I’ve got money in my pocket: Shepparton trainer Russell Jack trained a winning double at Bendigo on Tuesday night.
Shepparton Harness Racing Club will stage another six meetings this month under the new racing model introduced by Harness Racing Victoria because of the coronavirus crisis.
These include two meetings next week — Monday and Tuesday morning within hours 18 hours of each other.
The Tuesday meeting starts at 9.55 am.
Under the new racing model, Shepparton is the centre of one of six regions and nine venues in the state appointed to continue to stage trots meetings.
Shepparton, which staged a meeting on Wednesday night before the new model came into force yesterday, will host meetings on Monday (day), Tuesday (morning), Sunday, April 12 (night), Thursday, April 16 (day), Tuesday, April 21 (night) and Sunday, April 27 (day).
Shepparton’s general manager Ian McDonald said this week he had nothing but praise for HRVs new racing conditions.
The changes also include new prizemoney structures.
‘‘The fact trainers are now racing for extra prizemoney under a new three tier set-up ($8000, $10 000 and $12 000) in their regions is a real positive as is the field limitations,’’ McDonald said.
‘‘Restricting meetings to eight races and fields to eight runners with two emergencies and a limit of 64 horses at one meeting should also create more each way betting which will benefit the industry.’’
The changes have been introduced to limit travel for participants, in line with public health recommendations, in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
The six regions and nine tracks and where the meetings will be held under the new model are as follows: Inner West — Melton and Ballarat, West — Terang and Stawell, East — Kilmore and Cranbourne, North West — Mildura, Central — Bendigo and North East — Shepparton.
Under the zoning restrictions trainers and drivers will be only able to compete in their designated zone.
Prominent industry supporter and principal of Aldebaran Park, Nagambie, Duncan McPherson said “Harness Racing Victoria was to be commended for its decisive action”.
“This is another opportunity for trainers, drivers and all participants to play a role in maintaining the industry,” McPherson said.
Respected Shepparton trainer Russell Jack also said the initiatives in these testing times made a lot of common sense.
Leading Goulburn Valley trainer David Aiken, who prepares his team at Avenel, is aligned to the Shepparton region under the new zoning rules.
Talented Shepparton-trained pacer Shoshone Brave notched his second metropolitan class win in his past four starts when he scored last Saturday night at Melton.
The Isabel Walsh-trained fouryear-old was driven perfectly by Ryan Duffy to land some good bets.
Duffy parked Shoshone Brave on the back of the pacemaker Cocosfella in the run, eased to the outside straightening up and then quickly set up a winning lead.
Shoshone Brave, bred and owned by Nathalia horseman Noel Tyndall, has now won nine of his 23 starts with eight placings and more than $67 000 in prizemoney.
Shoshone Brave is by Bettors Delight and is out of the 18 times Armbro Operative winning mare, Little Red Cloud.
Shoshone Brave was one of three winners for Duffy at the meeting.
The talented former Shepparton reinsman also partnered the Geoff Webster-trained Kasbah Kid and the Brad Angove-prepared trotter Sundons Courage to wins.
Stealth has zest
Stealth, one of Shepparton trainer Russell Jack’s two winners this week at Bendigo, is bred to be good.
She is from the top racing mare Zesta.
On debut at Bendigo, Stealth finished strongly to account for Surbiton Pretender and Charlie Walker in a maiden trot for fouryear-olds and older.
Trained by Peter Hornsby, Zesta was a brilliant trotting filly at the turn of this century, winning the Victoria Derby, Victoria Oaks and Breeders Crown in her three-yearold season.
She won 13 of her 17 starts, including the last 12 in succession, and banked more than $143 000 in stakemoney.
Jack’s wife Debbie owns Stealth, who was bred by embryo transfer by the Jacks.
Jack said Stealth was a scrawny and small foal who had to be given plenty of time to develop.
‘‘She is a nice trotter and hopefully she can go on and win a few more races yet,’’ Jack said.
By S Js Photo, Zesta has produced five foals to race, including multiple winner Oceania, and all have been winners.
Stealth was driven by James Herbertson.
He also combined with Jack to win with the lightly raced and promising Techys Angel who stormed over her rivals at the finish in a race for three-year-old fillies.
By the Christian Cullen sire Alta Christiana, Techys Angel was having only her fourth start and first outing since September.
She scooted over the 2150 m trip in impressive PB mile rate time of 1:56.5 in comfortably accounting for Dancing With Flo and the Craig Turnbull-trained and Abbey Turnbull-driven Grinforawin.
A Pat on the back
Shepparton horseman David Moran wasn’t at Bendigo to see it, but his talented two-year-old pacer Patsbeachstorm made it two wins from three starts when he scored there on Tuesday night.
It was the first Victorian win for the Moran-trained Somebeachsomewhere gelding who had won at Menangle on debut in a heat of the Sapling Stakes feature before finishing third in the final of that series.
Chris Alford had the driving honours at Bendigo in which Patsbeachstorm was a $1.20 favourite and rated an extra slick 1:55.2 for the 1650 m trip, included a blistering 55.0 last half.
Moran is confined to barracks for two weeks under the coronavirus border crossing restrictions after driving last Saturday night at Bathurst.
He is allowed to prepare his team, but is not permitted to attend Victorian meetings until his 14-day curfew ends on Monday week.
It was a good night for Goulburn Valley trainers and owners at Bendigo with a group of Kyabram owners enjoying another win with the extra smart trotter Always Ready.
Off the scene for 18 months with leg problems Always Ready has now won his only three starts since his return to racing and is boasting seven wins and four placings from 11 starts.
Big night for Turnbull
Trainer Amanda Turnbull struck in Victoria and NSW last Saturday night.
Turnbull took the Group One $100 000 Gold Tiara final on the Emma Stewart-trained Joanna at Bathurst and then scored with Ellmers Hoofing It at Melton.
Joanna was one two winners Turnbull had at Bathurst, also driving a winner for her father Steve.
With James Herbertson taking the reins, Ellmers Hoofing It put up a big run to win over the 1720 m trip at Melton to hoist his 10th win.
In a tight finish the six-year-old son of Falcon Seelster beat the David Aiken-trained Blingitothemax and Cee Cee In America.
A cracking night out
Big night for northern district trainers on Wednesday night at Shepparton.
Shepparton trainer Isabel Walsh set the mood early, winning the opening event with the Josh Aikendriven Do Not Surrender who had been bursting to win a race.
Congupna trainer Mark Lee struck in the next race, scoring with talented trotter Col Du Gabilier, who was driven to his fourth win by Stacey Towers.
Elmore horseman Matt Higgins was next to strike for the locals with the Chris Alford-driven mare Lilnova ending a run of 18 outs in hoisting her fourth win.
Quaddie punters were then on good terms with themselves when Locksley trainer John Nissen produced Heaven In Locksley and Laura Crossland Shadow Chevron to win the first two legs of the quaddie.
Shadow Chevron, who put up the run of the night, was the anchor for most quaddie punters, while Heaven In Locksley, partnered by Bec Bartley, was also well fancied.
But Kyabram trainer Brent Thomson and Shepparton mentor Darryn Rowney then proceeded to eliminate a lot of quaddie punters in the final two races.
Thomson completed a hat-trick of wins with the the Auckland Reactor mare Time To React at the nice tote odds of $12.
The four-year-old mare had scored at Kilmore and Maryborough at her previous two starts.
And a lot punters who had included Time To React in their quaddie chances were then delivered a knockout blow when Rowney produced $47 chance Lasting Bond to complete the meeting and the quaddie.
Crossland partnered Lasting Bond, a six-year-old Shadyshark Hanover mare who was having only her second start, to complete a driving double.