Mindarie-Halidon may be a small farming community, but for one day a year across the past 107 years, crowds have turned up to the historic Mindarie-Halidon Races.
The main race on the cards at Saturday’s annual Cup meeting did not fail to impress with a tight contest up until the turn for home where Claudia Lions took Royal Bower to the lead to win. It was back-to-back Cup wins for the Claudia Lions/Royal Bower/Karen Byrnes combination, with the trio having won the Roxby Downs Cup by 7-lengths a week earlier.
“Being my only ride for the day, I watched the races before the Cup and was looking to see how the track was playing,” Lions said.
“Speaking to the other riders on the day also gave me a guide as to how best to ride the track.
“On paper there looked to be plenty of speed, which I thought was a positive for us. There was a great tempo throughout the race which really allowed the mare to get into a lovely stride and I couldn't have been happier with how it all unfolded.
“To win back-to-back cups is no easy feat. I thought the horse looked great in the yard, which is a credit to Karen and her team.”
Many of SA’s trainers also enjoy a trip to Mindarie-Halidon, with Richard Jolly, who had one runner on the day, speaking highly of the meeting.
“I won the Cup a few years back with Artful Terra and have never been afraid to take a nice horse there,’’ Jolly said.
“We took Kemalpasa there to win his maiden and I also kicked off a horse called Alcobro there a few years ago and he won his next two starts in town.
“I’ve been supporting the place for 30 years, I used to ride at the meeting and our stable has always liked having runners at the meeting.”
Apprentice Ellis Wong began the day with a narrow win on Shezourcash. The 4YO mare is trained out of Gawler by the Searle & Callanan stable.
While Sophie Logan bagged a double in as many races on Richter (Race 2) trained by Peter Hardacre and Five Pocket (Race 3) trained by Sue Nolan.
Apprentice Ben Price continued on with his winning form, claiming the last race of the day on the Sue & Jason Jaensch-trained Another Free Glass. Price now has a winner in each of his last four race meetings.