Day At The Track

Gloucester Park review from Friday night

02:17 AM 23 Jun 2013 NZST
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Lightly-raced five-year-old Livingontheinterest gave further convincing proof that he will be a leading harness racing candidate for the WA Pacing Cup and Fremantle Cup next summer when he gave another dazzling display to beat Hokonui Ben and Ima Rocket Star in the 2130m Quality Produce Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Champion reinsman Gary Hall jun. made the most of the withdrawal of veteran speedster Has The Answers (after he had caused two false starts) and he got Livingontheinterest away brilliantly from the No. 5 barrier to burst straight to the front.

Livingontheinterest ambled through the first two 400m sections of the final mile in 29.9sec. and 29.4sec. before he sped over the final two quarters in 28sec. and 28.7sec. to win by 2m from stablemate Hokonui Ben, who settled down in sixth position, started a three-wide move 950m from home and then worked hard without cover.

Many pundits disregarded Livingontheinterest's superb performance the previous Fri night when he set the pace from barrier three and scored an effortless victory, setting a track record with a sparkling rate of 1.53.1 over 1730m. The general feeling was that Has The Answers would set a strong pace from the No. 2 barrier and that Livingontheinterest would be forced to cover too much ground from out wide at the No. 6 barrier.

Livingontheinterest was a $5.30 tote chance, with Has The Answers at $4.60, Ima Rocket Star at $3.10 and Hokonui Ben at $4.10 when the mobile barrier attempted to send the field of 11 on its way.

But Has The Answers was in a cantankerous mood and he broke in the late stages of the score-up, causing a false start. He was in an even more temperamental mood in the next score-up in which he galloped uncontrollably and caused interference to stablemate Shardons Rocket, causing another false start and his automatic withdrawal.

Remarkably, Livingontheinterest's price firmed only marginally to $4.40 for the re-start, with Ima Rocket Star quoted at $2.10 and Hokonui Ben at $3.60.

Hall had only one thing on his mind, and that was to outgun his rivals at the start. He revved up Livingontheinterest, who sizzled out from barrier five and charged straight to the front, leaving Ima Rocket Star in the breeze. He rated 1.55.3 and could have gone considerably faster.

Livingontheinterest now has had 28 starts for 16 wins, six placings and $167,435 in prizemoney. After winning at seven of his 15 starts in New Zealand, Livingontheinterest was purchased for $110,000 by Beth Richardson, Glen Moore, Andrew Curran Garry Ralston and Karen Hall. He has had 13 starts in WA for premier trainer Gary Hall sen. for nine wins and one placings for $111,130.

Livingontheinterest gave Hall sen. his 150th training success for the season and leads the Statewide premiership from Greg and Sky Bond (126 winners), Andrew de Campo (85), Noel Keiley (52) and Peter Anderson and Aldo Cortopassi (33 each).


Star reinsman Gary Hall jun. maintained his devastating form when he drove Hokuri Handrail to a comfortable victory in the 2503m Etherington Fruit Sales Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. This was his fourth winner on the ten-even program and increased his lead on Statewide premiership table.

He now has driven 189 winners in WA this season and leads from Colin Brown (121), Chris Voak (111), Morgan Woodley (107) and Chris Lewis (104). Hall is also the leading city reinsman, with 132 wins --- a lead of 72 over Lewis.

Hokuri Handrail began smoothly off the 10m mark and Hall dashed him past Salliwood and into the lead after 700m. From then it was just a procession, with Hokuri Handrail sprinting over the final 800m in 56.8sec. and winning by just over a length from veteran Courageous Ned, with a neck to 20m backmarker Bettor Reason in third place.

For Hokuri Handrail, favourite at 2/1, it was his tenth win from his past 11 starts for part-owner and trainer Kristie Morrone and it took him to an M4 classification.

Morrone hopes the New Zealand-bred five-year-old will maintain his brilliant form when he contests the $25,000 final of an event restricted to M2-class pacers next Friday night. He is still eligible to run in the final after winning a qualifying heat and again on Friday night.

"I ran him tonight because I was keen for him to retain his form," Morrone said. "Backing him up week after week keeps him on his game."

Hall gave punters an excellent lead when he opted to drive Hokuri Handrail on Friday night in preference to outstanding four-year-old Bettor Reason, who is prepared by his father Gary Hall sen. He had driven Bettor Reason at 16 of his 17 WA starts for nine wins and five seconds.

Bettor Reason was handled by Kim Prentice and he gave a splendid performance to come from last in the middle stages to race without cover over the final 1350m. He fought on gamely to be third.

Hall's previous wins on Friday night's program were behind Lord Diego, Flojo Two and Livingontheinterest.


Outstanding young reinsman Chris Voak celebrated his engagement to Asha Vanmaris in style by driving three winners at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

The 24-year-old Voak completed his treble by winning the final event, the Central Fruit Sales Pace for two-year-old fillies, with 9/2 chance Pure Royalty to give Herne Hill trainer Sam Torre a wonderful tonic after being badly hurt in a stable mishap.

Torre received nasty injuries to the groin and hip when kicked by a yearling at his stables, but the former Golden Gloves boxing champion, with the aid of a crutch, managed to take Pure Royalty to the course.

"Pure Royalty will run in the $25,000 Westbred Sires event next Friday night," Torre said. "And if she goes well she will run in the $100,000 Westbred Classic the following week. She should be fitter for next week's race because she has missed a bit of hard work in the past week because of my injuries.

"I was kicked by a yearling a week ago. The youngster obviously wasn't happy with me because I didn't feed him first and he double-barrelled me in the groin and the hip. The injuries are still pretty bad. It's the first time I've been kicked in 40-odd years in the sport. It wasn't his fault. I should have fed him first."

Voak drove a perfect race to win with Pure Royalty, a filly by Allamerican Ingot, settling her in the one-out, one-back position before easing her three wide with 300m to travel. Pure Royalty finished strongly to hit the front 30m from the post. She won by 1m from 5/1 chance Maddy White, who had taken a narrow lead from the pacemaker Major Flirt 400m from home.

All About Pink (5/1) raced three back on the pegs and was a sound third after being held up for a clear passage in the home straight.

Pure Royalty, the first foal out of unraced Kinney Hanover mare The Omega Star, has earned $22,109 from two wins and two placings from 11 starts. Her half-brother Lombo Apollo had 80 starts for 21 wins, 16 placings and $78,952.


A change in training tactics is working wonders for six-year-old Unsinkable Boxer, who gave a bold frontrunning display to win the 2130m Fruit and Vegetable Merchants Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Byford trainer Noel Keiley attributes his decision to give the Victorian-bred pacer a lighter preparation as the major reason for the gelding's excellent recent form of two wins and three placings from his past six starts.

"We've changed his work around and the horse is starting to thrive," he said. "I haven't been hoppling him at all and he is going much better with not so much work. We just jog him and keep him fresh."

Unsinkable Boxer, who had 39 starts in Victoria for nine wins and six placings, was sold for $20,000 to brothers Ashley and Gavin McPhail, Eric Hall (of Harvey), Keiley's brother-in-law Ron Whyte, former Essendon star and former Fremantle Dockers coach Mark Harvey, Steve Litton and Rob Priestley. He now has had 35 starts in WA for five wins, nine placings and $47,069.

Harvey was a neighbour of Litton's when he was coaching the Dockers and Litton encouraged him to take a share in the horse.

Unsinkable Boxer made a dream WA debut when Ben Keiley drove him to victory over Adda Paternal Suit, Flamin Tact and Lively Hanover in the Alcoa Cup at Harvey in April 2012. He gradually lost form and had a losing sequence of 12 before breaking through for his second WA win, in Kalgoorlie last November.

Ben Keiley, son of the trainer, made the most of the prized No. 1 barrier and he jumped Unsinkable Boxer (second fancy at 7/2) straight to the front and the gelding was a able to resist a strong challenge from 6/4 favourite Benjamin Banneker after a lap had been covered.

Unsinkable Boxer made life tough for his rivals by dashing over the final 400m in 28.4sec. and he held on to win by a neck from outsider Artesian Boy, who finished strongly, five wide, after racing three back on the pegs. Western Cullen (5/1) raced one-out and one-back before fighting on well to be third, with Benjamin Banneker a wilting fourth.


Seven Wishes, a cheap purchase from New Zealand, completed a winning hat-trick when Chris Voak drove him to an all-the-way victory in the 2130m Bullfrog International Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Part-owned and trained by Pinjarra Harness Racing Club committeeman Dudley Parker (61), Seven Wishes was a solidly-supported favourite at evens after wins at Gloucester Park and Pinjarra at his two previous outings.

Voak got the gelding straight to the front (from the No. 2 barrier) and he relished his frontrunning role to win by 1m from 3/1 second fancy Im Terrific, who fought on doggedly after working hard in the breeze. Ballas Arockstar (10/1) was third after trailing the leader throughout.

"Once he got to the front he was going to be hard to beat," Voak said. "I didn't think that Ballas Arockstar from the pole would hand up. But we were able to cross him. Im Terrific stuck on well, but to my horse's credit, he won well and in good time."

Seven Wishes dashed over the final 800m in 56.8sec. and rated 1.57.4 to take his record to 61 starts for nine wins, 12 placings and $59,189 in stakes. Voak has driven him three times for three wins and his WA record reads 23 starts for six wins and six placings.

Seven Wishes is the second last foal out of the New Zealand-bred mare Swing Out Sister, the dam of nine winners. Swing Out Sister earned $138,681 from her 11 wins and eight placings from only 30 starts. In 1990, she won the New South Wales Oaks at Harold Park and Queensland Oaks at Albion Park. The best of her progeny have been Out Swing (98 starts for 18 wins, 25 placings and $127,185) and Swing Blade (158 starts for 23 wins, 29 placings and $156,491).


Strong filly Deluxe Edition is being set for the $25,000 Westbred Sires event for three-year-old fillies at Gloucester Park next Friday night and the $17,500 Dainty's Daughter Classic at Pinjarra on July 22 after scoring a convincing victory in the 2130m Mercer Mooney Pace on Friday night.

Owners Denise Trobe and Adrian Staltari, who bred Deluxe Edition, are hoping for better luck than they experienced with the filly's half-brother Premium Black, who showed outstanding ability before dropping dead when being prepared for the WA Derby late in 2010.

Premium Black had raced only three times, as a two-year-old, for a win at his only appearance at Gloucester Park and a second and a third at Pinjarra. "He was going to be anything," said Trobe.

Trobe and Staltari bred Deluxe Edition from their Safely Kept mare Hindu Sitara, who earned $97,607 from nine wins and 12 placings from 42 starts. Hindu Sitara won at her first three starts as a two-year-old in 2003, including the $50,000 WA Sales Classic. A year later she finished a half-length second to Miss Holmes in the WA Oaks.

Deluxe Edition is related to Race Ruler, Racy Return and Arch Rival, good Gloucester Park winners in the late 1970s and 1980s.

Deluxe Edition, trained at Oakford by Ross Olivieri, was hot favourite at 5/2 on and she began speedily from barrier six on the front line. After a modest lead time of 38.4sec. set by Miss Atomic for the first 100m and then by Kanata Queen, Deluxe Edition began to overrace and Chris Voak had little option but to let her stride to the front after 1000m.

"Once she got to the winning post (500m after the start) it was game on and she wanted to race the leader," Voak explained. "But once she got to the front she relaxed and carved out some pretty nice sectionals."

Deluxe Edition covered the final three 400m sections of the final mile in 29.9sec., 28.9sec. and 28.7sec. and won by just under two lengths at a 1.58 rate from Kanata Queen, with 115/1 outsider Auctioneers Elsu finishing third after being prominent on the pegs throughout.

Deluxe Edition has earned $50,103 from six wins and five placings from 16 starts and Olivieri is confident she will continue to improve. "You would rather she didn't pull, but it is not stopping her from running," he said. "She will get better with experience."


Brian Ridley has no regrets that he outlaid $10,000 to claim New Zealand-bred eight-year-old Rakarebel early in May. The gelding boosted his earnings for his new owner to $26,120 after he had won the 2130m Key Produce Claiming Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Rakarebel, the best horse in the field of eight, was great value at 6/4 and Justin Prentice drove him with considerable confidence.

Some punters were concerned that Rakarebel appeared to only just struggle to victory by 1m from Touch me Toes, but Prentice explained that the gelding was lazy and was never in any serious danger of defeat.

"He switched off at the 600m when he hit the front," Prentice said. "He was pricking his ears over the entire final 600m and had plenty left on the line. He was just waiting for another horse to come. I drove him out, but it didn't make any difference. He just needs to see another horse to compete."

Rakarebel, trained at Pinjarra by Michael Brennan, has had seven starts for his new connections for two wins and two placings and he now boats a career record of 21 wins and 32 placings from 111 starts for earnings of $289,776. He should, pay to follow.

Lively Highlander, generally considered the only real danger to Rakarebel, settled down in seventh position before starting a three-wide move 1000m from home. He got into the breeze but broke into a gallop 500m from home. The stewards then ordered him back to trials.


Enigmatic mare Flojo Two has returned to racing for her new trainer Courtney Burch in sparkling form and looks set for more wins after unleashing a devastating burst to outclass her rivals in the 2130m EPT Mares Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

She now has had three starts for Burch and reinsman Gary Hall jun. for two wins and a second to take her record to 70 starts for 12 wins and 11 placings for stakes of $85,182.

Flojo Two, second favourite at 11/2, started from the outside of the back line and Hall was content to keep her at the rear while the polemarker and heavily-supported 2/1 on favourite Is She Talking (trained by Gary Hall sen. and driven by Shane Butcher) set the pace, with Alkira Jetstar in the breeze.

Flojo Two was 11th at the bell before Hall set her on fire. She revealed sparkling speed to surge around her rivals, and after going four wide on the home turn, she burst to the front 120m from the post and went on to score by one and a half lengths from Hermattesty Mulan, with Is She Talking a close third.


Boyanup horseman Kim Prentice made the most of the opportunity to drive Luck Has It in the WA Crates Westbred Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night when the mare's regular reinsman Dylan Egerton-Green was committed to his own nomination Moonlight Rockhole.

Luck Has It, trained by Kevin Charles, who races the four-year-old in partnership with his sons Hayden and Kody, started from the inside of the back line and was a tote outsider at 28/1.

Luck Has It was buried on the pegs in tenth place at the bell, but Prentice gained a dream inside passage until he took the mare wide on the home turn. She then finished strongly to hit the front at the 60m mark and win by a half-length from outsider Capelight (who followed the inside run of the winner in the last lap), with even-money favourite Tyler Diamond in third place.

Tyler Diamond led for the first 100m before Colin Brown sent Kissed Flush to the front. Kissed Flush set a fast pace and Brad Stampalia eased Tyler Diamond off the pegs 550m from home before the seven-year-old got to the front with 230m to travel. But Tyler Diamond wilted in the closing stages and was swamped by the winner and Capelight.

Egerton-Green had Moonlight Rockhole in the one-out, two-back position before the six-year-old ran on to finish fifth. Prentice was having his first drive behind Luck Has It and was the 11th driver to have handled the mare in a race. Luck Has It has earned $72,771 from eight wins and 19 placings from 59 starts.

Her half-sister Ticket To Nowhere was a Gloucester Park winner a fortnight earlier, taking her earnings to $45,990 from 39 starts.


New Zealand-bred six-year-old Lord Diego gave a strong indication that he will win many more races for premier trainer Gary Hall sen. when Gary Hall jun. drove him to an easy victory in the 2130m Fresh Choice Sales Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Lord Diego, unplaced at nine starts in New South Wales after having had 49 starts in New Zealand for ten wins and 11 placings, is unbeaten at his two starts in WA and is still a metropolitan maiden with a record of 12 wins and $79,807 in prizemoney from 60 starts.

Starting favourite at 5/4 on from barrier four, Lord Diego raced three wide for the first 400m and then worked hard without cover as Our Boy Su (9/2) bowled along in front. Lord Diego surged to the front with 100m to travel and dashed away to win by a length from the fast-finishing The Oyster Bar, who had raced in the one-out, one-back position. Our Boy Su held on for third, ahead of Franco Hendrix.

Lord Diego was most impressive in sprinting over the final 800m in 56.1sec. and rating 1.57.

by Ken Casellas


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