Harness racing returns to Horsham on Wednesday afternoon with a compact card of six events commencing at 2.42 pm and winding up at 5.45pm.
This will be the third meeting at the Horsham Racing Centre since COVID-19 regional racing restrictions were lifted and punters should be rewarded if they follow trainers and drivers who have been successful at the past two meetings here.
Drivers Michael Bellman and Alex Ashwood have each posted four winners over the two meets while Jason Lee has landed three and Aaron Dunn two. Trainer Kate Hargreaves leads the successful stable tally with three victories from Kerryn Manning and Aaron Dunn on two each.
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Readers can access full fields, formguides, gear changes and punting plan online at www.harness.org.au and follow all the action live and free, streaming at Trots Vision.
Horsham part-owners Fran and Darryl Edwards enjoyed a taste of Group 3 success when Goodtime Heaven saluted in the $50,000 Allied Express at Melton on Saturday night.
The lightly raced mare was restrained towards the rear of the field by driver Michael Stanley as the start was affected, content to follow the speed through the first half of the 2240 metre journey. At the bell Stanley latched onto the three-wide train and Goodtime Heaven steadily made ground to be challenging the leaders as they swung for home.
In the run to the finish line "Heaven" proved the toughest and scored by a neck from No Win No Feed (Greg Sugars) and Rock N Roll Chapel (Joe Pace) in a solid rate of 1:54.3.
"She didn't feel as sharp tonight as she has her previous three runs. She is in season quite badly," said Stanley. "Out in the pre-race warm up she was really tardy, she normally buzzes around really sharp. Hopefully next time she races here she's not in season and she will be a lot sharper."
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The victory took 'Heaven's" career record to 15 wins from 26 starts and earnings of $278,987. She will be serious player in the forthcoming Elizabeth Clarke Mares Triple Crown, which kicks off with the $30,000 Benstud Make Mine Cullen on October 17th and continues over the following fortnight with the $30,000 Angelique Club Pace and $100,000 Benstud Queen Of The Pacific.
Hopefully the COVID-19 restrictions will be eased by then and allow the Edwards family to be on-course at Melton to enjoy the action live.
Ararat driver Michael Bellman was involved in a fairy-tale result that filled hearts and broke others on Saturday night at Melton when the Lance Justice trained gelding Rishi produced an extraordinary last to first victory and ended fan-favourite Ride High's winning streak of eleven straight victories.
"It's just fantastic," Bellman told Trots Vision. "Such a surreal feeling to 'a' just get a drive against the best we have here in the state, and then to conquer them. It feels like you have climbed Everest. I just can't thank everyone enough, Lance, everyone for the opportunity."
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Rishi started at the bolter's odds of $120 to 1 and so blew most punters out of the water but few would have begrudged the result as Bellman is much under-rated and one of the hardest workers going around in a very tough industry. Justice too would be stoked to train the winner of The Smoken Up Sprint, named in honour of his former stable champion, Smoken Up - 74 wins and $3,607,985.
They're off at: Horsham (D) Wednesday 7th; Maryborough (D) Monday 12th; Mt.Gambier (N) Tuesday 13th; Terang (N) Wednesday 14th; Charlton (D) Monday 19th and Stawell (D) Friday 23rd.
Best bet: R4 No.7 The Interceptor $6 win
Value bet: R1 No.8 Downtown Miss $3 eachway
Flexi bet: Box quinella R6 Nos. 3,4,5,9,10 spend $8
Last return: $15.40 @ Stawell Trots
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