Day At The Track

Great night of racing at Port Pirie

09:28 AM 08 Jun 2018 NZST
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Port Pirie action,harness racing
Port Pirie racing

Barrier draws are always important, but even more so when they are in feature finals, and such is the case at Port Pirie on Sunday.

The Les Harding-trained Santa Madre has come up with gate one in the Laucke Mills Pace final (1609m). Top driver Danielle Hill will partner the four-year-old mare who has shown a love for leading in her South Australian races.

In the heat last week, Santa Madre was forced to sit parked outside the eventual winner She Envy and and was narrowly beaten.  On Sunday, Santa Madre looks the leader, while She Envy must come from a second-row draw.  Over the short distance, the Harding-trained mare should be hard to run down as she can be expected to record a mile rate within the 1:57.0 range which should be good enough to win.

It would be unwise to sell She Envy short despite her draw.  Driver Jayden Brewin will no doubt be keen to push through at the start to obtain a prominent position in the running line.  Trainer Justin Brewin has often said he believes the four-year-old mare is better with a sit so the Pace could develop into a match-race over the final 400 metres with Santa Madre giving her rivals something to chase, and She Envy emerging as the main challenger.

Gawler trainer Aaron Bain is taking a big team of seven to Port Pirie and expects all to be competitive each-way chances.

“Habanero is going well but has drawn wide and going to need a bit of luck with her rivals in the Laucke Mills final drawn much better,” Bain said.

The trainer said Valstrepo was a recent addition to the stable and had run well at Globe Derby Park last week at her first run for his team.  Valstrepo comes from gate eight in the Risdon Hotel Sprint Lane Pace (1609m) and should get a good run through to prove a winning chance.

Mostly Spirit has gate seven in the Hopkins Saddlery Pace (1609m) and according to Bain should get a good run behind the speed and will look to take advantage of the Risdon Hotel sprint lane to be an each-way chance.

Starlight Rainbow ran well at her first start for Bain behind Blinding Light at Globe Derby Park last Monday and will give a great sight from gate one in the Follow The Stars Pace (2050m).  She again runs into a tough field including Port Pirie’s favourite Mymatethomo.

The talented, but erratic, Poppy Had Courage comes from gate nine in the Henry Osborne Fodder Store Pace (1609m). “He is a very smart pacer but has a mind of his own,” Bain said. “I thought he ran well for us last Monday after blowing the start. He is capable of winning.”

Bain has Prince Of Zanzibar and Perfect Mach in the Equissage Pace (2050m).

Prince Of Zanzibar, to be driven by Wayne Hill, will come from gate three while Ken Rogers partners Perfect Mach which will start from barrier six.  “We’ve had a few minor issues with Prince Of Zanzibar but he worked well on Thursday and should go well while Perfect Mach impressed at his first start for us behind Blinding Light and with a bit of luck should go well.”

See how form expert Ben Harding assesses the Port Pirie form at with comments, markets and selections for all seven races.


Graham Fischer
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