The Bartley girls, Bec and Lisa, had long-time harness racing observers stretching their memories after they had both driven winning doubles at Melton last Saturday night.
The question being asked was: Have sisters performed this feat at a metropolitan meeting — any meeting for that matter — previously?
The answer is ‘‘not likely’’.
On Saturday night Bec drove Willem to victory in a $10000 C1 final and also San Carlo to claim the $30000 Group Three Empire Stallions Championship.
Both had won their heats the previous week and were all-the-way winners on Saturday night.
Lisa, Bec’s younger sister, kept the family winning streak going on the night as well as writing her own piece of history to claim her first driving double.
Lisa, who had only secured her A-grade licence the previous week, reined the Amanda Turnbull-trained Majordan to a dashing all-the-way win in a M1-M2 race. She then completed the double on the David Aiken-trained Aimforthemoon in a T1-T2 class trot.
To add to the feat Majordan was Lisa’s first metropolitan class winner.
Lisa was also coming off driving Major Patron to victory in a C1 Only race for trainer Glen Douglas at Bendigo the previous night.
Lisa then capped a memorable weekend by winning on the Douglas-trained Kotare Mahdi with a copybook drive at Cobram on Sunday to make it four winners in three days.
It was a big night all round for Goulburn Valley trainers and drivers at Melton.
Apart from the Bartley girls’ history making doubles Shepparton reinsman Nathan Jack also partnered the Jayne Davies-trained All I Can Be to win a claimers race at nice odds of 10/1. This meant five of the 11 races on the card were snared by district drivers or trainers.
It’s a Miracle
The old firm of Wayne Potter and Mark Pitt were back in the winner’s circle last week at Echuca.
The pair combined to win with former Tasmanian pacer Miracle Marcus in a two-year-old race.
Pitt was able to dodge some interference with about 800m to run to take over the front running and in the run home was too good for his rivals.
Miracle Marcus contested the recent NSW Breeders series where he ran fourth in his heat and eighth in the semi-final.
By Somebeachsomewhere, he won on debut in Launceston when prepared by Phillip Ashwood.
Pitt also had a big night at Kilmore this week with a double — Intrusive and Scarlett Brew — for top trainer Emma Stewart.
Like old times
The clock will be turned back many years when two Victorian harness meetings tomorrow night clash.
Bendigo is hosting Breeders Crown semi-finals for two and three-year-olds pacers while Ballarat is also staging a meeting in the same time zone.
Once metropolitan meetings and country meetings were staged at the same time, but those were back in the old Showgrounds days and it has rarely happened since.
The move to stage the double-header is for Ballarat to try and cash in on the historic AFL clash between Western Bulldogs and Port Adelaide being played tomorrow at Ballarat.
The request to stage the Ballarat meeting came after Bendigo had been locked in for the Breeders Crown meeting, but the HRB didn’t want to miss an opportunity which could be a winner down the track when more AFL games are staged at Ballarat and a date for a trotting meeting can coincide with it without a clash with another meeting.
The Ballarat program tomorrow night is all $3500 races.
Kima hot in the cold
Swedish horsewoman Kima Frenning is loving Australia.
And building a steady list of winners since moving here in 2014 has been more icing on the cake.
With a concession claim and from a barrier two draw, Frenning was able to steer pacer Ellbeebliss to an all-the-way victory at Ballarat last week.
Ellbeebliss is a four-year-old gelding by Blissfull Hall trained by Kevin Chisholm who was bred by the late Don Stewart and trained by his son, Congupna horseman Scott.
He is a full brother to Scott’s former champion Bitobliss, a winner of 24 races and more than $473000 in prizemoney.
Scott had the gelding for seven starts for a win and four top five finishes from six starts.
All up Frenning has ridden 20 Monte winners and driven 15 winners in her time in Australia.
‘‘I’m really loving it here, but they did tell me when I left Sweden that it’s always sunny in Australia. But I have found out that’s not quite right. It can get pretty chilly down here (Avenel) some days.’’
Frenning works for leading trainer David Aiken who had a winner at Kilmore on Wednesday night with He Can Fly who was driven by Josh Aiken.
Eves blooms for Rose
Kyabram trainer Bruce Rose hasn’t taken long to encourage pacer My Two Eves into the winner’s circle.
The four-year-old Jet Laag grey gelding hadn’t run a top four finish in 14 outings before Rose took over the pacer’s training.
There was instant improvement when Rose gave him his first start, running fourth to Northern Eagle at Shepparton on July 29.
The pacer’s next start was last Sunday at Cobram when he fought on tenaciously in a C0 Only class race for reinsman Daniel Rose after sitting parked for the final lap.
My Two Eves, a 4/1 shot on the tote, responded to some hard driving to pull away and win by 11m over the hot favourite Hot Dogma, who was driven by Damian Wilson, in 1:57.6 mile rate time for the 1670m trip.
Flying family Flame
Light The Flame, an all-the-way winner at Cobram on Sunday, is a half-brother to the warhorse trotter Dabbsey.
Trained by Aldebaran Park-based trainer Danny Thackeray, Light The Flame broke through for his first win in nine starts when he led from start to finish in a bold front running display for reinsman John Caldow.
With a second and third at Maryborough meetings recently the win was no surprise and he was a 5/1 shot on the tote.
Light The Flame beat the favourite Nica Macdonon, who came from the 30m strand, and the fast finishing 50m backmarker The Majestic in a tight finish.
Bred by history making reinswoman Marg Davies, Light The Flame is a son of Muscles Yankee stallion Aldebaran Yankee out of the winning Keystone Flame mare Flickering Flame.
Light The Flame’s half-brother Dabbsey, who is now being trained by Thackeray, is a veteran of more than 200 starts and over $100000 in prizemoney earnings is by Conche Deville.
Light The Flame provided the first of a driving double for Caldow who also won on the Jodie Woodham-Murdoch-trained Go Betweens in a C1 Only class race.
An Ideal day out
Two-year-old pacer Ideal Suspect didn’t take long to get himself on the winner’s list for Euroa horseman Cameron Maggs.
The son of American Ideal backed up from a third placing at only his third outing at Echuca on Thursday of last week to go two better at the Cobram meeting on Sunday.
Driven by Maggs Ideal Suspect got a sit on the front runner, the Leeton-trained Run Business Run and ran that pacer down in the concluding stages along the sprint lane.
Ideal Suspect carved out a respectable mile rate of 1:58.2 for the 1670m trip which included a 28.3 last quarter to underline his ability.
Jack hits Sydney
Nathalia owner Jack Ross enjoyed a win at Menangle on Tuesday.
Ross owns Jacks Command who was having his fourth start for Menangle horseman David Thorn after being formerly trained by Kaarimba horseman Darryl Hill.
Hill won four races, including three in succession at Shepparton (twice) and Melton in September-October last season, with the five-year-old son of Royal Mattjesty before he joined the Thorn stable.
Jacks Command posted a PB mile rate of 1:54.3 for the 1609m trip on Tuesday and ran down the favourite and pacemaker Kayteeoh Denario in the process after camping on that pacer’s back throughout the run.
In swing of winning
Byrneside horseman Damian Wilson is on a hot run of late with another win last week.
Wilson piloted the Barmah-trained Ona Safari to a second win with a tough performance at Echuca.
Wilson bided his time at the rear of the seven-horse field with Ona Safari before making a sustained three-wide run from the 600m to reel in his rivals.
A four-year-old son of Safari prepared by hobby trainer Trevor Gallaway, Ona Safari has always shown he has his share of ability despite this being only the second time he had saluted.
He certainly appreciated a solid early pace to run over his rivals at the finish.
Ona Safari is lightly raced with two wins and six placings from 21 starts.
Tomorrow: Melton (n).
Tomorrow: Ballarat (n), Bendigo (n).
Sunday: Shepparton (t).
Monday: Horsham (d).
Tuesday: Cranbourne (n).
Wednesday: Geelong (n).
Thursday: Mildura (n).