SA TROTS Rob Caton has an Emerging Star in Fly The Banner

A horse ready to be sacked at the start of the year, completed an ultimate comeback by taking out the $14,999 Ladbrokes Emerging Stars Pacers Series Final (1800m) at Globe Derby Park on Saturday.

Fly The Banner gave young trainer Robbie Caton, the biggest win of his career, leading throughout in an exciting final featuring the state’s best pacers.

“He was nearly out the door in January,” Caton said.

“I inherited him as part of a breakup with my former partner, and really didn’t think he had what it takes.

“We call him “Dum Dum” around the stables as he takes a while to pick up what he is supposed to do, but after today, maybe he needs an upgrade.

“I really was ready to part with him, then out of nowhere, he stepped up and matched another of my horses, Diamond Mounted, in trackwork and I changed my mind, and I am so glad I did.”

Fly The Banner, backed from as much as $3.40 into $1.80 favourite, made effective use of barrier one, to lead throughout in the final, driven by Samantha Pascoe.

The race had plenty of action.

Santa Casa Lane ($3.80) made a good effort from gate three to try and lead but Fly The Banner was able to push through and hold the front.

Buzz Bomb ($11) then came forward to keep the pressure on and sit parked. No sooner had that happened than Wayne Hill, on Quick Dip ($4.60), decided to head around from the back of the field to take the position outside the leader.

Pascoe’s ability to steady the field with a 31.8 second quarter proved crucial in the result.’

With the early pressure, Fly The Banner recorded a smart 29.5 second first quarter of the last 1600 metres, before the easier second quarter before the tempo picked up again with 29.8 and 29 seconds for the final two quarters.

Fly The Banner held on by a neck from Quick Dip after the pair staged a stirring battle over the last 600 metres with Buzz Bomb three metres away third.

Caton, 29, has trained 41 winners since taking out a licence in 2016.

“This is easily my biggest win,” he said.

“I have six horses in work and really would like to my training to another level.

“I have some nice horses now, headed by Fly The Banner, and a couple of unraced pacers coming along.”

Fly The Banner is only a three-year-old and notched up a hat-trick of wins in taking out the final for a career total of five wins from just 12 starts.

Hereforagoodtime recorded a significant milestone for young reinswoman Bernadette Page.

The talented 23-year-old brought up her 50th win in just over a season of driving when Hereforagoodtime ($3.60) led throughout in the First Care Medical Pace (1800m) to win by three metres from Feisty Jane ($7) with Take My Wallet ($2.80 fav) a fast-finishing third, two metres away.

Trainer Ray Holberton said when the four-year-old had drawn gate one he had been confident of success.

Page later made it 51 wins scoring on the in-form six-year-old mare Magic Storm for trainer Tyson Linke in the Hygain SA Concession Drivers Series Pace (1800m).

Electing to go back to last early in the field of seven, Page asked Magic Storm ($1.55 fav) to go forward from the 600-metre mark and she quickly rounded up her rivals.

Branson ($11) went with the winner but came up 3.8 metres short. Third-placed Childers Road ($8) was 22 metres away.

Purchased from Victoria, Magic Storm is now unbeaten in six runs for the Kadina-based trainer.

Two Wells trainer Shane Loone complimented reinsman Kevin Weidenbach on his drive on Per Ardua Ad Astra ($1.85 fav) in the SA BOTRA Pace (1800m).

“I thought Kevin would go forward from gate five and sit outside the leader,” Loone said.

“So, I was a little concerned when he went back and settled second last, but he knew what he was doing.”

Weidenbach brought Per Ardua Ad Astra with a strong run to win easily by 11 metres from Classy Dancer ($5.50) with Franco Landry ($16), 2-1/2 metres away third.

The reinsman landed a double guiding Georgy Girl ($6.50) to an all-the-way win in the Pastor Stephen USA @ Llowalong Farm Trotters Handicap (2230m) for trainer Luke O’Neill.

Georgy Girl was never troubled winning by three metres from Hurricane Ed ($14) with Buckles ($8) 5-1/2 metres away third.

The roughest result of the meeting came in The Globe Open Throughout July & August Pace (2230m) when Winston Alexander scored at $126.

Driven by part-owner Todd Mumford for Kadina trainer Leah Holman, Winston Alexander responded to win by a head from Shardonant ($7.50) with All Aussie Mach ($2.30 fav) a metre away third.

The winner was bred by Holman who said she had another two fillies coming through out of Highview Babe, the dam of Winston Alexander.

Holman will need to use all of her power to take the Kokoda Trail trek shortly.

“It takes eight days over mountainous terrain in hot and humid conditions,” Holman said.

“I have prepared as best I can.”

Racing has ended at Globe Derby Park for about two months for track renovation.

Saturday night meetings have been scheduled for Port Pirie until August 31.

The Monday meetings have been moved to Gawler which will also hold a metropolitan meeting on Sunday, August 4.



Photo: Walter Bulyga