23 March 2012 - She is tackling the silver class final of the Lyn McPherson Memorial Breed For Speed Series, but Bendigo mare Aleppo Midas has the golden touch. Rebellious, resilient and loaded with talent, Michelle Eastman's four-year-old daughter of Sundon may well be the fastest female trotter of her generation racing in Victoria.
And after throttling Amelia Darling in a heat of the series two weeks ago, she looks the testing material in tonight's $10,000 decider at Melton's Tabcorp Park. "She's very much an extrovert. She likes to tip us out and she's full of personality, but we're in awe of what she can do out on the track," Eastman said. "A lot of the work we do with her is just about calming her down, but she's come a very long way in a very short time and we just love her; my husband Dale just loves her to death." An exciting but often wayward performer in her classic season, Aleppo Midas has been a picture of poise in three runs this term. Dominant at Bendigo to kick off her campaign, the full sister to Eastman-bred Inter Dominion hope Aleppo Sunrise was again impressive, despite failing, at Cobram two runs ago. But while those performances were promising, it was Aleppo Midas' breathtaking last-start triumph in 1min 56.6sec that has her primed for Breed For Speed glory to justify the hours Eastman and her husband invest in the sport. "We wake up at 10 to five every morning to work our horses because Dale and I have full-time jobs, so it really is a labour of love," Eastman said. "To win tonight would be a fantastic reward. We've fallen in love with trotters over the last couple of years, so to win a prestigious race like this we'd be stoked, both for ourselves and for the horse." - Source Herald Sun.
14 March - Locallly trained 2yo filly Rogers Joy (by Art Major) chose a great time to win her first race - in the Shakamaker Classic at Melton last Friday night. Starting from barrier two, Glenn Douglas was able to slot the daughter of Art Major in behind the leader, Yeadan, at the start and this proved to be the winning move. Always traveling superbly during the run, Douglas hooked Rogers Joy one wide coming off the home bend and she did the rest. Quickly moving up alongside Yeadan, she sprinted clear over the concluding stages to win by 4.1 metres over Raid The Stakes (by Mach Three) who came on late.
Rogers Joy was coming off three seconds at her only three runs, so the win was thoroughly deserved. The daughter of the talented Bella Joy 1:55.8 - $109,849 , Rogers Joy is a half sister to two winners - Jukebox Music 1:55.8 - $157,921 and Bella Shine 1:55.5 - $53,890.
6 March 2012 - Charlton reinswoman Ellen Tormey scored a landmark win in the Australasian Young Drivers Championship at Perth's Gloucester Park on Friday night and capped a remarkable weekend winning the Tiffany Murray Memorial Pace at Echuca on Saturday night. The Bendigo based driver said yesterday that as big as the AYDC win was "to win Tiff's race" was just as amazing. Last season’s leading Victorian concession driver represented her state in the AYDC for the second consecutive year after another excellent term, which has already yielded 35 wins statewide. Opposing young tyros like Morgan Woodley, Todd Rattray, Ken Rogers and Zac Butcher, Tormey became just the fourth Victorian to claim the coveted title. She also joined Kerryn Manning and SA's Danielle Hill as the only females to taste success in the star-making series across its two decade history. “Winning was just an amazing thrill; there looked to be plenty better chances than me heading into the final heat, but we snuck home so it was a very exciting night,” Tormey said. “The whole series is a fantastic idea and it’s always good to get away with a great bunch of people and experience racing in a different state or country.” Rather than revel in her success across the Nullarbor, the dedicated driver was soon flying home for Saturday’s Echuca Cup card where she claimed a race very close to her heart. A long-time friend of brave mother Tiffany Murray, who lost her battle with cancer last year, 21-year-old Tormey was thrilled to take out the Tiffany Murray Memorial Pace on Valiant Lustre. “I was always going to get back for the Tiffany Murray Memorial Pace; she was a great friend of mine and to win a race named in her memory was a great honour for me,” she said. “It really means a lot.” - with the files of the Bendigo Advertiser
9 March 2012 - Gifted reinswoman Anne Maree Conroy is getting back in the saddle at Bendigo on Saturday night. Conroy can count careers in journalism, breeding and form analysis among her many contributions to the sport. But it is her heritage as an endurance rider that will best prepare the Daylesford native for heat one of an open class Monte series at Lords Raceway. Popular in Europe, Monte races feature squaregaiters ridden to saddle and are fast making a return as part of a renewed focus on trotting in Victoria. "It's been a while since I rode, so I've had to get the muscles working again to get ready for these races," Conroy said with a laugh. "I was lucky enough to win an exhibition Monte on Ballarat Cup night on Optimum, the same horse I'm riding at Bendigo, so hopefully we can make it two for two. "I was an endurance rider for 20 years and it's great to get back in the saddle and showcase the versatility of both the breed and the drivers for people who haven't seen a Monte before." Part of a Victorian standardbred dynasty, Conroy will face off against one family member in older brother Glenn. It's almost 30 years since Glenn claimed his own Monte success at Moonee Valley and with the tally tied at one win apiece, the Conroys will be riding for bragging rights at Bendigo. Regardless of the result, the interest in ridden races should ensure the Monte remains a fixture of the harness scene beyond the series' March 23 final at Melton. "The Monte trials they've had at Tabcorp Park have generated a lot of interest and it's wonderful to hear people talking about them," Conroy said. "As for any sibling rivalry, Glenn and I will both be hoping the other goes well but we're pretty fierce competitors so while it'll be plenty of fun, we both really want to win." - Jason Bonnington
5 March 2012 - David Aiken’s debutante No No No No No created plenty of interest winning its first race start at Bendigo’s Lord’s Raceway today.
Starting the short priced $1.60 favourite, No No No No No led from start to finish to win the Alabar Bloodstock 3yo Pace (2150m). But, you could almost hear the No No No No No cry coming from punters in TAB's around the country that took the short odds as $58.80 long shot Glasscutterspirit (Doc Wilson) drew alongside the favourite with 100 metres to race. For a fleeting moment the outsider looked likely to surge to the lead and win. However, No No No No No dug deep in the race to the finish and Aiken was able to steer the popular elect home to a half neck victory over Glasscutterspirit with Mosquito Master (Neil MCCallum) a $146.00 hope rounding out the top three finishers.
No No No No No was the talk of Lord’s Raceway before he stepped out onto the track and he is likely to develop a bit of a cult following, particularly if he keeps on winning. Most people would immediately assume that No No No No No was named after television’s Vicar of Dibley character Jim Trott (Trevor Peacock) who precedes almost every sentence with No No No No No - Yes. But trainer Aiken revealed today that the owner of the P Forty Seven 3yo gelding is a diehard Rugby League fan and actually gave the horse the name after years of listening religiously to one of the footy code’s commentators, Phil “Gus” Gould. The TV commentator is renowned for emphatically declaring No, No, No, No, No! when he thinks something is wrong or is about to go wrong. There is even a facebook page dedicated to Gould’s saying No No No No No. “Yes, he’s named after Gus, let’s just hope the horse gets it right more often than Gus does,” Aiken quipped. “Gould is a racing man so he is probably flattered that someone has named a horse after his catchphrase.” - David Aldred