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A promotion to celebrate 100 years of harness racing in South Australia, will finally come into the spotlight at Sunday’s Gawler Cup meeting. Trainer Aaron Bain found out last year than 2019 marked 100 years of harness racing in the state with early meetings conducted between the River Torrens and Adelaide University and also at Alberton Oval. To try and introduce new folk to the sport he created the Aaron Bain Racing 100 Club where 100 people put up $100 with no further ongoing costs for 1/100th share. After looking around Bain purchased a mare called Suresoundslikealie but on arrival in SA, she contracted a blood issue, then when that was fixed, she reared up and damaged a knee which meant another break. It has been third time lucky with Suresoundslikealie winning trials at Globe Derby Park and Gawler to ready for her a return to racing on Sunday. “My goal was to introduce new people to the sport and for just over 90% of the club, it is their first time as an owner,” Bain said. “The good thing is that about 80 of the owners, plus family members, have said they will be attending the meeting. “It has been frustrating that it has taken so long to get to the races but credit to the owners, they have been very patient.” Bain said he believed the ABR 100 Club had proved an excellent promotion and he was looking forward to see all the owners on Sunday    First race at 1.29pm and the last of eight at 5.22pm. Suresoundslikealie is in race two which will be run at 1:54pm.   by Graham Fischer

Harness racing is set to return to Gawler for the first time in almost 10 years. In a significant milestone for the local industry, a one-off, family-focused race meeting will be held at the Gawler Harness Racing Club’s Two Wells Rd track on Sunday, March 4. It will be the first official harness meet conducted by the club since its former track was compulsorily acquired as part of the Northern Expressway project in 2008. The club relocated to a site almost adjacent their old facility and built a 960m track, with the first official trials held there in September. “It’s a one-off event at this stage but I think it will provide a great insight into what it means to have a race meeting at Gawler,” Harness Racing SA chairman Chris Hartwig said. “It will be an integral part of our planning to develop Gawler into an ongoing racing venue. We will learn a lot from this meeting.” Next month’s landmark program will feature a maximum of seven races and be covered by both UBET and Sky Racing. “I’ve had the desire to race at Gawler for some time,” Hartwig said. “This shows there is light at the end of the tunnel for the Gawler club ... and it will be a racing venue down the track.” HRSA hopes to be programming regular harness meetings at Gawler within the next 12 months. Because the track does not have lights, it is expected the club could initially host Friday twilight meetings during the summer, as well as regular Monday afternoon meetings and Sunday day programs for special events. Local Member of Light, Tony Piccolo, welcomed the announcement. “I have been very privileged to be able to work alongside the local committee and the industry body, HRSA, to help harness racing return to Gawler,” Piccolo said. “I am aware how painful it was for local harness racing supporters when the original track closed down due to the construction of the Northern Expressway. That is why I have worked closely with the local members to make it happen. The family fun day will be a great day for harness racing and local families.” Ben Scadden, Head of Racing, The Advertiser

Western Australian-owned Bettor Party was back to his brilliant best with a sensational win in the 2017 DF & E Kemp & Son Gawler Harness Racing Club Gold Cup (2645m) at Globe Derby Park on Saturday. A $4 chance, Bettor Party sat parked for the last half of the race and dashed away in the home straight to win easily from Majestic Lustre (43.70) with Murranji Track ($3.90 favourite) close up in third spot. A week earlier Bettor Party finished last in a field of six behind Mark Dennis beaten 47 metres – a run which had trainer Les Harding mystified. “His form since coming from Perth had been fantastic and that run was totally out of character and I have no idea why,” Harding said. “He did lock wheels early but really just didn’t produce anything like what we expected. Maybe he had a stomach ache – they just can’t tell you if they are not right. “Tonight, he was really back on his game and it was a brilliant win.” It was Harding’s second Gawler Cup win having scored with Zanardi in 2013 while for driver Danielle Hill it was her second consecutive win after landing Mark Dennis in 2016. The Lance Holberton-trained Keayang Storm ($9.20) kicked up from gate one to lead early and had some early pressure but maintained the front. When the tempo eased, Hill was quick to move Bettor Party around to sit outside the lead. As the pressure went on down the back, Bettor Party dashed clear and quickly established a winning lead and never looked like being caught in a comfortable win. Harding said it was unlikely Bettor Party would contest the Port Pirie Cup later this month as it was a standing start race and he felt the gelding might receive too much of a handicap. “It can break their heart if they have to give too much of a start and the owners have told me he hadn’t like giving away starts when racing in Western Australia.” The $60,000 Park Douglas Printing Mildura Pacing Cup (2600m) at Mildura on Saturday, April 8 was a possible target. Graham Fischer

Port Gawler trainer driver Scott Ewen  took out the BOTRA drivers award as part of the annual BOTRA awards announced at the South Australian Harness Racing Horse of the Year awards held at Globe Derby Park in front of over 130 guests. Ewen had a remarkable season with a small team steering home 69 winners 86 seconds, 68 thirds and 90 fourths. BOTRA provided Ewen with a gear bag in his own colours as the trophy.  A regular vistor to Port Pirie from his base at Port Gawler  which is 43 kilometres north of Adelaide  suited in  the Adelaide Plains on the Gulf of St Vincent, Ewen currently has just nine horses in work  his efforts to finish fifth on both  the state drivers  and also the trainers championship was a great feat. Other BOTRA awards announced on the day  Breeder of the year went to Geoff Easom who  breeds from a band of about 15 mares each season, Owner’s award was taken out by  David Batty of Buckland Park fame who owned the top 2 year old of the season Flagbearer who amongst her six wins in her Juvenile  season included the Southern Cross Series & the BOTRA Golden Nursery. The state’s leading lady trainer Jill Nielson took out the BOTRA trainers award, Nielson trained 54 winners last season  and the Industry award went to the Turner family for their hard work all season whether it be maning gates or help cooking the Sunday morning BBQ’s the Turners are usally first to arrive and last to leave. Story courtesy of  

In tragic news for the Les Harding stable and South Australian harness racing comes the news of passing of stable star Zanardi who passed away last week after complications to surgery to have bone chips removed.   Zanardi had won 16 from his 24 starts under Les Harding and was considered SA’s best free for all class pacer along with Come On Frank, his main wins come in the Gawler Cup and the Maughan Ford Cup, the traditional lead up race to the SA Cup beating Come On Frank in that event.  Bred in New Zealand the Courage Under Fire gelding had just 6 starts for a win at Rangiora at his final start in his homeland before being sold to Western Australia in 2009 where he won his way to fast class company, he relocated to Les Harding stables in May last year with instant success winning first up at Betezy Park, Globe Derby. Zanardi also was runner up in the Mildura Cup to Five Star Anvil and finished fifth behind Smoken Up and Caribbean Blaster in the SA Cup. All up he won 32 races and $210.000 in stake-money.  In a state where fast class pacers don’t come along all that often Zanardi will be sadly missed and particularly by the Harding family. Another former West Australian to do their future racing in South Australia is Remember El  an Elsu gelding who performed well in open class in WA recently running third to David Hercules in a free for all at Gloucester Park.   Gary Newton  

With Globe Derby Park closed for track upgrade Gawler harness racing club, with its all new 950 meter track will open its doors on April 28th. The Gawler track will be available for work up until midday and Club will also provide its mobile for an education session between 9am & 10am.

One of Australia's best race-callers always wanted to be a harness racing driver. In fact Jimmy Jacques has driven five winners but the 49-year-old has an allergy to horses and doubts whether he'll ever get back in the sulky.

Glengowan arrived in South Australia and joined forces with the Jon Kingston-Mayne harness racing stable in mid December and looked a juvenile on the rise. Three months on and Glengowan has claimed the three biggest three year old races in South Australia to date.

On March 14 2009, Village of Dreams claimed his first harness racing victory on the big stage winning the Gawler Derby, two years on the son of Village Jasper has matched it with the best on the grand circuit and is back to claim the 2011 Gawler Gold Cup.

The long awaited construction of the Gawler Harness Racing Club Training Facility at Buchfelde, off Two Wells Road finally began on Tuesday, January 4. After approximately two and a half years since the club vacated its former home due to compulsory acquisition by the State Government in December 2006 to make way for the Northern Expressway (NEXY), initial earthworks are underway.

Harnesslink yesterday (Tuesday October 26) ran a story on the proposed sale of Globe Derby Park in South Australia. Now preliminary talks are under way to build a new harness racing track in the northern part of the state. It is intended to be part of a multi million dollar equine centre.

Wangaratta Cup winner Mister Anthony spearheads former South Australian harness racing trainer Geoff Webster's four horse raid on the Gawler Harness Racing Club's Gold Cup meeting at Globe Derby on Saturday night.

Harness racing in South Australia could have a new racetrack in Gawler if a last minute bid by state minister for Racing, Michael Wright, comes to fruition. The $12 million racetrack at Gawler is almost finished and now there's a chance harness racing could be added to the venue.

Conte De Cristo lived right up to the tag of 'South Australia's best pacer' making light work of a talented line up to score a front-running victory in the $20,000 Gawler Gold Cup at Globe Derby on Saturday night.

Globe Derby has the honour of hosting the first Australian heats of the 2008 Australasian Breeders Crown, running two fillies’ qualifiers at tomorrow night's (June 27) Gawler Harness Racing Club meeting.

An action packed night of harness racing gave the Gawler Paceway a fitting farewell in front of a strong crowd on Friday night (June 6). The Gawler Harness Racing Club has now lost its racetrack to make way for the Northern Expressway, a new road project linking the Barossa Valley to Port Adelaide.

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