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Delightful Jade has been a model of consistency throughout her 27-start career which has produced 16 wins and five minor placings and she gets her chance to break through for her first victory in a group 1 feature when she start from the No. 3 barrier on the front line in the $100,000 Westbred Classic for three-year-old fillies at the harness racing meeting at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Blessed with sparkling gate speed, Delightful Jade has sound prospects of getting to an early lead and then dictating the terms of the 2130m event. She began brilliantly from barrier seven and set the pace before holding on grimly to defeat smart gelding Three Bears by a neck, rating 1.55.3 over 1609m at Bunbury last Friday night. That was her first outing since she led from barrier three and won by three lengths over 2242m at Narrogin on May 12 and she should be improved by her effort on Friday night last week. She is prepared at Capel by Andrew de Campo and is driven in her races by his son Aiden. Delightful Jade is out of Whitbys Solitaire, who was retired after only nine starts as a juvenile which produced a win at Narrogin as a two-year-old and another at Bunbury as a three-year-old. Whitbys Solitaire is a full-sister to former champion Whitbys Miss Penny, who was a dominant performer as a two and three-year-old. She amassed $568,289 from 32 wins and six placings from 50 starts. The Ross Olivieri-trained filly Lady Willoughby looms as the hardest for Delightful Jade to beat. Lady Willoughby, who will start from barrier four on the front line with Chris Voak in the sulky, notched her ninth win from 24 starts when she led from the No. 3 barrier and sprinted over the final 400m in 27.5sec. to beat Massive Attack by more than two lengths over 2100m at Bunbury last Friday night. Ken Casellas  

A back line draw for star juvenile Rich Yankee has thrown the $100,000 Westbred Classic for two-year-old colts and geldings wide open at the harness racing meeting at Gloucester Park on Friday night. But it should not prevent the brilliant Jesse Moore-trained gelding from continuing his winning ways. Rich Yankee has revealed dazzling gate speed from front-line draws to burst straight to the front and then romp to victory at his past two outings, over 2185m at Pinjarra and over 2100m in the group 1 Pearl Classic at Bunbury three Fridays ago. Before those two easy victories Rich Yankee revealed his wonderful versatility when he started out wide at barrier seven in a 2185m event at Pinjarra. He was restrained to the rear before surging home from last at the bell to win by just over two lengths. His average winning margin in his past three starts is 10.7m. Rich Yankee will start from the No. 12 barrier this week which is the No. 3 barrier on the back line under the new Gloucester Park formation of nine off the front and three off the back. Rich Yankee will follow out speedy beginner Rocknroll Whitby and Aiden de Campo should be able to settle the gelding in a prominent position before he makes his charge. Rich Yankee's back-line draw has raised the hopes of the connections of polemarker Johnny Disco and the impressive up-and-coming Lightning Jolt. Chris Lewis is likely to attempt to set the pace with Johnny Disco, who will start from the No. 1 barrier. The Ross Ashby-trained gelding warmed up for this week's classic in fine style when he scored by four lengths in 1.56.9 over 1609m at Bunbury last Saturday night. He started from the back line and finished boldly from eighth at the bell. Lightning Jolt, trained by John Oldroyd, gave a sample of his class when he came from sixth at the bell to win easily against moderate opposition, rating 1.57.5 over 1609m at Bunbury last Saturday week. He was an all-the-way winner over 1730m at Gloucester Park three starts earlier. Ken Casellas  

Tough harness racing mare My Samantha Jane finished fourth at her race debut, as a two-year-old at Bunbury on July 6, 2013, but has not been beaten at her subsequent four appearances on the Donaldson Park track. After wins at Bunbury in April and December last year and impressive victories at two starts on the track earlier this month she goes into the $25,000 final of the Nexans Olex Lombardo Mares Pace on Friday night with strong claims. Prepared at Hazelmere by Mike Reed and driven by his son Mark, My Samantha Jane will start from the No. 4 barrier on the front line. She excels as a frontrunner and has been seen in the role of pacemaker at her past three starts --- for two wins over 2100m at Bunbury and over 1780m at Northam. However, it is problematical whether Mark Reed will be able to send My Samantha Jane to an early lead this week, with Typhoon Tan and Pay Me Quick, both possessing good gate speed, drawn inside of her. Jungle Jewel, who has finished strongly to be second at each of her past three starts, has drawn ideally on the inside of the front line. She runs her best races when held up for a late burst and it is most likely that Ryan Warwick will be content to take a sit and rely on Jungle Jewel's powerful finish. A victory by Jungle Jewel, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, would complete a significant week for the 36-year-old Warwick, who at Pinjarra on Monday landed a double with Change Stride and Swimbetweentheflags to bring up a century of winners for the season, the first time he has achieved that notable feat. My Samantha Jane and Jungle Jewel look set to dominate betting, but back-line runners Hidden Bad, Hoylakes Firstlady and Where Dreams Grow are in fine form and will have many admirers. Hidden Bad, a New Zealand-bred four-year-old trained and driven by Nathan Turvey, has had 18 starts in Western Australia for nine wins and five placings and her two appearances on the Bunbury track have resulted in convincing victories. She enjoyed an ideal passage, one-out and one-back, before finishing strongly to win by just over a length from the pacemaker Typhoon Tan over 2100m last Friday night. Her four previous starts produced wins at Bunbury, Narrogin and Northam and a good second to Harper Grace at Northam. Hoylakes Firstlady is overdue for a change of luck for Capel trainer-driver Aiden de Campo. She has been placed at ten of her 19 starts this season and she should be prominent from the inside of the back line. Where Dreams Grow has won at three of her past five starts and is proving a consistent and versatile performer for Boyanup trainer-reinsman Justin Prentice. Ken Casellas

The $102,000 two year old Pearl for colts and geldings was run at the harness racing meeting at Bunbury last night and signaled the emergence of a very talented horse in the form of Rich Yankee. The good looking son of Yankee Sensation had won his last couple of starts in the manner of a horse on the rise and he franked that last night with a super display of front running that left his rivals gasping. Aiden De Campo burned Rich Yankee off the gate from barrier six and grabbed the lead in the first 200 metres and from there it was catch me if you can. Keeping up a steady tempo, Aiden upped the ante with Rich Yankee from the 800 metres mark, brushing down the back straight in 28.2. Just when you thought Rich Yankee may come back to the field, he sprinted home in a smart 27.7 and in the process left his rivals floundering, clearing out for an impressive 12 metre victory. Soho Wolverine got home well from three back on the inner for second for Gary Hall Jnr  in front of Alfs Odyssey and Justine Prentice who had trailed the winner the whole way. Rich Yankee paced the 2100 metres in a smart 2:33.9, a mile rate of 1:57.9 with closing sectionals of 55.9 and 27.7 What made the run look even better was the fact that Rich Yankee looked to run those sectionals within himself and looked to have plenty of petrol in the tank at the finish.  Last nights win by Rich Yankee was his fifth in his debut season and took his earnings to $87,748 for trainer Jesse Moore. Rich Yankee is the first foal from the former talented racemare in Rich Babe 1:59.3 ($134,415) who is a descendant of the brilliant New Zealand  racemare Arania who went 1:57 fifty years ago and then did a great job as a broodmare It is a family known for producing high class two year olds with monotonous regularity and seems to have struck again with Rich Yankee. Harnesslink Media

Northam harness racing horseman Jesse Moore, a master trainer of juvenile pacers for more than 40 years, has high hopes of winning the prestigious group 1 Pearl Classic for the third time when Aiden de Campo drives Rich Yankee in the $102,000 International Health Products Pearl Classic at Donaldson Park in Bunbury on Friday night. Rich Yankee, a winner at four of his eight starts, is awkwardly drawn at barrier six on the front line in the 2100m classic for two-year-olds, but he is versatile and capable of overcoming that disadvantage. Moore has a special affinity with Rich Yankee, having prepared the Yankee Sensation gelding's dam Rich Babe, who earned $134,415 from 14 wins and 30 placings from 95 starts. Rich Babe, like her only progeny (Rich Yankee) showed excellent promise as a two-year-old. She raced 14 times at that age for two wins and seven placings, the most notable of which was her second to the brilliant Amongst Royalty in the group 2 $70,000 Sales Classic for fillies at Gloucester Park in February 2006. Moore trained Don Athaldo for his notable victory over champion filly Mazzini Magic in the 1998 Pearl and notched his second win in the classic when 8/1 chance The Jobs On, driven by Gary Hall jun., overcame the No. 6 barrier when he raced in the breeze and took the lead 700m from home to score by four lengths from outsider Lady de Beau in 2004. Rich Yankee revealed sparkling early pace from barrier four in a qualifying heat of the Pearl at Pinjarra on Tuesday of last week when he surged to the front after 75m. He rated 1.58 over the 2185m journey and defeated Soho Wall Street by 13m, with 7m to the third placegetter Destined To Rule. The gross time for that heat was 2min. 40.2sec. Alfs Odyssey gave a strong performance to win the other qualifying heat, with a gross time of 2min. 43sec., rating 2.0.1. Alfs Odyssey, trained and driven by Justin Prentice, started from barrier six and he worked hard in the breeze before he forged to the front 300m from home and fought on doggedly to win by a head from the fast-finishing Johnny Disco. The final quarters in 27.7sec. and 27.9sec. compare favourably with Rich Yankee's final sectionals of 29.5sec. and 28.2sec. Alfs Odyssey by Dawn Ofa New Day, bred and owned by Reg Smallacombe, was a 22/1 outsider for his win at his third start in a race. He will be at a much shorter quote in Friday night's final in which he has drawn perfectly at No. 1 on the front line. He and Johnny Disco (barrier two) look set to contest the early lead. The Glenn Elliott-trained Soho Wall Street will start from the No. 4 barrier. He possesses excellent gate speed and could also make a bid for the early lead. Elliott will also be represented by Soho Wolverine (Grinfromeartoear), who is handily drawn on the inside of the back line. Soho Wall Street (Four Starzzz Shark) has won once from four starts (at Narrogin three starts ago) and Soho Wolverine was a winner at Pinjarra in March, as well as being placed five times in his seven-start career. Pinjarra trainer Ross Ashby has two runners, Johnny Disco (Jeremes Jet) and Disco Under Fire by Courage Under Fire (who faces a tough task from the outside of the front line). Johnny Disco led and won over 1730m at his debut at Gloucester Park in early February, when he defeated Rich Yankee. Johnny Disco will be handled by Chris Lewis, who has won the Pearl behind Lombo Laredo (1994), Mitemptation (1995) and Argent Treasure (2007). Two runners with strong each-way prospects are Lightning Jolt (Village Jolt) and Destined To Rule (Shadow Play), who will start from the two outside positions on the back line. Lightning Jolt, trained at Byford by John Oldroyd, possesses wonderful natural pace and looks set to fight out the finish, with Clint Hall in the sulky. Lightning Jolt, a brilliant all-the-way winner at a 1.57.6 rate over 1730m at Gloucester Park at his second race start (on May 15), galloped at the mobile start and lost six lengths in a qualifying heat last week. He was eighth at the bell in the field of nine before finishing strongly into fourth place behind Alfs Odyssey. Hall then drove him to a stylish runaway victory in a 2150m trial at Byford on Sunday morning. The gelding burst straight to the front from barrier four and was allowed to dawdle through the first two 400m sections in 32.9sec. and 32.1sec. before he strolled over the next section in 30.2sec. and sprinted over the final quarter in 27.9sec. to win, unextended, by more than seven lengths from Questionable Gesture. Lightning Jolt is a brother of stablemate Mynameskenny, who finished a good fourth behind Beaudiene Boaz in the Golden Slipper at Gloucester Park last July. Destined To Rule, to be driven by Kim Prentice for Baskerville trainer Sonia Zucchiatti, was a most unlucky third behind Rich Yankee in a Pearl heat at Pinjarra on Tuesday of last week. After being restrained from barrier five, he raced at the rear before starting a fast move about 650m from home. But he then met severe interference and did extremely well to recover and fight on determinedly. Prentice is hoping for better luck than he encountered in the Pearl 12 months ago when he was driving the 2/1 on favourite The Odd Lover, when the off-side tyre of the colt's sulky was punctured just 100m after the start. The Odd Lover then was at a massive disadvantage when he raced outside the pacemaker (and winner) Isaiah Artois with the tube wrapped around the axel. He broke when being restrained as he was dropping back 250m from the finish. by Ken Casellas

The $150,000 West Australian Oaks for three year old fillies at the harness racing meeting at Gloucester Park on Friday night was meant to be a one filly affair with Tricky Styx from barrier two seen as virtually unbeatable. Justin Prentice had two quality fillies in the field in the form of Quite A Delight and Major Reality but both fillies had drawn poorly on the second line. Donegal Kahlum from barrier one grabbed the early lead for Colin Brown with the favourite Tricky Styx and Aiden De Campo settling three back on the outer in the running line. Both of Justin Prentice's fillies settled near the back of the field early and stayed there for the first lap and a half. With just over 1200 metres to go Gary Hall Jnr took off on Major Reality and worked his way to the death seat with 900 metres to go. Major Reality was tracked up by the stablemate Quite A Delight with trainer Justin Prentice in the bike and she made the death seat with 800 metres to go. Passing the 500 metres mark Donegal Kahlum threw out the anchor leaving Quite A Delight in front with Major Reality and Tricky Styx both coming into it wider out. Quite A Delight turned for home first but bit by bit Major Reality inched closer and right on the line grabbed the stablemate for a great win. Quite A Delight was gallant in defeat, just half a head away from her stablemate with a length back to Tricky Styx in third. Major Reality paced the 2536 metres in 3:08.7, a mile rate of 1:59.8 with closing sectionals of 56.2 and 27.5. Major Reality Major Reality is a three year old daughter of Art Major who was purchased out of the New Zealand Premier Yearling Sale in Christchurch in 2013 for $31,000 by Kim Prentice which must look a bargain now. Another filly that Kim Prentice purchased on that trip was Quite A Delight who was also brought out of the New Zealand Premier Sale in Christchurch in 2013 and cost $30,000 And for the trifecta, the third placed Tricky Styx was also purchased out of the 2013 New Zealand Premier Sale at Christchurch for the princely sum of $5,000 It is hard enough to get one filly to peak for an Oaks but to have two runners and to run the quinella is a huge achievement and a real feather in the cap of their young trainer Justin Prentice. Justin Prentice interview Harnesslink Media

It is ladies’ night at Gloucester Park tomorrow night, with the 47th running of the West Australian Oaks heading the program. For most of the season Oaks discussions have centred on the Gary Hall-trained Nuala, but due to a paddock accident, the filly will not contest the Group One. Despite Nuala’s absence, the Blue Riband has attracted a strong line-up and it will be no surprise to see many of these fillies ‘train on’ to future feature race success. Outstanding youngster Tricky Styx heads betting markets following her brilliant campaign through the recent Derby series. After running a solid third in the $50,000 Western Gateway Classic, the strapping daughter of Jeremes Jet was ‘best of the rest’ behind the irresistible Boadine Boaz in the Western Australia Derby. Aiden De Campo always had her travelling smoothly from a horror draw, and she more than held her own storming from midfield in a 54-second last half to run an excellent second behind this season’s premier colt. De Campo will be looking to join his father as a winning driver in the fillies’ classic, with Andrew having driven crowd favourite Norms Daughter to a ‘Herculean’ win against the My Cherie in 1994. Andrew will be represented by classy filly Delightful Jade, a winner at 14 of her 24 starts. She recently ran third in the Country Derby, but her chances have been sullied by a poor draw in gate seven. Victorian horseman Dean Braun is no stranger to WA success, having campaigned many of his stable stars such as Mustang Mach, Chancellor Cullen and Chilli Palmer to capture local features during the past few years. Braun has brought Victorian Oaks heat winner Sudden Change across the Nullarbor, with the daughter of Changeover has drawn handily in barrier five. Fifth in the $205,000 Victorian Oaks Final, Sudden Change rounded off her preparation for a trip west with a solid third in the Prendergast Oaks at Ballarat, with Braun booking Morgan Woodley to partner his charge. JASON LINCOLN

Veteran Northam horseman Jesse Moore describes his star filly Tricky Syyx as "simply awesome" and is confident she will be capable of overcoming a back-line barrier and proving too good for her ten rivals in the $35,000 Central Fruit Sales Gold Bracelet at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Widely regarded as one of the finest mentors of juvenile pacers in Western Australia over the past 40 years, Moore has no hesitation in declaring that Tricky Styx is "a long way in front of any fillies I've ever had."' "It's awesome what she can do," he said. "Against older horses on the track, she can just squat on them and then blow them away." Tricky Styx, brilliant winner of the $50,000 Champagne Classic in May and the $100,000 Diamond Classic last month, has drawn the No. 2 barrier on the back line and will clash with several smart, in-form fillies, including Straittothehilton (winner of the $100,000 Westbred Classic at her most recent appearance), Sea Me Smile, Delightful Jade, Massive Attack, Racketeer Reactor and Major Reality. "The back-line draw probably suits her style of racing," Moore said. "She just likes to sit up a bit and get home. The barrier is actually better than it looks. I'm happy with her and she couldn't have worked any better than she did this (Tuesday) morning. So there's no excuses." Moore, who prepared 12/1 chance Fidelius Charm when she started from a wide barrier and charged home from sixth at the bell to get up and gain a last-stride victory by a nose over Sheer Royalty in the 2008 Gold Bracelet, said that the filly had suffered from foot soreness after her victory in the Diamond Classic on June 6. "She had a couple of corns coming on her heels," he said. "So we put some different shoes on her and she has responded well. I took her to the trials at Byford last Sunday week because she hadn't raced for about three weeks. I thought I had better just check how she was going." Race reinsman Aiden De Campo travelled from Capel to handle the filly in the 2150m trial in which she started out wide at barrier six and was restrained to the rear before unwinding a dazzling finishing burst to score an effortless victory by three and a half lengths from smart three-year-old gelding Hugh Victor. After slow early quarters Tricky Styx dashed over the final 400m in 28.2sec. and rated 2.2.8. "She was put in a trial for two-year-olds, but there were a couple in the trial who were there just to qualify," Moore said. "So I took her out and put her in a trial for older horses. She sat back at the rear and when Aiden let her go she just went whoosh. She took off leaving the back straight and she was in front before they straightened up. Aiden was more than happy with the trial." The 22-year-old de Campo is hoping for a change of fortune after driving the 3/1 on favourite Im Bella Jay into second place behind Generally Outspoken in the Gold Bracelet 12 months ago. Im Bella Jay raced three back on the pegs and was blocked for a clear passage until late, when she rattled home to fail by a length to overhaul the pacemaker. Capel trainer Andrew De Campo, father of Aiden, is hopeful that his stylish WA-bred filly Delightful Jade will give him his third success in the classic, after having trained and driven Kiwaussie Girl (1995) and Express Fire (1999) for wins in the race. Delightful Jade is a speedy frontrunner who has won six times from nine starts and will be fancied from the No. 4 barrier on the front line. Chris Lewis is delighted at the progress of Sea Me Smile, who is favourably drawn at barrier two on the front line. Sea Me Smile, trained by Debra Lewis, won for the third time from seven starts when she finished fast to beat highly-regarded colt Mister Ardee at Gloucester Park last Friday night. Lewis has driven a record six winners of the Gold Bracelet. He has been successful with Smooth Sensation (1991), Flames And Flowers (1997), Lady Maryclare (2002), Vinnies Sister (2003), Fidelius Charm (2008) and Sensational Gabby (2011). Leading reinsman Gary Hall jun. will handle Massive Attack from barrier three on the back line and he hopes to cause an upset like he did when he drove 18/1 chance Generally Outspoken to victory in last year's event. "She wouldn't know what a good barrier is," he said. "With a bit more luck with draws she could have won about $150,000 at her past three starts, instead of about $18,000." VC Manoeuvre can turn the tables Leading trainer Gary Hall sen., who is in Brisbane with Im Themightyquinn, dominates the EPT Fruit And Vegetable Merchants Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night with five of the 12 runners and ace reinsman Gary Hall jun. predicts that stablemates VC Manoeuvre and Soho Lennon will fight out the finish of the 1730m sprint. Hall jun. will drive VC Manoeuvre and his elder brother Clint will handle Soho Lennon. Hall jun. said that both geldings are richly talented and that he considered that VC Manoeuvre was capable of turning the tables on his stablemate. In a thrilling spectacle in a 2130m event at Gloucester Park on Monday of last week Soho Lennon caused a minor upset when he charged home to defeat VC Manoeuvre at a 1.56.1 rate over 2130m, with final sections in 28.9sec. and 27.2sec. VC Manoeuvre raced in the one-out, one-back position before bursting to the front with 470m to travel. Soho Lennon, who trailed his stablemate throughout, issued a strong challenge 250m from the post before getting to the front 150m later. VC Manoeuvre is badly drawn at barrier four on the back line and Soho Lennon is even worse off from the outside of the back line. "However, I still think that they should run 1-2," Hall jun. said. "But in saying that, the percentage of winners from those barriers (11 and 12) over 1730m is really low. It's really tough, but they should provide the quinella, barring bad luck. "They've both got a bit of everything, a bit of toughness and they are quick, as everyone saw last start when I didn't think that Lennon would get over VC Manoeuvre. I didn't think that he actually did after the runs we had. I was a bit surprised, but it was hard to be disappointed with Manoeuvre. "These two horses are probably not far off Elegant Christian and Machtu, if at all. They're both really good and I think at this stage that VC Manoeuvre has probably got more improvement in him, taking into account greenness and the way he races." Stablemates Themightynadal (Kim Prentice), Avalon Bromac (Lauren Jones) and Tanaka Eagle (Robbie Williams) are in sound form, but do not appear capable of seriously testing the better-performed VC Manoeuvre and Soho Lennon. Prentice hoping for a birthday gift Boyanup horseman Justin Prentice has sound prospects of celebrating his birthday by driving consistent eight-year-old This Time Dylan to victory in the $21,000 Quality Produce Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Prentice, who turns 26 on Saturday, drove the Michael Brennan-trained gelding into third place behind Hokonui Ben and Toretto in the 2936m WA Pacing Cup in January and then guided him to victory over Uppy Son in the 2662m Narrogin Cup the following month. The New Zealand-bred This Time Dylan will start from barrier four on the back line on Friday night, but he is sure to appreciate quite a drop in class after racing four back on the pegs and fighting on to finish fourth behind the brilliant David Hercules in the 2536m Winter Cup last Friday night. This Time Dylan, who is capable of unwinding a power-packed finishing burst, is an M9-class performer and has a decided class edge over all his rivals with the exception of Ima Rocket Star (with an M7 classification) and Rocket Reign (M7), a ten-year-old in the twilight of his career and boasting a losing sequence of 17. Ima Rocket Star, making his third appearance after a spell, will start from the outside of the front line, but cannot be disregarded after running home solidly from three back on the pegs to finish third behind David Hercules and Please Release Me last Friday night. The youngest runners in the race are five-year-olds Benjamin Banneker and Reuben Brogden, who both have winning prospects. Reuben Brogden impressed when he stormed home to win from Slick Chapel three starts ago. Benjamin Banneker has been unplaced at his past ten starts and has a losing sequence of 19 this season after winning nine times from 19 starts the previous season. However, he will have admirers this week after drawing the prized No. 1 barrier. "I'd like to think he will be prominent," said reinsman Gary Hall jun. "And from this draw he gets his chance. The numbers next to his name are terrible, but he's obviously better suited on the pace, so I'll be definitely be trying to hold up and take advantage of the draw." Mighty Flying Thomas, placed only once from his past eight starts, has not enjoyed much luck in recent starts and even though somewhat awkwardly drawn at barrier four, he is capable of a bold showing. And, so too, is Lord Lombo. Isaiah Artois to warm up for Golden Slipper Speedy two-year-old Isaiah Artois will have his final warm-up for the $125,000 Golden Slipper on Friday week when he contests the Mercer Mooney Fruit And Vegetables Merchants Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. His clash with other Slipper hopefuls, notably Mister Ardee, Assassinator, The Odd Lover and Artillery Major, should provide plenty of fireworks. The David Thompson-trained Isaiah Artois is a noted frontrunner and Colin Brown is likely to attempt to get the Modern Art gelding to muster plenty of pace in a bid to get to an early lead from the No. 4 barrier. The three horses drawn on his inside possess good gate speed, but Isaiah Artois looks capable of sizzling to the front and dictating terms. Mister Ardee (barrier seven) and The Odd Lover (No. 2 on the back line) have wonderful potential and loom as dangerous rivals. Mister Ardee has finished a close second to handy filly Sea Me Smile at his past two outings and he gives the impression that he will continue to improve. He had a tough run, three wide early and then without cover before bursting past the pacemaker Assassin in the home straight and then being overhauled in the final few strides by Sea Me Smile last Friday night. Three wins and eight placings from 12 starts underline his consistency and punters cannot afford to underestimate him. The Kim Prentice-trained The Odd Lover also looks set to fight out the finish. He was desperately unlucky in the $100,000 Pearl Classic on June 13 when he competed with a flat sulky tyre and was then seriously hampered when the tube became entangled in the axel. His previous form, three wins and a second, was outstanding. by Ken Casellas  

The premature loss of Kenneth J to the Australasian harness racing industry hurt a bit more last night when his talented filly Im Bella Jay displayed plenty of grit winning the $100,000 Westbred final for 3 year old fillies. It was her second win in a Westbred final having taken out the two year old fillies final last season. Allowed to settle back from her second line draw, Im Bella Jay took off three wide with 1500 meters to go before ending up in the death seat with 1100 meters to go. From there she controlled the tempo of the race and when driver Matthew White said go at the 500 meters ,the race was as good as over. The favourite Harriet Elizabeth made ground stylishly late but Im Bella Jay was holding her comfortably on the line. Im Bella Jay paced the 2130 meters in 2:36.8, a mile rate of 1:58.5 with closing sectionals of 59.2 and 29.7. It was the Aiden De Campo trained filly's eighth lifetime win and took her stake earnings to $174,564. Kenneth J 1:49.6 ($1,592,755) only stood three seasons at stud in Australasia before his untimely death. His oldest crop are three year olds in the current season and number 63 of which 35 have started and 19 have been winners with Im Bella Jay his best performer to date. Im Bella Jay is from an old New Zealand family that hit the headlines through the deeds of the great broodmare Bravine and which has been mainly in the hands of Bruce Francis from Mid-Canterbury for over 40 years Once the hottest commercial family in New Zealand in the 1980s, it continues to produce classic winning young horses to this day. The dam of Im Bella Jay is the race winning Barnett Hanover mare Belturbet 2:02 ($25,186) She is a half sister to two really talented horses in Donegal Delight 1:56.3 ($225,778) and McDana 1:52.2 ($177,565) This is the family made famous by the brilliant Locarno 1:58.2 ($181,915) who won the 1980 Miracle Mile while Ostrava (10 wins) and Agrinion (9 wins) were other age group stars from this family. Some of the maternal sires in this pedigree may not be to every ones liking but what this family has shown over a long period is it doesn't change the output of the family one bit. If you ever needed confirmation of that fact then Im Bella Jay is living proof. Im Bella Jay Harnesslink media

A favourable draw for My Hard Copy has greatly enhanced the prospects of champion trainer Gary Hall sen. and star reinsman Gary Hall jun. of continuing their remarkable dominance of the Channel 9 Winter Cup when the New Zealand-bred four-year-old starts from the No. 2 barrier in the $35,000 feature at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The 64-year-old Hall has trained the winner of the group 3 Winter Cup a record seven times and his 31-year-old son has driven the winner of this event six times. Hall sen. has won the event with Kaydee (1994), The Falcon Strike (2003), Iontheball (2004), Washakie (2008), Im Themightyquinn (2009 and 2013) and Davy Maguire (2012). Hall jun. has been the winning driver behind The Falcon Strike, Washakie, Im Themightyquinn (twice), Davy Maguire and Lookslikelightning in 2005. For good measure, Hall sen. has trained the second placegetter in the Winter Cup five times. My Hard Copy is the youngest runner in this week's Cup and Hall jun. looks set to make a bold bid to burst straight to the front and set the pace over the 2536m journey. My Hard Copy started from the No. 2 barrier in a 2536m event two starts ago, last Friday week, when he was smartest into stride, set the pace and sprinted over the final two 400m sections in 27.6sec. and 28.3sec. before being overhauled in the final stride and being beaten by a half-head by superstar Im Themightyquinn. Then, last Friday night My Hard Copy started from the inside of the back line in the 2130m Past Presidents Cup. He trailed the pacemaker Please Release Me before fighting on determinedly to finish fourth, just a half-length behind the winner Our Arlington. My Hard Copy is at his best when he leads, and if he repeats his effort when narrowly beaten by Im Themightyquinn two starts ago he should emerge triumphant. Hall sen. bypassed the chance for Im Themightyquinn to win the Winter Cup for a record third time (in the Cup's 63-year history). He is in Brisbane with high hopes of a victory by Im Themightyquinn in the $60,000 group 2 Garrard's Sunshine Sprint over 1660m at Albion Park on Saturday night. Hall jun. will fly out of Perth after the Gloucester Park meeting to handle the champion. My Hard Copy is one of three Hall-trained runners in the Winter Cup. The others are Our Arlington, who will be driven by Clint Hall and should be prominent from the coveted No. 1 barrier, and Bettor Reason. Both the New Zealand-bred five-year-olds are last-start winners. Our Arlington began speedily from the No. 4 barrier last week and then obtained a perfect trip, one-out and one-back, before finishing powerfully to win the Past Presidents Cup from Dundee Three, Please Release Me and My Hard Copy. Bettor Reason, who will start from barrier three on the back line, impressed at his second appearance after a ten-month absence when he raced without cover before finishing strongly to win a 1730m event in considerably weaker company at Gloucester Park on Tuesday of last week. Brilliant pacer David Hercules fared badly in the random draw and will be tested from the No. 6 barrier on the front line. He led easily from barrier two when he went on to defeat Im Themightyquinn over 2130m at a 1.55.3 rate three Fridays ago. He possesses sparkling early speed, but it is problematical whether he will be able to muster sufficient pace to get to an early lead. David Hercules, a winner of 30 races and $820,304 in prizemoney, warmed up for the Cup with an effortless win in a 2150m trial at Byford on Sunday morning. Morgan Woodley dashed the David Thompson-trained seven-year-old straight to the front from barrier five. But there will be far greater pressure on him to get to an early lead in Friday night's race. After setting a slow early pace in the trial, with first quarters in 32.1sec. and 31.1sec., David Hercules was not extended in sprinting the final sections in 28.9sec. and 27.2sec. to win by four lengths from Condrieu. Woodley drove David Hercules in last year's Winter Cup when the gelding started from barrier four, raced three wide early, sustained a punctured tyre of the sulky and had a tough run in the breeze before wilting to fifth. Woodley drove Mysta Magical Mach when the gelding flew home from last at the bell to be a half-length second to Im Themightyquinn in the 2009 Winter Cup and he was successful in the race two years later when Has The Answers led from barrier five and easily beat Flamin Tact and Nowuseeme. Chris Lewis, who drove Has The Answers to victory in the 2010 Winter Cup, has also been successful behind Village Kid in 1991 and Pocket Power in 2001. This year he will drive Dundee Three, who is racing keenly and cannot be disregarded, even from his awkward draw at No. 5 on the front line. Dundee Three worked hard without cover and fought on grandly when a close second to Our Arlington last Friday night. Clint Hall was impressed with Our Arlington's performance last week and he is hoping that the six-year-old will give him another win in the Winter Cup after his success with Iontheball, who beat Hilton Adios and The Falcon Strike in 2006. Mista Rush can overcome wide draw Up-and-coming gelding Mista Rush has the ability to overcome a wide barrier and win the $100,000 Tim McMillan On Nine News Westbred Classic for three-year-old colts and geldings at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Trained at Boyanup by Justin Prentice, Mista Rush has had a well-planned preparation for the group 1 feature event, with his eight runs this season producing five wins, a second and a third placing. He wound up his preparation with a striking performance at Gloucester Park on Monday of last week when he started from the No. 2 barrier on the back line and enjoyed the one-out, one-back sit for the first lap before starting a three-wide move at the bell. Prentice then got the gelding back into then one-out, one-back position 250m later before again switching him three wide with 350m to travel. Mista Rush burst to the front on the home turn and won, untouched, by almost two lengths from Algranco Under Fire, rating 1.57.1 over the 1730m journey. He sizzled home over the final 800m in 55.4sec. Mista Rush showed his toughness and versatility when he raced without cover before winning over 1684m at Pinjarra in April and over 2100m at Bunbury in May. He will start from barrier No. 6 on the front line in Friday night's classic and Prentice will be anxious to obtain a favourable passage in the one-wide line. Mister Jadore, the State's star two-year-old last season, is likely to be a short-priced favourite from his handy draw at No. 3 on the front line. Banjup trainer Annie Belton produced Mister Jadore in splendid shape for his first-up run at Bunbury last Saturday week when he began speedily from barrier six, set the pace and won easily from The Real Nadal and Choccy Mac over 2100m That was Mister Jadore's first appearance since his unplaced effort behind Three Blind Mice in the WA Derby on April 11. His 27 starts have produced 11 wins, ten placings and $201,889 in prizemoney. There is little doubt that Chris Lewis will be keen to get Mister Jadore straight to the front. But there is no certainty that he will be able to cross polemarker Khun Ratha and Keeper of Keys (barrier two). Both pacers possess excellent gate speed and have been successful when leading. Mister Jadore worked in good style when he led from barrier four and won a 2185m trial at Pinjarra on Sunday morning when he dashed over the final 400m sections in 29.3sec. and 28.4sec. Khun Ratha, trained at Capel by Andrew De Campo, has enjoyed a brief spell since finishing third to Mista Rush over 2185m at Pinjarra on March 17. He has not been produced in public trials, but he is a speedy beginner and smart frontrunner, capable of a bold first-up effort. The David Thompson-trained Keeper of Keys led from barrier four and won from Soho Cash and Hugh Victor over 2190m at Northam on June 17. That was his third win from seven starts and he warmed up for Friday night's assignment when he rated 2min. and won a seven-horse trial over 2150m by more than eight lengths at Byford on Sunday morning. Colin Brown will drive Keeper of Keys and Morgan Woodley will handle smart stablemate Hugh Victor, who will start from barrier five on the front line. Im Bella Jay in peak form Im Bella Jay gave a commanding exhibition of her ability when she obliterated her rivals in a 2130m event at Gloucester Park on Monday afternoon and she has excellent prospects of maintaining her winning form and completing a hat-trick when she contests the $100,000 Sally Ayhan On Nine News Westbred Classic for three-year-old fillies on Friday night. She will start from barrier two on the back line in the 2130m group 1 feature event. But this should not prove a serious impediment to the chances of a tough and versatile filly. She started from barrier four on the back line in Monday's race and settled in eighth position before Aiden De Campo set her alight mid-race and she stormed into third place, three wide, at the bell before she burst to the front at the 400m mark and raced away to score by seven lengths from Formyeyesonly, rating 1.58.3. At her previous appearance, over 2180m at Wagin ten nights earlier, she raced three wide in the first lap and then in the breeze before winning easily from Navajo Windtalker in considerably easier company than she will meet on Friday night. A winner at seven of her 24 starts for Capel trainer Andrew De Campo, Im Bella Jay is likely to meet the stiffest opposition from fellow back-line runners, her stablemate Maddy White, Harriet Elisabeth and Pure Royalty. Maddy White has won seven times from 29 starts and has the ability to overcome the disadvantage of starting from the outside of the back line. Harriet Elisabeth has an impressive 50 per cent record, six wins from 12 starts. And with Colin Brown in the sulky from barrier three on the back line, the David Thompson-trained filly has the speed and strength to fight out the finish. Mark Reed gave punters a lead when he decided to drive the Ryan Bell-trained All About Pink from the No. 6 barrier on the front line in preference to Pure Royalty, a smart filly and winner of five races who is prepared by his father Mike Reed. The in-form Chris Voak has been engaged to drive Pure Royalty. Bond team in sparkling form The powerful combination of trainers Greg and Skye Bond and ace reinsman Colin Brown are in dazzling form and they should give punters a flying start by winning the opening event at Gloucester Park on Friday night with the small but speedy Assassinator. Assassinator has drawn the prized No. 1 barrier in the 2130m The Block On Nine Pace for two-year-olds. He gave a sample of his ability when he started from barrier four and burst straight to the front before romping to a two-length victory over Front Cover Girl, rating 1.57.8 over 1730m at Gloucester Park on Monday afternoon. That followed his close second to Mynameskenny over 2130m six days earlier. Assassinator has won just once from six starts, but is improving with every run. His win on Monday was the first of five winners for the Bonds and Brown in the space of two days. The combination also was successful on Monday with Machs A Pearler before a treble at Northam on Tuesday night with smart three-year-olds Jumbo Jet and Ima Tragedy and five-year-old Barrow Street. Assassinator is sure to meet strong opposition from Mynameskenny and Mister Ardee, who will start from barriers, three and four, respectively. Mynameskenny, trained by John Oldroyd, impressed first-up at Gloucester Park last Tuesday week when he raced wide for much of the way before beating Assassinator by a neck. Mister Ardee, a winner at two races in New Zealand, is trained by Gary Elson and has showed excellent potential at his first two Australian starts, covering a lot of extra ground before winning first-up by five lengths at Gloucester Park and then running home strongly to be a close second to Sea Me Smile at Pinjarra. Hall set to keep up the good work Star reinsman Gary Hall jun. notched his century of city winners this season when he drove Globalization to an easy all-the-way victory at Gloucester Park on Monday afternoon, should keep up the good work by scoring an all-the-way win with Slick Chapel in the 2130m PWC People Business Pace on Friday night. The New Zealand-bred four-year-old is the youngest runner in the race and he should carry too many guns for his rivals by setting the pace from the prized No. 1 barrier. He started out wide from barrier six in a 2130m event last Friday night and was restrained back to last in the field of 12. He started a three-wide move approaching the bell and went four wide 420m from home before finishing powerfully to be second to El Machine. by Ken Casellas  

Munster businessman Tom Erceg and harness racing owner snapped up a wonderful bargain when he paid just $6000 for a Rich And Spoilt filly at the Gloucester Standardbred yearling sale in February 2013. The filly named Straittothehilton and raced by Erceg in partnership with Byford trainer Katja Warwick, boosted her earnings to $88,330 when she gave a dashing display to score an easy victory in the $100,000 group 1 NHP Westbred Classic for two-year-old fillies at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Straittothehilton, third favourite at 9/2, was driven in masterly fashion by Morgan Woodley and the win completed a double for Woodley and the Warwick family in the Westbred Classic. Former champion trainer-reinsman Trevor Warwick, husband of Katja, prepared 14/1 chance Sweet Atomic when Woodley drove her to a thrilling victory in a three-way photo finish from Hermattjesty Mulan and Flirtalicious in the 2011 Westbred Classic for two-year-old fillies. Straittothehilton jumped straight to the front from the No. 1 barrier before Aiden De Campo sent 3/1 second fancy Delightful Jade (a winner at six of her seven starts) into the lead after 100m, leaving the heavily-supported 9/4 favourite Massive Attack in the breeze. After a leisurely lead time of 38.7sec. and a slow first quarter of 31.6sec., de Campo increased the tempo and Delightful Jade sprinted over the second section in 28.8sec. This was followed by a 29.2sec. quarter before Gary Hall jun. sent Massive Attack to the front 270m from home. Woodley had eased Straittothehilton off the pegs with about 600m to travel to follow the run of Massive Attack. Straittothehilton burst into the lead 100m from the post and won by two lengths from Massive Attack, who put up a tremendous performance to finish second. The final quarter was a modest 30.8sec. and Straittothehilton rated 2.01 over the 2130m journey. Soho New York (40/1) surged home from tenth at the bell to finish a further two lengths back in third place, in front of Sea Me Smile. Delightful Jade wilted to finish sixth. Katja Warwick has given Straittothehilton a splendid preparation and the filly went into the classic as the most experienced runner, with 13 starts under her belt. Straittothehilton, who has been driven by Woodley in all her starts, has now won three races and been placed eight times. Her dam Made of Dreams (by Parsons Den) raced 49 times for ten wins, 14 placings and $39,664. Made of Dreams is out of unraced Northern Lights mare Arctic Glow, whose five winners included Chazsalico (135 starts for 20 wins, 31 placings and $141,515). Amongst Royalty, a full-sister of Made of Dreams, won two group 1 and one group 2 classic as a two-year-old and retired with a record of 86 starts for 23 wins and 27 placings for earnings of $570,820. Arctic Glow's dam Broncroft Castle produced star pacer Mon Poppy Day, who amassed $318,558 from 20 wins and 16 placings from 50 starts. His wins included the WA and Tasmanian Derbies in 1996, the 1996 Golden Nugget, the 1997 Christmas Gift and the 1998 Mount Eden Mile. Straittothehilton also is related to former champion mares Under Cover Lover (70 starts for 21 wins, 22 placings and $864,923) and Bettor Cover Lover (39 starts for 19 wins, 14 placings and $1,026,427). Straittothehilton is the latest of the progeny of Rich And Spoilt to win juvenile classics. His previous classic winners include Silver Tail Adda, Shipwreck, Batavia Touchngo and Adda Cool Mil. Rich And Spoilt won the 1999 Pearl Classic, the State Sires Series Classic and Caduceus Club Classic in 2000 and finished a nose second to Seelster Sam in the Gold Nugget Championship in December 2000. Straittothehilton Erceg also purchased a colt for $9500 at the 2013 sales who is trained by Katja Warwick. The colt, named Out of the Shadow, won at his debut, at Harvey in January this year and again at Bunbury in February. Veteran lands first group 1 winner Veteran Bunbury trainer Bob Wood landed his first group 1 winner when Kyle Harper drove All Aussie Boy to an all-the-way victory in the $100,000 Clipsal Schneider Westbred Classic for two-year-old colts and geldings at Gloucester Park on Friday night. All Aussie Boy, equal second favourite at 13/4, made the most of the prized No. 1 barrier, but had to survive a spirited early challenge from 5/4 favourite Persistent Threat before setting the pace and holding on grimly to defeat 11/1 chance A Force In Action by a metre, with a length and a half back to 66/1 outside Captain Oats in third place. The 23-year-old Harper had some anxious moments in the final stages when All Aussie Boy began to shift up the track. The left-handed Harper then used the whip in his non-preferred right hand to prevent the colt from veering out. He responded gamely to Harper's urgings and just held out the fast-finishing A Force In Action, who had enjoyed an perfect trip behind the pacemaker until Mark Reed got him off the pegs approaching the home turn and brought the colt home with a strong three-wide burst. After the race the stewards fined Harper $200 for incorrect use of the whip in that he used more than a wrist and elbow action. Persistent Threat began speedily from the No. 2 barrier and Tom Buchanan made a spirited bid for the lead. Persistent Threat got almost a length and a half in front of All Aussie Boy, but just failed to muster sufficient speed to cross to the front, with Harper driving All Aussie Boy hard to retain the lead. Buchanan took hold of Persistent Threat after 200m and the gelding broke into a gallop. However, Buchanan quickly got Persistent Threat back into a pacing action. Morgan Woodley then dashed Thatlebe forward with a fast three-wide burst to move into the breeze after 550m. Then, after 600m, Colin Brown sent the 13/4 equal second fancy Isaiah Artois forward from the rear with a three-wide charge to assume the position outside the pacemaker. Persistent Threat then was sixth win the one-wide line. The first quarter was run in 31.8sec. before final sections in 29.9sec., 29.9sec. and 29.2sec. Buchanan eased Persistent Threat three wide approaching the 400m mark, but the gelding lacked sparkle and wilted to finish in eleventh position. Isaiah Artois was a gallant fourth. The winner rated 2.0.2 over the 2130m. All Aussie Boy looks like developing into the best pacer prepared by the 71-year-old Wood since he trained Pataz in the early 2000s. Pataz, who reached an M7 mark in 2003, raced 66 times for 20 wins, 13 placings and $144,878 in stakes. All Aussie Boy has earned $78,345 from three wins and three placings from eight starts. He is by Allamerican Ingot and is out of Parsons Den mare Like Royalty, who was unplaced at her 12 starts, earning just $183 from her fourth placing in a two-year-old event at Gloucester Park in July 2005. All Aussie Boy is a half-brother to Paramedic, who notched his tenth victory when Harper drove him to an all-the-way win in a Pathway at Gloucester Park last month. All Aussie Boy Hall's tactics succeed with Our Arlington A bold move by Clint Hall to send Our Arlington forward from the awkward No. 4 barrier, instead of restraining him, paid handsome dividends when the New Zealand-bred six-year-old scored an upset win at 14/1 in the $25,000 LED Past Presidents Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night. It was generally considered that Please Release Me would set the pace from the No. 1 barrier and Hall drove Our Arlington hard early, out three wide for the first 300m, before getting to the breeze. Two hundred metres later Our Arlington settled in the perfect one-out, one-back position when Dundee Three sustained a three-wide early burst to take up the position outside Please Release Me. After a reasonable lead time of 37.6sec., Please Release Me coasted through the first 400m section of the final mile in 31.2sec. before he covered the next quarters in 29.3sec. and 28.3sec. Hall switched Our Arlington three wide with 300m to travel and the gelding finished full of running to hit the front 120m from the post. He held on to defeat the gallant Dundee Three (13/4) by one metre, with Please Release Me (11/4) a nose away in third place after a final quarter in 28.6sec. My Hard Copy, a well-supported 11/8 favourite, started from the inside of the back line and he got into the clear leaving the back straight the final time before finishing solidly, out wide, to be a head away in fourth place Our Arlington gave leading trainer Gary Hall sen. his second success in the Past Presidents Cup. He was successful with The Falcon Strike in 2006. Our Arlington, by Washington VC, won twice from three starts as a three-year-old in New Zealand in March 2011 and 11 times in Victoria. His three wins from 15 WA starts have taken his record to 68 starts for 16 wins, 17 placings and stakes of $169,942. Voak's birthday surprise Chris Voak wasn't optimistic about his chances with eight drives at Gloucester Park on Friday night, but he gave himself a pleasant birthday surprise when he drove 45/1 outsider Say It Now to a stirring victory in the 2130m Cable Joining Supplies Pace. Voak, who celebrated his 26th birthday on Friday, continues to drive winners every week and is a clear second behind Gary Hall jun. in the Statewide drivers' premiership table. Hall has 147 winners and Voak has had 951 drives in the 2013-14 season for 124 wins, 120 seconds and 94 thirds. Say It Now gave Voak his 43rd city success this season and he is in fifth place on the Metropolitan list behind Hall (99 wins), Chris Lewis (59), Colin Brown (57) and Morgan Woodley (45). Say It Now was a 7/4 chance the previous Friday night when Chris Lewis drove the noted frontrunner to a head victory over Bettor Party over 1730m. But punters disregarded his chances on Friday night when he rose in class and started from barrier two on the back line over a longer journey. Voak was driving the pacer for the first time. Polemarker Black Aquila was all the rage from the prized No. 1 barrier and was favourite at 10/9 on, with stablemates Vapour (11/4) and Notabadexcuse (11/1) next in betting. Michael Young got Black Aquila away smartly and the five-year-old set the pace, with Notabadexcuse (Micheal Ferguson) in the breeze and Love In The Dark sitting behind the pacemaker. Say It Now raced three back on the pegs and was eighth at the bell. Voak got Say It Now off the inside in the final circuit and the stallion charged home, out wide, to gain a last-stride victory by a neck from Notabadexcuse, who had taken the lead 80m from the post. Black Aquila was a wilting third. The final sections were covered in 28.5sec. and 29.5sec. and Say It Now rated 1.57.6. He has been an excellent moneyspinner for Hopeland trainer Kevin Charles and his son Kody, who bred the horse from Promising Gift, a mare gifted to them by breeder Tom Keating. Say It Now has earned $101,981 from 12 wins and 11 placings from 52 starts. Desirable Guy breaks through for first WA win New South Wales-bred five-year-old Desirable Guy completed a double for reinsman Colin Brown in the first two events at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he relished his pacemaking role to score an easy victory in the 2130m Bambach Cables Pathway Pace. Brown, who trains the gelding at Banjup, had won the opening event with the Dick Moore-trained Macintosh. Desirable Guy, second fancy at 3/1, jumped straight to the front from the No. 2 barrier and Brown rated him perfectly to score by four metres from polemarker Justlikelindt, a 13/1 chance who trailed the leader all the way. A half-head away in third place was the 2/1 favourite Algranco Under Fire, who raced three wide early and then without cover. The win was Desirable Guy's first from seven WA starts and it ended a losing sequence of 13. He now boasts an enviable record of 70 starts for 15 wins and 22 placings for earnings of $105,388 and he looks capable of more city successes for owners Geoff and Ben Waters, John Galluccio, Grahame Searle and Paul Whyte. Desirable Guy showed early promise and at Melton in May 2011 he finished fourth behind Mr Nickel, Magic Bliss and Soho Valencia in the $305,000 group 1 Australian Pacing Gold. By American stallion Real Desire, Desirable Guy is the first foal out of Atworthy Maid, who was unplaced at her four starts in Victoria as a two and three-year-old in 2005-06. Atworthy Maid's dam Crown Velvet produced five winners, including Velvets Bee gee (29 wins and $134,600) and Croesus (13 wins and $253,050). Am Opulent relishes frontrunning role Few mares in Western Australia possess the sparkling early speed of Am Opulent and when Ryan Warwick dashed the New Zealand-bred four-year-old straight to the front from the No. 3 barrier her 11 rivals faced an extremely difficult task in the $25,000 final of the Nexans Olex Lombardo Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Warwick stole a march on the opposition when he got Am Opulent to relax and coast through the lead time in 38.2sec. and the first quarter of the final mile in 31.7sec. Warwick gave the mare more rein in the final 800m and she sped over the final quarters in 29sec. and 28.2sec. to win by one and a half lengths from 66/1 outsider Tis A Charmer, who enjoyed a good trail three back on the pegs. Polemarker Ace of Cards (22/1) trailed the leader for much of the way before finishing with a spirited burst. Selkie, the 2/1 favourite, was never in contention. Chris Lewis restrained her back to the rear from her wide barrier at No. 6 on the front line. She started a three-wide run approaching the bell, following Lucky Joy, But she floundered in the back straight and dropped back to finish in eleventh position. Am Opulent, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, has earned $188,047 from 12 wins and 11 placings from 45 starts. She is related to Smart Son (41 wins and $347,805) and Vanderel (14 wins and $164,163). My Samantha Jane turns the tables Consistent filly My Samantha Jane turned the tables on The Parade when she gave a bold frontrunning display and carried too many guns in the final stages for her rival in the 2130m Sylvania Trader Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. A fortnight earlier My Samantha Jane started from the inside of the back line and trailed the pacemaker Harper Grace before finishing a sound second to The Parade, who sustained a powerful burst from last to take the lead 250m from home. Under the preferential barrier draw conditions on Friday night, My Samantha Jane drew ideally at No. 2 on the front line and The Parade had the distinct disadvantage of starting from the outside of the back line. My Samantha Jane was a strongly-supported 2/1 second fancy, with The Parade favourite at 6/4. Trainer Mike Reed, anxious to have My Samantha Jane's mind on the job from the outset, changed her gear, removing the Dolly Varden blinkers and replacing them with hood-type blinkers. This did the trick and the filly began like a shot. After first quarters of the final mile in 30.7sec. and 30.1sec., My Samantha Jane dashed over the final sections in 29.3sec. and 29.2sec. and she won by five metres from the gallant The Parade, rating 1.58.4. Polemarker Major Flirt finished third after trailing the pacemaker all the way. The Parade settled down in eleventh position before Justin Prentice dashed her forward with a fast three-wide burst after 700m. The filly moved into the breeze with 1050m to travel and she fought on with typical determination. My Samantha Jane, unplaced at her three starts in New Zealand, has had 16 starts in Western Australia for four wins and six placings and now has earned $44,620 in stakes. El Machine a winter cups prospect Bargain pacer El Machine graduated to an M5 mark with his stylish victory in the Hydraulic Energy Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night and will be a valuable addition to open-class feature Cup events over the winter months. He was a 10/1 chance from the outside of the back line and made light of this disadvantage by unwinding a typical powerful finishing burst to easily defeat 3/1 second fancy Slick Chapel and Wrongly Accused (6/1), rating 1.57.4 over the 2130m trip. Last-start winner Real Hammer (5/1) began with his usual alacrity to burst straight to the front from the polemarker and 5/2 favourite Mighty Flying Thomas, with Wrongly Accused in the breeze. El Machine settled at the rear before his trainer Kade Howson started a three-wide move approaching the bell and appreciating a cart up behind Rodrigo. Real Hammer, who pulled hard, began to tire badly half-way down the back straight and Howson shot El Machine to the front 260m from home. Slick Chapel was tenth at the bell and following El Machine in the three-wide line. Gary Hall jun. switched him four wide with about 420m to travel and he finished powerfully to be second. Mighty Flying Thomas was hampered behind the fading Real hammer and even though Tom Buchanan was able to ease the gelding off the pegs, he was blocked for a clear passage in the final stages and finished eighth. The West Australian-bred El Machine, bought for a mere $5000 as a yearling by Howson and fellow trainer-reinsman Michael George, has earned $156,489 from 18 wins and 13 placings from 47 starts. Claimers the aim for Pride of Colorado Darling Downs trainer-reinsman Aldo Cortopassi has high hopes that Pride of Colorado will follow in the footsteps of his half-brother Scram Jet and develop the reputation as a King of the Claimers. Scram Jet enjoyed racing in claimers in the twilight of his career and he was retired after winning ten times in that company and with a career record of 172 starts for 24 wins, 42 placings and $235,076 in prizemoney. Pride of Colorado, a West Australian-bred seven-year-old by former star pacer Saab, has an M4 classification and Cortopassi considers he is not quite up to top class and he is planning a continuing career in claiming events. Pride of Colorado won his second claimer when Cortopassi drove him aggressively before he won the 2130m Scholz Electric Claiming Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Pride of Colorado started from barrier six in a field of seven and was a firm 5/4 favourite. Cortopassi was keen to control the tempo of the race and he dashed Pride of Colorado forward in the early stages to race in the breeze, with 12-year-old Tee Pee Village (6/1) setting the pace. After an opening section of the final mile in a slow 31.3sec., Tee Pee Village ran the next quarters in 29.8sec., 28.7sec. and 28.8sec. However, he was unable to keep Pride of Colorado at bay, with the favourite forging to the front 80m from the post and winning by just over a length. Pride of Colorado, owned by Stephen Schmedje, has earned $148,967 from 17 wins and 18 placings from 81 starts. Northern Lights mare Lady Legacy, dam of Scram Jet and Pride of Colorado, won at five of her 23 starts in the mid-1990s. She is out of Fiscal Miss, a winner of 15 races and the mother of star performers Whitbys Miss Penny (50 starts for 32 wins, six placings and $568,289) and Ace of Whitby (79 starts for 29 wins, 21 placings and $317,247). Macintosh makes it eight from ten in WA Up-and-coming New Zealand-bred four-year-old Macintosh continued his rise to prominence when he overcame the disadvantage of starting from the outside of the back line with an impressive victory in the 2536m Apec Cables Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. A week earlier Colin Brown brought Macintosh home with a powerful last-lap last-to-first effort. But on Friday night Brown made his move earlier. Polemarker What God Knows led for the first lap, during which he withstood a spirited challenge from Mr Nickel. Brown seized the initiate after a lap had been covered by sending Macintosh forward from the rear with a strong three-wide burst. Macintosh, favourite at 6/4, moved to the breeze 1300m from home and Brown was content to remain there until be shot the son of Mach Three to the front with 470m to travel. The third quarter of the final mile was covered in a brisk 28.3sec. and Macintosh sprinted the final section in 28.4sec. to win by just under a length from 11/4 second fancy Ohoka Kentucky, who sustained strong burst from the rear. Dearborn (12/1) followed the run of Ohoka Kentucky to finish an encouraging third. Macintosh, trained at Forrestdale by Dick Moore, looks set for many more wins. After winning at two of his ten starts in New Zealand the gelding has won eight times from ten starts in WA. by Ken Casellas  

Talented gelding Persistent Threat has recovered from a hoof abscess and is poised to run a big race in the $100,000 Clipsal Schneider Westbred Classic for two-year-old colts and geldings at Gloucester Park on Friday night, according to his Bunbury trainer John Graham. "It's not ideal to go into a big race without a run or two under your belt," Graham said when assessing Persistent Threat's prospects at his first appearance for eight weeks. "But his recent work has been as good, or even slightly better, than it was before he won the $100,000 Sales Classic at the end of April. "It took him a while to get over the foot abscess, about six or seven days, and he missed fast work in that time. However, he was able to retain his fitness by being able to swim in that period." Persistent Threat, driven by Tom Buchanan, won at each of his first five starts before suffering his first defeat when he set the pace and wilted to a well-beaten third behind Tricky Styx and The Odd Lover in the $50,000 Champagne Classic at Gloucester Park on May 2. He possesses excellent gate speed, is a noted frontrunner and has drawn favourably in Friday night's group 1 event over 2130m at barrier two on the front line. "It's certainly not an easy race and there are a good few winning chances," Graham said. "It is not essential for Persistent Threat to lead. If he leads, all well and good. But his work at home shows us that he goes well from behind." Graham identified polemarker All Aussie Boy, Isaiah Artois, Ezygatboy and Artillery Major as the major dangers to Persistent Threat. Isaiah Artois, trained at Byford by David Thompson for breeder-owner Steve Johnson, has won in dashing style at each of his past four starts and looks set for an outstanding career. But his prospects diminished slightly when he drew the outside barrier on the back line. He has led at three of his past four outings and he sat behind the pacemaker before finishing strongly on the inside for his other success. Reinsman Colin Brown will have to use vastly different tactics from the gelding's unfavourable draw. However, there is no doubting the ability of the son of Modern Art and he certainly can overcome his wide barrier. All Aussie Boy, trained at Bunbury by Robert Wood, soared into contention after drawing the prized No. 1 barrier. Kyle Harper is certain to attempt an all-the-way victory. All Aussie Boy led when he won from Mago Man and A Force In Action over 2185m at Pinjarra two starts ago. He then started from barrier three on the back line and performed admirably when he raced wide in the middle stages and then without cover before finishing a close third to Sea Me Smile and Mister Ardee over the same distance at Pinjarra on Monday of last week. Artillery Major has resumed after a spell in splendid form for Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri and the colt will have many admirers, particularly after drawing the No. 3 barrier on the front line. He raced three back on the pegs and ran home strongly from fifth at the bell to be second to Isaiah Artois in the 2130m Pearl Classic last Friday week. He led from barrier three when an easy winner over Mister Atomic in a heat of the Pearl. Delightful Jade aiming for five in a row Delightful Jade is carrying all before her and has bright prospects of stretching her winning sequence to five by proving the master of her rivals in the $100,000 NHP Westbred Classic for two-year-old fillies at Gloucester Park on Friday night. She is bred to be a good winner and is following the footsteps of her illustrious relative Whitbys Miss Penny, a champion two-year-old 14 years ago. Delightful Jade's maternal granddam Fiscal Miss produced Whitbys Miss Penny, who earned $568,289 from 32 wins and six placings from 50 starts. Delightful Jade, trained at Capel by Andrew De Campo, will be driven by his son Aiden. The filly has been most impressive, winning six times from only seven starts. She is handily drawn at No. 3 on the front line, she possesses sparkling early speed and is a superb frontrunner, having set the pace in each of her past four starts. However, she is not certain to lead on Friday night. The Katja Warwick-trained Straittothehilton is also a wonderful frontrunner and Morgan Woodley is sure to attempt to steal a march on her rivals by jumping to the front from the coveted No. 1 barrier. The most recent occasion Straittothehilton clashed with Delightful Jade was in the 1609m $20,000 Ray de Campo Memorial at Bunbury on May 10 when Delightful Jade led from barrier three and held on to beat Straittothehilton by a nose in 1.55.9. Straittothehilton raced three back on the pegs before rattling home with a powerful burst. That performance and the fact that Straittothehilton will start from barrier one will influence many punters to fancy the polemarker, easily the most experienced runner in the event, with her 13 starts producing two wins, six seconds and two thirds. Soho New York, trained at Northam by Glenn Elliott, Massive Attack, trained by Gary Hall sen., and Sea Me Smile, trained by Debra Lewis, also have sound prospects. Soho New York (to be handled by Justin Prentice) won at her first four starts before blotting her copybook with her fourth in a field of six at Narrogin and her last placing in a field of six at Bunbury last Saturday night. She ruined her chances at Narrogin by galloping at the start and then raced without cover. She started from barrier six at Bunbury, was restrained to the rear and then had a tough run in the breeze. Soho New York faces a stern test from the outside of the back line, while a back-line draw is likely to make life tough for Sea Me Smile, who impressed at Pinjarra last Monday week when she started out wide at barrier six, raced wide early and then obtained an ideal passage before finishing solidly with a 56.1sec. final 800m to defeat Mister Ardee and All Aussie Boy. Her previous form of a first-up success over Straittothehilton and placings behind Delightful Jade and Tricky Styx was excellent. Massive Attack (Gary Hall jun.) shows plenty of promise and has won twice from only three starts. From barrier four she should be prominent. Please Release Me gets his chance Veteran pacer Please Release Me has a losing sequence of 19 and has managed just one placing from his past 14 starts, but he has strong claims in the $25,000 Led Perth Past Presidents Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Major factors in his favour are that he will appreciate the absence of recent constant rivals Im Themightyquinn and David Hercules and that he is a brilliant frontrunner who should really appreciate starting from the prized No. 1 barrier. Please Release Me, trained at Collie by his owner Dave Hunter, has been out of the winning list for almost 14 months. However, he should give his supporters a great run for their money, with Matt White sure to attempt an all-the-way win. At his most recent outing Please Release Me was the solitary runner off the back line and he raced in fifth position, three back on the pegs, before he finished solidly to move into third place in the home straight before being relegated to fourth position in the final couple of strides by the fast-finishing Dundee Three. The race was won by David Hercules, who defeated Im Themightyquinn by just over two lengths. After a slow early pace, the final 800m was covered in 54.9sec. Dundee Three will be one of the fancied runners on Friday night when Morgan Woodley will attempt to gain a favourable passage in the one-wide line from a somewhat awkward barrier at No. 5 on the front line. Dundee Three impressed with two strong-finishing wins at his three previous outings. Punters should obtain good value in this event, with most of the ten runners have solid winning prospects. Leading trainer Gary Hall sen. will be represented by My Hard Copy, Toretto and Our Arlington. Pinjarra trainer Chris King's runners Lord Lombo and Leda McNally are versatile and consistent performers who can never be underestimated. Added to that are the Michael Brennan-trained This Time Dylan and the talented Ima Rocket Star, resuming after a five and a half-month absence for Greg and Skye Bond. The up-and-coming four-year-old My Hard Copy, the youngest runner in the race and fresh from his wonderful effort when a half-head second to champion Im Themightyquinn over 2536m last Friday night when he sprinted the final 800m in 55.9sec., would have been a hot favourite had he drawn to lead. However, the result became significantly more difficult to forecast when My Hard Copy drew barrier two on the back line. He certainly has undeniable winning prospects, but is by no means a good thing. This Time Dylan, to be driven by Justin Prentice, will have many followers after his smart trial win over 2185m in a trial at Pinjarra on Sunday morning. Driven by Brennan, This Time Dylan dashed to an early lead and sprinted over the final two 400m sections in 28.3sec. and 27.1sec. to defeat El Machine by a head. He should be powering home in Friday night's race. Aldo Cortopassi has been successful twice in the nine-year history of the Past Presidents Cup, with wins behind Just Jasper (7/2) in 2008 and Franco Renegade (51/1 last year). He faces an extremely difficult task with nine-year-old Elite Under Fire, who has been out of the winning list for 22 months. The Parade capable of overcoming tough draw New Zealand-bred filly The Parade continues to improve and she has sound prospects of being able to overcome the disadvantage of starting from the outside of the back line in the 2130m Sylvania Trader Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. She was most impressive last Friday week when she started out wide (barrier six) on the front line, dropped back to last and sustained a marvellous three-wide burst from the 950m to hit the front 250m from home and win from My Samantha Jane at a 1.56.3 rate over 1730m. That followed placings behind Libertybelle Midfrew, Jungle Jewel and Typhoon Tan at her three previous outings. My Samantha Jane, trained at Hazelmere by Mike Reed, will have many admirers from her favourable draw at No. 2 on the front line. Mark Reed should be able to get her to an early lead and then dictate terms. She had a perfect run behind the leader harper Grace when she finished strongly for her last-start second to The Parade. Capel trainer Andrew De Campo has two smart fillies engaged and both Maddy White and Typhoon Tan should be prominent from back-line draws. Aiden De Campo will drive Maddy White and Dylan Egerton-Green has been engaged for Typhoon Tan. Earlier in the program Chris Voak would dearly love to celebrate his 26th birthday by guiding Arousing to victory in the $25,000 Nexans Olex The Lombardo Pace for mares. But Chris Lewis could spoil the party by winning with Arousing's stablemate Selkie. Ross Olivieri trains last-start winners Arousing and Selkie, Selkie has the class to overcome barrier six on the front line, while Arousing should enjoy an ideal passage after starting from barrier two on the back line. by Ken Casellas  

Star filly Tricky Styx is being set for the $125,000 Golden Slipper on July 18 after she produced her typical whirlwind finishing burst to snatch a thrilling last-stride victory in the group 1 $100,000 Del Basso Smallgoods Diamond Classic at Gloucester Park on Friday night. "I think she has earned the chance to run in the Slipper," Northam trainer Jesse Moore said after Aiden De Campo had driven Tricky Styx to a head victory over Soho Tokyo. And the 22-year-old de Campo is looking forward to the challenge of contesting the Golden Slipper with Tricky Styx against the colts and geldings, saying: "She's a quality filly who has proved that she can race against the boys with her win in the Champagne Classic." Tricky Styx showed her class in the group 2 Champagne Classic early in May when she overcame the outside barrier and the task of charging home from the rear after settling in last position. Tricky Styx, who started from barrier two on the back line on Friday night, was sent out at the surprisingly good odds of 9/2, with Major Reality (10/9) and polemarker Sea Me Smile (13/4) more popular with punters. Major Reality was smartest into stride from the No. 3 barrier, but was unable to cross Sea Me Smile, who kicked up strongly on the inside to hold out Soho Tokyo and Tricky Styx. Justin Prentice quickly was able to get Major Reality into the one-out, one-back position behind Soho Tokyo (in the breeze), with Tricky Styx settling in seventh position. Massive Attack started a three-wide move after about 500m and Prentice eased Major Reality three wide with 950m to travel. It was a line of three in front passing the 400m mark, with de Campo having eased Tricky Styx out of a pocket and into the three-wide line 450m from home. Michael Stanley got Soho Tokyo (8/1) to a narrow lead on the home turn and Tricky Styx was fourth (and winding up) 90m from the post. She then flew to gain the verdict over Soho Tokyo in the final stride. The final quarters were covered in 28.7sec. and 29.1sec. and Tricky Styx rated 1.58.1 over the 1730m. "We got a dream trip," de Campo said. "But at the 400m she didn't let down as good as I thought she could. However, at the top of the straight she really started motoring. I think that she might have been a touch below her very best, but she still got the job done. Jesse wasn't one hundred per cent happy with her before the race. He said that her past two runs had not been as good as her two previous runs. Jesse is a very astute trainer and will have her ready for her next assignment. "I didn't pull the plugs because she doesn't respond to that. She has the plugs in, but you don't pull them. She is quite temperamental and you can't hit her too hard, either. "She is not the easiest horse to drive and she gets around a bit and it is a credit to Jesse that her race manners have improved immensely over the past six to seven weeks. She is probably green more than anything. Jesse had the block blinkers on early and then he took them off and put the Dollies on --- and that has been a big key to how she has been racing." Tricky Styx, by American stallion Jeremes Jet, is certainly proving a wonderful bargain for the 69-year-old Moore, who paid just $NZ5000 to buy the filly for his wife Maree at the New Zealand yearling sales in Christchurch early last year. Tricky Styx now has earned $110,435 from five wins and one placing from eight starts. Ultimate Major makes it four to Lewis Champion reinsman Chris Lewis was in dashing form at Gloucester Park on Friday night, landing four winners. He ended the night on a high with an astute frontrunning drive to score a smart win with 13/4 chance Ultimate Major in the 2536m Del Basso Smallgoods Pace for three-year-olds. He had been successful earlier in the night with the Ross Olivieri-trained trio of Shelby Cruzin, Might Be Luck and Selkie. Ultimate Major, a relatively inexperienced New Zealand-bred colt, gives promise of developing into a very smart pacer, and Aiden De Campo, son of Capel trainer Andrew De Campo, said that long-range plans for Ultimate Major included the rich group 1 Golden Nugget Championship next season. "He's a funny horse with a lot of speed and his record in New Zealand was very good and, hopefully, he will continue to improve," de Campo said. "The Golden Nugget will be his main aim. "After he arrived from New Zealand in February he tried rushing him for the WA Derby and didn't have enough time to have him ready. At his WA debut early in April he went very badly in the Western Gateway Classic (distanced behind Elegant Christian). So we freshened him up and now he's racing well. "He is a funny kind of horse. When he's in front he switches right off, like he did tonight. But when that horse (Mista Rush) got to him he lifted and was running through the line strongly." Ultimate Major clearly won the start from the No. 1 barrier and Lewis was able to give the colt an easy time early, with the first 400m section of the final mile going by in a pedestrian 32.3sec. before he increased the tempo with sections of 30.2sec., 29.1sec. and 28.4sec. He led clearly half-way down the home straight and had almost a full length to spare in defeating 3/1 second fancy Mista Rush, who was last at the bell and unwound a sparkling late burst. Soho Lennon, the 6/4 favourite, had a tough run before finishing third. He was trapped three wide for the first 500m and then worked hard in the breeze. Ultimate Major, owned by Paul and Tony Poli, won at two of his four New Zealand starts and he now has a record of nine starts for five wins, one placing and stakes of $37,225. He is a half-brother to Pas Ultimate Delight, who has had three starts in New South Wales for two wins, including a group 3 event for mares in Dubbo. Ultimate Major's maternal granddam Abbeybell produced Our Awesome Armbro, a winner in New Zealand, Australia and America before retiring with a fine record of 184 starts for 37 wins, 42 placings and $849,309. Lewis and de Campo continued in winning vein at Bunbury on Saturday night, with Lewis driving three winners (Major Rush, Miss Atomic and Onedin Crusader) and de Campo training a double with Captain Proud and Typhoon Tan. Olivieri praises Selkie Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri predicted a bright future for Selkie after Chris Lewis had driven the five-year-old to an effortless victory in the first heat of the Little Caesars Pizzas Lombardo Pace for mares at Gloucester Park on Friday night. "She is one of the better mares I have trained," he said. "I have trained a lot of good mares and Selkie rates pretty highly with some of the best of them. "Gliding Princess is the best mare, by far, that I have trained. She is only the third filly in history to have won the New South Wales Derby and Oaks. Ima Spicey Lombo and Miss Bo Scott were pretty good, but Selkie is much better than Elysees Crest (23 wins and $228,290) and Slick Lavra (15 wins and $143,026). The latter two were not in the same class as Selkie. "Selkie is fast, tough and versatile and when she's doing a 30sec. quarter she's absolutely cruising. Chris said that she was cruising on the line tonight." David Gravolin, an Oakford trainer whose property is about 5km from Olivieri's Oakford stables, recently cut down his training activities to concentrate on his thriving bitumen paving business and he handed over Finbar Abbey and Selkie to Olivieri to prepare them for racing. Olivieri then won the Easter Cup with Finbar Abbey and the Race For Roses with Selkie. He said that Selkie, who has had 24 starts this season since arriving from New Zealand, would continue racing. "Apart from qualifying for the final of this event for mares, she will run in suitable stands," he said. "She is a brilliant beginner in stands. She may require a break somewhere along the line, but at this stage she's not sending out any distress signals." Selkie was hot favourite at 2/1 on in Friday night's race and Lewis opted out of the early speed battle when polemarker Maggies Mystery led from the fast-starting Am Opulent. Lewis then sent Selkie to the front after 450m and she was untroubled to beat Maggies Mystery by just over a length at a 1.57.7 rate over 2130m, with the final three quarters being covered in 28.1sec., 29sec. and 29.8sec. Her 24 WA starts have produced five wins and three placings and she has a career record of 49 starts for ten wins, six placings and 79,920. Lennys In Heaven relishes a return to a stand Experienced seven-year-old Lennys In Heaven, an inconspicuous seventh at each of his first two starts after a spell, in mobiles on country tracks, relished a return to a standing-start event when he set the pace and scored an easy win over Pembrook Henry and Sonic Classic in the 2503m Sealanes Foodservice Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. This ended a losing sequence of eight, stretching back to a win in a 2518m stand in Kalgoorlie last November. The New South Wales-bred gelding, a 10/1 chance trained at Pinjarra by Michael George, was driven for the first time by Morgan Woodley. The gelding resisted an early challenge for the lead from Mister Sarkozy and then was rated perfectly after Finbar Abbey, favourite at 9/4, moved into the breeze 550m after the start. After the first 400m section of the final mile was covered in 30.9sec., Woodley lifted the gelding's rating and the final three quarters went by in 29.4sec., 28.3sec. and 29sec. Lennys In Heaven was not extended in beating Pembrook Henry, who raced three back on the pegs before finishing solidly along the inside. Lennys In Heaven, by Blissfull Hall, is out of Panorama mare Merry Rama, who had 33 starts for five wins, 18 placings and $31,267. His 17 West Australian starts have produced three wins and two placings to take his career record to 95 starts for 17 wins, 24 placings and $118,079. Soho Highroller bred to be a smart pacer Five-year-old Bettors Delight gelding Soho Highroller has inherited a good deal of his ability from his dam Pelicanrama and he looks set for many more wins after scoring an easy victory in the 2130m Del Basso Butchers Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Soho Highhroller, ended a losing sequence of ten when he was favourite at 7/4 on and dashed to the lead after 400m before bowling along in front and beating Barkers Hall by five metres at a 1.57.4 rate. He was most impressive in sprinting home over the final 400m in a sizzling 27.7sec. Trained at Serpentine by Gary Hall sen., Soho Highroller gave Gary Hall jun. an armchair drive with opening quarters of the final mile in 30.5sec. and 30.3sec. before dashing over the final 800m in 57.2sec. Polemarker Barkers Hall led for the first 400m before enjoying the perfect trail behind Soho Highroller. Soho Highroller, bred by Rob Watson, is a full brother to Soho Tokyo, who finished a very close second to Tricky Styx in the group 1 Diamond Classic for two-year-old fillies later in the program. He has earned $71,264 from nine wins and 18 placings from 48 starts. Pelicanrama was an outstanding juvenile performer before enjoying a successful career of 149 starts for 55 wins, 37 placings and $730,271 in prizemoney. Her wins in feature events as a two-year-old included the $250,000 Australian Pacing Gold and $75,000 NSW Sires Stakes at Harold Park and $30,000 Tatlow Stakes at Moonee Valley in 1999, and as a three-year-old she won the $100,000 NSW Sires Stakes. Her full-brother Mustang Fighter earned $292,566 from 29 wins and 26 placings from 108 starts. My Hard Copy is on the way up My Hard Copy maintained his standing as one of the State's most consistent four-year-olds when he set a brisk pace and strolled to victory over Heez Orl Black and The Feather Foot in the 2130m Top Cut Meats Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. His easy win graduated him to an M2 classification and he should have no difficulty in maintaining his excellent form and moving swiftly to open-class ranks on his way to contesting rich feature events during the summer carnival. Friday night's win completed a double for trainer Gary Hall sen. and reinsman Gary Hall jun. Soho Highroller was favourite at 3/1 on and Hall sen. notched yet another quinella result, with Lauren Jones bringing 8/1 chance Heez Orl Black home with a solid burst after enjoying the run of the race behind the pacemaker. My Hard Copy, owned by Steve, Christina and Danielle Chapman, has earned $134,167 from 13 wins and 13 placings from 39 starts. He won three times from 16 starts in New Zealand and twice from six starts in Victoria before arriving in WA where he has raced 17 times for eight wins and three placings. Change of training aids Shelby Cruzin Victorian-bred pacer Shelby Cruzin, described by his trainer Ross Olivieri as "a little fatso," has responded to a change in his training routine and made amends for a dismal failure at his West Australian debut with a stylish victory in the 1730m Del Basso Importers And Exporters Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He was a 10/9 on favourite at his first WA appearance three weeks earlier when he was a major disappointment, racing at the rear and then out wide in the final circuit, finishing eighth in a field of nine behind Loose Wire. He was favourite at 7/4 on on Friday night when he finished full of running to win by a half-length from 86/1 tote outsider Local Rogue, who had threatened to cause a major upset after starting from the outside of the front line and then racing out four wide for the first 350m before taking the lead 100m later and then setting the pace after a blistering first quarter in 27.3sec. Shelby Cruzin made the most of the prized No. 1 barrier by leading for the first 400m, but Chris Lewis then took the sit behind Local Rogue, who boasted a losing sequence of 16 since his previous win 18 months ago. Local Rogue was still travelling well when he led clearly approaching the home turn. But Lewis was able to ease Shelby Cruzin off the pegs 150m from home when Caesars Cloud, in the breeze, began to fade. Lewis then drove Shelby Cruzin hard and the five-year-old finished determinedly to hit the front in the final 20m. The winner rated 1.57.2. Olivieri said that Victorian trainer Geoff Webster had telephoned him recently to ask him to train Real Hammer and Shelby Cruzin. Olivieri was happy to oblige and he said that the two horses were entirely different. "Shelby Cruzin has been a bit hard to work out, but I have changed his training and the result was that he went a mile better tonight than he did first-up," Olivieri said. "First-up, he fooled me. I thought he was fitter than he was. He's a little fatso, and you've got to get into him. I've made him more interested in his work by galloping him on the sand instead of hoppling him. I haven't hoppled him since his first-up run, apart from one trial." Shelby Cruzin now has earned $44,520 from ten wins and ten placings from 48 starts. He is the eighth winner out of South Australian-bred mare Motoring Sassie (five starts for two wins and one placings for $2169). Motoring Sassie's progeny includes Sassy Gina (12 wins and $80,405) and Ombudsman (13 wins from 23 starts for $54,480 in prizemoney). Paramedic ends losing sequence of 27 Noted frontrunner Paramedic took full advantage of the coveted No. 1 barrier at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he set the pace and caused an upset in winning by just over a length from 5/4 on favourite Bettor Party in the 2130m Action Industrial Catering Westbred Pathway Pace. Paramedic started at 6/1 and ended a losing sequence of 27, stretching back to February 2013, and his win foiled Bettor Whitby from extending his winning sequence to four. Part-owned and trained by John Rogers, the six-year-old Paramedic was driven assertively by Kyle Harper. Bettor Party began out wide, from the No. 6 barrier, and he raced four wide for the first 300m. He then was trapped three wide before Colin Brown eased him back to last after a lap. Bettor Party was eleventh and last at the bell and he sustained a spirited burst, out wide, to finish second. Paramedic covered the final 800m in 58.5sec. and rated 1.58.4 in improving his record to 69 starts for ten wins and 15 placings for earnings of $75,823. He is related on his dam's side to former talented juvenile performer Shes Royalty, who had 96 starts for 24 wins, 27 placings and $288,146. Might Be Luck excels in front Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri told star reinsman Chris Lewis that West Australian-bred gelding Might Be Luck was a certainty to win the 2503m Del Basso Foodservice Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night if he was able to set the pace. Might Be Luck, a 5/1 chance from barrier No. 3 off the front line, began well and Lewis drove the gelding vigorously in an attempt to get to the front in the early stages. Polemarker Bartowski galloped out briefly, but was able to hold Might Be Luck at bay for the first 250m before he wilted under pressure and his rival forged to the front 250m after the start. Might Be Luck relished his pacemaking role and dashed over the final three quarters in 29.7sec., 29.1sec. and 29.9sec. to make life tough for his rivals. Bartowski fought on doggedly to finish second, just more than a length behind Might Be Luck, who rated 2.1.4. "I said to Chris that if he could lead, he would not lose," Olivieri said. "He's a horse who hasn't had a lot of luck, and tonight he led them a merry dance. On his trackwork at home he's one of the best four or five in my stable. Once he's in front, any horse has to be pretty good to catch him." Trojan Bromac impressed in thundering home, six wide, from tenth at the bell to finish third. Might Be Luck, a Northern Luck gelding bred and owned by Bob Fowler, has had 43 starts for ten wins, five placings and $48,982. He is related on his dam's side to former top-flight performer Buck the Odds, who earned $307,547 from 31 wins and 29 placings from 121 starts. Dalton drives first Perth winner Former Victorian horseman Clive Dalton landed his first Gloucester Park winner as a reinsman when he drove Retained to an all-the-way victory in the 2503m Del Basso Foodservice Trotters Handicap on Friday night. Retained, a 7/2 chance and trained at Herron by Dalton, jumped straight to the front from the inside barrier on the front mark and led throughout, holding on grimly to beat 22/1 chance Nicky Eileen by a nose. The 55-year-old Dalton, who has driven almost 500 winners in Victoria, enjoyed plenty of success as a trainer of square gaiters in Victoria. He prepared Right Interest to group 1 and group 3 victories in Victoria and Magic Interest for his victory in the group 1 Australasian Breeders Crown for two-year-old trotters at Bendigo in August 2008. Retained, an eight-year-old gelding owned by Jennifer O'Byrne, is a seasoned campaigner who has had 113 starts for 16 wins, 19 placings and $145,265 in stakes. He was successful in a $20,000 group 3 event over 2760m at Melton in October 2012. Dalton kept up the good work at Bunbury on Saturday night when he trained Miss Atomic (Chris Lewis) for her win at 6/1. by Ken Casellas To unsubscribe, please click here. To forward, please click here.

The success story of this year's Young Drivers Challenge was undoubtedly the rise and rise of Rebecca Bartley. Over the space of three days the Congupna reinswoman, 22, became a household name in Victorian harness racing, winning the first four races in the five-race invitational series. And they weren't aboard odds-on favourites, in fact far from it. Bartley piloted two longshots to victory at Shepparton on Thursday night (Riviera Kiss $26.60 and Boom Boom Hall $18.80) before striking at enormous odds at Melton's Tabcorp Park on Friday night (Smiling Spirit winning at $54.30). To cap it off Bartley won the fourth race of the series at Ballarat on Saturday night (aboard Kankkunen at $10.70) before having to settle for fifth with Belvoirama in the last race to finish with a series points score of 46 - just four points shy of an unprecedented 50 points (the maximum a driver can accrue in the 10-points-per-win series). "She was the story of the series, that's for sure," said Ballarat and District Trotting Club CEO Paul Rowse. "By the time the series finished everyone knew who Rebecca Bartley was." Rowse described the Young Drivers Challenge as a great series and praised the Shepparton Harness Racing Club for developing the concept. "I'd encourage other clubs to follow Shepparton's lead and look at holding similar series in the future," Rowse said. "It certainly added interest to our meeting as we were the lucky beneficiary of the series' final." Rowse said any notion that harness racing was a sport dominated by males had long been debunked, with Victoria's driving ranks filled with top-line women's talent. "It wouldn't surprise me at all now if Rebecca can go on to achieve similar to what Kerryn (Manning), Jodi (Quinlan), Amy (Tubbs) etcetera have been able to do," he said. "It's a good news story for everyone that the girls are going so well in Victoria." Bartley thanked series organisers and her fellow young drivers in her victory speech at Ballarat. New South Wales based driver Todd McCarthy finished second in the series, 14 points behind Bartley, while Narissa McMullen (Queensland), Josh Duggan and Jason Lee all tied for third on 31 points. YOUNG DRIVERS CHALLENGE FINAL STANDINGS 1: Rebecca Bartley 46 2: Todd McCarthy 32 3: Narissa McMullen 31 3: Josh Duggan 31 3: Jason Lee 31 6: Dylan Ford 25 7: Aaron Bain 24 8: Josh Aiken 23 9: Aiden De Campo 22 10: Zac Phillips 18   By Cody Winnell (Harness Racing Australia)

Speedy four-year-old Slick Chapel emerged as a genuine summer carnival prospect when he gave a stylish frontrunning performance to win the $25,000 Australian Marine Complex Pure Steel final at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Slick Chapel, driven by Clint Hall, held on to defeat stablemate My Hard Copy by one metre, with Vapour third and Heez Orl Black fourth to give champion trainer Gary Hall sen. a quartet result in the feature event. But Hall was not his usual effervescent self after such a result. He was downcast --- with good reason: His up-and-coming superstar Alta Christiano, the 5/2 on favourite for the race, was scratched one minute before the scheduled start of the 2130m event and his racing future hangs in the balance. Alta Christiano, an outstanding four-year-old and winner of the 2013 WA Derby, was scratchy in the preliminary and was withdrawn on veterinary advice when found to be sore in the near hind leg. It is not sure what the exact problem is and X-rays will be taken to determine the extent of the damage. Alta Christiano, who has earned $309,163 from 13 wins and two placings from just 18 starts, has had an injury-plagued career. He fractured a cannon bone in New Zealand in October 2012 and then last year he damaged a suspensory ligament in his near front leg, an injury which was cured with stem cell treatment. Plans for Hall to take the Christian Cullen stallion to Brisbane to contest feature events at Albion Park in July have been abandoned. Hopes are held that his current injury is not too serious and that he will be able to continue his outstanding career. A syndicate of Hall's clients paid $NZ500,000 for an 80 per cent share of Alta Christiano. Moments before Alta Christiano was scratched on Friday night My Hard Copy and Slick Chapel shared second favouritism at $10.30 on the tote. When the race started without Alta Christiano, My Hard Copy was the new favourite at $2.40, with Slick Chapel at $2.50. Kim Prentice jumped My Hard Copy straight to the front from the No. 1 barrier before Slick Chapel surged to the lead after 200m. The lead time was run in a dawdling 40.5sec. and the first 400m section of the final mile was covered in an ambling 32.3sec., with the second quarter in just 30.6sec. Heez Orl Black was in the breeze before Mark Reed sent 68/1 outsider Xupan Three forward, three wide, from the rear after 600m to work without cover. Slick Chapel dashed over the third quarter in 28.3sec. and sprinted the final section in 27.2sec. My Hard Copy finished determinedly and failed narrowly to overhaul the pacemaker. Vapour came from three back on the pegs to be third, with Heez Orl Black in fourth place after enjoying the one-out, one-back trail for most of the journey. Slick Chapel, owned by Max Grynberg, Bill Paterson, Frank Borrello, Tony and Ruth Thompson, Dave Kahl and Karen Hall, has earned $100,496 from eight wins and seven placings from 26 starts. He was placed at three of his seven New Zealand starts and has won eight times from 19 starts in Western Australia. He is showing steady improvement and Hall sen. has high hopes that he will develop into a candidate for the Fremantle Cup and WA Pacing Cup next summer. HAPPY REUNION FOR WOODLEY Ace reinsman Morgan Woodley celebrated a reunion with four-year-old La Stella del Mare by stealing a march on his rivals with an unexpected flying start from barrier five before guiding her to a narrow victory in the $30,000 RSM Bird Cameron Westbred Mares final at Gloucester Park on Friday night. La Stella del Mare, fourth favourite at 15/2, burst straight to the front and then after a moderate lead time of 38.1sec. Woodley was able to get the Live Or Die mare to relax and amble through the first 400m section of the final mile in 32sec. before final quarters in 29.8sec., 28.8sec. and 29.5sec. She fought on doggedly to score by a neck from 2/1 favourite Hoylakes Firstlady, rating 1.59.5. The consistent Lucky Jay sustained a spirited burst from 11th in the middle stages to be third, with Adda Rising Star a fighting fourth after racing in the breeze. Woodley drove La Stella del Mare at her first seven starts, as a two-year-old, in 2012 for one placing. He had not handled her since she finished sixth behind Adda Rising Star at Bunbury in July 2013. La Stella del Mare, part-owned and trained by Terry Ferguson, has had 52 starts for seven wins, 13 placings and $64,982 in stakes. She is out of Capture A Million, who had 19 starts for two wins, 11 placings and $15,368, and is a half-sister to Schinzig Buller (55 starts for 11 wins, 13 placings and $290,837) and Polak (65 starts for 16 wins, 20 placings and $194,765). TURVEY'S DELIGHTFUL DOUBLE A bargain went begging when Baldivis horseman Nathan Turvey drove 26/1 outsider My Bachelors Delight to a surprise victory over 7/4 second fancy Soho Highroller in the 1730m Sadliers Nexus Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. "He has been advertised for sale for $12,000 on the internet, but I haven't had any takers," Turvey said after My Bachelors Delight had completed a training and driving double, following his success earlier in the night with 11/1 chance Sonic Classic. The double was the highlight of a wonderful night for the 37-year-old Turvey, who had six other drives for four second placings --- with Major Flirt (68/1), Wynberg Terror (5/4), Hoylakes Firstlady (2/1) and Flyalong Falcon (9/1). Turvey owns My Bachelors Delight, a six-year-old he purchased for $25,000 (landed in Western Australia) and has now earned $66,321 from ten wins and 19 placings from 50 WA starts to take his career record to 78 starts for 13 wins, 30 placings and $101,597. "He's been a really good horse for us, but hasn't been 100 per cent genuine all the time," Turvey said. "Lately, I have been keeping him fresh and he seems to be enjoying it." My Bachelors delight is a half-brother to Albert Albert mare Bachelorette, who had 61 starts in New Zealand for ten wins, 16 placings and $187,406 in prizemoney. Mr Nickel, having his third start after a spell, was a solidly-supported 10/9 on favourite who was beaten out from the pole by Soho Highroller, from the No. 3 barrier. However, Soho Highroller was unable to cross to the pegs and Mr Nickel set the pace. He was inclined to overrace and the quarters went by in 29.2sec., 29.5sec., 28.4sec. and 29.1sec. Soho Highroller got to the lead 500m from home, but was unable to hold out My Bachelors Delight, who enjoyed a perfect trail in the one-wide line in fifth and sixth positions before finishing fast to hit the front 120m from the finish. Barkers Hall improved from seventh at the bell to be third, with Mr Nickel fading to eighth. EGERTON-GREEN GRABS HIS CHANCE Young reinsman Dylan Egerton-Green made the most of his opportunity to drive promising filly Typhoon Tan in the absence of the three-year-old's regular reinsman Aiden De Campo at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Typhoon Tan, a 13/2 chance, was smartest to begin from barrier two and Egerton-Green rated the filly perfectly to get her home by a metre from 68/1 outsider Major Flirt, with The Parade running home strongly from the rear in the middle stages to be third in the 2130m Bell-Vista Fruit And Veg Company Pace. De Campo was away in Melbourne, representing Western Australia in a Young Drivers Championship series, and Egerton-Green jumped at the chance to drive Typhoon Tan. Typhoon Tan is trained at Capel by de Campo's father Andrew, who completed a double when Chris Lewis replaced Aiden De Campo and steered Conniving Major Dave to victory in the R H Trotter and Company Pace. Andrew De Campo continued in fine style by training three winners (Delightful Jade, Maddy White and Captain Proud) at Bunbury's Donaldson Park on Saturday night. Matt White replaced Aiden De Campo behind Delightful Jade and Maddy White and Kaiden Hayter drove Captain Proud. Meanwhile, Aiden De Campo didn't have much luck in the five-heat Young Drivers series which was won by Victoria's Rebecca Bartley, who drove four of the five winners --- Riviera Kiss (25/1), Boom Boom Hall (18/1), Smiling Spirit (53/1) and Kankkunen (10/1). De campo's drives at Shepparton on Thursday night were outsiders Turnoffate (55/1) and Philotes (53/1), each of whom tired badly to finish in last place. At Melton on Friday night de Campo drove 11/4 chance Field Major, who finished solidly from eighth at the bell and finished second, a half-length behind the fast-finishing Smiling Spirit. At Ballarat on Saturday night de Campo drove 8/1 chance Oils Jay Bee, who led and wilted to eighth behind Kankkunen, and 16/1 chance Sign of Oro, who led early and then trailed the pacemaker and 7/4 on favourite Hellovaway (Todd McCarthy) before finishing second to that pacer. Typhoon Tan, who is owned by Carlo Baggetta, Leanne Dean, Danny Roberts, Susan Beven, Arthur Hall, John Wychowanko, Gary Old, Harry Capararo, Mark Armstrong and the B and S Group, finished second at two of her three starts as a two-year-old in New Zealand (in January 2013) and now has earned $50,114 from seven wins and seven placings from 24 starts. Her maternal granddam Scottish Bella produced Mister Skye Rocket, who is still racing as a nine-year-old and was successful at Albion Park five starts ago, in April. He is an iron horse, having had 280 starts for 41 wins and 81 placings for stakes of $236,667. He won 16 races in New South Wales before moving to Queensland where he has won another 24 times. He won once from two starts in New Zealand. HUMPHRIES TIPS BRIGHT FUTURE FOR OHOKA COURAGE Forrestdale trainer Jarrad Humphries predicted a bright future for Ohoka Courage after the New Zealand-bred seven-year-old charged home from twelfth and last at the bell to score an easy victory in the 2536m Bell-Vista Fruit And Veg Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. "Hopefully, he will now go through the classes," Humphries said. "He's probably not a genuine Free-For-Aller, but he'll get there into open class. And because he likes to race with the tempo on, up in class won't worry him; it probably will suit him. "Ohoka Courage is a little odd in that he is a very high-speed horse, but is not a short-trip horse. He's a stayer with high speed. He's been beaten a couple of times by being used for speed early, and then hasn't got that big sprint at the finish. Tonight I told Kyle (Harper) to drive him exactly like that (by keeping him at the rear). He is a bit one dimensional, but when a race is run to suit him, he's very dangerous. "I picked him out and watched his races in New Zealand for about six months before I made an inquiry. He comes from the same stable as Bobby Teal and I rang the fellow up and asked him that when he was ready to move Ohoka Courage on that I would like the chance to buy him. Some time later he phoned me and I got him for $20,000, landed in Australia, which is not expensive. He has been a great moneyspinner and is way in front for good stable supporters Harry Capararo, Darryl McLeod and Wayne Innes." Ohoka Courage started from barrier three on the back line and was second favourite at 4/1 behind Galactic Galleon (7/2). Raza Sharp Lombo dashed to an early lead, with Jay Bees Grin (5/1) moving to the breeze in the first lap. Jay Bees Grin got to the front 400m from home, but faded in the home straight. Ohoka Courage was still near the rear turning out of the back straight before Harper took him wide and the gelding was six wide on the home turn before bursting to the front in the final 100m to score effortlessly by more than two lengths from Flyalong Falcon, who finished boldly from tenth on the pegs at the bell. Ohoka Squire came from 11th at the bell to be third. TUAPEKA KAHU MAKES THE MOST OF SECOND CHANCE The prospects of Tupeka Kahu winning the 2130m Mortgage Choice In South Perth Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night looked forlorn when he broke in the score up and was left a long way behind his eleven rivals. But he earned a reprieve when the starter declared a false start because Tuakepa Kahu was unable to fill his position at No. 2 on the front line when the mobile barrier was about to release the field. Tuapeka Kahu, a 12/1 chance, was on his best behaviour in the re-start and Ryan Warwick got the New Zealand-bred six-year-old straight to the front before he was untroubled to set the pace and hold on to win by a neck from stablemate Black Mr Mach (13/2), with a half-length to 5/4 favourite Wynberg Terror in third place. After moderate quarters of 30.9sec. and 30.5sec., Tuapeka Kahu dashed over the final sections in 28.6sec. and 28.8sec. Black Mr Mach settled down in tenth position before he finished strongly, out wide, from sixth at the bell. Tuapeka Kahu, who is trained by Greg and Skye Bond, was placed at four of his seven starts in New Zealand. He has raced 14 times in WA for four wins and four placings and looks set for many more wins. RODRIGO TAKES NO PRISONERS Rodrigo, owned by Victorian Federal policeman Mark Salathiel, arrested a losing sequence of eight when he overcame the disadvantage of starting from the outside of the back line and sustained a powerful burst to win narrowly from Bet Your Life in the 2130m Quayside Transport Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Produced in fine fettle by Pinjarra trainer Michael Brennan, Rodrigo, second favourite at 4/1, was driven in grand style by Gary Hall jun. Polemarker Bet the Max led for the first 500m before the even-money favourite The Phantom got to the front after working hard, out three wide. Hall quickly manoeuvred Rodrigo into eighth place in the one-wide line and he waited until the field approached the bell before sending the New Zealand-bred six-year-old forward, three wide. Bet Your Life was in the breeze and The Burnside Flyer was beginning to wilt in the prime one-out, one-back position. This unexpected situation enabled Hall the luxury of moving Rodrigo into the one-out, one-back position shortly after the bell. Stuart McDonald sent Bet Your Life (7/1) to the front 430m from home and Hall waited until the 250m mark before sending Rodrigo forward, three wide. Rodrigo dug deep and fought on doggedly to get the upper hand in the final 50m. He beat Bert Your Life by a metre, with 62/1 outsider Life Boat improving from seventh on the pegs at the bell to finish third. Rodrigo rated 1.56. 4 after dashing over the final 800m in 58.7sec. Rodrigo, who was having his third run after a spell, won once from nine New Zealand starts and then had 48 starts in Victoria for ten wins and 18 placings. He has had 16 starts in WA for two wins and two placings and his career record stands at 73 starts for 13 wins, 23 placings and stakes of $108,558. His maternal granddam Fern Glen won ten races and produced Maheer Lord, who had 197 starts for 34 wins, 46 placings and earnings of $515,470. Maheer Lord won three times at Gloucester Park --- the Parliamentarians Cup and Media Guild Cup in 2005 and the group 1 WA Pacing Cup in January 2006. SONIC CLASSIC TAKES THE NEXT STEP New Zealand-bred five-year-old Sonic Classic, placed in stands in modest company at his previous three starts, made a successful switch to mobile racing and showed a touch of class when he took on several better-performed runners in the 2130m Cash Convertors Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. An 11/1 chance from barrier two on the back line, Sonic Classic was one of two M0-class runners in the field of 12 which included three M3-class performers and seven M1-class runners. He defied the odds when trainer Nathan Turvey had him perfectly positioned, three back on the pegs in a fast-run race, and brought him home with a powerful burst to win by just over two lengths from the 10/9 on favourite and pacemaker Ben Cartwright, with almost four lengths to the third horse, Trojan Bromac, who surged home from tenth at the bell. Ben Cartwright, a last-start winner, overraced in the lead and was three lengths clear of his nearest rivals passing the 300m mark. But he wilted and Sonic Classic cruised to the front 120m from home. The sections of the final mile whizzed by in 29.4sec., 28.6sec., 28.9sec. and 29.1sec., with Sonic Classic rating a smart 1.55.8. "His previous run at Narrogin last Sunday (when he started off the 40m mark and finished on from ninth at the bell to be second to Art Connoisseur) was really good," Turvey said. "He got a flat tyre at the 1000m and the tyre came off the rim. And he still came home. "Even though it was a step up tonight I considered he was an each-way chance. We picked him out in New Zealand and his form over there was pretty good. So we were a bit disappointed up to this stage. Now, hopefully, he has turned the corner. He cost $30,000 landed and for a couple of his part-owners, Ron Sciani and Mike Wood, this is their first Friday night winner. Sonic Classic, by Mach Three, won at four of his 16 starts in New Zealand and he now has had 32 starts in WA for seven wins, 15 placings and $48,091. His career record stands at 48 starts for 11 wins, 20 placings and $68,957. His dam Classical (by Soky's Atom) was an outstanding performer who had 23 starts for five wins and ten placings for stakes of $291,590. She finished second to Pullover Brown in the New Zealand, Victorian and Australian Oaks in 2003. Tom Buchanan, who drove the fourth placegetter Mighty Flying Thomas, was suspended for nine days for causing interference to Well Hello Dolly in the back straight in the final lap. This was the first suspension imposed on Buchanan, who was having his 706th drive in a race. In reaching the penalty the stewards took into account Buchanan's guilty plea and his excellent record. They also took into account that Mighty Flying Thomas had just been tightened by another runner and that he was running about a bit. They considered that these factors could have contributed to the interference. Buchanan was granted a three-day deferment and he won the final event at Bunbury on Saturday night when 11/4 chance Reckless Abandon charged home from last in the field of six on the home turn to get up and score a last-stride victory over the hot favourite Major Rush. CONNIVING MAJOR DAVE LOVES LEADING Champion reinsman Chris Lewis welcomed the opportunity to take over from Aiden De Campo as the driver of Conniving Major Dave in the 2130m R H Trotter and Company Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. De Campo was in Melbourne, contesting a Junior Drivers' Championship series and Lewis got Conniving Major Dave, the 15/4 second favourite, away fast from barrier four and sent the four-year-old to the front after 500m. Conniving Major Dave excels as a frontrunner and he bowled along in the lead and rated 1.56.5 in beating the 5/2 favourite Notabadexcuse by a half-length, with a length to Dominus Vobiscum. Conniving major Dave won at three of his 12 New Zealand starts and now has raced 39 times for nine wins, nine placings and $66,408. He is the seventh foal out of Kind Martar, whose dam Kind Hearted produced eight winners, including Gracious Knight, who amassed $383,155 from 12 wins and 12 placings from 49 starts. PRIDE OF COLORADO JUST TOO STRONG Strong WA-bred seven-year-old Pride of Colorado generally thrives on working hard in his races, but trainer-reinsman Aldo Cortopassi successfully adopted different tactics with the gelding in the 2130m Homestyle Salad Makers Claiming Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Pride of Colorado, the 15/4 second favourite from the outside of the back line, was kept back in last place in the field of ten until the runners approached the bell --- when Cortopassi sent Pride of Colorado forward, with a strong three-wide burst. Pride of Colorado sustained his effort and the final quarters were covered in 28.8sec. and 28.5sec. as he swept to the front in the final 90m and defeated the 6/4 favourite Shardons Rocket by just over a lengths, with Lively Highlander (14/1) in third place after trailing the pacemaker Elite Under Fire all the way. Shardons Rocket, who raced three wide early and then in the breeze, got to the front 270m from home, but was unable to hold out Pride of Colorado. Pride of Colorado, who ended a losing sequence of eight, is out of Lady Legacy, whose six winners include Scram Jet, who had 172 races for 24 wins, 42 placings and stakes of $235,076. by Ken Casellas  

Champion harness racing trainer Gary Hall sen. has a stranglehold on the $25,000 Australian Marine Complex Pure Steel final at Gloucester Park on Friday night with five runners in the field of 12 and he issued a chilling warning to rival trainers when he declared that sensational four-year-old Alta Christiano was at the peak of his powers. "He has gone super since his latest run and he'll go as good as he's been going," he declared. Alta Christiano, to be driven by champion reinsman Gary Hall jun., fared the worst in the random draw, but he has the speed and class to overcome the considerable disadvantage of starting from the outside barrier (No. 7) on the front line. A winner at 13 of his 18 starts, the New Zealand-bred son of Christian Cullen is in devastating form and he notched his fourth successive victory when he started from the back line and burst to the front 1100m from home before careering away to win by more than six lengths from Pride of Colorado at a 1.56.7 rate over 2536m last Friday night. He was not extended in winning over 2130m twice and 1730m at his three previous outings. Most punters will bank on Hall providing the quinella, trifecta and first four on Friday night, with his other runners My Hard Copy, Slick Chapel, Vapour and Heez Orl Black expected to be fighting out the minor positions behind the all-conquering Alta Christiano. Four-year-old My Hard Copy will be driven by Kim Prentice, and from the coveted No. 1 barrier, he is capable of a bold effort. The four-year-old should set the early pace and is capable of running a fast time over the 2130m journey. He impressed at his first appearance for just over four months when he gave a bold frontrunning display to win easily from the fast-finishing Heez Orl Black, rating 1.56.9 in a qualifying heat over 2130m last Friday night. Vapour, another talented four-year-old, is racing with tremendous enthusiasm and has won at 12 of his past 27 starts. He is ideally drawn on the inside of the back line and Lauren Jones looks set to enjoy a perfect passage behind the freewheeling My Hard Copy. Slick Chapel will be driven by Clint Hall from the No. 3 barrier on the front line and Justin Prentice will drive Heez Orl Black from barrier four. Slick Chapel is in sparkling form and he warmed up for Friday night's event with an effortless win over 2150m at Harvey last Saturday night when he overcame a check in running and raced three wide and then in the breeze before winning by four lengths from Captain Proud at a 1.57.3 rate over 2150m. The best of the runners outside the Hall camp appear to be Robbery (Robbie Williams), Firebomb (Ryan Warwick) and the Ross Olivieri-trained Finbar Abbey. These three horses are in sound form, but face a monumental task of breaking Hall's grip on the race. ADDA RISING STAR HAS THE RUNS ON THE BOARD Punters face a particularly tough challenge in trying to find the winner of the $30,000 RSM Bird Cameron Pace for Westbred mares at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Perhaps the best advice is to boil down their choice to four-year-olds Adda Rising Star, Lucky Joy and Mon Lamour, each of whom has drawn awkwardly in the 2130m feature event. But they appear to have a slight advantage in class on their rivals. Adda Rising Star, trained at Bunbury by Frank Bonnett, has the best winning percentage (27) of the 12 runners and Lucky Joy has the second best percentage (22). And they have the ability to overcome unfavourable barriers, with Adda Rising Star starting from No. 4 on the back line and Lucky Joy from the outside (No. 7) on the front line. Mon Lamour, in the Hazelmere stables of Mike Reed, is an improving type who boosted her winning percentage to 17 when she notched her fourth win from 24 starts by racing three back on the pegs before finishing fast along the sprint lane to defeat Hoylakes Firstlady over 2185m at Pinjarra last Monday week. Adda Rising Star, to be driven by Callan Suvaljko, has the most impressive record of the 12 runners, with earnings of $143,234 from 14 wins and 17 placings from 51 starts. She fought on from sixth in the middle stages to be fourth behind Mon Lamour and she caught the eye two starts before that when she covered a lot of extra ground before finishing strongly to win from Kanata Queen and Lucky Diva over 2150m at Harvey. Lucky Joy is a little filly with a big heart who has been a model of consistency for trainer-reinsman Robbie Williams. She overcame a wide barrier at Northam on Thursday of last week when she surged home, out wide from the rear, to win from Cheeryrose and Sweet Charlee over 2190m. MR NICKEL IS READY TO FIRE A five-year-old who has been unplaced at his first two outings since resuming after an injury-enforced absence of 17 months looks one of the star bets on the ten-event program at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He is the New South Wales-bred Mr Nickel, who will start from the coveted No. 1 barrier in the 1730m Sadliers Nexus Pace for Forrestdale trainers Greg and Skye Bond. "He suffered a serious fetlock injury and had a fair bit of time off," said ace reinsman Colin Brown. "He has recovered and has had two runs in stands off back marks (30m) at Pinjarra and he was unable to get into either race. "First-up last Monday week he just couldn't get into the 2631m race when they ran home in very quick time (29.1sec. and 26.7sec. for the final two 400m sections) and it was the same story on Monday this week when they got home pretty snappy (when Mr Nickel finished seventh behind Barrow Street over 2116m when the final 800m was covered ion 56.7sec.). "He felt good on Monday and punters should be aware that he is a class horse who has won a fair bit of stakemoney. After two runs off a long spell they shouldn't forget him. This is an ideal draw and he is a very quick horse." Mt Nickel, who has won at four of his nine starts in Western Australia, has amassed $284,124 in stakes from 16 wins and nine placings from 42 starts. He is the winner of two group 1 events --- the Australian Pacing Gold for two-year-old colts and geldings at Melton (when he beat Magic Bliss and Soho Valencia) and the Tasmania Derby at Elwick in March 2012. Mr Nickel's main rival is likely to be five-year-old Soho Highroller, who will be having his first start for leading trainer Gary Hall sen. for almost four months. He will be driven by Gary Hall jun. from barrier three on the front line. Soho Highroller has a losing sequence of nine and was unplaced at his past eight starts. But he warmed up for his return to racing in fine style when he set the pace and rated 1.57.3, beating his top-flight stablemate Toretto by two metres after sprinting over the final 400m in 28.2sec. JUNGLE JEWEL WORKS IN SENSATIONAL STYLE Smart New Zealand-bred filly Jungle Jewel worked in dashing style at Greg and Skye Bond's Forrestdale track on Tuesday morning to boost her prospects in the $17,000 Bell-Vista Fruit And Veg Company Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. "I drove her and she felt sensational," said Colin Brown. "It was the best she has ever felt and she can overcome the back-line draw in Friday night's race. "She was suffering from the effects of a virus in the WA Oaks prelude (on May 2 when she led before fading to the rear) and then she showed that she is back in form with her win at Harvey last Saturday night. And she stepped up a notch this morning on the track when she felt sensational. "Greg added a Murphy blind for her run at Harvey and this made a dramatic difference. She was always inclined to get on one rein and the Murphy blind has had the desired effect. Shed raced a lot straighter, even though she wanted to get up the track a bit, instead of getting down the track." At Harvey on Saturday night Jungle Jewel, driven by Ryan Warwick, raced without cover early before getting to the front and sprinting over the final 800m in 56.8sec. when she beat Dontdoubtme and The Parade. Trainer Gary Hall sen. Is confident that Dontdoubtme will improve on her Harvey performance when she faced the breeze for most of the way. "She is each-way for ever," he declared. "Her Harvey run was very good; she's not a breeze horse and she probably needed the run." Reinsman Aiden De Campo, son of Capel trainer Andrew De Campo, said that he expected a strong showing from his father's filly Typhoon Tan, who is nicely drawn at barrier two on the front line. Typhoon Tan will be driven by Dylan Egerton-Green, who replaces Aiden De Campo, who will be driving at Melton in Victoria on Friday night. "She went very well at Harvey on Saturday night when she trailed the leader Three Blind Mice and finished second to that pacer," he said. "She has good gate speed and if she leads she'll be a pretty good chance. Sitting is not really her go and if she rolls along in front she'll give plenty of cheek." Typhoon Tan led and won twice in fast time at Bunbury at two of her past four starts. Boyanup trainer-reinsman Justin Prentice also gives his smart filly The Parade a good winning chance, despite drawing the outside of the front line. "The Parade started from a wide barrier (six) at Harvey on Saturday night and after racing three wide for most of the way did very well to finish third behind Jungle Jewel. "I was stoked with her run," he said. "I thought that it was one of her best runs. They have come home in 56.8sec. They went 28 flat down the back and I've made up about three lengths." DE CAMPO TO REPRESENT WA IN VICTORIA Outstanding reinsman Aiden De Campo will leave Perth on Thursday morning to represent Western Australia in a Young Drivers' Challenge series. He will drive Turnoffate in the first heat and Philotes in the second heat at Shepparton on Thursday night, Field Major at Melton on Friday night and Oils Jay Bee and Sign of Oro in the final two heats at Ballarat on Saturday night. In his absence, Dylan Egerton-Green will drive Typhoon Tan in race one at Gloucester Park on Friday night; Chris Lewis will replace him behind the consistent Conniving Major Dave in the fourth event, the 2130m R. H. Trotter Pace, and Kaiden Hayter will replace him behind Vertical Four in the Mortgage Choice in South Perth Pathway Pace. "Number four is a good barrier for Conniving Major Dave," de Campo said. "I don't know whether he'll find the top or not. If he does, he'll give a lot of cheek. His latest run was probably his best run this time in. He sat in the breeze against some pretty good horses and he finished second to Oneheart Twofists." STANLEY LANDS A WINNER AT FIRST WA VISIT Victorian reinsman Michael Stanley celebrated his first appearance at Gloucester Park on Tuesday night when he brought Enjoy A Malabu with a spirited burst to win the International Animal Health Products Trot by a head from the 6/4 favourite Hot Holiday and The Beau Brummell. Enjoy A Malabu, a 16/1 chance, ran home strongly from sixth at the bell. The gelding is trained by Stanley's uncle Bruce Stanley and is owned by his aunty Pauline. "This was my first drive for Uncle Bruce and it was a thrill to win the race," Michael Stanley said. by Ken Casellas  

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