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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 trotsguide.com.au with comments, markets and selections for all seven races.   Graham Fischer  

Gawler harness racing reinsman Ken Rogers scored his first win in the D F & E Kemp & Son UBET Gawler Cup when Our Jericho scored at Globe Derby Park on Saturday. Rogers, one of the state’s top reinsmen, drive superbly to land Our Jericho ($2.90 fav) a neck winner from Whenmechief ($25.10) with Lookofalegend ($30.40), seven metres away third. The winner is trained by Les Harding, who landed his second straight Gawler Cup having scored last year with Bettor Party. It was his third training success in the event having also scored with Zanardi in 2013. It was a big night for Our Jericho’s Victorian owner Merv Butterworth as he also won the Echuca Cup 20 minutes earlier with Motu Meteor. Our Jericho came from gate 10 on the second row but Rogers had the eight-year-old away quickly, and once Tezz Khora had worked to the lead from gave six, he moved up and took control of the race. It was one of two crucial moves Rogers made. Once in front he was able to control the tempo, even when Darren Billinger brought Whenmechief up to sit parked. Rogers’ next winning move was when he accelerated 400 metres out, quickly putting 10 metres on Whenmechief, and making it hard for anything back in the field to make a challenge. He knew Whenmechief was one-paced, but very tough, so it was important to grab a break. Our Jericho got tired over the final 50 metres and Whenmechief did keep coming, but the winning post arrived in time. The driver revealed an interesting link with the winner’s trainer Les Harding. On the day Rhonda Rogers was giving birth to Ken at Red Cliffs in Victoria, just south of Mildura, husband Greg had a horse, Apollo Preneur, engaged at Globe Derby Park. Greg Rogers explained when Ken was born he was ill and was in the care of medical staff. “I couldn’t leave Rhonda’s side and had to be with her and Ken,” he said. “So, I sent the owners to Adelaide with Apollo Preneur, but I asked Les to harness him up and drive him. “Les said Ross Sugars had a horse going well but I said my bloke would win as long as he sat parked and dashed away around the home turn and so it proved so I guess there was a link that maybe Kenny would drive a good winner for Les one day.” The 2018 Gawler Cup will most probably be the last staged by the Gawler Harness Racing Club at Globe Derby Park. After 10 years of racing at the city venue, the Gawler Club will hold its first meeting at its new track on Two Wells Road on Sunday, March 4. Club president Peter Bain said the plan was to run next year’s Cup at its new track. Graham Fischer

A decision taken just over 12 months ago returned a major dividend when Our Royal Lady made a harness racing winning debut in the 2017 Trotsguide.Com.Au SA Sapling Stakes (1800m) at Globe Derby Park. Trained by Alan Cronin and driven by Ken Rogers, Our Royal Lady finished brilliantly to score a short half-head win from The Fifth Ace ($10.50) with Bulletproof Boy ($40.10), five metres away third. Cronin, who trains at Monarto, south of Adelaide, regularly has a small team in work but just over 12 months ago had a discussion with longtime stable client Greg Moy. A former Ballarat Harness Racing Club president, Mr Moy now resides at Glenelg in South Australia. “We have had good success with the likes of Try Some Magic, Jakkara Magic and Burning Desire but they were coming to the end of their racing lives,” Cronin said. “Greg asked me if I would like to have a go with a few two-year-olds and I accepted the challenge. “Consequently, we haven’t been to the races for quite a while but tonight has made the break worthwhile. “Greg went to yearling sales last year to pick out a few horses but ironically found Our Royal Lady in a paddock. “He went to look at yearlings which were going to the sales and saw this filly in a paddock, asked about her, and purchased her on the spot.” Cronin said the filly had always shown ability. “She is still a bit immature but should continue to improve with racing and will be even better suited over trips such as 2230m.” Our Royal Lady had trialled well in preparation for the Sapling Stakes and punters were happy to make her a strong favourite. Rogers had her away well from gate one and took the trail behind Paris Scene which began quickly from gate four. Don’t Tell William also got away quickly from gate nine and driver Lisa Ryan took him to the spot outside the lead resulting in 31.4 and 30.8 for the first two quarters which ensured Our Royal Lady remained comfortable third on the fence. Ryan Hryhorec, on the Ray Holberton-trained The Fifth Ace, sprinted sharply coming off the back and dashed to what looked to be a winning break in the home straight. When Don’t Tell William began to tire, Rogers took Our Royal Lady off the fence but gave her about 50 metres to keep balanced before asking her to take out after The Fifth Ace. “I did think I might have left it a bit late,” Rogers said. “The filly sprinted brilliantly once I asked her for an effort and on the line I wasn’t sure she had arrived but I was delighted when her number went up. “With the good tempo she settled beautifully but because she is still learning I was careful not to push her out of her stride when I came off the inside. She has a lot of upside.” Cronin added that he need to thank fellow trainer Lance Holberton. “Lance has been fantastic. Whenever I have had an issue, Lance has been only too ready to help out with information when I’ve given him a call.” The Sapling Stakes has been a feature two-year-old race in South Australia for many years with some champion winners, including Inter Dominion winner Richmond Lass, but sadly had only been able to be run once in the past three years through insufficient nominations. The 2017 version was a wonderful race with an exciting finish and hopefully the Sapling Stakes has regained its prestige of past years and won’t suffer again going forward. Our Royal Lady is the first winner for the son of Mach Three, Sir Lincoln or in Australia called Lincoln Royal. The Auckland Cup winner Sir Lincoln has a small crop of just 19 two-year-olds in Australia so his effort to leave a Sapling Stakes winner and a filly at that is impressive. Our Royal Lady was one of only three fillies in the race. Graham Fischer

Consistent Pat The Pony finally had some good luck to break through for a harness racing victory in The Ford Legend Mike Perry Pace (1800m) at Globe Derby Park on Saturday night. Driver Ken Rogers took advantage of a first turn incident to wind up trailing the lead after coming from gate six before using the sprint lane to win. Pat The Pony ($21.90) scored by four metres from the leader Smooth Delight ($9.20) with Blackntan ($12.70), 8-1/2 metres away third. The winner is owned by Tanya Reed in partnership with Bianca Collins, daughter of trainer Ross Collins. “We have been calling him Pat The Placegetter,” Tanya said. “Tonight, he had some luck and we got a win.” The six-year-old is rarely far away but Saturday night was just his third win from 61 starts but he has notched 20 placings Collins explained the gelding was his own worst enemy. “When we first got him going he made mistakes and would gallop,” Collins said. “He has improved but we still have to be careful at the start and can’t push him out which means he finds himself back in the field and needing luck in the run home.” On Saturday night, Rogers had the gelding wide early looking to try and slot into the running line. Going into the first turn, Dougs Limousine, the $1.40 was being driven hard by Ryan Hryhorec to push through from gate one when she ducked out contacting Missy Murdock tipping Michael Smith out of the sulky. With the interference, Rogers went around and eventually drop onto the back of Smooth Delight which had been left well clear. The gelding travelled beautifully and accelerated quickly up the sprint lane to win comfortably. Collins said he had Pat The Pony on the market earlier in the year but with no takers. “I was surprised there was no interest. After all, he had shown ability and was only a six-year-old and going concern. I’ll keep him going and hopefully now he has found the winning post again we can pick up another win.” by Graham Fischer

If proof was needed that Some Kinda Tactics is currently South Australia’s best harness racing pacer it was on show at Globe Derby Park last weekend. A backable $1.70 favourite, Some Kinda Tactics, trained by Jon Kingston-Mayne and driven by Ken Rogers, ran away to a 30-metre victory in the Kalleske Chaff Pace (2230m). The eight-year-old, owned by Lyn Proud, settled last early from gate seven in the field of seven. With a lap and a quarter to go, Rogers took off and went around to sit outside the leader Our Mischievious Miss before deciding to go for home with about 550 metres left to travel. “If he is the best horse, you have to drive him like it,” Rogers said. “He decided he wanted to run when horses started to try and make ground out wide so I gave him his head.” Some Kinda Tactics quickly put his rivals a distant view in the rear vision mirror dashing away with a 28.3 third quarter and then cruised home in 29.2. “He eased off over the final stages,” Rogers said. “If something moved up alongside he would have lifted and found something.” But nothing made any ground and the gelding won easily from former WA pacer Soho Monza ($9.10) which came through on the inside to grab second, 1-1/2 metres in front of Kamwood Dawn ($5.90). Kingston-Mayne said it was good to have Some Kinda Tactics back to his best. “The problem now is what to do with him,” the trainer said. “I have to hope there are regular races here for him. “I find it hard to travel with horses for several reasons but that may be the answer. “I am going to take my three-year-olds (Official Art and Presidentmach) to Mildura to try and pick up their Vicbred bonuses so maybe he can go with them.” Graham Fischer

Harness racing trainer Jon Kingston-Mayne gave driver Ken Rogers a 10/10 rating after Some Kinda Tactics scored a record-breaking win in the 2016 Moonta Hotel Social Club Kadina Pacing Cup (1609m) at Port Pirie. “I’m a hard marker with drivers of my horses, but no-one could have driven this horse better tonight,” Kingston-Mayne said. Some Kinda Tactics, starting at $3.30 on Ubet, raced away to a nine-metre cup win from Amajorjo ($1.85 fav) with Machtavish ($21) finishing well along the inside to be a neck away third. In winning, Some Kinda Tactics rated 1:53.5 to take 0.4 off the previous best run by Timeless Era in winning the 2014 Kadina Cup. There was an early burn for the lead in the Cup before Amajorjo, from gate four, was able to work to the lead after 200 metres but with a lap to go Rogers, who had settled back in the field from gate eight, quickly worked around to sit outside the lead. Amajorjo and Some Kinda Tactics raced side by side into the back with 29.8 and 29.9 first quarters. Dani Hill, on Amajorjo, tried to drop off her rival coming off the back with a sizzling 26.6 third quarter, and grabbed a lead of several metres before Rogers asked his horse to life in the home straight. The eight year old Dream Away gelding responded and quickly raced to the lead and won comfortably. “He wanted to knock off when he went to the lead so maybe he could have gone even quicker,” Rogers said. “I thought Dani would try and break us with a quick third quarter so rather than try and push my horse out of his rhythm I just kept him together then asked him to go on straightening and he quickly asserted his superiority.” Rogers also proved a good judge as pre-race he said he thought the track record could be in danger and so it proved. The winner is owned by harness enthusiast Lyn Proud who had a winning double on the night with Wills, which she also owns, scoring earlier in night for trainer Wayne Brodie. Kingston-Mayne said the Mildura Cup in April remained the long term goal for Some Kinda Tactics. “My job is to keep him ticking over until then so I will pick and choose races for him.” After wins in the Whyalla and Kadina Cups, the trainer is tempted to try for a country cups hat-trick with the Port Pirie Cup being run on Saturday, March 19 but the negative is that it is a standing start race with the likelihood the gelding would face a massive handicap. “It would be silly to run if he is handicapped where he couldn’t win so I will weigh up my options.” The win brought up a double for the trainer-driver combination with Maywyn’s Zephyr scoring an all the way win in the opening event, the Rose Shephard Memorial (1609m). Backed from $1.80 into $1.40 favourite, Maywyn’s Zephyr scored by 10 metres from Our Cavort ($18.60) with Kissed Flush ($4.40) three metres away third. Owned by Nick Gerace, Maywyn’s Zephyr is back to his best form after a short spell in New South Wales. The six-year-old took his stakes past $60,000 with his 16th win rating a fast 1:55.4.  by Graham Fischer

By nature, harness racing reinsman Ken Rogers is media-shy. He prefers to let his on-track successes tell his story. On Saturday night, Rogers, 28, will have his first drive in South Australia’s premier race, the Group 1 $100,000 Ubet South Australian Pacing Cup (2230m). He will partner in-form pacer Some Kinda Tactics, trained by Jon Kingston-Mayne. Unfortunately, the barrier draw hasn’t been kind and the eight-year-old gelding has drawn gate seven. The amazing aspect is that Rogers only returned to race driving in November last year after a 15-month stint on the sidelines through suspension and disqualification for drug offences. “You don’t know what you’ve got until it is taken away from you,” Rogers said. “I love harness racing, and I missed it so much. “There is nothing better than getting up each morning and working with the horses, and driving in races.” Rogers said he was delighted when Kingston-Mayne made the call and asked him to drive Some Kinda Tactics during December – the result has been three drives for three wins, the most recent at Globe Derby Park last Saturday night. “I drove horses for Jon before my disqualification and thank him for giving me opportunities again, and Some Kinda Tactics is a great horse to be asked to drive. “Aaron Brown has also been a great supporter and gave me my first winner back, Downtools at my fifth drive. “Obviously the cup is going to be a very tough race to win and the draw hasn’t helped,” he said. “But he is a versatile pacer so I’ll be looking to try and get a good spot early then put him into the race over the final stages. “I really believe he is racing well and running times which say he can prove competitive with luck in running.” Rogers, son of Rhonda and Greg Rogers, was a rising star of South Australian harness racing. Despite his tender years he finished sixth on the SA premiership in 2010/2011 and 2011/12 seasons with 54 and 61 winners respectively. Then in 2012/13 and 2013/14 he was seventh with 52 and 45 winners respectively. It was then he fell foul of officialdom through unsavoury off-course antics, an issue he has vowed has taught him a valuable lesson. For Kingston-Mayne, he knows what is required to win a Pacing Cup because he has come close several times. In 2010 he trained Longtan Safari which finished fourth, then in 2011 and 2012 he started Ohoka Nevada which finished third to second to the champ Smoken Up. In 2012 Kingston-Mayne also started Cullens Legacy which finished ninth with Greg Rogers aboard so no doubt family pride will see Ken wanting to achieve a better finishing position than his dad. Cullens Legacy now stands at Claire Goble and Dennis Lyle’s Clarenden Park Stud at Wasleys and from limited runners has made a spectacular impression. by Graham Fischer Fields for Globe Derby Park, Saturday 09 January 2016 Form guide for Globe Derby Park, Saturday 09 January 2016

One of South Australia’s promising young harness racing reinsmen Ken Rogers celebrated his return to driving with an all the way win on Downtools in the Clay and Mineral Sales Claiming Pace (2230m). It was Rogers’ fifth drive back from a 15 month time on the sidelines through suspension and disqualification for drug offences. “You don’t know what you’ve got until it is taken away from you,” Rogers said. “I love harness racing, and I missed it so much." “There is nothing better than getting up each morning and working with the horses, and driving in races.” Rogers is back working in the stables for his father Greg and trainer Aaron Brown at Gawler. It was Brown who gave Rogers the winning drive on Downtools. “It is great to get the monkey off my back and all systems go now,” Rogers added. He took the $2.40 favourite to the front and rated him perfectly to score a 1-1/2 metre win from Finbar Abbey ($4.40) with Nobody Knows ($7.50) a further six metres away third. Downtools is another pacer who came to South Australia for owner George Montebello and was with Brown. The seven-year-old was claimed earlier this year by Gina Bell but was reclaimed by Brown. “I guess he could end up with someone else again by running him in the claimers but that is the chance we’ll take,” Brown said. “Downtools has been a good horse for us and when in front he is always going to be hard to beat." “I actually thought he might have been claimed tonight but he wasn’t and I’m happy to take him home.” Graham Fischer

Following a period of suspension and disqualification for drugs of abuse, Byron Hornhardt and Ken Rogers indicated their intention to be re-licenced by Harness Racing South Australia. The Board of Harness Racing SA issued both Byron Hornhardt and Ken Rogers with a notice which required them to attend before the board and ‘show cause’ as to why they should be re-licenced. The rules allow the Controlling Body to refuse an application for a licence without assigning any reason. At this ‘show cause’ hearing, the Board re-inforced to both Byron Hornhardt and Ken Rogers that HRSA grants the privilege of a licence to individuals committed to adherence to the rules and lifting the industrys profile and that licencees that engage in conduct unbecoming to their status could bring them or harness racing into disrepute. The Board questioned Byron Hornhardt and Ken Rogers as to whether they were fit and proper persons to be licenced taking into account their history, behaviour, ability to operate within the rules, honesty and personal circumstances. After taking into account their conduct that has occurred in the past, the Board looked to the future as to whether there is likely to be a repetition of the subject conduct. The Board took into account that both Byron Hornhardt and Ken Rogers had:   *Successfully undertaken drug and alcohol counselling *Provided clear urine samples in recent weeks *Shown they were remorseful *Understood the consequences of providing a sample in the future that contained drugs of abuse As a result the Board of HRSA resolved to re-licence both Byron Hornhardt and Ken Rogers on the understanding they would be subject to an increased level of scrutiny and would continue to have targeted and random sampling for drugs of abuse. Barbara Scott Chair of Stewards

On Thursday 14 August 2014 Harness Racing SA stewards conducted an inquiry into a report from Racing Analytical Services Ltd (RASL) that a urine sample provided by driver Ken Rogers at Betezy Park, Globe Derby on 5 July 2014, upon analysis was found to contain d-amphetamine. Evidence was taken from Ken Rogers, Mrs Rhonda Rogers and RASL Director David Batty.  After hearing the relative evidence Mr Rogers pleaded guilty to a charge under Rule 250(1)(a) which reads: 250. (1) A driver commits an offence if:- (a) A sample taken from him is found upon analysis to contain a substance banned by Rule 251. In determining penalty, stewards took into account:- This was Mr Rogers third offence under this or a similar rule in the past 8 months. That at Mr Rogers appeal against a similar charge in April 2014, Deputy President King placed conditions on Mr. Rogers that he undergo rehabilitation.  Further, at that appeal Deputy President King suspended three months of Mr. Rogers penalty on the condition that he not re-offend against a provision of this nature for a period of 12 months.  These conditions were not complied with. The serious health and safety issues that can result when drivers participate in races under the influence of drugs. The negative affect a banned substance offence has on the harness racing industry and the wider community. In relation to penalty, stewards imposed the three month suspension that had been suspended on the condition that he not re-offend for a period of 12 months.  This was backdated to the date Mr. Rogers was stood down from driving, 25 July 2014. Stewards further disqualified Mr. Rogers for a period of 12 months, to take effect following his period of suspension.   Acting under Rule 15(1)(ad) stewards ordered Mr. Rogers pay to HRSA $500 for the costs incurred in analytical testing. Barbara Scott Chair of Stewards 15 August 2014  

Harness Racing SA Ltd Stewards conducted an inquiry on 23/01/14 into two reports received from Racing Analytical Services Ltd in relation to urine samples provided by driver Ken Rogers at the SAHRC’s meetings held 04/01/14 and 11/01/14 respectively. Sample WSSA 39256, which was provided on 04/01/14, was found upon analysis to contain the banned substances d-amphetamine, d-methamphetamine and 11-nor-delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol-9-carboxylic acid (cannabis).   Sample 41943, which was provided on 11/01/14 for a clearance for Mr Rogers to resume driving, was found upon analysis to contain the banned substance 11-nor-delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol-9-carboxylic acid (cannabis). Mr Rogers pleaded guilty to the following charges: Under Rule 252 (1) on the grounds that he purported to carry on a licensed activity at the SAHRC’s meeting held at Betezy Park Globe Derby on 04/01/14 by presenting to drive with a drug of abuse in his body. Under Rule 250 (1)(a)(adopted 08/01/14) on the grounds that a urine sample taken from him at the SAHRC’s meeting held at Betezy Park Globe Derby on 11/01/14 was found upon analysis to contain the banned substance cannabis. After considering submissions as to penalty, Mr Rogers’ driver’s licence was suspended for 9 months on each charge, however the Panel ordered that the penalties be served concurrently with the commencement date backdated to 04/01/14 when Mr Rogers was stood down from driving pending the provision of a urine sample which was found upon analysis to not contain any banned substance. In settling on penalty, the Panel took into consideration: Mr Rogers’ guilty pleas; The serious nature of the breaches; Mr Rogers’ clear record; The need to provide a deterrent – both general and specific; The need to maintain public confidence in the integrity of the industry. Stewards further ordered that: Mr Rogers undergo rehabilitation in relation to drug use. He provides Harness Racing SA Ltd with documentation from a qualified Counsellor that he has successfully completed rehabilitation. He provides Harness Racing SA Ltd with clear samples when requested. Stephen Mulcay Chairman of Stewards Harness Racing SA  

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