By David Gilbert
RACEGOERS at Glenburnie on October 11 were quite convinced the four-year-old gelding Delcredere was destined for bigger and better things.
On that occasion, the Rob Lepley (Penola) trained galloper thrashed his rivals to break his maiden status by an impressive 7.5 lengths at start number four.
At his next start, in much stronger BM 64 company at Gawler on October 27, Delcredere again caught the eye with a fast finishing third.
Punters then unloaded on Delcredere at his most recent run at Morphettville Parks last Saturday, sending his price crashing from $3.70 a few days prior to the race to start a red-hot $1.60 favourite.
Lepley used the services of senior jockey Jason Holder for Saturday’s assignment in the class two handicap as regular rider Harry Grace was committed to a book of rides the same day at Geelong.
Delcredere still has a bit to learn about racing and that was obvious again last Saturday as he scrambled home to win by half a neck after appearing to have the race at his mercy at the furlong pole.
However, Holder told Lepley upon dismounting it was a soft win and Delcredere had another gear left.
It was Lepley’s first Adelaide winner since Sanctuary Miss won way back on February 26, 2005.
Lepley, who is the only trainer at Penola these days and does so for a hobby, still vividly remembers Providing Light winning for him at Flemington on July 5, 1997.
Penola has not been recognised as a training centre for nearly 20 years when its training subsidy was taken away by Thoroughbred Racing SA because of the lack of trainers in the town.
“I train Delcredere wherever I can, out in the pines or over at Millicent,” Lepley stated.
Delcredere is raced by Lepley, his brother Andrew and the Penola trio of Stephen Skeer, Ian “Jock” Agnew and David Marcus.
“The Penola boys are former neighbours and have raced some slow horses with me, and I put them into this horse in the hope we might have a good one,” Lepley added.
“By running third at Gawler last month, he has qualified for the $105,000 final of the Riziz series for BM64 horses and he will head there on November 25 at Morphettville.”
At the same venue on Saturday, the good association between apprentice Jacob Opperman and Gawler co trainers Aaron Bain and Ned Taylor continued.
A patient Opperman ride enabled the former New South Wales galloper Chilko Lane ($8.50) to win the 0-64 handicap at the mare’s second South Australian start.
IF local trainers wanted a confident booster for the next six months of local harness racing, then they got it in spades at the Greenwald Paceway last Friday night.
Five of the six winners came from local stables and the only Victorian stable to have success was Rebecca East (Drumborg) with the well backed Grinning Beach Boy ($5.50-$3.90) in race five.
It was local drivers Mark Philiips and Jayson Finnis who led the way with doubles for the program, Phillips rallying late for a race-to-race double, firstly for East and followed up when Majorholeinmypocket convincingly won the final event.
Trained by club committeeman Steve Fennell, Majorholeinmypocket ($2.90-$2.25 fav.) sent favourite punters home happy and always seemed the winner over the final 400 metres.
First blood for the evening went to the Finnis pair (Barry the trainer and Jayson the driver) when My Purple Patch ($4.20) was rewarded for consistent efforts of late by recording his fifth career win in the NR 46-53 pace.
There was a two-horse war to end the NR 45 pace when Bayside Victory and the hot favourite The Notorious R B G eyeballed each other for the last half lap.
The Ken Dihm trained Bayside Victory was at huge odds ($22 with the tote) considering he had finished third at Terang the previous start and he pipped his rival by half a head.
Jayson Finnis has driven 508 career winners and none of them have been easier than that of The Tri Line in the maiden pace.
The Malcolm Phillips trained four-year-old had made his debut when a $1.75 favourite at Horsham in late September when he failed to beat a runner home after doing plenty of things wrong.
Again, The Tri Line was sent out a hot favourite ($1.22-$1.40) and this time gave his backers no reason for concern at any stage by leading from gate two and strolled home with 43 metres to spare.
While it was one of the softest wins seen at the Greenwald Paceway for a long time, it was tempered a tad by one of the slowest mile rates on the program.
A good drive from driver/trainer Andrew Clarke enabled Treacherous Saint to register his second win in 2023 in the NR 45 pace.
From barrier six, Clarke had Treacherous Saint behind the leader Hilldale Sunrise before making the most of a gap that came at the top of the straight.
LOUIE BACK TO HIS BEST
Jayson Finnis then made it three winners in two days when successful last Saturday night at Globe Derby Park in the 2023 SA Sires Produce for three-year-old pacers.
He was in the sulky of Lethal Louie, trained by his wife Alyce.
Lethal Louie started his career over 18 months ago in a blaze of glory and won nine races in just over 12 months, but had been out of the winners list since winning in May this year at Globe Derby Park.
The three year old looked in trouble last weekend when, although travelling well, found himself mid-field and hemmed in on the pegs.
Once Finnis found some clear air on the home turn, Lethal Louie sprinted quickly to grab the major prize by half neck.
“He is a sit, sprinter type of horse and hadn’t had much luck in races that were not suitable,” Finnis explained.
“He had been racing up in class and he got skittled at the start of the SA Derby, and everything went to plan for him last weekend.
“The Southern Cross series at Globe Derby Park is in early December and he will now be aimed at that.”
MURPHY ON FIRE
UNDOUBTEDLY, Naracoorte trainer Sue Murphy has had the majority of her winners in the Limestone Coast on her home track.
That trend continued last Sunday when Murphy dominated the seven-race card at Naracoorte with three winners to move to equal leader on the trainer’s premiership with Wayne Walters.
Sairyn Fawke, who took riding honours for the day with a double, was aboard two of Murphy’s winners (Hi Smokey and Hasta La Chilly), while an excellent tactical ride from Todd Pannell on Hasta La Prince secured her treble.
The other winner for Limestone Coast stables came in the final event when the Mount Gambier owned and Bordertown (Jeff Searle) trained So You Can ($4.80-$2.80 fav.) broke through in stylish fashion after three recent placings.
Naracoorte is again the venue for the next Limestone Coast meeting which will be a twilight fixture next Friday, November 24.