Day At The Track

Natural Disaster gets his chance

12:39 PM 04 Aug 2017 NZST
Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print
Natural Disaster
Natural Disaster
Jodie Hallows (Paceway Photos)

Natural Disaster is one of the State’s most promising pacers, but so far winning a feature harness racing event has eluded the son of American stallion Shadow Play.

However, his recent outstanding form is a strong indication that he will break through at Gloucester Park on Friday night for a well-deserved victory in the $25,000 Kerry Clarke Westbred final, a listed classic for four and five-year-olds.

Natural Disaster, a four-year-old bred and owned by Rob Tomlinson’s Oz-West Pacing and trained and driven by Justin Prentice, warmed up for this week’s assignment in splendid fashion with his fast-finishing third behind Motu Premier and Mach Time in the Chandon final, a listed classic, last Friday night. That followed wins at his three previous outings, at Bunbury and Gloucester Park in May and at Gloucester Park early last month.

He is handily drawn at barrier three on the front line on Friday night and Prentice should have the gelding in a commanding position throughout. Natural Disaster, a winner at nine of his 27 starts, finished second to Johnny Disco in the group 3 Country Derby at Pinjarra in March 2016, third behind New World Order in the group 1 $100,000 Westbred Classic in July 2016, third behind Chicago Bull in the McInerney Ford Classic in November 2016 and fourth behind Soho Tribeca in the Golden Nugget two weeks later.

He is closely related to former smart pacer Hy Falutin, whose 18 wins from 43 starts included the Christmas Gift in 1999 and the Celebrity Mile in December 2001.

Natural Disaster’s most serious rival looms large as five-year-old Military Master, who will start from the No. 4 barrier. Trainer Ross Olivieri is confident of a bold showing from Military Master, a winner of ten races from 30 starts.

The stallion was a disappointing in finishing sixth behind Thereugo last Friday week. But Olivieri explained that there were excuses for that run, saying: “He was a bit below par and then I found that he was affected by a greasy heel. I’ve fixed that and, hopefully, he goes better this week. I’m very pleased with him and his form has been top-class.

“Three starts ago Military Master ran the fastest quarter (26.4sec.) that I can remember at Gloucester Park for any quarter of any race.”

In that event, Military Master set the pace and had to withstand a spirited challenge for the lead in the first lap, during which he sped over the first 400m section of the final mile in 26.4sec. He wilted only over the final stages and finished fourth behind Zach Maguire.

Argyle Red, Fanci A Dance, Tommy Be Good and Abraxas Blues will have plenty of admirers in Friday night’s 2130m event.  

Argyle Red, trained at Pinjarra by Rob MacDonald, will be making his first appearance for four months. He is the only runner off the back line and will be handled by Morgan Woodley. He impressed in winning a 2185m Pinjarra trial at a 1.57.7 rate last Sunday when he dashed over the final quarters in 28.1sec. and 27.3sec.

Fanci A Dance, trained in Busselton by Barry Howlett, has won at six of his past ten starts and is capable of overcoming the disadvantage of starting out wide at barrier seven. Tommy Be Good and Abraxas Blues warmed up with excellent efforts at Gloucester Park last Friday night.

Ken Casellas

Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print

Read More News About...

Stallion Name

Next article: