“Has The Answers doesn’t feel like an old horse at all; he doesn’t feel any different to what he did when he was at his best,” enthused star reinsmanwhen assessing the ten-year-old gelding’s prospects in the $35,000 6PR August Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
“He’s a remarkable horse andis a remarkable trainer. Both Tony and Has The Answers defy logic some times and I fully expect the horse to put his best foot forward on Friday night. The 2536m journey isn’t his best distance, but I certainly think he is going well enough to win the race if things go in his favour.”
Has The Answers, a veteran of 238 starts for 75 wins and 64 placings for earnings of $1,306,422, is ideally drawn at barrier No. 2 on the front line in Friday night’s group 3 Cup and Woodley is planning an all-the-way victory.
“He hasn’t got a great record over 2500m, but he should be able to get to the lead reasonably enough and maybe he can give a similar performance as he did when he won the interdominion consolation over 2506m at Gloucester Park in March of last year,” Woodley said. “In that race he was able to lead with relative ease and get away with a little bit in the first 600 to 700m.”
Has The Answers impressed when he was untroubled to win the interdominion consolation in which he beat Rocket Reign, Sneakyn Down Under, Dasher VC and David Hercules.
He is a noted speedster over sprint trips, but has quite a sound record over 2500m. He has started in 46 mobile events at Gloucester Park over 2548m, 2536m and 2506m for 11 wins, nine seconds and three thirds.
Has The Answers charged home from sixth at the bell to win over 1730m at a 1.53.8 rate from Sneakyn Down Under and Uppy Son last Friday week and he started from the inside of the back line and raced four back on the pegs in sixth position before finishing gamely along the inside to be fourth behind Sneakyn Down Under in the 2130m Howard Porter Memorial last Friday night.
“He went quite well last week,” Woodley said. “And that was not his normal racing characteristics to be hemmed away and held up for one sprint. He was a little bit keen due to the false start and he had a tendency to overrace which took a bit of polish off his final 200m.
“It’s a quality field on Friday night and I think that horses like Uppy Son and Please Released Me are drawn to get lovely soft runs and if that does happen and if there is a bit of early speed and mid-race pressure they’re the kind of horses who should be running on late. Sneakyn Down Under is always a horse capable of throwing the cat amongst the pigeons. He’s drawn wide on the front line and has the early speed to make his presence felt.
“And Ima Rocket Star is a quality performer. So it won’t be a stroll in the park for Has the Answers. It never is in a Free-For-All race at Gloucester Park.”
Svilicich won the 2003 August Cup with Digger of Fortune and has trained five minor placegetters in the past five August Cups. In 2008 he was represented by Roydon Holmes and Demoralizer. Roydon Holmes (9/1) led until the final 20m and finished a close second to Glencadam, and Demoralizer was third.
He did not have a runner in 2009 before Has The Answers led until the final 50m and finished second to Im Themightyquinn in 2010. His other runner Mysta Magical Mach finished third.
Has The Answers was a 6/4 on favourite in 2011 when he set the pace and was narrowly beaten by Lombo Navigator and Rocket Reign in a thrilling three-way photo finish. In last year’s August Cup Mysta Magical Mach, driven by Woodley, set the pace and was two lengths in front with 120m to travel before being swamped and was relegated to fifth behind Dasher VC.
The lightly-raced seven-year-old Ima Rocket Star, trained by Greg and, adds considerable interest ton this year’s Cup. He has been freshened up since he worked hard in the breeze and finished a good third behind Livingontheinterest and Hokonui Ben.
He charged home to win the 2692m Pinjarra Cup from Hokonui Ben and Pacific Warrior at his previous start. That followed smart victories at Harvey and Gloucester Park at his two previous outings. His past 12 starts have produced seven wins and four placings and he has excellent winning prospects.
trained Mister Odds On when drove him to victory over Spirit of Shard and Fourmoore in the 2009 August Cup. Capel trainer , who was successful in August Cups with Glencadam (2008) and Lombo Navigator (2011), is pinning his faith on Adda Paternal Suit, who will be driven by his son Aiden from barrier three on the back line.
HALL LIKES THE LOOK OF BARKERS HALL, A SPEEDY FRONT RUNNER
Former Victorian pacer Barkers Hall is poised to make a successful Western Australian debut when he contests the 2536m Brad Hardie Pathway Pace on Friday night, according to champion trainer Gary Hall sen.
Hall confidently predicted that the four-year-old would burst straight to the front from the No. 4 barrier on the front line.
“Just get on, he’ll lead and win,” Hall declared. “He’s a blistering beginner. I have had him for only three weeks and he’s a nice horse who goes all right. The 2500m might be a bit far for him. He’s better known as a short-course horse. But he should lead and win.”
Hall trained a treble at Gloucester Park on Tuesday night with Pelusiac, Northview Punter and Heez Orl Black to take his season’s tally to 187 winners. His son Gary, who has driven 236 winners in Australia this season, will be in the sulky behind Barkers Hall.
Barkers Hall has raced 36 times in Victoria for nine wins and 12 placings. He has set the pace in seven of those victories over distances between 1650m and 2200m. He has never raced beyond 2240m.
Barkers Hall, whose most recent appearance was at Ararat on July 16 when he set the pace and wilted to finish a two-length second to Keayang Falcon at a 1.59.2 rate over 2195m, will clash with several in-form pacers, including Springsteen, Beautiful Night, Sparkling Seelster, Franco Hendrix, Cool Johnny, Cup of Life and Makah Warrior.
Springsteen, a New Zealand-bred four-year-old trained by, has resumed after a spell in splendid form and looks set to fight out the finish after starting from the outside of the back line. He overcame a bad start in a stand to win over 2560m at Northam on Tuesday of last week. He is a redoubtable stayer ideally suited over 2536m.
The powerful Hall father-and-son combination will also have many admirers when Hall jun. handles Real hammer and Black N Bettor in the Sports Today Pace and 96FM Pace, respectively. The stablemates fared well in the random barrier draws and each will be strongly fancied from the extremely favourable No. 1 barrier.
“Real Hammer loves leading and should win,” said Hall sen. “And I think that Black N Bettor can lead and win, first-up. He ran home in 56sec. and won a trial at Byford on Sunday morning by six lengths.”
BONDS LOOK SET TO CONTINUE THEIR HOT WINNING STREAK
Forrestdale trainers Greg andare in the midst of a hot streak and their winning run looks likely to continue at Gloucester Park on Friday night, particularly in the opening two events in which they will be represented by At Princeton (Breakfast With Steve Mills Pace) and Jungle Genie (Karl Langdon Pace).
Both pacers recorded runaway victories at Kellerberrin on Sunday when the Bonds prepared four winners on the eight-event program. Then at Pinjarra on Monday the Bonds trained another three winners.
, who drove At Princeton and Jungle Genie to effortless victories at Kellerberrin, will be replaced by on Friday night. Brown drove at Kellerberrin and Pinjarra on a stay of proceedings and is now serving a ten-day suspension for forcing another runner to cover more ground than necessary in a race at Pinjarra the previous Monday.
At Princeton, a New Zealand-bred five-year-old, worked hard in the breeze before racing away from the opposition and winning by four lengths from Local Rogue over 2130m at Kellerberrin on Sunday. He showed his liking for pacemaking when he started from barrier two, set the pace and won from Time Passenger and Four Grinners over 2130m at Gloucester Park four starts before that.
A winner at seven of his 38 starts, At Princeton is sure to appreciate the No. 1 barrier on Friday night and Warwick will certainly attempt an all-the-way win. His chief rival is likely to be Heavens Delight, a smart five-year-old trained by Gary Hall sen. who will start out wide at barrier six.
Heavens Delight bounced back to good form at his third appearance after a 14-month absence when he set the pace and won convincingly from Bledisloe over 2100m at Bunbury last Saturday night.
Jungle Genie, an inexperienced three-year-old filly from New Zealand, looks ideally placed at barrier No. 2 on Friday night. She recorded her third win from six starts in her current campaign when she set the pace and sprinted the final 400m in 28.3 to win by more than four lengths from Lethal Krita over 1730m at Kellerberrin on Sunday.
Jungle Genie is likely to be hotly challenged by Robyns C C, Eselar, Deluxe Edition and Indomitable.
Robyns C C gave a powerful display at Pinjarra on Monday when she raced without cover and then three wide before winning in fine style from Eselar over 2185m, covering the final 800m in 57.4sec. and rating 1.58.4.Indomitable has won in good style at her past two starts and Deluxe Edition has won at six of her 21 starts and looks set for a bright career.
by Ken Casellas