5th December: New member Kialla based Peter Hornsby’s very reliable 8Y0 Eilean Donon -Styx mare Nica MacDonon chalked up her 13th victory from 106 outings when successful in the Cardigan Boko Trotters Handicap for T1 or better class over 2190 metres at his home track of Shepparton. Trained by Mark Lee and driven by wife Stacey Towers, Nica MacDonon settled four back the markers from a 20 metre handicap before moving off the inside to park in the open racing for the bell. When the leader Michaels Mename galloped turning out of the straight on the final occasion, Nica MacDonon crossed to lead, opening up a big margin on her rivals who tried in vain to run her down, reaching the post 2 metres clear of Zoomas Legend off a cosy trip on the markers, with The Majestic (one/one) 17.6 metres away in third place. The mile rate 2-03.9.
7th December: Carol Bass holds a share of 5Y0 Mach Three - Braeview Express gelding Machiatto who was successful in winning the Level 9 Westral Plantation Shutters Pace over 1730 metres at Perth’s harness headquarters Gloucester Park in a mile rate of 1-57. Trained and driven by Aldo Cortopassi, Machiatto led throughout from gate five, defeating Just Bet On Black by 1.5 metres. Free To Air was third 5.2 metres away.
10th December: John Yeomans and wife Christine were winners at Melton when 5Y0 Rocknroll Hanover - Life Inthefastlane gelding Solid As A Rock which they bred, led throughout to land the Breckon Farms Pace for R5 or better class over 1720 metres, accounting for Lucky Lombo which raced outside him by 4.3 metres in a rate of 1-54.5, with Our Jimmie 4.7 metres back in third place after following the winner. Trained and driven by Gavin Lang.
10th December: Kevin Riseley’s Muscle Hill - Fullonluck colt All The Muscles trained at Arcadia by Patrick Ryan led throughout from gate five in the Aldebaran Park Vicbred Platinum Home Grown Classic for Three Year Old Colts & Geldings over 1720 metres at Tabcorp Park Melton with Chris Alford in the sulky, defeating Flingandwingit (one/one) by 1.9 metres in 1-58.1. Rave On Hall which raced exposed was third 28.6 metres away.
14th December: Georgina Coram’s home bred 6Y0 Major In Art - Scarlet Lilly gelding My Forgotten Hero snared the 2150 metre Mecca Property Styling Pace for C0 & C1 class at Yarra Valley. Trained and driven by Pearcedale’s Simone Walker, My Forgotten Hero was quickly away from an inside second line draw to go forward and park outside the leader Andrew Jay (gate two). Proving to be the better stayer on the day, My Forgotten Hero raced clear on straightening to record a 6.3 metre margin over Magical Times (one/two) and Dangerous Women (one/three) who was third a half head away. The mile rate 2-00.5.
14th December: John Hawke’s Kiwi bred 5Y0 Bettors Delight - Reklaw gelding Rishi was a strong victor of the Accredited Distributors Bendigo Pace for C6 or better class over 2150 metres at Bendigo. Trained and driven by Lance Justice, Rishi starting from the extreme draw settled one/one after the well backed Mad Robber (gate five) was sent forward four and five wide running into the first turn with Dikerry (gate three) going with him. Vacating the prime spot when the speed eased to park outside the leader racing for the bell, Rishi after applying plenty of pressure approaching the final bend was too solid over the concluding stages, scoring by a head from Dikerry along the sprint lane, with Mad Robber holding down third 2.1 metres back. The mile rate a slick 1-55.5 (last half 56.8 – quarter 28.2).
14th December: Peter Svanosio tasted success with his Angus Hall - Yankee Princess mare Severe Storm in the Garrards Trotters Mobile for TR0 class over 2150 metres at Bendigo. Trained & driven by son Chris, Severe Storm led throughout from the pole, accounting for Revy Jay by 6.8 metres in a 2-05 rate. Lohi Lindy was third 1.5 metres back.
15th December: Solid As A Rock stepped out again at Melton to capture the 1720 metre APG Sales Catalogues Out Now Pace for M0 class. Given a sweet trip one/one, Solid As A Rock dashed to the front on the final bend to win as he pleased, 5.2 metres in advance of Goonly which followed him everywhere, with Higherthananeagle third 2.8 metres away in third place after trailing the pair. The mile rate 1-52.1.
18th December: Greg Bettiol’s home bred Courage Under Fire - Dundee Hanover 5Y0 gelding Deadly Assassin snared the 2240 metre Graham Wealth Pty Ltd Pace for C1 class at Swan Hill. Trained at Great Western by Grant Campbell, Deadly Assassin driven by wife Kerryn Manning settled three back in the moving line after starting from the extreme draw as Our Amazing Grace led from gate three. Set alight to race exposed from the bell, Deadly Assassin surged to the front on turning to record a 2.2m margin over Distinctive Del which trailed the weakening leader and ran home nicely when clear, with Our Master George third 3.5m away after gaining one/one cover at the expense of the winner. The mile rate 1-58.3.
20th December: Peter Judd’s 5Y0 Rock N Roll Heaven - Hectic mare She Envy racing under the banner of Benstud Standardbreds was successful in the Egmont Park Stud Pace for C1 & C2 class over 2150 metres at Bendigo. Driven by Kima Frenning for David Aiken, She Envy raced uncovered for the majority of the journey, scoring by 10.8 metres from Heavenly Shades which followed her. Machli was third a head away after trailing the pair.
21st December: Rishi made it 2 on the trot when victorious in the A.H. (Pete) Rathjen Memorial Pace for C6 or better class over 2190 metres at Shepparton, leading throughout from gate three to easily account for stablemate The Bettormack from last by an untouched 4.1 metres in a rate of 2-03.2. Be Good Juddy (four back the markers) was third a head away.
21st December: Machiatto won again at GP in identical fashion, leading throughout from gate four to land the Merry Xmas From Gloucester Park 3Y0+ Pace for Level 12 class over 2130, toying with his rivals to register a 10.4 metre margin over Bettor Not Bitter and Glow Bright in a mile rate of 1-56.6. Machiatto has since been sold to the USA.
23rd December: Peter Watkinson, Dale Monteith and new members Bruce Paul & Peter Hornsby share in the ownership of Art Major - Sahara Miss gelding Sahara Tiger who landed The Downtowner On New Year’s Eve 3Y0 Pace over 1790 metres at Warragul. Trained at Drouin by Gary & Deb Quinlan, Saraha Tiger driven by Gavin Lang led out from gate four, with Lang electing to take a trail on Stefnoli which began fast from outside the front line. Using the sprint lane, Sahara Tiger finished strongly to prevail by 5.2 metres over the pacemaker, with Tara Leeann third a neck away after racing exposed. The mile rate 1-59.4.
23rd December: Len Baker is one of a large syndicate that race Kiwi bred Great Success -Breanoram 8Y0 mare Miss Noelle who scored at Mount Gambier. Trained at Terang by Mattie Craven, Miss Noelle taking a concession was driven by Xavier O’Connor who after starting from a daunting 50 metre handicap in 2190 metre The Tack Room Trotters Handicap for TR0 or better class saved every inch of ground poised three back along the markers at the bell. With the leader Keayang Majestic setting the speed, Miss Noelle when extricated wide on the final bend wore her down to gain a 1.2 metre margin in a track record mile rate of 2-02.6. Jack Of The Green was 25.4 metres away in third place.
24th December: Rob Merola received an early Christmas present when 5Y0 Somebeachsomewhere - Star Art gelding Beach Skipper, a horse he holds a share in greeted the judge in the 2240 metre Melton Toyota Christmas Cup Pace for C2 & C3 class at Tabcorp Park Melton. Trained by Lance Justice, Beach Skipper driven by Ashleigh Stewart enjoyed a sweet one/one passage from gate four as Priddy Catchy led from the pole. Easing three wide on turning, Beach Skipper scored by 2.7 metres at TAB odds of $22.00 from a game Irish Player which did a power of work after being trapped three wide for a lap before settling outside the leader, then applying plenty of pressure approaching the home turn. Just Say Go was third a neck away after trailing the weakening leader and using the sprint lane. The mile rate 1-59.9.
27th December: Greg Bettiol’s Art Major - Princess Cassi 4yo gelding Major Assassin registered his first victory at start number six by taking the Owen martin Life Member Pace for C0 class over 1785 metres at Stawell. Trained and driven by Grant Campbell, Major assassin led throughout from the pole, scoring by 6.1 metres in a rate of 1-59.4 from Outback Shadow and Soho Moody Blue (one/one) was third 5 metres away.
29th December: Stan Nedwell’s high quality 4Y0 Shadow Play - Lucky Bonus gelding Bonus Play returned to his best form by winning the 1st Heat of the 2240 metre VHRSC Metropolitan Pace for M0 class at Tabcorp Park Melton. Trained by Bruce Morgan at Junortoun, Bonus Play with Chris Svanosio in the sulky wasn’t pushed from gate three as both River Patrol and Big Gun Johnny began with a rush from out wide with Big Gun Johnny crossing to lead. Once balanced, Bonus Play went forward to assume control within a lap and relaxed beautifully. Given full rein on turning, Bonus Play defied all challengers to score by 7.6 metres in a rate of 1-56.9 from Big Gun Johnny and Beach Skipper which raced parked.