Day At The Track
Search Results
65 to 80 of 1598

A working holiday could not have started any better for visiting New Zealand harness racing horsewoman Mandy Telfer. And after winning first up in the $30,000 Allied Express Jodies Babe last Saturday night, she is looking right down the barrel of back-to-back victories at Tabcorp Park Melton this weekend. “I was pretty happy to get the money– it took the pressure off a little bit,” a jubilant Telfer said. Highly talented five-year-old Our Step Up NZ (Art Major USA-Dance Card NZ (Albert Albert USA) didn’t put a foot wrong for catch driver John Caldow with an all-the-way win in the prestigious mares event. The horse is trained by Telfer’s brother Steve, who is based at Papakura, a suburb of Auckland, in northern New Zealand. “Being the stable foreman, I seem to get the travelling jobs with the horses, but I thoroughly enjoy it, particularly when they show their best,” Mandy said. “Our Step Up only flew in late at night on the Wednesday, but I was rapt the way in which she handled it. I jogged her the following morning and she was fresh as a daisy and then she had a light hopple-up on Friday. “We decided not to change her routine because that’s the way we do them back home and John (Caldow) drove her in the fast work session so he could get the feel of her. “She is really a no-fuss animal.  Nothing upsets her at all and she’s so easy to do anything with. Probably the best way to describe her is that she’s a very, very nice horse!” That seems to be an under-statement. Our Step Up will contest the Happy 70th Birthday Ollie Vicbred Pace at Melton this Saturday night, a race worth $20,000 and restricted to Vicbred mares M0 to M1. Telfer said a back-row draw wasn’t as bad as it seemed, particularly being two off the inside. “She has come through her first run of this campaign out here really well. I’m thrilled how bright she is and I really believe she goes better coming from behind,” Telfer said. “But there are some nice horses in the race, so we’ll find out how we are measuring up. “All going well I think Steve is keen to look at the Tenderprint C4 to C8 heats and $25,000 final at next month’s Mildura Pacing Cup carnival. “Then it will be back to Melton for a few more feature mares races including the Angelique Pace, The Make Mine Cullen and hopefully the Group One Queen of Pacific.” Our Step Up at Melton last Saturday night Telfer said in a Victorian campaign last season in June and July (considerably shorter than what is planned this time) Our Step Up earned over $20,000. “We had wins at Shepparton and Ballarat before running second in a 4yo Vicbred mares heat and then 4th in the $125,000 final at Melton behind Tell Me Tales,” she said. Telfer said the Mildura trip would be nostalgic, as the siblings’ father, Geoff, who lost a battle with cancer in June, 2017, was born, bred and educated in the town. “Then later on both dad and mum, Fran, prepared and drove a big team at Broken Hill where they lived - winning trainer and driver premierships along the way. “Mum, who lives at Ariah Park, a small town in the NSW Riverina near Temora, is one of the owners in Our Step Up. “The horse was bred by Stonewall Stud and is raced by the stud along with the Fillies Syndicate No 9, both managed by my brother Stephen’s partner, Jill Stockman. Our Step Up “There’s been quite a few syndicates mum has got involved with and she loves travelling and watching the horses, even more-so when we bring them out here.” Mandy, who worked for the strong Eric Anderson-Glenn Douglas team at Bendigo for two years, said despite since living in NZ for the past five years, she still enjoyed any Australian trips. “We have relatives out here and I’m actually staying with a cousin in Mark Watson and his wife Michelle at Kyabram,” she said. “It’s nice to get away occasionally as Stephen has 45 in work and on top of that they purchased 12 horses at the yearling sales. So it’s a busy operation although we do have six full-time staff. “The season has been a bit quiet, but things are about to ramp up with some classy two and three-year-olds just back in training.” Mandy admitted she was enjoying a very laid-back time of it, with just one horse under her care. Prior to flying out, the Telfer stable raced a big team of 15 horses at an Alexandra Park meeting at Auckland! Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Ryley Major cashed in on his undoubted talent and crashed through his metropolitan maiden status at Tabcorp Park Melton on Monday night, rewarding his patient Tasmanian connections. A winner of 12 of his 17 starts and now $100,307 in stakes, the six-year-old Art Major gelding had his second start at Melton and on the mainland Saturday when he was comfortable throughout, finding the front from gate five and careering away to a 5.6m win in a 27-second final quarter. Victory in the $20,000 DNR Logistics Vicbred Pace was great reward for trainer-driver Rohan Hillier, who's nursed Ryley Major back from a tendon injury. "As a three-year-old he was unbeaten, I think, in 10 starts," Hillier told Trots Vision. "Then he went amiss, it's been a long road back. He's been off the scene for three years. Fingers crossed he can stay sound." Having not raced since the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series bronze pace at Melton on July 7 2016, Ryley Major won a pair of trials in February and March this year before making his long-awaited return at Launceston on March 17, when he won by 4.6m. That prompted Hillier to jump Bass Strait and make hay while the sun shined. "He's got a tendon, it's not perfect, but at the moment he's going quite well," he said. "He was really good last week first-up from the long break, so we thought while he's sound and racing well we'll come and try and steal some Victorian money." Trots Media 

Exciting Duke Of Wellington won tonight’s 30th renewal of the City of Melton Plate at Tabcorp Park and secured Great Western trainer-driver Kerryn Manning her second Plate success. Fifteen years had passed since Manning’s first Plate win, aboard Run Albert Run in 2004, and she declared tonight’s triumph “a big thrill” before adding she felt her four-year-old son of American Ideal was destined for big things. See bottom of article for Manning's list of $50k+ feature race wins “It’s a very nice honour roll (for the Melton Plate) and to join it is a big thrill. I think this horse can be the same as them (top-line past winners), he’s certainly got the talent but he’s still got a bit of learning to do,” she said. Perusing the honour roll of Plate champions reveals names such as Hectorjayjay, Make Mine Cullen, Melpark Major, Shakamaker, Sokyola and Tailamade Lombo just to name a few. Punters put their faith in the Duke and Manning, sending the pair out as a commanding $1.4 favourite. They rolled forward out of the gate, but War Dan ($10.70) and James Rattray found the pegs first and wouldn’t relent to the favourite. “I always thought War Dan may try to hold the front,” Manning said. “I was prepared for that.” The ensuing fight was enthralling, with first and second splits of 29.9 and 29.5 followed by a 28 third sectional and a 28.9 run home. War Dan wouldn’t lie down, but Duke Of Wellington was too classy – despite covering more ground – and held a 1.5m buffer at the wire to record a 1:54.6 mile rate. “He got a bit wobbly at the start … he over-raced quite a bit during the first lap, too. Eventually he settled at the 1200m and I was just hoping too much damage wasn’t done by then,” Manning said. Rishi ran third, with Jilliby Chevy and Somebeachshadow rounding out the top five Plate finishers. Duke Of Wellington is raced by Merv and Meg Butterworth. He has had five runs for three wins with Manning since moving to Australia after a successful New Zealand three-year-old campaign. “He’s had a little time between runs this time in, so he’s still on the way up I think,” Manning said. “His fitness is pretty good. That’ll top him off nicely.” Meanwhile, trainer Stephen Telfer combined with local reinsman John Caldow to win the Allied Express Jodi’s Babe with five-year-old Art Major mare Our Step Up, who led throughout from gate two in 1:54.0 over 1720m. Our Step Up finished 1.5m clear of Reciprocity, who was charging home for Manning in second place, with Share The Road third and Juice Brogdon fourth.  Race favourite Berisari failed to beat a runner home. Highly rated Andy Gath-trained trotter McLovin won the 2Contstruct Scotch Notch Memorial over 2240m in 2:01.0 with Kate Gath in the gig. The last-start Charlton Cup winner made it back-to-back successes by finishing 4.7m clear of stablemate Kingdom Come, with polemarker Jerichos Trumpet third and consistent Savannah Jay Jay fourth. Michael Stanley trained and drove Watch List to win the Group 3 VHRSC Victoria Sires Classic in 1:55.7 over 2240m, the $5.9 second-favourite out-sprinting the $2.1 punters’ elect Crime Writer by 2.1m. Stanley sent Watch List to the front from barrier three early before handing up and using the sprint lane late. Titan Bromac finished third, 3m from the winner, with Perfect Major fourth. Driver Kima Frenning combined with trainer David Aiken to win the night’s sprint feature, the 1200m Quest for Success Stampede, with four-year-old Mach Three gelding Higherthananeagle. Predicted fireworks didn’t eventuate as Frenning found the lead easily from gate two before thoroughly dictating terms in a gross time of 1:22.2 to jog home by 8.7m over Benicio and Vinny Chase, who both followed the peg line, with Vee Rock fourth. If the sparks had flown horses in this race might have broken 80seconds. Check out the full results from tonight’s Tabcorp Park Melton meeting   Kerryn Manning’s $50,000+ Feature Race Wins  1997 Australasian Trotting Championship Final $125k – Knight Pistol  1999 El Dorado Final (3YO C&G) $150k – Sky Strike  2000 Vicbred Super Series (4YO Mares) Final $100k – Jilliby Magic 2000 Chariots of Fire $200k – Lombo Rapida 2000 Vicbred Super Series (3YO Fillies) Final $100k – Jilliby Melody 2001 Vicbred Super Series (4YO Trotters) Final $50k – La Coocaracha  2001 Bill Collins Trotters Mile $50k – La Coocaracha  2001 Australian Trotting Grand Prix $100k – La Coocaracha 2002 SA Trotters Cup $50k – La Coocaracha 2002 Australasian Trotters Championship $100k – La Coocaracha  2002 Rowe Memorial Cup, NZ $100k – La Coocaracha 2002 Legends Mile $50k – Hearts Legend 2003 Australian Pacing Gold Final (2YO C&G) $288k – Kathryn Dancer 2003 Vicbred Super Series (2YO C&G) Final $100k – Blatant Lie  2003 Australian Pacing Gold 3YO C&G $100k – Blatant Lie 2003 Australian Pacing Gold 3YO Fillies $100k – Yada Yada Yada 2004 Australian Pacing Gold 2YO C&G Final $300k – Emmas Only 2004 Vicbred Super Series 3YO Trotters Final $50k – Broke As Usual  2004 Vicbred Super Series (2YO Fillies) Final $100k – Kinda Arty Lombo 2004 Breeders Crown (2YO C&G) Final $190k – Emmas Only 2004 Kilmore Cup $100k – True Cam 2004 Bill Collins Trotters Mile $50k – Sammy Do Good  2005 Victoria Derby $150k – Emmas Only 2005 Vicbred Super Series (4YO E&G) Final $100k – Blatant Lie 2005 Vicbred Super Series 3YO Trotters Final $50k – Tennotrump  2005 Vicbred Super Series 2YO Trotters Final $50k – Split Image 2007 Vicbred Super Series 3YO Trotters Final $50k – Donttellmehetrots 2007 George Johnson $50k – No More Trouble  2008 Tatlow Stakes 2YO Fillies Final $50k – Ananz 2008 Victoria Trotters Oaks $50k – Mystic Hush 2008 NSW Sires Stakes 2YO Fillies Final $100k – Ananz 2010 Australian Pacing Gold 2YO Fillies Final $300k – Leilani Lombo 2010 Vicbred Super Series (3YO Trotters) Final $50k – Mister Castleton 2015 A.G. Hunter Cup $400k – Arden Rooney  2015 Mildura Pacing Cup $50k – Arden Rooney 2015 New Zealand Trotting Cup $765k – Arden Rooney  2017 Vicbred Platinum Home Grown Classic Final $50k – Imprincessgemma 2017 Breeders Crown Graduate Free for All $60k – Ameretto 2017 Norm’s Daughter $50k – Ameretto 2018 Ladyship Cup $100k – Our Golden Goddess 2018 Queen of the Pacific $100k – Ameretto 2019 City of Melton Plate $50k – Duke Of Wellington     Cody Winnell for Trots Media

Kerryn Manning (pictured) can't help but have a little giggle when she talks about her stable star Duke Of Wellington. In her words, the son of American Ideal is a "big dopey thing". Despite his quirks, the lightly raced four-year-old has undeniable class and looks destined to become a regular performer at the top level. "I'm not sure how much talent he's got, but he shows quite a bit at this stage so hopefully he can keep building on that," the Great Western trainer said. "He's very large, very heavy and very dopey. "He feels like you aren't going very fast, but you are. That's a good thing..." Bought by prominent owners Merv and Meg Butterworth after nine career starts, Duke Of Wellington then claimed the Group 2 Southern Supremacy Final at Ascot Park before heading to our shores. His four Australian runs have returned two placings – including an eye-catching third in the Group 1 TAB Multiplier 4YO Bonanza (1720m) – and wins at his last two starts. And the most recent demolition job in the DNR Logistics Pace Final (2240m) at Tabcorp Park Melton has him a warm favourite to make it three on the trot at the same venue this Saturday night. Manning will be in the sulky for Duke Of Wellington's crack at the Group 2 City of Melton Plate XXX (2240m). "Obviously it's a fairly solid and strong field, so he's going to have to be at his best to beat them, but he certainly has a bit of a draw advantage (barrier four) on some of the better ones in it," Manning said. Looking forward, Manning and the Butterworths have plans to take the horse to some feature races in Tasmania or back home in New Zealand. It won't be an ultra busy night for Manning at headquarters tomorrow, but it could still prove a memorable one. She will drive her father's horse Reciprocity in the Group 3 Allied Express Jodie's Babe (1720m). Manning will also be at the controls of Maree Campbell's Lucinda Mac, which looks a nice chance from the good draw in the Economix Vicbred Trot (1720m). And her night should finish on a high in the last race of the program, the Atherstone Pace Final (2240m). Manning's husband Grant Campbell will drive Yankee Lincoln, which is a red-hot favourite to win the C1 only event. Manning also prepares this son of American Ideal for the Butterworth family. Tim O'Connor

A mighty battle between two very fine fillies may be a lovely taster of things to come this season as Emerald Stride added a second Group 1 win with a last-stride victory. Fremarkspoetry would have lost few admirers in the IRT Need For Speed Princess Final when she overcome missing the start by 15m-plus before circling the field and boxing on bravely for trainer Courtney Slater and reinsman Glen Craven, ultimately beaten only a half-head. Emerald Stride’s trainer-driver David Miles was willing to cede the lead to Fremarkspoetry when she arrived and then made his play in the final stages, drawing on his pacing-bred trotter’s great finish to capture the bulk of the $50,000 purse. “The second filly was enormous. I actually did get a little glimpse of how far back she was and I thought we might have been holding the front there for a while,” Miles told TrotsVision post-race. “This filly’s quite quick.” With a Redwood win and Breeders Crown placing in the bank, Emerald Stride’s carving out quite a career for herself after a few plan changes in her early days. “She came to me as a pacer, obviously, a Bettors Delight (and) the mare’s a half-sister to Well Said, which (owner) Emilio Rosati paid extravagant amount of money for the mother,” Miles said. “The day I rang him and said he had a trotter he wasn’t real happy, but I’m pretty sure he’s happy now.” And it’s hoped those good times will continue with Emerald Stride likely to see a lot of racing for the remainder of her three-year-old season. “We’ll make hay while the sun shines. Next year they all get bigger and stronger and we are not sure if we are going too and they might get better, so while she’s in the top echelon we may as well go in all those races if we can,” Miles said. “At this stage she will go to Bathurst for the Coronet, then I think she’s got the New South Wales sires, because she’s not Vicbred, and then, of course, the Oaks. So she’s got a little bit of a torrid season, but we’ll just play all of those as they come.”   Michael Howard for Trots Media

Can Tornado Valley go back to back in the Grand Prix? The Gr.1 $100,000 Hygain Australian Trotting Grand Prix takes place this weekend at TABCORP Park, Melton and the reigning Inter Dominion champion is the horse to beat despite a second-line draw in the 2240m mobile start feature. It’s the 4th leg of the six race 2018/19 Australian Pacing Gold Trotting Masters series. And the race to be crowned the Trotting Masters champion is very much alive; Marcoola (101 points) leads from Tornado Valley, Dance Craze and Sky Petite (all with 100 points). Both Tornado Valley and Dance Craze start this weekend in the Grand Prix. The Andy and Kate Gath prepared Tornado Valley is unbeaten in nine starts this season while boasting an overall record of 19 wins from 23 starts since crossing the ditch last year and joining their Long Forest stables. His haul of feature race victories is as impressive as his current win streak which includes a clean sweep of the Inter Dominion series back in December. Interestingly, his first victory on Australian soil came via this event last year, the Skyvalley gelding proved too slick for Sparkling Success and Sky Petite in solid time which announced his arrival as a major force in the trotting ranks. Following his triumph in the Grand Prix last season, Tornado Valley would win another six races in succession before tasting defeat again. At his most recent start two weeks ago, Tornado Valley scored a tradesman like victory in the Knight Pistol which followed a setback and ultimately ruled him out of the recent Great Southern Star. The last trotter to go back to back in the Grand Prix was the great New Zealander Stent (2014/15) while champion trotter Sundons Gift holds the record with four consecutive victories in the event (2007/08/09 & 10). Tornado Valley starts from gate 11. The Gath stable is also represented by another former Kiwi performer in McLovin, unbeaten in three local starts against easier opposition. While rising in grade he must also overcome a nasty front-line draw, he starts from the outside in gate 7 with young Zac Phillips booked to take the drive. Great Southern Star winner Dance Craze will carry plenty of support, the last start Bendigo winner is prepared by Anton Golino and will again be handled by Glen Craven. Dance Craze, a daughter of inaugural winner La Coocaracha (2001) is looking to become the fourth mare to win the Grand Prix following on from Allegro Agitato (2005) and Sumthingaboutmaori (2003). The regally bred mare is the only representative of the fairer sex this year and will start from gate 5. Last start Gr.1 $50,000 Menangle Mile winner Big Jack Hammer is chasing his third straight feature race success following his victories in the Dullard Cup and Menangle Mile last weekend. Prepared by David Aiken, the in-form trotter will be handled by Josh Aiken. Big Jack Hammer starts from gate 10. Sydney trained trotters Blazing Under Fire (Blake Fitzpatrick/Jack Trainor) and Tough Monarch (Rickie Alchin/Chris Svanosio) are chasing feature race success and both land handy front-line draws. Blazing Under Fire will start from gate 4 while Tough Monarch starts from gate 6. Both trotters come out of last week’s Menangle Mile where they chased home Big Jack Hammer. The last Sydney trained winner of the Grand Prix was On Thunder Road two years ago (2017). Leading trainer Brent Lilley is no stranger to success in the Grand Prix after scoring with Keystone Del in race record time (1:56.0) back in 2016. This year, the former Kiwi horseman is represented by both Monty Python (Greg Sugars) and Rock Tonight (Brad Chisholm). Sugars scored back in 2013 with Vulcan while Chisholm is taking his maiden drive in the feature. Monty Python will start from gate 3 while Rock Tonight starts from gate 12. In-form locally trained trotters Savannah Jay Jay (Stan Cameron/Neil McCallum), Kheiron (Peter Lane/Chris Alford), Fabrication (David Abrahams/Jason Lee) and Deltasun (Terry Young/Gavin Lang) all boast winning claims. And the quartet all land good draws; Savannah Jay Jay (gate 1), Kheiron (gate 2), Fabrication (gate 8) and Deltasun (gate 9). Gavin Lang is chasing his second victory in the Grand Prix after partnering Sumthingaboutmaori (2003) while McCallum, Alford and Lee are all chasing their maiden success. The Grand Prix is listed as race 7 and scheduled to start at 9.30pm local time. The two remaining legs of the APG Trotting Masters will be staged at Alexandra Park in Auckland during April/May.   Chris Barsby

APG Australian Premier Trotting Sale graduate Alpha Male is poised to provide trainer Emma Stewart with her second Group One for squaregaiters. Chasing just her fourth win with a trotter, Stewart is odds-on to capture the Need For Speed Prince Final. Successful with Manwarra Dollamaka more than a decade ago, Stewart’s second win came with Alpha Male in the Group One Home Grown Classic last December. “I won a race at Geelong with Manwarra Dollamaka in 2005, which was the only winner I’d had with a trotter before Alpha Male,” Stewart said. “That said, trotters haven’t been a big part of the stable.” Sent for a spell following this top shelf victory, Alpha Male returned to secure a Need For Speed Prince heat in Maryborough last week. Despite drawing the back row in Saturday night’s $60,000 Final at Tabcorp Park Melton, the three-year-old son of Majestic Son is rated as a $1.40 favourite with TAB Fixed Odds. “He did very well in his heat and will benefit from the run,” Stewart said. “His work has improved and he’s in pretty good shape “The draw makes it tough, but he is going well enough to overcome it.” Although Montpellier is regarded as the biggest threat as the $5.50 second elect from barrier four, Stewart considers Archleo has a major danger. Runner-up to Alpha Male in the qualifier, Archleo is listed at $13 from gate three. “I liked Archleo’s run in the heat and think he will be right in the finish on that effort,” Stewart said. Alpha Male was purchased from 2017 the APG Premier Trotting Sale, with this year’s edition being conducted on Sunday. “We purchased Alpha Male at the Trotting Sale as he looked like a nice type and has certainly turned out that way so far,” Stewart said. “Everything he has done suggests he can develop into a pretty handy trotter.” APG Media

Charlton Harness Racing Club and Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) are joining forces to deliver the first ever Punters Party at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday night, March 16. Charlton will host its Cup night at Tabcorp Park Melton while development continues on the club’s new multi-million dollar multipurpose facility, and in addition to great racing the club and HRV are promising a night to remember for punters in the Legends Room (previously known as the Toolern Room). The Punters’ Club Challenge will be centre stage as the Carroll Brothers, Brett and Darren, represent Charlton, while the HRV GoodForm duo of Jason Bonnington and Blake Redden represent “the rest”. “We wanted to take the opportunity to create a fun and engaging way for people to learn about the best way to have a flutter on the trots and also see how our form experts use their expertise to tackle the punt,” club Marketing Manager Andrea O’Gorman said. “The punters can come and try their luck by buying a ticket in the popular punters’ club, either one or both, and we’ll have rolling progress reports on the Punters Club Challenge throughout screens at the venue and in the room, with MCs Cody Winnell and Toby McKinnon interviewing the punters’ club members and keeping the room updated with how their investments are tracking.” Leading bookie "Tara Tom Hogan" will be one of two bookmakers attending on the night and he'll be fielding in the room at the function for punters to 'Take on Tom'. For just $95 patrons will receive entry to the Legends Room Punters Party, a food and a drinks package from the first race to the last, a stack of entertainment and the chance to win a stack of great giveaways. There will be giveaways galore in the form of “second chance TAB ticket draws”, where losing TAB tickets can be entered into a barrel with draws taking place between races. Already other prizes include several $100 TAB bets and an In-Harness Experience for two ($770 value) courtesy of HRV, a four-person Redwood Rattler package ($380 value) including entry to the annual Seelite Windows and Doors Redwood Classic Day courtesy of Maryborough Harness Racing Club, a table for six in the Terrace Dining Room ($210 value) at Ballarat trots courtesy of Ballarat and District Trotting Club, a $500 Members Draw betting voucher on the night courtesy of Charlton Harness Racing Club to celebrate its 500th member signed, and a Helloworld Bendigo Accommodation Package valued at $1100 courtesy of Charlton and its sponsor. There will be more exciting giveaway announcements as we get closer to the night. “We’re looking forward to putting on a great show, having a lot of fun, getting the room engaged in the punting side of our sport and hopefully making some cabbage,” GoodForm analyst Jason Bonnington said. “The Carroll brothers do a fantastic job volunteering their services right across Victoria to run punters’ clubs and they’re very knowledgeable. “There will be some great banter between us and them and patrons will enjoy hearing different angles to approaching form study.” But the punting side of things is just part of the fun, with an in-room DJ busting out tunes between races, a fully stocked bar and loads of opportunity for patrons to socialise as the night steps away from a traditional “sit-down meal” function and replaces it with a more casual, cocktail style affair. Punters Club tickets are $20 each on the night and you can choose to side with Team Charlton or The Rest. Or you can of course put your faith in both! Places are limited, so get in quick to avoid missing out by contacting Andrea O’Gorman on 0499 701 322. Seats are available on a shuttle bus from Crown Casino on the night at just $20 for a return ticket to and from Melton, making it easy for punters to attend. Ask Andrea for details.    Giveaways at the Punters Party (SO FAR) include: 10 X $100 TAB betting vouchers (courtesy of HRV) Value $1000 In-Harness Experience for two at Tabcorp Park Melton (courtesy of HRV)  Value $770 Four-person Redwood Rattler Package (courtesy of Maryborough HRC)  Value $380 Dinner for 6 in Terrace Dining Room at Ballarat Trots (courtesy of Ballarat Trots) Value $210 Helloworld Bendigo package (courtesy of Helloworld Bendigo & Charlton HRC) Value $1100 Members-only $500 betting voucher (courtesy of Charlton HRC)  Value $500 Legends Room booking options for Punters Party $95 per person Drinks package from first race to the last race, finger food and grazing table throughout night $50 per person  (non Charlton HRC members) One drink on arrival, finger food and grazing table throughout night $45 per person (Charlton HRC members only) One drink on arrival, finger food and grazing table throughout night Book by phoning Andrea O'Gorman: 0499 701 322.

Star Victorian harness racing reinswoman and trainer Jodi Quinlan is learning to be patient, as she continues on the road to recovery from a freak accident at Tabcorp Park Melton on Christmas Eve. Quinlan, based at Parwan with partner Craig Demmler, was kicked in the side by a horse that took fright in the float parking area. She suffered a lacerated kidney and three fractures to her spine, as well as other minor injuries. “I thought I was doing just fine a while ago, so I got out there and helped with the feeds, then spent the next two days recovering in bed as a result,” Quinlan said. “It just gets so frustrating at times, but I’m fully aware now that you can’t rush rehabilitation! “Probably the most important thing is the doctors are happy with my progress.” Quinlan said there was a great deal of scarring on her kidney which was “split” by the impact. “That was the part that really scared the hell out of me and also caused substantial bleeding,” she said. “The concern now is that if I happened to get a knock to the back or kidney, I’d be in big trouble. So that means nothing to do with horses at all at the moment.” On a positive note, Quinlan said her doctors were surprised with how quickly her injuries were healing. “I spent time in hospital recently where I had numerous tests and x-rays and they were thrilled with my recovery, especially the bad breaks in my back,” she said. “The pain has improved heaps and I can slowly walk again – I love it that I can get up and just potter around.” Quinlan said during the first few weeks of being home and under strict orders to rest she had an electric wheel chair to get about the property. “I’ve been a bit of a handful for Craig and my mum (Cheryl), but without their care I probably wouldn’t be progressing much at all,” she said. “Mum has had to be stern a few times and put the handbrake on with me.” Quinlan said she had received overwhelming support from family, friends, industry participants and others. “I was only speaking with (Ballarat trainer) Anton Golino recently and he stressed the importance of listening to the medical experts. Anton hurt his back very badly and knows first-hand all about rehab,” she said. Although Quinlan is going through a tough patch, she’s certainly experienced some of the sport’s highs, with more than 2300 winners in a sparkling career over 28 years, including the 2004 Miracle Mile on Sokyola. Jodi Quinlan driving Sokyola to victory She’s obviously anxious to get back to helping around the stables and, ultimately, back to training, but said it was up to the doctors to make that call. “I feel for Craig because I had over 20 in work when I got hurt, and he got lobbed with all of those on top of his own team,” she said. “To be honest I haven’t thought much about when I might be okay to get back race driving.  I haven’t ventured that far ahead, but I do know that it’s a fair way off. “I’m not that stressed.  I was finding it harder to get in the car and hit the road to drive to meetings anyway. “I really believe that traveling for drives is behind me now. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy it, but I think I’ll be sticking to meetings close to home. “It’s thankfully only the first time I’ve been badly hurt off the racetrack, although I’ve been smashed up plenty of times in races.” Quinlan said her talented trotter Illawong Armstrong, who went to the spelling paddock virtually “the same time I did when I got hurt”, was back in training. “I’m looking forward to seeing him back after a well-earned rest. He’s such a talented horse, who could be anything if he wasn’t so rattle-headed!” Illawong Armstrong has won 18 races from 67 starts for over $214,000 in stakes. “It could well be much more if he just behaved,” Jodi said. “His owners Dr Martin Hartnett and wife Kaye are lovely people and they enjoy seeing him go around. “They are such fantastic stable clients and Martin has been terrific if ever I want to know something about my health problems.” And while Quinlan, like most in the industry, is hoping there’s another good one just around the corner, she joked her next big decision was when to go on holidays to New Zealand. “Natalie Rasmussen is a good friend and she’s been at me to take a break over there.  I reckon it sounds just about ideal for the next step in my rehab!” Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Trainer Kate Hargreaves and reinsman Alex Ashwood are among the next generation of up-and-comers ready to take the trotting world by storm, and they’re more than willing to bring owners who are new to the game along for the ride. The young pair, who have stable newcomer Just Seduce Me in the Woodlands Stud Pace, a $10,000 race for those classified M0 at Tabcorp Melton Park this Friday, have set up shop in Shelbourne after long apprenticeships with established industry players such as Andy and Kate Gath, Kerryn Manning and Emma Stewart. While the pair have a big vision for the future, their focus on Friday night will be on Just Seduce Me, who Ashwood said would be hard to beat if she finds the front. “She had a trial a fortnight ago at Bendigo and (has) improved a fair bit off that,” he said. “She probably needs another run under her belt but, in saying that, and going by her form over the short (distance), if she finds the front she will be very hard (to get past) as that’s where she runs her best races. Hopefully she can hold the lead.” Ashwood, 24, said the pair had built a team of 12 horses – plus “two babies” recently bought at yearling sales – a feat made easier due to the stables, previously owned by Larry Eastman, being readymade for trotters. And he said the large property had plenty of scope for future expansion. “When it was on the market we didn’t hesitate to take it because everything was pretty much done, all you had to do was move in and start training,” he said. “We are 60 acres, so we can get as big as we want, but at this stage about 20 (horses would be) a nice number.” And the pair aren’t afraid to back their judgment at the yearling sales to bring more talent – and new owners – into their stables. “I think over the past three to four years we have bought about five to six yearlings all up; we have more luck buying the young ones than buying a ready-to-go one and like to bring new people into the game,” Ashwood said. “There’s been people already in the game who have bought shares and there have been a lot of people who weren’t in the game who have bought shares as well. They enjoy it and make good friendships, it is good fun.” The pair aren’t strangers to the highs and lows the trots can dish up, with the recent return of two of their best horses – Resurgent Spirit (66 starts for 29 wins and more than $221,000 in prizemoney) and Ideally Say Yes (sixth in the APG 2YO final at Menangle last year) – prime examples.  Ashwood said Resurgent Spirit – who will go around at Swan Hill tonight – is “very close to a win”. But the short-term prospects of promising youngster Ideally Say Yes have been setback by a fractured pelvis. “I took her to Mildura to race in a three-year-old race this week and going up to the gate she did it then,” he said. “She was just below the better ones (last season) and seemed like she was getting stronger and had improved a fair bit. It was just unfortunate that she hurt herself at the wrong time.”   Shaun Campbell for Trots Media

Metaki Majic may not be the first two-year-old to debut at Tabcorp Park Melton but, given her pedigree, there’s a good argument the location for the filly’s first race this Saturday night could be the most fitting. The Art Major filly’s dam - champion mare Make Mine Cullen – holds the record for the most wins at Tabcorp Park Melton with a staggering 29. While Glenn Douglas, trainer of mother and daughter, isn’t counting on Metaki Majic to register her first metro win in this weekend’s $20k Swift Signs Premiere Stakes he is obviously hoping the similarities between the two translate to the racetrack. “Make Mine Cullen was a very relaxed and laid-back kind of mare and (Metaki Majic) seems a lot like her mother in that not much fazes her,” Douglas said. “She always looks like she is happy to do whatever you ask her to; the comparison there with her mum is quite uncanny. “I am happy enough with the way she trialed and what she is doing at home, so we thought we would drop her in Saturday night; I am not expecting big things but I don’t think she’ll disgrace herself. Make Mine Cullen (pictured) isn’t the only member of Metaki Majic’s family with black type form. Her sire, multiple premiership winning stallion Art Major, needs no introduction and Make Mine Cullen, who won 40 of her 80 starts and more than $800k, is no slouch in the breeding barn either, producing multiple race winners Make Mine Heaven and Make Mine Memphis – both by US sire Rock N Roll Heaven. Her granddam, Fake Left mare Intrude, produced seven winners from 11 starters – including $100,000-plus horses Bella Joy, Billy Badlands and Rogers Passion. As a result, Metaki Majic went for $41,000 at last year’s Australian Pacing Gold (APG) sales in Melbourne. Douglas said the lucrative $350,000 APG series – starting with the Victorian qualifying heats at Tabcorp Park Melton on April 26 – was on the radar. “That’s our short-term plan, (we will) certainly try and have her up and about and going for it,” Douglas said. “(The APG series) is probably the end game for the short-term (but it) will all depend on her and how she comes through these first few runs. “I haven’t formed a huge opinion of her yet but she excites me more and more every time we take her out – what we ask her to do, she seems to be able to keep stepping up. “She will have to improve quite a bit more before we start saying she is a good mare, but she is doing all the right things early on.” Douglas, who also has Ozzie Battler and Ozzie Sunshine in the Swift Signs Premiere Stakes, said he was impressed with how his juveniles were going. “Making it to the races early (with two-year-olds) has probably never been my strong suit so I am quite happy,” he said. “Ozzie Battler, I have been very happy with his progression; he has gotten quicker each time he has stepped out and his racing manners are improving all the time. The other little girl (Ozzie Sunshine),  I’m probably more excited by what she did at Bendigo, she did a bit of work from the 800m, she sat in the death for quite a bit and finished on well. “You are comparing them all the time with each other and you get a feel – I think Ozzie Battler is probably the best of the three at the moment; he took to his racing really good and took to his work really quick and really good. But the other two are catching him.” The three two-year-olds are among six horses Douglas has entered at Saturday night’s meeting, which is headlined by the Group 3 Carlotta’s Pride Trotters Free For All. The Strathfieldsaye horseman will also gear up Kotare Mahdi and Vandata in the DNR Logistics Pace for those classified MO and Bernie Winkle in the M2-M4 Hygain Team Teal Pace. “You know what you are going to get from Bernie Winkle week in, week out; I’d love a stable (full of horses like) him,” Douglas said. “He’s just a lovely little horse that keeps turning the till over and paying his chaff bill. “And Kotare Mahdi is competitive with the right run, he’s capable in the M0, how far he goes past that I don’t know, while Vandata has got better with racing; he is low in class but he is a capable horse with a bright enough future. “He certainly won’t disgrace himself either. “   Shaun Campbell for Trots Media

Experienced Victorian harness racing trainer Ron Francis has a sneaky feeling that three-year-old filly Hecs Elect (Auckland Reactor-Shes Elegant (Safely Kept) could just be the horse he’s long been looking for. Hecs Elect became Auckland Reactor's 73rd individual winner, with his oldest crop just four-year-olds. Francis, based at Woodstock, near Yan Yean, has been a hobby trainer pottering around with a small team for more than 40 years. During that time, he has had his fair amount of success with such pacers as Tibur Power (who finished with a wonderful record of 17 wins for $110,000); the injury-plagued Pacesetter (a winner of 12 races, eight of these at the old Victorian Moonee Valley headquarters); Ringtripleowe had 13 wins and 60 placings for $94,000 and Somedreamsomewhere (12 wins, 23 placings for nearly $75,000). “We do think Hecs Elect has the potential to perhaps be our best horse,” Francis said. “She is very strong and can peel off some excitingly quick quarters.” And Hecs Elect gave an exhilarating display of her capabilities on Monday night at Tabcorp Park Melton, with a last-to-first win in the Melton Toyota 3yo pace. After being eased out from her front barrier alley by master reinsman Gavin Lang, the filly sat at the rear before being asked for an effort going down the back straight for the final time. The Auckland Reactor-sired youngster dashed around three wide to be outside the leader and race favorite Allspark on the final turn. Given a bit of rein, Hecs Elect sprinted nicely to score from Final Chapter by 10.5m, with Allspark ($1.70 fav) a further 3.2m back in third spot in a handy 1.56-3 mile rate. To watch the video replay of this race click on this link. While pleased by the win, Francis has been patient in waiting for his horse to show her true ability. “She is the quickest pacer I’ve had over the years.  I decided a while ago in a fast work hit-out to let her quicken up each quarter and the times she was doing were just crazy,” he said. “We’ve had a few glitches along the way as she kept growing and couldn’t handle her speed and then she started tossing her head all over the place. “I’m lucky I’ve got some experienced people in Gavin Lang and Greg Sugars who have driven her, to give me the best feedback and advice.” Francis said the first five times Hecs Elect faced the starter, she was racing in the top-class group. “At her latest effort she was probably in a lower division of her class, but I have to agree with Gavin who said afterwards that there are just no easy races now,” he said. Hecs Elect was purchased for only $7000 at the APG sales.  Her owners previously enjoyed racing her half-sister Somedreamsomewhere (now in foal to Yankee Rockstar), and from all indications, they are in for some more fun. Also, on the breeding side, Hecs Elect has a half-brother in Tightrope who posted 22 wins and 50 placings from 196 starts for $196,000. “We haven’t any big plans in mind at the moment and she will probably go around next week at Cranbourne. Hopefully she brings her best game along again.” Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

It takes a special horse to claim the Victoria Cup, Inter Dominion and Hunter Cup. But it takes a great horse to do it in the same season. Brilliant pacer Tiger Tara joins Preux Chevalier in this exclusive club following his rampaging victory in the Gr.1 $500,000 Del Re National A G Hunter Cup at TABCORP Park, Melton tonight (Saturday). And again, it was brutal power running at its finest. It was a carbon copy performance of both his Victoria Cup and Inter Dominion triumphs this season. Starting from gate three, driver Todd McCarthy fired Tiger Tara to the lead and just kept improving his position thereafter to claim the 2760m feature defeating Our Uncle Sam and San Carlo. The lead time was covered in 81.2 seconds. With Tiger Tara controlling the speed, rivals were making their moves early with Buster Brady moving around San Carlo quickly who was sitting without cover before the All Stars duo of Cruz Bromac and Thefixer made moves and attempted to assert their authority on the event. The first half of the final mile was covered in identical splits of 28.9 seconds. And McCarthy was only starting to up the pressure as he headed into the back straight; Tiger Tara was hiking along while rivals were starting to feel the pain. It only intensified as Tiger Tara charged off the back in a sectional of 27.2 seconds. Tiger Tara widened his advantage with Our Uncle Sam doing his best to hold his place after trailing the hard-running leader throughout while San Carlo emerged late as a place possibility. Both Thefixer and Cruz Bromac gave ground quickly. In the straight, Tiger Tara ($1.90 fav) charged clear and scored easily by 14.5 metres over Our Uncle Sam ($6.80) with another 12.7 metres back to San Carlo ($39.40) in third. The final split was covered in 28 seconds. The winning mile rate was 1:53.2 – easily eclipsing his own track record set when successful in the Inter Dominion back in December at 1:53.9. “He’s an amazing animal and he deserves everything this horse.” Trainer Kevin Pizzuto beamed immediately after the event. The Bettors Delight entire has now won 35 races while his earnings are now in excess of $2.27 million. The victory has also clinched the 2018/19 Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit title following his mauling’s in the Garden State features this term. Tiger Tara has amassed 360 points – Victoria Cup, Inter Dominion & Hunter Cup victories plus a nose second behind Thefixer in the New Zealand Cup at Addington back on November 13. Only two legs of the APG Grand Circuit remain – the Miracle Mile at TABCORP Park, Menangle on March 2 followed by the Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship at Albion Park on July 20. And both events are well within the reach of Tiger Tara. While Tiger Tara and Preux Chevalier stand alone with victories in the Victoria Cup, Inter Dominion and Hunter Cup in the same season, they’re joined by the likes of Koala King, Blacks A Fake, Mr Feelgood and Lazarus as winners of the Big 3 events but across different seasons. Chris Barsby for Harness Racing Australia

MAINTAINING her perfect start to the season, Kualoa completed a timely win at Tabcorp Park Melton tonight. Having her second outing for the term, Kualoa captured the Three-Year-Old Classic for premier trainer Emma Stewart. A Group One winner last season, the filly extended her record to eight wins and three seconds from 12 starts for earnings of $176,760. What made the Kualoa’s victory so well-timed is her sister is set to enter the ring during tomorrow’s Ladbrokes Australian Pacing Gold Sale in Melbourne. The pair are by Art Major from Hawiian Hottie, with the younger sibling known at this stage as Lot 221. An American import, Hawiian Hottie boasts a perfect record from three starters. As for Kualoa – which won her APG heat last season before producing her only unplaced performance in the APG Final – her latest triumph came with Chris Alford in the cart. Caught three-wide early from barrier five, Kualoa worked to the lead before coasting to an effortless six-metre win from Arabella Star, with Tangoingwithsierra four metres away third in 1:57.5 over 2240 metres. “She has come back really well and should continue to get better,” Stewart said. “She had improved in her track work since her first-up run and should be sharper again next time out.” That “next time” is likely to be in a New South Wales Oaks heat at Tabcorp Park Menangle on February 23. Kualoa will be seeking redemption during the series as he APG Final run was at Menangle. “She is working towards the New South Wales Oaks,” Stewart said. “I will have to have a look at the program and see whether there is a suitable race for her between now and the heats. “If not she might just head to the trials.” APG Media

A perfectly timed swoop delivered Team Teal its first Victorian Group 1 when Kima Frenning guided Big Jack Hammer to the Hygain V L Dullard Cup. A plan paid off perfectly for trainer David Aiken, Frenning and owner Domenic Martello with the popular victory reward for an outstanding campaign by the six-year-old gelding.  “It’s crazy,” Frenning said. “He’s been racing so well during the Inter Dominion campaign, I think his best runs have definitely been off the speed and he proved that tonight. He’s a super quick horse and really consistent.” Frenning was able to implement plan A, ceding the lead to Gavin Lang and Save Our Pennys and then biding her time while others boxed on. Outside the leader Temporale and then Red Hot Tooth punched the breeze, but come the final straight none could muster the speed of Big Jack Hammer, who emerged down the sprint lane to score by 1.8m. “Now that he’s up in class a bit he’s probably best driven off the speed,” Frenning said. “He’s a super consistent horse, Aiks has done a really good job with him, Domenic’s given me so many opportunities. This is crazy.”   Michael Howard for Trots Media

Kiwi trainer Steven Reid isn’t letting the cold hard facts of the barrier draw for Saturday’s Hunter Cup dent his confidence.  Because as Reid sees it, last Saturday showed him a good draw can quickly become a bad one and vice versa.  Reid has Star Galleria in the A$500,000 Hunter Cup and Utmost Delight in the A$30,000 Pure Steel at Melton this Saturday.  Both have tricky draws, with Star Galleria drawn the second line and Utmost Delight wide on the front in a small field.  But while Utmost Delight has a class edge on many of her rivals, Star Galleria not only faces the might of the All Stars but the even more unenviable task of giving Tiger Tara a start as he has drawn seemingly perfectly at barrier three over the 2760m mobile.  “That doesn’t look good, especially if Tiger Tara is at his best,” says Reid.  “But often in big races what can seem a good draw can be a bad one and vice versa.  “Last Saturday I thought we had a good draw with Utmost Delight in the Ladyship Cup and she ended up sitting parked in a 1:51 mile rate for the 1720m and the horse who won (Carla’s Pixel) came from the second line. “So I am not going to let the draw bother us too much because the horse is very, very well and we have Tony (Herlihy).  “Sure, Tiger Tara might be too good on his best form but first he has to turn up in that form and even then I just hope there is some early pressure and we can come into the race later.”That looks likely as the All Stars pair of Thefixer and Cruz Bromac are also drawn the second line either side of Star Galleria and if the trio settle back they could all move together.  Whether that is good enough to sit parked or one-one and come from behind Tiger Tara is what we will all find out. “The good news is I couldn’t be happier with my horses,” says Reid.  “The heat hasn’t affected them at all and they seem right at the top of their game.  “Maybe Star can’t win from that draw against Tiger Tara but funny things can happen in big races.”Reid is far more confident with Utmost Delight as she takes on a mixed bunch of free-for-allers in the Pure Steel.  “She was good last week after sitting parked but I am sure she will be even better this week.  “She has really bounced out of the run well and I think she will race very close to her peak.” All going well after Saturday night the Reid pair will head to Menangle for the Miracle Mile meeting, where Utmost Delight will target the Ladyship Mile.   Michael Guerin

65 to 80 of 1598