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She has been dubbed the best harness racing mare in Australian harness racing and after the run Ameretto produced in Saturday night’s Group 1 Victoria Cup, it is easy to see why. Owned by Bathurst’s Ryan and Tracey Grives, Ameretto ($22.90) placed second to star horse Lennytheshark ($1.20) as she motored home down the straight at Melton in the 2,240 metres feature. With former trainer Ashlee Grives in the gig behind the daughter of Million Dollar Cam, she actually made up ground on Lennytheshark as the post loomed. In the end 3.6m separated the pair. “She was amazing and it was a big thrill. It was certainly good to reunite with her and get the job done,” Bathurst driver Grives, who last steered Ameretto in May, said. “Lenny, he’s an absolute flyer. We knew with the right run she could be in contention, but when Lenny drew one, we knew he’d be very hard to beat. To finish second to him is a big thing, she was the only mare in the race as well.” Now part of Kerryn Manning’s team, Ameretto had won six consecutive races prior to the $200,000 Victoria Cup. It was a step up in class, but she showed her quality. Going from barrier two, Ameretto found a spot three back on the pegs as Lennytheshark led the way. Into the home straight, Grives guided her into the sprint lane. “The lane couldn’t come quick enough. In the last 50 metres she was absolutely motoring, she just got fully wound up and they hit the post,” Grives said.  “I couldn’t be happier with that result. She just follows the speed and peels off those sectionals.” By Anya Whitelaw Reprinted with permission of the Western Advocate

Lennytheshark became a two-time harness racing Allied Express Victoria Cup champion tonight at Tabcorp Park Melton and will now turn his fin toward Perth in a bid to achieve a second Inter Dominion success. The most popular pacer in the southern hemisphere drew a rapturous reception from the big crowd at Tabcorp Park Melton following his domination in the Grand Circuit Classic, and his trainer, David Aiken, sounded a warning to his Inter Dominion rivals. “We’ve got unfinished business there.” “We’re really looking forward to Perth now. He’s my once-in-a-lifetime horse,” Aiken said. “I’m just so proud of him.” Driven by Chris Alford, Lennytheshark (by Four Starzzz Shark out of Albert Albert mare Botswana) led from the pole draw and defeated flying mare Ameretto by 3.6 metres in a slick mile rate of 1:53.2 for the 2240m trip. “He came up to the gate really good and they went full tilt for the first 100m, but once he held the front he always had it under control,” Alford said. The win was Lennytheshark’s 36th from 69 career starts, his stakemoney now at over $2.8 million. Following his gate one draw punters put their faith in Lennytheshark, the Inter Dominion, Miracle Mile and previous Victoria Cup hero sent out the shortest Victoria Cup favourite in years at $1.20. Allied Express Victoria Cup - Lennytheshark Due to the calendar change for the Victoria Cup that saw the race moved from January to October, owner Kevin Riseley, who also races reigning Vic Cup winner Lazarus, has amazingly now won the race twice in the same calendar year. Earlier on the program super mare Maori Time won the Bill Collins Trotters Sprint for trainer Brent Lilley and driver Gavin Lang in a thrilling finish, with a neck separating the winner from runner-up Sparkling Success and third placegetter Glenferrie Typhoon. OTHER COVERAGE Trots Media Pryde's Easifeed Pony Trots Videos https://www.facebook.com/harnessracingvictoria/videos/10159481495280611/ https://www.facebook.com/harnessracingvictoria/videos/10159481210860611/ https://www.facebook.com/harnessracingvictoria/videos/10159481157135611/ Trots Media Facebook Live Coverage https://www.facebook.com/harnessracingvictoria/videos/10159481176635611/ https://www.facebook.com/harnessracingvictoria/videos/10159481250120611/ https://www.facebook.com/harnessracingvictoria/videos/10159481346935611/ https://www.facebook.com/harnessracingvictoria/videos/10159481010860611/ Trots Media Photo Gallery of Winners https://www.facebook.com/10150118782730611/photos/?tab=album&album_id=10159481227135611 Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Shepparton’s rising superstar pacer San Carlo has never failed to rise to the occasion throughout his harness racing career and he faces another giant step-up tomorrow night when he tackles the $200000 Victoria Cup at Melton. The seven-year-old son of Mach Three has come up with barrier seven — the extreme outside of the front row — in the 2240m Group One event. San Carlo’s trainer Steve O’Donoghue admits the horror draw is going to make San Carlo’s chances of landing his biggest win that much tougher. O’Donoghue said he was happy to be in the race, but conceded the barrier had made winning an unlikely prospect. ‘‘It’s like an under-18 footballer going up into the senior side for the first time; it’s going to be really tough. I’ll be happy to beat one home for a start,’’ O’Donoghue said. ‘‘You would like any of the horses in that field, wouldn’t you?’’ While Lennytheshark is favourite to win the feature, fireworks are expected at the start with the trainers of Major Crocker and NSW visitors Code Black (barrier three) and Tiger Tara (barrier five) declaring they won’t be taking any prisoners early. Lennytheshark’s reinsman Chris Alford has declared he “couldn’t be happier” with Lenny’s barrier one draw. Rivals are Shark bait He might be eight years of age now but you wouldn’t have thought it as Lennytheshark made a stunning return to racing at Melton last Friday night. The David Aiken-trained warrior humbled some smart pacers in winning the $50000 Smoken Up Sprint over the 1720m trip in his first race since finishing fourth to his illustrious stablemate Hectorjayjay in the Blacks A Fake feature at Albion Park in July. Driven by Chris Alford, Lenny did it at both ends, spearing from barrier seven across the face of the field at the start to take up the pacemaking role and then audaciously pulling away from his rivals in the dash home in a blistering 1:51.9 mile rate. He had more than 8m to spare over runner-up My Field Marshall at the finish, with Tee Cee Bee Macray a whisker away third. Lenny is Inter Dominion-bound to defend his crown in December, but he has another huge challenge tomorrow night when he tackles the $200000 Victoria Cup at Melton. He has drawn barrier one and it would take a brave person to say he couldn’t win it given what he did last Friday night. It’s McCool for Junior Wahring horseman Kevin Weidenbach Jr is certainly getting results with Lucy McCool. In only six starts for Weidenbach Lucy McCool has won two races and been placed second once. The six-year-old Miles McCool mare notched her latest win in a C1 Only event last week at Yarra Valley after a perfect Weidenbach drive. Lucy McCool is from the former smart Caprock racemare Play The Dice and her latest win, the third of her 29 starts, produced a PB mile rate of 1:58.6. From pillar to post Byrneside horseman Damian Wilson made full use of pacer Cobie Hall’s draw to win on debut last week at Echuca. Trained and driven by Wilson, the four-year-old son of Blissfull Hall came from barrier three to take over the early front running and led throughout over the 2160m trip for a comfortable win over NSW visitor Kamwood Izzy, with the locally-trained Our Dandy filling the minor placing. Cobie Hall is the first foal of the unraced Safely Kept mare Annie Angel to race and peeled off some slick final sectionals and a respectable mile rate of 1:59.2 to suggest there could me more wins in store. The Nod of approval Echuca trots stalwarts Norm and Joan Visca enjoyed a win on their home track last week with consistent performer Winkn Nod. Trained and driven by legendary Bendigo horseman Brian Gath for the Viscas, Winkn Nod was another pacer to utilise his barrier two draw and was another pillar-to-post winner at the meeting in a C1 Only class race. Pulling out a 28.7 final split, Winkn Nod proved too good for Oldseadog and the Brent Thomson-trained Arty Guy with a winning margin of 4m and a short half-head separating the minor placegetters. Winkn Nod, a six-year-old gelding by Grinfromeartoear, deserved the win as he ran second at his previous two starts at Shepparton and Echuca. It was his third win with seven placings from 23 starts. Winning scent to Rose A mid-race move by reinsman Daniel Rose proved a winner for smart Kyabram-trained pacer Scout Hall Road at Echuca. Rose took the six-year-old Village Jasper gelding around the field from last to the front at the 1100m and staved off challengers from top two chances Sir Briggen and A Special Dream in the run to the finishing line in the 2160m event. Despite an encouraging third to the smart Scotlyn Jack at his previous start at Shepparton on September 29, Scout Hall Road was a 16-1 shot on the tote. Trained by Rose’s father Bruce, Scout Hall Road has been a consistent performer for connections with 10 wins and 19 placings from his 70 starts. A Special Dream’s third placing in the race continued a string of top-three finishes for the Steve Duffy-trained and Ryan Duffy-driven seven-year-old son of Live Or Die. The pacer has not missed a top-three placing in his past 11 starts, which include three wins with four seconds and four thirds. Ellen’s skills on show The Shepparton-based Bartley sisters — Bec and Lisa — have been enjoying their share of success of late in the sulky and it was another sister’s turn to show her wares in Victoria last week. Coleambally (Riverina)-based trainer Ellen Bartley produced Begoodorbegoodatit for a win in restricted class at Echuca. Driven by leading Riverina reinsman Blake Jones and an odds-on chance, Begoodorbegoodatit went straight to the front from barrier two over the 1750m trip and had no worries holding off main challengers Megiddo and the Kyabram-trained Beyond A Shadow. Begoodorbegoodatit was coming off a second at her previous start at Shepparton on September 21 in fast time in a race won by Our Lady Madonna, so punters took note of that formline in supporting her into an odds-on chance. Begoodorbegoodatit is only the third foal of the Art Major mare Lose The Blues to race and the only winner so far with her 19 starts producing three wins and five placings. Sweet for Candyman Top reinsman Greg Sugars was the star at Echuca with a driving treble. Two of the winners, Fong Nien and Mar Nien, were for his trainer-father Ross, while the Allan McDonough-trained Bright Shadow was middle pin of the trifecta. Fong Nien is a half-sister of four winners from the winning Miles McCool mare Jane McCool, including the multiple winner Smooth Grin. Mar Nien is a five-year-old gelded son of Rock N Roll Heaven out of the Armbro Operative mare Champagnesheffield, who was a winner of five races and has left two other winners. As swift as a Hare The Josh Aiken-trained and driven Audi Hare kept his perfect Australian record intact with another dominant win last Friday night at Melton. Joining the Aiken stable after 20 starts for two wins in New Zealand, the five-year-old gelded son of Mach Three had scored at Bendigo on his Australian debut on September 16 and followed up that win with another success at Shepparton on September 29. He completed the hat-trick with his Melton win in which he accounted for the Laura Crossland-trained and driven Charming Major and Time Keepa Lombo in 1:56.2 mile rate time for the 1720m. Aiken summed up the race perfectly when the pace slackened a lap out, working Audi Hare around the field to the front and from then on was never going to be beaten. Duke rules at Hill Four-year-old gelding Manbar Duke made a winning return to the racetrack in a family finish in a C0 Only class race at Swan Hill on Tuesday night. Trained by Kyabram horseman Brent Thomson and driven by Nathan Jack, Manbar Duke led throughout to beat Letsrockletsroll, trained by Thomson’s father Russell and driven by Craig Turnbull. Manbar Duke was a $2.10 favourite while Letsrockletsroll was a $5.30 chance. Taken straight to the front by Jack from barrier three, Manbar Duke ran his rivals ragged, particularly over the concluding stages with splits 28.7 and 27.4 for a last half in 56.1. Letsrockletsroll’s effort to come from last at the bell and get within 4m of the winner was also noteworthy given the third horse home and second favourite Tillys Desire was more than 20m astern. Manbar Duke was having his first start since March and was coming off successive wins at Yarra Vallley and Cobram. A son of Santa Blue Chip, Manbar Duke has had just the seven starts for three wins and three seconds. His dam Korobeit Princess, who is by little known sire Armbro Kojak, was a four-times winner and was out of the good racemare Korobeit Angel, a daughter of Denver Gift, who was bred by veteran Kyabram horseman Darky Meloury. Colbinabbin horseman Graham McDermott was also a winner at Swan Hill, scoring in a T0 or better trotters race with Justtentrumps who notched his fourth win from 19 starts. Building future The new trots track at Wagga is under way with the first sod turned at the new site last week. NSW Racing Minister Paul Toole was alongside Harness Racing NSW chairman Chris Edwards and his fellow board members for the significant milestone. “The journey has been a lengthy one from when we first called for expressions of interest in a Riverina Super Centre back in 2006,” Edwards said. “But now that we are finally at this stage, it is pleasing to know that in a year’s time we will have completed a strategy to install 1000m tracks in all the region’s Hunter, Western and Southern districts. “What is really positive for Wagga is that what we have learned from the other projects has been enhanced, corrected or improved with this last instalment.” The long-awaited project will have a 1070m track constructed with a width of 20m to accommodate 10 horses starting off the front row, if required. There will be a camber of 10° on the 110m radius turns to assist with equine welfare, driver safety and to enhance the speed performance of the horses, as well as a sprint lane to provide all horses a competitive opportunity. Alongside the track, public facilities similar to those at Bathurst will be constructed as well as race stalls that can accommodate 140 horses, including a designated area for mini trot participants. Harness Racing NSW’s long-term vision for the property is to also include a training centre. Coming up Today: Kilmore (n). Tomorrow: Melton (n). Sunday: Stawell (d). Monday: Warragul (d). Tuesday: Shepparton (n). Wednesday: Geelong (n). Thursday: Bendigo (n). The Shepparton News Reprinted with permission of The Shepparton News

Harness racing driver Chris Alford’s first Group 1 success came in the sulky behind Golden Reign (pictured) in the 1993 Victoria Derby. That superstar would go on to provide “the Puppet” with Treuer Memorial and Tasmanian Pacing Championship success in 1994 and a South Australian Cup win in 1995. Also in ’95, Golden Reign and Alford would combine for what to this day Alford says is his greatest thrill in the sport – his first Inter Dominion Pacing Championship success in 1995 at Christchurch in New Zealand. Today though, we’re rewinding to Moonee Valley on Saturday the 4th of February in the summer of ’95, when Golden Reign as favourite held out another Grand Circuit superstar in Master Musician to win the Healthy Diet Try It Victoria Cup over 2380m. VIDEO: RE-LIVE GOLDEN REIGN'S VIC CUP GLORY It was a night which opened with Kenkara successful for Don Dove and finished with Damian Wilson combining with trainer Tom Kett to win the last, the Pacers Handicap, at 33-1! Other winners on the night were the talented Lucky Camilla for Grant Campbell and Mick Carroll as a 1/5 shot, Rookies Boy at any old odds in the trot for Graham Lee, Late Bid (another gun) in the Caduceus Club 3YO Cup for Peter Walsh, Dark Paul for Andrew Peace in the Vic Cup Consolation over odds-on pop Liberty Jay Jay, New York Jet for Joe and Peter Cavallaro and the mighty Pride Of Petite for Barry and Mark Purdon in the Trotters Sprint over a mile. But it was the night’s feature show that goes down as one of the great Victoria Cups, Alford, Alexander and Golden Reign delivering a stellar performance to hold off a brave Master Musician, and an even braver Sinbad Bay in third for Stephen Dove – when you consider Sinbad Bay was 11 years old and had the won the Vic Cup in both 1989 and 1999. He had returned from injury and rattled home. From a back-row draw, Golden Reign (10/9 favourite) balanced up midfield in the early stages. Alford commenced his move at about the 1800m, when Golden Reign loomed to the chair outside stablemate Knight Rainbow (John Caldow) before heading him off. Once Golden Reign found the front, Robert Dunn launched aboard Master Musician, and at the bell Dunn and the Musician audaciously tackled for the lead. While it wasn’t there, this last lap wasn’t simply going to be on Golden Reign’s terms, and it was game-on. The two lead combatants staged a battle royal, neither relenting an inch. But there had to be a winner. Golden Reign booted a length clear at the top of the home straight, but like any Musician worth his salt, the Master still had an encore. With Dunn driving hard, Master Musician found another gear and started eating into Golden Reign’s margin once again. At the line, they’d closed the gap to just a neck. Brave, but not brave enough. Alford’s excitement was clear as he crossed the finish post – a Golden moment for connections as their champion Reigned supreme. Twenty-one years later Alford would add a second Victoria Cup to his trophy cabinet thanks to modern-day superstar Lennytheshark. This Saturday night he and Lenny will again team up as a commanding favourite, Alford out to become a three-time Vic Cup winner, which would draw him closer to clubhouse leaders Vin Knight (five-time winner of the great race) and Brian Gath (four Vic Cup triumphs). Book your dining package at this year's Allied Express Victoria Cup Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Lennytheshark is the deserved short-priced harness racing favourite for Saturday night’s Allied Express Victoria Cup at Tabcorp Park Melton after drawing the coveted gate one today, but a couple of trainers with speedsters drawn wider out are tipping sparks early. Vince Vallelonga, who has seven-year-old Major Crocker out of gate six in the Victoria Cup, said his stable star would be using whatever weaponry he had on Saturday night. And he has gate speed in spades. “Lennytheshark might still lead and be too good but … we’ll definitely be shanghaiing off the arm,” Vallelonga said. “If we can lead then Lenny wants to come off the fence and have a crack for the front then that’s what he’ll do. There’s no point going back.” It’s a view shared by New South Wales horseman Kevin Pizzuto, who trains Cup contenders Code Black (barrier four) and Tiger Tara (barrier five). “We’re coming there to race,” he declared. “No point driving eight hours for nothing.” Pizzuto said he would be applying hopple shorteners to Tiger Tara, which is mainly a longer-term strategy for Perth’s Inter Dominion, but he’s still declaring game-on for Saturday night. “He’s got to get out harder with the Inter Dominion in mind, but in saying that we have Code Black too and actually I think Major Crocker if he wants to can probably get across the lot of us.” Reinsman Chris Alford, who has won 27 races aboard Lennytheshark including last year’s Miracle Mile, the Victoria Cup in 2016 and the Inter Dominion in 2015, said he “couldn’t be happier” with Lennytheshark’s barrier one draw. “It’s going to take something crazy to happen for someone to get across him from there and bring him undone,” Alford said. “He’s come through last week’s run (a win in the Olympus Feeds Smoken Up Sprint) really well.” Kerryn Manning has two runners engaged and both take extensive winning form into Saturday night, with Ameretto chasing her seventh straight win from gate two and Mr Mojito (barrier 11) pursuing a fourth successive victory. “I’m really happy with barrier two for Ameretto,” Manning said. “It’s a bit tricky obviously that Lenny has drawn one, but really happy to be in gate two. She’s well-placed where she’s drawn and being in the running line already from there is a bonus.” Ashlee Grives takes the steer on Ameretto on Saturday night with Manning attending a friend’s wedding in Queensland. Manning’s husband Grant Campbell will have the reins aboard Mr Mojito. “If the emergency comes out he’ll come into three on the back row which is not too bad for him but he’ll end up near the back. If the speed’s on that’ll suit him and if not we’re in trouble,” Manning said. Cobbitty trainer Craig Cross is hoping there is pace aplenty to bring his five-year-old gelding Galactic Star into the equation. “He’s going really good. He was parked the other night and they went 50 and a bit. He’ll be looking to come with a run I’d say, but we’re drawn well and we’ve got the best in Luke McCarthy driving,” Cross said. Tim Butt-trained My Field Marshal is clear second-favourite for the race despite drawing gate 10. Driver Anthony Butt gives the six-year-old Art Major entire a good chance of causing an upset, but admits he’ll need “some luck”. “It was a super run the other night. He had a flat tyre for the last 600m and I was really happy with him. We’re definitely a winning chance, but as I said he’ll just need a little bit of luck and for things to happen.” While Alford was thrilled to have drawn gate one with Lennytheshark, trainer Shane Tritton said Yayas Hot Spot “couldn’t have got a better draw” in barrier nine (eight if the emergency doesn’t gain a start). “We’re not going to have to burn off the arm. This is his chance. Not sure if we can beat Lennytheshark but he’s fast enough to definitely run a place,” Tritton said. “Lauren said he just got left a bit flat-footed at the bend (on Saturday night in the Smoken Up Sprint when fourth). If they make a race of it early we can hopefully do a bit of damage up the straight.” Yayas Hot Spot finished second in the Hunter Cup earlier this year from three-back on the pegs at the bell, beating Lennytheshark home by 5.4m. He has also placed in a 4YO Bonanza and Derby Final at Melton. Meanwhile, trainers Andy Gath, Alan Tubbs and Stephen O’Donoghue were upfront about their winning chances after their charges drew poorly. Gath has Burnaholeinmypocket from gate 12 and said “it makes it impossible, really”, adding “if he can run top-five that would be a great result.” On San Carlo, who drew gate seven, O’Donoghue said: “We’re happy to be in it but barrier seven makes it extremely hard and unlikely.” And Tubbs said things were “now out of his hands” after Tee Cee Bee Macray drew barrier 13. “I’m really disappointed but that’s just the luck of it. We can’t plan anything from there. If they don’t run 43 to the peg then basically you’re out of it. We’ll just be able to enjoy the night now I’d say.” Get the TAB.com.au fixed odds now for the Allied Express Victoria Cup Barrier draw for Allied Express Victoria Cup at Tabcorp Park Melton Saturday night 1  LENNYTHESHARK 2  AMERETTO 3  GALACTIC STAR 4  CODE BLACK 5  TIGER TARA 6  MAJOR CROCKER 7  SAN CARLO ------------------------------------------------- 8  FLAMING FLUTTER 9  YAYAS HOT SPOT 10 MY FIELD MARSHAL 11 MR MOJITO 12 BURNAHOLEINMYPOCKET 13 TEE CEE BEE MACRAY BOOK YOUR DINING PACKAGE FOR VICTORIA CUP NIGHT TODAY Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

The Victoria Cup of 2008 will always be remembered as the night Amy Tubbs and Melpark Major ran their harness racing rivals off their legs. Bowling along at the head of proceedings, Melpark Major was over a length clear off the back and running time. Into the straight the rivals got out and had their chance, but it mattered not, because Melpark Major was “the new king” as caller Dan Mielicki declared. “What about the time? It has obliterated the track record by half a second, 1:55.8 mile rate. That is staggering!” Bred and raced by long-time trots man Don Smith, Melpark Major was a son of the mighty Iraklis. He was trained by Alan Tubbs and Alan’s daughter Amy, 24, was entrusted with the driving duties. “I was roaring up the straight cheering him on and he just kept giving,” Amy said. VIDEO: Re-live Melpark Major's magical Moonee Valley win Given metro trots moved to Melton not long after Major’s Vic Cup win, the 1:55.8 mile rate record for the 2575m trip at Moonee Valley looks everlasting. Melpark Major was a modern-day champion, netting 36 wins and 36 minor placings from 113 starts for $979,056 in stakemoney. The fact he’ll never be credited with a Miracle Mile win seems almost cruel given how brave his run was in the Harold Park feature of 2008. He finished second to Divisive, who didn’t spent a drop of petrol in the run while Melpark Major was three-wide the trip. It was arguably the best runner-up effort seen on the Grand Circuit stage. Despite later-career issues following a mishap in Brisbane as a five-year-old, when he was the favourite for the Inter Dominion series, Melpark Major still won the 2010 Popular Alm Sprit, the 2013 Horsham Pacing Cup and a host of other strong races. “He was never the same (after Brisbane),” Alan Tubbs said. “He went from being a clean-legged horse to having joint trouble. I had to learn acupuncture, which I guess is a good thing because I can use it in future, but we had to look after him a lot more after that.” Melpark Major retired in 2014 to the property of Don Smith to live alongside other ‘Melpark’ horses. Today he continues to enjoy his retirement. Book your 2017 Allied Express Victoria Cup package now Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Star pacer Chicago Bull will travel to Melbourne to contest the harness racing $200,000 Victoria Cup at Melton on Saturday week if he wins the $50,000 J. P. Stratton Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night. That’s the tentative plan formulated by the five-year-old’s master trainer Gary Hall Snr. “We’re thinking about tackling the Victoria Cup, and if he wins on Friday night we will seriously consider it,” Hall said. “I’ve tentatively booked the flight to Melbourne. “I had also planned to run Beaudiene Boaz in the Victoria Cup, but he has a quarter crack in his off fore hoof and he won’t be ready to resume racing for a month.” The Victoria Cup is a 2240m mobile event, with a random barrier draw. It is a race that Hall would dearly love to win. He took Im Themightyquinn to Melbourne for the Victoria Cup in 2010, 2011 and 2012. In 2010, Im Themightyquinn finished third to Mr Feelgood in the Victoria Cup a week after winning the Cranbourne Cup. In 2011, Im Themightyquinn finished last behind Smoken Up in the Victoria Cup after finishing third to Smoken Up in the Miracle Mile, a nose second to Melpark Major in the Group 3 Popular Alm Free-For-All and second to Mr Feelgood in the Cranbourne Cup. Then, in December 2012, Hall made a hit-run trip to Melbourne when Im Themightyquinn finished third to Caribbean Blaster in the Victoria Cup after winning a Free-For-All at Gloucester Park the previous week. Chicago Bull, who has earned $963,434 from 23 wins and eight placings from just 36 starts, has drawn awkwardly on the inside of the back line in the 2130m Stratton Cup and reinsman Gary Hall Jnr’s initial thoughts are to stay on the pegs, trail the likely pacemaker Shandale and rely on a slice of luck to obtain a clear run in the final circuit. “I reckon it’s too hard to go back (from the inside of the back line) and then go around the rest of the field,” Hall Jnr said. Hall Snr agreed that the inside of the back line was far from an ideal draw. “I was hoping for a front-line draw so we could push him out of the gate, just to test his gate speed a bit. “He’s just a great little horse and his latest run was outstanding. That was his second run after a short spell and I wouldn’t have thought he was 100 per cent for that race, so I was a bit surprised at how well he did it. He’s going to keep getting better and better, I hope, leading up to the Inters.” The wonderful combination of Hall Snr and Jnr has won the Stratton Cup three times --- with Bengeeman (2002), Alzona (2011) and Waylade (2015). Hall Snr will also be represented in this year’s Cup by Norvic Nightowl (Stuart McDonald), Run Oneover (Nathan Turvey) and American Boy (Lauren Jones). Norvic Nightowl ran a splendid Cup trial last Friday night when he was ninth at the bell before sustaining a powerful three-wide burst which took him to a narrow lead 70m from the post before finishing an extremely close third behind Simply Susational and Tricky Styx. He is handily drawn at barrier two on Friday night and is sure to be prominent. Chicago Bull’s chief rivals are likely to be Soho Tribeca (barrier two on the back line), Shandale and Norvic Nightowl. Soho Tribeca made a wonderful return to racing after a short spell when he started out wide at barrier nine, raced three wide for much of the first lap and then in the breeze before getting to the front on the home turn and winning from Bronze Seeker and Ideal Tyson over 2130m last Friday night. That was his fourth win in a row and his 16th victory from 40 starts. Shannon Suvaljko, who has been successful in the Stratton Cup with The Hunter (2010) and Libertybelle Midfrew (2016) is delighted at Shandale’s barrier draw at No. 1 on the front line and said he expected the five-year-old to prove hard to beat. “Chicago Bull and Soho Tribeca have difficult draws and I’ve got a good draw over 2130m,” he said. “I’ll definitely be holding the lead and I’ll be letting Shandale roll along. His latest run, when seventh behind Chicago Bull in the Navy Cup last Friday week was good. He was off the track when they ran the third quarter of the last mile in 27.4sec. and he still fought on. “I honestly think he’s a winning chance; he’ll definitely finish in the top three. If they get over him, they get over him. But they’ll have to run some time to get past him.” Shandale is prepared by Mike Reed, who has won the group 3 Stratton Cup with Just Packapunch (1995), Capitol V (2008) and Libertybelle Midfrew (who set the pace from the No. 1 barrier and won easily from The Bucket List and Bettors Fire last year). Hall of Fame reinsman Chris Lewis is seeking his eighth win in a Stratton Cup after being successful with Black Irish (1983), Village Kid (1985, 19888, 1991), Ohoka Ace (2005), Sneakyn Down Under (2009) and Sensational Gabby (2014). He will drive Americanbootscoota, who was outstanding in defeat when second to Chicago Bull in the Navy Cup after setting the pace and being under extreme pressure from Run Oneover, who overraced badly in the breeze. Americanbootscoota is awkwardly drawn at the No. 6 barrier on the front line. Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri, who won the Stratton Cup with Just Packapunch (1993) and Sensational Gabby (2014), will be represented by Jambiani (Chris Voak) and Sheer Rocknroll (Morgan Woodley), who face tough tasks from wide barriers. Ken Casellas

2004 – Sokyola delivers Justice his first Victoria Cup. “It’s the Aussie champ, Sokyola’s done it again!” Racecaller Dan Mielicki produced a trademark pearl for Race 7 at the Valley on 18 December 2004. Same can be said for Lance Justice, the straight-shooting harness racing horseman who put the hobbles on his superstar Sokyola that night and delighted favourite punters who took a ticket at the $2.10 on offer with the bagmen. The win came during a season of astronomical success for Sokyola, an eight-year-old son of Sokys Atom out of a one-start maiden Chiola Hanover mare named Maudola (12th at Winton in 1995 on debut). In fact, both 03-04 and 04-05 saw Sokyola unrivalled in the pacing game – named back-to-back Australian Harness Horse of the Year. Soky won both Miracle Miles in those seasons at the then dream factory of New South Wales trots, Harold Park. At the completion of his racetrack career, Sokyola had amassed $1,890,990 in stakemoney with 78 wins and 42 minor placings from 161 appearances. For trivia buffs, the first of those successes came for a Kiwi trainer, Mervyn Todd, who drove Sokyola home in a three-year-old handicap at Invercargill in March 2000. “Don McRae and Curly Thomas jacked up the sale for us,” Todd told the Southland Times in 2007. “(Australian trainer) Lance Justice flew over and trialled him on my wee track. He only ran him over a furlong and commented he was a natural.” That was enough for Justice to be won over. In Australia, Sokyola was raced by Colin Croft, who, like his trainer originated in South Australia. And Sokyola was not Croft’s first Horse of the Year, either. He famously raced Inter Dominion champion Markovina (1977’s premier trots performer). In terms of Soky’s achievements, the 2004 Vic Cup win is remembered as one of his most memorable. Working to the front early for Justice, who incidentally earlier that evening piloted outsider Cam Strike home in the opener – the Claimers Cup, Sokyola dictated the pace early (74.7secs lead time, 31.7 first split and 32.5 second). “It is going to be a big sprint home here,” said Mielicki. “Have they played into Lance’s hands?” They had. At the 500m Justice began to up the stakes, Just An Excuse was extended by reinsman Todd Mitchell in the breeze, and Flashing Red, the Queenslander for Ian McMahon, was three-wide. Hexus, for Nathan Giles, was following Justice’s every move behind Sokyola, waiting to strike. At full throttle Hexus worked home solidly along the inside but his late bid was always doomed to fail, with Sokyola having plenty in reserve up the stretch. Just An Excuse finished third and stuck to his guns but, in reality, Soky always had them licked in the run, winning by a metre and a half in 2:02.5 with a last quarter of 27-flat. The triumph was Justice’s first in a Vic Cup but wouldn’t be his last. In the 2011 renewal he combined with his next champion, the indomitable Smoken Up at Tabcorp Park Melton. And who’s to say there won’t be another?  Book your Allied Express Victoria Cup dining package today Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Three phone calls a few minutes apart today all but confirmed New Zealand with a starter in next week’s Victoria Cup -- possibly two. Because while trainer Steve Telfer can’t be certain his greatly-improved mare  Better B Amazed will get into the A$200,000 race, he is planning like she will. And has now decided to add stablemate No Doctor Needed to the list of possible Cup contenders. Better B Amazed has been the revelation of the fast-class pacing season in the north with two wins this campaign before a brave second off a 20m handicap to No Doctor Needed in the Spring Cup at Alexandra Park last Friday. That was enough to convince Telfer and the pair’s owners they deserve a crack at the big time in the Victoria Cup, which has been moved from its traditional summer date to October 14. Telfer is hoping to get both straight into the 2240m Cup so has decided to bypass the major lead-up, the Smoken Up, at Melton this Friday and phoned Harness Racing Victoria today to ascertain whether a Cup start is likely for the pair. “They couldn’t confirm anything and I respect that so we won’t know definitively until the field comes out next Tuesday,” says Telfer. “But she would be a M5 or M6 over there and he would probably be an M5 and I am thinking that will be enough to get one or both of them in. “ And they (HRV) now know we are keen to start. “So the next call we made was to the transporters to see when the flights are. “The plane doesn’t leave till next Wednesday so we can see if they make the field and put them, or one of them, on the plane after that. “But at this stage are are planning to go and make it a one-race raid. “Then Better B Amazed can come back here and be set for the mares races while No Doctor Needed will go to the New Zealand Cup. “For the mare a big run, especially a placing in a Victoria Cup, would be a great result for her broodmare career later.”  Telfer is also toying with the idea of starting his exciting three-year-old American Brave in the second northern Sires’ Stakes heat at Alexandra Park next week.  “He was very unlucky last Friday night and we think a lot of him.  “So we will give him a shot at a Sires’ Stakes heat and see how he measures up.”  The first northern Sires’ Stakes heat of the season is at Cambridge this Thursday, with a small but select field including last-start Breeders Crown winner King Of Swing.   Michael Guerin

Who could forget the night Caribbean Blaster came from widest on the second row to cause a harness racing boilover in the Victoria Cup? It was 15 December, 2012, at Tabcorp Park Melton, and driver Kate Gath delivered Caribbean Blaster connections and husband trainer Andy Gath an early Christmas present with an absolute jewel of a steer. And her salute at the post was priceless. “… Kate put him in exactly the right spot and his finishing burst was special,” Andy Gath beamed post-race. “Obviously I was initially disappointed with the barrier draw (13) but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise, his speed is sensational and he follows pace so well. “I thought he would win at the home turn, when he made his run with Im Themightyquinn I was confident he could get over the top of him, it was a very gratifying victory.” West Australian star Im Themightyquinn shot away from the mobile to lead for Gary Hall Jr, confirming the natter pre-race. Pressure came in the form of The Gold Ace and Tony Herlihy into the first bend but ‘Quinny’ held the front. Initially Terrorway for Andy McCarthy had landed one-by-one, but as soon as ‘Quinny’ signalled his intention to hold out the Ace, McCarthy went whoosh three-wide and shimmied to the lead unchallenged. When the lead time was semaphored at 41.9, Andy Gath must have been smiling. That’s smoking! Speaking of, the superstar from Lance Justice’s camp, Smoken Up, then made his run three-wide with over a lap and a quarter to go. Justice urged tough ‘Trigger’ up outside of Terrorway and Washakie, the latter booting up in the chair at the thousand for driver John McCarthy. It was fair dinkum on. An interesting sidenote, John McCarthy had three runners in this race, the leader Terrorway, the breeze horse Washakie and Franco Jamar back in the field. Meanwhile, Caribbean Blaster was three horses back in the three-wide train, and, you’d have to say, well placed given the hot fractions. A 30secs first split and a 28.7secs second meant Caribbean’s pre-race $30.40 odds had surely been blasted into single digits. Off the back in 29.2secs and Smoken Up was under pressure to chase down the leader. Washakie was basically in reverse. Gonzo. ‘Quinny’ angled away from the inside and pushed three-wide into the clear, while Caribbean Blaster loomed like a thunderstorm for punters who’d taken the shorts about the favourite (‘Quinny’ was $1.6). The WA pacer did hit the front, but only fleetingly. Kate said go and her son of Bettor's Delight put ‘Quinny’ to the sword, resulting in the Gaths adding a Victoria Cup to their trophy cabinet alongside the A.G. Hunter Cup won by About To Rock six years prior. Mah Sish poked through along the inside late to snare second place ahead of Im Themightyquinn; the final quarter covered in 28.5secs. Caribbean Blaster recorded a mile rate of 1:53.7. “He was just a lovely horse to work with. You get to spend so much time with them one-on-one. Every time they step on to the track they go to war for you. They’re the sorts of horses that actually make me look good,” Andy Gath said years later of Caribbean Blaster. Caribbean Blaster is nowadays establishing himself in the breeding barn. Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Prior to 1997, only four horses had won multiple harness racing Victoria Cups. They were Koala King (1978, 79 and 80), Popular Alm (1982 and 83), Bag Limit (1987 and 88) and Sinbad Bay (1989 and 91). Despite his horse being an 11-1 shot, Kiwi trainer Cran Dalgety would have had every confidence in '97 that his 1996 Victoria Cup winner Desperate Comment could go back-to-back, because ‘Spike’, as he was affectionately known, was a warrior. “He had an amazing will to win,” Dalgety said of Desperate Comment looking back at the million-dollar stakes earner’s career ($1,033,065 in prize money to be exact). Eight years old and lining up from the pole draw on February 1 1997, at Moonee Valley Desperate Comment was a distant third-favourite with punters in the Vic Cup behind Iraklis (1-4fav) and Our Sir Vancelot (5-1). A year prior, Peter Jones had steered Desperate Comment to success in the Victoria Cup over Burlington Bertie and Norms Daughter. Now Graeme Lang was in the gig behind the Kiwi superstar. Early doors in the 2380m feature everything went to script for favourite backers with Iraklis cruising to the front for Ricky May from gate two. Trainer Robert Cameron had two representatives in the race, Iraklis and 20-1 shot Anvils Star. After a couple of hundred metres they were one-two on the rails, with Anthony Butt pushing Anvils Star on to the leader’s back position ahead of Desperate Comment, who drifted back in the early section to land the often-awkward three-fence position. When The Suleiman pushed to the chair – eventually and under driving – with a lap and a half to go there was some extra heat up front, but nothing too major and the favourite always appeared to travel well. Into the back straight the final time and Desperate Comment remained three back on the rails, but 100m later he began to emerge as Lang started plotting a path between runners. They went 28.1 for the third split, so Iraklis by this stage was fair humming, and both Our Sir Vancelot and Desperate Comment were in the clear around the famous Moonee Valley home turn the final time. Iraklis had a strong kick and halfway up the straight looked as though he may have put the result to bed. But, alas for May and Iraklis, the winning post just never seemed to come, and Desperate Comment swooped down the outside to score a neck win over another fast-finisher in Anvils Star, who finally saw daylight, with Iraklis battling into third place beaten one metre. The winning rate was 1:58.2 and the last split 28.3. For Dalgety, looking back to earlier in Desperate Comment's career, success didn’t take long to arrive. At just this third start with the Kentuckiana Lodge stable, ‘Spike’ beat Grand Circuit superstars Master Musician and Blossom Lady to land the Group 1 Easter Cup at Addington for reinsman Jimmy Curtin. “Admired, respected and loved for his courage, determination and attitude,” reads the headstone above where the champion pacer’s ashes now rest in the garden adjacent to the stable complex at Kentuckiana Lodge. “Champion racehorse, world record holder, millionaire pacer, winner of 28 races. Born Auckland 22-11-1988, died Melbourne 26-9-1997.  His memory will live on in the hearts of Allan Campbell, Joe Mullins and Graham Pilkington (owners), Cran Dalgety (trainer), Peter Jones (driver) and all who were privileged to know him.” Desperate Comment fractured a near pastern when racing at the peak of his powers in August 1997. “The fractured leg just disintegrated at a later date and he had to be put down,” Dalgety said. “When you look back, it was a good effort for him to just crack the million in stakes when he did all his racing as an older horse.” Desperate Comment won 28 races from 76 starts.  Book your place at this year's Allied Express Victoria Cup Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Loyalty means everything to champion trainer-driver Kerryn Manning. That’s why she won’t be at Melton when she has two runners in the rescheduled $200,000 Group One Victoria Cup (2240m) at Melton on October 14. Many months back – long before Harness Racing Victoria shifted the Victoria Cup to its new timeslot – Manning gleefully accepted the Maid of Honour role at the wedding of harness identities Vic Frost and Gail Geeson.  And nothing will change that.  Manning expects to have her two stable stars, Mr Mojito and Ameretto, in the Victoria Cup.  “Obviously the timing isn’t great where they moved the Victoria Cup to, but I’m comitted to the wedding and Vic and Gail are great people. That’s where I’ll be,” Manning said. Manning spoke with Ameretto’s former trainer-driver and part-owner Ashlee Grives about partnering the mare in the Victoria Cup.  “Ash didn’t say no, but didn’t confirm it either. I’d love her to drive her mare, she knows her better than anyone does,” she said.  Grives confirmed via social media last Saturday night that she would take the drive.  Ameretto looked fantastic winning her sixth race on end in a scorching 1.51.5 mile rate for 1720m in the Group Three Tailamade Lombo at Melton last Friday night.  “She did it pretty comfortably,” Manning said. “She did so much work early, I didn’t want to go for home too early. She’s going so well she deserves a go at a race like the Victoria Cup.”  The key was Ameretto’s win against “the boys” in the Group Two Breeders Crown Graduate free-for-all in late August.  Manning is uncertain whether she will run the mare again before the Victoria Cup.  “The only option is the Smoken Up Sprint in two weeks, but that means running against the likes of Lennytheshark, My Field Marshal and others,” she said. “She’s really fit and might not need another run. I’ll wait and see.”  It’s a similar situation with Mr Mojito, who also ran blistering time winning his third race on end in the free-for-all last Friday night. His mile rate was 1.52.0 for 1720m.  “He’s improving with every run, but he is still green. He’s an M5 now and has only raced 20 times. I’m not sure he’ll ever grow out of some of quirks,” Manning said.  “He’s such a bad steering horse at times. And one day he works really well in training, but the next he feels like an average maiden.  “But he’s putting it together consistently at the races and should get a start in the Victoria Cup on what he’s done in his past few runs.  “I might take him straight into the Cup now. But the option of the Smoken Up Sprint is there for him as well.”  Manning’s husband and co-trainer Grant Campbell has first dibs on the Mr Mojito drive in the Victoria Cup, but no final decision has been made.  Beyond the Victoria Cup, both Mr Mojito and Ameretto could head to Perth.  “Ameretto will go for the mares’ races over there. I’m also taking Motu Meteor for the four-year-old races,” Manning said.  “Mr Mojito is not certain because he’s still raw and the (tight) track must be some query, but if we take Ameretto and Meteor, then we will probably take Mr Mojito across as well.  “Let’s see how he goes against the really good ones in the Victoria Cup and then make a decision.” Adam Hamilton

Shane Tritton’s been trying to get his speedstar Yayas Hot Spot to the Perth Inter Dominion for three years. And now he’s sure he will finally get there. “I feel like it’s unfinished business,” Tritton said. “He’s finally ranked high enough and we’re going across. “First it’s down to Melbourne for the Victoria Cup.” Yayas Hot Spot confirmed a two-race Melbourne raid after Yayas Hot Spot smashed the clock in a solo workout at Penrith. He ran a 1.53.6 mile, which was 1.4sec inside the official track record. “He won’t run before Melbourne. He’ll go first-up into the Smoken Up on October 6 at Melton,” Tritton said. Then comes the $200,000 Group One Victoria Cup at Melton eight days later. In other stable news, Shane and Lauren Tritton combined with their classy six-year-old mare Miss Riviera Belle to win the $30,600 Group Three Piccadilly Princess in a 1.53 mile at Menangle last Saturday night. _______________________________________________________________________________________ When Hunter Cup winner Bling It On crashed to the track a few months back and was ruled-out of the Victoria Cup and Perth Inter Dominion, Luke McCarthy’s hopes of competing in those races looked slim. Maybe Mach Doro or Allblack Stride could step-up, but instead it has been new stable addition Galactic Star who emerged. The former WA-trained five-year-old has looked terrific winning both starts for Craig Cross with McCarthy in the bike. Galactic Star won narrowly but impressively after sitting parked for much of the race in a 1.55.9 mile rate for 2300m at Menangle last Saturday night. It was enough for connections to label the Victoria Cup (Melton, October 14) a target. Galactic Star was bought from NZ by Greg and Skye Bond and won 13 of his 19 WA starts for them before being sent to NSW. Adam Hamilton

Next stop Victoria for My Field Marshal. Trainer Tim Butt declared his stable star right on target for the Victoria Cup after a narrow, but impressive Menangle win last Saturday night. My Field Marshal’s next and only other lead-up run will be in the $50,000 Group 2 Smoken Up Sprint (1720m) at Melton on October 6. The rescheduled $200,000 Group 1 Victoria Cup is eight days later at the same track. “He’s right where I want him,” Butt said. “We’ve had to drive him outside of his comfort zone in these two recent Menangle races because he’s been the best horse in the race and drawn the outside. “The problem with sitting parked with him is that he’s a bugger for wanting to loaf when he hits the front. “He did that when Little Rascal nabbed him two starts back and wanted to do it again the other night, but lifted enough to hold them off. He’s got more left that it looks, but he’s a better chaser than leader.” Despite doing all the work, My Field Marshal hit the lead early in the straight and held-off Allblack Stride to win by a neck in a slick 1min51.9sec mile. Butt, who announced last week he was setting-up a Menangle stable and spending much of his time in NSW, will first head to Melbourne on Tuesday week. “I’ll be down in Melbourne for five weeks. Let It Ride, who is a serious horse, is coming across to join My Field Marshal down there,” Butt said. “The 4&5YO Championship (November 11, at Melton) is the main goal with him down there.” Butt said it was a busy, but exciting time for the stable. “It’s great to be going into partnership with Jonny Cox back home and to be getting serious about a team at Menangle,” he said. “I’m really excited about the Menangle team and committed to making a splash with a nice bunch of horses.” Adam Hamilton

Trainer Steve Telfer is daring to dream of Cups glory with the surprise package of the pacing season -- but not the Cup everybody else is thinking about. Telfer has had a red-hot start to the season but he admits even he is stunned by the form of Better B Amazed, with the enormously improved mare scoring two crushing open class wins at Alexandra Park. The second came last Friday where she sat parked and rated 1:53.9 for 1700m, just 0.4 of a second off his national record on a cold, wet night. Better B Amazed has now beaten New Zealand Cup contenders No Doctor Needed and Hug The Wind twice, coming from outside them both times and would not be out of place in the Cup at Addington on November 14. But while Telfer realises the new season version of his mare has jumped up a few notches, he is thinking of a different Cup. “There is a little chance she could target the Victoria Cup at Melton next month,” says Telfer. “We all realise how much better she is going even than last season when she was going pretty well. “I can’t really put it down to one thing, probably just maturity. “But she is working better and every time this season we have taken her to the workouts or race she has gone up a level. “We had a meeting on Saturday night to discuss what to do next and the 3200m of the New Zealand Cup isn’t her best distance so we aren’t considering a late nom for that. “But the new Victoria Cup interests us a bit.” The Victoria Cup has been transferred from the January date when Lazarus won it last season to October 14, the same day as the Everest in Sydney and the Caulfield Guineas. Because of the move leading trainers Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen have declare they aren’t likely to send one of their team to the 2240m mobile and with the Australian elite ranks lacking depth after injuries to Hectorjayjay and Bling It On, the Victoria Cup is dominated by Lennytheshark and My Field Marshal. “They are still great horses but we think she is at her best over sprint trips so we are considering taking her to Victoria for the Smoken Up over 1720m in early October and if she raced well then the Victoria Cup,” says Telfer. “She we will nominate her for the Spring Cup next week and make the final decision after that, but a start next week might also depend on her handicap.” Telfer would eventually like to campaign Better B Amazed at Menangle, outside Sydney,where in her current form something close to a 1:50 mile looks within her capabilities. She wasn’t the only big-name pacing mare to impress over the weekend as Dream About Me was a brave third to stablemate Have Faith In Me in their comeback race at Addington on Saturday. Dream About Me was expected to need the outing and paraded looking burly but after sitting parked her run was every bit as good as Have Faith In Me and Titan Banner, who beat her home. She will now become a rarity, a Purdon-Rasmussen starter in this Sunday’s Hannon Memorial at Oamaru as she needs more concentrated racing while Have Faith In Me will be allowed to miss that next stop on the road to the New Zealand Cup. But much of the Cup focus will be on the Rangiora trials tomorrow where the two dominant favourites Lazarus and Heaven Rocks have their first public outings for the  season. They are likely to follow identical paths to the great race so punters will get plenty off dress rehearsals to help them make up their minds before November.   Michael Guerin

October’s premier trots event will be named the Allied Express Victoria Cup after Australia’s leading independently-owned courier, freight and logistics company partnered the famed race. Allied Express CEO Colin McDowell said the company’s sponsorship of the October 14 Victoria Cup reflected its commitment to the sport and to greater Melbourne. “Melbourne is an important market for Allied Express and the trots is a vehicle for us to spread the business’s message,” Mr McDowell said. “The Allied Express Victoria Cup is a big race and it’s the night of the Everest and the Caulfield Guineas, so a lot of people will be thinking about the thoroughbreds and the trots on that day.” The prestigious race, which has been won by immortals Christen Me, Lennytheshark and Lazarus in the past three years, further strengthens the long involvement both Allied Express and Mr McDowell have had with the sport. The company, which employs more than 1500 Australians in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, has financially supported the sport for almost 50 years. Mr McDowell has been a trots driver for almost as long as well as a prolific owner and breeder. “It’s in my blood,” he said. “My son (Ben) and daughter-in-law (Kerry) do the training now and we have about 70 horses on the go and are always working to find that next nice horse.” Harness Racing Victoria CEO David Martin said: “Harness Racing Victoria is pleased to have signed Allied Express as naming rights sponsor for the 2017 Victoria Cup. The 2017 Allied Express Victoria Cup promises to be an exciting race.” The cup will be held on October 14 at Tabcorp Park Melton and remains one of only eight Australasian races that form the Grand Circuit. Michael Howard (HRV Media/Communications Co-Ordinator)

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