SA TROTS -Wrap up by Fisch

Memories of the glory days of harness racing were revived when South Australia’s best squaregaiter C K Spur made a winning return at Globe Derby Park last Sunday.

Trained and driven by Two Wells horseman Ryan Hryhorec, C K Spur gave 50 metres start to most of his rivals in the North East Group Trotters Handicap (2230m).

Having his first start since May last year, the nine-year-old defied the massive start to finish best and score a 1-1/2 metre win.

C K Spur ($3.90) defeated Millys Magic ($6.10), trained at Wasleys by Claire Goble, with Armchair Drive ($14.20) a metre away third.

Veteran harness supporters applauded C K Spur’s win noting it reminded them of the old days when trotters were able to come off handicaps of up to 96 yards and 108 yards to win at Wayville.

Hryhorec was in awe of his squaregaiter.

“He has a wonderful will-to-win,” Hryhorec said.

“Coming off the back straight, when he was still in fourth spot, I thought he was done.

“However, when I pulled up wide outside Millys Magic, he just dug deep and refused to be beaten.”

C K Spur, owned by Port Pirie’s Five540 Racing Syndicate, came to Hryhorec last year and won four of five stats, and was most unlucky in defeat.

Those efforts have him strongly fancied to be named the state’s best trotter at the 2022 Horse Of The Year Awards at the Gawler & Barossa Jockey Club venue on Friday, February 24.

In fact, it wouldn’t surprise if he were given consideration for the overall Horse Of The Year title.

Hryhorec said C K Spur had achieved his successes last year despite having a knee issue.

“We were able to keep him sound but decided to give him a good break after his last run at Melton in Victoria.

“When a few of my other trotters went by the wayside we brought him back into training.

“We were always conscious that he would be off severe handicap marks but wanted to give him the chance to pick up more feature wins.

“Tonight’s race was a conditioning run for his first test, and being just a $4500 race, we believe he won’t be rehandicapped for the win.”

C K Spur’s next run will be the $8500 Fred Jones Trotters Cup (2645m) at Globe Derby Park on Saturday, February 11.

The Cup will be part of the feature Italian Cup night with added entertainment at the meeting.

Hryhorec came up with a driving double when another horse with a will-to-win, Atreacherous took out the Bianco Reinforcing Pace (2230m) for Kudla trainer Jeremy Seal.

Atreacherous, a drifter from $1.70 to start $2.10, finished best late to grab a head win from Double O Heaven ($4), with Steam Cleaned ($4.70), a metre away third.

Hryhorec had the trail on the Aaron Bain-trained Double O Heaven during the race, but the latter had surged to the lead turning for home and looked likely to win.

However, Atreacherous gained momentum and dived late to grab victory.

One of the most impressive wins on a night of star victories, was by Mosaic Art in the Bargain Steel Centre Pace (1800m).

Trained by Aaron Bain in Gawler, Mosaic Art ($2.70 fav) came from gate seven, was three wide for a lap, raced outside the lead for the last lap and was still able to draw clear to win by 3-1/2 metres.

Driver Wayne Hill said the win had been outstanding considering the five-year-old mare had also rated 1:57.8.

Naracoorte trainer Greg Scholefield and driver Gaita Pullicino were the big winners with three victories.

Scholefield trained Jawsoflincoln, Hanging Fire and Rakero Storm to win their respective races, with Pullicino driving the trio.

Jawsoflincoln is strong favourite to be named SA’s Three Year Of The Year for 2022 at the SA Horse Of The Year awards.

He also will be in the running for the overall award.

Coming from gate 10 in the TAB Venue Mode Pace (1800m), Jawsoflincoln had a great run through the field early and Pullicino had no hesitation urging him forward and he was eventually able to find the lead.

Once in front, the four-year-old, the $1.80 favourite, kept running to win by 6-1/2 metres from Premonition ($6) with Maharajah ($5.40), 10-1/2 metres away third.

Jawsoflincoln will start in this Saturday’s $9000 2023 Italian Cup (2230m) at Globe Derby Park.

Story & photo Graham Fischer