Star five-year-old Im Victorious is racing so brilliantly after resuming from a five-month absence that he looks certain to overcome the disadvantage of starting from the outside of the back line and prove too strong for his nine rivals in the $35,000 Cowden Limited Brennan Memorial at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
The New Zealand-bred gelding has scored effortless victories at his first three runs since resuming racing early last month and even though speedy frontrunners Sneakyn Down Under, Please Release Me and Lord Lombo have fared much better in the random barrier draw he should simply carry too many guns for the opposition on a track where he has raced 15 times for ten wins and two seconds.
A winner at 16 of his 23 starts, Im Victorious gave an impressive display of his wonderful ability at Gloucester Park on Monday of last week when he started from the back mark of 50m and simply destroyed his rivals in a 2503m stand, winning by three lengths from the pacemaker Hez Got The Nod after sustaining a powerful three-wide burst from eighth at the bell.
He was untroubled to win over 2130m at his two previous outings for trainerand reinsman when he sped over the final 800 metres in those two events in 56.4sec. and 55.6sec.
The Brennan Memorial will be decided over 2130m and Lord Lombo (barrier one), Please Release Me (two) and Sneakyn Down Under (three) have all won several times after setting the pace. These three runners should ensure a fast early pace, with the 11-year-old Sneakyn Down Under likely to forge to the front in the early stages.
Sneakyn Down Under () led from the No. 2 barrier in the 1730m Spring Pace last Friday night and set a fast pace before wilting in the closing stages to be a half-length second to the fast-finishing Leda McNally, who had raced three back on the pegs. The four quarters of the final mile were run in 28.9sec., 29.3sec., 28.3sec. and 28.2sec.
If Sneakyn Down Under gets to an early lead Stampalia might be able to give the evergreen gelding a breather in the middle stages before increasing the tempo in the final circuit. However,might attempt to send Please Release Me past Lord Lombo and into the lead soon after the start and attempt an all-the-way victory.
Leda McNally, a stablemate of Lord Lombo, is in sparkling form. But her prospects faded considerably when she drew the outside of the front line. Algeepee will start from the inside of the back line and Gary Hall jun. should have the New Zealand-bred former Victorian performer in a prominent position throughout.
Algeepee finished boldly from eighth at the bell to be fourth behind Leda McNally last Friday night, a week after his sound first-up second to Wrongly Accused.
But whatever the scenario, Im Victorious appeals as the winner of the Brennan Memorial.
VERSATILITY IS A KEY FOR YOUR GOOD FORTUNE IN WARWICK FINAL
Versatility is a major asset of lightly-raced five-year-old Your Good Fortune, who is ideally drawn at the No. 3 barrier on the front line in the $25,000 The Warwick Final at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Your Good Fortune, to be driven by, is the least experienced runner in the 2130m event, with 13 wins and eight placings from only 29 starts. But he gives every indication of developing into a top-line performer and is sure to prove hard to beat.
Your Good Fortune is trained by Greg and, who will also be represented by Sir Swanky (barrier two) and False Promise (six). Your Good Fortune started out wide at No. 6 in a qualifying heat of this event last Friday week when he mustered plenty of early pace and raced three wide before getting to the breeze after 750m. He then surged to the front 250m from home and won easily from False Promise, rating 1.57.9 after sprinting over the final 800m in 57.1sec.
Your Good Fortune has also won races after setting the pace and when producing a powerful burst from back in the field.
Sir Swanky () and False Promise ( ) are racing keenly and cannot be underestimated. Sir Swanky possesses good early speed and has won several races in weaker company in South Australia when setting the pace. But he has been driven more as a sit-sprinter in recent starts. He started from the inside of the back line and trailed the pacemaker Banana Dana before finishing strongly to be third to that pacer over 2130m last Friday night.
The Ragpickers Dream, trained by Gary Hall sen., looms as the main rival for Your Good Fortune. The former Victorian pacer made an impressive WA debut last Friday night when he started from the back line and sustained a strong three-wide burst from sixth at the bell to win by a neck from the pacemaker The Pacing Priest over 2130m.
The Ragpickers Dream’s prospects slumped when he drew the outside of the back line. However, the winner of 14 races from 40 starts cannot be overlooked.
Veteran pacerBoy will have admirers after drawing the prized No. 1 barrier. The New Zealand-bred ten-year-old, trained by , has a losing sequence of 31 since he set the pace and beat El Padrino and Argent Treasure over 2130m at Gloucester Park just over 12 months ago. He caught the eye last Friday night when he started out wide and rattled home from 11th at the bell to be a close fifth behind The Ragpickers Dream.
DAVIES HOPES FOR HER PURPLE PATCH TO CONTINUE
Young Wanneroo trainerhas high hopes of completing a wonderful seven days by winning the 2130m Go Freo Pace with Where And When, a nine-year-old with a losing sequence of 25.
The 23-year-old Davies had one drive at Bunbury last Saturday night when she handled 8/1 chance Ima Seelster, who dead-heated for first with Fully Zapped (Dylan Egerton-Green) in the first heat of the Garrards Concession Drivers Challenge. She had won drive at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon when she set the pace with 5/4 favourite Robyns C C and won from Talk To Me Art in the second heat of the Challenge.
Davies then made it three wins from successive drives when she scored with 42/1 tote outsider Governor Johnny in a C3-class 2190m mobile event at Northam on Tuesday night. Governor Johnny, with a losing sequence of 18, charged home from eighth at the bell to win effortlessly by four and a half lengths from Light Of My Life.
Then, at her only other drive at Northam, Davies brought 13/4 chance Borntobeanartist from tenth in the middle stages and sixth at the bell to finish second to the pacemaker Soho Dionysus, a 6/1 chance driven by Tom Buchanan.
Davies trains Where And When, who will be driven by champion reinsmanfrom the prized No. 1 barrier on Friday night in a field in which none of the 12 runners has won at his past four starts. Only three have managed a placing from their past four outings --- Where And When, Sickle Mond and Racy Lacy.
Two starts ago Where And When was a 130/1 outsider when Davies drove him at Gloucester Park last Monday week. He raced in sixth position in the one-wide line before finishing gamely to be third behind smart performers Four Grinners and Northview Punter over 1730m. Then Lewis drove Where And When in a 2130m event last Friday night when the old gelding started from the back line, raced three back on the pegs and did not show up, finishing ninth behind Asian Courage.
But he meets weaker opposition this week. He possesses good gate speed and Lewis is likely to attempt to set the pace with a pacer who will be one of the main fancies, despite his poor WA record of one win and three placings from 33 starts, after winning 11 races at Globe Derby Park.
One of Where And When’s chief rivals could be eight-year-old Caesars Cloud, who has been unplaced at ten starts since his latest success, at Kellerberrin 23 months ago. Caesars Cloud is ideally drawn on the inside of the back line.
IMA GRUMPY JASPER HAS SOUND CLAIMS AT WEST AUSTRALIAN DEBUT
Noted frontrunner Ima Grumpy Jasper has bright prospects of making a successful debut in Western Australia when he contests the 2130m TABtouch Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
The five-year-old, to be driven byfor Banjup trainer , has led at six of his eight wins (seven in Victoria and one in South Australia) from 36 starts and he is ideally drawn at No. 3 on the front line.
Ima Grumpy Jasper has not appeared since he started from a wide barrier and raced three wide for much of the way before finishing ninth behind Teo Enteo over 1720m at Melton last May. He led when second to Aitch Cue over 2240m at the same track at his previous start and was an all-the-way winner over 2240m three starts ago, sprinting over the final 400m in 28.3sec. and rating 1.56.7 three starts ago.
There is sure to be an interesting battle for the early lead because Ima Grumpy Jasper and other front line runners Cheeryrose (barrier one), Our Boy Su (No. 2), Makah Warrior (no. 4) and Four Grinners (No. 5) all possess sparkling early speed.
Cheeryrose led when a Northam winner three starts ago, Our Boy Su led and won at Bunbury last Saturday night, Makhah Warrior led and won easily over 2536m at Gloucester Park two starts ago and Four Grinners set the pace and won by more than three lengths from the talented Northview Punter over 1730m at Gloucester Park two starts ago.
BUTCHER GETS HIS CHANCE WITH CHLOE VARGARITA
Champion trainer Gary Hall sen. has engaged Shane Butcher to drive promising mare Chloe Vargarita inn the 2130m Onetogo Mares Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night and the five-year-old’s prospects rose sharply when she drew the coveted No. 1 barrier on the front line.
Butcher’s claim as a junior driver enabled Chloe Vargarita, an M1-class pacer, to draw a favourable barrier in the race restricted to mares assessed M0 to M2.
Gary Hall jun. drove Chloe Vargarita when she was an impressive winner over 2130m last Friday night. She started from the inside of the back line and trailed the pacemaker Grin On The Beach for the first 1260m before Hall eased her out into the one-wide line as the field approached the bell.
Chloe Vargarita was forced four wide 450m from home and she produced a strong finishing effort to get to the front 90m from the post and win from Big And Smooth, with the final 800m being covered in 57sec. on a rain-affected track. The consistent-trained Arousing will start from barrier two on the back line and she looks set to fight out the finish.
Lucie Boshier and Kotare Ash, M2-class pacers, are capable of sharp improvement after recent unplaced efforts.
by Ken Casellas