Day At The Track

Woodley likes Argyle Red

04:15 PM 18 Jan 2018 NZDT
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Argyle Red, harness racing
Argyle Red
Gloucester Park Photo

Top-flight reinsman Morgan Woodley describes Argyle Red’s most recent performance as terrific and he is confident the harness racing six-year-old will prove hard to beat in the opening event, the first heat of the TABtouch Nights of Thunder at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Argyle Red, trained at Pinjarra by Rob MacDonald, is favourably drawn at barrier two in the eight-horse field, but will need to be at his top to beat the brilliant Talktomeurmattjesty and speedy mare Shes Artful in the 1730m event.

There promises to be early fireworks, with Argyle Red, Shes Artful and Talktomeurmattjesty all expected to make determined bids for the early lead.

On Tuesday of last week Argyle Red started from the outside of the back line and was ninth at the bell and tenth at the 650m before starting a four-wide move which carried him into second place, a neck behind Bad Round, rating a modest 1.58.1 after dawdling opening quarters of 32.1sec. and 30.7sec.

“It was a terrific run,” said Woodley. “He had traffic issues from the 900m mark and had to go four wide a bit earlier than we would have liked. I thought he found the line really well and it was a real game run in defeat. His couple of runs before that (fourths behind Rock Diamonds and Herrick Roosevelt) were really nice after he had drawn poorly and got back in the run before running home in very nice time. He hit the line very strongly.”

“This week, with the advantage of a good barrier draw, I think we can give the opposition a fair bit to chase. He’s a really high speed horse and given a bit of luck early by getting to the front, he should be able to run a fairly nice time.”

“He is a very sharp horse off the gate, but Shes Artful also gets out nicely. Talktomeurmattjesty is also a very smart horse. However, Argyle Red has gone 1.55s when leading over 2100m at Gloucester Park.

“If Argyle Red gets to the front and Talktomeurmattjesty sits on his outside, I think he will find it tremendously hard to get over him late. Argyle Red has a high cruising speed and he should make things pretty hard for the opposition.”

The Debbie Padberg trained Bad Round, who raced three back on the pegs before sprinting home fast to win from Argyle Red last week, looks a star bet in the third heat of the Bet Now With TABtouch Im Themightyquinn Pace.

He is perfectly drawn at barrier two and Shannon Suvaljko looks almost certain to set the pace with the five-year-old who is attempting to complete a hat-trick of wins.

Suvaljko also has good prospects when he drives the Mike Reed-trained Bechers Brook from the prized No. 1 barrier in the Pace. Bechers Brook raced in fourth position before finishing gamely to dead-heat for second with Mistahmistah behind the fast-finishing winner Marquisard last Friday week.

Ken Casellas

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