Talented harness racing driver Bruce Harpley has been associated with some well performed juveniles throughout his career and has won a number of feature two year old races but success at the Bathurst carnival still eludes him.
Together with trainer Bernie Kelly, the pair have had numerous runners in the Gold Crown and Gold Tiara without success but Harpley believes it could be their year with Frith lining up in the fillies feature on Saturday night.
“I don’t know how many different finalists we have had at Bathurst but between us I think it would have to be ten or more, horses like Jofess, Master Waratah, Dance For Madi, Miss Paula, Lorna Kelly, Spring Walton and Alongthehighway have all made either the Gold Crown or Gold Tiara and been unable to win it,” Harpley said.
“In saying that this filly, Frith is pretty special and I think she is going to take a lot of beating this weekend and might be the one to get the monkey off Bernie and my back.”
Frith is unbeaten after three starts and Harpley believes she still has a lot to learn about racing.
“She is very strong but she hasn’t learnt what to do, to look at her you would say she has a funny gait but when you are driving her she feels very solid in her gear, really she is a lot greener than Bernie’s horses normally are and I think when the penny drops she could be anything.”
“I think she won her heat by 20 metres but I had to flick her along the whole way because she just wants to switch off, she ran her final 400 metres in about 31.5 seconds but I was quite surprised to see that it was a second faster, she is one of those horses that travels faster than they seem to be.”
Harpley is confident he can lead from barrier two and believes his main danger could be sitting behind Frith throughout the event.
“I think Michael Hawke’s filly Perfect Trouble is the one to beat, she is unbeaten and looks a perfect racehorse and will be a big threat if she gets a soft run on my back and there is some midrace pressure.”