In much simpler times, we’d be having regular discussions about boom horses from New Zealand and whether or not they were set to teach our best a lesson when they arrived in Australia.
With the ongoing COVID-19 battle and very few horses making the trip across the Tasman, these conversations have been few and far between.
But one has emerged in recent weeks and it centers around the three-year-old fillies’ crop.
I'm not sure how many times I've said this in recent weeks, but how good is the trotting ranks here in Victoria at the moment!?
Talk about making the best of a bad situation.
With the highly-anticipated Gordon Rothacker Medal event at Crown Palladium officially lost to the COVID-19 pandemic, attention turned to celebrating our champion horses and participants in the best way possible on Sunday night.
Fans of the sport were encouraged to tune in for the hour-and-a-half virtual production - led superbly by hosts Jason Bonnington and Nikkita Ross - on Harness Racing Victoria's ever-growing channel Trots Vision. And those that did shouldn’t have been disappointed.
Mick Stanely's Burrumbeet team appears to be ticking along nicely, with two of his runners topping sectionals charts last week.
The first of those was the talented Drain The Swamp, who backed up his dominant win at Geelong with an eye-catching third in the Signature Clean 4 You 3YO Vicbred Pace at Ballarat.
It’s always hard to know how a horse will come back from a spell, but Darraweit Guim trainer-driver Lisa Miles could hardly have asked for much more from her talented mare Shes A Hovercraft at the weekend.
The daughter of Night Of The Stars, who hadn’t been seen since her down-the-track finish in the Group 1 Vicbred Super Series 3YO Fillies Final on December 31, signalled that she is in for a good preparation with an eye-catching second in Saturday night’s Nevele R Stud Pace (1720m) at Tabcorp Park Melton.
Some troubles in the breeding barn has led to Rock N Roll Chapel being brought out of retirement, and it looks as though there's certainly a comeback win in store if Saturday night's sizzling finale is anything to go by.
The Joe Pace-trained-and-driven mare failed to get in foal from a couple of attempts, which led to connections exploring the idea of sending her back to the races.
You didn't need to see the timekeeper's notes to know that Sonny Weaver ripped home in a sizzling final quarter at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday night.
But taking a look at the sectionals certainly does reinforce how well Russell Jack's powerful four-year-old performed in the Benstud Standardbreds Pace.
After settling three back on the pegs from his barrier eight draw, Leigh Sutton had a lapful of horse rounding the turn and let him loose in the sprint lane. The son of Sunshine Beach showed his explosive turn of foot to reel in the front-runners and score a 3m victory.
It perhaps wasn't the most visually pleasing run of last Thursday night's Ballarat meeting, but the clock certainly suggested Mornings is well and truly on track for Snake Valley trainer Damien Burns.
Despite finishing sixth in the TAB Long May We Play Pace, the five-year-old mare produced the quickest last 800m split of the entire card according to PJ Data’s timing system.
The daughter of Dawn Ofa New Day settled back in the running line for much of the race, and while she could only get within 8m of the winner Foolish Pleasure, was able to reel off a slick 55.22sec last half.
There looks to be little that can stop Emma Stewart's gun four-year-old Mach Dan.
The son of Mach Three set a new 1609m track record in winning the Geelong Rocket first-up in February, and was again a sectional star during his gutsy victory at Tabcorp Park Melton last Saturday night.
It has been a perfect start to life in Australia for one of Harkness trainer Joe Pace's latest stable acquisitions, Doubtless Bay.
The lightly-raced son of Bettors Delight had five winless starts in New Zealand for Tony Herlihy before being bought by Pace, who quickly broke the maiden tag with a front-running triumph at Maryborough on February 22.
Chris Svanosio has praised the versatility of his squaregaiter President Roydon, who showed blistering late speed to win his fourth race in succession on Saturday night.
The son of The Pres is this week's focus of the Time Is Money column, which highlights standout performances from PJ Data’s valuable timing system.
Stawell trainer Chris Blake admits he was shocked by the performance of his mare Tic Tact, who produced an electric dash home to win in style at Ballarat last Thursday.
The four-year-old is highlighted in this week's Time Is Money column, which focuses on standout performances from PJ Data’s valuable timing system. PJ Data covered both the Ballarat and Tabcorp Park Melton meetings last week.
Monegeetta trainer-driver David Miles is over the moon with the performance of a new stable acquisition who reeled off a hot closing sectional at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday night.
Kanena Provlima is the focus of this week’s Time Is Money column, which looks to highlight standout performances and coming winners from PJ Data’s valuable timing system.