Day At The Track

Hercules poised for millionaire status

09:02 AM 08 Jan 2015 NZDT
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David Hercules.jpg
David Hercules

David Hercules, a $15,000 yearling in 2008, is poised to become harness racing’s latest millionaire.

Engaged at Gloucester Park tomorrow night, David Hercules is expected to prove too good in the Fremantle Cup, which will see the pacer pass the magical million barrier.

Trainer David Thompson declared the eight-year-old was “spot on” and that he “couldn’t be happier with his preparation” ahead the 2536-metre Group One.

Reinsman Morgan Woodley echoed Thompson’s sentiment when he said: “We’re brimming with confidence and it’s his time to shine.”

David Hercules, which has amassed $936,044 as a result of 35 wins and 31 placings from 95 starts, drew favourably at barrier three - after having no luck 12 months ago when he started from the outside of the back line in the Cup.

David Hercules also drew along the back line in the Western Australia Pacing Cup.

“He was gallant in both those big cups, finishing third to Im Victorious and Bettors Fire in the Fremantle Cup and fourth behind Hokonui Ben, Toretto and This Time Dylan in the Pacing Cup,” Woodley said.

“He finished less than two lengths from the winner in both events.

“I’m exceptionally happy with the way the horse has been racing. He couldn’t have come back in any better fashion than he has.

“He has been doing it with ease and I understand his training since his last run has been exceptional.”

While David Hercules has been installed a firm favourite, there is no lack of confidence from rival trainers, particularly Kevin Keys, who prepares Tuxedo Tour, and Rod Oliver, trainer of Heez On Fire.

Ace reinsman Chris Lewis and Gary Hall junior gave punters a ‘heads up’ by opting to drive Tuxedo Tour and Heez On Fire.

Lewis and Hall share the record of six Fremantle Cup wins, with Lewis scoring behind Black Irish (1983), Village Kid (1988 and 1989), John Albert (1995), Sandy Bay (2005) and Dasher VC (2013).

Hall was successful with The Falcon Strike (2002 and 2004), Im Themightyquinn (2010, 2011 and 2012) and Im Victorious (2014).

Lewis will drive the inexperienced and lowly-assessed Tuxedo Tour in preference to the brilliant mare Sensational Gabby, which he drove to a dashing all-the-way victory over Hokonui Ben and Tuxedo Tour last week.

Champion trainer Gary Hall has three Cup runners, Toretto, Northview Punter and Soho Jackman, but Junior has opted to stick with Tuxedo Tour.

Keys laid down the gauntlet to the rest of the field by stating Tuxedo Tour is capable of leading throughout.

“My instructions to Gary will be to lead from barrier two,” he said. “There will be only one instruction and that is to lead.

“Tuxedo Tour is a better horse on the pole and he’s one of those horses who is better rolling than being held up.

“I’ve left no stone unturned…he’s had plenty of work and plenty of swimming.”

  • KEN CASELLAS

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