Day At The Track

Jimmy Johnstone overdue a winning turn

11:12 AM 22 Jul 2015 NZST
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Jimmy Johnstone - Overdue a win after some smart recent placings
Jimmy Johnstone - Overdue a win after some smart recent placings

Our Jimmy Johnstone has been freshened up since finishing an excellent third behind My Hard Copy and Crusader Banner over 1609m at the harness racing meeting at Bunbury five Fridays ago and he gets a good opportunity to end a sequence of four placings when he contests the $22,500 Tom Thompson Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Our Jimmy Johnstone, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, will start from barrier five on the front line and Colin Brown is likely to press forward in the early stages to take up a forward position.

Polemarker Little Boy Blue is blessed with sparkling early speed and Bob Mellsop is sure to make the most of the No. 1 barrier by setting the pace.

This should result in Our Jimmy Johnstone racing outside the leader, with Brown relying on his horse to outstay the pacemaker.

However, Our Jimmy Johnstone will need to be at his top to stave off the leading trainer Gary Hall senior's quartet of My Hard Copy (barrier nine), Crusader Banner (seven), Hokonui Ben (No. 2 on the back line) and Northview Punter (three on the back line).

Clint Hall stole a march on his rivals when he got Crusader Banner away brilliantly from the No. 9 barrier two starts ago to quickly take up the running before winning by a length from Soho Lennon at a 1.54.7 rate over 2130m.

The stable could plan similar tactics on Friday night, but it is problematical whether Crusader Banner could burst past Little Boy Blue in the early stages.

My Hard Copy can never be underestimated.

He is sure to settle down at the rear and Clint Hall will be relying on the five-year-old's dazzling finishing sprint.

Ken Casellas

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