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Victoria’s training ranks will be bolstered by a welcome addition to the Cranbourne Training Centre, with experienced South Australian trainer Scott Ewen kicking off a new chapter from September. A chance meeting with vigilant Cranbourne club officials at the Mildura Cup Carnival in April this year planted the seed and it took only a few more conversations to seal the deal. “It was actually on the river cruise on the Friday night,” Ewen said. “We had a bit of a chat and went from there.” He is no stranger to Victoria, having only 10 years ago returned with his family to South Australia after a stint as stable foreman for trainer Lance Justice. “I just started having too many horses myself and the kids were getting homesick (for South Australia), so we went back,” Ewen said. “But one of my daughters is 19 and pretty advanced in her dancing career, so she probably needed to move to Melbourne or Sydney.” The advantages of the Cranbourne Training Centre made the decision an easy one. “The club made me an offer that was too good to refuse,” Ewen said. “There’s a treadmill, a bungee pool, fantastic walking machine, everything’s state of the art." He said the main track was available seven days a week for fast work, "which is great", and there are two other tracks to work on. "If you couldn’t train winners there there’s something wrong.” Only two horses will make the trip with the Scott and wife, Kylie, including stable star Bulletproof Boy. “He’s won 20 races; he’s our champion,” Ewen said. “He might have had to come here for the faster class races anyway.” The Cranbourne club will provide additional support, potentially giving the stable some of its Club 21 horses to train. “I think they have some babies I might be able to train,” Ewen said. “I’ve got a few other mates who are keen to race down here – we’re only likely to train about a dozen, then we can be more hands-on, so it won’t take long for the stable to fill up. “When you’re out there performing and the horses are doing well that’s all the advertising you need. We’re looking forward to the adventure.” Club president Bill Hutchison said it was “with great pleasure" they welcome Ewen to the Cranbourne Harness Training Centre. "Scott and his family are steeped in harness racing tradition and he has already made a significant impact in the training ranks in South Australia," Mr Hutchison said. "Our club wish them success with their new venture.”   Lucy McCormick HRV Trots Media

South Australia’s top two-year-old of 2016/2017 made the step up to his three-year-old year with a dashing harness racing victory in the 2017 Ubet St Leger (2230m) at Globe Derby Park. After a defeat a week earlier as an odds-on favourite, Bulletproof Boy started at the generous odds of $5.10 from gate one and dashed up the sprint lane to score a 2-1/2 metre win from Culzean Castle ($12.70) with its stablemate The Deal ($25.60), two metres away third. Trainer-driver Scott Ewen was delighted with the classic victory. “I’ll be heading to Mildura this week to try and pick up his Vic bonus before running in the South Australian Derby at Globe Derby Park on January 13,” Ewen said. “Last week he led, and I don’t really think he is a leader. I didn’t drive him as well as maybe I could have but tonight it worked out beautifully as he took the sit and got to come through on the sprint lane.” Ewen went one better than his father Barry, who passed away several months ago. Ewen snr ran second in the 1986 St Leger with Swing Parade behind the very good Jeremiah Weed. “Tonight’s win will be a great tonic for my longtime client ‘Chook’ Okmasich. “He’s doing it a bit tough at present but I’m sure he will have watched the race on Sky Channel and very happy. He said if we run in the Derby he’ll try to make it to the track so that is now our goal.” Don’t Tell William, trained by Toby Ryan and driven by his wife Lisa, started a red-hot $1.40 favourite. As expected, the gelding led comfortably from gate three with Ewen sitting on his back on Bulletproof Boy. Trainer Greg Norman had three runners in the St Leger – The Deal, Culzean Castle and Fiery Mac. He drove The Deal which, from gate five, found himself parked and with a lap to go moved up to challenge the favourite. The pair went head-to-head down the back and on the home turn The Deal stuck his head in front and Don’t Tell William started to struggle. Bulletproof Boy accelerated along the sprint lane and it was left to Culzean Castle to run home from second last but he never looked a chance of catching the winner. The Deal held on well for third with Don’t Tell William fading to fifth. The favourite didn’t handle the step up from 1800m to 22230m. A week earlier, over the shorter trip, he had given Bulletproof Boy a 30-metre start and cut him down with a brilliant sprint. Bulletproof Boy won the Lordship Stakes last season after an eye-catching fourth in the Southern Cross final behind That’s Perfect. He is building an impressive form profile with six wins and seven placings from just 16 starts with fourths at his other three runs. Graham Fischer

Port Pirie 2015 Elders Invitation Drivers Series Saturday night 20th June is one of the feature harness racing meetings in South Australia where five of the best drivers from Victoria challenge six drivers from South Australia. The series is run over four races on the night with the driver with the most points winning the title. This series has been going now for forty years and has brought together a good line up of drivers as you can see by their profiles. Ex Port Pirie driver Kate Gath is making a return, while local driver Brad Sims will be aiming to again win the series as he did in 2006 Victorians Lance Justice: Driven 2865 winners, started his career here in SA and was great supporter of Northern harness racing when he was here. Has had lots of success over the years here and in Victoria with many good horses with the best being Sokyola and Smokem up. Always loves coming back here, won this series back in the ninety’s, won the trainers and drivers premiership here in 2000 the year the new track was opened, loves talking with the locals. Anthony Butt: Formerly from New Zealand where he drove 1609 winners and now situated in Victoria where he has driven another 694 winners while coming to and fro. This is Anthony’s first time at Port Pirie and he would really like to increase on his winning tally. Will be a good draw card having someone very approachable from NZ come here Michael Bellman: Has driven 952 winners in his career, participated in this series in 2011 where he was runner up to Lisa Miles. Is currently having a great year, being fifth on the Victorian State driver’s premiership having driven ninety winners. Is prepared to travel all over the state, having had over 1000 drives in Victoria this season, and we welcome him back Kate Gath: Has driven 942 winners so far in her career, Born and raised here in Port Pirie where she won the Port Pirie Drivers Premiership in 2004. Currently having a very good season, driving 83 winners so far and sits sixth on the Victorian State Drivers Premiership. Has been a regular competitor in this series over the last ten years where she tied in first place in 2013. Family and friends are sure to cheer on Kate help increase the crowd. Lisa Miles: Has driven 498 winners in her career always puts her hand up to come here for the series where she has had good success winning in 2011where she came at a days notice and 2013. Does really well training her small team of horses but is a great who competitor and would really love win her third series going back to back. SA Drivers Ryan Hryhorec: Has currently driven 1380 winners, is a regular here at Port Pirie having won the Drivers Premiership in 2008, 2011, 2014 and currently well in front this season in the drivers premiership. Tied in first in this series in 2012 and 2013 and has driven 130 winners in SA and Victoria this coming season. Tough competitor and is sure to account himself well Mark Billinger: One of the state’s top drivers has had 1014 career driving wins has had 62 wins this season and is currently fourth on the states leading driving premiership table. Always gives his horses a great run and has a good strike rate in the sulky. Wayne Hill: He is another regular driver here at Port Pirie has had 768 career wins, is currently fifth on the state driving premiership having driven 52 winners for the season. Wayne has come through the junior ranks and is a good competitor who has been in the series before and will account himself well. Leah Harvey: Has had 666 career wins, now getting towards the veteran stage having won this series in 2002 and 2010. Was the leading driver here at Port Pirie in 2001 and 2012 so she well and truly knows her way around the track here. She has represented the region well over the years on and off the track and it would not surprise if Leah won her third series. Scott Ewen: Has driven has  660 winners throughout his career and has been a regular here at nearly every meeting over the past five years, winning the Port Pirie driving premiership in 2013. Is currently having a good season having driven 45 winners, has competed in the series for the last three years without much luck but this could be his year. Brad Sims: Has driven 86 winners in his career, was the leading young driver in 2005 here at Port Pirie and had good success in winning this Drivers Series in 2006. Has also driven many placing throughout his career, has taken a trainers licence out this season and has had success with that. With limited opportunity he has always given his drives every chance. Good luck to all the drivers competing and also to David Harding who would have been here if it was not for nasty fall that he had at Globe Derby on 8th June. by Neville Thomson, Port Pirie Harness Racing Club Related Links Fields for Port Pirie, Saturday 20 June 2015 Form guide for Port Pirie, Saturday 20 June 2015

Victorian gelding Major Crocker made the road trip from Bolinda to Port Pirie in South Australia worthwhile on Friday night, the son of Art Major winning the first heat of the 2014 Roll With Joe Breeders Crown 3YO Colts and Geldings series. With David Harding aboard, Major Crocker found the lead early and dictated terms to win by 3.2m over Glenferrie Affair (Ryan Hryhorec). Third placegetter Vaevenca was a further 14.4m away for Scott Ewen. Major Crocker’s winning mile rate was 2:02.0 after a lead time of 33 seconds for the 2050m journey. In the first heat of the 2014 Alabar Breeders Crown 2YO Fillies series, Globe Derby-trained Helens Bonus from the Ray Holberton stable posted a victory for driver Mark Webster in a blanket finish, defeating Daniel Jack trained-and-driven Call Her Julie by a half-neck, with a further half-neck back to Theeyeshaveit in third place for Jake Webster. Helens Bonus’s mile rate was 2:02.1 for the 1609m trip. The Breeders Crown heats will continue at Globe Derby in South Australia and Addington, New Zealand, this Friday night. HRV Media  

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

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