Star filly Tricky Styx is being set for the $125,000 Golden Slipper on July 18 after she produced her typical whirlwind finishing burst to snatch a thrilling last-stride victory in the group 1 $100,000 Del Basso Smallgoods Diamond Classic at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
"I think she has earned the chance to run in the Slipper," Northam trainer Jesse Moore said afterhad driven Tricky Styx to a head victory over Soho Tokyo.
And the 22-year-old de Campo is looking forward to the challenge of contesting the Golden Slipper with Tricky Styx against the colts and geldings, saying: "She's a quality filly who has proved that she can race against the boys with her win in the Champagne Classic."
Tricky Styx showed her class in the group 2 Champagne Classic early in May when she overcame the outside barrier and the task of charging home from the rear after settling in last position.
Tricky Styx, who started from barrier two on the back line on Friday night, was sent out at the surprisingly good odds of 9/2, with Major Reality (10/9) and polemarker Sea Me Smile (13/4) more popular with punters.
Major Reality was smartest into stride from the No. 3 barrier, but was unable to cross Sea Me Smile, who kicked up strongly on the inside to hold out Soho Tokyo and Tricky Styx.quickly was able to get Major Reality into the one-out, one-back position behind Soho Tokyo (in the breeze), with Tricky Styx settling in seventh position.
Massive Attack started a three-wide move after about 500m and Prentice eased Major Reality three wide with 950m to travel. It was a line of three in front passing the 400m mark, with de Campo having eased Tricky Styx out of a pocket and into the three-wide line 450m from home.
got Soho Tokyo (8/1) to a narrow lead on the home turn and Tricky Styx was fourth (and winding up) 90m from the post. She then flew to gain the verdict over Soho Tokyo in the final stride. The final quarters were covered in 28.7sec. and 29.1sec. and Tricky Styx rated 1.58.1 over the 1730m.
"We got a dream trip," de Campo said. "But at the 400m she didn't let down as good as I thought she could. However, at the top of the straight she really started motoring. I think that she might have been a touch below her very best, but she still got the job done. Jesse wasn't one hundred per cent happy with her before the race. He said that her past two runs had not been as good as her two previous runs. Jesse is a very astute trainer and will have her ready for her next assignment.
"I didn't pull the plugs because she doesn't respond to that. She has the plugs in, but you don't pull them. She is quite temperamental and you can't hit her too hard, either.
"She is not the easiest horse to drive and she gets around a bit and it is a credit to Jesse that her race manners have improved immensely over the past six to seven weeks. She is probably green more than anything. Jesse had the block blinkers on early and then he took them off and put the Dollies on --- and that has been a big key to how she has been racing."
Tricky Styx, by American stallion, is certainly proving a wonderful bargain for the 69-year-old Moore, who paid just $NZ5000 to buy the filly for his wife Maree at the New Zealand yearling sales in Christchurch early last year. Tricky Styx now has earned $110,435 from five wins and one placing from eight starts.
Ultimate Major makes it four to Lewis
Champion reinsmanwas in dashing form at Gloucester Park on Friday night, landing four winners.
He ended the night on a high with an astute frontrunning drive to score a smart win with 13/4 chance Ultimate Major in the 2536m Del Basso Smallgoods Pace for three-year-olds. He had been successful earlier in the night with the-trained trio of Shelby Cruzin, Might Be Luck and Selkie.
Ultimate Major, a relatively inexperienced New Zealand-bred colt, gives promise of developing into a very smart pacer, and, son of Capel trainer , said that long-range plans for Ultimate Major included the rich group 1 Golden Nugget Championship next season.
"He's a funny horse with a lot of speed and his record in New Zealand was very good and, hopefully, he will continue to improve," de Campo said. "The Golden Nugget will be his main aim.
"After he arrived from New Zealand in February he tried rushing him for the WA Derby and didn't have enough time to have him ready. At his WA debut early in April he went very badly in the Western Gateway Classic (distanced behind Elegant Christian). So we freshened him up and now he's racing well.
"He is a funny kind of horse. When he's in front he switches right off, like he did tonight. But when that horse (Mista Rush) got to him he lifted and was running through the line strongly."
Ultimate Major clearly won the start from the No. 1 barrier and Lewis was able to give the colt an easy time early, with the first 400m section of the final mile going by in a pedestrian 32.3sec. before he increased the tempo with sections of 30.2sec., 29.1sec. and 28.4sec. He led clearly half-way down the home straight and had almost a full length to spare in defeating 3/1 second fancy Mista Rush, who was last at the bell and unwound a sparkling late burst.
Soho Lennon, the 6/4 favourite, had a tough run before finishing third. He was trapped three wide for the first 500m and then worked hard in the breeze.
Ultimate Major, owned by Paul and Tony Poli, won at two of his four New Zealand starts and he now has a record of nine starts for five wins, one placing and stakes of $37,225. He is a half-brother to Pas Ultimate Delight, who has had three starts in New South Wales for two wins, including a group 3 event for mares in Dubbo.
Ultimate Major's maternal granddam Abbeybell produced Our Awesome Armbro, a winner in New Zealand, Australia and America before retiring with a fine record of 184 starts for 37 wins, 42 placings and $849,309.
Lewis and de Campo continued in winning vein at Bunbury on Saturday night, with Lewis driving three winners (Major Rush, Miss Atomic and Onedin Crusader) and de Campo training a double with Captain Proud and Typhoon Tan.
Olivieri praises Selkie
Oakford trainerpredicted a bright future for Selkie after had driven the five-year-old to an effortless victory in the first heat of the Little Caesars Pizzas Lombardo Pace for mares at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
"She is one of the better mares I have trained," he said. "I have trained a lot of good mares and Selkie rates pretty highly with some of the best of them.
"Gliding Princess is the best mare, by far, that I have trained. She is only the third filly in history to have won the New South Wales Derby and Oaks. Ima Spicey Lombo and Miss Bo Scott were pretty good, but Selkie is much better than Elysees Crest (23 wins and $228,290) and Slick Lavra (15 wins and $143,026). The latter two were not in the same class as Selkie.
"Selkie is fast, tough and versatile and when she's doing a 30sec. quarter she's absolutely cruising. Chris said that she was cruising on the line tonight."
David Gravolin, an Oakford trainer whose property is about 5km from Olivieri's Oakford stables, recently cut down his training activities to concentrate on his thriving bitumen paving business and he handed over Finbar Abbey and Selkie to Olivieri to prepare them for racing.
Olivieri then won the Easter Cup with Finbar Abbey and the Race For Roses with Selkie. He said that Selkie, who has had 24 starts this season since arriving from New Zealand, would continue racing. "Apart from qualifying for the final of this event for mares, she will run in suitable stands," he said.
"She is a brilliant beginner in stands. She may require a break somewhere along the line, but at this stage she's not sending out any distress signals."
Selkie was hot favourite at 2/1 on in Friday night's race and Lewis opted out of the early speed battle when polemarker Maggies Mystery led from the fast-starting Am Opulent. Lewis then sent Selkie to the front after 450m and she was untroubled to beat Maggies Mystery by just over a length at a 1.57.7 rate over 2130m, with the final three quarters being covered in 28.1sec., 29sec. and 29.8sec.
Her 24 WA starts have produced five wins and three placings and she has a career record of 49 starts for ten wins, six placings and 79,920.
Lennys In Heaven relishes a return to a stand
Experienced seven-year-old Lennys In Heaven, an inconspicuous seventh at each of his first two starts after a spell, in mobiles on country tracks, relished a return to a standing-start event when he set the pace and scored an easy win over Pembrook Henry and Sonic Classic in the 2503m Sealanes Foodservice Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
This ended a losing sequence of eight, stretching back to a win in a 2518m stand in Kalgoorlie last November.
The New South Wales-bred gelding, a 10/1 chance trained at Pinjarra by, was driven for the first time by . The gelding resisted an early challenge for the lead from Mister Sarkozy and then was rated perfectly after Finbar Abbey, favourite at 9/4, moved into the breeze 550m after the start.
After the first 400m section of the final mile was covered in 30.9sec., Woodley lifted the gelding's rating and the final three quarters went by in 29.4sec., 28.3sec. and 29sec. Lennys In Heaven was not extended in beating Pembrook Henry, who raced three back on the pegs before finishing solidly along the inside.
Lennys In Heaven, by, is out of mare Merry Rama, who had 33 starts for five wins, 18 placings and $31,267. His 17 West Australian starts have produced three wins and two placings to take his career record to 95 starts for 17 wins, 24 placings and $118,079.
Soho Highroller bred to be a smart pacer
Five-year-oldgelding Soho Highroller has inherited a good deal of his ability from his dam Pelicanrama and he looks set for many more wins after scoring an easy victory in the 2130m Del Basso Butchers Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Soho Highhroller, ended a losing sequence of ten when he was favourite at 7/4 on and dashed to the lead after 400m before bowling along in front and beating Barkers Hall by five metres at a 1.57.4 rate. He was most impressive in sprinting home over the final 400m in a sizzling 27.7sec.
Trained at Serpentine by Gary Hall sen., Soho Highroller gave Gary Hall jun. an armchair drive with opening quarters of the final mile in 30.5sec. and 30.3sec. before dashing over the final 800m in 57.2sec. Polemarker Barkers Hall led for the first 400m before enjoying the perfect trail behind Soho Highroller.
Soho Highroller, bred by Rob Watson, is a full brother to Soho Tokyo, who finished a very close second to Tricky Styx in the group 1 Diamond Classic for two-year-old fillies later in the program. He has earned $71,264 from nine wins and 18 placings from 48 starts.
Pelicanrama was an outstanding juvenile performer before enjoying a successful career of 149 starts for 55 wins, 37 placings and $730,271 in prizemoney. Her wins in feature events as a two-year-old included the $250,000 Australian Pacing Gold and $75,000 NSW Sires Stakes at Harold Park and $30,000 Tatlow Stakes at Moonee Valley in 1999, and as a three-year-old she won the $100,000 NSW Sires Stakes. Her full-brother Mustang Fighter earned $292,566 from 29 wins and 26 placings from 108 starts.
My Hard Copy is on the way up
My Hard Copy maintained his standing as one of the State's most consistent four-year-olds when he set a brisk pace and strolled to victory over Heez Orl Black and The Feather Foot in the 2130m Top Cut Meats Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
His easy win graduated him to an M2 classification and he should have no difficulty in maintaining his excellent form and moving swiftly to open-class ranks on his way to contesting rich feature events during the summer carnival.
Friday night's win completed a double for trainer Gary Hall sen. and reinsman Gary Hall jun. Soho Highroller was favourite at 3/1 on and Hall sen. notched yet another quinella result, with Lauren Jones bringing 8/1 chance Heez Orl Black home with a solid burst after enjoying the run of the race behind the pacemaker.
My Hard Copy, owned by Steve, Christina and Danielle Chapman, has earned $134,167 from 13 wins and 13 placings from 39 starts. He won three times from 16 starts in New Zealand and twice from six starts in Victoria before arriving in WA where he has raced 17 times for eight wins and three placings.
Change of training aids Shelby Cruzin
Victorian-bred pacer Shelby Cruzin, described by his traineras "a little fatso," has responded to a change in his training routine and made amends for a dismal failure at his West Australian debut with a stylish victory in the 1730m Del Basso Importers And Exporters Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
He was a 10/9 on favourite at his first WA appearance three weeks earlier when he was a major disappointment, racing at the rear and then out wide in the final circuit, finishing eighth in a field of nine behind Loose Wire.
He was favourite at 7/4 on on Friday night when he finished full of running to win by a half-length from 86/1 tote outsider Local Rogue, who had threatened to cause a major upset after starting from the outside of the front line and then racing out four wide for the first 350m before taking the lead 100m later and then setting the pace after a blistering first quarter in 27.3sec.
Shelby Cruzin made the most of the prized No. 1 barrier by leading for the first 400m, butthen took the sit behind Local Rogue, who boasted a losing sequence of 16 since his previous win 18 months ago.
Local Rogue was still travelling well when he led clearly approaching the home turn. But Lewis was able to ease Shelby Cruzin off the pegs 150m from home when Caesars Cloud, in the breeze, began to fade. Lewis then drove Shelby Cruzin hard and the five-year-old finished determinedly to hit the front in the final 20m. The winner rated 1.57.2.
Olivieri said that Victorian trainerhad telephoned him recently to ask him to train Real Hammer and Shelby Cruzin. Olivieri was happy to oblige and he said that the two horses were entirely different.
"Shelby Cruzin has been a bit hard to work out, but I have changed his training and the result was that he went a mile better tonight than he did first-up," Olivieri said. "First-up, he fooled me. I thought he was fitter than he was. He's a little fatso, and you've got to get into him. I've made him more interested in his work by galloping him on the sand instead of hoppling him. I haven't hoppled him since his first-up run, apart from one trial."
Shelby Cruzin now has earned $44,520 from ten wins and ten placings from 48 starts. He is the eighth winner out of South Australian-bred mare Motoring Sassie (five starts for two wins and one placings for $2169). Motoring Sassie's progeny includes Sassy Gina (12 wins and $80,405) and Ombudsman (13 wins from 23 starts for $54,480 in prizemoney).
Paramedic ends losing sequence of 27
Noted frontrunner Paramedic took full advantage of the coveted No. 1 barrier at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he set the pace and caused an upset in winning by just over a length from 5/4 on favourite Bettor Party in the 2130m Action Industrial Catering Westbred Pathway Pace.
Paramedic started at 6/1 and ended a losing sequence of 27, stretching back to February 2013, and his win foiled Bettor Whitby from extending his winning sequence to four. Part-owned and trained by John Rogers, the six-year-old Paramedic was driven assertively by.
Bettor Party began out wide, from the No. 6 barrier, and he raced four wide for the first 300m. He then was trapped three wide beforeeased him back to last after a lap. Bettor Party was eleventh and last at the bell and he sustained a spirited burst, out wide, to finish second.
Paramedic covered the final 800m in 58.5sec. and rated 1.58.4 in improving his record to 69 starts for ten wins and 15 placings for earnings of $75,823. He is related on his dam's side to former talented juvenile performer Shes Royalty, who had 96 starts for 24 wins, 27 placings and $288,146.
Might Be Luck excels in front
Oakford trainertold star reinsman that West Australian-bred gelding Might Be Luck was a certainty to win the 2503m Del Basso Foodservice Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night if he was able to set the pace.
Might Be Luck, a 5/1 chance from barrier No. 3 off the front line, began well and Lewis drove the gelding vigorously in an attempt to get to the front in the early stages. Polemarker Bartowski galloped out briefly, but was able to hold Might Be Luck at bay for the first 250m before he wilted under pressure and his rival forged to the front 250m after the start.
Might Be Luck relished his pacemaking role and dashed over the final three quarters in 29.7sec., 29.1sec. and 29.9sec. to make life tough for his rivals. Bartowski fought on doggedly to finish second, just more than a length behind Might Be Luck, who rated 2.1.4.
"I said to Chris that if he could lead, he would not lose," Olivieri said. "He's a horse who hasn't had a lot of luck, and tonight he led them a merry dance. On his trackwork at home he's one of the best four or five in my stable. Once he's in front, any horse has to be pretty good to catch him."
Trojan Bromac impressed in thundering home, six wide, from tenth at the bell to finish third.
Might Be Luck, agelding bred and owned by Bob Fowler, has had 43 starts for ten wins, five placings and $48,982. He is related on his dam's side to former top-flight performer Buck the Odds, who earned $307,547 from 31 wins and 29 placings from 121 starts.
Dalton drives first Perth winner
Former Victorian horseman Clive Dalton landed his first Gloucester Park winner as a reinsman when he drove Retained to an all-the-way victory in the 2503m Del Basso Foodservice Trotters Handicap on Friday night.
Retained, a 7/2 chance and trained at Herron by Dalton, jumped straight to the front from the inside barrier on the front mark and led throughout, holding on grimly to beat 22/1 chance Nicky Eileen by a nose.
The 55-year-old Dalton, who has driven almost 500 winners in Victoria, enjoyed plenty of success as a trainer of square gaiters in Victoria. He prepared Right Interest to group 1 and group 3 victories in Victoria and Magic Interest for his victory in the group 1 Australasian Breeders Crown for two-year-old trotters at Bendigo in August 2008.
Retained, an eight-year-old gelding owned by Jennifer O'Byrne, is a seasoned campaigner who has had 113 starts for 16 wins, 19 placings and $145,265 in stakes. He was successful in a $20,000 group 3 event over 2760m at Melton in October 2012.
Dalton kept up the good work at Bunbury on Saturday night when he trained Miss Atomic () for her win at 6/1.
by Ken Casellas