Day At The Track
Search Results
65 to 80 of 514

Remember Four Trumps, the former top flight Harness Racing New South Wales youngster who captured the NSW Sires Stakes and Simpson Sprint and then went to America where he lowered his mark to 1:50.2? Well, Lot 5 in the Harnessbred.com South Australian Yearling Sale at Globe Derby Park on this Sunday, February 12, is very closely related to the $760,000 winner. A fine, athletic looking filly by the Art Major horse Art Official, she is out of the 1:59.6 Globe Derby winner Ivanka, a daughter of Trump Casino, the sire of Four Trumps, and is the first foal of her dam. Ivanka’s dam, Pass The Time, ranks as a winning half-sister to the dam of Four Trumps and to the NSW Sires Stakes placegetter, being out of the multiple Harold Park winner My Kellibee (1:58.7). The good Harold Park and Albion Park winner Kellis Express 1:53.2 ($207,564) is another member of the same family. The filly is a product of the Meadowlands Pace and Cane Pace winner Art Official 1:47 ($2million), the sire of the flying Salty Robyn, the nominal favourite for the Chariots of Fire, and the Group placegetter Covert Beauty. The attractive youngster was bred on irrigated pastures in the Adelaide Hills by hobby horsewoman Danielle Helbers, who experienced her first success as an owner with Baby Bliss. She is also breeding from a Village Jasper mare, Jomeka, a member of the prized Larrakeyah Lady tribe. The filly is eligible for the Southern Cross, Breeders Crown, Vicbred and SA Sales Classic.  For details on the sale click here.  

The 2017 Harnessbred.com Yearling Sale will be held at Globe Derby Park on Sunday, starting at 4.30pm. A parade of the harness racing yearlings will precede the sale at 3pm. The sale comprises 26 lots by 15 different sires including high profile stallions Mach Three, Roll With Joe, Falcon Seelster, Blissfull Hall, Changeover and Art Official and exciting newcomers Auckland Reactor, A Rocknroll Dance, Betterthancheddar, All Speed Hanover, Alta Christiano and Smiling Shard. There’s close relatives to a string of top performers such as The Falcon Strike, Arden Rooney, Blossom Lady, Lombo Pocket Watch, Lombo La Fe Fe, Scruffy Murphy, Penny Veejay, Jasmarilla and What’s Emma Got. Yearlings are eligible for the Breeders Crown, Southern Cross, Vicbred, Bathurst Gold Crown, Westbred and SA Sales Classic. An auction of racing and breeding stock will follow the sale of yearlings. The online catalogue for the SA Yearling Sale sale can be viewed here.  Phone bidding will be accepted please contact Lois Randall of SA Botra on 0402 978 424 or email sabotra@hotmail.com  prior to the commencement of the sale.   Peter Wharton

Star South Australian trotter Rejuvenation lived up to his name with a sensational harness racing victory in the 2017 Fred Jones Trotters Cup (2645m) at Globe Derby Park on Saturday night. Trained by Ray Goble, at Grace Plains, the nine-year-old Rejuvenation ($2.40 fav) came off a 50-metre handicap to score a thrilling photo-finish head win from Bold Law ($6.70) with SA Trotters Cup hero Pocketfullofcash ($3.60), 3-1/2 metres away third. “It (Fred Jones Trotters Cup) is a race I wanted to win,” Goble said. “The race was created about five years ago, and because I drove a lot for Fred it was a race I put on the bucket list. “He was a wonderful man for harness racing, and in particular the squaregaiter, so the win is pretty special.” Goble said he felt Rejuvenation was going as well as at any stage of his career. “I’m not sure why because as horses get older you expect them to get progressively slower, but he is now running times better than at any time in his career and to come off 50 metres was a wonderful effort.” Driven by Danielle Hill, Rejuvenation settled last in the field of eight with co-backmarker Pocketfullofcash heading quickly around the field to sit parked outside the leader Tendaho. The staying event took shape when Bold Law, which had been one-out, one-back, came wide with 500 metres to travel to put pressure on the leaders with Hill trailing up on the eventual winner. Trainer-driver Paul Fidge asked Pocketfullofcash to go for home with 300 metres to travel and he dashed away with what looked to be a winning break but with 100 metres left to travel, he suddenly “hit the brick wall” and started to stop. Bold Law, under hard driving by Michael Smith, rallied and with Rejuvenation now alongside, the pair gathered in Pocketfullofcash with 50 metres to travel and the pair went stride for stride in the race to the post. On the line, Rejuvenation had his head in front of the gallant Bold Law. The gelding by Winds Cries Maori has been a wonderful performer in South Australia but paid the penalty for his wins by being virtually handicapped out of local racing and Goble sent her to Victoria for a campaign during the middle of last year. Even in Victoria, the star trotter found the handicaps against him according to Goble. “Even though he wasn’t as severely handicapped, the winners were running 57 second last halves making it impossible for those at the tail of the field to make ground. “His finishing positions show he was being well beaten but his own times were still quite good. “I brought him home for the SA features and he has been going really well and the Fred Jones win was very timely.” Goble said because the gelding came off 50 metres to win, an extra penalty would make it even harder to win going forward. The trainer said Rejuvenation would most likely have his next run in the 2017 Hambeltonian Trotters Cup (2645m) at the Gawler Gold Cup meeting at Globe Derby Park on Saturday, March 11. Graham Fischer

Harness Racing South Australia, in conjunction with UBET, have joined the Australia-wide ‘Team Teal’ raising funds for Ovarian Cancer research. Beginning at Globe Derby Park tomorrow night, female drivers will wear teal pants to promote an awareness and raise funds for Ovarian Cancer research for the Women’s Cancer Foundation. The SA Reinswomen will be supported by the Clerks of the Course who will wear custom-made teal silk shirts while the female pony trot drivers will also don the teal pants to raise awareness. Harness Racing South Australia will donate $100 for every female driver win in South Australia during the campaign and that figure will be matched by UBET. It is anticipated around $6000 could be raised in South Australia during the six weeks. All of SA’s reinswomen were delighted to be involved in such an important cause‚Äč. Foundation Manager Nicole Stockton said the campaign was increasingly being embraced by the wider harness racing community with additional fundraising coming from other areas. Ms Stockton said the support of corporate and community partners was vital to the Women’s Cancer Foundation achieving success, and it was important that the Foundation continue to find new avenues to create awareness and raise funds to achieve the goal to make clinical research possible. “The ‘Teal Pants’ campaign is a great opportunity for Women’s Cancer Foundation and Harness Racing South Australia to create a mutually beneficial partnership. “Our cause is impactful and important as gynaecological cancers affect our mothers, sisters, daughters, aunts, wives and friends.” 2 out of 3 women diagnosed with ovarian cancer will not survive their disease. Please help us turn the tide on ovarian cancer... Graham Fischer Fields for Globe Derby Park, Friday 03 February 2017 Form guide for Globe Derby Park, Friday 03 February 2017

Harness racing owners-breeders Des and Lyn Farrow were delighted that Moonlite Frolic was able to break through at Globe Derby Park on Saturday night. The win kept alive the fact that all foals from the family of his former champion filly No Frolicking have been able to win a race. Backed from $7 into $3.30, Moonlite Frolic, driven by Mark Billinger, took an early trail behind Rowan Rosie before coming off her back around the home turn then sprinting to a one metre victory in the Lion Dairy & Drinks Pace (2230m). Rowan Rosie ($8.50) held on for second, 6-1/2 metres in front of Murdocks River ($54.60). “The family has had 125 wins,” Des Farrow said. “We bred Moonlite Frolic out of our mare Evening Frolic and because I was cutting back on training, leased the filly out to Stephen Grace. “When the lease ran out we decided to put her up for sale but she didn’t attract a bid.” Lyn Farrow said it was at this point she spoke up. “I said to Des to put her back in work himself to keep him active – it was a no discussion situation,” Lyn said. It was a lifestyle decision because the Farrows have been hobby breeder-owner-trainers for several decades but the mare’s win on Saturday was their first for more than two years, the last being the ill-fated King Roman who scored on debut in January, 2015. Moonlite Frolic was having her fifth start for the Farrows on Saturday night. Trainer-driver Peter Borrelli was keen to lead from gate three on Rowan Rosie and once in front set a pedestrian speed with 33.8 and 32.2 first quarters before stepping up to 29.5 but Moonlite Frolic was able to sprint home in 28.3 and claim victory. The Farrows have had wonderful success stemming from their champion mare No Frolicking which won the 1996 SA Derby and SA Oaks and also ran third in the Victoria Oaks. She had six foals to race and all were winners and the females of the family have bred on producing winners. Farrow said he had two filly foals coming through to keep the family going. They are out of the mare Frolicwithasmile, a daughter of No Frolicking. Graham Fischer

Nothing succeeds like success and harness racing winners are forming a solid base for the resurgent South Australian standardbred yearling sale. Once a strong breeding base, South Australia had been on the decline in the early 2000s and for five years no sale was held in the state. Up stepped the South Australian Breeder Owners Trainers and Reinspersons Association and in 2015 the organisation gathered together a modest 14 yearlings to go under the hammer. From that group, there has already been four winners including the very promising Takemepitchamister which ran in the 2017 SA Derby at only its fifth start. Also in the honour roll from that sale are the exciting Ladyship Stakes winner Arm A Princess which had her career halted by an horrific accident at Melton and the talented Wroxton Steel, a brilliant winner of his first two starts. To complete four winners from the first sale is Ramseys Hope which also ran second in the Lordship Stakes. Four others, Breezin Chippers, Bella Sophia, Spoilt Swaffham and Golden Cullen, have already made it to the racetrack. Takemepitchamister, which cost just $3500, is owned by outstanding photographer Barry O’Brien and Aussie Rules football legend Barrie Robran, and is trained by Toby Ryan and won its first three starts and looks among the best three-year-olds in South Australia. Arm A Princess, trained by Lance Holberton, had four wins and four placings from 11 times, including a Ladyship Stakes win, but had her career halted by an accident at Melton. It was touch and go whether she would survive, but has, and connections are hoping she might eventually stand up to another preparation. BOTRA’s infectious enthusiasm to reinvigorate the local breeding industry has seen interest from around Australia for its, now annual, yearling sale. This year 26 yearlings form the catalogue which will go under the hammer on Sunday, February 12 at Globe Derby Park. Harness Racing South Australia has also increased its backing of the sale. Also, any yearling sold at the sale, which has not been entered for the Southern Cross racing series prior to the sale, can be made eligible at a discounted price of $275 (normally $600), subject to the relevant eligibility criteria. Graham Fischer

A sale of well-bred harness racing yearlings will be conducted at Globe Derby Park on Sunday, February 12, starting at 4.30pm. Sponsored by Harnessbred.com, the SA BOTRA Yearling sale features yearlings by the great Falcon Seelster, recently deceased champion sire Mach Three, last year’s leading first crop sire Roll With Joe and established sires in Changeover, Blissfull Hall, Art Official and Million Dollar Cam. Well credentialed newcomers represented in the sale include A Rocknroll Dance, Auckland Reactor, Betterthancheddar, All Speed Hanover, Alta Christiano and Smiling Shard. The offering includes progeny of the Southern Cross winner Phyl Crocker, the Golden Nursery winner Concorde Crest and the WA Sales Classic winner Ima High Rolla and close relatives to horses the calibre of The Falcon Strike, Arden Rooney, Lombo Pocket Watch, Lombo La Fe Fe, Blossom Lady and SA stars Scruffy Murphy, What’s Emma Got and Wroxton Playboy. A pre-sale parade of yearlings will be held at 3pm. An auction of mixed racing and breeding stock will follow the main sale. Catalogues are available on line at http://www.harnessbred.com/yearling-sale-2017/ or pick up a hard copy from Harness Racing SA, Globe Derby Park and all SA country clubs or from Lois Randall of SA BOTRA on 0402 978 424 or email sabotra@hotmail.com By Peter Wharton

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

The highly successful stint of Whenmechief with South Australian harness racing trainer-driver Darren Billinger has come to an end. Whenmechief was on a float home to Mildura only an hour after scoring yet another impressive victory at Globe Derby Park on Saturday night. A six-year-old gelding who came to Billinger for three weeks and stayed for three months, left having won seven races, including the Christmas and Whyalla Cups, plus finishing third to Smolda in the SA Cup and picking up about $45,000 in stakes. In the Hopkins Saddlery Pace (2230m) on Saturday night, Billinger urged Whenmechief ($1.70 fav) forward from gate four but found Kerry Green on Magic Trump ($36.40) keen to hold the early lead from gate one with the result a sizzling lead time of 44.3 seconds was recorded. “I can’t remember a quicker lead over the 2230m,” Billinger said. “Once I got to the front I thought I had better be a bit careful or he could have proved a sitting shot.” However, with quarters of 30.0, 30.0, 30.5 and 29.7, the gelding by Stonebridge Regal scored easily by 7-1/2 metres from Bettor Party ($3) with Crazy Dave ($24.90), three metres away third. Part-owners Rhett Smythe and Gavin Peters said their goal with Whenmechief was to have the gelding contest the hometown Mildura Cup in April. Unfortunately, Billinger will be away on a pre-booked holiday, so it was decided to return the gelding to part-owner and former trainer “Pud” MacDonald. “He will be given a short break then Pud can get him ready for the Cup,” Smythe said. “We can’t believe the improvement he has made for Darren. “Ideally, Whenmechief could have stayed with Darren but he had booked his holiday and we really want to see him in the Mildura Cup. We wouldn’t rule out a return to Darren later in the year.” However, connections brought Whenmechief’s half-brother Freddy Fudpucker down to Billinger to see if he could add to the gelding’s one win from 17 starts. Billinger was disappointed to lose Whenmechief but understood the owners’ thoughts. “I’ll have to take out an ad for a free-for-all performer,” Billinger said. “Losing Frank (the recently retired Come On Frank), and now Whenmechief, I need a new horse to race in the free-for-alls.” 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

The successful harness racing training team of Jake Webster and Aaron Bain landed a double at Globe Derby Park on Saturday with the two winning drivers being delighted for different reasons. The first of the team’s winners was in-form mare Gallifrey Mystique in the Trotsguide.Com.Au Pace, a race for SA Young/Concession drivers. A drifter from $4.50 to $9.50, Gallifrey Mystique sat parked before dashing away an 8-1/2 metre win for teenage driver Kaela Hryhorec. Hilltop Sophia ($5.50) came home to finish second, a metre in front of Royal Safari ($6.20). The win brought up a double for Hryhorec who scored in the opening event on Crafty Old Fox for her uncle Ryan Hryhorec. In a stable change, Kaela Hryhorec, who started her career in harness racing working for Ryan Hryhorec recently moved to join the Webster-Bain stable. “I’m keen to learn as much as I can,” Kaela said. “It was great to start off with Uncle Ryan and he taught me so much, but I felt for my own development it was good to try another stable and Jake and Aaron were good enough to give me a chance. “I’ve only been with them for just over a week but already feel it was the right move.” Aaron Bain said there was no doubt Gallifrey Mystique was a smart mare. “That is three wins in three runs from a spell,” Bain said. “Unfortunately, she has a few issues and really is a day-to-day proposition but for the present we have been able to keep her going. “She really has a will-to-win. We’ll just keep trying to place her to advantage but there is no doubt she will prove a great broodmare.” The double came up with Arrokeefe, a red hot $1.40 favourite, in the Maughan Thiem Ford Mondeo Pace (1800m) for driver Brodie Webster. “I hope I am back in the good books with the win,” Webster said. He was referring to being beaten on Two Tatz Patz as a $1.40 favourite at Mildura on the previous Wednesday which lost its chance by galloping at the start. There were a few worries thought before Arrokeefe sprinted through to score by 2-1/2 metres from Doubledipofheaven ($5.40) with Cyclone Mach ($15.10) a half-head away third. “I had hoped to lead from gate one but Ryan’s horse (Doubledipofheaven) was too quick. “When Ryan ran 32.6 and 32.4 for the first two quarters I was worried I might be in trouble because I know his horse can sprint while my bloke is not that sharp.” Webster’s concerns were eased when the leader drifted out allowing a clear run through and Arrokeefe was good enough to dash through and eventually win comfortably.  The six-year-old has been another astute purchase by Webster and Bain and Saturday night was his fifth win for the dynamic duo. Graham Fischer

It took only three runs for top trotter Rejuvenation to return to the winning list in South Australia. At Globe Derby Park on Saturday night, Rejuvenation ($11.40) came off a 40-metre handicap for harness racing driver Danielle Hill to score a long head win in the Lion Pty Ltd Trotters Discretionary (2230m) beating Our Solar Flare ($19.70) with Emilys Vacation ($10.20), a metre away third. It was a fantastic effort by the nine-year-old who sprinted powerfully in the home straight and scored despite wanting to hang in close to home. Trainer Ray Goble was delighted to have his favourite back in winning form. “I have been happy with the way he is going but felt it might be too much of an ask coming off 40 metres,” Goble said. “I sent him to Victoria last year because of a lack of races and the fact he was basically being handicapped out of the ones he could contest. “Now he was won again I will have to look at what to do with him. “I might freshen him up and get him ready for the major races during March and April such as the Fred Jones, Hambeltonian and Gramel.” Bred locally by David Shammall, Rejuvenation has been a wonderful trotter for owner Angela Goble winning 30 races from just 97 starts. Graham Fischer

Young South Australian harness racing trainer Chris Neilson achieved the ultimate when he supplied the trifecta in the $10,000 2017 Justice Family Plate (2645m) at Globe Derby Park. Machtwister ($6), a query at the trip, sprinted up the sprint lane to grab leader Im A Peregrine ($7.90) and scored by a long neck with Soho Monza ($19.40), 4-1/2 metres away third. Ironically, the son of Mach Three started his career as a two-year-old with champion trainer-driver Lance Justice who was on course at Globe Derby Park to be part of the presentation of the race named in honour of his family. “Lance said Machtwister was a bit of a rogue early and I can tell you age hasn’t improved him, but I love him because he has been a wonderful horse for my stable,” Neilson said. A son of prominent SA trainer Jill Neilson, Chris has been slowly building a handy team of pacers starting out by purchasing older horses and running them mainly in claimers. It is fair to say he was in a state of shock after training the trifecta in the Justice Family Plate. Neilson said he had to thank his mother for helping with his team. “I actually took a week’s holiday last week and none of the horses were fast worked in the lead up to tonight,” he said. “With the hot weather in Adelaide this week that might have been a good move.” Neilson prove he has an astute brain telling driver Wayne Hill to take a sit on Machtwister rather than leading which he had been expected to do from gate one. “He was a doubt at the trip and I knew if he led he would possibly fire up and over race,” Neilson said. “Sitting in behind he settled a lot better but when Im A Peregrine was able to lead I thought he would be the one to beat but Machtwister was good enough to sprint lane him.” Neilson owns Machtwister outright, shares ownership with fiancée Kristen Harris in Ima A Peregrine, and with business partner Byron O’Reilly in Soho Monza. “It was a big result,” Neilson said. “It is the first $10,000 race I’ve won, it was my first trifecta and I’m pretty sure it has never been done before in the Justice Family Plate.” The trainer celebrated hard on Saturday and admitted on Sunday he was “standing myself down on vet’s advice.” by Graham Fischer

New Zealand harness racing owner Helen Conaghan celebrated her first classic win when Our Jimmie NZ led throughout to win the $30,000 Group 3 SA BOTRA South Australian Derby (2230m) at Globe Derby Park. Trainer Brent Lilley supplied the Derby quinella when Our Jimmie ($2.50) scored an easy seven metre win from King Solomon ($1.70 favourite) with Jilliby Road Runner ($12.50), nine metres away third. “There is not much between them and I knew when Anthony (driver Anthony Butt) was able to lead and dictate he would be the one to beat,” Lilley said. “Both horses will go home and be set for the Victoria Derby but they have to keep stepping up. “They have improved since coming from New Zealand but have a big step to take if they are going to be any chance of taking off the Victoria Derby.” Butt virtually sealed the Derby when he could record 31.6 and 30.2 first quarters which made it near impossible for the three-year-olds back in the field to catch him coming home in 28.3 and 28. For Ms Conaghan, from Christchurch, she was over the moon. “I came into harness ownership about nine years ago, with my partner Paul Walton and we purchased the mare Trinity College for about $3000. She had only one start but we mated her with Big Jim and Our Jimmie is the result. “He showed some ability at home but after talking with a few people we made the decision to send him across to Brent Lilley, himself a New Zealand, and it was a decision we have not regretted.” Our Jimmie notched his seventh win from eight starts for Lilley with the Derby win. “The horses seem to happy here,” Ms Conaghan said, “and there are meetings seven days a week.” King Solomon and Jilliby Road Runner both ran well but found the winner too strong. The South Australians were basically out of the race as they settled towards the rear of the field but Breach The Beach caught the eye late for trainer-driver Danielle Hill. Graham Fischer

South Australian trotter Pocketfullofcash completed his education with honours scoring a dominating harness racing victory in the Group 2 2017 UBET South Australian Trotters Cup (2645m) at Globe Derby Park. Backed from $11 into $7.70, Pocketfullofcash, trained and driven by Paul Fidge, scored an eight metre win from another local Im Princess Sophie ($17.40) with Zedalite ($2.20 fav), 1-1/2 metres away third. Bred by Port Pirie trainer-driver Waylon Hornhardt, Pocketfullofcash is owned by Wade Knight and Lee-Anne Ferguson, who must be delighted with their decision to give the gelding to Fidge to train. When, the now seven-year-old gelding by Bancoora Left, came into Fidge’s Two Wells stable in late 2014, the trainer recognised his potential but said the gelding was “just plain dumb.” Pocketfullofcash justified that opinion by regularly galloping at the start, and also often during races. Teacher Fidge never gave up on ‘Bandit’ and his work and effort was rewarded with a victory in South Australia’s best trotting race. Pocketfullofcash showed he was learning about the art of square-gaiting with a wonderful 2015-2016 season culminating in being named the state’s trotter of the year. Included in the wins were the Victor Harbor Trotters Cup, Hambeltonian and Gramel Cup but perhaps in defeat the gelding showed he was not far away from a major win running a courageous second to Our Twentyten in the Seelite Trotters Cup in Mildura. Resuming from a spell in early December, Pocketfullofcash had five runs before Saturday night’s Cup run and had only one third prompting many to say the gelding had not come up. Fidge never lost the faith. by Graham Fischer

Come on Frank, the ‘People’s Champion’, has been retired. Part-owner Julie Billinger made the decision to end the harness racing career of South Australia’s favourite harness horse on Saturday morning, the final day of 2016. “It has been something we have been considering over the past month but the final decision was made today,” Julie said. “We have been having issues with his blood and his white cell count was off so the call was made to end his racing career.” Come On Frank’s last race will show he failed to beat a runner home in the Whyalla Cup at Port Pirie on Friday, December 30, but in the eyes of his owners and fans he will bow out a winner. The nine-year-old heads in retirement with a fantastic record of 61 wins, 26 seconds and 12 thirds from just 130 starts earning $404,650 in stakes. Come On Frank’s contribution to harness racing was recognised at the 2015-2016 Harness Racing South Australia’s awards when he was presented with the inaugural Chairman’s Award for an organisation, event, individual or horse which has made an outstanding contribution to the promotion of harness racing in South Australia. The Blissful Hall gelding was owned by Julie Billinger in partnership with her daughter Jodie and Ian Goddard and was trained and driven by Julie’s husband Darren. His story is worthy of a feature film. Starting out as a two-year-old, Come On Frank, as was his way, didn’t see the point in over extending himself in trackwork – it was a trait he continued for the rest of his career. Darren Billinger was despairing about his racing future but Frank was already a big favourite of Billinger’s daughters Kelly and Jodie. So Julie took him for a few weeks and through away the hopples and started to gallop him. This seemed to be the turning point and he started to show on the racetrack that he had a future. Despite being born into a harness racing family, Kelly was never a real lover of horses but Frank was the exception. She got to enjoy seeing the horse win as a two-year-old and early three-year-old but tragedy struck on April 30, 2011 when Kelly lost her life in a car accident. It was then that Come On Frank began to really show the trait that made him so popular. A quality that almost made him human. “There was a look in his eye that showed to us he seemed to understand,” Julie said. Three months to the day after Kelly’s passing, Come On Frank took out the Southern Cross final for three-year-old colts and geldings as if to pay his tribute. The Billingers say the spirit of Kelly has always been with Come On Frank. And so it went on as Come On Frank stepped up. Wins came often including the Dudley Justice Plate and Vicbred final for four-year-old entires and geldings among a host of races. The Come On Frank Facebook page evolved and his legend continued to grow with fans from around Australia and the world jumping onto his bandwagon. Frank travelled Australia with wins in South Australia at Globe Derby, Port Pirie, Mount Gambier and Victor Harbor, Mildura and Melton in Victoria and Menangle and Goulburn in New South Wales to build his cult hero status. Julie Billinger said she had been amazed at how the gelding had won his way into the hearts of the general public. “One day Darren and I were going through security at Sydney airport on the way home to Adelaide and we got talking to a security guard who revealed he wasn’t a real harness fan but always had a small bet whenever he saw Frank was running,” Julie said. “That is just one of the stories of so many people who found a hero in Come On Frank.” Julie wouldn’t be drawn into picking Come On Frank’s best win. “They all have some sort of memory for me. “Every win has its own story and was special.” Come On Frank may not have won an Inter Dominion but he retires into history as a unique standardbred – a horse that captured the hearts of a nation.  by Graham Fischer

65 to 80 of 514