SA TROTS - Carnival of Cups starts this Sunday at Gawler Harness Racing Club

The $9999 Gawler Platinum Cup (2070m) on Sunday will be a photo-finish result if you use the heat at Globe Derby Park as a guide.

The Cup is the feature event at the Gawler track on Sunday as part of the Carnival Of Cups series.

The heat at Globe Derby Park last Saturday which gave horses a chance to run in the final resulted in an exciting three-way photo.

Major Mad ($5 into $3.70) scored a half head win from Malachite Rock ($41) with Sir Roman ($3.90), a head away third.

Trained at Hillier by Trevor Kittel and driven by his grandson Jason ‘Chicken’ Kittel, Major Mad tried to lead from barrier three but found Malachite Rock, prepared by Lars Ahlfors at Gawler Belt, pushing through from gate two to hold the inside.

Corey Johnson, sporting a new haircut but retaining his mullet, driving Malachite Rock, rated the six-year-old perfectly forcing Major Mad to raced parked outside the lead.

Turning for home Malachite Rock had a narrow advantage but Major Mad started to lift under hard driving from Kittel.

Sir Roman, driven by Wayne Hill, which was trailing the leader, went to the sprint lane and accelerated.

The trio went to the line in an exciting finish but Major Mad prevailed narrowly.

Kittel said he wasn’t sure he had won.

“I thought one of the inside runners might have grabbed the verdict,” Kittel said.

“I wasn’t sure how close Sir Roman got along the sprint lane, but I knew he was coming.

“Major Mad is a tough horse and I knew he could sit outside the leader and still win, but I was surprised Malachite Rock was able to hold him out early.

“Now we just hope for a good draw in the Cup on Sunday.”

The three placegetters are all expected to back up on Sunday and the barrier draw will be crucial as to finding the winner.

Another feature of Sunday’s Carnival Of Cups Gawler meeting will be heats of The Legends Trot over 2070 metres, leading up to a $9999 final at Globe Derby Park on Saturday, October 28.

With the appointment of Danielle Hill as a Pathways Officer, Harness Racing South Australia is keen to grow the state’s concession driver ranks and another highlight of the Gawler meeting will be a race for concession drivers only.

Top Gawler-based reinsman Ken Rogers could not have asked for an easier ‘welcome back’ to the winning list that taking out the feature Parker Classic for two-year-old trotters on Star Of Patrick.

Rogers had Star Of Patrick away quickly off his 20-metre handicap and took the lead from his three rivals after only 150 metres.

For the rest of the Parker Classic, it was Star Of Patrick in one race and the others in another.

The two-year-old gelding, bred and owned by Michael Taylor, and trained by Luke O’Neill at Globe Derby Park won by a massive 73 metres from Countess Crusoe ($6.50), trained and driven by Dean Girardi, with Patricia Em ($1.60 fav), one metre away third.

Rogers has been one of South Australia’s premier drivers but had an enforced holiday. He recently resumed and showed on Star Of Patrick he has lost none of his skills.

Trainer O’Neill said the winner had only come to South Australia because of a lack of two-year-old trotters races in Victoria but would now head back east.

Gawler trainer Aaron Bain had a Globe Derby Park win with ex-New Zealander The Bizzness which remains unbeaten since coming to his stable.

A free legged pacer, The Bizzness ($4.20) began quickly from gate seven but was forced to race outside Steinman ($3 fav) which had begin quickly from gate three.

With 500 metres left to travel, Samantha Pascoe, driving the Bain runner, put pressure on the favourite and dashed clear to win by seven metres from Butter Cup ($4.40) with Mariahs Shadow ($6.50), a metre away third.

Bain said The Bizzness had been able to lead at his previous two starts and win without being extended.

“He might have not looked impressive in his wins, but he had not been fully extended,” Bain said.

“I knew he had the gate speed to go forward early and was quite confident he could bring up the hat-trick of victories.”

 Story: HRSA Media