Day At The Track

McDonald to Bebrave on Friday

09:08 AM 17 Jun 2016 NZST
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Stuart McDonald .jpg
Stuart McDonald
Jodie Hallows

Well-performed New South Wales-bred six-year-old Bebrave, a winner of six races in Queensland this season, will make his first appearance in Western Australia when  he contests the $18,000 Australian Marine Complex Pace over 1730m at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

The Presidential Ball gelding has a formidable record of 17 wins and 16 placings from 68 starts for stakes of $172,156.

However, he faces a stern task at his WA debut. Under the preferential barrier draw conditions he will start from the outside (No. 9) over the sprint journey and will clash with several in-form pacers, including American Boy, Sky Art and Holy Grail.

Bebrave will be driven by Stuart McDonald for Busselton trainer Jamie Howlett, who claimed the gelding for $9000 in a 2138m event at Brisbane’s Albion Park on April 19 on behalf of Kelly Simmonds and Peter Bamess. In that race Bebrave was driven by Shane Graham and was first out from barrier five before sitting behind the pacemaker and running home strongly along the sprint lane to win by just over a length from Tallyho Bromac at a 1.55.7 rate.

Bebrave, described by Howlett as a “nice horse,” has been in WA for six weeks. His early preparation in Busselton was hampered by wet weather which led to Howlett’s private 800m track being quite muddy.

“I had the track resurfaced two weeks ago and it has changed everything,” Howlett said. “The track is beautiful and the horses have been able to work properly in the past fortnight.

“Behave will be tested from the outside barrier over the short trip and we will be able to assess his ability when he races against several good pacers in this week’s race.”

American Boy, a smart New Zealand-bred four-year-old in the stables of leading trainer Gary Hall sen., will start out wide at barrier seven and will be fancied to maintain his superb form. He has raced only 13 times for ten wins, one second and two fifths.

American Boy enjoyed an ideal trip in the one-out, one-back position before sprinting home strongly in a final quarter of 27.8sec. to get up in the final stride to dead-heat for first with the pacemaker Burning, rating 1.55.3 over 2130m last Friday night. He charged home from ninth in the middle stages to win easily from Unsinkable Boxer over 2130m a week earlier.

Sky Art, trained at Capel by Andrew de Campo, comes to town after stylish wins at Bunbury at his past two outings. Aiden de Campo will drive him from barrier eight.

Holy Grail, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, will start from the No. 6 barrier and is sure to be storming home. He has been placed at his past eight starts after covering extra ground and winning at Northam on March 31.

Ken Casellas

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