SA TROTS - Tembie takes out St Leger for team Afford

Owner-breeders Ron and Lee-anne Lane celebrated the SA St Leger win by Tembie with a feed of carrots on Sunday morning.

Still glowing from the Saturday night win by Tembie at Globe Derby Park, the Lanes went to the Port Pirie stables of trainer-driver Dale Afford to sit down and savour the victory after being overwhelmed by the win on the night.

Backed from $6 into $2.90 favourite, the three-year-old found the front from gate two and was perfectly rated by Afford to score a 2-1/2 metre win in the St Leger from Alive And Free ($11) with Wings On The Line ($5.50) a long neck away third.

The Lane name has been successful in South Australian harness racing for more than a century and Ron Lane said the colours worn by Tembie were first registered by his grandfather’s brother when harness racing had just begun in the state.

Tembie has now won all three starts this preparation which is a relief to Afford who worried late last year that illness might have hampered his star pacer.

“He lost form and we found he had a virus,” Afford said.

“You always wonder how much it takes out of them, and I admit I was worried he might not come back.

“But I’m pleased to say he has returned better than ever.

“I wanted to find the lead but thought one or two others off the front might be too quick early but only Star Man came to challenge, and we were able to hold the front.

“He wanted to over race a little bit but not as bad as when he was a two-year-old.

“He also wanted to hang down into the sprint lane close to home and I had to keep him straight. Fortunately, he had a big enough lead to win.”

Afford said Tembie would now contest the three-year-old Pacing For Pink heats at Globe Derby Park on Saturday, May 18.

Ron Lane said Tembie’s dam Gotcha had passed on before she could have another foal.

“Unfortunately she went blind,” Lane said.

“But we are lucky to have an older half-sister to Tembie, Somewhere Sunshine, by Sunshine Beach who has had two filly foals, one by A Rocknroll Dance and the other by The Storm Inside.

“Somewhere Sunshine showed a lot of promise for trainer Leah Holman but badly damaged a leg in a paddock accident which prevented her from racing so hopefully she can continue on the family through her progeny.”

Top reinsman Wayne Hill had a night out in the sulky winning four races.

He was successful on Lolita ($1.50 fav) and Classy Dancer ($3.80) for Gawler trainer Aaron Bain, Savvy Kyvalley ($6.50) for the Penfield partnership of Jill Neilson and Katie Wilson, and finally Cobargo Grin ($14) for another Penfield trainer, Todd Weidenbach.

The two Bain mares were super impressive with Hill commenting that Lolita, now a winner of her past four starts, had gone to a new level with her victory.

Savvy Kyvalley was a true family win for Katie Wilson as the seven-year-old trotter is owned by her mother Lee-Ann Pangrazio and wife Naomi.

With three wins and six placings, the gelding has more than repaid his purchase price.

One of the most impressive winners at the meeting was Clarenden Express, owned, bred and trained by Claire Goble at Wasleys.

The four-year-old rated a quick 1:55.8 in scoring a seven-metre win in the Beachpit Café Pace (1800m).

Well driven by Samantha Pascoe, Clarenden Express ($4.40) sprinted powerfully to defeat Treacherous Rock ($14) with Weona Miss Fortune ($5), two metres away third.

Trainer-driver Ryan Hryhorec continued his great strike rate driving three winners at the meeting.

Hryhorec, from Reeves Plains, was at his tactical best to land Jilliby Mistress ($2.80 fav) a photo finish winner of the Pacing For Pink In May Pace (1800m) for part-owner-trainer Nick Tardio.

Two-year-old Torque Intheusa ($1.33 fav), which he also trains, led throughout in the Bianco Reinforcing Pace (1800m).

The driving treble came up on the Luke O’Neill-trained Flingandwingit in the King Of The North USA Trotters Handicap (2230m).

A master at getting horses away in standing starts, Hryhorec worked hard to find the front on Flingandwingit ($6.50) then rated the gelding perfectly to score a four-metre win from stablemate Illawong Moonbeam ($8) with Lovelorn ($4.40), a metre away third.

This week’s Globe Derby Park meeting will feature the time-honoured Norman Memorial for SA-trained mares along with heats of the Southern Stars for two-year-olds which will led to a $50,000 final.


Story – HRSA Media

Photo – Walter Bulyga