It's only a $7500 event formaiden performers, but the final race at Gloucester Park on Friday night, the 2130m Make Smoking History Pathway Pace, is of significant importance to , who is confident of success with Wotavugot, a six-year-old with a losing sequence of 16 and unsuccessful since scoring at Narrogin in June 2012.
"This could well be my final appearance at Gloucester Park and I would dearly love to win the race," said the 32-year-old Brew, who has decided to embark on a new career path.
"I will be seen as a trainer for the final time when I drive Glenferrie Hood in the Manea Classic at Bunbury on Saturday night and debutant Dainty Diva at Collie on Sunday afternoon. I will leave Western Australia in two weeks and it's possible I might not drive again at Gloucester Park."
The Victorian-born 32-year-old Brew would dearly love to end his career in this State the same way as he started it --- when he brought Long Shot Lou home with a powerful three-wide burst to win at Gloucester Park in December 2007 at his first appearance in the State.
He will be moving home to Melbourne with his wife Kalina and children Olivia (six) and Toby (nine months) and will become a fly-in, fly-out truck driver in Karratha, in the far north of WA.
"This is something I've decided I need to do for my family," he said. "I'll miss training and driving here in WA. I haven't got many regrets and I've enjoyed my time here over the past six and half years. I'd love to bow out with a winner or two."
The pint-sized Brew has winning prospects with his two drives on Friday night --- Christian Banner in the Community Newspaper Group Pace and Wotavugot in the final event.
Wotavugot, who is trained at Barragup by Laurie Groves, warmed up for this week's assignment in good style when he trailed the pacemaker Raza Sharp Lombo before finishing fast to be a close second to that horse over 2536m last Friday night. He is ideally drawn in this week's event at No. 2 barrier on the front line.
"He was impressive last week and seems like a horse on the way up," Brew said. "I would like to think that he will lead and take catching." Wotavugot certainly makes strong appeal as the likely leader, with the moderate performer Big Shot Barbie (who has managed one placing from her past 21 starts) on his inside.
"Even though he finished seventh at his previous start (behind Vertical Four at Bunbury at his previous start) Wotavugot impressed me," Brew said. "He came from a long way back and attacked the line very well.
"Laurie Groves and his son Brad, David Hunter and Dennis Roche have been the biggest supporters I've had and it would be fantastic to drive a winner for them before I go home.
"Christian Banner, who is trained by Hunter, has drawn the outside of the front line, but he is a winning chance. It wouldn't matter where he draws; he's always a chance because he's just a good, honest and consistent horse. He has a good turn of foot and if the race is run to suit he's always a chance.
"His last-start fourth was in a good field at Harvey and they sprinted a fast last sectional. He will be suited over the 2536m. His record over 2500m is very good. He is a model of consistency and he came from last to win the Williams Cup over 2666m in December."
Christian Banner has won twice over 2600m at Addington and over 2569m at Bunbury and two starts ago he finished with a powerful burst to be second to Clifford over 2597m at Bridgetown. Clifford franked that form with a strong victory at Gloucester Park last Friday night.
Brew also is confident of strong showings from Glenferrie Hood in the Manea Classic at Bunbury on Saturday night and he said he expected Dainty Diva would produce a strong effort at her debut in a three-year-old maiden event at Collie on Sunday. "
"Dainty Diva is very fast away from a stand and she's clean-gaited," he said. "I'm hoping she draws the front line, and if she does she should prove a good winning chance. Glenferrie Hood should go well at Bunbury. I'm hoping for a favourable draw. After the race Glenferrie Hood will leave for New South Wales where he will be trained by."
Brew said that he had had his share of success and his share of heartbreak in WA and would leave with many happy memories. His major triumphs were winning the $100,000 group 1 State Sires Series final for three-year-old colts and geldings with The Feather Foot in July 2010, the group 2 $50,000 Binshaw Classic with Please Release Me in February 2012 and two group 3 events with Lucie Boshier in 2012 --- the John Higgins Memorial and the Norm's Daughter Classic.
Brew's decision to quit harness racing will further deplete the ranks of talented young reinsmen. In the past month New Zealand-born drivers Chris Butt and Shane Butcher have left WA. Butcher has resumed driving in Auckland and Butt has gone to Paris to work in a stable there before going to America to gain further experience and then returning to his homeland.
WOODLEY OUT TO MAKE AMENDS IN THE AUTUMN CHAMPIONSHIP
Outstanding reinsmanis hellbent on making amends for the defeat of David Hercules in last year's Autumn Championship by driving the -trained gelding to victory in the $21,000 Mulberry Estate Autumn Championship at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Twelve months ago Woodley chose to drive David Hercules in preference to Mysta Magical Mach when David Hercules, from barrier No. 4, worked hard in the breeze and battled on to be a well-beaten second to the pacemaking Mysta Magical Mach, who was heavily backed to start favourite at 6/4 on for star reinsman.
Woodley had driven Mysta Magical Mach to victory in the Autumn Championship in 2012, after having won the feature event with Scruffy Murphy in 2008.
In a major change the Autumn Championship will be decided over 1730m after the race was run over 2536m last year and 2506m the previous year.
David Hercules is a brilliant sprinter who holds the track record for 1700m (1.52.8) and 2130m (1.53.6). He proved far too good for the opposition last Friday night when he started from the outside of the front line (barrier seven)and worked without cover before surging past the pacemaker Truckers Ruffnut and into the lead 450m from home before winning by 5m from Red Salute, rating 1.55 over 2130m. He sprinted over the final 800m in 55.6sec.
Woodley was full of praise for the seven-year-old, describing him as a tremendous performer with a high cruising speed and keen appetite for racing.
David Hercules will start out wide again this week and Woodley is likely to send him forward from the No. 6 position immediately after the start or when the field settles down after 400m or so.
Hokuri Handrail, who will be driven for the first time by, is favourably drawn at No. 2 and has sound prospects of leading. He has managed just one placing from his past 14 starts, but is a smart frontrunner, capable of considerable improvement.
Polak, to be driven by Clint Kimes for trainer, will start from barrier three. He possesses sparkling gate speed and is likely to press forward at the start in a bid for the lead.
The chief rival for David Hercules could be This Time Dylan, who is likely to be restrained at the start from the No. 7 barrier and be saved up for a powerful last-lap sprint. This Time Dylan, trained by, has won at nine of his past 18 starts and is the leader in the Gloucester Park Horse of the Year award.
STAND SPECIALIST LORD COBURN RETURNS TO MOBILE RACING
Former Victorian pacer Lord Coburn, who has scored effortless all-the-way victories in 2503m stands at his past two starts, will return to mobile racing when he starts from the prized No. 1 barrier in the 2130m first heat of the Burswood On Swan Clarke Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Oakford trainersaid that he had hoped Lord Coburn would continue contesting stands and was disappointed when the advertised 2503m stand for M4-class pacers was not included in the ten-event program because of insufficient nominations.
"The mobile was my second choice and I still consider Lord Coburn will prove hard to beat," he said. "He is in terrific form and he should lead and play a big part in the race. I would have preferred for him to run in a stand because he is such a good beginner that he would've jumped 10 metres in front of his rivals. But he should still lead in the mobile."
Lord Coburn, to be driven by, is a six-year-old gelding by who has relished his pacemaking role at his past two starts in 2503m stands and has won by 13m and 7m. He has started 15 times in WA, with 11 of those events being a standing-start race over 2500m --- for four wins, two seconds and one third placing.
"He wasn't sent to me as a stand horse; he was sent to me as a fast 1700m horse," Olivieri explained. "And I have found that he is a good standing-start horse over 2503m."
Friday night's race looks sure to provide keen betting, with all eight runners having admirers. The-trained Danieljohn is knocking on the door after five placings from his past six starts and he looks set to fight out the finish. He set a fast pace and sprinted over the final 800m in 56.9sec. when second to truckers Ruffnut over 2130m last Friday week.
Uppy Son is close to another win after his head second to Lord Lombo last Friday night when he finished with great determination after racing outside the pacemaker Midnight Dylan. He is the only runner on the back line and appeals as a major hope in a race in which Benjamin Banneker (trained by Gary Hall sen.) and stablemates Bronze Seeker and Mighty Flying Thomas (trained by) must be considered.
Benjamin Banneker was most impressive at his second appearance after a spell when he worked hard without cover before fighting on grandly to be second to Lovers Delight in the 2550m Harvey Cup last Saturday night.
Olivieri also expects a strong showing from Shnappy in the Spices Group Pathway Pace over 2130m. To be driven by Voak, Shnappy returns to mobile racing after contesting 2503m stands at his past two starts for a win and a second. He will start from the outside of the front line, but looks hard to beat against moderate opposition.
by Ken Casellas