A PHENOMENAL first 15 days of July for Bendigo harness racing participants rolled on at Echuca on Thursday night.
The region's trainers and drivers had involvement in six of the nine winners on the program, highlighted by a training double for Julie Douglas and driving doubles to Glenn Douglas and Rod Lakey.
Julie Douglas extended her lead at the top of the state trainers' premiership ahead of Friday's meetings at Mildura (afternoon) and Melton (night) with a pair of wins with the two-year-old filly Ozzie Joy and five-year-old gelding Western Ricki.
Both were driven by Glenn Douglas.
A win with Western Ricki made it back-to-back for the son of Western Terror following his victory at Mildura last Friday.
The former New South Wales pacer has now won three of his four starts since making his way to the Douglases in Strathfieldsaye last month.
Heathcote's Terry French racked up his fourth winner of the month after a win with the five-year-old pacing gelding Tropical Storm, driven by daughter Tayla French.
It was the second win this week for Terry French following on from a victory with Joeys Hangover at Bendigo's Lord's Raceway on Tuesday night.
A bold front-running victory on Tropical Storm moved Tayla French to within three of her 100th career win.
Lakey boosted his driving win count for the month to four with a double for Echuca trainer Susan Hunter aboard Partytime and Lethal Lover.
That tally includes a win at Charlton with Jong Ang, a horse he trains under his own name.
Meanwhile, Elmore's Frank Barac made a return to the winner's list with the four-year-old mare Madam Reactor taking out the second last event on the program.
The win provided Barac with his first win of the season, from just 13 starters, and his first since the mare's win at Bendigo in July last year.
Michael Bellman claimed the winning drive on Madam Reactor.
A big week included victories on back-to-back nights at Bendigo and Ballarat for Sutton Grange trainer Leigh Graham with the four-year-olds Self Exclusion and Reigning Lillies and a win for Goornong's Peter Salathiel at Lords Raceway with Outside Fighter, driven by Katrina Cain.
There have been 51 either Bendigo region trained or driven winners in the first half of July.
Leading trainer tallies so far during July: Julie Douglas 11, Terry French 4, Kate Hargreaves, John Tormey 3, Leigh Graham 2.
Leading driver tallies so far during July: Ellen Tormey 9, Jack Laugher 8, Tayla French, Ryan Sanderson, Rod Lakey 3.
Leading horse: Western Ricki 2.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content: