SA TROTS Bain boasts Fletch's brilliance

Trainer Aaron Bain believes Saturday’s Globe Derby Park winner Fletch Maguire may be the best horse he has trained.

The Gawler mentor was speaking after Fletch Maguire rated a brilliant 1:55.2 in winning the Battle of the Best Heat 4 (1800m).

Driven by Penfield horseman David Smith, the ex-New Zealand pacer sat outside the leader before going to the front 300 metres out and scoring comfortably by 7-1/2 metres.

“I have always thought Ideal World was the best pacer I have trained,” Bain said.

“He had fantastic speed and has won 24 races with a best mile rate of 1:52.4.

“But Fletch Maguire is an exciting horse.

“He came to our stable as an eight-run maiden from New Zealand but has now won all four starts for ABR, and he keeps raising the bar.

“Saturday was an incredible performance.

“To sit outside the leader, go clear and win easily in such quick time was amazing.”

In his race, another ex-New Zealand pacer Rakero Storm, now with trainer Greg Scholefield at Naracoorte, was backed from $1.90 into $1.40 favourite and led comfortably from gate one.

Smith brought Fletch Maguire ($2 out to $3) across from gate three to sit parked.

He ensured there was a strong tempo with a 59.2 second first half of the last 1600 metres and stepped it up with a 28 second third quarter.

It was enough for Fletch Maguire to basically pull his way to the front coming off the back straight and he looked headed for an easy win.

Once in front, he thought his job was done and Rakero Storm refused to give in and attempted to launch another challenge but Fletch Maguire still had more to give and sprinted home in 29 seconds to win comfortably.

Fletch Maguire’s win brought up a double for Bain who won earlier in the night with Sheza Manipulator which won Battle Of The Best Heat 2 (2230m).

A red hot $1.20 favourite, Sheza Manipulator, driven by Michael Smith, led throughout from gate one to score a half neck win from the fast-finishing Kahina ($14) with Hanging Fire ($6), 5-1/2 metres away third.

She rated a respectable 1:59.2 at her first run over the longer journey for Bain.

“I was pleased with Sheza Manipulator which has now won four of her five starts for ABR,” Bain said.

“And her only defeat was arguably her best run when she ran second, beaten a half head, after sitting parked and running 1:56.6.

“I will now give her a week away from racing as I felt she looked a bit flat late.”

The Battle of the Best series consisted of a five-race series pitting South Australia’s top five male drivers against their female counterparts.

 The boys definitely came away with the bragging rights totaling 296 points compared with 188 for the ladies.

But the five men all finished with more points than the top lady.

Overall winner was Wayne Hill, main stable driver for Aaron Bain Racing but he didn’t draw one of the stable horses on Saturday.

Hill brought up a winning double with Atreacherous for Kudla trainer Jeremy Seal in heat one, along with Uncle Louis for trainer Paul Cavallaro in heat three which was for the trotters.

Atreacherous ($1.80 fav) sat third on the fence in the run before sprinting strongly up the sprint lane to win easy by 3-1/2 metres from Just Chai ($8) with Premonition ($5.50), three metres away third.

Seal said the five-year-old mare was running in the best form of her career and he was confident she could step up to free-for-all company.

Peta Brown, who trains at Bagot Well, outside Kapunda, had a win with Bettor Be Lively in Battle of the Best heat five (1800m).

Driven by Ryan Hryhorec, Bettor Be Lively, well backed at $4.80 was never challenged in scoring a 6-1/2 metre win from Sabreur ($151) with Shazzam ($34), a metre away third.

 Points tally: Wayne Hill 67; David Smith 62; Michael Smith 59; Ryan Hryhorec 57; Dean Girardi 52; Gaita Pullicino 47; Danielle Hill 46; Tiana McMahon 27; Lisa Ryan 30; Samantha Pascoe 28.

Outside of the series, Angle Vale trainer-driver Dean Girardi had success with Sporty Frank which led throughout to win the Green Welding Specialists Pace (1800m).

Girardi rated Sporty Frank ($3.30) to win easily by eight metres from Ima Workinclassman ($11) with Sutter Main ($3 fav), three metres away third.


Story: Graham Fischer