SA TROTS - Kahinas fairytale comeback

Kahina completed a fairytale comeback landing a solid betting plunge at Globe Derby Park on Saturday.

The six-year-old mare, trained by Ray Holberton, was backed from $6 into $2.50 favourite and came from last with as devastating sprint to win the Hygain Regain Mares Pace (1800m).

In-form concession driver Bernadette Page allowed Kahina to settle last in the field of eight going back early from her wide draw of six.

The mare was still last with 500 metres to travel before Page eased her verry wide and Kahina started to sprint.

She swept around the field, gathered in the leaders, and won easily by five metres from Courtney Katarina ($51) with Summerdays ($17), eight metres away third.

It was a relieved Holberton who greeted the mare on the return to the stables.

“Kahina had leg injury issues in April last year, and veterinary opinion was that her racing career might be over,” Holberton said. “The hard tracks were putting too much pressure on her legs.

“We gave her a good break and brought her back into work and she has been okay.

“But I have changed her training and am now giving her a lot of swimming. It seems to be working well and she loves the change.”

Holberton said he was not surprised by the strong support for Kahina.

“She has been racing well in tougher fields and I thought tonight’s race was a drop in class.

Kahina is out of the mare Aitch Cue which Holberton part-owned and trained.

“We sent her across to Andy Gath and she ran second in the Group One Queen Of The Pacific at Melton.

“The family was bred by Robert Hancock, but he has now retired, and the mare is in Victoria with Janet Exell in Victoria and has had as filly foal by Major Bronski.”

Mildura trainer Naomi Kerr had a strong influence at Globe Derby Park and came away with a winning double.

Rojenbye upset stablemate Ultimate Rocker in the Ladbrokes Bet Ticker Pace (2230m), then I Bet You led throughout in the Ladbroke It! Pace (1800m).

A $14 chance, Rojenbye trailed Ultimate Rocker ($1.80 fav) before coming wide and proving too strong in the home straight grabbing a short half head victory.

Kerr said the winner had come into her stable a few months ago.

“His recent form wasn’t good, but he had showed plenty of talent as a younger horse,” Kerr said.

“From the time he came into the stable I have been pleased with him and thought he would run better than his form suggested but knew Ultimate Rocker was the one to beat.

“I knew the 2200 metres would be as far as Ultimate Rocker liked and wasn’t completely surprised Rojenbye ran him down.

“I Bet You can be a real handful when he goes to the track and is not the easiest horse to gear up.

“On the track, he is a lot better and was always going to be hard to beat from gate two.”

I Bet You ($2 fav) lasted by a head to beat Classy Dancer ($5) with Treacherous Rock ($8), two metres away third.

Kerr said she planned many more trips to South Australia.

“I have 24 horses in work and the Adelaide races give us plenty of options,” she said.

“We can go to Port Pirie or come here to Globe Derby Park, both are quite easy trips.

“In fact, I have been thinking about possibly relocating. The stakemoney and points system here suit – that is why I am starting to come down, and it would be easier if I were living here.”

The Emerging Stars series is producing exciting racing and Saturday’s heat was as perfect example.

Only two metres separated the first five horses past the post.

The judge couldn’t split Bad Boy Carter ($23) and Apology Accepted ($4.40) at the finish.

Call Me Sir ($5) was a half head away third with Places You Don’t ($17) a metre away with Jawsofselwood ($41) a metre further back.

Bad Boy Carter, driven by Gaita Pullicino, did if tough sitting parked and stuck his head out but Jason Kittel, driving Apology Accepted, lifted his horse to share first prize.

Pullicino had more luck on Hanging Fire, trained by Mario Borg, which led throughout in the Happy Birthday Neville Fuller Pace (1800m).

It was the sixth straight win by the bold front runner who is the quickest beginner from the mobile in South Australia.

A red hot $1.35 favourite, the gelding did have to dig deep late as Mohs Em Down ($18) ran on well to finish second, beaten just a head, in a smart mile rate of 1:56.4.

Another horse starting to build a ‘picket fence’ of wins is Take My Wallet, trained by Aaron Bain.

The five-year-old mare made it three straight running home powerfully to win the Bianco Reinforcing Pace (1800m).

Driver Samantha Pascoe settled her midfield from her barrier 10 draw before coming with a well-timed run to score a metre win.

Veteran harness racing trainer Clancy Garner has been strapping Take My Wallet and the pair have a strong, winning association.


Photo: Walter Bulyga