Keayang Storm's the Vet Surgeons Cup

04 December 2017 | Graham Fischer
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Owners Paul and Judy Nobes, along with trainer Lance Holberton, combined for their second win in the Veterinary Surgeons Cup when Keayang Storm scored at Globe Derby Park on Saturday.

Courtesy of a brilliant Ryan Hryhorec drive, Keayang Storm ($11.70) scored a half-head win over a gallant Bettor Party ($3.10 fav) with Lookofalegend ($9.40), a metre away third.

The Nobes and Holberton won the 2013 Veterinary Surgeons Cup with their gallant pacer Mark Dennis which was driven by David Harding.

Pre-race Nobes said he was all too aware of the vagaries of stand start races.

“I remember driving from Adelaide to Nyah in 2011 to see Onedin Hustler run in the Nyah Cup, only to have him refuse to go and lose 150 metres and tail the field throughout,” Nobes said.

Nobes had similar fears for a split second when Keayang Storm didn’t move as the tapes were released on Saturday but Hryhorec quickly had him pacing and the gelding showed his customary speed to quickly zoom across and take the lead.

Once in front, Hryhorec chalked up 30.4 and 30.6 second quarters for the first half of the last 1600 metres making it hard for favourite Bettor Party to make up ground from his 30-mertre handicap.

However, Hryhorec’s winning move was when he sprinted for home with Keayang Storm from the 300-metre mark with a 28.7-second third quarter, just as Bettor Party was trying to work past the body of the field.

Credit to the Les Harding-trained Bettor Party, the eight-year-old kept coming in a brave performance to just fail in an exciting photo-finish.

Nobes and Holberton were delighted with the win, the latter battling pneumonia which he contracted on a trip to New Zealand last month.

“It (the win) was exciting,” Nobes said. “That is why I love harness racing and own horses. It was a brilliant race.”

“This horse has done a huge job since I bought him in September in 2016.

“He quickly raced his way through to fast class and one night I made the mistake of trying to take on Whenmechief when he was flying, and he was too good, but I think it might have taken the edge off my bloke.

“He has been racing well without winning recently but the stand start suited him tonight.”

For Hryhorec, he dominated Globe Derby Park being involved in five winners on the seven-race program.

Apart from winning on Keayang Storm, he also partnered La Machnificent for trainer Aaron Bain, and Truscott Hall for Luke O’Neill to land a driving treble.

Hryhorec also trained a winning double with Itz Sportz Torque and Jakarras Ace saluting with his niece Kaela Hryhorec in the sulky.

The night saw Hryhorec take the lead, on a countback, in the SA Drivers premiership, with 33 wins from Jayden Brewin and also go to the lead of the SA Trainers premiership with 15 wins, one clear from the now defunct training team of Jake Webster and Aaron Bain.