Day At The Track

Billies aim to be a star

12:16 AM 24 Jun 2016 NZST
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Billies a Star, Michael Brennan.jpg
Billies a Star
Jodie Hallows

Pinjarra harness racing trainer Michael Brennan advises punters to overlook talented five-year-old Billies A Star’s seventh behind Elegant Christian last week and predicts that the New Zealand-bred gelding will be prominent in the $23,000 Schneider Electric Pace over 2536m at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Billies A Star led from the No. 1 barrier last Friday night, but was challenged relentlessly by Elegant Christian in the first circuit before Elegant Christian forged clear after a lap and then set the pace and won by a nose from Waylade at a 1.54.9rate over the 2130m journey.

“He just couldn’t handle that pressure in that grade,” Brennan said. “This is a bit of a drop in grade and there’s no Elegant Christian there. Last week he was crunched by Elegant Christian, who is just phenomenal. He is one of those horses who just crushes you. And last week, unfortunately, Billies A Star was the one being crushed.”           

At his previous outing, over 2692m at Pinjarra on June 6, Billies A Star raced three back on the pegs in fifth place before fighting on to finish third behind Phoenix Warrior and Our Jimmy Johnstone.

Billies A Star will be driven by Nathan Turvey on Friday night and he should have the gelding in a forward position all the way after starting from barrier four.

Brennan will also be represented by Jason Rulz, who is unfavourably drawn out wide at barrier eight. “His run first-up for five months was good when eighth behind Glenlochar last week,” Brennan said. “From his wide barrier it was impossible to get into the race. I’m very happy with him, but he’s drawn out at No. 8 again this week. He’s going to have to go back and it looks tough.”

Serpentine trainer Gary Hall sen. said he expected the consistent Waylade (barrier seven) to be hard to beat. “It was a good effort to come from the rear to finish a very close second to Elegant Christian last week,” he said. “The first two beat the rest by the length of a cricket pitch.”

Forrestdale trainer Greg Bond said that he expected Our Jimmy Johnstone to run a strong race from the No. 6 barrier.  

“He’s going good are we’re hoping he can work forward from barrier six and find a forward position,” Bond said. “I like to think he can fight out the finish. I think he’s right up there with the other horses in the field.”

Ken Casellas

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