Hawaiian shirts were the order of the day as members of the Gawler-based Bung Fritz Appreciation Society celebrated their Cup day at the Gawler races on Wednesday.
The Cup went to a former Tasmanian racehorse, now trained at Murray Bridge.
Claiborne King led throughout to score a win in the Gawler Car Wash Bung Fritz Cup (2100m).
Despite starting at $20, Claiborne King was given a good chance by part-owner-trainer Kevin Frew.
“He ran well when I put him over 1700m at Penola two starts ago, then was never out of trouble at Dunkeld at his next run,” Frew said.
“I knew he would lead and be hard to run down.”
Jockey Jeff Maund rated the six-year-old perfectly to score by 1-1/2 lengths from Bon Elise ($2 fav) with Aali Mia ($51), three-quarters of a length away third.
Claiborne King has only been with Frew for about six runs after being purchased from Tasmania by Oakbank identity John Glatz.
Frew said there was a chance the gelding could back up over 2200m at Balaklava next Saturday.
“If he can stay, I will certainly be keen to test him over jumps later on,” the trainer said.
Former New Zealand galloper Handsome Return, part-owned by Gawler father and son Peter and Michael McLean, landed a solid betting plunge in scoring first up in the Goldin Farms – Akeed Mofeed Class Two Handicap (1200m).
After opening at $5, Handsome Return ran a $2.35 favourite and finished powerfully to score a 1-¼ length win from Free Hand ($9) with Reap The Benefit ($14), a half head away third.
The win made it a double for Morphettville trainer Will Clarken who won the opening event with Chunky and the victory was the first of the meeting for Jamie Kah.
Clarken said the six-year-old was recommended to him by a bloodstock agent.
“He was on the market but because of his age didn’t have too many takers,” Clarken said.
“He cost about $40,000 but hopefully he will repay the outlay because he will be even better over more ground.
“He had been working well and I thought he could run well fresh.”
The trainer said he would wait until Handsome Return cooled down before making plans.
“The track was pretty firm, and I need to see how he pulls up.”
There was no-one any happier than Hilde Jordsjo when Panzer Princess took out the Ultra-Tune Kingsford Hotel Maiden (1200m).
Panzer Princess is trained by Brian Mueller at Strathalbyn but was ridden by Ms Jordsjo’s daughter Anna.
A $6.50 chance, Panzer Princess held on by a short half head to beat newcomer Smoke ($26) with the heavily backed favourite ($3 into $1.75) Knavesmire three lengths away third.
Ms Jordsjo, who hails from Oslo in Norway, is in Adelaide on holiday to visit her daughter and made the trip to Gawler to watch her ride.
A four-year-old mare, Panzer Princess led throughout and battled on strongly to win in a photo.
The winner was bred by the trainer and is out of his former handy race mare Nelcitus.
The next Gawler meeting will be the big Christmas gathering on Saturday, December 15, the first of five meetings at the track through to Sunday, January 20.