Superstar Im Themightyquinn moved a step closer to becoming the greatest stake earner in the history of Australasian harness racing when he strolled to an effortless victory in the Abbott And Company Printers Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
The New Zealand-bred nine-year-old was completely unextended in winning by a length and a half from Polak, with Crombie back in third place ibn the 2536m mobile event.
This took Im Themightyquinn's record to 104 starts for 53 wins and 32 placings for stakes of $4,404,736 and now it seems only a matter of time until he breaks Blacks A Fake's record as Australasia's highest-earning standardbred.
The Queensland-bred Blacks A Fake was retired after having 105 starts for 72 wins and 24 placings for $4,575,438 in prizemoney.
Im Themightyquinn will continue to race at Gloucester Park until champion trainer Gary Hall sen. takes him to Queensland to contest three feature events in July --- the $60,000 Sunshine Sprint, the $100,000 Blacks A Fake Championship and the $40,000 Redcliffe Cup.
Im Themightyquinn's victory was one of five winners trained by Hall on the ten-event program. The others were Alta Christiano, Vapour, Our Arlington and Famous Alchemist, and Hall has an unassailable lead on thetrainers' premiership and Statewide premiership.
Hall has had 490 city starters for 121 wins, 71 seconds and 59 thirds this season for earnings of $2,002,722. He leads from(43 wins), Greg and (38) and (25). On the Statewide premiership table Hall has 149 winners and leads from the Bonds (92), Olivieri (57) and (54).
Im Themightyquinn, making his second appearance after an absence of seven months, was favourite at 10/1 on from the outside barrier on the front line in Friday night's event and Gary Hall jun. eased him back to last in the field of nine as polemarker Whos Mistake set the early pace beforesent Polak to the front after 600m.
The first 400m section of the final mile was a dawdling 31.3sec. and Hall jun. patiently waited until the 950m mark before switching Im Themightyquinn three wide and sending him forward. Im Themightyquinn then got the three-wide trail behind Please Release Me 250m later and Hall was able to pop him into the one-out, one-back position briefly down the back straight before taking him three wide before the 300m post.
Im Themightyquinn was untouched by Hall as he swept past Polak 90m from the finish. He rated 1.56.8 after final quarters in 28.2sec. and 28.1sec.
HALL'S AGGRESSION PAYS DIVIDENDS
Clint Hall's decision not to restrain Famous Alchemist back to the rear from her unfavourable barrier on the outside of the front line and to use aggressive tactics paid handsome dividends when the New Zealand-bred five-year-old revealed wonderful strength and speed to win the 2130m TABtouch Breeders Stakes Prelude at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Many punters overlooked Famous Alchemist because of the wide draw and she started at the dream price of 15/2, with Leda McNally dominating the betting as the 10/9 on favourite, despite her awkward draw at No. 3 on the back line.
Hall did not bustle Famous Alchemist when the mobile barrier sent the field on its way. But he did not ease her back to the rear, preferring to let her settle, three wide, while 33/1 chance Kristen Louise jumped to the front from barrier two.
Famous Alchemist quickly gathered momentum and surged forward to move into the breeze after 500m. Hall then applied plenty of pressure on Kristen Louise, butwas in no mood to relinquish the lead. Finally, Kristen Louise cracked and Famous Alchemist charged to the front 700m from home and then opened up a gap of almost three lengths on her nearest rival.
The third quarter whizzed by in 28.4sec. and Famous Alchemist shortened stride in the home straight before holding on strongly to beat the fast-finishing Alkira Jetstar (20/1) by just under a length. Jungle Genie (11/1) finished strongly from 11th at the bell to be third, a half-head in front of Leda McNally, who was forced three and four wide in the final circuit.
The last 400m was covered in a moderate 29.7sec. and Famous Alchemist rated 1.56.4. Owned by Karen Hall and trained at Serpentine by her husband Gary, Famous Alchemist boasts a fine record of 45 starts for 14 wins, 15 placings and stakes of $273,569. She had 17 starts in New Zealand for five wins and five placings and her 28 starts in WA have produced nine wins and ten placings.
Leda McNally was gallant in defeat after covering so much extra ground and Alkira Jetstar was most impressive at her second appearance after an absence of nine months.
Alkira Jetstar started from barrier four on the back line and she was driven skilfully by Tom Buchanan, who settled her down in tenth position on the pegs. Alkira Jetstar improved to be seventh with 300m to travel and she thundered home from sixth (five wide on the home turn.
JONES CONTINUES TO SHINE
Queensland teenager Lauren Jones maintained her splendid form in the sulky when she drove Our Arlington to a strong victory in the 2536m McInerney Ford Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Our Arlington was a heavily-supported 2/1 favourite and the 19-year-old Jones gave the gelding's supporters little cause for concern once she had taken him past The Feather Foot (9/1) and into the lead 450m after the start.
Onedin Crusader raced wide early and then worked hard in the breeze. The first quarters of the final mile went by in 30.5sec. and 29sec. before Our Arlington made life tough for his rivals with brisk final sectionals of 28sec. and 28.7sec.
Our Arlington, trained by Gary Hall sen., won at a 1.56.7 rate by just under a length from The Feather Foot, with Bronze Seeker, fighting on to be seven metres back in third place after racing three back on the pegs.
El Machine, second fancy at 7/2, was eighth in the middle stages before starting a three-wide run 1100m from home. However, he did not threaten danger and finished sixth.
Our Arlington had three starts in New Zealand as a three-year-old for two wins and then won 11 times in Victoria before arriving in WA with a losing sequence of 16 in late 2013. He has won twice from 11 starts in this State and now has earned $149,362 from 15 wins and 16 placings from 64 starts.
Our Arlington is byand his dam People's Princess (by ) also produced good performers Hot Night In Paris (129 starts for 11 wins, 26 placings and $85,584) and The Forger (79 starts for 11 wins, 18 placings and $91,650).
A CHANGE REFRESHES OHOKA
A change in training methods has refreshed Ohokaand Henley Brook trainer-reinsman Robbie Williams predicted a bright future for the New Zealand-bred five-year-old after his easy all-the-way victory in the Slater Gartrell Sports Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
"I work my horses hard, but recently I found that Ohokawas not producing his best in races after being hoppled in trackwork twice a week," Williams said. "So I have reduced his hoppled runs to once a week and he has responded by racing more enthusiastically," Williams explained.
Ohoka, drawn the prized No. 1 barrier, was a firm 6/4 on favourite and he was not extended in leading throughout and rating 1.57 over the 2130m journey and beating 11/1 chance Will of Iron, by almost two lengths after that pacer had trailed him throughout. Fully Zapped (33/1) raced three back on the pegs before finishing solidly along the pegs to be third.
Ohoka, a winner at two of his nine New Zealand starts, has had 16 starts in WA for Williams for six wins and six placings. The gelding, who has earned $48,929, is the second foal out of Millwood Touche, whose first foal Ohoka Texas has earned $174,342 from 12 wins and four placings from 37 starts. Ohoka Texas won a group 3 2700m classic for three-year-old colts and geldings at Invercargill in April 2011.
After the race the stewards held an inquiry into severe interference suffered by outsider Desirable Guy () about 350m from home. , driver of 10/1 chance Don't Wanadie, was found guilty of causing interference to Desirable Guy, causing that pacer to break into a gallop, and he was suspended for 14 days.
The stewards took into account Voak's good record when determining the penalty. Voak's previous suspension for causing interference was almost six months ago. Since then he has driven in almost 600 races.
Voak was granted a seven-day stay of proceedings which will enable him to drive class mare Leda McNally in the $40,000 Breeders Stakes at Gloucester Park next Friday night. Voak has driven 115 winners this season from 859 drives and is second on the Statewide premiership behind Gary Hall jun., who has driven 119 winners in WA this season.
NO FIXED ADDRESS DELIVERS AT GLOUCESTER PARK
New South Wales-bred five-year-old No Fixed Address celebrated his first appearance at Gloucester Park with a fast-finishing, last-stride victory in the 1730m The West Australian Pace on Friday night.
The son of former star West Australian pacer Saab is certainly well named. He is a much-travelled gelding who raced in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland before arriving in Western Australia.
His 19 Victorian starts produced four wins and two placings and he had seven starts in NSW for two wins and one placing and three starts in Queensland for one win and two placings. He now has raced 15 times in WA for four wins and four placings. His 44 starts have produced 11 wins, ten placings and $59,842 in stakes.
No Fixed Address, trained in Bunbury by Murray Hansen, had raced soundly on South-West and Great Southern tracks before venturing to compete at Gloucester Park.
He was a 5/1 chance in an open betting race on Friday night when he began smartly from the No. 2 barrier, but was beaten out by My Lady of the Night (barrier five) and Ben Cartwright (four). Then the polemarker Extreme Bromac kicked up on the inside to take up the running, leaving Ben Cartwright, the 15/4 favourite, in the breeze.
then made a winning move as he angled No Fixed Address across to the inside to assume the excellent position behind the pacemaker. Voak eased No Fixed Address off the pegs 400m from home, but Ben Cartwright appeared certain to win when Clint Hall dashed him to the front 230m from the post.
Ben Cartwright surged to what appeared to be a winning advantage, but he wilted over the final 150m and 22/1 chance The Marble Ridge (eighth on the pegs at the bell) rattled home to get his nose in front five metres from the line. However, No Fixed Address sustained his powerful finishing burst to get his nose in front in the final stride. The final 400m was covered in 28.8sec. and No Fixed Address rated 1.55.7.
No Fixed Address is closely related on his dam's side to former star WA mares Mazzini Magic (40 starts for 21 wins, 13 placings and $367,140) and Smooth sensation (41 starts for 15 wins, 16 placings and $249,419). The WA-bred Blushing Lombo has had six foals, but No Fixed Address is the only one to have raced. Blushing Lombo was retired as a three-year-old after winning four times in Victoria as a two-year-old.
PACIFIC PLAYBOY GIVES JAMES EARLY SUCCESS
Pacific Playboy, who entered the stables of Bernard James about three weeks ago, gave the Byford horseman an early success whendrove the five-year-old to a surprise, but convincing victory in the 2503m Ross North Homes Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
The prospects of Pacific Playboy, a 21/1 chance, were greatly enhanced when the 6/4 favourite That Is Correct galloped at the start and lost 20m. This enabled Reed to slot Pacific Playboy in behind 9/1 chance Bartowski, who began speedily from the outside of the front line and charged straight into the lead.
That Is Correct recovered quickly and moved into the breeze in the first lap before he obtained the one-out, one-back sit 1350m from home when the 40m backmarker Shardons Rocket (5/2) assumed the position outside the pacemaker.
sent Shardons Rocket to the front with 400m to travel, but the nine-year-old began to wilt after rounding the home turn and Pacific Playboy burst to the front at the 120m mark and went on to score by two lengths from Shardons Rocket. The Pacing Priest (9/1) ran on from seventh at the bell to be third.
Pacific Playboy, who has earned $55,632 from nine wins and 14 placings from 57 starts, is the last foal out of former handy mare Maybe Rich, who had 65 starts for ten wins, 17 placings and $29,331. Pacific Playboy is a half-brother to former top-line performer Fac Et Spiro, who amassed $386,695 in prizemoney from 23 wins and 30 placings from 85 starts.
LOOSE WIRE IS PROVING HIS WORTH
Henley Brook trainer Darryl Howes has got Loose Wire firing and the six-year-old gave promise of better things to come when he unwound a spirited burst which carried him from sixth on the pegs at the bell to victory in the 2130m Alltools Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
After being unplaced at his first six starts in WA for Howes, Loose Wire made most of the running to win easily at Kellerberrin on May 4 and he was at the surprisingly good odds of 12/1 on Friday night from the inside of the back line. This was mainly because of the heavy support for Shelby Cruzin, a handy Victorian pacer who was making his WA debut for Oakford trainer.
Shelby Cruzin was favourite at 10/9 on, despite the disadvantage of starting from the outside of the front line.
Sign In (13/2) dashed to an early lead and he set the pace from, first Te Rauparaha and then from El Sunami.restrained Shelby Cruzin to the rear before sending him forward with a three-wide run from the rear approaching the bell. But Shelby Cruzin lacked sparkle and disappointed in finishing eighth in the field of nine.
El Sunami got to the front 350m from home beforesent 30/1 outsider Ace of Cards to the front 180m from the post. However, brought Loose Wire home with a strong well-timed burst to get to the front in the final 50m and win by a half-length from Ace of Cards, rating 1.59.4.
Loose Wire has raced 69 times for 12 wins, 15 placings and $51,385 in prizemoney.
VAPOUR KEEPS UP THE GOOD WORK
New Zealand-bred four-year-old Vapour maintained his remarkable consistency when he proved too good for his rivals in the second heat of the Yes Loans the Pure Steel Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Driven confidently by premier reinsman Gary Hall jun., Vapour, favourite at evens, won in fine style from stablemate Slick Chapel (6/1) and Finbar Abbey (11/2), rating a slick 1.56.2 over the 2130m journey after sprinting the final 800m in 56.6sec.
This improved Vapour's record in WA for leading trainer Gary Hall sen. to nine wins and five placings from 16 starts. The son of American stallionhas a good overall record of 32 starts for 12 wins, ten placings and $74,737.
Vapour started from barrier four on the front line and raced outside the polemarker and pacemaker Trojan Bromac for the first circuit. He gained the one-out, one-back sit 900m after the start when Slick Chapel went forward and challenged for the lead. Slick Chapel eventually got to the front 550m from home, but just failed to hold out the fast-finishing Vapour, who forged to the front 80m from the post. Finbar Abbey, who settled in last position in the field of 12, sustained a strong burst to be an excellent third.
ALTA CHRISTIANO SIMPLY TOO GOOD
Alta Christiano, the youngest and least experienced runner in the 1730m Sully's Painting Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night, gave further proof of his outstanding ability when he outclassed his ten rivals.
His win by just over two lengths from veteran Black Pontiac boosted his earnings to $297,613from 12 wins and two placings from 17 starts.
Four-year-old Alta Christiano, a star in the stables of leading trainer Gary Hall sen., gave ace reinsman Gary Hall jun. the first leg of a winning treble in successive events. Hall jun. followed with wins behind Im Themightyquinn and Vapour.
Alta Christiano, favourite at 10/1 on, started from the outside of the front line and raced three wide for much of the first lap before taking the lead 750m from home. He was joined in the lead by 60/1 outsider Black Pontiac at the 400m mark, but was not extended in drawing away to win easily at a 1.54.2 rate, with the final 400m being covered in 27.8sec.
FAST START THE KEY FOR ONEHEART TWOFISTS
Frontrunning is the greatest asset of seven-year-old WA-bred gelding Oneheart Twofists and when he won the early battle for ascendancy with 5/4 on favourite Mantoman in the 1730m Make Smoking History Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night, the die was cast.
Mantoman, drawn the prized No. 1 barrier, was beaten for early speed by Oneheart Twofists, who got straight to the front from barrier two.
Oneheart Twofists, trained at Millendon by Graham Bond, was sent out at the luxury odds of 10/1 despite a smart trial win at Byford the previous Sunday morning.set a brisk early pace with Oneheart Twofists, who sped over the first 400m section of the final mile in 28.6sec.
Then after a second quarter in 30.2sec., Oneheart Twofists dashed over the final two sections in 28.3sec. and 28.7sec. Barkers Hall, a 20/1 chance, raced in the breeze and looked hard to beat when he got to the front, a neck clear of the pacemaker 420m from home. But Barkers Hall was unable to cross to the pegs and Oneheart Twofists regained the lead with 230m to travel.
Barkers Hall fought on grimly and went down by a nose, with the winner rating a smart 1.55.3. Mantoman had every chance.got him off the pegs and into the clear 420m from home, but he just battled on doggedly, out three wide, to finish third.
The WA-bred Oneheart Twofists, who ended a losing sequence of eight, has earned $49,833 from seven wins and eight placings from 53 starts.
by Ken Casellas