Day At The Track

Hall poised for a century

02:20 PM 26 Jul 2018 NZST
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Gary Hall Jnr,Harness racing
Gary Hall Jnr
Gloucester Park

Champion reinsman Gary Hall Jnr celebrates his 36th birthday today (Thursday) and is poised to bring up his century of metropolitan winners this season when he drives in seven of the ten events at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

For Hall, who has notched 99 city wins as well as 64 seconds and 48 thirds from 402 drives, his best winning prospect is superstar Chicago Bull in the In Memory of Leo Walton Pace. The best of his other drives are likely to be Speed Man in race three and Lets Chase The Dream in race four.

Chicago Bull has won easily at his two outings since resuming from a spell and he looks unbeatable from the No. 1 barrier, with his chief rival, Bettors Fire, drawn at barrier three and to be handled by his trainer and in-form reinsman Kyle Harper from the No. 3 barrier in the 2130m event.

Harper, who turns 28 on Saturday, is enjoying his best season, with his 515 drives on all tracks producing 74 wins and 110 placings. He is sure to give plenty of thought to using Bettors Fire’s sparkling gate speed in a bid to wrestle the early lead from Chicago Bull.

Bettors Fire, a winner of 40 races and $810,624 in prizemoney, led from barrier two in a 2536m event last Friday night before Harper conceded the lead after 400m to Chicago Bull, who had revealed good gate speed from barrier four.

Chicago Bull sped over the final quarters in 27.9sec. and 27sec. and won comfortably by a length and a half from Bettors Fire, who ran home gamely after trailing his arch rival.

Galactic Star trained by Greg and Skye Bond will start from the No. 5 barrier and should be prominent. He has struck top form and showed plenty of spirit to fight on and finish third behind Chicago Bull and Bettors Fire last week after racing without cover. That followed strong wins over 2130m and 1730m at his two previous outings.

Ryan Warwick, who will drive Galactic Star, looks set to give punters a flying start to the meeting by driving the Bond-trained The Freedom Fighter to victory in the opening event, the In Memory of Alan Woodworth Pace.

The Freedom Fighter has drawn the prized No. 1 barrier and should lead all the way. He has set the pace and won twice at Pinjarra and has also worked forward to take up the running for wins at Gloucester Park and Pinjarra.

The Freedom Fighter is in all-conquering form, having won at each of his past five starts. After two wins and five placings from 11 New Zealand starts The Freedom Fighter has raced 15 times in WA for seven wins and five seconds.

The Bonds and Warwick will also have a strong following with other leading prospects on the ten-event program, including El Jacko, Courage Tells, Lincs Tiger and Waimac Attack.

Ken Casellas

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