Day At The Track

Drawing barrier 1 a big boost

12:33 PM 01 Jul 2015 NZST
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Isaiah Artois - Hard to hold out from barrier one
Isaiah Artois - Hard to hold out from barrier one

Isaiah Artois boasts a 58 per cent win record and the prospects of the noted frontrunner winning the $100,000 Westbred Classic for three-year-old colts and geldings at the harness racing meeting at Gloucester Park on Friday night were boosted when he drew perfectly at the No. 1 barrier.

Byford trainer David Thompson has timed the gelding's preparation extremely well and Colin Brown will be aiming to set the pace and keep his 11 rivals at bay in the group 1 feature event.

Isaiah Artois, a winner at seven of his 12 starts, resumed after an absence of almost 11 months when he overcame an early check and raced three wide before taking the lead 450m after the start in a 2185m event at Pinjarra three Mondays ago.

He dashed over the final 800m in 57.3sec. and held on doggedly to beat the fast-finishing Wilkins Kahluastar by a neck.

Then at Pinjarra eight days later he started from the back line and worked to the front in the middle stages before winning convincingly from Astra Boy.

His chief rivals appear to be the Justin Prentice-trained pair of Captain Oats and Bettor Reward, Three Bears and Mynameskenny.

Captain Oats notched his eighth win from 28 starts when he burst straight to the front from barrier seven and set the pace before winning easily from stablemate Master Jaxon in a 2100m $25,000 feature at Bunbury last Friday night.

He sprinted over the final 400m in 27.7sec.

Captain Oats will start from barrier five on the front line of nine runners and the highly-promising Bettor Reward will start from barrier two on the back line and prove hard to beat.

Unraced as a two-year-old, Bettor Reward has been most impressive in winning, without being extended, at his three appearances as a three-year-old

Bettor Reward's average winning margin is 11.4m. In his three wins, two at Bunbury and the other at Pinjarra, the gelding has recorded final quarters of 28.1sec., 27.3sec. and 27.5sec.

Three Bears, trained at Busselton by Matt White, cannot be underestimated.

He started out wide at barrier six at Bunbury last Friday night and after racing three wide early and then in the breeze he fought on strongly to be a neck second to Delightful Jade after a final quarter of 27.6sec.

Ken Casellas

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