Gunbower Harness Racing Club’s Cup meeting on Sunday has drawn an even and capacity field for its feature race.
Twelve runners will face the starter in the $14000 Gunbower Hotel Gunbower Pacing Cup to be contested over 2630m trip.
Elmore-trained Nonno Stride is the only last start winner in the field, but has a second row draw to contend with.
Keith Cotchin who trains Nonno Stride also has the talented Hes Okey Dokey coming from a second row draw in the race and this pacer’s last start second to Bad Billy at Melton looks good form for this race which is for C5 or better class performers.
Hes Okey Dokey along with Coldplay Road and the first emergency Love Ina Chevy are the only three M2 assessed pacers in the race in which all runners have had top five finishes or better in recent starts.
Leading reinsman Chris Alford may have given punters a lead by electing to drive Brocks Territory who has come up with the poleline draw.
It’s the first time Alford has driven Brocks Territory for trainer Rod Petroff and the pacer has not finished further back than fourth in his past four runs.
The Brent Lilley-trained Our Jimmie also has the draw to make a bold showing along with Yerrington Bob who will be driven by Gavin Lang.
The other feature event on the card, the Cohuna Car Sales Bill Poxon Memorial Gunbower Trotters Cup, has drawn only the eight starters, but there are some talented performers chasing the $12000 prizemoney.
Outstanding Shepparton-trained mare Sky Petite makes her return to racing in the cup for Dean Pattison and driver Ryan Duffy.
Despite a 30m handicap she looks the one to beat with Ainthatrightmacca, Son Of Anarchy, the Echuca-trained Robbie Zuve and the in-form Daquiri looking the main trifecta and first four chances.
The fourth heat of the Stanton Insurance Brokers Vicbred Platinum Mares Sprint Championship is a $10000 race in which three last start winners — Bridie Hanover, Village Encounter and Recork — will contest along with the ultra consistent Rockabella Starz.
There will be plenty of off-track entertainment on the day with the first race at 1.10pm and the last at 5.19pm.
A trip back in time
Russ Thomson turned back the clock a few years with the drive of the night at Bendigo last Friday night.
Competing in a veteran drivers race Thomson produced an upset result when his drive Truscott Law stormed to victory.
Thomson had Truscott Law positioned in the one-one sit and going into the back straight the last time, dashed the five-year-old son of Lawman to the front and he proceeded to run his rivals ragged.
A 10/1 chance Truscott Law careered away to beat the runner-up Tiroroa Tom by nearly 22m in establishing a PB mile rate of 1:59.5 over the 2150m trip from the mobile.
It was Truscott Law’s first win since saluting at Maryborough in April six starts previous.
Thomson, who had his last drive two years ago, said the win had given him a big thrill.
He is training a small team these days and through the 1960s, ’70s, ’80s and ’90s he prepared some of the smartest trotters in the land.
Roll scores a goal
Smart David Aiken-trained five-year-old pacer Roll With It burst back on the winners’ list in style last Friday night at Bendigo.
The son of Rock N Roll Heaven had not won for 12 starts with his previous win recorded at Melton in November last year.
Roll With It was always the one to beat when his reinsman Josh Aiken took advantage of his barrier two draw to lead all the way.
Roll With It posted a PB 1:53.9 in winning over the 1650m trip, beating The Sparrow Hawk and the Steve O’Donoghue-trained and Bec Bartley-driven Willem who finished the race off nicely.
A winner of six of his first 13 starts Roll With It has now won nine from 29 with six placings for just on $80000 in prizemoney earnings.
Cash to Flash
Promising three-year-old trotter Flash Kyvalley made it two wins from two starts for Kyvalley breeder and owner Jim Connelly when he saluted last week at Bendigo.
A son of star trotter and successful sire Skyvalley, who Connelly once owned and raced, Flash Kyvalley won on debut at Kilmore on October 25 and in his latest win came with a strong finish to beat Aldebaran Pete and Shadow Justice.
Flash Kyvalley is out of the Pine Chip mare Casheldaga and is a half-brother to Kyvalley Boomerang, Kyvalley Roy and Kyvalley Topcoat, all multiple winners.
Laying down the Laura
Rarely a week goes by these days without Laura Crossland harnessing up or driving a winner — and last week was no exception.
Crossland won another claimers race with veteran pacer Fiery Achiever at the Yarra Valley Cup meeting last week to continue an amazing run of success with the hardy Courage Under Fire 11-year-old.
David Moran partnered Fiery Achiever to the win and has been in the sulky for the eight wins the pacer has enjoyed from 23 starts since joining the Crossland barn in August las year.
Fiery Achiever is a veteran of more than 130 starts which have produced 19 wins and 28 placings more than $140000 in prizemoney earnings.
Tentrumps is an ace
Consistent trotter Justtentrumps is proving a good money spinner for connections.
The five-year-old son of underrated sire Tennotrumps made it five wins in his 21 starts with an impressive performance to win at the Yarra Valley Cup meeting last week.
Driven by Chris Svanosio, Justtentrumps finished strongly to beat the favourite Hedge Your Bet and Black Valley in impressive fashion.
Justtentrumps is prepared by Colbinabbin horseman Graham McDermott and looks to have the ability to go onto better things.
Audi purrs along
Five-year-old Mach Three gelding Audi Hare notched his fourth win in six Victorian starts when he saluted for trainer David Aiken and his reinsman son Josh at the Yarra Valley Cup meeting.
In his other two starts in Victoria he finished second.
Audi Hare won two of 11 New Zealand starts before joining the Aiken barn and in one of his wins — at Bendigo — he posted a 1:54.8 PB over the 1650m trip.
Josh Aiken is having a big year in the sulky and has driven 22 winners which has him sitting in fourth place on the state drivers oremiership, seventh on the metropolitan table and on top of the concession drivers premiership.
Big night at Griffith
Shepparton horsemen Mark Pitt and Nathan Jack and former GV girl Ellen Bartley were stars of the Griffith Cup meeting in the Riverina last Saturday night.
Pitt drove a treble — Im Not Crazy, Ollie And Brock and Our Dandy — while Jack piloted Heza Bromac to a runaway win in the $12240 Griffith Cup and Bartley had two wins as a trainer and two as a driver.
Ollie And Brock is trained by Bartley who also drove Confederate Girl, a pacer she also trains to victory, and also steered Quick Reflection to victory for trainer David Kennedy.
While Pitt trained the third placegetter, Modern Lebron, in the Griffith Cup in which the Amanda Turnbull-trained and Nathan Jack-driven Heza Bromac was a runaway winner.
Smiles amid Friction
Gillieston trainer Craig Turnbull certainly deserved his win with Causenfriction at the St Arnaud Cup meeting last Sunday.
The four-year-old Mach Three mare had clocked up four successive third placings in trying to break her maiden status but made no mistake this time with Chris Alford in the sulky for the first time on the mare.
With a barrier one draw and the Alford factor Causenfriction was sent out the favourite and tracked the pacemaker and well fancied Safari Cheer before sprint laning to victory in the home straight.
It was Causenfriction’s 17th start.
Big odds = big quads
Outsiders dominated at Cobram on Monday with just one favourite saluting on the eight-event card.
Four long-priced winners produced win dividends from $14 to $36 and quaddie punters who were fortunate enough to get the right combinations enjoyed some hefty windfalls.
The early quaddie paid $12643 and the main quaddie more than $24000.
The Greg Albert-trained and driven Master Mach Manus put the value in the early quaddie when he saluted with an all-the-way win in a C4-C6 race at odds of nearly 36/1.
Owned by Echuca trots stalwarts Norm and Joan Visca, Master Mach Manus recently equalled Country Duke’s track record in a trial at Kyabram.
Included in the early quaddie wins were the Steve O’Donoghue-trained and Bec Bartley-driven Cuzco who won the trot and paid $6.40 for the win.
Many punters bowed out in the first leg of the main quaddie when Shepparton trainer-driver Dean Chandler upstaged the more fancied runners with Bridie Hanover at tote odds of more than 23/1.
Given she had run a bold second in her heat on Melbourne Cup day to Schouten Island, who was sent out favourite in Monday’s final, Bridie Hanover was well over the odds.
Those few punters who were still in the quaddie after that upset were immediately hit with another roughie when grand old campaigner Lights And Music saluted for Nanneella trainer Col Godden and reinswoman Monique Burnett.
It wasn’t hard to have the ultra consistent A Special Dream among the chances in the third leg of the quaddie and he paid nicely at $6.20 for the win.
The Steve Duffy-trained A Special Dream was driven by concession reinsman Darby McGuigan.
Those few punters still alive after A Special Dream’s win then needed the Mark Buckingham-trained and driven Bernice Okane to secure the quaddie, but she was a 20/1 chance.
It’s little wonder the quaddie paid a cool $24643.
The only favourite to get home at the meeting was the Wayne Potter-trained and Nathan Jack driven American Rock, a $2.20 chance in a C0 class event.
Today: Melton (n).
Tomorrow: Cranbourne (n).
Sunday: Gunbower Cup (d).
Monday: Bendigo (n).
Tuesday: Mildura (n).
Wednesday: Kilmore (d).
Thursday: Horsham (d), Shepparton (n).