Five of the best for Hryhorec
Champion reinsman Ryan Hryhorec equalled his career-best five winning drives at a meeting at Globe Derby Park on Saturday.
It is the seventh time Hryhorec has achieved the feat.
The Reeves Plains horseman drove the last five winners on the eight-event program.
His winners were Premonition ($4), followed by Carly Morgan ($2.70 fav), Piesridingshotgun ($3.80), Nicely Spoken ($1.25 fav) and finally Powderkeg ($2.10 fav).
Hryhorec also trains Premonition, Carly Morgan and Nicely Spoken while Piesridingshotgun is prepared by Luke O’Neill and Jill Neilson trains Powderkeg.
The driver first managed five winners at a meeting on June 28, 2013; then February 10, 2014; March 7, 2014; April 22, 2014; October 24, 2016; and November 6, 2017.
Hryhorec said he never went to meetings with too much expectation.
“Someone asked my at the kid’s footy on Saturday morning how I thought I would go,” he said.
“I said it was one of those meetings where I could come away with a couple, or none.
“To wind up with five was a great night at the office, and I’m pleased three were horses I train.
“I had cut back my driving in recent years and was using Danni (Hill) and found she was an asset for my stable.
“With her sidelined with back surgery, I was forced to drive more, and driving is something I like.”
Hryhorec’s mastery in the sulky could best be described by his win on Carly Morgan in the Bargain Steel Centre Pace (1800m).
The mare was starting from gate five and most speed maps had Sabreur ($2.90) leading from gate one, and Carly Morgan going back to the tail of the field early.
“I thought I would be going back but as the mobile drew away, I felt I had a few of the runners on my inside covered for early speed.
“It was instinct, so I changed my mind, went forward, found the lead, and she won easily.”
Hryhorec said when Carly Morgan had first arrived in his stables, he did not envisage the mare would have reached the heights she has.
“She has just kept stepping up each time we raised the bar.”
Of his five drives, the one which impressed him the most was the squaregaiter Powderkeg in the Peak DNK @ Mountain View Stud Trotters Mobile (2230m).
“He is a machine,” Hryhorec said.
“A big powerful trotter which is too good to keep racing in South Australia.”
Trainer Jill Neilson said owner-breeder Geoff Easom was considering running Powderkeg in the Inter Dominion at Albion Park in December.
“Nothing has been confirmed but I’m thinking Geoff will have a plan in mind,” Neilson said.
On Saturday, Powderkeg galloped at the start of the mobile trot losing about 40 metres before Hryhorec was able to get him into a trot.
The six-year-old was able to make up his ground, then Hryhorec let him trot around, find the lead and go clear to win by 17-1/2 metres.
Hryhorec blamed himself for Powderkeg’s early gallop.
“I tried to time the start but got too close to the mobile and I could feel him increase the length of his stride and he is a big strong horse and went into a gallop.
“Luckily I was able to get him back into a trot, but previously he has lost races by refusing to settle properly.”
Neilson said the current plan was to run Powderkeg in a fortnight.
“Ideally, I would like to keep him here for the Cups in October, but a lot would depend on his handicap. I’m sure Geoff (Easom) would not want him to run if he was giving away impossible starts.”
One of the most pleasing wins for Hryhorec was Premonition which won the Delicia Gawler Pacers Handicap (2230m).
A standing start race, Premonition took a few rough steps early, but Hryhorec got him pacing to settle behind the leader Clarenden Envoy ($3 fav).
“He has been racing well, but without a lot of luck.
“When the favourite led I thought we might have to settle for another minor place, but he really sprinted up the home straight to win well.”
Hryhorec was surprised to learn it was Premonition’s first win since January 7.
“He has been racing so well it certainly didn’t feel like it had been so long since his last victory.
“I am really pleased for his owners the Cronins, they are fabulous people who have entrusted me to train Premonition.
Photo Walter Bulyga