Day At The Track

Courage Under Fire juvenile looks special

01:13 PM 29 Jul 2015 NZST
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Michael Brennan - Has Nathans Courage ready to make it two from two on Friday night
Michael Brennan - Has Nathans Courage ready to make it two from two on Friday night

Nathans Courage, a typically small son of former champion pacer Courage Under Fire, looks set to give punters a flying start to the harness racing meeting at Gloucester Park on Friday night by winning the opening event, the 2130m Taylor Sulky Repairs Pace.

The two-year-old, prepared at Pinjarra by Michael Brennan, made an auspicious debut when he set the pace and won by almost two lengths from El Hombre, his only rival in a qualifying heat of the Breeders Crown at Gloucester Park on Monday.

He sprinted over the final quarter in a sparkling 27.3sec.

Reinsman Chris Voak was impressed with the gelding, saying: "He's got potential and there's plenty of upside. I think he will have benefitted from his run on Monday."

"He's drawn barrier four on Friday and that's the best of the main chances."

"He showed good gate speed on Monday and I'll be looking to replicate that performance."

"I'll be heading forward to take the lead; that's my game plan and I think that Mouse (Brennan) will agree."

"This is a jump up in grade and will test him."

"But he's up to the challenge."

"He did it quite comfortably on Monday and I didn't pull the ear plugs or really get stuck into him."

"He's got a quick quarter and can run a good half."

"I don't expect too much pressure, but maybe Browny (Colin Brown) might have a crack with Franco Rayner."

Franco Rayner, an effortless all-the-way winner at his Australian debut, over 2185m at Pinjarra on July 13, finished seventh behind Sprinter in the Golden Slipper at Gloucester Park four nights later when he started from the back line and was always well back.

Franco Rayner will start out wide at barrier eight on Friday night.

He dashed over the final 400m in 28.6sec. when an easy winner in a 2150m trial at Byford on Sunday morning.

"He handled Pinjarra a lot better than he handled Gloucester Park," Brown said.

"He's not a big horse, but he wasn't comfortable in the run at Gloucester Park."

"I changed some gear on him for Sunday's trial, but it didn't work."

"However, he still ran home very quickly."

"Now he will have a lugging bit added and hopefully I will have a better steering horse."

Ken Casellas


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