SA TROTS - Racing roundup from Southern Cross Night
A prediction made three years ago came to fruition when Lifeisbutadream scored an emotional win in the Sky Racing Three-Year-Old Pacing Colts & Geldings Southern Cross Series final (2230m) at Globe Derby Park.
“That win is for Andrew,” said trainer-driver Anthony Robinson on crossing the line with Lifeisbutadream scoring a two-metre win.
Robinson was referring to the late Andrew Gilbert, a prominent South Australian harness racing participant and official, who sadly passed away in March 2020.
But Gilbert made a bold prediction in January that year telling everyone that the colt he bred out of the family’s excellent mare Dixie Chick Dreama was the best foal he had bred and would win a feature race.
That foal, by Four Starzzz Shark, is Lifeisbutadream and the tears flowed on Saturday with memories of Andrew Gilbert, and the enjoyment of a Southern Cross victory.
Lifeisbutadream ($15) was given the run of the race, one-out, one-back by Robinson before sprinting strongly to win the Southern Cross from the fast-finishing Lethal Louie ($2.20 fav) with Supercharged ($71), 12 metres away third.
Robinson said it was amazing that the three-year-old was in the final.
“In the heat he was checked early and galloped winding up about 30 metres behind the second last horse,” Robinson.
“I thought even making the final was going to be too tough.
“But he caught the field and wound up finishing third, it was an enormous run.
“I knew, with luck in running, he was capable of winning the final.”
It was the first Southern Cross win for Robinson, 65, who has been involved in harness racing all his life.
“I had a really nice horse Elite Guy in the late 90s and he looked a good chance in the Sires’ series as it was then, but he had to be scratched from the final.”
Andrew Gilbert’s widow Julie owns Lifeisbutadream and was training him but went on a holiday and gave the three-year-old to Robinson.
“When I got back, Anthony was doing such a good job I decided to let him keep going,” Ms Gilbert said.
“He really is a lovely horse and when I had him was able to ride him.
“To win tonight is very special and Andrew’s prediction has come true.”
Another emotional win was recorded by Illawong Martini in the Sky Racing Two-Year-Old Trotters Southern Cross Series Final (1800m).
A brilliant drive by Ryan Hryhorec saw Illawong Martini ($3.90) led throughout to win by 1-1/2 metres from Bishop George ($1.90 fav) with Patricia Em ($2.80), a long neck away third.
The winner was bred by siblings Karen, Rachel and Matt Maguire and is trained by their father Robin.
The “Mart” in the name is owner of their mother Margaret who passed away just over three years ago and the “tini” is for Martin Harnett who had the Illawong breed.
Hryhorec had the filly away quickly to find the lead and was able to get away with three soft quarters before sprinting home in 29.6 seconds which was enough for victory.
One of the most exciting Southern Cross finals was the Alabar Two-Year-Old Pacing Fillies (1800m).
Miss Idaho ($1.50) stamped herself as a star with a tough performance to score by 1-1/2 metres from Tilly Jayne ($3.10) with Lil Miss Crocker ($13), 27-1/2 metres away third.
Trained and driven by Ryan Hryhorec, Miss Idaho has won six of her seven starts.
Reinsman Jayson fired Tilly Jayne out from gate six and she was able to work to the lead.
Hryhorec quickly allowed Miss Idaho to move forward and sit outside the leader.
Finnis made it a survival of the fittest over the last lap with a 28.7 second third quarter coming home in 27.6 seconds for an overall rate of 1:56.1.
Hryhorec paid credit to Finnis.
“Jayson drove a fantastic race, but my filly was just too good,” Hryhorec said.
“She was up for the fight and was strong through the line.
“I don’t like comparing horses. All I can say is that Miss Idaho is a very good filly, she can sprint and stay. Her potential is unlimited.”
Away from the Southern Cross Series, Globe Derby Park owner-trainer Shaun Adams had a good night.
He part-owns Kivici and did train the gelding but recently gave it to Luke O’Neill and the move returned a winning dividend in the Jojubi Saddlery Trotters Mobile (2230m).
Driven by Michael Smith, Kivici ($16) scored by 1-1/2 metres in a good performance beating Hurricane Ed ($6.50) with Horse Of Course ($6,.50), a long neck away third.
Hammers Law, which Adams owns and formerly trained, gave him a double for the night scoring an excellent win at Melton for trainer Sonya Smith and driver Anthony Butt.
A $31 chance, Hammers Law scored a head win in the Ken Morton Memorial Trot (2240m).
Story: HRSA Media
Photo: Walter Bulyga