Auber has Crown runner

J Scott Latest News



As a broadcaster, form analyst and scribe, Rob Auber is a figure as tied to the image of Victorian harness racing as any in the sport.

But it is in is his other guise, as owner and breeder, that his greatest passion for the industry lies, meaning it comes as little shock to hear the euphoria in his voice approaching Super Sunday and his first crack at racing immortality.

Bellas Delight will line up for Auber and his team of owners as a maiden with only five career starts in the $A308,000 Group 1 two-year-old fillies final of the Tabcorp Australasian Breeders Crown.

But following a slashing performance last Friday night, when she ran the fastest last half and quarter of all 22 semi-finalists in her division, she has her stalwart owner and breeder daring to dream.

“We’re very excited about racing on Sunday,” Auber said.  “We’ve been thrilled with her performances to date and while it’s a very tough race we think she’s one of the absolute chances.”

While conceding that her inexperience might be her biggest obstacle, Auber also senses that with a genuine tempo his filly can figure in the finish despite TAB Sportsbet rating her a $71 chance in the market headed by Lively Moth ($1.90).

And if she does salute the judge it might place her owner – who has been commissioned to conduct all post-race interviews on the $1.56 million card – in a tricky position.

“I think I might have to ask Craig Rail or Michael Polster to do it (the interview) if she won,” Auber laughed.

“Look, it’s pretty exciting just to be in that situation. I bred Bellas Delight and I’ve had three generations of that family, so to get here with her is amazing.

“It’s the biggest meeting from a two, three and four-year-old perspective in Australia and when you’ve been paying up for three years and you’re through to the final, it’s a massive thrill.”

With just a few nervous nights to wait until the richest showcase of age-restricted in Australasia and his shot at one of the most treasured prizes in the sport, Auber is trying to remain philosophical.

But for a man as enamoured with the industry, the Crown and horses in general as he is, the anticipation is peaking fast.

“Everybody knows how passionate I am about my horses,” he said.  “I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t thinking about winning a Group 1, it’s something I’ve dreamed of forever and for me it would be the pinnacle of my life.”

The 2240-metre Crown final for the baby girls is the seventh race on a cracker 10-race program and will be run at 5.45pm (NZ time).


Most punters are looking at Sunday’s Tabcorp Australasian Breeders Crown 3YO Fillies Final as a put in, take out job with Kiwi champion De Lovely.

The Australian and New Zealand Oaks winner had many pondering just how she stacks up with some of New Zealand’s all-time great fillies after her semi-final when she strolled home by 17 metres in second gear.

But punters who might not be so clear-cut in their assessment of the race are those who were on Divisive in the 2006 three-year-old colts and geldings’ final.

The 2008 Miracle Mile champion holds the distinction of being the shortest priced beaten favourite in a Breeders Crown final, going down to Tip Your Hat when a raging $1.10 popular elect.

That’s the price TAB Sportsbet has put up about the Geoff Small-trained De Lovely in the $188,000 Group 1.

If her TAB price reflects that quote – and she does salute of course – De Lovely will become the shortest-priced Breeders Crown pacing champion.

Manifold Bay (2000, 2YO C&G), Changeover (2007, 3YO C&G) and last year’s four-year-old male champion Maffioso currently hold that honour after winning respective finals at $1.30.

The three shortest-priced Crown champions in the series’ 12-year history are all trotters.

Our First Jewel will forever hold the record owing to the fact he won the two-year-old trotters final at “money back” in 2000, before $1.04 became the lowest possible dividend.

Kyvalley Road was $1.10 when he won the three-year-old trotters final in 2003, while Zesta won the same division at $1.20 the year previous.


Last season’s Tabcorp Australasian Breeders Crown runner-up Lanercost has history against him at Melton’s Tabcorp Park this Sunday, but that is the last thing on the mind of his trainer-driver Darrel Graham.

The Crown’s 12-year almanac tells us that no male pacer has returned after finishing second at two and gone one better at three.

But, having overcome the most famous hamstring injury since Nick Riewoldt with his duel Derby winner, Graham is just happy to be back with another crack at glory.

“We’re very happy with him and we’re not worried about the past,” Graham said.  
“He had a little hamstring drama, which we’re getting the chiropractor down to have a look at again, but he seems OK.

“He ran well at Yarra Valley and that tough run he had last week was probably just what he needed.  He’s close to his top now – 95 or 98 percent at least – and he’s ready to go for the final.”

Lanercost’s chances of rewriting history have been enhanced by his handy draw of barrier four in the $188,000 decider for th 2240-metre final and while Graham stopped short of declaring he will lead, he’s not denying the possibility.

“It’s one of those draws where you can look inside and outside and just see what happens,” he said. “He’s definitely got the speed to find the front, but we’ll just have to wait and see what’s best.”

Meanwhile, Graham’s other Crown aspirant, El Padrino, has drawn even better in the pole for $100,000 Group 1 four-year-old boys final.

He too has sufficient speed to lead a quality field headlined by Chariots Of Fire champion Villagem and on that score the Sunshine Stater is more forthcoming about his tactics.

“Twelve months ago we would have handed up, but his last few runs have been good and I think if you hand up you’re sort of conceding the race,” he said.

“I’m not running for second. I think he is a live chance. I think both of mine are.”

Lanercost will step out in race eight on a 10-event program, scheduled for 6.25pm (NZ time), with the 4YO entires and geldings’ final to follow at 7.05pm (NZ time).


Reigning Tabcorp Australasian Breeders Crown champion Tuhimata Glass is one of five horses seeking back-to-back glory this Sunday, but he is the only one returning in a new stable.

Trained to last year’s 2YO trotters title by Brent Mangos, the son of Malabar Maple is now with Lance Justice and while he’s yet to show the form of 12 months ago, his new handler senses he’s not far away.

“He’s getting back to feeling really good and racing well,” Justice said.  “He’s a great little horse and he’s drawn better than his main dangers, so he’s a chance.”

It is that crucial barrier advantage (five) over TAB Sportsbet’s $2.10 favourite, Miami H, which has the always ebullient Justice sensing a historic victory is within reach.

“He’s certainly got enough speed to find the top from where he’s drawn and from there he’ll just roll along at a good speed and make it tough for the favourites to catch him.”

If Tuhimata Glass is successful in the $102,000 Group 1 final (2240m) at Melton’s Tabcorp Park it would be just reward for not only Justice, but the loyal team of leviathan owners who recruited him for this race almost three months ago.

Rob Merola, Sam Godino, John Hawke, Tony Prochilo, Michael Taranto and Angelo Cammaroto represent some of the sport’s biggest personalities and as close mates would love to win a big one together.

“All those guys are just great blokes and I’m just glad they give me horses like Tuhimata Glass to train,” Justice said.

“We’re great mates on and off the track, which just makes it better and makes you want to win a race like this that little bit more. We’re really looking forward to Sunday.”

The other four horses defending their titles on Super Sunday are Let Me Thru (4YO Trotters), Make Mine Cullen (4YO Mares), Led Suitcase (3YO Fillies) and Smiling Shard (3YO Colts and Geldings).

Magic Interest, the two-year-old trotting champion of 2008, is out to become the first non-consecutive winner in Breeders Crown history.


If Paramount Geegee’s seven wins in New Zealand weren’t enough to install him favourite for the Group 1 Tabcorp Australasian Breeders Crown final for two-year-old trotters, his dominant display at Geelong on August 10 was.

Never out of second gear, the hulking son of Pegasus Spur destroyed a field of inferior rivals by almost 30 metres and sent a shudder down the spine of all those hoping to beat him in Sunday’s $162,000 event over 2240 metres.

Rather than trying to intimidate his impending foes, trainer John Dickie was merely in search of race fitness that night and the kill his big bloke needed ahead of what would be the biggest win of his career.

“The reason I came over here early is because he hadn’t had a run in eight weeks, since the Breeders Crown heat back in Auckland,” he said.

“The two-year-olds at home were all in the paddock, so he came here without a trial or anything and did it very well at Geelong.

“Admittedly they were horses he deserved to beat well, but he’s also had a quiet hit-out at Ballarat last Sunday where he came from last and ended up winning quite easily, so we’re very, very pleased with him.”  

Paramount Geegee’s excellent form has been a welcome fillip for his handler, with Dickie struck down with back-to-back ear infections in recent weeks, the second of which prevented him driving his star pacer at Geelong.

But with money, prestige and a Breeders Crown tilt now just around the corner, he’s bravely fighting on.

Before I came over I had one (an infection) in my right ear and just got over it on the eve of coming here,” Dickie said.  “Then, when I arrived it switched over to my left ear, I couldn’t believe it.

“I’m still not over it completely but it’ll feel a lot better if we can win on Sunday.”

Paramount Geegee has been installed a prohibitive $1.60 favourite by TAB Sportsbet, with Chateau De Ville ($3.10) his nearest rival in betting ahead of Aldebaran Breeze ($9) and polemarker Moyabamba ($13).

The 2YO trotting final is the opening race on Breeders Crown Final day and is scheduled to run at 12.10pm.

Courtesy of Brad Bishop, HRV Media Manager

Kiwis smiling ahead of Crown

J Scott Latest News


By Jason Bonnington

Australia’s dwindling chances in the 3YO colts and geldings’ section of this year’s Tabcorp Australasian Breeders Crown plummeted further on Friday August 13 when Kiwis won both semi-finals.

Reigning titleholder Smiling Shard put his rivals on notice when he sat parked but still proved far too good in the second semi-final in scintillating time.

With fireworks from the outset Smiling Shard’s chief threat, countryman Kiwi Courage To Rule, struggled to hold the top from his inside draw and while he won that early battle it proved to be of little value with a hot speed continuing.

A lead time of 43.7 seconds was followed by a sizzling 59.2sec first half of the last mile, during which Smiling Shard found the position outside the speed.

That was followed by a 29.1sec third split as those smoking their pipe at the rear began long, searching runs.

But when Courage To Rule relented, Cran Dalgety’s son of Grimfromeartoear thrived, drawing away from his rivals in a 29.6sec final split to defeat brave West Australian David Hercules, Remember El and Composed in a 1:56 mile rate.

Our High Octane and Lively Operative rounded out those to qualify for the $A188,000 Group 1 final of the series on Sunday, August 22, with Courage To Rule Friday night’s major casualty.

In the other preliminary, Steve Dolan’s son of Courage Under Fire, Franco Jamar, upstaged more fancied compatriot Devil Dodger.

After leading the field with relative ease from the pole, $1.90 favourite Devil Dodger controlled the tempo in a lead time of 47.6, but when Darrel Graham circled the field aboard Lanercost the race was on in earnest.

Despite a moderate 63.2sec first half of the last mile, Mark Purdon poured the pressure on aboard Henrik Zetterberg to inspire a 27.7 third term that was always going to test the leaders.

Craig Thornley and Franco Jamar took full advantage of their gun run behind the leader to explode in a 27.3sec final split for a 1:59.2 mile rate win.

Franco Jamar finished four metres ahead of Devil Dodger with game Queenslander Lanercost, Its My Pleasure, Dream Catch Me and Wartime Sweetheart all qualifying for the final.

Having beaten reigning Crown champion and series favourite Smiling Shard in his heat, Thornley expressed his excitement and anticipation approaching Super Sunday.

“It was a good win tonight and he (Franco Jamar) is getting better all the time, so we’re really looking forward to next Sunday,” he said.

The 3YO colts and geldings final field will comprise: Franco Jamar, Devil Dodger, Lanercost, Its My Pleasure, Dream catch Me, Wartime Sweetheart, Smiling Shard, David Hercules, Remember El, Composed, Our High Octane, Lively Operative.


By Jason Bonnington

De Lovely was named after one of Cole Porter’s biggest hits, but it might be another of his signature songs, Night and Day, that best expresses the growing chasm between the brilliant filly and her Tabcorp Australasian Breeders Crown rivals.

The daughter of Falcon Seelster strengthened an already vice-like grip on the $A188,000 Group 1 3YO Fillies Final when she cruised home by 17 metres in the second semi-final with ear plugs in tact.

Sent out a raging $1.10 favourite in the second semi, the Geoff Small-trained superstar ambled past her rivals to take up the running through a steady lead time of 45.7-seconds before reinsman David Butcher stepped on the breaks.

A casual final first half of 61.8-seconds followed with De Lovely cruising at the head of affairs clear of polemarker Forest Babe on her back and Miss Trickin Lombo who circled the field down the back straight a clear third.

may 15 addington 2010 015After a 29.7-second third term, Butcher released the shackles and the highest rated filly in Australasia responded with a 26.6sec final split to complete a 1:57.8 mile rate.

Miss Trickin Lombo stuck on well to finish second, albeit a long way from the winner, while Forest Babe held off Clancy Rose and Loving Life Lombo for the minor prize. Revivalist was sixth.

“She’s just gotten stronger and stronger,” Butcher said after the win. “As you can see, she did it pretty easily but it’s all about next week now and we’ll find out (how much is left) then.”    

Earlier, highly-rated Western Australian, Arctic Fire, justified her $1.40 quote by going from pillar to post in effortless fashion.

After securing the coveted pole draw, Ross Olivieri’s talented daughter of Courage Under Fire led the field with ease before cruising through what veteran reinsman John Caldow described as a “snack lead time” of 47secs.

Quickening noticeably down the back straight the Sandgroper then carved out a 61.5sec first half of the closing mile before scooting home in 28.1 and 28.3sec closing sections.

At the line she had 6.5m to spare over defending champion Led Suitcase, with Art Princess holding down third.

Glenferrie Inn and Morgan Abby finished fourth and fifth to book their spots in the final, along with sixth placegetter Sugarland.

Final Field: Arctic Fire, Led Suitcase, Art Princess, Glenferrie Inn, Morgan Abby, Sugarland, De Lovely, Miss Trickin Lombo, Forest Babe, Clancy Rose, Loving Life Lombo, Revivalist, Art Shadow (emerg).


By Brad Bishop

Some of Friday night’s Tabcorp Australasian Breeders Crown semi-finals didn’t prove a lot, but the 2YO colts and geldings qualifiers certainly weren’t among them.

Under-rated pair Abettorpunt and Sushi Sushi announced themselves bona fide ontenders for Sunday week’s $308,000 Group 1 final with barnstorming upset wins in their respective semis.

Both travelled three-back the pegs and unleashed whirlwind finishes to run down short-priced favourites in the shadows of the Tabcorp Park post.

Abettorpunt kicked things off when he reeled in Royal Verdict at $19, while $7 chance Sushi Sushi produced an almost identical performance to deny Kiwi star Our Major Mark in the second semi.

It franked the form from their repechage, when the Freddy Taiba-trained Sushi Sushi defeated Abettorpunt. He lost that round, but Abettorpunt won’t be short of fans who think he can turn the tables in the final.

The David Lewis-trained son of Bettors Delight spotted Royal Verdict and Devilish Smile 10m turning for home, but still ran the class pair down despite a 27-second last quarter.

It wasn’t until 50m from home that he loomed as a genuine winning chance, but so fast did he finish that he was a half-neck clear of $2 favourite Royal Verdict with Devilish Smile ($5.20) the same distance away in third in a 1:59.8 mile rate.

Winning driver Caleb Lewis has always had a high opinion of the gelding, but said even he was surprised Abettorpunt was able to run down the class pair after a 64.4sec first half of the last mile.

“I knew he had the speed to put himself into the race at some stage, but he had to get out and when he did get out around the corner he showed he’s a very fast horse,” Lewis said of Abettorpunt, who has now won two of his four starts.

Sushi Sushi’s driver Greg Sugars had a similar tale to tell after the latter semi. He was also hooked to the outside at the top of the straight and motored late to hit the front in the final couple of bounds.

Sugars had basically conceded defeat after a 33.2sec first split, but 28.6 and 28.2sec middle quarters saw him outsprint the $1.50 hot pot in a 28.3sec final split.

At the line he had a neck to spare over Our Major Mark in a 1:58.4 mile rate with Queensland representative Caesars Folly six metres away in third.

“After the first quarter I just hoped to run third or fourth and have a better run in the final, but the mid-race pressure went on and the gaps opened up and he sprouted wings,” Sugars said.

“Halfway up straight he really hit top gear and was just so strong on the line.”

Final Field: Abettorpunt, Royal Verdict, Devilish Smile, King Grin, Blackjack Bromac, Sushi Sushi, Our Major Mark, Caesars Folly, Attackamach, Brick Top, Beeston, Excel Stride (emerg).


By Brad Bishop

Tabcorp Park racegoers would be forgiven for experiencing a bit of déjà vu in the Australasian Breeders Crown semi-finals.

Six weeks after pulling off a Vicbred Super Series semi-final winning double with Aussie Made Lombo and Passions Promise, Jayne Davies won both Breeders Crown 2yo qualifiers with the same 2yo fillies.

Aussie Made Lombo did it easy in the first semi, while Passions Promise denied odds-on favourite Lively Moth – as she did in her Vicbred semi – in the latter event.

Davies said it was sweet result, but hopes Sunday week’s $A308,000 Group 1 Breeders Crown has a happier ending than the Vicbred series, which saw Lively Moth get her revenge.

“That was great (the Vicbred double), but we couldn’t win the final, though,” she said. “Hopefully we can one better this time.”

Aussie Made Lombo overcame a wide early run from the outside of the back row to lead for the majority of the first semi, while Passions Promise benefited from a crack Gavin Lang drive to win the other.

Lang was patient from gate nine, but wasted no time working his way into a prominent position aboard the $4.50 chance before handing up to Sheezallattitude and assuming the one-out one-back.

He then came with a strong run rounding the home bend and hit the front soon after straightening and held on to win from Lively Moth and fast-finishing pair Bettor Give It and Bella Shine.

Her 1:58.7 mile rate – which consisted of 30.3, 29.4, 30.1 and 29.6sec splits – was significantly quicker than the 2:00.8 Aussie Made Lombo went.

The daughter of million-dollar mare Tailamade Lombo, who started $1.80, was allowed to get away with a 64.6sec first half of the last mile before ripping home in 29.2 and 27.3secs for victory over Beach Melody and McAmber.

Davies was thrilled with their efforts from the testing draws.

“They both had terrible draws ands they had to make the best of them, but they came through,” she said. “Gee it would be nice if they could run first and second.”

Final Field: Aussie Made Lombo, Beach Melody, McAmber, Bellas Delight, Artistic Rainbow, Passions Promise, Lively Moth, Bettor Give It, Bella Shine, Sheezallattitude, Claire Jasper, Dream Verdict (emerg).


Nathan Jack and Elixir combined to score an upset win Friday night’s Tabcorp Australasian Breeders Crown Graduate Mares Free-For-All.

Last year’s Australian Oaks heroine proved the nemesis of punters hoping to get out on class act Jazzam when they sprint-laned to victory in the $25,000 event.

It was the perfect way to tune up for Sunday’s four-year-old heat, in which she has the unenviable task of meeting Broadways Best where her reward might be a meeting with Make Mine Cullen.

“Tonight was probably her best run this time in,” Jack said. “She did a little bit early and to kick home so hard and win pretty easy on the line, she’s heading in the right direction.

“Unfortunately she’s got to face Broadways Best, but if it and Make Mine Cullen get into a war they’ll know she’s there.”

After leading early in the 1720-metre event, Jack elected to take a trail behind Jazzam when Gavin Lang surprisingly sent that horse forward at the beginning of the final lap.

After a lead time of 7.5-seconds the small field of top-grade mares sizzled through quarters of 29.5 and 29.2 before the $5 pop squeezed through along the sprint lane in 27.6 to upstage the $1.40 favourite in a 1:55.1 mile rate.

Christian Melody ($8) split that pair closing late on the leaders down the centre of the track.

Elixir and Broadways Best will clash in Sunday’s first Breeders Crown heat, which kicks off the card at 3.16pm (NZ ime).

Courtesy of Harness Racing Victoria.


Breeders Crown barrier draws

J Scott Latest News


Franco Jamar was the big winner at the barrier draw for the headline race of next Sunday’s $1.56 million Tabcorp Australasian Breeders Crown finals day at Melton’s Tabcorp Park.

The Steve Dolan-trained colt is poised to challenge for favouritism in the 3YO Colts & Geldings Final after landing the coveted inside alley, the position he started from when a scintillating semi-final winner on Friday night.

The compatriot he run down, Devil Dodger, drew wide on the front line (six), while defending champion and second semi-final winner Smiling Shard drew awkwardly inside the back row (eight).

Lanercost, a game third behind Franco Jamar, appeals as Australia’s best hope of repelling the Kiwi challenge after landing gate four.

Franco Jamar wasn’t the only Kiwi to pluck a gun barrier with Our Major Mark to start from two in the 2YO Colts & Geldings Final. Local star Royal Verdict drew three and semi winners Abettorpunt and Sushi Sushi five and seven.

Paramount Geegee gained an edge over top local hope Chateau De Ville when he drew barrier three in the 2YO Trotters Final. Chateau De Ville will start from outside the front row in barrier seven.

Fellow Kiwi trotter Miami H wasn’t so fortunate in the 3YO Trotters Final, allocated the spot inside the second line (eight). The first two home in last year’s final, Tuhimata Glass and Rostevarren drew barriers five and seven.

Not even an outside-front-row draw will prevent De Lovely starting a long-odds-on favourite in the 3YO Fillies Final, especially with Western Australian semi winner Arctic Fire drawn wide on the second line (12).

Lively Moth fared best of the big trio in the 2YO fillies’ division, drawing gate two with Jayne Davies-trained semi winners Passions Promise and Aussie Made Lombo in seven and nine respectively.

Villagem drew gate six in the 4YO Colts & Geldings Final, while class pair Down Under Muscles (six) and Let Me Thru (seven) will start next to each other in the 4YO Trotters Final.

Broadways Best gained an edge over Make Mine Cullen in their long-awaited clash in the 4YO Mares Final, drawing barrier four with Make Mine Cullen to start three horses wide on the back row in gate 10.


2YO Colts & Geldings: (front) Blackjack Bromac, Our Major Mark, Royal Verdict, Excel Stride (emerg), Abettorpunt, King Grin, Sushi Sushi; (back) Caesars Folly, Beetson, Devilish Smile, Brick Top, Attackamach.

2YO Fillies: (front) Bella Shine, Lively Moth, Beach Melody, Claire Jasper, Dream Verdict (emerg), Bettor Give It, Passions Promise; (back) Sheezallattutide, Aussie Made Lombo, McAmber, Bellas Delight, Artistic Rainbow.

2YO Trotters: (front) Moyabamba, Elegant Image, Paramount Geegee, Me Neither, Our Flash Girl, A Stylish Jewel, Chateau De Ville; (back) Aldebaran Breeze, Mikey Son, Miss Eliza (emerg), Sir Pegasus, Baggy Boots.

3YO Colts & Geldings: (front) Franco Jamar, Remember El, Our High Octane, Lanercost, Courage To Rule (emerg), Devil Dodger, David Hercules; (back) Smiling Shard, Dream Catch Me, Wartime Sweetheart, Composed, Lively Operative, Its My Pleasure.

3YO Fillies: (front) Miss Trickin Lombo, Clancy Rose, Revivalist, Art Shadow (emerg), Art Princess, Glenferrie Inn, De Lovely; (back) Morgan Abby, Led Suitcase, Loving Life Lombo, Sugarland, Arctic Fire, Forest Babe.

3YO Trotters: (front) Enjoy A Malabu, Miss Bullion, Gluteus Major, Ymbro Wow, Tuhimata Glass, Posimistic, Rostevarren; (back) Miami H, Amelia Darling, Mister Castleton, Ninegrandsons, Im Chilled, Tsonga (emerg).

4YO Entires & Geldings: (front) El Padrino, Dominate Line, Make A Memory, Cool And Casual, Erics Legend, Villagem, Jilliby Bartel; (back) Runaway Red (emerg), Goodtime Jasper, Jukebox Music, Bee And Jay, Garnet River, Christian Shadow.

4YO Mares: (front) Queen Of Fire, Miss Athens, Justa Jem Lombo, Broadways Best, Ananz (emerg), Three Card Brag, Dreams Of Heaven; (back) Keppel Bay, Flyin Indi Air, Make Mine Cullen, Ay Tee Em, Cullens Angel, Elixir.

4YO Trotters: (front) Aleppo Sunrise, Magic Interest, Happy Maori, Melpark Miccole, Down Under Muscles, Let Me Thru, Berceuse; (back) Karaka Tooth, Sassy Pinevale, Amazon River.

Courtesy of Brad Bishop, HRV Media Manager

2YOs’ in early workout run

J Scott Latest News


Two Mark Jones stablemates were the first South Island juveniles to step out publicly in the new season at the Rangiora workouts on Saturday, August 7.

The promising 2YOs’ finished on terms at the end of the 2YO mobile 2000m pace, pleasing their trainer with their manners. Bedlam_after_Rga_workout

They were turned out later in the afternoon for a six-seven weeks spell to develop further.

Kristoff, a P-Forty-Seven colt, bred and owned by Trevor Casey, led up for much of the heat for catch-driver Wayne Higgs.

Bedlam, a showy black Washington VC colt, bought out of the second day of the NZ Premier Yearling Sale in Christchurch in February for $10,000 by Ohoka owners Ernie and Gail Bailey, had the last say for Mark Jones putting his nose in front on the line.

The stablemates were not out to break records but did everything right running the 2000m in 2:55.9, pacing their last 800m in 65.1s and quickening over their last 400m in 30.7s.

Bedlam is a half-brother to former Ardmore mare Linatawa, who won three for Tony Herlihy before being exported to North America, where she has raced on well winning a further 10 races and taking a 1:53 winning mile mark.

They are from Bedspread, an unraced Wingspread half-sister to Colonel Anvil (11 NZ & Aust wins, 1:57.7), a former four lengths runnerup to Courage Under Fire in the 1999 NZ Derby at Addington for trainer Robert Cameron.

Bedlam is from the same family as former good winners Butler Hanover (4 NZ wins, 26 USA wins, 1:58.4, US), Spangle’s Gold (6 NZ wins, 15 USA wins, 1:57.4, US), Farm Boss (2 NZ wins, 10 USA wins) and big Queensland winners, Natta Razoo Left (41 wins), Costa Razoo (35 wins) and Notta Brass Razoo (12 wins).

Kristoff, from the second crop of P-Forty-Seven (p3, 1:48.4 & $US707,660), is the first foal from Pita Pocket, a qualified but unraced daughter of In The Pocket and Caps Off (1:52.8, 10 US wins), winner of five in NZ including the Group One 2000 NZ Oaks at Addington over Tupelo Rose and Dancingonmoonight when raced by Mr Casey and trained by Bruce Negus.

Caps Off (Caprock-Te Phyno), who at stud has left the good Victorian winner Captian Cullen (15 Aust wins & $94,168, 1:55.7), and minor winner Fortuitious, is most notably a half-sister to former NZ and Great Northern Derby winner Badlands Bute (12 NZ wins).

Bedlam is also distantly related to former NZ Free-For-All winner in record time Waipawa Lad (17 NZ wins & $368,501), and now a 1:52.2 winning miler in North America.

By Jeff Scott


Posthumous award for Kahdon

J Scott Former News, Latest News


Ill-fated filly Kahdon joined an elite list of 3YO trotters to be voted NZ Trotter of the Year in Christchurch on Saturday, July 31.

Kahdon, who lost her life to a bacterial infection in Australia on July 19, joins One Over Kenny (2005) and Sovereignty (2008) as previous age group champions to take out the coveted title.

Voters gave Kahdon a three vote advantage over Dominion Handicap winner Springbank Richard for the top of the division, polling 11 votes to eight.

Rowe Cup champ Sundons Gift gained 7 votes for Trotter of the Year, while top 4YO I Can Doosit (5), Stylish Monarch (4) and top aged mare Speculate (1) were other nominees.

Kahdon raced only 14 times for 6 wins and 5 seconds and $177,234 in stakes.

She beat the boys in the G1 Northern Trotting Derby on May 7, and the G2 Hutton Racing Stables Sires’ Stakes Trotters Championship at Auckland On May 30.

Kahdon was second in the G1 NZ Trotting Derby at Addington on March 26 behind Shezoneoftheboyz, and also second in the G3 NZ Trotting Oaks on April 9 behind Emma Hamilton.

She raced for the breeders, Ben and Lois Smith, and Leeston trainer Paul Nairn, until a few days before the Harness Jewels 3YO Ruby at Cambridge on June 5, when she was purchased for the Mark Jones stable by Jakarta-based owner Peter Chambers.

Kahdon finished a gallant second behind front-running Vulcan in the Jewels, won in 1:58 for the mile, then easily won the $A50,000 Victoria Trotters Oaks at Melton on June  11.

Mark felt something wasn’t quite right with her after being outfinished late by Rostevarren in a Victoria Trotters Derby on July 3. She became very ill a week later and despite every attempt to save her, she succumbed to a severe bowel infection at the Werribee clinic.

Although irreplaceable, Mr Chambers and Mark are searching for another close relative in order to continue to share in the family legacy.

Awards winners were:


2YO Colt/Gelding of the Year: PARAMOUNT GEEGEE (2g Pegasus Spur-Paramount Star), owners Jocelyn and John Davies, Charles Blackwell, Jonathon Hope, Jennifer Sutherland (trainer: John Dickie) 37 votes.

2YO Filly of the Year: KYLIE REE (2f Monarchy-Nerokilo), owner, Brian McCully (trainers: Mark Purdon/Grant Payne) 35 votes. Other nominee: Sapphire Castleton 2.

3YO Colt/Gelding of the Year: VULCAN (3g Earl-Epona), owners: Jenny Butt, Donald McKenzie (trainer: Tim Butt) 27 votes. Other nominees: Miami H 6, The Fiery Ginga 4.

3YO Filly of the Year: KAHDON (3f Sundon-Kahola), owner, Peter Chambers (trainer Mark Jones) 36 votes. Other nominee: Shezoneoftheboyz 1.

4YO Entire/Gelding of the Year: I CAN DOOSIT (4g Muscles Yankee-Sheezadoosie), owners, Breckon Racing Syndicate (trainers: Mark Purdon/Grant Payne) 37 votes.

4YO Mare of the Year: POCARO (4m Sundon-Niamey), owners, Trevor Casey, Tim Whelan, Stephen Ward, James Whelan, Shane Hausler) 36 votes. Other nominee: Great Getaway 1.

5YO or older Entire/Gelding of the Year: SPRINGBANK RICHARD (6g Sundon-It’s A Whiz), owners, Alistair and Denise Smith, 16 votes. Other nominees: Stylish Monarch 14, Sundons Gift 7.

5YO or older Mare of the Year: SPECULATE (8m Sundon-Look), owners, Lynn and Gerry Smith, Justin Smith (trainer: Justin Smith) 37 votes.

TROTTER OF THE YEAR: KAHDON 11. Other nominees: Springbank Richard 8,

Sundons Gift 7, I Can Doosit 5, Stylish Monarch 4, Speculate 1, no vote 1.


2YO Colt/Gelding of the Year: MAJOR MARK (2c Art Major-Gucci Franco), owners Glenys and Phil Kennard, Neil Pilcher, Gavin Douglas, Philip Creighton (trainers: Mark Purdon/Grant Payne) 37 votes.

2YO Filly of the Year: BETTOR COVER LOVER (2f Bettor’s Delight-Front Cover Lover), owners: Karnup Racing Pty Ltd (trainer: Brent Mangos) 37 votes.

3YO Colt/Gelding of the Year: SIR LINCOLN (3c Mach Three-Clare De Lune), owners, Lincoln Farms Ltd (trainer: Ray Green) 23 votes. Other nominee, Russley Rascal 14 votes.

3YO Filly of the Year: DE LOVELY (3f Falcon Seelster-Copper Beach), owners, Les Girls No. 2 Syndicate (trainer: Geoff Small) 37 votes.

4YO Entire/Gelding of the Year: TINTIN IN AMERICA (4h McArdle-Zenterfold), owners, ATC Trot 2008 Syndicate (trainer: Geoff Small) 37 votes.

4YO Mare of the Year: BEAUDIENE BAD BABE (4m Badlands Hanover-Beaudiene Babe), owners, Estate of Peter Ryan (trainer: Murray Brown) 37 votes.

5YO or older Entire/Gelding of the Year: MONKEY KING (7g Sands A Flyin-Tuapeka Vale), owners, Cavalla Bloodstock Ltd (trainer: Benny Hill) 37

5YO or older Mare of the Year: KIWI INGENUITY (5m Christian Cullen-Kiwi Express), owners, Hamish Scott, Dr Kim Lawson, Equine Investments Ltd, Abbey

Smith (trainer: Robbie Holmes) 28 votes. Other nominees: Nearea Franco 7, Tact Lizzie 1, no vote 1.




Owner of the Year: Cavalla Bloodstock Ltd (Robert Famularo).

Breeder(s) of the Year: Tony and Anne Parker.

Unsung Hero Award: Allan Maslin.

Broodmare of the Year: Sheezadoosie (Breckon Bloodstock Ltd, Ken and Karen Breckon).

Stallion of the Year: Sundon _ Roydon Lodge Stud (Keith and Robyn Gibson).

Leading trainer(s): Mark Purdon/Grant Payne.

Leading Driver/Cruickshank Leading Junior Driver: Dexter Dunn.

Outstanding Contribution to Harness Racing: Pat O’Brien.


Atom Of Courage kicks season off

J Scott Latest News



The Mark Jones Racing Stables kicked off the new season the right way when Atom Of Courage led virtually end-to-end at the Invercargill Harness Racing Club’s meeting on Sunday, August 1.

The only downside for trainer Mark Jones was that the win came a day too late to take advantage of a 3YO handicapping win concession.

“It was just a bit of bad timing with him turning four overnight,” Mark said.

Atom Of Courage again showed his liking for the front-end, with Mark saying he probably relaxes a bit better there.

Driver Regan Todd had no concerns in the run to the line holding out favourite Artique (Dexter Dunn) by 2 1/2 lengths in a 2:02.7 mile rate for the mobile 2200m.

The Courage Under Fire-Trustee Mota gelding showed a good turn of foot over his last 800m in 56.7s and his closing 400m in 26.8s.

“He went good. He got the right run in front and finally showed what he can do, even though it was a step down in class,” Mark said.

“I was going to turn him out but since he’s found form we’ll carry on,” he said.

The 4YO Superstars Championship at Addington will be in the back of Mark’s mind for the Greg Brodie-owned pacer, providing he can keep going forward.

“It depends whats around at the time. If we can get his confidence up he’ll be an outside chance but he’d be only 50-50 at this stage.”


Capable filly San Fran Lady made the most of the 3YO handicapping concessions by snaring a bonus win at the final Addington meeting for the season on Friday, July 30.

The Mark Jones Racing Stable ended the 2009-10 season with 52 victories with the win.

From 264 starters, they also picked up 33 seconds and 40 third for $572,371 in stakes.

San Fran Lady, now a 4YO Live Or Die mare from Emcil, was notching her third win (only two penalty-bearing) from 15 starts. She has also been placed five times for breeder-owners Frances and Max Bowden.

“She had been under offer but there is still one agent looking at her,” Mark said.

“The only times she has been out of the money is when she’s had an excuse or been knocked over. She’s a lovely honest filly,” he said.

San Fran Lady’s great stand start manners played their part in last Friday’s win.

She led from a wide front row draw into the first bend then trailed Our Mr Darcy before getting a charmed inside passage when the leader ran wide near the 400m.

San Fran Lady joined early breaker Datmymulligan (parked) and fought tenaciously for a 1/2 head win in 2:03.8 mile rate for the 2600m (stand), the leaders running their last 800m in 58.9s.

The Bowdens’ bred San Fran Lady from Emcil, a 3-win Miles McCool mare from the same family as former star pacers Jack Cade (16 wins & $742,232) and Frederick (nine wins, 1:58.1).

Her first foal is stablemate Union Buster, who has won once and been five times placed in 12 starts.

Kahdon loses battle

J Scott Former News, Latest News


Kahdon lost the biggest battle of her life to a bacterial infection at a veterinary clinic in Victoria on Monday, July 19.

NZ’s top 3YO trotter struggled to beat the infection for much of the week leading up to her demise.

“She was 50-50 all the way through really, then took a turn for the worse,” said trainer Mark Jones.

“They were teeing her up for an operation at 4pm, but she died an hour earlier,” he said.

“I feel sorry for Peter Chambers (owner). He loves his horses and was pretty upset.”

It was a double blow given Kahdon could not be saved for breeding.

Being a daughter of Sundon from a half-sister to the dam of champion squaregaiter Lyell Creek, her breeding future was assured.

“She would have been a goldmine as a broodmare, but everyone did as much as they could to save her. She was in the right place to do the best for her that they could.”

Mark says no-one probably knew quite how severe her infection was due to Kahdon’s courage.

“She was a very tough filly and probably didn’t show outwardly just how much she was fighting it,” Mark said.

Kahdon only raced 14 times for 6 wins and 5 seconds and $177,234 in stakes.

She raced three times for Mr Chambers, who purchased her just a few days before the $100,000 Harness Jewels 3YO Ruby at Cambridge on June 5.

She finished a gallant second after starting from the back row to Vulcan at the end of a 1:58 mile in the Jewels.

Kahdon then easily won the $A50,000 Victoria Trotters Oaks at Melton on June 11 for Mark, before being outfinished late by Rostevarren in a Victoria Trotters Derby on July 3.

Earlier, for Leeson trainer Paul Nairn she had beaten Miami H in the G1 Northern Trotting Derby on May 7, and won the G2 Hutton Racing Stables Sires’ Stakes Trotters Championship at Auckland On May 30.

She had also been the runnerup to another Peter Chambers-owned filly Shezoneoftheboyz in the G1 NZ Trotting Derby at Addington on March 26, and was also the runnerup behind Emma Hamilton in the G3 NZ Trotting Oaks on April 9.

While Kahdon’s demise is very sad for her connections, Mark is confident Derby winner Shezoneoftheboyz will regain her best next term for Mr Chambers.

The Brylin Boyz filly mixed her gait towards the end of her campaign, but Mark found a problem, which has subsequently been rectified.

She will continue to spell at Tony Shaw’s Cambridge property for another two months.

“Peter (Chambers) will decide then whether to race her in Australia or New Zealand. We’ll map out some plans but will be wanting to qualify her in NZ for the 4YO Jewels,” Mark said.

Mark tops 50 training wins for season

J Scott Latest News




Burnham trainer Mark Jones racked up his 50th training win of the season when Skip Bo caused a major upset in a 1-2 win mobile pace at Addington on Friday, July 16.

Mark has exceeded all expectations in just his second term as a public trainer. He has also maintained his high profile as a reinsman with 91 driving wins for the term.

The Mark Jones stable advanced to 51 training wins when Union Buster justified his favouritism with a maiden victory at Rangiora on Saturday.

The stable have won NZ earnings of $566,126 for the term, giving the stable the distinction of being the 9th biggest earning team in NZ in 2009-10.

This season has been a huge step up on 12 training wins and $162,149 on last term.

Mark says at the start of the season and thought if he trained 20 winners he would have a great season.

“We’ve got some great owners that are buying going horses and good young stock, and we have a lot of good owners that breed well-bred stock,” Mark said.

“We’ve sold a lot of good ones over the years but we may look to keep more racehorses and race them,” he said.

Skip Bo, raced by Oxford owner “Jim” McDonald and stable employee Richard “Dundee” Lee, had been working like he should be competitive.

The 7YO Life Or Die gelding kept going strongly in front to return a smart 3:12.6 (1:59.1 mile rate) for the 2600m to score by 3/4 of a length.

Lee, who sacked himself as the driver after being left parked at Rangiora at his previous start in favour, with Mark getting the Live Or Die gelding home ahead of the favourite.

“You would never think you’re going to beat Ultimate Player,” Richard said.

“I thought he going good, and thought I’d put the master up.”

“You probably get the same buzz as if you were driving him yourself, or even a bigger buzz really, to see him win like that.”

Richard felt Skip Bo had improved after his tough run in the open at Rangiora.


“The next day he was kicking and bucking in the paddock. This week he seemed well,” he said.

Mark confirmed he thought Skip Bo, a son of former useful mare Joan’s Gift (seven wins), had a chance of featuring.

“Right from day one, he always worked like he had some abilty,” Mark said.

Co-owner Richard Lee accepted a half-share in Skip Bo from “Jim” McDonald so he would have one to drive, but the horse had became a bit better than first anticipated.

“Jim’s cousin was finishing with him as he’d done a tendon in a leg and  wasn’t going to carry on,” Richard said.

“Jim took him out to his place and looked after the leg, and he’s sound now.”

Skip Bo is the 5th winner as an owner for Richard, who co-owned the first winner trained by Mark Jones _ Man O Man _ in an up to 1 win trot at Oamaru on September 22, 2002.

“Both Mark and I were working at Cran Dalgety’s at the time. We were allowed a horse in work, but Cran didn’t want him racing in his colours,” Richard recalled.

Other winners he’s raced include Streets On Fire, Sure Nan and Heza Brite Hative.


By Jeff Scott


Vict Trot Derby & Redwood results

J Scott Former News, Latest News


Jingling Silver capped an unforgettable Redwood Carnival for Chris Lang when she became only the third filly in the past 20 runnings to win the Seelite Windows and Doors Victoria Trotters Derby (2690m) at Maryborough on Sunday, July 18.

The daughter of Conch De Ville joined last year’s winner Arizona Blue and 2003 champion Zesta as the only girls to have upstaged the boys since 1991 when she sprint-laned to victory in the $A75,000 Group 1.

It was Lang’s fourth win for the day and ensured the 25th anniversary Redwood Carnival would go down as his most memorable after also engineering a pair of feature-race quinellas on Friday’s opening day.

“To get four winners on a day like this is quite amazing and it’s been an amazing carnival, so I’m shaking my head in disbelief at how much joy we’ve had over the two days,” the Nagambie horseman said.

“This is something you can’t do on your own, though, there’s a lot of us involved and to the crew at home I thank them very much.”

Jingling Silver made further improvement on an eye-catching second to Miami H in her heat to register the second win of her 17-start career and join Kyvalley Road as Lang’s Victoria Trotters Derby winners.

Backas Cobber made the most of re-entering the draw to pounce on the lead after flying the mobile start. He was still in front 50m out, but couldn’t withstand the finishing bursts of the two horses who trailed him throughout.

My High Expectations ($14) hit the front briefly but was quickly reeled in by Jingling Silver ($12), who scored by a half-neck. Cameos Moment ($52) finished powerfully to pip Backas Cobber ($20) for third, 2.7m away.

The 2:04.2 mile rate was made up of 31.7, 30.3, 30 and 30.8-second quarters.

Kiwi blueblood Miami H blew his chances when he galloped at the start, giving up at least 30m. The $1.50 favourite has to settle for fifth, while local star Rostevarren ($4.80) galloped at the 500m and beat just one runner home.

Lang went into the race thinking Jingling Silver needed a kind draw to be a factor and on the turn he had belief that she could win given the run she’d enjoyed.

“To be quite honest, I thought winning would nearly be beyond her, but drawing eight was the best thing that could have happened because she needed to get a run like she got to be able to win,” he said.

“They’ve still got to be able to capitalise on those runs, though, and she was able to do it.”

The Derby win complemented earlier victories by Kyvalley Mirage in the Maryborough Trotters Cup, Aldebaran Breeze in the Redwood Consolation and Aleppo Sunrise in the T0-T2 Trotters Handicap Final for Lang.

Two days earlier Lang-trained pair Happy Maori and Misscshells fought out the Alabar farms Matchmaker Mile after Miss Bullion and Good Thanks earlier ran the quinella in the Harness Racing International Gold Bracelet.



The Hunter family strengthened its connection with the Seelite Windows and Doors Redwood Classic when I See Icy Earl won the 25th anniversary edition at Maryborough.

Emerging trainer-driver Glenn Hunter emulated the deeds of his father Chris when the star of his four-horse Trafalgar stable won the $A50,000 Group 1.

It comes seven years after Hunter Snr won Australasia’s premier standing start event for the babies with Blue Rock and Glenn said following in his dad’s footsteps was the realisation of a dream.

“Dad and I always talk about it (winning the Redwood) at home and when we got him (I See Icy Earl) I said, ‘we might make the Redwood with this one’,” Glenn said.

“That was always his goal, as soon as he set foot on the property so it’s very exciting.”

The son of Earl accomplished Hunter’s ambition when he sprint-laned to victory in the 2180-metre event.

It was just the second win of I See Icy Earl’s 10-start career, but came as anything but a surprise following a slashing second to Chateau De Ville in the Group 1 Vicbred Super Series Final at his final Redwood lead-up.

A quick beginning saw him hold a prominent spot early before being gifted the plum position behind Paige Olivia when Me Neither popped off the pegs at the 1100m.

That afforded I See Icy Earl the first look at the sprint lane, although Hunter’s fear was Paige Olivia wouldn’t carry him there when she punctured rounding the home bend.

I See Icy Earl was dragged back to last of a bunched main division early in the straight but sprinted impressively once the gap came to first run down The Bohemian and then hold off Chateau De Ville.

At the line the $11 chance had 3.2m to spare over Chateau De Ville ($2.50 fav), who turned in a monster effort after costing himself 40m with an early gallop, with Kiwi import The Bohemian ($3.40) less than a metre away.

The mile rate was 2:08.1, which consisted of 31.7, 32.4, 30.1 and 31.8 quarters.

“I thought I’d done the wrong thing (staying on the pegs), I thought I was going to get carted too far back, but as it turned out the ones outside the leader weren’t going too much better than it,” Hunter said.

“That was good because, for a little two-year-old trotter, he can put down a pretty quick quarter, especially when he’s driven quietly like that.”

Ineligible for next month’s Tabcorp Australasian Breeders Crown, I See Icy Earl will head to the paddock before being set for a 3YO campaign aimed at returning to Maryborough in 12 months’ time for the Trotters Derby.

Courtesy of Brad Bishop, HRV Media Manager



Lang plots celebration

J Scott Latest News




Every Seelite Windows & Doors Redwood Classic is special, but Sunday’s 2010 edition at Maryborough is particularly significant given it will be the 25th running of the iconic event.

And no driver rises to the occasion better when the famed race for two-year-old trotters reaches a milestone than Gavin Lang.

The champion Melton horseman won the inaugural Redwood in 1986 aboard Young Trouper and saluted again with Andandon when it celebrated its 15th edition.

Lang will be out to keep the trend going when he partners Chateau De Ville in Sunday’s $50,000 Group 1.

The Group 1 specialist this week recalled how far the Redwood has come since that first edition, which was worth $3500, and expressed his desire to again play a key role in the feature of the weekend’s all-trotting extravaganza.

“Anyone who knows anything about harness racing knows that people with the trotters, more so than the pacers, are pretty passionate about their horses,” Lang said.

“It’s no surprise to me that the Redwood has gone to the level it’s gone to. It’s a special race and it would be great to win it again.”

Lang has given himself every chance to do so, teaming up with Alex Douglas-trained favourite Chateau De Ville in the 2180-metre standing start test.

The son of Conch Deville has been the standout juvenile trotter of the season, counting the Group 1 Vicbred Super Series and Group 2 Tatlow Stakes among four wins from six starts.

Lang, who had his first drive on Chateau De Ville at the gelding’s last-start Vicbred win, will be relying on his charge’s professionalism when he squares up to the inside-back-row draw.

“A front line draw would have been better because then you control your own destiny, but now we’ve just got to stand up and trot away and try and avoid the trouble,” Lang said.

“But he seems a very foolproof horse and in a standing start race, especially for the two-year-old trotters, it’s prudent that they are able to stand and jump and his connections tell me that poses no problem for him.”

Compounding Chateau De Ville’s alley is that the other top hopes for the 2.25pm event all the drew the front line.

Vicbred placegetters Djasker and I See Icy Earl have gates one and five respectively, five-time winner Moyabamba has barrier two with last week’s Maori Legend victor, the Peter Manning-trained, Rheola Gold in four.


Western Australian trainer Greg Bond has turned to the right man in his search for a stand-in driver for Millwood Meg in Friday night’s $A75,000 Group 1 Nevele R Stud Australian Oaks at Melton’s Tabcorp Park.

Bond gifted the drive to John Caldow, the equal most successful driver in the race’s history, when regular driver Colin Brown surrendered the drive in order to stick with Ima Rocket Star in the Hondo Grattan Sprint at Menangle.

Caldow, an Australian Oaks winner aboard Newbold Penny (1995), Mother Courage (1999) and Cherry Cheer (2001), is thrilled to be given his chance aboard the former Kiwi who has won eight of nine starts in Australia.

“This race and the Victoria Oaks, they’ve both been pretty good races to me,” said Caldow, who shares the record for Australian Oaks wins with Gavin Lang.

“While I haven’t driven this filly before, on her record she’s pretty well-placed alongside the others. But she’s going to have to be from where she’s drawn.”

The scratching of Ima Happy Girl deprived Millwood Meg of an edge she appeared to have over the other drawcard, Kiwi superstar De Lovely, in the 2240-metre mobile.

The daughter of Mach Three was allocated gate nine – one off the pegs on the back row – at Tuesday’s barrier draw, but moves in one position to the tricky inside-back-row spot following Ima Happy Girl’s withdrawal.

The Geoff Small-trained, David Butcher-driven De Lovely, who originally drew 10, now assumes the prime trailing draw behind speedy beginner Mes Cullen.

“We were very happy after the draw but things have changed a bit,” Caldow said. “It was all good when we were one-off and we looked like being in front of her (De Lovely) but things are different now.

“I’ve got a few things to think about and probably won’t work out what I’m going to do until we get rolling.”

TAB Sportsbet reacted to the barrier shuffling by installing De Lovely, a winner of the New Zealand Oaks and Harness Jewels Diamond at two of her past three, a raging $1.60 favourite.

Millwood Meg is rated a $3.50 chance as she strives to add the Australian Oaks to the Western Australian and Queensland Classics she counts among her victories since joining the Bond camp in March.

Local star Rocknrolla ($6.50, barrier 13) is the only other runner under double figures, ahead of Miss Trickin Lombo ($15, 12) and Queensland raider Torque In Motion (seven), who has met with good early support ($31 into $21).

Courtesy of Brad Bishop, HRV Media Manager