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Mention the name Mark Dennis to New Zealand based harness racing fans and they might vaguely remember a young Purdon / Payne trained runner with a fair bit of ability. Mention the same name to Australian followers of the game and you’ll be quickly made aware that the horse is still winning! That’s right, the now 11 year old ex-kiwi brought up his 45th win just last week at Menangle clocking an impressive 1:52.9 for the mile in the hands of Lauren Tritton.    Mark Dennis started his career in victorious style in late mid October of 2011 at Addington Raceway with a victory over the likes of All Star Man (8 subsequent wins) and the Cran Dalgety trained speed-machine Texican. His last start on New Zealand soil came just three weeks later in the Sires Stakes 3yr Old Final and saw the gelding by Bettor’s Delight produce a fighting 5th behind Texican after having to work around the field mid-race, his late charge up the passing lane peaking a little too soon to see him victorious.   The horse was almost immediately exported to Australia where he’s excelled ever since.   His racing career on the track in Australia has seen it’s fair share of highlights and close calls. A Group 3 victory in the ‘Temprid Insecticide Pace” eradicated any notion that the horse couldn’t compete for Group honors. That effort was quickly followed by a slew of group racing appearances with a 3rd in the Group 1 Cordina Sprint of 2014 behind Suave Stuey Lombo most probably representing the zenith of his career. A long stint in South Australia from 2014-2018 saw consistent results particularly around the Globe Derby track with both Mark Billinger and Ryan Hryhorec enjoying success when partnered with the bay. Mark Dennis The well travelled horse, whose career now spans a total of 249 starts, has won races at tracks throughout Australia with victories at Mildura, Melton, Albion Park, Kapunda and Cranbourne to go alongside his most winning ways around Menangle and the fore-mentioned Globe Derby. His most recent turning-back-the-clock performance a reminder to all that  writing off  Mark Dennis due to his advancing years is a very risky proposition indeed. The racing success of Mark Dennis can, at least partly, be attributed to his impeccable breeding as the son of Bettor’s Delight is out of the proven broodmare Twice As Good. Along with Mark Dennis the Butler B G mare has foaled Fight Fire With Fire (7 wins, $150,000) the Group 1 Queen Of Hearts winner Waitfornoone and the consistent St Barts who ran Monkey King to a nose at Addington in the Winter Cup of 2009.  He’d go on to notch up 14 wins and over $150,000 in earnings across both New Zealand and Australia. A number of yearlings from this strong family are to be offered at the 2020 National Standardbred Yearling Sale. Two of which both come from the Breckon Farms draft. Lot 118, a brown filly by A Rocknroll Dance, is out of Fellamongstabeauty (1 win from 2 starts) who is a 1/2 sister to the mother of the dominate 4yr old Pacing Mare Of The Year Elle Mac. Elle Mac claimed numerous Group 1 titles including, but not limited to, the Northern Oaks, Sires Stakes 3yr Old Fillies Championship, Caduceus Club 2yr old Fillies and Harness Jewels. The A Rocknroll Dance sire choice makes sense when you consider that the now Australian based Miss Streisand, who placed 4th in the Victorian Oaks, is also by the sire and raced with distinction in New Zealand prior to being exported. Lot 118 - Dancing Desire Lot 121 is another yearling with close ties to Mark Dennis. “In The Spotlight” a Bettor’s Delight filly is out of the early-going Goodlookingbabe who was impressive on the track with 3 wins from just 14 starts when racing out of the Geoff Small stable. “In The Spotlight” is only the second foal out of the mare with her first foal being sold for $35’000 at the 2019 sales. Lot 121 - In The Spotlight Ben McMillan  

PREMIER horseman Ryan Hryhorec will be doing his best impression of Frankie Laine at Globe Derby on November 3. One of the leading drivers and trainers at the venue, Hryhorec will don South Australian silks throughout the night as he competes in the Australian Drivers’ Championship. No stranger to the series, Hryhorec finished second behind Wayne Hill in the 2016 edition at Globe Derby. This time around Hryhorec will compete against local heroin Dani Hill and a host of the nation’s premier drivers. “It’s one Hill after another,” Hryhorec said. “Add some of the best drivers we have and I’m facing a mountain this time! “I’m really looking forward to the night as these events are always good for morale, but every driver also takes it pretty seriously when they get out on the track. “Hopefully I will get a few decent drives and draws and be able land a win or two.” Drives: 10,583 Wins: 1853 Prizemoney won: $5,957,000   HRSA

WITH the local season ending Monday, popular reinswoman Dani Hill has claimed another Drivers’ Premiership. With 202 state wide victories the ‘Queen of the Paceway’ was 62 wins ahead of her closest rival, Ryan Hryhorec. Hill’s brother Wayne – whom she loves to beat – was third with 127 wins. Nationwide Hill registered a personal best 222 wins, placing her third on the Australian Premiership. Her previous milestone total was 211 in 2015/16. As for her latest achievement, Hill completed a hat-trick in the Premiership in what can only be described as an all-inspiring feat considering her career appeared to be over after a race fall in May 2010. Driving Puaxtacy at Globe Derby, Hill was catapulted from the sulky when the mare fell at the top of the home straight and was then trodden on by the only horse in the field following her, Il Sogno. Sustaining horrific injuries, including the loss of vision in her right eye, Hill climbed back into the sulky and the leading drivers’ list in 2012. Within three season she was sitting on top of the table with no plans of relinquishing her throne! Also working a boutique team, Hill finished fifth on the Trainers’ Premiership, which was captured by Hryhorec. Hryhorec notched 86 wins to Les Harding’s 46. Aaron Bain rounded out the trifecta on 36. Widely-regarded as one of the finest young reinsmen produced in SA, Jayden Brewin is once again the premier concession driver thanks to his 61 wins. Kaela Hryhorec was second with 22 wins, eight clear of Brodie Webster. HRSA

RACING APPEALS TRIBUNAL  DATE OF HEARING: 25 July 2018 TRIBUNAL: DEPUTY PRESIDENT: MR M KING ASSESSOR MR J STALLARD IN ATTENDANCE: MR S EWEN, STEWARD, HARNESS RACING SA LTD APPELLANT: MR RYAN HRYHOREC APPELLANT REPRESENTATIVE: MR LANCE JUSTICE IN THE MATTER of an Appeal by MR RYAN HRYHOREC against a decision of Harness Racing SA Ltd Stewards. BREACH OF RULE: AHR Rule 168 (1) (a) A person shall not before, during or after a race drive in a manner which is in the opinion of the Stewards:- (a). Careless; (b). ....” PENALTY: A suspension of licence for 14 days DETERMINATION The Appellant Mr Ryan Hryhorec is a licensed driver. On Saturday, 19 May 2018 in Race 5 at Globe Derby Park he drove a twoyear-old DISCLOSURE in the “2 year old Golden Nursery Final”. Following the Race, the Stewards commenced an Inquiry into the running of the race and incidents occurring during race. The Inquiry was held over two hearings, firstly on 19 May and secondly on 26 May. After reviewing vision of the race and hearing evidence from the Appellant, from a driver Mr Brewin who had driven ABOVE AVERAGE and a driver Ms Lee who had driven MARTYS PARTY, the Stewards determined to charge the Appellant with an offence under the Harness Racing Rules particularly under Rule 168 (1) (a). Rule 168 (1) (a) states: “(1) A person shall not, before, during or after a race drive in a manner which is in the opinion of the Stewards: (a) Careless; (b) …..” Particulars of the charge were provided to the Appellant in the following terms: “Particulars of the charge are that Mr Hryhorec the driver of DISCLOSURE on Saturday 19/05/2018 in Race 5 the 2018 Alabar Golden Nursery Final drove in a careless manner by allowing your horse to shift in and tighten the racing room of ABOVE AVERAGE driven by Mr Brewin and as the field raced towards the first turn in doing so ABOVE AVERAGE became unbalanced and eventually broke gait losing all chance itself and then causing interference to trailing runners. " The Appellant pleaded not guilty. After further deliberation, Stewards found the Appellant guilty of the charge and after hearing submissions as to penalty imposed a suspension of the Appellant's driver's licence for 28 days. The Appellant appealed against that decision to this Tribunal. At the hearing of this Appeal the Appellant was assisted by Mr L Justice who provided a thorough and reasoned submission on the Appellant’s behalf. At the hearing of the Appeal the Tribunal had the benefit of the experience and knowledge of the Assessor to Mr J Stallard whose assistance in analysis of the race vision was valuable. Initially at the hearing of the Appeal, the Appellant raised a procedural issue. The decision of the Stewards was handed down by Mr S Ewen as Chairman and Mr Ross Neal assisting him. The Appellant pointed out that on the second day of hearing a further steward, Mr Lawrence had been present. There is no indication on the transcript that Mr Lawrence played any part in the proceedings but it was submitted that he was present in this Stewards rooms during the deliberative phase. If Mr Lawrence were to have participated in the Stewards deliberations, it would not accord with the expected practice and would have been inappropriate in that he had not been present at the first stage of the hearing, and was not disclosed as a participating Steward in the Inquiry. However, the Tribunal was assured by Mr Ewen, appearing on Stewards behalf at the Appeal, and having been the Chairman of the Inquiry, that Mr Lawrence played no part whatsoever in the gathering of evidence, conducting of the Inquiry or consideration of the outcome of the Inquiry. Whilst in some instances, it is possible that procedural irregularities in the conduct of the Stewards Inquiry might lead to a matter being referred back to the Stewards for a rehearing, with a potential irregularity of the nature alleged here, and bearing in mind that the Appellants right on appeal is by way of a rehearing of the evidence given at the Inquiry, the Tribunal concluded that there was no basis for referring the matter for a rehearing and that the Appeal should proceed in the usual way. On behalf of the Appellant, Mr Justice made a submission that the finding of guilt ought be overturned as the incident which occurred was only partially contributed to by the Appellant. He conceded that while the Appellant had angled down the track in an endeavour to find a position, he had only ever reached a point at which the room available to ABOVE AVERAGE driven by Mr Brewin was tight. He emphasised that there was no evidence of contact between the Appellant and Mr Brewin’s sulkies, and that as the Appellant became aware of the tightening, he shifted up the track so as to afford Mr Brewin greater room. He submitted that at the time the Appellant reached his closest point to Mr Brewin and ABOVE AVERAGE, the alignment of the sulkies was shaft on shaft and it was virtually impossible for the Appellant to place undue pressure on ABOVE AVERAGE from such a position. Rather, he argued, that the horse and sulky inside ABOVE AVERAGE, namely MARTYS PARTY driven by Ms Lee had shifted up the track and this shift upwards was either the cause of, or a significant contributor to, ABOVE AVERAGE becoming unbalanced and later breaking gait. In support he pointed to: 1. Selected excerpts from the evidence of Mr Brewin at the Stewards Inquiry which he said contained concessions that he felt pressure from the inside (MARTYS PARTY) rather than the outside (DISCLOSURE); and 2. That the vision suggested that ABOVE AVERAGE did not break gait until after the Appellant had moved away and in fact until a time corresponding to movement up the track by MARTYS PARTY driven by Ms Lee. On that basis, he suggested that the movement up the track by MARTYS PARTY, rather than any movement by the Appellant caused the tightening on ABOVE AVERAGE. In response, on behalf of the Stewards, Mr Ewen submitted that: 1. The evidence of Mr Brewin was consistently that he felt pressure from the outside; and 2. That for a brief period of time the wheel of the Appellant’s sulky moved inside the line of the wheel of Mr Brewin's sulky and that movement caused tightening and interfered with ABOVE AVERAGE, causing it to become unbalanced. The Stewards conceded that the appellant moved back up the track to relieve that pressure but asserted that the tightening caused ABOVE AVERAGE to become unbalanced and then to break gait. Mr Ewen argued that if Ms Lee on MARTYS PARTY did move up the track, which was disputed, then such movement was not until after ABOVE AVERAGE had become unbalanced and was not the cause of that occurring. He pointed to a selection of passages in the transcript of the Steward’s Inquiry where the Appellant and Mr Brewin had the opportunity to apportion blame for the incident to Ms Lee and MARTY’S PARTY, but clearly declined to do so. Mr Ewen emphasised that ABOVE AVERAGE had no prior history of breaking and that the losing of gait appeared to have been a direct response to becoming unbalanced by the interference from the Appellant. After reviewing the transcript again and having the opportunity of going through the vision of the race with each of the parties during their submissions, and hearing the valuable analysis of the Assessor, this Tribunal reached the following findings: 1. That the overall thrust of Mr Brewin's evidence was consistently that he felt that the pressure on ABOVE AVERAGE came from the outside and not from the inside, that is, from the Appellant and not from MARTYS PARTY; 2. In moving down the track, the Appellant had encroached too close to ABOVE AVERAGE, such that the wheel the Appellant’s sulky came briefly inside the line of ABOVE AVERAGE's sulky; 3. That the tightening caused interference to ABOVE AVERAGE and caused it to become unbalanced which then lead it to break gait; 4. The significant tightening and interference by the Appellant with ABOVE AVERAGE caused ABOVE AVERAGE to become unbalanced and break gait, leading to the disruption to following horses. 5. That the inside horse, MARTYS PARTY did not contribute in a significant way to the occurrence of the incident. On that basis, the decision of the Tribunal is that the conduct of the Appellant was sufficient to breach Rule 168 (1) (a) in that it amounted to careless driving. The appeal against conviction is dismissed. The Appellant also appealed against the penalty imposed on the basis that it was excessively severe. The Appellant pressed that: 1. The degree of carelessness here was at the lowest end of the range and ought to have caused the Stewards to reduce the penalty.  2. That the circumstances leading up to the offence included a number of mitigating factors such as that the horses involved were young, and that the Stewards found to adequately factor that into the sentencing considerations. 3. That the Appellant drives a significant number of races and the penalty for the Appellant is very severe. The Appellant urged that consideration be given to reducing penalty, or suspending all or part of the penalty. The Stewards argued that whilst it was acknowledged that: 1. The Appellant had endeavoured to relieve pressure promptly; and 2. The Appellant had a very good driving record considering the large number of drives he has had over the past 12 months; and that nevertheless this was a race of significant status and value, and that penalties in such races will not be reduced given both the financial and industry image considerations involved.  In considering the penalty imposed by the Stewards, the starting point of 28 days suspension was appropriate. The Stewards consider an uplift of seven days due to the status and value of the race and the severe consequences to other drivers and horses, but considered that the Appellant's good record called for a discount of seven days, and thus the suspension was left at 28 days. The Stewards reasoning was sound and the penalty arrived at appropriate in light of all the factors already mentioned. The Appellant's appeal against penalty is dismissed.    

Top trainer Ryan Hryhorec is certain to win his fifth South Australian trainer’s premiership but still has goals to achieve before season’s end. Hryhorec has 75 winners in the state this season and would like to better his career-best of 88 set in the 2015/16 season but he also would love to reach 100 winners in a season. “I came close in that 2015/16,” Hryhorec said. “Apart from the 88 locally, I also had 11 interstate for 99 and had Star Brutus in at the last meeting at Globe Derby Park. “He looked a good winning chance, but a race incident saw me lock wheels and he didn’t win so 100 would be a great achievement.” With five interstate wins so far this season, Hryhorec is on 80 nationally and knows that another 20 winners in just over two months is a tough ask. “I have to train roughly three a week for the rest of the season. I have 30 horses in work, but it is going to be hard.” Hryhorec believes he has three strong chances at Globe Derby Park on Saturday night. Live For Peace and The Damage Done look excellent hopes in the two heats of the Wunderland Cup while the squaregaiter Gin also looks a winning chance. Live For Peace comes from gate eight in the Hann’s Horse Transport Winter Wunderland Cup, heat one (1800m) while The Damage Done will start from barrier five in the Pronto United Finance Winter Wunderland Cup, heat two (1800m). Gin will start from a 10 metre handicap in the DPR Insurance Brokers Trotters Handicap (2230m). “Live For Peace will be fitter for his win last week at Globe Derby Park,” Hryhorec said. “He had a slight setback before the run so will be fitter this week and even better for the final. “I will look to come off the inside row draw early and hopefully he will be good enough to come around and win. “The Damage Done put up a tough performance at Strathalbyn at his last start and with luck in running should be hard to beat on Saturday. “Gin looks well placed. She raced roughly at her last two runs at Strathalbyn, but I won well on her at Globe Derby Park previously and provided she trots should be hard to beat.” Hryhorec also sits second on the SA Drivers’ premiership with 131 winners and would love to reach 150 by season’s end. On Sunday at Port Pirie, Hryhorec has Supernova Silvia and Darkndapper engaged in the Drivers Invitation series and believes they are drawn to prove excellent chances. “Supernova Silvia looks a great hope but while he has drawn well Darkndapper is meeting tougher opposition than his recent wins.” See form expert Ben Harding’s thoughts on trotsguide.com.au where he has comment and selections for all seven races.   Graham Fischer

Talented squaregaiter Ten Spanners looks the one to beat in Saturday’s PFD Food Services Trotters Discretionary (2645m) at Globe Derby Park. Despite meeting several of the state’s best trotters Ten Spanners, off the front, should be able to take the early lead and run sectionals which should see her notch her seventh career victory.  Trainer-driver Ryan Hryhorec said he was very happy with the four-year-old mare and hoped she would prove hard to beat. “I thought she won well last week and despite a tougher field this week, should still give them something to chase,” Hryhorec said.  “The plan will be to run time which will make it near impossible for the backmarkers to catch us.” Several of the main dangers will be Truscott Law which will start from 20 metres and Chuck Wagon which has been handicapped off 40 metres. Hryhorec said he has always had an opinion of Ten Spanners since she came into his stable. “I was shattered when she ran ninth at Maryborough earlier this month after having a perfect run.  She didn’t travel well over to the race and I’m thinking she was just off her game. Her work back home was good, and she showed last week she was back in form, and I expect her to be hard to beat again this week.” Hryhorec also expects a good showing from The Damage Done which resumes from a short break in the UBET Pace (1800m). The Damage Done indicated he was ready for a bold effort with a good comfortable trial win at Gawler on Sunday, May 20, rating 1:58.8. “He is a nice horse and from gate two should be prominent throughout.” The definite danger is the Les Harding-trained The Dali Express, to be driven by Danielle Hill, to come from gate three. The Dali Express won three races in a row before having a few weeks off then running second to Ideal World on May 21 in the smart mile rate of 1:55.5. The four-year-old should be fitter for that run and is a strong winning chance. Hryhorec has Glenferrie Bunter running in the Just Wrecking Toyotas Pace (1800m) with claiming driver Kaela Hryhorec to drive. “I thought his win last week was one of his best,” Hryhorec said. “To sit parked and put them away in good time was very impressive. Kaela will be going forward, and the opposition will know he is there.” Hyrhorec was pleased with two-year-old Disclosure’s run when third in the Alabar Golden Nursery Stakes last Saturday and the gelding goes around in the Hygain Park-Cell Pace (1800m). “I am trying to pick up a bonus for owner Peter Thompson before I send the horse back to him in Victoria.  The draw makes it difficult on Saturday, but he will run well.” See how form expert Ben Harding thinks Hryhorec’s team will go at trotsguide.com.au where he has comments and tips for the seven-race Globe Derby Park program. Graham Fischer

Australian Pacing Gold graduate Messini will have a new driver as he aims for another harness racing Group One victory on Saturday night. No stranger to top-shelf success, having won two Vicbred Super Series Finals, Messini is poised to contest the South Australia Cup for Victorian trainer Brent Lilley. With regular reinsmen Anthony Butt and Chris Alford committing to drives at Shepparton, Lilley has called up on leading local, Ryan Hryhorec, to partner the son of Art Major. “Being asked to drive such a nice horse in the Cup was a pleasant surprise that’s for sure,” Hryhorec said. “It’s the first time I’ve been down to drive a horse in a $100,000 race which is a descent chance of winning. “Like I said, to get the call up from Brent (Lilley, trainer) was a great surprise and I’m really looking forward to the opportunity.” A Group Two winner last weekend when partnered by Alford, Messini will begin barrier 11, which should see the stallion finishing strongly during the latter stages according to Hryhorec. Messini began from the same barrier in last season’s Cup when an eye-catching fourth behind fellow Australian Pacing Gold purchase, Smolda, in track record time. “I’m hoping there will be a fair bit of action on during the run and then we can get the right trip into it,” Hryhorec said. “He is in good form and there is no doubt he’s a serious chance...it’ll just come down to what kind of luck he gets.” Messini is one of three APG ‘family members’ in the Cup, with Sams The Master drawn barrier three and Tee Ce Bee Macray to come from six. Sams The Master, which has won three of his last four starts, and Tee Ce Bee Macray are Jess Tubbs-trained stablemates. APG Media  

South Australia’s leading trainer-driver Ryan Hryhorec is flying. Hryhorec opened December with a driving treble and training a winning double at Globe Derby Park, then a week later repeated the effort on ‘Hotshots Night’. He started the night with a win on Addarichone for trainer Errol Johnson, then trained and drove Doubledipofheaven and Hellfire Pass to victory. The wins saw him leading the SA Drivers premiership with 37 wins, three clear of Wayne Hill, and also at the head of the SA Trainers premiership with 17 wins, three clear of the now defunct partnership of Jake Webster and Aaron Bain. The trainer believes both Doubledipofheaven and Hellfire Pass can continue their winning form. A well backed $2.40 favourite, Doubledipofheaven sprinted strongly to win the Adelaide Equine Salt Therapy Pace (1385m) by a metre from Make Mine Joe ($2.90) with Sallywynda ($5.60), 4-1/2 metres away third. The victory was the result of a classic drive by Hryhorec. He came out quickly from gate three on Doubledipofheaven but found Sallywynda pushing through from gate one. With Make Mine Joe in gate eight failing to hold the back of the leader, Hryhorec dropped his drive into the fence to have the perfect trail. As the field sprinted up past the 600 metre mark, he came off the back of Sallywynda rather than wait for the sprint lane. “I did think about staying inside because I knew it would be holding Make Mine Joe up on my back,” Hryhorec said. “But I backed myself to be able to outsprint him and it proved a good decision.” Hryhorec said he was very happy with the five-year-old which is owned by his partner Kerri Stauwer. “His form was okay earlier in the year, but I didn’t think he was really running through the line. “However, his last two wins have been an improvement and now he is hitting the line strongly. “There is no doubt he is best when not used up early because he has a super sprint.” Hellfire Pass ($2.90) led throughout from gate four in the Equissage Pace (1385m) to score by four metres from That Said ($1.70 fav) with Starzzz Princess ($5.80), eight metres away third. Despite the fact the race was over a short trip, Hryhorec was able to get away with a pedestrian 32 second first quarter before coming home in 29.7 and 28.1 to win comfortably. “I think he is going to be a nice horse,” Hryhorec said. “He was one of Paul’s (Brumby) dear buys – he cost $3000.” Hellfire Pass has now won three races from just nine starts earning just under $10,000. Graham Fischer

Top South Australian harness racing trainer-driver Ryan Hryhorec is doing his part for ‘Movember’ but admits growing a moustache is testing him. “It is very itchy, and I have to say it is a bit annoying,” Hryhorec said, “but it is for a great cause, so I’m delighted to be involved.” On Saturday night, he was happy to wear the colours representing the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia and came away driving three winners – Jakarras Ace and Doubledipofheaven for himself, and La Machnificent for Aaron Bain. The Movember promotion has also coincided with a run of winners for Hryhorec including five in a day early in the month, and, after Saturday, he sat third on the SA drivers’ premiership with 29 winners, three behind leader Jayden Brewin, and second on the local trainers’ premiership with 13 winners, one behind the now dissolved partnership of Jake Webster and Aaron Bain. Following his training double on Saturday, Hryhorec, the 2016/17 Jim Hurley Medal winner, said after a lean October, his stable was now nearing capacity again with new horses arriving from interstate. He said Jakarras Ace was getting back to his best form following his win in the Ubet Pace (1800m). A $4.80 chance, Jakarras Ace led early from gate seven before handing up midrace to Bee Gees Bandit ($1.70 fav), then sprinting home strongly to run down the favourite and score by six metres. “I have always liked him.” Hryhorec said. “He only cost $1000 and has already won more than $14,000. “I wasn’t happy with him earlier in the month but knew something must not be quite right. I’ve made a couple of gear changes and he now looks like his is back on track. I’m hoping he can continue through the classes.” Hryhorec had to wait to the last race, the SAHRC AGM November 28 Pace (1800m) to bring up his training double with Doubledipofheaven, owned by his partner Kerri Stauwer. “He is an exciting horse to drive when he is right because he has such a brilliant sprint. “Tonight, he was great, he really powered home over the final 100 metres.” Hryhorec said Doubledipofheaven had the speed to lead from any draw on the front row but found if he was used early could be a bit susceptible over the final stages. “There is no doubt he is much better when held up early, given a smother back in the field, then come late.” That is exactly what the trainer-driver did on Saturday. He eased early from barrier six to settle at the tail of the field. When the tempo lifted over the final lap, rather than come wide, Hryhorec stayed inside improving his position before coming out turning for home. When the leaders were battling for victory, suddenly, Doubledipofheaven ($2.30 fav) appeared down the outside dashing past his rivals to score easily by 2-1/2 metres from Artegra ($9.20) with Rocking With Charm ($7.10), three metres away third. Graham Fischer

An emotional harness racing trainer/driver Ryan Hryhorec was overwhelmed by the announcement he had won the Jim Hurley Medal for 2016/2017. A strong family man, Hryhorec’s first thought was for his father Jon who passed away about 12 months ago aged 71, after a two-year battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. “I would love to be able to show the Medal to Dad,” Hryhorec said, “I’m sure he would be so proud. “He was such a strong influence on my life and I owe him so much.” The Jim Hurley Medal, was introduced by Harness Racing South Australia for a trainer or driver who performed consistently at a high level throughout the racing season. Hryhorec said he had not given a thought to winning the Hurley Medal. “To be honest I wasn’t going to attend the awards day because things were very busy at home. However, Dave Battye had a talk with me about the importance of industry participants supporting awards presentations, and I agreed, and so we came along. “This is an amazing honour. “I knew of Jim Hurley as a trainer and driver when I was a kid and by the time I was starting my career he had scaled right down but everyone talked of him in legendary terms.” The medal is named after Jim Hurley who was an accomplished trainer, driver and owner for more than 50 years and a legend of harness racing. He was still training at age 90 until his passing in March, 2016. With more than 1000 winners, the 1964 Inter Dominion winner Minuteman was his greatest highlight as an owner. Hryhorec had a very successful 2016/2017 season winning the SA Trainers premiership with 72 winners and finishing second on the SA Drivers premiership with 129 winners. He paid tribute to Victorian owner Paul Brumby. “Paul has been a massive supporter of mine since I took up training and I can honestly say if it wasn’t for him and his group of friends I would not have been able to set myself up as I have.” The Hurley medal was decided by votes cast at each meeting. Voting is conducted on all SA harness racing TAB meetings by a panel of three who have been selected by Harness Racing South Australia. Each panel member allocates points based on what they consider to be the three best training or driving performances at each meeting, not necessarily winning performances. Graham Fischer

Don’t try and tell top trainer Ryan Hryhorec that harness racing has no future in South Australia. Hryhorec has backed harness racing to survive, and prosper, with the development of a new training complex just outside the town of Two Wells, about 40km north of Adelaide. In the space of 12 months, Hryhorec and his partner Kerri (Stauwer) have transformed 75 acres of bare land into a magnificent harness training base. A feat achieved while the trainer was still successfully preparing his team at his previous stables at Angle Vale, owned and previously used by Geoff Webster. Hyrhorec, also a champion driver, has been South Australia’s top trainer since going out full-time in the 2013/2014 season when he prepared 66 winners. In subsequent seasons, he has prepared 81 winners, then 88, and this season he again heads the premiership with 63 winners and still more than two months of the season remaining. The new property has yards for 26 horses, a stabling area for four horses, a wash down bay plus a large shed, 26m by 12m, which houses all the gear, bikes, room to harness up plus most importantly a white board which is the trainer’s ‘Bible’ with all the information needed for every horse. At the back of the property is a training track, just under 900 metres in circumference, with a five-metre incline in the home straight. “Yes, things could better, everyone would love more prizemoney,” Hryhorec said, “but if you work hard it is possible to make a living. “Harness racing is my life, I love it, and I believe in its future. If I didn’t I would not have invested in this property. With that, I also have to thank my partner Kerry who supports and encourages me to be the best I can. Without her, this wouldn’t be possible.” Hryhorec said a number of friends had helped with the building of the training complex. “I really want to thank Michael Winning. He worked day and night to build all the facilities. Michael is great at what he does and we weren’t always easy to work for as plans changed numerous times but he made sure that we got what we wanted. “I was here as often as I could but still had to train horses at my old placed as well.” Hryhorec said he was fortunate to have all yards filled at present. “I have been fortunate to have many great owners – Frank Borg and Greg Baker are just two – but I really have to thank (Victorian owner) Paul Brumby who has been a wonderful supporter of my stable for many years. He always has between six to 10 horses with me at any one time. His support has been invaluable and I thank him for his support. Again, without him, this new complex would not have been possible.  “To make my property work I will need to have a constant turnover of horses and I’m always on the lookout for new additions. “Horses reach their mark and have to be moved on, while others, such as Glenferrie Bunter, are entitled to go interstate to have a chance at the bigger stakemoney.” Hryhorec revealed he also did pre-training of thoroughbreds. “It started a few years ago and it something which is not too time-consuming. I never had more than four at any time but it helps supplement my income.” Hryhorec is proud of his new complex. “It is everything I wanted and I’m pleased that the winners are still coming. “It took me a little while to work out the training regime to suit the new track but I think we are on the right track now.” A typical day for Hryhorec starts when his alarm goes off at 5am. It is up check and work the horses with the team finished by about 11am, then complete chores around the property, update work schedules, another check of the horses, then three days a week off to the races, and that doesn’t include any interstate Victorian ventures to try and pick up bonuses. “It’s a busy lifestyle but I wouldn’t have it any other way,” the trainer said. All made a bit easier on his magnificent new training complex. Graham Fischer

January 23, Goodtime Scout - The ‘We’re Flying’ syndicate celebrated its first harness racing victory when Goodtime Scout led throughout to win the North Kapunda Hotel Three-Year-Old Pace (1800m) at Kapunda. A red-hot $1.30 favourite, Goodtime Scout, trained by Ryan Hryhorec and driven by Anthony Robinson, had to battle hard to score a neck win from Lolasflyingfantasy ($8.40) with Dark Autumn ($13), 9-1/2 metres away third. The We’re Flying syndicate was formed by Harness Racing South Australia to help promote the sport and its high-profile ambassador is Adelaide Crows footballer Josh Jenkins who has teammates Richard Douglas and Tom Lynch as fellow syndicate members. John Lewis, the Chief Executive of HRSA, was at Kapunda to enjoy the win. “It was tremendous for the syndicate to bring up its first win,” Mr Lewis said. “The Linemaster was our first horse to race and he did well with a third and a fourth, but to see our colours cross the line first with Goodtime Scout was something special, and it was great that a few of the syndicate members were on course.” Trainer Ryan Hryhorec said the three-year-old filly would derive benefit from the win. Robinson had Goodtime Scout away quickly from gate two and she led comfortably but had to withstand some early pressure from Lolasflyingfantasy resulting in a 30.1 first quarter. Robinson was able to back off the tempo with a moderate 33.4 second quarter before the runner up again came alongside to challenge. Goodtime Scout answered the challenge and although Lolasflyingfantasy got to within as neck, the leader always was in control. Robinson said the filly could have won easier but had not been all that comfortable around the Kapunda circuit. “She has always gone straight at home,” Hryhorec said, “so it was a surprise today that she had to be driven on one rein for part of the race but that is an issue we can correct. “She had been working well at home and today’s race was a good opportunity for her first win and it was achieved.” Robinson was impressed with Goodtime Scout’s win. “She has speed and that is a key ingredient for any horse,” Robinson said. “She has gate speed which will ensure she can take up a good position in her races from the right draw and despite wanting to hang, when I asked her to sprint up in the home straight she found a few metres.” Robinson said it had been an honour to be part of history. “When the We’re Flying syndicate becomes very successful I can say I drove their first winner.” Graham Fischer

In Race four at Victor Harbor on 26 December 2016, Ryan Hryhorec drove GETINBEHIND.  An incident occurred at the finish of the race while GETINBEHIND was racing to the outside of WINTERFEEL (J. Webster).  Further, after the race as both horses were pulling up in the back straight, another incident occurred.  Both of these incidents were the subject of a harness racing stewards inquiry. The evidence disclosed that after GETINBEHIND improved to the outside of WINTERFEEL near the 100 metres, WINTERFEEL shifted out approximately half a sulky width.  Just prior to the finish line, R. Hryhorec turned GETINBEHIND toward WINTERFEEL abruptly.  R. Hryhorec explained he was attempting to keep GETINBEHIND straight which would have forced J. Webster on WINTERFEEL to move way from GETINBEHIND, thereby ensuring a straight course.  Of concern to the stewards was that R. Hryhorec was in no position to dictate the racing line of WINTERFEEL and by attempting to make GETINBEHIND race straight, his actions were likely to endanger both persons and horses. In the back straight when both horses were pulling up after the race, R. Hryhorec has allowed GETINBEHIND to race up in close proximity to the sulky of WINTERFEEL.  R. Hryhorec pleaded guilty to charges under Rule 168(1)(e) and 168(1)(g) which read: 168.  (1)  A person shall not before, during or after a race drive in a manner which is in the opinion of the Stewards is:-                                       (e)  improper, or (g)  likely to endanger person or horse. The particulars of the charges being that R. Hryhorec has driven in an improper manner  by deliberately and intentionally steering GETINBEHIND toward WINTERFEEL, at the finish of the race and this action was likely to endanger person or horse.  Further, after the finish of the race, when GETINBEHIND was easing down and controllable, R. Hryhorec again directed GETINBEHIND toward Mr. Webster (WINTERFEEL), when in the opinion of the stewards there was no need to. In determining penalty, stewards took into account ·        previous penalties under the improper rule ·        R. Hryhorec’s guilty plea ·        that any suspension of drivers licence would result in a significant financial penalty ·        that R. Hryhorec’s actions did not alter the finishing positions of horses and no horse galloped or was contacted. ·        that it was an intentional act that served no purpose and could be dangerous In relation to charge 1, (driving in an improper manner and likely to endanger person or horse at the finish of the race), R. Hryhorec had his licence to drive in races suspended for 4 weeks. In relation to charge 2, (driving in an improper manner after the race), R. Hryhorec had his licence to drive in races suspended for 2 weeks. Stewards ordered that both suspensions be served concurrently which means R. Hryhorec serves a total suspension of 4 weeks.  This suspension will take effect from 17 January 2017.  Mr. Hryhorec was advised of his appeal rights. Barbara Scott CHAIR OF STEWARDS

Harness racing trainer Ryan Hryhorec came away with a winning treble at Saturday’s Globe Derby Park meeting but it was an emotional night with two of his winners leaving the stable. Hryhorec’s winners were Crafty Old Fox, Star Brutus and Glenferrie Bunter but post-meeting the trainer revealed the latter pair were both headed for New South Wales. “Star Brutus and Glenferrie Bunter are both special to the stable, each in different ways, but realistically they need to head interstate for their own careers,” Hryhorec said. “Kerry (partner Kerry Stauwer) and I love Star Brutus – he was basically the first horse to come into the stable when I set up at Angle Vale. “Tonight’s win was his 21st for me so there is no doubt he has been a wonderful part of my training career.” Ironically, the six-year-old came into Hryhorec’s stable when he was setting up at Angle Vale, now the trainer is in the process of moving to a new stable he is building at Two Wells so will be looking for another Star Brutus to kick off his new venture. On Saturday, Hryhorec drove hard from gate two on Star Brutus ($3.40 fav) to take the lead in the Modbury Junior Football Club Claiming Pace (22340m) and ultimately lead throughout for a four-metre win from My Man Dan ($4.80) with Soho Monza ($8.30) a half-head win away third. “The owners are keen for him to go to Sydney for claiming races and while he has been a great horse for us, I felt he had earned a chance at the better prizemoney,” the trainer said. Hryhorec stated last week he felt Glenferrie Bunter would be better suited around bigger tracks with the gelding having trouble getting around the home turn when out wide and, after discussion, the owners decided to send him to Rob Morris in Sydney. However, Hryhorec had one more run and Glenferrie Bunter came up with gate one in the PFD Food Services Pace (1800m). He was a well-backed $1.10 favourite and led comfortably before dashing away for a 13-metre win from The Commander ($9.70) which chased him throughout with Whata Escape ($38.20), five metres away third. Hryhorec set comfortable quarters of 30.8, 30.7 and 29.3 before dashing home in 28.1 for a 1:58.4 mile rate. “It is sad to lose this bloke because he is potentially a star,” Hryhorec said. “What I am so pleased about with him is that early on he beat himself some times by over-racing and proving hard to control but now he leaves at the top of his game and a much more mature. “Realistically he was always going to race his way out of South Australia but losing him is going to leave a massive hole in my stable – I guess I just have to try and find a good one to replace him.” His first winner was Crafty Old Fox, driven by his niece Kaela. A $3.10 chance, Crafty Old Fox was well driven by the teenager to drop down behind the leader Jennas Fling ($11.20) early in the Ubet Pace (1800m). Wayne Hill rated the leader perfectly and dashed for home at the top of the straight but Crafty Old Fox was able to use the sprint lane and come through to score by a metre with Hardly A Grin ($26.50), four metres away third. “He came to us as a maiden and now won three of his last four, including picking up a Vicbred bonus, so has been a good buy for the owners. “He’s no star but still has as few more wins as he goes through the classes.” Graham Fischer

Top South Australian harness racing reinsman Ryan Hryhorec, fresh from running second in the Australian Drivers Championship on Saturday night, produced a record-equalling five winners in a day at Globe Derby Park on Monday. Hryhorec only had five drives at the meeting, and they all won. He was successful on Courageous Cruz ($1.70 fav), Some Stone ($6.30), Mia Trapper ($2.90 fav), Art of Gold ($2.90 fav) and Aldebaran Brandi ($3.30). It was the fifth time he had driven five winners at a meeting. His first was at Port Pirie on June 25, 2013, then at Globe Derby on February 10, 2014, Port Pirie again on March 7, 2014 then Globe Derby on April 22, 2014. “I was surprised when Jimmy (racecaller Jim Jacques) announced it was my fifth time when I came back for all clear,” Hryhorec said. “I thought I had a couple of times but to learn it was the fifth time was a shock. “What made it even more satisfying was that when I left home I thought it might be a long day as I really wasn’t all that confident I would drive a winner. “Everything turned out well and as four were from my own stable it was a great day at the office.” His outside drive was Art of Gold for trainer Bronte Giorgio and some punters had a good result because as much as $17 was bet about the horse pre-post. Hryhorec said he was pleased with his effort on Saturday to finish second to fellow South Australian Wayne Hill in the 2016 Australian Drivers Championship. “What was disappointing was that I lost two drives through scratchings, and one of which looked a good winning chance but it is what it is. “I enjoy driving against blokes who are the best in our sport, having a chat with them, and trying to learn new things. “It was a great night and to finish second from just four drives was a big thrill.” by Graham Fischer

The race is on for the inaugural Jim Hurley Medal. Star harness racing reinswoman Danielle Hill has regained the lead from rival Ryan Hryhorec following the counting of votes to the end of May. Harness Racing South Australia has honoured legendary South Australian trainer-driver Jim Hurley by introducing a medal for a trainer or driver who performs consistently at a high level throughout the racing season. David Thuen, Racing Operations Manager, said the medal was decided by votes cast at each meeting. Voting is conducted on all SA harness racing TAB meetings by a panel of three who have been selected by Harness Racing South Australia. Each panel member allocates points based on what they consider to be the three best training or driving performances at each meeting, not necessarily winning performances. Three points is allocated to what is considered by each panel member to be the best performance at the meeting, two points for second best and one point for third. Mr Thuen said no figures would be released but the obvious inference is that the figures must be close with Hill leading early, Hryhorec taking the front running, now Hill back in front. He said no further updates would be released until the winner is announced at the South Australian Horse of the Year function later this year. The medal is named after Jim Hurley, who was an accomplished trainer, driver and owner for more than 50 years and a legend of harness racing, still training at age 90 until his passing in March. With more than 1000 winners, the 1964 Inter Dominion winner Minuteman was his greatest highlight as an owner. It is good to note that young drivers Michael Smith and Josh Holberton have made the leaderboard. The Jim Hurley leaderboard is at the end of May: Danielle Hill, Ryan Hryhorec, Wayne Hill, Mark Billinger, Scott Ewen, Jayson Finnis, Ken Rogers, Darren Billinger, Les Harding, Michael Smith and Josh Holberton. Graham Fischer

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