Champion reinsman Gary Hall jun. has driven the winner of almost every feature event in Western Australia and he is aiming to put the record straight by adding the $50,000 Make Smoking History Dainty's Daughter Classic to his imposing list of achievements when he handles the highly-impressive Majorly Foxy Styx in the group 3 race at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Hall has driven in seven of the 14 Dainty's Daughter Classics for two seconds, a third, a fourth, a fifth, an eighth and an 11th placing and his prospects of breaking through for an overdue success in this 2130m event for three-year-old fillies soared when the New Zealand-bred Majorly Foxy Styx drew the coveted No. 1 barrier on the front line.
The stewards suspended Hall from driving for 12 days after he had pleaded guilty of causing interference when driving Vapour in a race at Gloucester Park on Monday afternoon. Hall immediately sought a stay of proceedings to enable him to drive Majorly Foxy Styx and several other stable runners on Friday night and Im Victorious in the WA heat of the interdominion championship the following night. His request was granted and his suspension will begin at midnight on Saturday night.
Majorly Foxy Styx, trained by Hall's father Gary, has won at each of her past six starts by an average margin of just over two lengths and the bigfilly warmed up for this week's assignment in devastating style with a nine-length victory in a 2150m trial at Byford on Sunday.
Driven by Clint Hall, Majorly Foxy Styx raced without cover early and then set the pace before sprinting over the final 800m in 56.4sec. and the last 400m in 27.5sec. Clint was substituting for his brother Gary, who was returning from Adelaide where he drove a winner (Copthewrath) for his mate, Mildura trainer, and finished third with Dontdoubtme in the South Australian Oaks at Globe Derby Park on Saturday night.
Hall jun. and his father combined to land a treble with Prince Eddie, High Courage and Machtu on Monday afternoon and they were also successful with Classic American at Harvey on the following nighty. Now Hall sen. is poised to bring up his century of winners on Friday night when he will have nine runners. His season's tally stands at 97.
Majorly Foxy Styx will be a firm favourite in a race in which she will clash with several smart fillies, including Harriet Elisabeth, Artistic Copper, The Parade, Maddy White and My Samantha Jane.
Harriet Elisabeth, trained by, won at three of her five starts as a two-year-old before she resumed after a seven-month absence and finished last as an odds-on favourite at Gloucester Park four Tuesdays ago. She will start from barrier three and is capable of a bold showing.
The-trained Artistic Copper has led and won impressively at her past three appearances and will start from the inside of the back line. She should gain a perfect run behind the pacemaking Majorly Foxy Styx.
Boyanup trainerhas engaged star reinsman to drive The Parade, who chalked up her fifth win from 12 starts when she finished powerfully to defeat Maddy White and Typhoon Tan at Bunbury last Saturday night.
PACIFIC WARRIOR GETS HIS CHANCE IN CUP FROM INSIDE BARRIER
New Zealand-bred six-year-old Pacific Warrior has led from start to finish only once from his 27 starts in Western Australia, but he makes strong appeal as the likely leader from the prized No. 1 barrier in the $25,000 Make Smoking History Governor's Cup over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
He has won 13 races and been placed eight times in WA when his only all-the-way victory was over 2185m at Pinjarra at his second run in Australia when he took full advantage of the inside barrier. The only other time he has started from the No. 1 barrier was in the 2692m Pinjarra Cup early last June when he pulled hard in front and finished third to Ima Rocket Star and Hokonui Ben.
Pacific Warrior, who is prepared at Mt Helena byand will be driven by , ran a splendid Cup trial last Friday night when he started from barrier four, raced three wide early and then without cover and finished an fighting second to noted frontrunner Northview Punter when the final 800m was covered in 56.1sec.
The Cup is for pacers handicapped M2 to M4, but trainer John Guagliardo is so pleased with the form of Copagrin that he nominated the five-year-old for the race, even though he is still on an M1 mark. Copagrin, to be driven by Matt White, is ideally drawn at No. 2 on the front line and will have many admirers.
Copagrin impressed greatly last Friday night when he raced three back on the pegs and did not get clear until late when he flashed home to be third behind Marooned and Northern Assassin in the 2130m Binshaw Classic,
Uppy Son, who will start from barrier four on the back line for Bunbury trainer-reinsman, is getting close to another win. He stormed home, three wide, from eighth at the bell to be a neck second to WA Pacing Cup placegetter This Time Dylan in the 2662m Narrogin Cup on Thursday of last week.
And then two nights later Uppy Son started off 70m in a 2500m stand at Bunbury and finished powerfully from last in the field of seven at the bell to be a close-up fifth, just two lengths behind the winner Im Riddick.
The-trained Hez The Bart Man is sure to appreciate a drop in class and cannot be underestimated. He covered a lot of extra ground when an impressive Gloucester park winner three starts ago.
Bickley trainedhas each-way prospects with Bronze Seeker (barrier four) and Mighty Flying Thomas (inside of the back line). Bronze Seeker, a sit-and-sprint exponent, charged home from three back on the pegs to snatch victory in the 2683m Albany Cup two starts ago, but was found wanting in last week's Narrogin Cup when he raced in the one-out, two-back position in a muddling-run race and just battled on into sixth place behind This Time Dylan.
Mighty Flying Thomas will be making his third appearance after an absence of two months and should enjoy a good passage on the pegs. He covered a good deal of extra ground when a wilting last-start seventh in the Albany Cup.
DELUXE EDITION SET FOR A BATTLE WITH BLACKNSWEET ADDA
West Australian-bred four-year-old Deluxe Edition should be rewarded for her consistency by winning the $17,000 Mick's Mares Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
The mare, who is trained at Oakford by, will be handled by her regular reinsman , who is in the midst of a purple patch. She musters plenty of early speed and is a good frontrunner, ideally suited from the No. 3 barrier.
However, Deluxe Edition could strike a snag in the form of the-trained Blacknsweet Adda, who will be driven by Dylan Egerton-Green from barrier two. Blacknsweet Adda gave a bold frontrunning display on Tuesday of last week and was overhauled in the final stages when third behind classy three-year-old Classic American over 1730m. She raced again on Tuesday of this week when she thundered home from 11th at the bell to be an eye-catching second to Mako Shadow over 1730m.
Exposed form suggests that Deluxe Edition will forge to the front, giving Blacknsweet Adda a perfect trail. Whatever transpires, the race appears likely to develop into a spirited battle between the paid.
Deluxe Edition, who has a tendency worrying tendency to pull hard in her races, is proving a splendid moneyspinner for her breeders and owners Denise Trobe and Adrian Staltari. She has earned $88,487 from eight wins and 15 placings from 33 starts.
LEWIS TO DRIVE FRONTRUNNING COOL JOHNNY FOR THE FIRST TIME
New Zealand-bred five-year-old Cool Johnny who excels as a frontrunner, will be driven for the first time bywhen he stars from the ideal No. 2 barrier in the 2536m Put Smoking Behind You Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Trainers Greg andengaged Lewis when the stable's No. 1 driver had two of his own horses (Pete of Pan and Mein Guy) in the field. The Bonds also have a second runner in Im Terrific, who will be handled by .
Though unplaced at his past six starts, Cool Johnny makes good appeal. The gelding has scored four all-the-way wins in Western Australia and he also has proved to be a sound stayer, with wins over 2692m, 2536m (twice) and 2503m.
Mein Guy showed that he is likely to be prominent with a strong performance last Friday night when he finished strongly from sixth at the bell to be third to Northview Punter and Pacific Warrior. This is a weaker field in which the stablemates Dashing Christian and Why Live Dangerously (trained by Gary Hall sen.) will start from the two widest positions on the front line, but are capable of surprising.
IM VICTORIOUS LOOKS GOOD THING TO QUALIFY FOR INTERDOMINION FINAL
The scratching of Argent Treasure has brought star pacer Im Victorious in to barrier four on the front line in the $48,000 TAB.com.au Interdominion qualifying heat over 2536m at Gloucester Park on Saturday night and the-trained five-year-old should prove too strong for his rivals.
The first two placegetters in the heats to be decided on Saturday in Perth, Christchurch, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney (two) will qualify for the $750,000 final to be run over 3009m at Menangle on Sunday March 2. And the NSWHRC officials will select two wild cards to make up the field of 14 which will start with ten across the front line and four off the back line.
Im Victorious, brilliant winner of the 2536m Fremantle Cup on January 10, failed when sixth as the 5/4 on favourite in the 2936m WA Pacing Cup the following week when he endured a tough passage and was hampered in the final lap by a punctured tyre of his sulky. Gary Hall jun. looks set to drive Im Victorious aggressively on Saturday night and the star pacer could well race in the breeze for the greater part of the event.
Hokonui Ben, who led and won the WA Pacing Cup from Toretto, This Time Dylan and David Hercules, has switched stables and will be driven by his new trainer. He will start from barrier three on the back line and should fight out the finish.
Livingontheinterest, trained by Gary Hall sen., who has prepared champion Im Themightyquinn for his wins in the past three interdominion championship finals, will be represented by Livingontheinterest, a talented frontrunner who looks certain to lead from the No. 2 barrier with Clint Hall in the sulky.
"Livingontheinterest ran a super trial at Byford on Sunday," Hall said. "Our plan is to lead and I consider Im Victorious and Hokonui Ben as his only two dangers."
Livingontheinterest, driven by Brian Dunne, began speedily from barrier six in Sunday's trial and led throughout, rating 1.57.4 over the 2150m, with the final 800m being covered in 57.4sec. That was his first public appearance since he led and won the 2130m Lord Mayor's Cup by a half-head from Hokonui Ben last Friday week,.
"He went too slowly in the early stages (lead time: 37.4sec. and opening quarters in 31.3sec. and 30.4sec.)," Hall sen. said. "This week I'll want him to go faster. Going slowly doesn't suit him and he's better off bowling along."
, trainer of David Hercules, a brilliant all-the-way winner at a 1.54.8 rate last Friday night, was disappointed when the star seven-year-old drew awkwardly on the inside of the back line, behind modest performer Empire Flame.
"That's the luck of the draw," said a philosophical Thompson. "His fate is in the lap of the gods and what will be, will be. We'll be hoping for the best."
by Ken Casellas