Hall reelected as harness racing club president
The annual general meeting of the Port Pirie Harness Racing Club was held last Monday night with the HRSA chairman, Gary Crocker and the new HRSA CEO, Ross Neal present.
Jacqui Hall had been reelected as president with some new and young blood in the vice – president’s chair, Kirsty-Anne Tattoli.
Two new deserving life members were inducted, Dale Afford and Shane Davey.
Well deserved both of them. Some of the committee had travelled south the day previous, learning of some of the changes that may be taking place at Globe Derby.
To have Ross Neal and Gary Crocker on board Monday evening to answer many questions on this subject was more than enlightening and time will eventually tell of the outcomes.
The early start of five to six had seen the UBET Claiming Pace the first event on the programme of eight races and a night of good fields and good racing.
With the extra prize money up for grabs, seventy two horses had been nominated, terrific to see the bigger fields and the excitement that they had generated.
The public’s interest had been lit also as the crowd was quite a good one. But then, why would you stay at home when you can come and see the action live.
Altana Blue lined up favourite, paying two dollars ninety and with Danielle Hill on board, good things had been expected.
Starting from barrier three, Holme On The River had cleared the pack and got across to the lead with On A Rocky Beach facing the breeze.
Dani had positioned Altana Blue back three on the fence.
The positions had remained pretty stagnant throughout the race and into the straight for the final time, Sutter Man had sat in the third spot behind the front runners.
It had only been to the line when Ona Rocky Beach had made his move and had gone on to take the race from Mohegan Sun, who had battled on to the last and finishing third had been Altana Blue, who had only just managed to get a run through on the Sprint Lane. Mile Rate: 1.58.
It was interesting to note that the Steward’s Comments on Danielle Hill had been that she had used “queer driving tactics”.
Despite this comment Danni pulled out all stops when she had a good win on The Dali Express.
Starting from the second row, the four year old gelding had started favourite.
Ingoodnik had taken the lead from Jaylets Hunter with the favourite someway back on the outside of the pack.
The Dali Express had been taken three wide, three back at the bell with Jackmichaels four or five wide.
Amataeus Blue Chip had been tucked in behind the leader, just waiting to pounce.
On the bottom bend Jaylets Hunter had held the lead but The Dali Express had just kept coming despite the hard run he had run.
A half head had given the win to The Dali Express, Amataues Blue Chip had held on for second place and Ingoodnik had finished third, the winner with a Mile rate of 1.59.3.
The third race on the programme, the final of the Henry Osborne Fodder Store Pace, was a race for C3 to C5 horses, over 2050 metres and with the new and improved prize money of $8,000.
A horse of interest in this race had been Buriton Bailey, an eleven year old gelding.
There are 52 weeks in the year and this horse had 50 starts for this year, so maybe it had been a good thing that he had been scratched and could put his feet up for the night.
Leah Harvey had trained two of the horses in this event and had been well rewarded with a win and a third.
Canada Bay had started at favourite, from the second row.
From the release Crystal Sparkles, driven by Michael Smith, had crossed over to take the lead with Alldaybliss sitting on the outside.
Hard Rock Shannon had found its place tucked in behind the leader, with Canada Bay at this stage second from the rear.
At the bell, Canada Bay had been taken three wide and was working hard almost off the track.
Barney Fella had the run of the race sitting one out, one back for most of the journey.
On the bottom bend into the home straight and Canada Bay had been running on empty, with Barney Fella taking his run three wide.
However, the Leah Harvey trained, Wayne Hill driven, Alldaybliss had been good enough to hold off Crystal Sparkles and the other Leah Harvey horse, Hard Rock Shannon.
By about this time at the trots the steak sandwiches and chips that people around you are devouring are looking pretty good.
The canteen is just wonderful of delicious eaties, so if you happen to be at the trots, give the canteen a go, you can’t lose.
The Laucke Mills Pace was next on the card with prize money of $7,000 up for grabs.
It is great to see the prize money at what it is at the moment, great for everyone involved.
Julius Franco was the stand out horse in this race and with starting as favourite at $3.30, he had been still worth a bet.
There had been a couple of long shots in this event with My Apache Gold starting at $67.30 and Glacier Heights at $75.20. But one never knows.
However, the favourite was not to be beaten in this one, despite giving the lead away to Any Suggestions.
He had sat in behind the leader with Ultimate One facing the breeze for most of the race.
Into the home straight, Julius Franco had taken to the sprint lane and sprint he did, beating Any Suggestions to the line by 1.7 metres.
Manly Mach had found an inside run home also and had completed his run in third place.
A bit slower in the Mile Rate, 1.59.6, and for interest’s sake the two long shots had finished eighth and ninth.
With one scratching, the West End Pace had been next on the card, a race for CO horses only. Steinman, a three year old gelding by Rock’n Roll Heaven had started favourite, driven by Anthony Robinson.
Starting from barrier six, he had taken the lead from Althegirlsinmylife. At the bell, Steinman had kept the lead with Rhyflective, second favourite, sitting up on his outside.
The two had gone away from the rest of the field but into the home straight Steinman had seemed under pressure.
Rhyflective had been trying to find that extra little bit but Steinman had held on to win by two metres. At the head of the other pack and finishing third had been Bettorhavtime.
This had been a race run in 1.58.4. The 2050 metre Hopkins Saddlery Pacer’s Discretionary, for C6 or better horses, had seen Maywyn’s Zephyr start favourite.
This race had been a standing start, although not quite like the standing starts of old.
Look of a Legend had galloped out from the start, had interfered with Sirladyn Reba and through this Regal Knight had been pushed to the inside of the track.
A warning had been issued to Look of a Legend.
All horses had been OK but Sirladyn Reba and Regal Knight had completed the race far behind the field, after losing quite a lot of ground.
Big Spook had taken the lead , with the favourite, Maywyns Zephyr in second.
Following in Indian File had been Perfect Mach and Cheersbigears. Down the back straight and Big Spook had still been the one to catch.
Maywyn Zephyr was just behind him, waiting for his run to the Sprint Lane.
The formation was not much changed until into the straight when Big Spook had got lost in the crowd and Maywyn Zephyr had locked wheels with Lookofalegend.
Perfect Mach had taken the lead and a gallant run from Cheersbigears and drive by Dale Afford had seen them take second place.
Maywyn Zephyr had finished in third place but there had been no joy there with Jayden Brewin, the driver, being suspended for seven days for causing interference, despite withstanding a protest.
Our Front Page, a Heather Stevens trained three year old filly, had started favourite in the seventh event on the programme, the McMahon Services 3year old pace.
She had taken the lead well from barrier one with Scrawl on her outside, facing the breeze.
There had been no major speed on during the first part of the race and The Shooting Star had spent a big part of the race at the rear of the field.
Into the back bend for the last time and Our Front Page had been flat out with Scrawl unable to keep up the pace.
On the bend and Alexandergreenwood had been sitting three wide, The Shooting Star out four wide, the pace had been on.
But it had been Our Front Page that had held on to win by a neck from The Shooting Star with 2.6 metres to Alexandergreenwood, with a Mile Rate of 2.00.5.
Last race on the card, ‘Fly Like An Eagle’ 3yro Pace, a race over 1609 metres.
Backwards, a three year old colt by Village Jolt and trained by Leah Harvey , had started favourite and had drawn barrier four.
He has had four starts for one win and one third, the win having been at Port Pirie in July.
As they had got under way, Speak Easy had galloped and had gone to the rear of the field.
Backwards had been challenged by Major Sharkie but he had shot to the lead with Aguero sitting in third spot.
At the bell, Ken Rogers had given Backwards a little tickle up to remind him what he was there for and keep his mind on the job.
Aguero stayed stuck to the side of Backwards with Major Sharkie keeping them in place.
Towards the line, Rogers had said ‘go’ and Backwards had shot away to win by 7.7 metres.
Major Sharkie had finished second and Imtellinya had come from nowhere to take out third position.
The final race of the evening had been run in 1.59.3. And so had ended another Saturday night of great harness racing in Port Pirie.
It had seen both Wayne Hill and Ken Rogers score a driving double and a double also for trainer, Leah Harvey.
The next Saturday night meeting is September 8 with a workout on the Sunday previous, September 2.
See you at the track!