Day At The Track

Gloucester Park review from Friday

02:47 PM 05 Jan 2014 NZDT
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Reinsman Ash Markham
Reinsman Ash Markham with connections of Smokey The Bandit

Four-year-old Smokey The Bandit is proving to be an outstanding bargain. Purchased by Busselton's Michael Callegari and Rohan Baillie for a mere $2000 at the 2011 Gloucester Standardbred yearling sale, the exciting grey gelding boosted his earnings to $132,935 when he finished with a devastating burst to win The West Australian $50,000 Nights of Thunder at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Trained in Busselton by Callegari and driven with supreme confidence by Bunbury reinsman Ash Markham, Smokey The Bandit, second favourite at 5/2, stormed past the pacemaker and 5/4 favourite Silent Prowl 70m from home to win by a half-length from that pacer.

Trainer Bob Mellsop jumped Silent Prowl straight to the front from the prized No. 1 barrier and Markham immediately eased Smokey The Bandit from barrier two in behind the leader, who had a comparatively easy time in front, coasting through the first two 400m sections of the final mile in 30.5sec. and 30.9sec.

Mellsop then increased the tempo and the third quarter whizzed by in 28.sec., with 11/1 chance Rowchester working strongly in the breeze and My Hard Copy (11/1) enjoying an ideal passage, one-out and one-back.

Markham eased Smokey The Bandit off the pegs approaching the home turn and the West Australian-bred son of Jet Laag accelerated brilliantly as he charged to the front. The final quarter took 27.9sec. and the winner rated 1.56.7 to improve his record to ten wins and 16 placings from 40 starts. Rowchester held on to finish third, with My Hard Copy in fourth place.

Smokey The Bandit has rarely performed below par since he made a successful debut, winning as a two-year-old at Gloucester Park in January 2012. He started at 98/1 on the tote when he finished powerfully to win the WA Derby Consolation last April and he impressed when second to Nowitzki in the Golden Nugget Championship last month.

Smokey The Bandit is the only foal out of the unraced Barnett Hanover mare Cheers To All. His maternal great granddam Discreet Adios produced Ridge, who won seven races in WA between 2000 and 2002 before being retired in America with a record of 219 starts for 45 wins, 60 placings and stakes of $232,355.

There was a highly unusual sequel to Friday night's group 2 event when it was discovered that two horses had started from incorrect barriers in the one line field of nine.

Michael Tenardi started from barrier seven with The Feather Foot when the gelding was drawn to start from the No. 8 barrier. And Matt White started from barrier eight with Copagrin instead of starting from the No. 7 barrier.

The stewards fined both Tenardi and White $500 for starting from the wrong barrier. Copagrin (28/1) settled in last position and was sixth at the bell before finishing in sixth place. The Feather Foot (37/1) raced at the rear before breaking into a gallop 650m from home and finishing last.


Waroona horseman Bob Mellsop finally achieved his ambition of winning The West Australian Trotters Cup when he drove The Beau Brummell to a smart all-the-way victory in the group 3 feature event at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Mellsop had started nine runners in the first eight runnings of the event, but managed only one placing, when Dash of Light finished second to Macladdie in the inaugural Trotters Cup in 2006.

He produced The Beau Brummell, a New Zealand-bred five-year-old, in fine fettle on Friday night and he dictated terms in front after The Beau Brummell had jumped straight to the lead from the inside barrier on the front line in the 2503m stand.

After modest opening quarters of the final mile in 31.8sec. and 31.1sec. The Beau Brummell, favourite at 5/2, made life tough for his 12 rivals by sprinting the final 400m sections in 29.6sec. and 29.2sec. Mellsop's pent-up emotions overflowed when he gave an extravagant salute with the whip as The Beau Brummell reached the post a half-length in front of the gallant Hot Holiday.

Heez Speedy Gonzalez raced without cover early before Matt White got Ushaka Bromac to the breeze in the first lap. Hot Holiday, second fancy at 3/1 off the 30m mark, settled in 11th position before Aaron Skalecki sent the seven-year-old forward, three wide, to move outside the pacemaker 1400m from home.

Hot Holiday got his head in front at the bell, but The Beau Brummell kept him at bay throughout the final circuit. Prince Eddie, who had won from Hot Holiday and The Beau Brummell a week earlier, ran home gamely from seventh at the bell to be third. The winner rated 2.7.2. The stewards fined Skalecki $200 for an incorrect whip action in the home straight.

The Beau Brummell, winner of two races from 20 starts in New Zealand, then had 21 starts in New South Wales for five wins and eight placings. He has had eight starts for Mellsop in WA for three wins and two placings to take his career record to ten wins, 12 placings and $70,661 in prizemoney from 49 starts.


Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri had three runners in the 2130m TABform Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night when most punters pinned their faith in even-money favourite Sensational Gabby.

But Sensational Gabby was upstaged by her stablemate and 15/4 second fancy Red Salute, who enjoyed an ideal passage, one-out and one-back, while Sensational Gabby bowled along in the lead after starting from the No. 1 barrier.

Veteran Sneakyn Down Under (11/2) raced in the breeze, but did not seriously challenge the pacemaker at any stage. Red Salute, driven confidently by Chris Voak, finished strongly and took the lead 150m from the post before winning by a neck from 21/1 chance Our Major Mark, who finished boldly from tenth at the bell. Danieljohn (10/1) fought on seventh on the pegs at the bell to be a half-head away in third place.

Sensational Gabby wilted to finish sixth, with Sneakyn Down Under a fair fifth. Olivier's third runner, Argent Treasure (45/1) raced three back on the pegs in fifth place before finishing eighth.

Red Salute, a WA-bred five-year-old by American stallion Life Sign, advanced to an M5 classification and is sure to be nominated for the $250,000 Yes Loans Fremantle Cup over 2536m at Gloucester Park next Friday night and the $400,000 Nepean Conveyors WA Pacing Cup over 2936m the following week.

Red Salute is improving steadily and now has earned $153,869 from 14 wins and 11 placings from 44 starts.


New Zealand-bred four-year-old Rocky Marciano made the most of a favourable barrier and proved too fast and strong for his 11 older rivals in the 2536m West Wheels Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Rocky Marciano, a solidly-supported 5/4 on favourite, began speedily from the No. 2 barrier and Morgan Woodley sent him past the polemarker Our Amazing Art and into the lead after 60m.

After a 31sec. first 400m section of the final mile, Rocky Marciano reeled off quarters of 29.2sec., 28.1sec. and 28.5sec. to win comfortably at a 1.59.2 rate by just over a length from 13/2 second fancy Our Amazing Art, who fought on doggedly after sitting behind the leader throughout. Last-start winner Moonlight Rockhole finished fast from seventh at the bell to be third.

Rocky Marciano was placed at three of his ten starts in New Zealand and is proving a good purchase for Ian Sermon, Lee Bunney, Dave Morley, Tracey Sermon, Andy Baayens, Ken Casellas, Peter Anderson and Ross Waddell. His 29 starts in Western Australia have produced eight wins and nine placings.

Rocky Marciano, trained at Bickley by Anderson, is by Christian Cullen and is the only foal out of Riverboat Royce, who had 55 starts in New Zealand for nine wins, ten placings and $65,234 in stakes. Rocky Marciano has earned $86,689 from eight wins and 12 placings from 39 starts.


Astute Mt Helena trainer Ray Williams produced highly-promising six-year-old Pacific Warrior in superb shape when the New Zealand-bred gelding scored a most impressive first-up victory in the Weekend West Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Starting favourite at 5/2 at his first appearance for four months, Pacific Warrior began from the inside of the back line and Chris Lewis had the gelding poised to strike as he trailed the polemarker and pacemaker Xupan Three.

Lucie Boshier, who made an unsuccessful bid for the early lead, then worked in the breeze before Gary Hall jun. injected considerable life into the event when he urged 12/1 chance Why Live Dangerously forward, three wide, in a lightning move from tenth position at the 1150m.

Why Live Dangerously charged forward and got his nose in front of Xupan Three at the bell. Hall then took hold of Why Live Dangerously, causing slight interference to Lucie Boshier and Marooned and severe interference to Cool Johnny, Menelaus of Sparta and Bronze Seeker.

Lewis eased Pacific Warrior off the pegs 570m from home before taking the gelding three wide at the 300m mark. Pacific Warrior burst to the front on the home turn and raced away to win by three lengths from 52/1 outside Elsu Sheila, with Maggies Mystery rattling home to be third, two and a half lengths in front of the unlucky Bronze Seeker.

The near side tyre of Bronze Seeker's sulky was punctured in the mix-up at the bell and the five-year-old impressed with his sparkling late burst after being ten lengths from the lead at the 400m mark and in tenth position on the home turn.

The stewards fined Hall $200 for having reduced the speed abruptly when he got Why Live Dangerously to the breeze at the bell.

Pacific Warrior has earned $129,604 from 17 wins and 14 placings from 50 starts. He raced 27 times for four wins in New Zealand and his 23 WA starts have produced 13 wins and seven placings.


Brian Ridley received a quick dividend when lightly-raced eight-year-old This Time Dylan surged home from the rear to score a narrow victory in the 2536m The Form Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Ridley outlaid $20,000 to claim This Time Dylan the previous Friday night and the gelding was transferred from the stables of leading trainer Gary Hall sen. to Michael Brennan's Pinjarra training establishment.

This Time Dylan's victory on Friday night at 11/2 saw the gelding boost his earnings by $13,650 to a career record of 38 starts for 14 wins and nine placings for stakes of $125,775.

This Time Dylan, driven by Gary Hall jun., started from barrier four on the front line and after being trapped three wide early, Hall restrained the gelding to the rear in the field of eight while polemarker Adda Paternal Suit was setting the pace from Shardons Rocket (breeze), Your Good Fortune (pegs) and Ima Rocket Star (one-out and one-back).

The 9/4 favourite Dasher VC started from the outside of the front line and was restrained back to last before Chris Lewis started a three-wide move approaching the bell. Hall then switched This Time Dylan out wide to follow the run of Dasher VC, who got to a narrow lead 300m from home.

But This Time Dylan was carrying far too many guns and he surged to the front 50m later and held on in the closing stages to defeat the fast-finishing Leda McNally by a head at a 1.57.3 rate. Dasher VC finished a further 10m back in third place. Ima Rocket Star finished sixth.

This Time Dylan is in a rich vein of form, with his past 13 starts producing eight wins, three seconds and one third placing and Ridley is hoping he will prove an even better investment than Rakarebel, a pacer he claimed for $10,000 from the Hall stable last May.

Rakarebel then was trained by Brennan and in ten starts for his new connections he won once and was placed four times for earnings of $18,550 before Ridley received $20,000 when an eastern states syndicate claimed the gelding in July.


Tuxedo, an 11-year-old veteran of 134 starts with one placing from his previous 11 starts and a losing sequence of 20, further enhanced veteran Byford trainer Tony Svilicich's reputation as a genius when he gave a powerful display to win the 1730m The Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Tuxedo, owned by Peter Ensel, was having just his fifth start for Svilicich and judged by his sterling performance he should be capable of winning an M0 event in the coming few weeks.

Remarkably, Tuxedo was a rank outsider at 155/1 the previous Friday night when he finished 12th and last, 119m behind the winner Erskine Range in a 2130m event. But there was a significant excuse for that effort. Tuxedo raced wide early and then in the breeze before he met with severe interference on the home bend.

He was a 9/1 chance from barrier four on the front line on Friday night and Kyle Harper took him three wide early to issue a strong challenge to the pacemaker and 10/9 on favourite Major Nick after 550m.

Major Nick resisted the challenge, but backers of the favourite were dismayed soon afterwards when Major Nick broke into a fierce gallop approaching the winning post with a lap to travel. Major Nick continued to gallop and dropped back to a distant last.

Harper then was able to send Tuxedo to the front and the New Zealand-bred gelding fought on determinedly to win by a half-length from outsider Knight Crusader, who finished solidly from eighth at the bell. Veitchy, who raced one-out and one-back, battled on to be third, a neck in front of former South Australian pacer Ben Cartwright, who finished strongly from the rear.

Kim Prentice, driver of Major Nick, was at a loss when the horse broke into a gallop when in front. But it was discovered (on video evidence) that Major Nick had shied at an object lying on the track. This was a boot which had been displaced from a foreleg of Who Thru teddy soon after the start.

Major Nick, owned by trainer Chris Phatouros and Raff Barbaro, damaged a tendon in his near foreleg in the incident.

Tuxedo, whose previous success was at Wagin 14 months ago, is still a Metropolitan maiden performer, despite earning $82,319 from ten wins and nine placings from 135 starts.


Aristocratic Glow, a five-year-old mare related to several prolific winners, including 1996 WA Derby winner Mon Poppy Day and former star juvenile Amongst Royalty, bounced back to form and ended a losing sequence of ten when she unwound a spirited late burst to win the 2130m The West Australian Mares Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Bred and owned by Bob Fowler and trained at Pinjarra by Barry Warwick, Aristocratic Glow was a 15/2 chance driven confidently by Chris Lewis.

Polemaker Indomitable (8/1) set the pace, with 3/1 on favourite Arma Xpress in the breeze and 10/1 chance Miss Atomic behind the pacemaker. Lewis was content to keep Aristocratic Glow in sixth position in the one-wide line until he brought her home with a strong late burst. She hit the front 60m from the post and won by just over a length from the strong-finishing 61/1 outsider Tatum Franco, with a nose to Indomitable in third place. Arma Xpress faded badly to finish a distant last in the field of 11.

Aristocratic Glow rated 1.58.3 and took her record to 30 starts for seven wins, eight placings and $45,645 in prizemoney. She is by Canadian sire Northern Luck out of the unraced Northern Lights mare Arctic Glow.

Aristocratic Glow is a half-sister to Chazsalico (135 starts for 20 wins, 31 placings and $141,515), Amongst Royalty (86 starts for 23 wins, 27 placings and $570,820), Made of Dreams (49 starts for ten wins, 14 placings and $39,664() and Idolize me (53 starts for ten wins, seven placings and $60,099).

Amongst Royalty's wins included the $100,000 Gold Tiara at Bathurst and the $150,000 Australian Pacing Gold at Ballarat as a two-year-old in 2006 and the Gold Chalice at Moonee Valley the following season.

Arctic Glow is out of Broncroft Castle (34 starts for six wins, 12 placings and $17,556). Broncroft Castle produced eight winners, including Travcor (110 starts for 18 wins, 30 placings and $102,664), Parthenon (25 starts for six wins, two placings and $79,920) and Mon Poppy Day (50 starts for 20 wins, 16 placings and $318,558).

Trainer-driver Donald Harper was at a loss to explain the poor performance of Arma Xpress, who went into the race with 11 wins from 12 starts. He informed the stewards that the mare had been heavily in season on Wednesday.


Six-year-old Sparkling Seelster maintained his excellent form and showed that he is ready to win in M0 company when he produced a typical powerful finish to score an easy victory in the 2130m The West Australian Westbred Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Second favourite at 7/2, Sparkling Seelster started from the inside of the backline and was under lock and key in fifth position, three back on the pegs, until Chris Voak eased 3/1 favourite Art In Your Face of the pegs behind the leader Intrepidation 650m from home.

Justin Prentice then was able to move Sparkling Seelster behind Intrepidation before getting the gelding into the clear approaching the home turn. Captain Proud (9/2) had taken the lead 380m from home before Sparkling Seelster stormed to the front at the 110m mark and went on to win by just over a length from 46/1 outsider Arts Gangsta, who ran on from eighth (on the pegs) at the bell. Captain Proud finished third and Art In Your Face was fourth.

Sparkling Seelster, who is prepared by Prentice at Boyanup, has had 55 starts for nine wins, 15 placings and $57,562. He is by Falcon Seelster out of Soky's Atom mare Sally Anna, who had 17 starts in WA for seven wins and seven placings and was retired to stud with a record of 37 starts for ten wins, 15 placings and $59,428.

Sally Anna is a daughter of Our Sally, a mare by American stallion Nat Lobell. Sally Anna had 79 starts for 12 wins, 25 placings and stakes of $27,331.


Heez Orl Black, a New Zealand-bred five-year-old related to outstanding stallion and former champion and $1 million earner Christian Cullen, broke his Metropolitan maiden status and took his earnings to $168,710 when he was a fast-finishing winner of the 2503m West Real Estate Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Heez Orl Black, the 7/4 favourite trained by Gary Hall sen. and driven by his son Gary, was prominent throughout in fourth position, with ten-year-old mare Salliwood setting the pace and Springsteen in the breeze.

Kyle Harper sent Springsteen to the front 40m from the post, but the five-year-old was unable to hold out Heez Orl Black, who got up by a head in the final stride. Salliwood held on to be third, with J Walker finishing fast into fourth place.

Heez Orl Black, owned by Max Grynberg, William Paterson, Tony and Ruth Thompson, Dave Kahl, Karen Hall, Frank Borrello and Trudi Spiniello, has had 20 starts in Western Australia for seven wins and five placings to take his record to 52 starts for 13 wins and 13 placings.

The winner is by In The Pocket and his great granddam Pleasant Franco produced Christian Cullen, who won at 22 of his 31 starts and amassed $1,249,150 in prizemoney.

by Ken Casellas


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