Day At The Track

John of Arc resumes at Gloucester Park

12:13 PM 29 Sep 2016 NZDT
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Chris Lewis to drive John of Arc for the first time
Chris Lewis to drive John of Arc for the first time
Paceway Photography

“Everything is on track for the Inters for John of Arc and I’m very excited about his return to harness racing this week,” said Herron trainer Clive Dalton.

The injury-plagued John of Arc will start from the outside in a field of eight in the 2130m TABtouch Super Pick Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night and Dalton is confident that the Courage Under Fire seven-year-old will resume with a victory.

John of Arc has not appeared since finishing seventh behind My Hard Copy in the WA Pacing Cup last January, but Dalton declares that the gelding should prove too talented for his rivals.

This will be John of Arc’s first start for Dalton and the New Zealand-bred gelding will be driven for the first time by Chris Lewis.

“John of Arc has got suspensory ligament problems, but he’s sound at the moment,” said Dalton, who is setting him and stablemate Elegant Christian for the rich TABtouch interdominion championship series at Gloucester Park and Bunbury in November and December.

“He’s pretty strong and I think he’s a class above the opposition in this week’s race. “I’ll speak to Chris and we’ll work out a little plan. Initially, we’ll probably come out and have a look and Chris will then decide on his tactics.

“If he goes back and then they slacken off, he’ll go forward to the breeze.”

John of Arc, placed at each of his three starts in New Zealand, has had 23 starts in Western Australia for 16 wins and two placings. He will clash with five-year-old Ima Connoisseur, who is in dazzling form for trainers Greg and Skye Bond, having won in fast time at each of his past three starts, the latest being in Kalgoorlie last Friday night when he worked hard in the breeze before getting up to win the Mount Eden Mile.

Ima Connoisseur rated 1.55.2 over the 1750m journey after sprinting over the final 800m in 56.4sec. He also raced without cover before winning from smart stablemate Risk at a 1.53.4 rate over 1730m at Gloucester Park two weeks earlier. That followed an all-the-way win over Our Ideal Act, rating 1.56.5 over 2130m at Gloucester Park.

The Bonds will also be represented by Burning and Bettor Offer, while Gary Hall sen. will pin his faith on the lightly-raced eight-year-old Toretto, who will be having his third start after an absence of 15 months.

Ken Casellas

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