Ballarat to get an early taste of Breeders Crown Series with heats

BALLARAT will get an early taste of the Australasian Breeders Crown Series.

Bray Raceway will be the setting for the first Breeders Crown heats, with two-year-old fillies stepping out on July 26.

The ABC begins with three and two-year-old heats at Port Pirie in South Australia, on June 6.

Ballarat and District Trotting Club will for the second year in a row host Breeders Crown semi-finals on Saturday, August 16.

VICTORIAN Derby finalist Motor Smoker reinforced his class by joining the $20,000 Colin and Heather Holloway 3yo Classic, 1609m, in Ballarat on Saturday night.

From the Melton stable of Susan Hunter, Motor Smoker ($5.20) finished hard to come from midfield in a mile rate of 1:55.8.

The Victorian Derby heat winner edged out a brake on Ideal Majority ($26.50) by a half neck, with Major Crocker ($1.80 favourite) a close-up third.

Motor Smoker is target for major tilt at the Australasian Breeders Crown.

He won a heat in the two-year-old colts and geldings’ series last season before running second in a consolation.

Motor Smoke was the first leg of a driving double for Michael Bellman.

Earlier in the night, Daryl Douglas drove a treble.

These wins included the Emma Stewart-trained Misteronetwo ($4.50) in a C6/better Pace, 2200m.

Mister Onetwo is unbeaten in three starts this preparation, taking his lifetime standings to 13 wins from 31 starts for almost $70,000.

ALLENDALE father and son Allan and Adam Stephens are enjoying a fine run with four-year-old mares Pacific Maddi and Union Belle.

Pacific Maddi ($5.20) made it nine wins by the mare for the season with her third victory in a C1 pace, 2195m, at Ararat harness races on Sunday.

She led and now has the three lifetime successes with nine minor placings for $17,000.

PATRICK Payne has been enjoying a fine jumps season, but there is much more to his team than hurdlers and steeplechasers.

First-starter Issawi ($5.50) saluted for the Plumpton/Ballarat stable in a 3yo maiden, 1000m, at Warracknabeal on Monday.

Meanwhile, Darren Weir rarely goes away from a race meeting without a win.

Well at least this is the way it often seems.

Intriguingly, March To Victory (($4) ended a lean time for the stable with his win in a 0-58 handicap, 1600m, at Warracknabeal on Monday.

This was Weir’s first win in nine days and only his second from his latest 50 starters.

BALLARAT trainer John Thom converted a run of minor placings into a win with Unbelievable Buy ($13) in a showcase 0-64 for fillies and mares, 2000m, on the Geelong synthetic track on Friday.

Unbelievable Buy had finished second in three of her previous four starts for the owner-trainer.

The four-year-old made her debut on the last day of last season and in her first three starts finished third.

She broke her maiden status at Yarra Valley on December 20.

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