Day At The Track

Argyle Red is out to set the pace

07:50 PM 16 Feb 2017 NZDT
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Woodley has built up an excellent rapport with Argyle Red.
Woodley has built up an excellent rapport with Argyle Red.
Jodie Hallows (Paceway Photos)

Pinjarra breeder-owner-trainer Rob MacDonald is on a roll and he should continue his wonderful winning streak at Gloucester Park on Friday night with his improving harness racing five-year-old Argyle Red looming large as the winner of the $20,000 TABradio Pace, particularly after drawing the prized No. 1 barrier.

Star reinsman Morgan Woodley, riding on the crest of a wave, is confident of success, declaring: “I think he will show what he is capable of. I have not driven him in front, but I have seen him lead and win.”

Woodley has built up an excellent rapport with Argyle Red, having driven him six times for three wins and a second. He drove confidently last Friday night when Argyle Red raced wide early and then in the breeze before getting to the front on the home turn and winning by a length and a half from the favourite McClinchie. Argyle Red rated 1.55.9 over 1730m.

“Sitting in the breeze, doing a bit of work and running away from them late was quite encouraging,” Woodley said. “I think the distance (2130m) this week is suitable and he should prove terribly hard to beat.

“I’ll be aiming to lead on Friday night, even though he can be a bit of a strange customer, who has a tendency to look around and race a little bit greenly.”

Argyle Red is by American stallion Dawn of a New Day and is the first foal out of Dekker Diamond, a mare owned and trained by MacDonald who had 109 starts for eight wins, 16 placings and $63,249 in stakes. Dekker Diamond, by crack New Zealand pacer Iraklis, the winner of the 1996 Miracle Mile at Harold Park, was driven once by Woodley for a ninth behind Fake Occasion at Gloucester Park on October 3, 2006.

Argyle Red has set the pace and won four times, twice at Gloucester Park and twice at Pinjarra.

MacDonald also bred, part-owns and trains Davinci Diamond, the second foal out of Dekker Diamond, who has sound prospects in the $50,000 Caduceus Club Classic on Friday night.

Davinci Diamond, by Artiscape, has won at each of his past three starts, with Woodley in the sulky for the colt’s latest two wins, substituting for Aiden de Campo when he was serving a term of suspension. De Campo will resume as Davinci Diamond’s driver this week.

Ken Casellas

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