Day At The Track
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South Australian harness racing trainer Robert Caruso has had great success with horses sourced from highly-respected and successful Queensland trainer Stuart Hunter and on Saturday night Holme On The River by Riverboat King out of Wheres Holme added to that record. A well backed $3.60 chance, Holme On The River, driven by Dani Hill, led throughout for a long head win in the Trotsguide.Com.Au Pace (1800m). The $3 favourite Bianca Tang, trained by Hill’s father Gary, and driven by her brother Wayne, finished second, 12 metres in front of Giddy Up ($18.60). “I reckon I have bought upwards of 20 horses from Stuart over the years,” Caruso said. “And they have all paid their way so it has been a winning formula. “When Stuart rang to say he had to have a clearance sale and he thought Holme On The River and Modern Chic would be suited here in Adelaide I didn’t hesitate to buy them. “Holme On The River had his first run for me last week and was over 2230m in his first run for more than a month and found the trip a bit far. Tonight, he was back to the 1800m and fitter so I thought he would be a good chance.” Caruso paid just $5000 and picked up $4257 on Saturday night so the seven-year-old has nearly repaid his purchase price. What impressed the trainer was Holme On The River’s winning mile rate of 1:57.2. “He went quick,” Caruso said. “I thought when he came here he might just be a claimer, but maybe I will have to re-assess.” After a comfortable 31.1 first quarter Holme On The River reeled off final sectionals of 29.2, 28,7 and 29.5. Bianca Tang, which had gone to sit parked, was outsprinted from the 600 metre mark and while Holme On The River had had enough over the final 50 metres, he had established a big enough lead to hold off Bianca Tang which was coming again. Later in the night, Modern Chic ran third in the Clay And Mineral Sales Pacers Discretionary (2230m) to indicated she will also pay her way in South Australia.  Graham Fischer

After bookending the harness racing program at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday night with a couple of his stable favourites, South Australian horseman Robert Caruso is confident of further Victorian success this coming weekend. Caruso-trained horses won two heats of the Battle of the Claimers, Paleface Jasper (11G Village Jasper/My Paleface Navajo) taking the first in 1:55.7 and My Man Dan (10G Pacific Rocket/Fullabubbles) heat four in 1:56.9. Both were driven by Chris Alford, who finished with a winning treble for the night. “I brought them over a month ago and thought they’d go well but things just didn’t quite work out,” Caruso said. “Dan didn’t travel for whatever reason last time. I changed up a few things and that seemed to work. And Paleface had to work too hard.” Paleface Jasper ran to the lead after about 500m and dictated terms from there, race favourite Livin It Lovin It (Rodney Petroff) coming around to the breeze through a 30.1secs second quarter. At the home turn both the first and second horses were put to pressure but Paleface Jasper wasn’t going to be denied, fighting on doggedly to score by a half-neck. “I knew if Jasper got to the front he’d be a hard horse to beat,” Caruso said. Ten races later it was Caruso and Alford to the fore again with My Man Dan, who, like his other successful stablemate is a former Queensland pacer. My Man Dan was driven off the pace, one-out and two back, before easing three-wide at the 600m. At the home corner My Man Dan loomed up to hit the front with Ballochbuie (Greg Sugars) and My Elusive Dream (Alison Chisholm) joining in four- and five-wide. The three engaged in a cracking tussle up the stretch but My Man Dan found enough to win, the last quarter run in 28.2secs. “He was just a jump and charge horse up in Queensland but I always thought a horse with that much speed has to be able to come from behind,” Caruso said. “We changed things up a bit and he’s won four of his last six, so he’s got a few extra strings to his bow.” Mighty Mav (5G Town Champion/Shes A Dancer), trained by Matthew Craven and driven by Chris Svanosio, and Inky Cullen (Christian Cullen/Inky Lady), trained by Dean Braun and driven by Alex Ashwood, were the other Battle of the Claimers heat winners on Saturday night. Mighty Mav went 1:56.6 and Inky Cullen posted a rate of 1:55.8. Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria >> Video: Paleface Jasper too strong >> Video: My Man Dan overpowers his rivals

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