SA TROTS - Powderkeg takes out the Gramel for Neilson/Wilson combination

Co-trainers Jill Neilson and Katie Wilson celebrated their training partnership with a first win in the feature 2023 SA Square Trotters Association Gramel Trotters Cup at Globe Derby Park last Saturday.

Neilson and Wilson, who train at Penfield, formed a training partnership at the beginning of the month and star trotter Powderkeg gave them a first victory in the 2645 metre Cup, honouring South Australia’s most famous square gaiter.

Powderkeg ($3.20 fav) gave a sustained display of power in scoring a seven-metre win from a game Cyclone S Adams ($3.80) with the gallant Millys Magic ($4), 1-1/2 metres away third.

Reinsman Ryan Hryhorec was aggressive on the six-year-old, which had started off a 30-metre handicap.

Powderkeg has had a history as a younger horse of being a bit hit and miss, galloping at the start or in his races, but with age and under the guidance of Hryhorec he has become a lot more reliable.

Angle Vale trainer-driver Dean Girardi had Cyclone S Adams away nicely off his 10-metre handicap and made a move to take the lead.

Garth Hurrell, on the leader Majestic Tilly, held out for a short distance but eventually allowed Cyclone S Adams to trot to the lead.

Once in front, Girardi tried to steady the tempo, but Hryhorec made the move to put Powderkeg into the race and allowed him to trot boldly and sit outside the leader.

Driver Smith, on co-backer Millys Magic, had astutely worked the mare into third spot with the sit on the leaders.

Past the 600-metre mark, Hryhorec asked Powderkeg to lift his speed, but Cyclone S Adams was up for the challenger and the pair trotted side-by-side to the home turn before Powderkeg drew clear to win.

Trainer Jill Neilson revealed Powderkeg had pulled up with a slight infection after his previous run when fifth to Cyclone S Adams at Globe Derby Park on September 9.

“I thought the winner’s sectionals that night had made it too tough for him to make ground,” Neilson said.

“But he was as bit flat when we got home so I tested his bloods and found the infection which explained why he had not been more competitive.

“Tonight he was spot on and proved too good and it was wonderful to celebrate the first win of the training partnership with Katie (Wilson).”

Neilson said owner Geoff Easom had asked her to nominate Powderkeg for the 2023 Inter Dominion Trotters Championships to be run at Albion Park on December 1 with the grand final on December 16.

Powderkeg ran second in a heat of the 2022 Inter Dominion at Geelong.

Easom said he had not settled on a program for the trotter for the rest of the year.

Neilson said she hoped Powderkeg would be left with her for at least the next month so he could contest the Kadina Trotters Cup at Port Pirie on October 7 and the SA Trotters Cup sat Globe Derby Park on October 28.

Gawler trainer Aaron Bain produced a winning double with two of his stable stars Classy Dancer and Fletch Maguire.

Classy Dancer speared to the front from gate six to lead throughout in the Hygain Mares Pace Final (1800m).

Backed from $1.40 to run a $1.15 favourite, the five-year-old mare cruised home winning by 4-1/2 metres from Feisty Jane ($7.50) with Mariahs Shadow ($101), 3-1/2 metres away third.

Classy Dancer rated 1:59.7, then in the following event, the Mens Health Matters Pace (1800m), stablemate Fletch Maguire recorded 1:59.8 in his all-the-way win.

Surprisingly drifting from $1.12 to $1.35, Fletch Maguire easily found the front from barrier three and scored by three metres from Major Holliday ($16) with Better Be Lively ($41), six metres away third.

Both winners were driven by Wayne Hill.

Bain went within a short half head of landing a treble when his mare Lolita, just failed to beat Im Reggie in the Bargain Steel Centre Pace (1800m).

Im Reggie ($2.15 into $1.40 fav), trained and driven by Ryan Hryhorec, began fast from gate four while Lolita ($2 to $3.60) began just as well from barrier five and the pair went hard into the first turn.

The heavily backed favourite was always going to be able to hold the inside and the pair raced each other for the entire race.

After a sedate first quarter, the pressure steadily went on and the pair drew clear with neither able to gain a clear advantage. It was a head and head battle over the final 200 metres and the judge took about four minutes pouring over the photo image before declaring Im Reggie the winner.

Bain said the next month would be “interesting” for Classy Dancer, Fletch Maguire and Lolita.

“I’m not sure where Classy Dancer will run next but Fletch Maguire will go to Port Pirie on Saturday, October 7,” he said.

Fletch Maguire will contest the 2023 Yorke Peninsula Cup (2040m).

Lolita’s next goal is the 2023 Mermaid Stakes (1800m) at Globe Derby Park on October 14.

This week’s Globe Derby Park meeting will be on Sunday, October 1 and will feature the SAHRC Derby and the SA Sapling Stakes as the month of feature racing continues.       

 Story: HRSA Media

Photo: Walter Bulyga