Day At The Track

Gloucester Park review with Ken Casellas

09:54 AM 05 Aug 2013 NZST
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Another Vinnie.png
Another Vinnie

Bunbury harness racing trainer Frank Bonnett has a strong Golden Nugget prospect in Another Vinnie, who caused an upset when he stormed home from last to score an impressive victory in the Alltools WA Pty Ltd Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Most punters considered that John of Arc was a certainty and he was sent out a hot favourite at 5/2 on after he had won brilliantly at seven of his eight starts in Western Australia.

But John of Arc had a tough run, three wide early and then in the breeze, before wilting to fifth behind the ultra-consistent Another Vinnie, a neglected 27/1 tote outsider who started from the No. 3 barrier on the back line and was kept at the rear by Aaron Beckett while the early pace was hectic, with polemarker Desgerrado setting the pace from Jungleface Jake, who overraced and pulled hard in the breeze in the early stages.

John of Arc then applied considerable pressure on Desgerrado in the middle stages, and with the first two 400m sections of the final mile whizzing by in 28.6sec. and 28.9sec. it was obvious that those two three-year-olds would be sitting ducks for horses coming from behind after having had soft runs.

This proved the case. Another Vinnie was last in the field of ten at the bell as he followed the three-wide run of his stablemate Guns With Cows. Desgerrado (second fancy at 6/1) withstood all challenges before Another Vinnie charged to the front 120m from the post and beat him by a length, with Big Ben Lombo coming from three back on the pegs to be third.

The final two quarters were covered in only 30.3sec. and 29.6sec. and Another Vinnie rated 1.57.2. Another Vinnie has already earned $165,112 from 12 wins and 11 placings from 34 starts for breeder-owner Les Coulson and he looks an ideal type to contest the rich Golden Nugget in late November.

Another Vinnie, by Legacy Of Power, is out of Coulson’s former good race mare Vinnies Sister, who had 82 starts for 13 wins, 19 placings and $123,335 in prizemoney.


Champion pacer Im Themightyquinn completed his current preparation with an effortless win in the 2130m Del Basso Smallgoods Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night and will now go for a brief spell before heading to Christchurch to contest the rich New Zealand Cup at Addington on November 12.

And after that Im Themightyquinn will travel to Sydney for the Miracle Mile at Menangle before returning to Perth for the WA Pacing Cup and Fremantle Cup.

Im Themightyquinn was favourite at 3/1 on and Gary Hall jun. did not bustle him out from the No. 3 barrier on the front line and was content to settle him in the one-out, one-back position. Polemarker Please Release Me (second fancy at 13/2) led for the first 120m before Chris Lewis sent veteran Has The Answers (12/1) to the front.

The lead time was a slow 38.8sec. and Lewis put on the brakes and let Has The Answers amble through the first 400m section of the final mile in an extremely slow 32.3sec. This dawdling pace prompted Gary Hall jun. to vacate the one-out, one-back position and send Im Themightyquinn forward, three wide, with 1050m to travel.

Im Themightyquinn quickly moved alongside Has The Answers and the tempo lifted sharply, with the third quarter going by in 28.3sec. Im Themightyquinn got his nose in front at the 220m mark and he surged away to win by one and a half lengths from the fast-finishing Please Release Me, who had trailed the pacemaker throughout. Has The Answers held on to be 1m away in third place.

Im Themightyquinn sprinted over the final quarter in 27.1sec. and he rated 1.57.8 as he took his record to 101 starts forn51 wins and 31 placings for earnings of $4,370,716.


Hugh Victor, a half-brother to top-flight pacer David Hercules, bounced back to his best form when he finished powerfully from the rear to win the 1730m Gate Bar And Bistro Pace for two-year-olds at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

After being unlaced at his two previous starts, Hugh Victor was overlooked by punters and returned $58.90 on the tote for a $1 investment.

The race was run at a fast tempo and Hugh Victor, trained at Byford by David Thompson, rated a slick 1.56.9 which set a track record for two-year-olds over 1730m. The previous record of 1.57.4 was held by Harriet Elisabeth (a stablemate of Hugh Victor) and Modigliani.

Hugh Victor started from the outside (barrier five) on the front line after the scratching of Lukey and Racey American and this certainly made his task easier. Morgan Woodley got Hugh Victor away swiftly and the gelding raced four wide early before he wisely decided to restrain him back to last in the field of ten.

Woodley immediately positioned Hugh Victor on the pegs while Jacksagrinner set a fast pace, with the 5/4 on favourite Soho Starr applying plenty of pressure in the breeze. Mister Jadore, second favourite at 9/4, was sent forward from the rear at the 1000m mark by Chris Lewis and the third 400m section of the final mile was covered in a blistering 27.8sec.

Woodley bided his time and eased Hugh Victor off the pegs 270m from home and switched the gelding four wide approaching the home turn. Hugh Victor sprinted strongly and won by a half-length from the gallant Mister Jadore, with a length back to Soho Starr. The final quarter was covered in 29.9sec.

Hugh Victor has raced 13 times for two wins, five seconds and $29,934. He is the fifth foal out of the Golden Greek mare Like A Dame (36 starts for three wins, 12 placings and $10,312). David Hercules is the best of Like A Dame’s progeny, earning $700,114 from 26 wins and 25 placings from 76 starts.

Like A Dame’s first foal, Smiling Angel, won at her final three starts, at Bunbury, Pinjarra and Gloucester Park in May and June 2009 before being retired to stud with a record of six wins, 13 placings and $47,294 from 31 starts.

Like A Dame’s dam, the Victorian-bred unraced mare Hold Tight, produced five winners, including Fake Embrace, who had 178 starts for 37 wins, 40 placings and $240,249. Hold Tight’s dam Stormy Port was the mother of Albuquerque, who amassed $322,630 in prizemoney from 15 wins and ten placings from just 35 starts. Albuquerque won the Australian Gold for two-year-old colts and geldings at Moonee Valley in April 1993 before winning the Tasmanian and South Australian Derbies and finishing third in the Victoria Derby in 1994.


Tough New Zealand-bred five-year-old Mighty Flying Thomas maintained his grand form when he scored a fighting all-the-way victory in the 2536m McInerney Ford Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night and Bickley trainer Peter Anderson is planning to set the gelding for the 1750m Mount Eden Mile in Kalgoorlie next month.

Mighty Flying Thomas possesses dazzling early pace and is ideally suited over sprint trips. He is proving an excellent purchase for Ian and Hazel Brandon, Ian Sermon, Lee Bunney and Ken Casellas, with his first 12 WA starts producing five wins and three placings for stakes of $35,624. The son of Falcon Seelster had 27 starts in New Zealand for six wins, seven placings and $40,039.

Mighty Flying Thomas was favourite at 6/4 on after his strong all-the-way win at Northam and an extremely close and unlucky third behind Pacific Warrior in the John Higgins Memorial the previous Friday night.

From barrier No. 2 on the front line Morgan Woodley had Mighty Flying Thomas in front from polemarker What God Knows after 250m and after the first two 400m sections of the final mile in 30.9sec. and 31.1sec. Mighty Flying Thomas sped over the final quarters in 28.4sec. and 27.9sec. before fighting grimly to win by a head from 20/1 chance Justlikelindt, who finished determinedly after enjoying the perfect passage in the one-out, one-back position. Lord Diego (11/2) finished strongly from eighth in the middle stages to be a close third.

The win completed a double for Woodley and gave him his 998th victory in an outstanding career.

Friday night’s event renewed a keen rivalry between Mighty Flying Thomas and Lord Diego. In his final five starts in New Zealand early in 2012 he clashed four times with Lord Diego at Manawatu.

Mighty Flying Thomas led and won easily from Lord Diego over 2000m on February 7, 2012 and then the honours were with Lord Diego, who won over 2500m and 2000m at his next two starts, with Mighty Flying Thomas finishing third and second. In their final clash in New Zealand, on February 23, Lord Diego finished second and Mighty Flying Thomas third behind Rangatiki.

Mighty Flying Thomas is the fourth foal out of the In The Pocket mare Fleets Pocket, who was retired after four unplaced runs as a two and three-year-old. Fleets Pocket’s third foal is Flying Pocketlands, who has amassed $425,548 from 20 wins and 29 placings from 89 starts. He has won six races in New Zealand, ten in Victoria and four in New South Wales.


New Zealand-bred five-year-old Rodrigo completed a successful week for Pinjarra trainer Michael Brennan when he finished strongly to win the 2130m Happy 50th Birthday Glen Mortimer Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Rodrigo, a 26/1 outsider, was driven perfectly by Justin Prentice before scoring by a length from the fast-finishing Sir Swanky (9/1), with Bettor Still (12/1) a close third.

This win followed successes by Brennan with Pocket Change at Gloucester Park on the previous Monday and 33/1 chance Extreme Bromac at Northam on Thursday night. Gary Hall jun. drove Pocket Change and Chris Playle got up with Extreme Bromac after the gelding had worked hard in the breeze all the way.

Prentice got Rodrigo away speedily from the No. 5 barrier and the gelding was trapped three wide for the first 400m. But then I Am Legend (3/1) had to accelerate quickly to hold out outsider Romulus, who charged forward, four wide, to issue a spirited challenge for the lead.

Romulus got almost a length in front of I Am Legend after 500m, but was unable to cross to the lead. This powerful challenge left a big gap behind I Am legend and Prentice gleefully was able to angle Rodrigo across to the pegs to follow the pacemaker.

My Jasami started a three-wide move 1050m from home and he moved to third at the bell. Romulus continued to fight on in the breeze and he got to a half-length lead with 550m to travel. But I Am Legend fought back to regain the ascendancy. Prentice then was able to ease Rodrigo off the pegs approaching the home turn and the gelding finished boldly to surge to the front and win easily.

The final two quarters were covered in 28.4sec. and 29.3sec. and the winner rated 1.58.1. Copagrin, favourite at 6/4 at his first appearance after a brief let-up, settled in ninth position and was ninth, three wide, at the bell. He was forced very wide 300m from home and battled on to finish sixth.

Rodrigo, owned by Mark Salathiel, is a winner of ten races in Victoria and now has had eight WA starts for one win and two placings to take his record to 64 starts for 12 wins, 23 placings and $95,193.

His maternal granddam Fern Glen produced Maheer Lord, who raced 197 times for 34 wins and 46 placings for stakes of $515,470. Maheer Lord, trained and driven by Grant Williams, won the group 1 WA Pacing Cup at Gloucester Park in January 2006, beating Ohoka Ace by a nose, with No Blue Manna in third place.


Kyle Harper landed his first winner as a trainer when he drove New Zealand-bred four-year-old Bettors Fire to a smart win in the 2130m Caduceus Club Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Bettors Fire, making his Australian debut after winning 11 times from 30 New Zealand starts, was a solidly-supported 6/4 on favourite from the No. 2 barrier on the front line.

However, Bettors Fire was kept out at the start by polemarker Ardens Southee (15/2), but the 23-year-old Harper was quite content to race without cover, with the first two 400m sections of the final mile being covered in a slow 32.3sec. and 30.2sec.

The tempo increased in the final circuit and the final quarters were covered in 28.2sec. and 28sec. with Bettors Fire on terms for most of that lap before getting to the front about 80m from the post. Her rated 1.57.4 in beating Ardens Southee by a half-length, with 12/1 chance Franco Hendrix finishing solidly to be a length away in third place after trailing the leader all the way.

Bettors Fire, owned by Frank Ranaldi, looks set for a successful career in WA. He is still a Metropolitan maiden, with earnings of $84,392 from 12 wins and seven placings from only 31 starts. He has emulated the performance of his dam Sparks A Flyin by winning at his Australian debut. Sparks A Flyin won the group 1 New South Wales Oaks at Harold Park in March 2001 at her first start in Australia. She was retired with earnings of $510,133 from 21 wins and 20 placings from 78 starts.


Talented reinsman Kade Howson has struck a purple patch and he kept up the good work by driving El Machine to a stylish victory in the 2536m Lancaster Park Westbred Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

And then he travelled to Bunbury on Saturday night where he landed Boy O Boy, a fast-finishing winner at 5/1 over the 54/4 favourite Conniving Major Dave.

These two winners gave the 25-year-old Howson ten winners from his past 23 drives, the others being Apache Cruiser and Multibet (at Pinjarra), El Machine and Balleybofey (Northam), Northern Fox (Gloucester Park) and Eerie Iris, Ohoka Samson and Miss Madoff (Bunbury).

Howson, whose first winner was behind Lobo at Bunbury on July 9, 2004, now has driven in 2473 races for 286 wins, 240 seconds and 226 thirds.

Howson trains El Machine at Pinjarra and races the Elsu four-year-old in partnership with reinsman Michael George. El Machine, favourite at 5/4, started from the back line and settled at the rear. Telham Lane led for the first 200m before Match To The Fuse took over, and then Kim Prentice sent the well-supported 5/2 chance Soho Monza to the front after 450m.

Howson sent El Machine forward after a lap and the gelding moved to the breeze at the 1350m mark. He then travelled well before getting to the front 230m from home and winning by a neck from 6/1 chance Sparkling Seelster, who came home determinedly from fourth at the bell. Soho Monza held on for third.

The winner, who rated 1.58.5, is still classified as an M0-class performer who looks set for many more wins. He has already earned $81,690 from 12 wins and ten placings from 33 starts. His dam Fashion Statement raced 22 times for three wins (one in Kalgoorlie and two in Geraldton) and three placings for stakes of $6290.


Pinjarra trainer Chris King celebrated his 41st birthday on Saturday, reflecting on a wonderful quinella result at Gloucester Park the previous evening when Lord Lombo set the pace and held on to win the 2130m Cowden Ltd Pace by 1m from stablemate Leda McNally.

Lord Lombo, a 13/2 chance, caused a false start by galloping from the No. 1 barrier in the score-up and checking Benjamin Banneker.

Then, at the second attempt, Nathan Turvey got Lord Lombo away smartly and the six-year-old gave a bold frontrunning exhibition. He dashed over the final 800m in 57.6sec. and won by 1m from Leda McNally, a 6/1 chance driven by Chris Voak, who trailed the pacemaker before finishing fast. Hez The Bart Man, favourite at 11/8, had a tough run in the breeze and fought on grandly to be 1m away in third place.

Benjamin Banneker, second favourite at 9/4, was seventh at the bell and was looming as a danger approaching the home turn when he was badly checked and broke into a gallop before dropping back to finish last in the field of eight.

Lord Lombo, a winner of two races in South Australia, eight in Victoria and one in New South Wales, has had 20 starts in WA for six wins and four placings. He has earned $135,472.

By Blissfull Hall, Lord Lombo is out of Lady Lara Lombo, who earned $51,120 from five wins in Victoria and one in NSW from 42 starts. Lady Lara Lombo’s dam Decethree Lombo produced nine winners, including her first foal Lombo Skyrider, who earned $841,611 from 63 wins and 84 placings from 321 starts.

Decethree Lombo’s dam Misty Maiden had 37 starts for 12 wins, 11 placings and stakes of $245,449. She then produced eight winners, including Lombo Pocket Watch, a winner of $1,522,638 from 45 wins and 17 placings from 83 starts. Misty maiden’s dam Smooth Gale produced seven winners after racing 45 times for 14 wins, ten placings and $56,707.


Octogenarian trainer Bill Horn produced four-year-old Talk About Mach in fine fettle for the 1730m Retravision WA Mares Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night when she enjoyed the perfect trail behind the pacemaker Arch On Fire before finishing fast to snatch victory from that pacer.

The win of Talk About Mach, a 9/1 chance, gave Kyle Harper the first leg of a double. He later scored with Bettors Fire.

Arch On Fire (11/4) set a solid pace and sprinted over the final 800m in 56.7sec. But she was unable to hold out Talk About Mach, who surged to the front in the final 15m and rated 1.56.8.

The Victorian-bred Talk About Mach, is owned by Dennis Connolly and is the only foal out of Talking Safe, who raced 21 times in Victoria for two wins, seven placings and $10,150. Talk About Mach, the winner of the Dainty’s Daughter Classic in February 2012 and third behind Sensational Gabby and Southern Legacy in the WA Oaks three months later, has earned $83,102 from seven wins and 12 placings from 39 starts.


The $25,000 Marathon Handicap over 3309m next Friday night is the likely target for six-year-old Nipperinghall after Serpentine trainer Chris Brew drove him to a decisive victory in the Nova 93.7 Handicap over 2503m at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Nipperinghall (7/2) has struck top form, with two wins and a close second from his past three starts and he appeals as a strong stayer.

Polemarker Frankie Maguire led for the first 500m on Friday night when Brew gave Nipperinghall plenty of time to settle before sending him to the front.

Anvils Big Punt and Rockyourbaby each had turns in the breeze, with neither threatening any real danger. Shardons Rocket, the backmarker off 30m, issued a strong challenge in the final circuit before battling on into fourth place.

Frankie Maguire enjoyed sitting behind the leader and ran home gamely to be a 5m second, with Arden Bannister finishing strongly into third place after racing three back on the pegs.

Nipperinghall has had 66 starts for 11 wins, eight placings and $68,316.

by Ken Casellas


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