IF ANYBODY expected the change of seasons would spell an end to Shayne Cramp’s Mildura dominance, the raw data tells us it isn’t going to happen.
From 23 races run at Mildura so far this term, Cramp has either trained or driven 10 winners, giving him a 43% strike rate at his hometown track.
Son of a local harness legend in Greg Cramp, Shayne was apprenticed to Gary Hall Snr in Perth before returning home to set up his South Mildura training complex in May 2010.
Since then he has built an impressive record and tonight he again holds the whip hand across much of the eight-race card.
According to Harness Racing Victoria form expert Michael Polster, Cramp’s best hopes of success tonight are Justalittleloose and Jaccka Lauchie, both $2.50 favourites in races 2 and 7 respectively.
KILMORE Cup and Melton Plate winner Bitobliss will line up at Tabcorp Park this Friday night in his first racetrack appearance since last year’s Victoria Cup.
The fastest rising star in Australian harness racing 12 months ago, Bitobliss defeated horses like Mustang Mach, Melpark Major and Make Mine Cullen in a four-run reign of terror last spring.
But after breaking down during the Victoria Cup, trainer Scott Stewart has taken a conservative approach with his star’s return, which it is hoped will include a crack at this year’s Kilmore Cup.
Among his rivals in this weekend’s Pegasus Club Cup will be last start winners Palais Du Louvre and Dominus Vobiscum along with exciting five-year-old Our Blackbird.
The other highlight of Friday night’s meeting will be the HBV Gold Chalice where erratic but gifted mare Blucolla Tigerpie makes her anticipated racetrack return.
FORMER Australian Three-Year-Old of the Year Sushi Sushi faces a big task in next month’s New Zealand Cup after failing as favourite in the Methven Cup last Sunday.
Driven by Natalie Rasmussen in his first start for new trainer Mark Purdon, Sushi Sushi was adequate but unconvincing on the grass track at Methven, finishing a well beaten fourth.
Breeders Crown winning stablemate Fly Like An Eagle began poorly but unleashed an outstanding sprint to claim the Group 3 race and reshuffle NZ Cup markets.
Fly Like An Eagle is now on the third line of betting at $7.50 with the Victorian TAB, while Sushi Sushi has drifted to $11 after his moderate display.
Caribbean Blaster has also drifted to $11 after his shock loss in the City of Melton Plate while Terror To Love ($4.40) and Auckland Reactor ($6.50) remain the top two horses in commission.
HARNESS Racing Victoria has received stunning public support for their Good Form wagering campaign which began last Friday might.
Thousands of fans have already visited the Good Form blog at goodform.hrv.org.au to view the tips, black bookers and star triallers available every day.
Harness Racing Victoria form analyst Michael Polster repaid those followers on Sunday by winning with two of his three suggested Trifectas and also showing a small profit on the Quad.
The good form continued yesterday with star trialler Twiggy Argyle finishing second at Maryborough paying $5.10 for the place.