3rd February Warragul: Peter Watkinson, Peter Hornsby, Bruce Paul and partners were again winners when Courage Under Fire-Sahara Miss colt Sahara Sirocco trained locally at Drouin by Gary and Deb Quinlan scored an unextended victory in the Drouin Timber & Hardware 3Y0 Pace over 1790 metres. With regular reinsman Chris Alford in the sulky, Sahara Sirocco was eased from gate five to the tail of the field as polemarker Alte led easily. Settling one/one in the small field of six, Sahara Sirocco had his rivals covered a long way out with Alford sending him forward at the bell to park ouside the leader under a grip for the last lap. Taking a slender lead approaching the home turn, Saraha Sirocco was never let go, winning by 3.5 metres from the pacemaker, with Highclere 9.1 metres away in third place after trailing the pacemaker. The mile rate 2-00 even.
8th February Tabcorp Park Melton: Multiple winning Mach Three- Aleppo Heiress 4Y0 entire Fourbigmen raced by Fred Crews and partners was an all of the way victor in a 1-55.8 mile rate from the pole in the 2240 metre Del-Re Pace. With Chris Alford in the sulky, Fourbigmen scored by 4.4 metres in advance of Pay Rise (one/two) and Mirakuru (one/one) which was held up going to the wire finishing a neck back.
8th February Tabcorp Park Melton: John and Christine Yeomans’ smart filly Its Beaujolais was a narrow winner of the Cogs 3Y0 Pace over 2240 metres. A beautifully bred daughter of Bettors Delight and Life Inthefastlane trained with the assistance of Shane Gallagher, Its Beaujolais was given every opportunity by concessional reinsman James Herbertson one/one from gate five with polemarker Final Peace leading. When Alice Kay which had raced exposed got the better of the leader on turning, Its Beaujolais was poised to pounce and that she did, taking all the way up the straight to score by a half neck in a last quarter of 27 seconds, with Sew What third along the sprint lane 3.5 metres away after trailing the weakening leader. The mile rate 1-57.6.
9th February Cranbourne: The Yeomans’ landed another winner when American Ideal-The Dreamtime filly Its Ebonynivory greeted the judge in the 2080 Decron 3Y0 Maiden Pace. Driven by James Herbertson, Its Ebonynivory raced a little roughly as the start was effected from gate two resulting in her settling three back in the moving line. Giving chase to Majaliner ahead of her which dashed clear on turning, the pair went head and head to the wire, with Its Ebonynivory prevailing by a half neck in a rate of 2-01.4. Call Me Henry was third 30.6 metres away after following the winner.
13th February Cobram: Kevin Riseley’s home bred The Best Madrik-Lasting Beauty filly The Best Dream racing under the banner of Sheron Park Pty Ltd was a tough victor of the De Maria Mitsubishi Cobram Trotters Mobile over 2170 metres. Despite doing all of the work in the race parked outside the leader Aztec Inti which had won at Charlton two days earlier, The Best Dream driven by David Moran dug in deep approaching the finish to reach the judge by a half neck from the pacemaker, with Allwoods Sunbeam coming from near last to be third 8.2 metres back. The mile rate 2-02.9.
14th February Kilmore: It was Sahara Sirocco driven by champion Bolinda reinsman Chris Alford successful again, taking n the MC Labour 3Y0 Vicbred Pace over 2180 metres. A very short priced $1.30 favourite, Sahara Sirocco didn’t let his supporters down and after being restrained from gate six as the start was effected possied five back along the markers before moving to a one/one spot shortly after with former South Australian Ona Highway Tohell leading from gate four. Going forward racing for the bell to join the leader, Alford eased to go three back the markers as the filly Sweet Louise after following him forward crossed to lead for the final circuit. Coming away from the inside approaching the home turn, Sahara Sirocco finished full of running to register a 3 metre margin over a game Sweet Louise returning a mile rate of 1-57.8. Leosabi a stablemate of the winner was third 15.3 metres away after a cosy passage four back the markers.
20th February Bendigo: Peter Svanosio and partners were winners when Norquay snared Heat Two of the Lyn McPherson Breed For Speed Gold Series over 1950 metres. Trained and driven by son Chris, Norquay, a 4Y0 daughter of Majestic Son-Access To Success raced in the open from gate four outside the favoured pole marker Emerald Stride throughout. Surging to the lead on straightening after Emerald Stride went into a gallop, Norquay held a margin to the wire, defeating the raging hot favourite Dance Craze four wide home turn off a three wide trail last lap. Bonny mare Margaret Ruth was third after using the sprint lane off the back of the leader. The margins 1.2 metres by a head in a mile rate of 1-56.9.
27th February Shepparton: Former smart three year old Lunchwitharthur which oozes with ability, resumed from a six month spell with a brilliant victory in the Alabar Trotters Handicap over 2190 metres. Bred and raced by vivacious Georgina Coram, Lunchwitharthur a now 5Y0 Majestic Son-Annika gelding stepped safely from 10 metres only to become bottled up four back the markers in a slowly run affair with Black Cat Claw leading from barrier two. Looking forlorn in the back straight on the final occasion, Euroa trainer/driver Cameron Maggs was able to extricate Lunchwitharthur away from the inside to trail both back markers Enforce The Law and Starlight Storm forward three wide approaching the home turn and when taken five wide on the final bend, Lunchwitharthur exploded with a dynamic burst of speed to blitz his rivals, reaching the wire 4.9 metres clear of Col Du Galibier (one/one) which weaved in-between runners on turning. Enforce The Law battled on well for third 5.7 metres away. The mile rate of 2-06.9 was nothing special, but the performance was.
27th February Hamilton: Beautifully bred Bettors Delight-Silksngems gelding Motu Tigers Eye raced by Merv Butterworth under the banner of Butterworth Racing, was a nice winner on debut, taking the 2160 metre Finchett Plumbing 3Y0 Pace in a mile rate of 1-58.5. Trained at Burrumbeet by Ashleigh Herbertson, Motu Tigers Eye foaled in New Zealand was given every opportunity by in-form son James three back in the moving line after starting from gate four as Nevada Yankee led from gate three. Latching to the back of Elita ahead of him three wide running into the final bend, Motu Tigers Eye finished best to defeat Elita by 1.7 metres, with Burning Hot (three back the markers – one/one home turn) 2.6 metres away in third place.
28th February Maryborough: Well known owner/breeder Ian Kitchin who’s horses carry the “Macray” name, received a belated 70th birthday present when 4Y0 Shadow Play-Schonbrunn gelding Hector Macray greeted the judge in the 1690 metre Harness Racing Training Centre Bendigo Concessional Drivers Pace. With Heathcote reinswoman Tayla French doing the driving, Hector Macray raced with a couple of loyal friends including long time associate Ken Adams was given a sweet trip from gate five three back in the moving line as Celebrity Chef led from gate two. Moving three wide on the final bend, Hector Macray ran home best to prevail by 1.4 metres over a death-seating Village Skipper, returning a 1-55.9 mile rate. Esspe Supreme (three back the markers) was third six metres away.