Leading trainer Gary Hall sen. will unveil yet another talented three-year-old when he starts New Zealand-bred gelding Machtu in the Yes Loans Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Machtu is working in fine style and should make a winning Australian debut and remain unbeaten at four starts as a three-year-old. He will start from barrier three in the 2130m event and Gary Hall jun. said that he had the class to win.
Legendary New Zealand horseman Maurice McKendry drove Machtu to impressive victories at his past three starts. At his most recent appearance Machtu led after 400m and sped over the final 800m in 57.4sec. and the last 400m in 27.6sec. when an easy winner over 2700m on the anti-clockwise Waikato track on September 12.
“He is a good type of horse, a good driving horse and he’s working well,” said Hall jun. “I’d say he definitely will be in the need of the run, first-up, but he’s good enough to win.”
The Hall stable will also be represented by another smart, lightly-raced three-year-old in Eyre Crusher, who will be having his first start since he was favourite at 25/1 on and finished a neck second to Art Lover over 2130m at Gloucester Park on October 1. Eyre Crusher, a winner in New Zealand last April, will start from barrier two on the back line and will be driven by Clint Hall.
“Eyre Crusher is a little, tiny thing, but he’s real fast,” said Hall jun. “I’d say at this stage and from the draw that Machtu has the edge on him.”
Hall also has excellent prospects of winning the 2130m Yes Loans Pace with Real Hammer, a speedy five-year-old who is resuming after a spell and should make the most of the No. 1 barrier by leading all the way.
“Probably the only way he can get beaten is if he does something himself,” Hall said. “He is his own worst enemy at times, but he has come back pretty relaxed this time in. It’s a perfect draw and his trial at Byford on Sunday was super.”
Real Hammer set a fast pace in the 2150m trial and after dashing over the final two quarters in 28.2sec. and 28.3sec. he rated 1.59 in defeating Hez The Bart Man by four lengths.
He has won ten times from only 37 starts and is a noted frontrunner, having set the pace in seven of those wins.
by Ken Casellas