Photo:Danny Cash (outside) and Let Me Thru
25 February 2011 - Backing up from a super Dullard Cup performance at Melton last week to take up a select front row draw in the $15,000 Stallion Station Bendigo Trotters Cup, Great Western six-year-old gelding Danny Cash is going to prove the horse to beat in Saturday night's 2650 metre feature at Lords Raceway. Many regarded Danny Cash's minor placing in last week's Callea Pearce Lawyers Dullard Trotters Cup as the performance of his career. Danny Cash finished third to Inter Dominion Trotting favourites, the Chris Lang trained duo Let Me Thru and Sundon's Gift. Slowly away from his pole draw, Danny Cash was left stranded near enough to last on straightening for home, only to miss winning by 3.8 metres in an effort to suggest he could also be a major player in Inter Dominion in New Zealand next month. Danny Cash has only one blemish in his form during the last four starts, that was when he finished down the track in the Australasian Trotters Final at Melton after having a torrid three wide run. Covering that faux par were a dashing second to Let Me Thru in the ATC heat at Ballarat; a brilliant win in the Terang Trotters Cup on 12 February and his incredible last start third at Melton. The field in the Bendigo Trotters Cup is a cracker with the State's best squaregaiters minus Let Me Thru and Sundon's Gift lining up. The 30 metre back markers in the stand start race include last week's Charlton Cup winner Lenny Lewis, Bendigo Maori Mile winner Ronerail and the 5yo star Down Under Muscles. 2010 Bendigo Maori Mile winner Acacia Ridge will start from 10 metres along with the very smart La Mosca. Past Bendigo Trotters Cup winners include True Roman (1986) Knights Pistol (1994) and A Touch Of Flair (2007). Last years Cup was won by Thepowerofhealing. The BHRC will host eight Cup races at the meeting including the Trotters Cup and seven Community Cups. The race night also doubles as a Community Fund Raiser with a auction that includes two Essendon Football jumpers signed by coach James Hird and team captain Jobe Watson among the items. The other major auction item is $1000 worth of Hankook Tyres. All funds raised in the auction and super raffle will be donated to the flood damaged Charlton Harness Racing Club - David Aldred
24 February 2011 - Nagambie harness racing trainer Chris Lang and his wife Sharon were at the New Zealand Premier Yearling Sales, along with Shepparton Harness Racing Club Manager Ian McDonald when the 6.3 deadly earthquake devestated the city of Christchurch. The Langs and McDonald described the fear of the quake in an ABC radio interview. "It just started to rumble... the noise was deafening," Lang said. "You virtually couldn't stand up... we were holding onto each other trying to stand up and people started screaming and running out of the shed, fearing that it might collapse. "It was very scary at the time." McDonald says it was unlike anything he had experienced before."The horrendous noise of it and massive shaking of the building and probably the thing that sticks with me is that people were getting thrown to the ground the way that they were, it was just like people were on ice."Then when we got outside to see cars that were actually shaking and moving from the position where they were parked was an unbelievable experience as well." Many individuals involved in standardbred racing have been focusing their attention on Christchurch, New Zealand and Addington Raceway in light of the 6.3 magnitude earthquake which rocked the city earlier this week. Harness Racing New Zealand Chief Executive Edward Rennell has commented on the state of HRNZ's head office and Addington Raceway, which is scheduled to host the Inter Dominions from March 25 to April 8.Rennell said, “Our office at HRNZ is 10 minutes from town, where the worst carnage is. Our building itself has a number of cracks and we have almost lost a wall down the side. As a result the office is closed until Monday (February 28), hopefully by when we will have had an engineer into check it from a safety perspective." Rennell went on to explain that the organization's immediate priorities are its computer system so it can service clubs for racing purposes, which is now being done remotely. He also said he was not aware of any industry participants which had lost their lives in relation to the quake.“Addington Raceway has some significant damage to the facilities and the track. The track has a number of cracks and liquefaction in a few places. At this stage there won’t be racing there for the next three weeks while this is all hopefully addressed. In terms of the Inter Dominions which are due to start there on 25 March it will be touch and go with a lot of work required there, and also to the city infrastructure."
Photo: Denis Napthine, Rob Ponghpo and damian Drum
22 February 2011 - Bendigo Harness Racing Club will receive funding of $320,000 for two new projects to commence at Lords Raceway in the coming months, Racing Minister the Hon. Denis Napthine announced on Tuesday. The projects to be funded 50/50 by the State Government and Harness Racing Victoria will see the latest in lighting technology installed at Lords Raceway. The track light diming technology, which in a world first was introduced to Tabcorp Park Melton last racing season, will be installed at Bendigo's Harness Racing track, providing substantial savings on the Clubs future power bills. The 'green' technology will also cut greenhouse gas emissions from the track lighting by 34% and greatly extend the life of the lamps from eight to almost 11 years.
21 February 2011- Bendigo horses starred at Charlton on Sunday winning both the Trotters and Pacing Cups in front of a big crowd of locals who turned out to celebrate at their first major event since the township experienced a devastating flood. Its been a tough six weeks for Charlton with the town flooded twice, major business wiped out and homes lost. Cup day looked to be a good tonic for the community with a carnival atmosphere and hundreds of locals enjoying their day at the track. Read More
Strathfieldsaye brothers Glenn and Daryl Douglas teamed with the ultra-consistant Our Hillview Gold to win the feature race, the $25,000 Hankook 2011 Charlton Pacing Cup (2570m). Making it a Bendigo feature double Lenny Lewis found its best form for trainer Alan McIntosh to unleash a huge finish for driver Chris Alford and win the $15,000 Charlton & District Community Bank Trotters Cup (2570m). Aided by a typically dashing Daryl Douglas drive, teak tough four-year-old Our Hillview Gold pick up his second Choice Hotels Country Cup circuit success this season. The brilliant son of Badlands Hanover had already taken out the Ouyen Cup a month ago and is quickly establishing himself as one of Victoria’s most exciting young pacers. The Charlton Cup was Our Hillview Gold’s 11th win from 16 starts this term. Champion driver Daryl Douglas found the top quite early and from then on was able to control the race. “We didn’t have any set plans going into the race, but Daryl summed the situation up to a tee and once he got the front, the horse was always going to be very difficult to beat,” Glenn Douglas said. “Every time this horse goes to the races he finds another gear. He’s surprised me since day one pretty much, and to come out and beat the quality of horse he did tonight is a credit to him.” Only fair to begin, the Spring Championship Final winner Our Hillview Gold was hunted up early to take up his pet position. It looked as though Douglas would settle outside the early leader In Monaco but Victoria's champion driver let his horse slide to go to the front through a lead time of 74.8 seconds.With little pressure applied through the middle stages of the race, despite several moves from the rear of the field, Douglas' early play for the front became a masterstroke. Cruising through first half fractions of 32.1 and 31 seconds respectively, the rising star only released the brakes 800 metres from home, laying down a brutal third split of 27.9 with Lance Justice's Hollywood Bromac gasping for air in the breeze. There were to be challenges late, with Mendelico, Echuca Cup hero, Tanabi Bromac and Captain Joy all charging from the back down the lane. Completing a 2:01.5 mile rate with a closing cut of 28.2, Our Hillview Gold ($7.30) defied weary legs to take out Charlton’s flagship feature by a half neck from top mare Mendelico ($12.70 - John Caldow) with Tanabi Bromac ($9.00 - Kerry Manning) a further three metres away in third. A disappointment of the race was Melton Saddlery Victorian Country Cup Championship points leader and Cup favourite Village Of Dreams ($2.00 - Gavin Lang) who only managed to beat two of the 10 starters home. In the Trotters Cup injury plagued Lenny Lewis powered home from his 20 metre back mark to claim the Cup victory by 1.2 metres. The eight-year-old squaregaiter trained at Lords Raceway and raced by the McIntosh family produced a barnstorming finish to register his 18th lifetime win. The son of Sundon started at odds of $27.50 and was driven by Chris Alford. It was Lenny Lewis second start from a brief let up. In December Alford also steered him to win the Yarra Valley River Gum Trotters Cup. - David Aldred with the files of Jason Bonnington.
15 February 2011 - Bendigo Harness Racing Club will host two heats of the Lyn McPherson Memorial Breed For Speed Trotting Mares Sprint Series next month. For the first time there will be a Gold and Silver Series for the Breed For Speed with Bendigo hosting the second heats of the Gold (T4 or Better) and Silver (T0 to T3) on Saturday 12 March at Lords Raceway. The series carries $65,000 in prizemoney, trophies and bonuses with the first of the Gold Heats staged at Maryborough on 2 March and the first of the Silver Heats raced at Shepparton on 7 March. The Maryborough, Shepparton and Bendigo Heats will be raced over 1609 metres. The Group 3 $20,000 Gold Series Final will be raced at Tabcorp Park on Friday 18 March over 1720 metres with the $8,000 Silver Series Final raced at the same meeting. On Tuesday, Harness Racing Victoria launched the 2011 Breed For Speed - Girls Night Out concept which in conjunction with Radio station Mix101.1, seeks to raise money for research into ovarian cancer. Last year’s inaugural event raised over $32,000 for the Australian Women’s Cancer Foundation to improve women’s health and quality of life and it’s hoped this figure can be eclipsed through the Mix101.1 Girls Night Out on Breed For Speed Finals night (18 March). The launch was held at the Royal Saxon in Richmond where Olympic gold medallist rower James Tomkins and media personality Tracey Curro were on hand to help promote the event and generate awareness for the cause. Harness Racing Victoria CEO John Anderson said, “Last year’s inaugural event was a tremendous success and now the concept is off the ground, we hope to develop it into a significant fundraiser for research into ovarian cancer. “As such, we hope to see a fantastic turnout at Tabcorp Park for the Girls Night Out which will feature fine dining, a full card of harness racing action and a brand new HRV Fashions on the Field competition.”
Categories for the inaugural HRV Fashions on the Field include:
• Ladies Classic Racing Style
• Men’s Classic Style
• Ladies Contemporary Style
• Head Turning Hats & Fantastic Fascinators
As well as being celebrity judges of Fashions on the Field, Mix101.1 personalities Ant and Becks will be hosting a Beauty Marquee on the night featuring a live DJ, plus all drinks and canapés. To book your Finals night ticket for just $55, visit www.breedforspeed.com
10 February 2011 - Elmore star Tanabi Bromac produced a whirlwind finish to score stunning victory in Wednesday night's Alabar Echuca Pacing Cup. The 2530 metre Stand Start Cup which was washed out during the floods last month was rescheduled to the midweek slot and resulted in a great climax. The Cup developed into a stunning last lap battle between backmarkers Tanabi Bromac (Jodi Quinlan) and Jaccka Clive (Scott Dyer). Coming from a 20 metre handicap, the Keith Cotchin trained Tanabi Bromac was last to get the bell but Quinlan sooled him forward on the back of Jaccka Clive (10 metres) to set up a great finish. The duo reeled back the leders before the final turn on the tight track then burst away to fight out the race with Flash Of Freedon (Mark Lee) down the straight. The 2008 Victoria Derby winner and an Inter Dominion contender last season, Tanabi Bromac ($3.60 fav) outsprinted the David Aiken trained Jaccka Clive ($10.40) to win by 1.2 metres with only a half head to the race leader Flash Of Freedom ($13.10) which held on gallantly to complete the top three, 1.3 metres ahead of the Bendigo trained Crusherdust (Glenn Douglas) in fourth place. “There was a lot of pressure tonight to stand up and be counted,” Tanabi Bromac's trainer Cotchin said. “We haven’t had much luck of late so it was good to get the job done. “He’s never been going badly, he just needed the circumstances to suit, and while it wasn’t easy again here he really did put in a good effort to win.” The next local Choice Hotels Country Cup will be raced at Charlton on Sunday 20 February. Cotchin has confirmed that Tanabi Bromac will be a starter. “We’ll head to Charlton next all being well. The beauty for me is that will be only half an hour from home and from there we can push on with the rest of the season,” he said. - David Aldred
8 February 2011 - The BHRC is hoping that two Adidas authentic Essendon guernsey's signed by the Club's AFL legend and coach James Hird and Essendon playing star #4 Jobe Watson will boost the fundraising at this month's Flood Appeal race night on Saturday 26 February.
The Flood Appeal fundriaser will be held on the Club's annual Community Cup night at Lords Raceway.Club President Dennis Bice, who organised the signed footy jumpers, said that they are well sought after items. At a Bendigo Bank Fundraising auction this week, a guernsey signed by Hird and Watson was sold for more than $2,000. The Bendigo Bank Flood Appeal raised $43,000. "We are hoping to raise as much money as we can for those affected by the floods," Bice said. "At the Bendigo Harness Racing Club we will be concentrating on raising funds for the Charlton Harness Racing Club which suffered a lot of damage in the latest floods." Other items donated for the Flood Appeal include a flat screen digital TV from Warehouse Sales and a $250 voucher courtesy of Jimmy Possum. - David Aldred
Darren McCall with sister Sharon Furey and wife Karina
8 February 2011 - One of Australia's most successful exports to North America Darren McCall was at Bendigo's Lord's Raceway on Monday night. A Queenslander, McCall returned home last month after 11 years in the US and Canada. The 40-year-old has moved to Caboolture, north of Brisbane where he will prepare the successful Canadian mare Ice Ice Baby (p,3:1:52.3) who competed in the Ontario Sire Stakes last year taking her earnings so far to $215,000. McCall and his wife Karina race the three-year-old Canadian daughter of Modern Art which arrives in Brisbane on Sunday. McCall also has his brilliant mare Warrawee Flare (p,1:50.3 -$609,019) with a six week old Somebeachsomewhere filly at Caboolture. The royal-bred filly is the first foal of Warrawee Flare, a daughter of Northern Luck. This season the champion mare was bred to Art Major and is in foal. McCall is currently based at a friend's property and is located within easy travelling distance to Brisbane's Albion Park. "It (the farm) has been sitting there quiet for some time and has a good track so we're happy to base there for the moment," McCall said. "Being close to Sydney or even to Bendigo where my sister Sharon (Furey) is - may be in the works yet but this is a good first step to get organised and then we'll see how everything shakes out. I've had calls from a number of people already about yearlings and have one maybe two horses coming from Tasmania that I will train, so I am pretty happy with developments so far." McCall went to Sundays APG Melbourne Yearling Sales but didn't add a horse to his team. The talented horseman originally went to North America in 1998 to work for trainer Ross Croghan in New Jersey for what was to be a three month working holiday. But from there he went to Ontario in 2002. "I always intended to come back home, I've never kept that a secret," McCall said. I learned a lot in North America and experienced a lot, that's what kept me there for so long." McCall had notable success while stabling in Ontario with the likes of top pacing mare, Carolina Sunshine, who retired with over $1.3 million in earnings and is a Woodbine and co-world record holder, having recorded a 1:48.4 mile in 2003. Other top performers from the McCall barn include two-time Breeders Crown champion Corleone Kosmos, millionaires Southwind Tempo, Tug River Princess and Deuce Seelster, who competed for McCall while in Ontario. - David Aldred
Track repairs underway Feb 6.
6 February 2011 - Bendigo Harness Racing Club will race on Monday night (7th Feb.) at Lords Raceway despite Friday night's heavy rain storm flooding and guttering the racetrack.
A track team spear-headed by Bendigo based HRV consultant Graeme Maher worked around the clock Sunday to repair the raceway which was stripped of material to beneath its base in some sections. Maher, BHRC track curator, Chris Boseley, Tom Byrne, Len Maher and Graeme's sons Steve and Brett Maher worked with grader specialist Bob "Bluey" Truscott and Ray Fitzgibbons to repair the surface and bring it back to race condition. "This was the worst washout I have seen on this track," Graeme Maher said. "It was no good looking at it though, we just had to get in and fix it."
Maher praised the skills of machinery operators Truscott and Fitzgibbons and said that work on the track surface will continue through Monday to get it perfect for racing.
Anyone that inspected the track after the Friday rainstorm which flooded the district and then again after more rain fell on Saturday would have given 'cricket score' odds about Bendigo racing on Monday. Well done to the entire team that worked on the track repair. - David Aldred
5 February 2011 - Chris Lang Jr rated sensational Nagambie trained 5yo Let Me Thru perfectly to lead all the way in the $150,000 Group 1 SEW-Eurodrive Australasian Trotting Championship Final (2760m) at Tabcorp Park Melton, Saturday night. Junior controlled the race piloting the Chris Lang trained son of Muscles Yankee and shook off a determined challenge from Kiwi raider I Can Doosit (Mark Purdon) at the quarter mile pole to establish a five metre break on his challengers and hold that margin all the way to the finish. Cutting out a final mile in 2:00.7 Let Me Thru easily held a chasing Down Under Muscles (Chris Alford) in the dash to the finish with La Mosca (Rod Petroff) finishing the race off nicely to fill third place 8.5 metres from the winner. I Can Doosit weakened to place fourth. The overall time for the journey was 3:36.2 with a 2:06.1 mile. There was no doubt about who was "The King" on the night, Let Me Thru was simply awesome. The victory was his sixth in a row and his record has been perfect with four wins from four starts this season. Trainer Chris lang doubted that even his dual Inter Dominion Trotting Champion Sundons Gift could have beaten Let Me Thru in this race. Lang decided to bypass the Trotting Championship with his star performer. “The one thing I’d like to know is if anyone thinks Sundons Gift could have sat outside this horse (Let Me Thru) and beaten him, because I don’t think he could,” the gun horseman revealed. “He’s a real horse of the future this bloke, and with a brilliant drive tonight he showed everyone what we already knew about him.” Let Me Thru has now won five Group 1 races with the Australiasian Championship win his biggest pay cheque. Let Me Thru was bred and is raced by RJ and P Matthews. - David Aldred