September 16 - Racing Roundup
Trainer-driver Ryan Hryhorec is steadily working towards the top of both the South Australian training and driving premierships.
Hryhorec came away from Globe Derby Park on Saturday with a training double.
Premonition won the Hygain Concession Drivers Pace (1800m), driven by Kaela Hryhorec, while Aldebaran Stiles was successful in the Speeding Spur NZ @ Woodlands Stud Entires & Geldings Trotters Handicap (2230m) with Gaita Pullicino in the sulky.
The double took his winning total to 54 for 2023, putting him just six behind leader Aaron Bain, who had been 11 in front several weeks ago.
Although he didn’t drive a winner on Saturday, he has 86 on the board for the year, eight behind leader Wayne Hill who didn’t drive on Saturday while serving a short suspension.
Gaita Pullicino, who drove another double on Saturday is in fourth position with 67 wins and rapidly climbing the table.
Third place is occupied by the sidelined Danielle Hill on 71, who had been leading until her forced absence from the sulky.
Three-year-old trotter Aldebaran Stiles was one of the most impressive winners at the meeting.
Heavily backed to start $2.40 favourite, Aldebaran Stiles began nicely, and driver Gaita Pullicino had just one thought and that was about finding the front.
The gelding trotted strongly to take control and ran an excellent final three quarters of 31.1, 29.5 and 29.4 seconds to leave his rivals chasing.
Aldebaran Stiles won by 15 metres from Lord Chancellor ($9) with Piesridingshotgun ($11), 2-1/2 metres away third.
Hryhorec said he thought the winner had a good future.
“Even though he made a mistake at his previous run, I think he is a safe trotter,” he said.
“As he showed today, he has good speed, and I know he will continue to improve.”
Hryhorec said he would be looking towards the SA Trotters Derby later in the year for the gelding.
Aldebaran Stiles was bred and is owned by Victorian enthusiast Duncan McPherson who runs Aldebaran Lodge.
Premonition made it three wins from his past four starts in winning the opening event.
Driven by Kaela Hryhorec, Premonition ($1.70 fav) went straight to the front from gate five and was never seriously challenged winning by 3-1/2 metres from Clarenden Envoy ($4.20) with Budding Caesar ($21), two metres away third.
It was Hryhorec’s first winning Globe Derby Park drive since Machstique won on June 19.
Premonition is having a good season winning four races, with nine placings from 21 starts.
Naracoorte trainer Greg Scholefield is hoping the in-form Hanging Fire can measure up in the SA Cup next month.
On Saturday, Hanging Fire gave another bold front running performance to win the Bianco Reinforcing Pace (2230m).
Perhaps the quickest beginner in the state, Hanging Fire ($1.50 fav) had no trouble finding the front from gate seven and just kept running.
He scored by 13 metres from Spy Major ($13) with Wrangler ($10), three metres away third.
The most impressive aspect of the win was Hanging Fire’s mile rate of 1:55.7 over the distance which was only 1.3 off the track record set by Guaranteed in winning the SA Cup in 2015.
Scholefield said the four-year-old had no luck at his previous run when ninth at Shepparton in a heat of the Vicbred Super Series.
Hanging Fire has now won his past seven starts at Globe Derby Park.
Heavily backed Winsome Ruby had no trouble making it a hat-trick of wins with an all-the-way victory in the SA Cups @ Globe Derby October 28 Fillies & Mares Trotters Handicap *(2230m).
Concession driver Corey Johnson has been in the sulky for all three wins for trainer Suzanne Grace.
Backed from $2.30 into $1.90 favourite, Winsome Ruby won by four metres from Majestic Summer ($81) with Muscle Miss ($3.90), five metres away third.