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Ace harness racing trainer-reinsman Colin Brown concedes that Calais is a better pacer than his runner Driven, but he is quietly confident that Driven will beat Calais in the 2130m Happy 30th Richie Polak Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Seven-year-old Driven will start from the No. 1 barrier and Brown plans to set the pace, with five-year-old Calais most likely to be given the task of working hard in the breeze after starting from the No. 2 barrier. Driven, who has managed just one win (when he led from barrier one at Northam six starts ago) from his past 18 starts, had no luck at all when he started out wide at barrier seven in a 2130m event at Gloucester Park last Friday night. He was ninth (and last) at the bell and was blocked for a clear passage in the final circuit when a close-up sixth behind Suspicious Behavia. “I think that Calais may be a better horse than Driven and in 12 months’ time we’ll see Calais possibly a lot better advanced than Driven,” Brown said. “However, Driven is a very good frontrunner and in front he can run time. This really looks his chance on a Friday night to win a Pathway. “He’s now in the form to win an M0. All he has to do is draw (favourably). He is no superstar, but he’s well and truly on top of his game.” Driven, who was a consistent performer at Menangle for Blake Fitzpatrick, was purchased last year by clients of Brown’s stable and made a successful start to his Western Australian career with three wins in Kalgoorlie last November. Calais, trained and driven in his races by Robbie Williams, shows excellent promise and looks certain to improve dramatically on his record of three wins and seven placings from 16 starts. He had a tough run in the breeze when a fighting second to Ohoka Cooper over 2536m on Tuesday of last week. That followed excellent seconds to Bungalow Bill at his two previous starts. Adding interest to Friday night’s event will be the appearance of the Ray Williams-trained Three Kings, who will start from barrier four with Nathan Turvey in the sulky. Three Kings resumed after a spell at Kellerberrin on Sunday when he sustained a strong finishing burst to win from Just Jamie over 2530m. by Ken Casellas Related Links Fields for Gloucester Park, Friday 18 September 2015 Form guide for Gloucester Park, Friday 18 September 2015

New Zealand-bred four-year-old My Good Deed is a standing-start specialist and harness racing co-trainer Skye Bond said that the gelding had the ability to bounce back and make amends for poor performances at his past two starts by winning the 2503m Retravision Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He is handily drawn at barrier three on the front line and Ryan Warwick will be attempting to get him away smartly in a bid to set the pace. “He loves the stand and is a good frontrunner,” Mrs Bond said. “He finished down the track at his latest start, but he wasn’t at his best and was suffering from a bit of a virus. His trackwork has been good.” At his most recent appearance, at Gloucester Park on July 24, he jumped sideways at the start and then met with a check. He raced in ninth position and out three wide in the final circuit before finishing ninth behind The Bucket List. A week earlier he galloped at the start before dashing to the front after 250m, setting the pace and fading to 11th behind Classic American. But his previous form was hard to fault. He has had 18 starts in Western Australia, all in stands, for ten wins and five seconds. Greg and Skye Bond will also be represented in Friday night’s race by Barrow Street, who will start out wide on the second line with Colin Brown in the sulky. Barrow Street set the pace and won a 2130m mobile event from the fast-finishing Vertical Street last Friday night after a win at Northam and a second to Phoenix Warrior at Gloucester Park at his two previous starts. Mrs Bond is also confident in the ability of Jungle Jewel to win the 2130m Garry Ralston Pace for mares. Jungle Jewel finished powerfully to win over 2130m on the past two Friday nights. “She is one of those horses that it doesn’t matter where she draws,” she said. ””You just need to put her away and she has got that dazzling turn of speed, and she can cover a field very quickly. Her past two runs probably have been the best of her career. The times she has run at her past couple of starts is proof that she can sit on a fast speed and still run on strongly.” Jungle Jewel’s toughest rival appears to be Ideal Alice, a lightly-raced four-year-old trained by Gary Hall sen. Ideal Alice had a tough run before finishing second to Jungle Jewel last Friday night. She raced three wide in the middle stages before getting to the front at the bell. But she failed to withstand the sizzling late sprint of Jungle Jewel, who came from eighth, four wide, at the 400m mark to burst to the front 10p0m from the post.  by Ken Casellas

The powerful Greg and Skye Bond combination landed a treble at the harness racing meeting at Northam's Burwood Park on Tuesday night to bring up 200 winners for the season and the stable which produced five winners at Gloucester Park last Friday night should again be to the fore on Friday night. The best of the Bond team's ten runners appears to be Condrieu, with Jungle Jewel, Our Jimmy Johnstone, Barrow Street and Machs A Pearler all having winning prospects. Condrieu will be attempting to complete a winning hat-trick when Colin Brown drives him from barrier six in the 2130m second heat of the Red Dot Cash Schrader Pace. Condrieu has revealed sparkling gate speed from wide barriers to set the pace and score impressively on the past two Friday nights. The Bonds were successful at Northam on Thursday night with Commander Chapel, Zacharia and Kinda Black to improve their record for the 2014-15 season to 200 wins, 138 seconds and 89 thirds from 805 starters. This puts them in second place on the trainers' premiership table behind Gary Hall sen. whose 845 starters have produced 209 winners, 112 seconds and 93 thirds. Ken Casellas  

Champion reinsman Chris Lewis has given punters a strong lead by opting to drive Lovers Delight in preference to the richly-talented six-year-old Dynamite Dude in the $35,000 Howard Porter Memorial over 2130m at the harness racing meeting at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Lewis has been in the sulky in all of Dynamite Dude's 18 starts in Western Australia for 12 wins, one second, four thirds and a fourth placing. But he chose to drive the Stephen Reed-trained Lovers Delight for two main reasons --- because the gelding put up a tremendous performance to finish a close second to the brilliant Waylade last Friday night and because he drew much better at barrier four on the front line, with Dynamite Dude out wide at barrier No. 8. He also considered that Lovers Delight's winning prospects were better, taking into account that he is harder in condition after several excellent runs in his current preparation, whereas Dynamite Dude will be making his first appearance since setting the pace and winning the Autumn Championship from Crombie and Northview Punter on March 6. Both Lovers Delight and Dynamite Dude are being aimed at the $1.8 million TABtouch interdominion championship series at Gloucester Park and Bunbury in November and December. Strong performances in the months leading up to the series will enhance their prospects of earning a start in the championship. The New Zealand-bred Lovers Delight has a 41 per cent winning record (19 wins from 46 starts) as well as recording ten seconds and three thirds. He was a 24/1 chance in a 2536m mobile event last Friday night when he started from the outside (No. 9) on the front line. He settled at the rear before Lewis sent him forward with a three-wide burst after a lap. He moved into the breeze before Waylade (who followed his run) assumed the position outside the pacemaker Bettors Fire 1300m from home. Waylade burst to the front with 250m to travel and Lovers Delight ran home with great determination to finish second, only a half-length from the winner, who rated a smart 1.55.7. Ross Olivieri, who trains Dynamite Dude at Oakford, said that he would engage Matt White to replace Lewis in the sulky behind the Victorian-bred six-year-old. Olivieri said that Dynamite Dude had scored an impressive trial win against moderate opposition at Byford last Sunday week. Dynamite Dude dashed over the final quarters in 29.1sec. and 28.2sec. and rated 1.593 in beating stablemate Awesome Desire by more than seven lengths. "First-up from barrier eight I don't see him troubling the scorer," Olivieri said. "It would be nice for him to be a running on fourth or fifth." "I plan to give Dynamite Dude about five or six runs before the interdominion series; two starts in August, two in September and two in October." Olivieri also will be represented by Our Blackbird (Stuart McDonald) and Red Salute (Chris Voak) in the Porter Memorial this week. He gives Red Salute a place chance from the inside barrier and is hoping that Our Blackbird has some luck after starting out wide from barrier seven. Our Blackbird has finished second at each of his past four starts after finishing strongly to win from Lovers Delight and Red Salute over 2100m. Lewis is hoping that Lovers Delight will give him his second success in the Porter Memorial, after scoring with Hilarion Star in 1992. Lovers Delight is likely to vie for favouritism with Bettors Fire, Classic American and Our Jimmy Johnstone. Bettors Fire, trained and driven by Kyle Harper, will start from barrier five and Harper is likely to steal a march on the opposition by sending the classy six-year-old to an early lead before dictating terms in front. Bettors Fire began brilliantly from barrier six last Friday night and set the pace before wilting to fifth behind Waylade over 2536m. The shorter journey will be in his favour this week. Our Jimmy Johnstone, another interdominion championship prospect, is in grand form for trainers Greg and Skye Bond and he cannot be underestimated. Our Jimmy Johnstone impressed when he set the pace and won convincingly from Our Blackbird and This Time Dylan over 2130m last Friday week. "Drawing the inside of the back row hurts," said Greg Bond. "It's not an ideal draw and I'll leave the tactics to Colin (Brown). "I'm happy with his work and am looking forward to the Inters." Leading trainer Gary Hall sen. has four runners in the Porter Memorial, Classic American, Northview Punter, Crusader Banner and Vapour He has trained and driven two winners of the feature event --- Make The Rules (1999) and Its Written In The Stars (2000). Classic American appeals as his best chance. He will start from the outside (barrier three) on the back line and should be storming home. He has finished with a powerful burst to win 2503m standing-start events at his past two outings. Ken Casellas

Ima Connoisseur continues to improve in leaps and bounds and Greg Bond, who trains the three-year-old in partnership with his wife Skye, predicts that the gelding will end a losing sequence of six by outpacing his rivals in the 2130m Gate Bar And Bistro Pathway Pace over 2130m at the harness racing meeting at Gloucester Park on Friday night. "He's working great and from barrier two he should be leading and I'd be surprised if anything will be able to get over him," Bond said. The Bonds, who landed a treble with Kinda Black, Baileys Gold and Ohoka Squire at Gloucester Park on Tuesday evening, also will be represented in the Pathway Pace by Holy Grail, the only other three-year-old in the race. Colin Brown will drive Ima Connoisseur and Chris Lewis will handle Holy Grail, who will start from barrier five on the front line. Holy Grail, whose past four starts have produced two wins and two seconds, has bright prospects of finishing second to Ima Connoisseur. Ima Connoisseur impressed last Friday night when he started from barrier eight and raced three wide early before working hard in the breeze outside Blissfull Boy and eventually getting to the front on the home turn and fighting on gamely to finish a 2m second to brilliant colt Beaudiene Boaz over 1730m. Greg Bond is more than pleased with the improvement shown by Ima Connoisseur in recent months. "I've put the foot down and have been racing him more consistently," he explained. "He wasn't that well gaited and we just decided to take the approach of racing him weekly where possible and even sometimes twice weekly." "He was a slow learner and wasn't smooth in his gait." "Now he's becoming a lot more of a racehorse, with the extra experience, and hopefully he'll head for the Golden Nugget." "His second to Beaudiene Boaz last week was meritorious." "I know that Beaudiene Boaz had him covered, but he didn't dog it and fought it out right to the line." "And two starts before that he ran second to Waylade at Pinjarra, and that's a sign that he's really come on as a horse." "We'll give him a little break shortly and then bring him back for the four-year-old feature races." Bond also is confident that Condrieu (Wanneroo Club Pace) and Phoenix Warrior (Garrards Horse And Hound Pace) will prove hard to beat. Both pacers will be driven by Colin Brown. Phoenix Warrior is not well drawn at barrier eight on the front line in the 2536m event, but Bond said though he considered the four-year-old was slightly disappointing when fourth behind My Mate Stride as a 2/1 on favourite, he expected him to do better this week. "The race wasn't run to suit, and driven positively this week I expect him to perform well." "He's a horse I have a lot of time for." His chief rival looms as Spectactular, who will be having his first start for five months. Trained by Gary Hall sen., Spectactular has won once and been placed twice from his first four starts in WA after arriving from New Zealand. Clint Hall said that Spectacular had had a lot of issues. " I think that we've got him over his foot problems now, but he could be vulnerable over 2536m first-up. However, he's a class animal." Condrieu bounced back to his best form last Friday night when he began speedily from barrier five, set a brisk pace and sprinted over the final 800m in 57.2sec. to win easily from Soho Lennon at a 1.55.5 rate over 2130m. He faces a sterner test this week from the No. 9 barrier. "There's probably a bit too much speed inside him this week," Bond said. "I'll leave it up to Colin (Brown) to assess the situation when the gate goes." "Over the 2536m he'll probably work into the race a bit later on." Ken Casellas

Im A Peregrine has won only once from his past 16 starts, but reinsman Chris Voak is quite enthusiastic about the five-year-old's prospects in the final of the $25,000 Remote Foods Chandon final at the harness racing meeting at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The Victorian-bred Im A Peregrine has drawn the coveted No. 1 barrier on the front line in the 2130m event and Voak plans to take full advantage of the gelding's sparkling early pace by denying speedy frontrunner Soho Lennon the opportunity to set the pace after starting from barrier two. "You saw what he did the last time he led in town," Voak said. "He started out wide at barrier eight, raced four wide for the first 300m and three wide for the next 300m before taking the lead and racing away to win by five and a half lengths with the ear plugs in, rating 1.58.1 over 2536m" "I think he will run 1.57 in front over 2130m." "He grows a leg if he leads, and I think he's got the speed to hold up." "Plan A will be to lead because he excels in front, and if he does he will be hard to beat." Im A Peregrine's trainer Ross Olivieri said that the gelding had been racing well, but without luck and agreed with Voak's prediction that he would prove hard to catch if he was able to set the pace. No doubt Gary Hall jun. will be anxious for Soho Lennon to burst to the front from the No. 2 barrier after the New Zealand-bred gelding was untroubled to jump to the front from the inside barrier and win comfortably over 2130m last Friday night. Apart from Soho Lennon, Serpentine trainer Gary Hall sen. has sound prospects with Cyamach, who is favourably drawn at barrier three. Cyamach surged home from seventh at the bell when a neck second to stablemate Vapour over 1730m last Friday week. That followed his fast-finishing victory over 2130m a week earlier when making his Australian debut. Condrieu, who set the pace and broke into a gallop approaching the home turn in the Higgins Memorial last Friday night, cannot be underestimated this week. He quickly regained his pacing action last week and did well to finish a close third to Another Vinnie and Delightful Offer. Trainers Greg and Skye Bond took Condrieu to the Byford trials on Sunday morning when the five-year-old, driven by Colin Brown, performed satisfactorily and finished a well-beaten third behind Dynamite Dude and Awesome Desire over 2150m. "He raced in a shadow roll in the trial and he got around without breaking," Brown said. "I didn't extend him and he went to the line with the ear plugs in." "So take no notice that he finished only third." "He raced one-out and one-back and I had him three wide on the final bend, just to make sure he didn't break." "He's a class horse." Ken Casellas

Nathans Courage, a typically small son of former champion pacer Courage Under Fire, looks set to give punters a flying start to the harness racing meeting at Gloucester Park on Friday night by winning the opening event, the 2130m Taylor Sulky Repairs Pace. The two-year-old, prepared at Pinjarra by Michael Brennan, made an auspicious debut when he set the pace and won by almost two lengths from El Hombre, his only rival in a qualifying heat of the Breeders Crown at Gloucester Park on Monday. He sprinted over the final quarter in a sparkling 27.3sec. Reinsman Chris Voak was impressed with the gelding, saying: "He's got potential and there's plenty of upside. I think he will have benefitted from his run on Monday." "He's drawn barrier four on Friday and that's the best of the main chances." "He showed good gate speed on Monday and I'll be looking to replicate that performance." "I'll be heading forward to take the lead; that's my game plan and I think that Mouse (Brennan) will agree." "This is a jump up in grade and will test him." "But he's up to the challenge." "He did it quite comfortably on Monday and I didn't pull the ear plugs or really get stuck into him." "He's got a quick quarter and can run a good half." "I don't expect too much pressure, but maybe Browny (Colin Brown) might have a crack with Franco Rayner." Franco Rayner, an effortless all-the-way winner at his Australian debut, over 2185m at Pinjarra on July 13, finished seventh behind Sprinter in the Golden Slipper at Gloucester Park four nights later when he started from the back line and was always well back. Franco Rayner will start out wide at barrier eight on Friday night. He dashed over the final 400m in 28.6sec. when an easy winner in a 2150m trial at Byford on Sunday morning. "He handled Pinjarra a lot better than he handled Gloucester Park," Brown said. "He's not a big horse, but he wasn't comfortable in the run at Gloucester Park." "I changed some gear on him for Sunday's trial, but it didn't work." "However, he still ran home very quickly." "Now he will have a lugging bit added and hopefully I will have a better steering horse." Ken Casellas  

Ace harness racing reinsman Colin Brown, on target to land his 100th winner of the season at Gloucester Park on Friday night, has bright prospects of driving Delightful Offer to victory in the $35,000 John Higgins Memorial. Delightful Offer, a richly-talented New Zealand-bred three-year-old, has the ability to overcome the disadvantage of an awkward barrier at No. 6 on the front line in the group 3 2130m feature event. He has won at seven of his nine starts in Western Australia after winning at three of his 13 starts in New Zealand. He is in devastating form, having won easily at each of his past four starts --- by a combined margin of 42.4 metres. He is strong and versatile, having won when leading, racing in the breeze and coming from well back with a powerful sprint. Delightful Offer, owned and trained by Greg and Skye Bond, warmed up for this week's event with a most convincing performance in a heat of the Higgins at Pinjarra on Monday of last week. He began speedily from barrier four, burst to the front after 100m and gave his rivals no chance by sprinting over the final 800m in a brilliant 54.7sec. He defeated stablemate Ima Connoisseur, who impressed in finishing boldly from eighth at the bell. Ima Connoisseur then set the pace and fought on grandly when a close second to up-and-coming star Waylade over 2185m at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon. Ima Connoisseur, who will be driven by Nathan Turvey, and Delightful Offer are the only three-year-olds in the final in which the Bond stable holds a powerful hand. The Bonds will also be represented by Condrieu (barrier two) and Phoenix Warrior (outside of the back line). Ryan Warwick will drive Condrieu and Lauren Jones has been engaged to handle Phoenix Warrior. Condrieu, a New Zealand-bred five-year-old, has resumed recently after an absence of ten months in good form, with wins at Pinjarra and Narrogin and second placings at Narrogin and Gloucester Park. His second to stablemate Jay Bees Grin over 2130m last Friday night was full of merit. He started out wide from the No. 9 barrier and raced three wide for the first 400m before working in the breeze and fighting on grandly to finish a head behind the pacemaking Jay Bees Grin, who sped over the final quarters in 28.4sec. and 27.4sec. Condrieu holds a special place in the 20-year history of the Higgins Memorial. He will become the first pacer to contest the race three times. No other horse has run in this feature more than once. Interestingly, Condrieu started a hot favourite in the past two Higgins Memorials. As a three-year-old in 2013 Condrieu was a 6/4 on favourite when he led from barrier three and was overhauled in the final stride by the fast-finishing Pacific Warrior, who scored by a nose. Then in 2014 Condrieu was favourite at 5/4 from the outside (barrier seven) on the front line. He had a torrid run and finished ninth, just under five lengths behind the all-the-way winner In The Perfect Storm. Condrieu raced three wide for the first 300m and was in third place when he was affected by a gear failure, broke and dropped back to the rear before Warwick dashed him forward, three wide for about 250m. Warwick then eased the gelding back to last and Condrieu was forced to travel six wide when making a run 350m from home. He made no impression on the leaders after such a difficult trip. Condrieu definitely deserves a change of luck in this event and he certainly cannot be underestimated. Ima Connoisseur also deserves serious consideration. Eight wins and nine placings from 24 starts underline his consistency. Four-year-old Phoenix Warrior is in dazzling form after resuming from a spell, with his six starts this preparation producing five wins and a second placing. He raced three wide for much of the way before winning in good style from Ima Tragedy over 2130m at Gloucester Park last Saturday night. Brown is enjoying yet another wonderful season and he should bring up his century of winners for the season on Friday night. Apart from Delightful Offer, he has sound prospects with Holy Grail, Our Jimmy Johnstone and Bungalow Bill. He has driven 98 winners this season and is in fifth place on the Statewide drivers' premiership table. Brown has a good record in the Higgins Memorial, having been successful with Valiant Soldier (2003), Money Magnet (2004) and Richard Henry (2005). Money Magnet and Richard Henry were prepared by Greg Bond. The only reinsman to have won the race more than Brown is Chris Lewis, who has been successful with Hail The Judge (1997), Our Graedy (1998), Ianalbert (2006) and Sneakyn Down Under (2008). Lewis has also driven a minor placegetter in the Higgins Memorial on six other occasions. This year Lewis will drive Khun Ratha for Capel trainer Andrew de Campo. Khun Ratha is a consistent performer, with eight wins and 16 placings from 34 starts. Ken Casellas

Our Jimmy Johnstone has been freshened up since finishing an excellent third behind My Hard Copy and Crusader Banner over 1609m at the harness racing meeting at Bunbury five Fridays ago and he gets a good opportunity to end a sequence of four placings when he contests the $22,500 Tom Thompson Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Our Jimmy Johnstone, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, will start from barrier five on the front line and Colin Brown is likely to press forward in the early stages to take up a forward position. Polemarker Little Boy Blue is blessed with sparkling early speed and Bob Mellsop is sure to make the most of the No. 1 barrier by setting the pace. This should result in Our Jimmy Johnstone racing outside the leader, with Brown relying on his horse to outstay the pacemaker. However, Our Jimmy Johnstone will need to be at his top to stave off the leading trainer Gary Hall senior's quartet of My Hard Copy (barrier nine), Crusader Banner (seven), Hokonui Ben (No. 2 on the back line) and Northview Punter (three on the back line). Clint Hall stole a march on his rivals when he got Crusader Banner away brilliantly from the No. 9 barrier two starts ago to quickly take up the running before winning by a length from Soho Lennon at a 1.54.7 rate over 2130m. The stable could plan similar tactics on Friday night, but it is problematical whether Crusader Banner could burst past Little Boy Blue in the early stages. My Hard Copy can never be underestimated. He is sure to settle down at the rear and Clint Hall will be relying on the five-year-old's dazzling finishing sprint. Ken Casellas

Six wins from ten starts is a clear indication of Sheer Rocknroll's ability and she has the class to overcome her back-line draw in the $100,000 Westbred Classic for two-year-old fillies at the harness racing meeting at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Sheer Rocknroll will start from the inside of the back line and looks set to get a perfect run behind the polemarker Topless Beach Girl, a noted frontrunner. The task then will be for Stuart McDonald to manoeuvre Sheer Rocknroll off the pegs in plenty of time to issue a strong challenge and make a determined bid for victory. Sheer Rocknroll has won at three of her past four starts for Byford trainer Ross Olivieri and McDonald. At her latest outing, at Bunbury last Saturday week, Sheer Rocknroll started from the No. 1 barrier and was beaten for early speed before McDonald sent her to the front after 550m. She dashed over the third quarter of the final mile in 28.1sec. and had to fight doggedly to hold on and defeat Dodolicious by a metre. Dodolicious, who raced in the breeze, should again fight out the finish this week. She will start from the outside (barrier three) on the back line and Colin Brown will be keen to settle her ahead of Sheer Rocknroll. Ken Casellas

Harness racing driver Clinton Hall continues to show week in week out what a talented reinsman he is and last night at Bunbury he was at it again with a peach of a drive on My Hard Copy. The West Australian Pacing Cup winner was having his first run back since January and had drawn awkwardly at barrier five on the second line over the mile which saw punters let him go out at odds of seven to one. Clint never hustled him early and he settled second last in the running line before hooking on to Jimmy Johnstone's back when Colin Brown sent that horse forward three wide with a lap to travel. My Hard Copy got a lovely trail into the race and only peeled four wide on the point of the turn and flew down the outside to claim the stablemate Crusader Banner in the shadows of the post for a stylish victory. Jimmy Johnstone stuck on gamely for third in front of a slightly disappointing Our Major Mark who trailed Crusader Banner the whole trip. My Hard Copy paced the mile in 1:55.5 with closing sectionals of 56.1 and 27.3 Last nights win was the 19th for the son of American Ideal and took his earnings over the $460,000 mark. Clinton is not as busy on racenight as some of the more prominent drivers but he has still chalked up 44 metropolitan wins this season and with a UDR of .3330 it is a wonder why he is not seen more in the bike on racenight. Harnesslink Media

Forrestdale harness racing trainers trainers Greg and Skye Bond, frustrated earlier in the season when Ima Connoisseur chalked up a losing sequence of 12, now have high hopes that the New Zealand-bred three-year-old will extend his winning sequence to five by overcoming the difficult barrier of No. 4 on the back line in the 2100m Quayside Transport Pace at Bunbury on Friday night. Ima Connoisseur is improving in leaps and bounds and he gave a wonderful performance at Pinjarra on Monday this week when he started from barrier three on the back line and raced in tenth and last position until Colin Brown sent him forward with a spirited burst with about a lap to travel. Ima Connoisseur sprinted strongly and burst to the front 500m from home before winning decisively from his fast-finishing stablemate Assassinator. Ima Connoisseur rated a sparkling 1.54.3 over the 1684m, with the quarters in 27.4sec., 29.5sec., 28.3sec. and 28.7sec. At his previous start, over 2692m at Bunbury ten nights earlier, Ima Connoisseur settled in sixth and last position before charging to the front after 800m and then sprinting the final 800m in 56sec. on his way to winning by a length from Assassinator, rating 1.59.9. The Bonds hold a powerful hand in Friday night's event in which Ima Connoisseur will race against smart stablemates Delightful Offer, Assassinator, Denny Crane and Holy Grail. Ima Connoisseur has raced 20 times for eight wins and six placings and his toughest rival appears to be Delightful Offer, who has revealed great promise in winning at six of his 18 starts. Brown will drive Ima Connoisseur, Ryan Warwick will handle Delightful Offer (outside of the back line), Chris Lewis will drive Denny Crane, Dylan Egerton-Green will be in the sulky behind Holy Grail and Lauren Jones has been engaged for Assassinator (awkwardly drawn at No. 6 on the front line). Between them, those five drivers have won 392 races this season. Leading trainer Gary Hall sen. has only one runner in Friday night's event, a newcomer from New Zealand in Run Oneover, who will be making his Australian debut. Run Oneover, who has raced 16 times in New Zealand for three wins and seven placings, worked in good style when he scored a runaway victory in a 2150m trial at Byford on Sunday morning. Against moderate opposition, Run Oneover won by 45 metres from True Story (unplaced at his six starts as a two and three-year-old), rating 1.59.6, with final quarters in 29.6sec. and 29.2sec. Run Oneover has not appeared since finishing a close third behind Brilliant Strike in a $40,000 listed event for three-year-olds at Addington on January 30. He started out wide at barrier eight on the front line and was restrained to last in the field of 13. He was 12th at the 800m before running home strongly, out wide, when the final 800m was covered in 57.8sec. He will start from barrier four on the front line on Friday night and Gary Hall jun. might be tempted to make a bold bid for the early lead. The gelding revealed blistering gate speed when he burst straight to the front from the No. 5 barrier in a 1609m event at Wairio last October. He then was restrained after 600m and raced behind the pacemaker before finishing strongly along the sprint lane to hit the front 100m from the post and win by a neck in 1.56.6, with the final 800m in 56.7sec. and the last 400m in 27.4sec. In a remarkable contrast in a 2600m mobile event on the grass track, and racing in a clockwise fashion at Westport last December, Run Oneover raced behind the pacemaker in an event run at a farcical pace. He made use of the sprint lane and won easily, rating an extremely slow 2.20.4. The final four quarters were covered in 37.4sec., 38.6sec., 31.8sec. and 29.7sec. His performance at his first Australian run will be watched with considerable interest. He is one of 15 runners from the Hall stable engaged at the meeting. The Bond stable has 14 runners. Hall sen. is leading the Statewide trainers' premiership with 170 winners, with the Bonds in second place with 152 winners. Back in third place is Ross Olivieri, with 71 winners. Hoping to halt the Bond and Hall juggernaut in the Friday night's race for three-year-old is Blythewood trainer Gary Elson and reinsman Nathan Turvey. Turvey will drive the promising Red Hot Major for Elson and the colt, who has had 16 starts for six wins and seven placings, is on target for a hat-trick after smart wins over 1684m (1.55.6) and 2692m (1.59.2) at Pinjarra. Red Hot Major is favourably drawn at barrier two on the front line. Ken Casellas

Rising harness racing star My Hard Copy will reappear after a 20-week absence when he contests the $22,500 RSM Bird Cameron Pace over 1609m at Bunbury on Friday night and his sparkling form at trials is a firm indication that he will prove mighty hard to beat despite the serious disadvantage of starting from the outside of the back line over the metric mile. Champion trainer Gary Hall sen. will have the New Zealand-bred five-year-old close to peak form and reinsman Clint Hall will be relying heavily on the stallion's ability to produce a sizzling finishing burst. The Hall stable dominates Friday night's feature event, with six of the 12 runners, including stylish four-year-old stallion Crusader Banner, who should prove hard to beat from the prized No. 1 barrier on the front line. The stable's other runners are Zacs Nuggett, Soho Highroller, Toretto and Soho Jackman. My Hard Copy was a star at the summer carnival at Gloucester Park last January when he raced in fifth position before flying home to win the 2536m Fremantle Cup Consolation from Pacific Warrior and a week later unwind a paralysing sprint to come from 12th at the bell and sixth on the home turn to score a magnificent victory over David Hercules in the 2936m WA Pacing Cup. Though many pundits quite correctly consider My Hard Copy a true-blue stayer, the horse is also a brilliant sprinter, having won four times over 1730m at Gloucester Park, rating 1.54.6 twice, 1.54.7 and 1.55.2. He has won over 1684m (1.55.4) at Pinjarra and also was successful over 1700m in New Zealand as a two-year-old and over 1690m (1.56.5) at the Victorian country track of Shepparton. My Hard Copy sparkled in a 2150m trial at Byford last Sunday week when he was seventh 550m from home before getting on terms with the pacemaker Condrieu at the 260m mark and then taking charge in the final 30m to defeat Condrieu by a half-length, without being extended. The final quarters whizzed by in 28.7sec. and 28.4sec. Then at Byford last Sunday morning My Hard Copy raced four back on the pegs before sprinting over the final 400m in 27.1sec. to win a 2150m trial by two lengths from stablemate High Courage, with Dundee Three nine lengths father back in third place. Crusader Banner, the youngest and least experienced runner in Friday night's event, shows wonderful promise and has a fine record of ten wins and seven placings from just 20 starts. He is a talented frontrunner and Gary Hall jun. is sure to be keen to set the pace with the son of Christian Cullen. Crusader Banner impressed at Bunbury last Friday night when he started from the back line and raced in sixth position in the one-wide line before charging home to snatch a nose victory from Our Jimmy Johnstone, rating 1.55.9 over 2100m after final quarters in 28.1sec. and 27.9sec. A week earlier he worked hard in the breeze and fought on grandly when a close third to Erskine Range and Soho Lennon and he showed his frontrunning ability three starts before that when won the 2100m Anzac Day Cup from Captain Proud at Bunbury. On recent form Soho Jackman appeals as the third best of the six Hall runners. He will start from barrier three on the back line. Last Friday night he started from the outside of the front line and was restrained back to last in a field of 12 before running home strongly from seventh at the bell to be third behind Lovers Delight and Our Blackbird over 2100m. Ten days before that he resumed after a spell and enjoyed an ideal passage, one-out and one-back, before finishing strongly to win at a 1.54.4 rate from Our Major Mark over 1684m at Pinjarra. Our Major Mark, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, has drawn ideally on the inside of the back line and should have a perfect run behind the likely pacemaker Crusader Banner. He will again be handled by Ryan Warwick, with Colin Brown in the sulky behind stablemate Our Jimmy Johnstone. Our Jimmy Johnstone is racing with considerable zest, but with not much luck. He was overhauled in the final stride by Crusader Banner last Friday night to take his record in seven starts since resuming from a spell to two wins and five second placings. He will start from the No. 2 barrier on the back line and is capable of upsetting the Hall runners. Whatever the outcome of the race, it is a good bet that the track record for a mobile 1609m will be broken. Ken Casellas

Ace Banjup trainer-reinsman Colin Brown has high hopes that five-year-old Erskine Range will develop into an interdominion championship contender in November and he is setting his sights high by giving the brilliant chestnut the task of winning two feature harness racing events in the space of three days. Erskine Range, a winner of 21 of his 57 starts, will contest the $25,000 Brear And Doonan Pure Steel final over 2100m at Bunbury's Donaldson Park on Friday night before running in the $50,000 Pinjarra Cup over 2692m on Monday afternoon. Gloucester Park Harness Racing Club's meetings have been transferred to Bunbury for the next four Friday nights to enable the Gloucester Park track to be resurfaced and to have the camber raised on the turns into and out of the home straight. Erskine Range, whose past 20 starts have produced ten wins, six seconds, one third, one fifth and one seventh, faces a moment of truth this week after faring poorly in the random barrier draw. He will start from the No. 3 on the back line, but Brown believes that the gelding has the ability of overcome this disadvantage. "His work last Saturday morning was exceptional," he said. "I galloped him on the sand track at Jandakot and his times were exceptional and his heart rate was unbelievable. So he's ready; he's cherry ripe and is in the race right up to his eyeballs. "It won't be easy, but we're ready to give it our best shot. You've always got to worry about the Hall runners (Crusader Banner and Soho Lennon) because they can run time. However, in saying that, there looks likely to be plenty of speed on early and that should suit Erskine Range, who is a lovely horse. "In a heat of this event (last Friday week) he just led and that was it. He wasn't extended and ran home in 56.4sec. He was very casual about it. Barrier ten is not ideal for any horse at Bunbury, but he can do it. "He's the fittest I've had him. He had nine days off after putting up a huge run to finish second to Smokey The Bandit in the Clarke final two starts ago and because he hadn't raced for seven week when he ran in a heat of the Pure Steel I wanted him to be very solid, bearing in mind that I was setting him for the final of that race followed by the Pinjarra Cup three days later. "He's going to butter up okay. He loves backing up and the 2692m won't worry him. History shows that having two runs in the space of three days is not a problem. I didn't see why we shouldn't take the opportunity to race for $75,000 in three days. "I know that we will be meeting horses of the calibre of David Hercules, Machtu and Pacific Warrior. But we need to find out whether he can compete against those sort of horses. We're hoping that he steps up to be an inters contender, so we've got to throw our hat into the ring at some stage." Crusader Banner (barrier four on the front line) and Soho Lennon (No. 7) each finished second at their latest start and star reinsman Gary Hall jun.¸ son of champion trainer Gary Hall sen., said that he expected the four-year-olds to be prominent. Crusader Banner finished strongly from sixth at the bell to be second to Erskine Range last Friday week. That followed smart wins at his two previous outings, his first runs after a spell. Soho Lennon resumed after a spell in fine style last Friday night when he raced three wide for much of the way and finished second to the fast-finishing Ohoka Kentucky last Friday night. Henley Brook trainer-reinsman Robbie Williams is confident that Ohoka Kentucky will run a strong race and he rates the New Zealand-bred six-year-old an excellent each-way prospect from barrier three on the front line. Ohoka Kentucky set the pace and rated 1.56.6 when he won over 2130m two starts ago before he rated 1.56 when he finished powerfully, three wide, from 11th at the 950m to snatch victory from Soho Lennon last Friday night. "We will come out and have a look for the early lead," Williams said. "If we can't get the lead off the likely pacemaker Local Rogue, I'll try to get the one-out, one-back trail. He doesn't have to lead to win. He can lead, breeze or sit and his trackwork has been super." Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri is disappointed at Chief Thundercloud's wide barrier at No. 6 on the front line and said that the gelding, placed at three of his past four starts, faced a very tough task. Smokey The Bandit is on fire West Australian-bred five-year-old Smokey The Bandit has struck a purple patch with five wins from his past six starts and the Bunbury specialist has excellent prospects of maintaining his grand form by overcoming the outside barrier on the back line and winning the $25,000 Retravision Pace over 2100m at Donaldson Park on Friday night. Trained at Busselton by part-owner Michael Callegari and driven by Ash Markham, Smokey The Bandit is at his best when held up for a late burst and the grey gelding's sizzling finishes have captured the imagination of harness racing fans. Markham again is certain to adopt similar patient tactics on Friday night on a 1000m track where the gelding has raced 21 times for six wins, seven seconds and three thirds. He flooded home from eighth at the bell to win at his latest appearance, over 2130m at Gloucester Park last Friday week. His two previous wins were at Bunbury when he unleashed his trademark whirlwind finishing burst. Lovers Delight, trained at Bunbury by Stephen Reed, appears the chief danger to Smokey The Bandit. He will start from barrier four on the back line and is sure to settle in front of Smokey The Bandit. He has won at four of his past six starts and is capable of working hard in his races and still producing a strong finishing effort. The Andrew de Campo-trained Callaway Bromac is capable of a bold showing, despite being unplaced at his first four starts after a spell and boasting a losing sequence of eight. A speedy beginner, he looks ideally placed at No. 2 on the front line. Reinsman Aiden de Campo said that Callaway Bromac is a natural frontrunner and that he would be anxious to get to an early lead with the six-year-old. "We will come out as hard as we can and have a decent crack at the polemarker Courage Tells," he said. "I'll be holding the top if we get there." Evergreen ten-year-old Shardons Rocket, a fighting second to David Hercules two starts ago, after a strong fourth behind Libertybelle Midfrew the previous week, will start from barrier two on the back line and Colin Brown will be looking to get into the action soon after the start. Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri has each-way prospects with the in-form Our Blackbird and Red Salute, who is resuming after a six-month absence. Lisharry, a winner of six races for Bickley trainer Peter Anderson this season, should obtain a handy pegs run from the inside of the back line and is capable of unwinding a fast late sprint. The Arsonist looks the goods Lightly-raced New Zealand-bred four-year-old The Arsonist is poised to make a successful Australian debut when he starts from the awkward barrier of No. 5 on the front line in the 2100m Princi Butchers Pathway Pace at Bunbury on Friday night. The chestnut with a distinctive white blaze put the writing on the wall when he contested a 2150m trial at Byford on Sunday morning. Driven by leading reinsman Gary Hall jun., The Arsonist was restrained to the rear from barrier five in the trial and he raced in eighth position before Hall sent him forward with a smart three-wide burst approaching the bell. The gelding burst to the front 650m from home and after final quarters in 28.7sec. and 28.9sec. he coasted across the line, hard held, to win by four lengths from Millwood Faith at a modest 2.1.3 rate. He did not race as a two or three-year-old before having four starts in New Zealand this season for two wins, a second and a third. At his most recent outing, over 2200m at Waikato on January 2, he started out wide at barrier eight, raced three wide early and then dropped back to tenth in a field of 12. He was still tenth approaching the bell before Phil Butcher sent him forward and he quickly moved into the breeze. He got to the front 280m from home and dashed away to win by three lengths from the fast-finishing Elisaveta at a 2.0.5 rate, with the final 40o0m taking 28.7sec. At his previous start, over 2200m at Waikato on December 18, The Arsonist started from a wide barrier, raced four wide for the first 300m before being restrained to last in the field of ten. He ran on determinedly from ninth at the bell to finish a half-length second to Fleetwood Mach after a final quarter in 28sec. The Arsonist is prepared at Serpentine by Gary Hall sen. and he is probably the first of the progeny of former outstanding Victorian-bred pacer Safari to race in Western Australia. Safari, by Fake Left, amassed $535,445 from his 28 wins and 18 placings from 67 starts in Australia. The Arsonist is out of the dual-gaited Payson's Brother mare Sporty Spice, who had 30 starts in New Zealand for one win from 19 starts as a pacer and one win from 11 starts as a trotter. Sporty Spice's first foal Mingara is a trotter who won at her Australian debut in a 2300m stand at Menangle in June 2014. She has had 34 starts for ten wins and ten placings (six wins in New Zealand and four in New South Wales) from 34 starts. Maddy White looking for five in a row Four-year-old Maddy White has resumed after a spell in fine style for Capel trainer Andrew de Campo and his son Aiden is quietly confident that she will be able to extend her winning sequence to five when she contests the 2100m Premier Motors Suzuki Mares Pace at Bunbury on Friday night. Aiden de Campo is happy with Maddy White's draw at No. 3 on the front line and said he would be making every effort to burst to an early lead and then dictating the terms of the race. "We'll be coming out hard and I'll have a good crack at getting to the front," de Campo said. "Robyns C C is a good mare who has drawn the No. 1 barrier. But she is first-up and, with the sprint lane in use at Bunbury, they might want to hand up to us. Hopefully, we will get to the front. But Maddy White is not just a frontrunner. She does her best work in front, but she can also come from behind. "She has done well since her most recent start. She's quite a big filly and doesn't need a lot of work to keep fit. She's still pretty fresh and that's good." Maddy White has had six starts in her current campaign for two minor placings followed by four wins in a row, in which she made most of the running. Maddy White is bred to be a good winner. Her maternal granddam Magic Maddy Lombo is the dam of outstanding New South Wales pacer Suave Stuey Lombo, who has earned $566,512 from 33 wins and 21 placings from 98 starts. Maddy White is also related to former star pacer Lombo Pocket Watch (83 starts for 45 wins, 17 placings and $1,522,638). 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

With Galactic Galleon overcoming his poor attitude, Forrestdale harness racing trainers Greg and Skye Bond are at last reaping the benefits of their perseverance. Ace reinsman Colin Brown is also getting to appreciate Galactic Galleon’s ability as he matures into a more tractable pacer, with the prominent driver predicting Galactic Galleon will be hard to beat in tonight’s LD Total Kersley Pace at Gloucester Park. Galactic Galleon has drawn perfectly in barrier one, with Brown looking to lead throughout. “He is an exceptional front runner and his recent work suggests he can be right in it at the finish,” Brown said. “He has been in a lot better form, both at the races and on the training track. “He seems to have matured somewhat and is now a better driving horse. He used to hang badly and had a very ordinary attitude. “But after a short let-up he’s come back with a different attitude and is actually a pleasure to sit behind. Something had to happen eventually…he couldn’t be that stupid for so long.” Brown cites the Clive Dalton-trained Our Jerry Lee, which has won at eight of his 11 Western Australian starts, as the one to beat. Our Jerry Lee, to be driven by Chris Lewis, has drawn barrier two on the back line and will follow out speedy beginner Shifting Sand. Dylan Egerton-Green drove Galactic Galleon last Friday night when he gave a splendid performance to finish a neck second to Miss Madoff over 1730 metres after facing the breeze. A week earlier the son of Art Major led from before being restrained to race behind the pacemaker Tuapeka Khan. He finished a sound fourth behind Soho Highroller, Libertybelle Midfrew and Soho Jackman. “Our Jerry Lee is a quality animal, but I don’t know that he gets around Gloucester Park quite as good as he does at Pinjarra,” Brown said. KEN CASALLAS

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