Day At The Track

McDonough opts for Salacious Gossip

04:12 PM 08 Aug 2019 NZST
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Bailey McDonough,Harness racing
Ashlea Brennan photo

Talented young reinsman Bailey McDonough has given punters a good lead by choosing to drive Salacious Gossip ahead of Talkerup and Ctheballerina in the 2130m #Gottatalentau Now On Channel 7 Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

“From barrier five I think we’ll try to use her gate speed in a bid to lead,” he said. “I think she’s got some hope.”

He said that there were excuses for her fifth behind Tajie Baby over 1730m at Gloucester Park on Tuesday of last week when she was restrained in the early stages and raced in ninth position in a field of 12 before starting a three-wide move approaching the bell.

“She doesn’t handle it out wide, so that’s why I’m keen to use her early speed,” said McDonough, who has driven the WA-bred five-year-old mare to victory four times for his grandfather, Bunbury trainer Frank Bonnett.

Talkerup, who was driven to an all-the-way victory at Gloucester Park a month ago, will be handled by Emily Suvaljko. Talkerup will start from the No. 4 barrier.

Ctheballerina, a seven-year-old trained at Lowlands by Cheyenne King-Davies, will be driven by Kyle Harper from the coveted No. 1 barrier. However, she has been out of the winning list since leading and scoring over 2090m in Hobart in October 2017. She showed a glimpse of form over 1780m at Northam last Saturday night when she ran on gamely from four back on the pegs at the bell to finish third behind Amadeo.

McDonough is looking forward to driving Hot Fraternity, a stablemate of Salacious Gossip, in the 2130m Sunday Night On Seven Pace. Hot Fraternity, a seven-year-old who has a record of 54 starts for nine wins and 21 placings, will be making her first appearance for 15 months when she starts from barrier three.

“He’s coming back after a suspensory injury and after four recent trials I think he’s forward enough to at least run in the first three,” McDonough said. “I was pretty happy with his latest trial (a win by four lengths over 2100m at Bunbury last Saturday week). He jumped to the front and just walked early before he ran on strongly over the final 400m in 27.7sec.

“From gate three on Friday night we’ll use his gate speed and try to get to the front --- and then go from there.”

McDonough will also drive the Tony Svilicich-trained pair of Four Starzzz Forsa and Vincenzo Peruggia, who are drawn out wide in races three and nine, respectively.

Four Starzzz Forsa, who will start from barrier eight in the Rookie New On Channel 7 Pace, impressed McDonough when he drove the six-year-old for the first time last Friday night. From the No. 1 barrier the gelding trailed the pacemaker Simba Bromac and was hampered for room in the latter stages of the race before getting clear and finishing strongly to be a close third behind Simba Bromac and Major Pocket.

“Barrier eight makes it very hard over a mile,” McDonough said. “Her went super last week. He’s like a big truck and takes a while to wind up. I didn’t pull the plugs; there was not enough room until very late.”


Ken Casellas

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