SA TROTS - Hurricane Ed scores for Melanie Seal-Kittel

Hurricane Ed gave trainer Mel Seal-Kittel an unusual winning trifecta when he finished strongly to win at Globe Derby Park on Saturday.

For Seal-Kittel, Hurricane Ed was her first runner since renewing her trainer’s licence.

His victory matched her achievements of a winner with her first ever runner as a trainer, and also a first up win during a short driving career.

The Seal family, starting with father Curley, now a prominent bookmaker, and elder brother Jeremy, have been involved in harness racing for around 40 years so it was not surprising Mel was helping out during her youth.

“I was helping Jeremy out during the early 2000s, and it was decided I would take out a licence and I was lucky enough to have a winner with my first runner, Cullton, at Globe Derby Park,” Seal-Kittel said.

That was on Monday, September 12, 2005.

Seal-Kittel prepared 10 winners during her two seasons of training at that time landing four wins with Zerrafoss which went on to win a Gawler Cup later in his career for trainer David Harding.

She also revealed her first race drive was on Chelsea Joe at Port Pirie and it was also a winner.

Seal-Kittel gave away a hands-on involvement in harness racing to have a family, and for the past few years has been a strong supporter of her son Jason ‘Chicken’ Kittel, who is one of the state’s promising concession reinsmen.

In recent times she has started helping out brothers Todd and Ben Weidenbach who have a small stable at Penfield.

“I was helping out with Balmoral Hall, Childers Road and Hurricane Ed,” she said.

“Owner Tim Aloisi put Balmoral Hall on the market, and she was sold to Tony (Pullicino), then Ben decided to take a break from training and asked me if I would take over the training of Hurricane Ed.

“I had the keenness back, so decided to renew my licence and tonight was the perfect return.”

Punters were keen to support Hurricane Ed and he firmed from $5 to run $3.20 favourite in the Kvintet Avenger @ Truscott Lodge Trotters Mobile (2230m).

Reinsperson Samantha Pascoe picked up the drive on the nine-year-old three runs back and she now has two wins and a second.

From barrier one, the gelding settled second on the fence but was pushed back to three back mid race.

Coming off the back straight a gap opened and Pascoe eased Hurricane Ed to the outside and he sprinted strongly to join the leaders turning for home.

He ran powerfully up the straight to win by a long head from the talented All The Trix ($3.70) with Majestic Tilly ($8), 17-1/2 metres away third.

Gawler trainer Jason Booth is having a good run with his team and landed his first metropolitan double on Saturday.

Budding Caesar ($2.60 fav) came from last to win the Italian Cup Night February 17 @ Globe Derby Restaurant Pace (2230m) then Lochinvar Ruler ($6.50) put up a tough effort sitting parked to take out the #Getrealsupportteal Pace (1800m).

Both were driven by Ken Rogers who displayed his talent in the winning double.

Booth said he now had 17 horses in work.

“I have just picked up Mercury Rising from Aaron Bain, and there is no doubt things are busy, but I wouldn’t have it any other way,” Booth said.

“Apart from my own team, I also work for Aaron, and then there is the family to look after so I get up at five each morning and go to bed about 10 at night and really don’t stop in between.”

Reeves Plains trainer Ryan Hryhorec looks like being a big player in the feature trot races over the next few months with Regal Attire which scored his first win for him in the Sundons Courage @ Truscott Lodge Trotters Mobile (1800m).

Sensationally backed from $3.40 into $1.50, Regal Attire broke the track record in coasting to an easy nine metre win.

The six-year-old rated 1:58.8 to beat the previous best of 1:59.1 which was shared by former Hryhorec-trained trotters Caabello and Phoebe Onyx.

“He had two runs for me when he arrived late last year, but I could see he needed a break,” Hryhorec said.

“Since he has come back into work, he has been a jet, and I was confident he would be too good tonight.”

Hryhorec said Regal Attire would almost certainly back up this Saturday in the $9,999 Fred Jones Trotters Cup (2645m).

Aaron Bain, last year’s top trainer, came away with a double, but he had to wait until the final two races of the nine-race program.

Classy Dancer ($1.80 fav) came from last to win the Taking The Reins For Team Teal Fillies & Mares Pace (1800m).

Driven by Wayne Hill, the mare was suited by a good early tempo before sweeping to a 3-1/2 metre win from Always Be Chloe ($8.50) in an excellent mile rate of 1:56.5.

Heza Player, having his first start in Australia, gave Bain the double with an impressive win in the Hygain Regain SA Concession Drivers Series (1800m).

Young reinsperson Bernadette Page drove Heza Player ($4.60) confidently and the six-year-old drew clear to win by 2-1/2 metres from Tilly Jayne ($1.33 fav) which had her chance but couldn’t catch the winner.

The gelding, whose only other win had been at Cambridge in New Zealand on December 24, 2021, rated 1:57.6 and certainly will not take as long to win again.


HRSA Media

Photo: Walter Bulyga