15 July 2013 - Wintery weather didn’t deter trotting lovers Australia wide from attending the 28th running of the $50,000 (Group 1) Seelite Windows & Doors “The Redwood” Classic for Two Year Olds over 2190 metres at Maryborough on Sunday July 14, taken out by Kiwi filly Daenerys Targaryen for champion Christchurch based trainer/driver Mark Purdon. Having his first try in a standing start event, Daenerys Targaryen stepped slowly but safely from outside the front row, with Chris Alford’s Miracle showing his usual faultless manners to pounce on the lead from barrier three, while the hot favourite Im Stately began slowly from barrier two on the second line settling a long way back in the field. Once balanced, Daenerys Targaryen despite being three wide, moved forward to assume control with around 1500 metres to travel, with David Jack sending Im Stately three wide racing for the bell to park outside the leader for the final circuit. Given the easier passage, Daenerys Targaryen ($4.00) held on to score by a head over a game Im Stately who gave away too big of a start in a rate of 2-06.5, with the maiden Guiltless 7.4 metres away in third place after a cosy one/one trip. Daenerys Targaryen (Majestic Son/Niamey) is raced by Riccarton Lone Star Restaurant proprietor Trevor Casey who also figures as one of the trio of breeders. Outstanding Metropolitan/Like A Calder colt Blitzthemcalder was victorious in the (Group 1) Seelite Windows & Doors Victoria Trotters Derby over 2690 metres, much to the delight of owner/breeders Rick & Jan Burchell, but not before giving his supporters a scare as the mobile barrier pulled away. Starting from gate three, Blitzthemcalder appeared to race roughly as the start was effected, with Chris Alford immediately restraining to keep him in his gait which he did, settling four back in the moving line. Finding his rhythm, Alford had no hesitation in sending the $1.60 favourite forward entering the straight with two laps to travel, parking outside the prolific winning pole line leader Spidergirl who had little difficulty in retaining the inside running. The action was to hot up racing for the bell when Ross Graham sent last season’s Redwood winner Sun Of Sonoko forward three wide to tackle the leaders, but was unable to cross being left on a limb. Surging to the front on straightening, Blitzthemcalder’s class told in the run to the wire as he raced clear to score by 4.3 metres in advance of Our Dreamlover (one/two), with the NSW visitor Quite A Moment (one/one) a head away in third place. Trained to the minute by Lara’s Ross Payne who has done a marvellous job with the horse after competing in New Zealand a month earlier, Blitzthemcalder recorded a mile rate of 2-01.9 on the wet track, only .8 of a second outside Acacia Ridge’s track record of 2-01.1 set in 2007. A shock announcement was made immediately following the event that Ross Payne has been appointed stable foreman for Mark Purdon and will re-locate to his home country following the Breeders Crown Series. What will happen to Blitzthemcalder in anybody’s guess. The Peter Egan Bi-Rite Electrical Trotters Free For All for T6 or better class over 2190 metres went the way of 5-Y-0 Sundon/Stoned At Midnight gelding Stoned I Am ($7.40) for Pearcedale trainer Bill Walker and reinswoman daughter Simone. Trapped in the open from gate two outside Waikare Aristocrat inside her, Stoned I Am was shuffled back through the field as Earl Of Mot took over the front running role, with Chuck Wagon going forward to sit outside the leader, before being eased to allow Star Gun which had been wide to move into the breeze. Easing three wide to follow former Redwood winner I See Icy Earl in the last lap, Stoned I Am was too strong at the finish for I See Icy Earl in a rate of 2-03, with Chuck Wagon running on late for third after being semi held up on turning. Other winners on the mammoth eleven event card were : Michaels Mename (Jack Sullivan – Woodend), Invasive (Lance Justice - Melton), The Pearl Of Paris (Peter Hornsby – Kialla & Stacey Towers), The Dutchman (Tony Xiriha – Pipers Creek), Andys Favourite in the Monte saddle race (Chris Lang Jnr – Nagambie & Maree Cambpell), Duke Of The Moment (Dean Braun – Lara & Chris Alford), Sundons Promise (Daniel Jack – Wahring & Nathan Jack) and Purplepeopleater (Chris Lang – Nagambie). - Len Baker
10 July 2013 - The racing spoils of Bendigo local pacing hero Mother Courage are now on display in the Club's entry foyer for all to see. Trained by Bendigo's Bruce Morgan and raced by Mary and Murray Sweeney, Mother Courage (Stonebridge Scooter - Talk To Me) won 30 races and close to half a million in prize money racing mostly in Victoria in the late 1990's to early 2000's. Her big wins include; 1998 Youthful Stakes, 1998 Vicbred 2yo Filly final, 1999 Victoria Oaks; 1999 Australian Oaks, 1999 Oceania Eldorado and the 2002 Bendigo Pacing Cup. Mary Sweeney has donated Mother Courage's trophies and trophy cabinet to the Bendigo Harness Racing Club.
7 July 2013 - Two-year-old Major Secret added his name to Australia's list of juvenile stars with his fantastic Group 1 victory in the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series 2yo C&G Final at Melton last night.
Bendigo owners share in the successful standardbred group that race the son of Art Major. Major Secret was coming off a tough sixth in his semi-final after he had to sit parked and prior to that the pacer had only lost one of his four starts, in the Southern Cross final at Globe Derby in early June. From barrier two he was able to cross down to the pegs early before allowing race favourite Business In Motion to work around and find the top going out of the first bend. The $2.40 favourite was then pressured by one of the well supported outsiders Master Mach Manus who worked to the death seat mid-race. With that horse quickly fading off the back, Business In Motion and Major Secret snuck away from the bulk of their rivals with Kiwi hope Messini producing a three-wide run inside the last lap. The trio squared off on the final bend and just as Messini loomed up to the favourite, Major Secret secured the pegs run and dashed after the two leaders. Inside the final 100 metres it was all the Emma Stewart-trained colt and Bendigo's champion driver Daryl Douglas spoke glowingly of his efforts post-race. “It was really the run we’d hoped for and with the barrier draw falling our way it just all worked out. With a bit of mid-race pressure we had a lovely run in behind,” Douglas said. “He’s a great little horse, I think when he comes back next year he will be better again. “I don’t know about me, all credit has to go to Emma (Stewart) and Clayton (Tonkin) and all the team.” On a wet start to the night, the mile rate was recorded in 1:58.2 with a 57.5 last half.
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