Byford trainer David Thompson is setting his sights on qualifying star pacer David Hercules for the $750,000 interdominion championship final at Menangle on March 2 and the seven-year-old is spot on to win the $21,000 Nine News Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
This will be the gelding’s final appearance before contesting the $48,000 interdominion championship qualifying heat over 2536m at Gloucester Park on Saturday week.
David Hercules has drawn favourably at barrier three in Friday night’s seven-horse event and he should prove too good for his rivals. His reinsman Morgan Woodley and Thompson should keep their winning streak going after they had combined to win with Hugh Victor and Guilty Grin at Gloucester Park on Tuesday.
Three-year-old Hugh Victor is a full-brother to David Hercules, who has raced 82 times for 27 wins, 29 placings and $767,444.
“I would have rather drawn a terrible barrier in Friday’s race and get a good draw in the interdominion heat,” Thompson said. “We really want to go to Sydney and the barrier draw will play a big part in the interdominion heat.
“I am sure David Hercules can hold his own anywhere and over any distance, provided he gets the right run. He is not far off a hundred per cent right now. After his most recent run (when a strong-finishing fourth behind Hokonui Ben in the WA Pacing Cup three Fridays ago) he has had a quiet week or ten days at his owners’ place in Serpentine when they rode him in the sand and kept him around the mark.
“He then ran a very pleasing trial at Byford on Sunday morning when he led and rolled around before sprinting home nicely over the final half-mile. We’re fortunate enough to have such a good horse and we want to give him every chance in the big races.”
David Hercules should prove too speedy on Friday night for veteran pacers Mysta Magical Mach and Ima Rocket Star. Woodley, who won with Mysta Magical Mach two starts ago and was again in the sulky when the nine-year-old finished solidly to be third behind Livingontheinterest and Hokonui Ben in the Lord Mayor’s Cup last Friday night, will be replaced by Chris Lewis.
Lewis drove The Oyster Bar (a stablemate of Mysta Magical Mach) to an all-the-way win last Friday night to end a losing sequence of 25 and trainer Tony Svilicich has engaged Aldo Cortopassi to drive the seven-year-old from barrier two in Friday night’s event. This is a massive rise in class and The Oyster Bar will be at long odds.
By Ken Casellas