Humbletonian 2019 was a resounding success, with connections of nine first-time winners (all Vicbred eligible today) picking up significant bonuses and prizemoney at Maryborough.
The bonuses were supplied by Harness Racing Victoria, Harness Breeders Victoria, the Maryborough Harness Racing Club and the Victorian Square Trotters Association.
It's a day for the grassroots horses, and a day for the breeders to shine.
Congratulations to all the winners.
Let's recap how it all played out.
Race 1 – 3YO MAIDEN PACE
Winner: Surbiton Hartbreak (Courage Under Fire-Queena Harts Lombo)
Trainer: John Douglas
Driver: James Herbertson
Breeder: Mick Fryar
Owners: John Douglas and Peter Ward
There are more wins in store for Surbiton Hartbreak after his Humbo win today. Reinsman James Herbertson was full of praise for the John Douglas-trained son of Courage Under Fire post-race
“He’s a nice horse and I’ve always just tried to keep a lid on Johnny and try and not get his hopes up too much,” Herbertson said.
“But he’s a pretty nice horse… if that 26.7 first quarter is right then yeah, that says it all.”
The quarter was adjusted to 26.9, so close enough to concur with the young gun reinsman’s sentiments given he had to work to get the lead and was able to kick on boldly late.
Surbiton Hartbreak was bred by Mick Fryar, whose previous breeding successes include Courageous Affair (7 wins, $37k), Crown Dream (9 wins, $50k), Dream Mastar (1 win, $37k), Ima Showgirl (5 wins, $37k), Moonlight Dream (11 wins, $154k) and Royal Dream (7 wins, $56k).
Race 2 – 3YO MAIDEN PACE
Winner: Carter Mayson (Auckland Reactor-Angel Spirit)
Trainer: Philip Chircop
Driver: Darby McGuigan
Breeder: Susan Wegmann
Owner: Susan Wegmann
Funnily enough Carter Mayson hadn’t started since Humbo 2018, but this year he went one better than his runner-up effort of 12 months ago, a tip-top training performance by Philip Chircop.
“I’ve been driving him at the trials so I knew he was up to it,” said winning reinsman Darby McGuigan.
“His first trial at Bacchus Marsh he hit the line really good and then last time, I led on him and we worked out the hard way that he doesn’t go in front.”
McGuigan said winning any race involving a Vicbred bonus was “a great little kicker”, adding “everyone loves winning those”.
Carter Mayson was bred by Susan Wegmann, who has previously bred winners including Aleppo Lady (13 wins, $80k), Classic Act (9 wins, $33k), Dreams Of Heaven (13 wins, $150k), Express Drive (6 wins, $24k), Frankincense (8 wins, $64k), Golden Showgirl (10 wins, $53k), Golden Zeus (13 wins, $39k), Iconic Valor (6 wins, $34k), Insulated (5 wins, $15k), Masweet Georgia (4 wins, $19k), Matty Chrimes (13 wins, $90k), Menin Gate (16 wins, $574k), Mighty Jasper (7 wins, $37k), Millah Joy (2 wins, $29k), Mon Soie (7 wins, $55k), My Bros Dreaming (8 wins, $38k), Nikkibadwagon (11 wins, $167k), Panorama Drive (13 wins, $67k), Princess Hayley (8 wins, $25k), Safe Decision (17 wins, $90k), Schouten Island (6 wins, $43k) and Soho Rockefeller (3 wins, $12k).
Race 3 – 2YO MAIDEN TROT
Winner: Illawong Stardust (Muscle Hill-Lunar Landing)
Trainer: Jodi Quinlan
Driver: Craig Demmler
Breeder: Martin Hartnett
Owners: Martin and Kaye Hartnett
This filly, Illawong Stardust, might just be a little bit special, and she’s on track to potentially be a freakish three-year-old, according to winning driver Craig Demmler.
“(She) could be very dangerous,” he said.
“One thing I like is she’s got manners. She can relax, whereas (Illawong) Armstrong (the filly’s brother) can get on the bit a bit.
“Hopefully she’s an Oaks horse.
“I just wish she’d done that (behaved how she did today) on Saturday night … but she’s getting there. Jodi (Quinlan) has been very patient. I gave up after the Sires and said ‘put her out and let her grow’, but Jodi said ‘keep going’ which is the best thing we could have done.
“It’s been brilliant for her manners … and the other night, galloping away and giving them a big start like that just kills you but it shows how much ability she’s got.”
Breeder Martin Hartnett is well-known for producing the famous Illawong horses.
Race 4 – 4YO+ MAIDEN TROT
Winner: Highway Huntsman (Yankee Spider-Coral Grace)
Trainer: Chris Svanosio
Driver: Chris Svanosio
Breeder: Mick Grace
Owner: Mick Grace
He’s only lightly raced but Highway Huntsman is making an impression early for trainer-driver Chris Svanosio.
The son of Yankee Spider is bred and raced by trotting enthusiast Mick Grace, whose past racing stock include Tender Don (18 wins and $183k in stakes), Spidergrace (8 wins, $66k), Lindy Vale (7 wins, $44k), Maori Vale (eight wins, $35k), Big And Rich (11 wins, $32k), Annies Life (6 wins, $39k) and Bank On Betty (3 wins from 13 starts, $19k).
“(I’m) glad he could put it all together today. He’s a pretty big, strong horse,” Svanosio said.
“He’s one of those horses who will hopefully keep getting better and better with racing.”
Race 5 – 2YO VICBRED MAIDEN PACE
Winner: Secret Identity (A Rocknroll Dance-Jerulas Shadow)
Trainer: David Aiken
Driver: David Aiken
Breeders: Dot and Edith Schmidt
Owners: Dot and Edith Schmidt
On a day where upsets came thick and fast, none were a bigger price than Secret Identity for Avenel’s David Aiken.
The juvenile pacing filly by A Rocknroll Dance is out of an unraced Jennas Beach Boy mare named Jerulas Shadow, who has thus far produced four winners from four foals.
At over $150 on one of the totes, Secret Identity got home too strong for Techys Angel and Minika.
“We locked wheels last week and she’s tender in the mouth … when I grabbed hold she went up in the air, but she felt good after that,” Aiken explained post-race.
“She’s a work in progress and she’s always been overgrown, so hopefully she’ll make a better three-year-old.”
Secret Identity is raced by Edith and Dot Schmidt, whose previous successes in the breeding barn include Tidal Surge (2 wins, $35k) and Mach Diva (3 wins, $20k)
Race 6 – 2YO VICBRED MAIDEN PACE
Winner: Allshookup (A Rocknroll Dance-Ballandella Baby)
Trainer: Shayne Eeles
Driver: Chris Alford
Breeders: Shayne Eeles, Roslyn Eeles, Robert Viney and Jenny Viney
Owners: Shayne Eeles, Roslyn Eeles, Robert Viney and Jenny Viney
Chris Alford moved just two wins from yet another career milestone, taking his tally to 6,998 with victory aboard Allshookup for trainer Shayne Eeles.
The colt by A Rocknroll Dance enjoyed a beautiful run from the pole draw and got home over the top of first-starter Just Ralph by 3.6m.
Allshookup was bred by the Eeles and Viney families.
Eeles hasn’t bred an enormous amount of horses, but has had success already with his breed including Bad Influence (two wins, $8k), Breakntherules (2 wins, $10k), Party Rocka (5 wins, $22k), Pushinupdaisies (7 wins, $42k) and Whosthatchick (7 wins, $44k).
“I was a bit worried down the back but once I got the plugs out he got up and was really travelling,” Alford said.
“He was nice and relaxed and had that little kick. He only had to come out at the top of the straight.”
Race 7 – 3YO VICBRED MAIDEN PACE
Winner: Speed Dating (All Speed Hanover-Chick At The Bar)
Trainer: David Miles
Driver: Patrick Franklin
Breeder: Patrick Franklin
Owner: Patrick Franklin
Here’s one of those great harness racing stories of a horse bred, owned and driven by the one fella – Patrick Franklin.
Franklin would have been thrilled with today’s windfall for his improving filly, who prior to today had just the one placing to boast from 13 starts.
When the David Miles-trained pacer was almost 20m clear approaching the home bend, Franklin must have been grinning.
Speed Dating kicked on at the finish to hold on by 3.5m over professional placegetter Jessies Girl, who is more than crying out to win a race.
Franklin has bred four horses to date, three from his broodmare Chick At The Bar, with his other winner being Pick Up Line.
Of today’s performance Franklin said: “She’s a tricky filly to drive, and to train, and she’s tested our patience somewhat, but we found she’s probably better off in front if we could find the front. We’re very happy with her. I want to thank you to everyone involved. It’s a fantastic day.”
Race 8 – 4YO+ VICBRED MAIDEN PACE
Winner: Missus Matilda (Live Or Die-Andrea Hayley)
Trainer: Graeme Dalton
Driver: Chris Alford
Breeder: Graeme Dalton
Owner: Graeme Dalton
Graeme Dalton bred, races and trains black mare Missus Matilda, who was lining up for just her second race start at Humbo 2019.
And she didn’t let backers who took the $1.30 down, surviving a scare narrowly from runner-up Clever Cowboy (half-neck margin) in the straight, and then a protest by Josh Duggan in the stewards’ room.
In the finish Chris Alford proved the winning reinsman and took his tally within one of career win No. 7000.
Some of the horses that Dalton has bred to win include Blended Family (8 wins, $38k), Pop Opera (7 wins, $18k) and Roslei Hilda (11 wins, $25k).
Race 9 – VICBRED MAIDEN 3YO TROT
Winner: Dances (Bacardi Lindy-Im Tina Turner)
Trainer: Donna Castles
Driver: Donna Castles
Breeder: Raelene Sweet
Owners: Ken and Janice Wills
Dances, trained by Donna Castles, proved simply the best in the last race on the program, fitting given her dam was the memorably named Im Tina Turner.
Bred by Raelene Sweet, who has previously had success in the breeding barn with Majestic Melody (six wins, $25k), Dances overhauled Zarem late to score by 1.1m.
“She’s a nice little thing,” said winning trainer and driver Donna Castles.
“She can get a bit hot but she really moved nicely today.”
All photos by @HarnessBreeders on Twitter (Harness Breeders Victoria)