Change in the wind for trotters in SA.
With the South Australian Trotting industry in dire straights as far as numbers go and with the threat of losing horses practically to Tasmania.
The SA Square Trotters Assn along with trainers Des Nolan and Luke O’Neill met up with Chairman of the HRSA Board Gary Crocker, Chairman of Stewards Ross Neal and Racing Manager David Thuen to discuss the future of trotting in SA, and to develop strategies to retain and attract trotters. We acknowledged a problem with horses in the T3 to T5 class, also the lack of fast class horses and the subsequent struggle to provide racing opportunities for these horses.
Also discussed was the ability of T3/TR3 or better mares to be able to claim a 20 metre Handicap lift, with a concession driver, even against T0 trotters and Mr Neal is preparing a discussion paper for the IAC and the board.
Mr Neal has offered to conduct a review of the handicapping system in SA for trotters, and will be preparing a paper to put to the HRSA Board as a matter of urgency. Watch for details to be released by HRSA shortly.
Lets hope its not all HOT AIR.
Canada Bay goes back to back in bOTRA Pace
Ashburton losses Jewels in 2019
After 12 years alternating between Ashburton and Cambridge, the Harness Jewels will undergo a location change for the first time in 2019.
Harness Racing New Zealand’s board voted in favour of a shift to Addington Raceway in Christchurch for next year’s edition at an executive meeting in Invercargill in April.
The Ashburton Trotting Club, which hosted the first Harness Jewels in 2007 and has done so every second year since, did lodge a submission to retain the rights.
It is understood the decision is only for 2019’s edition and is not a permanent move.
Harness Racing New Zealand Chairman Ken Spicer, nor Chief Executive Edward Renell were available for comment late afternoon.
Megan Gee trains first winner.
Megan Gee scored her first win as a trainer when eight-year-old Puddinhead scored at Globe Derby Park on the last day in June.
Gee who worked for a number of years as stable foreperson for Jill Neilson recently decided to go out on her own, after a short stint with Shane Loone’s stables Gee moved to the property in Penfield formally occupied by Lance Justice
Puddinhead a son of Dream Away won his thirteenth race from 132 starts and has collected nearly $50,000 in stake-money
It was the gelding’s first win since July last year however a tendon injury saw him off the scene for nearly six months.
“He ripped the sheet of his tendon and vet Toby Ryan said he may never race again but with time and rest we have been able to get him back to the track even though he is a day to day proposition” Gee said. “We had to box him for two months so it was touch and go for while” she added.
In a busy finish Puddinhead beat Buriton Baily by a head with Hez Declan a half neck away in third place.
Gee has three in work including former Queensland pacer Lone Beach and a T0 trotter called Motoring Hall (by Angus Hall) who had six starts for David Atkins yard.
Gee has a two-year-old by Blisfull Hall and Southern Cross winner Somebeachsomegift to come back in the next month.
Somebeachsomegift hasn't raced since being injured last August Gee visited him at his spelling property recently and hopes he will make a successful return to the racetrack
New date for SA CUP.
As announced by HRSA Chairman Gary Crocker on the Harness Show on 1197am on Saturday May 19 the SA CUP has a new date and has been downgraded from a Group 1 to Group 2 status with a drop in prize money from $100,000 to $60,000.
Mr Crocker told listeners that the SA CUP will most likely be run on February 9 the night prior to the “Allwood Stud SA Yearling Sale” a move away from its traditional spot on the second Saturday in January.
Downturn in TAB turnover is the main reason for the stakes drop for the showpiece of SA Harness Racing however the event has only been one by one local horse in the past 28 years that being Ryan’s Day in 1999.
Once a Grand Circuit event the SA Cup lost that status back in 2012, the race has been worth six figures since 1996 and extra sponsorship saw the prizemoney rise to $125,000 between 2013 and 2015.
The SA Trotters Cup will move with the Pacing Cup to February, which means the Gramel which was moved to the week prior to the Cup will more than likely be moved as well as a lead up to the Trotting Cup
The SA Derby, which has been sponsors for the last three years by BOTRA will be moved to later in the year to align with some of the big three-year-old races in Victoria.
aust. Title for Dani Hill
South Australian superstar reinswoman Danielle Hill made a one-act affair of the Australian Female Drivers Championship in Launceston to top off an amazing month.
Hill won the inaugural Series by storm winning five of the nine heats.
She won the first two heats with the Paul Ashwood-trained Krafty Boy in race one, then in heat two saluted with Im Compliant.
Danielle won heat four with Rockin Rinning then a go-to-whoa victory in the sixth Heat on No Apachemee.
The South Australian Champion finished with a win on the very smart Semowillrev (Sportswriter-Sur La Plage )who has now won 7 out 8.
Australian Female Drivers Championship Points Table
130 – Danielle Hill (SA)
77 – Dannielle McMullen (QLD)
71 – Kate Gath (VIC)
66 – Kerryn Manning (VIC)
66 – Amanda Turnbull (NSW)
66 – Ellen Rixon (NSW)
65 – Narissa McMullen (QLD)
64 – Jocelyn Young (WA)
55 – Natalee Emery (TAS)
54 – Kristy Grant (TAS)
49 – Lisa Ryan (SA)
38 – Deni Roberts (WA)
Danielle’s standing in Australian sport continues to grow, already a recipient of the Tanya Denver Award as South Australia’s top female sportsperson.
In 2009, on the Gold Coast, Hill clinched the Australasian Young Drivers Championship.
Only to be involved in a horrific fall the following year that saw her lose her right eye.
She has bounced back in a huge way in 2015/16 he drove 209 winners in her home state and again last season topped the drivers tally with 169, Hill has driven 90 winners at the time of writing in SA.
Hill’s brother Wayne won the Australian Driver Championship two seasons ago at Globe Derby now joined by his sister as Australian Title winners.