Hamilton
Hamilton: Opinions divided over dramatic Casey Classic protest
Mon Jan 31 2022

Hamilton: Opinions divided over dramatic Casey Classic protest

Protests almost always divide opinions and Expensive Ego being stripped of another big win certainly did that at Melton last Saturday night.

In a quick Twitter poll I ran yesterday, 42 per cent agreed with the stewards’ decision, 40 per cent disagreed and 18 per cent said it was a “50/50” call.

Hamilton: An amazing Cups weekend - let's do it all again!
Mon Jan 24 2022

Hamilton: An amazing Cups weekend - let's do it all again!

LET’S have the same again, please.

That was one heck of a weekend of feature race, starting with yet another stirring WA feature and rolling into a PETstock Ballarat Pacing Cup for the ages.

But what makes it even more exciting is the racing calendar paves the way for a repeat in just under two weeks.

Hamilton: Arty no Loch as champ tries to get back in the groove
Mon Jan 17 2022

Hamilton: Arty no Loch as champ tries to get back in the groove

LET’S not sell short the enormity of challenge confronting David Moran and Lochinvar Art.

In the moments after his terrific first-up second at Shepparton, it was easy to assume he will pick-up where he left off almost a year.

We all want it, but it’s not a given.

Hamilton: Can Victorian princess prove herself the best by Mile?
Mon Jan 10 2022

Hamilton: Can Victorian princess prove herself the best by Mile?

LET your mind wander ahead a little to February 26.

They are scoring up for the Group 1 Ladyship Mile at Menangle, the new girl on the scene Ladies In Red is coming up, there’s the defending champ Stylish Memphis for Jack Trainor, now Anthony Butt is getting the queen-bee Amazing Dream up to the gate, Maajida and Spellbound are just about ready as well.

Hamilton: Bring on a bold new era starting in 2022
Mon Jan 3 2022

Hamilton: Bring on a bold new era starting in 2022

AS we roll into a new year with a real buzz back around Australia’s harness racing industry, I spent some time thinking about my wish list for 2022.

Take a look and share your thoughts.

Hamilton: Christmas comes early with cracker VSS semis night
Mon Dec 20 2021

Hamilton: Christmas comes early with cracker VSS semis night

Christmas comes early for harness fans with Wednesday night’s stellar Vicbred semi-finals meeting.

It’s an epic 12-race card – all Vicbred semis – at Melton.

It’s hard to pick one standout highlight, but a couple of the marquee races are:

Hamilton: Vics dared to dream at memorable Inter Dom
Mon Dec 13 2021

Hamilton: Vics dared to dream at memorable Inter Dom

As New South Wales officials handed over the Inter Dominion hosting baton to Harness Racing Victoria for next year, it was fitting to reflect on what a triumph this year’s series had been for Victorians.

I don’t think many could have predicted the massive influence Victorian owned and/or trained horses had across the two weeks in NSW.

Capped, of course, by the Victorian owned, trained and driven Maori Law winning the trotting final and Victorian-owned Boncel Benjamin landing the pacing final in a huge upset and after a dramatic, history-making protest.

Hamilton: Brilliant Vic trotters get the Drop on Inter Dom
Mon Dec 6 2021

Hamilton: Brilliant Vic trotters get the Drop on Inter Dom

THE Victorian raiders can be proud of their efforts going into the Inter Dominion finals at Menangle on Saturday night.

Seven of the 12 trotting finalists are trained in Victoria, including the first four in betting ahead of tonight’s barrier draw from 7.30pm on Sky Thoroughbrd Central.

Our finalists in betting order are The Penny Drops, Pink Galahs, Maori Law, Majestic Man, Lotamuscle, Kyvalley Chief and Just Believe. The first emergency, Aldebaran Crescent, is also a Victorian.

Hamilton: My top 12 seeds for harness racing's biggest prizes
Thu Dec 2 2021

Hamilton: My top 12 seeds for harness racing's biggest prizes

It has certainly been a contrasting start to this NSW Inter Dominion.

Hamilton: Moran ready and waiting for ID21 call-up
Mon Nov 29 2021

Hamilton: Moran ready and waiting for ID21 call-up

Gun driver David Moran did a little fist-pump to himself as he watched the NSW Inter Dominion heats at Wodonga’s Stump Hotel on Saturday night.

Moran is waiting in the wings to dial-up the Victorian flavour in the series to another level.

Hamilton: A Crown to remember as superstars emerge
Mon Nov 22 2021

Hamilton: A Crown to remember as superstars emerge

THE Breeders Crown was built to unearth the stars of the future and boy did it deliver this year.

Pause and think back to what we witnessed, starting with the unbelievable win of Honolua Bay in the opening race. I can’t recall a pacer doing what he did at Melton, considering the times and ground he covered in that last lap. He could be anything.

Hamilton: That horse may be Hunter Cup bound
Mon Nov 15 2021

Hamilton: That horse may be Hunter Cup bound

STUNNING New Zealand Cup winner Copy That’s odds of tackling the Del-Re National A. G. Hunter Cup are shortening by the day thanks to the polarising WA Premier Mark McGowan.

Copy That’s Victorian-based owner Merv Butterworth makes no secret of the fact his preferred plan is to tackle the big Fremantle and WA Pacing Cup double at Gloucester Park early next year.

Hamilton: Big V ready to own the NZ Cup Day moment
Mon Nov 8 2021

Hamilton: Big V ready to own the NZ Cup Day moment

THERE might not be any Australian raiders in tomorrow’s NZ Cup, but there’s certainly a strong Aussie flavour to the great race.

Two of the biggest guns in the race, the two favourites Self Assured and Copy That, are owned in Victoria.

Defending champ Self Assured is the latest superstar raced by Jean Feiss, while leviathan owners Merv and Meg Butterworth race Copy That.

Hamilton: Bay excites, an Amazing champ, Mick's mixed feelings
Sun Oct 31 2021

Hamilton: Bay excites, an Amazing champ, Mick's mixed feelings

FINDING another Ride High is something Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin may never do, but they look to have a potential superstar in Honolua Bay.

Hamilton: Who'll emerge as the best of our Ladies?
Mon Oct 25 2021

Hamilton: Who'll emerge as the best of our Ladies?

WHO is the pacing princess of Australasia?

Of all the exciting racing looming in next month’s Breeders Crown, the must-watch is the battle for supremacy in this epic crop of three-year-old fillies.

When it was confirmed Bettor Twist was crossing the ditch, the Kiwis declared she would sweep all before her, given she was a six-time Group 1 winner, looked out of this world winning the Harness Jewels and was up with the best fillies they’d seen in the modern era.

Hamilton: A remarkable carnival, but so much more awaits
Mon Oct 18 2021

Hamilton: A remarkable carnival, but so much more awaits

NOW the dust has settled, it’s time to reflect on the Victoria Cup Carnival.

What a remarkable success it was given all the challenges of COVID and what’s even more exciting is the potential for it to go another level next year.

It still feels a bit weird to say the carnival was at Bendigo, not our home at Melton, but all the whispers and intel suggest it certainly didn’t hurt betting turnover. The dogs are barking some monstrous figures.

And I’m sure it also felt weird for the successful trainers and drivers who didn’t have that important, deserved extra layer of excitement of fans, owners, family and friends cheering trackside. That’s something we all miss, a lot.

Hamilton: Cup night a celebration of Victoria's true believers
Mon Oct 11 2021

Hamilton: Cup night a celebration of Victoria's true believers

VICTORIA Cup night should be a time to celebrate the game we love and that’s exactly what it was at Bendigo last Saturday night.

In the end, it proved a night to enjoy and, in some cases, reminisce on some of the most successful mainstays of our passionate harness racing state.

Hamilton: Front row draw could gift King the Vic Cup crown
Mon Oct 4 2021

Hamilton: Front row draw could gift King the Vic Cup crown

The Victoria Cup is five days away, but we could know the result just after 7pm tonight.

Hamilton: Dream start as son shines out of the shadows
Mon Sep 27 2021

Hamilton: Dream start as son shines out of the shadows

MOVING countries to chase your dream is one thing, but doing it and emerging from the shadows of a champion father is something else.

That’s what 2021 has been all about for Nathan Purdon.

When you carry the most famous surname in this part of the harness racing world, it has as many challenges as it does advantages. Expectations are high, but so is the pressure.

Hamilton: The swings and roundabouts of Grand Circuit racing
Mon Sep 20 2021

Hamilton: The swings and roundabouts of Grand Circuit racing

DAVID Moran knows the importance of looking ahead and not back in this game.

It would’ve been pretty easy to sulk a little when his stable star Lochinvar Art was sidelined indefinitely in his prime and then have NSW Derby winner Patsbeachstorm mysteriously and frustratingly lose his mojo.

But Moran has kept his focus and the opportunities are flowing, big time.