzz Kiwi filly Our Angel Of Harlem lost fans in defeat in yet another WA Oaks prelude at Gloucester Park. It’s the third prelude of the Oaks (final run on May 5) she has contested and after a second and a win, she had to settle for a close and brave third in last Friday night’s race. Gary Hall Sr’s classy filly Liberty Rose was crossed at the start, re-took the lead, and then dictated through a 62.9sec middle split before dashing home in 56.0 and 27.7sec to win from another former Kiwi, Purest Silk. Our Angel Of Harlem settled well back and had to sustain a long three-wide run without cover in the sprint home, so to get within 3.4m was a big effort. ________________________________________________________________________________________________ IF Ladyship Mile winner Carlas Pixel doesn’t tackle the Harness Jewels then Shane Tritton’s former Kiwi mare Reaza Grunter would be a strong second pick. The four-year-old made it eight wins from just 11 Aussie runs when she blasted to the front in a 26.5sec opening quarter and found plenty late to win in a 1min52.5sec mile at Menangle on Saturday night. Tritton and wife Lauren have made it clear they’d love a Jewels invite. The feature race at Menangle was the Group 2 Bulli Trotters’ Cup which was won by former Kiwi veteran Sundons Comet, now in the Joe Rando barn and driven by David Morris. ________________________________________________________________________________________________ EMMA Stewart has a staggering four finalists in the $300,000 Australian Gold final for colts and geldings. Centenario, Hurricane Harley and Hardhitter all won their heats at Melton last Friday week. Then Fourbigmen, who was a well-held third to Hurricane Harley in his heat, lifted for a powerhouse repechage win at Melton last night. Amazingly, Chris Alford drove all four to win their qualifiers. Fourbigmen’s improvement didn’t surprise the stable who have always said he is as good as any of their stellar juvenile crop on ability, but is still raw and developing. ________________________________________________________________________________________________ OUR Waikiki Beach’s baby brother Bechers Brook is doing the family proud. While Our Waikiki Beach was a superstar from day one, the raw and tough Bechers Brook is getting better with every run. He just missed winning the WA Derby when a close second to King Of Swing on April 6, then narrowly but impressively won at Gloucester Park last Friday night. Bechers Brook has raced just 13 times for seven wins, four placings and almost $120,000. “I like him. He’s really strong. It didn’t surprise me he ran so well in the Derby,” Reed said. ________________________________________________________________________________________________ CANBERRA Raiders captain Jarrod Crocker loves his harness racing and classy pacer Our Triple Play is rewarding his passion. Our Triple Play continued his golden season with another feature win, the Group 3 Sydney Cup, at Bankstown last Friday night. The Brad Hewitt-trained and driven four-year-old had already won the time-honoured Inter City Pace final at Maitland and Wagga Cup this season. He’s won six races this term for almost $76,000 in earning to take his career record to 41 starts for 11 wins, 17 placings and $141,720 in stakemoney. ________________________________________________________________________________________________ NO doubt the news of Hectorjayjay’s switch from David Aiken to Gavin Lang’s stable turned a few heads. Lang hasn’t trained many horses for the past decade or so,  but now has an exciting team of “10 or 12” in work. One of them, recent Kiwi import My Cash, made it two very impressive Aussie wins from as many starts with a dominant display at Bendigo last Friday night. Despite sitting parked in solid times, My Cash left her rivals standing to win by 10.2m in a 1min57.8sec mile rate for 2150m. All going well, Hectorjayjay could have his first start for Lang as soon as early June.   Adam Hamilton

Lightning Mile night at Ballarat was billed as a showdown between rising star Moonrock and a most talented field in the night’s harness racing feature but most left the track talking about an entirely different race. It wasn’t the flying mile but the standard sprint trip of 1710 metres where the sparks were flying with progressive gelding Beach Surge smashing the track record in an indomitable display. Rushing the gate in a 27.8sec first quarter, there was no stopping as they ran even fractions for each quarter of the final mile. In a twist of fate the previous track record holder was also owned by Richard Matthews with The Culture holding a benchmark of 1:53.0. That was well and truly bettered by the four-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere as he stopped the clock in 1:51.7. The win had more than a few people singing the praises of Beach Surge on social media with it becoming clear he’s a star on the rise in his own right. Trainer Andy Gath is happy to let his horse do the talking in the short-term at least. “What he did last night was pretty exceptional,” Gath said. “We know he is really well-bred and he does have the right attributes. “He is a big strong horse; he is well gaited and has early speed.” All that and more was on show when he burnt early and still had the plugs in when crossing the line a tear away victor. Being in his last year of age-restricted racing there is the obvious lure of throwing him into the deep-end but that will very much be dependent on just what the landscape looks like in a month or two. “Ultimate Machete and Vincent are at the head of a pretty smart crop of four-year-old’s,” Gath said. “It does make it tough when that’s the level you have to measure up to but we would probably look at a race like the Bonanza because it’s in our backyard.” Any further than that right now may just be pie in the sky. The Long Forrest horseman noting that he can still get excited on raceday and isn’t the best traveler. There is however a lot of water to go under the bridge before a race like the Chariots Of Fire rolls around and plenty can change. For now though, Beach Surge will tackle a $10,000 C2-3 at Kilmore Friday night where he has drawn the front row and looks the horse to beat again. “It’s probably not ideal backing him up quickly after the last win but the race is there and he seems well,” Gath said. Blake Redden

Talented open class performer Mister Mundaka is switching states. And he’s set to add further spice to the changing landscape of the Brisbane free-for-all ranks in the coming weeks and months. Proven performers Avonnova and Ultimate Art still set the standard and have the runs on the board while Major Cam continues to develop into a serious challenger. Exciting four-year-olds Leos Best and Mattgregor also seem certain open class stars in the making. Previously prepared by leading Victorian trainer Andy Gath, the speedy Bettors Delight gelding will now transfer to the Tamborine stables of Brad Connelly. “After discussing it with Jeroen (Nieuwenburg – owner), we’ve decided to send him north where he can have access to the water walker on a daily basis, he’s battled a few little issues over the past twelve months and that treatment should help him greatly.” Gath said. Just recently, Nieuwenburg installed a water walker at the Tamborine property and results have been immediate through the likes of his trotters Mr Mayfly, Ivanov and Rostevarren among others. Mister Mundaka hasn’t raced since September 29, 2016 when fifth behind Five Star Anvil and Ohoka Punter at TABCORP Park, Melton in the My Lightning Blue FFA. The former New Zealand pacer has won 12 of his 20 starts on Australian soil including the Gr.3 Tontine Championship Final at Ballarat plus the Gr.3 Popular Alm FFA at Melton. Last week, Mister Mundaka finished third in a trial behind My Kiwi Mate and Three Ways at Melton in a time of 2:02.7 for the 2240m. “He’s been such a great performer for my stable since arriving; he had excuses first-up at Maryborough before winning his next seven starts. “His best asset is his gate speed and he loves to keep fighting when he’s in front, he’s a very hard horse to get past once he’s in front. He beat a lot of tidy horses on many occasions. “He obviously needed the trial last week and will keep improving, hopefully he can return to his best form and the racing style should suit him up there.” Mister Mundaka has won 17 from 43 while banking more than $156,000 in stakes. Chris Barsby

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