Talented four-year-old Condrieu has resumed after a spell in sparkling form and Forrestdale trainers Greg and Skye Bond have high hopes that he will make amends for his narrow defeat in the 2013 John Higgins Memorial by winning the $35,000 group three event at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Ryan Warwick has driven the New Zealand-bred gelding assertively for decisive victories at his first two starts after a spell and he is racing with such zest that he is capable of overcoming the distinct disadvantage of starting from the outside (barrier seven) on the front line in the 2130m feature event. Condrieu possesses dazzling gate speed and it would come as no surprise if Warwick takes advantage of that wonderful asset by dashing the gelding forward in an attempt to burst to an early lead. Condrieu reappeared after a four-month absence at Pinjarra last Monday week when he began from the back line and settled in seventh position before Warwick dashed him forward, three wide, after 300m to take the lead 250m later. Condrieu relished his pacemaking role and revelled in the heavy conditions as he sped over the final two quarters in 2u8.1sec. and 27.6sec. to win by two lengths from In The Perfect Storm. Then in a 2536m event at Gloucester Park last Friday night Condrieu started from barrier six on the front line and raced four wide for the first 350m before bursting to the front. He relaxed and meandered through the first 400m section of the final mile in 33.3sec. before he coasted through the next quarter in 31.3sec. He gave his rivals little hope by sprinting over the final sections in 28.7sec. and 28.4sec. and winning easily from stablemate Jays Bee Grin. Twelve months ago Condrieu was the only three-year-old in the Higgins Memorial and he was favourite at 5/4 on when he began speedily from barrier three and was in front after 120m. After easy opening sections of the final mile in 31.2sec. and 31.1sec. Condrieu sped over the final 800m in 57.7sec. and was overhauled in the final stride by the fast-finishing Pacific Warrior, who gained the verdict by a nose. Greg Bond has an excellent record in the Higgins Memorial, winning with Money Magnet in 2004 and Richard Henry the following year. Richard Henry, a 7/2 chance, started out wide at barrier six and raced in the breeze before getting up in the final stride to defeat the pacemaker Bank The Money by a nose. Colin Brown, who was successful with Money Magnet and Richard Henry, will drive Lunar Tide for the Bonds in Friday night's feature. Lunar Tide, favourably drawn at No. 2 on the front line, is sure to be prominent. He raced wide early and then without cover when fourth behind Condrieu at Gloucester Park last Saturday night. Before that Lunar Tide had worked hard before winning first-up at Narrogin and then he covered a lot of extra ground before finishing second to Jasper Freeway at the same track. The Bonds will also be represented in this week's race by Galactic Galleon, who will start from No. 4 on the back line and will be handled by Morgan Woodley. Galactic Galleon finished strongly when a head second to Erskine Range at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon. Condrieu is overdue for a change of luck in a feature event. He has contested seven group races in his 23 starts in Western Australia for three minor placings last year --- second to Chilli Power in the group 1 McInerney Ford Classic, second in the Higgins Memorial and third in the group 3 Caduceus Club Classic. His dam Oaxaca Lass won three group 1 events (the Queensland derby at Albion Park and the Australian Oaks at Moonee Valley in 2002 and the Chariots of Fire at Harold Park in 2003. She also won three group 2 features and was placed in four other group events. Looming as the main dangers to Condrieu are polemarker In The Perfect Storm, Jasper Freeway, Wynberg Terror and Shnappy. In The Perfect Storm, trained at Pinjarra by Michael Brennan, resumed after a five-month absence when he started from barrier three and led early before taking the trail behind Condrieu and then finishing doggedly along the sprint lane to be second to that pacer at Pinjarra last Monday week. "His first-up run was good," said reinsman Gary Hall jun. "We've got the speed to hold up, but I'll wait to see what Mouse (Brennan) says. Hall won the Higgins Memorial in 2010 when he guided Partywiththedevil (barrier two) to an all-the-way victory over Son of Fergie and Lombo Navigator. Northview Punter ready to fire Up-and-coming star Northview Punter is working in grand style and champion reinsman Gary Hall jun. is confident the four-year-old will make a successful return to racing by proving the master of outstanding pacer David Hercules in the 2130m Yes Loans Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. "He has come back (from a spell) pretty well and he should work to the front and prove hard to beat," said Hall, who will celebrate his 32nd birthday on Saturday. "I think he can beat David Hercules. He loves leading and he's a hard horse to get to." However, Hall has great respect for David Hercules, saying: "I wouldn't be surprised if he sat outside Northview Punter and beat him." Northview Punter, the youngest and least experienced runner in the race, has not appeared since he raced in the one-out, one-back position before finishing strongly to win the $35,000 Four and Five-Year-Old Championship from stablemate Soho Valencia at Gloucester Park on March 21. That was his 18th win from only 38 starts. Hall was flying back from Brisbane on Sunday morning after driving Im Themightyquinn to a thrilling victory in the group 1 Blacks A Fake Championship at Albion Park on Saturday night when his brother Clint drove Northview Punter in a trial at Byford. Northview Punter impressed when he set the pace and beat David Hercules by just over a length in the 2150m trial, rating a sizzling 1.55.6. "From all reports he went super at the trials," said Hall jun. "He is showing that he is improving all the time." Northview Punter has drawn to lead from the No. 3 barrier, and this should prove an important advantage over David Hercules, who will start from barrier five. Clint Hall said that Northview Punter had been lazy in the trial and that he required constant urging. However, he said that drawing inside of David Hercules should give him an edge over his classy rival. Morgan Woodley, who has driven the David Thompson-trained David Hercules to dashing and decisive wins at his first two starts after a spell, conceded that the barrier draw would make life tough for his horse. "The one horse I wanted to draw inside was Northview Punter," he said. "Northview Punter went fast in Sunday's trial and he rated a fast 1.55.6, which is low flying. However, David Hercules did a tremendous job. He sat last in the four-horse trial and he made good ground and finished at the winner's wheel. "You definitely can't take anything away from his performance. However, I would love it if the barrier draws were reversed on Friday night. Probably, realistically, we'll end up in the breeze because we can't afford to spot Northview Punter a big start. "If we go back at the start Northview Punter would be able to waltz to an easy lead. So if we were to give him three of four lengths at the 1000m mark it would make our job near on impossible. So I'd say we'll look to get up outside him and try to turn it into a staying competition. "I expect it to be a fast-run race and the Halls will assess David Hercules as the hardest opposition, and they are likely to drive in a manner which will make it difficult for David Hercules to win. We expect a real hard tussle." Hall sticks with Soho Lennon Star reinsman Gary Hall jun. drove Crusader Banner to an effortless first-up victory at Northam on Tuesday night, but he has elected to handle stablemate Soho Lennon in the 2130m Slater Gartrell Sports Pace for three-year-olds at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Crusader Banner and Soho Lennon are two of champion trainer Gary Hall senior's five runners in Friday's event, the others being Eliseos Falcon, Themightynadal and High Courage, and Hall junior's decision to drive Soho Lennon comes as an important guide to punters. Soho Lennon, driven by Hall jun., overcame the disadvantage of starting from the outside of the back line when he raced wide in the middle stages before finishing powerfully to win by a length from the pacemaker Local Rogue at a 1.58.4 rate in a 2536m Pathway Pace last Friday night. Again, Soho Lennon is not ideally drawn at No. 3 on the back line in Friday night's race in which Crusader Banner is much better drawn at No. 3 on the front line. "I'll drive Soho Lennon and will be putting him in the race at some stage," said Hall jun. "I think he can win. Black Mr Mach is obviously improving and he's probably the danger from the draw." Black Mr Mach, to be driven by Colin Brown for trainers Greg and Skye Bond, has excellent prospects from the coveted No. 1 barrier. He has won at his past two starts, running on to beat Tarsao at Gloucester Park and then setting the pace and winning narrowly from Ima Tragedy over 2185m at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon. Crusader Banner was having his first start for 12 months when he gave a sparkling frontrunning display to score an easy victory from Your Excused, rating 1.59.1 over 2190m at Northam on Tuesday night. "He's still very green and very much a baby in the head," said Hall jun. "He pulled a little bit and did a few things you'd expect from a two-year-old. But he hasn't had much racing. He's had a lot of time off with a damaged ligament in his shoulder. "His best asset is his speed and he's probably best sat up. But while he's going through the grades he will race in front if the lead is there for him." Eliseos Falcon, a former Victorian pacer, made an impressive WA debut when he produced a strong finishing burst to win from Machs A Pearler over 2185m at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon. It was his seventh win from 19 starts. Slick Chapel to lead all the way Noted frontrunner Slick Chapel will be a short-priced favourite for the $25,000 City Livestock The Chandon final over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night after drawing the prized No. 1 barrier. He is one of four runners in the race prepared by Gary Hall sen. and when he drew the inside barrier Gary Hall jun. had no hesitation in opting to drive him in preference to last-start winners Rowchester and Heez Orl Black and Notabadexcuse, a winner two starts ago. "Slick Chapel is probably the best of our runners and he's drawn the best," said Hall jun. "It's a good draw for more than one reason. He's got the lead and has Dynamite Dude drawn behind him. So I should be able to control the result and I won't be letting Dynamite Dude out." Dynamite Dude, trained by Ross Olivieri and to be driven by Chris Lewis, will start from the inside of the back line and will need plenty of luck to get a chance to beat Slick Chapel. Dynamite Dude won at his first five starts in Western Australia before he started from barrier four ion the back line and raced three wide for much of the way when a fighting fourth behind Condrieu at Pinjarra last Monday week. Slick Chapel has had 32 starts for ten wins and ten placings. He was an all-the-way winner two starts ago and then started from the back line and raced without cover for most of the way before winning from Soho Monza last Friday week. The No. 1 barrier also will greatly enhance the prospects of Miss Atomic in the $40,000 McInerney Ford Pace for mares. A winner at ten of her 23 starts, she should be able to hold up and set the pace for Chris Lewis. Speedy My Lady of the Night was a smart all-the-way winner over 1730m last Friday night, but though she is blessed with sparkling gate speed it is problematic whether she will be able to cross Miss Atomic. Lucky Joy, a brilliant winner at Gloucester Park last Saturday night, will start from barrier three on the back line and is capable of a bold showing. by Ken Casellas
A favourable draw for My Hard Copy has greatly enhanced the prospects of champion trainer Gary Hall sen. and star reinsman Gary Hall jun. of continuing their remarkable dominance of the Channel 9 Winter Cup when the New Zealand-bred four-year-old starts from the No. 2 barrier in the $35,000 feature at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The 64-year-old Hall has trained the winner of the group 3 Winter Cup a record seven times and his 31-year-old son has driven the winner of this event six times. Hall sen. has won the event with Kaydee (1994), The Falcon Strike (2003), Iontheball (2004), Washakie (2008), Im Themightyquinn (2009 and 2013) and Davy Maguire (2012). Hall jun. has been the winning driver behind The Falcon Strike, Washakie, Im Themightyquinn (twice), Davy Maguire and Lookslikelightning in 2005. For good measure, Hall sen. has trained the second placegetter in the Winter Cup five times. My Hard Copy is the youngest runner in this week's Cup and Hall jun. looks set to make a bold bid to burst straight to the front and set the pace over the 2536m journey. My Hard Copy started from the No. 2 barrier in a 2536m event two starts ago, last Friday week, when he was smartest into stride, set the pace and sprinted over the final two 400m sections in 27.6sec. and 28.3sec. before being overhauled in the final stride and being beaten by a half-head by superstar Im Themightyquinn. Then, last Friday night My Hard Copy started from the inside of the back line in the 2130m Past Presidents Cup. He trailed the pacemaker Please Release Me before fighting on determinedly to finish fourth, just a half-length behind the winner Our Arlington. My Hard Copy is at his best when he leads, and if he repeats his effort when narrowly beaten by Im Themightyquinn two starts ago he should emerge triumphant. Hall sen. bypassed the chance for Im Themightyquinn to win the Winter Cup for a record third time (in the Cup's 63-year history). He is in Brisbane with high hopes of a victory by Im Themightyquinn in the $60,000 group 2 Garrard's Sunshine Sprint over 1660m at Albion Park on Saturday night. Hall jun. will fly out of Perth after the Gloucester Park meeting to handle the champion. My Hard Copy is one of three Hall-trained runners in the Winter Cup. The others are Our Arlington, who will be driven by Clint Hall and should be prominent from the coveted No. 1 barrier, and Bettor Reason. Both the New Zealand-bred five-year-olds are last-start winners. Our Arlington began speedily from the No. 4 barrier last week and then obtained a perfect trip, one-out and one-back, before finishing powerfully to win the Past Presidents Cup from Dundee Three, Please Release Me and My Hard Copy. Bettor Reason, who will start from barrier three on the back line, impressed at his second appearance after a ten-month absence when he raced without cover before finishing strongly to win a 1730m event in considerably weaker company at Gloucester Park on Tuesday of last week. Brilliant pacer David Hercules fared badly in the random draw and will be tested from the No. 6 barrier on the front line. He led easily from barrier two when he went on to defeat Im Themightyquinn over 2130m at a 1.55.3 rate three Fridays ago. He possesses sparkling early speed, but it is problematical whether he will be able to muster sufficient pace to get to an early lead. David Hercules, a winner of 30 races and $820,304 in prizemoney, warmed up for the Cup with an effortless win in a 2150m trial at Byford on Sunday morning. Morgan Woodley dashed the David Thompson-trained seven-year-old straight to the front from barrier five. But there will be far greater pressure on him to get to an early lead in Friday night's race. After setting a slow early pace in the trial, with first quarters in 32.1sec. and 31.1sec., David Hercules was not extended in sprinting the final sections in 28.9sec. and 27.2sec. to win by four lengths from Condrieu. Woodley drove David Hercules in last year's Winter Cup when the gelding started from barrier four, raced three wide early, sustained a punctured tyre of the sulky and had a tough run in the breeze before wilting to fifth. Woodley drove Mysta Magical Mach when the gelding flew home from last at the bell to be a half-length second to Im Themightyquinn in the 2009 Winter Cup and he was successful in the race two years later when Has The Answers led from barrier five and easily beat Flamin Tact and Nowuseeme. Chris Lewis, who drove Has The Answers to victory in the 2010 Winter Cup, has also been successful behind Village Kid in 1991 and Pocket Power in 2001. This year he will drive Dundee Three, who is racing keenly and cannot be disregarded, even from his awkward draw at No. 5 on the front line. Dundee Three worked hard without cover and fought on grandly when a close second to Our Arlington last Friday night. Clint Hall was impressed with Our Arlington's performance last week and he is hoping that the six-year-old will give him another win in the Winter Cup after his success with Iontheball, who beat Hilton Adios and The Falcon Strike in 2006. Mista Rush can overcome wide draw Up-and-coming gelding Mista Rush has the ability to overcome a wide barrier and win the $100,000 Tim McMillan On Nine News Westbred Classic for three-year-old colts and geldings at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Trained at Boyanup by Justin Prentice, Mista Rush has had a well-planned preparation for the group 1 feature event, with his eight runs this season producing five wins, a second and a third placing. He wound up his preparation with a striking performance at Gloucester Park on Monday of last week when he started from the No. 2 barrier on the back line and enjoyed the one-out, one-back sit for the first lap before starting a three-wide move at the bell. Prentice then got the gelding back into then one-out, one-back position 250m later before again switching him three wide with 350m to travel. Mista Rush burst to the front on the home turn and won, untouched, by almost two lengths from Algranco Under Fire, rating 1.57.1 over the 1730m journey. He sizzled home over the final 800m in 55.4sec. Mista Rush showed his toughness and versatility when he raced without cover before winning over 1684m at Pinjarra in April and over 2100m at Bunbury in May. He will start from barrier No. 6 on the front line in Friday night's classic and Prentice will be anxious to obtain a favourable passage in the one-wide line. Mister Jadore, the State's star two-year-old last season, is likely to be a short-priced favourite from his handy draw at No. 3 on the front line. Banjup trainer Annie Belton produced Mister Jadore in splendid shape for his first-up run at Bunbury last Saturday week when he began speedily from barrier six, set the pace and won easily from The Real Nadal and Choccy Mac over 2100m That was Mister Jadore's first appearance since his unplaced effort behind Three Blind Mice in the WA Derby on April 11. His 27 starts have produced 11 wins, ten placings and $201,889 in prizemoney. There is little doubt that Chris Lewis will be keen to get Mister Jadore straight to the front. But there is no certainty that he will be able to cross polemarker Khun Ratha and Keeper of Keys (barrier two). Both pacers possess excellent gate speed and have been successful when leading. Mister Jadore worked in good style when he led from barrier four and won a 2185m trial at Pinjarra on Sunday morning when he dashed over the final 400m sections in 29.3sec. and 28.4sec. Khun Ratha, trained at Capel by Andrew De Campo, has enjoyed a brief spell since finishing third to Mista Rush over 2185m at Pinjarra on March 17. He has not been produced in public trials, but he is a speedy beginner and smart frontrunner, capable of a bold first-up effort. The David Thompson-trained Keeper of Keys led from barrier four and won from Soho Cash and Hugh Victor over 2190m at Northam on June 17. That was his third win from seven starts and he warmed up for Friday night's assignment when he rated 2min. and won a seven-horse trial over 2150m by more than eight lengths at Byford on Sunday morning. Colin Brown will drive Keeper of Keys and Morgan Woodley will handle smart stablemate Hugh Victor, who will start from barrier five on the front line. Im Bella Jay in peak form Im Bella Jay gave a commanding exhibition of her ability when she obliterated her rivals in a 2130m event at Gloucester Park on Monday afternoon and she has excellent prospects of maintaining her winning form and completing a hat-trick when she contests the $100,000 Sally Ayhan On Nine News Westbred Classic for three-year-old fillies on Friday night. She will start from barrier two on the back line in the 2130m group 1 feature event. But this should not prove a serious impediment to the chances of a tough and versatile filly. She started from barrier four on the back line in Monday's race and settled in eighth position before Aiden De Campo set her alight mid-race and she stormed into third place, three wide, at the bell before she burst to the front at the 400m mark and raced away to score by seven lengths from Formyeyesonly, rating 1.58.3. At her previous appearance, over 2180m at Wagin ten nights earlier, she raced three wide in the first lap and then in the breeze before winning easily from Navajo Windtalker in considerably easier company than she will meet on Friday night. A winner at seven of her 24 starts for Capel trainer Andrew De Campo, Im Bella Jay is likely to meet the stiffest opposition from fellow back-line runners, her stablemate Maddy White, Harriet Elisabeth and Pure Royalty. Maddy White has won seven times from 29 starts and has the ability to overcome the disadvantage of starting from the outside of the back line. Harriet Elisabeth has an impressive 50 per cent record, six wins from 12 starts. And with Colin Brown in the sulky from barrier three on the back line, the David Thompson-trained filly has the speed and strength to fight out the finish. Mark Reed gave punters a lead when he decided to drive the Ryan Bell-trained All About Pink from the No. 6 barrier on the front line in preference to Pure Royalty, a smart filly and winner of five races who is prepared by his father Mike Reed. The in-form Chris Voak has been engaged to drive Pure Royalty. Bond team in sparkling form The powerful combination of trainers Greg and Skye Bond and ace reinsman Colin Brown are in dazzling form and they should give punters a flying start by winning the opening event at Gloucester Park on Friday night with the small but speedy Assassinator. Assassinator has drawn the prized No. 1 barrier in the 2130m The Block On Nine Pace for two-year-olds. He gave a sample of his ability when he started from barrier four and burst straight to the front before romping to a two-length victory over Front Cover Girl, rating 1.57.8 over 1730m at Gloucester Park on Monday afternoon. That followed his close second to Mynameskenny over 2130m six days earlier. Assassinator has won just once from six starts, but is improving with every run. His win on Monday was the first of five winners for the Bonds and Brown in the space of two days. The combination also was successful on Monday with Machs A Pearler before a treble at Northam on Tuesday night with smart three-year-olds Jumbo Jet and Ima Tragedy and five-year-old Barrow Street. Assassinator is sure to meet strong opposition from Mynameskenny and Mister Ardee, who will start from barriers, three and four, respectively. Mynameskenny, trained by John Oldroyd, impressed first-up at Gloucester Park last Tuesday week when he raced wide for much of the way before beating Assassinator by a neck. Mister Ardee, a winner at two races in New Zealand, is trained by Gary Elson and has showed excellent potential at his first two Australian starts, covering a lot of extra ground before winning first-up by five lengths at Gloucester Park and then running home strongly to be a close second to Sea Me Smile at Pinjarra. Hall set to keep up the good work Star reinsman Gary Hall jun. notched his century of city winners this season when he drove Globalization to an easy all-the-way victory at Gloucester Park on Monday afternoon, should keep up the good work by scoring an all-the-way win with Slick Chapel in the 2130m PWC People Business Pace on Friday night. The New Zealand-bred four-year-old is the youngest runner in the race and he should carry too many guns for his rivals by setting the pace from the prized No. 1 barrier. He started out wide from barrier six in a 2130m event last Friday night and was restrained back to last in the field of 12. He started a three-wide move approaching the bell and went four wide 420m from home before finishing powerfully to be second to El Machine. by Ken Casellas
Munster businessman Tom Erceg and harness racing owner snapped up a wonderful bargain when he paid just $6000 for a Rich And Spoilt filly at the Gloucester Standardbred yearling sale in February 2013. The filly named Straittothehilton and raced by Erceg in partnership with Byford trainer Katja Warwick, boosted her earnings to $88,330 when she gave a dashing display to score an easy victory in the $100,000 group 1 NHP Westbred Classic for two-year-old fillies at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Straittothehilton, third favourite at 9/2, was driven in masterly fashion by Morgan Woodley and the win completed a double for Woodley and the Warwick family in the Westbred Classic. Former champion trainer-reinsman Trevor Warwick, husband of Katja, prepared 14/1 chance Sweet Atomic when Woodley drove her to a thrilling victory in a three-way photo finish from Hermattjesty Mulan and Flirtalicious in the 2011 Westbred Classic for two-year-old fillies. Straittothehilton jumped straight to the front from the No. 1 barrier before Aiden De Campo sent 3/1 second fancy Delightful Jade (a winner at six of her seven starts) into the lead after 100m, leaving the heavily-supported 9/4 favourite Massive Attack in the breeze. After a leisurely lead time of 38.7sec. and a slow first quarter of 31.6sec., de Campo increased the tempo and Delightful Jade sprinted over the second section in 28.8sec. This was followed by a 29.2sec. quarter before Gary Hall jun. sent Massive Attack to the front 270m from home. Woodley had eased Straittothehilton off the pegs with about 600m to travel to follow the run of Massive Attack. Straittothehilton burst into the lead 100m from the post and won by two lengths from Massive Attack, who put up a tremendous performance to finish second. The final quarter was a modest 30.8sec. and Straittothehilton rated 2.01 over the 2130m journey. Soho New York (40/1) surged home from tenth at the bell to finish a further two lengths back in third place, in front of Sea Me Smile. Delightful Jade wilted to finish sixth. Katja Warwick has given Straittothehilton a splendid preparation and the filly went into the classic as the most experienced runner, with 13 starts under her belt. Straittothehilton, who has been driven by Woodley in all her starts, has now won three races and been placed eight times. Her dam Made of Dreams (by Parsons Den) raced 49 times for ten wins, 14 placings and $39,664. Made of Dreams is out of unraced Northern Lights mare Arctic Glow, whose five winners included Chazsalico (135 starts for 20 wins, 31 placings and $141,515). Amongst Royalty, a full-sister of Made of Dreams, won two group 1 and one group 2 classic as a two-year-old and retired with a record of 86 starts for 23 wins and 27 placings for earnings of $570,820. Arctic Glow's dam Broncroft Castle produced star pacer Mon Poppy Day, who amassed $318,558 from 20 wins and 16 placings from 50 starts. His wins included the WA and Tasmanian Derbies in 1996, the 1996 Golden Nugget, the 1997 Christmas Gift and the 1998 Mount Eden Mile. Straittothehilton also is related to former champion mares Under Cover Lover (70 starts for 21 wins, 22 placings and $864,923) and Bettor Cover Lover (39 starts for 19 wins, 14 placings and $1,026,427). Straittothehilton is the latest of the progeny of Rich And Spoilt to win juvenile classics. His previous classic winners include Silver Tail Adda, Shipwreck, Batavia Touchngo and Adda Cool Mil. Rich And Spoilt won the 1999 Pearl Classic, the State Sires Series Classic and Caduceus Club Classic in 2000 and finished a nose second to Seelster Sam in the Gold Nugget Championship in December 2000. Straittothehilton Erceg also purchased a colt for $9500 at the 2013 sales who is trained by Katja Warwick. The colt, named Out of the Shadow, won at his debut, at Harvey in January this year and again at Bunbury in February. Veteran lands first group 1 winner Veteran Bunbury trainer Bob Wood landed his first group 1 winner when Kyle Harper drove All Aussie Boy to an all-the-way victory in the $100,000 Clipsal Schneider Westbred Classic for two-year-old colts and geldings at Gloucester Park on Friday night. All Aussie Boy, equal second favourite at 13/4, made the most of the prized No. 1 barrier, but had to survive a spirited early challenge from 5/4 favourite Persistent Threat before setting the pace and holding on grimly to defeat 11/1 chance A Force In Action by a metre, with a length and a half back to 66/1 outside Captain Oats in third place. The 23-year-old Harper had some anxious moments in the final stages when All Aussie Boy began to shift up the track. The left-handed Harper then used the whip in his non-preferred right hand to prevent the colt from veering out. He responded gamely to Harper's urgings and just held out the fast-finishing A Force In Action, who had enjoyed an perfect trip behind the pacemaker until Mark Reed got him off the pegs approaching the home turn and brought the colt home with a strong three-wide burst. After the race the stewards fined Harper $200 for incorrect use of the whip in that he used more than a wrist and elbow action. Persistent Threat began speedily from the No. 2 barrier and Tom Buchanan made a spirited bid for the lead. Persistent Threat got almost a length and a half in front of All Aussie Boy, but just failed to muster sufficient speed to cross to the front, with Harper driving All Aussie Boy hard to retain the lead. Buchanan took hold of Persistent Threat after 200m and the gelding broke into a gallop. However, Buchanan quickly got Persistent Threat back into a pacing action. Morgan Woodley then dashed Thatlebe forward with a fast three-wide burst to move into the breeze after 550m. Then, after 600m, Colin Brown sent the 13/4 equal second fancy Isaiah Artois forward from the rear with a three-wide charge to assume the position outside the pacemaker. Persistent Threat then was sixth win the one-wide line. The first quarter was run in 31.8sec. before final sections in 29.9sec., 29.9sec. and 29.2sec. Buchanan eased Persistent Threat three wide approaching the 400m mark, but the gelding lacked sparkle and wilted to finish in eleventh position. Isaiah Artois was a gallant fourth. The winner rated 2.0.2 over the 2130m. All Aussie Boy looks like developing into the best pacer prepared by the 71-year-old Wood since he trained Pataz in the early 2000s. Pataz, who reached an M7 mark in 2003, raced 66 times for 20 wins, 13 placings and $144,878 in stakes. All Aussie Boy has earned $78,345 from three wins and three placings from eight starts. He is by Allamerican Ingot and is out of Parsons Den mare Like Royalty, who was unplaced at her 12 starts, earning just $183 from her fourth placing in a two-year-old event at Gloucester Park in July 2005. All Aussie Boy is a half-brother to Paramedic, who notched his tenth victory when Harper drove him to an all-the-way win in a Pathway at Gloucester Park last month. All Aussie Boy Hall's tactics succeed with Our Arlington A bold move by Clint Hall to send Our Arlington forward from the awkward No. 4 barrier, instead of restraining him, paid handsome dividends when the New Zealand-bred six-year-old scored an upset win at 14/1 in the $25,000 LED Past Presidents Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night. It was generally considered that Please Release Me would set the pace from the No. 1 barrier and Hall drove Our Arlington hard early, out three wide for the first 300m, before getting to the breeze. Two hundred metres later Our Arlington settled in the perfect one-out, one-back position when Dundee Three sustained a three-wide early burst to take up the position outside Please Release Me. After a reasonable lead time of 37.6sec., Please Release Me coasted through the first 400m section of the final mile in 31.2sec. before he covered the next quarters in 29.3sec. and 28.3sec. Hall switched Our Arlington three wide with 300m to travel and the gelding finished full of running to hit the front 120m from the post. He held on to defeat the gallant Dundee Three (13/4) by one metre, with Please Release Me (11/4) a nose away in third place after a final quarter in 28.6sec. My Hard Copy, a well-supported 11/8 favourite, started from the inside of the back line and he got into the clear leaving the back straight the final time before finishing solidly, out wide, to be a head away in fourth place Our Arlington gave leading trainer Gary Hall sen. his second success in the Past Presidents Cup. He was successful with The Falcon Strike in 2006. Our Arlington, by Washington VC, won twice from three starts as a three-year-old in New Zealand in March 2011 and 11 times in Victoria. His three wins from 15 WA starts have taken his record to 68 starts for 16 wins, 17 placings and stakes of $169,942. Voak's birthday surprise Chris Voak wasn't optimistic about his chances with eight drives at Gloucester Park on Friday night, but he gave himself a pleasant birthday surprise when he drove 45/1 outsider Say It Now to a stirring victory in the 2130m Cable Joining Supplies Pace. Voak, who celebrated his 26th birthday on Friday, continues to drive winners every week and is a clear second behind Gary Hall jun. in the Statewide drivers' premiership table. Hall has 147 winners and Voak has had 951 drives in the 2013-14 season for 124 wins, 120 seconds and 94 thirds. Say It Now gave Voak his 43rd city success this season and he is in fifth place on the Metropolitan list behind Hall (99 wins), Chris Lewis (59), Colin Brown (57) and Morgan Woodley (45). Say It Now was a 7/4 chance the previous Friday night when Chris Lewis drove the noted frontrunner to a head victory over Bettor Party over 1730m. But punters disregarded his chances on Friday night when he rose in class and started from barrier two on the back line over a longer journey. Voak was driving the pacer for the first time. Polemarker Black Aquila was all the rage from the prized No. 1 barrier and was favourite at 10/9 on, with stablemates Vapour (11/4) and Notabadexcuse (11/1) next in betting. Michael Young got Black Aquila away smartly and the five-year-old set the pace, with Notabadexcuse (Micheal Ferguson) in the breeze and Love In The Dark sitting behind the pacemaker. Say It Now raced three back on the pegs and was eighth at the bell. Voak got Say It Now off the inside in the final circuit and the stallion charged home, out wide, to gain a last-stride victory by a neck from Notabadexcuse, who had taken the lead 80m from the post. Black Aquila was a wilting third. The final sections were covered in 28.5sec. and 29.5sec. and Say It Now rated 1.57.6. He has been an excellent moneyspinner for Hopeland trainer Kevin Charles and his son Kody, who bred the horse from Promising Gift, a mare gifted to them by breeder Tom Keating. Say It Now has earned $101,981 from 12 wins and 11 placings from 52 starts. Desirable Guy breaks through for first WA win New South Wales-bred five-year-old Desirable Guy completed a double for reinsman Colin Brown in the first two events at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he relished his pacemaking role to score an easy victory in the 2130m Bambach Cables Pathway Pace. Brown, who trains the gelding at Banjup, had won the opening event with the Dick Moore-trained Macintosh. Desirable Guy, second fancy at 3/1, jumped straight to the front from the No. 2 barrier and Brown rated him perfectly to score by four metres from polemarker Justlikelindt, a 13/1 chance who trailed the leader all the way. A half-head away in third place was the 2/1 favourite Algranco Under Fire, who raced three wide early and then without cover. The win was Desirable Guy's first from seven WA starts and it ended a losing sequence of 13. He now boasts an enviable record of 70 starts for 15 wins and 22 placings for earnings of $105,388 and he looks capable of more city successes for owners Geoff and Ben Waters, John Galluccio, Grahame Searle and Paul Whyte. Desirable Guy showed early promise and at Melton in May 2011 he finished fourth behind Mr Nickel, Magic Bliss and Soho Valencia in the $305,000 group 1 Australian Pacing Gold. By American stallion Real Desire, Desirable Guy is the first foal out of Atworthy Maid, who was unplaced at her four starts in Victoria as a two and three-year-old in 2005-06. Atworthy Maid's dam Crown Velvet produced five winners, including Velvets Bee gee (29 wins and $134,600) and Croesus (13 wins and $253,050). Am Opulent relishes frontrunning role Few mares in Western Australia possess the sparkling early speed of Am Opulent and when Ryan Warwick dashed the New Zealand-bred four-year-old straight to the front from the No. 3 barrier her 11 rivals faced an extremely difficult task in the $25,000 final of the Nexans Olex Lombardo Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Warwick stole a march on the opposition when he got Am Opulent to relax and coast through the lead time in 38.2sec. and the first quarter of the final mile in 31.7sec. Warwick gave the mare more rein in the final 800m and she sped over the final quarters in 29sec. and 28.2sec. to win by one and a half lengths from 66/1 outsider Tis A Charmer, who enjoyed a good trail three back on the pegs. Polemarker Ace of Cards (22/1) trailed the leader for much of the way before finishing with a spirited burst. Selkie, the 2/1 favourite, was never in contention. Chris Lewis restrained her back to the rear from her wide barrier at No. 6 on the front line. She started a three-wide run approaching the bell, following Lucky Joy, But she floundered in the back straight and dropped back to finish in eleventh position. Am Opulent, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, has earned $188,047 from 12 wins and 11 placings from 45 starts. She is related to Smart Son (41 wins and $347,805) and Vanderel (14 wins and $164,163). My Samantha Jane turns the tables Consistent filly My Samantha Jane turned the tables on The Parade when she gave a bold frontrunning display and carried too many guns in the final stages for her rival in the 2130m Sylvania Trader Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. A fortnight earlier My Samantha Jane started from the inside of the back line and trailed the pacemaker Harper Grace before finishing a sound second to The Parade, who sustained a powerful burst from last to take the lead 250m from home. Under the preferential barrier draw conditions on Friday night, My Samantha Jane drew ideally at No. 2 on the front line and The Parade had the distinct disadvantage of starting from the outside of the back line. My Samantha Jane was a strongly-supported 2/1 second fancy, with The Parade favourite at 6/4. Trainer Mike Reed, anxious to have My Samantha Jane's mind on the job from the outset, changed her gear, removing the Dolly Varden blinkers and replacing them with hood-type blinkers. This did the trick and the filly began like a shot. After first quarters of the final mile in 30.7sec. and 30.1sec., My Samantha Jane dashed over the final sections in 29.3sec. and 29.2sec. and she won by five metres from the gallant The Parade, rating 1.58.4. Polemarker Major Flirt finished third after trailing the pacemaker all the way. The Parade settled down in eleventh position before Justin Prentice dashed her forward with a fast three-wide burst after 700m. The filly moved into the breeze with 1050m to travel and she fought on with typical determination. My Samantha Jane, unplaced at her three starts in New Zealand, has had 16 starts in Western Australia for four wins and six placings and now has earned $44,620 in stakes. El Machine a winter cups prospect Bargain pacer El Machine graduated to an M5 mark with his stylish victory in the Hydraulic Energy Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night and will be a valuable addition to open-class feature Cup events over the winter months. He was a 10/1 chance from the outside of the back line and made light of this disadvantage by unwinding a typical powerful finishing burst to easily defeat 3/1 second fancy Slick Chapel and Wrongly Accused (6/1), rating 1.57.4 over the 2130m trip. Last-start winner Real Hammer (5/1) began with his usual alacrity to burst straight to the front from the polemarker and 5/2 favourite Mighty Flying Thomas, with Wrongly Accused in the breeze. El Machine settled at the rear before his trainer Kade Howson started a three-wide move approaching the bell and appreciating a cart up behind Rodrigo. Real Hammer, who pulled hard, began to tire badly half-way down the back straight and Howson shot El Machine to the front 260m from home. Slick Chapel was tenth at the bell and following El Machine in the three-wide line. Gary Hall jun. switched him four wide with about 420m to travel and he finished powerfully to be second. Mighty Flying Thomas was hampered behind the fading Real hammer and even though Tom Buchanan was able to ease the gelding off the pegs, he was blocked for a clear passage in the final stages and finished eighth. The West Australian-bred El Machine, bought for a mere $5000 as a yearling by Howson and fellow trainer-reinsman Michael George, has earned $156,489 from 18 wins and 13 placings from 47 starts. Claimers the aim for Pride of Colorado Darling Downs trainer-reinsman Aldo Cortopassi has high hopes that Pride of Colorado will follow in the footsteps of his half-brother Scram Jet and develop the reputation as a King of the Claimers. Scram Jet enjoyed racing in claimers in the twilight of his career and he was retired after winning ten times in that company and with a career record of 172 starts for 24 wins, 42 placings and $235,076 in prizemoney. Pride of Colorado, a West Australian-bred seven-year-old by former star pacer Saab, has an M4 classification and Cortopassi considers he is not quite up to top class and he is planning a continuing career in claiming events. Pride of Colorado won his second claimer when Cortopassi drove him aggressively before he won the 2130m Scholz Electric Claiming Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Pride of Colorado started from barrier six in a field of seven and was a firm 5/4 favourite. Cortopassi was keen to control the tempo of the race and he dashed Pride of Colorado forward in the early stages to race in the breeze, with 12-year-old Tee Pee Village (6/1) setting the pace. After an opening section of the final mile in a slow 31.3sec., Tee Pee Village ran the next quarters in 29.8sec., 28.7sec. and 28.8sec. However, he was unable to keep Pride of Colorado at bay, with the favourite forging to the front 80m from the post and winning by just over a length. Pride of Colorado, owned by Stephen Schmedje, has earned $148,967 from 17 wins and 18 placings from 81 starts. Northern Lights mare Lady Legacy, dam of Scram Jet and Pride of Colorado, won at five of her 23 starts in the mid-1990s. She is out of Fiscal Miss, a winner of 15 races and the mother of star performers Whitbys Miss Penny (50 starts for 32 wins, six placings and $568,289) and Ace of Whitby (79 starts for 29 wins, 21 placings and $317,247). Macintosh makes it eight from ten in WA Up-and-coming New Zealand-bred four-year-old Macintosh continued his rise to prominence when he overcame the disadvantage of starting from the outside of the back line with an impressive victory in the 2536m Apec Cables Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. A week earlier Colin Brown brought Macintosh home with a powerful last-lap last-to-first effort. But on Friday night Brown made his move earlier. Polemarker What God Knows led for the first lap, during which he withstood a spirited challenge from Mr Nickel. Brown seized the initiate after a lap had been covered by sending Macintosh forward from the rear with a strong three-wide burst. Macintosh, favourite at 6/4, moved to the breeze 1300m from home and Brown was content to remain there until be shot the son of Mach Three to the front with 470m to travel. The third quarter of the final mile was covered in a brisk 28.3sec. and Macintosh sprinted the final section in 28.4sec. to win by just under a length from 11/4 second fancy Ohoka Kentucky, who sustained strong burst from the rear. Dearborn (12/1) followed the run of Ohoka Kentucky to finish an encouraging third. Macintosh, trained at Forrestdale by Dick Moore, looks set for many more wins. After winning at two of his ten starts in New Zealand the gelding has won eight times from ten starts in WA. by Ken Casellas
Talented gelding Persistent Threat has recovered from a hoof abscess and is poised to run a big race in the $100,000 Clipsal Schneider Westbred Classic for two-year-old colts and geldings at Gloucester Park on Friday night, according to his Bunbury trainer John Graham. "It's not ideal to go into a big race without a run or two under your belt," Graham said when assessing Persistent Threat's prospects at his first appearance for eight weeks. "But his recent work has been as good, or even slightly better, than it was before he won the $100,000 Sales Classic at the end of April. "It took him a while to get over the foot abscess, about six or seven days, and he missed fast work in that time. However, he was able to retain his fitness by being able to swim in that period." Persistent Threat, driven by Tom Buchanan, won at each of his first five starts before suffering his first defeat when he set the pace and wilted to a well-beaten third behind Tricky Styx and The Odd Lover in the $50,000 Champagne Classic at Gloucester Park on May 2. He possesses excellent gate speed, is a noted frontrunner and has drawn favourably in Friday night's group 1 event over 2130m at barrier two on the front line. "It's certainly not an easy race and there are a good few winning chances," Graham said. "It is not essential for Persistent Threat to lead. If he leads, all well and good. But his work at home shows us that he goes well from behind." Graham identified polemarker All Aussie Boy, Isaiah Artois, Ezygatboy and Artillery Major as the major dangers to Persistent Threat. Isaiah Artois, trained at Byford by David Thompson for breeder-owner Steve Johnson, has won in dashing style at each of his past four starts and looks set for an outstanding career. But his prospects diminished slightly when he drew the outside barrier on the back line. He has led at three of his past four outings and he sat behind the pacemaker before finishing strongly on the inside for his other success. Reinsman Colin Brown will have to use vastly different tactics from the gelding's unfavourable draw. However, there is no doubting the ability of the son of Modern Art and he certainly can overcome his wide barrier. All Aussie Boy, trained at Bunbury by Robert Wood, soared into contention after drawing the prized No. 1 barrier. Kyle Harper is certain to attempt an all-the-way victory. All Aussie Boy led when he won from Mago Man and A Force In Action over 2185m at Pinjarra two starts ago. He then started from barrier three on the back line and performed admirably when he raced wide in the middle stages and then without cover before finishing a close third to Sea Me Smile and Mister Ardee over the same distance at Pinjarra on Monday of last week. Artillery Major has resumed after a spell in splendid form for Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri and the colt will have many admirers, particularly after drawing the No. 3 barrier on the front line. He raced three back on the pegs and ran home strongly from fifth at the bell to be second to Isaiah Artois in the 2130m Pearl Classic last Friday week. He led from barrier three when an easy winner over Mister Atomic in a heat of the Pearl. Delightful Jade aiming for five in a row Delightful Jade is carrying all before her and has bright prospects of stretching her winning sequence to five by proving the master of her rivals in the $100,000 NHP Westbred Classic for two-year-old fillies at Gloucester Park on Friday night. She is bred to be a good winner and is following the footsteps of her illustrious relative Whitbys Miss Penny, a champion two-year-old 14 years ago. Delightful Jade's maternal granddam Fiscal Miss produced Whitbys Miss Penny, who earned $568,289 from 32 wins and six placings from 50 starts. Delightful Jade, trained at Capel by Andrew De Campo, will be driven by his son Aiden. The filly has been most impressive, winning six times from only seven starts. She is handily drawn at No. 3 on the front line, she possesses sparkling early speed and is a superb frontrunner, having set the pace in each of her past four starts. However, she is not certain to lead on Friday night. The Katja Warwick-trained Straittothehilton is also a wonderful frontrunner and Morgan Woodley is sure to attempt to steal a march on her rivals by jumping to the front from the coveted No. 1 barrier. The most recent occasion Straittothehilton clashed with Delightful Jade was in the 1609m $20,000 Ray de Campo Memorial at Bunbury on May 10 when Delightful Jade led from barrier three and held on to beat Straittothehilton by a nose in 1.55.9. Straittothehilton raced three back on the pegs before rattling home with a powerful burst. That performance and the fact that Straittothehilton will start from barrier one will influence many punters to fancy the polemarker, easily the most experienced runner in the event, with her 13 starts producing two wins, six seconds and two thirds. Soho New York, trained at Northam by Glenn Elliott, Massive Attack, trained by Gary Hall sen., and Sea Me Smile, trained by Debra Lewis, also have sound prospects. Soho New York (to be handled by Justin Prentice) won at her first four starts before blotting her copybook with her fourth in a field of six at Narrogin and her last placing in a field of six at Bunbury last Saturday night. She ruined her chances at Narrogin by galloping at the start and then raced without cover. She started from barrier six at Bunbury, was restrained to the rear and then had a tough run in the breeze. Soho New York faces a stern test from the outside of the back line, while a back-line draw is likely to make life tough for Sea Me Smile, who impressed at Pinjarra last Monday week when she started out wide at barrier six, raced wide early and then obtained an ideal passage before finishing solidly with a 56.1sec. final 800m to defeat Mister Ardee and All Aussie Boy. Her previous form of a first-up success over Straittothehilton and placings behind Delightful Jade and Tricky Styx was excellent. Massive Attack (Gary Hall jun.) shows plenty of promise and has won twice from only three starts. From barrier four she should be prominent. Please Release Me gets his chance Veteran pacer Please Release Me has a losing sequence of 19 and has managed just one placing from his past 14 starts, but he has strong claims in the $25,000 Led Perth Past Presidents Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Major factors in his favour are that he will appreciate the absence of recent constant rivals Im Themightyquinn and David Hercules and that he is a brilliant frontrunner who should really appreciate starting from the prized No. 1 barrier. Please Release Me, trained at Collie by his owner Dave Hunter, has been out of the winning list for almost 14 months. However, he should give his supporters a great run for their money, with Matt White sure to attempt an all-the-way win. At his most recent outing Please Release Me was the solitary runner off the back line and he raced in fifth position, three back on the pegs, before he finished solidly to move into third place in the home straight before being relegated to fourth position in the final couple of strides by the fast-finishing Dundee Three. The race was won by David Hercules, who defeated Im Themightyquinn by just over two lengths. After a slow early pace, the final 800m was covered in 54.9sec. Dundee Three will be one of the fancied runners on Friday night when Morgan Woodley will attempt to gain a favourable passage in the one-wide line from a somewhat awkward barrier at No. 5 on the front line. Dundee Three impressed with two strong-finishing wins at his three previous outings. Punters should obtain good value in this event, with most of the ten runners have solid winning prospects. Leading trainer Gary Hall sen. will be represented by My Hard Copy, Toretto and Our Arlington. Pinjarra trainer Chris King's runners Lord Lombo and Leda McNally are versatile and consistent performers who can never be underestimated. Added to that are the Michael Brennan-trained This Time Dylan and the talented Ima Rocket Star, resuming after a five and a half-month absence for Greg and Skye Bond. The up-and-coming four-year-old My Hard Copy, the youngest runner in the race and fresh from his wonderful effort when a half-head second to champion Im Themightyquinn over 2536m last Friday night when he sprinted the final 800m in 55.9sec., would have been a hot favourite had he drawn to lead. However, the result became significantly more difficult to forecast when My Hard Copy drew barrier two on the back line. He certainly has undeniable winning prospects, but is by no means a good thing. This Time Dylan, to be driven by Justin Prentice, will have many followers after his smart trial win over 2185m in a trial at Pinjarra on Sunday morning. Driven by Brennan, This Time Dylan dashed to an early lead and sprinted over the final two 400m sections in 28.3sec. and 27.1sec. to defeat El Machine by a head. He should be powering home in Friday night's race. Aldo Cortopassi has been successful twice in the nine-year history of the Past Presidents Cup, with wins behind Just Jasper (7/2) in 2008 and Franco Renegade (51/1 last year). He faces an extremely difficult task with nine-year-old Elite Under Fire, who has been out of the winning list for 22 months. The Parade capable of overcoming tough draw New Zealand-bred filly The Parade continues to improve and she has sound prospects of being able to overcome the disadvantage of starting from the outside of the back line in the 2130m Sylvania Trader Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. She was most impressive last Friday week when she started out wide (barrier six) on the front line, dropped back to last and sustained a marvellous three-wide burst from the 950m to hit the front 250m from home and win from My Samantha Jane at a 1.56.3 rate over 1730m. That followed placings behind Libertybelle Midfrew, Jungle Jewel and Typhoon Tan at her three previous outings. My Samantha Jane, trained at Hazelmere by Mike Reed, will have many admirers from her favourable draw at No. 2 on the front line. Mark Reed should be able to get her to an early lead and then dictate terms. She had a perfect run behind the leader harper Grace when she finished strongly for her last-start second to The Parade. Capel trainer Andrew De Campo has two smart fillies engaged and both Maddy White and Typhoon Tan should be prominent from back-line draws. Aiden De Campo will drive Maddy White and Dylan Egerton-Green has been engaged for Typhoon Tan. Earlier in the program Chris Voak would dearly love to celebrate his 26th birthday by guiding Arousing to victory in the $25,000 Nexans Olex The Lombardo Pace for mares. But Chris Lewis could spoil the party by winning with Arousing's stablemate Selkie. Ross Olivieri trains last-start winners Arousing and Selkie, Selkie has the class to overcome barrier six on the front line, while Arousing should enjoy an ideal passage after starting from barrier two on the back line. by Ken Casellas
Now for the Lombardo final for Jungle Genie Classy New Zealand-bred pacer Jungle Genie leapt the first hurdle in her quest to win two feature events in the space of eight days when she produced a powerful burst to score a narrow victory in the $30,000 Clipsal And Schneider Electric Pace for four-year-old mares at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Her strong performance boosted the confidence of Forrestdale trainers Greg and Skye Bond that she will complete the double by proving too good for her rivals in the $25,000 final of the Lombardo Pace next Friday night. Jungle Genie, second favourite at 9/2, overcame the distinct disadvantage of starting from the outside of the back line when she relished the solid pace set by 9/1 chance Loving You. Colin Brown was content to keep Jungle Genie ninth position before starting a three-wide move in the final circuit. Miss Atomic, the 10/9 favourite, surprisingly was easily beaten out at the start when she was lethargic and lacked sparkle. Stablemate Loving You burst straight to the front from the No. 2 barrier and then was able to withstand an early challenge from Am Opulent. Miss Atomic slotted in behind the pacemaker and gained a fortuitous inside passage when Loving You, despite the efforts of reinsman Morgan Woodley, drifted off the pegs passing the 450m mark. Miss Atomic then took lead 150m later and Chris Lewis drove her vigorously in the home straight. But she was unable to hold out the fast-finishing Jungle Genie, who got to the front 120m from the post and won by a head from Miss Atomic, with 20/1 chance Bettor Dreams running on from tenth at the bell to be third, a head in front of Cielito. The final 800m was covered in 58.5sec. and Jungle Genie rated 1.57.2 over the 2130m. She has been wonderfully consistent for owners Greg Bond, Kevin, Rob and John Gartrell, Andrew Foster and Craig Hampson since arriving in Australia 13 months ago after managing just one third placing from five starts in New Zealand as a three-year-old. Her 34 WA starts have produced 14 wins and 13 placings and her win on Friday night boosted her earnings to $101,412. She is by Bettors Delight and is the second foal out of the Live Or Die mare Jungle Jane, who raced 43 times for six wins, ten placings and $58,371 in prizemoney. Im Themightyquinn on target for Queensland It's all systems go for Im Themightyquinn, who will enter the next phase of his remarkable career when he contests feature events at the annual Queensland winter carnival in Brisbane next month. The champion pacer rounded off his preparation with a thrilling last-gasp victory over stablemate My Hard Copy in the 2130m Clipsal Powerhouse Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night and he will travel by air to Brisbane on Thursday, with his driver Gary Hall jun. full of confidence. "I know that a lot of people will think that he hasn't come back anywhere near his best (after a nose victory over Crombie in the Pinjarra Cup followed by a two-length second to David Hercules at Gloucester Park)," Hall said. "But I'm glad that they are sort of writing us off again before we go to Queensland. "I've got no worries. He'll be excited because it will be a new place and once he gets into a genuinely-run race and is driven the way he likes to be driven, he'll prove his worth. "There aren't many horses capable of doing what he did tonight. I think that people expect him to just beat those horses easily because they consider those horses are not in the same class as he is. But those horses are hard to beat round here (the 805m circuit at Gloucester Park) when they run a slow lead time (69.9sec.) and then walk around the next half (60.9sec.) and then run a 55sec. last half. "That makes it almost impossible to come from the back in the field. Around the bend out of the front straight in the last lap I had a good hold of him and he was going pretty much as fast as he can go. That was a quarter in 27.6sec. off the front and he would have gone 27sec. "I think that in his old age he has got a bit dour. Tonight I just wanted to creep up on the others, nice and relaxed, but he's gone back to pulling a bit. It's always hard to do that (remaining relaxed) when he is out of his comfort zone and they're running 55sec. halves. "However, I always felt that he was going to win. I was still holding him a bit down the back straight. When we got to the breeze he thought that his job was done. But he knuckled down in the straight when I gave him two cuts with the whip. He dug in as deep as he ever has. "He's having a bit of trouble in recent races because they are so slow early and are not really genuine fast-class races. Generally there is no pressure put on the leader and he's finding it a bit tough with that. And the way the track is, horses from behind are having trouble getting past the leader when they're running quick times in the last lap. "I don't think that he's a hundred per cent fit yet. He's come in tonight a bit big, but that's not too much of a worry. He's got a lot ahead of him. He leaves by plane on Thursday and will be on the tarmac for an hour in Melbourne before continuing to Brisbane. "Once he gets over there he can really tighten up. I have no doubts that he has come back as good as ever." Champion trainer Gary Hall sen. will remain with Im Themightyquinn and prepare him at Shannon Price's property. Hall jun. will fly in and fly out to drive the nine-year-old in the $60,000 Sunshine Sprint at Albion Park on Saturday week (July 5) and the $100,000 Blacks A Fake Free-For-All a fortnight later. Providing that he performs strongly in those events, Im Themightyquinn will wind up his Queensland campaign in the $40,000 standing-start Redcliffe Cup on August 8. Im Themightyquinn was favourite at 10/1 on in Friday night's race in which he started from the No. 6 barrier on the front line. He was restrained back to last, while stablemate My Hard Copy, second fancy at 6/1 from the No. 2 barrier, bounced straight to the front for Clint Hall, with Shardons Rocket moving to the breeze after 450m. Hall jun. started a three-wide run with Im Themightyquinn with 900m to travel and the champion sustained his spirited finishing burst to get up and score in the final stride, rating 1.58.5 over the 2536m journey. Im Themightyquinn boosted his earnings to $4,468,736 from 56 wins and 33 placings from 108 starts. Pacific Black proving a wonderful bargain Baskerville trainer Sonia Zucchiatti and Adam Kirke made an inspired decision six years ago when they outlaid $20,000 to purchase Victorian-bred three-year-old Pacific Black. Now a nine-year-old, Pacific Black, ended a losing sequence of 27 when he sprinted home fast to score a surprise win at 18/1 in the 2503m Schneider Electric Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. This boosted Pacific Black's earnings for Zucchiatti and Kirke to $167,609 from 16 wins and 38 placings from 122 starts to take his career record to 143 starts for 21 wins, 46 placings and $190,684. As a three-year-old, Pacific Black won four races in a row in the month of August 2008, one at Shepparton and three at Wagga, before being advertised for sale. "I saw him advertised on the internet, on the Trading Ring, for $20,000," Zucchiatti said. "He had won four in a row and I thought that was a good enough reason to buy him. He had one start for us and won at Harold Park and now has won five city-class races at Gloucester Park. " Pacific Black certainly has made the most of the drop-down regulation which enables a pacer assessed M2 or better to drop down a classification every time he has a losing sequence of ten. Pacific Black has gradually dropped down in class and went into Friday night's race as an M1-class performer. He is now back to an M2 mark. Zucchiatti credits Pacific Black's longevity to racing almost exclusively in stands. His five city wins have been in stands and he has contested a mobile race only twice in his past 50 starts. "He pulls in mobiles and I've had to restrict him to stands in the past few years," she said. "He is getting old and basically he needs to race back on the fence. He travels better on the fence and if he gets the right run he'll finish thereabouts." Pacific Black started off the 10m mark on Friday night and Kim Prentice quickly manoeuvred the old gelding to the pegs, with 11/1 chance Telham Lane setting the pace. Pacific Black gained a split half-way down the home straight and he sprinted fast to gain the upper hand in the final couple of strides. Heez Orl Black bred to be a star It is little wonder that Heez Orl Black is developing into a smart performer. He is closely related to former champion pacer and highly-successful sire Christian Cullen. The New Zealand-bred five-year-old is by In The Pocket out of the unraced Holmes Hanover mare Cracker Kate, who is a half-sister to Christian Cullen, who earned $1,249,150 from 22 wins and four placings from 31 starts before developing into an outstanding sire. Cracker Kate is also a full-sister to Kates First, who had 65 starts for 19 wins, 19 placings and $624,023 in prizemoney. Kates First's successes included the New Zealand Oaks at Addington and the Queensland Oaks at Albion Park in 1997 when she defeated Concorde Lombo. She finished second to Holmes D G in the $250,000 Victoria Cup at Moonee Valley in January 1999 when she finished in front of Our Sir Vancelot, Tailamade Lombo and Iraklis. Heez Orl Black, owned by Max Grynberg, Bill Paterson, Tony and Ruth Thompson, Dave Kahl, Karen Hall, Frank Borrello and Trudi Spiniello, revealed tremendous pace to score an effortless victory in the Clipsal Saturn Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. This gave leading trainer Gary Hall sen. the first leg of a double and reinsman Kim Prentice the second leg of a double after an earlier success with Pacific Black. Heez Orl Black, favourite at 10/9 on from the coveted No. 1 barrier on the front line, had no difficulty in jumping straight to the lead. After a slow lead time of 8.6sec., the tempo increased when outsider Empire Flame began to overrace badly in the breeze and the first 400m section of the final mile whizzed by in 27.5sec., followed by a quarter of 28.8sec. Gary Hall jun. eased 4/1 third fancy Vapour from the one-out, one-back position to start a three-wide move 650m from home. The third quarter was covered in 29.2sec. and Heez Orl Black appeared vulnerable after such a hectic pace. However, Heez Orl Black revealed sparkling speed and great resilience to dash over the final quarter in 28sec. and win by five metres from Vapour, with Slick Chapel (7/2) running on from sixth at the bello to be third to give Hall sen. a trifecta result in the 1730m event. Heez Orl Black rated a sparkling 1.53.6 to improve his record to 59 starts for 14 wins, 16 placings and $190,065. He has had 27 starts in Western Australia for eight wins and eight placings. Macintosh surges from last to first New Zealand-bred four-year-old Macintosh looks well and truly on the path to many more wins when he impressed with a splendid last-to-first victory in the 2536m Clipsal Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Produced in fine fettle by veteran trainer Dick Moore, Macintosh, favourite at 6/4, was driven with supreme confidence by Colin Brown. Macintosh started from the outside of the back line and Brown was quite content to let the Mach Three gelding lob along in last position in the field of eleven. Four Grinners (15/1) set the pace and Brown had Macintosh travelling easily at the rear until Chris Voak started a three-wide move with Barkers Hall 1100m from home. Brown then followed the run of Barkers Hall and Macintosh exploded to the front 60m from the post to win easily by four metres from Four Grinners, with Barkers Hall three lengths away in third place. Macintosh rated 1.59.2 and took his West Australian record to seven wins from nine starts after having raced ten times in New Zealand for two wins and three third placings. Macintosh is the second foal out of Style By The Mile, who won once from 17 starts. Style By The Mile is a full-sister to Gomeo Romeo, who earned $340,193 from 13 wins and 12 placings from 52 starts. He was the winner of one group 1 and two group 2 events in New Zealand. Olivieri consolidates second place Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri maintained his recent run of successes with a double at Gloucester Park on Friday night and consolidated his spot in second place on the Metropolitan trainers' premiership table. Olivieri now has trained 54 city winners this season and trails Gary Hall sen. (143 wins), with Greg and Skye Bond in third place with 43 winners. Olivieri's winners on Friday night were Real Hammer and Finbar Abbey. Real Hammer, a Victorian-bred five-year-old, was second fancy at 9/4 who enjoyed the ideal passage behind the pacemaker and 11/4 chance Well Hello Dolly in the 1730m Schneider Acti 9 Pace before gaining a late split and finishing strongly to beat that mare by one metre, with 6/4 favourite Black Aquila a fighting third after working hard in the breeze. This gave Chris Lewis the first leg of a double, which he completed with the all-the-way win of Say It Now in the final event. Real Hammer, a recent addition to the Olivieri stable, has now raced 23 times in Western Australia for four wins and five placings to improve his career record to 12 wins, 14 placings and $100,062 from 52 starts. Finbar Abbey, driven by Chris Voak, was a 11/2 chance off the 20m mark in the 2503m Clipsal Lighting Handicap, in which former New Zealand performer Robyns Raider dominated betting and was favourite at 5/4 at his first appearance at Gloucester Park. Punters groaned when Robyns Raider galloped from the outside of the front line and lost several lengths. However, Colin Brown quickly got Robyns Raider back into a pacing gait and the four-year-old surged forward to assume control after 450m. Finbar Abbey settled down in ninth place before Voak sent him forward, three wide, after a lap to move to the breeze 1450m from home. The eight-year-old appeared under considerable pressure 250m from home when he was not responding particularly strongly to heavy punishment. However, he ran home with dogged determination to hit the front 50m from the post and win by a neck from 16/1 chance Thumpem, who was eighth on the pegs at the bell before finishing fast. Robyns Raider was a close third. Finbar Abbey, who has won at five of his nine starts for Olivieri, has earned $138,831 from 16 wins and 24 placings from 106 starts. $400 pacer takes earnings to $96,870 Four-year-old West Australian-bred mare Lucky Joy, unwanted as a yearling before being picked up for a mere $400 at a dispersal sale, boosted her earnings for Raelene and Ian Williams and their son Robbie to $96,870 when she stormed home to win the 2130m third heat of the Clipsal 56 Series Lombardo Pace for mares at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Robbie Williams, who trains Lucky Joy at Henley Brook, drove a typical patient race with the talented sit-sprinter, who started from barrier two on the back line and raced in sixth position in the one-wide line before unleashing a powerful finishing burst, out wide, to hit the front 70m from the post and win by a half-length from the fast-finishing 16/1 chance Ace of Cards. Hoylakes Firstlady, second fancy at 3/1, had a tough run in the breeze before fighting on to finish third, with the heavily-backed 6/4 favourite My Lady of the Night setting the pace and fading to finish sixth. Lucky Joy, by Canadian stallion Northern Luck, was third favourite at 9/2 and she impressed in dashing over the final 400m in 28.9sec. Her 30 starts have produced seven wins and 11 placings. Smooth Caesar is a giant-killer Giant pacer Smooth Caesar, a generally unfancied 21/1 chance, caused an upset when he stormed home from tenth and last 350m from home to beat 6/4 favourite Pride of Colorado in the 2130m Clipspec Claiming Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The powerfully-built eight-year-old has certainly been a great buy for Marie Bingham, who claimed him for $10,000 last November. Since then Smooth Caesar has won four races and been placed nine times for Pinjarra trainer-reinsman Kim Young, earning $46,985 in stakes to take his career record to 91 starts for 13 wins, 24 placings and $115,039. Polemarker Heavens Delight (7/4) set the pace from Pride of Colorado in the breeze, with Our Gent trailing the pacemaker and Elite Under Fire enjoying the one-out, one-back trail after having been fastest into stride from barrier five, but being unable to cross to the lead. Smooth Caesar, who started from the No. 3 barrier, was tucked away on the pegs and did not get into the clear until 420m from home. He was still last at the 350m mark when Young switched him five wide. After a third quarter in a slick 28.8sec., the final section was a considerably slower 30.2sec. and Smooth Caesar burst to the front 50m from the post before defeating Pride of Colorado by two metres. Veteran The Oyster Bar was a half-length away in third place. Say It Now has the last say Noted frontrunner Say It Now further illustrated the great advantage of the prized No. 1 barrier at Gloucester Park when Chris Lewis drove him to an all-the-way victory in the 1730m Clipsal and Schneider Electric Westbred Pathway Pace on Friday night. Say It Now was a well-fancied 7/4 second fancy, but many punters preferred the highly-promising four-year-old Bettor Party, who was favourite at 5/4 despite the marked disadvantage of starting from the outside of the front line of seven. Bettor Party was wisely eased back to last by Colin Brown, while the lack of any great pressure in the early stages enabled Lewis to rate Say It Now expertly in front, with modest opening quarters of the final mile in the sprint trip in 30sec. and a casual 31.1sec. This proved the decisive factor in the result. Brown started a three-wide move with Bettor Party approaching the bell and the gelding moved to seco0nd 320m from home and fought on with great determination. But after a third quarter in 29sec. Say It Now was able to sprint the final section in 28.4sec. and just hold Bettor Party at bay to score by a head at a 1.57.7 rate. Leftrightgoodnight tracked Bettor Party in the final lap and ran home strongly to be a close third. Say It Now, bred and owned by Kevin Charles and his son Kody, is prepared at Hopeland by Kevin Charles and the stallion showed early promise with wins in the 2012 South-West and Country Derbies. He has now earned $90,431 from 11 wins and 11 placings from 51 starts. He is related on his dam's side to former champion pacer Preux Chevalier, who won the 1985 interdominion championship at Moonee Valley, beating Village Kid, before being retired with earnings of $791,331 from 40 wins and nine placings from 53 starts. by Ken Casellas
Champion harness racing reinsman Chris Lewis, who is in peak form, has given punters an important lead by opting to drive Miss Atomic in preference to Loving You in the $30,000 Clipsal And Schneider Electric Four-Year-Old Mares Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The two West Australian-bred mares are prepared by former Victorian trainer Clive Dalton at owner-breeder Neven Botica's property at Herron, 60km north of Bunbury. Dalton also has a third runner in the Victorian-bred Diamonds A Blaze, who is also owned by Botica. Morgan Woodley has been engaged to drive Loving You, who has been handled by Lewis at her past four starts for a second, two thirds and a fourth placing. Lewis has driven Miss Atomic only twice in her 24-start career of nine wins and eight placings --- when eighth behind Four Legged Frenzy at Gloucester Park last August and at Bunbury last Saturday week when she started at 6/1 from the No. 6 barrier and finished strongly from eighth at the bell to win narrowly from Robyns C C at a 1.58.6 rate over 2100m. Dalton's prospects in Friday night's event improved sharply when Miss Atomic drew the prized No. 1 barrier on the front line, with Loving You favourably drawn at barrier two. Diamonds A Blaze faces a tougher task from the No. 6 barrier. However, her task is far from impossible after running home strongly to finish a close second at each of her past two starts, to Hooza Clever Dan at Bunbury and behind Wilkins Lucinda at Gloucester Park last Saturday night. Diamonds A Blaze shows good promise and has had 30 starts for five wins, six placings and $34,511 in prizemoney. Miss Atomic has raced 24 times for nine wins, eight placings and $54,771, while Loving You has earned $79,762 from eight wins and 15 placings from 41 starts. The race sets up an intriguing situation, with Miss Atomic and Loving You outstanding frontrunners. Miss Atomic has led throughout in four of her victories and has made most of the running in three of her other wins. Loving You has led all the way in five of her eight wins. While Miss Atomic and Loving You will be strongly fancied, so too will be Korobeit Angel, the best-performed mare in the event, with an M2 assessment. The former Victorian performer, who is trained by Gary Hall sen., is nicely drawn on the inside of the back line and should be in a commanding position throughout the 2130m event. Forrestdale trainers Greg and Skye Bond also hold a strong hand in the race. They will be represented by Am Opulent, Jungle Genie and Showstopper. Am Opulent possesses sparkling gate speed and it would come as no surprise if Ryan Warwick urges the New Zealand-bred mare forward from the No. 4 barrier when the mobile releases the field of 12. She led from barrier seven and won over 2185m at Pinjarra four starts ago. Jungle Genie fared badly in the random draw and will start from the outside of the back line. But she is a talented mare who has won at 13 of her 38 starts. She had no luck at Gloucester Park last Friday night when she started from barrier five and was restrained to the rear. The slow early pace told against her and she did very well to come from eighth with a three-wide burst from the 950m mark to finish second to the pacemaker Arousing over 2130m when the final 800m was covered in 57.5sec. Bettor Dreams, trained at Hopeland by Kim Prentice, cannot be underestimated. She has won at ten of her 26 starts and could land in a handy position from barrier three on the back line. Im Themightyquinn set for win No. 56 A wide barrier at No. 6 on the front line should prove no obstacle for champion pacer Im Themightyquinn to chalk up his 56th victory by proving too strong for his eight rivals in the $21,000 Clipsal Powerhouse Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. A win would certainly help to erase some of the memories of the shock defeat at the hands of the highly-talented David Hercules in a 2130m event last Friday night. Im Themightyquinn was magnificent in defeat. He raced without cover for the first 400m and then enjoyed an ideal passage, one-out and one-back. But a modest lead time of 37.6sec. and a leisurely first quarter of the final mile in 30.9sec. played into the hands of David Hercules, who revealed explosive speed in the final circuit when he sprinted over the final sections in 27.3sec. and 27.6sec. David Hercules was four lengths ahead of Im Themightyquinn at the 600m mark and he increased the lead to five lengths with 400m to travel. Im Themightyquinn fought on with great determination and was gallant in defeat. His task was virtually impossible. The 2536m of this week's event will suit Im Themightyquinn, who has raced over 2506m and 2536m at Gloucester Park 22 times for 13 wins, seven seconds, one third and one sixth placing. His trainer Gary Hall sen. holds a strong hand with four of the nine runners. He will also be represented by My Hard Copy, Our Arlington and Toretto. My Hard Copy, an up-and-coming four-year-old, is in sparkling form, with three wins and a close second at his four starts since resuming from a spell. A winner at 14 of his 40 starts, My Hard Copy is a noted frontrunner who should be capable of getting to an early lead from the No. 2 barrier, with seven-year-old Robbery (placed at only six of his past 20 starts) on his inside. Stablemates Lord Lombo (barrier three) and Leda McNally (five) possess good gate speed, but are unlikely to cross My Hard Copy in the early stages. Both pacers can also unwind powerful finishing bursts. Our Arlington caught the eye last Friday night when he was eighth in the middle stages and charged home, three wide, from sixth at the bell to be second to My Hard Copy in a fast-run 1730m event. Toretto should enjoy an ideal passage this week after starting from the inside of the back line. The New Zealand-bred five-year-old, a close second to stablemate Hokonui Ben in the $400,000 WA Pacing Cup in January, resumed after a spell last Friday night when he worked hard without cover before wilting to last behind David Hercules. He is sure to be vastly improved by the run. Bettor Party looks the best bet Punters should go home on good terms with themselves after backing the winner of the final event at Gloucester Park on Friday night. They will get a great run for their money if they support four-year-old Bettor Party in the 1730m Clipsal And Schneider Electric Westbred Pathway Pace. Bettor Party, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, has the natural speed and ability to overcome the serious disadvantage of starting from the outside barrier (seven) on the front line over the sprint journey. He was awesome at Pinjarra on Monday when he started from the No. 2 barrier and gave a dazzling frontrunning display to win by two lengths from Blissfull Boy, rating 1.55.3 over 1684m after sprinting over the final 800m in a sizzling 55.3sec. Bettor Party started from barrier six at his previous outing, over 2130m at Gloucester Park last Friday week when he raced four wide for the first 400m and then three wide before Colin Brown restrained him to the rear after a lap. Bettor Party was still 11th and last at the bell when he started a powerful three-wide move which ended with him finishing with great determination, seven wide, in the home straight, to finish second behind the frontrunner Paramedic. Chris Lewis looks certain to attempt an all-the-way win with noted frontrunner Say It Now, who will relish the No. 1 barrier. The Garry Butler-trained Atlastalone also is a speedy customer, who is well drawn at barrier three and is capable of a bold showing. However, Say It Now (who has led at six of his ten wins) and Atlastalone lack the sheer brilliance of Bettor Party, who should carry too many guns over the final stages. Robyns Raider suited in the stand New Zealand-bred four-year-old Robyns Raider, the youngest runner in the 2503m Clipsal Lighting Handicap on Friday night, has excellent prospects of making a successful debut at Gloucester Park. He will start from the outside of the front line and is an experienced standing-start campaigner, winning over 2600m at Addington and over 2700m at Gore before making an auspicious Australian debut by winning a 2116m stand at Pinjarra last Monday week. Robyns Raider started from 30m at Pinjarra when he raced out wide early and then in the breeze before winning easily from Getaway Plan and his stablemate Melton Express after covering the final 800m in 56.7sec. Robyns Raider, to be driven by Colin Brown, has had 34 starts for eight wins and ten placings and looks set for a bright career in Western Australia. He will not have tings all his own way on Friday night when he will clash with in-form standing-start specialists Finbar Abbey (20m) and Ohoka Courage (10m). Finbar Abbey surged home from sixth at the bell to win by a length from the fast-finishing Ohoka Courage (eighth with a lap to travel) in as 2503m stand last Friday night. The Bonds have two runners, Well Hello Dolly and Im Terrific, in the 1730m Schneider Acti 9 Pace, in which Black Aquila, a superb winner for leading trainer Gary Hall sen. last Friday night, will be all the rage. However, Well Hello Dolly (barrier one) and Im Terrific (No. 2) are capable of surprising. Each is a smart frontrunner. Well Hello Dolly has been unplaced at her five starts since resuming after a spell, but she will appreciate the sprint journey. She set the pace before fading over the final 400m to finish seventh (and last) behind Conniving Major Dave and This Time Dylan in considerably stronger company over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Tuesday of last week. She ruined her chances by pulling hard and the stewards warned the mare's connections that she was on her last chance to race competitively. Im Terrific set the pace before wilting to sixth behind Reuben Brogden over 2536m last Friday night. He will appreciate the shorter distance this week. by Ken Casellas
Stylish gelding Isaiah Artois has the $125,000 Golden Slipper on July 18 firmly in his sights after giving a bold frontrunning display to score a decisive victory in a drama-filled International Health Pearl Classic at Gloucester Park on Friday night. All honours were with Isaiah Artois, third favourite at 15/2 who was produced in great shape by Byford trainer David Thompson and was driven with aggression and confidence by Colin Brown. But there was a sad tale of woe, with the 2/1 on favourite The Odd Lover having his off-side sulky tyre punctured 100m after the start. In Nyrobi overraced badly when the mobile barrier released the field and Gary Hall jun. had a hectic time trying to settle the youngster who was virtually uncontrollable. Hall had a battle in trying to steer In Nyrobi as he attempted to guide him towards the outside fence. As he desperately tried to manoeuvre In Nyrobi away from behind The Odd Lover (racing three wide) In Nyrobi's near front leg clipped the wheel of The Odd Lover's sulky. Kim Prentice then dashed The Odd Lover forward to move into the breeze after 550m. Mister Atomic had galloped at the start and Morgan Woodley sent Nitro Lad into the lead before Isaiah Artois surged to the front after 200m. Punters realised that there was a serious problem when Prentice took a sustained look at The Odd Lover's off-side sulky wheel as the field raced down the front straight to receive the bell. The tyre was flattened, but stayed on the rim. However, the tube had become loose and had become wrapped around the axel. The Odd Lover, under the massive disadvantage of having to pull his disabled sulky, began to wilt half-way down the back straight in the final circuit and as Prentice was easing him back towards the rear approaching the home turn The Odd Lover was tightened and broke into a gallop. He finished 105m behind the winner in eleventh position. Steve Johnson, the breeder and owner of Isaiah Artois, was delighted with the victory and paid tribute to the professional care of Thompson and his wife Karen as well as the skill of Brown. "We came here tonight expecting that the Odd Lover would be extremely hard to beat," he said. "And I feel a little bit sorry for Kim Prentice, having to carry a flat tyre." After a reasonable lead time of 37.7sec., Isaiah Artois had the luxury of coasting through the first 400m section of the final mile in 31.4sec. before covering the next quarters in 29.4sec., 29.8sec. and 30.1sec. He rated 1.59.7 over the 2130m and defeated 11/2 second fancy Artillery Major by a length, with almost a length to Kasey Kahne (15/1) in third place. Artillery Major finished solidly from fifth on the pegs at the bell and Kasey Kahne came from seventh with a lap to travel. Isaiah Artois has had six starts for four wins and two thirds for stakes of $74,698. He is by Art Major and is the second foal out of Endless Journey (by American stallion Die Laughing) who had nine starts in Western Australia as a two and three-year-old in 2006 and 2007 for two minor placings and stakes of $2560. Endless Journey is a half-sister to Like A Dame, the dam of top-flight seven-year-old David Hercules, who had set the pace and beaten Im Themightyquinn 30 minutes before the win of Isaiah Artois in the Pearl. Endless Journey is out of Victorian-bred mare Hold Tight, whose five winners included Fake Embrace, winner of the Sales Classic for two-year-old colts and geldings at Gloucester Park in March 1994. Fake Embrace earned $240,249 from 37 wins and 40 placings from 178 starts. David Hercules claims a mighty scalp In ancient times the mythical Greek divine hero Hercules was famous for his strength and was acclaimed for slaying, bare-handed, the ferocious Nemean lion, a vicious monster who was considered indestructible. The modern-day Hercules appeared in the form of David Hercules at Gloucester Park on Friday night when his victim was Australasia's greatest pacer Im Themightyquinn. Im Themightyquinn was considered a certainty by most pundits, but he had his colours lowered by David Hercules, who proved too speedy for his illustrious rival in the 2130m KA Cleans And Flushes Pace. David Hercules, resuming after a spell, charged straight to the front from the No. 2 barrier and he relished his pacemaking role before beating Im Themightyquinn by just over two lengths, with Dundee Three finishing strongly from seventh on the pegs at the bell to be 10m away in third place. Im Themightyquinn, favourite at 2/1 on, started from barrier three and raced without cover for the first 550m before Toretto assumed the position in the breeze. Morgan Woodley rated David Hercules perfectly, and after opening quarters of the final mile in 30.9sec. and 29.1sec. the West Australian-bred seven-year-old gave his rivals very little chance by sprinting brilliantly over the final two quarters in 27.3sec. and 27.6sec. Im Themightyquinn, driven for the first time in a race by Clint Hall, started a three-wide move towards the end of the back straight in the final circuit. He finished solidly, but found the task beyond him. Woodley admitted he was more than pleasantly surprised at the splendid first-up performance from David Hercules, a clear second favourite at 5/2 at his first appearance for just over three months. "He exceeded my expectations," he said. "I went out thinking that if I could pinch an easy time early he might have a good chance of finishing close with Im Themightyquinn. My suspicion was that Im Themightyquinn, with race fitness under his belt and the way he has been racing in such a rich vein of form, would prove a little bit too good for us. "The lead time (37.6sec.) and the leisurely first quarter (30.9sec.) allowed me to be really up tempo from the 1200m and make it very hard for anything from behind. He certainly did exceed my expectations and I was very happy with him and the most positive thing to come out of it is that I think that he will improve. "I believe it was the winning move, sprinting the third quarter in 27.3sec. It wasn't premeditated, it wasn't a plan; it just seemed like the right thing to do. So I rolled the dice and threw caution to the wind down the back straight and tried to pinch a good break. "As we turned into the back straight the last time I had a look over my shoulder and saw that Im Themightyquinn still hadn't pulled out off the back of Toretto, and I thought, well now's my chance. If I can pinch a couple of lengths here and he has to be going sideways while I'm going forward, well I can really make a race of it. "Fortunately David Thompson had the horse right, and this made my drive look good. A lot of times you can try things like that, but if the horse isn't up to the mark they will wilt over the final stages and you will have egg on your face. So credit is due to David for having the horse so forward. "David Hercules ran out a little bit in the home straight, but that is not something that's of great concern. If it was the first time he had done it, then I would be worried. It seems to be quite a consistent thing with him. He has raced with block blinkers on from time to time and, who knows, moving forward, it might be the case that he goes back and has some form of eye-wear to keep him a little more focused and straight. "He's quite a large horse and I think that some of this is probably because he is running too quickly for his frame. Im Themightyquinn is pint-sized compared to David Hercules." David Hercules, owned by David Botha and Jeneen Johnson, has amassed $820,304 in prizemoney from 30 wins and 31 placings from 88 starts. The Parade, a model of consistency A wide barrier did not prove a disadvantage for talented filly The Parade, who maintained her wonderful consistency when she sustained a powerful burst from last to win the 1730m Electromix-Electrolytes And Sweat Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Despite her excellent form, including her second to the brilliant Libertybelle Midfrew in the WA Oaks last month, many punters overlooked her claims and she started at a gift price of 7/1 from the No. 6 barrier on the front line. Boyanup trainer Justin Prentice wisely restrained The Parade back to last at the start, while polemarker and 5/4 on favourite Harper Grace was put under plenty of early pressure, first from Maddy White (5/1) and then Jungle Jewel (8/1). This resulted in a fast opening quarter of the final mile in 28.2sec. After a second section in 30.1sec., Harper Grace led from Jungle Jewel at the bell, with My Samantha Jane (11/1) next on the pegs and Maddy White in the one-out, one-back position. Prentice started a three-wide move 950m from home and The Parade sustained a strong burst to take the lead with 250m to travel. The final sections went by in 28.9sec. and 29.8sec. and the winner rated a slick 1.56.3. She won by 2m from My Samantha Jane, with 5m to Maddy White in third place. Harper Grace weakened to finish fourth. The Parade has earned $108,144 from seven wins and eight placings from 20 starts. She is by American stallion Real Desire and is the first foal out of unraced Badlands Hanover mare Hearty Lass, whose dam Atomic Lass produced former champion Auckland Reactor (53 starts for 32 wins, four placings and $1,837,043) and Taihape Tickler, who had 113 starts for 19 wins, 19 placings and $183,919. The Parade's win completed a double for Prentice, who was successful earlier in the night with the Ken Kirke-trained The Pacing Priest. Finbar Abbey and Arousing win for Olivieri and Voak Veteran New Zealand-bred pacer Finbar Abbey, who holds the unique distinction of being the only horse to have won a race in Australia in which outstanding four-year-old Alta Christiano tasted defeat, gave Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri and reinsman Chris Voak the first leg of a double at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he finished strongly to win the 2503m Ironvita Blood And Oxygen Handicap. The pair completed the double when Arousing was successful in the second qualifying heat of the Neutra Syrup Netralises And Removes Lombardo Pace. Finbar Abbey, a 4/1 chance, began speedily from the 10m mark, and after racing wide early, slotted in to the one-out, one-back position, with Bartowski setting the pace from Gallileo in the breeze. Shardons Rocket, the 30m backmarker, surged forward, three wide, in the first lap before eventually getting to the front 1270m from home. This relegated Finbar Abbey to sixth in the one-wide line, but Voak remained patient before he switched Finbar Abbey three wide at the 600m mark. Finbar Abbey dashed to the front 50m from the post and won by a length from 5/1 chance Ohoka Courage, who was eighth at the bell and followed the last-lap three-wide run of the winner. Heez Orl Black, the 6/4 favourite, who moved to the breeze 950m from home, wilted to fifth. Finbar Abbey, who won the 2902m Easter Cup from Polak and Alta Christiano on April 17, has flourished under Olivieri's care and looks set for further successes. The eight-year-old has had 105 starts for 15 wins and 24 placings for stakes of $127,281. He had 63 starts in New Zealand for five wins and 14 placings before arriving in Australia. Arousing, second fancy at 4/1, made the most of the prized No. 1 barrier when she set a moderate early pace before covering the final 800m in 57.5sec. to beat 5/4 favourite Jungle Genie by one and a half lengths. This ended a losing sequence of nine and boosted her earnings to $102,696 from ten wins and 24 placings from 92 starts. Jungle Genie was not suited by the dawdling pace and did a good job to come from seventh at the bell. Olivieri and Voak kept up the good work at Gloucester Park on Saturday night when 5/2 chance Hes Ritehererightnow finished strongly to win a 2503m stand from Ardens Southee. Elson and Young strike purple patch Owner-trainer Gary Elson and reinsman Kim Young completed a wonderfully successful week when they combined to score an upset victory with 44/1 outsider Reuben Brogden in the2536m Min-A-Vit Racing And Breeding Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. This followed wins with two-year-old Mister Ardee and three-year-old Class of Tara at Pinjarra on Monday and two-year-old Arturus at Gloucester Park on Tuesday. Reuben Brogden, a New Zealand-bred five-year-old, started from the outside of the back line and he was last in the field of 12 after a lap before storming home from the rear at the bell to snatch a last-stride victory by a head from 5/4 favourite Slick Chapel, with Vapour (9/4) a close third after appearing certain to win when he led clearly on the home turn. Polemarker Im Terrific set the pace until Lauren Jones sent Vapour (sixth at the bell) to the front at the 400m mark. Gary Hall jun. then issued a spirited challenge with Slick Chapel, who had followed Vapour's three-wide run in the final circuit. Vapour began to wilt in the closing stages and was overhauled by Reuben Brogden and Slick Chapel. The final 800m was covered in 59.5sec. and Reuben Brogden rated 1.58.4. Young drove vigorously in the home straight and earned a $400 fine from the stewards for an incorrect whip action. Reuben Brogden, who finished third to Im Victorious in the Golden Nugget Championship at Gloucester Park in December 2012, has been lightly raced and his win on Friday night improved his record to 36 starts for 14 wins and ten placings for stakes of $114,936. The son of American stallion Real Desire, Reuben Brogden was placed twice from three starts in New Zealand in October 2011 before coming to WA. He is the first foal out of Presidential Ball mare Ruby Choozday, who had eight starts for one win, two placings and $5970. Spectacular debut by Spectactular New Zealand-bred five-year-old Spectactular, a standing-start specialist in his home country with five wins in stands, revealed sparkling early speed from behind the mobile at Gloucester Park on Friday night when made an impressive Australian debut with an effortless victory in the 2130m Mecworma And Bot Worming Paste Pathway Pace. Produced in fine fettle by leading trainer Gary Hall sen., Spectactular, hot favourite at 3/1 on, gave Gary Hall jun. an armchair drive as he bowled along in front before sprinting over the final 400m in 27.8sec. to win by just over four lengths from polemarker Kristoff, who had trailed him throughout. Spectactular rated 1.57.4 to improve his record to nine wins and six placings from 37 starts for stakes of $64,862. By Christian Cullen, he is the eighth foal out of New York Motoring mare Tact Hayley, who was placed at five of her 11 starts before being retired to the breeding barn. Halls maintain their dominance with two trebles The all-conquering combination of master trainer Gary Hall sen. and champion reinsman Gary Hall jun. maintained their outstanding form with another three winners at Gloucester Park on Friday night. They were successful with Black Aquila (5/2), Spectactular (3/1 on) and My Hard Copy (2/1 on) and then they combined with another treble at Gloucester Park on Saturday night, scoring with Massive Attack, VC Manoeuvre and Soho Lennon. Black Aquila, a newcomer to the Hall stable, gave a powerful display to win the 1730m Protexin Multi Strain Probiotic Pace from Desirable Guy and Roy Bolt. He started from the No. 5 barrier on the front line and raced three wide for the first 550m before moving into the breeze outside the pacemaker Roy Bolt. Black Aquila moved on terms with the leader 450m from home before taking a clear lead 150m later and racing away to score by a length and a half at a 1.56.8 rate after the final 800m was covered in a slick 57.3sec. Owned by Michael Young, Courtney Burch and John Young, Black Aquila showed early promise when he won the group 1 Sales Classic for two-year-old colts and geldings at Gloucester Park in April 2011 when he defeated Polak and El Machine. The son of Totally Ruthless, he is bred to be a good winner. He is the first foal out of the unraced Il Vicolo mare My Date With Destiny, whose dam Baltic Flight produced Baltic Eagle, whose 40 starts produced 21 wins, seven placings and stakes of $746,980. Baltic Eagle's wins included the WA Pacing Cup, Fremantle Cup and interdominion championship in Christchurch early in 2003, the FTC Members Sprint in November 2003 and the Celebrity Mile at Gloucester Park in December 2004. New Zealand-bred four-year-old My Hard Copy maintained his outstanding form when he was untroubled to set the pace and win easily from strong-finishing stablemate Our Arlington and Black Pontiac in the 1730m Horsport Rehydration And Recovery Pace. My Hard Copy set a cracking pace and reeled off quarters in 28.4sec., 28.9sec., 29sec. and 27.9sec. He now has earned $146,047 from 14 wins and 13 placings from 40 starts. The Pacing Priest prevails A pre-emptive strike by reinsman Justin Prentice paid dividends when he guided the injury-plagued The Pacing Priest to a narrow victory in a punishing finish to the 2503m Sootha Nerves And Stress Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The well-supported New Zealand-bred eight-year-old (9/2) started from the inside of the 10m line and settled down in tenth position on the pegs before Prentice seized the initiative by dashing the gelding forward, three wide, after 750m to move outside the pacemaker Turbo Gold (40/1) with 1450m to travel. Prentice was content to leave The Pacing Priest in the breeze until he urged the gelding forward to take the lead 250m from home. The Pacing Priest then fought on doggedly to score by a metre from 9/2 chance Bubbles And Bling, who came from 11th at the bell and followed the three-wide run of Trojan Bromac before going four wide at the 300m mark and finishing strongly. Turbo Gold held on to finish third. The Pacing Priest, who is trained at West Swan by Ken Kirke, ended a losing sequence of ten and improved his record to 45 starts for ten wins, 13 placings and $110,451 in prizemoney. by Ken Casellas
Superstar Im Themightyquinn will have a new driver when he contests the $21,000 KA Cleans And Flushes Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He will be handled for the first time in a race by Clint Hall, elder son of the champion pacer's trainer Gary Hall sen., with regular driver Gary Hall jun. taking the reins behind Toretto. "Clint is driving him .... Just to give him the experience," Hall sen. said. "Im Themightyquinn has gone super since his Pinjarra Cup win." Im Themightyquinn will start from the No. 3 barrier on the front line and is unlikely to have everything his way when he clashes with David Hercules, Crombie and his stablemate Toretto. Im Themightyquinn, who has amassed $4,451,096 from 55 wins, 19 seconds and 13 thirds, has been handled by only seven reinsmen in his Fabulous 106-start career. Hall jun. has driven him to victory 47 times. The remarkable New Zealand-bred gelding has also been driven by Kim Prentice (one win), Greg Bennett (one), Shayne Cramp (no wins), Ricky May (four), Dexter Dunn (one) and Mark Jones (one). "We always planned to give Clint a drive on Quinny at some stage," Hall jun. explained. Friday night's event looks to be an intriguing affair, with the richly-talented David Hercules resuming after a spell for trainer David Thompson, Crombie starting from the prized No. 1 barrier after finishing strongly to be a nose second to Im Themightyquinn in the 2692m Pinjarra Cup on Monday of last week, and Toretto, a nose second to Hokonui Ben in the WA Pacing Cup in mid-January, resuming after a spell. Morgan Woodley, driver of David Hercules, predicted that the race would not be a cakewalk for Im Themightyquinn, saying: "I'll be looking to make it difficult for Im Themightyquinn. I'm hoping that David Hercules is forward enough to really stretch his neck." David Hercules, who has won at four of his ten first-up runs, is favourably drawn at the No. 2 barrier on the front line and Woodley is keen to send the seven-year-old to an early lead and then set the pace. "David Hercules trialled well at Byford on Sunday morning," Woodley said. "He drew the inside of the back row behind Toretto, who led and rated 1.55.9, a nice rate over 2150m around the Byford track. "I eased David Hercules out about 1000m from home and took a bit of closer order. They ran the last half in 56 seconds and David Hercules finished third, only about one and a half lengths from the winner, Toretto. Being the nice horse that he is, I think he will certainly be improved by the run. "If he is able to get to his favourite role in front I am sure he will give a great account of himself. Crombie has led in the past, but he is getting on a little bit in his career and in recent times he seems to be racing a bit better when driven a bit more conservatively. "He sat back on the pegs in the Pinjarra Cup and made some nice late ground against Im Themightyquinn. So, given his inside draw, he certainly will be one of the main dangers to both myself and Im Themightyquinn." Toretto, who will start from barrier five, has not raced for four and a half months. But he has had a solid preparation and is sure to be prominent. He has contested a 2150m trial at Byford on each of the past four Sundays for three wins and a second. Before leading and winning last Sunday Toretto had worked in the breeze before finishing strongly at his three previous trials. Toretto appeals as the likely breeze horse in Friday night's race, particularly as Lombo Navigator (who has worked in the breeze in many of his races) is reappearing after a four-month break and his new trainer-reinsman Ryan Bell is likely to be reluctant to give the seven-year-old a tough first-up run. Woodley has opted to drive David Hercules in preference to the speedy Dundee Three, who finished strongly when a close fourth in the Pinjarra Cup, after stylish Gloucester Park wins at his two previous outings. Owner-trainer Stephanie Smith has engaged Chris Lewis to drive Dundee Three, who faces a stern test from out wide at the No. 6 barrier. Prentice praises The Odd Lover Hopeland harness racing trainer-reinsman Kim Prentice is excited at the wonderful potential of The Odd Lover and is bubbling with confidence about the colt's winning prospects in the $100,000 International Animal Health Pearl Classic at Gloucester Park on Friday night. "He's got heaps of raw ability and is a very good horse," he said. "He hasn't had the deafeners pulled yet and I'm sure he will find a lot more lengths once we pull them." That was the chilling warning issued to the connections of the other two-year-olds who will contest the group 1 classic over 2130m. Prentice is fully aware of what is required to win the Pearl after having trained and driven 6/4 on favourite Your Call Lombo for his brilliant all-the-way victory over Spanna and Winforus in the 2002 Pearl. Your Call Lombo smashed the race record with a 1.57.5 rate over 1740m. The New Zealand-bred The Odd Lover, owned by Robert Watson, was the fastest of the three heat winners at Gloucester Park on Tuesday of last week, rating 1.58.2, which was considerably faster than the rate set by the other heat winners, Artillery Major (2.3.2) and Isaiah Artois (2.0.4). The Odd Lover began out wide at barrier six in his heat and Prentice restrained him at the start and the colt settled down almost seven lengths behind the early leader In Nyrobi before he urged him forward, three wide to burst to the front after 550m had been covered. He bowled along in front and sped over the final 800m in 56.9sec. The Ross Olivieri-trained Artillery Major, who set the pace in his heat, covered the final 800m in 58.9sec. and Isaiah Artois, prepared by David Thompson, came home in 58.5sec. The Odd Lover, who is by Art Major, races with his head held low, and he raced with spreaders at his latest appearance. "He had been brushing his off-side knee and was losing his confidence a little bit," Prentice explained. "So I put the spreaders on in his final track workout before the qualifying heat and he went a lot better. He will probably wear them for the rest of his two-year-old career, but I'm sure as a three-year-old he will not need them." Regarding the colt's habit of racing with his head held low, Prentice said that he worked him with a head check before he made his race debut with an easy win at Northam in late April. "But before his first start I removed the head check and put his hopples right out, and he just went a lot better," Prentice said. "Since I've had the head check off he has paced a lot better and has found a lot more speed. "I was trying different things, the one percenters, trying to get him perfect. He still hangs a bit, but he's got heaps of raw ability." The Odd Lover will start out wide at the No. 6 barrier on Friday night, but this is not causing Prentice any great concern. "In his two trials he showed very good gate speed and I've got no doubt that if I want to come out of the gate he can come out humming. He crossed from barrier five or six in his second trial at Byford." Chris Lewis gave punters a good lead when he opted to drive Artillery Major (from the favourable barrier No. 2 on the front line) ahead of the Bryan Cousins-trained In Nyrobi, whom he has driven at his only three starts for three second placings. In Nyrobi led for the first 550m in his heat and then trailed the pacemaking The Odd Lover before finishing gamely to be second, just under two lengths behind the winner. Cousins has engaged Gary Hall jun. to drive In Nyrobi and Hall is hoping that the unfavourable barrier No. 11 (four out on the back line) will be an omen for success. Hall drove 11/4 chance Swagga for trainer Kristie Morrone in last year's Pearl when the colt settled in tenth position and charged home from fifth at the bell to win by ten and a half lengths from the 10/9 on favourite Mister Jadore. Hall drove Go West U Terror for Cousins when he started from barrier two and set the pace before winning the 2009 Pearl by just under ten lengths from Soho Dionysus. Hall also won the Pearl behind the Jesse Moore-trained The Jobs On in 2004 and the Kevin Keys-trained Itsallabout Nicole in 2009. Lewis has won the Pearl with the Olivieri-trained Lombo Laredo (1994) and Argent Treasure (2007) and in 1995 with Mitemptation, who was trained by his wife Debra. Olivieri said that Artillery Major was capable of a bold showing on Friday night. "He should strip a bit fitter than he did when he raced first-up and won his heat," he said. "First-up, he was a bit slack in front, but when the challenges came he held them comfortably. He should be the early leader and will run a good race." The speedy Isaiah Artois cannot be discounted after winning in good style at each of his past three starts. He will start from barrier five on the front line and possesses good gate speed. Trainer Peter Anderson and reinsman Morgan Woodley, who combined to win the Pearl in 2008 with the brilliant James Matthew, will be represented by Nitro Lad, who will start from barrier three on the front line. He is the most experienced runner in the race, having had ten starts for one win (at Narrogin in March) and seven minor placings. He will be at long odds. Bond fancies Jungle Genie Forrestdale horseman Greg Bond, who trains Jungle Genie in partnership with his wife Skye, is confident the four-year-old will maintain her consistent form and prove hard to beat in the second heat of the Neutra Syrup Neutralises And Removes Lombardo Pace for mares at Gloucester Park on Friday night. "She's drawn a bit wide (No. 5), but she's more of a sit-sprint horse and is a good chance," he said. "The race lacks a bit of depth and hopefully there will be a bit of genuine speed. She can sit on speed and kick real good." Jungle Genie, who will be driven by Colin Brown, has won at 13 of her past 32 starts and she finished strongly from sixth at the bell to be second to Macintosh over 1684m at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon when the final 800m was covered in a slick 55.5sec. The Bonds also have two other runners in Friday night's event, four-year-olds Am Opulent and Showstopper. Am Opulent, a smart Pinjarra winner on Monday of last week, finished last in a field of seven behind Selkie at Gloucester Park last Friday night. "She was travelling well when she clipped a wheel and broke," Bond said. "It wasn't her fault and she should be running on this week." Showstopper faces a hard task from barrier six. She has not been dangerous when she started from the back line and finished eighth at Pinjarra at her past two starts. She was an easy all-the-way winner in moderate company at Harvey three starts ago. Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri said he expected Arousing to, prove hard to beat after drawing the prized No. 1 barrier. "This will suit her and she is capable of leading and she is a good chance," he said. Jungle Genie's younger half-sister Jungle Jewel has sound prospects in the Electromix Electrolytes And Sweat Pace for three-year-old fillies on Friday night. "She went great at Pinjarra on Monday and won with a leg in the air," Bond said. "But this is a step up in class against fillies like The Parade, Maddy White, Harper Grace and All About Pink. They show good ability and Jungle Jewel will need some luck from barrier five." Morgan Woodley, who will drive Harper Grace for owner Steve Johnson and trainer David Thompson, said that the filly had sound prospects, even though she has been unplaced at her past five starts. "I think she has a great chance from barrier one over 1730m," he said. "The statistics say that we're in with a good chance, purely on the distance and the barrier draw. I was impressed with Harper Grace's latest run when she made nice late ground to finish fifth behind Typhoon Tan. "She got wide on the last turn in a race in which they did slip home in relatively good time, and I thought that she hit the line well. The barrier draw and short trip really bring us in with a really good chance." Spectacular poised for debut victory New Zealand-bred five-year-old Spectacular should make a successful Australian debut by winning the 2130m Mecworma And Bot-Worming Paste Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Leading trainer Gary Hall sen. said that the Christian Cullen gelding was "nothing special," but looked the goods from his ideal barrier at No. 2 on the front line over 2130m. Spectacular has won five stands in New Zealand, but is also a capable mobile performer, with three wins in mobile events. He last appeared when he started from 20m, raced four back on the pegs and finished strongly along the inside to hit the front 30m from the post and score narrowly in a four-way photo finish, rating 2.0.7 over 2700m at Waikato.. Two starts before that he won an 1800m mobile event, rating 2.7.6 on the grass track at Wanganui when he was sixth early and then in the one-out, one-back position before spring fast in the home straight to hit the front 80m from the post. by Ken Casellas
Star filly Tricky Styx is being set for the $125,000 Golden Slipper on July 18 after she produced her typical whirlwind finishing burst to snatch a thrilling last-stride victory in the group 1 $100,000 Del Basso Smallgoods Diamond Classic at Gloucester Park on Friday night. "I think she has earned the chance to run in the Slipper," Northam trainer Jesse Moore said after Aiden De Campo had driven Tricky Styx to a head victory over Soho Tokyo. And the 22-year-old de Campo is looking forward to the challenge of contesting the Golden Slipper with Tricky Styx against the colts and geldings, saying: "She's a quality filly who has proved that she can race against the boys with her win in the Champagne Classic." Tricky Styx showed her class in the group 2 Champagne Classic early in May when she overcame the outside barrier and the task of charging home from the rear after settling in last position. Tricky Styx, who started from barrier two on the back line on Friday night, was sent out at the surprisingly good odds of 9/2, with Major Reality (10/9) and polemarker Sea Me Smile (13/4) more popular with punters. Major Reality was smartest into stride from the No. 3 barrier, but was unable to cross Sea Me Smile, who kicked up strongly on the inside to hold out Soho Tokyo and Tricky Styx. Justin Prentice quickly was able to get Major Reality into the one-out, one-back position behind Soho Tokyo (in the breeze), with Tricky Styx settling in seventh position. Massive Attack started a three-wide move after about 500m and Prentice eased Major Reality three wide with 950m to travel. It was a line of three in front passing the 400m mark, with de Campo having eased Tricky Styx out of a pocket and into the three-wide line 450m from home. Michael Stanley got Soho Tokyo (8/1) to a narrow lead on the home turn and Tricky Styx was fourth (and winding up) 90m from the post. She then flew to gain the verdict over Soho Tokyo in the final stride. The final quarters were covered in 28.7sec. and 29.1sec. and Tricky Styx rated 1.58.1 over the 1730m. "We got a dream trip," de Campo said. "But at the 400m she didn't let down as good as I thought she could. However, at the top of the straight she really started motoring. I think that she might have been a touch below her very best, but she still got the job done. Jesse wasn't one hundred per cent happy with her before the race. He said that her past two runs had not been as good as her two previous runs. Jesse is a very astute trainer and will have her ready for her next assignment. "I didn't pull the plugs because she doesn't respond to that. She has the plugs in, but you don't pull them. She is quite temperamental and you can't hit her too hard, either. "She is not the easiest horse to drive and she gets around a bit and it is a credit to Jesse that her race manners have improved immensely over the past six to seven weeks. She is probably green more than anything. Jesse had the block blinkers on early and then he took them off and put the Dollies on --- and that has been a big key to how she has been racing." Tricky Styx, by American stallion Jeremes Jet, is certainly proving a wonderful bargain for the 69-year-old Moore, who paid just $NZ5000 to buy the filly for his wife Maree at the New Zealand yearling sales in Christchurch early last year. Tricky Styx now has earned $110,435 from five wins and one placing from eight starts. Ultimate Major makes it four to Lewis Champion reinsman Chris Lewis was in dashing form at Gloucester Park on Friday night, landing four winners. He ended the night on a high with an astute frontrunning drive to score a smart win with 13/4 chance Ultimate Major in the 2536m Del Basso Smallgoods Pace for three-year-olds. He had been successful earlier in the night with the Ross Olivieri-trained trio of Shelby Cruzin, Might Be Luck and Selkie. Ultimate Major, a relatively inexperienced New Zealand-bred colt, gives promise of developing into a very smart pacer, and Aiden De Campo, son of Capel trainer Andrew De Campo, said that long-range plans for Ultimate Major included the rich group 1 Golden Nugget Championship next season. "He's a funny horse with a lot of speed and his record in New Zealand was very good and, hopefully, he will continue to improve," de Campo said. "The Golden Nugget will be his main aim. "After he arrived from New Zealand in February he tried rushing him for the WA Derby and didn't have enough time to have him ready. At his WA debut early in April he went very badly in the Western Gateway Classic (distanced behind Elegant Christian). So we freshened him up and now he's racing well. "He is a funny kind of horse. When he's in front he switches right off, like he did tonight. But when that horse (Mista Rush) got to him he lifted and was running through the line strongly." Ultimate Major clearly won the start from the No. 1 barrier and Lewis was able to give the colt an easy time early, with the first 400m section of the final mile going by in a pedestrian 32.3sec. before he increased the tempo with sections of 30.2sec., 29.1sec. and 28.4sec. He led clearly half-way down the home straight and had almost a full length to spare in defeating 3/1 second fancy Mista Rush, who was last at the bell and unwound a sparkling late burst. Soho Lennon, the 6/4 favourite, had a tough run before finishing third. He was trapped three wide for the first 500m and then worked hard in the breeze. Ultimate Major, owned by Paul and Tony Poli, won at two of his four New Zealand starts and he now has a record of nine starts for five wins, one placing and stakes of $37,225. He is a half-brother to Pas Ultimate Delight, who has had three starts in New South Wales for two wins, including a group 3 event for mares in Dubbo. Ultimate Major's maternal granddam Abbeybell produced Our Awesome Armbro, a winner in New Zealand, Australia and America before retiring with a fine record of 184 starts for 37 wins, 42 placings and $849,309. Lewis and de Campo continued in winning vein at Bunbury on Saturday night, with Lewis driving three winners (Major Rush, Miss Atomic and Onedin Crusader) and de Campo training a double with Captain Proud and Typhoon Tan. Olivieri praises Selkie Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri predicted a bright future for Selkie after Chris Lewis had driven the five-year-old to an effortless victory in the first heat of the Little Caesars Pizzas Lombardo Pace for mares at Gloucester Park on Friday night. "She is one of the better mares I have trained," he said. "I have trained a lot of good mares and Selkie rates pretty highly with some of the best of them. "Gliding Princess is the best mare, by far, that I have trained. She is only the third filly in history to have won the New South Wales Derby and Oaks. Ima Spicey Lombo and Miss Bo Scott were pretty good, but Selkie is much better than Elysees Crest (23 wins and $228,290) and Slick Lavra (15 wins and $143,026). The latter two were not in the same class as Selkie. "Selkie is fast, tough and versatile and when she's doing a 30sec. quarter she's absolutely cruising. Chris said that she was cruising on the line tonight." David Gravolin, an Oakford trainer whose property is about 5km from Olivieri's Oakford stables, recently cut down his training activities to concentrate on his thriving bitumen paving business and he handed over Finbar Abbey and Selkie to Olivieri to prepare them for racing. Olivieri then won the Easter Cup with Finbar Abbey and the Race For Roses with Selkie. He said that Selkie, who has had 24 starts this season since arriving from New Zealand, would continue racing. "Apart from qualifying for the final of this event for mares, she will run in suitable stands," he said. "She is a brilliant beginner in stands. She may require a break somewhere along the line, but at this stage she's not sending out any distress signals." Selkie was hot favourite at 2/1 on in Friday night's race and Lewis opted out of the early speed battle when polemarker Maggies Mystery led from the fast-starting Am Opulent. Lewis then sent Selkie to the front after 450m and she was untroubled to beat Maggies Mystery by just over a length at a 1.57.7 rate over 2130m, with the final three quarters being covered in 28.1sec., 29sec. and 29.8sec. Her 24 WA starts have produced five wins and three placings and she has a career record of 49 starts for ten wins, six placings and 79,920. Lennys In Heaven relishes a return to a stand Experienced seven-year-old Lennys In Heaven, an inconspicuous seventh at each of his first two starts after a spell, in mobiles on country tracks, relished a return to a standing-start event when he set the pace and scored an easy win over Pembrook Henry and Sonic Classic in the 2503m Sealanes Foodservice Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. This ended a losing sequence of eight, stretching back to a win in a 2518m stand in Kalgoorlie last November. The New South Wales-bred gelding, a 10/1 chance trained at Pinjarra by Michael George, was driven for the first time by Morgan Woodley. The gelding resisted an early challenge for the lead from Mister Sarkozy and then was rated perfectly after Finbar Abbey, favourite at 9/4, moved into the breeze 550m after the start. After the first 400m section of the final mile was covered in 30.9sec., Woodley lifted the gelding's rating and the final three quarters went by in 29.4sec., 28.3sec. and 29sec. Lennys In Heaven was not extended in beating Pembrook Henry, who raced three back on the pegs before finishing solidly along the inside. Lennys In Heaven, by Blissfull Hall, is out of Panorama mare Merry Rama, who had 33 starts for five wins, 18 placings and $31,267. His 17 West Australian starts have produced three wins and two placings to take his career record to 95 starts for 17 wins, 24 placings and $118,079. Soho Highroller bred to be a smart pacer Five-year-old Bettors Delight gelding Soho Highroller has inherited a good deal of his ability from his dam Pelicanrama and he looks set for many more wins after scoring an easy victory in the 2130m Del Basso Butchers Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Soho Highhroller, ended a losing sequence of ten when he was favourite at 7/4 on and dashed to the lead after 400m before bowling along in front and beating Barkers Hall by five metres at a 1.57.4 rate. He was most impressive in sprinting home over the final 400m in a sizzling 27.7sec. Trained at Serpentine by Gary Hall sen., Soho Highroller gave Gary Hall jun. an armchair drive with opening quarters of the final mile in 30.5sec. and 30.3sec. before dashing over the final 800m in 57.2sec. Polemarker Barkers Hall led for the first 400m before enjoying the perfect trail behind Soho Highroller. Soho Highroller, bred by Rob Watson, is a full brother to Soho Tokyo, who finished a very close second to Tricky Styx in the group 1 Diamond Classic for two-year-old fillies later in the program. He has earned $71,264 from nine wins and 18 placings from 48 starts. Pelicanrama was an outstanding juvenile performer before enjoying a successful career of 149 starts for 55 wins, 37 placings and $730,271 in prizemoney. Her wins in feature events as a two-year-old included the $250,000 Australian Pacing Gold and $75,000 NSW Sires Stakes at Harold Park and $30,000 Tatlow Stakes at Moonee Valley in 1999, and as a three-year-old she won the $100,000 NSW Sires Stakes. Her full-brother Mustang Fighter earned $292,566 from 29 wins and 26 placings from 108 starts. My Hard Copy is on the way up My Hard Copy maintained his standing as one of the State's most consistent four-year-olds when he set a brisk pace and strolled to victory over Heez Orl Black and The Feather Foot in the 2130m Top Cut Meats Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. His easy win graduated him to an M2 classification and he should have no difficulty in maintaining his excellent form and moving swiftly to open-class ranks on his way to contesting rich feature events during the summer carnival. Friday night's win completed a double for trainer Gary Hall sen. and reinsman Gary Hall jun. Soho Highroller was favourite at 3/1 on and Hall sen. notched yet another quinella result, with Lauren Jones bringing 8/1 chance Heez Orl Black home with a solid burst after enjoying the run of the race behind the pacemaker. My Hard Copy, owned by Steve, Christina and Danielle Chapman, has earned $134,167 from 13 wins and 13 placings from 39 starts. He won three times from 16 starts in New Zealand and twice from six starts in Victoria before arriving in WA where he has raced 17 times for eight wins and three placings. Change of training aids Shelby Cruzin Victorian-bred pacer Shelby Cruzin, described by his trainer Ross Olivieri as "a little fatso," has responded to a change in his training routine and made amends for a dismal failure at his West Australian debut with a stylish victory in the 1730m Del Basso Importers And Exporters Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He was a 10/9 on favourite at his first WA appearance three weeks earlier when he was a major disappointment, racing at the rear and then out wide in the final circuit, finishing eighth in a field of nine behind Loose Wire. He was favourite at 7/4 on on Friday night when he finished full of running to win by a half-length from 86/1 tote outsider Local Rogue, who had threatened to cause a major upset after starting from the outside of the front line and then racing out four wide for the first 350m before taking the lead 100m later and then setting the pace after a blistering first quarter in 27.3sec. Shelby Cruzin made the most of the prized No. 1 barrier by leading for the first 400m, but Chris Lewis then took the sit behind Local Rogue, who boasted a losing sequence of 16 since his previous win 18 months ago. Local Rogue was still travelling well when he led clearly approaching the home turn. But Lewis was able to ease Shelby Cruzin off the pegs 150m from home when Caesars Cloud, in the breeze, began to fade. Lewis then drove Shelby Cruzin hard and the five-year-old finished determinedly to hit the front in the final 20m. The winner rated 1.57.2. Olivieri said that Victorian trainer Geoff Webster had telephoned him recently to ask him to train Real Hammer and Shelby Cruzin. Olivieri was happy to oblige and he said that the two horses were entirely different. "Shelby Cruzin has been a bit hard to work out, but I have changed his training and the result was that he went a mile better tonight than he did first-up," Olivieri said. "First-up, he fooled me. I thought he was fitter than he was. He's a little fatso, and you've got to get into him. I've made him more interested in his work by galloping him on the sand instead of hoppling him. I haven't hoppled him since his first-up run, apart from one trial." Shelby Cruzin now has earned $44,520 from ten wins and ten placings from 48 starts. He is the eighth winner out of South Australian-bred mare Motoring Sassie (five starts for two wins and one placings for $2169). Motoring Sassie's progeny includes Sassy Gina (12 wins and $80,405) and Ombudsman (13 wins from 23 starts for $54,480 in prizemoney). Paramedic ends losing sequence of 27 Noted frontrunner Paramedic took full advantage of the coveted No. 1 barrier at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he set the pace and caused an upset in winning by just over a length from 5/4 on favourite Bettor Party in the 2130m Action Industrial Catering Westbred Pathway Pace. Paramedic started at 6/1 and ended a losing sequence of 27, stretching back to February 2013, and his win foiled Bettor Whitby from extending his winning sequence to four. Part-owned and trained by John Rogers, the six-year-old Paramedic was driven assertively by Kyle Harper. Bettor Party began out wide, from the No. 6 barrier, and he raced four wide for the first 300m. He then was trapped three wide before Colin Brown eased him back to last after a lap. Bettor Party was eleventh and last at the bell and he sustained a spirited burst, out wide, to finish second. Paramedic covered the final 800m in 58.5sec. and rated 1.58.4 in improving his record to 69 starts for ten wins and 15 placings for earnings of $75,823. He is related on his dam's side to former talented juvenile performer Shes Royalty, who had 96 starts for 24 wins, 27 placings and $288,146. Might Be Luck excels in front Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri told star reinsman Chris Lewis that West Australian-bred gelding Might Be Luck was a certainty to win the 2503m Del Basso Foodservice Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night if he was able to set the pace. Might Be Luck, a 5/1 chance from barrier No. 3 off the front line, began well and Lewis drove the gelding vigorously in an attempt to get to the front in the early stages. Polemarker Bartowski galloped out briefly, but was able to hold Might Be Luck at bay for the first 250m before he wilted under pressure and his rival forged to the front 250m after the start. Might Be Luck relished his pacemaking role and dashed over the final three quarters in 29.7sec., 29.1sec. and 29.9sec. to make life tough for his rivals. Bartowski fought on doggedly to finish second, just more than a length behind Might Be Luck, who rated 2.1.4. "I said to Chris that if he could lead, he would not lose," Olivieri said. "He's a horse who hasn't had a lot of luck, and tonight he led them a merry dance. On his trackwork at home he's one of the best four or five in my stable. Once he's in front, any horse has to be pretty good to catch him." Trojan Bromac impressed in thundering home, six wide, from tenth at the bell to finish third. Might Be Luck, a Northern Luck gelding bred and owned by Bob Fowler, has had 43 starts for ten wins, five placings and $48,982. He is related on his dam's side to former top-flight performer Buck the Odds, who earned $307,547 from 31 wins and 29 placings from 121 starts. Dalton drives first Perth winner Former Victorian horseman Clive Dalton landed his first Gloucester Park winner as a reinsman when he drove Retained to an all-the-way victory in the 2503m Del Basso Foodservice Trotters Handicap on Friday night. Retained, a 7/2 chance and trained at Herron by Dalton, jumped straight to the front from the inside barrier on the front mark and led throughout, holding on grimly to beat 22/1 chance Nicky Eileen by a nose. The 55-year-old Dalton, who has driven almost 500 winners in Victoria, enjoyed plenty of success as a trainer of square gaiters in Victoria. He prepared Right Interest to group 1 and group 3 victories in Victoria and Magic Interest for his victory in the group 1 Australasian Breeders Crown for two-year-old trotters at Bendigo in August 2008. Retained, an eight-year-old gelding owned by Jennifer O'Byrne, is a seasoned campaigner who has had 113 starts for 16 wins, 19 placings and $145,265 in stakes. He was successful in a $20,000 group 3 event over 2760m at Melton in October 2012. Dalton kept up the good work at Bunbury on Saturday night when he trained Miss Atomic (Chris Lewis) for her win at 6/1. by Ken Casellas To unsubscribe, please click here. To forward, please click here.
Morgan Woodley has become a member of the elite 500 Club of drivers who have each driven 500 winners in Perth. The 25yo Woodley achieved the feat on May 16th when he won with Loose Wire and made his total 501 after the win of La Stella Del Mare at Gloucester Park last Friday night. There are now 17 drivers in the 500 Club which is restricted to winners of races at Gloucester Park and the now defunct second metropolitan track of Richmond Raceway. Frank Kersley, widely regarded as the doyen of Australian reinsmen, was the first to drive 500 winners in Perth when he drove James Dillon to victory on 28th November 1953. Kersley’s feat was even more remarkable in that it was achieved in an era when meetings in Perth were restricted to seven races and there were less than 50 race-meetings held in Perth each season. The all-time list of drivers with 500 or more Perth winners is as follows: 1 Chris Lewis 2336 2 Fred R Kersley 1735 3 Gary Hall Jnr 1364 4 Colin Brown 1314 5 Trevor Warwick 1177 6 Lindsay Harper 879 7 Phil Coulson 818 8 Jim Schrader 678 9 Mark Reed 629 10 Lyle Lindau 570 11 Justin Warwick 567 12 Alan Woodworth 561 13 Max Johnson 548 14 Frank Kersley 533 15 Fred Kersley Snr 532 16 Les Poyser 512 17 Morgan Woodley 501 Alan Parker
Champion harness racing trainer Gary Hall sen. has a stranglehold on the $25,000 Australian Marine Complex Pure Steel final at Gloucester Park on Friday night with five runners in the field of 12 and he issued a chilling warning to rival trainers when he declared that sensational four-year-old Alta Christiano was at the peak of his powers. "He has gone super since his latest run and he'll go as good as he's been going," he declared. Alta Christiano, to be driven by champion reinsman Gary Hall jun., fared the worst in the random draw, but he has the speed and class to overcome the considerable disadvantage of starting from the outside barrier (No. 7) on the front line. A winner at 13 of his 18 starts, the New Zealand-bred son of Christian Cullen is in devastating form and he notched his fourth successive victory when he started from the back line and burst to the front 1100m from home before careering away to win by more than six lengths from Pride of Colorado at a 1.56.7 rate over 2536m last Friday night. He was not extended in winning over 2130m twice and 1730m at his three previous outings. Most punters will bank on Hall providing the quinella, trifecta and first four on Friday night, with his other runners My Hard Copy, Slick Chapel, Vapour and Heez Orl Black expected to be fighting out the minor positions behind the all-conquering Alta Christiano. Four-year-old My Hard Copy will be driven by Kim Prentice, and from the coveted No. 1 barrier, he is capable of a bold effort. The four-year-old should set the early pace and is capable of running a fast time over the 2130m journey. He impressed at his first appearance for just over four months when he gave a bold frontrunning display to win easily from the fast-finishing Heez Orl Black, rating 1.56.9 in a qualifying heat over 2130m last Friday night. Vapour, another talented four-year-old, is racing with tremendous enthusiasm and has won at 12 of his past 27 starts. He is ideally drawn on the inside of the back line and Lauren Jones looks set to enjoy a perfect passage behind the freewheeling My Hard Copy. Slick Chapel will be driven by Clint Hall from the No. 3 barrier on the front line and Justin Prentice will drive Heez Orl Black from barrier four. Slick Chapel is in sparkling form and he warmed up for Friday night's event with an effortless win over 2150m at Harvey last Saturday night when he overcame a check in running and raced three wide and then in the breeze before winning by four lengths from Captain Proud at a 1.57.3 rate over 2150m. The best of the runners outside the Hall camp appear to be Robbery (Robbie Williams), Firebomb (Ryan Warwick) and the Ross Olivieri-trained Finbar Abbey. These three horses are in sound form, but face a monumental task of breaking Hall's grip on the race. ADDA RISING STAR HAS THE RUNS ON THE BOARD Punters face a particularly tough challenge in trying to find the winner of the $30,000 RSM Bird Cameron Pace for Westbred mares at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Perhaps the best advice is to boil down their choice to four-year-olds Adda Rising Star, Lucky Joy and Mon Lamour, each of whom has drawn awkwardly in the 2130m feature event. But they appear to have a slight advantage in class on their rivals. Adda Rising Star, trained at Bunbury by Frank Bonnett, has the best winning percentage (27) of the 12 runners and Lucky Joy has the second best percentage (22). And they have the ability to overcome unfavourable barriers, with Adda Rising Star starting from No. 4 on the back line and Lucky Joy from the outside (No. 7) on the front line. Mon Lamour, in the Hazelmere stables of Mike Reed, is an improving type who boosted her winning percentage to 17 when she notched her fourth win from 24 starts by racing three back on the pegs before finishing fast along the sprint lane to defeat Hoylakes Firstlady over 2185m at Pinjarra last Monday week. Adda Rising Star, to be driven by Callan Suvaljko, has the most impressive record of the 12 runners, with earnings of $143,234 from 14 wins and 17 placings from 51 starts. She fought on from sixth in the middle stages to be fourth behind Mon Lamour and she caught the eye two starts before that when she covered a lot of extra ground before finishing strongly to win from Kanata Queen and Lucky Diva over 2150m at Harvey. Lucky Joy is a little filly with a big heart who has been a model of consistency for trainer-reinsman Robbie Williams. She overcame a wide barrier at Northam on Thursday of last week when she surged home, out wide from the rear, to win from Cheeryrose and Sweet Charlee over 2190m. MR NICKEL IS READY TO FIRE A five-year-old who has been unplaced at his first two outings since resuming after an injury-enforced absence of 17 months looks one of the star bets on the ten-event program at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He is the New South Wales-bred Mr Nickel, who will start from the coveted No. 1 barrier in the 1730m Sadliers Nexus Pace for Forrestdale trainers Greg and Skye Bond. "He suffered a serious fetlock injury and had a fair bit of time off," said ace reinsman Colin Brown. "He has recovered and has had two runs in stands off back marks (30m) at Pinjarra and he was unable to get into either race. "First-up last Monday week he just couldn't get into the 2631m race when they ran home in very quick time (29.1sec. and 26.7sec. for the final two 400m sections) and it was the same story on Monday this week when they got home pretty snappy (when Mr Nickel finished seventh behind Barrow Street over 2116m when the final 800m was covered ion 56.7sec.). "He felt good on Monday and punters should be aware that he is a class horse who has won a fair bit of stakemoney. After two runs off a long spell they shouldn't forget him. This is an ideal draw and he is a very quick horse." Mt Nickel, who has won at four of his nine starts in Western Australia, has amassed $284,124 in stakes from 16 wins and nine placings from 42 starts. He is the winner of two group 1 events --- the Australian Pacing Gold for two-year-old colts and geldings at Melton (when he beat Magic Bliss and Soho Valencia) and the Tasmania Derby at Elwick in March 2012. Mr Nickel's main rival is likely to be five-year-old Soho Highroller, who will be having his first start for leading trainer Gary Hall sen. for almost four months. He will be driven by Gary Hall jun. from barrier three on the front line. Soho Highroller has a losing sequence of nine and was unplaced at his past eight starts. But he warmed up for his return to racing in fine style when he set the pace and rated 1.57.3, beating his top-flight stablemate Toretto by two metres after sprinting over the final 400m in 28.2sec. JUNGLE JEWEL WORKS IN SENSATIONAL STYLE Smart New Zealand-bred filly Jungle Jewel worked in dashing style at Greg and Skye Bond's Forrestdale track on Tuesday morning to boost her prospects in the $17,000 Bell-Vista Fruit And Veg Company Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. "I drove her and she felt sensational," said Colin Brown. "It was the best she has ever felt and she can overcome the back-line draw in Friday night's race. "She was suffering from the effects of a virus in the WA Oaks prelude (on May 2 when she led before fading to the rear) and then she showed that she is back in form with her win at Harvey last Saturday night. And she stepped up a notch this morning on the track when she felt sensational. "Greg added a Murphy blind for her run at Harvey and this made a dramatic difference. She was always inclined to get on one rein and the Murphy blind has had the desired effect. Shed raced a lot straighter, even though she wanted to get up the track a bit, instead of getting down the track." At Harvey on Saturday night Jungle Jewel, driven by Ryan Warwick, raced without cover early before getting to the front and sprinting over the final 800m in 56.8sec. when she beat Dontdoubtme and The Parade. Trainer Gary Hall sen. Is confident that Dontdoubtme will improve on her Harvey performance when she faced the breeze for most of the way. "She is each-way for ever," he declared. "Her Harvey run was very good; she's not a breeze horse and she probably needed the run." Reinsman Aiden De Campo, son of Capel trainer Andrew De Campo, said that he expected a strong showing from his father's filly Typhoon Tan, who is nicely drawn at barrier two on the front line. Typhoon Tan will be driven by Dylan Egerton-Green, who replaces Aiden De Campo, who will be driving at Melton in Victoria on Friday night. "She went very well at Harvey on Saturday night when she trailed the leader Three Blind Mice and finished second to that pacer," he said. "She has good gate speed and if she leads she'll be a pretty good chance. Sitting is not really her go and if she rolls along in front she'll give plenty of cheek." Typhoon Tan led and won twice in fast time at Bunbury at two of her past four starts. Boyanup trainer-reinsman Justin Prentice also gives his smart filly The Parade a good winning chance, despite drawing the outside of the front line. "The Parade started from a wide barrier (six) at Harvey on Saturday night and after racing three wide for most of the way did very well to finish third behind Jungle Jewel. "I was stoked with her run," he said. "I thought that it was one of her best runs. They have come home in 56.8sec. They went 28 flat down the back and I've made up about three lengths." DE CAMPO TO REPRESENT WA IN VICTORIA Outstanding reinsman Aiden De Campo will leave Perth on Thursday morning to represent Western Australia in a Young Drivers' Challenge series. He will drive Turnoffate in the first heat and Philotes in the second heat at Shepparton on Thursday night, Field Major at Melton on Friday night and Oils Jay Bee and Sign of Oro in the final two heats at Ballarat on Saturday night. In his absence, Dylan Egerton-Green will drive Typhoon Tan in race one at Gloucester Park on Friday night; Chris Lewis will replace him behind the consistent Conniving Major Dave in the fourth event, the 2130m R. H. Trotter Pace, and Kaiden Hayter will replace him behind Vertical Four in the Mortgage Choice in South Perth Pathway Pace. "Number four is a good barrier for Conniving Major Dave," de Campo said. "I don't know whether he'll find the top or not. If he does, he'll give a lot of cheek. His latest run was probably his best run this time in. He sat in the breeze against some pretty good horses and he finished second to Oneheart Twofists." STANLEY LANDS A WINNER AT FIRST WA VISIT Victorian reinsman Michael Stanley celebrated his first appearance at Gloucester Park on Tuesday night when he brought Enjoy A Malabu with a spirited burst to win the International Animal Health Products Trot by a head from the 6/4 favourite Hot Holiday and The Beau Brummell. Enjoy A Malabu, a 16/1 chance, ran home strongly from sixth at the bell. The gelding is trained by Stanley's uncle Bruce Stanley and is owned by his aunty Pauline. "This was my first drive for Uncle Bruce and it was a thrill to win the race," Michael Stanley said. by Ken Casellas
The $40,000 WASBA Breeders Stakes, first run in 1979, is one of the very few feature events in Western Australia that has eluded champion trainer Gary Hall sen. And now Hall reckons it is high time to post his first victory in this classic event for mares by winning the 1730m sprint at Gloucester Park on Friday night with speedy five-year-old Famous Alchemist. Hall labelled four-year-old Jungle Genie, drawn the prized No. 1 barrier, as the hardest for Famous Alchemist to beat. But he believes that Famous Alchemist has the speed and strength to emerge victorious. "From barrier four, Famous Alchemist probably will have to face the breeze outside of Jungle Genie," he said. "However, she proved last week that she is capable of doing that, especially over the short distance." In the 2130m Breeders Stakes Prelude last Friday night Famous Alchemist gave a commanding performance to win in grand style from Alkira Jetsar and Jungle Genie. Famous Alchemist, driven by Clint Hall, started from the outside barrier on the front line and was eighth early before dashing forward to race outside the pacemaker Kristen Louise after 500m. Famous Alchemist forged to the front with 700m to travel and she won by almost a length at a smart 1.56.4 rate. Alkira Jetstar and Jungle Genie also were most impressive, with Alkira Jetstar charging home from seventh at the 300m and Jungle Genie (who started out wide at the No. 6 barrier) surging home from eleventh at the bell. Alkira Jetstar won this event two years ago after racing in the breeze and then raced without cover before finishing a neck second to Centrefold Angel in last year's Breeders Stakes. She will start from barrier five on the front line on Friday night, with Tom Buchanan in then sulky. Jungle Genie, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, is sure to prove hard to beat. Colin Brown will be looking to lead all the way. He has won this event three times --- with Sand Pebbles in 2004, Montel (2008) and Little Big Sister (2010). Jungle Genie is very smart and is versatile. Her past 29 starts have produced 12 wins and 11 placings. Quality mare Leda McNally, whose 19 wins from 53 starts include the group 1 $100,000 Mares Classic over 2130m and the $40,000 Norm's Daughter Classic over 1730m last November. Famous Alchemist finished second in both those events. She also finished second to Sensational Gabby in the $50,000 Empress Stakes in February before winning the $20,000 Golden Girls Mile at Pinjarra last month. The Hall stable has two good second-string mares in Friday night's event --- Korobeit Angel (Gary Hall jun.) and Askmenow (Lauren Jones). Korobeit Angel, an all-the-way winner over Jungle Genie and Am Opulent over 1730m two starts ago, will start from barrier two on the back line and Askmenow will begin from barrier three on the back line. Askmenow, an 80/1 chance last Friday night, caught the eye when she was 12th at the bell and flashed home, six wide, to be fifth behind Famous Alchemist. "She went very well and hasn't had any luck lately," said Hall sen. "She is definitely a chance." The Ross Olivieri-trained Selkie, an easy all-the-way winner of the 2503m Race For Roses last Friday week, faces a stern test this week from the outside of the back line. Olivieri won the 1992 Breeders Stakes with Miss Bo Scott and Chris Lewis, who will handle Selkie, has been successful with Tareena Bright (1985), Armbro Lucy (1993), Twinkle Paige (1997) and Meggie Dear (2001). MISTA RUSH READY FOR A BIG TEST Up-and-coming gelding Mista Rush is improving in leaps and bounds and, despite his unfavourable draw on the outside of the front line, he has the ability to upstage well-credentialled newcomers Soho Lennon and Avalon Bromac in the Budget Stockfeeds Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The first appearance in Western Australia of beautifully-bred Victorian three-year-old Soho Lennon and the New Zealand-bred three-year-old Avalon Bromac is adding considerable interest to Friday night's ten-event program. These youngsters are prepared at Serpentine by premier trainer Gary Hall sen. and are sure to attract strong support. However, the WA-bred Mista Rush has the advantage of recent racing. He is in peak form for Boyanup trainer-reinsman Justin Prentice and has won at four of his five starts as a three-year-old. Mista Rush won the South-West Derby and Country Derby in March-April and has been most impressive at his past two outings, scoring by 16 lengths from Guns With Cows at a 1.54.5 rate over 1684m at Pinjarra on April 28 after racing without cover and then working hard before sprinting over the final 800m in 56.3sec. and winning by three lengths from Bettor Light Up at a 1.58.5 rate over 2100m at Bunbury last Saturday night. Gary Hall jun. will drive Soho Lennon and his elder brother Clint will handle Avalon Bromac. The stablemates will start from barriers five and six, respectively, off the front line. "Their trials at Byford on Sunday morning were okay without being outstanding," said Hall sen. "They are nice horses, but they didn't run any times. Mista Rush looks the hardest to beat and Black Mr Mach went well at Pinjarra on Monday." Soho Lennon raced without cover before winning a 2150m trial at Byford on Sunday morning by more than two lengths from the pacemaker Bhagwan, rating a modest 2.4.4 after covering the final 400m in 28.9sec. Avalon Bromac also raced in the breeze in his 2150m trial in which he finished a half-length second to stablemate Get Outta Eyre, rating 2.0.2 after a final 400m in 29sec. Avalon Bromac has had only one race. He raced in the one-out, one-back position before being shuffled back to the rear before finishing ninth behind Jack Black kin a 2700m stand at Forbury late last October. Soho Lennon, by Mach Three, has had 14 starts in Victoria for three wins and four placings. He won once from eight starts as a two-year-old (at Ararat last July) and won at his first two outings as a three-year-old, at Bendigo and Geelong in November. At his most recent appearance he was a fading sixth in a field of seven over 1710m at Ballarat on January 2 when he raced in the breeze for much of the way and wilted from second on the home turn. He was not suited by the blistering early pace when the first quarter of the final mile was covered in 26.7sec. Black Mr Mach, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, won for the second time from 15 starts when he dashed to the front 300m after the start and sped over the final 400m in 26.9sec. to beat Dezba by almost seven lengths at a 1.58.4 rate over 2185m at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon. QUINNY SET FOR PINJARRA CUP Champion pacer Im Themightyquinn will have his final lead-up race for the $50,000 Pinjarra Cup next Monday week when he contests the $21,000 Gloucester Standardbreds Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. "It's just the luck of the draw," said trainer Gary Hall sen. when Im Themightyquinn drew the No. 1 barrier in Friday night's event. "He should lead and win. Then he will be going for the 2692m Pinjarra Cup." Im Themightyquinn, an effortless winner at his first two appearances at Gloucester Park after a seven-month absence, will stifle betting on Friday night. He led from barrier five and won from Rocket Reign and Hokonui Ben for his first-up win over 2130m two Fridays ago. Then he started from the outside of the front line and raced in last position before starting a three-wide move 950m from home when he won untouched from Polak and Crombie over 2536m last Friday night. Crombie, who finished solidly from sixth at the bell when third last week, will start from the inside of the back line and he should enjoy a perfect trip behind Im Themightyquinn. He looks a place certainty. Hokonui Ben, winner of the WA Pacing Cup last summer, is awkwardly drawn at No. 5 on the front line, but he has the class to finish in the minor placings. The Hall camp also is supremely confident that star four-year-old Alta Christiano will continue on his winning ways when he starts from the inside of the back line in the 2536m Milne Feeds Pace. He has not been extended when winning at each of his past three starts. Stablemate My Hard Copy will resume after a spell when he starts from the No. 1 barrier in the third qualifying heat of the Allwood Stud Farm The Pure Steel Pace over 2130m. A winner at 11 of his 36 starts, he has not appeared since he raced wide early and then without cover before winning easily over 1684m at Pinjarra at a 1.55.4 rate on January 13. He warmed up for Friday night's assignment by winning a 2550m stand trial at Byford on Sunday morning when he raced without cover before beating the pacemaker Flyalong Falcon at a 2.3.8 rate after dashing over the final 800m in 56.9sec. and the last 400m in 28.2sec. My Hard Copy is a good frontrunner and Gary Hall jun. should dictate the terms of the race in front and the New Zealand-bred four-year-old should prove too strong for his nine rivals. by Ken Casellas
Superstar Im Themightyquinn moved a step closer to becoming the greatest stake earner in the history of Australasian harness racing when he strolled to an effortless victory in the Abbott And Company Printers Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The New Zealand-bred nine-year-old was completely unextended in winning by a length and a half from Polak, with Crombie back in third place ibn the 2536m mobile event. This took Im Themightyquinn's record to 104 starts for 53 wins and 32 placings for stakes of $4,404,736 and now it seems only a matter of time until he breaks Blacks A Fake's record as Australasia's highest-earning standardbred. The Queensland-bred Blacks A Fake was retired after having 105 starts for 72 wins and 24 placings for $4,575,438 in prizemoney. Im Themightyquinn will continue to race at Gloucester Park until champion trainer Gary Hall sen. takes him to Queensland to contest three feature events in July --- the $60,000 Sunshine Sprint, the $100,000 Blacks A Fake Championship and the $40,000 Redcliffe Cup. Im Themightyquinn's victory was one of five winners trained by Hall on the ten-event program. The others were Alta Christiano, Vapour, Our Arlington and Famous Alchemist, and Hall has an unassailable lead on the Metropolitan trainers' premiership and Statewide premiership. Hall has had 490 city starters for 121 wins, 71 seconds and 59 thirds this season for earnings of $2,002,722. He leads from Ross Olivieri (43 wins), Greg and Skye Bond (38) and Debbie Padberg (25). On the Statewide premiership table Hall has 149 winners and leads from the Bonds (92), Olivieri (57) and Andrew De Campo (54). Im Themightyquinn, making his second appearance after an absence of seven months, was favourite at 10/1 on from the outside barrier on the front line in Friday night's event and Gary Hall jun. eased him back to last in the field of nine as polemarker Whos Mistake set the early pace before Mark Reed sent Polak to the front after 600m. The first 400m section of the final mile was a dawdling 31.3sec. and Hall jun. patiently waited until the 950m mark before switching Im Themightyquinn three wide and sending him forward. Im Themightyquinn then got the three-wide trail behind Please Release Me 250m later and Hall was able to pop him into the one-out, one-back position briefly down the back straight before taking him three wide before the 300m post. Im Themightyquinn was untouched by Hall as he swept past Polak 90m from the finish. He rated 1.56.8 after final quarters in 28.2sec. and 28.1sec. HALL'S AGGRESSION PAYS DIVIDENDS Clint Hall's decision not to restrain Famous Alchemist back to the rear from her unfavourable barrier on the outside of the front line and to use aggressive tactics paid handsome dividends when the New Zealand-bred five-year-old revealed wonderful strength and speed to win the 2130m TABtouch Breeders Stakes Prelude at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Many punters overlooked Famous Alchemist because of the wide draw and she started at the dream price of 15/2, with Leda McNally dominating the betting as the 10/9 on favourite, despite her awkward draw at No. 3 on the back line. Hall did not bustle Famous Alchemist when the mobile barrier sent the field on its way. But he did not ease her back to the rear, preferring to let her settle, three wide, while 33/1 chance Kristen Louise jumped to the front from barrier two. Famous Alchemist quickly gathered momentum and surged forward to move into the breeze after 500m. Hall then applied plenty of pressure on Kristen Louise, but Vance Stampalia was in no mood to relinquish the lead. Finally, Kristen Louise cracked and Famous Alchemist charged to the front 700m from home and then opened up a gap of almost three lengths on her nearest rival. The third quarter whizzed by in 28.4sec. and Famous Alchemist shortened stride in the home straight before holding on strongly to beat the fast-finishing Alkira Jetstar (20/1) by just under a length. Jungle Genie (11/1) finished strongly from 11th at the bell to be third, a half-head in front of Leda McNally, who was forced three and four wide in the final circuit. The last 400m was covered in a moderate 29.7sec. and Famous Alchemist rated 1.56.4. Owned by Karen Hall and trained at Serpentine by her husband Gary, Famous Alchemist boasts a fine record of 45 starts for 14 wins, 15 placings and stakes of $273,569. She had 17 starts in New Zealand for five wins and five placings and her 28 starts in WA have produced nine wins and ten placings. Leda McNally was gallant in defeat after covering so much extra ground and Alkira Jetstar was most impressive at her second appearance after an absence of nine months. Alkira Jetstar started from barrier four on the back line and she was driven skilfully by Tom Buchanan, who settled her down in tenth position on the pegs. Alkira Jetstar improved to be seventh with 300m to travel and she thundered home from sixth (five wide on the home turn. JONES CONTINUES TO SHINE Queensland teenager Lauren Jones maintained her splendid form in the sulky when she drove Our Arlington to a strong victory in the 2536m McInerney Ford Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Our Arlington was a heavily-supported 2/1 favourite and the 19-year-old Jones gave the gelding's supporters little cause for concern once she had taken him past The Feather Foot (9/1) and into the lead 450m after the start. Onedin Crusader raced wide early and then worked hard in the breeze. The first quarters of the final mile went by in 30.5sec. and 29sec. before Our Arlington made life tough for his rivals with brisk final sectionals of 28sec. and 28.7sec. Our Arlington, trained by Gary Hall sen., won at a 1.56.7 rate by just under a length from The Feather Foot, with Bronze Seeker, fighting on to be seven metres back in third place after racing three back on the pegs. El Machine, second fancy at 7/2, was eighth in the middle stages before starting a three-wide run 1100m from home. However, he did not threaten danger and finished sixth. Our Arlington had three starts in New Zealand as a three-year-old for two wins and then won 11 times in Victoria before arriving in WA with a losing sequence of 16 in late 2013. He has won twice from 11 starts in this State and now has earned $149,362 from 15 wins and 16 placings from 64 starts. Our Arlington is by Washington VC and his dam People's Princess (by Holmes Hanover) also produced good performers Hot Night In Paris (129 starts for 11 wins, 26 placings and $85,584) and The Forger (79 starts for 11 wins, 18 placings and $91,650). A CHANGE REFRESHES OHOKA Kentucky A change in training methods has refreshed Ohoka Kentucky and Henley Brook trainer-reinsman Robbie Williams predicted a bright future for the New Zealand-bred five-year-old after his easy all-the-way victory in the Slater Gartrell Sports Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. "I work my horses hard, but recently I found that Ohoka Kentucky was not producing his best in races after being hoppled in trackwork twice a week," Williams said. "So I have reduced his hoppled runs to once a week and he has responded by racing more enthusiastically," Williams explained. Ohoka Kentucky, drawn the prized No. 1 barrier, was a firm 6/4 on favourite and he was not extended in leading throughout and rating 1.57 over the 2130m journey and beating 11/1 chance Will of Iron, by almost two lengths after that pacer had trailed him throughout. Fully Zapped (33/1) raced three back on the pegs before finishing solidly along the pegs to be third. Ohoka Kentucky, a winner at two of his nine New Zealand starts, has had 16 starts in WA for Williams for six wins and six placings. The gelding, who has earned $48,929, is the second foal out of Millwood Touche, whose first foal Ohoka Texas has earned $174,342 from 12 wins and four placings from 37 starts. Ohoka Texas won a group 3 2700m classic for three-year-old colts and geldings at Invercargill in April 2011. After the race the stewards held an inquiry into severe interference suffered by outsider Desirable Guy (Colin Brown) about 350m from home. Chris Voak, driver of 10/1 chance Don't Wanadie, was found guilty of causing interference to Desirable Guy, causing that pacer to break into a gallop, and he was suspended for 14 days. The stewards took into account Voak's good record when determining the penalty. Voak's previous suspension for causing interference was almost six months ago. Since then he has driven in almost 600 races. Voak was granted a seven-day stay of proceedings which will enable him to drive class mare Leda McNally in the $40,000 Breeders Stakes at Gloucester Park next Friday night. Voak has driven 115 winners this season from 859 drives and is second on the Statewide premiership behind Gary Hall jun., who has driven 119 winners in WA this season. NO FIXED ADDRESS DELIVERS AT GLOUCESTER PARK New South Wales-bred five-year-old No Fixed Address celebrated his first appearance at Gloucester Park with a fast-finishing, last-stride victory in the 1730m The West Australian Pace on Friday night. The son of former star West Australian pacer Saab is certainly well named. He is a much-travelled gelding who raced in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland before arriving in Western Australia. His 19 Victorian starts produced four wins and two placings and he had seven starts in NSW for two wins and one placing and three starts in Queensland for one win and two placings. He now has raced 15 times in WA for four wins and four placings. His 44 starts have produced 11 wins, ten placings and $59,842 in stakes. No Fixed Address, trained in Bunbury by Murray Hansen, had raced soundly on South-West and Great Southern tracks before venturing to compete at Gloucester Park. He was a 5/1 chance in an open betting race on Friday night when he began smartly from the No. 2 barrier, but was beaten out by My Lady of the Night (barrier five) and Ben Cartwright (four). Then the polemarker Extreme Bromac kicked up on the inside to take up the running, leaving Ben Cartwright, the 15/4 favourite, in the breeze. Chris Voak then made a winning move as he angled No Fixed Address across to the inside to assume the excellent position behind the pacemaker. Voak eased No Fixed Address off the pegs 400m from home, but Ben Cartwright appeared certain to win when Clint Hall dashed him to the front 230m from the post. Ben Cartwright surged to what appeared to be a winning advantage, but he wilted over the final 150m and 22/1 chance The Marble Ridge (eighth on the pegs at the bell) rattled home to get his nose in front five metres from the line. However, No Fixed Address sustained his powerful finishing burst to get his nose in front in the final stride. The final 400m was covered in 28.8sec. and No Fixed Address rated 1.55.7. No Fixed Address is closely related on his dam's side to former star WA mares Mazzini Magic (40 starts for 21 wins, 13 placings and $367,140) and Smooth sensation (41 starts for 15 wins, 16 placings and $249,419). The WA-bred Blushing Lombo has had six foals, but No Fixed Address is the only one to have raced. Blushing Lombo was retired as a three-year-old after winning four times in Victoria as a two-year-old. PACIFIC PLAYBOY GIVES JAMES EARLY SUCCESS Pacific Playboy, who entered the stables of Bernard James about three weeks ago, gave the Byford horseman an early success when Mark Reed drove the five-year-old to a surprise, but convincing victory in the 2503m Ross North Homes Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The prospects of Pacific Playboy, a 21/1 chance, were greatly enhanced when the 6/4 favourite That Is Correct galloped at the start and lost 20m. This enabled Reed to slot Pacific Playboy in behind 9/1 chance Bartowski, who began speedily from the outside of the front line and charged straight into the lead. That Is Correct recovered quickly and moved into the breeze in the first lap before he obtained the one-out, one-back sit 1350m from home when the 40m backmarker Shardons Rocket (5/2) assumed the position outside the pacemaker. Colin Brown sent Shardons Rocket to the front with 400m to travel, but the nine-year-old began to wilt after rounding the home turn and Pacific Playboy burst to the front at the 120m mark and went on to score by two lengths from Shardons Rocket. The Pacing Priest (9/1) ran on from seventh at the bell to be third. Pacific Playboy, who has earned $55,632 from nine wins and 14 placings from 57 starts, is the last foal out of former handy mare Maybe Rich, who had 65 starts for ten wins, 17 placings and $29,331. Pacific Playboy is a half-brother to former top-line performer Fac Et Spiro, who amassed $386,695 in prizemoney from 23 wins and 30 placings from 85 starts. LOOSE WIRE IS PROVING HIS WORTH Henley Brook trainer Darryl Howes has got Loose Wire firing and the six-year-old gave promise of better things to come when he unwound a spirited burst which carried him from sixth on the pegs at the bell to victory in the 2130m Alltools Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. After being unplaced at his first six starts in WA for Howes, Loose Wire made most of the running to win easily at Kellerberrin on May 4 and he was at the surprisingly good odds of 12/1 on Friday night from the inside of the back line. This was mainly because of the heavy support for Shelby Cruzin, a handy Victorian pacer who was making his WA debut for Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri. Shelby Cruzin was favourite at 10/9 on, despite the disadvantage of starting from the outside of the front line. Sign In (13/2) dashed to an early lead and he set the pace from, first Te Rauparaha and then from El Sunami. Chris Lewis restrained Shelby Cruzin to the rear before sending him forward with a three-wide run from the rear approaching the bell. But Shelby Cruzin lacked sparkle and disappointed in finishing eighth in the field of nine. El Sunami got to the front 350m from home before Mark Reed sent 30/1 outsider Ace of Cards to the front 180m from the post. However, Morgan Woodley brought Loose Wire home with a strong well-timed burst to get to the front in the final 50m and win by a half-length from Ace of Cards, rating 1.59.4. Loose Wire has raced 69 times for 12 wins, 15 placings and $51,385 in prizemoney. VAPOUR KEEPS UP THE GOOD WORK New Zealand-bred four-year-old Vapour maintained his remarkable consistency when he proved too good for his rivals in the second heat of the Yes Loans the Pure Steel Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Driven confidently by premier reinsman Gary Hall jun., Vapour, favourite at evens, won in fine style from stablemate Slick Chapel (6/1) and Finbar Abbey (11/2), rating a slick 1.56.2 over the 2130m journey after sprinting the final 800m in 56.6sec. This improved Vapour's record in WA for leading trainer Gary Hall sen. to nine wins and five placings from 16 starts. The son of American stallion Jeremes Jet has a good overall record of 32 starts for 12 wins, ten placings and $74,737. Vapour started from barrier four on the front line and raced outside the polemarker and pacemaker Trojan Bromac for the first circuit. He gained the one-out, one-back sit 900m after the start when Slick Chapel went forward and challenged for the lead. Slick Chapel eventually got to the front 550m from home, but just failed to hold out the fast-finishing Vapour, who forged to the front 80m from the post. Finbar Abbey, who settled in last position in the field of 12, sustained a strong burst to be an excellent third. ALTA CHRISTIANO SIMPLY TOO GOOD Alta Christiano, the youngest and least experienced runner in the 1730m Sully's Painting Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night, gave further proof of his outstanding ability when he outclassed his ten rivals. His win by just over two lengths from veteran Black Pontiac boosted his earnings to $297,613from 12 wins and two placings from 17 starts. Four-year-old Alta Christiano, a star in the stables of leading trainer Gary Hall sen., gave ace reinsman Gary Hall jun. the first leg of a winning treble in successive events. Hall jun. followed with wins behind Im Themightyquinn and Vapour. Alta Christiano, favourite at 10/1 on, started from the outside of the front line and raced three wide for much of the first lap before taking the lead 750m from home. He was joined in the lead by 60/1 outsider Black Pontiac at the 400m mark, but was not extended in drawing away to win easily at a 1.54.2 rate, with the final 400m being covered in 27.8sec. FAST START THE KEY FOR ONEHEART TWOFISTS Frontrunning is the greatest asset of seven-year-old WA-bred gelding Oneheart Twofists and when he won the early battle for ascendancy with 5/4 on favourite Mantoman in the 1730m Make Smoking History Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night, the die was cast. Mantoman, drawn the prized No. 1 barrier, was beaten for early speed by Oneheart Twofists, who got straight to the front from barrier two. Oneheart Twofists, trained at Millendon by Graham Bond, was sent out at the luxury odds of 10/1 despite a smart trial win at Byford the previous Sunday morning. Callan Suvaljko set a brisk early pace with Oneheart Twofists, who sped over the first 400m section of the final mile in 28.6sec. Then after a second quarter in 30.2sec., Oneheart Twofists dashed over the final two sections in 28.3sec. and 28.7sec. Barkers Hall, a 20/1 chance, raced in the breeze and looked hard to beat when he got to the front, a neck clear of the pacemaker 420m from home. But Barkers Hall was unable to cross to the pegs and Oneheart Twofists regained the lead with 230m to travel. Barkers Hall fought on grimly and went down by a nose, with the winner rating a smart 1.55.3. Mantoman had every chance. Morgan Woodley got him off the pegs and into the clear 420m from home, but he just battled on doggedly, out three wide, to finish third. The WA-bred Oneheart Twofists, who ended a losing sequence of eight, has earned $49,833 from seven wins and eight placings from 53 starts. by Ken Casellas
It’s all systems go for veteran harness racing superstar Im Themightyquinn, who should return to action after a seven-month absence with yet another victory when he contests the $21,000 Gannon’s Pacing Colours Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The champion nine-year-old has made a complete recovery from a hairline fracture in his off-hind cannon bone and he warmed up for his return to racing with a sparkling display in a 2150m trial at Byford on Sunday morning. The New Zealand-bred gelding, trained by Gary Hall sen., was handled in the trial by Gary Hall jun. and after racing without cover early he set the pace and the final three 400m sections whizzed by in 29.1sec., 28.4sec. and 27.4sec. He rated 1.55 in beating classy stablemate Alta Christiano by just under two lengths. Im Themightyquinn, who has amassed $4,377,016 in prizemoney from his 51 wins and 32 placings from 102 starts, will begin from the No. 5 barrier on the front line in a race in which Hokonui Ben is certain to lead from the favourable No. 2 barrier. Punters are likely to obtain a reasonable price about Im Themightyquinn because Hokonui Ben, the all-the-way winner of the $400,000 WA Pacing Cup in January, is in top form. After a slow lead time of 38.4sec. and a dawdling first quarter of the final mile in 30.7sec. in a 2130m event last Friday week, Hokonui Ben sprinted over the final three sections in 28.9sec., 27.9sec. and 27.9sec. to win easily from Red Salute and Lord Lombo at a 1.56.2 rate. Hall jun. is certain not to bustle Im Themightyquinn in the early stages on Friday night and will determine his tactics as the race unfolds. Im Themightyquinn still possesses a keen appetite for competition and his dazzling last-lap speed should enable him to overhaul Hokonui Ben. Please Release Me will resume after a spell and is nicely drawn at barrier two on the back line. He sprinted the final 400m in 27.9sec. in winning a 2185m trial at Pinjarra last Sunday week. He will be driven for the first time by Matt White, who replaces Chris Brew, who has driven the eight-year-old 60 times, including at each of his past 39 starts. Brew has retired from harness racing and is working as a fly-in-fly-out worker in the north of the State. ALTA CHRISTIANO POISED FOR 11th WIN FROM 16 STARTS Noted frontrunner Alta Christiano has drawn the prized No. 1 barrier in the first heat of the The Stables Bar Pure Steel Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night and he should prove the bet of the night by leading all the way for star reinsman Gary Hall jun. The New Zealand-bred four-year-old looks classes above his rivals and he is sure to prove hard to topple in the $25,000 final on May 30. He was untroubled to set the pace from barrier one and score an effortless win in the $25,000 final of the Johnson Pace at his latest appearance, last Friday week. Alta Christiano looks destined for big-race Christmas carnival wins if he remains sound. The chunky stallion has raced only 15 times for ten wins and two placings. The Colin Brown-trained Erskine Range will be favoured by quinella punters after his outstanding effort at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon when he raced three wide throughout before getting to the front in the final 25m and winning from Car Fifty Four and Ti Amo Franco over 1684m. Others with place prospects include Finbar Abbey, who completed a winning hat-trick when he ran on strongly to win the $40,000 Easter Cup from Polak and Alta Christiano on April 17, and Shandon Village, who has sprinted home stylishly to win at his past two starts at Gloucester Park. Finbar Abbey will start from barrier three on the front line, with Shandon Village at No. 2. Ima Grumpy Jasper, an all-the-way winner last Friday night, faces a stiff task from the outside of the front line. Lisharry, who extended his losing sequence to 15 when tenth behind Ima Grumpy Jasper, should gain a soft run behind the pacemaker Alta Christiano. By Ken Casellas
Astute Hazelmere harness racing trainer Mike Reed is poised to Reed is poised to maintain his outstanding record in the Gannon’s WA Oaks by winning the $150,000 group 1 classic with the brilliant New Zealand-bred filly Libertybelle Midfrew at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Libertybelle Midfrew is awkwardly drawn at barrier five on the front line in the 2536m classic. But she has the sheer class, the speed, strength and versatility to overcome this disadvantage. The 59-year-old Reed has prepared only has prepared only three other fillies to contest a WA Oaks .... Pharosan in 2000 and Sheer Royalty and Just In A Heartbeat in 2009. Pharosan started at 6/1 and, driven by Reed, she made the most of an inside passage in the home straight to defeat the outstanding Victorian filly Cornsilk, the 5/4 on favourite who was driven by Scott Stewart. Reed prepared Sheer Royalty for the 2009 Oaks. Driven by Chris Lewis, Sheer Royalty was a 9/2 chance who raced wide early and then pulled extremely hard in the breeze before winning by a nose from 50/1 outsider Styx By Me, with Just In A Heartbeat in third place. Victorian invader Ima Spicey Lombo was favourite at 7/4 on and she finished in eleventh position after being trapped three wide for most of the way. Again this year Reed’s runner looks set to be challenged by an eastern States invader in star Victorian trainer Dean Braun’s New Zealand-bred filly Nike Franco, who has won at eight of her 11 starts. Nike Franco, to be driven by Morgan Woodley, is nicely drawn at the No. 2 barrier on the back line. Nike Franco was the 11/8 favourite in the Victoria Oaks at Melton last Friday night when, driven by Chris Alford, she was ninth early and then sustained a fast three-wide move to get to the breeze after 650m. She then worked hard for the rest of the 2240m event and wilted over the final 100m to finish fourth behind Tasmanian filly Barynya, who rated 1.55.7 after a final 800m in 56.2sec. Libertybelle Midfrew has been absolutely superb at her four starts for Reed and reinsman Shannon Suvaljko in Western Australia, winning each time without being extended, with an average winning margin of 12.7m. There appears to be no chinks in Libertybelle Midfrew’s armour. She possesses a tremendous will to win and has overcome tough runs, covering extra ground and working in the breeze in all four of her Australian appearances. Suvaljko describes her potential as “scary” and declares that he has yet to let her go in her races. Libertybelle Midfrew rounded out her preparation for the big race with a runaway victory in an Oaks prelude last Friday night after she had raced without cover until bursting to the front 600m from home. It is an interesting fact that Reed’s other Oaks winners, Pharosan and Sheer Royalty, also won an Oaks prelude a week before the final. The WA Oaks was first run in 1968 when Fred Hough trained and drove Pyramus to victory over Miss Dundee. If Libertybelle Midfrew is successful Reed will equal the record of Fred Kersley jun. and Trevor Warwick with three wins in the classic. Kersley was successful with Wannerie (1979), Capricciosa (1980) and Countess Gina (1985) and Warwick won the classic with Benemerenza (1982), Parthenon (1995) and Lombo Rapida (1999). Reed has a second-string runner in the Oaks this year in My Samantha Jane, who will be driven by his son Mark from the unfavourable outside barrier on the front line. My Samantha Jane, a winner at three of her 15 starts, will be at long odds and faces an extremely difficult task. Capel horseman Andrew de Campo, who drove the Neil Lloyd-trained Norms Daughter to victory over Ted Demmler’s Victorian filly and 6/4 on favourite My Cherie in the 1994 Oaks, has three runners, polemarker Artistic Copper (Nathan Turvey), Im Bella Jay (Matt White) and Maddy White (Aiden de Campo). A win by any of that trio would come as quite a surprise. Dontdoubtme, trained by Shayne Cramp and to be driven by Gary Hall jun., caught the eye at her WA debut last Friday night when she was eighth at the bell and finished fast to be second to Libertybelle Midfrew. She possesses good ability and has won at five of her eight starts. However, she will need a bit of luck from barrier four on the back line. Hall drove Miss Holmes to victory over Hindu Sitara and Vinnies Sister in the 2004 Oaks. Chris Lewis, who has driven the winner of the Oaks four times --- with Jamcaro (1988), Showtime Franco (1996), Sheer Royalty (2009) and Sensational Gabby (2012) --- will drive All About Pink for the first time in a race for Byford trainer Ryan Bell. All About Pink, a smart winner in moderate company at Northam at her latest appearance, is favourably drawn at No. 2 on the front line. A CHANGE OF TEMPO FOR LEDA McNALLY Speedy mare and noted frontrunner Leda McNally will be seen in a new role in the 2503m Schweppes Mix It With The Best Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night She will be resuming after a spell and will be contesting a standing-start event for the first time in her splendid career which has produced 19 wins, nine placings and stakes of $281,308 from 51 starts in mobile events. The five-year-old, trained at Pinjarra by Chris King, has set the pace in ten of her wins, but she is also capable of unwinding a sparkling late burst of speed. There is no prospect of Leda McNally leading on Friday night because she will start off the back mark of 50 metres in a race restricted to mares. Leda McNally, to be driven by Chris Voak, has not raced since she started from a wide barrier and was forced to cover a lot of extra ground before finishing seventh behind Vansumic in the Ladyship Mile at Menangle on March 2. Friday night's event is for M0 and better-class pacers, with the handicapper having discretionary powers. If Leda McNally was handicapped on her automatic mark (M10) she would be starting off 100m. She meets all her rivals on extremely favourable terms, but with mares starting off the front and from the 10m mark capable of running fast sectionals, Leda McNally will be sorely tested. Maggies Mystery, off 20m, is racing keenly and will have many admirers. She was hampered for room when an unlucky sixth behind Korobeit Angel over 1730m last Friday night. She impressed at her two previous starts with placings behind Famous Alchemist and Little Boy Blue. Pure Empathy has struck top form in stands for Pinjarra trainer Brad Groves and reinsman Aldo Cortopassi, with wins at Pinjarra and Bunbury and a second to Sir Escapealot at Bunbury at her past three outings. She contested a two-horse standing-start trial at Pinjarra on Sunday morning and won by 40m after sprinting the final 400m in 27.8sec. Jungle Genie, a New Zealand-bred four-year-old trained by Greg and Skye Bond, will have many admirers. She has won at 12 of her past 28 starts and her effort to come from the rear to finish second to Korobeit Angel last week was full of merit. That followed her strong-finishing win the previous Friday night. By Ken Casellas
Powerful New Zealand-bred filly has the $150,000 Gannon’s WA Oaks at Gloucester Park next Friday night at her mercy, according to reinsman Shannon Suvaljko. Suvaljko issued a chilling warning to the Christian Cullen filly’s rivals when he declared that she was probably the best horse he has driven. “She has gone to the line charging, with the plugs in,” he said after driving her to a runaway victory in the Slater Gartrell Money Magnet WA Oaks Prelude at Gloucester Park on Friday night. “So, look out next week. A good barrier in the final always helps, but she looks like she’s got the better of them (her rivals) and I think she will just keep getting better. “She’s all class and I knew that they would hold her out tonight. That wasn’t a worry because we wanted to give her a good (solid) run tonight in preparation for the 2536m final next week.” Libertybelle Midfrew, trained by Mike Reed, has not been extended in winning at all four of her starts in Western Australia and is certain to be a short-priced favourite in the final of the Oaks. She was favourite at 5/1 on in Friday night’s 2130m prelude in which she started from the No. 3 barrier on the front line. Polemarker Maddy White led for the first 150m before Colin Brown sent Jungle Jewel, second favourite at 10/1 from barrier two, to the lead. After a fast lead time of 36.5sec., Jungle Jewel went through the first 400m section of the final mile in a comfortable 31.1sec. Then the tempo increased and the final quarters went by in 29.3sec., 28.1sec. and 28.6sec., with Libertybelle Midfrew rating 1.56.1. This was a track record for the distance by a three-year-old filly, breaking the 1.56.8 rated by Millwood Meg in June 2010 and Korobeit Angel in May 2013. Libertybelle Midfrew exploded past Jungle Genie at the 600m mark and she quickly opened up a two length lead before coasting to victory by just over five lengths from 14/1 third fancy Dontdoubtme, who was eighth at the bell and impressed with her sparkling late burst of speed. Maddy White (201) trailed the pacemaker and held on to be fourth, with The Parade running home nicely from tenth at the bell to be fourth. Jungle Genie faded to a distant eleventh.