Day At The Track
Search Results
1 to 16 of 4433
1 2 3 4 5 Next »

It may not be an official family night at Tabcorp Melton Park this Saturday, but Matthew Newberry is hopeful it will be his family’s night in the winners’ circle at trots racing HQ. The Newberry family will have three horses lining up, headed by Tweet About It in the Group 2 Empire Stallions VicBred Platinum Home Grown Classic Final for three-year-old fillies. The filly – who is trained and will be driven by Matthew’s dad, John – faces a strong field over the 1720m journey, which will be only her third start. Matthew, who will drive consistent squaregaiter All Hall in the Lets Get The Party Started 13 Oct! VicBred Trot, said Tweet About It looked to be a promising type.  “She’s had only two starts and hasn’t had that many trials, so we don’t really know what the depth of her ability is just yet, but we are very pleased with how she is going,” he said. “It has been a pretty solid effort to come through from her first start and then sit parked (in the death when coming third) in her heat last week and then go into the final. “She won first up when she led and I think dad will be looking to do the same thing on Saturday night. If she can run a place or – depending on what pressure she cops – potentially even win the race from there I think he said he will want to give her a week off.” Matthew said the Home Grown Classic series, in which qualification was limited to early three-year-old horses who had won less than $10,000 at the time of acceptance, was handy for late-starting juveniles. “In my opinion there is too much money around in two and three-year-old racing, people can end up just pushing their horse and then we don’t have any make it to the Grand Circuit,” he said. “There are a lot of benefits to having these sorts of races that they can come into without having to be racing really hard.” The Newberry family – John, Maree, Matthew and Robert – live on a property of about 155ha in Bunbartha, near Shepparton, home to some cattle but mostly standardbreds, including 11 broodmares. One of those broodmares, Shez Madam Jasper, has produced five winners, including Village Encounter, who will race in Saturday night’s TAB Multiplier VicBred Pace (1720m, M0 to M1). And, in continuing the family night theme, Shez Madam Jasper is the granddam of Tweet About It. “She has so far only had one get to the races that hasn’t won, but that is only a four-year-old we have still got in work,” Matthew said. “And now she’s had one of those winners produce another winner.” Matthew said he expected Village Encounter and All Hall to acquit themselves well on Saturday night.  “(Village Encounter) had been up for quite a while when she won her last race; now she has had a spell and is like a completely different horse in trackwork and around the stables,” Matthew said. “And I was absolutely thrilled with (All Hall’s last start) effort at Maryborough, because I know he isn’t really that tough and, for him to get left parked outside a horse like La Grange and to run the times that they did,  he stuck on really well. “If he goes as good as he did there he should finish close enough.”   Shaun Campbell

A convoy of gourmet food trucks will converge on Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday night October 13 for the revamped Pryde’s EasiFeed Victoria Cup night – the trots’ newest spring party. Taking place under the stars on the night of the Caulfield Guineas and Everest gallops races, Pryde’s EasiFeed Victoria Cup night will be a colourful celebration for all ages. Even the most fastidious of gastronomic connoisseurs will be tantalised by the Pryde’s EasiFeed Food Truck Precinct as the festivity fires up on the luscious lawns of Tabcorp Park –the perfect picnic party location. All the while the fastest horses in the land will come out to play on the track for their shot at the $200,000 Group 1 Pryde’s EasiFeed Victoria Cup, which carries the name of our new race partner. “Pryde’s EasiFeed is a great friend of the harness racing industry and we’re absolutely thrilled to have them on board and helping us to get this party started,” Tabcorp Park and Harness Racing Victoria Sponsorship Manager Bianca Walker said. “They take great pride in their products and service to the harness racing industry, and they’re highly respected by all. We couldn’t think of a better sponsor for this event.” Win great prizes at the official barrier draw luncheon, hosted by the Angelique Club Perfectly positioned on the Australasian trots stage, the Pryde’s EasiFeed Victoria Cup provides a key lead-in race to the New Zealand Trotting Cup – targeted by four Australian entrants this year in Bettermatch, Chicago Bull, Cruz Bromac and Tiger Tara. It is also expected a number of Pryde’s EasiFeed Victoria Cup combatants will go on to contest the 2018 Inter Dominion, which returns to the state for the first time in 10 years on December 1. And the best part of all – admission is free! It’s not only about the gourmet food truck experience, with Pryde’s EasiFeed Victoria Cup night patrons to be pumping to the beats of the on-course DJ throughout the night and invited to rock on after the last with live music by 80’s band Delivered at the official after-party. There will be an outdoor bar–in addition to the Sports Bar and Legends – and loads of dining options for those wishing to make a night of it in the Toolern Room (three-course set menu and beverage package from $89 per person) and the Home Straight Bistro – where patrons have full view of the action as the horses thunder to the line. Families are always more than welcome to enjoy the night’s colour and fun with loads of free kids’ entertainment to keep the youngsters happy. Let your hair down and enjoy all that Pryde’s EasiFeed Victoria Cup night has to offer on Saturday night October 13. CODY WINNELL MEDIA AND COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER  

Maryborough’s final straight presents as a field of dreams for Thursday’s Humbletonian, when 10 of the 95 contestants will break their maiden status. The combatants have collectively contested 679 races without success, but that could all change with the Harness Breeders Victoria-sponsored day and the wait will make the work all the more worthwhile. None have been there and not done that more times than Rebecca Wardlaw’s much-loved mare Sucralose, the Village Jolt four-year-old who’s gone oh-so-close with 10 placings in her 42 starts. “She’s been knocking on the door,” trainer Wardlaw said. “She was a real puller, she would just over race all the time and it has taken a lot to get her to settle. “She would always throw in a gallop right when you need her not too. She’s so close to winning it’s not funny. She loves to run, she just can’t quite get everything right on the day. But she’s just an awesome little horse.” The mare has been in Wardlaw’s keeping for all her starts, having been snapped up after Rebecca’s husband, Stephen, and Wallace Van Niekerk, his workmate at Pyrenees Hay Co-Operative in Avoca, hatched the plan amid their long and varied chats during late-night shifts. It’s a plan that seems certain to soon reap significant dividends, with Sucralose finishing top four in his last six starts including a second placing in the hands of Chris Alford at Kilmore on July 25. “At Kilmore I thought that one was going to be ours,” Wardlaw said. “We were so close.” The trainer’s optimism extends into Thursday’s Humbletonian, when Sucralose will contest race eight – the Harness Breeders Victoria Vicbred Pace – with Mark Hayes to take the reins from gate nine. “I think she’s got a pretty good chance on Thursday,” Wardlaw said. “I prefer her on the outside, hopefully she will run through behind Chris Alford and be somewhere close when it counts at the end.” For those who do salute the rewards will be many. All are Vicbred eligible, so victory for those aged two, three and four would secure their full $7000 bonuses, and in addition Harness Breeders Victoria will gift a $250 bonus to each winner’s breeder and the Victorian Square Trotting Association a further $250 to its successful members who are on course. “I think it’s fantastic,” Wardlaw said. “We’ve got one more crack at it and are hoping to break through. It’s a great initiative at a great track that gives everyone a good opportunity.” In addition to breaking her horse’s maiden the second last day of the season also gives Wardlaw a final chance to break a maiden of her own, having been winless in her 111 starts in 2017-18. “I have had a tough year. If I was to break through I’d be ecstatic,” she said. While success hasn’t been forthcoming it hasn’t dulled her families’ passion for the sport. Her daughter, Tamara, serves as a Clerk of the Course and husband, Stephen, has for 30 years been a track attendant at Maryborough. “We run our own farm, cut our own chaff and grow our own hay and then harness racing is what we do as a family. Some days it’s hard, but we wouldn’t do anything else.” Michael Howard

Top trainer Emma Stewart took over the mantle for the most number of wins prepared in a season in Australia when Tiger Storm won the fourth race at Warragul trots on Sunday afternoon. It was only the second horse Stewart had raced at the Warragul Pacing Bowl during 2018, but Tiger Storm's victory goes down in the record books with the success bringing up 300 victories for the season for the stable, passing the previous mark of 299 wins set by Queensland horseman Bill Dixon in 2010/2011. Tiger Storm ran a a short-priced favourite on Sunday, and went straight to the front at the start of the race for driver Chris Alford, one of four wins on the day for the master horseman who himself has set a national record for winners driven this season. Alford's quartet of victories enabled him to secure the Warragul Driver of the Year title for the fifteenth time. Three of those victories came for Gippsland horseman Gary Quinlan, who was once again crowned Trainer of the Year at Warragul. His winners on Sunday were Scruffy Marshall, Starofsahara and Emiliana. Feature race on Sunday was the Women in Trotting Tribute, to acknowledge the involvement of females past and present in harness racing. The race, for female drivers only, attracted seven starters, and, fittingly, local reinswoman Casey Parker drove the winner, Rocknroll Gold. It was Parker's biggest racetrack success so far, having been a past graduate of the Gippsland Harness Training Centre. Competitors in Sunday's Women in Trotting Tribute staged at Warragul -photo Matt Walker Fellow local Simone Walker drove Montenero to produce a local Quinella. The winner is trained by Michael Hughes, who produced a double on the day, after Express Yourself won the Trotters Handicap. Hughes has recently settled into a new property at Iona, and Sunday's victory by Express Yourself was the first winner from the new facility. It was also the first race success for Michelle Seamons, another past graduate of the Gippsland Harness Training Centre, who owns the talented five-year-old mare. Gippsland trainer Steve Austen was a proud man after his horse Priddy Easy won the first race of the day. Four months ago Priddy Easy suffered a nasty chest injury after a paddock accident at Austen's Labertouche property. He and his wife Karen have nursed the horse back to health, and Sunday's victory was the third for the pacer, which has also run nine minor placings. Greg Sugars drove Priddy Easy on Sunday - his wife Jess trained Fong Nien to win the sixth event to bring up a double for the top reinsman.   Kyle Galley

Emma Stewart recorded her 300th training win of 2017-18 today, the most wins an Australian trots trainer has produced in a single season. Only hours after claiming three Group 1s titles at last night’s TAB Breeders Crown it was back to business for the Ballarat trainer at Warragul, where she achieved the unprecedented milestone with Tiger Storm winning the Leonie Collins and Deb Quinlan 2YO Pace. The victory moved Stewart pass the record set by Queensland trainer Bill Dixon in 2010-11, with Stewart amassing the triple century from just 772 starts, a remarkable 39 per cent win rate. The achievement is testimony to Stewart and her great partnership with Clayton Tonkin, who said they had a real “passion for it and I’m sure when success follows you, you want to work hard because it’s something you love”. Last night’s TAB Breeders Crown delivered three Group 1 wins to Stewart’s stable, with Ride High winning the showcase IRT three-year-old colts and geldings final and Lauriston Bloodstock speedsters Speak No Evil and Hurricane Harley claiming their divisions. “(Ride High’s) very special to us, for him to win I'm very excited,” Stewart said. “We just let him mature and he's only had a handful of starts and he just keeps getting better and better." Tiger Storm’s victory that brought up the 300 was fittingly steered by reinsman Chris Alford, boosting his season win tally to 447, a national driving record that by Friday’s season end will be a mark that many think will never be bettered. Michael Howard

Leading Australian harness racing driver Chris Alford has struck first blood in the Breeders Crown finals tonight, leading all the way with ex-Kiwi trotter Stress Factor in the Gr1 3yo C&G Trot final.   Trained by Brent Lilley at Bolinda, Stress Factor (Majestic Son - Fear Factor) was quickly off the gate to find the front and was never in doubt easing down at the line to win comfortably from Anywhere Hugo who trailed and fought on well for second. Kyvalley Finn ran home well up the fence for third.   The finals night has some great racing ahead including arguably the race of the year with the 3yo superstars Poster Boy and Ignatius doing battle in Race 7 the 3yo Colts and Gelding pacing final.   For all the Breeders Crown finals results with drivers comments click here.   For race results and videos of all races click here.    

With partners Braeden and Caroline Whitelock otherwise occupied at a rugby ground in Sydney, Phil Creighton made a lightning return trip to  Melbourne on Saturday to witness Princess Tiffany score an impressive win in her Breeder's Crown semi-final. He was pleased to hear Mark tell him everything was on schedule for the final next weekend and thrilled when Mark told an interviewer after the race he doubted he had had a better juvenile filly than Princess Tiffany, now unbeaten in eight starts and an emphatic favourite for the BC Final after an authority-stamping end to end victory home in 27.1 "Mark said to me the draw was a wee bit of a worry and he might try for the front rather than end up parked and it worked out well" said Phil who bred the filly's dam, big winner Dancing Diamonds with Stu Gillan and raced her with the Whitelocks. An earlier foal of the mare, Rock Diamonds, bred by the Whitelocks is a good winner in Perth. "I thought I should make the effort to go and see the semi. She is a very special filly. You  love to watch your own horses even if you have to make the effort and Mark's words made it worthwhile. He has had some very smart juvenile fillies, like Dream About Me and many more" Phil, who also races Ultimate Machete a G1 winner in Australia this season,  has since lost Asabella the dam of Dancing Diamonds whose two previous foals had been smart pacer Code Red and the high class pacer Ohoka's Bondy. Phil and wife Margaret have recently cut back on their commercial breeding interests but Princess Tiffany will be claiming a lot of his attention for some time.   Courtesy of All Stars Racing Stables   View the video here!   2 5:34pm ALWAYS B MIKI ALABAR BREEDERS CROWN SERIES 21 (2YO FILLIES) (1ST SEMI-FINAL) 2150M $20,000 2YO Fillies. RBD. Mobile Results Pl  Horse Prize- money   Row & Br TAB # Trainer Driver (C = Concession) Mgn (m) Starting odds Stewards' Comments  1 OUR PRINCESS TIFFANY NZ      Fr4 4 Mark Purdon Mark Purdon   $ 1.50 fav  PRS GS L 1 SWAB   BAY FILLY 2 by ART MAJOR USA out of DANCING DIAMONDS (NZ) (BETTORS DELIGHT USA)  Owner(s): B J Whitelock, C J Whitelock, P J Creighton, M C Creighton  Breeder(s): B J Whitelock, C J Whitelock 2 KUALOA      Fr3 3 Emma Stewart Chris Alford 5.70 $ 3.00   RRAS LCD B LCRT 4 3 SWIMSUIT EDITION      Fr1 1 Emma Stewart Mark Pitt 11.30 $ 11.10   RRAS WI 2 4 ENCHANTED STRIDE      Fr7 7 David Miles David Miles 14.10 $ 33.00   PRS GS INC 6 5 LARAJAY MACRAY      Sr1 8 Jess Tubbs Greg Sugars 17.70 $ 35.30   5 RR SHO 6 MY GIRL PEARL      Fr2 2 Ahmed Taiba Monique Burnett 17.90 $ 76.70   GS 3 7 MY ANNA RANI      Fr5 5 Roy Roots Jnr Kima Frenning 19.90 $ 79.80   RES 8 8 ROSIE SAMBROSIE      Fr6 6 Chris Svanosio Chris Svanosio 35.10 $ 150.00   RAS 9 9 ILLAWONG ASTRO      Sr2 9 Jodi Quinlan Craig Demmler 61.60 $ 215.00   7 TIRE NAT Scratchings   NO WIN NO FEED 10 Track Rating: GOOD Gross Time: 2:39:2 Mile Rate: 1:59:1 Lead Time: 39.5 First Quarter: 32.5 Second Quarter: 31.6 Third Quarter: 28.4 Fourth Quarter: 27.2 Margins: 5.7m x 5.6m  

Always Ready rewrote Maryborough's record books with a blistering run in the final Breeders Crown heat, setting the stage for a ripping finals night at Tabcorp Park Melton. Thursday's heats at Maryborough narrowed the Breeders Crown contenders for the prized finals on August 25, with $90,000 up for grabs in the two-year-old classes and $75,000 in the three-year-olds. None were more impressive than Yabby Dam Farms trotter Always Ready, with the Vicbred and Tatlow Stakes winner and Redwood Classic runner-up stopping the clock at a 2:00.8 mile rate, cutting a second off Wobelee's two-year-old track record. That was the eighth of the days heats and provided a clearer picture of who would contest the Crown finals, though final fields will not be declared until the commencement of tomorrow night's meeting at Bendigo in line with the pacing finals. Below are the fields as they stand ahead of the barrier draws, which will feature as part of the festivities for tomorrow's pacing semi-finals at Lords Raceway. The draws will be streamed live at www.thetrots.com.au in a special barrier draw telecast hosted by Rob Auber and Craig Rail. Tune in from 5pm. For more details click here. Yabby Dam Racing Breeders Crown 3YO trottting fillies final: Drawn on Trots Live after race 3 (6.02pm) on Saturday night at Bendigo. CADENAS DAMOUR NZ DI LI HADES SKY MAR PACIFICO MEADOW VALLEY SKY MOONLIGHT DREAM MOONSHINE LINDA OUR SHOW GAIT NZ PARISIAN OPERA PRETTY MAJESTIC THE GREAT REDEEMER NZ WILKES BARRE ALEPPO JEWEL (1st Em) Aldebaran Park Breeders Crown 2YO trotting fillies final: Drawn on Trots Live after race 4 (6.34pm) on Saturday night at Bendigo. COMMAND ME DENEUVE STAR EMERALD STRIDE GATESYS ALLEY GEORGIAS PRIDE IMSETTOGO MY LITTLE COMET ORLANDO STORM SLEEPEE SO TICKLE ME PINK NZ STARLIGHT RED WALKABOUT SUNRISE DELAROSE (1st Em) Woodlands Stud Breeders Crown 3YO trottings colts and geldings final: Drawn on Trots Live after race 5 (7.02pm) on Saturday night at Bendigo. ALDEBARAN PETE ALDEBARAN WILLO NZ ANYWHERE HUGO FIELDS OF KYVALLEY IMPERIAL WHIZ NZ KYVALLEY FINN LA GRANGE MAJESTIC COURTNEY NZ MAJESTIC PLAYER NEXTA NUNN STRESS FACTOR NZ WHIZZBANG DAN DELLSUN (1st Em) Aldebaran Park Breeders Crown two-year-old trotting fillies final: Drawn on Trots Live after race 6 (7.30pm) on Saturday night at Bendigo. ALDEBARAN ROCKY ALWAYS READY ARCHLEO CALIGULA NZ DREAM MASTAR JILLIBY BULLDOG KYVALLEY CLICHY MAJESTUOSO NZ MONTPELLIER ONEOFTHECLAN ORLANDO JOLT NZ XEBEC GLAD ALL OVER CRITICAL ADVANTAGE (1st Em) Michael Howard Trots Media

The significant contribution from women to the sport of trotting will be recognised at the first Ladies Day race meeting staged at Warragul Harness Racing Club on Sunday afternoon, August 26. Forty years ago the rules were changed in Victoria allowing women to drive in races against men. Although a small number of women had been competitors in races decades earlier before being banned, it wasn't until the early 1970s that women were issued with drivers licences after a lengthy campaign, enabling them to compete in organized Lady Drivers events, usually non-betting affairs staged between races at professional trots meetings. In April 1978, Boort Trotting Club in Central Victoria conducted the first professional women's race with betting, once the rules were changed to allow open competition. In August of that year, local horsewoman Debbie Turner (now Debbie Quinlan) drove Ranj Beau to defeat the men for the first time at a meeting at Terang. Since the floodgates were opened during the late 1970s hundreds of women have achieved great success in trotting, either as drivers, trainers or officials, and have won races across the country, right through to the elite events such as the Miracle Mile and Inter Dominion Championship. To pay tribute to 40 years of success on the racetrack by women, a special Ladies' Drivers race has also been programmed for the Warragul meeting. Warragul Harness Racing Club officials have invited Australia's only female race caller, Victoria Shaw, to commentate the event for on and off track viewers. Guest speaker at a Ladies Day luncheon held in conjunction with the raceday is Dianne McGrath, one of seven Australians short listed as a candidate for the Mars 100 mission, which seeks to establish permanent human settlement on Mars in 2032. The proposed journey to Mars is a one-way trip - so McGrath's story is expected to be a fascinating one. Her sense of adventure, determination and fitness has seen her sail a tall ship in the Southern Ocean, cycle extreme distances, jump from a plane, and run multiple marathons and an ultra-marathon. Live music and giveaways will also feature around the local race meeting on the day for luncheon guests. Tickets cost $65 per head and include a two-course meal and reserved indoor seating overlooking the racetrack. From every ticket sold, $10 will be donated to the West Gippsland Healthcare Group. Ticket bookings can be made by phoning the Warragul Harness Racing Club on (03) 5622 2008. Kyle Galley

Victorian trots drivers have revealed some of the most poisionous tweets and messages directed at them in a bid to draw the spotlight on the damage such attacks can have. The message #BeKindToYourDrivers has been reinforced today across Trots Media's digital channels with a video featuring drivers Rebecca Bartley, Greg Sugars, Chris Alford, Alex Ashwood, Ellen Tormey and David Miles, the result of a collaboration between Harness Racing Victoria and the Off And Pacing mobile harness racing game. Victorian Trainers and Drivers Association president Lance Justice said the negative impact of these text attacks was often significant. "As an industry we need to speak up and say abusing drivers on social media is not okay," Justice said. "It happens to all of us and there’s nothing worse than when you out there on the racetrack and things don’t go your way to then see a torrent of abuse, which wrecks your day, your night and your weekend. "Punters want to hear from drivers on social media, but they won’t get too if these drivers are being discouraged to use those channels by abuse. The VTDA is very supportive of the #BeKindToYourDrivers campaign.” Participants are reminded they have free access to the Industry Assistance Program offered by Harness Racing Victoria, which provides support for a range of personal or work-related issues. Watch the video here!   Michael Howard Trots Media

The Race To Royalty is taking shape during TAB Breeders Crown heats week in Victoria, with local and abroad two and three-year-olds making their play for the age racing riches. All two-year-old Victorian heat contestants at Ballarat on Tuesday and Kilmore on Wednesday booked places in the August 18 semi-finals at Bendigo's Lords Raceway. Fifteen contested the Always B Miki fillies Victorian heats and they will likely be joined by All Stars' Art Major three-year-old Our Princess Tiffany, who is unbeaten in seven starts including in the $150,000 2YO Diamond and on her Australian debut at Menangle on Tuesday. The class is also expected to feature Australian heat winners Miss Streisand (New South Wales), Betamerica (Queensland) and Mandy John (Western Australia). Soho Crucio (South Australia) and Karalta Moondance (Tasmania) may also attend, but Gladamare (New Zealand North Island) will not. The TAB.com.au has listed Princess Tiffany a $1.80 favourite in all-in markets for the two-year-old fillies ahead of Emma Stewart's Kualoa ($3.20) and Mick Stanley's Soho Nolita ($5.50). The 14 contestants of last night's Woodlands Stud two-year-old colts and geldings Victorian heats have also advanced to semi-finals night, where they likely be confronted by four interstate or international visitors. While Kolovos (New Zealand North Island), Leonidas (New South Wales) and Regulus (Queensland) have been ruled out, All Stars colt Im Anothermasterpiece will endeavour to build on his record of seven wins and three placings from 10 starts at the Breeders Crown. Culture King (South Australia), The Embezzler (Western Australia) and Max Delight (Tasmania) are also expected at the Bendigo semi-finals, but it's a Victorian pair who top the TAB.com.au all-in market. Heat winners Hurricane Harley ($2.40) and Centenario ($3.40) are on top, with Im Another Masterpiece ($4.50) and Bernie Hewitt's College Chapel ($5) tipped to be snapping at their heels. Tonight it's the turn of the three-year-old fillies to have their Woodlands Stud heats, and it's likely all 21 contestants will advance to the August 18 semi-finals after the scratchings of Hows The Memory and Fire Safe from tonight. Likely to be waiting for them in the semi-finals are Jarades Delight (New South Wales), Red Charmer (Queensland) and Our Angel Of Harlem (Western Australia). The jury is still out on South Australian heat winner Melodys Daughter, while Western Glory (Tasmania) and New Zealand heat winners Somethingaboutmary and the brilliant Shez All Rock have been ruled out. Punters think with the absence of Shez All Rock, who experienced a leg complaint, the Victorians will deliver the ultimate Race to Royatly winner in this class, with the TAB.com.au listing Emma Stewart's Speak No Evil a $2.50 favourite. Our Angel Of Harlem ($3), the former Kiwi who's now stationed with WA trainer Mike Reed, and Courtney Slater's well-traveled Goodtime Heaven ($3.50) are next in the market. There will be no shortage of excitement around the three-year-old colts and geldings heats, with Ignatius (New South Wales) and VHRSC Victoria Derby winner Colt Thirty One (Queensland) both set for Breeders Crown campaigns, as is New Zealand qualifier Diamonds N Cash, who will race for Victorian trainer Andy Gath. Today's withdrawal of Ange McDowell's much-loved Lumineer will dampen the Victorian resistance, but Emma Stewart's clan of Ride High, Poster Boy and Konan are all in single figures with the TAB.com.au, which has Ignatius ($2.30) on top. With scratchings excluded, 27 horses will contest Friday night's heats, vying to be among the 21 who will challenge the three raiders in the August 18 semi-finals. The Victorian trotters have their heats at Maryborough next Thursday. New Zealand heats have seen Stress Factor, winner of Sunday's Victorian Trotters Derby, and Show Gait qualify for the respective boys and girls three-year-old finals. The jury is still out on whether two-year-old boys Anditover and Enhance Your Calm will make the trip across the Tasman, but two-year-old fillies Enable Me and On The Mantlepiece aren't expected. Michael Howard

Ange McDowell's assessment that "I still think the horse will reach his full potential" will be music to the ears of Lumineer fans as the three-year-old nears his racing return in Friday night's Breeders Crown heat. The fifth fixture at Bendigo's Lords Raceway, the eighth IRT Breeders Crown heat will be a chance for the Sportswriter colt to feel his way back, having been sidelined since January's VHRSC Victoria Derby when his eight-race winning streak ended. "After the Derby final he had really bad muscle tears through his back end," McDowell told RSN's Gait Speed. "That was why he ran up the track so badly in the Derby final. "He's had plenty of time to rehab that afterwards - he's done plenty of swimming, had a bit of time off, but it's just been a really slow, steady build up. I would have liked to have given him a start before the Breeders Crown series, so he had a decent hit-out." The trainer's expectations are subsequently modest for Friday night's heat, which tips off at 8pm, for which Lumineer has drawn gate seven, directly outside well fancied Bonus Play (gate six) and Ride High (gate five). "I'd just be happy if he sat in, poked around, just made it through to the next and had a good hit-out," McDowell said. "Obviously I want him to perfom as well as he can, but because we haven't had as much time as we would have liked, if he just races well and makes it through to the next stage he will take a lot away from that run."   Trots Media

Breeders Crown champion Nostra Villa won’t be back to defend her title later this month. Trainer Emma Stewart said last season’s juvenile pacing filly final winner was feeling the effects of a hard season so has gone for a spell. "She has done a lot of hard racing and it was time for her to have a break,” said Stewart. That still leaves Stewart with four fillies in the three-year-old series as she charges toward the culminaton of her record-breaking season, with the Victorian heats for the three-year-old fillies at Shepparton on Thursday night. Even without Nostra Villa the stable has the warm favourite for the series in Speak No Evil, who is rated the stable’s best chance of the whole Breeders Crown, even after drawing the outside of the front line in her heat on Thursday. “She has gone from strength to strength,” says Stewart. “She trialed really well last week and has come on from the Vicbred win so she is clearly the best of our chances in her division and probably in the overall two and three-year-old series.” The Victorian fillies heats kick off with the juveniles at Ballarat tonight and Stewart has Vicbred quinellamates Kualoa and Two Times Bettor in the same heat. “They seem to be doing that a lot these days, putting the two good stablemates in the same heat and I think they should be split. “But they are both ready to go good races. Kualoa is the one to beat this week and, and this stage, the best of our chances in the final.” The glamour boys of the freshman division have their turn at Kilmore on Wednesday night with Vicbred winner Centanario up against his runner-up on that occasion in Nostra Ideal and Bathurst Gold Crown winner College Chapel. An interesting Victorian debutant is Whereyabinboppin, who has joined the in-form Tim Butt stable after being unbeaten in three starts. Stewart dominates the other heat with Hurricane Harley and Hardhitter going head to head. Michael Guerin

A pair of former Kiwis combined with Australia’s greatest to win the $75,000 Group 1 Victoria Trotters’ Derby at Maryborough. Brent Lilley, who has trained more than 700 winners since calling Australia home, and his recent Kiwi import Stress Factor joined forces with champion driver Chris Alford. It was a huge and immediate reward for the syndicate who just recently bought Stress Factor from the All Stars’ barn to move to Lilley’s barn in Victoria. The syndicate includes Fred Crews of Maori Time fame along with John Wilkinson, Bruce and Denise Morrison, Gary Dowling and Robert Owen. Just as he did winning his first Aussie start eight days earlier, Stress Factor showed good gate speed and found the lead, but this time he was hard for Alford to rate in front. “I’d like to have gone slower, but he was keen and wanted to keep rolling,” Alford told Trots Vision after the win. “They don’t get the chance to race much over 2600m if ever – just today – it’s hard to know if they’re going to finish it off and all of those ones back in the field are in the same boat. “I thought we were holding on pretty good until about the last 50 (metres). Kyvalley Finn did rush though really quickly, but I did thing we hung on on the line.” Only a few weeks back Alford was in the box seat to win the Derby with his own stable star Wobelee before injury hit. “Luckily this horse came along and I was able to continue my good record with Lil (Lilley),” Alford said. Next stop for Stress Factor is the Breeders Crown. Alford/Lilley also combined for an easy win with rejuvenated veteran Kyvalley Blur in the free-for-all. As usual, Alford summed the race up superbly on the rising 11-year-old when he blast around the field midrace to take the lead and went on to easily beat the very classy Sparkling Eyes by 10.2m in a 1min59.5sec mile rate for 2190m. Kyvalley Blur, a US-bred who started his career with Chris Lang Sr, has now won 26 races and more than $475,000 from his 110 starts. Lilley finished Australia’s biggest all-trotting meeting with four wins after El Paco won the opening event and On Fast Forward won race five. _______________________________________________________________________ TOP Aussie trotter Sparkling Success didn’t win first-up at Maryborough, but he left the track a winner. This season’s Great Southern Star winner has officially been invited and accepted the challenge to tackle the $US1 million Yonkers International Trot in the US on October 13. Victorian farmer and hobby trainer John Meade and his wife Mary gleefully accepted the invite. “We’ve got everything in place. We’re doing this,” Mary said. “We’ll head across in mid-September.” _______________________________________________________________________ WHEN Emilio and Mary Rosati bred Emerald Stride they had every reason to be optimistic the filly would win a seriously big race. After all, Emerald Stride is by Bettors Delight out of Emilios Stride, who is a half-sister to Well Said, a former US Pacer of the Year. But although Emerald Stride did qualify as a pacer he wasn’t quick slick enough according to trainer-driver David Miles and, after a nudge driver Rod Petroff after driving her in a trial, Miles opted to switch her to trotting. Just a few months later she snared Australia’s most prized juvenile trotting race, the Group 1 Redwood Classic. “I always thought she was a trotter, but she was paid-up for the APG and it’s a lot of money to pay up for those series, so we tried to get her to that series,” Miles told Trots Vision. “She trialled as a pacer at Bendigo one morning and Rod Petroff drove her and said ‘I think she’s a trotter.’ “A week later she went to Melton and ran a mile in five, they don’t that after only having the trotting shoes on for a week.” The win was a huge buzz for Rosati. “Winning any big race is great, but Mary loves the trotters so winning this race is extra special,” he said. _______________________________________________________________________ TIM and Anthony Butt were left wondering what might have been after their emerging three-year-old trotter Majestic Courtney completed a hattrick of wins and strolled home in the fourth race at Maryborough. Majestic Courtney hadn’t quite done in his only three starts to make the Victoria Trotters’ Derby field and was first emergency, but didn’t gain a start. Instead he tackled a virtual “consolation” and won as he liked by 11.9m in a 2min1sec mile rate for 2190m. In windy conditions, Majestic Courtney’s mile rate stacked-up well against the 2min3.3sec Stress Factor went over the longer 2690m of the Derby.   Adam Hamilton

An extraordinarily well-bred pacer has scooped one of the most prized trotting titles on the calendar with Emerald Stride claiming the Seelite Windows and Doors Redwood Classic. A delighted trainer-driver David Miles swept past leader Always Ready via the sprint lane to salute in the Redwood Day feature at Maryborough today. “Unbelievable,” Miles told Rob Auber on Trots Vision post-race. “I was having a look on Friday at the honour roll for this race and some great trainers and drivers have won it. To be amongst them now is really special.” Miles said prolific owner Emilio Rosati would be “stoked” with the Group 1 triumph by his two-year-old filly, who’s not only sired by pacing great Bettors Delight but is out of Emilios Stride, a half-sister to US Pacer of the Year Well Said. “We did qualify her as a pacer, she just wasn’t quite fast enough,” Miles said. “The day we switched her over we knew she was something special. “I always thought she was a trotter, but she was paid up for the APG and it’s a lot of money to pay up for those series, so we tried to get her to that series. She trialled as a pacer at Bendigo one morning and Rod Petroff drove her and said, ‘I think she’s a trotter’. “A week later she went to Melton and run a mile in five, they don’t do that after only have the trotting shoes on a week.” That trotting destiny was fulfilled with victory in today’s $50,000 Classic, when Emerald Stride ripped off the second row to challenge favourite Always Ready for the lead before settling on leader’s back and pouncing late. “To land where she did off the second row was amazing,” Miles said. “When the barrier draw come out I was really shattered because I thought if she drew the front line she was going to be super hard to beat and to win off the back row here is very hard to do. “(Behind) leader was the perfect spot in this sort of race. It was very windy. The leader did a great job, that wind down the back straight really hurt the horses out in the open and I just had the perfect trip.” Michael Howard

Tim Butt is about to unleash the X-factor of the Breeders Crown. Butt and his stable clients recently bought a 60 per cent share in buzz Riverina juvenile Whereyabinboppin which led to a switch from trainer-driver Steve Harris to Butt’s barn. Whereyabinboppin is unbeaten three runs and, importantly, easily beat the very exciting Victorian youngster Lochinvar Art on debut at Wagga on May 8. The strongly-built gelding has won his three starts by a thumping aggregate margin of 68.5m. He dives straight into the big league at Kilmore next Wednesday night in a heat of the Breeders Crown against Australia’s best youngster, Centenario, and elite support talent like Nostra Ideal, Fourbigmen and College Chapel. “He’s a beautiful horse. He’s big and strong, he looks a like a thoroughbred and he’s really doing a lot of it on raw ability at the moment,” Butt said. “It’s exciting to have a horse of his talent join the team even if it’s a big ask throwing him into such a strong Breeders Crown at this stage. “I’m sure he’s got the talent, but has he got the strength and the experience if things don’t go his way in a race against these sort of horses?” Whereyabinboppin has shown plenty of gate speed, but has gate five with Centenario in gate one. “I’m looking forward to the race just see where he sits at this early stage of his career against the best,” Butt said. In other stable news, last-start Group 1 Blacks A Fake winner Let it Ride is “most unlikely” to contest the Victoria Cup enroute to the Inter Dominion. “He’s still got another couple of weeks spelling so the Victoria Cup will come up a bit too soon I think,” Butt said. Adam Hamilton

1 to 16 of 4433
1 2 3 4 5 Next »