28 July 2011 - Top reinsman Gavin Lang hit the winners board twice in Wednesday night's 3yo Filly heats of the Australasian Breeders Crown steering Livia Degerolstein and Victors Delight to victory. Bendigo's Daryl Douglas drove the other heat winner Ezee Duzit Lombo. Livia Degerolstein a $15.10 outsider sprung the first surprise of the night. The Graeme Lang trained filly followed the speed before sprint laning home for a narrow win over $1.30 hotshot Aussie Made Lombo (Chris Alford). Aussie Made Lombo had a head to head tussle with frontrunner Tatijana Lombo (Daryl Douglas) and the duo was claimed in the final bound by Lang's Live Or Die filly. Livia Degerolstein has now won five races from 18 starts this season. Exciting Kiwi filly Victors Delight brought up Gavin Lang's second leg of his winning ABC double. The Bettors Delight filly is unbeaten at two Australian starts with both wins at Bendigo this month. Trained by Pukekohe mentor Steven Reid, Victors Delight had two wins in New Zealand before coming to Australia and is now a real prospect for the three-year-old filly Crown. In the heat Victors Delight rated a 1:59.7 mile over the 2159 metre distance. Lang positioned up outside the leader Maastricht for the final half mile and the duo went stride for stride. Only a head separated Victors Delight ($1.70) and Maastricht (Shane Cramp - $4.80) at the finish. Our Miss Vivienne (John Justice) rounded out the top three. Favourite backers were knocked out in the other heat with Daryl Douglas piloting the John Hallam trained Ezee Duzit Lombo to a 1.4 metre win over the shortpriced favourite Bellas Delight. Douglas gave Exee Duzit Lombo the perfect trip, travelling behind the parked Bellas Delight ($1.70 - Greg Sugars). In the race to the line Ezee Duzit Lombo ($16.80) was able to overhaul the favourite. Raceapacer's Rhodium Castle ($14.50 - Gavin Lang) finished on well for third.- David Aldred
18 July 2011 - The Bendigo connections of 3yo trotter The Bohemian endured a nervous 20 minute wait before celebrating a Classic victory in the 2011 Group 1 Victoria Trotters Derby on Redwood Day at Maryborough on Sunday. The Bohemian, a New Zealand-bred, purchased last year to contest the Redwood Classic scored brilliantly in the Derby with Huntly trainer Anthony Crossland at the reins but the after race celebrations were put on hold when a protest was fired in by the driver of the runner-up Lightning Joy, Greg Sugars who objected to The Bohemian drifting into the sprint lane in the home straight. The Bohemian is raced by a group of Bendigo identities including Andrew Curran, John Hazeldene, Bryan Coghlan and Phil McKern. - David Aldred with the files of the Bendigo Advertiser
15 July 2011 - Bendigo squaregaiting star Sassy Pinevale trotted a track record 1:57.6 in a brilliant front-running victory in the Alabar Farms Matchmaker Mile at Maryborough on Friday. Astutely driven by ace Bendigo reinsman Daryl Douglas, the Ross Graham trained star led from start to finish shaking off a determined bid from former record holder Arizona Blue inside the final half mile. Douglas made full use of the CR Commando mare's gate speed and took her straight to the top in a 29.4 first quarter. The mare went through the second and third splits in 30.8 and 28.9 before powering the last quarter mile in 28.6. Douglas gave Sassy Pinevale full rein at the 600 metres and she snuffed out New South Wales champion Arizona Blue's challenge. At the 400 metres he had a 10 metre break on Arizona Blue (David Aiken) with Aldebaran Maori (Chris Lang Jr.) closing quickly. In the straight Sassy Pinevale, the $1.80 favourite packed too much power and held off a sprint lane bid from Aldebaran Maori ($13.60) to win by 6.5 metres, Arizona Blue ($3.20), the winner of eight trotting majors in Victoria and New South Wales this year, was less than two metres further back in third place. Sassy Pinevale has now won 16 races and over $150,000 in stakes for trainer Graham and her owners Terry Forster, Heather Lyttleton and David Patterson. In the last couple of months she has also collected wins in the Knight Pistol Cup, John Slack Memorial Trot Cup and Cranbourne Trot Cup. - David Aldred
8 July 2011 - The HRV Board today received an audit report assessing the facilities at the six tracks, which were closed for racing in 2005 as part of the 'V3' Strategic Plan. After considering the contents of the report, the HRV Board has resolved to support The Victorian Liberal Nationals Coalition Plan For Racing by re-opening the six tracks and conducting one community race meeting per year. The tracks are located at Boort, Gunbower, Ouyen, St Arnaud, Wangaratta and Wedderburn. Chairman of HRV, Mr. Ken Latta said, "The Board resolution is subject to receiving State Government funding to reinstate racing at these venues to a standard which accords with contemporary public and participant safety requirements. The Board has also asked for further work to be undertaken to determine the timing of the reintroduction of racing at these venues given the future works required. HRV will not make any further comment until consultation has taken place with Dr Denis Napthine, Minister for Racing and the clubs concerned."
6 July 2011 - Outstanding North American pacer Art Colony, one of champion Artsplace’s fastest and richest 2yo’s to race will return to Lockwood’s Loddon Valley Stud in August to commence stud duties for a second season. Loddon Valley Stud’s principal John Campbell said the stallion which stood his debut season at Lockwood last year will return from Canada late next month. “Art Colony has just finished serving 100 mares at Winbak Farm and he will now be shipped back to us for another season,” Campbell said. Winbak breeds, raises and sells some of the North American harness racing industry’s best Standardbred horses and has studs and nurseries in Maryland, Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania, Indiana and Canada. “He stands at a higher fee at a high quality North American farm with plenty of other good stallions, so to get 100 mares there for a season says a lot about him,” Campbell said. Art Colony had 100 mares booked for servicing at Loddon Valley Stud last season with his first local foals due this spring. In the new breeding season, the winning owners of the Loddon Valley Stud 2yo Classic races at Bendigo’s Lord’s Raceway on 16 July will have the opportunity of breeding a mare to the exciting stallion. John and Kay Campbell have sponsored services valued at $6,000 to Art Colony for each of the 2yo Colts and 2yo Fillies Classics. During his racing career Art Colony was a star, winning $863,750 pacing a winning 1:51 mile at aged two and three years. An outstanding type, five-year-old Art Colony (Artsplace – Asleep On the Beach) stands tall at 16 hands with perfect conformation. Art Colony was a class performer and looked like being the best of his year until injury struck. He was prepared by three times O’Brien award-winner and leading Canadian trainer Casie Coleman who had the greatest admiration for the horse. “Art Colony was a gorgeous yearling, I just had to have him whatever the price,” Coleman said. “Beautifully bred with perfect manners and a perfect gait, he beat the best colts, fought tough from bad draws and could race his last quarters in 26.” “He should have won $2 million but for going amiss in the Meadowlands Pace.” Winbak Farm management echoed Coleman’s praise for Art Colony. “He is a great looking horse: big, athletic and powerful,” Winbak Farm’s Canadian manager Larry Drysdale said. Art Colony only missed the top two spots once in his injury shortened career winning five of his 13 starts and finishing runner-up on seven other occasions. The only time he didn’t earn a cheque was the night of his suspensory injury in the final of the Meadowlands. In his debut season Art Colony won four races and was beaten a nose in the Governors Cup and the final of the Breeders Crown and in his 3yo season he was runner up in the North American Cup, pacing his own mile in a sizzling 1:48.8. Art Colony’s sire, Artsplace, has the hottest siring sons in Australia including Art Major, Modern Art and Grinfromeartoear and Art Colony has a stout maternal pedigree as well with broodmare sire excellence from Beach Towel, Cam Fella, Albatross and Bye Bye Byrd. “We are excited to have him back and can’t wait for his first crop of foals to hit the ground in central Victoria,” Campbell said. Art Colony will stand for a service fee of $3000 at Loddon Valley Stud with multiple mare booking discounts available. - David Aldred
3 July 2011 - Bendigo is quickly becoming the hub of trotting with locally trained squaregaiters conquering all before them. On Saturday night the Ross Graham trained Sassy Pinevale became the lastest giant-slayer with a record-breaking neck victory over trotting champion Sundons Gift in the Group 2 Cranbourne Trotters Cup. The five-year-old mare's win follows the victories last week by local trotters Savannah Way in the Emerging Stars Trot at Melton and Waikare Aristocrat in the SA Trotters Derby at Globe Derby Park. Sassy Pinevale, driven by Daryl Douglas, came with a late burst to steal the Trotters Cup from Sundons Gift (Chris Lang). Sundons Gift raced outside the leader I Didnt Do It (Jodi Quinlan) throughout and charged to the lead in the straight. But the swoopers came late with Sassy Pinevale the widest runner and Earl of Mot (Lance Justice) powering home down the centre of the track. Sassy Pinevale ($12.80) grabbed the victory in the final stride over the $1.40 favourite with Earl of Mot ($7.70) taking third place 2.7 metres from the winner. The 2555 metres mobile start Cup was covered in a track record 3:14.9, 2:02.8 mile rate. It was the 15th victory from 57 starts for the daughter of CR Commando and Sundon mare Galleons Bliss. The Sedgwick mare's six wins this year have included the Knight Pistol Cup at Melton and the John Slack Memorial Trot at Ballarat but the Group 2 triumph on Saturday night is easily her most important success. Sassy Pinevale is owned by Bendigo’s Terry Forster and Heather Lyttleton, from Huntly’s Pinevale Farm, and David Patterson. "Terry and Heather (the breeders) put in a lot of hard work with their horses," Graham said. "They really enjoy their racing and get a lot of enjoyment out of it." - David Aldred