Day At The Track

Beltane is Voak's Best

04:06 PM 08 Aug 2019 NZST
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Chris Voak,Harness racing
Gloucester Park photo

Cracking reinsman Chris Voak, who has landed 112 winners this season, has been impressed by Beltane’s past two performances and declares the four-year-old is his brightest winning prospect at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Beltane, trained at Ravenswood by Nathan Turvey, is poorly drawn at barrier No. 8 in the Sunday Night at Seven Pace, but Voak believes the Victorian-bred gelding has the ability to overcome the awkward draw and fight out the finish.

“He’s a horse on the improve and I suggest you keep following him,” Voak said. “I definitely think that he is my best chance on Friday night. In the past Beltane was a horse who didn’t travel. But Nathan changed his work before I got to drive him (at his past two starts) and now he pulls almost too hard.

“We’ll probably have to go back (from the wide draw) before working into the race at the bell. He overraced a little bit in the breeze at his latest start (when third behind Ideal One and Waimac Attack at Gloucester Park last Friday night).”

Voak handled Beltane for the first time two starts ago when the gelding set the pace from barrier one and won by more than five lengths from Star Armbro at Pinjarra, rating 1.56.3 over 2185m.

A winner of seven races in Victoria, Beltane has under-achieved in Western Australia where his 17 starts have produced three wins and nine placings.

His greatest claim to fame is that his unraced dam Lughnasadh is a half-sister to Elsu (47 starts for 27 wins, nine placings and $2,030,796) and Revonez (76 starts for 22 wins, 21 placings and $264,670). Elsu was a prolific group 1 winner and local fans will remember Revonez, a chestnut who raced five times in Western Australia in 1999 for a win in a $15,000 event at Pinjarra and a nose second placing to Paulas Mate in a Golden Nugget prelude, three starts after finishing second to Courage Under Fire in the Australian Derby at Moonee Valley.     

Beltane’s toughest rival looms large as the Greg and Skye Bond-trained Waimac Attack, who has bright prospects of ending a losing sequence of 15. Waimac Attack, to be driven by Ryan Warwick, has a distinct advantage over Beltane with a most favourable draw at barrier No. 2.

Waimac Attack is a consistent performer who raced without cover early and then enjoyed an ideal passage, one-out and one-back, before finishing determinedly to be a neck second to the pacemaker Ideal One over 2536m last Friday night.


Ken Casellas

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