Historic Mooroopna Harness Racing Club’s biggest day of the year takes place on Sunday.
Picture: Shepparton Harness Racing ClubCool dudes: Mamas New Dude made it back-to-back wins at Shepparton last week for David Moran (left) and Laura Crossland (second from right) and his large group of owners who support MND awareness through the horse.
The club is staging its annual twilight cup meeting at Shepparton and officials are delighted at the response from trainers.
Enough nominations have been received to stage a 10-race program.
The main features will be the Lift N Shift Mooroopna Pacing Cup for R2-R4 class pacers and the Mooroopna Trotters Cup for TR0 or better class trotters.
The pacing cup field will be contested by a field of 10, while 11 starters will line up in the trotters cup.
Three heats of a C1 Only series with the final at Shepparton tonight week will also be a challenge for punters.
The meeting kicks off at 4.54 pm with the final event at 9.43 pm.
Geoff off and going
When pacer Provocator paced 1:54.5 to win a race at Cobram in January last year, his Shepparton trainer-driver Geoff Martin could have been excused for thinking more wins could have been just around corner.
But it took another 32 starts — at last week’s meeting at Shepparton — for Provocator to claim his next and 10th win.
Martin produced a patient drive, settling Provocator four back on the marker pegs and then launching the eight-year-old Kenneth J gelding on the home bend with a well timed run to lower the colours of the odds-on favourite Messerati and the pacemaker Ramblenroller.
Despite running second to Ramblenroller at his previous start on the same track Provocator paid a handsome $24.90 for the win.
Provocator lines up from a poleline draw in the Lift N Shift Mooroopna Pacing Cup on Sunday at Shepparton.
Waving bye on way by
The Steve O’Donoghue-Bec Bartley team took the honours last week at Shepparton with a double.
The promising Wayonbye won a C0 Only class race and then Mongiana completed the stable double in a C2-C3 class event.
Settling second last from a second row draw Wayonbye reeled in his rivals one by one when Bartley asked for an effort in the back straight in the last lap.
The four-year-old son of Mach Three went on to an effortless win in the finish with more than 8 m to spare on the finishing line over the runner-up Corsini with the roughie London Lady filling the minor placing.
Wayonbye is lightly raced and has now won five times in only 11 starts.
In contrast to Wayonbye’s win Bartley utilised Mongiana’s suitable barrier draw to lead throughout over the 2190 m trip.
Mongiana was too good for his rivals beating the Damian Wilsontrained and driven Winkn Nod with Rocknroll Eyes filling the minor placing in a C2-C3 class race.
Mongiana has been a consistent pacer with his 16 starts producing four wins and eight placings.
Mamas dude gets up
Local trainers enjoyed their share of success last week at Shepparton.
Apart from the Steve O’Donoghue training double and the win of the Geoff Martin-trained Provocator, the Laura CrosslandDavid Moran team also struck.
They produced Mammas New Dude for a second straight win on the track.
The Western Terror four-year-old also had won at the May 20 meeting and repeated that dose last week.
Moran sent Mamas New Dude to the front at the mile and dictated terms from then on to lower the colours of the odds-on favourite Animal in a convincing win, the fourth of his 10 starts.
There have also been four placings.
Last Chance saloon
Echuca-trained pacer The Last Chance vindicated the support which suggested he would open his winning account when he stepped out at Shepparton.
A $2 favourite driven by Greg Sugars, the Wayne Lear-trained The Last Chance had finished second at Bendigo and third at Charlton at his previous two starts and was crying out to break his duck at his 12th start.
Sugars settled The Last Chance on the back of the pacesetter and second favourite Shecandoit and once into clear running in the home stretch quickly put paid to his rivals in smart 1:58.3 mile rate time for the 1690 m trip.
The Last Chance repeated his Shepparton win with a dominant win on his home track at Echuca on Wednesday night when favourite.
Despite taking on the older horses exciting three-year-old trotter All The Muscles looked the best bet on the program last week at Shepparton. And that eventuated. Reinsman David Moran was able to take up the front running early with the Muscle Hill colt over the 2190 m trip in a T0 Only class trot — and that was the last his rivals saw of him.
He cruised to the wire with more than 12 m to spare over the runner-up Sonny Brooke with the outsider Lion Brooke a distant third in rating a slick 2:01.8 for the 2190 m trip.
Confidence was sky high the Patrick Ryan-trained Sheron Parkowned trotter would be more than up to the task of handling his older rivals after All The Muscles had zoomed home to run second to fellow Victorian Xebec in the NSW Trotters Derby at his previous start, although he had shown he was well above the average juvenile with two wins and a placing from seven starts prior to that run.
And All The Muscle will be looking for another win tomorrow night when he tackles the time-honoured Group Two $30 000 The VHRSC Holmfield from a plum draw at Melton.
Ryan also has another last start winner Starsbythebeach contesting another of the features, the Benstud Standardbreds Youthful Stakes for two-year-old fillies, at Melton.
Starsbythebeach, who will he driven by Moran, has drawn barrier six.
She’s a bit of a Diva
Not too many Shepparton meetings pass without the David AikenKima Frenning team landing a winner and last week was no exception.
The pair combined to win with Mach Three mare Mach Diva who had to withstand a couple of serious early challenges for the lead over the short trip in a 1690 m dash, but proved up to the task.
Mach Diva hasn’t won out of turn since joining the Aiken stable from Western Australia, but obviously has a liking for the Shepparton circuit with all three wins attained on that track with Frenning in the sulky for all three.
Nikolay a shock
There were plenty of local wins at Wednesday night’s Echuca meeting.
Apart from another win by the Wayne Lear-trained The Last Chance, Mick McMahon was in the winner’s circle on his home track with Dallas Nikolay, an all-the-way winner in a C2 Only class race with Ellen Tormey in the sulky.
Veteran Elmore trainer Jimmy Beecroft also drew blood with smart trotting mare Jay Bee Flex who was driven by John Caldow.
District trainers also produced longshot winners at the meeting.
Congupna horseman Danny Ferris has always held a high opinion of Dayseedee, who Kod most quaddie punters with a win at tote odds of 55/1, while Byrneside trainer-driver Damian Wilson got the money with Threepeat who paid $15.20 for the win.
Euroa horseman Cameron Maggs also noched a win, partnering the Peter Romero-trained Badge Of Gameness to a runaway win.