Veteran pacer Mysta Magical Mach bounced back to top form with an all-the-way victory in a 2536m event at Gloucester Park last Friday night and astute Byford trainerhas high hopes the nine-year-old can equal the feat of former champion Village Kid by winning the $35,000 Make Smoking History Lord Mayor's Cup on Friday night for the fourth time.
Trainer Bill Horn combined with champion reinsmanto win the Lord Mayor's Cup with Village Kid in 1985, 1986, 1989 and 1990.
Svilicich has won the Cup with Mysta Magical Mach in 2009, 2011 and last year., who handled Mysta Magical Mach in the 2009 and 2013 Cup victories, will again be in the sulky in this year's 2536m Cup. drove the New Zealand-bred gelding when he won the 2011 Cup. Woodley has also won the Cup with the Svilicich-trained Taihape Tickler in 2006 and was successful behind Another One For Me in the 2012 Cup.
Mysta Magical Mach has drawn awkwardly on the inside of the back line in this year's Cup, but the hardy gelding has a fine history of overcoming disadvantages.
He started from the outside of the front line (barrier nine) in the 2009 Cup when he was restrained to the rear and then covered a lot of extra ground in the middle stages before winning from Mr Yankee and Smooth Crusa. He also started from the outside at No. 9 in 2011 when he raced wide early and then in the breeze before defeating Can Return Fire and Tsunami Lombo.
In last year's Cup Mysta Magical Mach (4/1) started from the No. 2 barrier and Woodley got him to the front after 400m, with Im Themightyquinn, the 11/4 on favourite settling in sixth position in the one-wide line before starting a three-wide move 1100m from home. Mysta Magical Mach held Im Themightyquinn at bay and beat him by a half-length.
Im Themightyquinn was driven byfor leading trainer Gary Hall sen., deputising for the champion's regular driver Gary Hall jun., who was in Mildura contesting the annual invitation drivers' championship at that club.
Hall sen. and Prentice are now confident of making amends for Im Themightyquinn's defeat in last year's Cup by succeeding with Livingontheinterest, who is ideally drawn at No. 2 on the front line and looks the likely leader.
Prentice will take over from Hall jun., who drove Livingontheinterest when he finished a close third behind Mysta Magical Mach and Red Salute last Friday night. Hall jun. will be in Mildura on Friday night as Western Australia's representative in the invitation drivers' championship.
Hall sen. has a good record in the Lord Mayor's Cup. He trained and drove Tricky Bey to victory in 1994 and Abit Rich for his win in 1997. He also won the Cup with Live Live To Reign (Hall jun. in 2007) and Talk To Me Courage (in 2010).
In last week's race Livingontheinterest started from barrier five on the front line and Hall jun. restrained him to the rear. Woodley was able to get Mysta Magical Mach to relax in front and the gelding ambled through the first 400m section of the final mile in 32.8sec. Livingontheinterest made a lightning move 1300m from home to quickly move alongside the pacemaker, who then dashed over the final three quarters in 28.4sec., 28.3sec. and 27.7sec. Mysta Magical Mach held on to score by a head from the fast-finishing Red Salute, with a neck to Livingontheinterest.
"I don't think any runner can beat my two runners, Livingontheinterest and Hokonui Ben," said Hall sen. "Livingontheinterest lost by only a long neck last week after working in the breeze. There's not much between him and Hokonui Ben. Livingontheinterest grows a leg in front."
Livingontheinterest has won six times at Gloucester Park when leading and there appears little doubt that he will burst past the polemarker Ohoka Dallas in the early stages. Nine-year-old Ohoka Dallas has a losing sequence of 34 (in which his only placing was 27 starts ago) and he will be at6 handsome odds.
Hokonui Ben is favourably drawn at barrier three on Friday night for his first appearance since Clint Hall drove him to an all-the-way victory in the $400,000 WA Pacing Cup over 2936m last Friday week. Clint Hall is serving a term of suspension and Hall sen. will confer with the gelding's Queensland owner Jeroen Nieuwenburg on Wednesday before a substitute reinsman is engaged.
Lewis, who has won the Lord Mayor's Cup a record eight times, will handle the-trained Red Salute, who rattled home from fifth on the pegs at the bell to be second to Mysta Magical Mach last week. Red Salute will start from the outside of the back line and should be finishing with a flourish.
Hall jun. will be busy at the Mildura meeting on Friday night with eight drives. In the four heats of the invitation drivers' championship he will handle Rose Harvest, Our Bedrock, Aldebaran Macha and Ya Bowen Delight, and in minor events he will drive Em Jay Fortyseven, Par Three, Queen Mab and Saint Theory.
ARISTOCRATIC GLOW WARMS UP IN FINE STYLE
Five-year-old Aristocratic Glow has never set the pace during her 33-strart career and she is unlikely to lead from the prized No. 1 barrier in the $25,000 Put Smoking Behind You Im Themightyquinn Mares final at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
But the Barry Warwick-trained mare should enjoy an ideal passage throughout the 2130m mobile event and should prove hard to beat. She warmed up for this week's feature event in splendid fashion when she charged home from the rear to be second to Courage On Fire over 2130m last Friday night.
Aristocratic Glow started from barrier four and lacked early sparkle. She was tenth with 400m to travel before she unwound a spirited finishing burst, flying home from seventh (five wide) on the home turn. She was a Gloucester Park 2130m winner three starts before that when she surged home from sixth at the bell to beat Tatum Franco by a length.
With Aristocratic Glow unlikely to muster sufficient early speed to lead, there is likely to be a keen battle for the front between Pure Empathy (barrier two) and Millies Girl (No. 3). Both are smart frontrunners.
Pure Empathy, trained by Brad Groves, will be handled by, who drove the mare when she gave a strong frontrunning display to win from Millies Girl and Corza Commotion in a 2130m heat of this event three starts ago.
Millies Girl has set the pace in all of her six wins from 58 starts and Shane Young will be expected to make a spirited effort to get to an early lead.
One of the fancies is sure to be the-trained four-year-old Deluxe Edition ( ), an extremely consistent performer whose 32 starts have produced eight wins and 14 placings. Deluxe Edition, who is inclined to pull hard in her races, will start from the No. 4 barrier
Deluxe Edition covered extra ground, out three wide and then in the breeze, before getting to the front and then finishing third to Lord Diego in fast time over 1730m last Friday night. She was most impressive the previous week when she flew home from the rear to be a close second to Talk About Mach.
Talk About Mach, to be driven byfor veteran trainer Bill Horn, will have many admirers from the inside of the back line. A versatile five-year-old, she has won at three of her past four starts, all over 2130m at Gloucester Park.
ASKMENOW READY FOR HER FIRST STAND AFTER A DASHING TRIAL
A dazzling trial by Askmenow at Byford on Sunday morning has filled leading trainer Gary Hall sen. with confidence for the four-year-old mare's first appearance in a stand --- the 2503m Quit Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
The New Zealand-bred Askmenow, the youngest runner in the race, will start from 20m in the field of 12 and will be driven byfor the first time. Prentice was engaged because Gary Hall jun. will be driving at the Mildura meeting on Friday night and his elder brother Clint is under suspension.
Askmenow, who has raced 34 times for ten wins and 11 placings, qualified to start in a stand for the first time when she began smoothly from the outside of the front line in a 2550m stand at Byford on Sunday morning. Driven by Hall jun., Askmenow set the pace and won by 24 lengths from Lifes A Journey at a 2.1.5 rate.
After a third quarter of the final mile in 29.5sec., Askmenow sprinted brilliantly over the final 400m in 27.8sec.
"Rating 2.1.5 in a stand at Byford is really flying," said Hall sen. "They usually run 2.3 or 2.4 in similar company. She did it easily and getting caught up in traffic should be her only worry on Friday night."
Askmenow resumed after a brief let-up when she began from the outside of the front line and was restrained to the rear before finishing powerfully to be fifth behind Rocky Marciano over 2130m last Friday week.
Hall sen. also has excellent prospects with the New Zealand-bred Majorly Foxy Styx in the Smoke Free Pace for three-year-old fillies.
Majorly Foxy Styx has won at Gloucester Park at each of her past five starts, including her first four runs as a three-year-old. She will start out wide, at barrier five on the front line and will be driven by.
"She should go very close and her only danger appears to be Generally Outspoken, providing that filly does everything right," Hall said. "Generally Outspoken galloped over the line when she won a Byford trial on Sunday morning."
has been engaged to drive Generally Outspoken, who has a distinct advantage, starting from the coveted No. 1 barrier.
CONDRIEU SHOULD SEND PUNTERS HOME ON A WINNING NOTE
New Zealand-bred four-year-old Condrieu, the youngest and least experienced runner in the final event at Gloucester Park on Friday night, should overcome the disadvantage of the outside barrier on the front line and prove the master of his ten rivals in the 2130m Thank You For Not Smoking Pace.
Trained at Forrestdale by Greg and, Condrieu will be driven by , who replaces the suspended .
Condrieu is a classy animal who should certainly have the edge over his rivals. There is plenty of early speed on the front line and Warwick is likely to restrain Condrieu before unleashing the gelding alight when the pace slackens.
However, there is a possibility that Warwick could attempt to set Condrieu alight when the mobile barrier releases the field. Brown used the element of surprise successfully when he got Condrieu away brilliantly from the No. 5 barrier in the McInerney Ford Classic in November when the gelding burst straight to the front and set the pace before finishing a gallant second to Chilli Palmer.
Whatever the scenario Condrieu appeals as the winner. He has raced 28 times for nine wins and 11 placings and looks set for a bright career.
SCHOOLBOY GETS HIS CHANCE WITH THREE TOP DRIVES AT ALBANY
Sixteen-year-old Micheal Ferguson has been rewarded for working over the school holidays for leading trainer Gary Hall sen. by being engaged to drive three smart Hall pacers at the Albany Cup meeting on Friday night.
Ferguson will handle in-form pacers Ben Cartwright, Westernator and Vapour, each of whom has an excellent winning chance.
Hall, who will have ten starters at the Gloucester Park meeting on Friday night, has five runners engaged at the Albany meeting. He has engagedfor speedy Eyre Crusher, who looks a certainty in the Auto One Albany Three-Year-Old Pace after his dashing victory at Gloucester Park last Friday night, and Rowchester, who has drawn perfectly at barrier one in the $30,000 GWN7 Albany Cup.
"Micheal Ferguson helped out over the school holidays and he deserves to get the chance with some good horses," Hall sen. said.
Ben Cartwright should prove very hard to beat from the No. 3 barrier in the 2258m Bevan's WA Seafood Pace after his runaway victory over Grand Cru and Livelong And Prosper at Gloucester Park last Friday night.
The American-bred Westernator has bright prospects from the No. 1 barrier in the 2683m MCB Construction Pace. Westernator, a winner at one of his six starts in America, has had 12 starts in Western Australia for two Gloucester Park wins and five placings.
Vapour has strong claims from barrier five in the 2258m Snacks HSV Fremantle Pace. A winner of two races in New Zealand, Vapour has had four starts in WA for two wins, a second and an unplaced effort.
Rowchester, a New Zealand-bred four-year-old with seven wins and eight placings from 21 starts, is in splendid form and should fight out the finish of the 2683m Albany Cup in which he will clash with Cyclone Mitch, Smokey the Bandit, Mighty Flying Thomas, Gday Mate, Son of Fergie and Lovers Delight.
By Ken Casellas