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Harness Racing SA advises that all races scheduled for Port Pirie on Tuesday nights during August and September will be PENALTY FREE…..yes that’s right no ratings penalties. This initiative received unanimous endorsement from the members of Harness Racing Australia. The programs for August and September will cater for all classes of horses and will include the previously advertised dual-race bonus opportunity, where any horse winning both dual races on the night will receive a stake of $10,000 With this $10,000 prize now being penalty free the attraction of racing for an excellent stake just got that more appealing. In making this announcement HRSA Board Chairman George Fiacchi stated “This is a fantastic inititiative for the Harness Racing Industry in Port Pirie.We are all about growing the industry and this enables the club to kickstart the local industry and re-establish itself following the COVID crisis. We look forward to owners and trainers from all parts of the state supporting this novel concept” Programs for August are available  here For further information please contact: ROSS NEAL | CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (08) 8285 0700 •

A prominent harness racing figure in the mid north region of South Australia has decided it's time to take a change and pursue other interests. Lyndon Hall, who is based at the popular coastal tourist city of Port Pirie, 225 kms from Adelaide, has been training horses for more than 40 years, with an imposing strike-rate. "We've met a lot of lovely people, made a lot of friends and had heaps of fun during our long involvement, but we are now looking to take a different direction," Hall said. "My wife Jacqui and I have two married daughters in Tammi and Jo-Ann, and there's six grand-daughters. So when sporting activities are allowed to start again, there will be lots of netball and basketball on Saturday afternoons," he said. "And of course, I still enjoy my fishing. We plan on getting back into the camping and fishing scene." Hall said he got the harness racing bug as a teenager through the late Bob Clarke, who was a well-known outstanding conditioner of horses in the area. "I learned a great deal from Bob, not only in the training aspects, but also driving. Bob actually let me to drive one of his star pacers in Already to get my driver's licence. I had to do a few satisfactory drives in front of the stewards," he said. "Already was a class horse and I remember him winning a heat and final of the Mildura Pacing Cup in good style. Bob's son Andrew is still training horses at Mt Gambier." Hall said as a youngster he was an apprentice butcher. "Dad owned two shops and asked me which one I would like to take over. I told him that I didn't want either because I was going fishing," he said. "I ended up being a professional fisherman for 14 years and thoroughly enjoyed it. Then I had a go at the hotel business and owned a few over a period of 24 years and we've still got one at Port Broughton." Hall established his training complex on a "couple of hundred acres" near Port Pirie, with a 900metre training track, stables and large paddocks. "We were big supporters of trotting around the area, always racing big teams at our home track as well as others like Whyalla. Jacqui also had three years as Port Pirie President," he said. "I remember taking a record 18 horses one night to Port Pirie, while the most we ever raced at Whyalla was 14. There were plenty of other times when we'd load up the truck and head off to race at other tracks, including Broken Hill and Mildura which were long hauls. "A favorite memory from Broken Hill was one night throwing seven on the truck and getting five winners and two second placing cheques. That was a fun night." Hall was the leading trainer at Port Pirie on five occasions. His career record stands at around 3200 starters for 280 victories, 400 second placings and 480 thirds. He regards a win in a heat and final of the Sunraysia Cup years ago with talented pacer Fifty Gorillas (D M Dilinger-Roxy Bay (Whata Baron) as among his best. "We had Ryan Hryhorec drive the horse in the heat, and the late Gavin Lang in the final. It was the only time we ever had Gavin drive for us," Hall said. "Fifty Gorillas won 20 races for us and then John Heath won a few more when they sent the horse up to him at Menangle. He was first emergency in an Inter Dominion final at Sydney and narrowly missed getting a start because there was a scratching at 9.10 am-10 minutes too late to get a start! "I think Fifty Gorillas was the fastest horse bred by D M Dillinger for a while-he could still even hold that mantle." Hall said he also admired a pacer who is still at his place recovering from a hoof injury in Mymatethomo. "He is one of the nicest horses I've ever had. He had a strong will to win and possessed sheer speed when he was right. One of his greatest wins was as a C1 assessed pacer up against FFA horses and he come out and took the Whyalla Cup," he said. So while it's a safe bet to say that fish, crabs and other seafood delicacies will be on the dinner plate if you visit the Halls in the future, there's a chance you may even be challenged to a game of darts. Hall has a sharp eye and still harbors a love for the sport. But a word of warning: he was the state champion in the 90s and won several championships. Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Unless your name was harness racing driver Wayne Hill on Sunday afternoon at the trots, you really may have missed out on a win. Driving five winners from the seven races and add to that a second place, I'd say he would have been quite happy on the road home.  One damper on his day may have been the last past the post position on Jodis Choice, but I think he could probably look past that one. This particular race had been won by Tossup from the Dominic Tattoli stables.  Tossup has been under the Tattoli banner since November 2016 and in that time has now had twelve wins, all on the Port Pirie track.  Tossup is a beautifully presented five year old bay gelding and as all of the Tattoli horses, looks in good condition and fit. It is obvious that this team put in the time and effort on their horses, and it pays off.  Tossup finished seven meters in front of Ashleigh Dunkley's Kentsford Kenny and Canelliesparkle, one of the Afford owned and trained horses.  The first event of the day had been the McMahon pace and after having horses at Globe Derby Park on Saturday night and winning the last race with Buriton Bailey, Shane Loone took out the first race with Regal Knight, driven by Ken Rogers. He also had another in the first race, driven by Corey Johnson, but this one did not score as well.  Corey would not have been too perturbed though as he would have still been celebrating his first win on Saturday Night at Globe Derby.  Not too bad for a lad of sixteen and has only been driving for a few months. And what about this titbit - Emerging Art, which Corey had driven had paid a starting price of $51.10, whoohoo! Regal Knight's Mile Rate for this race had been 1.55.9, and that is not too slack at all.  Mind you, he had only just got to the line in first place, Reva, with Wayne Hill on board, had run one of his best races since returning from a spell and had been beaten only by a short half head. Nothing gets much closer than that. The Tooth Fairy looks like her problems have been sorted out, the headcheck has been removed and her visor also is missing and didn't she run like a charm.  Her gate speed takes something to be beaten in her class of horse and she led all the way, not putting a foot wrong. Challenged in the home straight by Marcello and Disclosure, she did not falter and went on to win by almost two metres.  The Tooth Fairy has been waiting to break through and now that her problems are sorted out, hopefully, she may show more success.  She is only a three year old and is by the same sire as Riverina Ava, Princess Pickles and Trapper Two. Mile rate for the race had been 1.59.9. Although Ryan Hryhorec had three horses nominated for the day, he had been unable to drive any one of them.  Hryhorec had a bit of an accident, hurting his shoulder, and will be out of action for another couple of weeks, however, Wayne Hill was able to steer Springfield Desire to the winning post.  The Waylon Hornhardy stables seen a couple of good wins, the last two events on the programme. Ronzel Grinner, a seven year old gelding, showed how it was done in the Elders Insurance Pace. In a fast time of 1.56.3, Wayne Hill had driven Ronzel Grinner to perfection and had managed to hold off Barney Fella to take out the event.  Barney Fella had made the charge, using the Sprint Lane, but had not managed to catch the winners. Wayne Brodie's Atomic Blue Chip had run on in third place.  Going back to where I was talking about Ryan Hryhorec being injured, it is great news that Dani Hill is only about five weeks away from being back on the track.  This will give brother Wayne some competition once again and he just loves racing against her. That sibling rivalry thing I guess - not that they would take it too seriously off the track - but on the track would be another thing!  The Aaron Bain stables had brought three horses to compete, and this was great to see. With Wayne Hill , again, at the helm, Trent From Punchy ran a great race to finish off the race a metre and a half in front of Callmedemaro, a Justin Brewin trained horse.  Idrather Rahma, was another trained by Dominic Tattoli. At Globe Derby on Saturday night, it had been the Victorian team of Emma Stewarts that had taken home three first place-getters, including the win of Pandering in the Final of the $100,000 "Allwood". Pandering is a two year old Courage Under Fire colt and his share of the winning had been a very nice $57,500.  Another Courage Under Fire offspring in the winning circle last week had been Forte Courage. Trained by Ryan Hryhorec, he had taken him over to Mildura for a run. And what a run it had been.  Sitting at the rear of the field in the back straight, the nitro button had been pushed and what a display of strength and speed had been seen.  He had passed the complete field like it was standing still and had gone on to a mighty win. Quite impressive.  It was announced this week that the SA Government will be putting $24 million dollars into the racing, harness racing and greyhound industries, over a four year span. I have been told that the harness racing industry receives approximately 10 per cent of that amount. Does that seem really fair, as harness racing is a struggling industry also.  I read the reports in The Advertiser and the Sunday Mail and it certainly did appear all about the thoroughbred racing sector.  The Sunday Mail did happen to have a short report from the chairman of the greyhounds but there was no mention of trotting and no interviews with anyone from the harness racing industry. I guess that says it all. Our next meeting is Saturday night June 23rd., the last meeting for three months. I still can't get my head around it. But until then see you at the Track! By Sue Penny Reprinted with permission of the Recorder

A plethora of harness racing. Who could wish for more? And yet it has been a sad road that has enabled the Port Pirie Harness Racing Club to mark up, at least, the next five weekends to a trotting programme.  But, like any opportunity, it should be grabbed with both hands and used to the best of its possibility. Due to the debacle that is happening in Adelaide, with all racing at Globe Derby having been postponed for the time being and the race meetings shared out among other country clubs until there is a resolution to the matters. There had been a break in Port Pirie for three weeks while meetings were sorted but all is OK to go again now.  This Saturday night will see nine races on the programme.  Amongst them is the $30,000 2019 Alabar Golden Nursery Stakes Final for 2 year olds run in a night of pacing that has been transferred to the Pirie track.  Along with the high stake money will be a rug and cup. Vying for the nice sized purse will be Peter Bain's Hilltop Surfer and Emma Stewart's Celebrity Chef. Giving them both a good run for their money in this elite event will be Wolf of West Bay and the local, Hesashark, trained and driven by Dale Afford.  Although Hesashark has drawn eleven in the barrier stakes, I am sure he will have the grunt to take out the 1609 metre race.  Along with this event on the evening's programme is the final in the Aaron Bain Racing Stable 3yo Colts & Geldings and also the final in the Biano Re-inforcing 3yo Fillies.  Both of these races are over 2050 metres and both are worth $10,000. The three year old fillies final will see Dale Afford's three year old filly, Shesashark and there will have to be some sporty speed to get up to beat this one. The fact that there was the extra break in the calendar was a God send to both John and myself as we have both been suffering badly with the flu, as have another 300 plus people in SA per day. If you haven't had your flu injection, don't mess around, have it now. A sentimental race of the evening will be the Bet McArthur Memorial.  Betty McArthur was around, carrying out her volunteering duties when I wasn't all that old, how I remember her buzzing around, always on the go.  She was a tiny sprite and no-one deserved to lose her life, the way that Betty did.  Struck down outside the trotting track, going to visit her long time friend Ailsa McBride, just across the road. It is now five years since Bet passed away and still it is hard to find a volunteer like she was. We remember you well, Betty.  This could be an interesting race with eleven nominated for the privilege. Leah Harvey's Nevaevabend will be battling it out against the likes of Tossup, The Quick Shadow and Tap The Keg. Nine races on the programme with the first race kicking off at 6.17pm. It should be a fantastic night of racing, so why be sitting home watching your footy team go down the gurgler.  Come on out and hear the pounding of hooves pounding down the straight. It' s a full month of harness racing at Phoenix Park, so don't miss a moment of it. See you at the track!   Sue Penny Reprinted with permission of The Recorder

Comeback trotter Coolbreeze completed an impressive return to racing during the weekend. First-up since last February, Coolbreeze overcame a 10-metre handicap to score at Port Pirie for trainer Lane Johnson. Thrilled with the gelding’s performance, Johnson is confident the pacing-bred son of Jeremes Jet can make his way through the grades this preparation – providing he stays sound! “He was meant to be a pacer, but all he has ever wanted to do it trot,” Johnson said. “He did a top little job as a two-year-old then had 20 months off after having an operation on his fetlock and hocks to remove bone chips. “The time off did him well as he came back even better and won his last four starts before feeling terrible at Kapunda last February. “That resulted in another operation to take bone chips out of his opposite hock. “I couldn’t be happier with the way he has come back this time and have no doubt he can put together a few more wins if he can stay sound.” With Johnson holding the reins during his latest victory, Coolbreeze settled midfield early before eventually using the sprint lane to account for Cold Crusher and Truscott Hall in 2:04.1 over 2050 metres. “Going on his work I knew he was ready to run a good race,” Johnson said. “He will definitely improve from the run and be better next time around. “At around 16.3 hands he is a big lump of a thing, but very quiet and docile. “I will check the program for him and see what’s around, but long term I plan to head over to Victoria with him to see if he can pick up a race there.”   HRSA  

ALTHOUGH slightly vulnerable first-up from a spell, Lochinvar Hugo is forward enough to maintain his perfect South Australian record according to trainer Dean Girardi​ Unbeaten from four starts since arriving at the Girardi stable, Lochinvar Hugo has drawn barrier four over a mile at Port Pirie. Pleased with the gelding’s progress since his freshen up, Girardi admitted Lochinvar Hugo “is in need of the run” but has no doubt the son of Sportswriter is ready for a winning return. “He’s been working really well and is fit enough to win first-up,” Girardi said. “Race fitness is another thing all together, but I’m pleased with his condition going into this. “He is still a bit chubby, but he’s ok…if he doesn’t go well it will disappointment me. “Whatever he does this weekend he will be better again with a couple more races.” Citing Friends as the main danger, Girardi also rates Ramirez and Tossup as major threats. A last start winner, Ramirez will begin from barrier three, with Friends to come from gate five and Tossup drawn six. “Friends is racing well and is coming back in class with a claim,” Girardi said. “Ramirez and Tossup are also going well and should be thereabouts. “My bloke’s work has been good and I expect a descent run. At the very least he will do enough to make it into the Final.”   HRSA

Port Pirie harness racing stalwart Dominic Tattoli had double cause for celebration last Saturday night at Phoenix Park when the well performed Tossup recorded its ninth win for the stable when taking out the $7,000 Henry Osborne Fodder Store Pace.  Tossup, owned by Dominic’s wife Karen and daughter Kirsty, led throughout in the hands of well credentialled young horseman Brodie Webster, and at the post held a decisive six metre margin on its closest rival I Wanna Rocknroll. Tossup’s win followed that of stablemate Antaeus Blue Chip which won on 8th September at Port Pirie, also in the hands of Brodie who has established a good record with the stable. As a result of both wins not only did Karen and Kirsty receive a healthy winner’s purse but also, as a consequence of the HRSA policy which enables young/concession drivers to win five races penalty free each season until they reach fifty career wins, both Antaeus Blue Chip and Tossup were not penalised for winning their races as Brodie had not driven 5 winners in the new season. Part-owner Kirsty Tattoli stated that “the recent wins have been a great thrill for the whole family and we are happy to support the young drivers concept recently introduced by HRSA as it gives our young drivers the opportunity to gain invaluable experience in races” The list of Concession drivers together with their available claims are listed below and HRSA encourage owners and trainers to engage these young people to assist their development in the industry. Driver Total Wins Wins to date 2018/19 Brodie Webster 47 2 Michael Harding 42 0 Jayden Brewin 153 4 Kaela Hryhorec 64 4 Matt Bailey 1 0 Kailey Piper 0 0 Samantha Pascoe 1 1 Ashley Cluse 0 0 Tiana McMahon 20 1   HRSA Media

WITH five runners engaged at Port Pirie on Saturday night trainer Waylon Hornhardt summed up his prospects in one hit “with a bit of luck we could have a good night.” Hornhardt’s crew include Topnotch Mach, Rhyflective and Reddy Major, which are among the leading contenders in their events. Winner of his last two starts Topnotch Mach has drawn barrier five in the opening event on the program The son of Mach Three scored against claiming company at Globe Derby before registering an eye-catching win at Mildura a fortnight ago. The gelding’s rivals include his stablemate Arden Castle which will begin from gate two. “Topnotch Mach is in great form but it’s still going to be hard from the draw,” Hornhardt said. “If the speed is on and he can see day light and get a few gaps here and there he’ll be in the finish. “Arden Castle is first-up from a break, and although he has been working well, is in need of the run.” Rhyflective will spring into action in the following event, with the gelding also drawn five. Racing in consistent form with three wins and two seconds from his last six starts, Rhyflective is likely to be sent forward early by reinsman Wayne Hill. “If Rhyflective finds the top he is going to be hard to beat,” Hornhardt said. “He put in a massive run to win at Mildura two starts ago and then backed-up two days later for a good second at Port Pirie. “It’s an even race but he’s a strong chance” Hornhardt then has Crazy Dave drawn the outside of the front row against open company. “Crazy Dave is more of a claimer and it’s a pity the claiming race didn’t stand up,” Hornhardt said. “He needs everything to go his way in this. “He will probably be coming from the tail of the field and it’s hard to win around Port Pirie from there.” Reddy Major will round out Hornhardt’s assault, with the son of Art Major facing an arduous task from the outside of the second line. “Drawing 12 is not in his favour so will have to push forward early,” Hornhardt said. “If he can get a good possie early he will be hard to hold out.” HRSA Media

POPULAR horseman Toby Ryan will continue to search for short distant races as he looks to work Dont Tell William through the grades. Registering his ninth win when successful at Port Pirie on Saturday night, Dont Tell William is yet to score over a distance longer than 1800 metres. The gelding’s latest success was in 1:57.1 over a mile. “He likes the shorter course racing,” Ryan said. “If you break his record into two halves, one for 1800 metres or less and the other for races over a long trip you will see too very different tallies. “He just doesn’t get the full 2200 metres and is often found wanting. “The hope is he can strengthen up, but he just can’t seem to get that extra distance in him.” With Ryan’s reinswoman-wife, Lisa, in the cart, Dont Tell William worked to the lead from barrier six before being eased to take a trail behind the short priced favourite, The Shooting Star. Angled into the passing lane during the latter stages, the son of Bettors Delight sprinted to a two-and-a-half metre win from Rhyflective, with The Shooting Star a metre-and-a-half away third. “That was a nice run from him,” Ryan said. “He did a bit of work early before gaining the trail and then had enough left to finish it off nicely. “I’ve got nothing particular picked out for him at this stage, just stay locally and hope can progress through the grades.” HRSA

IN-FORM mare Millwood Chloe is ready to begin the new season the way she finished the old one according to trainer Shane Loone. Absent from the winners’ circle for four months, Millwood Chloe bounced back to her best by scoring at her last two starts for the term – both at Globe Derby. This weekend the daughter of Ohoka Arizona is set to compete at Port Pirie where she has drawn to figure prominently from barrier four. “She’s going well and I couldn’t be happier with her condition,” Loone said. “She begins well and will be going forward from the draw. “I’m not sure how quick the pole horse is but we will be coming out and having a look. “If she can settle in the lead, or close to it, she’ll be right in the finish.” Earmarking Lady Danger as the biggest threat, Loone also rates Any Suggestions as “one to watch”. Lady Danger has drawn barrier nine, with Any Suggestions to come from 10. “Lady Danger has been getting home well, and if the speed is on, you can expect her to be getting to line quickly,” Loone said. “Any Suggestions won his first couple from a break and has been placed at the next two and is one to watch from there.” With no major plans in mind for Millwood Chloe, Loone will select suitable races as they are programmed. “For now she will just keep poking around and I will find the right races,” Loone said. “While she is competitive I will keep her going racing and breed from her next season.” Harness Racing SA

REJUVENATED pacer Barney Fella will be out to complete a Port Pirie hat-trick on Saturday night. Successful at his last two starts – both at the provincial venue - Barney Fella has drawn the pole in his bid for a third consecutive win. Before his current good form the Dominic Tattoli–trained gelding was absent from the winners’ circle for 17 months. “He is older and more cunning,” Tattoli said. “He wasn’t going as well so I eased up on his work but he got worse, so put the work back into him he got better again! “He’s turned the corner a little bit and is going alright. “In his last couple of starts he has won from good draw or with right sit and hopefully that will be the case again on the weekend.” Rating Starlight Rainbow as the biggest danger, Tattoli believes each of Barney Fella’s five rivals can play a role in the finish. Prepared by Aaron Bain, Starlight Rainbow will begin from barrier three. “I think he will lead from three and be hard to run down,” Tattoli said. “If we can sit behind him we will be a good chance up the straight. “It’s only a small, but even, field and it you wouldn’t be surprised regardless of which horse won.”   HRSA Media

AN AWKWARD draw has dented trainer Aaron Bain’s confidence with Melodys Daughter ahead of Saturday night’s Port Pirie meeting. Although the well-bred daughter of Art Major is unbeaten from two starts, Bain admits he is less than positive Melodys Daughter can maintain her perfect record. Three-year-old will begin from barrier five, with the favourite, Waitpinga Poppy, drawn the pole. “She’s a nice filly, but is not a brilliant beginner,” Bain said. “From there I’m concerned she will settle towards the back of the field over the short trip. “Waitpinga Poppy is very quick and will lead from there. Ideally we would settle on his back as she has a good finishing sprint. “She’s very green and immature, and we knew she needed time when we bought her in December, but she has stepped up each time we’ve asked.” Winner of a Breeders’ Crown heat at Globe Derby earlier this week, Melodys Daughter won’t contest the balance of the series, but remains on target to head interstate during the next few weeks. “She won’t go in Breeders’ Crown as she’s not up to it just yet,” Bain said. “We’ve been patient with her all along and it’s paying dividends, so we won’t be changing that. “I do hope to pick up a Vicbred bonus with her before the season’s end, so we’ll cross the border at some stage. “Next week’s Mermaid Stake is also part of the plan with her.”   HRSA Media  

Young gun South Australian reinsman Jayden Brewin added the perfect job audition to his resume winning the 2018 Elders Insurance Mid North Drivers Invitation at Port Pirie on Sunday. Brewin, who turns 18 later this month, revealed the time was coming to leave South Australia and build a career as a harness racing driver. The young gun drove two winners from the six-race series and finished with 55 points to beat another South Australian Wayne Hill who was on 41. Champion Western Australian Shannon Suvaljko was the best of the interstate stars with 40 points one ahead of Queensland’s Pete McMullen. The rest of the contestants were Danielle Hill (SA) 35, Michael Bellman (Vic) 28, Kate Gath (Vic) 27, Anthony Butt​ (Vic) and Chris Geary (NSW) 23; Nathan Turvey (WA) 21. “It has always been an ambition to make a career in the sport and the reality is I will have to move interstate,” Brewin said.  “I have already contacted several Victorian trainers to talk about the move and I have been encouraged by the responses.  I want to finish my year 12 trade course in November then look to make the move. By then I will have my junior driver claim back for the new season. Sadly, economics in South Australia make it too tough for forge a career as a driver so I will be trying to finalise a date to move and as it gets closer will be making more contact seeking an opportunity to work with an interstate stable.” Brewin has had a sensational start to his driving career finishing fifth on the SA table with 55 winners in his first full season of driving and this year sits fifth again with a career-best 58 winners. He has also driven multiple winners in Victoria each season. Brewin said he had approached the meeting believing he was a good chance of winning the series. “I thought Batman Bart was a good place chance in the opening heat and believed my winners Canelliesparkle and Gotango both have good each-way prospects and my other drive, Atomic Blue Chip, which finished third also looked competitive.” Heat one of the Elders Insurance Mid North Drivers Invitation saw Queensland’s Pete McMullen gain tops points with an all-the-way win by the Ryan Hryhorec trained Supernova Silvia. Punters jumped into the winner and the mare firmed from $2 into $1.40 and led from gate one and scored by 18 metres from Batman Bart ($6.60, Jayden Brewin) with Eyre Space ($23.10, Danielle Hill) 10 metres away third. Brewin had Canelliesparkle ($6) away well from gate seven trailing the speed in heat two before coming wide on the home turn and sprinting strongly to score a 6-1/2 metre win from High Class Lady ($10.20, Pete McMullen) with Melegend ($19.90, Danielle Hill), a neck away third. The winner is trained by Port Pirie’s Dale Afford who left the following day for a five-week overseas holiday where he will take in harness racing in New York. Afford also collected a $500 trainer’s bonus for some spending money. Canelliesparkle and Glenrae Hanover, which finished fifth as a $1.70 favourite are heading to the spelling paddock. In the third heat, Brewin had Gotango ($11.90) in the running line before bringing her will a well-timed run to score by 2-1/2 metres from the fast-finishing Chasing A Win ($4.90, Wayne Hill) with Hez Declan ($13.20, Shannon Suvaljko) a head away third. Trainer Michael Dennis prepared the winner and third placegetter and has his team going well. Top SA freelance reinsman Wayne Hill was aboard Blinding Light ($1.80 fav) in heat four for trainer David Harding. After settling three back on the fence Hill took the six-year-old one wide down the back and finished best to score a three metre win from Cheersbigears ($17.40, Kate Gath) with Montanas Jet ($5.60, Anthony Butt), two metres away third. Blinding Light has some powerful owners including Darren Thomas from Seymour Bloodstock who shared in the ownership of Merchant Navy, a winner at Royal Ascot less than 24 hours earlier, and Melbourne Football Club coach Simon Goodwin. Harding said Goodwin had previously been involved with the stable having been a partner in Deep Pockets which won 17 races about 10 years ago. WA’s top reinsman Shannon Suvaljko brought Little Growl ($6.80) along the sprint lane to win heat five of the Elders Insurance Mid North series to score a metre win from Wells Crest ($7.60, Danielle Hill) with Atomic Blue Chip ($4.40), Jayden Brewin) four metres away third. Little Growl has been prepared recently for Toby Ryan after normal trainer Cheryl Herman, who bred and owns the gelding, had to go to Queensland for personal reasons. “I’m the caretaker trainer,” Ryan said. “It will be a real thrill for Cheryl as she bred him and picks up her SA bonus with the win.” Victoria’s Michael Bellman picked up the final win of the series leading throughout on Darkndapper ($3.40) for trainer Ryan Hryhorec who picked up a double having won the opener with Supernova Silvia. Darkndapper scored by 2-1/2 metres from Clarenden Valour ($2.60 fav, Shannon Suvaljko) with Betting Man ($14, Wayne Hill), five metres away third.   Graham Fischer

The unofficial queen of Port Pirie Kate Gath returns home on Sunday to take part in the annual Elders Insurance Mid North Drivers Invitation. The entire six-race Port Pirie program are invitation races featuring a host of top drivers from across Australia. Wayne and Danielle Hill along with Jayden Brewin will represent South Australia competing against Victorians Michael Bellman, Anthony Butt and Kate Gath. Western Australia has Nathan Turvey and Shannon Suvaljko, Queensland’s rep is Pete McMullen and Chris Geary from New South Wales completes the invitation field. Gath tied with Ryan Hryhorec in the 2013 Elders Insurance Invitation and won outright in 2016.  Anthony Butt is a previous winner having scored in 2015. The 2018 version looks tight with no standout having scored the best of the drives, but Gath does look to have a good chance of taking out the series. She will partner the Heather Stevens-trained Bettorhavtime in heat one over 1609m which from gate two should get a good run and looks an each-way hope and an excellent chance of running into the placings. Gath drives Timansi for Greg Sims in heat three over 2050m and a place would appear the best hope. The Dale Afford-trained Cheersbigears is her drive in heat four over 2050 metres and again the gelding looks a place chance at best in a tough heat. Top Port Pirie trainer Lyndon Hall has Two Kays in heat five over 2050 metres. The three-year-old filly has failed to flatter in seven starts and is resuming from a break.  Two Kays did show improvement in a recent Port Pirie trial and might surprise. Gath will partner the Les Harding-trained The Shooting Star in the sixth and final event. The Shooting Star will come from gate five in a field of six where the Claire Goble-trained Clarenden Valour looks her strongest rival. Clarenden Valour will be driven by Shannon Suvaljko, currently Western Australia’s leading reinsman. Suvaljko has a number of handy drives in the Elders Insurance series and must be considered as a possible victor. His other drives are Goodtime Scout (heat one), Hez Declan (heat three), Quadentate (heat four) and Little Growl (heat five). See how form expert Ben Harding has analyzed the Elders Insurance Mid North heats at with comments, selections and speed maps for all six races. Graham Fischer

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  

In a break with tradition, harness racing will be trialled at Phoenix Park on Sunday. The meetings are usually on Friday night, but declining revenue and the need achieve Sky 1 telecast coverage have led to the switch. Vision of the meeting has previously been restricted to Sky 2, a less popular channel with punters. The first race will be held under the new format at 5pm on Sunday, May 20, with national telecast coverage Four Sunday twilight meetings are scheduled in the next six weeks – May 20 and June 3, 10 and 24. After being approached by the state governing body, Harness Racing SA, the Port Pirie Harness Racing Club opted for the new timeslot to guarantee national coverage on Sky 1. Club president Jacqui Hall said local harness racing was regarded as South Australia’s top competition and it was being dubbed the “speed track”. “On Friday, April 27, Bettor Party notched up a super time of 1:53:5 to take out the 2018 Portside Tavern Ubet Kadina Cup at Port Pirie,” she said. The Port Pirie Elders Insurance Drivers Invitation series is fast approaching on June 24. Negotiations have begun with some of the best drivers to attend this yearly event. The club has three member trainers in the top 10 list in the state with three-quarters of the season elapsed. Waylon Hornhardt has 135 race starts for 22 wins, 41 seconds and 18 thirds. Lyndon Hall and Leah Harvey are having super seasons. The state’s leading horse, Mymatethomo, is locally owned and trained by Mr Hall. His stable has the top three horses on the premiership list at Port Pirie. Jacqui said the club had acquired the services of upcoming race announcer Lachlan Stace. “The 17-year-old has been a fabulous addition to our race meetings, keeping the crowd informed with industry matters, driver interviews, sponsor details and race calls,” she said. “He is being mentored by Jim Jacques and is fast becoming a well-known face at harness racing tracks around the state.” Port Pirie is the most successful harness racing club in SA. “We are proud of the amazing group of volunteers that contributes to this success,” Jacqui said “The public in the north has a great opportunity to see the best racing the state has to offer and, if you haven’t attended a meeting in recent years, now is the time." Former Port Pirie identity Gary Crocker is now chairman of the Harness Racing SA Board. He said if the club stayed on Sky 2 telecasts, its revenue would continue to decline. “It was a trial that we had to have. I think it will work okay in an area like Port Pirie which is strong in their support of sport,” he said. “If successful in alleviating the decline in revenue, it could become the norm.” By Greg Mayfield Reprinted with permission of The Port Pirie Recorder

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