Day At The Track

Delightful Offer ready to resume

06:59 PM 18 Aug 2016 NZST
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Colin Brown
Delightful Offer is to be driven by Colin Brown

Richly-talented harness racing four-year-old Delightful Offer has made a complete recovery from a damaged suspensory ligament and will reappear after a nine-month absence when he contests the Devils Lair Classic Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Greg Bond, who prepares the New Zealand-bred Bettor's Delight gelding in partnership with his wife Skye, said that Delightful Offer would be set for feature summer carnival events, including the rich interdominion championship series in November and December if he remained sound and regained the wonderful form which saw him win at nine of his 12 starts in Western Australia.

“He’s been back in work a fair while and he’s fit and forward and ready to run a good race,” he said. “If he stands up I’ll probably nominate him for the big races. We’ll see what he does in the next month to six weeks and go from there.”

Delightful Offer has been off the scene since finishing fourth behind Run Oneover and Beaudiene Boaz in a listed classic for four-year-olds at Pinjarra on November 9 last year.

He had won at his six previous starts, including victory in the group 3 Higgins Memorial at Gloucester Park when he finished second behind Another Vinnie after a torrid run in the breeze and then being severely checked 250m from home when his stablemate Condrieu broke in front. Later, Delightful Offer was awarded the race after Another Vinnie was disqualified.

Delightful Offer, to be driven by Colin Brown, is unlikely to have things all his own way on Friday night when he will have to overcome the awkward drawn at No. 5 on the front line.

The unfancied Bettor Party (who has a losing sequence of nine) runs his best races when he leads and Bronson Chabros is likely to attempt to take full advantage of the favourable No. 1 barrier by setting the pace.

Serpentine trainer Gary Hall sen. holds a strong hand in the race, with Ideal Justice (a winner at nine of his 16 starts) and American Boy (a winner at 14 of his 19 starts) sure to be prominent. Gary Hall jun. will drive Ideal Justice from barrier two, with his elder brother Clint in the sulky behind American Boy, who faces a hard task from barrier nine.

Hall sen. said that he was confident that Ideal Justice would run a big race, saying: “He’s getting better with every run.” Ideal Justice was far from disgraced last Friday night when he worked hard without cover and fought on gamely to finish third behind the pacemaker Northern Assassin.

Bond said that it would be wise not to discount the prospects of his second string runner Ima Connoisseur, who has been placed at each of his past four starts.

“He is racing very well and must be considered from the inside of the back line,” he said.

Adding considerable spice to the race will be the return to racing of star mare Libertybelle Midfrew, an M9-class performer who will start out wide at barrier eight with Mark Reed in the sulky.

This will be Libertybelle Midfrew’s first appearance since she finished last in the WA Pacing Cup last January. She is the winner of 16 races and $567,147 in prizemoney and she warmed up for her first-up assignment with a smart trial win at a 1.58.3 rate over 2150m at Byford on Sunday morning. She dashed over the final 400m in 27.9sec. and she was timed at 27.3sec. over the final quarter when second to Smo in a trial a week earlier.

Ken Casellas

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