Day At The Track
Search Results
1 to 16 of 68
1 2 3 4 5 Next »

Trainer-driver David Moran took Lochinvar Art behind enemy lines in Ballarat on Saturday night, but it proved a hostile experience for the four-year-old with local Major Times overpowering the Victorian record holder. Next weekend's planned showdown with superstar Ride High is now on hold after Moran's entire endured a tough run and was eventually beaten into third place in the Flying Horse Takeaway Pace. Moran told Adam Hamilton that Lochinvar Art had pulled up mildly lame in his off front leg and with an elevated heart rate following the 6.7-metre defeat. "I'll get him fully vetted tomorrow and we'll go from there," he said. It was a "teammate" of Ride High's Cardigan stables that landed the knockout blow. Emma Stewart-trained Major Times scored a long-odds triumph after pressing forward to sit outside Lochinvar Art at the bell and then out-toughing him in the run to the line. Driver Jodi Quinlan got to work early on Major Times, but he responded to head Moran's charge early in the home straight and then fended off a late challenge from My Kiwi Mate to score by three metres. The early burn might have been telling for Lochinvar Art, who was bustled forward early by Moran from barrier 12 and took until the end of the back straight the first time to eventually find the front. The lead time was a sharp 41.0 and he had nothing left in the tank after quarters of 29.3, 30.5 and 28.7 as the field zipped home in 27.7. "He did a power of work early. Didn't think we'd have to do that much. A 41 lead time is like a 26 quarter," Moran said. Major Times, who is raced in part by Ride High's owner Peter Gleeson, has now won three on the trot and taken his career record to 18 victories from 41 runs. Dubbed the smiling assassin in the post-race interview, Quinlan couldn't have been more proud of her horse. "This horse is a very good horse and (Stewart's partner) Clayton (Tonkin) has always said that. He told me basically to drive him fairly confident tonight and thought he was fairly forward," she said. "He was winning those races in (regional racing) at Melton and I think people just sort of thought he was probably beating second-raters, but he ran some phenomenal times when he did do that and he proved tonight that he's up there with the good ones, don't worry about that."   HRV - Tim O'Connor

There's been plenty of winning and potentially more to come but it's been an emotional few days for John Justice, who lost a special young pacer to a heart-breaking bacteria. Justice, who takes a team of four to Tabcorp Park today, forecast the health battles of Time Served last Friday and, despite receiving treatment in Werribee, the unraced colt lost his battle on Sunday. "He was a really promising young horse and it still brings a tear to my eye talking about him now. We were devastated on Sunday - it was a hard day to get through," Justice said. "They are like family in the end when you have them for so long. He just kicked out and got a little cut on his back leg and it was the end of his life. "It was a bacteria and it went through his system and we couldn't save him. He was in at Werribee on Friday morning and on Sunday morning they rang me and said he passed away." In an interview on TrotsVision last week at Tabcorp Park Melton, the Toolern Vale trainer-driver spoke about the irony of stablemate Justice Served putting in a courageous winning performance as his little brother fought for his life. And now he's hoping that horse can make it three wins on end in today's Allied Express Pace (1720m) at the same track. Justice Served, who is out of the same mare (Keepers Daughter) as the late Time Served, is likely to start favourite in the rating 68-79 event after back-to-back front-running triumphs in fast time. Justice has four runners engaged on Friday's card and there's plenty of hype around one of those in particular. Hatchback returned from a spell in dominant style at Melton last Friday and goes in search of career victory number seven in the Alderbaran Park Trot (2240m). Justice said he gave the son of Angus Hall a break following his win at Melton in May with an eye towards some features races later in the year. "I just decided that it was a good time because otherwise he'd just keep racing and really there's no plan. We like to have a bit of a plan with him and that was put him out, bring him back, give him a few runs now and then maybe give him another little short break and have him ready for the good races if they eventually do go ahead," he said. "I wouldn't say he'd be the best one, but he's right up there and it wouldn't surprise me at all if he improved a bit more and he was dominant for a while. "I just think maybe as he gets a bit older that might happen, when he gets into the older feature races."   HRV - Tim O'Connor

A night at Melton doesn't get much better for young up-and-coming drivers than the one Kyal Costello experienced on Friday. The 19-year-old ticked off three significant career milestones from his book of six drives at Victorian harness racing headquarters. Costello scored victory with Mario Azzopardi's Radical Major in the Woodlands Stud Pace (1720m) and then captured his first-ever double at a single meeting when taking out the Breckon Farms Maiden Pace (1720m) with odds-on favourite Charisma King for trainer Peter Peacock. Costello then picked up his maiden metropolitan winner aboard Delightful Jazz for his new master Freddy Taiba in the $20,000 TAB Long May We Play Pace (2240m). That success also completed a breakthrough treble in the gig. Costello, who now lives and works at Taiba's Sunbury property, went awfully close to making it four with stablemate Zoliver, who just fell short in the Nevele R Stud Pace (1720m). "It was really good," Costello said of Friday night's results. "It was a shame I couldn't get the last over the line for the fourth, but what can you do?" Costello, whose father Brad is a hobby trainer, has been working for Taiba for the past fortnight and says he is keen to try and make a career in the sport. "If I can keep progressing the way that I've been going, I think I might be able to make a living out of it. That's the goal," he said. Costello's big night at the office didn't land him outright driving honours, however. He was forced to share that honour with John Justice, who scored victories with his horses Pippo Nien, Justice Served and Hatchback. Much was made about the return of Hatchback to the races and he didn't disappoint. After stepping cleanly from the standing start, the four-year-old Group 1 placegetter made a one act affair of the Alderbaran Park Trotters Handicap (2240m) with a dominant front-running success. His 14-metre triumph was the sixth of his career. The win of Justice Served, who narrowly held off Zoliver, was also a special one for the stable. "I reckon he did that run tonight for his little brother... he's in Werribee Hospital fighting for his life," Justice said on Friday. "It was ironic Justice Served went so good tonight for his brother." Justice's treble also secured him training honours on the eight-event card. Racing will return to Melton next Friday night.   HRV - Tim O'Connor

There’s a real swagger in the step of Sunbury trainer Freddy Taiba regarding the chances of his striking stallion Zoliver returning a winner this evening. The four-year-old horse has not been seen at the races since a fourth placing at Tabcorp Park Melton in early May, but his master is confident of a first-up success in the Nevele R Stud Pace (1720m). "He’s first up but the short trip will suit him and he’s got a good barrier. We’ve got a young up-and-coming driver on him (Kyal Costello) so he’s learning as well, but I’m quite bullish about his chances actually," Taiba said. "He’s been working pretty well at home against pretty good class horses and running time. He’ll be pretty spot on. Naturally he’ll improve, but I’m expecting a real forward race from him." Taiba said there hadn't been any issues with Zoliver during his time on the sidelines and expected him to roll to the front from his barrier two draw. "You've got to take advantage of the barrier so that would be most likely," he said. The horse is named after the children of Taiba's brother Hass, with Zoe and Oliver combined to make Zoliver. And while he has already won five races - most recently the listed J & A Mazzetti Eastern Challenge at Kilmore - Taiba is expecting plenty more from the bay son of Mach Three. "He's a smart animal and he's just taking a little bit of time, but he's definitely right up there with some of the better ones I've had," he said. "He's only a lightly raced four-year-old stallion so he's got a big future ahead. The penny is starting to drop with him now, he's just starting to learn what it's all about. "He was competitive against the likes of Lochinvar Art, Demon Delight, Malcolms Rhythm and all that, so he will definitely come back better and stronger this prep." While Taiba says Zoliver is the best chance of his five runners on Friday night's Melton card, he also likes stablemate Our Road To Mecca in the TAB Long May We Play Pace (2240m). "I'm extremely confident she'll bounce back this week," he said.   HRV - Tim O'Connor

Cash Lover's perfect preparation stretched to a fifth successive victory on Saturday night as she again stamped herself as one of the state's most promising trotters. Myrniong trainer Jess Tubbs has the daughter of Ready Cash airborne this time in and a dominant front-running success at Shepparton took her record to six wins from 12 career starts. Tubbs' husband Greg Sugars was at the controls and took the mare straight to the front where she was able to dictate terms over key rival C K Spur, who was forced to race on her outside for the 2190m trip. Cash Lover slipped clear of the field rounding the home turn and cruised in for an easy four-and-a-half metre triumph. "This prep she has sort of taken all before her and just got better with every run," Sugars said. "We tried to look after her for her first few runs as she was slowly stepping up in grade and (Saturday night) we had our main danger drawn to our outside, so we thought we better be a bit more positive and see if we could control things out in front. "We got good sectionals out in front, but she did it quite comfortably so I'm very pleased." Watch the video here. Sugars said there were no imminent major plans with the horse given the current regional racing structure, but hoped the Vicbred Super Series would be able to get up and going late in 2020. "We will just keep picking out races like this that are suitable and work our way through the grade," he said. "She is Vicbred, so if it eventuates that we can get that series up off the ground again, that's obviously where she will be aimed at later in the year." Bred by Yabby Dam Farms, Cash Lover is owned by Wayne Stewart, who bought the horse as a broodmare prospect and only decided to race her after she showed some ability in early training. The daughter of Lucky Love won one race during her first preparation and after galloping at her final start before a break in February, has gone on to score impressive wins in all five races this campaign. She has won at Melton, Ballarat (twice), Bendigo and now Shepparton to take her career prizemoney to over $30,000. It proved a good night at the office for Sugars, who backed up a race later with a superb winning drive aboard Kerryn Manning-trained Rupert Of Lincoln, who soared home from three-back the pegs to claim the Barastock Pace. Winning doubles also went the way of trainers Manning and David Miles and drivers Chris Alford and Jayden Barker. The brilliant return of David Moran's superstar Lochinvar Art stole the show on Saturday night, while Wobelee led and got the better of McLovin, and the long-odds win of Denis McIntyre-trained and Michael Bellman-driven Dot The Eye shocked many punters when he returned in excess of $90 in the last race of the evening.   HRV - Tim O'Connor

Persistence will eventually pay off for young reinsman Jordan Leedham, who goes in search of a long-awaited maiden winner in the sulky this evening. The 17-year-old former Tasmanian has been living and working with Shelbourne trainer Kate Hargreaves for the last 10 months or so and has been getting regular opportunities on the racetrack to learn his craft. So far, his 20 drives are yet to yield a victory, but two second placings have whet the appetite for a breakthrough victory. Most recently, Leedham was aboard Hancocks Hero when he was run down by Hard Rock Shannon in a race at Bendigo last week. "My heart jumped when I saw the one coming up on the inside and just beat me, but you can't do much about it I guess. That's part of racing," Leedham said. He doesn't have any family history in harness racing, but has left school in a bid to make the sport his livelihood. "I want to give this a crack," he said. "It's really exciting and your adrenaline gets pumping through you when you're out there. It's good just to have some fun and try and make a living out of it." Tonight, Leedham is back in the gig and will be behind Hargreaves-trained Streitkid, who lines up in the Ballarat Laundry Commercial Pace at Bray Raceway. Leedham has partnered the horse once before - for a down-the-track finish at Bendigo in early June - and thinks he's some sort of hope in the NR 61 to 75 clash. "He's not without a chance. He's been going pretty good without some luck. Hopefully he's thereabouts," he said. "It will be good when (my first winner) happens, but I guess I've just got to keep at it until it does." Streitkid won't be able to use his customary gate speed this evening after drawing barrier eight, but Hargreaves is still hopeful of a forward showing. "He has been going really well without much luck. I expect him to run another great race and with some luck is a winning chance," she said. Streitkid will chase his first win since mid-May and 13th overall when he races at 7.30pm.   HRV - Tim O'Connor

A 54-metre thrashing of his rivals in a faultless trotting display as a two-year-old looked to be the start of a promising career for young squaregaiter Ollie Jack. But that success in early 2019 seems like an eternity ago for Berringa trainer Beau Tindale, who has been desperately searching for the key to unlock the horse's potential once again. Since that debut success, the son of Peak has raced 10 times for nothing better than a couple of third placings in Ballarat. Tindale, who trains in partnership with his wife AJ, said Ollie Jack was spelled after his second run due to serious hematomas in his legs and was not seen again at the racetrack until February this year. "We couldn't push on after that and so we put him in the paddock and waited for them to heal up and come good," he said. "He's been a little disappointing since. He's a hard horse because I still believe he's got it. Last start (at Melton) it was a better run for him, but there's still something holding him back. "Sectionals and times he can run at home, a couple of times there I thought he was pretty well right and he will let me down at the races." Despite some heavy defeats in his past three outings - by a cumulative total of more than 200m - Tindale is optimistic of his horse's chances in tonight's Terang Co-Op Trotters Handicap. "I changed a bit of work around with him from his last run and he hasn't raced for a few weeks. I'm pretty confident he will go a lot better this week to be honest," he said. "I've worked him completely different to how I normally work him, his fitness has improved dramatically and one thing I wasn't able to do before with him was give him the work I thought he needed because he would go off his feed. "I slowly increased it up to him and gradually got him to where I wanted to be working him and his work last week and going into this race has been really good. I'm just hoping he can run a better race for us." Ollie Jack is named after the son of owner-breeder Adrian Chattenton, who is Beau's brother-in-law. The Tindales have two other runners on tonight's card with Spacewriter engaged in the South West Conveyancing 3YO Pace and Rosarito Miss in the Betta Home Living Horsham Pace. "I'm pretty confident in all three horses that they are fit and ready to run a big race (tonight). We just need a bit of luck in racing," Tindale said.   HRV - Tim O'Connor

Champion reinsman Chris Alford believes driving Wobelee to utilise his burst of high-end speed will be important as he looks to match it with the sport's top squaregaiters on a regular basis. The son of Down Under Muscles won numerous races at Group 1 level as a youngster, but hasn't been able to achieve the feat since joining open company. He's got plenty of time to reach those heights and shapes, at least according to some, as the horse ready to take the mantle of Australia's next top trotter. "It's hard to say really. I know he's got the ability to do it ... he's probably more of a speed horse though than he is a strong horse, which sometimes can play against you in some races," Alford said. "His speed takes him a long way and if I drive him for his speed I'll be more than happy." Alford pointed to a recent trial at Kilmore to exemplify Wobelee's raw speed, with the horse zipping home in a 55-second last half. "They only went slow early because it was a trial, but not many trotters would run a half in 55 at Kilmore and that's his main thing," he said. "He's only had like 30 starts so he's still got a bit of toughening up to do, but I think he's come a fair way since he started racing these really good ones. He's not going to beat them out of turn like he did when he was a baby, but I'm sure when he gets the right runs he can beat them." MORE: CAN RIDE HIGH BREAK BRAY RACEWAY RECORDS? Wobelee, who had a long lay-off through injury during the back half of 2018 and early part of 2019, produced one of his career-best runs when a narrow second to Tornado Valley in The Knight Pistol early this year. That performance pushed Kate Gath, who drove the winner, to say he could follow in the footsteps of her Inter Dominion champ. The Alison Alford-trained gelding is only two runs back from a spell and will come up against guns McLovin and Savannah Jay Jay for the second-straight start this evening at Ballarat. He ran third to that pair at Melton earlier this month, where he tired in the latter stages to be beaten just over five metres. "He went well first-up and then just ran out of puff second up," Chris Alford said. "He'll be a bit more fitter now and it's only a small field. It's a tricky race because there's a fair bit of speed off the front and we know how strong McLovin is." While Wobelee, McLovin and Savannah Jay Jay look three of the key chances, it's hard to discount Sundons Courage, Nephew Of Sonoko and My Skypocket, which weren't beaten far in that same race at Melton on July 4. Anton Golino's Imsettogo would have been a major player, but has been scratched from the event. Ballarat's eight-race card will kick off from 4.58pm, with the last set to go at 8.32pm.   HRV - Tim O'Connor

Matt Craven was reluctant to throw his top trotting filly Pink Galahs into the deep end on Saturday night, but after making one heck of a splash, he's now surely eyeing some of the state's top features with confidence. The three-year-old made it four successive victories this preparation with a sprint-lane success at Bendigo and it appears the sky is the limit for the daughter of Skyvalley, who has now won eight of 13 career runs. "I was very apprehensive coming into tonight," Craven admitted post-race. "It's a little, tiny three-year-old filly taking on horses that have been racing against open company ... free-for-all horses. "I felt it was a huge step for her tonight. The thing that she had on her side was the barrier draw, but even then the pressure is different in this sort of company." Craven confirmed there were some bold plans for the horse, who has placed at the elite level earlier in her career. "The idea is the Oaks and the Vicbred are her grand finals. But she has to, and she is, learning all the time and she's been a much better racehorse this preparation," the Ecklin South trainer-driver said. "Although tonight she was quite keen, she's been much more relaxed and the main thing was to get some racing into her to teach her some race craft. "It's a big ask against these horses, but we felt we had to race these horses and be competitive to be thinking that we're a chance in those bigger races." Pink Galahs' co-owner Caleb Lewis is married to Laura, who is the daughter of Bryan Healy and granddaughter of Ric. The Healy family bred Maori Miss, the mare who instigated arguably Australia's most famous trotting breeding, line which includes the famed Maori's Idol but also Maori Mia, the great-great granddam of Pink Galahs. It was another squaregaiter that produced one of the highlights during Saturday night's Bendigo meeting, which replaced the originally scheduled Melton card. Andy Gath-trained import C K Spur scored victory at his first Australian start, finishing too strong for his rivals despite a tough run. The son of Pegasus Spur was well tried in New Zealand, having had 48 starts for nine wins and more than $130,000 in stakes. Saturday night was his first race track appearance since a down-the-track finish at Cambridge in January. Gath's wife Kate, who drove the horse to victory, forecast more from the six-year-old in upcoming races. "He didn't eat as well as we would have liked when he initially arrived, for a few days," she said. "Then he did and he does now. He's a guts now. I wouldn't be surprised if there's a little bit of improvement in him next time he steps out." While racing was switched from Melton to Bendigo on Saturday, Victorian harness racing headquarters was back in action on Sunday afternoon with an eight-event card. HEAR FROM ALL THE WINNING DRIVERS FROM BENDIGO ON SATURDAY NIGHT:   HRV - Tim O'Connor

Will he or won't he? It's the question many are asking about Reactor Now's ability to measure up to metropolitan grade racing. And if you ask one of the men that knows him best, you'll get a pretty confident answer. Top driver Josh Aiken has partnered his father David's horse in its last seven-straight triumphs, which have come at Shepparton, Kilmore and Bendigo. He's been breaking the clock and winning by good margins, but now comes his biggest test since joining the Aiken stable from Michelle Wight's team last year. "You see it so often. Horses fly through their grades and they hit their mark once they get to that metro level," Josh Aiken said. "He definitely feels like the horse that is going to go on with the job. "He's blessed with a stack of gate speed, he's very tough, he's got good high-end speed and I think he's going to be a versatile horse going forward. "He's got all the right ingredients to take that next step and be a really serious horse. You live in hope as a trainer and a driver so you just hope that it happens. "I'd back him to say that he's going to take that next step and be a genuine country cups contender come summer." Reactor Now, who has won nine of 12 career races, will come from the back row in Saturday night's COGS Regional Challenge Pace Final (1720m, NR 70-79). His main rival looks to be the in-form Eureka, who has drawn in barrier four. "It's an interesting race," Aiken said. "I can probably see a situation where Streitkid crosses early and Eureka comes across and finds the running line, and hopefully I can follow Bullys Delight through and lob in a pretty handy spot, whether that's one-out one back or one-out two back. "I think it will be a pretty fast mile rate. I think it will be a good race." Aiken will be looking to Reactor Now to become one of the pin-up boys of the stable with news top-line pacers Leonidas, Bringitonhome and Ideal Star are all off to the United States on Monday to race abroad. Both Leonidas and Bringitonhome had been engaged to race at Melton, but have been scratched from their respective races due to imminent flights. Aiken said he was looking forward to his first trip back to Victorian harness racing headquarters on Saturday night. It will be the first Saturday evening program since the move away from regional racing, which started back in early April. As well as Reactor Now, Aiken will also partner Sassy Pants in the Alderbaran Park Trot (2240m, NR 70-79). TALKING TROTS ON SENTRACK: Hosts Jason Bonnington and Blake Redden tackle the Tabcorp Park Melton card on SENTrack from 5.30-9.30pm on 1593AM in Melbourne, 1539AM in Sydney, 657AM in Perth, 801AM in Gosford, 96.9FM in Ingham, 99.1FM in Atherton and 1575AM in Wollongong. Click here to listen live and for links to download the SEN app.   The good oil from the Vic trials circuit Tabcorp Park Melton, R4 N5, Ride High The outstanding pacer is on the comeback trail and appeared to be very sharp at his trial victory. He has only suffered defeat once in eleven starts to date but he has only raced twice since winning the Breeders Crown in 2018 with his latest performance being in December. He pushed forward to find the lead and dominated the trial. REPORT Tabcorp Park Melton, R5 N6, Wobelee Put in a slashing trial performance to finish second. He settled down last of the four runners, moved away from the inside on the home turn and flew home late in a slick final half of 56.0 seconds. REPORT & REPLAY     HRV - Tim O'Connor

If paying tribute to a loved one can be achieved on the racetrack, then Kate Gath's stunning four-peat at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday night was the perfect way to honour her late grandfather John Tee. Tee, 81, passed away on Friday after a long-running health battle and Gath was able to say goodbye with a brilliant night in the sulky at Victorian harness racing headquarters. The usually reserved Gath gave a salute to the heavens when she crossed the line first behind Arden Voyager, which made it three wins in succession by taking out the DNR Logistics East Versus West Pace. She then followed up with victory behind Plan Ce, who is trained by her father Peter Thompson and raced in family interests. Further success with stars Eureka and McLovin completed a treble for her husband Andy and capped off a huge night at the office. "(Pop) was always a person to acknowledge birthdays and stuff, so he'd always go to the racecaller who was calling and say it's so-and-sos birthday and it used to drive me mad," Gath laughed. "I hope he was watching because I think he would have been really happy that he was acknowledged in that way and with the connection we both had with the horses, it just seemed fitting really to be able to do that." Gath has fond memories of Tee, who spent more than 30 years at the Port Pirie Smelter where he worked as a leading handler of the concentrate storage bins. While it was more of a hobby and passion, Tee also had a rich history in racing both as a standardbred trainer and racecaller of all codes. He broadcast Gath's first career triumph in the sulky all the way back in 2000 with Rxplore at Whyalla, and was able to share the joy of training a horse his granddaughter was able to steer to victory. "I got home (on Saturday night) and I had like a million messages on my phone. Even from people that you forget that knew pop - everyone nearly knew him from harness racing. Even people like Lance Justice, because they were originally from South Australia, and people like Geoff Webster. "I forgot how well known he was and the amazing life that he had and career that he had as well. In harness racing, in calling racing in general. He loved the gallopers." While Gath stole the show in the gig, the performance of Anton Golino-trained squaregaiter Imsettogo was the most impressive by a horse on the night. After galloping before the start and giving her rivals a huge advantage, the four-year-old mare eventually caught the field and then managed to charge clear in the home straight to win by nearly 20m. Racing returns to Melton on Wednesday night.   HRV - Tim O'Connor

On a night when superstar pacer Ride High stole the headlines for his breathtaking return to racing, it could be easy to forget the return of Savannah Jay Jay to the winner's list at Tabcorp Park Melton. The evergreen nine-year-old showed he will be a major player in upcoming feature races after registering his first success since May 2019 in the Woodlands Stud Trot (2240m, NR 70-120). Given a perfect drive by reinsman James Herbertson, Savannah Jay Jay tracked long odds-on favourite McLovin for much of the trip and then outgunned him in the home straight. "It's super to have him back," Herbertson said. "It was all super at the end of his last campaign and then got a bit of bad news that he'd got a couple of injuries. He's always had bad feet, (Invermay-based trainer) Stan (Cameron) said, and I thought the run had finished, but tonight the old Savannah Jay Jay ... I think he's back." Herbertson and Cameron teamed up to win their first Group 1 race with Savannah Jay Jay in the 2019 Australasian Trotting Championship and Saturday night was just the second time since that the trio had joined forces. Herbertson had been unable to keep the drive on the horse through the early stages of the regional racing model. "It was just super to be able to get back on him," he said. "We've had such a good run and hopefully it hasn't finished. Tonight has given me a big buzz. To win on him again, it means a lot." Just over half an hour later, the return of Ride High didn't disappoint. In fact, the Clayton Tonkin-trained gun's comeback would have exceeded the expectation of most. Kima Frenning had been nervous about her first drive behind the five-year-old, but barely had a moment to worry as the son of Art Major strolled home to win the Vale Rod Osborne Pace (1720m, NR 90-120) by nearly 30m. Tonkin's partner Emma Stewart had declared the horse the best in Australia when fully fit and that statement looks hard to argue based on Saturday night's display. Ride High reeled off a blistering 1:51:6 mile rate, including final quarters of 26.9 and 25.8. Stewart said the horse would be raced sparingly in the lead-up to some of the big feature races, including the Victoria Cup in October. "He'll keep ticking along and stay in work and we'll probably just pick races here and there for him," Stewart said. In an ominous sign for future rivals, Stewart believes there's still "a fair bit" of improvement to come with Ride High, who has now won 11 of 12 career starts. "There's definitely improvement there and to do what he did tonight is just a huge achievement, not only for the horse but for Clayton in getting him to perform so well... he's done a terrific job," she said. It was announced last week that the 2020 Victoria Cup will carry $300,000 in prizemoney, as will the 2021 Great Southern Star for the elite level trotters such as Savannah Jay Jay.   HRV - Tim O'Connor

It was party time for the Nicholson team on Friday night after Bullys Delight returned to racing with a long-odds success at Tabcorp Park Melton. The five-year-old hadn't been seen at the races or the trials since April, but proved he was good to go with a sprint lane victory in the DNR Logistics Pace (1720m, NR 70-77). The horse was given a great drive by Rhys Nicholson - the son of trainer John - who found the early lead and then handed up to Pradason, who he collared in the run to the line. "Thirty-to-one, when we get a winner like that, you know there is a party isn't there? Dad had him spot on and he showed it tonight," Rhys Nicholson said. "He has had a lot of groundwork, the horse. He's been off the place, had a couple of hobbles and Dad has just taken his time. "He said he was ready, I said next week. Obviously the old boy is still right and I'm wrong. He proved it again." Trained in Mt Cottrell, Bullys Delight has now scored eight wins from 48 career runs for more than $60,000 in prizemoney. While there was only one winner, it was a good night for the whole Nicholson team. Stablemates Smart Little Shard and Its Back In The Day both turned in impressive performances while finishing second and third respectively. Ecklin South's Matt Craven took training and driving honours on Friday evening for his winning double. In-form young trotter Pink Galahs made it three wins in succession this preparation by taking out the Alderbaran Park Trot (1720m, NR 61-74) narrowly over stablemate Gus An Maori, before Miss What Usain broke a run of narrow defeats to claim victory in the Catanach's Jewellers Pace (1720m, mares NR 55-66).                                                                                              --Stuart McCormick photo Later in the card, Grant Campbell-trained Glenavril King continued his super sequence of form since arriving at the Great Western stable with a fifth win from six starts. Driver Kerryn Manning had to get busy on the four-year-old a long way from home, but he responded to score a convincing triumph in the TAB Long May We Play Pace (2240m, 4YO and older). "He's quite a lazy horse and you've got to make him do everything and tonight he had an open bridle for the first time," Manning explained. "He was looking at everything. He was looking at the people on the inside down the back and half wanting to pull up and there was nothing near him either. If something (comes) near him, he sort of gets up on the bit a bit. He was very lazy and I had to keep reminding him to concentrate." Glenavril King was trained by Barry Dunn up until April this year, but had only won two of 19 starts. Racing returns to Melton on Saturday night. CLICK BELOW TO HEAR FROM FRIDAY NIGHT'S WINNING DRIVERS:   HRV - Tim O'Connor

It's a formidable partnership on paper and the Emmett and Richard Brosnan team is hoping to build into a successful force out of their new base in Meredith. Richard, a semi-retired champion trainer/driver from New Zealand, moved to Australia to be closer to his children and taken up a co-licence with his son, who has gone alone after a decade-long grounding with Geoff Webster in Bannockburn. It's only a part-time venture at this stage for Emmett, who works full-time as an equine sports therapist, but it's one that has been enjoyable since moving to the new property at the start of the year. "It's really a two-way street. Dad's brought horses over and they wanted to scale down a little bit and I wanted to have a few extra ones so we took a partnership. It's been working really well," Emmett said. "We kind of met in the middle." Emmett said he had originally just trained some of his own horses out of Webster's stables, but had decided it was time to expand. "It basically just got to a point where I had to make a decision ... if I just kept one or two horses and had horses at Geoff's place and continued as I was going or whether I started growing it a little bit more, which, obviously at that point, you need your own space," he said. "I am pleased I made the move, but at the same time it's really early days. At the moment it's a really basic set-up and we are just working hard to get it to a point where it's fully operational. It's a pretty low-key set-up right at the moment, but the horses are still training good off the property." The team fancies its chances tonight at Tabcorp Park Melton with one of the few horses to have connections outside the family. That is Betta Bopper, who is raced by the Ballarat and District Trotting Club Standardbred Group. The daughter of Betterthancheddar has drawn the outside barrier in the small field of six, which will contest the Catanach's Jewellers Pace (1720m, mares NR 55-66). The Melton circuit is one that Betta Bopper enjoys, with two of her four career wins having come at the venue. "I actually think she's right in it," Emmett said. "She does race really good at Melton and does have good closing speed and finishes off her races well. If they do run it along, she'll be right there." Once again, it's a seven-race card at Victorian harness racing headquarters this evening, with the first event set to go at 5.37pm. ALKING TROTS ON SENTRACK: Hosts Jason Bonnington and Blake Redden have another big line-up for today's Talking Trots on SENTrack, which runs weekdays from 11am-1pm on 1377AM in Melbourne, 657AM in Perth and 1575AM in Wollongong. Click here to listen live and for links to download the SEN app. The good oil from the Vic trials circuit Tabcorp Park Melton, R2 N2, Majestic Dream CASH LOVER came out of the gate quickly and took cover behind MAJESTIC DREAM. That pair were able to dominate the trial thereafter with CASH LOVER running down MAJESTIC DREAM right on the line. REPORT Tabcorp Park Melton, R2 N7, Success Counts Trailed the leader DOUG in a slowly run trial and sprinted sharply at the end to win comfortably in what was just a 200m dash up the straight. REPORT Tabcorp Park Melton, R3 N1, Keayang Shady Hasn’t raced since a victory at St Arnaud in November and was able to defeat VETNESS by three metres. REPORT Tabcorp Park Melton, R6 N4, The Hervey Bay Raced without cover and was able slot onto the back of the leader FRIENDS at the mile marker. He came away from the inside on the home turn and got up to defeat FRIENDS in the run to the finish. REPORT   HRV - Tim O'Connor

High quality mare Imsettogo was back on her best behaviour and returned to winning ways in impressive fashion on Friday night. The Anton Golino-trained squaregaiter blew her chances of a fourth-successive victory on May 30 by galloping at the start, but got it all right six days later to take out the Pridmore Electrics Trot (2240m, NR 56-69). The win at Tabcorp Park Melton was the horse's fifth since mid-February and lifted the daughter of Used To Me's prizemoney over $60,000. Driver Darby McGuigan said he had lots of confidence in the mare despite her error at the same track a week earlier. "I think she just tried to go a bit too fast," McGuigan said of the mistake. "There was a line of about five or six of us off the front all wanting to go forward and just as everything has come out with her, she has gone to take that stride too much and jumped up in the air. "It was a bit of a shame because I thought she would have won last week as well. She made up so much ground on the main group and I thought with that run she'd go pretty close tonight as well." McGuigan said he approached the start differently on Friday night. "I just sort of held onto her a bit more. Anton wanted to go back because she is a fiery mare, so if he keeps heading her off the arm she is only going to go one way," he said. "So I was just happy to keep hold of her tonight and go back and just let her hit the line." The Melton card was dominated by husband/wife team Andy and Kate Gath, which combined for a successful treble. Ragnarr broke through for his first win since March and Arden Voyager continued his devastating front-running form with a second successive triumph before Chief Runningcloud ($53.60) blew most out of the quaddie with a stunning long-odds victory in the last race of the night. The son of Lawman hadn't won since December last year and ran last at his most recent try at Melton, but turned it all around with a barnstorming finish in the Niota Bloodstock Trot (1720m, NR 70-120). Sammy Showdown beat Chief Runningcloud by nearly 40m at their most recent battle, but had no answers for the five-year-old when he surged home in the straight. "Rapt that he is back," driver Kate Gath said. "His first-up run was too bad to be true and this week he probably worked the best he has this time in. "It was a terrific win tonight and I'm so happy for the owners. Peter Goudie and David Goudie and everyone else. Dave has got a lot of important friends in this horse and I'm rapt to win for them." Greg Sugars produced drive of the night with the in-form Little Peanut, which weaved through the field from near last to win the Hyland Racing Colours Pace (1720m, NR 90-120).   HRV - Tim O'Connor

Kerryn Manning's long-awaited return to Victorian harness racing headquarters was a successful one last weekend, but it wasn't necessarily the triumphs on the racetrack that gave her the biggest thrill. Manning drove a winner and trained another at Tabcorp Park Melton and treated herself to a long-awaited feast of Maccas on the way home to Great Western. "My most exciting part was getting McDonald's on the way home because I hadn't had it for a couple of months," Manning said. "It was good. I was very hungry by then. I was definitely thinking about it half-way through the night when I was starving." With the state's racing regions partially opening, Manning will be back at Melton this evening with exciting duo The Bull Pen and Rupert Of Lincoln. And as far as racing tendencies go, the pair couldn't be any more different. A recent stable acquisition, The Bull Pen has been pulling hard and over-working in his races while Rupert Of Lincoln is described as a "lazy" customer by his trainer. A former New Zealander, The Bull Pen broke through for his first Australian win at Stawell on May 28 and now sets his sights on the Allied Express Pace (1720m, NR 62-69) at Melton. Manning said she had switched to an open bridle for the son of Tintin In America and hoped that would help him remain calm during the early and middle stages of the race. "Hopefully he'll settle a little bit better and relax in the run a little bit," she said. "He worked good in it but he's good at home so it's hard to tell." Manning said she was unsure if the gelding had the speed to cross the field from barrier six. "He feels quite good and he was still a little bit fat that second run (May 28) so hopefully he has tightened up a little bit more and got a bit fitter," she said. "It's a little bit stronger field (than Stawell) and he's drawn slightly awkward again. I'm not sure what the plan will be at the start - it depends on him a little bit. "He does run on good from behind here at home, so if he did settle back he would still run on well I'd think." Owned by the Butterworth family, The Bull Pen had 37 starts in New Zealand before being sent to Manning's stables following his last race at Alexandra Park in August last year. Stablemate Rupert Of Lincoln was a country cups campaigner last preparation and returned from a spell in winning fashion at Terang on May 24. "He's the opposite of the other one. He's very relaxed and you've got to make Rupert do everything," Manning said. She said it's likely the son of Lincoln Royal would be sent forward from barrier five in Friday's TAB Long May We Play Pace (2240m, NR 79-89). "He's drawn a little bit awkward, but he will probably roll forward and see what happens," she said. "He's always been better up the front of the field because he is a bit of a grinder. He's got a lot of stamina and he tries really hard, so he's got good qualities about him." Friday's seven-race card at Tabcorp Park Melton will kick off at 5.22pm, with the last scheduled to go at 8.30pm. TALKING TROTS ON SENTRACK: Hosts Jason Bonnington and Blake Redden have another big line-up for today's Talking Trots on SENTrack, which runs weekdays from 11am-1pm on 1377AM in Melbourne, 657AM in Perth and 1575AM in Wollongong. The show includes the Friday Good Form panel from noon. Then from 6-10pm it's time to tune back in for Friday Night Trackside featuring Sam Hargreaves and Tim O'Connor. The duo stream on SENTrack (1377AM) for the entire show and SEN1116 (1116AM) from 8-10pm. Click here to listen live and for links to download the SEN app.   The good oil from the Vic trials circuit Tabcorp Park Melton, R2 N7, Struve Began quickly to find the lead and rolled along at a reasonable tempo before sprinting home quickly in the final stages. He dashed home in a sizzling final quarter of 26.9 seconds and scored by a large margin. REPORT Tabcorp Park Melton, R7 N4, Egee Money Settled last of the three runners before moving away from the inside at the 300m. She finished off well to get up and defeat the early leader FORGOT TO REMEMBER. REPORT     HRV - Tim O'Connor

1 to 16 of 68
1 2 3 4 5 Next »