New Zealand-bred four-year-old Northview Punter has the class to overcome the disadvantage of a wide barrier in the first qualifying heat of The West Australian Nights of Thunder at Gloucester Park on tonight.
Three heats will be decided over 1730m, with the nine runners in each heat starting from just one line across the track. The fastest nine horses will qualify for the $50,000 final the following Friday night.
Northview Punter will start from the No. 8 barrier and Gary Hall jun., resuming after a term of suspension, is sure to set sail after the leaders in the first circuit. Northview Punter returned to peak form last Friday night when he started from the outside of the back line, dashed forward in the first lap and raced without cover before surging to the front 350m from home and winning very easily from the fast-finishing Bronze Seeker, rating 1.58.4 over 2536m.
His main opposition is likely to come from stablemate My Hard Copy, who has drawn ideally at No. 1. The four-year-old My Hard Copy has won at nine of his 33 starts and he has the necessary gate speed to be able to set6 the pace.
Northview Punter and My hard Copy are prepared by leading trainer Gary Hall sen., who has sound prospects in the other heats of the Nights of Thunder with The Ragpicketrs Dream (heat two) and Rowchester (heat three)
by Ken Casellas