Young harness racing trainer-reinsmanhas decided to throw up-and-coming star Bettors Fire into the deep end by starting him in the $35,000 TABtouch Navy Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he will clash with several seasoned open-class performers in the 2536m mobile event.
The confrontation between the comparatively inexperienced Bettors Fire and the outstanding eight-year-old Ima Rocket Star adds tremendous intrigue and interest to the Cup which has been a standing-start event for the past 22 years.
Ima Rocket Star, trained by Greg and, is an M11-class pacer who has amassed $374,254 in stakemoney from 25 wins and 15 placings from just 56 starts. His splendid record in top company points to his proving the master of Bettors Fire, an M0-class performer who has raced 36 times for 16 wins, eight placings and $102,807.
However, Bettors Fire has such natural talent and shows such tremendous potential that he goes into the race with excellent claims.
In the preferential barrier draw Bettors Fire has a significant advantage of starting from the No. 2 barrier on the front line, with Ima Rocket Star drawn on the outside of the back line.
Apart from meeting Ima Rocket Star, Bettors Fire will be tested by several other smart pacers, including Crombie, Uppy Son, Shardons Rocket, Passion Stride, Franco Renegade and Adda Paternal Suit.
Bettors Fire raced 30 times in New Zealand for 11 wins, with five of them over 2600m and two over 2700m. His first six starts in Western Australia have produced five wins and a last-start second, when he worked hard in the breeze throughout and fought on with great determination to lose by a head to Northview Punter over 2536m at Gloucester Park on October 1. The final two quarters were run in 27.9sec. and 28.4sec.
At his previous start he charged home from the rear to win in fine style over 2190m at Northam and he set the pace when an easy winner at his two previous outings. Harper would dearly love to attempt an all-the-way victory in the Navy Cup. But he is likely to meet stern opposition in his bid to take an early lead from the polemarker and another New Zealand-bred five-year-old In The Perfect Storm.
In The Perfect Storm, trained by, won four times in New Zealand and he has led in four of his six wins in WA. In The Perfect Storm started from barrier three and failed in a bid to set the pace when he was forced to race without cover when a fighting second to Extremely Good over 2130m last Friday night. He boasts a fine record of ten wins and 25 placings from 46 starts.
After finishing second to star pacer Christen me at Ashburton in July 2012 at his final appearance in New Zealand In the Perfect Storm has been a model of consistency in WA, with his 21 starts in this State producing six wins, ten seconds and three thirds. There were legitimate excuses for his two unplaced runs.
Ima Rocket Star is in sparkling form and his past 16 starts have produced nine wins and five placings. He enjoyed an ideal passage, one-out and one-back before finishing strongly to be second to Im Victorious in the 2130m Stratton Cup last Friday night. He set the pace and won in good style at his two previous starts, over 2536m and 2130m at Gloucester Park.
Evergreen nine-year-old Shardons Rocket cannot be overlooked, particularly after he sustained a powerful three-wide burst from the rear to finish third behind Im Victorious and Ima Rocket Star last Friday night. That followed his spirited victory off the 30m mark over 2503m the previous week and a grand second to Springsteen in the 2902m BOTRA Cup the week before that.
NORTHVIEW PUNTER IS THE ONE TO BEAT IN THE PREUX CHEVALIER PACE
New Zealand-bred four-year-old Northview Punter is the youngest runner in the $25,000 final of the Preux Chevalier Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night and he should carry too many guns for his rivals.
He is awkwardly drawn at barrier five on the front line, but looks capable of overcoming that disadvantage and winning from his stablemate Toretto, who has scored impressive victories on the past two Friday nights and is handily drawn on the inside of the back line.
Northview Punter and Toretto, trained by Gary Hall sen., are the two fastest qualifiers for the final. Northview Punter overcame the disadvantage of the outside of the back line to win the second 2130m heat at a 1.57.7 rate. He raced wide early and then worked hard in the breeze before beating the fast-finishing Mein Guy by just over a length, with the pacemaker Kiss Chasey a close third.
Toretto started from the back line in his heat in which he raced wide early and then in the breeze before winning at a 1.58 rate by one and a half lengths from the fast-finishing Trents Courage, with the pacemaker Imtheguy a close third. The other heat was won by Chaldea, who produced a powerful finishing burst to snatch victory from the pacemaker Myouri at a 2.0.3 rate.
Northview Punter gave a strong frontrunning display before fighting on grandly to defeat Bettors Fire over 2536m at Gloucester Park two starts ago and he goes into Friday night’s final with a wonderful record of 23 starts for 14 wins, six placings and stakes of $166,605.
Oakford trainerhas each-way prospects with his three finalists, Kiss Chasey, Imtheguy and Still Chokin. Kiss Chasey, a good frontrunner, will start from barrier four on the front line, with Imeguy awkwardly drawn at No. 6. Still Chokin, who ran on from ninth at the bell to finish fourth behind Toretto last Friday night, will start from barrier three on the back line.
Five-year-old Mein Guy will have many admirers after his eye-catching second to Northview Punter in the second heat when he charged home from sixth on the home turn. Since then he has been transferred from John Sangalli’s Kalgoorlie stables to’s Banjup training establishment.
Mein Guy, an easy Kalgoorlie winner two starts ago, will start from the No. 2 barrier on the back line and Brown is likely to hold him up for one late charge at the leaders.
HALL DOMINATES ERN MANEA MEMORIAL WITH FIVE RUNNERS
Leading trainer Gary Hall sen. holds a powerful hand in the $21,000 Ern Manea Memorial at Gloucester Park on Friday night and he could easily land the quartet in the 2536m mobile event.
Hall has five of the 11 runners and had the good fortune to draw the first four barriers on the front line in the random barrier draw.
Some Kinda Tactics (barrier one), Benjamin Banneker (two), The Ragpickers Dream (three) and Sanjaya (four) are in sound form and are capable of finishing in the first four places. Hall’s fifth runner, Black N Bettor, will start from the No. 3 barrier on the back line.
The Ragpickers Dream warmed up for this event with an all-the-way victory from the No. 1 barrier last Friday night when he held on to defeat Hez The Bart Man over 2130m. But it is problematical whether he can lead from the No. 2 barrier this week, with Some Kinda Tactics on his inside.
Some Kinda Tactics has a losing sequence of seven (including just one placing, a fast-finishing third to Western Cullen and The Ragpickers Dream over 2130m two starts ago). Punters would be wise to consider the important statistic that he has started from the prized No. 1 barrier only three times in his career of 30 starts.
On each occasion he has led and has won comfortably by more than a length, rating 1.57.6 and 1.57.5 over 2100m and 1.58.8 over 2130m.
Benjamin Banneker and Sanjaya are best known as sit-sprinters and are unlikely to challenge for the early lead. Each can produce a powerful finish.
Black N Bettor is a versatile pacer who is capable of causing an upset. The-trained Western Cullen bounced back to top form last Friday week when he led from the No. 1 barrier and won convincingly from The Ragpickers Dream and Some Kinda Tactics at a 1.57.2 rate over 2130m. But his prospects this week plummeted when he drew out wide at No. 6 on the front line.
Back-line draws also will not help the prospects of Red salute and Mighty Flying Thomas. Red Salute, ready to show his best after unplaced efforts at his first three starts after a spell, will start from barrier two on the back line, while the claims of Mighty Flying Thomas diminished when he drew the outside of the back line.
Mighty Flying Thomas has a losing sequence of seven and has been most unlucky at his past two appearances when hopelessly blocked for a run in finishing fourth behind Western Cullen and third behind The Ragpickers Dream.
WHY LIVE DANGEROUSLY TO REAPPEAR AFTER 25-MONTH ABSENCE
Great interest will surround the return to racing at Gloucester Park on Friday night of Why Live Dangerously, who will start from the back line of the 2130m Channel Nine Pace.
The New Zealand-bred seven-year-old, trained by Gary Hall sen., has recovered from a serious leg injury which has kept him out of action for the past 25 months.
He gave a strong indication that he is ready for a spirited first-up effort when he finished powerfully to win a 2150m trial at Byford last Sunday morning. He sprinted over the final 400m in 27.4sec. and defeated the talented four-year-old Condrieu by a head, rating 1.58.6.
Why Live Dangerously, who has had 42 starts for ten wins, 20 placings and stakes of $185,111, gave a sample of his class in 2010 with several outstanding efforts, including his third to Crombie and David Hercules in the WA Derby, second to Dasher VC in a Golden Nugget prelude, third to Dasher VC and David Hercules in the Four-Year-Old Championship, second to Dasher VC in the final of the Golden Nugget and second to Crombie in the McInerney Ford Classic.
Why Live Dangerously will be driven by Gary Hall jun. and his most serious opposition is likely to come from the-trained pair of Smirking ( ) and Bet Your Life ( ), who are ideally drawn at barriers one and two on the front line.
by Ken Casellas