SA TROTS - Jakes Sportwriter in form for Shane Loone
In 2002, Two Wells-based Shane Loone won the South Australian Harness Racing Trainers premiership with 79 winners.
But last year, the pressure of training professionally for more than 20 years, took its toll on the 48-year-old and he took a four-month break.
Loone said during last year while fighting health issues he was physically worn out.
“It was not only my health, but mentally I was gone,” Loone said.
“I had my last runner at the end of August and basically stayed in bed most days during September.
“I was exhausted and knew it was time to have a good break.”
Loone’s battle with cancer is well known in the harness industry and he is happy to report he is clear on that front.
However, his lungs have been badly damaged.
“Quite simply, I can’t do what I used to do,” he said.
“I run out of breath, and it gets worse on the very hot days like last Saturday.”
Loone started training again in late December and now has 16 horses in work but admits it is too many.
“I bred a lot of horses a few years ago and have a group of two and three-year-olds which need to be broken in.
“The aim is to eventually cut down to only having 10 in work to make for a better lifestyle but first I have to work through the unraced horses.”
The well performed Jakes Sportswriter is one of the older pacers in Loone’s stable and at Globe Derby Park on Saturday gave the trainer his first metro winner for about six months.
Specked from $41 into $17, Jakes Sportswriter, driven by Corey Johnson, made full use of barrier one to lead throughout in the Mitavite Studgro Pace (1800m).
The 10-year-old led clearly and was never seriously challenged scoring by four metres from Brookyinthepaddock ($4.60) with Hezacrocwatcher ($34) two metres away third.
Jakes Sportswriter rated an impressive 1:56.0 which explained why the chasers could not pick him up.
“I thought he had a good chance first up at Port Pirie last Tuesday, but he got into trouble and was well beaten,” Loone said.
“From gate one, I thought he would give a good sight and so it proved.”
Another 10-year-old to win at Globe Derby Park was Whoee Johnson for Virginia part-owner-trainer Chris Nicol in the Bianco Reinforcing Pace (1800m).
Also driven by Corey Johnson, Whoee Johnson ($5.50) trailed the leader Hereforagoodtime ($3.90) to the home turn before dashing up the lane to win by two metres.
Giftedfromtheheart ($3.90) did a power of work and battled on well to finish third a further3-1/2 metres back.
Gawler trainer Jason Booth’s good run continued at Globe Derby Park with a third 10-year-old winner, Budding Caesar in the Eco-Wise Plumbing Pace (2230m).
Coming from last for driver Ken Rogers, Budding Caesar ($2.60 fav) arrived to win by a head from Clarenden Legacy ($8.50) with Mikicool ($7) a metre away third.
Rogers had a winning double bringing Horse Of Course ($6.50) with a late sprint in the Sky Racing Trotters Handicap (2230m).
The winner is trained by Luke O’Neill who also had the $3.80 favourite Andoverlov which was being hailed the winner with 50 metres to go until Horse Of Course came quickly to win by a neck.
Another reinsman with a double was Wayne Hill who took out the Skyvalley @ Aldebaran Park Trotters Mobile (2230m) on My Used To Be for the training partnership of Jill Neilson and Katie Wilson before brining Rupert Ross with a flashing run for trainer Lance Holberton in the TAB Southern Cross Pace (1800m).
Rupert Ross ($3.20) looked to have little chance when near last and very wide on the home turn but wound up down the outside and flashed late to win by a neck from Mariahs Shadow ($15) with Celestial Daybreak ($41) two metres away third.
Story: HRSA MediaPhoto: Walter Bulyga