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Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) has agreed to trial a sprint lane extension at Tabcorp Park Melton following a submission from the Victorian Trainers and Drivers Association (VTDA). The sprint lane will be extended by 40 metres for an initial one-month trial. The basis of the trial is to assess the pattern of racing and evaluate whether the extension provides horses with greater opportunities to win. The new sprint lane will see the red peg positioned at the 190m mark and the sprint lane completely open at 168m. The initial trial will run from Wednesday March 14 up to and including Friday April 13. HRV is encouraging feedback from all industry stakeholders, including participants and punters during the trial. To have your say, email and include ‘Sprint Lane Trial’ in your email subject.  Harness Racing Victoria

Sunday, March 11, 2018 will be a notable day in the life of former champion harness racing South Australian reinsman David Harding. Now starting his own training career, Harding landed his first major success when former Western Australian pacer Condrieu took out the 2018 UBET Kapunda Pacing Cup, then later in the day his partner Danielle Hill was a runaway winner of the inaugural Australian Female Drivers Championship at Launceston in Tasmania. The Kapunda Cup also saw top young South Australian reinsman Michael, David’s cousin, land his best win in the sulky while it was a stable quinella with Bettor Party, trained by Les Harding, finishing second. In an exciting finish, Condrieu ($3.80) finished best out wide to score a half neck win in the 2610 metre staying test from Bettor Party ($2.30 fav) with Rap Artist ($5.20) a metre away third. “I’ve known Greg (Bond) for a quite a while and done business with him previously,” Harding said. “He originally rang and offered Condrieu for sale and I considered buying him in partnership with Jake Webster, but we decided not to, but Greg said he would still send the horse to me. “He has been a good horse earning more than $260,000 but Greg felt he needed a change of scenery to reboot his career. “He is a bit one-paced, but the tempo of today’s Cup suited him perfectly.” Duke of Albany ($19.30) led early while Jake Webster, on Bettor Party, sat wide early from gate five before going to the spot outside the lead and trying to take the lead. Jayden Brewin, on the leader, was reluctant to give up the front but after a 200-metre battle, finally conceded. Webster kept a good tempo on with 30.6 and 30.9 first quarters of the last 16500 metres before increasing for a 29.1 third quarter and 30.8 final sectional. Michael Harding, who recently took out the Claiming Cup at Globe Derby Park on Ona Rocky Beach, again showed his driving maturity. Condrieu settled second last in the running line in the small field of eight and with just over a lap to go, Ryan Hryhorec on Mark Dennis ($5.30), which was last tried to get Harding moving to take him into the race. “David said to me around a track like Kapunda, it was nearly impossible to be covering ground more than once around the turns, so I was staying in until we went into the back straight,” Harding said. “The tempo had suited my horse and in the home straight just kept coming and I was able to grab Bettor Party in the sight of the post.” Jake Webster said in hindsight he might have driven Bettor Party a little differently. “I was always going to try for the front but what I would change would be the last few hundred metres,” Webster said. “Bettor Party was travelling but I sent him for home on straightening trying to put a gap on Condrieu which I knew would be finishing on. “But after grabbing a break, my horse switched off thinking his job was done, and David’s horse was able to grab me. In hindsight, I should have waited a bit longer before going for home.” David Harding said the Cup winner would go to the $14,999 Port Pirie Pacing Cup (2530m) on Saturday, March 24 but will again run into Bettor Party and also its stablemate Our Jericho. Graham Fischer

The leading harness racing breeders and studmasters in New South Wales and Victoria have thrown their support behind the 2018 Bathurst Gold Crown Yearling Sale to be held on Sunday March 25 at the Bathurst Showground. The first of 120 lots will go through the ring at 11am. The Wagga-based Yirribee Pacing Stud has by the largest representation with 23 lots including five by exciting first crop sire Fly Like An Eagle and four by Caribbean Blaster, who has already left three winners from his initial two-year-old crop. Brooklyn Lodge Stud, of Doug and Janet Moore, Aberdeen, has entered 17 youngsters by 12 different stallions. Their draft is headed up by a Modern Art full sister to the Queensland Paleface Adios Classic winner Copper Coast, a Rocknroll Dance half-sister to the Breeders Crown champion Magic Operative and a He’s Watching half-sister to the Breeders Crown 2YO winner Passions Promise. Paul Carmody’s Lochend Stud, Maitland has a draft of 13, of which 10 are by the fast Artsplace import Shoobee’s Place, the sire of recent Penrith two-year-old winner Tsunami Charlie. The eight-strong consignment of Golden Gait Stud, Canowindra includes For A Reason half-sisters to the NSW Sires Stakes 2YO champion Usane Flash and Group winner Soho Lennon. Members of the Dumesny family will offer eight youngsters spearheaded by a Sunshine Beach colt out the $100,000 winner Gloria Lombo and an Art Major filly from a daughter of the Australian Broodmare of the Year Ark Maree. Medowie Lodge, Mimosa Banks Stud and Redbank Lodge Standardbreds, all long-time supporters of the Bathurst sale, each have four entries, along with first-time vendors Alex Smith and Russell Woods, of Harrington Park. The Gourley brothers, Brian and Graeme, head up a strong representation from ‘south of the border’. Graeme Gourley’s three entries include a He’s Watch filly from the Queen of the Pacific winner Artificial, while Brian’s draft is highlighted by a Changeover granddaughter of the Pink Bonnet winner Kirlian. Other Victorian vendors are Neville Cranston’s Regal Farm (3 lots) and Colin and Lauretta Duncan, Robert Rothacker and Dunromin Standardbreds (Jane Hearn) with two apiece and Clinton and Joelene McSwain (1). Peter Wharton

Be On Guard has delivered leading trainer Matthew Saw his 10th winner of the Albany Harness Racing Club season, at their final meeting on Friday night at Harold Reid Paceway. At only his second start for the Saw stable since coming across from Colin Brown, Be On Guard started a raging favourite in the Bakers Junction Pace (2258m) and won in a thrilling finish to help Saw wrap up his second consecutive AHRC Trainers’ Premiership in style. Driver Madeleine Young used barrier three to her advantage, spearing to the front where she led with the Changeover gelding and survived a late challenge from stablemate Beaus Mystery to win by a half head. Saw, who based himself here in Albany for the season, had already clinched successive titles heading into the last meeting but in the overall standings finished with 79 points. From 78 runners Saw had 10 winners to go with 15 seconds and nine thirds, as he was a clear winner over Peter Fairless (43 points) and Peter Anderson (32). The result also helped Young claim the AHRC Drivers’ Premiership for the 2017-18 season after she held off a strong challenge from last year’s winner Trent Wheeler. Young drove seven winners from 67 starts in the Albany season and had 20 minor placings as she recorded 60 points to finish above Wheeler (50) and Corey Peterson (41). Wheeler won the opening event on the final night after $1.60 favourite Captured Delight prevailed by a short half head in a photo finish over Bettorgrinanbarit. It was the first leg of winning double for Wonnerup trainer Terry Ferguson after he later tasted success with Rocknroll Beachboy. Giles Inwood landed a driving treble on the program after guiding Rocknroll Beachboy to victory along with Dredlock Rockstar and All About The Cash, both for trainer Ashleigh Markham. In the other AHRC awards Peterson was the club’s leading junior driver with 41 points while Crimson Floyd, trained by Charlie Draper, was the leading club pacer with 16 points. Cameron Newbold | Albany Advertiser Reprinted with permission of The West Australian

Talented trotting mare Rocknroll Baby displayed her recent maturity overcoming mid-race issues to score an all the way win in the Prince Of Wales Kapunda Trotters Cup (2610m). Driver Jock Dunlop revealed the crupper used on the mare had broken with a lap to go seeing her gear go forward and putting him ill at ease. “She had every excuse to go into a gallop when that happened,” Dunlop said. “I was certainly on edge for the last lap, but the mare was in a good rhythm and stayed trotting. She did a great job.” Rocknroll Baby ($1.60 fav) was well rated in front by Dunlop to score a five metre win from Bold Law ($13.60) which finished fast late with Truscott Law ($5), 1-1/2 metres away third. Dunlop was able to get away with pedestrian quarters of 32.1 and 31.6 before letting the mare slide with 27.9 and 30.3 final sectionals and no horse was able to get close enough for Dunlop to have to try and shake her up. It was Rocknroll Baby’s second Cup win in eight days having scored at Mount Gambier on the previous Saturday. The mare will try to make it three Cups in a month by going for the $8000 Port Pirie Trotters Cup (2530m) on Saturday, March 24. They add to the Gramel Trotters Cup and Hambeltonian Cup she collected earlier in the year. Trainer Greg Norman has always sung the mare’s praises. “She has only been trotting for just over 12 months,” Norman said. “She has had plenty of racing, and travelling, but has been getting better and better. “Provided she pulls up okay, she will be off to Port Pirie.” Norman wasn’t at Kapunda, he was in Melbourne picking up a new addition to the AB&T Cormack Racing stables. “We paid $26,000 for a colt by Majestic Son out of the former star trotting mare Zesta. “She was only small, but she could certainly trot. This colt is also very small, but he is built like a pocket battleship.” Graham Fischer

“She looked too good on paper,” was the response from Maitland harness racing reinsman Guy Chapple when he returned to scale with Last Party after taking out the Missile Bill Barraclough Memorial at Armidale on Sunday. “I have only had one drive here at Armidale before and that was a lot of years ago,” Chapple added. Last Party commenced as race favourite in the tribute race to one of the club’s late stalwarts – Bill Barraclough. “A lap to go I thought, Let’s get out of here,” said Chapple, who after racing in the one-by-one, with Limousine Livia (Lola Weidemann) leading the field, elected to make his race move as the bell sounded for the final lap. “She is a class mare and Aaron had marked this race for her a while ago,” he said, in regards to the mare’s trainer Aaron Goadsby. “She [Lets Party] had a couple of quite trials. We worked her last Sunday and she worked super so we thought she would be too good today.” Last Party is trained at Singleton Heights by Aaron Goadsby who has given the four-year-old Bettors Delight mare nine starts for five wins and a placing. The race was not without drama, with Capital Cullect (Chris Shepherdson) scratched at the start due to causing two false starts. “She [Last Party] is pretty laid back, like the trainer and driver – everything was sweet,” Chapple joked. Last Party, who was resuming from a spell, went on for a 33.9 metre win over Million Dollar Mac (Brad Elder), with Our Joshy Boy (Nathan Dawson) another 15 metres away in third.  “She has won five races now and the last one was a free-for-all race at Dubbo, so she has got a bit of a future,” Chapple said. Goadsby was “relieved’ when the race was over and the mare was back to the stables. “We had a little bit of pressure going into the race with the gig as the trophy, but she went how we felt she would go,” Goadsby said. It may have been only the second trip to Armidale for Chapple but Goadsby he was a newcomer to racing there. “I didn’t know where I was going,” Goadsby said. “I have never been up here myself, but it’s good to get a win.” By Julie Maughan Reprinted with permission of The Northern Daily Leader

Shane Tritton has a good problem on his hands with rejuvenated former Kiwi star Franco Nelson.  He’s got the horse flying, but there aren’t many suitable races in the short term.  “We thought about going down to the Kilmore Cup (next Saturday night), but he’s an old horse with niggles and it’s a risk to take him away from home now we’ve got him sound and racing so well,” he said.  “I just wish he’d got into the Miracle Mile. He’d have given it a shake with a good draw.”  If you think that’s a bold call, think back a month when Franco Nelson thrashed eventual Miracle Mile winner My Field Marshal at Menangle.  Franco Nelson produced a huge effort to win the Group 1 Bohemia Crystal free-for-all on Miracle Mile night and then actually improved again to win the free-for-all at Menangle last Friday night.  Despite doing plenty of work, Franco Nelson powered home by 5.2m in a scorching 1.52.8 mile rate for 2300m – just 0.2sec outside Clancys Fobwatch’s track record.  “I said after Miracle Mile night he’s the best horse we’ve trained and he’s only highlighted that again,” Tritton said.  With Kilmore off the table, Franco Nelson will be freshened before a campaign aimed at the Bulli Cup and Len Smith Mile, both at Menangle.    It’s all starting again.  As usual at this time of year, the Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin team start to flex their muscle with the two-year-olds.  It started with a splash when Fourbigmen (Mach Three-Aleppo Heiress) thrashed his rivals at Kilmore last Wednesday night.  Chris Alford made the most of gate one to lead and cruise through a 61.4sec first half, then zip home in 57.0 and 28.2sec.  Fourbigmen zoomed away from Peter Manning’s Scheu Creek – already a feature race winner this season – to win by 17.9m in a 1.58.1 mile rate for 1690m.  “He’s named after four of his part-owners as we are four big men,” part-owner Peter Tonkin said.  Then at Geelong last Friday night, debutante Centenario was every bit as impressive at Four Big Men.  Centenario, closely-related to the injury-plagued but outstanding Philadelphia Man, led throughout in a 1.58.6 mile and closed in 28.1sec to win by 13.7m.  “We’re really excited about the babies again this year. These two are among our best, but there’s another couple right up there with them you’ll see step-out in the next few weeks,” Peter Tonkin said.    Classy pacer Spare Me Days created some country NSW history on Saturday night.  The Brad Hewitt-trained six-year-old did something even the former great NSW stayer Karloo Mick couldn’t do – win three successive Young Pacing Cups.  Karloo Mick went back-to-back in 2009-10, but Spare Me Days went one better with a powerhouse win on Saturday, beating classy mare Dont Think Twice by 4.5m in a 1.57.1 mile rate for 2480m.  Buzz Tasmanian three-year-old Ignatius, now based in NSW with Jimmy Rattray, did all the work and won the Young Derby in good style.  He’s won nine of his 10 starts and is being set for the NSW Breeders Challenge and a possible Queensland Derby tilt.  The Young Oaks was a cracking race with favourite War Dan Bad Girl leading and being nabbed by a brave Major Occasion, who sat parked throughout.    It might only have been a ho-hum Maryborough Friday race, but remember the name Share The Road.  The four-year-old Kiwi-bred mate, by Tintin In America out of High Tops Hanover, sparkled beating another exciting recent Kiwi import Boom Time.  Share The Road pressured her way to the front from Boom Time midrace and found plenty to win in a 1.56.1 mile rate for 2190m with closing splits of 55.6 and 27.3sec.  Part-owner Zac Cornell, who has raced stars like Arms Of An Angel, Suave Stuey Lombo, Mach Beauty and others, has high hopes for Share The Road.  “I think she’s one of the best four-year-old mares in the land. What she did at Maryborough was good and not really her go, she’s better off just rolling along. Her previous win at Shepparton was awesome.”    Popular Melbourne media man Rob Auber has enjoyed his fair share of success as an owner.  Auber’s headline act has been former star mare Bellas Delight, but Madame Meilland is starting to challenge for the mantle.  There is still a way to go given Bellas Delight won 20 races and almost $450,000 in stakemoney.  But Madame Meilland posted her 10th win from 35 starts and passed $100,000 in earnings with a career-best $50,000 Group 2 Empress Stakes (2536m) win at Gloucester Park last Friday night.  It was an enormous win given she sat parked outside hot favourite Better B Chevron and nutted her on the line in a 56.2sec last half.  Madame Meilland is trained by Auber’s friend Ross Olivieri and driven by the much-underrated Shannon Suvaljko.  Another highlight of the Gloucester Park was the battle between emerging stars Vampiro and Runrunjimmydunn with the former prevailing by a nostril in the sixth event.  They went to war down the back straight in a 27.1sec and Vampiro, who led, just did enough to hold-off a very brave Runrunjimmydunn in a 1.55.7 mile rate for 2130m.   Adam Hamilton

Records tumbled at today's Pryde's EasiFeed Australasian Premier Trotting Sale with numbers up across the board. The harness racing trotting sale average this year increased a whopping 41.6 per cent on last year, the 2018 average of $21,490 substantially up on last year's $15,167. Sixty yearlings went through the ring, eight more than last year, and the top lot fetched $90,000 compared to last year's top lot, $55,000. All up, $1,074,500 in total sales was recorded today at Tabcorp Park Melton (more than $400,000 more than last year) with a clearance rate of 83 per cent (up 8% on last year). Importantly 12 of 41 sold made $20,000-plus last year, but this year 21 out of 50 sold made $20,000-plus. Ninety-one people registered to bid. "Today's results are extremely encouraging and showcase the confidence in the trotting gait in Victoria," Harness Racing Victoria's Emma Prosser said. "The quality of the catalogue certainly played an enormous role and I must congratulate the vendors and the preparers for the way the yearlings were presented." For the second year straight, Terang's Matthew Craven purchased the top lot Alderbaran Knox, Lot 35. Craven paid $90,000 for a striking Muscle Hill colt, out of Kyvalley Aldebaran - a full-brother to the 2017 sales topper he purchased 12 months ago. The colt was prepared by Danny and Melinda Thackeray on behalf of Aldebaran Lodge, which had 12 yearlings in today's sale. Craven paid $90,000 for this striking Muscle Hill colt, out of Kyvalley Aldebaran Aldebaran also produced "Aldebaran Stephan" (a colt by Pegasus Spur out of Sundonna) - a full-brother to the fastest Australasian-bred trotting mare Maori Time - which went for $60,000, "Aldebaran Dominic" (a colt by Andover Hall out of Aldebaran Dream), purchased by Jim Connelly for $50,000, and "Aldebaran Zander" (a colt by Muscle Hill out of Yield Boko) for $46,000. Chris Lang and Haley Toulmin also had a successful day, selling an Angus Hall-Miss Warbucks colt for $42,000 to Molander Racing after a spirited bidding contest, and an Angus Hall-Shes An Image colt to Rob Thompson for $41,000. The live stream of the APTS this year was well-viewed, with the number of people 'currently viewing' the stream hovering at about 150 for the bulk of the day. By Cody Winnell ( 2018 Sale Results LOT NAME SIRE DAM SEX PURCHASE PRICE BUYER 1   ANGUS HALL BLACK CURLEW GELDING $17,000 Timothy McLean 2   MAJESTIC SON BLARING COLT Passed In   3   MAJESTIC SON BONNIE SUNDON NZ COLT $15,000 Gavan Holt 4 ALDEBARAN APRIL TRIXTON (US) ALDEBARAN BREEZE FILLY $17,000 Yabby Dam Farms 5   ANGUS HALL BRITE N LUCKY FILLY $14,000 William Kucks 6 ALDEBARAN JETHRO ANDOVER HALL BROMAC ALDEBARAN COLT Passed In   7   GREAT SUCCESS BRYLIN CRESCENT FILLY $15,000 Susan Hayes 8   ORLANDO VICI CARIBOU CALDER FILLY Passed In   9   CRAZED (US) CATCHYA MAYA COLT $9,000 Dominic Schembri 10   IMPERIAL COUNT CATCHYA MUSCLE COLT $5,500 Gavan Holt 12   ANGUS HALL CLOUD CHASER COLT $36,000 Lisa & Maddie Ray 13   MAJESTIC SON CONSHE FILLY Passed In   14   TRIXTON (US) COUNTESS ANGELA COLT Passed In   15   MUSCLE HILL CRUZENTHEPACIFIC COLT $22,000 Gavan Holt 16 ALDEBARAN DEKOTA YIELD BOKO ALDEBARAN DEEGAN FILLY $16,000 Matt Craven 17   WISHING STONE DIEDRE DEVILLE COLT $15,500 Emanuel Portelli 18 ALDEBARAN DOMINIC ANDOVER HALL ALDEBARAN DREAM COLT $50,000 KPC Racing 19   BACARDI LINDY USA EAGLES IMAGE FILLY $9,000 James Warnock 21   ANDOVER HALL ELUSIVE CHARM COLT $20,500 Wells Family Group 22   MAJESTIC SON FORTUNATE PHOENIX FILLY $21,000 Simone Walker 23   MAJESTIC SON GLADYS EMANUEL FILLY $17,000 Norm Visca 24   ANDOVER HALL GLUTEUS MAXIMUS COLT $30,000 KPC Racing 27 ALDEBARAN HERBIE ANDOVER HALL ALDEBARAN HONEY COLT $20,000 Peter Males 28   MAJESTIC SON ILLAWONG BLUSH FILLY $29,000 Carmel Aquilina 29   MAJESTIC SON ILLAWONG MOONSHINE COLT $30,000 Justin Baker 30 ALDEBARAN STEVIE YIELD BOKO IM SONIALEELEE FILLY $8,000 Peter Gabriel 32   ARMBRO VARIABLE CA JANOVER HANOVER NZ COLT Passed In   33   TENNOTRUMP JEWEL OF THE NIGHT FILLY $10,000 Michael Gadsden 34   CRAZED (US) KANO CLASSIC FILLY Passed In   35 ALDEBARAN KNOX MUSCLE HILL KYVALLEY ALDEBARAN COLT $90,000 Matt Craven 36   ANGUS HALL LA TONNERALLA FILLY $22,000 Brent Lilley 37   BACARDI LINDY USA LOVER OR LOSER NZ COLT Passed In   38   BACARDI LINDY USA MIRIAMA COLT $4,000 Terry Franklin 39   GREAT SUCCESS MISS CEEJAY FILLY Passed In   40   ANGUS HALL MISS WARBUCKS COLT $42,000 Molander Harness Racing 41   CRAZED (US) MY MISSINDEPENDENT COLT $8,500 Kate Hargreaves 42   MUSCLES YANKEE NANDY NOOT NZ FILLY $20,000 Frank Evans 43   YANKEE SPIDER PACKED UP EARLY FILLY $7,000 James Warnock 44 ALDEBARAN PHOEBE YIELD BOKO ALDEBARAN PEGGY FILLY $16,000 Haydon Gray 45   DANNY BOUCHEA PEPPERELL DARGENT FILLY $6,000 Lisa Fitzpatrick 46   BACARDI LINDY USA POET LAUREATE COLT $8,000 Michael Cole 47   SKYVALLEY POIGNANT COLT $15,000 Giuseppe Zappulla 48   BACARDI LINDY USA REDNECK COLT $17,000 David Scott 49 ALDEBARAN BRYCE ANGUS HALL ALDEBARAN REVENUE COLT $15,000 Paddy Lee 50   ANGUS HALL SHES AN IMAGE COLT $41,000 Rob Thompson 51   MAJESTIC SON SIXTY PLUS FILLY $25,000 Danny Zavitsanos 52   BACARDI LINDY USA SPRINGHASPRUNG FILLY $6,500 Alfred Spiteri 53   PEGASUS SPUR STAR OF JORDAINE COLT $15,000 Renee Comben 54   DEJARMBRO (US) STARLET LAVEC FILLY $16,000 Sharyn O'Brien 55 ALDEBARAN STEPHAN PEGASUS SPUR SUNDONNA COLT $60,000 APTS as Agent 56 ALDEBARAN SUNRISE SKYVALLEY ALDEBARAN SUNSET FILLY $8,000 Peter Gabriel 57   TRIXTON (US) SWEET PRETENSE COLT Passed In   58   MAJESTIC SON ZESTA COLT $26,000 B&T Cormack Racing 59 ALDEBARAN ZANDER MUSCLE HILL ZOIA BOKO COLT $46,000 APTS as Agent 60   MUSCLE HILL ABANDONED ANNIE COLT $20,000 Anthony Crossland 61   GREAT SUCCESS ALABAMA SHOWDOWN FILLY $5,000 Anthony O'Connor 62   MUSCLE HILL ALEPPO MIDAS COLT $65,000 RED Harness Racing 63   PEGASUS SPUR ALL FINESSE COLT $32,000 Meagan Lang 64   TENNOTRUMP AMAORI SPUR COLT $6,000 Kerrie Lee 65   MAJESTIC SON AVID FILLY $6,000 Alfred Spiteri    

South Australian superstar harness racing reinswoman Danielle Hill made a one-act affair of the Australian Female Drivers Championship on Sunday night in Launceston. Hill took the inaugural Series by storm winning five of the nine heats, showing the brilliance and expertise that has taken her to the top of her chosen sport. Danielle took a stranglehold on the Series early in the night with the Paul Ashwood-trained Krafty Boy ($3.40) leading all the way for victory over the popular pick Similan Beach in the opening race. In Heat two, Hill had last-start winner Im Compliant ($3.90) parked midfield on the inside in the final circuit but found the gap to angle away from the pegs at the 400-metre mark and rattle down the outside to claim Buster William, driven by Kristy Grant, to score by a neck for trainer Rohan Hillier. Christopher Howlett’s Rockin An Runnin ($6.50)was the next to salute for Danielle in Heat four after enjoying the run of the race one-out and one-back, she then proceeded to follow up with a go-to-whoa victory in the sixth Heat on No Apachemee ($8.50). The clash of the night was expected to be the battle of young gladiators Semowillrev($1.60) and Izah ($2.40) as they continued their build-up for the Group 3 Tasmanian Derby on April 8 and the two star three-year-olds kept their end of the deal. Izaha showed pace from the mobile to lead at the first turn for Lisa Ryan while Hill allowed Semowillrev (pictured) to settle back in ninth position before setting the Craig Hayes prepared favourite alight turning into the back straight. Semowillrev cruised up to sit outside Izaha at the 1400 before surging to the front at the bell and lifting the tempo of the race heading to the back stretch. Danielle hit the ‘go’ button on the Semowillrev racing to the 400-metre pole and the Sportswriter-Sur La Plage gelding fired away to notch up his seventh win from eight career starts, running a final quarter of 27.7 seconds. Australian Female Drivers Championship Points Table  130 – Danielle Hill (SA)    77 – Dannielle McMullen (QLD)    71 – Kate Gath (VIC)    66 – Kerryn Manning (VIC)    66 – Amanda Turnbull (NSW)    66 – Ellen Rixon (NSW)    65 – Narissa McMullen (QLD)    64 – Jocelyn Young (WA)    55 – Natalee Emery (TAS)    54 – Kristy Grant (TAS)    49 – Lisa Ryan (SA)    38 – Deni Roberts (WA) Danielle’s standing in Australian sport continues to grow, already a a recipient of the Tanya Denver Award as South Australia’s top female sportsperson. It hasn’t always been plain sailing for the diminutive Hill, if anyone knows the ups and downs of sport it’s Danielle. In 2009, on the Gold Coast, Hill clinched the Australasian Young Drivers Championship. A year later she was fighting for her life after the horse she was driving at Globe Derby was involved in an horrific fall. Danielle suffered bleeding on the brain and lost her right eye when surgeons were unable to repair the damage to the optic nerve to the brain. Her fight for life and her triumphant return to the track is the stuff of legends, there could be no more fitting winner of the inaugural Australian Female Drivers Championship than the highly gifted and courageous South Australian reinswoman Danielle Hill. by Shane Yates

Australian Pacing Gold’s Ladbrokes Western Australia Sale has been declared a success. Not only did the average sale price rise by 11 per cent on last year, gross turnover increased by just under six per cent. In what is regarded as the benchmark of a good sale, the clearance rate was slightly more than 80 per cent. What is interesting to note is locally-sired yearlings averaged $9900 compared to their east coast and New Zealand counterparts, which attracted an average bid of $17,781. There was also a notable difference in the clearance rate, with locals going out at 72 per cent compared to 83 per cent from ‘outsiders’. “As usual, I was really impressed with the level of preparation and presentation by our Perth vendors,” APG’s General Manager David Boydell said.  “Not only did they present their horses in outstanding condition, but the effort that vendors like Mike Hackett, Kevin & Kody Charles and others put into beautifying their stabling area with flowers and the like really sets the standard for the industry. “Like all of APG’s vendors, our Western Australian vendors are really passionate supporters of the industry, so it was really pleasing buyers rewarded their efforts, with good prices available for the top lots.  “However, equally importantly, the sale benefited from gains at all levels, with the average prices of the bottom 25 per cent of horses up by around 10 per cent, whilst the median price was also up by 10 per cent on the prior year. “ As has been the case in recent years, Ross Waddell’s Pacing WA was a major player, purchasing numerous quality lots, which will be made available in shares of 10 per cent or more.  The Pacing WA syndicates have enjoyed enormous success in recent seasons, winning a host of Group races, including multiple editions of the Group One Perth Sales Classics.  As such, they represent an ideal choice for anyone looking to experience the thrill of harness racing without breaking the budget.  For those seeking further information relating to Pacing WA Syndicate it can be obtained by e-mailing APG Media

She began the month with a win in the Wagga Oaks, took out the Young Oaks on Saturday and now Major Occasion will be aimed at the Bathurst Harness Racing Club’s Gold Bracelet series. A member of Bathurst trainer Chris Frisby’s team, Major Occasion has been in good touch so far this season with four wins and a second placing from seven starts. It is form Frisby hopes his three-year-old filly by Art Major out of Fake Occasion can build on come the Bathurst Gold Crown Carnival later this month. “She’s always been fairly tough, well she’s gotten tougher. She’s a lovely, big, strong mare,” he said. “She’s won her last two starts now and hopefully she can win her next two in the Gold Bracelet.” While Major Occasion’s win in the Wagga Oaks came in convincing fashion, finishing 26.8 metres clear of her nearest rival, on Saturday night in the Young Oaks (2,100m) things were much closer. Going from barrier nine, driver Anthony Frisby worked Major Occasion ($3.90) three wide before settling outside leader and $1.60 favourite War Dan Bad Girl (Amanda Turnbull). That pair battled it out to the post, with Major Occasion getting the nod by a half head. She clocked a 28.5 seconds split for the final quarter of the last mile. Third place, a further 1.9m back, was Paul Fitzpatrick’s Prophesy ($7.10) – a horse which Chris Frisby thought at one stage could have swooped to victory. “Geeze it frightened me, I thought we got beat,” Frisby admitted. “I looked at the wheels of Amanda’s [runner] and while her wheel was a little bit in front, I knew we were longer and I was just hoping we got there. We did so yeah, that was good. “She’s done a good job and the last two runs haven’t been easy either, she’s sat in the death seat, but that’s what she likes to do. “Amanda’s is a good horse and she didn’t lie down either, she was tough to beat. That one of the Fitzpatrick’s as well, I thought it was going to be tough to beat too. It sat on our back while Amanda and me did all the work.” While Major Occasion’s efforts at Wagga and Young will make her one to watch come the Gold Bracelet heats, her trainer also feels with some better luck, his filly could have made the rich NSW Oaks final as well. She ran last in her heat, but had been in a position to challenge for a win after galloping out of the barriers. Major Occasion recovered from that incident to be one out and three back at the 400m mark, but was checked and galloped once more. “She was a bit unlucky in the NSW Oaks ... I thought she was going to run a place as she was going that strong,” Frisby said. By Anya Whitelaw Reprinted with permission of The Western Advocate  

It's already been a huge week for Women in Racing with the successful staging of the Inaugural Australian Female Jockey's Championship at the Sky Racing Centre on Wednesday night in Launceston and it's about to become even bigger. The Australian Female Drivers Championship will be conducted by the Launceston Pacing Club tonight with the Nation's best in action over the nine-event Series. The big guns of the sport, Kerryn Manning,  Kate Gath, Amanda Turnbull and Danielle Hill are on the way for the Championship as are the new breed of young drivers such as Queensland sisters Dannielle and Narissa McMullen and Western Australian representatives Deni Roberts and Jocelyn Young. Tasmania will rely on the experience and brilliance of Team Teal ambassador Natalee Emery (pictured) and her young compatriot Kristy Grant to stand firm against the mainland invasion. Natalee is a highly respected driver on the National scene while Kristy is giving away years of experience to the major players in the Series. Both drivers have a great chance to pick up valuable points in race two with Kristy handling the ribbons on the Wayne Campbell-trained Buster William while Nat will steer Koolaz Elvis. Buster William is in search of its fifth win of the season and the seventh of his career and has come up with a perfect draw in two. In early markets, Buster William is an equal favourite with the Rohan Hillier-trained last start winner Im Compliant, to be handled by Danielle Hill. Koolaz Elvis is a last-start Latrobe Cup winner over Buster William and Natalee will more than likely try to lead on the Todd Rattray prepared four-year-old. Kristy has another tremendous chance to be amongst the action in race four with the NWTLHA winner Dapper Dana. The Bettors Delight - Ok Deb gelding is awkwardly drawn in five on the second line, but has won 11 races in a 35 start career and is more than capable of making it 12. Natalee's hopes of claiming the title received a boost when the Lynniemach marble fell her way. The Paul Ashwood prepared four-year-old is in the top three in the market in race six over a mile. The Mach Three-Boldandbeautiful mare is in quest of her third win of the season and the 10th of her career. Kent Rattray's El Jay's Monza will provide Natalee with another top hope in race eight, the four-year-old gelding has been placed at her last three runs and has drawn the coveted pole position over 2200-metres. The eyes of the nation will be focused on Launceston with live coverage, hosted by Duncan Dornauf, commencing at 17.00 via the live stream service at Shane Yates

Former New Zealand trotter Tornado Valley signaled his class with a stunning all-the-way harness racing victory in the Gr.1 $100,000 Seelite Windows & Doors Australian Grand Prix at Tabcorp Park Melton tonight (Saturday). Aided by a brilliant front-running drive from Kate Gath, the richly talented Skyvalley gelding defied race favourite Sparkling Success and Sky Petite in the 2240 mobile start feature. Having his third local start, Tornado Valley went one better than his effort last week when a runner-up behind Red Hot Tooth in the Knight Pistol at Cranbourne. Showing good gate speed to lead from his handy draw, Tornado Valley controlled the tempo of the event while Sparkling Success was forced to work hard without cover. The lead time was covered in 45.2 seconds. Tornado Valley traveled strongly throughout; the first half of the final mile was covered in splits of 30.9 and 30.7 seconds. The first move in the race came via Vincennes who eased three-deep passing the 1000m mark. Entering the back straight, Gath allowed Tornado Valley to stride boldly while Sparkling Success chased gamely on his outside. The third quarter was covered in 28.7 seconds. At the top of the straight, Tornado Valley and Sparkling Success were set for an epic stretch battle but Tornado Valley failed to yield while Sparkling Success tried valiantly. Tornado Valley held Sparkling Success by 1.9m while Sky Petite was further 11.3m away in third after sitting one out/one back throughout. The final split was covered in a very slick 27.7 seconds. The winning mile rate was 1:57.2 – well outside of the track and race record of 1:56 held by Keystone Del when successful in 2016. Tornado Valley is raced by Queensland based owner Norm Jenkin (of Flashing Red fame). It is the second time Andy Gath has prepared the winner of the Grand Prix after scoring with inaugural winner, former star trotting mare La Coocaracha back in 2001. An obvious long term target will be the recently re-introduced Inter Dominion series which will be staged in Victoria later this year. Tornado Valley joins Amaretto Sun (Dominion) and Sparkling Success (Great Southern Star) as winners of an Australian Pacing Gold Trotting Masters event this season, the final two legs will be staged in Auckland next month. And the race to be crowned the 2017/18 APG Trotting Master is very much alive. The $100,000 H R Fisken & Sons ANZAC Cup is scheduled for April 20 while the $150,000 Canam Rowe Cup will take place the following week, both events held at Alexandra Park. 7 9:30pm SEELITE WINDOWS & DOORS AUSTRALIAN TROTTING GRAND PRIX (GROUP 1) 2240M $100,000 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      Fr4 4 Andy Gath Kate Gath   $ 12.20   GS L 1 SWAB   BAY GELDING 6 by SKYVALLEY NZ out of BEGIN (NZ) ()  Owner(s): Jenkscraft Pty Ltd  Breeder(s): P L Gaugler, T M McMillan 2 SPARKLING SUCCESS      Fr6 7 John Meade Chris Svanosio 1.9m $ 1.50 fav  PRU 3WE OLM 2 3 SKY PETITE      Fr5 6 Dean Pattison Michael Stanley 13.2m $ 23.80   PRS GS 4 4 SAVANNAH JAY JAY      Fr3 3 Stan Cameron Neil McCallum 14.3m $ 60.20   PRS GS 3 5 REGAL PEPPERELL      Fr1 1 Michael Barby Anne-Maree Conroy 15.0m $ 36.10   PRS BB ODM 5 PH RR HUE USL 6 VINCENNES      Sr2 9 Anton Golino Jason Lee 16.6m $ 18.80   8 3WL 7 MAORI TIME      Sr1 8 Brent Lilley Gavin Lang 19.9m $ 12.60   PRS 12 3WLT 8 MY TRIBECA ITA      Fr2 2 Anton Golino Nathan Jack 21.7m $ 9.30   6 9 KYVALLEY BLUR USA      Sr3 10 Brent Lilley Chris Alford 22.6m $ 10.30   10 3WLT Scratchings   THE BOSS MAN 5 Track Rating: Gross Time: 2:43:2 Mile Rate: 1:57:2 Lead Time: 45.2 First Quarter: 30.9 Second Quarter: 30.7 Third Quarter: 28.7 Fourth Quarter: 27.7 Margins: 1.9m x 11.3m   Chris Barsby

The Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board today heard a matter in regards to a charge issued by HRV Stewards under Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 190(1) against licensed trainer Maryanne Laffan. AHRR 190(1) reads as follows: A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances.  The charge under AHRR 190(1) issued by HRV Stewards against Ms Laffan related to a post-race blood sample collected from the horse ‘Westvillageemily’ after winning Race 4, the ‘Great Northern Super Crisp 3YO Pace’, on 25 July 2017 at the Kilmore harness racing meeting. Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) reported that analysis of the blood sample revealed the sample to contain a prohibited substance, namely alkalinising agents as evidenced by a total carbon dioxide (TCO2) concentration in excess of 36.0 millimoles per litre in plasma. This analysis was confirmed by referee analysis of the blood sample at the Racing Science Centre in Brisbane. Ms Laffan pleaded not guilty to the charge before submissions were heard from HRV Stewards and Mr Andrew Peace, acting on behalf of Ms Laffan.  The charge against Ms Laffan was subsequently found proven by the HRV RAD Board In determining penalty the HRV RAD Board considered the following: The serious nature of this particular rule breach, which was evidenced by a very high TCO2 concentration of greater than 39 millimoles per litre in plasma; Ms Laffan’s not-guilty plea; Ms Laffan’s disciplinary record, which included a previous TCO2 matter; Previous penalties for similar offences and the need for consistency; Specific and general deterrence; Ms Laffan’s personal circumstances put forward by her representative. In considering all of these matters, the HRV RAD Board disqualified Ms Laffan for a period of 12 months, deemed to commence immediately. The HRV RAD Board also ordered, under AHRR 195, that ‘Westvillageemily’ be disqualified from Race 4 at Kilmore on 25 July 2017 and the placings amended accordingly.  HRV RAD Board Panel: John Doherty (Deputy Chair), John Kearney, Kerry Willcock Harness Racing Appeals & Disciplinary Board 

Remember that old hit song "I Did It My Way”. Consider the driving performance of Glamorganvale-based 21-year-old Nathan Dawson. He has been on the upward trajectory for the past three seasons. After a fairly ordinary first two years, Dawson took stock of the situation. Relying only on his own ability, Dawson let his driving do the talking, and talk it did. His lifetime stats from 3852 starts have produced 396 wins, 394 seconds and 410 thirds for a staggering $1,779,952. There have been no superstars hitched to the Dawson sulky to date, just a sprinkling of "handy” metro and country horses. The rest have been very much "bread and butter” conveyances. Dawson has three great factors, which underpin his success. He can jump up on a horse for the first time and form a working relationship in a few laps of a race day warm-up. Secondly, he does his form accurately and drives to his horses ability. Thirdly, he has a level head. Dawson has been busy "doing it his way” this week. This includes a very successful trip to Inverell NSW last Sunday, with four drives for four wins, and a week's total of 10. This supports his current season statistics of 538 drives for 82 wins, 70 seconds and 63 thirds. Memorial meeting ANOTHER early reminder: This time for Labour Day, Monday, May 7. Centrepiece will be the inaugural running of "The Trevor Perrin Memorial”. Details are to be finalised but it will be a big day as we celebrate the input and sponsorship gathering skills of the late Trevor Perrin over many years of service with the Marburg Pacing Association. Marburg excitement builds WE have just 14 days to the heats of the "Whiteoak Capital”-Goldstrike Series. The major event will be raced in a format similar to the Rocklea "Pot Of Gold”, an event which put the 530metre Rocklea Showground on the national stage. Heats will be drawn on class with all runners starting from the front line. Come the final, qualifiers will take their correct marks with 10 metre increments to a back mark of 50m, which will make for a very exciting race. Things are positive at the Marburg venue with track surface maintenance completed. In coming weeks, the Skills Alliance Group will be busy with the mowing etc, and the new video tower. The tower will provide the overhead shot down the home straight and will be erected by former trainer/driver,Glenn Wilkins. There is nothing so pleasing as a country venue with fresh mown grass, green trees, good food and happy patrons. Marburg intends to supply all four as a backdrop to a great day's harness racing, shared outside, thanks to our first Sky Channel/TAB meeting. Handy tips SELECTIONS for Albion Park tonight. R1: Box trifecta in four 1-2-4-6: Fire And Ice (G Whitaker)-Karloo Mac-Kyms Boy (M Elkins)-Gloveman Gilly (N Dawson). R2: Box trifecta 1-5-8: The Harlem Hammer (N Dawson)-Mach Sam (P Diebert)-Only One Promise (S Doherty). R3: E/w 4: Remember Them (N Dawson). R4: Box trifecta 2-4-9: The Pacman, Georgia Grace (N Dawson)-Outlaw Fella (G Dixon). R5: Quinella 1-8: Casino Tommy (P Diebert) and Firebby (D McMullen). R6: Quinella 2-7: Heavens Hint (D McMullen) and GetIn The Groove (L Weidemann). R7: Quinella 5-6: Maretti (D McMullen and Cotton Cold Candy (P McMullen). R8: Box trifecta 7-8-9: Royal Counsel D Graham)-Frankie Rocks (G Dixon)-Constantly Sideways (G Whitaker). R9: Box trifecta in four 3-4-6-8: Majestic Major-Village Witch (N McMullen)-Beaver (T Dawson)-Better Than Special (S Doherty). R10: box trifecta in four 4-5-6-8: Kip Keino (A Richardson)-Maybeto Themax (C Petroff)-Foursharesmorebeers (T Dixon)-Releven Dream (P McMullen). Honour board The leader board went from wide spread wealth to monopoly in the space of seven days. Darrell Graham returned to the trainer's throne with eight winners for the week. He even went to Inverell and bagged a double. Nathan Dawson hit double figures in the bike. Most pleasing efforts were Tim Gillespie's race to race double of Getinanhangon plus Majordoit at Redcliffe on Thursday, Calvert Hotshot for Ray Cross and Matt Elkins at headquarters on Sunday, and Blue Eyed Creation driven by Justin Elkins at Redcliffe for dad Greg Elkins. Ipswich factor: 40/59. Albion Park, March 2: Somewhereoverarainbow (Adam Sanderson for Shannon Price); Maybetothemax (Chris Petroff for Ron Sallis); The Harlem Hammer (Nathan Dawson for Doug Lee); Only One Promise (Adam Sanderson for Shannon Price); Momkseaton (Chris Petroff for Jay Edmunds); With Authority (Nathan Dawson for John McMullen); Rory Mach (Jacob Wallace for Darrell Graham). Albion Park, March 3: Constantly Sideways (Gary Whitaker for Bill Crosby); Royal Counsel (Adam Sanderson for Darrell Graham); Feel The Courage (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin); Needle (Gary Whitaker for Brad Connelly); Georgia Grace (Adam Sanderson for Shawn Grimsey). Albion Park, March 4: My Ajaye (Hayden Barnes for Josh Moore); Cotton Cold Candy (Chris Petroff for Jason Carkeet); Black Belt (Adam Richardson for David Rodger Jnr); My Lady Linda (Adam Richardson for Lee Storie); Moonlight Butcher (Dan Russell); Calvert Hotshot (Matt Elkins for Ray Cross); Time Traveller (Adam Sanderson for Darrell Graham); Norahs Fling (Adam Richardson for Denis Smith). Inverell, March 4: Invite Only (Nathan Dawson for Darrell Graham); Courageous Leo (Nathan Dawson for Darrell Graham); Our Major Day (Nathan Dawson for Richard March); Clintal Do (Nathan Dawson for Richard March). Albion Park, March 6: Lyka Version (Nathan Dawson for Doug Lee); Maybetothemax (Chris Petroff for Ron Sallis); Supaliner (Adam Sanderson for Darrell Graham); A Good Chance (Matt Elkins for Donny Smith). Redcliffe, March 7: Pale Bear Boo (Nathan Dawson for Mitchell Dawson); Couldn't Be Told (Nathan Dawson for Daren Garrard); Western Jewels (Nathan Dawson for Shawn Grimsey; Colada Rose Gary Whitaker for Max Olive); The Frame (Darrell Graham); Bronski Mckenzie (Narissa McMullen for John McMullen). Redcliffe, March 8: Private Jujon (Pete McMullen for Ross Jackson); Getinanhangon (Tim Gillespie); Majordoit (Tim Gillespie); Cryptic Chance (Chris Petroff forGreg Elkins); Blue Eyed Creation (Justin Elkins for Greg Elkins); Mister Hart (Stacey Weidemann for Darrell Graham). by TROT TACTICS with Denis Smith Reprinted with permission of The Queensland Times

Owner Rob Watson has unveiled an ambitious international schedule for his harness racing superstar Soho Tribeca, who will remain with Victorian trainer Michael Stanley. Mr Watson said New Zealand and Queensland Grand Circuit racing would follow a crack at the March 17 Kilmore Cup. Click here for the full story   Listen to Trots Media's Audio channels via   Video: All Clear Every week delivers All Clear, supported by Alabar, where you can get the first word from Tabcorp Park's winning drivers. Click here for this week's video  Audio: HQ HRV GM of Racing Glen Canty, HRA Chair Michael Taranto and Courtney Thompson joined Cody and Michael for this week's HQ. Listen in to the new weekly podcast    Delightful overs Good Form's Blake Redden looks across the big Vic race day to pick apart what the bookies might miss. Click here to get the good oil   The Guerin Effect is thrilled to have Michael Guerin delivering weekly NZ trots previews for Oz punters. Read Michael Guerin's review   Equality on the agenda International Women’s Day offered a chance to stop and savour the trots significant female participation. Click here for the full story   Into the blackbook Trots Media's Cody Winnell dug into Vic's trial videos and placed nine more trial horses in to the blackbook. Click here to get the inside running    

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