Day At The Track

Woodley to drive Uppy Son in the Navy Cup

10:56 PM 13 Nov 2012 NZDT
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Morgan Woodley
Morgan Woodley - doing what he does best.

Bunbury harness racing trainer Stephen Reed, keen to maintain an outstanding family tradition in the Caduceus Club Navy Cup, has engaged star reinsman Morgan Woodley to drive Uppy Son in the $50,000 feature event at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Uppy Son, a wonderfully consistent New Zealand-bred six-year-old, is an M3-class pacer who will start from the 10m line in the 2503m stand. He ran a superb trial for the Navy Cup when he charged home from 11th (and last) at the bell to be a neck second to Chocolatto over 2100m last Friday week when Woodley was holidaying in the United States.

Woodley has driven Uppy Son at five of his 47 starts in Western Australia for two wins, one second and two thirds.

The Reed family has a remarkable record in the Navy Cup. Mike Reed, father of Mark and Stephen, has trained the winner of the Navy Cup six times and Mark Reed has driven the winner of the race five times.

Mike Reed was successful as a trainer with Sylvie's Secret (1986), Manageable (1989), Time Symbol (1992), Golden Resonator (2001), Tricky Vic (2002) and La Valiente (2004). He drove Sylvie's Secret, Manageable and Time Symbol, and Mark's wins as a driver have been with Another Party (1999), Skippers Trick (2000), Golden Resonator, Tricky Vic and La Valiente.

Uppy Son, who has raced 51 times for 17 wins and 15 placings, is not foolproof from a stand, but he has a sound record in stands, with his 12 attempts producing four wins and three placings.

Two starts ago Uppy Son gave a sample of his class when he set the pace and sprinted over the final 800m in 57.1sec. to score an effortless victory in a 2506m mobile event at Gloucester Park, beating Parasite by three lengths.

Reed will also be represented in this year's Cup by promising five-year-old mare Libra Belle, whose past five starts have produced two wins and two placings. Libra Belle will start off the front line and will be driven for the first time by Kyle Harper.

Mike Reed has good standing-start performer Erris Lad engaged. The six-year-old is off the front line and will be handled by Clint Kimes. Erris Lad was an all-the-way winner in a 2503m stand at Gloucester Park two starts ago.

Leading trainer Gary Hall sen. will be looking to fancied runners Remember El (30m) and Hokonui Ben (front) to give him his third success in the Navy Cup, after wins with Abit Rich in 1997 and Real Life in 2009.

Hokonui Ben worked hard in the breeze before winning very easily in a 2506m mobile last Friday night, sprinting the final 800m in 57.4sec. Remember El will appreciate a drop in class after finishing sixth behind Im Themightyquinn and Lombo Navigator last Friday week. He finished powerfully to win, first-up, the previous week.

Remember El will share the back mark of 30m with Falcons Medley, who has won in grand style at each of his past two starts over the Cup distance after starting from 20m and 30m. Falcons Medley, trained by Tony Svilicich, will again be handled by Chris Lewis, who has won the Navy Cup twice, with Mark Craig in 1995 and Super Strike the following year.

Frontmarker J Walker will have many admirers. The New Zealand-bred six-year-old is in top form for part-owner and trainer Graham Bond, with his past seven starts producing five wins, a second and a fourth.

J Walker put up a tremendous performance last Friday night when he galloped at the start and was in last place with two laps to travel before finishing powerfully, out three wide, from eighth at the bell to be second to Falcons Medley.


A blistering trial at Pinjarra on Sunday morning showed that star pacer-old Im Victorious had suffered no ill-effects from breaking into a bad gallop approaching the home turn and finishing 11th in the TABtouch Four-Year-Old Championship at Gloucester Park last Friday night.

Driven by Justin Prentice, Im Victorious finished full of running to win the 2185m trial by three lengths from the pacemaker Crombie, a top-flight pacer who won the 2010 WA Derby, the 2010 McInerney Ford Classic and the 2011 Bunbury Cup before finishing sixth in the interdominion championship final last March after winning a heat and being placed in two other heats.

Im Victorious rated 1.56.9 in the trial after dashing over the final two 400m sections in 28.5sec. and 27.1sec. It was a most convincing display by the New Zealand-bred gelding who has won at ten of his 13 starts and it showed that he should take a power of beating in the Lancaster Park Golden Nugget Prelude at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Im Victorious, trained at Serpentine by Michael Brennan, will start from the outside barrier (No. 7) on the front line in Friday night's 2506m prelude. He will be a short-priced favourite, with his most serious rivals appearing to be polemarker Western Cullen and Vital Equalizer, who will start from the outside of the back line.

Im Victorious, Western Cullen, Vital Equalizer and the other nine runners in Friday night's race will be on trial for the $125,000 group 1 McInerney Ford Classic over 2100m the following Friday night and the $175,000 group 1 Lancaster Park Golden Nugget Championship two weeks later.

Capel trainer Andrew de Campo will be anxious for Western Cullen to bounce back to his best form after the gelding finished a disappointing seventh behind Bettor Reason in the Four-Year-Old Championship last Friday night.

Western Cullen, who has amassed $337,033 in stakes from nine wins and eight placings from 21 starts, lacked early sparkle from the No. 2 barrier last week and was shuffled back to seventh at the bell. He raced without cover before winning stylishly, first-up, at his previous outing and is sure to appreciate starting from the prized No. 1 barrier this week.

Vital Equalizer is a smart sit-sprinter who cannot be underestimated. The gelding, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, was 11th at the bell before finishing strongly to be a close-up sixth behind Bettor Reason last week.

Three last-start winners --- Major Catastrophe, Polak and Lord Jowers --- will add interest to Friday night's event. Major Catastrophe, a winner of eight races, has resumed after a spell in good style with a first-up second to Copagrin at Harvey, followed by an effortless victory against very moderate opposition at Bunbury last Saturday night.

The Mike Reed-trained Polak impressed at his first appearance since mid-July when he flew home from tenth at the bell to win easily over 2100m at Gloucester Park on Tuesday of last week. Lord Jowers set the pace and won in good style over 2692m at Pinjarra on Monday.


It will be a nostalgic time for leading trainer Gary Hall sen. when he starts five horses at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

It will be the final time for 34 years that the 63-year-old trainer's pacers will be representing his Hazelmere stables and he would dearly love his final Hazelmere starter Benjamin Banneker to win the final event on the program, the Schweppes Pathway Pace.

The four-year-old New Zealand-bred Benjamin Banneker is the youngest and least experienced runner in the 2100m event, but he has wonderful potential and should prove very hard to beat, even from the wide barrier (No. 6) on the front line.

Benjamin Banneker, to be driven by Gary Hall jun., has had only four starts, all at Gloucester Park over the past five weeks for three wins and an unlucky third placing.

He will clash with interesting newcomer Sir Swanky, a former South Australian pacer who entered the Forrestdale stables of Greg and Skye Bond last month. Sir Swanky won nine races in succession last season and has won at 13 of his past 16 starts for a lifetime record of 45 starts for 16 wins, 13 placings and stakes of $45,200.

He set the pace and covered the final 800m in 57.8sec. when he won over 2230m at his most recent appearance, at Globe Derby Park on October 1. Colin Brown drove the son of Our Sir Vancelot in a 2150m trial at Byford on Sunday morning when he rated 2.1 in scoring an easy 20m win in modest company.

Hall sen., the leading metropolitan trainer six times, will also be represented on Friday night by Aussie Made Lombo, Remember El, Hokonui Ben and Mariquita Amor.

"I have been at Hazelmere since 1978 and I've got to move," he said. "The Government has bought the property and are putting a road through. I had no option but to move.

"We've bought a 100-acre property in Serpentine from Terry Ferguson. The property has a 1000m track for fast work and a sand track.

"I will be moving 47 horses, 36 are in work and 11 are spelling and it will take a week or so to move them all over. Am I looking forward to the move? Yes and no. It will be hard to set it all up and get into a rhythm."


Brilliant mare Aussie Made Lombo will make her Western Australian debut when she starts out wide at barrier six on the front line of the 2100m Nepean Conveyors Pace for mares at Gloucester Park on Friday night when her clash with several other outstanding performers will be a highlight of the ten-event program.

Aussie Made Lombo, a recent arrival at the Hazelmere stables of Gary Hall sen., will be driven by Gary Hall jun., who drove the five-year-old to a sound victory against fair opposition in a 2150m trial at Byford on Sunday morning. She dashed over the final 400m in 28.6sec. and rated 1.59.8.

Aussie Made Lombo has earned $493,571 from 19 wins and 22 placings from only 50 starts. She has won at her past two starts, both over 1609m at Menangle for Luke McCarthy. Her winning times were 1.55.1 and 1.55.3.

Among her opponents on Friday night are Lucie Boshier (unbeaten at her five starts in WA for trainer Chris Brew), Leda McNally (a stylish winner at each of her past six starts for trainer Chris King) and Arch On Fire (a winner at her past three starts for Kevin Keys). The rest of the field is made up of smart mares in Alkira Jetstar (12 wins from 17 starts), Elite Angel (12 wins), Easton Swift (12 wins) and Western Surprise (seven wins).

Friday night's event promises to be a thriller and should generate considerable interest. The connections of all runners will be keen for a strong showing to guarantee their mare a start in the $100,000 group 1 Nepean Conveyors Mares Classic at Gloucester park on November 30.

Another leading candidate for that rich event is Kamwood Laughter, who is aiming for a winning hat-trick when she contests the 2100m Paul Andrews Memorial Pace. Kamwood Laughter will start from the outside of the back line and will clash with seasoned open-class performers Mysta Magical Mach, Please Release Me, Franco Renegade and Hy Royale.


Kalgoorlie-trained pacer Rockyourbaby produced a powerful finishing burst to get up and win the $25,000 Village Kid Sprint at Northam's Burwood Park on Tuesday night to give champion reinsman Chris Lewis his third success in the 1780m feature event.

Rockyourbaby, a 5/1 chance, started from the back line and was eighth at the bell before going five wide on the home turn and storming down the straight to beat the pacemaker and 2/1 favourite Reuben Brogden (Ben Keiley) by 1.2m, with Mein Guy (Lang Inwood) a close third after trailing the leader.

Rockyourbabby is part-owned and trained in Kalgoorlie by John Sangalli, who also prepares Mein Guy. Rockyourbaby, who rated 1.56.6, has won at six of his past eight starts and has a record of 49 starts for 16 wins and nine placings for stakes of $114,298.

Lewis had been successful in the Village Kid Sprint with Sneakyn Down Under in 2008 and Luminous Lombo in 2010.


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