1st March: Fred Crews’ something special Somebeachsomewhere - Bettorthanyou 4Y0 gelding Sicario continued on his winning way with an easy all the way victory from the pole in the $25,000 Seelite Windows & Doors East West Challenge for C3 & C4 class over 2080 metres at Cranbourne. Coming off a victory in the SA Pacing Cup at Globe Derby on February 9, Sicario with Gavin Lang again in the sulky for Brent Lilley, was untroubled to register a 3.5 metre margin in advance of Blissful Stride which trailed, with Somewhere Secret (one/one) 1.6 metres back in third place. Fred races the horse with a host of well known H/R identities.
4th March: Three Caduceus Club members Bruce Morgan, Brian Glasheen and Stan Nedwell tasted success at the Charlton HRC meeting at Maryborough.
Father Brian Glasheen who has spent a lifetime involved in the harness racing scene, was successful with his home bred Courage 5Y0 Under Fire - Bit Of A Gem mare Be Not Afraid in the Bubbles In The Bush Supports Team Teal @ Melton March 16 Pace for C1 class over 1690 metres. Trained by Phil Chircop at Bacchus Marsh and driven by neighbour Craig Demmler, Be Not Afraid (Gate 2) spent most of the race three back the markers after Sounds Of Terror (gate 4) crossed the polemarker Bit Of A Dream as the start was effected. Using the sprint lane, Bit Of A Dream motored to the wire to score by 2.1 metres over Bit Of A Dream which moved off the back of the leader on the final bend, with Sounds Of Terror holding down third a half head away.
Bendigo’s Bruce Morgan snared the 2190 metre Charlton & District Community Bank Pace for C3 to C5 class with Shadow Play - Lucky Bonus 4Y0 gelding Bonus Play much to the delight of part-owners Stan and Diedre Nedwell who race the horse with Bruce. Settling one/one momentarily for John Caldow from gate five, Bonus Play was sent forward hitting the back straight on the first occasion to arrest the lead away from Scoob Operator at the bell which flew away from outside the front line. Rated well, Bonus Play had too much in hand approaching the finish to prevail by 3.2 metres from Gavin Lang’s Yankee Roller which led up the outside division in the last lap, with Scoob Operator 6.5 metres back in third place. The mile rate 1-58.5. It was Bonus Play’s 8th success in 21 outings.
7th March: Dale Monteith, Peter Watkinson, Bruce Paul and Peter Hornsby were winners at Yarra Valley, when their 3Y0 Art Major - Sahara Miss gelding Sahara Tiger trained at Drouin by Gary and Debbie Quinlan greeted the judge in the C1 class Yarra Valley Toyota Vicbred Pace over 1650 metres. With Gavin Lang in the sulky, Sahara Tiger starting from gate two on the second line settled five back in the moving lane as Im Monica led from gate three. Gaining a three wide trail into the race at the bell following stablemate So Much Bettor, Sahara Tiger when eased wide on straightening put pay to his rivals in a couple of strides, coasting to the wire 3.8 metres in advance of So Much Bettor and Sassyola from mid-field who was 3 metres away. The mile rate 1-56.9.
7th March: Phil Walshe and Peter Judd were also winners at Yarra Valley, when fully American bred 6Y0 Yankee Glide - Fashion Tango mare Argentine Tango which they bought whilst on a visit to the USA, snared the Waterford Park Trotters Mobile for T0 & T1 class over 2150 metres in a rate of 2-00.6. Inclined to be naughty at times, Argentine Tango trained at Bolinda by Alison Alford and driven by Chris was on her best behaviour and led throughout from gate two, easily accounting for Bindisgood which trailed by 8.9 metres, with Express Yourself (one/two) 2.8 metres back in third place.
7th March: It was great to see both Terry Suhan and Len Petch share in a winner at Yarra Valley following the victory of Somebeachsomewhere - Resonate gelding Glenledi Boy in the 1650 Hirsh Hill Estate 3Y0 Pace at Yarra Valley as they are both members of the Braeside No.2 Syndicate who race the horse. Trained by Gary & Debbie Quinlan, Glenledi Boy driven by Chris Alford ran home best off a one/one passage to register a 1.2 metre margin over Horratio along the sprint lane after trailing the weakening leader Falcons Rising. His A Dreamer was third a half neck away after racing exposed. The mile rate 2-00.6.
8th March: Kevin Riseley’s part-owned outstanding Bettors Delight - Reality Check colt Ultimate Sniper captured the $235,000 2700 metre Woodlands Stud Great Northern Derby on a slushy track at Auckland’s Alexandra Park. Trained by Mark Purdon, Ultimate Sniper driven by Natalie Rasmussen led out from gate two, but was pressured hard by Bettorstartdreaming (Josh Dickie) drawn next door who eventually took control, with Nat immediately coming off his back to assume control once again. Given an easy time through the middle stages, Ultimate Sniper was joined by stablemate Jesse Duke (Mark Purdon) on the home turn which had raced parked from the bell and in a three way drive to the wire, defied all challengers to prevail by a head, with Supreme Dominator (one/one) a nose away in third place. The mile rate 2-00.7.
15th March: Rob Molloy is one of a large number of owners who hold a share in ex-Kiwi 6Y0 Bettors Delight - Lizzie McGuire gelding Kimani which landed the DTS Farmlock Fencing Pace for Three Year Olds and Upwards over 2130 metres at Perth’s Gloucester Park Paceway. Trained by Gary Hall (Snr), Kimani driven by Gary Hall (Jnr) starting from the extreme draw possied mid-field in the moving line, before going forward mid-race to park outside the pacemaker Neighlor which led from gate three. Joining the front runner on the final bend, Kimani was too strong over the concluding stages, scoring by 2.7 metres, with You Gotta Have Faith 1.1 metres away in third place after trailing the leader. The mile rate 1-57.
17th March: Greg Bettiol’s home bred Art Major - Princess Cassi 4Y0 gelding Major Assassin was an easy victor of the D.W. (Bill) Foley Memorial Pace for C2 & C3 class over 1900 metres at Boort. Driven with vigour from the pole to lead, the result was never in doubt as Major Assassin toyed with his rivals to win in a breeze by 6.6 metres in a rate of 1-59.6 over Sunrose Master which trailed. Madazalways was third 4.7 metres away after following the pair.
18th March: New member Rob Auber shared in a winner as both an owner and breeder, when 4Y0 Art Major - Bella Aurora gelding Good Guy Mac greeted the judge in the 1790 metre Warragul Cup Easter Sunday Pace for C1 class at Warragul. Trained at Bolinda by Kari Males, Good Guy Mac starting solo on the second line settled with most of the field ahead of him, before going forward to park in the open outside Blue Chipped which led from gate two. Showing heaps of tenacity on turning, Good Guy Mac scored by a head from Betterman Stride (three wide last lap) in a mile rate of 1-57.8. Blue Chip was third 1.3 metres away.
20th March: Carol Bass was in the winners circle on two occasions at Kilmore, when 4Y0 Art Major - Courageousnquick gelding Princely Reign trained by Brent Lilley landed the North Central Review Pace for C0 class over 1690 metres. Raced by a large syndicate, Princely Reign after starting from the extreme draw was restrained to the tail of the field as Candy Mandy (gate three) exploded away to lead. Moving forward three wide uncovered in the final circuit, Princely Reign sustained the run, greeting the judge 3 metres ahead of Shesalwaysdreaming (one/one at bell) which switched down to the sprint lane on turning, with Royal Vendetta 1.7 metres away in third place after moving to race exposed at the bell when having his first outing since August 2017. The mile rate 1-59.5.
23rd March: Fred Crews was again in the winners circle, when 6Y0 Love You – Tip Your Hat Louie gelding Gentleman Sir greeted the judge after a long absence by taking the Builders Acadamy Australia Trotters Handicap for TM0 & TM1 class over 2240 metres at Tabcorp Park Melton. Trained by Isabel Walsh at Kialla, the wife of group winning trainer Peter, Gentleman Sir driven by Kima Frenning was a trifle slow to begin from the 10 metre mark, settling at the tail of the field with the exception of Carnera which missed away. Easing three wide racing for the bell, Gentleman Sir gained cover when November Guy came out ahead of him, with the pair rapidly making ground in the last lap. Taken four wide on the final bend, Gentleman Sir ran home strongly to gain the day by 3.1 metres (his first since November 2017 in his homeland), accounting for No Republic which raced parked from the bell. Son Of Sonoko was third 1.3 metres away after following the winner home. The mile rate 2-02.6.
26th March: John Dorrington’s 8Y0 Courage Under Fire - Pareen gelding Smokey Quartz added another victory to his tally when successful at Tabcorp Park Menangle, taking the Rydges Campbelltown Pace over 1609 metres. Trained on the track by KerryAnn Turner and Robbie Morris, Smokey Quartz driven by Robbie began fast to lead, before electing to take a trail on Dashofluck shortly after. When the leader galloped prior to the home turn, Robbie was wide awake and quickly moved around him to lead into the straight and score comfortably by 8.6 metres in a slick mile rate of 1-52.5 over Italian Delight and Denstown to record his 25th victory in 113 outings.
26th March: Bob Willis’ honest 4Y0 Shadow Play - Waltzing Mathilda mare Miss Victoria was victorious in the Mark Gurry & Associates Pace for C1 class over 1609 metres at Cranbourne. Trained and driven by Lance Justice, Miss Victoria raced uncovered after beginning fast from gate four, but was unable to head off the favourite Song Of Courage starting from the pole. Suited to short course racing, Miss Victoria despite being uncovered for the trip, proved too strong at the business end, prevailing by 2 metres in a mile rate of 1-58.7 from the leader, with Feel The Rhythm third 3.7 metres back of a mid-field passage.
27th March: Bruce Morgan, Jeff and Barb Evans were in the winners stall following the victory of their 5Y0 Sportswriter - Cunning Kate mare Valbarann in the Sandhurst Stockfeeds Pace for C1 class over 1650 metres. Driven by John Caldow, Valbarann was given a sweet trip from gate four on the back of the leader Bushi after being restrained when pressured mid-race. Using the sprint lane, Valbarann scored by a head from the hot favourite Marine Parade (one/one – three wide last lap) and Our Pontiac which followed the winner throughout. The mile rate 1-56.3.
29th March: Four year old Art Major - Courageousnquick gelding Princely Reign made it two for the month when successful in the Inverleigh Bowls Club over 1609 metres at Geelong for Carol Bass. Taken back from gate four to settle at the rear as Wonderforce sped across from outside the front row, Princely Reign made a lightning move racing for the bell to clear away in the back straight and run out a 3.2 metre winner over Waterboy which cut Wonderforce out of second by a nose in a mile rate of 2-00.5.