Talented gelding Persistent Threat has recovered from a hoof abscess and is poised to run a big race in the $100,000 Clipsal Schneider Westbred Classic for two-year-old colts and geldings at Gloucester Park on Friday night, according to his Bunbury trainer.
"It's not ideal to go into a big race without a run or two under your belt," Graham said when assessing Persistent Threat's prospects at his first appearance for eight weeks. "But his recent work has been as good, or even slightly better, than it was before he won the $100,000 Sales Classic at the end of April.
"It took him a while to get over the foot abscess, about six or seven days, and he missed fast work in that time. However, he was able to retain his fitness by being able to swim in that period."
Persistent Threat, driven by Tom Buchanan, won at each of his first five starts before suffering his first defeat when he set the pace and wilted to a well-beaten third behind Tricky Styx and The Odd Lover in the $50,000 Champagne Classic at Gloucester Park on May 2.
He possesses excellent gate speed, is a noted frontrunner and has drawn favourably in Friday night's group 1 event over 2130m at barrier two on the front line.
"It's certainly not an easy race and there are a good few winning chances," Graham said. "It is not essential for Persistent Threat to lead. If he leads, all well and good. But his work at home shows us that he goes well from behind."
Graham identified polemarker All Aussie Boy, Isaiah Artois, Ezygatboy and Artillery Major as the major dangers to Persistent Threat.
Isaiah Artois, trained at Byford byfor breeder-owner Steve Johnson, has won in dashing style at each of his past four starts and looks set for an outstanding career. But his prospects diminished slightly when he drew the outside barrier on the back line.
He has led at three of his past four outings and he sat behind the pacemaker before finishing strongly on the inside for his other success. Reinsmanwill have to use vastly different tactics from the gelding's unfavourable draw. However, there is no doubting the ability of the son of and he certainly can overcome his wide barrier.
All Aussie Boy, trained at Bunbury by Robert Wood, soared into contention after drawing the prized No. 1 barrier.is certain to attempt an all-the-way victory. All Aussie Boy led when he won from Mago Man and A Force In Action over 2185m at Pinjarra two starts ago. He then started from barrier three on the back line and performed admirably when he raced wide in the middle stages and then without cover before finishing a close third to Sea Me Smile and Mister Ardee over the same distance at Pinjarra on Monday of last week.
Artillery Major has resumed after a spell in splendid form for Oakford trainerand the colt will have many admirers, particularly after drawing the No. 3 barrier on the front line. He raced three back on the pegs and ran home strongly from fifth at the bell to be second to Isaiah Artois in the 2130m Pearl Classic last Friday week. He led from barrier three when an easy winner over Mister Atomic in a heat of the Pearl.
Delightful Jade aiming for five in a row
Delightful Jade is carrying all before her and has bright prospects of stretching her winning sequence to five by proving the master of her rivals in the $100,000 NHP Westbred Classic for two-year-old fillies at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
She is bred to be a good winner and is following the footsteps of her illustrious relative Whitbys Miss Penny, a champion two-year-old 14 years ago.
Delightful Jade's maternal granddam Fiscal Miss produced Whitbys Miss Penny, who earned $568,289 from 32 wins and six placings from 50 starts. Delightful Jade, trained at Capel by, will be driven by his son Aiden. The filly has been most impressive, winning six times from only seven starts.
She is handily drawn at No. 3 on the front line, she possesses sparkling early speed and is a superb frontrunner, having set the pace in each of her past four starts. However, she is not certain to lead on Friday night. The Katja Warwick-trained Straittothehilton is also a wonderful frontrunner andis sure to attempt to steal a march on her rivals by jumping to the front from the coveted No. 1 barrier.
The most recent occasion Straittothehilton clashed with Delightful Jade was in the 1609m $20,000 Ray de Campo Memorial at Bunbury on May 10 when Delightful Jade led from barrier three and held on to beat Straittothehilton by a nose in 1.55.9. Straittothehilton raced three back on the pegs before rattling home with a powerful burst.
That performance and the fact that Straittothehilton will start from barrier one will influence many punters to fancy the polemarker, easily the most experienced runner in the event, with her 13 starts producing two wins, six seconds and two thirds.
Soho New York, trained at Northam by, Massive Attack, trained by Gary Hall sen., and Sea Me Smile, trained by Debra Lewis, also have sound prospects.
Soho New York (to be handled by) won at her first four starts before blotting her copybook with her fourth in a field of six at Narrogin and her last placing in a field of six at Bunbury last Saturday night. She ruined her chances at Narrogin by galloping at the start and then raced without cover. She started from barrier six at Bunbury, was restrained to the rear and then had a tough run in the breeze.
Soho New York faces a stern test from the outside of the back line, while a back-line draw is likely to make life tough for Sea Me Smile, who impressed at Pinjarra last Monday week when she started out wide at barrier six, raced wide early and then obtained an ideal passage before finishing solidly with a 56.1sec. final 800m to defeat Mister Ardee and All Aussie Boy. Her previous form of a first-up success over Straittothehilton and placings behind Delightful Jade and Tricky Styx was excellent.
Massive Attack (Gary Hall jun.) shows plenty of promise and has won twice from only three starts. From barrier four she should be prominent.
Please Release Me gets his chance
Veteran pacer Please Release Me has a losing sequence of 19 and has managed just one placing from his past 14 starts, but he has strong claims in the $25,000 Led Perth Past Presidents Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Major factors in his favour are that he will appreciate the absence of recent constant rivals Im Themightyquinn and David Hercules and that he is a brilliant frontrunner who should really appreciate starting from the prized No. 1 barrier.
Please Release Me, trained at Collie by his owner Dave Hunter, has been out of the winning list for almost 14 months. However, he should give his supporters a great run for their money, with Matt White sure to attempt an all-the-way win.
At his most recent outing Please Release Me was the solitary runner off the back line and he raced in fifth position, three back on the pegs, before he finished solidly to move into third place in the home straight before being relegated to fourth position in the final couple of strides by the fast-finishing Dundee Three. The race was won by David Hercules, who defeated Im Themightyquinn by just over two lengths. After a slow early pace, the final 800m was covered in 54.9sec.
Dundee Three will be one of the fancied runners on Friday night whenwill attempt to gain a favourable passage in the one-wide line from a somewhat awkward barrier at No. 5 on the front line. Dundee Three impressed with two strong-finishing wins at his three previous outings.
Punters should obtain good value in this event, with most of the ten runners have solid winning prospects. Leading trainer Gary Hall sen. will be represented by My Hard Copy, Toretto and Our Arlington. Pinjarra trainer's runners Lord Lombo and Leda McNally are versatile and consistent performers who can never be underestimated.
Added to that are the-trained This Time Dylan and the talented Ima Rocket Star, resuming after a five and a half-month absence for Greg and .
The up-and-coming four-year-old My Hard Copy, the youngest runner in the race and fresh from his wonderful effort when a half-head second to champion Im Themightyquinn over 2536m last Friday night when he sprinted the final 800m in 55.9sec., would have been a hot favourite had he drawn to lead.
However, the result became significantly more difficult to forecast when My Hard Copy drew barrier two on the back line. He certainly has undeniable winning prospects, but is by no means a good thing.
This Time Dylan, to be driven by, will have many followers after his smart trial win over 2185m in a trial at Pinjarra on Sunday morning. Driven by Brennan, This Time Dylan dashed to an early lead and sprinted over the final two 400m sections in 28.3sec. and 27.1sec. to defeat El Machine by a head. He should be powering home in Friday night's race.
has been successful twice in the nine-year history of the Past Presidents Cup, with wins behind Just Jasper (7/2) in 2008 and Franco Renegade (51/1 last year). He faces an extremely difficult task with nine-year-old Elite Under Fire, who has been out of the winning list for 22 months.
The Parade capable of overcoming tough draw
New Zealand-bred filly The Parade continues to improve and she has sound prospects of being able to overcome the disadvantage of starting from the outside of the back line in the 2130m Sylvania Trader Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
She was most impressive last Friday week when she started out wide (barrier six) on the front line, dropped back to last and sustained a marvellous three-wide burst from the 950m to hit the front 250m from home and win from My Samantha Jane at a 1.56.3 rate over 1730m. That followed placings behind Libertybelle Midfrew, Jungle Jewel and Typhoon Tan at her three previous outings.
My Samantha Jane, trained at Hazelmere by, will have many admirers from her favourable draw at No. 2 on the front line. should be able to get her to an early lead and then dictate terms. She had a perfect run behind the leader harper Grace when she finished strongly for her last-start second to The Parade.
Capel trainerhas two smart fillies engaged and both Maddy White and Typhoon Tan should be prominent from back-line draws. will drive Maddy White and Dylan Egerton-Green has been engaged for Typhoon Tan.
Earlier in the programwould dearly love to celebrate his 26th birthday by guiding Arousing to victory in the $25,000 Nexans Olex The Lombardo Pace for mares. But could spoil the party by winning with Arousing's stablemate Selkie.
trains last-start winners Arousing and Selkie,
Selkie has the class to overcome barrier six on the front line, while Arousing should enjoy an ideal passage after starting from barrier two on the back line.
by Ken Casellas