Review from Gloucester Park Friday

01:07 AM 22 Jun 2014 NZST
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New Zealand-bred pacer Jungle Genie and connections
New Zealand-bred pacer Jungle Genie and connections

Now for the Lombardo final for Jungle Genie

Classy New Zealand-bred pacer Jungle Genie leapt the first hurdle in her quest to win two feature events in the space of eight days when she produced a powerful burst to score a narrow victory in the $30,000 Clipsal And Schneider Electric Pace for four-year-old mares at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Her strong performance boosted the confidence of Forrestdale trainers Greg and Skye Bond that she will complete the double by proving too good for her rivals in the $25,000 final of the Lombardo Pace next Friday night.

Jungle Genie, second favourite at 9/2, overcame the distinct disadvantage of starting from the outside of the back line when she relished the solid pace set by 9/1 chance Loving You. Colin Brown was content to keep Jungle Genie ninth position before starting a three-wide move in the final circuit.

Miss Atomic, the 10/9 favourite, surprisingly was easily beaten out at the start when she was lethargic and lacked sparkle. Stablemate Loving You burst straight to the front from the No. 2 barrier and then was able to withstand an early challenge from Am Opulent.

Miss Atomic slotted in behind the pacemaker and gained a fortuitous inside passage when Loving You, despite the efforts of reinsman Morgan Woodley, drifted off the pegs passing the 450m mark. Miss Atomic then took lead 150m later and Chris Lewis drove her vigorously in the home straight.

But she was unable to hold out the fast-finishing Jungle Genie, who got to the front 120m from the post and won by a head from Miss Atomic, with 20/1 chance Bettor Dreams running on from tenth at the bell to be third, a head in front of Cielito.

The final 800m was covered in 58.5sec. and Jungle Genie rated 1.57.2 over the 2130m. She has been wonderfully consistent for owners Greg Bond, Kevin, Rob and John Gartrell, Andrew Foster and Craig Hampson since arriving in Australia 13 months ago after managing just one third placing from five starts in New Zealand as a three-year-old.

Her 34 WA starts have produced 14 wins and 13 placings and her win on Friday night boosted her earnings to $101,412. She is by Bettors Delight and is the second foal out of the Live Or Die mare Jungle Jane, who raced 43 times for six wins, ten placings and $58,371 in prizemoney.

Im Themightyquinn on target for Queensland

It's all systems go for Im Themightyquinn, who will enter the next phase of his remarkable career when he contests feature events at the annual Queensland winter carnival in Brisbane next month.

The champion pacer rounded off his preparation with a thrilling last-gasp victory over stablemate My Hard Copy in the 2130m Clipsal Powerhouse Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night and he will travel by air to Brisbane on Thursday, with his driver Gary Hall jun. full of confidence.

"I know that a lot of people will think that he hasn't come back anywhere near his best (after a nose victory over Crombie in the Pinjarra Cup followed by a two-length second to David Hercules at Gloucester Park)," Hall said. "But I'm glad that they are sort of writing us off again before we go to Queensland.

"I've got no worries. He'll be excited because it will be a new place and once he gets into a genuinely-run race and is driven the way he likes to be driven, he'll prove his worth.

"There aren't many horses capable of doing what he did tonight. I think that people expect him to just beat those horses easily because they consider those horses are not in the same class as he is. But those horses are hard to beat round here (the 805m circuit at Gloucester Park) when they run a slow lead time (69.9sec.) and then walk around the next half (60.9sec.) and then run a 55sec. last half.

"That makes it almost impossible to come from the back in the field. Around the bend out of the front straight in the last lap I had a good hold of him and he was going pretty much as fast as he can go. That was a quarter in 27.6sec. off the front and he would have gone 27sec.

"I think that in his old age he has got a bit dour. Tonight I just wanted to creep up on the others, nice and relaxed, but he's gone back to pulling a bit. It's always hard to do that (remaining relaxed) when he is out of his comfort zone and they're running 55sec. halves.

"However, I always felt that he was going to win. I was still holding him a bit down the back straight. When we got to the breeze he thought that his job was done. But he knuckled down in the straight when I gave him two cuts with the whip. He dug in as deep as he ever has.

"He's having a bit of trouble in recent races because they are so slow early and are not really genuine fast-class races. Generally there is no pressure put on the leader and he's finding it a bit tough with that. And the way the track is, horses from behind are having trouble getting past the leader when they're running quick times in the last lap.

"I don't think that he's a hundred per cent fit yet. He's come in tonight a bit big, but that's not too much of a worry. He's got a lot ahead of him. He leaves by plane on Thursday and will be on the tarmac for an hour in Melbourne before continuing to Brisbane.

"Once he gets over there he can really tighten up. I have no doubts that he has come back as good as ever."

Champion trainer Gary Hall sen. will remain with Im Themightyquinn and prepare him at Shannon Price's property. Hall jun. will fly in and fly out to drive the nine-year-old in the $60,000 Sunshine Sprint at Albion Park on Saturday week (July 5) and the $100,000 Blacks A Fake Free-For-All a fortnight later. Providing that he performs strongly in those events, Im Themightyquinn will wind up his Queensland campaign in the $40,000 standing-start Redcliffe Cup on August 8.

Im Themightyquinn was favourite at 10/1 on in Friday night's race in which he started from the No. 6 barrier on the front line. He was restrained back to last, while stablemate My Hard Copy, second fancy at 6/1 from the No. 2 barrier, bounced straight to the front for Clint Hall, with Shardons Rocket moving to the breeze after 450m.

Hall jun. started a three-wide run with Im Themightyquinn with 900m to travel and the champion sustained his spirited finishing burst to get up and score in the final stride, rating 1.58.5 over the 2536m journey.

Im Themightyquinn boosted his earnings to $4,468,736 from 56 wins and 33 placings from 108 starts.

Pacific Black proving a wonderful bargain

Baskerville trainer Sonia Zucchiatti and Adam Kirke made an inspired decision six years ago when they outlaid $20,000 to purchase Victorian-bred three-year-old Pacific Black.

Now a nine-year-old, Pacific Black, ended a losing sequence of 27 when he sprinted home fast to score a surprise win at 18/1 in the 2503m Schneider Electric Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

This boosted Pacific Black's earnings for Zucchiatti and Kirke to $167,609 from 16 wins and 38 placings from 122 starts to take his career record to 143 starts for 21 wins, 46 placings and $190,684.

As a three-year-old, Pacific Black won four races in a row in the month of August 2008, one at Shepparton and three at Wagga, before being advertised for sale.

"I saw him advertised on the internet, on the Trading Ring, for $20,000," Zucchiatti said. "He had won four in a row and I thought that was a good enough reason to buy him. He had one start for us and won at Harold Park and now has won five city-class races at Gloucester Park. "

Pacific Black certainly has made the most of the drop-down regulation which enables a pacer assessed M2 or better to drop down a classification every time he has a losing sequence of ten. Pacific Black has gradually dropped down in class and went into Friday night's race as an M1-class performer. He is now back to an M2 mark.

Zucchiatti credits Pacific Black's longevity to racing almost exclusively in stands. His five city wins have been in stands and he has contested a mobile race only twice in his past 50 starts.

"He pulls in mobiles and I've had to restrict him to stands in the past few years," she said. "He is getting old and basically he needs to race back on the fence. He travels better on the fence and if he gets the right run he'll finish thereabouts."

Pacific Black started off the 10m mark on Friday night and Kim Prentice quickly manoeuvred the old gelding to the pegs, with 11/1 chance Telham Lane setting the pace. Pacific Black gained a split half-way down the home straight and he sprinted fast to gain the upper hand in the final couple of strides.

Heez Orl Black bred to be a star

It is little wonder that Heez Orl Black is developing into a smart performer. He is closely related to former champion pacer and highly-successful sire Christian Cullen.

The New Zealand-bred five-year-old is by In The Pocket out of the unraced Holmes Hanover mare Cracker Kate, who is a half-sister to Christian Cullen, who earned $1,249,150 from 22 wins and four placings from 31 starts before developing into an outstanding sire.

Cracker Kate is also a full-sister to Kates First, who had 65 starts for 19 wins, 19 placings and $624,023 in prizemoney. Kates First's successes included the New Zealand Oaks at Addington and the Queensland Oaks at Albion Park in 1997 when she defeated Concorde Lombo. She finished second to Holmes D G in the $250,000 Victoria Cup at Moonee Valley in January 1999 when she finished in front of Our Sir Vancelot, Tailamade Lombo and Iraklis.

Heez Orl Black, owned by Max Grynberg, Bill Paterson, Tony and Ruth Thompson, Dave Kahl, Karen Hall, Frank Borrello and Trudi Spiniello, revealed tremendous pace to score an effortless victory in the Clipsal Saturn Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. This gave leading trainer Gary Hall sen. the first leg of a double and reinsman Kim Prentice the second leg of a double after an earlier success with Pacific Black.

Heez Orl Black, favourite at 10/9 on from the coveted No. 1 barrier on the front line, had no difficulty in jumping straight to the lead. After a slow lead time of 8.6sec., the tempo increased when outsider Empire Flame began to overrace badly in the breeze and the first 400m section of the final mile whizzed by in 27.5sec., followed by a quarter of 28.8sec.

Gary Hall jun. eased 4/1 third fancy Vapour from the one-out, one-back position to start a three-wide move 650m from home. The third quarter was covered in 29.2sec. and Heez Orl Black appeared vulnerable after such a hectic pace. However, Heez Orl Black revealed sparkling speed and great resilience to dash over the final quarter in 28sec. and win by five metres from Vapour, with Slick Chapel (7/2) running on from sixth at the bello to be third to give Hall sen. a trifecta result in the 1730m event.

Heez Orl Black rated a sparkling 1.53.6 to improve his record to 59 starts for 14 wins, 16 placings and $190,065. He has had 27 starts in Western Australia for eight wins and eight placings.

Macintosh surges from last to first

New Zealand-bred four-year-old Macintosh looks well and truly on the path to many more wins when he impressed with a splendid last-to-first victory in the 2536m Clipsal Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Produced in fine fettle by veteran trainer Dick Moore, Macintosh, favourite at 6/4, was driven with supreme confidence by Colin Brown.

Macintosh started from the outside of the back line and Brown was quite content to let the Mach Three gelding lob along in last position in the field of eleven. Four Grinners (15/1) set the pace and Brown had Macintosh travelling easily at the rear until Chris Voak started a three-wide move with Barkers Hall 1100m from home.

Brown then followed the run of Barkers Hall and Macintosh exploded to the front 60m from the post to win easily by four metres from Four Grinners, with Barkers Hall three lengths away in third place. Macintosh rated 1.59.2 and took his West Australian record to seven wins from nine starts after having raced ten times in New Zealand for two wins and three third placings.

Macintosh is the second foal out of Style By The Mile, who won once from 17 starts. Style By The Mile is a full-sister to Gomeo Romeo, who earned $340,193 from 13 wins and 12 placings from 52 starts. He was the winner of one group 1 and two group 2 events in New Zealand.

Olivieri consolidates second place

Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri maintained his recent run of successes with a double at Gloucester Park on Friday night and consolidated his spot in second place on the Metropolitan trainers' premiership table.

Olivieri now has trained 54 city winners this season and trails Gary Hall sen. (143 wins), with Greg and Skye Bond in third place with 43 winners. Olivieri's winners on Friday night were Real Hammer and Finbar Abbey.

Real Hammer, a Victorian-bred five-year-old, was second fancy at 9/4 who enjoyed the ideal passage behind the pacemaker and 11/4 chance Well Hello Dolly in the 1730m Schneider Acti 9 Pace before gaining a late split and finishing strongly to beat that mare by one metre, with 6/4 favourite Black Aquila a fighting third after working hard in the breeze.

This gave Chris Lewis the first leg of a double, which he completed with the all-the-way win of Say It Now in the final event.

Real Hammer, a recent addition to the Olivieri stable, has now raced 23 times in Western Australia for four wins and five placings to improve his career record to 12 wins, 14 placings and $100,062 from 52 starts.

Finbar Abbey, driven by Chris Voak, was a 11/2 chance off the 20m mark in the 2503m Clipsal Lighting Handicap, in which former New Zealand performer Robyns Raider dominated betting and was favourite at 5/4 at his first appearance at Gloucester Park.

Punters groaned when Robyns Raider galloped from the outside of the front line and lost several lengths. However, Colin Brown quickly got Robyns Raider back into a pacing gait and the four-year-old surged forward to assume control after 450m.

Finbar Abbey settled down in ninth place before Voak sent him forward, three wide, after a lap to move to the breeze 1450m from home. The eight-year-old appeared under considerable pressure 250m from home when he was not responding particularly strongly to heavy punishment. However, he ran home with dogged determination to hit the front 50m from the post and win by a neck from 16/1 chance Thumpem, who was eighth on the pegs at the bell before finishing fast. Robyns Raider was a close third.

Finbar Abbey, who has won at five of his nine starts for Olivieri, has earned $138,831 from 16 wins and 24 placings from 106 starts.

$400 pacer takes earnings to $96,870

Four-year-old West Australian-bred mare Lucky Joy, unwanted as a yearling before being picked up for a mere $400 at a dispersal sale, boosted her earnings for Raelene and Ian Williams and their son Robbie to $96,870 when she stormed home to win the 2130m third heat of the Clipsal 56 Series Lombardo Pace for mares at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Robbie Williams, who trains Lucky Joy at Henley Brook, drove a typical patient race with the talented sit-sprinter, who started from barrier two on the back line and raced in sixth position in the one-wide line before unleashing a powerful finishing burst, out wide, to hit the front 70m from the post and win by a half-length from the fast-finishing 16/1 chance Ace of Cards.

Hoylakes Firstlady, second fancy at 3/1, had a tough run in the breeze before fighting on to finish third, with the heavily-backed 6/4 favourite My Lady of the Night setting the pace and fading to finish sixth.

Lucky Joy, by Canadian stallion Northern Luck, was third favourite at 9/2 and she impressed in dashing over the final 400m in 28.9sec. Her 30 starts have produced seven wins and 11 placings.

Smooth Caesar is a giant-killer

Giant pacer Smooth Caesar, a generally unfancied 21/1 chance, caused an upset when he stormed home from tenth and last 350m from home to beat 6/4 favourite Pride of Colorado in the 2130m Clipspec Claiming Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

The powerfully-built eight-year-old has certainly been a great buy for Marie Bingham, who claimed him for $10,000 last November. Since then Smooth Caesar has won four races and been placed nine times for Pinjarra trainer-reinsman Kim Young, earning $46,985 in stakes to take his career record to 91 starts for 13 wins, 24 placings and $115,039.

Polemarker Heavens Delight (7/4) set the pace from Pride of Colorado in the breeze, with Our Gent trailing the pacemaker and Elite Under Fire enjoying the one-out, one-back trail after having been fastest into stride from barrier five, but being unable to cross to the lead.

Smooth Caesar, who started from the No. 3 barrier, was tucked away on the pegs and did not get into the clear until 420m from home. He was still last at the 350m mark when Young switched him five wide. After a third quarter in a slick 28.8sec., the final section was a considerably slower 30.2sec. and Smooth Caesar burst to the front 50m from the post before defeating Pride of Colorado by two metres. Veteran The Oyster Bar was a half-length away in third place.

Say It Now has the last say

Noted frontrunner Say It Now further illustrated the great advantage of the prized No. 1 barrier at Gloucester Park when Chris Lewis drove him to an all-the-way victory in the 1730m Clipsal and Schneider Electric Westbred Pathway Pace on Friday night.

Say It Now was a well-fancied 7/4 second fancy, but many punters preferred the highly-promising four-year-old Bettor Party, who was favourite at 5/4 despite the marked disadvantage of starting from the outside of the front line of seven.

Bettor Party was wisely eased back to last by Colin Brown, while the lack of any great pressure in the early stages enabled Lewis to rate Say It Now expertly in front, with modest opening quarters of the final mile in the sprint trip in 30sec. and a casual 31.1sec. This proved the decisive factor in the result.

Brown started a three-wide move with Bettor Party approaching the bell and the gelding moved to seco0nd 320m from home and fought on with great determination. But after a third quarter in 29sec. Say It Now was able to sprint the final section in 28.4sec. and just hold Bettor Party at bay to score by a head at a 1.57.7 rate. Leftrightgoodnight tracked Bettor Party in the final lap and ran home strongly to be a close third.

Say It Now, bred and owned by Kevin Charles and his son Kody, is prepared at Hopeland by Kevin Charles and the stallion showed early promise with wins in the 2012 South-West and Country Derbies. He has now earned $90,431 from 11 wins and 11 placings from 51 starts. He is related on his dam's side to former champion pacer Preux Chevalier, who won the 1985 interdominion championship at Moonee Valley, beating Village Kid, before being retired with earnings of $791,331 from 40 wins and nine placings from 53 starts.

by Ken Casellas

 

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