A LONG trip from Mount Gambier to Victor Harbor produced a pair of favourable results for popular horsewoman Alyce Finnis.
Undertaking the 10-hour round trip for the club’s Derby, Finnis prepared the quinella in the 2160-metre feature.
While the victory is enough to make for a satisfying journey, Ever Hoping’s success earned him a berth in the South Australia Derby on April 30.
As part of a ‘series’ conducted by Harness Racing SA this season, only three-year-olds trained in the state are eligible for the Derby.
Furthermore, each contender must earn a position in the classic by contesting the various provincial Derbys.
On the down side, the limitation has resulted in small fields – including five runners at Victor Harbor – and the cancellation of the Strathalbyn and Mount Gambier Derbys due to a lack of nominations.
Looking at the positive, Ever Hoping will be in peak condition for the ‘Final’ after his latest outing according to Finnis.
“You need to go in these country Derbys to get into the main Derby, but it makes for a lot of travelling,” Finnis said.
“It’s a little over five hours each way for us, so to come home with the money was terrific.
“Ever Hoping has done enough to get into the SA Derby now, so I doubt he will go in Kapunda’s Derby on the weekend as that’s another five-and-a-half hour drive just to get there.”
Driven by Wayne Hill, Ever Hoping broke stride soon after the start which saw him settled at the tail of the field from barrier two as Jawsoflincoln led from gate three.
With the field initially travelling in ‘Indian file’, Ever Hoping was sent forward to test the pacemaker along the back straight.
Reaching the front in the shadows of the post, the son of Always B Miki scored by a half-neck from his stablemate, Art Jester, which finished along the sprint lane.
Jawsoflincoln battled on to be two metres away third.
“I wasn’t too happy with the way he started, but was rapt with the way he finished,” Finnis said. “They both went well and it was a great result for the stable.”