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A range of initiatives from the Harness Racing SA Board to increase returns to those actively participating in the South Australian industry has been one of the triggers to an expected hike in foal numbers in the State. They include the recent introduction of ‘Super Saturday’ race meetings which are restricted to horses who have resided in SA for a prescribed period and promulgated changes to the SA Southern Cross Racing and Breeding Incentive Scheme with eligibility restricted to those active in the breeding sector in the state. Harness Racing SA CEO Ross Neal stated: “The changes that have been made, and that will continue to be made are singular of purpose, which is to put a greater share of SA generated revenue back in the pockets of those actively contributing to harness racing in the state.”  “The changes being made to the Southern Cross Scheme will clearly reward those investing in breeding standardbreds in the state,” he added. Mr Neal said that “the Board’s objectives are to grow our breeding numbers in the state and lessen the reliance on interstate acquisitions.” The changes mooted to the racing and breeding sectors have been welcomed by key industry participants. Steve Norman, the studmaster and owner of Allenby Lodge stud, said: “The appetite for breeding in SA is coming back. We already have 20 mares booked to Major Secret and we expect that he will cover around 30 mares this season.” Norman said that he was impressed with the first foals of the former NSW Derby and Vicbred champion. “We have a couple of cracking weanlings by him. They would be standouts in any group.” Lee-Ann Pangrazio, who conducts Bolnora Stud, Dublin, the home of Sound System, anticipates having up to 35 mares on her property. Lee-Ann Pangrazio, manager of Bolnora Stud “It’s the first time I’ve had those numbers for a few years. I have six mares booked already to Ohoka Punter from BOTRA members taking up the free service offer from Egmont Park.” Garry and Marlene Fryar, who operate Rivergum Lodge, Buchfelde, one of the largest semen bases in SA, said their clients were breeding to better quality stallions this season. Gary and Marlene Fryar, owners of well-known semen base Rivergum Lodge White Star Lodge studmaster Shane Loone, who stands Smoken Up’s sire Tinted Cloud, said the veteran sire served 34 mares last season and 30 were in foal. “His owner Bob Fowler gave us the horse to encourage new breeders to breed to a proven stallion,” Loone stated. Loone advocated a later start to the stud season citing that mares cycle better in the warmer weather and breeding later would help keep the costs down for broodmare owners. Gary Newton, the acting president of SA BOTRA, said: “It’s great we have some confidence here in SA considering the COVID situation any increase in foal numbers would be wonderful. I’m hoping for at least a 10 per cent increase.  “BOTRA with thanks to Kevin and Kay Seymour have around 23 bookings to four-time Group 1 winner Ohoka Punter, all to SA mares. “Hopefully changes to the Southern Cross scheme will benefit and encourage broodmare owners to breed into the future and encourage studmasters to look at increasing our stallions based here in SA.” There are seven stallions registered for stud duties in SA this season. The lineup has been bolstered by Christian Cullen’s millionaire son Gotta Go Cullen, who is now standing at the Howard Stud, Glencoe, of Greg Howard alongside Cullen’s Hope. Gotta Go Cullen has left 40 individual winners in New Zealand and Australia including Oh I Am The One, Chantrey, Royal Counsel, Major League and Pay Me Interest. Other sires are Cullen’s Legacy (Borg Racing), Alzona (Majestic Lodge), Major Secret (Allenby Lodge), Sound System (Bolnora Stud) and Tinted Cloud (White Star Lodge).      by Peter Wharton

INAUGURAL SUPER SATURDAY  Saturday night featured the first Super Saturday at Globe Derby Park with five ten thousand dollar races run and won. Gawler trainer Aaron Bain scooped the pool winning two events with his good trotter Godofthunder and former Kiwi pacer It Aint The Money. Bronte Giorgio won the 54 to 59 rating with Steam Cleaned, owned by Rob and Zita Maloney from the south east, while the Tyson Linke trained and Simon Jones driven Mackalan, at $34, won the first event. Another Super Saturday is scheduled for September 26.   BROTHERS UNITE FOR PROSTATE CANCER AWARENESS  Brothers Darren and Mark Billinger will wear the silks to promote Prostate Cancer Awareness Month during September. SA BOTRA will also donate any unclaimed bonuses to the Foundation during September. This is the  fourth year SA BOTRA has provided the colours worn by SA drivers to promote awareness of the cause, Interim President Gary Newton said " BOTRA would like to thank Mark and Darren for agreeing to wear the Foundation colours during September to promote awareness to this terrible cancer that kills more than 50 men a week in Australia."  BOTRA, in association with HRSA, also plan to fundraise during September to support the cause.   NO EXCUSE NEEDED FOR THIS WINNER. Exciting ex Kiwi pacer Dont Need An Excuse made it six wins in row when he took out the final event on Saturday nights program. Trained and driven by Anthony Robinson, Dont Need An Excuse started a long odds on favourite and punters who took the short odds were never in doubt after the son of Net Ten EOM found the front. His sire Net Ten EOM is a son of the late super sire Somebeachsomewhere — and is out of the champion Artsplace mare Glowing Report (1:49.2, world champion, Breeders Crown champion and winner of $US2.3 million in stakes).   GIRLS ARE DOING FOR THEMSELVES  With an extended season until December 31, thanks to Covid-19, the premiership would normally be wrapping up, however, Dani Hill currently sits on top of the ladder of the drivers premiership. The lady trainers premiership is hotting up and yes, there is four months to go, but only 1 win separates Jill Neilson (25 wins) and Claire Goble (24 wins). The young drivers award is also turning into a close contest with Corey Johnson (32 wins) leading Samantha Pascoe (30 wins). Pascoe booted home Sovereigne Bay ($12) for trainer Ryan Hryhorec in the TAB Long May We Play Pace on Saturday night.      SA BOTRA

2020 is a red-letter year for one of South Australia’s true all-round horsewomen, Lee-Ann Pangrazio. It marks a 50 year anniversary in harness racing for the owner of Bolnora Breeding and Racing who has been a successful studmaster, breeder, owner, trainer, driver, yearling sale vendor and official. And, Lee-Ann’s enthusiasm for the sport is as strong now as when she first started out in the 1970’s. “I still get a buzz out of getting up in the morning and watching the new foals playing in the paddock with their dams,” Lee-Ann said. She has scaled down the business somewhat in the last few years with only 25 resident mares as well as mares being shipped in for the breeding season.  “Bolnora is now more a boutique farm. At one stage we had up to 160 mares on the property,” she said. Another source of great enjoyment for Lee-Ann is watching the exploits of her daughter, Katie, a successful driver, and her son, Andrew, a veterinary surgeon. “Katie works for Jill Neilson in the mornings and helps out at our farm in the afternoons,” Lee-Ann said. “She helps out with the breaking-in and training and general farm work.” Pangrazio, who was recognised for her contribution to South Australian breeding industry by BOTRA in 2005, is a pioneer of the sport. “Bolnora was the first stud in SA to introduce artificial insemination in 1997,” she stated. Lee-Ann herself comes from good equine stock.  “Mum used to ride showjumpers and crosscountry horses. She was still competing in shows until she was in her 40’s. “I rode ponies from a child through to my teenage years,” Lee-Ann said. Lee-Ann grew up on a dairy farm, firstly at Jervois and later at Virginia. The Pangrazio family became involved in trotting when they bought Len Sugars’ house and stables at Klemzig and Sugars bought their farm at Virginia. Lee-Ann and her ex-husband, Peter Lobb, established Bolnora as a training and breeding facility in 1993. “Effilo Adios, Long Tan Rob and Simply Two were a few of the best winners we trained,” Lee-Ann said. The 186 acre property, located at Dublin on the Adelaide Plains, has been the birthplace of numerous top flight performers down through the years. The list includes the SA Breeders Plate and triple Southern Cross winner Hes A Corka, his Oaks-winning sister Saved A Corka and half-sister Whatacorka (dam of Come On Frank), the multiple cups winner Scruffy Murphy and the SA Golden Nursery winner Fibber Magee. Among the horses bred and sold by Bolnora at the SA yearling sales have been the siblings Mandy Kriden, Responder and Takemepitchamister and the good Melton winner Amazing Kano. Lookin Fresh, a smart three-year-old winner at Bendigo in June, was bred at Bolnora and sold privately. “Mandy Kriden and Responder both won over $100,000, while Amazing Kano earned in excess of $70,000,” Lee-Ann said. Lee-Ann serves as treasurer of the SA BOTRA where she has been a committee member for several years. She also stands the Safe And Sound horse Sound System at Bolnora. The Tyler B import Miles McCool and the royally bred colonial horse Our El Fuego were others to do stud duties at Bolnora.   by Peter Wharton Reprinted with permission from Australian Standardbred Breeders Association website

Add Saturday 29th August 2020 to your calendars for the inaugural $10,000 Super Saturday at Globe Derby Park. Harness Racing S.A. today confirmed its continued focus on reinvigorating and rewarding Harness Racing in the state by announcing the criteria for eligibility. All horses domiciled in South Australia as at July 1, 2020 will be eligible to compete in the $10,000 Super Saturday races. Preference will also be given to horses  that have raced regularly in S.A. during August 2020. These two measures ensuring that the prizemoney finds its way back into to those making such a positive contribution to Harness Racing in the state. HRSA Chairman George Fiacchi commented: “As a Board our primary consideration of the $10,000 Super Saturday is to reward those invested and loyal to Harness Racing in S.A. We are seeing so many green shoots, returning prizemoney to pre COVID levels, racing returning to Port Pirie, strong wagering returns enabling us to increase prizemoney. The positivity and the cohesion within the industry to create a strong platform for future growth is exciting.There are many more initiatives that have originated from industry participants designed to stimulate and grow Harness Racing, these will be released in the near future.” The program for the Super Saturday being found here.. For further information please contact: ROSS NEAL | CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (08) 8285 2899 • rneal@saharness.org.au

A South Australian neighbourhood fed up with hooning has worked together to block off two cars tearing up the Globe Derby Park harness racing track – only to watch as they rammed their way out.   Two cars, at least one of them reported stolen, were running amok in the park in Adelaide just after 7.40pm yesterday.   But residents fought back, taking down number plates and confronting the drivers after trapping them in the park.   "The gate over here was open so I locked it. Went around, checked the other gates, they were all locked," resident Cheryl Herman said.   "You could see they were freaking out, trying to get out."   Other neighbours quickly came out to help, standing by the gates to make sure the drivers couldn't leave.   Witnesses called police, but ultimately the drivers did escape, ramming through a locked gate. A pair of hooning cars were trapped inside a race park in Adelaide before smashing out of a locked gate. (9News) At least one of the cars has been reported stolen. (9News) "It's been going on for years, and the police take so long to get here," Ms Herman said. "I think it was over 45 minutes before they got here." The damage made the park unusable for track work this morning. Residents say they're fed up at having to deal with hoons on an almost weekly basis. 9News

A prominent harness racing figure in the mid north region of South Australia has decided it's time to take a change and pursue other interests. Lyndon Hall, who is based at the popular coastal tourist city of Port Pirie, 225 kms from Adelaide, has been training horses for more than 40 years, with an imposing strike-rate. "We've met a lot of lovely people, made a lot of friends and had heaps of fun during our long involvement, but we are now looking to take a different direction," Hall said. "My wife Jacqui and I have two married daughters in Tammi and Jo-Ann, and there's six grand-daughters. So when sporting activities are allowed to start again, there will be lots of netball and basketball on Saturday afternoons," he said. "And of course, I still enjoy my fishing. We plan on getting back into the camping and fishing scene." Hall said he got the harness racing bug as a teenager through the late Bob Clarke, who was a well-known outstanding conditioner of horses in the area. "I learned a great deal from Bob, not only in the training aspects, but also driving. Bob actually let me to drive one of his star pacers in Already to get my driver's licence. I had to do a few satisfactory drives in front of the stewards," he said. "Already was a class horse and I remember him winning a heat and final of the Mildura Pacing Cup in good style. Bob's son Andrew is still training horses at Mt Gambier." Hall said as a youngster he was an apprentice butcher. "Dad owned two shops and asked me which one I would like to take over. I told him that I didn't want either because I was going fishing," he said. "I ended up being a professional fisherman for 14 years and thoroughly enjoyed it. Then I had a go at the hotel business and owned a few over a period of 24 years and we've still got one at Port Broughton." Hall established his training complex on a "couple of hundred acres" near Port Pirie, with a 900metre training track, stables and large paddocks. "We were big supporters of trotting around the area, always racing big teams at our home track as well as others like Whyalla. Jacqui also had three years as Port Pirie President," he said. "I remember taking a record 18 horses one night to Port Pirie, while the most we ever raced at Whyalla was 14. There were plenty of other times when we'd load up the truck and head off to race at other tracks, including Broken Hill and Mildura which were long hauls. "A favorite memory from Broken Hill was one night throwing seven on the truck and getting five winners and two second placing cheques. That was a fun night." Hall was the leading trainer at Port Pirie on five occasions. His career record stands at around 3200 starters for 280 victories, 400 second placings and 480 thirds. He regards a win in a heat and final of the Sunraysia Cup years ago with talented pacer Fifty Gorillas (D M Dilinger-Roxy Bay (Whata Baron) as among his best. "We had Ryan Hryhorec drive the horse in the heat, and the late Gavin Lang in the final. It was the only time we ever had Gavin drive for us," Hall said. "Fifty Gorillas won 20 races for us and then John Heath won a few more when they sent the horse up to him at Menangle. He was first emergency in an Inter Dominion final at Sydney and narrowly missed getting a start because there was a scratching at 9.10 am-10 minutes too late to get a start! "I think Fifty Gorillas was the fastest horse bred by D M Dillinger for a while-he could still even hold that mantle." Hall said he also admired a pacer who is still at his place recovering from a hoof injury in Mymatethomo. "He is one of the nicest horses I've ever had. He had a strong will to win and possessed sheer speed when he was right. One of his greatest wins was as a C1 assessed pacer up against FFA horses and he come out and took the Whyalla Cup," he said. So while it's a safe bet to say that fish, crabs and other seafood delicacies will be on the dinner plate if you visit the Halls in the future, there's a chance you may even be challenged to a game of darts. Hall has a sharp eye and still harbors a love for the sport. But a word of warning: he was the state champion in the 90s and won several championships. Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Harness Racing South Australia Stewards, on Wednesday 6th of May 2020, concluded an inquiry into comments made by Mr Todd Weidenbach on social media platform Face Book. Stewards found Mr Weidenbach guilty of a breach of Australian Harness Racing Rule 248 which states: “A person shall not say, publish or write or cause to be said, published or written anything malicious, intimidatory or otherwise improper about the Controlling Body, its members and employees or the Stewards or anyone else associated with the harness racingindustry.” The particulars being that comments, relating to the controlling body, made by Mr Weidenbach, on the social media platform Face Book were improper. After considering submissions provided by Mr Weidenbach and after having regard to the following relevant factors: • A copy of the comments on Face Book. • Mr Weidenbach’s admission of the breach. • The need for general and specific deterrence. • Mr Weidenbach’s personal circumstances Stewards believed the appropriate sanction was a $400.00 fine, $200.00 suspended for 12 months, provided there are no further offences under this rule during that period. The Stewards firmly remind all participants of the need to be mindful of any content or comments they elect to put on any social media platform. The Stewards will not tolerate unacceptable commentary directed at the Controlling Body, its members, employees, the Stewards or any one associated with the Harness Racing Industry. Failure to adhere to these expectations will result in significant penalties being imposed. For further information please contact: SIMON EWEN | CHAIRMAN OF STEWARDS (08) 8285 0700 • sewen@saharness.org.au

Update for SA harness racing participants Further to my letter yesterday we are continuing to address the consequences of COVID-19 and its effect on our industry. At this time it is important that we apply our best endeavours to mitigate any and all risks to everyone in our sport and also the general public. This including minimising contact and interaction between people when participating at harness racing meetings. To this end we have determined that the number of races conducted at race meetings be restricted to seven races with a maximum field size of 9 runners. Resultantly, this will provide the ability to better segregate participants at race meetings. An additional outcome will be that the total number of people attending race meetings will be reduced. However in making these changes the obvious outcome will be that there will be less opportunity to race given that the maximum number of horses at any one meeting will be 63. Consequently, we have programmed an additional meeting for next Tuesday evening (31st March) to be conducted at Globe Derby Park. This being that this week the race meetings will be: Saturday 28th March – Globe Derby Park (Night) Monday 30th March – Globe Derby Park (Day) Tuesday 31st March – Globe Derby Park (Night) In making these changes we believe we can cater for the current racing population in the state. Nominations for both the Monday and Tuesday meeting will close at 8:30am on Wednesday 25th with the programme for Tuesday evening being available now. We understand that the changes made will not suit all, however, it is critically important that we respond positively to the challenges confronting us by minimising risk and providing a safer workplace for all. Finally, we thank you for your understanding and acceptance of this rapidly changing and unparalleled operating landscape.   Harness Racing South Australia

Promising Million Dollar Cam two-year-old filly Milliondollar Kiss charged home from worse than midfield to notch her maiden success in a heat of The Allwood at Globe Derby Park. Reigning US Horse of the Year Shartin was the headline act of a huge week for her sire Tintin In America, who left winners in three different countries. Having her first start for the year, Shartin was a conspicuous last at the three-quarter pole before storming home late to win a $US50,000 Mares Invitational at Dover Downs, Delaware. She clocked 1:50 for the mile with the last two quarters in 27 and 27.8. Other Tintin In America winners were the three-year-olds Wotdisusaay (1:56.8, Ballarat) and Common Courtesy (1:58.8, Wangaratta), Andrew Jay (1:58.3, Redcliffe) and the Dunedin, New Zealand winner Bella Sara. Caribbean Blaster was represented by a pair of winners in the West in All The Bells (1:59.5), who is undefeated in two starts this season, and Caruba, the winner of three of her last four. Both are members of Caribbean Blaster’s first crop. A True Sensation, a mare bred by Yirribee Pacing Stud, won her second race at Bathurst. Yirribee Pacing  Stud sold 15 of the 16 lots presented at the Australian Pacing Gold sale at Warwick Farm with the highlight being the Courage Under Fire-Very Chic NZ colt sold to Barry Purdon for $50,000.   By Peter Wharton

A promotion to celebrate 100 years of harness racing in South Australia, will finally come into the spotlight at Sunday’s Gawler Cup meeting. Trainer Aaron Bain found out last year than 2019 marked 100 years of harness racing in the state with early meetings conducted between the River Torrens and Adelaide University and also at Alberton Oval. To try and introduce new folk to the sport he created the Aaron Bain Racing 100 Club where 100 people put up $100 with no further ongoing costs for 1/100th share. After looking around Bain purchased a mare called Suresoundslikealie but on arrival in SA, she contracted a blood issue, then when that was fixed, she reared up and damaged a knee which meant another break. It has been third time lucky with Suresoundslikealie winning trials at Globe Derby Park and Gawler to ready for her a return to racing on Sunday. “My goal was to introduce new people to the sport and for just over 90% of the club, it is their first time as an owner,” Bain said. “The good thing is that about 80 of the owners, plus family members, have said they will be attending the meeting. “It has been frustrating that it has taken so long to get to the races but credit to the owners, they have been very patient.” Bain said he believed the ABR 100 Club had proved an excellent promotion and he was looking forward to see all the owners on Sunday    First race at 1.29pm and the last of eight at 5.22pm. Suresoundslikealie is in race two which will be run at 1:54pm.   by Graham Fischer

Hard working South Australian harness racing trainer Aaron Bain saw a long-range plan pay off in the best way possible at the Mount Gambier Pacing Gold Cup on Saturday night. Four-year-old brown mare Alcatraz Lass (Pet Rock-Double Justice (Albert Albert) led from start to finish for in-form reinsman Mark Billinger, scoring at 10/1 in the $12,000 feature event. "I won consecutive races with her at Mildura, Port Pirie and Globe Derby Park last November and December and then decided to put her in cotton wool for the Mount Gambier Cup," Bain said. "She tries her heart out when in front, so to get a good barrier draw, I couldn't risk racing her and earning more points which would have put her out in a wider barrier," he said. "The Cup was for horses with NR of 56 to 65 so in the end we had to draw one or two. We ended up with the one, Mark pinged her to the front and everything fell into place from there." The Gawler-based trainer said Alcatraz Lass was a completely different horse when forced to come from behind. "She doesn't go a yard-so we just have to try and find the top whenever possible," he said. "We had to keep her in peak condition and ready to race because there was a six-week gap between her last win and the cup. But I have to be honest and say we had a bit of a scare on the previous Sunday at the trials when we ran the gate and she galloped into the bend. "A few urgent changes were made and thankfully she didn't miss a beat at Mount Gambier." The Gold Cup success was a first for trainer Bain and reinsman Billinger. Bain ran third in the race last season with Ideal World, the winner being Iam Erik. For Billinger, his closest was fifth in the 2013 edition with Aveross Mac (although he's since won six races on the horse, and they will again team up at Globe Derby this afternoon). The freelance reinsman was thrilled with the win. To watch the video replay of Alcatraz Lass click here. "Aaron had the horse spot-on and she was full of running so I did have a few celebration beers and a bit of a sleep in before driving home the next day," he said. Aaron Bain The cup win was the second leg of a winning double for Bain and Billinger at the Mount Gambier meeting, after taking out the $7000 Baxter Hire Pace earlier in the night with sit-sprint pacer Miss Soapbox (Santanna Blue Chip-Blah Blah Blah (Christian Cullen). Miss Soapbox was driven perfectly by Billinger who sat patiently at the rear of the field. "The only way she goes any good is by sitting up and waiting as long as you can," Bain said. "She absolutely sprouts wings when she's driven like that and Mark did a great job - he was last and about five wide on the home corner, but she worked home 100mph," he said. "She looked disappointing at her previous start in Adelaide, but we had some excuses because she tied up a bit and was also wide from the 1200m mark, and that's just not her cup of tea." To watch the video replay of Miss Soapbox winning click here. Bain had his sights set on a unique Cup double with consistent pacer Ideal World tackling the Devonport Cup last night. After reinsman Wayne Hill got his charge away with fine touch in the standing start race, Ideal World seemed to be cruising out in front. However, with one-and-a-half laps to go, the American Ideal-sired gelding experienced gear failure and went into a gallop before being retired from the race. Ideal World took out the $12,000 North Eastern Pacing Cup at Scottsdale two starts prior. Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura               P 0498 490 672   E hello@newsalertpr.com.au   W www.newsalertpr.com.au      

An estimated crowd of more than 400 people enjoyed a true country style picnic harness racing meeting at Morgan Park, Victor Harbor on Australia Day, Sunday, January 26. The twilight harness race meeting was held in ideal weather conditions and race goers enjoyed the family day complete with children's entertainment, full betting and TAB facilities along with a barbecue cooked by Encounter Bay Football Club members. A feature of the day's racing was the 'TAB Victor Harbor Pacing Cup' which was won by 'Assassinator' trained by Christopher Nicol and driven by Ryan Hryhorec. Assassinator broke the track record for the Morgan Park venue during this race. At the end of the day's racing program, a short ceremony, saw the naming of the main pavilion as the 'Lew Parker Pavilion' in honour of former president of the Victor Harbor Harness Racing club Lew Parker, who is a well known racing identity in Victor Harbor.  President Lynton Bishop presents the Victor Harbor Pacers Cup to the Nicol brothers.    Wendy Brealey, Shaun Stacey and Sue Cook enjoy a glass of wine and a picnic lunch at the races.   The next harness race meeting will be held on Easter Sunday at Morgan Park. Lynton Bishop congratulated Lew Parker at the naming of the pavilion ceremony at Morgan Park, which was a highlight of the meeting. Face painter Julia Thomas showed off her work during the race meeting on Australia Day, entertaining many children. Ryan Hryhorec, driver of Assassinator, was ecstatic at winning the Victor Harbor Pacing Cup and breaking the track record.    Victor Harbor residents Julie and Robert Thorning enjoyed a day at the races.   Face painter Julia Thomas shows off her work on Evie Winkworth of Hallet Cove at the races on Australia Day. By Michael Simmons Reprinted with permission of The Victor Harbor Times

One of South Australia’s finest harness racing drivers Mark Billinger is back and ready to go after several years away from the sport. “I got an enforced holiday— but I’ve done the time and now I’m looking to moving forward with unbelievable enthusiasm,” Billinger said. “When I got rubbed out and decided to leave Australia, I was running a tourist operation overseas – and I actually told my friends that I doubted if I’d ever return,” he said. “But things change in life. I was operating a glass-bottom tourist boat in Thailand with some others and thoroughly enjoyed it for the first 12 months. Then I started watching harness racing and other sport televised from back home, like AFL footy, and my interest was re-kindled. “I’m a passionate Adelaide Crows supporter and was watching them at sports bars. The harness racing just sort of followed along, and I was surprised how I regained my passion for it.” Billinger formed a formidable team with his late father Val, a highly respected conditioner and trainer of many top line pacers. The leading freelance reinsman last competed on a racetrack in late January of 2017. He left the sport on a winning note, landing four winners for the weekend. “I’ve been doing some stablehand duties and driving at the trials. I feel like a teenager again. I’ve definitely hit the re-start button,” Billinger said. “Before my dad died, he told me that I’d be back at the track again one day and I guess they do say that once harness racing is in your blood, it stays there,” he laughed. Mark Billinger spent his time away from the sport running a tourist boat operation with business partners in Thailand “I’ve put the word out to trainers that I’m prepared to travel anywhere. Hopefully South Australian trainers will use my services, and I’m also really keen to drive at Mildura and Mt Gambier meetings.” Billinger had a deserved reputation of being able to get the best out of his charges. He was a brilliant front-running reinsman and was held in high regard by his fellow drivers. He has recently been re-honing his skills by helping Peter and Aaron Bain, and doing some trials driving for his brother Darren, Paul Cavallaro and others. “I’ve found that the main thing was to regain that feel of speed. I’m confident that I’m okay in that department,” Billinger said. “Work-wise, I’m retired now, but getting back with the horses has given me something to focus on. You know, I use to laugh when friends said as you get older, you need a reason to get out of bed, but it’s so true. “The whole thing is being driven by my love of the sport and I really can’t wait.” Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Harness Racing SA (HRSA) advises it has successfully advocated for changes to the ratings points matrix for horses competing in races of $3,000 or less. In seeking the changes, agreed to by Harness Racing Australia, HRSA sought to better provide for the industry in South Australia and in particular the penalties accrued for races in the lower stakes range. The changes to the ratings points matrix are: The race stake threshold where horses accrue two (2) points for winning has increased from $2,500 to $3,000 The one (1) point penalty for finishing second has been removed for all races of $3,000 or less. Unplaced runners from sixth to last in race stakes of $0 - $3,000 will receive a one (1) rating point reduction These changes will take effect by 1st September 2019. HRSA believes the changes made better recognize the individuality of the industry in South Australia and they provide connections of horses with greater flexibility when placing their horses. Furthermore, there has been a change to how 2yo horses transition into the ratings system upon turning 3yo if they are rated less than 40 at the completion of their 2yo season. To view the above changes in detail, please follow the link provided below. http://www.harness.org.au/media-room/news-article/?news_id=41105 For further information please contact: DAVID THUEN | OPERATIONS MANAGER

Champion Adelaide harness racing horsewoman Danielle Hill has wasted no time in getting back to business. Hill, who this week returned to race driving after suffering horrific injuries in a race fall at Globe Derby Park five months ago, has driven at three meetings and has been successful at each one of them. "I guess I have to thank my partner David Harding as he really pushed the envelope when I told him I'd been given the clearance to go back driving," Hill said. "David didn't beat around the bush. He virtually just said that's fantastic - you're back, so you're on and get out there," she said. "He did let me do some fastwork on Thisexcusebetterbeit at Globe Derby earlier in the week and we went pretty quick, quicker than I work at home, because that's what we were wondering about...how I'd feel going fast. But the horse just felt sensational and from that point on I was good to go." Hill said leading up to her return at Globe Derby last Saturday night, she had "a few butterflies" beforehand. "But once I got to the track, I felt eerily calm. That probably sounds a bit funny. But it's the only way I can describe it." Hill was sent out a $2 favorite on Saab Magic in the Claiming Pace at her first appearance. After working forward early, the pacer finished second to Futurist (Darren Billinger). At her next drive, Hill was again runner up, this time aboard Indiana Dreaming. The victor was Don't Tell William (Lisa Ryan). The winning breakthrough for the returning champ came in the $17,000 TAB Graduation Championship Final when Hill came with a late run to score with Thisexcusebetterbeit (Bettors Delight-What's Your Excuse) trained by her partner David Harding. To watch the video replay click on this link. "It was a great feeling to get a winner. Yes, I can feel the injury to the leg and the knee, but I think that'll always be there. Yes, I was a bit nervous but at some point, the adrenaline kicked in, and that's what you feed off in race driving. At some stage through the night, I realised I was back out on the track, I was feeling that adrenaline rush - and it felt good!". Two days later Hill was back at South Australia's headquarters and landed a double, being successful for Luke O'Neill with Truscott Hall (Angus Hall-Truscott Photo (SJ's Photo) in the Trotters Handicap and later with the Shane Loone-trained Millwood Chloe (Ohoka Arizona-Chloe Hanover (Holmes Hanover) in the Motor Group Pace. A four-hour trip over the border to Mildura on Wednesday night was rewarded with a win at the 805-metre track on Arakbell (Betterthancheddar-Atlarak (Tinted Cloud) for Ryan Hryhorec. "I do love competing at the Mildura track and if I keep getting drives over there, I'll turn up. The way they've banked the corners, the horses get around it well and the racing's good," Hill said. And there's a fair bet that Dani will be hitching a ride over with brother Wayne, who is a regular - and most successful - driver at the far north-west Victorian fixtures. Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura    

Following the State Governments announcement in June of the stimulus package for the greater South Australian racing, Harness Racing South Australia (HRSA) has embarked on a consultation process with all harness racing clubs in the state, seeking their input as to how the monies made available by Government could best be utilised in assisting to achieve the Ministers stated goals of protecting jobs, and strengthening the industry so to ensuring it becomes more sustainable in the future. This consultation process with the industry has involved seeking feedback from all clubs as to their infrastructure requirements, and how the funds made available by Government could be applied to benefit the harness racing industry in the state moving forward. HRSA has also consulted with SA BOTRA, the most significant industry representative group in SA; with SA Harness Racing Club executive, and with the Executive of the SA Country Harness Racing Clubs Association. Additionally, and resulting from the funding agreements entered into with the government, the HRSA Board is currently working through the process of restructuring the dynamic of the Board directorships where the positions of Country Clubs and South Australian Harness Racing Club representatives will be disestablished and replaced by two additional independently appointed directorships. With respect to all consultations it has been heartening to note the positivity generated by the Ministers funding announcement, how this has potentially provided the industry with the much needed `shot in the arm’ for which it has been long waiting for. It is also heartening for HRSA to have already received a number of submissions from member clubs outlining how any monies provided could be utilised to strengthen their operations and provide enhanced benefits for the harness racing industry in the long term. Once all submissions are received the Board will, after careful consideration, make the appropriate recommendations to the Minister as to how the funds available could be best utilised, with the outcomes to be advised to the industry. For further information please contact: ROSS NEAL | CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (08) 8285 2899 • rneal@saharness.org.au

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