The trainer-jockey combination of Tony McEvoy and Jamie Kah was super successful in 2017-2018 and started the 2018-2019 season at Gawler with a winner on Wednesday.
Hikaya, a drifter from $1.40 to $2.35 favourite, proved much too strong for her rivals in the Holdfast Insurance Maiden (1200m) scoring by 1-1/2 lengths from Panzer Princess ($14) with Prince Monarch ($8.50), a half-length away third.
Assistant trainer Calvin McEvoy said the filly would be much improved by the run and would be most effective around 1600 metres.
With that in mind, Hikaya had a tentative assignment of the Listed $100,000 Morphettville Guineas (1600m) on Saturday, September 8.
The three-year-old filly began nicely from her wide draw and settled third before dashing clear turning for home and proving too strong.
McEvoy said Hikaya might have one more run before the Guineas.
Gawler co-trainers Clint Binnie and Kerri McAnulty look to have a talented galloper in Buried Treasure an impressive winner of the Goldin Farms – Akeed Mofeed Class Two Handicap (1200m).
A $5.50 chance, Buried Treasure, ridden by Paul Gatt, led throughout to score by four lengths from Datura ($2.10 fav) with Pewter ($9), 1-3/4 lengths away third.
Binnie said the addition of blinkers had been a key to the easy win.
“Paul rode him last time at Morphettville Parks and said the six-year-old had spent more time looking back than looking forward,” Binnie said.
“He said add blinkers and the horse would win – and so it proved.”
Buried Treasure led comfortably and looked under pressure when Datura moved up to challenge in the home straight and drew alongside but Gatt asked the gelding for more and he dashed away to win easily.
Binnie said he always felt the horse had ability but deliberately gave him time to grow before bringing him to the racetrack.
When he did, the gelding won his maiden but then suffered a tendon injury and had to go for a 12-month spell.
“We gave him plenty of time and he had a few light preparations before coming back into full training earlier this year,” the trainer said.
“I believe he is good enough to win in town and will look for a suitable race.”
Morphettville trainer Chris Bieg might look to a suitable race in town following the all-the-way win of Zanahary in the Congratulations Jamie Kah Benchmark 60 Handicap (1512m).
A bit like ‘Groundhog Day’ from July 29, Zanahary went to the front from a wide gate and was never really trouble for jockey Justin Huxtable as a well backed $3.70 chance scoring by 2-1/2 lengths from Thrones ($18) which chased the winner throughout with Rothmoore ($7), a length away third.
The winner has now won two races from as many starts since being purchased by clients of the Bieg stable.
“He’s paid for himself now,” Bieg said.
“He’s a brother to Lord Of The Sky and will certainly get further. I’ll look to step him up to 1800 or 1900 metres for his next run.
“Justin did a good job today giving him a bit of a breather after finding the lead and he never really looked like being beaten and carrying 59kg it was as good effort.”
Former leading South Australian trainer Ross Day was a special guest of the Gawler and Barossa Jockey Club at Wednesday’s midweek meeting.
Day, who turns 92 next month, trained the former outstanding galloper Roman Duo who won the Gawler Cup 51 years ago in 1967 when ridden by Bob Cox.
The visit to Gawler enabled Day to catch up with old friends, former trainer John Schultz and current trainer and former jockey Allan Day who rode for the ninety-one-year-old in the 1960s.
The next Gawler and Barossa Jockey Club meeting will be on Wednesday, August 29.