Day At The Track

Draw opens up breeders stakes

04:29 PM 14 May 2015 NZST
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Libertybelle Midfrew still the horse to beat even after drawing barrier six
Libertybelle Midfrew still the horse to beat even after drawing barrier six

A very interesting barrier draw has set up an intriguing race for Friday night's $40,000 WASBA Breeders Stakes at the harness  Gloucester Park.

The logical pre-post favourite Libertybelle Midfrew has come up with a tricky alley in gate six and it appears on paper as though driver Mark Reed will have to 'take his medicine' early and look for a trailing position.

The outstanding daughter of Christian Cullen was an effortless winner on resumption last Friday night when only required to sprint up the last 'furlong' to record an easy win in a mile rate of 1:58.5 (last 800m 55.7) for the 2536m.

"She worked beautifully this morning (Wednesday) at Gloucester Park just dashing up the last little bit.

She hasn't left an oat since her first up win and besides the draw, I couldn't be happier," said conditioner Mike Reed.

The winner of last year's Group 1 Golden Nugget and the previous season's Group 1 WA Oaks has been imperious since arriving in WA, notching up a record of 10 wins from 15 starts.

But there will be no pushover about Friday night's race given the way the draw has fallen.

Indomitable has proven herself a sit sprint mare of considerable ability this campaign and driver Clinton Hall must certainly take credit for the consistency with which the Barry Morrison trained mare is now racing.

Previously a very headstrong mare with blistering gate speed, Hall's 'softly softly' approach to driving Indomitable has seen her become a potent force in any race where there is early speed.

He has piloted the daughter of former WA champion Saab to a remarkable 7 wins from only 16 drives.

The early speed duel between Leda McNally, Dontdoubtme and Sensational Gabby will be central to the end result.

Certainly Indomitable has the speed to hold up, but it is unlikely that they will shy away from the 'sit/sprint' style of racing that has served her so well this past 12 months.

However, it is likely that they will have a strong say in who crosses them in the run through the first turn.

Although Leda McNally is a top flight mare at her best, it is fair to say that she has been down on that form in recent times and it may be the case that Hall doesn't consider her a viable trailing option.

Dontdoubtme is a very speedy mare that is well suited to short course racing.

She resumed with a tidy second to Libertybelle Midfrew last week having come from the pocket, and she looms as a handy alternative given Clinton Hall will be privy to the progress she has made since that run.

Along with Libertybelle, Sensational Gabby represents the class in this race, but as ever she remains questionable when unable to find the lead.

She was unable to cross from a similar gate last week and her hopes rest on master driver Chris Lewis being able to fire her out with more alacrity.

Trainer of the moment Justin Prentice is represented by classy duo Bettor Dreams and The Parade.

Both mares are former WA Oaks place-getters and The Parade in particular has been in stunning form of late taking out the $35,000 Race for Roses last week, on the back of her win in the $25,000 The Johnson Final two weeks earlier.

Better Dreams should not be dismissed however as she boasts an 8 from 14 record over this trip, and she has drawn to pinch cheap runs from a position on the marker pegs.

Jason Lincoln.

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