SA TROTS - Italian Cup Night Winners

South Australia has a new square-gaiting star in Regal Attire following Saturday’s successful Italian Cup night meeting at Globe Derby Park.

Trained at Reeves Plains by Ryan Hryhorec, Regal Attire came off a 30-metre handicap to thrash his 11 rivals by 23 metres in the time-honoured Fred Jones Trotters Cup (2645m).

After trotting away safely in the staying contest, driver Gaita Pullicino elected to move around and find the front with two laps to go.

She was then able to control the tempo and accelerated in the home straight for Regal Attire ($3.30 fav) to sprint away and win from the initial pacemaker Get Lucky ($23) with My Used To Be ($4.60) a neck away third.

Once in front, Regal Attire clocked three sub-30 second quarters for the last 1200 metres of the race making it virtually impossible to be beaten.

 Just on 12 months ago, Hryhorec had another star square gaiter in C K Spur which won the Victor Harbor Trotters Cup, Gawler Hambletonian, Port Pirie Trotters Cup and SA Trotters Cup before finding his 60-metre handicap just too much when third to Uncle Louis in last year’s Fred Jone Trotters Cup.

The extreme handicaps saw C K Spur transferred to Queensland rather than face the prospect of giving away huge starts to his rivals.

“If you thought C K Spur was a top trotter, this bloke would beat him as easily as he did his rivals tonight,” Hryhorec said.

“He would sit outside C K Spur and blow him away, he is that good.”

Regal Attire is raced by Australia’s biggest owner Mick Boots and had a successful interstate career before being transferred to South Australia.

“Mick has a high opinion of the horse, but he was just not racing at his best and it was thought a change of environment might suit.

“I gave him a couple of runs late last year and he went okay but it was decided to give him a short spell. Since he came back into training he has been a different horse – absolutely low flying – and that is what you saw tonight.

“There is a string of country cup races coming up for him, but as with C K Spur, eventually the handicapper will probably catch up with him.

“He was off a 30-metre handicap tonight so no doubt will go back each time he wins, so we will just have to see when it gets too much.”

Hryhorec elected to drive Aldebaran Dexta ($6) in the Cup which also came off a 30-metre handicap.

“He is owned by my wife Kerrie, and also is a difficult horse to drive.

“Regal Attire is push button and I knew Gaita would suit him, while Aldebaran Dexta has his traits.”

Aldebaran Dexta was not on his best behaviour and galloped several times finishing 11th, 103 metres behind his stablemate.

A bold front-running drive by Paul Cavallaro saw Artillery take out the 2024 Ladbrokes Italian Cup (2230m).

Cavallaro, who also trains Artillery, took the six-year-old to the front from gate two and rated him perfectly.

Artillery ($2.90 fav) scored by a neck from the fast-finishing Lord Zarias ($3.30) with Honeybun ($151), 6-1/2 metres away third.

Cavallaro made a winning move coming off the back electing to let his drive grab a 10-metre break on the rest of the field.

At this point, Lord Zarias was three back on the inside seeking clear racing room.

Trainer-driver Ryan Hryhorec managed to take Lord Zarias into the open at the start of the home turn and the gelding sprinted quickly.

However, Artillery had established too big a break and won well.

Cavallaro said the gelding would be improved by the win.

“He had not raced since early January and I gave him a few weeks on the water walker at the Finniss Lodge thoroughbred stables of Glen Kent and Wayne Francis,” he said.

“I have known Glen for quite a few years, and we talked about using his water walker. It is a good way to keep a reasonable level of fitness but also freshen them up mentally.

“He only had one piece of fast work before tonight so will strip fitter at his next run.

“He will have a bit of solid racing over the next few months so that is why I wanted him to have a bit of a break.”

Artillery has been a wonderful purchase for his ownership group costing $45,000 as a yearling, but with prizemoney and bonuses has collected $250,000.

Bagot Well trainer Peta Brown, who had an excellent 2023 with 20 winners, brought up her third in 2024 when Better Be Lively took out the Bargain Steel Centre Pace (1800m).

The 10-year-old had been racing well but without luck but a top drive by Brown’s son Nicholas, saw the horse finally break through.

Coming from gate one, Brown decided to let the bold front runner Whitestarchristian take control and trailed him to the home turn.

Using the sprint lane, Bettor Be Lively exploded through to win by two metres from Whitestarchristian with Major Mad, 3-1/2 metres away third.

Trainer Aaron Bain looks to have another promising New Zealander in Heza Player.

A first up winner in Australia a week earlier, Heza Player was backed from $1.45 into $1.28 favourite this week in the Strathalbyn Cups @ Globe Derby Park March 2 Pace (1800m).

Coming from gate six, reinsman Wayne Hill took him back early before allowing the six-year-old to stride forward and sit parked.

In the home straight, Heza Player drew clear to win by three metres from Keilah ($8) with Swaffham Jack ($19), 3-1/2 metres away third.

 

HRSA Media

Photo Walter Bulyga