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In recent months Eden Franco and Maczaffair have stamped themselves as the best two pacing mares in Western Australia and the connections of those pacers and harness racing fans in general have been predicting a tantalising showdown between the two in the $125,000 Westral Mares Classic over 2536m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. But the result of the random barrier draw has clouded the issue and has revived the hopes of some of the other combatants, including the courageous Gotta Go Gabbana, the seasoned and well-performed veteran Tricky Styx and rising four-year-old stars Our Angel of Harlem and Lady De la Renta. Eden Franco, trained and driven by the evergreen Colin Brown, and Maczaffair, prepared by the equally astute horseman Mike Reed, have clashed in races only four times with the honours shared two victories to each mare and two seconds to Eden Franco and two fourths to Maczaffair. The barrier draw has thrown this week’s classic into the melting pot, with Eden Franco faring badly, drawn on the outside (No. 9) on the front line, while Maczaffair will start from the outside (barrier three) on the back line. Brown has a high opinion of Eden Franco and is looking for a change of luck after Eden Franco started from the prized No. 1 barrier in the Mares Classic 12 months ago and was a strongly-supported 4/1 chance. She set a solid pace, but was swamped in the final 100 metres when she was at a distinct disadvantage when the deafeners failed to release. She finished fourth behind Ideal Alice, Ameretto and Quite A Delight. Brown is hoping for his first success in the Mares Classic or its predecessor the Mares Mile. Three years ago, he drove $78.80 chance Jungle Jewell for Greg and Skye Bond when she surged home from ninth on the pegs at the bell, and sixth at the 100m, to finish second to the pacemaking Nike Franco and in 2010 he was third behind 10/9 on favourite Ima Spicey Lombo with Greg Bond’s Little Big Sister, who finished boldly from tenth at the bell. Eden Franco’s part-owner Jim Currie was a part-owner and trainer of 10/1 tote chance Smoking Again, who set the pace from barrier three and won comfortably from the polemarker Country Change in the 2009 Mares Mile. Eden Franco is generally considered simply as a frontrunner. But Brown does not agree with that, saying after driving the mare to a four-length victory over Alfa Queen in the 2130m Norms Daughter Classic last Friday week that she was quite versatile. “Everybody thinks that she’s just a one-trick pony, but at home she can run very quick times when held up. She’s got high cruising speed on the track at home and runs 27-second quarters hard-held.” Eden Franco started from barrier four in the Norms Daughter Classic and burst to the front after 250m. Maczaffair started from the inside of the back line and raced three back on the pegs in fifth position. She was badly blocked for a clear passage in the final stages and went to the line full of running to finish a most unlucky fourth. Then, last Friday night Maczaffair was a 10/1 on favourite from the No. 1 barrier when she was not extended in setting the pace, sprinting over the final quarters in 28.2sec. and 27.8sec. and winning by 10m from Gotta Go Gabbana over 2130m. Both Eden Franco and Maczaffair are capable over the 2536m journey. Eden Franco has won over 2600m and 2503m and Maczaffair has won twice and finished second three times over 2536m. Tricky Styx, now in the Capel stables of Andrew de Campo, has drawn the prized No. 1 barrier and Aiden de Campo is sure to attempt to set the pace with the seven-year-old and will be hoping to keep all challengers at bay. This will be Tricky Styx’s third appearance in the Mares Classic. She started out wide at barrier nine and finished solidly from 11th at the bell to be fifth behind The Parade in 2016 and last year she began out wide at barrier eight and was always well back, finishing tenth behind Ideal Alice. Four-year-old Our Angel of Harlem, a stablemate of Maczaffair, cannot be underestimated, even from the wide draw at No. 8. Her two runs since resuming from a spell have been encouraging and she will have the services of champion reinsman Chris Lewis, who has won the Mares Mile with Jilsander (2007) and Ima Spicey Lombo (2010). Chris Voak, who set the pace with the Chris King-trained Leda McNally and won the Mares Classic from Famous Alchemist and Sensational Gabby in 2013, will be in the sulky behind the Annie Belton-trained Gotta Go Gabbana, who is favourably drawn at barrier two on the front line. Gotta Go Gabbana has impressed with her courageous efforts on the past two Friday nights when she had a tough run in the breeze before fighting on grandly for a third behind Eden Franco and a second to Maczaffair. Gotta Go Gabbana’s stablemate Lady De La Renta will be driven by Kim Prentice and she impressed at Gloucester Park last Tuesday week when she unwound a powerful finishing burst to win easily from Shes Artful and Jasmin Amal.   Ken Casellas

Khun Lek, trained in Capel by de Campo’s father Andrew, will be one of the fancies in the 2130m Building And Constructions At DTS Pace for harness racing mares after smart wins at Bunbury and Gloucester Park at her past two outings. She will start from barrier No. 5 on the front line and Aiden de Campo is planning to go forward at the start in a bid for the early lead or to take up a prominent forward position. In an open affair, Khun Lek, Rockin The Boys and Our Jeremes Gem appear to have sound prospects. Rockin The Boys and Our Jeremes Gem have each finished second at their past two starts and are due for a change of fortune. Khun Lek is by McArdle out of Chantic Sarah, a D M Dilinger mare who raced 17 times in Western Australia for five wins in 2008 and 2009 --- two at Narrogin and Wagin and one at Pinjarra. She is no relation to Khun Ratha, who finished powerfully to win at Gloucester Park last Friday night. Khun Ratha, recently purchased by Kristy Sheehy and Joshua Dunn, has earned $162,519 from 15 wins and 38 placings from 106 starts. He will start from the back line in the 2536m Hardware at DTS Pace on Friday night and has sound each-way prospects, with Shannon Suvaljko in the sulky. Suvaljko and de Campo have excellent prospects of winning the final event, the Direct Trades Supply Pace, in which Suvaljko will be in the sulky behind the polemarker Ctheballerina and de Campo will be driving Cest Lheure. Ctheballerina, unplaced at her past nine starts since winning over 2090m in Hobart last October, is a newcomer to Mike Reed’s Henley Brook stables and she caught the eye in a 2150m trial at Byford in Sunday morning when she surged home from sixth at the bell to be second to Ay Jays Dream. “She’s been all over the place, racing in New Zealand, Tasmania and Victoria,” Reed said. “I like her and whatever she does on Friday night, she will improve on.” Suvaljko watched the trial in which Ctheballerina was driven by Mark Reed, and gave the mare his tick of approval. “The only blue, first-up, is the longer distance of 2536m,” he said. De Campo described Cest Lheure as a handy horse who hardly ever runs a bad race and said that he was confident of a forward showing, without being in any way over-confident. Suvaljko will have a busy time on Friday night and apart from Golden State (who should win the WA Derby Prelude) he has many good each-way prospects among his drives behind A Boy Named Rosie, Chal Storm, Khun Ratha, She Said Diamonds, Our Jeremes Gem and Ctheballerina. He also spoke highly of Back To The Beach’s winning prospects in the Irrigation At DTS Westbred Pace. Back To The Beach, to be driven by Mitch Miller for Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri, will start from barrier six and looks set to fight out the finish after having notched seven wins from his past 13 starts. Suvaljko has driven Back To The Beach in five of those wins, with Miller, engaged this week to take advantage of his concession, having had only one drive behind the four-year-old for an all-the-way victory in the 2180m Wagin Cup four starts ago. “He doesn’t have to lead; he can sit,” said Suvaljko. “However, he has drawn inside of Red Hot Roxy and she will not be able to sit outside Back To The Beach and beat him.” Ken Casellas

Well-bred four-year-old Our Magical Miracle will resume after an absence of eight months when he starts from barrier two on the back line of the 2130m Slater Gartrell Sports Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night and the lightly-raced gelding should prove hard to beat after an impressive performance in a 2150m trial at Byford on Sunday morning. Prepared at Serpentine by premier trainer Gary Hall sen., Our Magical Miracle led from barrier five in the trial and held on to win by a head from Shandale, a talented M2-class pacer and winner of $194,677 in prizemoney. The New Zealand-bred Our Magical Miracle sprinted over the final quarters in 28.8sec. and 27.8sec., which suggests that he is close to his best form for his long-anticipated return to racing. He is lightly-raced, having had only nine starts for four wins, two seconds and a third. He has not raced since he started from the No. 5 barrier and dashed forward in the first lap to take up the running before winning easily from Art Lover over 2185m at Pinjarra on December 12 last year.       His chief opposition on Friday is expected to come from another New Zealand-bred four-year-old in the Andrew de Campo-trained Cest Lheure, who will start from the No. 6 barrier with Aiden de Campo in the sulky. After sustaining a powerful finishing burst to win at Pinjarra three starts ago, Cest Lheure has fought on grandly to finish desperately close seconds to The Storm Chief at Gloucester Park and Rudimental Sol at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon. Andrew de Campo was rewarded for his long trip to Perth from Capel on Tuesday when his only starter at the Gloucester Park meeting, Smoldering Ashes, driven by Ryan Bell, finished strongly from sixth at the bell to win from Rockin The Boys at odds of 64/1. Our Magical Miracle is a full-brother to millionaire pacer Mysta Magical Mach, who retired with a record of 160 starts for 34 wins, 54 placings and $1,261,371 in prizemoney. He won several group events, including the 2009 WA Pacing Cup, the 2009 Bunbury Cup and the 2009 and 2013 Lord Mayor’s Cup and the Members Sprint and Village Kid Sprint in 2012. He also finished second to Im Themightyquinn in the 2011 WA Pacing Cup and second to the same great pacer in the 2012 Interdominion Championship in Perth. The Hall stable has 12 runners at the meeting, with Our Magical Miracle and Ima Rocknroll Legend (Owners Only Pace) looking the best prospects. Ima Rocknroll Legend is the only M0-class performer in a 2130m event in which nine of his rivals have a M1 classification and one, Better Than Money, is on a M2 mark. Hall jun. is bullish about the prospects of Ima Rocknroll Legend and is aiming at winning the start and leading throughout. Ken Casellas

Considerable interest will surround the debut of New Zealand-bred three-year-old The Pima Indian when the gelding makes his debut in the $18,000 Yearling Preparation at Allwood Stud Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The Pima Indian, trained at Serpentine by Gary Hall sen., is favourably drawn at barrier three on the front line in the 2130m event and should prove hard to beat after scoring easy wins in two trials at Byford on the past two Sundays. He rated 1.58.6 when he beat Major Fitz by 40 metres in a three-horse 2150m trial last Sunday morning and he sprinted home over the final 400m in 28.5sec. when he won a five-horse trial from the promising Neighlor the previous Sunday. The son of Changeover will be driven by Gary Hall jun., who preferred him to the Glenn Elliott-trained polemarker Illusionation, who possesses sparkling gate speed and has won at two of his past three starts. The Pima Indian has a family tradition to uphold at his first appearance in a race in Australia. His maternal granddam Cherubic had four of her progeny race in Australia --- and all won at their Australian debut --- Franco Conquest (Newcastle, December 1999), Franco Concord (Globe Derby, December 2000), Franco Croupier (Strathalbyn, December 2001) and Franco Cruz (Bendigo, November 2011). The Prima Indian faces some strong opposition from the outstanding filly Maczaffair and Tisadream, who are racing in excellent form. Maczaffair, to be driven by Chris Lewis for Henley Brook trainer Mike Reed, has amassed $247,295 in prizemoney from 11 wins and seven placings from 23 starts. She will start out wide at barrier eight on the front line. Maczaffair also started from the No. 8 barrier last Friday week when she raced wide early and then in the breeze before winning by almost two lengths from Pick My Pocket, rating 1.55.4 over 1730m. Tisadream, trained at Capel by Andrew de Campo, finished third in the WA Derby earlier in the year and he is in splendid form, winning by big margins over 2536m at Gloucester Park and 2100m at Bunbury at his latest outings. He will start from the outside of the back line and should be charging home in the final stages. Pick My Pocket, to be driven by Tom Buchanan for Boyanup trainer Justin Prentice, is racing with admirable enthusiasm, but will need some luck after starting out wide at barrier seven. Tyler Bret, to be driven by Colin Brown for Banjup trainer Dylan Egerton-Green, should be prominent from the No. 2 barrier. He covered a lot of extra ground before finishing strongly to win from Bravo Tex over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Monday afternoon. Ken Casellas

Ryan Bell will replace Aiden de Campo as Sky Art’s harness racing driver when the New Zealand-bred five-year-old contests the Retravision Handicap, a stand over 2503m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Capel trainer Andrew de Campo engaged Bell after his son Aiden received a 21-day suspension for a driving infringement at Bunbury last Saturday night. Aiden de Campo drove Sky Art to an impressive victory at 5/1 in a 2536m mobile event at Gloucester Park last Friday night when the gelding was sixth, three back on the pegs at the bell, before easing off the pegs in the back straight and then charging home, five wide, to hit the front 75m from home and racing away to score by 5m from Eastwood Factor. That was the gelding’s tenth win from 57 starts and ended a losing sequence of 13. Sky Art returns to a standing-start event this week and will begin from barrier two on the front line. “I sat behind him at his previous start, in a stand at Pinjarra,” Bell said. “And he gave me quite a good feel. The race was run slowly up front and Sky Art sprinted home quite good in a slick (27sec.) final quarter.” Sky Art raced in fourth position in an Indian-file affair. Bell said that he did not expect Sky Art to be able to jump to the front at the start, with noted frontrunner Importer Exporter drawn ideally at barrier one. “Sky Art begins nice and safely and he’s the type of horse you don’t have to worry about too much at the start. You just let him settle and save him for his speed at the end.” The Chris Winston-trained Importer Exporter will be handled by Kyle Harper and makes strong appeal. He has had only 33 starts for eight wins, ten seconds and two thirds. He raced three back on the pegs and ran home solidly when third behind Cut For An Ace over 2503m last Friday week. Bell was a late replacement for the suspended Aiden de Campo behind Handsandwheels in a 2130m Westbred Pace at Gloucester Park on Tuesday afternoon and the Mach Three gelding gave a bold frontrunning display to win in good style from Tiza Wish and Bettor Be Lively. Ken Casellas

Harness racing Punters who burnt their fingers when the heavily-supported Ultimate Major finished second to This Time Dylan in the Mount Eden-No Dill Christmas Handicap last Friday night should forgive the six-year-old for his defeat and support him to win the Entertainment With Horsepower Handicap, a stand over 2503m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Ultimate Major, favourite at 9/4, ruined his chances when he broke into a gallop at the start of last week’s race. He was eighth at the bell before unwinding a spirited burst to finish second, just one metre behind This Time Dylan. There were excuses for Ultimate Major’s poor start. Like some of his rivals, he was edgy when the race got under way at the second attempt --- after a malfunction with the tapes caused a false start to be called. A week earlier Ultimate Major, trained at Capel by Andrew de Campo and driven by his son Aiden, impressed with a powerful burst to finish third behind Galactic Star and Straight Thru Blue. The Dylan Egerton-Green-trained Waltzing With Cullen is the lone backmarker off 20m and he looks the main danger to Ultimate Major. Waltzing With Cullen started off 20m last Friday night and he gave a strong performance to run home boldly, out wide, from last in a field of 12 at the bell to be a very close third behind This Time Dylan and Ultimate Major.      Waltzing With Cullen is a seasoned veteran of 106 starts for 20 wins and 46 placings. The eight-year-old has resumed after a spell in grand style, with his seven starts this season producing two wins, two seconds and three thirds. Ken Casellas

With six of his 11 wins in stands, Ultimate Major is a standing-start harness racing specialist who looks a major hope off the front in the $25,000 Mount Eden-No Dill Christmas Handicap over 2503m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Trained at Capel by Andrew de Campo, Ultimate Major will be driven by his son Aiden, who said that the New Zealand-bred six-year-old would be far better suited in a stand this week than he was when a sound third behind Galactic Star in a mobile event last Friday night. “His run last week probably wasn’t his best run,” Aiden de Campo said. “He was hanging real badly when he was off the track in the last lap. He’ll be better suited back to a stand and off the front. “He definitely can be competitive against the better-performed runners on Friday night. He’s got a good stand record and if he does happen to lead I reckon he’ll be amongst the money, for sure. “Being in front at Gloucester Park is a huge plus. He’s a great leader who has won two of his last four by leading. Being in front is his ideal position. ”He’s a temperamental horse who is getting better and better. The run in a mobile last week has conditioned him up well for this week’s race.” Last week Ultimate Major, a winner of three races (two in stands from four starts as a three-year-old in New Zealand), performed strongly to run home determinedly, out wide, from eighth at the bell to finish third behind the runaway winner Galactic Star. At Bunbury the previous Saturday night he started from 10m and dashed to the front after 600m before setting a solid pace and winning from Waltzing With Cullen and Sky Art over 2503m. Waltzing With Cullen, the sole runner off 20m on Friday night, and the 30m co-backmarkers This Time Dylan and Shardons Rocket appear the main dangers to Ultimate Major. Waltzing With Cullen, a standing-start specialist trained by Dylan Egerton-Green, will be driven by Madison Brown. The eight-year-old is in sparkling form, with his six starts in his current preparation producing two wins, two seconds and two thirds. “Waltzing With Cullen is a gutsy horse who should perform well,” said Egerton-Green. “He beat This Time Dylan when he won at Pinjarra four starts ago and at his latest start he was third to Ultimate Major after sitting parked outside of him.” Veterans This Time Dylan and Shardons Rocket are favourably handicapped off 30m and are capable of bold efforts. Ken Casellas

Nowuseemegirl did not win from eight starts as a two-year-old and it took her 18 starts to break through for her first harness racing victory. But she has blossomed into a smart three-year-old, with six wins this year, three at Bunbury and one each at Bridgetown, Albany and Wagin. She will start from the coveted No. 1 barrier on the front line in the $18,000 Westralian Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night and has sound prospects. Trained at Capel by Andrew de Campo and driven by his son Aiden, Nowuseemegirl notched her third win from four starts after a spell when she gave a splendid performance to win from Legendary Lou and Sea Me Smile in 1.54.6 over 1609m at Bunbury last Saturday night. She started from barrier five and raced wide early before bursting to the front after 200m. The 400m sections whizzed by in 28.2sec., 29.9sec., 28.3sec. and 28.2sec. She began fast from the No. 7 barrier and set the pace before winning over 2100m at a 1.58.9 rate at Bunbury a week earlier. Nowuseemegirl is by American stallion Rocknroll Hanover and she is following a strong family tradition. She is the first foal out of Christian Cullen mare Nowuseeme, who earned $287,234 from 23 wins (13 at Gloucester Park) and 25 placings from 88 starts. Nowuseeme’s dam Nowuseemenowudont (by Holmes Hanover) was also a smart performer who had 65 starts for 16 wins (nine at Gloucester Park), 20 placings and stakes of $116,931 from 65 starts. Nowuseemegirl looks assured of breaking through soon for her first Gloucester Park success. She has raced on that track five times for two seconds, one fourth and two fifths. There is plenty of exposed form in Friday night’s race in which the inexperienced and lightly-raced Ladys Are Ideal appears hard to beat. She will start from the inside of the back line and should enjoy a favourable passage behind Nowuseemegirl, the likely pacemaker. Ladys Are Ideal won once from two starts in New Zealand in June and impressed with her stylish pacing action and natural speed at her Australian debut, when she led and won convincingly from Eyes On The Money and Gunna Get Lucky over 2130m on Tuesday of last week. “She’s a bit light on, but I think she’s a winning chance if she can get a clear crack at them,” said trainer Gary Hall sen. “There’s quite a few chances and I think she is a better horse with a sit.” Trainer Ross Olivieri’s noted frontrunner Sheer Rocknroll has been an odds-on favourite at her past two starts in which she began from the No. 2 barrier and set the pace over 1730m and 2130m at Gloucester Park. She will be at a reasonable quote after drawing awkwardly at the No. 6 barrier on the front line. But the filly with a record of ten wins and eight placings from 29 starts cannot be underestimated.     Eyes On The Money (Shane Young) and The Shadow Knows (Ron Young) have drawn favourably at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively and should be prominent.  A case can be made for all 12 runners in an event which should get the ten-event program away to an exciting start. Ken Casellas

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  

Champion harness racing reinsman Chris Lewis will be chasing an eighth Bunbury Cup win when he takes the Andrew De Campo trained 4yo Ultimate Major up to the coveted barrier one position in Saturday night’s $50,000 Group Two Bunbury Cup. The most inexperienced runner in the field, Ultimate Major had drawn badly at his two most recent starts in the 4yo Championship and McInerney Ford Classic at Gloucester Park. His trainer Andrew De Campo will be chasing a record-equalling third win in the Bunbury Cup having previously won his hometown race with Paulas Mate in 2001 and Aliveandwell in 2009. Alan Woodworth and Ross Olivieri presently share Bunbury Cup training honours with three wins apiece. Lewis’s previous wins in the Bunbury Cup have been behind Pallaton (1980), Den Helder (1982), Village Kid (1987), Hail The Judge (1998), Faking It (2005), No Blue Manna (2008) and Crombie (2011). Trainer/driver Kyle Harper’s runner Bettors Fire will be attempting to become just the second horse to win successive Bunbury Cups. The George James trained and driven No Dill won the 1969 and 1970 runnings of the race. No Blue Manna is the only other dual Bunbury Cup winner having won the race in 2006 and 2008. Stephanie Smith is seeking to become just the second woman to train a Bunbury Cup winner when she gears up Dundee Three on Saturday night. Cass Haese, who died in July 2014, won the 1995 Bunbury Cup with Scanio.  

Woodley to break through in August Cup Morgan Woodley, who has driven a placegetter in three of the past four August Cups, has high hopes of breaking through for his first victory in the winter feature event by scoring with David Hercules in the $35,000 Curtin FM August Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night. David Hercules, trained at Byford by David Thompson, has drawn fairly at barrier four on the front line, but is likely to be left in the breeze outside the likely pacemaker Northview Punter, who will start from the coveted No. 1 barrier in the 2536m event. Trainer Gary Hall sen. conceded that he was slightly disappointed at Northview Punter's effort when second behind stablemate Our Arlington in a 2503m stand last Friday night. But his spirits were boosted after the random barrier draw. David Hercules proved the master of Northview Punter three starts ago when he started from the No. 5 barrier and worked hard in the breeze before finishing strongly to beat the pacemaking Northview Punter by a half-length, rating 1.55.7 over 2130m. David Hercules was gallant in defeat when fourth behind Reuben Brogden in a 1730m sprint last Friday night. He was at a significant disadvantage, starting from the outside of the back line. He settled at the rear before Woodley started a three-wide move 1100m from home. The seven-year-old sustained a strong effort to finish just under two lengths from the winner. David Hercules had been most impressive in winning at his four previous starts (after resuming from a spell), winning twice each over 2130m and 2536m. Friday night's event will be the 63rd running of the August Cup and Thompson is hoping that David Hercules will become just the eighth horse to complete the Winter Cup-August Cup double in the one season. Those to have achieved this feat are Tavis (1975), Peter Anstey (1977), High Moore (1979), Preux Chevalier (1985), Manageable (1989), Shattering Class (1998 and 1999) and Another Party (2000). Woodley's placegetters in recent August Cups have been Mysta Magical Mach (third behind Im Themightyquinn in 2010), Has The Answers (third behind Lombo Navigator and Rocket Reign in a thrilling three-way photo finish in 2011) and Has The Answers (second to Uppy Son last year). Mysta Magical Mach and Has The Answers were prepared by Tony Svilicich, who won the August Cup with Digger of Fortune in 2003. Svilicich has trained six minor placegetters in the past six August Cups. In 2008 he was represented by Roydon Holmes and Demoralizer. Roydon Holmes (9/1) led until the final 20m and finished a close second to Glencadam, and Demoralizer was third. He did not have a runner in 2009 before Has The Answers led until the final 50m when second to Im Themightyquinn in 2010. His other runner Mysta Magical Mach was third. A year later Has The Answers (6/4 on) set the pace when third. In the 2012 August Cup Mysta Magical Mach (6/1) set the pace and was two lengths in front with 120m to travel before being swamped and was relegated to fifth behind Dasher VC. Twelve months ago Has The Answers was favourite at 6/4 when set the pace from barrier two and led until the final 90m when beaten by the fast-finishing Uppy Son. This year Svilicich will be represented by outsider Shardons Rocket, who will be driven by Chris Lewis, but faces an extremely difficult task from the outside of the back line. The August Cup is a particularly significant event for Hall sen., who had the distinction of training Zakara for his four wins in the race --- in 1991, 1992, 1993 and 1994. Hall's other August Cup winner was Im Themightyquinn, who started at 5/2 on in 2010 when he got to the front 50m from the post before defeating the pacemaker Has The Answers. The Cup prospects on Friday night of last-start winners Reuben Brogden and Our Arlington were boosted when they drew favourably at No. 2 and No. 3 on the front line. Reuben Brogden, trained by his owner Gary Elson, was most impressive last Friday night when he was tenth at the 500m mark and stormed home from sixth, five wide, on the home turn to defeat Old McDonald at a 1.54.4 rate over 1730m. Our Arlington also caught the eye last Friday night when he galloped soon after the start and settled down a distant ninth before dashing forward to move into the breeze 1400m from home and then gained the one-out, one-back trail and then finishing boldly to snatch victory from Northview Punter. Hall predicts big things for Machtu Champion trainer Gary Hall sen. has labelled Machtu the second best pacer in his Serpentine stables and is bubbling with confidence that the New Zealand-bred three-year-old will make a triumphant return to racing by proving too powerful for his rivals in the 2130m Glengarry Spectacles Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Machtu will be making his first appearance for 20 weeks when he starts out wide at No. 4 on the back line for champion reinsman Gary Hall jun. This will be the gelding's first start since he finished a close third behind Three Blind Mice and Eyre Crusher in the WA Derby early last April. "He has returned in great shape and his trials at Byford on the past two Sundays have been phenomenal," said an enthusiastic Hall sen. "He won both his trials, beating open-class horses and you would think that he would just win on Friday night. "In a 2550m stand on Sunday Machtu led and beat his open-class stablemate Livingontheinterest by a length after sprinting the final 400m in 27.9sec. In a 2150m mobile the previous Sunday he led and covered the final 800m in 56.5sec. and beat top-class pacer David Hercules on his merits. "Machtu is the second best horse in our stable, behind Im Themightyquinn. We are really happy with him and his long-term mission is the interdominion championship in Perth in 2016. At the moment we will take races as they come and see how he goes. "Quinny is back in work and is coming along nicely. He should resume racing towards the end of October and his main target is the $700,000 New Zealand Cup on the second Tuesday in November. It's a stand and he will draw the front line." Machtu, who has won at seven of his 12 starts, is one of three Hall runners in Friday night's race, the others being High Courage (No. 3 on the front line) and Classic American (outside of the back line). High Courage and Classic American are smart colts, but appear a class below Machtu. Nonetheless, each will be fancied to figure in the finish along with Burning, the promising Mach Three colt in the stables of Greg and Skye Bond. Burning, a speedy frontrunner and winner at seven of his 16 starts, will begin from the inside of the back line. An all-the way Pinjarra winner three starts ago, he lost few admirers when a fighting second to Elegant Christian over 2130m last Friday night after working hard without cover. Hall sets sights on 250 winners There is no stopping the all-conquering Hall training complex and now champion horseman Gary Hall sen. has lifted the bar and is setting himself fresh challenges as the 2013-14 season comes to an end. The Hall camp has 14 starters on the ten-event program at Gloucester Park on Friday night and punters would be well advised to include all 14 runners in their thoughts. Hall, a runaway winner of the trainers' premiership, would dearly love to end the season in a blaze of glory on Friday night. Leading reinsman Gary Hall jun. also would love to wind up the city season by winning the final event with honest performer Globalization in the Pedrini Painting Westbred Pathway Pace. Hall sen. leads the Metropolitan trainers' premiership with 169 wins --- a mile head of Greg and Skye Bond (63), Ross Olivieri (62), Debbie Padberg (32) and Andrew De Campo (25). On all tracks in Western Australia during the season he has had 814 starters for 209 winners, 116 seconds and 96 thirds for prizemoney of $2,966,533. In second place is the Bond stable with 146 winners and 128 placegetters from 817 starters. This is the first time a trainer has prepared more than 200 winners in a season in this State. Hall currently has 50 horses in work and he wants to keep the winners rolling in. "My aim for the 2014-15 season is to train 250 winners and to win the WA Pacing Cup for the ninth time," he declared. "Im Themightyquinn will run in the Cup, providing the wheels stay on." Hall is also looking for big things from exciting three-year-old Machtu and he also predicted bright futures for many of his horses, including Beaudiene Boaz, Nuala, Zennart and Juliana Bromac. Get on Machs A Pearler Unfavourable barriers have dogged Machs A Pearler in recent weeks and the New Zealand-bred four-year-old should greatly appreciate starting from the prized No. 1 barrier in the first event at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The honest gelding, trained at Forrestdale by Greg and Skye Bond, looks a good thing and punters should establish a good bank for the night by supporting him to end a losing sequence of seven. Machs A Pearler has enjoyed little luck recently after starting from the back line three times and from the outside of the front line twice at his past five outings. He is a smart frontrunner ideally suited over the sprint trip of 1730m. Punters should take it into serious consideration that he has led in ten of his 490 starts for five wins and five second placings. The Bond stable has 13 runners on Friday night, including six starters in the $25,000 King's Park Fashion Schrader final over 2130m. Four of those runners --- Tuapeka Kahu, Lunar Tide, Bettor Offer and Im Terrific --- are last-start winners, while the other two, Jay Bees Grin and Condrieu each finished third at their most recent outing and have sound prospects. Libertybelle Midfrew runs a sizzling trial Star filly Libertybelle Midfrew looms large as the best bet on the ten-event program at Gloucester Park on Friday night after running a superb trial at Byford on Sunday morning. Libertybelle Midfrew, trained by Mike Reed and to be driven by his son Mark, has the class to overcome the disadvantage of starting from barrier seven, the outside of the front line in the 1730m Casey Australia Pace. She warmed up for the race in dashing style at Byford on Sunday morning when she raced wide early and then took up the running before careering away from her four rivals to win the 2150m trial by almost 19 lengths from Shezablaze, rating 1.57.1 after sprinting over the final 800m in 56sec. This performance showed that the filly was poised to make amends for her shock first-up defeat at 10/1 on when she raced without cover and finished third behind Harriet Elisabeth and Jungle Jewel over 2130m on August 1. That was her first appearance since scoring a runaway victory in the WA Oaks on May 9 to take her West Australian record to five starts for five wins. Making good appeal as a placegetter is the Andrew De Campo-trained Maddy White, who should be prominent throughout from the No. 2 barrier on the front line. The David Thompson-trained Harriet Elisabeth has won at seven of her 18 starts and is capable of a bold showing from barrier three on the back line. Where Dreams Grow, trained and driven by Justin Prentice, has won at each of her past three starts, two at Bunbury and then one at Gloucester Park, when she set the pace from barrier two. But she faces a stern test from the No. 6 barrier.  Ken Casellas  

Champion harness racing trainer Gary Hall sen. achieved a notable milestone at Gloucester Park on Monday afternoon when his only runner, Massive Attack, scored an easy all-the-way victory over Show You A Trick and Mister Atomic in the 2130m Lancaster Park Pace for two-year-olds. This gave him the distinction of becoming the first man to train 200 winners in a season in Western Australia. Hall has no stand-out performers at Friday night's meeting at Gloucester Park. But he has good prospects of opening the program with a winner when he will be represented by improving four-year-old Globalization in the Legends Bar Westbred Pathway Pace. Globalization is handily drawn at No. 3 on the front line and is sure to be prominent throughout the 2130m event. He set the pace and won two in a row at Gloucester Park, over 2130m and 1730m at Gloucester Park before he did not enjoy the best of luck in finishing fourth behind the classy Our Jerry Lee at Pinjarra three Mondays ago. Globalization's stiffest opposition is likely to come from Captain Proud and Justlikelindt. Captain proud, trained at Capel by Andrew De Campo, is in sparkling form and the four-year0-old gave a spirited display when third behind El Machine and Leda McNally in the Manea Classic at Bunbury last Saturday night. He worked hard before winning from Just Moses at Bunbury two starts before that. by Ken Casellas

Morgan Woodley is poised to notch a record third victory in the $35,000 Next Payment ATM Howard Porter Memorial at Gloucester Park on Friday night and chalk up his century of winners in the 2013-14 season. The brilliant young reinsman has formed a tremendous liaison with David Hercules and the seven-year-old is sure to prove extremely hard to beat in the 2536m feature event in which he has drawn barrier four on the front line. Woodley, one of four drivers to have won the Porter Memorial twice, looks set to make a bold bid to take up the role of pacemaker in the early stages. Brilliant mare Leda McNally has drawn the coveted pole position, but Chris Voak is unlikely to attempt an all-the-way win if Woodley, as expected, applies considerable early pressure. Leda McNally is a smart frontrunner, but she is even better suited when held up for a late charge. She produced a powerful finishing burst to win a 2503m stand at Gloucester Park two starts ago and then she surged home from eighth in the middle stages to finish second to El Machine in the 2100m Manea Classic at Bunbury last Saturday night. Ten-year-old Rocket Reign will start from barrier two. The veteran possesses good gate speed, but it would come as a surprise if Mark Reed attempts to set the pace with a pacer who has a losing sequence of 20. David Hercules is in sparkling form and is unbeaten at three outings in his current campaign, setting the pace to beat Im Themightyquinn over 2130m and then working hard in the breeze to beat Please Release Me in the 2536m Winter Cup and again when he defeated the pacemaker Northview Punter over 2130m last Friday night. "I was pleasantly surprised when he was able to get up and beat Northview Punter," Woodley admitted. And Byford trainer David Thompson is delighted at the way David Hercules is racing. "He went super last week and has thrived since then," he said. Northview Punter is a strong stayer, but his prospects of winning the Porter Memorial diminished when he drew out wide at No. 6 on the front line. The New Zealand-bred four-year-old, the youngest runner in the race, is trained by Gary Hall sen., who has won the Porter Memorial as a trainer-driver with Makes The Rules in 1999 and Its Written In The Stars the following year. Woodley has won the event with All In Teck (2008) and Has The Answers (2011) and the other reinsmen to have won the race twice were Phil Coulson (Pure Steel in 1978 and Gammalite four years later) and Fred Kersley jun. (Gap Road, 1983, and Quecee, 1990). Pinjarra trainer Chris King, who has brought Leda McNally back to top form in the past fortnight, is seeking his second success in the Porter Memorial, a race he won with 41/1 tote outsider Flamin Tact in 2010 when the gelding was handled by Robbie Williams. King also has a handy second string in Lord Lombo, who is not well drawn at barrier five. An interesting runner is former Victorian open-class performer Our Blackbird, a New Zealand-bred six-year-old by Bettors Delight who will be making his first appearance in Western Australia. Our Blackbird, now trained by Ross Olivieri, has won at 15 of his 64 starts. He faces a stern test from the outside of the front line, even though he has been performing soundly against quality opposition in Victoria. Four starts ago, in the 1720m Sokyola Sprint at Melton, he finished fourth behind Five Star Anvil, Smoken Up and Chilli Palmer and three starts before that he was third behind Chilli Palmer and Smoken Up in the group 3 Geelong Cup. Our Blackbird will be driven by Chris Lewis, whose only success in the Porter Memorial was with Hilarion Star in 1992. Lewis seeking a birthday gift Champion reinsman Chris Lewis will celebrate his 59th birthday on Friday and he hopes to celebrate the occasion with a winner or two at Gloucester Park in the evening. One of his best prospects appears to be veteran pacer Tee Pee Village, who is ideally drawn at the No. 2 barrier on the front line in the Moondyne Joes Fremantle Claiming Pace. Trainer Clive Dalton has brought the 12-year-old back to racing after a spell in fine fettle and the gelding followed his first-up second to Pride of Colorado with a strong effort to win a 1730m claimer from The Oyster Bar at Gloucester Park last Saturday week after he had worked hard in the breeze for most of the way. Tee Pee Village is a good frontrunner, but Lewis may have to be content to race without cover, with The Oyster Bar the likely pacemaker from the prized No. 1 barrier. Looming as the hardest for Tee Pee Village to beat are Pride of Colorado (barrier six) and Our Arlington (seven). Trainer Aldo Cortopassi has engaged Mark Reed to drive Pride of Colorado, who will have many admirers after dropping in class. After sitting in the breeze and beating Tee Pee Village three starts ago, Pride of Colorado finished boldly from sixth at the bell to be second to Heez Orl Black over 1730m and then was a fighting fifth behind David Hercules over 2130m last Friday night. Reed looks certain to go forward with Pride of Colorado from the wide barrier and seek a forward position, most probably on the outside of the pacemaker. Our Arlington, trained by Gary Hall sen. and to be driven by his son Gary, has the ability to overcome the wide barrier. The six-year-old finished strongly to win the Past Presidents Cup from Dundee Three and Please Release Me two starts ago before setting the pace and finishing fifth behind David Hercules in the 2536m Winter Cup four Fridays ago. By Ken Casellas  

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  

Following Friday night's Winter Cup, the latest Gloucester Park harness racing TV videos are up at www.gloucesterpark.com.au  Luke Edwards: The young driver previews his starts in Monday's race meeting and talks about the early days of his driving career. Mark Reed: Mark has 6 drives on Monday; he previews these with Wes Cameron. David Thompson: With David Hercules notching up yet another win on Friday night, David Thompson is full of praise for his stable star. Andrew De Campo: Wes Cameron talks to De Campo about his victory in the $100,000 Westbred Classic. Gloucester Park

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  

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