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From a harness racing perspective, Justin Brewin knows he has never been in a better place. Brewin has set up a new property just outside Two Wells, has been able to become a semi-professional trainer, and perhaps most importantly, has his son Jayden working with him. “Absolutely, my harness racing involvement is at the best stage it ever has,” Brewin said. A passionate enthusiast, Brewin has had peaks and troughs with the sport, the bottoms coming when he has had to concentrate on work to gain funds to support his family. His hard work has come to a fruition with his current setup and on Friday night at Port Pirie, he trained a career-best four winners at a meeting. All were driven by Jayden Brewin. Glenisla contributed to half of the four winning two rounds on the night while Golden Bambi and Sir Julian were the other winners. “To be honest, previously, I might have only had four, maybe five horses in work, so it would have been hard to train four winners in a night,” the trainer said. “I now have 10 horses in work, the most ever, so hopefully we can keep producing winners on a regular basis.” Brewin’s training successes have him sitting in a career-best second place on the South Australian Trainers premiership on 12, two behind the partnership of Jake Webster and Aaron Bain. In the sulky, Jayden Brewin is a runaway leader on the SA Drivers premiership with 31 wins, eight ahead of Wayne and Danielle Hill. Glenisla ($1.80 fav) led throughout in the Hopkins Saddlery Pace (1609m), round one, scoring by two metres from Chasing A Win ($5) with Oliver Jack ($5.20), 17-1/2 metres away third, rating 1:57.0. In the following event, the Laucke Mills Pace (1609m), Golden Bambi ($4.20) rated a sizzling 1:55.8 in scoring a 13-metre win from Big Behemoth ($2.30 fav) with Speculator ($22), five metres away third. “We got the mare from fellow trainer Scott Ewen who said she needed a change of environment because he felt she wasn’t giving her best,” Brewin said. “He was right – she has had five starts for me for two wins, two seconds and a fourth. “I was shocked by her effort on Friday. From gate one, she didn’t have a lot of peace in front, yet still shot away to win easily. She is racing really well.” Glenisla ($1.80 fav) backed up again in round two, the LMG Performance Pace (1609m), and from gate three, went to the front again and scored a two-metre win from One Night At Themile ($31.10) with Chasing A Win ($5.20), four metres away third. The mare rated 1:57.3. Stable favourite Sir Julian ($1.90 fav) brought up the fourth win in the SEW Eurodrive Pacers Discretionary (2550m). Coming from 20-metres in a field of four, Sir Julian settled third before sprinting home to wear the leader Big Spook ($4.80) by a long neck with Bobby Fabulous ($3), 16 metres away third. “That was his 20th win for us,” Brewin said. “A while ago we thought of selling him but couldn’t get an offer. “We would have taken $15,000 and since that time he has won $19,000 to more than justify keeping him.” Graham Fischer

Popular harness racing Gawler owner Alan McDonald, had successful Saturday, capped by The Nature Boy winning the UBET Spring Challenge Final (1800m) at Globe Derby Park. “Everyone got money,” McDonald said. “I had to go to the Kapunda Rodeo because I had seven of my kids competing,” McDonald said. “They all came away with money and The Nature Boy’s win was the icing on the cake. “I ducked down the pub to watch the race on Sky.” The Nature Boy ($5.80), trained and driven by David Smith, scored a two-metre win from the fast-finishing Goodsie ($42) with Doubledipofheaven ($3.90), a similar margin away third. Smith admitted he was pleasantly surprised by the win. “He is just such a good horse,” Smith said. “I got caught wide early and covered ground for longer than I would have liked. That was the first time I thought he couldn’t win.” Eventually, as expected, Smith was able to work The Nature Boy around to sit parked outside the leader Royal Safari ($2.60 fav). But the favourite had had its own issues and had to work itself early to find the lead. As he does, Smith kept The Nature Boy running along and the gelding eventually worked to the lead coming off the back. “Hitting the front on the home turn, I again thought I would be a sitting shot, with one of the others sprinting home too strongly.” Doubledipofheaven, a five-year-old with a quick sprint, did in fact loom up on straightening but came to the end of his run and The Nature Boy kept giving. On the line, the Smith-driven pacer had outstayed his rivals to take out the Spring Challenge with Goodsie finishing fast to snatch second but never look a winning chance. McDonald said he had thought of talking with Smith about giving the winner a break but asked why he would when the gelding was racing so well. “David has him fitter than he has ever been, and he is going fantastic.” Graham Fischer

Teenage harness racing tyro Jayden Brewin brought up his 100th career win at Globe Derby Park on Saturday. Brewin landed a double on the Shane Young-trained pair of Ona Rocky Beach and Maywyns Zephyr to reach the milestone. It certainly wasn’t a case of the ‘nervous 90s’ for Brewin as he drove six winners in 24 hours to reach the magical 100. Brewin, 17, must surely been one of, if not, the quickest drivers to reach the mark. He only began driving in July last year and landed his first winner, The Octagon, on July 18. A football injury sidelined him until October, so, in reality, he has driven 99 winners in about 13 months, an amazing strike rate for such a young driver. Brewin’s development in the sport takes another turn this week with the teenager spending time with the top Victorian stable of Emma Stewart. On Saturday, it was trainer Shane Young who enabled him to come away with a double. Ona Rocky Beach ($2.15 into $1.80 fav), led throughout from gate two in the DPR Insurance Brokers Claiming Pace (1800m). Brewin went for home with 300 metres to travel and Ona Rocky Beach dashed away to win by 3-1/2 metres from Power Of Attorney ($4.40) with Zedaguy ($8.40), 31 metres away third. The nine-year-old veteran rated a brilliant 1:55.8. “Wow,” said Shane Young, “I didn’t expect that. “I was sure I had him going well but never expected him to go so quick. “There is no doubt he has the ability. I think they paid about $80,000 when he was purchased from New Zealand, but he has had two heart issues, so we have to face reality he probably is only one race from retirement. “If I thought he wasn’t right, he would be retired but, at the moment, he seems to be pretty good.” Maywyns Zephyr made it a double landing some good bets firming from $1.80 into $1.40 favourite, in the Hygain Micrspeed Claiming Pace (1800m). Coming from gate six, Brewin went back early before letting him dash up coming off the back and Maywyns Zephyr sprinted clear to win by 13-1/2 metres from Anvil Gav ($14.40), with Glenlochar ($33.10), 7-1/2 metres away third. “He’s been racing really well in tougher fields, so I thought he was well placed tonight,” Young said. “Jayden drove him like he was the best horse and the result was an easy win.” Graham Fischer

Champion South Australian reinswoman Danielle Hill landed her 1300th harness racing winner when scoring on the Tyson Linke-trained Little Foo in the Ubet Pace (1800m) at Globe Derby Park on Saturday. “I thought it was coming up but didn’t know my exact figure,” Hill said. “I’m proud to reach that mark. It is a significant figure, but now I’m ready to add to it.” Hill didn’t take long to build on the number driving the last two winners at Globe Derby Park – My Man Dan and Flash Angus. Little Foo ($5.70) sat second on the fence from gate one behind Glenisla ($17.20) which led from barrier two. Hill waited until the home straight to make her run letting the seven-year-old dash up the sprint lane scoring by 2-1/2 metres from Glenisla with Topnotch Mach ($30.20) following the winner through to grab third, five metres away. Linke said Little Foo was a favourite of his sister Tara-Shae who shares ownership with him. “The mare has a bit of ‘small horse’ syndrome and carries a nickname of Angry Ant,” Linke said. “She can be hard to get along with at times, but Tara-Shae is always on hand to give her a cuddle.” Linke said Little Foo would continue to race on to try and build on her record of 12 wins and 26 placings from 71 starts. Saturday’s win took her stake earnings past $50,000. Hill made it a double bringing My Man Dan ($1.90 fav) from midfield to score a 2-1/2 metre win in Lion Dairy & Drinks Claiming Pace (1800m). Arnoux ($6.20), which led, held on to finish second a short half head in front of Just Read My Mind ($18). Part-owner-trainer Rob Caruso said he thought the winner might be in trouble mid-race but paid credit to Hill for timing the gelding’s run to perfection. Hill’s treble came up on Flash Angus, winner of the DPR Insurance Brokers Trotters Mobile (2230m). Having his first start for trainer Luke O’Neill, Flash Angus ($4.60) trotted away quickly from gate eight and led throughout to beat Truscott Hall ($2.40 fav), a stablemate of the winner, with Illawong Peppa ($10.80), 1-1/2 metres away third. “The horse in gate one didn’t score up, so I had a clear run through,” Hill said. “Flash Angus trotted away quickly and I was able to push through and grab the lead and he won comfortably.” Graham Fischer

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

An emotional harness racing trainer/driver Ryan Hryhorec was overwhelmed by the announcement he had won the Jim Hurley Medal for 2016/2017. A strong family man, Hryhorec’s first thought was for his father Jon who passed away about 12 months ago aged 71, after a two-year battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. “I would love to be able to show the Medal to Dad,” Hryhorec said, “I’m sure he would be so proud. “He was such a strong influence on my life and I owe him so much.” The Jim Hurley Medal, was introduced by Harness Racing South Australia for a trainer or driver who performed consistently at a high level throughout the racing season. Hryhorec said he had not given a thought to winning the Hurley Medal. “To be honest I wasn’t going to attend the awards day because things were very busy at home. However, Dave Battye had a talk with me about the importance of industry participants supporting awards presentations, and I agreed, and so we came along. “This is an amazing honour. “I knew of Jim Hurley as a trainer and driver when I was a kid and by the time I was starting my career he had scaled right down but everyone talked of him in legendary terms.” The medal is named after Jim Hurley who was an accomplished trainer, driver and owner for more than 50 years and a legend of harness racing. He was still training at age 90 until his passing in March, 2016. With more than 1000 winners, the 1964 Inter Dominion winner Minuteman was his greatest highlight as an owner. Hryhorec had a very successful 2016/2017 season winning the SA Trainers premiership with 72 winners and finishing second on the SA Drivers premiership with 129 winners. He paid tribute to Victorian owner Paul Brumby. “Paul has been a massive supporter of mine since I took up training and I can honestly say if it wasn’t for him and his group of friends I would not have been able to set myself up as I have.” The Hurley medal was decided by votes cast at each meeting. Voting is conducted on all SA harness racing TAB meetings by a panel of three who have been selected by Harness Racing South Australia. Each panel member allocates points based on what they consider to be the three best training or driving performances at each meeting, not necessarily winning performances. Graham Fischer

Harness racing enthusiast Claire Goble’s passion was rewarded with the Chairman’s award at the 2016/2017 Harness Racing South Australia awards function on Sunday afternoon. Mr Chris Hartwig, chairman of Harness Racing South Australia, said Ms Goble had been involved in harness racing for about 30 years, but had overcome adversity in the past two years to have a very successful 2016/2017. Claire and partner Dennis Lyle developed Clarenden Standardbreds at Wasleys about 20 years ago. Her day starts at 6am when she tends to horses for two hours before leaving for her job. Claire oversees the Vocation, Education and Training program at Trinity College in Gawler. The program is the largest of its kind in South Australia and helps non-university bound students find a pathway into the work force. She returns home around 4pm and goes out to work and tend her horses working until around 6.30pm during the winter and as late as 9pm during daylight saving in summer. On November 25, 2015, the Pinery bushfires raced through the Clarenden Standardbreds property but fortunately swept around the main house and a group of the nearby sand yards saving a number of horses. Three of the horses on the property that day, which would have been subjected to the extreme heat and smoke were Clarenden Hustler, Clarenden Valour and Emilys Vacation – all finalists in the 2016-2017 Horse Of The Year awards. Claire only had those three horses, and Clarenden Daydream in work during the 2016/2017 season. Their records were amazing. Clarenden Hustler had 13 starts for 5 wins, 1 second and 3 thirds; Clarenden Valour had 12 starts for 3 wins, 3 seconds and 3 thirds; Emilys Vacation had 26 starts for 3 wins, 4 seconds and 3 thirds while Clarenden Daydream had 30 starts for 4 wins, 6 seconds and 3 thirds. The Clarenden horses were also bred by Claire. Apart from her job with Trinity plus training and caring for the horses, after the Pinery fire, Claire has also had to assist partner Dennis Lyle in the rebuilding of their fire damaged property, a job which is still going on. So far, they have refenced about two-thirds of the property, replaced all of the piping used to carry water to the stables and yards, cleared the burnt trees and scrub, planted 400 trees in the last three months which need to be watered regularly to withstand the upcoming summer, replaced the insulation batts in the main house along with replacing the blinds plus knocking down and removing the old house which was destroyed by the fire, replaced hay sheds and a tack room. Claire has about 30 horses on the property covering all ages. From weanlings, yearlings, broodmares and racehorses that all receive her individual attention. Graham Fischer

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

The Sugars named is successfully etched into Australian harness racing. Today it is Greg and Kylie who are in the form guide, before them it was their father Ross, a champion and world record holder, and before him, the patriarch Len who started the family on a 70-year involvement in the sport. Len Sugars, 92, is in the SA Hall Of Fame while Ross was named a Living Legend of Australian Harness Racing in 2015. Sugars drove his first winner in 1948 but it was in the 1960s and early 70s at Wayville that his stable became a household name. That success followed the family to Globe Derby Park and now the family’s involvement is in Victoria. Despite his age, Sugars and his family are looking forward to a family get-together at Harness Racing South Australia’s Retro Night at Wayville on Friday, October 27. “They were exciting days,” Sugars said. “The atmosphere was electric with the crowd encompassing the track and they always made plenty of noise. Sugars said the turning point of his career was a horse called Van Nut. “He won about 26 races and really set up my stable and I’m sure someone was looking over me when he came about,” he said. “I wanted to breed a horse by Van Derby out of a Raider mare so I advertised in the paper for a suitable mare and a Mrs McIntosh answered my call with a mare called Nell’s Choice. “When Van Nut was only 22 months old he won seven trials at Klemzig and Campbelltown under the name Sonross. “For some reason when I tried to name him Sonross it wasn’t allowed and when I took him to the races he was called Van Nut. His first start was at Kapunda and we got 40/1 because very few knew he had trialled as Sonross. “He was a brilliant beginner and led easily and coming to the home turn he was set for an easy win but in those days the track sloped away and with the dip he struck himself, galloped and finished fourth. “Lloyd Webster won the race and on pulling up asked me what had happened. He knew the horse was Sonross and had backed him at the long odds.” Van Nut went on to become one of SA’s best pacers and his wins included the 1965 Easter Gift, 1966 Gawler Cup and the Minor Derby Free For All the same year. Sugars also drove Laradoc in Richmond Lass’ 1969 Inter Dominion win at Wayville. “Laradoc was trained by Jack Caldow, John’s father, and he sent her across and we won a heat of the Inter Dominion before finishing unplaced in the final. In her heat win she reared at the start and nearly tipped me out but was still good enough to come down, hit her gear, lead and win.” But a career highlight for Sugars is the introduction to race driving of his son Ross. “I drove a horse called Perkandi at Wayville back in November 1977 and he was a 6/4 favourite and I was happy to sit three wide waiting to make a run but another driver came up four wide and put me in a pocket,” Sugars said. “I leant across and tried to push him out of the way. After the race, the stewards called me in and asked me what happened and were going to give me a two-year disqualification. “I told them I was driving the red hot favourite and anyone who came outside me had ulterior motives and they said because I was so honest they only gave me a three-month suspension. I said that was okay because my son Ross had a permit to drive and could start driving. “The following Saturday Ross had three drives – Red Score, Hallett and Perkandi – and they all won. It is a world record that still stands for a driver to win at his first three drives, all on a city track and as a B grade licenced driver.” Sugars is looking forward to going back to Wayville and his family has already booked a dining package for the night. Greg Sugars is one of the invited drivers for the night’s racing while Len and Ross and their families will be happy to ‘drive’ from the grandstand. In an amazing co-incidence, the Wayville Retro Night, Friday, October 27, is the birthday of Sugars’ late wife Shirley so there it is certain to be an emotional evening. Tickets for the Wayville meeting are now available via by Graham Fischer Race programme for Port Pirie, Friday 08 September 2017

When leading harness racing reinswoman Danielle Hill started season 2016-2017 she stated a goal was to improve her status as a trainer. Four winners over two nights at Globe Derby Park on the weekend took her tally to 44 for the season and she sits in fourth place on the SA Trainers premiership behind Ryan Hryhorec (70), the training partnership of Jake Webster and Aaron Bain (50) and Les Harding (48). Her tally might have more but for a virus slowing down her stable for several months earlier this year. To the end of March, Hill had 31 winners to sit second on the premiership but lack of runners saw fellow trainers go past. On Friday, the South-East-owned Missy Deyo ($1 fav) scored an all the way win in the Ubet Pace (1800m) beating Markleigh Fireball ($72.50) by two metres with Cyclone Mach ($17.40) a half-head away third. “She wasn’t impressive tonight,” Hill said. “I am finding she doesn’t like float trips, even though my stables are not that far away, unless she has a travelling companion. “She came by herself tonight and maybe that is why she wasn’t at the peak of her game.” On Saturday night, Hill produced Ricks Shadow, Hez A Chance and Arber in consecutive races to land a treble. Ricks Shadow ($1.80 fav) led throughout in the PFD Food Services Pace (1800m) to score by a metre from Smooth Delight ($8.30) with Ace To Play ($6.80), 2-1/2 metres away third. “I was glad she was able to win for her new owners,” Hill said. “The mare was purchased from Jake Webster and Aaron Bain last month and has had three runs previously and picked up a cheque each time but it was great to win for them tonight.” Hill made it a double when Hez A Chance ($1.30 fav), also led throughout to win the Schweppes Australia Three-Year-Old Pace (1800m) by 6-1/2 metres from I Wanna Rocknroll ($18.20) with Priddy Sporty ($10.30), 10-1/2 metres away third. Hez A Chance is also owned in the South-East and normally prepared by Bec East. The three-year-old came to Adelaide for the Southern Cross series but Bec left the gelding with Danielle Hill to try and win his breeders’ bonus – and it only took the one start. “He’ll be on the float back to Bec on Monday,” Hill said. “Actually, I understand he is for sale and as his is lightly assessed could be a nice purchase for someone looking for a winner.” The treble came courtesy of the former talented young pacer Arber. Now a 10-year-old, Arber was bred and is owned by Phil Nott, who sent him to South Australia to extend his racing career. The $2.50 favourite, Arber came from near last to score a 2-1/2 metre win in the BGC Industrial Cleaning Supplies Claiming Pace (1800m) from Sir Julian ($6.50) which trailed him for much of the race with Machtwister ($6.10), a long neck away third. “The owner has a $15,000 claiming price on him and I’m, sure it won’t decrease,” Hill said. “He’s a lovely old horse enjoying a new lease on life here in Adelaide. I believe the owner really doesn’t want to lose him but just wants to see him performing positively.” Hill drove all three winners and she will land back-to-back driving premierships currently sitting on 154 winners – 31 clear of Ryan Hryhorec. by Graham Fischer

The success of Adelaide standardbred syndicator Bruce Cameron in the Southern Cross series continued in 2017 but produced firsts of his own which impressed champion harness racing driver Gavin Lang. Cameron’s first win on Saturday was in the Group 2 Ubet Three-Year-Old Fillies Southern Cross Final (2230m) where Perfect Look proved too strong for stablemate Our Celebrity. His second victory came in the following race when That’s Perfect led throughout to win the Group 2 Ubet Two-Year-Old Colts & Geldings Southern Cross Final (1800m). As usual, both were trained in Victoria by Emma Stewart. It was Cameron’s ninth overall winner in Southern Cross races but his first in a colts & geldings race but what took Lang’s attention was that his Saturday night winners were brother and sister, by Art Major out of the mare Perfect Life. “I’m not sure that would have happened all that often,” Lang said. “It certainly is a wonderful achievement.” Perfect Look’s victory in the Three-Year-Old Fillies final was the fourth straight success by a Cameron runner in that Southern Cross race – and his fifth overall. The first success was in 2012 with Beauty Secret, then from 2014 it has been Punch Line, Lovelist and Rocknroll Magic which have been successful. This year, Our Celebrity, with Lang in the sulky and the $1.50 favourite, was expected to follow her victory in the Two-Year-Old Fillies final last year with a win to complete the double but it was Perfect Look, driven by international reinsman Sidney Van den Brande, which proved too strong. For Van den Brande, it was his first Group success, in a career which began in Europe and has seen him work in the United States before coming to Australia. He drove the perfect race on Perfect Look ($3.70) which sat outside the leader Our Celebrity over the last lap before drawing clear to score by a metre with Canelliesparkle ($69), 20-1/2 metres away third. Our Celebrity began well from gate five but the Vince Vallelonga-trained Lisa Crocker, driven by Jayden Brewin from gate one, came away quickly to lead, and while most expected Our Celebrity to roll to the front, Brewin kept the favourite out a bit longer than her supporters would have hoped. Once in front, Lang eased the tempo markedly with a 32.8 second first quarter before improving for a 31.4 second quarter. Once the speed back off, Van den Brande took Perfect Look from the running line to sit parked and helped dictate the tempo. The pair went for home from the 600m mark with final quarters of 28.6 and 28.1 but it was Perfect Look which prevailed. Cameron said he was in a position where he couldn’t lose up the home straight. “Perfect Look was a bit of an unknown,” Cameron said. “She was a late starter and having only her fourth start. We knew she had ability and would improve and I’m happy for the owners which include Mary Hook from Orrorroo, and Sidney (Van den Brande). “Sidney was under a bit of pressure last week with his four drives, all favourites, while this week he was able to focus on just one drive, with far less pressure, and he drove superbly.” Cameron said Our Celebrity, having just her second run from a year off, found the winner just too good. That’s Perfect, a red-hot $1.45 favourite, had an easy lead with Gavin Lang in the sulky, and scored a comfortable 6-1/2 metre win from Clarenden Valour ($10.50) which trailed the winner with Tin Roof Raider ($9.40), two metres away third, after sitting parked for the entire journey. Cameron said he would see how all his Southern Cross runners came through the series before working out whether they would proceed to the Breeders Crown races. by Graham Fischer

There is no doubt the Southern Cross story of the night at Globe Derby Park was the win by Somebeachsomegift in the Group 2 UBET Southern Cross Three-Year-Old Colts & Geldings harness racing final (2230m). It was the first Group success for driver Megan Gee, breeder Viv Clark, and part-owner John Hill but he only knew the result by text message as he was being transported to hospital by ambulance after suffering angina pains. For trainer Jill Neilson, it was her second Southern Cross win, but after 14 years, following Leftem For Dead’s success in the 2003 Three-Year-Old Fillies final. A $35.70 chance, Somebeachsomegift came from back in the field with a strong run to score a 1-1/2 metre win from Brohart ($65.80) with Clarenden Hustler ($20.90), a similar margin away third. Heavily backed favourite Stars Of Courage ($2.60 into $1.40) worked to lead but faded up the home straight to finish fifth. Neilson was happy to deflect the praise for the success of Somebeachsomegift to Megan Gee who works for her stable. “He is Megan’s horse,” Neilson said, “she spends pretty much all day with him. “He is a very big horse but is pretty much scared of his own shadow, and Megan is always calming him, saying ‘I’ve got your back, mate’.” Gee, who took 24 hours to appreciate the significance of the victory, said she loved ‘the big horse’. “John, who is a trainer himself, didn’t get along with the horse early on as he probably didn’t have the time to be with him, and said I could have a go,” Gee said. “I always seem to be attracted to problem horses, and was happy to take a lease with John, and brought up him up to Jill’s stable. “Jill saw my love for the horse and was happy to let me try to get him going and from the first time I was able to get him going thought he would be something special. “He is still a big boofhead and can get upset over the smallest thing but is improving.” Gee said she was pleased with Somebeachsomegift’s semi-final fifth but knew the job would be ahead when he drew gate 11 in the final. However, she had the three-year-old away quickly and he settled one-out, four back off a quick early tempo. Gee made a winning move with as lap to go when she came three wide and put the gelding into race before challenging Stars Of Courage 300m out and taking the lead in the home straight. Somebeachsomegift kept running and although the placegetters were coming home strongly, they never looked like taking victory. Gee said she was very happy for Viv Clark and John Hill. “Viv is a fantastic breeder and has had plenty of winners and thoroughly deserved a Group winner while John has given me driving opportunities and gave me the chance to work with Somebeachsomegift. “I was shocked and sorry to hear he was on his way to hospital when the race was being run. I hope he has a speedy recovery. “For Jill, who has been a close friend and wonderful supporter since I came into harness racing, it was fabulous to give her a second Southern Cross win.” Gee said Somebeachsomegift might have just one more run before going for a spell. In a shock, Gee said she might also be taking a break. “I have been working seven-days-a-week for a few years. I don’t mind hard work but I know in myself I need a break so while the horse is having a spell I might take the opportunity to get away from the industry for a while to re-evaluate my goals. “I’m sure when he comes back into training, I’ll be ready to have his back again.” Gee has had her most successful season in 2016-2017 driving 18 winners and she currently sits fourth on the SA Female Drivers table behind Dani Hill, Lisa Ryan and Kaela Hryhorec. by Graham Fischer

Don’t try and tell top trainer Ryan Hryhorec that harness racing has no future in South Australia. Hryhorec has backed harness racing to survive, and prosper, with the development of a new training complex just outside the town of Two Wells, about 40km north of Adelaide. In the space of 12 months, Hryhorec and his partner Kerri (Stauwer) have transformed 75 acres of bare land into a magnificent harness training base. A feat achieved while the trainer was still successfully preparing his team at his previous stables at Angle Vale, owned and previously used by Geoff Webster. Hyrhorec, also a champion driver, has been South Australia’s top trainer since going out full-time in the 2013/2014 season when he prepared 66 winners. In subsequent seasons, he has prepared 81 winners, then 88, and this season he again heads the premiership with 63 winners and still more than two months of the season remaining. The new property has yards for 26 horses, a stabling area for four horses, a wash down bay plus a large shed, 26m by 12m, which houses all the gear, bikes, room to harness up plus most importantly a white board which is the trainer’s ‘Bible’ with all the information needed for every horse. At the back of the property is a training track, just under 900 metres in circumference, with a five-metre incline in the home straight. “Yes, things could better, everyone would love more prizemoney,” Hryhorec said, “but if you work hard it is possible to make a living. “Harness racing is my life, I love it, and I believe in its future. If I didn’t I would not have invested in this property. With that, I also have to thank my partner Kerry who supports and encourages me to be the best I can. Without her, this wouldn’t be possible.” Hryhorec said a number of friends had helped with the building of the training complex. “I really want to thank Michael Winning. He worked day and night to build all the facilities. Michael is great at what he does and we weren’t always easy to work for as plans changed numerous times but he made sure that we got what we wanted. “I was here as often as I could but still had to train horses at my old placed as well.” Hryhorec said he was fortunate to have all yards filled at present. “I have been fortunate to have many great owners – Frank Borg and Greg Baker are just two – but I really have to thank (Victorian owner) Paul Brumby who has been a wonderful supporter of my stable for many years. He always has between six to 10 horses with me at any one time. His support has been invaluable and I thank him for his support. Again, without him, this new complex would not have been possible.  “To make my property work I will need to have a constant turnover of horses and I’m always on the lookout for new additions. “Horses reach their mark and have to be moved on, while others, such as Glenferrie Bunter, are entitled to go interstate to have a chance at the bigger stakemoney.” Hryhorec revealed he also did pre-training of thoroughbreds. “It started a few years ago and it something which is not too time-consuming. I never had more than four at any time but it helps supplement my income.” Hryhorec is proud of his new complex. “It is everything I wanted and I’m pleased that the winners are still coming. “It took me a little while to work out the training regime to suit the new track but I think we are on the right track now.” A typical day for Hryhorec starts when his alarm goes off at 5am. It is up check and work the horses with the team finished by about 11am, then complete chores around the property, update work schedules, another check of the horses, then three days a week off to the races, and that doesn’t include any interstate Victorian ventures to try and pick up bonuses. “It’s a busy lifestyle but I wouldn’t have it any other way,” the trainer said. All made a bit easier on his magnificent new training complex. Graham Fischer

It is often said you don’t need big fields for exciting harness racing and such was the case at Globe Derby Park on Saturday night. There were only five acceptors for the Just Wrecking Toyota’s 2YO Pace (1800m) but the field was down to four by race time with the morning scratching of One Of My People, but the remaining runners had already shown they were among of the best of their age in SA. Punter pinned their faith in the Golden Nursery winner Don’t Tell William, trained by Toby Ryan and driven by his wife Lisa, and the gelding firmed from $1.90 in $1.30 favourite, expecting him to lead and be too good for his rivals. The Kevin Brough-trained Bayview Harbour, a winner of the Kindergarten Stakes in February, and to be driven by Danielle Hill, eased from $2.10 to $3.90 with the support for the Ryan runner. The main other hope appeared to be the Alan Cronin-trained, Ken Rogers-driven Our Royal Lady, a winner of the SA Sapling Stakes at her first start, but she also eased from $4.60 to start $7. The Scott Ewen-trained Gotta React, a winner at Kilmore, at his first start completed the field as a $31.70. When the mobile drew away, the race developed as many punters expected with Don’t Tell Linda leading, Our Royal Lady dropping onto his back, Bayview Harbour crossing to third and Gotta React at the tail of the field. Lisa Ryan took advantage of no early pressure to record a pedestrian 33.3 for the first quarter of the last mile on Don’t Tell William, speeding up to 31.8 for the second quarter. Punters who backed the favourite would have been happy with those sectionals, and Danielle Hill, knowing she had to put Bayview Harbour into the race, moved up alongside down the back to put interest into the race. This played into the hands of Rogers on Our Royal Lady giving him the chance to sprint lane the leaders in the home straight. A third quarter of 28.5 put the pressure on and favourite punters would have been dismayed when Bayview Harbour went clear from Don’t Tell Linda as the field straightened and it was left to Our Royal Lady to come along the sprint lane which she did. At the finish, Bayview Harbour held sway by a half head from Our Royal Lady with Don’t Tell Linda battling on well to be 1-1/2 metres away third. Bec East, representing her partner Kevin Brough, was delighted with the win. “He’s my favourite,” East said. “He tries his heart out and is getting better with racing. “He is one we will be looking to bring back for the Southern Cross series later in the year. I’m not sure he will be ready for the Vicbred series but I’m sure he will be suited back here in Adelaide.” Driver Danielle Hill was suitably impressed. “He’s a real racehorse,” Hill said. “When he was alongside Don’t Tell William he wanted to race but once he put him away wanted to ease off a bit, thinking his job was done. “He couldn’t see the filly coming along the inside but I did and made sure he kept running and once he saw her he was ready to go again.” Graham Fischer

Improving harness racing pacer Futurist came up the victor in the ‘last man standing’ 2017 Platinum AG Services Strathalbyn Pacing Cup (2110m) at Strathalbyn on Monday, June 12. The $2.80 favourite, Futurist outstayed his rivals up the home straight to score a one metre win from Bettor Party ($3.80), with the winner’s stablemate Whenmechief ($5.20), a nose away third. “He was out on his feet getting to the home turn,” trainer-driver Darren Billinger said, “but fortunately so were those chasing him. “I just kept asking him to find a bit more and while the home straight seemed longer he was good enough to win.” Futurist will now head to Victoria for a heat of the Vicbred Super Series at Ballarat on Friday, June 23. “He will be a 50/1 chance, but he’s eligible and has earned a chance. “People said we were mad when we took Come On Frank across and he proved them wrong. I’m not saying this bloke is Come On Frank, but he deserves a chance and the bonus is that there are Silver and Bronze races which give him the chance to race for good prizemoney.” The Strathalbyn Cup was a race right from the mobile release. Sir Julian ($16.70), driven by Justin Brewin, kicked through from gate one to hold the early challenges for the lead, mainly from Ryan Hryhorec on Tezz Khora ($10). After failing once, Hryhorec decided to go again and as the field went into the back straight he challenged for the lead, and after a short battle, assumed control. All the while, Futurist was in third spot, chasing the front pair and no sooner had Tezz Khora taken the lead than Billinger asked his drive to go forward and he eventually took control. The result was a sizzling lead time of 35.3 seconds and a first quarter of 29.7. Billinger tried for an easy second quarter with a 31.4, but then Danielle Hill, on Bettor Party, came wide from back in the field and moved around three wide to challenge with a lap to go and he was forced to speed up again. On a soft surface, Futurist ran a 29.2 third quarter as Whenmechief and Bettor Party drew clear from the rest of the field to issue the challenges. In a survival of the fittest, Futurist kept going to win with Bettor Party snatching second in the final few bounds. Graham Fischer

Popular young reinsman Michael Smith drove his first harness racing winner back from injury when the trotter Bold Law scored an impressive win in the Hopkins Saddlery Trotters Discretionary (2230m) at Globe Derby Park on Saturday night. Smith injured his right wrist in an accident in late April and only returned to driving on the Friday night before partnering Bold Law on Saturday night. He has formed a good association with the Marcus Hearl-trained trotter and the pair were in peak form on Saturday. The five-year-old, a $5.10 chance, flew away from the stand start to quickly assert control and was rated perfectly by Smith to score a 3-1/2 metre win from Tendaho ($13.10) with Rejuvenation ($4), four metres away third. Once in front, Smith slowed the tempo for a 33.4 first quarter of the last 1600m, before increasing for 31.0, 29.3 and 30.3 second quarters to maintain control and score comfortably. The victory was Bold Law’s ninth from 56 starts but he also has been placed 23 times. Saturday night’s race was his first for just over a month and Hearl and connections look sure to have a lot of fun with him over the next few seasons. Graham Fischer

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