Day At The Track
Search Results
49 to 64 of 514

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

Former highly successful first-class cricketer Paul Nobes enjoyed an unusual hat-trick of his own over the weekend. Nobes, who played Sheffield Shield cricket for South Australia and Victoria, and his wife Judy, are prominent harness racing owners and had their own hat-trick on Friday and Saturday. At Port Pirie on Friday, their pacer Keayang Storm, the $2.50 favourite, trained by Lance Holberton and driven by Ryan Hryhorec, finished powerfully to score a 4-1/2 metre win in the C M and C E Bishop Pacers Discretionary (2050m). Their next runner was Keayang Sporty, trained and driven by Ryan Hryhorec, in the Ubet Pace (1800m), the opening race at Globe Derby Park on Saturday night. Heavily backed from $3.20 into $2.10 favourite, Keayang Sporty was brilliantly driven by Hryhorec lobbing the one-one trail after coming from gate eight on the second row. He held the five-year-old up until the 400 metre mark before asking him to sprint and Keayang Sporty dashed away and scored an 18-metre win from Blue Beach Angel ($4.20) with Canturi Crest ($8.60), 2-1/2 metres away third. In the following race, the Lion Dairy & Drinks Pace (1800m), the Nobes-owned Make Mine Joe lined up from the same draw, gate two on the second row. If Hryhorec’s drive on Keayang Sporty was brilliant, then his effort on Make Mine Joe was superb. No sooner than the starter said “Go”, Hryhorec had Make Mine Joe away quickly and dropping in behind The Last Gindi which pushed through from gate one to lead. With the perfect trail behind the red-hot $1.40 favourite, the Lance Holberton-trained Make Mine Joe ($5.90) was always going to make the finish a contest via the sprint lane at Globe Derby Park. The four-year-old sprinted quickly over the final 200 metres and came away to score a 1-1/2 metre win from the tough Marzzz Barzzz Bazz ($12.50) with The Last Gindi, a fading long neck away third. “That was definitely an unusual hat-trick,” Nobes said, “but a very pleasant one. “I can’t remember ever having had one before and Judy and I will enjoy it. “We love enjoying the wins, because as every owner knows, they are hard to get on a regular basis. You have to enjoy the ups because there can be plenty of downs. “Lance and Ryan have done a great job with the horses, and Ryan’s drives were outstanding. There is no better driver here when he is in the zone.” Nobes said he believed Make Mine Joe had come back a much better horse after a break. “When he first came here I raced him against strong opposition and he had four wins and five placings. His form was good, but I think it toughened him up. “From a break he has had two wins and a second and appears to have stepped up a level.” Keayang Sporty also has had two wins and a second in three runs from a spell and with his turn of foot looks sure to build on that record. Keayang Storm has also been a consistent performer since coming into the Holberton stable and is proving his versatility by also becoming a more than competent standing-start performer. Graham Fischer

The fairytale success story of harness racing pacer Emain Macha reached a new peak on Sunday when he was named South Australia’s Horse Of The Year for 2016/2017. Emain Macha had an illness-shortened three-year-old season, but still managed to score seven wins from nine starts to take out the award. Among the gelding’s wins were the Graham Head Memorial at Shepparton, the Victoria Sires Classic at Melton and the Mildura Guineas. Emain Macha is trained at Naracoorte in the South-East by Greg Scholefield who is a part-owner along with Peter Lamond, Gail Davis and father and son John and Sean Penny. For the Pennys, Emain Macha’s successes are quite emotional as both had the misfortunes to lose their wives several years ago, and harness racing is a release, but both are sad their partners cannot be around to enjoy the success. Mr Penny said he was shocked by the Horse Of The Year award. “I went along Sunday believing he had a chance of winning the three-year-old pacers colts and gelding award (which he did win), but never did I consider he would take out the overall award,” Mr Penny said. “He has taken us on a fabulous ride and we were very disappointed when Greg (Scholefield) said he had contracted a virus and would miss the Southern Cross.” Emain Macha became ill after his last win in the Mildura Guineas on April 7 and Mr Penny said there were fears the gelding could pass away. “He was really sick, and Greg sought advice from a few different sources and eventually an equestrian vet gave a suggestion which put the horse on the road to recovery. “Emain Macha is back in work now and we hope to have him back on the track in December. Greg has tentatively looked at races at Bendigo and Melton to start him off again. “I can’t give enough credit to Greg, to our family, he is a champion trainer. “His property is spotless, and the horses want for nothing. If they have the ability, he will get it out of them.” Graham Fischer

Harness racing turned back time — about 50 years’ worth, in fact — as the sport again took centre stage on a Friday night in Adelaide. For the first time since 1973, the tiny Wavyille circuit hosted an official harness racing meeting and, judging by the buzz in the crowd of around 8000, it was a resounding success. And harness racing officials now hope to make the night an annual event, with planning already in place to lock in a date for next year. “The crowd was very good. We’re thrilled,” Harness Racing SA chief executive John Lewis said. “We are absolutely delighted with the conduct of the event, the venue and the response from the people of South Australia. “We’re already planning to have this event as an annual feature and hope to firm up a date for next year within the coming months.” Driver Kate Gath, who won the Trotters Cup on Waikare Aviator, was full of praise for the night. “It was unbelievable. I couldn’t believe the noise rounding the home turn in the trotters cup,” Gath said. “It was louder than the Victoria Cup or Hunter Cup.” Competition was certainly fierce across the eight races, with fans lining the 510m track and filling the grandstands. It seemed many of Friday night’s racegoers were Wayville regulars when the city-fringe circuit was Adelaide’s main track, from 1925 to 1973, and a night at the trots was one of the hottest tickets in town. During those halcyon days, crowds beyond 20,000 were common, with the record attendance of 47,000 achieved on the night the champion New Zealand pacer Cardigan Bay won the 1963 Inter Dominion. While Friday night’s crowd didn’t threaten that astonishing record, it was still the best-attended harness meet in this state for at least 20 years. “We’ll go through the final figures over the next few weeks but, at this stage, we're looking at a modest surplus ... but even if we broke even or made a small loss, the exercise has absolutely been worth it,” Lewis said. “The exposure the sport has received been fantastic. In my seven years in this role, I can’t recall the sport having such widespread, mainstream coverage. “Even just in terms of a brand-building exercise, it has been a huge success.” Originally published as Winners all around as Wayville is hot to trot By Ben Scadden Reprinted with permission of The Advertiser

Len Sugars has many fond memories of harness racing’s halcyon days at Wayville. Sugars, 92, the patriarch of one of South Australian and Australian harness racing’s most famous families, was a top horsemen in era when crowds flocked to the circuit on a Saturday night. “In those days, South Australia was the premier trotting state in Australia and nothing was bigger than Wayville on a Saturday night,’’ Sugars said. The return to Adelaide Showground at Wayville on October 27 won’t quite reach the dizzying heights of the good old days in SA trotting, when 45,000 fans packed in to witness champion Cardigan Bay win the 13,000-pound 1963 Inter Dominion after starting with a 24-yard handicap. The dramatic race saw the horse, which was badly injured 12 months earlier, stamp himself as one of the sport’s greats. A fall on the home turn saw Sydney pacer Cele finish the race with two drivers after Bill Shinn was thrown from sulky of his horse, Smokey Eric, and finished the race alongside Cele’s driver Charlie Parsons. Harness racing legend Len Sugars at Wayville. Picture: Sarah Reed Sugars’ best memories come from his horse Van Nut. “He won about 26 races and really set up my stable and I’m sure someone was looking over me when he came about. I really think God must have sent him to me,” Sugars said. “He was only 22 months old, he won seven trials at Klemzig and Campbelltown under the name Sonross but for some reason I wasn’t allowed to name him that. “We took him to Kapunda for his first start and got 40/1 because very few knew he had trialled as Sonross.” Sugars said the horse possessed an unbelievable turn of foot suited around the small spaces of Wayville. “I would be sitting 14th or 15th in those days in a field of 18,’’ Sugars said. “I could to cut him loose and within the length of the straight, he could take off and be in front of them all. “The moment I looked into his eye I knew he was a good horse, horses are like people, you can tell a lot about person when you look into their eyes.’’     Sugars also drove Laradoc in Richmond Lass’s 1969 Inter Dominion win at Wayville. “Laradoc was trained by Jack Caldow and he sent her across and we won a heat of the Inter Dominion before finishing unplaced in the final,” Sugars said. “In her heat win she reared at the start and nearly tipped me out but was still good enough to come down, hit her gear, lead and win.” Sugars said a three-month driving suspension paved the way for one of his proudest moments when son Ross — awarded a Living Legend of Australian Harness Racing in 2015 — made his driving debut. “I drove a horse called Perkandi the week before, he was a 6/4 ($2.50) favourite and I was happy to sit three wide waiting to make a run before another driver tried to pocket me four wide,’’ Sugars recalled. “I leant across and tried to push him out of the way. After the race, the stewards called me in and asked me what happened. They were going to give me a two-year disqualification. “I told them I was driving the favourite and anyone who came outside me had ulterior motives, they said because I was so honest they only gave me a three-month suspension.’’ Bill Shinn finishes in the sulky of Charlie Parson following a fall in the 1963 Inter Dominion at Wayville. Just seven days later Ross established a world record, which still stands, driving three winners — Red Score, Hallett and Perkandi — at his first three drives on a city track and as a B-grade licensed driver. “That was one of my proudest moments without a doubt,’’ Len Sugars said. He said being trackside at Wayville on October 27 to watch grandson Greg, one of Australia’s top drivers, would be a special moment for the family. “It’s going to be a great night to be back at Wayville — and seeing Greg drive there will be a real thrill, who would have thought that would ever happen?” he said. “Greg is a much better driver than both Rossy and myself. Nothing bothers him. Rossy would get upset with anyone at the drop of a hat and I was a bit the same. “Greg has patience and beautiful hands, horses just run for him, he’s very good.’’ Trotting horse Cambist driven by owner trainer H. Bayne at Wayville Showgrounds in 1965. Greg Sugars said he was looking forward to experiencing Wayville first-hand. “Growing up in harness racing, all you ever heard about was how good it was back in the day at Wayville, it’s been something that hasn’t been able to be replicated in modern times,’’ Greg Sugars said. “To go back there is going to be a real thrill and hopefully I can get a win there as well.” Harness Racing SA chief executive John Lewis said the return to Wayville was an amazing opportunity to take harness racing back to its spiritual home. “It’s got me beat how they got 45,000 people into Wayville for the 1963 Inter,” Lewis said. “We are expecting the night to be a sell-out, which will be around 15,000 people. “Bringing the trots back to Wayville has generated enormous public interest and promises to be the biggest ‘must attend’ sporting event in Adelaide over the spring. “We urge everyone to buy their tickets for Wayville now — the demand has been very strong, and we would be disappointed if people missed out.” Lincoln Moore, Racing Writer, Sunday Mail (SA) Reprinted with permission of The Advertiser

Respected harness racing personality Barry Ewen has passed away after a long battle with cancer. Ewen, 76, was given just 12 months to live about four years but refused to go without a fight. He leaves his wife Yvonne, daughters Joanne and Belinda, sons Simon, Scott, Christopher and Andrew, and 11 grandchildren. As a teenager, Ewen worked for a thoroughbred trainer and had ambitions to be a jockey, but his weight, not that he was a big man, ruled him out and he became a harness racing trainer-driver. During his career he drove more than 600 winners and trained in excess of 400. Ewen’s best horses were Camden Star and Rockleigh when he first started at Wayville in the 1960s, and later his favourite Free-For-All star Tarpeena Prince, along with Van High, The Bronx, Mister Dexterity, Gawler Derby, SA Guineas and SA Sires Produce winner Swing Parade and Razz. Despite being in his 60s, the horseman won the first Monte race at Globe Derby Park and ran second a year later before ‘retiring’ leaving it to younger participants. Ewen had three life passions, in order – his wife Yvonne, family and harness racing. It was those traits, along with his integrity, which ensured he was a respected participant. He also became the president of the Gawler Harness Racing Club, and was involved when the club was left without a track because of the building of the Northern Expressway. His interest in thoroughbred racing also remained and he successfully turned his hand to training winning with horses such as Gold Vintage and Jestwin. When he became ill, Ewen, transferred Jestwin to another trainer Nicole Bruggemann and she prepared the horse to win the 2017 Kangaroo Island Cup, a proud moment for him and the family. Ewen’s funeral will be at St Peter and Paul’s Church in Gawler on Wednesday, October 18 at 1.30pm. Graham Fischer

Teenage reinsman Jayden Brewin capped an amazing 2016-2017 harness racing season by taking out Saturday night’s G O Silke Plate (1800m) at Globe Derby Park – the ‘grand final’ for South Australia’s junior and concession drivers. Brewin finished the season with 62 winners – 55 in SA and seven in Victoria, an incredible achievement for the 17-year-old in his first full season of driving. South Australia has produced a series of outstanding reinspeople this century including Kate Gath, Greg Sugars, David Harding Danielle and Wayne Hill, who were all highly successful juniors, but they couldn’t match Brewin’s tally in their first season. Brewin drove the three-year-old Make Mine Joe in the Silke Plate for owners Paul and Judy Nobes and trainer Lance Holberton. He took Make Mine Joe ($10) to the front from gate two and rated him perfectly for a three-metre win from Marty Major ($10, Shane Turner) with Ace To Play ($24, Michael Smith), 2-1/2 metres away third. “This is a race I wanted to win,” Brewin said. “It is a feature race for junior drivers with a lot of history. “I would have loved to drive in the Silke Plate last year but was sidelined with a broken collarbone from a football injury. “I didn’t know Graeme Silke (after whom the race is named) but Dad (Justin) told me all about him and he must have been a great character. “It is something I will never see now, a punter taking on a ring of bookmakers, but it was great that he tried to promote junior drivers. Dad said he actually had a drive for Graeme.” Brewin said he was amazed he had such a successful season. “I have to thank the owners and trainers who gave me the chances. It all started with Dad who has been my strongest supporter and adviser.” Greg Sugars, who has made the move to Victoria to become one of Australia’s top reinsman, paid tribute to Brewin. “I certainly didn’t drive that many winners in my first season,” Sugars said, “My breakout season was my second. “It is a wonderful effort to drive 62 winners, especially without a major stable backing him, and obviously trainers have had faith in him to give him the opportunities.” Brewin, said he had given himself a benchmark. “I have to come back in the new season to try and improve on that figure. It will be good to have my concession back but I know I have to continue to work very hard.” Part-owner Nobes was delighted with Make Mine Joe’s win. “He was going okay as a colt but we made the decision to geld him and I’m sure he will be better for the cut. “Only a three-year-old, I thought he did a great job against the older horses and rated 1:58.4. Justin rated him perfectly and no doubt slowing for a 31.4 second quarter was crucial in victory.” by Graham Fischer

Harness Racing South Australia Stewards today conducted a hearing into an adverse test result returned by RAP ARTIST following a pre-race urine test taken from the gelding on Saturday 7th January 2017. The particulars being that the sample taken from RAP ARTIST was shown to contain Cobalt at a mass concentration greater than the permissible tolerance. Mr Billinger admitted a breach of Rule (AHHR) 190(1) which states “A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances” After considering submissions on penalty put to the Stewards by Mr Billinger’s advocate, Mr R Fewings, and after having regard to all other factors, including that this was Mr Billinger’s second breach of the presentation rule, the finding was that Mr Billinger be disqualified for a period of eighteen (18) months and that, following the expiration of his disqualification, he be prohibited from holding a trainer’s licence for a further eighteen months.  Acting under the provisions of AHRR 195, RAP ARTIST was disqualified from second placing in Race 6 at Globe Derby on 7th January 2017 and Stewards directed that the placing’s be amended accordingly. Ross Neal Chairman of Stewards HARNESS RACING SOUTH AUSTRALIA

South Australian husband-and-wife Trevor and Christine Scadden have been breeding standardbreds for more than 50 years and continue to have an incredible winning strike rate. Their first horse, Uncle Remus was a Group 2 winner back in the 1970s, and on Saturday, Saphirique, which they bred, took out the Group 2 UBETSouthern Cross Two-Year-Old Fillies final (1800m) at Globe Derby Park. Saphirique is owned in the United States by Marc Hanover and Gordon Banks and is trained in Victoria by Nicole Molander. Driven by champion reinsman Gavin Lang, Saphirique ($2.40 fav), sat outside the speed for the last lap before drawing clear in the home straight to score by 2-1/2 metres from Rigaleto Pegasus ($5.30) with Girls In Charge ($99.30), a metre away third. Coming from the inside of the second row, Lang took advantage of a first turn scrimmage which put the well backed $2.60 chance Strelitzia out of the race to come off the fence band put his filly into the running line. Molander said the filly had been very tired when she returned home and would go for a break. “She has done a great job in her first preparation and won a Group 2 race and I’m sure she will come back a lot stronger as a three-year-old,” Molander said. “She’s won four races from 11 starts and collected more than $67,000 in stakes so we couldn’t ask for more.” Molander revealed she only recently met the owners Messrs Banks and Hanover for the first time. “They came down to Australia via New Zealand to look at their investments and took in a couple of meetings but had to go home before the Southern Cross series. “I have five of their horses in training and another five yearlings coming through.” Molander paid tribute to star SA trainer-driver Danielle Hill, and her family. “It is wonderful to have struck up a working relationship with Dani. She took Saphirique home after the semi and looked after her for me for the final. “We sent Breach The Beach over earlier in the year to gain some confidence and he won a Gawler Derby for Dani before he was sold. “Dani does a wonderful job and I will certainly look at the option of sending horses across to gain experience and develop a winning attitude.” Trevor Scadden revealed he had a yearling full sister to Saphirique which would go to the sales next year. by Graham Fischer

News harness racing is returning to the Wayville Show­grounds has created discussion about some of South Australia’s stars of the 1950s. Three SA horses, which made their name around the tight Wayville circuit, won Australasia’s greatest race the Inter-Dominion for three years straight from 1957. Port Pirie pacer Radiant Venture, driven by Frank “Digger” Connor won at Gloucester Park in Perth in 1957, Free Hall was successful at Wayville in 1958 for trainer-driver Bill Shinn, then Young Pedro saluted at the Melbourne Showgrounds in 1959 for Leo Hunt. Reprinted with permission of The Yorke Peninsula Country Times

The Harness Racing South Australian Board are delighted to announce that the Trots are returning to the Wayville Showgrounds on Friday 27 October 2017. This will be the first race meeting at a Wayville meeting since 1973. Home to the South Australian harness racing from 1925 to 1973, the Wayville Track was described as racing in a coliseum. Especially during the 1950s and 60s, crowds flocked to the track in the halcyon days of the sport with names such as Webster, Holberton, Messenger and Shinn being household names. Wayville was also the scene of some of harness racing greatest ever moments including the 1963 Inter Dominion won by New Zealand champion Cardigan Bay before a record crowd of 45,000 people. Cardigan Bay was the first horse to win $1 million in prizemoney. In addition, Wayville hosted countless memorable South Australian Cups featuring outstanding horses including SA champion, Minuteman. With Wayville’s proximity to the city and excellent public transport options, the HRSA Board is expecting a massive crowd in attendance with a great night of racing and entertainment with a back to the 70s retro theme.  Planning for the race meeting is well underway and the race meeting also has been endorsed by UBET and Sky Racing and final regulatory approval from the Independent Gambling Authority is anticipated expected within the coming weeks.  More information John Lewis, HRSA CEO Ph:  0417 855 300

Champion harness racing reinsman Greg Sugars returned to South Australia on Friday night and left with the first prize of the Elders Insurance Drivers Invitation from the Port Pirie meeting. Sugars landed only one winner – Ultimate Won for Port Pirie trainer Lyndon Hall – but with consistency, was able to grab a win with a third place on Weaponry in the sixth and final heat. He picked up seven points to go to 44 points while hometown favourite Kate Gath only picked up two points on Timansi to finish with 41. Ken Rogers was back in third on 37 points. Sugars, who was a leading driver at Port Pirie early in his career before moving to Victoria, said he was delighted with the win. “It was great that I was able to accept the invitation to drive in the series and to win was a bonus,” Sugars said. “The Elders Insurance Drivers Invitation has been a popular event ever since I took up driving and to take part and win is great. Sugars upset hometown heroine Kate Gath who always drives well at Port Pirie and was a co-winner of the Invitation in 2013 with Ryan Hryhorec and was outright winner in 2016. Heat one of the Elders Insurance Invitation went to Hez Declan, driven by Ken Rogers for Port Pirie trainer Michael Dennis. An $11.80 chance, Hez Declan scored by a head from Wills ($7), driven by Michael Bellman, with Pure Theatre ($2.90 fav), partnered by Wayne Hill 6-1/2 metres away third. The ‘Queen of Port Pirie’ Kate Gath scored an all-the-way win for trainer Tyson Linke on Reil Quick ($7.40) in heat two. Reil Quick scored easily by 6-1/2 metres from Sir Julian ($7.10), driven by Leah Harvey, with Hes Just Rusty ($9.60), partnered by Danielle Hill, 2-1/2 metres away third. Linke said he had recently freshened the six-year-old mare and believed she would continue to hold her winning form. An aggressive Sugars went forward on Ultimate Won ($17) in heat three to grab the lead from gate four and battled on strongly to score a metre win from Flaming Sheffield ($22.50), driven by Lance Justice while Wayne Hill had little luck on the $1.40 favourite Live For Peace which was a metre away third. Ultimate Won is trained by Lyndon Hall who said he was confident the three-year-old would continue to improve. Reinsman Ken Rogers landed a winning double, as did trainer Tyson Linke, when Queen of Sharkz ($1.20 fav) scored a brilliant 27-1/2 metre win in heat four of the Elders Insurance Invitation series. The four-year-old mare landed her fourth successive victory in defeating Habanero ($11.30), driven by Greg Sugars, with Coast Patrol ($14.90), partnered by Leah Harvey, four metres away third. Kath Gath landed a driving double when Big Behemoth ($1.30 fav) scored an easy all-the-way win in heat five. Trained by Leah Harvey in Kadina, Big Behemoth scored by eight metres from Little Miss Piggy ($9.40), driven by Wayne Hill, with Michael Bellman third on Timeless Jasper ($22.90), a neck away. Teenage reinsman Jayden Brewin got a late call up to the series replacing Ryan Hryhorec who had to withdraw through family issues and made the most of the opportunity with a half-neck win on Marzzz Barzzz Bazz ($3.20) for Kadina trainer Mick Darling. Manonthemoon ($4.40) finished strongly to finish second for driver Leah Harvey with Weaponry ($3.90), driven by Greg Sugars, 1-1/2 metres away third. Final points score was: Greg Sugars 44; Kate Gath 41; Ken Rogers 37; Wayne Hill, Leah Harvey 33; Danielle Hill 29; Jayden Brewin 28; Michael Bellman 27; Lance Justice 25; Aaron Bain 15. Graham Fischer

The Independent Review of South Australian Harness Racing by Brian Cunningham has been publicly released and a link to the document is here. Hard copies of the document will be available at the industry briefing to be held in the Jubilee Room at Globe Derby Park on Wednesday 26 April 2017 commencing at 6.00pm. More information John Lewis, HRSA CEO Ph:  0417 855 300

Part-owner Adam Cormack was despairing he had never won a race at Victor Harbor since moving to the town 10 years ago, but Al Bundy put it right with a brilliant harness racing win in the Rob’s Rural Services Victor Harbor Trotters Cup (2660m) on Easter Sunday. Perfectly driven by Jock Dunlop, Al Bundy ($3 fav) sprinted away from his rivals to score a 13-metre win from Natural ($7) with Gus Or Bust ($10.80), two metres away third. “I have to say it was an ambition to win a feature race at Victor Harbor, and Al Bundy has done it for us,” Cormack said. Bred in New Zealand, Al Bundy was purchased early in his career by father Terry, Adam and brother Ben and races for their AB&T Cormack Racing Pty Ltd. The Cormacks decided to bring the gelding to Australia at the end of last year after he had won eight races for them in New Zealand and was given to stable trainer Greg Norman who manages their harness property outside Two Wells, north of Adelaide. Al Bundy won his first two starts under Norman’s care before a second at Port Pirie, then a fourth at Mildura where he unfortunately locked wheels with a rival and had to drag it about 100 metres before getting clear. The trotter was handicapped off 50 metres on Sunday but a good beginning, then a trail from co-back marker Rejuvenation, saw Dunlop able to obtain a one-one trail for much of the race. With that perfect run, Dunlop was able to let the gelding sprint home coming off the back and Al Bundy trotted away from his rivals to win easily. “That was a perfect run for him,” Norman said, “there is no doubt he loves a sit-sprint race. “He has done a great job since coming into my stable. His handicap was just too tough the way the race was run at Pirie, then he had legitimate excuses at Mildura. “I’ll just keep looking at suitable races for him, maybe we will have to look interstate from time to time, but we will stay local when we can.” Adam Cormack said he had moved to Victor Harbor about 10 years ago but wasn’t in the town as much as he would like. “With my job (direct, O’Brien Meats) I do a lot of travelling and we also have a house in Adelaide. “With a new piggery near Snowtown (in SA’s mid-North), there is even more travelling but I make sure I’m home for the weekends at least – it is a beautiful area. “We haven’t had a lot of runners here at Victor Harbor but I wanted to win a race, preferably a feature, and Al Bundy has ticked that box today.” Graham Fischer

Tough pacer Bettor Party picked up his third cup in South Australia with an impressive, and easy harness racing victory, in the 2017 UBET Victor Harbor Pacing Cup (2160m) before an excellent crowd on Easter Sunday. A well backed $3.10 favourite, Bettor Party came around the field to sit outside the leader before sprinting away at the top of the home straight to win untouched by seven metres. Driver Danielle Hill sat quiet over the final stages as the WA-owned pacer added the Victor Harbor Cup to his trophy collection alongside the Kadina and Gawler Cups. For trainer Les Harding it was his first Victor Harbor Cup win and he now puts Bettor Party in the top echelon of horses he has trained. Harding has always felt ill-fated Zanardi, a winner of 16 races in just over 12 months of racing for the stable was the best but acknowledges Bettor Party is really making an impression. The seven-year-old has now won five races from just 12 starts since coming into his stable from Western Australia where he is still owned. “To be honest David (son David Harding, stable foreman) deserves all the credit because I have never sat behind him,” Harding said. “We each have our own horses which we work and David took Bettor Party when he came into the stable.” Bettor Party came away quickly from gate six but driver Danielle Hill said she was a bit concerned when there was plenty of early speed. “I was out wide and there was plenty of pressure,” Hill said. “Fortunately, I was able to go forward along the back and get to the spot outside the leader (Oceans Predator). “He travelled really well and basically pulled his way to the front coming off the back and once in the home straight I knew he wouldn’t be caught.” Adam Cartwright ($3.40) came from last to grab second by a nose from Smiling Crest ($38.70). Bettor Party broke the track record rating 1:57.9 to better the previous best of 1:59.0 recorded by Glenferrie Hustler on December 26, 2013. The winner ran final quarters of 28.2 and 28.7 off the front making it impossible for Adam Cartwright to win after giving away a 30 metre start down the back straight. Harding said he would just look for local races for Bettor Party. “As well as he is going, it is a tough contract going to Victoria to take on their horses on their tracks,” he said. “We took him to Mildura for the Cup and he found it too tough taking on Major Crocker.” by Graham Fischer

Teenage reinsman Jayden Brewin celebrated his best night in the sulky landing a harness racing treble at Globe Derby Park on Saturday. Brewin, 16, has been driving for only nine months, but is rapidly establishing himself as a rising star in the driving ranks in South Australia. He has 25 wins this season to sit sixth on the SA Drivers premiership. On Saturday night, he kicked off the treble with an all-the-way win on Destined To Take for trainer Adam Beshara, made it a double with another barrier to box on Kayangee for his trainer father Justin, then brought up the treble with a strong finish on Electric Mary, also trained by his father. Brewin demonstrated that a week can be a long time in harness racing. At Kapunda, on Sunday, March 12, found himself tipped from The Octagon in race two suffering facial abrasions which prevented him from taking the winning drives on Kayangee and Hardly A Grin later in the day. After obtaining a medical clearance during the week, Brewin experienced a night at Broken Hill on Friday night. His first drive was in the no race when a driver mistook the laps, then he finished sixth on Smooth Grin in the Cup. It definitely was an experience,” Brewin said. “I had never driven on such a tight track. “In the first drive, I was three-wide trying to go forward and the leader was going for home – a lap early. “Racing was really tight but it was part of my driving education.” On Saturday night, Brewin went to the lead from gate two on Destined To Take in the Trotsguide.Com.Au Pace (2230m) and had several drivers, including Danielle Hill on the $2.10 favourite Will I Am come alongside and ask if the lead was up for grabs. He replied in the negative, then slowed the tempo with a 32.5 second quarter and 30.0 third quarter before dashing home in 28. Brewin’s superb rating enabled Destined To Take ($4.20) to score a four metre win from Futurist ($3.20) with Will I Am nine metres away third. In the Deane Boehm Memorial (2230m) for the trotters, Brewin drove Kayangee which was going for its third straight win. A $2.20 favourite, Kayangee trotted away beautifully off 10 metres and lead throughout for a solid four metre win from Star Style ($6.50) with Hard Done By ($16.80), a similar margin away third. Electric Mary was a roughie at $22.10 to bring up Brewin’s treble in the Schweppes Australia Pace (1800m) but father Justin had the faith with a “small” all up on his son’s winners. Coming from gate eight, Brewin had Electric Mary trailing the leader Weaponry ($3.20) before coming wide in the home straight and the mare sprinted strongly to grab a 1-1/2 metre win from the front runner with Castle Under Fire ($44.20), 16 metres away third. Brewin said Electric Mary was a ‘special’ horse for him. “She was given to me as a birthday present last year to enable me to have enough trial drives to obtain my driver’s licence,” Brewin said. “She is a family-owned horse and tonight was her second win for us and getting a Saturday night victory was great. She also brought up my treble and a double with Dad. “Yep, a week can be a long time in harness racing.” Graham Fischer

49 to 64 of 514