SA TROTS -Wheres The Gold - in the 2023 SA Pacing Cup
Successful South Australian harness racing businesses Aaron Bain Racing and Summit Bloodstock have had a huge 2023 and are looking to add further silverware on Saturday night at Globe Derby Park.
Already this year, ABR and Summit have been the winning slot holders in the world’s richest race, the TAB Eureka and New Zealand’s Race By Grins plus have picked up Group One wins with Eighteen Carat and Wheres The Gold.
On Saturday, Wheres The Gold looks well placed from gate one to land the 2023 $60,000 Sky Racing South Australian Pacing Cup (2645m) at Globe Derby Park.
Aaron Bain, principal of Aaron Bain Racing, said while being the winning slot holder in the Eureka was the top of the mountain, a win in the SA Cup would be extremely special.
“I am a South Australian and would love to win our feature race,” Bain said.
“The boys from Summit are also South Australians and altogether there are 55 locals in the ownership of Wheres The Gold. Altogether, there are 72 owners in the horse and about 75% are South Australians.
“There are strong ABR supporters such as Brad Fitzgerald and Nicole Rantanen Reynolds, but also, we have a group of members of the West Torrens Baseball Club, and a massive 40 owners in the Lockleys Football Club Syndicate.”
Bain said trainer Emma Stewart had booked Victorian reinsman Allan McDonough to drive Wheres The Gold and her other runners on Saturday night.
“Gaita (Pullicino) drove the horse on Saturday but has a strong connection with Naracoorte trainer Greg Scholefield and elected to stay with Hanging Fire in the Cup.
“Allan drove Wheres The Gold in winning a heat of the Tasmania Cup in March, but stable driver Mark Pitt went down to win the final.
“I’m hoping Wheres The Gold can hold the lead from gate one and prove the one to beat.”
In his heat last Friday, Wheres The Gold had a back row draw and Pullicino came forward midrace to sit parked.
Wheres The Gold proved too strong and drew clear to win by two metres rating 1:57.0. Interestingly, the Shane Sanderson-trained Platinum Stride rated 1:57.1 in winning the other heat.
Top South Australian reinsman Ryan Hryhorec confirmed he would drive Victorian Tango Tara in the Cup for trainer Andy Gath.
“Tango Tara was impressive in winning the Kadina Cup at Port Pirie, but the barrier draw is going to make it tough,” Hryhorec said.
“I spoke with Andy, and he thought it would be a tough ask to cross Wheres The Gold having drawn right alongside him in gate two.
“It is hard to envisage being able to drop in behind the leader because Hanging Fire has great gate speed and from one on the second row should have no trouble holding the back of Wheres The Gold.
“That would mean Tango Tara will probably have to sit parked and try to outstay his rivals.”
Naracoorte trainer Greg Scholefield said he was baffled by Hanging Fire’s dismal effort at Melton last Friday night in his leadup to the Cup.
From gate two, Hanging Fire, the red hot $1.55 favourite, didn’t show his brilliant gate speed and had to work to cross Rocky Monaloo to lead and was beaten coming off the back dropping out to finish last in a field of 10 in the Cogs Service No Metro Wins Pace (1720m).
“Only the horse knows,” Scholefield said.
“He ate up, the vets couldn’t find anything amiss, and back home he is bucking and kicking in his paddock. It certainly was nothing like what he does at Globe Derby Park.
“It is a mystery, but he has worked well since coming home and I’m pleased to be representing South Australia in the Cup.
“I would have liked to draw the front, but trailing the favourite is also a good spot to be.”
While on trial at the 2645 metres of the Cup, Scholefield has no doubt Hanging Fire will run the trip.
“We work him over longer distances here at home and I’m sure the trip won’t be an issue.
“The question is whether he has the ability to keep up when the pressure goes on in the last lap, but you have to be in it to win it.”
Story: HRSA Media
Photo: Walter Bulyga