Victorian Drug Control Results
Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) has today released figures on its Drug Control Program for the 2004-05 financial year.
The report shows that in excess of 7000 swab samples were collected during the period from July 1, 2004, to June 30, 2005, with just 0.1% returning a positive finding.
"This is the lowest recorded number of positive findings ever and an outstanding result for all involved in the industry," HRV Chairman of Stewards, Brant Dunshea, said.
"This demonstrates that our current strategies based on intelligence and unpredictability are successful and that the playing field is more level now than at any other time.
"Whilst these results are pleasing our aim is to reduce this even further.
"HRV have approved an 11% increase in the swab budget for the current financial year and the panel will work tirelessly to achieve this end."
The 2004-05 financial year saw the number of post-race samples climb above 2000 for the first time, with more than 5000 pre-race samples collected also.
Stakes Increases Take Effect
Victorians will be racing for unprecedented stakes from tomorrow onwards.
Harness Racing Victoria's record $3 million stakes increase will begin hitting the pockets of stakeholders on the opening day of the 2005-06 season.
Competitors at tomorrow's Ballarat meeting will be vying for a minimum $5000 stake as part of a new enhanced Thursday night circuit.
The following night heralds in a new $15,000 basic metropolitan stake at the state's harness racing capital, Moonee Valley.
The highlights of the stakes increases to take effect from September 1 are;
In addition to this, HRV have announced stakes increases for a string of feature races in the new season headed up by the Nevele R Stud Victoria Oaks, Queen Of The Pacific, Victoria Trotters Derby and Dullard Cup.
Manning Falls One Shy
When it comes to breaking records it seems Peter Manning doesn't enjoy the luck of his daughter, champion reinswoman Kerryn Manning (Gath).
Whilst Manning has today secured his second Australian trainers premiership, the master horseman has fallen perilously short of a major milestone.
Without any runners engaged at Shepparton or Cranbourne, Manning has been forced to close out the 2004-05 season perched on 199 wins.
His haul included 192 Victorian wins and seven interstate victories.
Manning claimed the national title over Sydneysider Paul Fitzpatrick and the state title over fellow Great Western trainer Andy Gath with that margin close to 80 wins.
In a season of countless highlights, his Group 1 training triumphs included the Vicbred Super Series 3YO Trotters Final (Tennotrump), SA Trotters Derby (Tennotrump), SA Oaks (Lombo Regalia) and Bill Collins Trotters Mile (Sammy Do Good).
Tontine Stakes Boost
Victoria's South West Region is the latest harness racing zone to announce a significant prizemoney increase for its feature annual series.
Hot on the heels of stake boosts to the Alabar Bloodstock Northern Region Championship and Central Victorian Pacing and Trotting Championships, the South West Zone has unveiled an exciting new format for the time-honoured Tontine Series.
The 2006 Tontine will offer a total of $123,000 in prizemoney, headlined by a $30,000 Pacers Final and $15,000 Trotters Final.
Both events retain country penalty status despite increasing from $20,000 and $8000 respectively in 2005.
The C2 to C4 class pacers' division comprises three $5000 qualifying heats hosted by the Hamilton Harness Racing Club at Terang on May 24, and a further three $5000 heats at Geelong on June 1.
The best-performed horses will advance to $6500 semi-finals at Horsham on June 8.
The T0 or better trotters' division comprises three $5000 qualifying heats at Stawell on May 31, followed by two $6000 semi-finals at Terang on June 7.
Under a rotational system, Ballarat and District Trotting Club has earned hosting rights to both finals at its Bray Raceway Complex on June 17.
Ararat Harness Racing Club will not participate in next year's Tontine Series, but instead host the South West Region's annual fast class feature The O'Keeffe on May 25.
Zone Secretary Tamara Lane said the improvements to the Tontine were a direct result of Harness Racing Victoria's decision to double its stakes contribution to the Series to $20,000.