Victorian invader Chilli Palmer is the least experienced runner in the $125,000 McInerney Ford Classic at Gloucester Park on Friday night, but he is in devastating form and has excellent prospects of giving outstanding trainera perfect record in this group 1 event for four-year-olds.
The 37-year-old Braun has had two runners in this event --- and each was successful, with Mustang Mach starting favourite at 6/4 and winning from Lovers Delight in 2011 and Chancellor Cullen starting at 5/2 on, setting the pace from the No. 2 barrier and holding on grimly to beat Bronze Seeker by a half-head 12 months ago.
Chilli Power has strung together five wins in succession and goes into Friday night’s event with an enviable record of six wins and a second from only eight starts. He fared poorly in the random draw and will start from the outside of the back line. But Braun sees this as a lucky omen.
Mustang Mach wore the No. 12 saddlecloth and started from the outside of the back line for his victory in the McInerney Ford Classic when he raced three wide early to move outside the pacemaker Seel N Print after 750m before getting to the front with 450m to travel and fighting on grandly to defeat the fast-finishing Lovers Delight.
Chilli Palmer, a New Zealand-bred gelding by, warmed up for this week’s assignment in fine style when he raced in sixth position in the one-wide line before sprinting home brilliantly over the final 400m in 27.7sec. to win easily from The Major League over 1720m at Melton last Saturday night. That followed an easy first-up victory over 2100m at Geelong 12 nights earlier.
Braun enjoyed his best season in 2012-13 when he trained 106 winners and 93 placegetters in Victoria from only 287 starters. He also won races in Brisbane, Sydney, Hobart and Perth, with his filly Itz Nosurprisesthere successful in the group 1 Queensland Oaks. He has started the 2013-14 season in fine style and is in third place in the Victorian Statewide trainers’ premiership table with 26 winners and ten placegetters from just 54 starters.
Champion New Zealand horse Bit Of A Legend has drawn out wide at No. 6 on the front line and reinsmanwill be hoping for a far better performance from the stallion after his failure as an even-money favourite when a wilting 11th behind Nowitzki in the Four-Year-Old Championship at Gloucester park last Friday night when he started from barrier five and worked hard in the breeze.
This disappointing effort followed his smart win at his WA debut the previous week when he dashed to an early lead, set the pace and sprinted over the final 800m in 56.1sec. He has raced 35 times for 17 wins and 11 seconds for stakes of $638,928 and cannot be underestimated.
Adding tremendous interest will be the appearance of the only mare in the event, Robyns C C, who is trained at Serpentine byand is ideally drawn at barrier two on the front line. The mare, who was driven by Mangos at two of her three wins in New Zealand, is in superb form and has not been extended in winning at each of her past six starts.
Robyns C C is extremely versatile and has won when leading, after racing without cover and when held up for a late burst. Brew’s other runner, Glenferrie Hood (seven wins and four placings from 13 starts) will start from the No. 2 barrier on the back line, immediately behind Robyns C C.
The Victorian-trained Nowitzki, who gave an excellent frontrunning display (from the No. 1 barrier) to score an easy victory over Mexicano and Northview Punter in the 2130m Four-Year-Old Championship last Friday night, faces a tougher task over 2536m this week after drawing the outside barrier (No. 7) on the front line.
Leading WA trainer Gary Hall sen. has won the McInerney Ford Classic with(2001) and Im Themightyquinn (2008) and this year he will be represented by Northview Punter (14 wins from 26 starts) and My Hard Copy (nine wins from 30 starts).
The consistent Northview Punter is a tough, no-nonsense type of pacer with sound prospects from the No. 4 barrier. He trailed the pacemaker Nowitzki for much of the way last week when a fighting third to that gelding. My Hard Copy, an easy all-the-way winner over 1730m at a 1.54.6 rate two starts ago, has drawn the prized No. 1 barrier and will be driven by Shane Butcher. Gary Hall jun. will again be in the sulky behind Northview Punter.
Bickley traineralso has two runners in Friday night’s race, Mexicano (barrier No. 3) and Rocky Marciano (inside of the back line). Mexicano impressed last Friday night when he raced three back on the pegs and finished strongly to be second to Nowitzki and Rocky Marciano ran on gamely from five back on the pegs to finish fourth.
BETTOR COVER LOVER SET TO PASS THE MAGIC $1 MILLION MARK
A perfect barrier at No. 2 on the front line should be the ingredient for success for champion New Zealand mare Bettor Cover Lover in the $40,000 Norm’s Daughter Classic over 1730m at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Owned by prominent West Australian veterinary surgeon Trevor Lindsay, Bettor Cover Lover has a superior record to that of her 11 rivals and she looks set to notch her 20th win from 35 starts and boost her earning past the $1 million mark.
The big, rangy mare who stands 16.2 hands has improved a lot since her seventh behind Bettors Fire in the Mount Eden Sprint three Fridays ago. That was her first appearance for five months and she had the distinct disadvantage of starting from the outside of the back line.
The six-year-old has worked in fine style for trainer-reinsmansince that defeat and paced stylishly when second to the frontrunning Sensational Gabby in a 2185m trial at Pinjarra last Sunday week when the final two 400m sections were covered in 27.1sec. and 28.4sec.
Leading WA trainer Gary Hall sen. has four runners, Askmenow (barrier one), Korobeit Angel (seven), Famous Alchemist (inside of the back line) and Chloe Vargarita (No. 2 on the back line). Askmenow has won at nine of her past 14 starts and is a good frontrunner. But Bettor Cover Lover should reveal superior early speed and is likely to burst to an early lead.
The fastest beginners on the front line are Sensational Gabby (No. 3) and Leda McNally (No. 4) and they should make life interesting and challenging for Mangos.
Sensational Gabby, a five-year-old who has won at 24 of her 36 starts, will be having her first start for Oakford trainerand it is problematical whether will ask the mare to go flat out at the outset at her first appearance for seven months.
However,is sure to be tempted to make an early bid for the lead with the speedy Leda McNally, who is blessed with sparkling gate speed. She began like a flash from the inside barrier before strolling to an effortless all-the-way victory at a 1.54.3 rate over 1730m last Friday night.
Leda McNally started from the inside barrier in the 2012 Norm’s Daughter Classic when she trailed the pacemaker Lucie Boshier (barrier three) and was blocked for a clear run when an unlucky third to that mare. Lucie Boshier has won once (four starts ago) and has been unplaced eight times from her past nine starts and she is hard to recommend from the No. 5 barrier.
The best of the Hall runners could be Famous Alchemist, who should enjoy a good passage from the inside of the back line. Famous Alchemist had a tough run, three wide early and then in the breeze, when a sound third behind Leda McNally and Deluxe Edition last Friday night.
HAYTER GETS A GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY WITH DREDLOCK ROCKSTAR
Young Bunbury reinsman Kaiden Hayter has been handed a golden opportunity to land anotherwinner after being engaged to handle the speedy Dredlock Rockstar in the 1730m McInerney Ford Falcon Ute Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
The 22-year-old Hayter was offered the drive behind the Michael Callegari-trained five-year-old to enable the gelding to contest the $17,500 event which is restricted to M1-class pacers. Hayter’s junior concession qualified Dredlock Rockstar, an M2-class performer, to contest the race.
And Dredlock Rockstar’s prospects soared when he drew the prized No. 1 barrier. Dredlock Rockstar is in superb form, with his past 17 starts producing seven wins and nine placings. He was most impressive at Gloucester Park last Friday week when Aaron Beckett (replacing the suspended Ashleigh Markham) drove him to a brilliant all-the-way victory over Ohoka Dallas and Shardons Rocket in the 2130m Parliamentarians Cup.
That took the gelding’s record to 41 starts for 12 wins and 17 placings for stakes of $100,056. This win came a week after Dredlock Rockstar had finished powerfully from last at the bell to be third behind Bettors Fire and Im Victorious in the Mount Eden Sprint.
Seven-year-old Jar Zinyo, who has a losing sequence of 20 stretching back to a win at Melton 23 months ago, looks a place certainty. The gelding, trained by Gary Hall sen., will start from the inside of the back line and should trail the pacemaking Dredlock Rockstar throughout.
Tough seven-year-old Wrongly Accused also has bright place prospects after he ended a losing sequence of 11 with an easy victory over Raymon John at Gloucester Park on Monday afternoon. That took the-trained gelding’s record to 21 wins and 47 placings from 182 starts.
SMART TRIAL A POINTER TO THE PRODIGY’S FIRST-UP PROSPECTS
A smart trial victory at Pinjarra on Sunday morning by The Prodigy was a strong pointer to her prospects in the 2130m McInerney Ford Belmont Service Pace for three-year-old fillies at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
The Prodigy, trained byand driven by , sped over the final 400m of the trial in 27.6sec. and scored by two and a half lengths from Our Jerry Lee. She will start from the No. 3 barrier on Friday night and should be prominent throughout.
The Prodigy has not appeared since she raced erratically and covered a lot of extra ground before finishing a distant eighth behind Artistic Copper in the $100,000 Sales Classic for two-year-old fillies last April.
Artistic Copper, trained by her breeder-owner Mike Howie, looks likely to be one of The Prodigy’s main rivals. She will start from the No. 1 barrier andis likely to attempt an all-the-way win. Artistic Copper resumed after a spell at Northam on Sunday when she raced in the one-out, one-back position and finished third behind Shes So Cool.
Shes So Cool faces a tougher task on Friday night from out wide at barrier No. 6. She will again be driven by, who replaced Pinjarra trainer on Sunday after Howson was suspended for 12 days for having obliged another runner to cover extra ground in a race at Bunbury on Saturday night.
New Zealand-bred filly The Parade will be hard to beat despite starting from the outside of the back line. Trained at Boyanup by, The Parade has scored convincingly at each of her past three starts, two at Pinjarra and one at Gloucester Park.
The return to racing of Shez Sensational adds further interest to the race. Shez Sensational is trained at Byford byand she showed abundant promise as a two-year-old and is capable of a bold first-up showing.
DAVID HERCULES LOOKS A GOOD BET AFTER BRILLIANT FIRST-UP WIN
The ease in which David Hercules defeated his rivals, first-up, over 1730m last Friday night should influence punters to support the seven-year-old when he contests the $21,000 McInerney Ford Falcon Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
David Hercules, trained by, led easily from barrier one and sped over the final quarters in 28.2sec. and 27.7sec. to win by six lengths from Son of Fergie at a 1.54.2 rate.
David Hercules will start from the No. 2 barrier on the front line andis sure to attempt another all-the-way win. However, Woodley might not have an easy task to send David Hercules straight to the front, with Hokonui Ben drawn the prized No. 1 barrier.
Hokonui Ben also was racing first-up in last Friday night’s event in which he started from barrier three and raced in the one-out and one-back position before being hampered for room in the closing stages and finishing fifth behind David Hercules.
by Ken Casellas