SA TROTS - Southern Cross Heat Night racing preview
The festive season arrives early for South Australian harness racing participants with more than $214,000 in stakemoney to be won over the next two Saturdays during the Southern Cross series.
At Globe Derby Park on Saturday, there is a nine-race program catering for local two and three-year-olds, both pacers and trotters.
They will lead into six finals the following Saturday, December 2.
While there may not be capacity fields for this week’s races, the stakemoney on offer, with HRSA determined to build the series, makes it appealing for participants to breed a foal or two, and return South Australia to its former glory when the breeding industry was strong and vibrant.
There are a number of high-quality pacers and trotters engaged on Saturday which should lead to strongly contested finals next week.
A perfect example is race one on Saturday, heat one of the Alabar Two-Year-Old Pacing Fillies Southern Cross Series where Miss Idaho and Tilly Jayne headline the field.
They are arguably the best two fillies in the state for their age group.
Miss Idaho has won her last four starts after a little surprisingly running second on race debut at Mildura.
Trainer-driver Ryan Hryhorec has made no secret of his respect for the filly’s talent and South-East reinsman Jayson Finnis, who drives Tilly Jayne, is also an admirer.
“It would have been nice to avoid her in the heat to help our chances of picking up some first prizemoney, Finnis said.
“But you have to be in it to win it.
“I’m really happy with my filly, and from gate one I would be expecting to hold the lead and give her every chance.”
Tilly Jayne, trained by Finnis’ wife Alyce, was sensationally backed from $2.50 into $1.80 favourite in the feature Ladyship Stakes (1800m) at Globe Derby Park at her last run on November 11.
Miss Idaho proved a shade too strong at the finish, but Finnis is hoping from a good draw his filly can be hard to beat.
The Finnis’ have Sires Produce winner Lethal Louie coming from gate two in heat one of the Sky Racing Thre-Year-Old Pacing Colts & Geldings Southern Cross Series (2230m), which is race three.
“He has done well since his Sires win,” Finnis said.
“From gate two I will be looking to go forward, and lead and I know he loves the 2230 metre trip.
“Even though it is a heat, it has attracted a good quality field and should result in a top final next week.”
Again, Finnis recognises that the Ryan Hryhorec trained-and-driven Jamaican Rock, will be a major danger.
The three-year-old holds a special interest for Finnis and he was bred by his grandparents Peter and Lesley Medhurst and is a half-brother to Jumping Jolt which ran third in a Southern Cross 2Y0 final before winning the Sires Produce at a three-year-old.
“Jamaican Rock is a very good horse, his record says that.
“You always forgive a horse a bad run and I’m sure he will be hard to beat.”
The second heat of the Sky Racing Three-Year-Old Pacing Colts & Geldings (2230m) is race nine, and also has brought together a good group.
Rupert Ross, trained by Lance Holberton and driven by his son Josh, returned to his best form with an all-the-way win at Globe Derby Park last Saturday.
But he clashes with Hes All Torque, a winner of his past two starts as well as Lifeisbutadream, an excellent second in the Sires Produce Stakes.
Bay Jim Major and Star Man are two of South Australia’s best two-year-olds in 2023 and they clash again in heat two of the Alabar Two-Year-Old Pacing Colts & Geldings (1800m).
Trained by Les Harding, Bay Jim Major, to be driven by Mark Norman, has drawn gate one and will be expected to lead and prove hard to beat.
Driver David Smith, on Star Man, will come from gate two and might be happy to take a trail behind the leader and try to outsprint him in the run home.
Heat one for the two-year-old colts and geldings is race four, with the interesting runner being No Notthebuttons, principally South Australian owned, and also bred by Peter and Lesley Medhurst.
No Notthebuttons will clash with the talented Tembie, improving The Reginator and the in form Hezrockinroyalty.
Reinsman Ken Rogers has picked up the drive on the Emma Stewart-trained two-year-old which finished midfield in the Vicbred 2YO Colts & Geldings final at Melton at his last run.
Story: HRSA Media