Day At The Track
Search Results
17 to 32 of 157

Talented trotting mare Rocknroll Baby displayed her recent maturity overcoming mid-race issues to score an all the way win in the Prince Of Wales Kapunda Trotters Cup (2610m). Driver Jock Dunlop revealed the crupper used on the mare had broken with a lap to go seeing her gear go forward and putting him ill at ease. “She had every excuse to go into a gallop when that happened,” Dunlop said. “I was certainly on edge for the last lap, but the mare was in a good rhythm and stayed trotting. She did a great job.” Rocknroll Baby ($1.60 fav) was well rated in front by Dunlop to score a five metre win from Bold Law ($13.60) which finished fast late with Truscott Law ($5), 1-1/2 metres away third. Dunlop was able to get away with pedestrian quarters of 32.1 and 31.6 before letting the mare slide with 27.9 and 30.3 final sectionals and no horse was able to get close enough for Dunlop to have to try and shake her up. It was Rocknroll Baby’s second Cup win in eight days having scored at Mount Gambier on the previous Saturday. The mare will try to make it three Cups in a month by going for the $8000 Port Pirie Trotters Cup (2530m) on Saturday, March 24. They add to the Gramel Trotters Cup and Hambeltonian Cup she collected earlier in the year. Trainer Greg Norman has always sung the mare’s praises. “She has only been trotting for just over 12 months,” Norman said. “She has had plenty of racing, and travelling, but has been getting better and better. “Provided she pulls up okay, she will be off to Port Pirie.” Norman wasn’t at Kapunda, he was in Melbourne picking up a new addition to the AB&T Cormack Racing stables. “We paid $26,000 for a colt by Majestic Son out of the former star trotting mare Zesta. “She was only small, but she could certainly trot. This colt is also very small, but he is built like a pocket battleship.” Graham Fischer

Popular South Australian harness racing trainer-driver Scott Pascoe landed his first winner in more than 10 years when Samalise scored a thrilling win in the PFD Food Services Pace (1800m) at Globe Derby Park. A $10.50 chance, Samalise recorded her first win leading throughout scoring a half-head win in a photo-finish that had only half a metre between the first four horses past the post. After receiving pressure for much of the race, the four-year-old mare responded to Pascoe’s urgings to defeat the fast-finishing Clarenden Valour ($4.50) while Fine Artist ($33.10) was a short half head away third and Eyes For You ($9.70), a half neck away fourth. A delighted Pascoe was relieved to finally have his first winner after returning to the sport in November last year. “I’ve had a few placings, but it is great to finally land a winner, and she did a great job,” Pascoe said. “Even though it has taken a while, I’m loving being back in harness racing, it is really enjoyable.” Pascoe’s previous winner was La Bella Mafia which scored at Globe Derby Park on October 27, 2007. “I gave it away soon after that but made a short comeback in 2014 before stopping again. I’ve been working in the Northern Territory but am back home in Birdwood again so have the chance to train a few.” Pascoe said he had purchased Samalise from the stable of champion Victorian trainer-driver Brian Gath. “I had been watching her for a while and when I saw her listed on the Trading Ring, just had to buy her.” Saturday was the mare’s 19th race start, and she had recorded five seconds and a third before the win. “I thought she ran really well at Kapunda on the previous Monday running home strongly to finish second. “Tonight, from gate one, I was determined to push through and hold the lead. “I wasn’t too happy when there was mid-race pressure from Peter (Borrelli on Fine Artist) but Samalise responded and really battled on strongly up the home straight.” Samalise and Fine Artist went head-for-head for the last 400 metres and Clarenden Valour, which had had an easy run back in the field, loomed up wide out in the home straight but just could not catch the mare which refused to give in. Fine Artist held on well while Eyes For You came on strongly along the sprint lane. Samalise is owned by Pascoe’s Ningana Park, managed by his wife Mandy, along with Mount Gambier committeeman Anthony Rice and his partner, and the Pascoe’s daughter Samantha. Graham Fischer

At an age when most horses are heading into retirement, Brettoneux has only just begun his harness racing career. Now 11, Brettoneux won at Kapunda on Monday, February 12, at just his third race start – and all have been this year. Globe Derby Park trainer Vaughn Newman takes up the story. “I’ve trained a few horses for a Victorian owner John Kennedy and he said a relative, Murray Goates from Werribee, had a trotter he wanted to send to South Australia. “I’ve trained horses for more than 40 years, and always pacers, never a trotter,” Newman said. “When John said the horse was 11 and had never raced I turned him down but said I would try to place him. “A few trainers showed interest but quickly dropped off because of his age, so finally, I said okay. Newman found out Brettoneux had actually qualified to race for Victorian trainer Amy Tubbs back in 2012. “He then suffered tendon injuries in both legs and spent 4-1/2 years in a paddock before being brought back into training. “I think John (Kennedy) worked him up before he came across to South Australia.” Newman gave the gelding his first start at Kapunda on January 5. “I had no idea what to expect and I don’t think Wayne (reinsman Wayne Hill) did either. “The horse trotted safely, but slowly, before Wayne shook him up during the last lap and he made up good ground. “Next start at Globe Derby (on January 15) I had something on him because I thought he had improved but he broke and lost a lot of ground before again trotting home strongly. “He had never broke for me so I was shocked and mucked around with his headgear for last Monday’s race.” Backed from $31 into $17.90, Brettoneux began quickly off his front mark and Hill found himself left 40 metres in front of the body of the field. With the knowledge of the horse, Hill kept him trotting strongly running 30.1, 30.2 and 30.0 quarters making it basically impossible for anything to catch him. Brettoneux scored a 12 metre win from Truscott Hall ($1.50 fav) with No Renege ($7.10), 16 metres away third. “He did get tired running a 33.5 final quarter,” Hill said, “but he also knocked off a bit when I didn’t keep at him.” Newman said the gelding had had 27 weeks of training for his races, so it was fair to assume, after such a long break, he would continue to get fitter. Brettoneux’s next run will be in the $7000 Legends Trotters Final (2220m) at Kapunda on Monday, February 26. Incredibly, even though he will be in his first full year of racing, when Brettoneux turns 12 on September 1, he will have to undergo a veterinary inspection each time he heads to the races. Graham Fischer  

Talented young trotter Rocknroll Baby was on her best behaviour at Globe Derby Park on Saturday scoring an impressive harness racing win in the 2018 Podiatry Care Gawler Hambletonian Trotters Cup (2645m). Trained and driven by Greg Norman at Two Wells, Rocknroll Baby ($4) scored by four metres from Ten Spanners ($3.10) with Im Havinaball ($3 fav), a head away third. The mare is only a four-year-old, a ‘baby’ in terms of square gaiters and gave away age to most of her rivals in scoring a comfortable win. Rocknroll Baby was beaten a week earlier behind Im Havinaball, galloping on the last lap. “She had a legitimate excuse,” Norman said. “Two horses in front of her locked wheels and I had to turn her sideways to avoid them and in doing so she twisted and lost a shoe, and that was what made her gallop. “Tonight, everything went perfectly, and she showed how good she can be. She is still only young so has a bright future.” Rocknroll Baby, owned by Terry Cormack in partnership with his sons Adam and Ben, gave them consecutive Hambletonians, as they have Al Bundy which won last year. He is trained by Norman and was driven by Jock Dunlop. The mare trotted away slowly but safely from gate one and settled midfield. When Bold Law, trained in Nuriootpa by Marcus Hearl, which had come off 30 metres, was taken to the front, Norman decided to come around and have an attempt at taking the lead. Michael Smith, on Bold Law, wanted to keep the front so Rocknroll Baby was forced to sit parked for the last lap and a half, but she was up to the challenge and outstayed her rivals in the run to the finish. Second placegetter Ten Spanners, also just a four-year-old mare trained and driven by Ryan Hryhorec at Two Wells, ran very well. She galloped when attempting to take the lead with two laps to go and went back to the tail of the field but ran home strongly to take second. Gawler Cup night is proving a good night for Norman as he has also trained two pacing Cup winners – Mythical Beast (2007) and Ti Vogliobene (2012), both driven by Jock Dunlop. Despite being only four, Rocknroll Baby already has had 48 starts for 13 wins and 10 placings earning more than $67,000 in stakes. Graham Fischer

Gawler harness racing reinsman Ken Rogers scored his first win in the D F & E Kemp & Son UBET Gawler Cup when Our Jericho scored at Globe Derby Park on Saturday. Rogers, one of the state’s top reinsmen, drive superbly to land Our Jericho ($2.90 fav) a neck winner from Whenmechief ($25.10) with Lookofalegend ($30.40), seven metres away third. The winner is trained by Les Harding, who landed his second straight Gawler Cup having scored last year with Bettor Party. It was his third training success in the event having also scored with Zanardi in 2013. It was a big night for Our Jericho’s Victorian owner Merv Butterworth as he also won the Echuca Cup 20 minutes earlier with Motu Meteor. Our Jericho came from gate 10 on the second row but Rogers had the eight-year-old away quickly, and once Tezz Khora had worked to the lead from gave six, he moved up and took control of the race. It was one of two crucial moves Rogers made. Once in front he was able to control the tempo, even when Darren Billinger brought Whenmechief up to sit parked. Rogers’ next winning move was when he accelerated 400 metres out, quickly putting 10 metres on Whenmechief, and making it hard for anything back in the field to make a challenge. He knew Whenmechief was one-paced, but very tough, so it was important to grab a break. Our Jericho got tired over the final 50 metres and Whenmechief did keep coming, but the winning post arrived in time. The driver revealed an interesting link with the winner’s trainer Les Harding. On the day Rhonda Rogers was giving birth to Ken at Red Cliffs in Victoria, just south of Mildura, husband Greg had a horse, Apollo Preneur, engaged at Globe Derby Park. Greg Rogers explained when Ken was born he was ill and was in the care of medical staff. “I couldn’t leave Rhonda’s side and had to be with her and Ken,” he said. “So, I sent the owners to Adelaide with Apollo Preneur, but I asked Les to harness him up and drive him. “Les said Ross Sugars had a horse going well but I said my bloke would win as long as he sat parked and dashed away around the home turn and so it proved so I guess there was a link that maybe Kenny would drive a good winner for Les one day.” The 2018 Gawler Cup will most probably be the last staged by the Gawler Harness Racing Club at Globe Derby Park. After 10 years of racing at the city venue, the Gawler Club will hold its first meeting at its new track on Two Wells Road on Sunday, March 4. Club president Peter Bain said the plan was to run next year’s Cup at its new track. Graham Fischer

Well known South Australian harness racing enthusiast Bill Hartwig said it was a case of love at first sight. Hartwig, and his family, paid $36,000 for a colt by the recently deceased Somebeachsomewhere at the 2018 Allwood Stud Farm SA Yearling Sale at the Magic Millions complex on Sunday. “He was the best looking yearling I’ve seen,” Hartwig said. “He has a great body, is powerful, yet when I looked at him in the paddock he was just so light on his feet. “I’m also told he has a willingness to work so he was always going to be a target.” The colt, out of the black-type winning mare Morgan Abby, was prepared by Craig and Renee Judd of Benstud Standardbreds in Victoria. Hartwig’s sons Chris, the Harness Racing South Australia Chairman, and Scott are other major investors in the colt. “I can’t wait to see him going forward. He’ll go to Ray Holberton to be broken in and I’m excited about his future.” The Hartwigs also purchased a Western Terror – Bute Sister filly for $16,500 from Testmating Pty Ltd. “We didn’t plan to buy her, but I felt she was going much too cheaply,” he said. A total of 31 yearlings went under the hammer at the Allwood Stud Farm Sale. Horses sold are eligible for the $100,000 The Allwood, South Australia’s richest race for two-year-olds. Mr Inter Dominion, Brian Hancock, was a guest for the sale to judge the Mitavite Best Colt and the Mitavite Best Filly. He chose the Shadow Play – Kiss Me Monty colt consigned by Jack Panagiotou as the Mitavite Champion colt. The yearling was knocked down for $21,000 to D Howard, R Graham and D Graham. The Mitavite Champion filly was by Modern Art out of My Sparkling Burgundy. She was consigned by Benstud Standardbreds and was sold for $20,000 to Gary Buckley. Top price lot for the sale was $40,000 paid by Victorian trainer Andy Gath for a colt by Mach Three from Blissful Night, a sister to SA champ Come On Frank, consigned by Jenkscraft Pty Ltd. The top price filly was by Mach Three from Vertigal, consigned by Brooklyn Lodge in New South Wales. She was sold for $25,000 to Phil Fuller of Whyalla. Graham Fischer

South Australia’s successful ‘Brewin Juggernaut’ came away with a double from last week’s Globe Derby Park harness racing meeting. The ‘Juggernaut’ comprises trainer Justin Brewin and his teenage reinsman son Jayden. At Globe Derby Park they combined in-form Glenisla and the squaregaiter Hudson Bay. Despite wins at her past two starts, Glenisla started a $9.30 chance in the Ubet Pace (1800m). Despite early interference, the six-year-old mare was still good enough to finish best to score a half-head from Artegra ($7.40) with Chasing A Win ($2 fav), 6-1/2 metres away third. “She is going well,” Justin Brewin said. “Tonight, we had a query how she would come off a back row draw (10). “We know she has been able to lead or sit parked but tonight was going to be tougher from back in the field, then she was hampered early when another runner galloped. “I pretty much thought she had lost her winning chance, but she was still good enough to win – it was a great effort. “She has now won six races from 13 starts, and I’ll have some thinking to do about where to place her going forward.” Hudson Bay was a $10.10 chance in the PFD Food Services Trotters Handicap (1800m) and speared top the front to score an all-the-way win by 6-1/2 metres from Truscott Hall ($2.50 fav) with Rocknroll Baby ($2.80), a metre away third. It was a brilliant drive by Jayden Brewin who kept the speed on rating 2:00.3. With recent races in South Australia over 2230m and 2645m, a few of the runners had the dash taken out of their legs with such a good lead, it was basically impossible for the backmarkers to make up the necessary ground. Brewin said Hudson Bay was a talented squaregaiter who was his own worst enemy. “He can over-race and cause himself to break and that is something we have been working on,” he said. “Tonight, when he came away quickly from the outside of the front line behind the mobile and was able to lead, Jayden did the right thing by letting him go along at his own tempo and keeping him in rhythm. “The win showed he is capable of matching it with the best here if he does everything right.” Hudson Bay, a five-year-old, is owned in Western Australia by Brian Ridley. The gelding did his early racing in Victoria before heading to the west, then coming to SA. The victory was his first in South Australia from just four starts. Graham Fischer

Eyre Peninsula hobby farmer Greg Baker is hoping talented mare Supernova Silvia can prove half as good as her grandfather the legendary Popular Alm. “We’ll have a bit of fun if she can,” Baker said. Baker, who was born into harness racing, believes Popular Alm is the greatest standardbred of all time and is proud to say he owned him. “I would have loved to have him when he was racing but I didn’t purchase him until he was retired and stood him at stud for 10 years before he passed away.” Popular Alm is the sire of Popular Joey, the dam of Supernova Silvia, a brilliant winner at Globe Derby Park last week. Trained and driven by Ryan Hryhorec, the six-year-old mare ($4.50 equal fav), having only her fifth race start, led throughout to win by SA BOTRA Home Bred Series heat (1800m) by 11-1/2 metres from Clarenden Hustler ($4.50 equal fav) with Marzzz Barzzz Bazz ($15.60), a half head away third. Supernova Silvia rated a fast 1:56.7 in scoring. Baker says he can see a lot of Popular Alm in the mare. “I might be biased but I think she looks a lot like him, and I hope we can have a bit of fun with her. “It has been a tough battle but hopefully Ryan has her right and she can go through her grades.” Baker, who has “about 16 or 17” standardbreds on his property, halfway between Arno Bay and Cowell, adjacent the beach on Eyre Peninsula, is a great believer in giving his young horses time to mature. “I always say that everyone else can have the Sires races and I’ll take the Hunter Cup, not that it has happened just yet. “But I do believe in not pushing my young horses and that is why Supernova Silvia didn’t start racing until late 2016. Unfortunately, she suffered a hairline crack after her first race, which was a win, so she had to go back to the paddock.” Baker’s love affair with harness racing started with his grandfather who lived on Yorke Peninsula in South Australia, and who owned the champion three-year-old High Raider which won the South Australian and Victoria Derbies in 1951. Incredibly, his father owned High Advice which achieved the same Derby double in 1976. Because he gives his young horses time, Baker is unlikely to emulate the double but would love nothing better than to win a Hunter Cup. “Who knows where Supernova Silvia can go but if she stays sound hopefully there are a few more wins in store. “Ryan has a three-year-old half brother which should be ready to race in a few weeks, and the mare has a yearling brother to come through as well.” Baker also owns the talented, but hard-pulling, Poppy Had Courage, a winner of six races, which is currently spelling on his property. “He’ll go back to Ryan in a month or so and I think he has the ability, we just need to stop him pulling so hard.” Hryhorec admitted the win by Supernova Silvia had given him great pleasure. “It’s been a long road with a lot of pitfalls but to have her race so well tonight was a real joy,” Hryhorec said. “I have to thank Greg for his patience, and also Kaye Halliday who does a brilliant job working on the horses with back and muscle issues.” Graham Fischer

Harness Racing South Australia and UBETwill again be corporate supporters of the 2018 Women In Teal promotion. The campaign, where reinswomen wear teal pants in races, will run from Thursday, February 1 concluding on Sunday, March 11 when the inaugural Australian Reinswoman Championship will be staged in Tasmania. The Chairman of Harness Racing South Australia, Mr Chris Hartwig, said HRSA would donate $100 for each winner by a female driver in South Australia during the campaign, and that amount would be matched by UBET. The Women In Teal idea began with Victorian harness enthusiasts Duncan McPherson and Michael Taranto. Originally a Victorian promotion, at Mr Taranto’s suggestion, last year it became an Australia-wide campaign. The promotion raises money for the Women’s Cancer Foundation, established in 1996, which has raised millions of dollars to fund researchers looking for more effective ways to treat and care for women suffering with ovarian cancer. The cause is impactful and important as gynaecological cancers affect mothers, sisters, daughters, aunts, wives and friends. Last year, champion South Australian reinswoman Danielle Hill was the most successful driver throughout Australia with 32 wins during the six-week period earning $7,040, with the money from HRSA, UBETas well as personal sponsorship from Carter Racing. All up in 2017, South Australia’s reinswomen raised $9,400 through winning drives. The teal pants campaign promotes an awareness and raises funds for Ovarian Cancer research for the Women’s Cancer Foundation. It is hoped during the campaign a large amount of money can be raised to assist clinical research possible through the funding of research nurses. Clinical research is vital for finding new treatments for gynaecological cancers and improving patient care, and research nurses are at the forefront of the process. All South Australian female drivers will wear the teal pants and they will be supported by the Clerks of the Course who will be wearing custom-made teal silk shirts. #Go Teal 1 February – 11 March 2018 Graham Fischer

Flying filly Eye See Double set the standard for harness racing two-year-olds in South Australia with an impressive debut win at Globe Derby Park on Monday, January 22. Backed from $2.80 to start $1.80 favourite, Eye See Double led throughout to win the Trotsguide.Com.Au Kindergarten Stakes Prelude (1800m) by 1-1/2 metres from Eastbro Jesse ($4.50) with Crowded Reactor ($6.30), 29 metres away third. Trained in Mount Gambier by Alyce Finnis, and driven by her husband Jason, Eye See Double rated a fast 1:58.9 compared with the 2:02.7 recorded by Pinkie Promise in the first Kindergarten Prelude a week earlier. Jayson Finnis said the filly had cost $26,000 at the Melbourne Sales last year. “She spent her early education in Adelaide with Bronte Giorgio before coming home to us,” Finnis said. “Bronte said from the time he started working her along she was a true professional and that is certainly the case. “She has a will-to-win, or race courage as Bronte calls it, and showed it today when the runner-up challenged us turning for home.” Finnis said the filly would return to Mount Gambier and not race again until the $15,000 Kindergarten Stakes (1800m) at the Gawler at Globe Derby Park meeting on Saturday, February 10. “We don’t want to push her too hard too early but are excited about her potential.” By American Ideal out of Zoeyzoey, the filly is a half-sister to the talented three-year-old Seeuinnashville and Zoeys Boy along with the current SA pacer Ramirez. Finnis said there was a lot of new owners in the group which owned See You Double. “We have worked hard to try to bring new people into our sport and a few of them made the trip from Mount Gambier to see the filly win so it has been a great day for them.” Graham Fischer

South Australia’s premier reinswoman Danielle Hill was the queen of Globe Derby Park on Saturday winning four races – half of the harness racing program. Her first win was on Our Front Page for trainer Heather Stevens, she then scored on Our Jericho for Les Harding, her own pacer Nicol Shard made it three, then the Luke O’Neill-trained Truscott Hall made it four. It is the 25th time Hill has driven four winners at a meeting. The first was at Gawler on October 24, 2003, and before Saturday, the most recent was on July 31 last year. Our Front Page, a former New Zealand filly, was purchased by Gary McGinty late last year and has now won two of three starts since coming to Globe Derby Park trainer Heather Stevens. From gate five in the Allwood Stud SA Yearling Sale February 11 3YO Pace (1800m), Hill opted to go back early, and the three-year-old filly settled at the tail of the field but when the $2.20 favourite The Deal, driven by trainer Greg Norman, opted to go forward three-wide from midfield, Hill latched onto his back. The Deal took Our Front Page ($10.40) right into the race and on the home turn, The Quick Shadow ($4.20) went to the front but the favourite was alongside to challenge. Hill brought Our Front Page wide and the filly sprinted sharply to win by 1-1/2 metres from The Quick Shadow which fought on well and The Deal was a half-head away third. “She was going to win a long way out,” Hill said. “Heather has made a few small gear changes and the filly travelled beautifully. They are going to have a lot of fun with her.” Our Jericho made it a double when the quality pacer scored an easy win in the DPR Insurance Brokers Pace (1800m). A well backed $1.60 favourite, Our Jericho, trained by Les Harding, scored a two-metre win from Lookofalegend ($6.50) with Whenmechief ($15.30), a half head away third. The eight-year-old, owned by prominent owner Merv Butterworth, came to Harding’s stable recently and had his first run in the SA Cup a week earlier when an eye-catching fourth to Shadow Sax. Coming from gate nine, Our Jericho sat back early before Hill came three wide with a lap to go and the gelding drew clear off the back to win comfortably. Our Jericho rated a fast 1:55.0 and gives Harding a strong presence in fast-class SA races as he also has the smart Bettor Party. Hill’s treble was on Nicol Shard, which farewelled Australia, with a super win. The four-year-old is headed to the United States to join the stable of her owners Mark Hanover and Gordon Banks. Nicol Shard ($1.40 fav) rated 1:56.2 in scoring a 12-1/2 metre win in the PFD Food Services Pace (1800m) from Marty Major ($20.70) with It’s Me Telowie ($20.90), a half head away third. From gate five, Hill went forward to find the lead and the gelding was never troubled and went to the line untouched. “It is sad, but that was his last run for me,” Hill said. “The owners spoke to me through the week and they want to take him to their stable in America. “I feel there is still plenty of improvement in him and I know he could go a long way here in Australia, but the reality is he was always only going to be in my stable for a short while. “The good news is the owners had said they will send me a replacement, a three-year-old filly who they said will be a more than worthy substitute.” Hill has trained just two horses for Mark Hanover and Gordon Banks, Breach The Beach and Nicol Shard, and won 11 of 12 races with the pair. She also looked after Southern Cross Two-Year-Old fillies winner Saphirique for them last year when the filly was trained by Nicole Molander. It is reported Saphirique will be joining Nicol Shard on the US flight. The fourth winner was squaregaiter Truscott Hall which took out the Hopkins Saddlery Trotters Mobile (2230m). Truscott Hall ($9.80) led throughout for trainer Luke O’Neill to beat stablemate Stuey D ($11.70) by a half head with Nico Serrano ($17.20), 20-1/2 metres away third. O’Neill, a master trainer of squaregaiters, was delighted with the result. “He’s a hard horse to beat when he leads,” O’Neill said. “When Stuey D settled one-out, one-back, I knew he would be in the finish and it was a great result.” Favourite was the smart trotter Rocknroll Baby at $1.70. Trainer-driver Greg Norman allowed the filly to safely trot away from the mobile settling a clear last but had her ready to strike going into the back straight, but the mare went off stride and lost all chance about 600 metres from the finish. Graham Fischer

A pre-race plan devised by harness racing trainer Claire Goble and driver Wayne Hill enabled a win by Clarenden Hustler at Globe Derby Park. From gate two in the Ubet Pace (2230m), Clarenden Hustler appealed as the likely leader but being a little suspect at the trip, and with the chance of him firing up, the pair decided to hand up the lead if the right horse came alongside on settling down. That horse proved to be the highly-fancied Jakarras Ace, trained and driven by Ryan Hryhorec. Hryhorec took the $3.60 chance to the front and it was that four-year-old which tended to get a little keen and left him a sitting shot for Clarenden Hustler along the sprint lane over the final 200 metres. A well backed $2.40 favourite, Clarenden Hustler arrived to score by a neck from Jakarras Ace, with Mondo Sports ($8.70), two metres away third. Goble was delighted with the result. “Wayne and I spoke about trying to lead all the way and we both said it might not be the best option,” Goble said. “With Jakarras Ace and Mondo Sport drawn outside him on the front row we thought they would both go forward so decided to take the sit and trail them. “With reasonable tempo, our horse settled really well, then was good enough to come along the sprint lane. “I think he will continue to get better. “His mother Repose was much the same, she continued to improve with age.” Clarenden Hustler has built a good record with nine wins and seven placings from just 21 starts earning in excess of $31,000. Repose, a winner of 19 races and more than $50,000, has proved a good broodmare, producing four foals, all winners, for Goble’s Clarenden Standardbreds, but unfortunately, she received injuries in the horrific Wasleys bushfire in late 2016. She survived the fire but inhaling so much smoke when the fire ripped through eventually saw her pass away last year. Graham Fischer

Relief is the word used by harness racing trainer Justin Brewin to describe the win of Major Crocker at Globe Derby Park on Saturday. “It is a big honour to be asked to train a Grand Circuit performer and to get a win at his first run for me is a relief,” Brewin said. “It would have been nice to be a bit bigger margin, but a win is a win.” A red-hot favourite at $1.30 in the DPR Insurance Brokers Pace (2230m), Major Crocker arrived right on the line for driver Jayden Brewin to score a short-half-head win from Futurist ($11.80) which wouldn’t go down without a fight with Tezz Khora ($21.60), a similar margin away third in an exciting finish. “He just wants to win,” declared breeder and managing owner Gary Crocker. “He was in front for the first time right on the line. He doesn’t like being beaten.” But trainer Justin Brewin has other issues to deal with this week in the lead up to the Group 1 $100,000 SA Pacing Cup (2645m) at Globe Derby Park. Major Crocker struck himself during the race with some nicks on a hind leg which will mean plenty of beach for the seven-year-old leading up to the Cup. Coming from gate 11, Jayden Brewin deliberately sat a little wide after gate release to ensure a clear run around the first turn and it proved smart as Braeview Bomber ($54.60) went into a gallop early from the inside causing a few issues. Darren Billinger, on Futurist, saw the opportunity to press on from gate five and find the lead, and it wasn’t long until Brewin brought Major Crocker around to sit parked to try and control the race. As it was the Major’s first run for a month, and with a view to the Cup, Brewin wanted to give his drive as easy a run as he could which suited Billinger on the leader with 31.0 and 30.7 second quarters of the last 1600 metres. Futurist increased the speed off the back and Major Crocker was left a little flat-footed. With Billinger driving hard, Futurist looked to be holding Major Crocker which refused to give in and kept coming while Tezz Khora, which had a great run in transit, came wide to join in. The trio sprinted hard and fast up the home straight but the Major saluted in the last bound. Formerly trained in Victoria by Vince Vallelonga, Major Crocker was transferred to Brewin with the SA Cup as a major target. A Cup win would be emotional for Crocker, currently a Harness Racing South Australia director, who was raised at Port Pirie and developed his passion for the sport at the northern circuit. He has developed into a successful owner-breeder through his Walk Proud Pty Ltd, with Major Crocker the flag-bearer. Graham Fischer

Port Pirie’s reigning leading harness racing trainer Dale Afford has had a slow start to the 2017-2018 season but was back in form on Friday to end 2017. In a meeting shortened to just four races with lighting issues, Afford came away with a winning double. On this year’s Port Pirie premiership table, Afford was outside the top three with Waylon Hornhardt the leader by 25 points from Justin Brewin with Lyndon Hall a further five points away third but expect Afford to challenge the leading trio. Perhaps his first winner, My Valaroso might have caught the stable by surprise in the Hopkins Saddlery Pace (2050m). A $17.40 chance, My Valaroso came along the sprint lane to score a four metre win from Carbon Crest ($4.60) with Lifeasweknowit ($6.90), a nose away third. The stable also had Bedrock Fred, the $2.20 favourite engaged with Danielle Hill in the sulky, but the seven-year-old never really got clear and finished an unlucky sixth. Afford said My Valaroso had been sent across by good friend Peter Thompson, now based in Victoria working with Andy Gath. “Both Peter and Andy said this horse would win a few races and have been most surprised he had not won before tonight,” Afford said. “In fact, they offered to give us our money back, but I said we would stay with him. “When he first arrived, his work was a bit flat but lately, there has been an improvement and it looks like he is now ready to show the form they had expected.” Afford brought up a double when Canelliesparkle, backed from $2.30 into $1.90 favourite, sat parked before scoring a 1-1/2 metre win in the Henry Osborne Fodder Store Pace (1609m). It was the four-year-old mare’s first win, but she did it in style beating Aguero ($2.80) with Opinionated ($10.20), a metre away third. “I think she is a mare which can go on and win a few races,” the trainer said. “She has raced well against good opposition and thoroughly deserved tonight’s win. “Ideally, I would not have sat parked, but I thought it was the best plan to make sure she had a trouble-free run. “When she hit the lead she got a bit lost but was ready for the challenge when the runner-up came up on her inside.” Afford said he was delighted to win a race for owner Mary Boehm. “She is the perfect owner, and even if I drive a poor race she accepts it with dignity and tells me not to worry. She loves harness racing and I’m hoping Canelliesparkle can give her a lot more joy.” Graham Fischer

There was plenty of emotion with the win of Waitpinga Poppy at Victor Harbor on Wednesday, December 27. The Waitpinga prefix has been used for about half a century by Victor Harbor harness racing legend Keith Joy. Poppy is the last horse to be bred by Joy, who turns 84 this month, but his daughter Vicki Leane intends carrying on the tradition. Joy is suffering failing health but was on course to celebrate the win of Waitpinga Poppy. “It is a great thrill,” Joy said. “I love harness racing, and I love the meetings here (Victor Harbor).” The club has honoured the trainer-breeder’s contribution to the sport by naming the track’s back straight after him. Waitpinga Poppy, trained and driven by Ryan Hryhorec, was the $1.90 favourite, and ran home strongly to score a half-head win from Culzean Castle ($3.30) which also ran home well with Jagged Shadow ($6.20), seven metres away third. The three-year-old filly can be “a bit of a girl”. Vicki Leane said her father had been working Waitpinga Poppy when the filly was about 18 months old but she had tipped him out during trackwork around Victor Harbor. “At 82 I said, Dad, that’s enough,” Leane said. “So we decided to look for a trainer and decided on Ryan.” Waitpinga Poppy greeted her transfer to Hryhorec’s stable outside Two Wells by double-barrelling him and one hoof contacted his face damaging his nose. “It wasn’t the ideal introduction,” Hryhorec said. “She made a mess of my nose and I still have a scar. “However, she does have ability and is on the improve and we now have two wins as compensation.” Hryhorec said the filly had a leg injury as a younger horse which would prevent her from reaching her full potential. “Her record of two wins a second from just four starts is good, but I think she could have been among the best of her age without that injury. “Today’s win was good coming from back in the field and it was fantastic to have Keith on course to enjoy the victory. He has been a successful trainer-driver as long as I can remember, and he has done a wonderful job for the club here.” Graham Fischer

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

17 to 32 of 157