Day At The Track

Gloucester Park with Ken Casellas

01:22 PM 29 Sep 2013 NZDT
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The connections of Im Victorious
The connections of Im Victorious

Champion five-year-old Im Victorious remained unbeaten in his current campaign when he sped over the final 800m in 56sec. to defeat bold frontrunner Sneakyn Down Under in the $35,000 Cowden Ltd James Brennan Memorial at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Pinjarra trainer Michael Brennan, no relation to James Brennan, the founding president of the West Australian Trotting Association, after whom the Brennan Memorial is named, has high hopes that Im Victorious will continue on his winning ways when he contests the $35,000 Members Sprint over 1730m next Friday week and the $35,000 Navy Cup over 2536m a fortnight later.

Im Victorious is unbeaten at four starts at Gloucester Park since resuming from a spell and he looks set to be a star in group 1 feature events later this season.

Starting favourite at 5/2 on, Im Victorious began from the outside of the back line in Friday night’s 2130m event and Justin Prentice was quite content to settle the New Zealand-bred gelding at the rear while Please Release Me began speedily from the No. 2 barrier, got to a length lead over the polemarker Lord Lombo, but was unable to cross to the pegs.

Brad Stampalia allowed 7/1 second fancy Sneakyn Down Under time to settle before sending the veteran to the front after 650m. Im Victorious was seventh in the one-wide line at the bell and Prentice waited until 650m from home before sending Im Victorious forward, three wide. Sneakyn Down Under dashed over the third 400m section of the final mile in 28.1sec. before Im Victorious got to a narrow lead with 130m to travel.

Sneakyn Down Under fought back with great determination and was beaten by only one metre, with Lord Lombo 5m away in third place. Leda McNally maintained her splendid form by running on from ninth at the bell to be fourth. Im Victorious rated 1.55.8 in notching his 11th win from only 16 starts at Gloucester Park.

Im Victorious, who is still on target for a trip to Melbourne to contest the Victoria later this year, boosted his earnings to $428,460 from 17 wins and two second placings from 24 starts.

A jubilant Brennan was full of praise for Prentice and Im Victorious, saying: “To the owners of Im Victorious, the ride continues, boys, JP, you’re a champion, and the horse was again very, very good tonight, and we’ll just keep moving forward.”

YOUR GOOD FORTUNE EMERGING AS A STRONG SUMMER CARNIVAL PROSPECT

The recent prediction of part-owner and co-trainer Greg Bond that Your Good Fortune would go right through the classes and develop into a serious contender for the rich summer carnival feature events gained further impetus when the New Zealand-bred five-year-old scored a fighting victory in the $25,000 final of the Warwick Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Hot favourite at 3/1 on, Your Good Fortune was driven aggressively by Colin Brown and burst to the front 220m after the start before setting a solid pace and then revealing grand fighting qualities to stave off a spirited late challenge from the 10/1 second fancy the Ragpickers Dream.

The Ragpickers Dream started from the outside of the back line and he settled at the rear before Gary Hall jun. set him alight with a three-wide burst 450m after the start which took him to the breeze after a lap had been completed.

The Ragpickers Dream challenged the pacemaker approaching the home turn and got his nose in front about 80m from the post. But Your Good Fortune refused to surrender and he fought back tenaciously to win by a nose, with polemarker Artesian Boy 13m farther back in third place after enjoying the run of the race behind the leader.

The final 800m was covered in 57.1sec. and Your Good Fortune rated 1.56.8m over the 2130m. The son of Bettors Delight won at three of his seven starts in New Zealand and has raced superbly for trainers Greg and Skye Bond in WA where his 23 starts have produced 11 wins and seven placings. He has earned $175,804.

Brown and the Bond team have made a solid start to the 2013-14 season. Brown has had 35 drives for 14 wins and four placings and shares top spot on the Statewide reinsmen’s premiership table with Shannon Suvaljko, who has had 59 drives for 14 wins and 15 placings. The Bond team shows the way on the Statewide trainers’ premiership table, with 17 winners and 15 placings from 65 starters. Gary Hall sen. is in second spot with 12 winners and 13 placings from 54 runners.

SWIMMING DOES THE TRICK FOR LUCIE BOSHIER

Early this year Lucie Boshier’s racing career was in doubt when she had spurs on a back hock and front knee. It was too late in her career to operate and trainer Chris Brew was having problems in keeping her sound.

Then her New Zealand part-owners Andrew Stuart and Rebecca Sutorius suggested that the mare change stables to be prepared by a trainer who had a swimming pool on his property.

So it was then decided to send Lucie Boshier to the Boyanup stables of Dennis Roche where Roche was able to give the mare plenty of swimming exercise in his pool. The change had an immediate effect, with Roche gaining a first-up win with Lucie Boshier when Brew drove her to a fast-finishing victory at Gloucester Park in the final week of July.

Then followed five unplaced runs before Lucie Boshier returned to top form with a narrow win over her former stablemate, the Chris Brew-trained and driven mare Kotare Ash in the 2130m Freo, Onetogo Mares Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Lucie Boshier, who started from the outside of the front line and at 23/1, was driven for the first time by Matt White, who replaced Brew, who was committed to driving his own nomination, Kotare Ash, the 9/1 equal second favourite in an event in which polemarker Chloe Vargarita was favourite at 3/1 on.

Shane Butcher was able to send Chloe Vargarita through the lead time in a modest 38.4sec. when Lucie Boshier was trapped five wide before being restrained by White. But when Chris Lewis dashed Hermattjesty Mulan forward after 250m, White decided to urge Lucie Boshier forward, three wide.

Kotare Ash was in last place after 450m and Lucie Boshier moved to the breeze 150m later. Kotare Ash then sprinted fast and Brew issued a strong challenge after a lap had been completed. Kotare Ash got a length in front, but was unable to cross to the pegs as Butcher drove Chloe Vargarita hard to retain the lead. It was then that White had Lucie Boshier in the box seat, one-out and one-back.

Kotare Ash got the upper hand and got past Chloe Vargarita about 90m from the post. But Lucie Boshier sprinted fast to get up and snatch victory by a nose, rating 1.57.7 over the 2130m. A winner at three of her 36 starts in New Zealand, Lucie Boshier has had 18 starts in WA for eight wins and a head second from 18 starts. She now has earned $107,969.

It was an exciting climax to an interesting race on Friday night which gave Brew’s wife Kalina a quinella result. She is the principal owner of Lucie Boshier, who she races in partnership with Stuart, Sutorius, Jason Payne, Brad Hallows, Mark Pink, Barry Starcevich and K. J. Cameron. Kalina Brew is the sole owner of Kotare Ash.

Brew said that maintaining Lucie Boshier’s fitness had been a balancing act for Roche, who had the task of having the mare fit enough and sharp enough to race competitively with a program of swimming and restricted work on the track. “She requires a lot of work and Dennis has got to know the horse and this was her best run for him.”

Lucie Boshier, a six-year-old by Elsu, is now going to stud and Brew said that if she got into foal quickly she would be able to resume training and racing. “If she gets in foal we can race her for another hundred days and she could be a player in the feature events for mares over the summer carnival,” he said.

Brew said he was setting Kotare Ash for the feature events for mares, including the Nepean Conveyors Mares Classic in December. “First, she will have a short freshen-up before being prepared for the races for mares,” he said. “Kotare Ash is a nice mare, but I think she is a notch below Leda McNally and Bettor Cover Lover. But the track here is a great leveller, so she is a chance for some sort of prizemoney, perhaps, down the track.”

ROJEN CRUZ GIVES Chris Voak THE LAST LAUGH

Some of Chris Voak’s mates could hardly conceal their mirth when the young reinsman outlaid $3000 to claim Rojen Cruz last March when the veteran pacer had a losing sequence of 29 stretched over a barren period of three years and two months.

But the 25-year-old Voak is enjoying the last laugh. The ten-year-old Rojen Cruz took his prizemoney in six months for his new owner to $34,612 when he scored an effortless win in the 2130m Chris Carr Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. These handy and well-deserved proceeds have come from four wins and five placings from 18 starts. The Victorian-bred gelding now has earned $85,405 from 15 wins and 23 placings from 94 starts.

Rojen Cruz is trained at Oakford by Ross Olivieri and Voak drove him to wins at Northam and Gloucester Park, while Chris Lewis was successful with him at Bunbury in July and was again in the sulky for Friday night’s victory at 11/1.

Voak had driven Rojen Cruz the previous Friday night when he finished gamely to be second to El Machine. But he opted to take the drive behind the Bob Mellsop-trained Chaldea in Friday night’s race in which that gelding also started at 11/1 and enjoyed an ideal passage, one-out and one-back, before finishing on to be third.

Noted frontrunner Blissfull Boy set the pace and Lewis had no hesitation in dashing Rojen Cruz forward from barrier four to work hard in the breeze. Rojen Cruz got his head in front 570m from home before he powered away to win by three and a half lengths from 50/1 chance Takeabow, who was eighth at the bell before finishing fast.

Heez Orl Black, favourite at 3/1 on, settled in sixth position in the one-wide line before Gary Hall jun. sent him forward, three wide in the middle stages. Heez Orl Black moved to third at the bell, but was kept out wide for the next 500m by Rojen Cruz. Heez Orl Black got to second passing the 400m mark before wilting and dropping back to finish seventh.

Rojen Cruz, by the American stallion Sports Town, is the fifth of ten foals out of unraced mare Vera Cruz, whose only other winners have been Exotic Cruz (one win, at Gawler in November 2004, from three starts) and Cruzin A Falcon (one win, at Echuca in September 2011, from 35 starts).

This all goes to show that Voak must be a pretty good judge of horseflesh.

REJUVENATED WHERE AND WHEN GIVES Kiara Davies HER FIRST CITY-CLASS SUCCESS

A nine-year-old pacer with a losing sequence of 25 (since scoring his only win in WA, by a nose at 53/1 at Northam 14 months ago) was sent out a hot favourite at 7/4 on in a full field of 12 in a Metropolitan-class event at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

The veteran gelding Where And When has been despised by punters throughout his career in WA since arriving from South Australia in the winter of 2011. His average starting price on the tote in his 33 WA starts (for one win and three placings) before Friday night’s event was $58.

In his previous 13 starts he went out at long odds, including $141, $86, $51.10, $108.20, $144.20, $118.90, $108.60, $68.50 and $130.80.

This remarkable turnabout resulted in Where And When, taking full advantage of the prized No. 1 barrier, scoring an effortless victory. He set the pace and sprinted over the final 800m in a sparkling 28.4sec. to win by three lengths from 7/1 chance Three Quarter Drive at a 1.59.4 rate over 2130m.

And his wonderful win gave 23-year-old Kiara Davies her first Metropolitan-class training success. She is a talented driver who is in splendid form in the sulky and is leading the Garrard’s Junior Concession Drivers’ Challenge series.

Davies has worked as a full-time stablehand for Wanneroo trainer Debbie Padberg since last March where she trains Where And When (who is owned by her father Graeme) and Arts Gangsta, a handy pacer she has driven to wins at Kellerberrin, Narrogin and Pinjarra.

“Dad bought Where And When from Adelaide and he gave him to me to train earlier this year, just for a bit of fun,” Davies said. “Where And When is a gentle giant and beautiful horse to work. He had a throat operation about 18 months ago to cure an epiglottis entrapment and is not troubled by that problem now.”

Where And When, who won 11 times at Globe Derby Park before arriving in WA, is not fashionably bred. But he does have one claim to fame. He is the first foal and only winner out of Misty Wings, who failed to be placed at her only three starts, in New South Wales in late 2002.

Misty Wings is out of Luscious Lady, a full-sister to Scientific, who raced 41 times for 21 wins, eight placings and stakes of $173,273. Scientific won a 1609m heat of the 1986 interdominion championship at Brisbane’s Albion Park, beating Bag Limit by a nose, before finishing second in a 2100m heat to the mighty Village Kid.

SPEEDY BEGINNING PAVES THE WAY FOR OUR BOY SU’S WIN

New Zealand-bred seven-year-old Our Boy Su relishes racing in September. He notched his fifth win in the month of September when he gave a splendid frontrunning exhibition to beat Cheeryrose and Four Grinners in the 2130m TABtouch Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

His first two wins were at Alexandra Park in Auckland in September 2010 and he was successful at Cambridge in September 2011. He resumed racing after a brief spell when he led and won over 2100m at Bunbury on September 21 this year.

Our Boy Su, trained at Waroona by Bob Mellsop, was a solidly-supported second favourite at 2/1 on Friday night in a race in which former Victorian performer Ima Grumpy Jasper was favourite at 7/4 for his West Australian debut.

Mellsop gained an important advantage over the opposition when he got Our Boy Su away speedily from the No. 2 barrier, easily beating out noted frontrunner Ima Grumpy Jasper from barrier three.

Mellsop was able to give Our Boy Su an easy time in front with the gelding coasting through the first two 400m sections of the final mile in 31.3sec. and 30.4sec. before dashing over the final two quarters in 29.1sec. and 28.6sec. He rated 1.58.8 in beating Cheeryrose, who ran on well after trailing the pacemaker throughout. Four Grinners fought on well to be third after racing without cover for most of the way.

Ima Grumpy Jasper raced in sixth place in the one-wide line before starting a three-wide move approaching the bell. He faded badly to finish last and the stewards reported that the gelding had pulled up sore in the off foreleg.

Our Boy Su looks certain to prove to be hard to beat when he contests an M0-class event. He has earned $81,943 from ten wins and 15 placings from 52 starts. He raced 37 times in New Zealand for six wins and 11 placings and his 15 WA starts for Mellsop have produced four wins and four placings.

He is by Elsu and is the sixth foal out of Star Fleet, who won once from 14 starts and has produced Our First Lad (ten wins and $63,830), Fleeting Imagery (six wins and $28,746) and Star of the Ball (eight wins and $68,331).

BANANA DANA REMAINS UNBEATEN FROM THE No. 1 BARRIER

Smart eight-year-old Banana Dana has drawn the coveted No. 1 barrier only four times in his 53-start career for Woodvale trainer Darren Duffy and he has set the pace and won at each of those four races.

He maintained his perfect record from the inside barrier when Brad Stampalia drove him to an easy all-the-way win over Benjamin Banneker and Me Old Mate in the 1730m Trevor Itzstein Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

It was a carbon copy of a 2130m event the previous Friday night when Stampalia was in the sulky for the gelding’s win over Wrongly Accused and Sir Swanky.

Banana Dana, favourite at 7/4 on, had a comfortable time in front in the early stages and coasted through the first two 400m sections of the final mile in 30sec. and 29.8sec. with Wrongly Accused in the breeze. He sped over the final two quarters in 28.7sec. and 28.2sec. and rated 1.56.1. Bred in New Zealand, but having all his 53 starts in Western Australia, Banana Dana has earned $139,949 from 14 wins and 13 placings.

He is the seventh foal out of unraced Holmes Hanover mare Samantha Franco, whose dam Smarty Pants had 51 starts for ten wins, seven placings and $54,715. Smarty Pants produced Smart Son, who raced in New Zealand, Australia and America, earning $347,805 from 41 wins and 59 placings from 226 starts. Another of Smarty Pants’ progeny, Vanderel had 87 starts for 14 wins, 23 placings and $164,163. Vanderel finished third to Il Vicolo in a group 1 classic for two-year-olds at Addington in May 1994 and won a group 2 four-year-old championship at Forbury Park in January 1996.

THIS TIME DYLAN ERUPTS TO SNATCH LAST-STRIDE VICTORY

Improving eight-year-old New Zealand-bred gelding This Time Dylan charged home to dead-heat for first with Demon Possessed at Gloucester Park last Friday week and he went one better on Friday night when he erupted from sixth at the 100m mark to snatch a last-stride victory by a nose over Turnpike Cruiser in the 2503m Colin Cowden Handicap.

Trained by Gary Hall sen. and driven by his son Gary, This Time Dylan started off the 10m mark and was at 9/2 with frontmarker Turnpike Cruiser and 30m backmarker Shardons Rocket at 7/2.

Four runners galloped at the start and Chris Lewis sent Turpike Cruiser to the front after 550m. This Time Dylan raced wide early and Hall dashed him into the breeze in the first circuit before having him in the box seat, one-out and one-back, behind Shardons Rocket.

Shardons Rocket gained a narrow lead by a head 570m from home, but Turpike Cruiser fought back to regain the lead. He just failed to hold on and beat the fast-finishing This Time Dylan.

This Time Dylan has been lightly raced. He had eight starts in New Zealand for three wins and he now has won five times from 19 WA starts. He has earned $54,735 from his eight wins and five placings.

EL MACHINE PROVES FAR TOO GOOD

Bargain pacer El Machine maintained his sparkling form when he annihilated his 11 rivals in the 2130m final of the Frank Fuller Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Trainer Kade Howson gave El Machine, the 3/1 on favourite, time to settle before dashing him past Atomic Chip and Soho Aintree and into the lead 450m after the start. From then on it was a procession and El Machine sped over the final 800m in 56.9sec. to win by six lengths from Atomic Chip (16/1), with 60/1 outsider Mister Roberto running home strongly from eighth at the bell to be third. The winner rated 1.57.1.

El Machine, an Elsu five-year-old, was bred in WA and was purchased as a yearling for just $5000 by Howson and fellow-reinsman Michael George. The gelding has now earned $105,954 from 14 wins and 12 placings from 38 starts.

OLD AGE IS NO BARRIER FOR CONQUER ALL

Eleven-year-old Conquer All proved conclusively that age is no barrier when he outclassed his younger rivals in the 2503m Brian Atkin Trotters Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Conquer All, trained at Pinjarra by David Young and driven by his brother Shane, was a 7/1 chance who began like a flash from the 20m mark, and taking advantage of the early erratic behaviour of three of his eight rivals, charged to the front after 350m.

From then on it was easy going for Conquer All, who trotted through the first 400m section of the final mile in a leisurely 32.3sec. Then followed a 30.7sec. quarter before the old gelding trotted faultlessly over the final 800m in 59.6sec. to win by just over three lengths from 7/2 second favourite Hot Holiday, who plugged on doggedly after working hard without cover.

Sandakan Lombo, aiming to complete a winning hat-trick, galloped badly at the start and raced at the rear with Idle Maple (who also galloped at the start). Heez Speedy Gonzalez (11/2) led for the first 350m before breaking badly 50m later.

Conquer All has been a good moneyspinner and he has earned $150,846 from 16 wins and 20 placings from 98 starts.

by Ken Casellas

 

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