Exciting district-owned pacer Arms Of An Angel became only the second mare to break the 1:50 mile rate barrier in Australia when she clocked 1:49.5 to win a 1609m event at Menangle last Saturday night.
Driver Lauren Tritton made full use of the five-year-old’s barrier one draw to lead throughout and comfortably hold out all rivals with a 26.8 final split and 54.5 last half.
The only other mare to go under the 1:50 mile rate barrier in Australia is the Mark Purdon-trained Adore Me, who went a mind blowing 1:47.7 in winning at Menangle last year.
Arms Of Angel completed a hat-trick on her return to racing with her latest win and has won 10 of her 13 starts in Australia for the Trittons.
The Elsu mare was trialled and bought in New Zealand by Nathalia horseman Zac Cornell and his decision at the time raised some eyebrows due to her sire not being the fashion of the month.
But Cornell’s judgement has proved spot on — and profitable.
He is a major shareholder in the mare along with his cousin Matt Sinclair and former Kyabramite and AFL umpire Matt Leppard.
Cornwell said this week one of the mare’s main missions in her campaign was the Miracle Mile at Menangle in February.
Extra smart pacer Karkarooc made a winning return to the racetrack for Shepparton horseman John Hallam at Kilmore on Tuesday night.
A six-year-old rig by Courage Under Fire, Karkarooc made it six wins from 11 starts when he won a two-horse race with Final Over down the home straight in a CO Only 2180m event.
Karkarooc was having his first start since winning at Shepparton on July 8 and only his 11th outing in just two seasons of racing.
First win netted
Number 13 has not prevented arguably the best maiden trotter in Victoria losing that status.
Getthenet, trained by Kyabram’s Graham Lyon, finally broke through for her first win at her 13th start when she outclassed her rivals in a TRO-1 event at Shepparton on Wednesday.
The four-year-old mare had raced in the best company in her two and three-year-old career and ran three seconds and three thirds without cracking it for a win.
Driven by Damien Wilson, she made no mistake in her return to racing, camping on the pacemaker and second favourite Sumo Grin and running away from that trotter in the home stretch.
Getthenet ran some time winning too, mile-rating a slick 2:01.2 for the 2190m trip
Kyabramites Peter Shellie, Don Morris, Joe Corso and former local Kim Bear own and bred Getthenet.
Merrigum trainer Brent Bunfield is on a hot run at the moment and he had another win at Shepparton.
Three-year-old Mcardle filly Madame Meilland, driven by Michael Bellman, took the inside running near the finishing line to spear to victory over the Mark Thompson trained Ruthless Armbro and NSW visitor Corbie Jolt.
It was only the filly’s sixth race start and was also a winner two starts ago at Yarra Valley on November 3.
Madame Meilland is bred to be good.
Her dam, the Live Or Die mare The Peace Rose, was a winner of nine races and just on $80000 in prize money.
Mover and Shaka
It was a good night at Kilmore for Shepparton trainers and also Courage Under Fire with the Steve O’Donoghue-trained Shakahari continuing on her winning way.
Driven another well-judged race by Bec Bartley, Shakahari got home by a head from Be Good Juddy in a C2-C3 class race.
A five-year-old mare, Shakahari has put four successive wins together and has won six races from 22 starts with prize money topping $34000.
Bec was not the only Bartley to drive a winner on Tuesday night.
Her sister, Riverina-based Ellen, partnered the Stanhope-trained Illawong Fantasia to a decisive win in a C1 event at Wagga.
Illawong Fantasia, who paid more than $12 for the win, has won three of her past six starts — all with female drivers in the sulky.
Device does trick
Echuca-trained pacer Hinchinbrook obviously likes the Shepparton track.
Two of his three career wins from 25 starts have been on the Shepparton circuit, the latest win coming at last week’s meeting when he did all the work in the death seat and was still too good for his rivals in a heat of the Bohbron Park Pace over 2190m.
Trained by farrier Wayne Lear, Hinchinbrook atoned for his previous start when he ran last at Gunbower.
‘‘He had barrier 13 that day and pulled hard, but we have put an anti-choking device on him and he has been a lot better. (Driver) Greg (Sugars) said he travelled beautifully,’’ Lear said.
Invergordon pacer Ramblenroller can be classified as a Shepparton track specialist without any debate.
The seven-year-old son of Blissfull Hall has had 10 career wins and seven of these triumphs have been at Shepparton.
The latest success was last week when the Stuart Govers-trained and Tanya Ward-driven Ramblenroller made the use of his early speed to run to the front from barrier five over the 1690m trip and held out the favourite Last Flight and Fanagalo in the run home with a 56.1 last half.
With the win Ramblenroller became a member of the $50000 prize money earnings club.
The Govers-Ward team struck again at Shepparton on Wednesdays with Maggies Grin, who was having just her seventh start.
No charmed run
Deniliquin-trained Poppys Prince upstaged the more fancied runners for an upset win in a CO Only four-year-old and older event at Shepparton last week.
A four-year-old daughter of Elsu, Poppys Princess, driven by Nigel Milne, was a 100-1 chance turning for home snookered four back on the pegs.
But as the runners directly ahead of him peeled out, he got an interrupted run to the finishing post and made the most of it.
He finished strongly to account for the favourite Pilot Pete and Whitbys Miss Mia.
Partners Lisa Bartley and Mark Pitt had to share bragging rights on their trip home from last week’s Shepparton meeting after each had driven a winner.
Pitt partnered the Dean Braun trained Our Mcardle Star to claim the honours in a C2-C3 class race for his second win from two Australian starts, after five races in New Zealand where he started his racing career as a three-year-old with three successive wins.
Bartley won the race immediately after Pitt’s success on the Josh Aiken-trained Dynamic Bromac.
Art to longevity
There are not too many 10-year-old mares racing let alone winning, but Egyptian Art is an exception.
A veteran of 186 starts, the daughter of Pacific Fella trained by Rosie Weidenbach and driven by her son Kevin Jr notched her seventh career win — there have also been 37 placings, including an incredible 26 seconds — when she put a tough run to win at Kilmore on Tuesday night.
The Weidenbachs have certainly done a great job to keep this iron mare racing when most of this sex have long headed for the breeding barn.
Not Court napping
NSW pacer Courtsinsession made no mistake when he made his second appearance at Shepparton last week.
Courtsinsession was well fancied but galloped and was beaten by an extra smart one in the David Aiken-trained Roll With It on the track on October 27, but made up a massive amount of ground.
The four-year-old Art Major gelding returned to NSW, where he obliterated a field by nearly 60m at Bankstown on November 14 before heading back to Shepparton last week.
Driven by Michael Towers, brother of Congupna horsewoman Stacey, and backed into a cramped $1.10 chance, Courtsinsession ambled to the front early and always had his rivals covered.
Chris in charge
Chris Hazelman will be the interim president of the Shepparton Harness Racing Club until the club has a full board.
The club’s general manager Ian McDonald said there were still three vacancies on the board that elects the president and until such time as the vacancies were filled, Hazelman would have the club reins.
Long-time harness stalwart Stephen Walker is the new vice president.
Ahead of my time
Apologies to those people who tuned (or more precisely tried) to tune in to listen or watch the opening round of Inter Dominion heats last Friday night in Perth.
When calculating the times I forget to add on an extra hour to the two-hour time difference due to there being no daylight saving in Western Australia.
This meant the heats were run an hour later than the times I listed, but it was worth the extra wait watching the David Aiken pair Lennytheshark and Hectorjayjay smash their rivals.
Today: Bendigo (n)
Saturday: Melton (d)
Sunday: Stawell (d)
Monday: Melton (n)
Tuesday: Swan Hill (n)
Wednesday: Shepparton (n)
Thursday: Maryborough (d), Kilmore (n)