West Australian-bred four-year-old Soho Redford is a noted frontrunner and his prospects of winning the $25,000 The West Australian Coulson final at Gloucester Park on Friday night soared when he drew the coveted No. 1 barrier in the 2130m feature event.
Vance Stampalia is certain to make his intentions perfectly clear that he will be all-out to set the pace with the freewheeling Mach Three horse, even though he is likely to be challenged for the early lead by smart frontrunners Bettors Ace (barrier two) and Im Terrific (three).
Bettors Ace, to be driven by his trainer Ryan Bell, resumed after a short let-up in fine style when he led from barrier one and cruised to victory over Clifford and Condrieu in a 2130m event last Friday week.
Then Im Terrific, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, made the most of the No. 1 barrier when he led and defeated Rocky Marciano and Heez On Fire over 2130m last Friday night.
Soho Redford, whose is prepared by Tonia Stampalia (sister of the reinsman), notched his third win from his past six starts when he led from barrier three and beat Miss Atomic by four lengths over 2190m at Northam on Thursday of last week. Four starts before that, he started from the No. 1 barrier and was not extended in setting the pace and winning by more than two lengths from Extreme Dreams over 2536m at Gloucester Park.
Soho Redford’s main rivals could well be the other four-year-olds in the race, Heez On Fire, Rocky Marciano and Condrieu.
Heez On Fire, trained by Rod Oliver, is nicely drawn at No. 2 on the back line and Chris Lewis is sure to get the Courage Under Fire gelding into a prominent position soon after the start. Heez On Fire was most unlucky when third behind Im Terrific and Rocky Marciano last Friday night when he was trapped four wide early and had to be restrained to the rear before unleashing a spirited finishing burst.
He was most impressive two weeks earlier when he charged home from last to finish third behind Nowitzki and Smokey the Bandit in the 2536m Golden Nugget Championship. The Peter Anderson-trained Rocky Marciano is awkwardly drawn at No. 5 on the front line, but he is capable of producing a spirited finish if he is able to slot into an advantageous position soon after the start. He finished strongly when second to Im Terrific last week after enjoying an ideal passage, one-out and one-back.
Condrieu, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, has excellent potential and has won at nine and been placed at 11 of his 28 starts. He raced wide for the first 600m and then set the pace before finishing third to Ohoka Courage and Lisharry over 2692m at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon. He showed his class when he began brilliantly, set a fast pace and finished second to Chilli palmer in the 2536m McInerney Ford Classic at Gloucester Park three starts before that. He will start from barrier four on the back line on Friday night.
Condrieu’s stablemate Cool Johnny, a stylish first-up winner two starts ago, has each-way prospects after drawing perfectly on the inside of the back line. He should gain a wonderful trail behind the likely pacemaker Soho Redford.