Day At The Track

Galactic Star the danger says Harper

03:47 PM 09 Aug 2018 NZST
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Evergreen pacer Bettors Fire is on target to win the August Cup for the third time in a fortnight’s time and trainer-reinsman Kyle Harper said the nine-year-old was fit and well and ready to run a big race in the Sunrise On Seven Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

“He was unlucky when a last-start fourth behind Chicago Bull,” said Harper, who added: “He’s working well and should be hard to beat.”

However, Harper has a healthy respect for the opposition, particularly Galactic Star, who followed two successive wins at Gloucester Park with two excellent third placings behind Chicago Bull at his next two outings.

Galactic Star, a New Zealand-bred five-year-old to be driven by Ryan Warwick for trainers Greg and Skye Bond, will start from the No. 7 barrier in Friday night’s 2130m event. A winner at 22 of his 52 starts, he is in sparkling form. Bettors Fire, a winner of 40 races from 104 starts, will start from barrier six.

“Galactic Star is definitely the one to beat,” said Harper. “However, I’ve got the barrier draw on him and that gives us some hope. Like usual, I’ll play it by ear. When the green light goes on we’ll assess our options and go from there.”

Bettors Fire possesses outstanding gate speed and one option for Harper will be to attempt to fire the handsome gelding to an early lead and then dictate terms in front.

At his most recent outing Bettors Fire began speedily from barrier three but was unable to cross the polemarker Chicago Bull. After racing without cover early Bettors Fire then enjoyed an ideal passage, one-out and one-back, following Galactic Star, who moved to the breeze after about 550m.

Chicago Bull won easily from stablemate Runrunjimmydunn, with Galactic Star in third place, a nose ahead of Bettors Fire, who fought on determinedly, out four wide.

Millionaire pacer Beaudiene Boaz will start out wide at barrier No. 8 at his fourth appearance after a ten-month absence and is ready for a strong forward showing after a solid last-start fourth behind Chicago Bull. He will again be handled by Micheal Ferguson, with Gary Hall Jnr to drive trainer Michael Brennan’s top-flight eight-year-old The Bucket List from barrier four.

Hall drove The Bucket List to a brilliant fast-finishing victory in the 2503m BOTRA Cup two starts ago.

The Bond stable have an excellent second-string runner in Friday night’s race in four-year-old Rock Diamonds, who will start from barrier five with Chris Lewis in the sulky. Rock Diamonds finished strongly to win a 2503m stand two starts ago.

The Kristy Elson-trained Ideal Tyson will have admirers after his dashing victorying weaker company last Friday night when he charged home from seventh at the bell to win narrowly from Vampiro and Motu Premier.

Ideal Tyson will start from barrier three and Turvey will be anxious to get a flying start in a bid to take up the running. “His best attribute is rolling along and either leading or being in the breeze would be nice,” Turvey said. “Bettors Fire and Galactic Star might have a bit on us, but if we are able to lead we could beat them.”

Ken Casellas

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