Patience is a virtue for Scott and Meadow Valley Star

Experienced Victorian harness racing horseman Scott Ewen has shown remarkable patience over the past 21 months, but he’s confident the only square-gaiter in his stable is at the pointy end of repaying him.

Scott Ewan
Scott Ewan

"I'm probably far from being a big fan of the trotter and this fella is one of only about three I've trained over all the years I've been involved in the sport," he said.

But following an eye-catching victory by Meadow Valley Star at a Melton country meeting last Thursday (June 27), Ewen is considering tackling a metropolitan race with the five-year-old.

"I reckon he's worth a shot soon. He's going really well and I'm on top of most of his problems at the moment," he said.

"We took over his training back in 2022. He had an unplaced run at Shepparton in mid-September and was out for eight months with a quarter crack in his hoof. He had a few other small niggles, but the quarter crack was the main issue."

In a great training feat, Ewen won first-up at Yarra Valley on June 21 of last year. A second and third placing at Melton followed before another win at Geelong exactly a month after his previous success.

Unplaced runs at Ballarat and Melton resulted in Meadow Valley Star being tipped out again.

"Quarter cracks are terrible things, and he has two – a bad one in his offside front hoof and a mild one in the nearside. I'm using a full bar shoe on him now and that seems to be working. We're hoping to keep him going for a bit because he's getting better with age," Ewen said.

"He can be a head case at times, but he's got heaps of bottom. We've decided to keep him out of the draw and at least he doesn't give the others too much of a start then. He's owned by Michelle Seamons and her dad Rob. Michelle works for a gallops trainer, but also does a lot of work for us."

Prior to his most recent win, Meadow Valley Star also tasted success at Yarra Valley in late April after resuming from a six-month break.

The square-gaiter was the first leg of a training and driving double for Ewen at Melton as promising four-year-old mare Ubetta Knot later took out the IRT Pace in fine style.

"I've had her all along and I really like her. She's a nice horse with heaps of speed, but a very slow learner. She really doesn't know what she's doing," he said.

Since making the Cranbourne Training Centre his base in September 2019, Ewen has been a regular in the winner's circle.

"We should have probably made the move to Victoria from South Australia earlier, but we're having fun. I reckon I've had winning doubles in the past at Geelong, Melton and a couple at Shepparton," he said.

Scott and his wife Kylie were courted by Cranbourne Club officials during the 2019 Mildura Pacing Cup Carnival in April.

"We were actually on the river cruise and it just went from there. I think I got about six horses from the Club 21 set-up to train and the facilities at the training centre are state-of-the-art," he said.

"There's a walk-through bungee pool, a treadmill, two walking machines and three tracks and the main one is always available for fast work.

"We've got eight in work at the moment, which is enough because I'm now working part-time as a track curator. I took it on because I've learnt a fair bit about the track since we've been here. It does mean that Kylie now has more stable duties like mucking out the boxes and cleaning harness."

The Ewen stable recorded a nice milestone when Ubetta Knot posted her Melton win — it was the 500th winner for trainers based at the Cranbourne Training Centre.

"Two years ago, Bullet (Bulletproof Boy) provided the 250th win for the Centre so they're proud achievements," he said.

And Ewen is still "on a high" after his stable star, Bulletproof Boy ran a gallant third at his last start at Melton on June 22.

"I was out suspended so we put Herbie (James Herbertson) on and it was a great run. The horse is going the best he's ever gone so we'll just take it as it comes and look at the free-for-all city races. We've got nothing picked out, but the Miracle Mile is in the back of my mind. We'll see when the times comes," he added.