Day At The Track

Group 1 South Australian Derby to Glengowan

03:38 AM 10 Jan 2011 NZDT
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Glengowan - 2011 SA Derby winner

Jon Kingston-Mayne is without doubt the number one harness racing trainer in South Australia at the current time training three winners on SA Cup Night including Glengowan to claim Group 1 status in the $30,000 SEW Eurodrive SA Derby.

Glengowan was the middle leg of the memorable treble for the Angle Vale trainer on the biggest night of the year with rising sensation Gaius Caesar winning earlier in the night. Glengowan had to overcome the unfavorable draw in barrier five and with the $1.90 favourite Abettorpunt in barrier one, the odds were stacked against the local star.

Abettorpunt renowned for blistering gate speed was all bar crossed at the start by the Lance Justice trained Our Buller Boy until Caleb Lewis was able to drive through and hold his legs inside Justice. Second favourite and highly fancied The Phantom NZ broke shortly after the start and lost all chance of upsetting the favourite or local star tailing off to finish 376m last.

Lewis controlled the race with the short priced favorite from there but was pressured Put Your Lights On NZ (Wayne Hill) who raced keenly outside the leader.

Glengowan was poised in the one out one back position and with a renowned quick turn of foot over the concluding stages, Billinger sat quietly confident throughout the 62.4 first half. Travelling off the back Billinger elected to take the outside run and cruised up to the favourite and leader Abettorpunt on the turn and went straight on by to cruise away and take the silverware holding off the late challenge of Caribbean Blaster (Kate Gath).

Glengowan at $7.00 and $1.70 closed out the Group 1 success with a 57.3 last half to cover the mile rate in an impressive 1:58.6. Queensland owner Sam Treccase made the trip to Globe Derby on Saturday Night and was upbeat about the performance of his three year old Courage Under Fire star. Sam Treccase has built a winning relationship with trainer Jon Kingston-Mayne and one that looks to have boasted the racing in South Australia.

Gaius Caesar got the night started for Kingston-Mayne winning the Davison Earthmovers Pty. Ltd. C1 to C2 Pace. Having been unbeaten at his previous eight starts in South Australia, Billinger eased the rising star off the gate and settled handy one out one back before electing to make a mid race move and roll to the front. Travelling through the first half in 61.5, Safe Opportunity (Kate Gath) held the initial lead before electing to sit behind the $1.10 favourite. Gaius Caesar turned off the back in a leisurely 29.9 and looked in some danger of receiving his first defeat but showed his class and spaced his rivals up the straight closing in 29.4 to win by 8.9m over Tiger Oreilly (Michael Smith) and Safe Opportunity a further neck away in third.

Gaius Caesar extended his record to nine wins from nine starts here in South Australia for a career tally of 12 wins from 20 starts with four placings. The Julius Caesar four year old is headed interstate to test his true ability in the coming months.

Longtan Safari rounded out the night for Kingston-Mayne winning the 2011 Dudley Justice Plate, defeating race favourite and SA Cup emergency Conte Del Sasso and Scruffy Murphy in third. The Dudley Justice Plate is for horses which accepted for but were not selected for the 2011 SA Cup. Longtan Safari elected to take the sit behind Conte Del Sasso which proved the racing winning move after the small field had settled single file and was able to out sprint him up the home straight. With quarters 32.6, 30.0, 28.2 and 27.9, for a mile rate of 2:02.6, last season's South Australian Hygain Country Cups King sent a warning to his rivals that he will be out to defend his crown again this coming season.

Jon Kingston-Mayne has now trained 46 winners and 25 placings from 96 starters for $156,187 in prizemoney. Kingston-Mayne leads the State Premiership by 22 winners over Les Harding.

Aaron BAIN

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