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When former champion juvenile Sensational Gabby managed just one win and one third placing from 11 starts between December 2012 and January this year her harness racing future was in extreme doubt. She was wrecking her winning prospects by overracing fiercely and hanging and her connections were seriously considering retirement plans. But astute Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri did not give up the battle and after months of experimenting he has cured her bad habits of pulling hard and hanging in her races and now she has regained all the brilliance which enabled her to win at 23 of her first 27 starts. She paced generously and faultlessly when she revealed blistering speed to outclass her rivals in the Ray Duffy Memorial at Gloucester Park on Friday night, recording a smart 1.54.8 rate over the 2130m after speeding over the final mile in 1min.53.9sec. Sensational Gabby now has several feature events for mares over the next two months at her mercy. These include the $20,000 Golden Girls Mile at Pinjarra on April 21, the $35,000 Race For Roses at Gloucester Park on May 9, the $40,000 WASBA Breeders Pace on May 23 and the $30,000 Westbred Fillies and Mares Classic on May 30. And so well is Sensational Gabby performing that there are plans to set her for rich feature events next summer, including the Fremantle Cup and WA Pacing Cup. Olivieri is well pleased that Sensational Gabby is now tractable in her races, but he remains tight-lipped about what gear changes he has made to cure her bad habits. Sensational Gabby was an easing 13/4 second favourite on Friday night when most punters pinned their faith on Soho Valencia, who was a heavily-supported 2/1 on favourite from the No. 2 barrier on the front line. However, the anticipated battle for supremacy never really eventuated, with Chris Lewis firing out Sensational Gabby from the No. 1 barrier and establishing a decisive early lead on the opposition, leaving Soho Valencia in the breeze, but a couple of lengths behind the flying pacemaker. After a 29.3sec. first 400m section of the final mile Sensational Gabby left the opposition floundering in her wake as she sped of the next quarters in 28.5sec., 27.7sec. and 28.4sec. Sensational Gabby won by two lengths from Soho Valencia, with almost a length to Code Red (9/1) in third place after he had trailed the leader throughout. The five-year-old WA-bred Sensational Gabby has now amassed $527,495 from 27 wins and six placings from 48 starts. Sensational Gabby's win gave Lewis the third leg of a winning treble in consecutive events --- after wins with Shirlz Sensation and Lovers Delight. Lewis almost landed four wins in a row (in the four legs of the quadrella) when Pembrook Henry set the pace and finished second to Erris Lad. MACHTU EQUALS STATE RECORD Crack New Zealand-bred gelding Machtu is now a clear favourite for the $200,000 WA Derby on Friday week after his devastating performance to crush his rivals in the Cowden Ltd Derby Prelude at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Machtu, prepared by leading trainer Gary Hall sen., is spot on for the rich classic and he equalled the State record for three-year-olds over 2536m when he rated 1.57.2 in beating Three Blind Mice by almost seven lengths. Robyns C C also rated 1.57.2 when she finished strongly to win a race for fillies last August. What made Machtu's performance all the more impressive was that he worked hard without cover for much of the way before storming away from his rivals in the final stages with a final 400m in 28.2sec. After unplaced runs at his first two starts in New Zealand as a two-year-old in December 2012, Machtu has won at seven of his next eight starts. His five WA starts have produced four wins and a fighting second to stablemate Elegant Christian. Machtu, favourite at 3/1 on, started from barrier four and raced three wide for the first 200m before Clint Hall restrained him back to settle in ninth position. Hall started a three-wide run after 900m and Machtu quickly moved alongside the pacemaker So Ubettabelieveit. Machtu surged to the front 270m from home and careered away from his rivals. Three Blind Mice, trained by Barry Howlett, was a 19/1 chance who raced without cover during the first lap and then gained the one-out, one-back trail behind Classic American before being shuffled back to seventh at the bell. He finished powerfully, out wide, to be a splendid second. Life Live Fast (66/1) enjoyed an ideal pegs run throughout and fought on along the inside to be third, with Zacharia finishing solidly into fourth place. Machtu, who has earned $51,038 from seven wins and a second from ten starts, is the fourth foal out of Holmes Hanover mare Letatalk, who managed to win only once from 20 New Zealand starts for stakes of just $3938. SHIRLZ SENSATION IS ON THE RISE Four-year-old Shirlz Sensation looks set for a bright career after another outstanding performance to score an effortless victory in the Community Newspaper Group Westbred final at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Starting favourite at evens from barrier two on the back line, Shirlz Sensational was driven aggressively by Chris Lewis before scoring by three lengths from Smooth Caesar (6/1), with the strongly-supported 9/4 second fancy Soho Jackman one and a half lengths farther back in third place. Oneheart Twofists jumped straight to the front from barrier three and he was joined by Shirlz sensation 700m after the start after a slow 37.9sec. lead time and 30.9sec. opening quarter of the final mile. The third quarter whizzed by in 28.1sec. before Lewis sent Shirlz Sensation to the front with 230m to travel. The final quarter was covered in a sparkling 27.8sec. and Shirlz Sensation rated a smart 1.57 over the 2130m. Soho Jackman started from the outside of the back line and did a good job to finish third. He was last 1050m from home before sustaining a solid three-wide burst. Shirlz Sensation, part-owned and trained by Mike Beech, has turned the corner this season, with his past seven starts producing five wins, a second and a third. He was also extremely impressive last Friday week when he raced without cover before winning by more than ten lengths. He now has raced 22 times for seven wins and three placings for stakes of $58,720. LOVERS DELIGHT IS GETTING TOUGHER Lightly-raced six-year-old Lovers Delight, a noted frontrunner, revealed improved stamina and determination when he raced in the breeze before beating the pacemaker Lord Lombo in the $25,000 Pick Of The Little Scrapbooking Clarke final at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Trained at Capel by Andrew De Campo and driven by Chris Lewis, Lovers Delight, the heavily-supported 3/1 favourite, simply carried too many guns for his 11 rivals. Lord Lombo, a 9/1 chance, was first into stride from barrier two and Lewis then was quite content to allow Lovers Delight to settle in the breeze. After a third section of the final mile in 28.1sec. Lord Lombo looked set to score an upset win. But he was unable to withstand the finishing effort of Lovers Delight who got to the front in the final 25m and scored by 2m at a 1.57.6 rate over 2130m. Outsider Franco Torres overcame the disadvantage of starting from the outside of the back line when he ran on from eighth (on the pegs) at the bell to be third, a half-head in front of polemarker Benjamin Banneker. The New Zealand-bred Lovers Delight has raced 22 times in WA for eight wins and eight placings to take his career record to32 starts for 12 wins, ten placings and $170,203. He now graduates to an M3 classification and looks set for many more successes. BREAKTHROUGH SUCCESS FOR MISSISSIPPI BELL Four-year-old Mississippi Bell, unplaced at her only seven previous appearances at Gloucester Park, made a significant breakthrough when her Waroona trainer Bob Mellsop drove her to a convincing victory in the 2130m Ross North Group Mares Pace on Friday night. Mississippi Bell, a 12/1 chance from the inside of the back line, relished the run of the race behind the pacemaker Awesome Desire (13/4) before Mellsop eased her into the clear in the closing stages. She ran on determinedly to hit the front 80m from the post and draw away to beat Awesome Desire by almost a length, with 20/1 chance Mene Jaccka coming from three back on the pegs to fill third position. Love In The Dark, a newcomer from Queensland, was strongly supported to start favourite at 10/9 on at her WA debut for Byford trainer-reinsman Shannon Suvaljko. She was beaten for early speed from the No. 3 barrier and worked hard in the breeze before fading to finish eighth. Mississippi Bell rated 2.0.3 and took her record to 28 starts for six wins and one placings for stakes of $33,032. She is by American stallion Riverboat King out of Northern Lights mare Firestorm Whitby and is certainly bred to be a good winner. Firestorm Whitby's dam Tempting Franco produced five winners, including Typhoon Whitby, who had 46 starts for 17 wins, seven placings and $163,751. Typhoon Whitby finished second to The Kindly One in the $100,000 1999 Bathurst Gold Tiara, won the $60,000 State Sires Series for two-year-old fillies at Gloucester Park in August 1999 and was fourth behind Tupelo Rose in the 2000 Victoria oaks. Mississippi bell also is closely related to former outstanding pacer Franco Tiger, who amassed $991,387 from 43 wins and 36 placings from 116 starts. Franco Tiger's victories included the 1992 Miracle Mile, the 1992 Australian Pacing Championship, the 1992 Queensland Pacing Championship and the 1993 Treuer Memorial. He also finished second to Westburn Grant in the 1992 interdominion championship at Moonee Valley and third behind The Harlem Boy and Jack Morris in the 1993 WA Pacing Cup. SPRINT TRIP SUITS CARTERS ROCKET Carters Rocket, a flop when he led and faded to third behind Wolowitz over 2190m at Northam last Tuesday, appreciated returning to a sprint journey when he scored an all-the-way victory in the 1730m Kennards Hire Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. His one-length win over Ima Grumpy Jasper at a 1.57.78 rate ended a losing sequence of 12, which included only two placed efforts. Polemarker Im Clean Cut, a surprising 5/4 on favourite after finishing ninth, twelfth and eleventh at his three previous starts, was beaten out at the start by Carters Rocket (second fancy at 17/4) from the No. 2 barrier. This proved decisive. Colin Brown gave Carters Rocket his head and the New Zealand-bred five-year-old by Elsu sped through the first 400m section of the final mile in 28.7sec. before Brown was able to give the gelding a breather with a leisurely second quarter in only 31.9sec. Carters Rocket covered the final quarters in 29.8sec. and 28.2sec. and won from Ima Grumpy Jasper, a 12/1 chance who ran on from eighth in the middle stages. Im Clean Cut trailed the pacemaker before getting a clear passage in the final stages to finish gamely into third place. Carters Rocket, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, won twice from seven New Zealand starts and has been a handy performer in Western Australia where his 38 starts have produced eight wins and seven placings. He now has a record of 46 starts for ten wins, ten placings and $57,931. Carters Rocket is out of the unraced Pocket Rose, whose full-sister Tupelo Rose was a champion performer who earned $879,867 from 35 wins and 25 placings from 101 starts. Hollywood Rose, a mare by Butler B G, failed to win from 20 starts in the early 1990s. However, Tupelo Rose quickly developed into a superstar who won several group 1 and group 2 events as a juvenile. She won two group 1 classics for fillies as a two-year-old at Alexandra Park in 1999 before winning the New Zealand Great Northern Oaks, the Victoria Oaks, the Queensland Oaks and Australian Oaks the following year. Tupelo Rose won 12 races in New Zealand, 12 in Australia, one in Canada and ten in America. AM OPULENT Four-year-old Am Opulent, a group 1 classic winner as a two-year-old in New Zealand, took full advantage of the coveted No. 1 barrier at Gloucester Park when she gave a bold frontrunning display to win the 2130m Gannons Mares Pace on Friday night. Favourite at 7/4 on, Am Opulent was driven with supreme confidence by Ryan Warwick, who gave the mare her head when she dashed over the final 800m in 57.5sec. She won by a neck at a 1.57.3 rate from 15/1 chance Bettor Whitby, who trailed her throughout. Jungle Genie (13/2), a stablemate of the winner, sustained a three-wide burst from last in the middle stages to be a neck away in third place. Am Opulent, who ended a losing sequence of ten with an easy victory at Harvey at her previous outing, gives every indication of many more wins. She has earned $162,757 from ten wins and eight placings from 31 starts. A winner of three races from seven starts in New Zealand, Am Opulent has had 24 starts in WA for seven wins and seven placings. She revealed abundant early promise and was successful in the group 1 Caduceus Club Classic for two-year-old fillies at Alexandra Park in April 2012. Her dam Imprint (by Life Sign) earned only $22,622 from three wins and three placings from 14 starts, but she is closely related to Smart Son, who earned $347,805 from 41 wins and 59 placings from 226 starts. He was successful in New Zealand, Australia and the United States. Am Opulent completed a double in the first two events on Friday night's program for Forrestdale trainers Greg and Skye Bond, who prepared Carters Rocket for his win in the opening event. The Bonds continued on their winning ways with a double at Kellerberrin on Sunday afternoon when Showstopper and Jungle Jewel scored all-the-way victories. DASHING CHRISTIAN ENDS LOSING RUN OF 14 New Zealand-bred seven-year-old Dashing Christian ended a losing sequence of 14 when he unleashed a powerful burst which enabled him to get up in the final stride to snatch victory by a nose over 7/4 favourite Mighty Flying Thomas in the 2536m Plscrapbooking.com.au Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Dashing Christian, third favourite at 5/1, started from the inside of the back line and Clint Hall had him in fifth position, three back on the pegs, for most of the race, with Shifting Sand (14/1) setting the pace. Mighty Flying Thomas settled in tenth place before Morgan Woodley sent him forward after 550m to move into the breeze. After a third quarter of the final mile in a brisk 28.2sec., Mighty Flying Thomas got his head in front with 375m to travel and looked set for victory when he led clearly in the home straight. But Dashing Christian sprouted wings and gained the verdict by the barest of margins after a final quarter in 28.9sec. The Feather Foot (9/2) ran on strongly from sixth at the bell to be third. Dashing Christian, who had finished encouraging seconds at his two previous starts, gave trainer Gary Hall sen. and Clint Hall a double after they had combined to win the previous event with Machtu. Dashing Christian, a winner at one of his seven New Zealand starts, raced seven times in New South Wales for seven wins and six placings. He has had 23 starts in WA for three wins and nine placings to take his career earnings to $105,955 from 11 wins and 19 placings. He is then second foal out of Falcon Seelster mare Dreamy Dash, who managed just one win and seven placings from 33 starts for earnings of $17,165. ERRIS LAD MAKES THE MOST OF DROP-DOWN RULE The drop-down rule introduced a couple of years ago which enables pacers assessed M2 and better to drop down a grade has proved a tremendous boon for WA-bred Erris Lad, who has returned to winning form three times after receiving this advantage. Horses handicapped M2 or better drop down a grade after completing a losing sequence of ten. Erris Lad, trained at Hazelmere by Mike Reed, dropped back from an M2 to an M1 classification after chalking up a losing run of ten when a sound fourth behind Major Fury last Friday week. This enabled the seven-year-old to start from the front line in Friday night's 2503m TABtouch Handicap, an event for M1 and better-class pacers. Colin Brown took advantage of the front-line draw and had Erris Lad, a 20/1 outsider, poised to strike from the one-out, one-back position, with 3/1 chance Pembrook Henry setting the pace. Erris Lad finished full of running to take the lead 100m from the post. He went on to beat Pembrook Henry by a half-length, with a neck back to 16/1 chance Hez Got the Nod, who finished strongly out five wide after racing three back on the pegs. Flyalong Falcon, favourite at 5/2, lost his chance by galloping at the start. Mister Sarkozy also galloped and The Pacing Priest broke soon after the start. Flyalong Falcon came from tenth in the middle stages to be fifth before breaking on the home turn and dropping back to finish last. Erris Lad has been the beneficiary of the drop-down rule three times. His previous victory was last November when having his first start after a losing run of ten. His previous win before that success came after he had also enjoyed a downgrade. Under the old handicapping regulations Erris Lad would now have an M5 classification. His win on Friday night returns him to an M2 mark. FLYING START PAVES THE WAY FOR LA PASSIONE A flying start from the outside barrier paved the way for New Zealand-bred five-year-old La Passione's impressive victory in the 2536m McInerney Ford Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Darling Downs trainer Aldo Cortopassi revved up La Passione from the unfavourable No. 7 barrier and the gelding quickly charged past polemarker Good Luck Dollar and into the lead. Cortopassi was able to get La Passione to relax and the 4/1 second favourite coasted through the first two sections of the final mile in 31.8sec. and 30.7sec. before dashing over the next two quarters in 28.7sec. and 29.1sec. to win by two lengths from Black Cracker, who fought on doggedly after racing without cover. Good Luck Dollar trailed the leader and finished a neck away in third place. La Passione, by American stallion Pacific Rocket, is beginning to realise his potential after arriving in Western Australia about 14 months ago after having had 18 starts in New Zealand for four wins and seven placings. His 21 WA starts have produced four wins and six placings and he should develop into a handy and consistent city performer. Ken Casellas  

Champion trainer Gary Hall sen. maintained his dominance of feature events at Gloucester Park when his younger son Gary produced a near-perfect drive to land up-and-coming star Northview Punter a decisive and impressive winner of the $35,000 Alltools Four And Five-Year-Old Championship at Gloucester Park on Friday night. And to emphasise the 64-year-old's overwhelming superiority in West Australian harness racing he produced the trifecta, with Soho Valencia (Clint Hall) finishing second, a neck ahead of Benjamin Banneker (Justin Prentice). The trifecta paid $514.70 for a $1 investment. Hall sen. is now mapping out plans for the New Zealand-bred four-year-old Northview Punter to contest the rich feature events at next summer's Gloucester Park carnival. "He has taken his time to hit his straps," Hall jun. said. "He's always had the ability, but it has taken a little while to get it out of him. He's a bull and he's starting to mature at the right time. "I always thought that he was just below them (the State's top pacers), but the way he's going now, and if he keeps heading in that direction, he's going to be a player come Christmas." In a keen betting race, Northview Punter was solidly supported to start third favourite at 7/2, with five-year-olds Soho Valencia and Red Salute sharing favouritism at 2/1. Benjamin Banneker was a 52/1 tote outsider. Red Salute, as expected, jumped straight to the front from the No. 1 barrier and Hall jun. urged Northview Punter forward from the No. 4 barrier to race three wide for the first 200m before applying some pressure on Red Salute. Northview Punter then gained the one-out, one-back trail after a lap when Soho Valencia (sent forward, three wide, after 600m) moved into the breeze. After moderate first sections of the final mile in 30.8sec. and 30.4sec., the third 400m section whizzed by in a sizzling 27.7sec. when Soho Valencia challenged Red Salute for supremacy. Finally, Soho Valencia took the lead 250m from home, but he was unable to withstand the powerful late burst from Northview Punter, who burst to the front with 70m to travel and went on to win by just under a length at a 1.57.1 rate after a final quarter of 28.8sec. Benjamin Banneker raced three back on the pegs before finishing strongly to be third, with Rocky Marciano sustaining a spirited three-wide burst to be a splendid fourth. Red Salute wilted to fifth. Northview Punter, by Bettors Delight, has now earned $256,915 from 18 wins and 12 placings from 38 starts. Hall jun. admitted that he was "not really confident" after the third quarter in 27.7sec., saying: "He did sort of drop the bit at that stage. He does struggle a bit with point-to-point speed. But that quarter down the back definitely brought me into the race and on the bend he was charging, full of running." HALL SUSPENDED FOR 30 DAYS AND WILL MISS WA DERBY Champion reinsman Gary Hall jun. has been denied the opportunity of winning the $200,000 WA Derby on April 11 after being suspended for 30 days for causing interference in the Alltools Red Lithium Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The 31-year-old Hall, in the sulky behind 7/4 favourite Korobeit Angel, was suspended for severely checking the early pacemaker Lord Lexus rounding the first turn shortly after the start of the 1730m event. Korobeit Angel, who started from barrier three and raced three wide early, contacted the off fore leg of Lord Lexus, causing the 5/1 third favourite to break into a gallop and drop back to the rear. Korobeit Angel then went on to set the pace. She pulled hard in the lead and wilted to finish third behind the fast-finishing last-start winner and 20/1 chance Hokuri Handrail and Little Boy Blue. The 30-day suspension is the heaviest penalty in recent years imposed on a driver causing interference in a race in WA. The stewards intended to hand down a 34-day suspension before reducing the penalty to 30 days after Hall pleaded guilty to the charge of careless driving in that he allowed Korobeit Angel to shift in and check Lord Lexus. Hall decided to start his suspension immediately and did not drive at the Bunbury meeting on Saturday night. He has driven 99 winners in WA this season and will be eligible to resume at the Pinjarra meeting on Monday April 21. Korobeit Angel sprinted over the first 400m section of the final mile in 28.4sec. and sustained a smart pace with the next quarters in 29.3sec., 29.3sec. and 29.1sec. Hokuri Handrail, an M3-class pacer, became eligible to contest Friday night's event restricted to M0 and M2-class performers when trainer Kristie Morrone engaged Luke Edwards to make use of his concession as a junior driver. Hokuri Handrail started from the outside of the back line and was on the pegs in eighth position at the bell before Edwards brought the New Zealand-bred six-year-old home with a brilliant burst. Edwards eased the gelding off the pegs with 250m to travel and after going four wide on the home turn Hokuri Handrail charged home from fifth at the 100m mark to burst to the front 50m from the post. He rated 1.56 in scoring his 13th win from 39 starts in WA. He now has earned $129,752 from 18 wins and ten placings from 61 starts. DALTON MAKES A GREAT START TO WA CAREER Former Victorian trainer-reinsman Clive Dalton made a wonderful debut as a trainer at Gloucester Park on Friday night when Major Fury set the pace and held on to win the 2503m Alltools The Name Says It All Handicap. The 55-year-old Dalton, who has driven about 500 winners and trained almost 700 winners in Victoria, prepares Major Fury for New South Wales breeder-owner Matthew Sandblom at Neven Botica's Herron property, 60km north of Bunbury. Dalton took over the preparation of Major Fury from Peter Tilbrook after the NSW-bred five-year-old had finished second to Hez Got The Nod at Gloucester Park a fortnight before Friday night's success. In an unusual coincidence, Next Dawn, the winner of the final race on Friday night's program, was trained and driven by Dalton for 17 starts in 2011 for three wins at Shepparton and one win at Cobram. Major Fury was a firm even-money favourite on Friday night and his supporters were on good terms with themselves when Callan Suvaljko got the gelding away to a flying start from the inside of the front line. After an opening quarter of the final mile in 30.7sec., Suvaljko increased the tempo and Major Fury covered the next three sections in 29.7sec., 28.9sec. and 29.2sec. Major Fury fought on tenaciously to beat 10/1 chance The Pacing Priest, who finished strongly from fifth at the bell to go down by only one metre. A neck away in third place was Black Cracker, who trailed the pacemaker throughout. "As soon as he jumped away I was pretty confident," Suvaljko said. "He can roll 30sec. quarters and sprint home pretty well. That was the plan to roll along and make it difficult for the backmarkers. He should win more races." Major Fury, a winner of four races in NSW as a two and three-year-old, has had 16 starts in WA for six wins and three seconds to boost his career earnings to $63,189 from ten wins and five seconds from only 27 starts. His dam The Kindly One (by American stallion Praised Dignity) raced 42 times in NSW for eight wins, 11 placings and $95,562. She has produced six winners, including Art Princess, an earner of $179,364 from 14 wins and 21 placings from 62 starts. The Kindly One's dam, the Queensland-bred Kotare Fury, had 100 starts form 19 wins and 38 placings for stakes of 72,958. EYRE CRUSHER STAKES HIS DERBY CLAIMS Leading trainer Gary Hall sen. has a vice-like grip on the $200,000 WA Derby on April 11 with a team of brilliant three-year-olds, including Elegant Christian, Machtu, High Courage, Pelusiac and Classic American. And Eyre Crusher emerged as another realistic prospect for the Hall camp in the group 1 classic when Clint hall drove him to a thrilling fast-finishing victory in the 2130m Milwaukee Nothing But Heavy Duty WA Derby Prelude at Gloucester Park on Friday night. "Eyre Crusher will beat any of my three-year-olds, sitting on them, as long as he doesn't work early," Hall sen. said. "When Gary drives him at home he says he feels the closest to Im Themightyquinn. But he's not strong. He's got a lightning burst for about two furlongs, and once he's at the end of that he falls in a heap. He's an opportunist." Pelusiac was all the rage in Friday night's race and was sent out favourite at 5/2 on, with Eyre Crusher second favourite at the gift odds of 15/2 and Bettor Offer, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, at 8/1. Pelusiac lacked sparkle from the No. 2 barrier and raced without cover for the first 500m taking over as pacemaker from 33/1 chance Back On Board. Bettor Offer then was left in the breeze and Eyre Crusher gained the perfect one-out and one-back trail. Colin Brown sent Bettor Offer to the front 140m from the post, but he was overhauled in the final stride by the flying Eyre Crusher, who gained the verdict in the photo by a nose. Both the final 400m sections were covered in 28.1sec. and Eyre Crusher rated 1.56.7. Eyre Crusher won once from two starts as a two-year-old in New Zealand and his record now stands at nine starts for four wins and four seconds for earnings of $39,623. He is the first foal out of Mach Three mare Lucasta Midfrew, who won twice from 30 starts. Lucastra Midfrew's half-sister (by Christian Cullen) Libertybelle Midfrew won the $156,000 Yearling sales final for two-year-old fillies by five lengths at Alexandra Park in April 2013. DELIGHTFUL JADE OVERCOMES A CHECK TO WIN Delightful Jade, who is closely related to former star performer Whitbys Miss Penny, remained unbeaten after two starts when she unwound a spirited finishing burst to win the $21,000 Alltools Western Crown Classic for two-year-old fillies at Gloucester Park on Friday night. She overcame a check approaching the home turn to get up and beat the pacemaker and 7/4 on favourite Mohito, who dead-heated for second with 20/1 chance Lady Willoughby. Mohito was two lengths clear of her nearest rival with 100m to travel before she wilted and was defeated by Delightful Jade, who trailed her throughout. Tricky Styx, a 6/1 chance driven by Aiden De Campo, raced in last place in the field of six before starting a three-wide move at the 550m mark. She sprinted strongly to get three-quarters of a length in front of Mohito 250m from home. She had not crossed to a clear lead when she broke into a gallop approaching the home turn. "When I got checked when Aiden's horse galloped I didn't think I was going to pick up the leader," said Delightful Jade's driver Matt White. "To her credit she knuckled down and did the job. She has got a great attitude and will only improve. This is the first time I have driven her and I was pretty impressed." Delightful Jade, second favourite at 9/4 and trained at Capel by Andrew De Campo for breeder-owner Melissa Howie, is by Bettors Delight out of Booth Hanover mare Whitbys Solitaire, who raced only nine times for two wins, four placings and $5443. Delightful Jade has earned $18,620 for her two wins from two starts. Whitbys Solitaire is out of Fiscal Miss, a mare who won 15 races and earned $53,854. The first foal out of Fiscal Miss was Whitbys Miss Penny, who was retired after having had 50 starts for 32 wins and six placings for $568,289 in prizemoney. Whitbys Miss Penny won the $80,000 Edgar Tatlow Stakes at Moonee Valley in March 1990 at her third start and her victories in 1991 included the Western Gateway Pace, the Battle of Bunbury, the WA Oaks, the WA Derby, the Caduceus Club Classic, the Sires for three-year-old fillies, the Pink Diamond and the Four-Year-Old Coca Cola Pace. In 1992 she finished second to Impressionist in the Golden Nugget Championship and won the Fremantle Cup, the Mount Eden Sprint, the Bunbury Cup and a prelude of the WA Pacing Cup. RED HOT MAJOR CALLS THE TUNE Red Hot Major, the 11/4 second favourite, made the most of an abominable start by 2/1 favourite Artillery Major by leading all the way in the $21,000 Alltools Western Crown Classic for two-year-old colts and geldings at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Artillery Major galloped badly and lost about 200m and this enabled Kim Young to drive Red Hot Major hard from the No. 4 barrier to cross to the front soon after the start. Red Hot Major was joined in the lead in the first lap by 13/4 third favourite Out Of The Shadow and he looked set for an easy victory when that gelding began to wilt in the final circuit. But debutant Military Master, a 7/1 chance who had trailed Red Hot Major all the way, loomed as a serious threat when he got into the clear approaching the home turn and ran home determinedly. However, Red Hot Major revealed splendid fighting qualities to resist the challenge and go on and win by 1m at a 1.59.6 rate over 1730m. "The other horse (Military Master) went really well and surprised me a bit," said Young. "I was probably driving to beat two of the others (Artillery Major and Out Of The Shadow) and when Military Master came at me I thought we were going to get beaten. Military Master was not the worst horse, but one we didn't know anything about. However, my horse showed good endeavour." Red Hot Major, owned and trained by Gary Elson, has won at his first two starts and has earned $18,035. His dam Red Hot Rita earned $32,564 from 11 wins and 13 placings from 46 starts. Red Hot Rita also produced smart performers Just Live Life (43 starts for ten wins, 16 placings and $60,440) and Im Smouldering, who had 31 starts for 14 wins, 14 placings and $262,475 in prizemoney. Im Smouldering won the group 2 Tatlow Stakes for two-year-old fillies at Melton in May 2012, defeating the brilliant Frith, and the group 1 $100,000 Vicbred Super Series final for three-year-old fillies at Melton last July. NEXT DAWN SHINING FOR CUMMINGS Former Victorian pacer Next Dawn maintained his sound form for his new trainer Graham Cummings when he finished in dashing style to score an easy victory in the 1730m Make Smoking History Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. A winner at Northam four starts earlier, Next Dawn was a 14/1 chance from barrier two on the back line, with polemarker I Am Legend (boasting a losing sequence of 17 and unplaced at his previous 12 starts) a well-supported favourite at 5/2, with Absolute Cool, placed once at his previous eight starts, a strong second fancy at 13/4 from barrier four on the front line. Next Dawn, driven for the first time by Robbie Williams, raced in seventh position, three back on the pegs while I Am Legend set the pace with Absolute Cool working hard in the breeze. Williams got Next Dawn off the pegs and into the clear approaching the home turn and the Victorian-bred six-year-old finished strongly to take the lead 90m from the post. He won by one and a half lengths from I Am legend, with two lengths to Im Terrific in third place after that pacer had trailed the pacemaker all the way. Next Dawn, who rated 1.56.3, has won 11 times from 42 starts in Western Australia to take his record to 75 starts for 16 wins, 14 placings and $97,947. By American stallion Dawn Of A New Day, he is the fifth and final foal, and only winner, out of unraced What's Next mare Next Interest. PACIFIC WARRIOR A MAJOR CHANC E IN CLARKE FINAL New Zealand-bred six-year-old Pacific Warrior emerged as the horse to beat in the $25,000 final of the Clarke Pace next Friday night when he gave another powerhouse performance to score a narrow but impressive victory in the third qualifying heat at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Pacific Warrior was a 6/1 chance from barrier five on the front line, with most punters pinning their faith in the polemarker Lovers Delight, who started favourite at 6/4 on. Our Arlington (barrier three) and Menelaus of Sparta (four) were smartest into stride, but neither was able to get to an early lead, with Chris Lewis driving hard to keep Lovers Delight in front with a slick lead time of 36.6sec. Kade Howson did not bustle Pacific Warrior early before he sent the gelding forward to move into the breeze after about 600m. After the first two sections of the final mile in 30.5sec. and 30sec. Howson applied more pressure on the leader and the next two quarters whizzed by in 28.4sec. and 28.1sec. Pacific Warrior got his head in front 400m from home and he and Lovers Delight matched strides down the home straight, with Pacific Warrior prevailing by a half-head, with 5m to Pride of Colorado, who trailed the leader all the way. "Lovers Delight ran the lead time (a brisk 36.6sec.) and we stayed out of that," Howson said. "And from there we just had to keep at him. Lovers Delight had burnt early and was a bit vulnerable. Pacific Warrior just keeps coming. He's a tough, big horse and hopefully he will develop into a Cups prospect." Pacific Warrior, trained at Mt Helena by Ray Williams, has had 30 starts in WA for 16 wins, six seconds and two thirds to take his career record to 57 starts for 20 wins, 15 placings and $176,293 in stakes. SHIRLZ SENSATION LOOKS SET FOR A BRIGHT CAREER Lightly-raced four-year-old Shirlz Sensation has taken his time to develop and is now giving promise of becoming a good winner for Jandabup trainer Mike Beech. Shirlz Sensation started from the outside of the front line at the gift price of 15/2 in the third qualifying heat of the 2130m Community Newspaper Group Westbred Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night and gave a most impressive display to score an effortless victory. Atlastalone, favourite at 11/8 from barrier three on the front line, hung out in the score-up and locked sulky wheels with Kissed Flush when the mobile sent the field on its way. Outsider Mako Shadow was smartest into stride, but was unable to wrest the lead from polemarker Atomic Chip (4/1) in a fast lead time of 36.1sec. Ryan Warwick then sent Firebomb to the front after 520m and soon after that Chris Lewis dashed Shirlz Sensation forward to work hard in the breeze. Shirlz Sensation led by a half-length at the bell and remained in that position for the next 500m before forging to a clear lead 300m from home. Shirlz Sensation then careered away from his rivals to cover the final 400m in 28.4sec. and win at a 1.56.7 rate by a margin of 31 metres from Soho Monza, with a head to Firebomb. Shirlz Sensation has had 21 starts for six wins, three placings and stakes of $48,971. COMPACT ROCKET DELAYS THE START AND THEN BEHAVES PERFECTLY West Australian-bred five-year-old Compact Rocket, who has been unreliable at the start in several recent stands, again was fractious behind the tapes and delayed the start of the 2503m Alltools.com.au Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Chris Voak then got Compact Rocket away to a perfect flying start and the gelding burst straight to the front before bowling along in the lead and scoring an easy victory, beating Pacific Playboy by one and a half lengths, with Veitchy flashing home along the pegs to be third. Compact Rocket, a 7/1 chance trained by Ross Olivieri, kept his rivals, particularly 2/1 favourite Trojan Bromac, well at bay in the middle stages when he dashed through the second and third quarters of the final mile in 29.9sec. and 28.2sec. Trojan Bromac, who moved into the breeze with two laps to travel, wilted to finish fifth. Compact Rocket is by American sire Dr Drew and is the only winner out of New Zealand-bred mare Pipe Dreamer, who raced eight times in New Zealand and eight times in Victoria for just one win, at Cranbourne in August 2001. Compact Rocket, bred and owned by Bob Fowler, has been a handy performer who has earned $64,396 from nine wins and nine placings from 55 starts. by Ken Casellas

Up-and-coming pacer Red Salute has started from the prized No. 1 barrier four times in his 51-start career for four all-the-way victories over 2130m and Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri is confident that the gelding will continue this trend when he starts from the inside barrier in the $35,000 Alltools Four And Five-Year-Old Championship over 21230m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. "I was rapt with his performance last week and he can go faster than that," said Olivieri when commenting on Red Salute's strong frontrunning performance to win over 2130m at a 1.56.9 rate last Friday night. "That was a controlled, aggressive type race and he'll probably need to go faster this week. To hold up and lead will be Plan A. Polak (barrier three) can begin fast, but they might also respect Red Salute's gate speed. And I don't think that Northview Punter (barrier four) is capable of crossing Red Salute." Red Salute will again be handled by Chris Voak, who has driven the WA-bred pacer at 12 of his 15 wins. Red Salute is an M6-class performer and the highest-assessed runner in the race. Answering a query that he should be overjoyed at the gelding drawing the No. 1 barrier against lesser-performed horses, Olivieri said: "It's a good field which contains several horses who are on M3, M4 and M5 marks, and they are going to get to an M6 mark and better. "Red Salute was immature and had a gaiting problem as a young horse. But we've ironed out that problem and now he's more fluent and a bit quicker (at the start). Red Salute is like an AFL footballer with his first pre-season under his belt. He's a new kid on the block in fast class and he's shown that he's up to them in that company. I'm not saying that he's better than them, but he's not out of place in top company." Owners Denise Trobe, Jeanine Diederich, Adrian Staltari and Anthony Jones are hoping that Red Salute will make amends for his distant last in the Four And Five-Year-Old Championship 12 months ago when he started from the No. 4 barrier and raced three wide early before getting a length in front of Your Good Fortune and was about to cross to the pegs and lead when he broke into a bad gallop and dropped back to the rear. Your Good Fortune, favourite at 7/4 on, went on to set the pace and win by a length from Famous Alchemist. These two pacers will again contest the race this year, with Famous Alchemist at No. 5 on the front line and Your Good Fortune on the outside of the back line and each facing a stern test. Olivieri will also be represented by star mare Sensational Gabby, who has fared badly in the draw and will start from the outside (No. 7) on the front line, with Chris Lewis in the sulky. "The draw is against her," Olivieri said. "Her biggest hope is if Polak and Northview Punter charge forward and try to beat out Red salute and they run some ridiculous lead time. Then she would be right in the race. But if they come out under normal speed and run normally she will not have much hope." Leading trainer Gary Hall sen. holds a powerful hand in Friday night's event with five runners --- Northview Punter, Famous Alchemist, Benjamin Banneker, Real Hammer and Soho Valencia. He conceded that Red Salute would be hard to beat from the No. 1 barrier, but said that Soho Valencia should not be underestimated despite drawing the No. 4 barrier on the back line and having his first start for 17 months. "Soho Valencia is easily the best horse in the race, but he will need the run," Hall said. "He's going along nicely, but being first-up is the problem. However, he will still acquit himself well, particularly if he gets a favourable passage." Soho Valencia, an M1-class performer, will be making his first appearance since he made his WA debut in a prelude of the Golden Nugget when he worked hard in the breeze before winning easily from Midnight Dylan and Bronze Seeker over 2130m at Gloucester Park in October 2012. He has raced 33 times for 19 wins and seven placings for stakes of $298,942. It was then discovered that he had bone chips in his off fore knee, a condition which required surgery. Clint Hall will drive the five-year-old on Friday night and his younger brother Gary will handle four-year-old Northview Punter, who notched his 17th victory from 37 starts when he raced without cover before beating Shirlz Sensation at a 1.53 rate over 1684m at Pinjarra three Mondays ago. Kim Prentice will drive Famous Alchemist, his son Justin will handle Benjamin Banneker and Robbie Williams will be in the sulky behind Real Hammer, who will be the rank outsider in the race. HALL TIPS PELUSIAC TO SET THE PACE AND WIN Champion trainer Gary Hall sen. is bubbling with confidence that lightly-raced gelding Pelusiac will prove too speedy for his ten rivals in the $17,000 Milwaukee Nothing But Heavy Duty WA Derby Prelude over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. "He should lead and win," he said. "I'd like him to make amends for last week when he didn't get a clear run." Pelusiac, driven by Robbie Williams, raced three back on the pegs and was blocked for a clear passage in the final circuit when eighth behind outstanding stablemate Elegant Christian in the 2536m Caduceus Club Classic. Gary Hall jun. will resume in the sulky behind Pelusiac this week and he should have little trouble in getting him straight to the front from the No. 2 barrier on the front line. Drawn inside of him is Major Rush, who has won once from 27 starts and invariably is driven with a sit. Two starts ago Pelusiac raced wide early before getting to the front and going on to win the 2100m Battle of Bunbury. He worked hard in the breeze before winning at a 1.53.9 rate over 1684m at Pinjarra five days earlier. He has now raced nine times for five wins and three seconds. His major rival appears to be his speedy stablemate Eyre Crusher, who has had eight starts for three wins and four seconds. Eyre Crusher gave a sample of his class at Northam on Thursday of last week when he dashed to an early lead and went on to win by more than five lengths at a 1.57.2 rate from Calais over 2190m. Calais was having his first start for three months and he should be greatly improved by the outing. He will start from barrier four on the front line on Friday night and should be prominent. Forrestdale trainers Greg and Skye Bond have three smart New Zealand-bred three-year-olds in the race in Bettor Offer (Colin Brown), Zacharia (Chris Lewis) and Black Mr Mach (Ryan Warwick). The Ross Olivieri-trained Tarsao was most impressive at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon when making his first appearance for four months when Chris Voak drove the gelding to an effortless all-the-way victory over 1684m, rating 1.55.6 when he defeated Slurp Alert by more than eight lengths. However, Tarsao's prospects slumped when he drew the outside of the front line. LADY WILLOUGHBY INHERITS THE SPEED OF HER DAM Amongst Royalty is one of the smartest fillies to have raced in Western Australia in recent years and her first foal Lady Willoughby has inherited much of her sparkling speed and brilliance. Lady Willoughby, bred and owned by Bob Fowler, will make her Gloucester Park debut when she contests the $21,000 Alltools Western Crown for two-year-old fillies on Friday night. "She's going to be a sensation," said trainer Ross Olivieri. "But she will be meeting stiff opposition from Mohito and Straittothehilton. I'm very impressed with those fillies and it wouldn't surprise me if she can't match them at this stage. "Lady Willoughby went out and won at her first start, going no time (2.7.2 over 1823m) at Narrogin and then she disappointed us when we thought she would win, but finished only third at Northam." In the Northam race on Thursday of last week Lady Willoughby competed against colts and geldings and after racing one-out and two-back in a field of five she lacked sparkle and finished third, almost four lengths behind the winner Artillery Major. However, Olivieri's hopes were boosted on Tuesday morning when Chris Voak drove Lady Willoughby in trackwork. "He said that she was a different horse to the one who went around at Northam," he said. "Hopefully, her Northam effort was just an aberration and, hopefully, she will go just as well on Friday night as we know she can. Her Mum was good and so is she." Lady Willoughby will start from the No. 2 barrier in a field of six, flanked by unbeaten fillies, Delightful Jade and Mohito. Olivieri hopes that Lady Willoughby will go one better than Amongst Royalty, who finished second in the Western Crown in February 2006 when she finished a nose behind Sheza Clout. Delightful Jade, trained at Capel by Andrew De Campo, finished strongly from three back on the pegs to win by just over two lengths from Torrevean Mio over 1730m at Gloucester Park at her only appearance, on Tuesday of last week. She is closely related to former champion filly Whitbys Miss Penny. Mohito, trained at Bakers Hill by Mike Williams, has won at her only two starts, at Northam and Pinjarra, when she set the pace for Ryan Warwick, who will be anxious on Friday night to get her to an early lead from barrier three. Straittothehilton, trained at Byford by Katja Warwick, will start from the outside barrier and is the most experienced filly in the race, with her four starts producing a debut victory at Pinjarra followed by three second placings. She has been beaten at her past two outings (at Bunbury and Pinjarra) by the Jesse Moore-trained Tricky Styx. Tricky Styx will start from barrier five on Friday night and must come under serious consideration in what should prove to be a highly competitive event. She is a half-sister to Go West U Terror, who won the 2010 Western Crown for colts and geldings. ARTILLERY MAJOR SET TO GUN DOWN THE OPPOSITION Astute Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri firmly believes that Artillery Major has the firepower to remain unbeaten by proving too strong for the enemy in the $21,000 Alltools Western Crown for two-year-old colts and geldings at Gloucester Park on Friday night. "I think that Artillery Major is a huge chance," Olivieri said. "He's fast and he's strong." Artillery Major, handily drawn at barrier three on the front line, will be at a far shorter quote than he was when he made his debut at Northam on Thursday of last week when he was a 25/1 chance who led early and then raced without cover before beating Nitro Lad, rating 2.0.7 over 1780m. Chris Voak will drive Artillery Major and Chris Lewis, back after an ocean cruise, will handle Olivieri's second-string runner Coeur de Whitby, who will start out wide at barrier six. "I put him in a race at Pinjarra on Monday in preference to running in a trial and he ran second in 1.58 and did it really well," Olivieri said. "He will improve his own weight on that run and if he improves as much as I think he will he'll be competitive on Friday night." by Ken Casellas  

Friday night was a red letter night at Gloucester Park for Wanneroo trainer Debbie Padberg, who completed her first city treble when Shannon Suvaljko drove 9/2 chance Hez Got the Nod to a decisive all-the-way victory in the 2503m Carilley Estate Handicap. She had been successful earlier with The Feather Foot (11/2) and Franco Torres, a 57/1 tote outsider. Her three winners were in the first, second and fourth legs of the quadrella, which paid a massive dividend of $84,593. Her husband John, the managing part-owner of the trio, loves to dabble and he left the course rubbing his hands with typical unihibited glee. Debbie, far less extroverted than her ebullient husband, took the feat in her stride, but admitted it was a thrill to land her first Metropolitan treble after having held a trainer's licence for 30 years. "They're all nice horses, nothing too special, and they will just keep on racing and doing their job," she said. "I think I have had four or five trebles on country tracks." She attributed Hez Got The Nod's success to a return to standing-start racing, saying: "He was in mobiles and was going no good, so we returned to stands with him." This was Hez Got The Nod's second run in a stand after only one placing at his four previous starts in mobiles. He also led when he won a Gloucester Park stand before Friday night's race. He also won two stands at Gloucester Park in September and a stand at Northam in December. "We bought him for $25,000 after he had won once from 22 starts in New Zealand and four times from 11 starts in New South Wales," said John Padberg. The Grinfromeartoear five-year-old now has had 15 starts in WA for Padberg and Jodie Foster for five wins, four placings and stakes of $35,510. The gelding has graduated to an M1 classification with a record of 48 starts for ten wins, 20 placings and $66,216. "He's so reliable that he'll earn a bucket load of money out of the stands," said Padberg. Last-start winner Major Fury was a heavily-backed even-money favourite in Friday night's race, but he scrambled into his gear from the inside barrier and was beaten out by Hez Got the Nod, from the No. 2 barrier. Callan Suvaljko then trailed Hez Got The Nod, who covered the first two 400m sections of the final mile in 30.8sec. and 30.6sec. before sprinting over the final two quarters in 29.5sec. and 28.9sec. to win by just under two lengths from Major Fury, with just over a length to Pacific Black, who sustained a spirited three-wide burst from the rear. Hez Got the Nod's maternal granddam Janet Quill produced good winners Dartmoor and Mevagissey. Dartmoor, who won the Australian Pacing Championship at Gloucester Park in March 2008, beating No Blue Manna and Hayton Brain, is still racing in Victoria and has a record of 33 wins and 48 placings from 214 starts for earnings of $400,551. Mevagissey had 141 starts for 17 wins, 27 placings and $171,709. POLAK AND KIMES, A WINNING COMBINATION Five-year-old Polak and reinsman Clint Kimes are a winning combination and Kimes was more than happy to resume as Polak's driver in the $21,000 Mulberry On Swan Autumn Championship, taking over from champion reinsman Chris Lewis, who is enjoying a break, cruising the high seas. Kimes drove with considerable confidence and aggression to score an upset victory over the 10/1 on favourite David Hercules, who just failed to overcome the disadvantage of starting out wide at No. 6 and being forced to race wide. Kimes now has driven the Mike Reed-trained Polak six times for three wins, a second, a third and a seventh. Polak, second favourite at 10/1, started from barrier three and Kimes drove him hard, three wide, before getting past the polemarker Son of Fergie and into the lead after 300m. Morgan Woodley restrained David Hercules to last in the field of nine and when Gary Hall started a three-wide move with Passion Stride after 500m, Woodley followed with David Hercules, who went four wide at the bell in a bid to breach the gap from the pacemaker. David Hercules fought on with typical grit and determination and was beaten by 2m, with the winner rating a smart 1.54.6 after covering the final sectionals in 28.5sec., 29.3sec., 28sec. and 29.4sec. Passion Stride, who was switched to the pegs in the final few hundred metres, finished gamely into third place, just ahead of This Time Dylan, who sustained a strong finishing burst. Max Wimbridge, a part-owner of the winner, was excited at the win and said: "We've been looking for a good draw and we got it tonight. And I think we proved that good draws win races. "One of the owners (Roy Patterson) will be disappointed because he's on a cruise ship and the other one (Stephen Schmedje) is still down in Esperance county his money after selling his farm." Polak has been an excellent investment for Wimbridge, Patterson and Schmedje, having earned $177,695 from 16 wins and 16 placings from 58 starts. He was purchased for just $15,000 at the 2010 Gloucester Standardbred yearling sale and is a full-brother to Schinzig Buller, who has earned $290,837 from 11 wins and 13 placings from 55 starts. His wins included the group 2 Sales Classic for two-year-old colts and geldings in February 2007 and the group 1 Golden Nugget in November 2008 when he defeated Mysta Magical Mach and Im Themightyquinn. Polak is also a full-brother to three-year-old filly Lipizzaner, who led and won a race at Gloucester Park last Tuesday. BIRTHDAY BOY EDWARDS NOTCHES FIRST CITY WINNER Luke Edwards celebrated his 24th birthday on Sunday in style by driving his first Metropolitan-class winner at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he gave a polished display to score an emphatic victory with The Feather Foot in the 2130m Tony O'Driscoll Pace. Edwards, who was granted a licence to drive in the city in January, had The Feather Foot in the breeze for the first 150m before gaining the one-out, one-back trail behind The Black Lord, who was forced to work in the breeze with the 5/4 favourite Chocolatto having an easy time in front with a dawdling lead time of 38.4sec. and a leisurely first 400m section of the final mile in 31.9sec. Edwards was forced to take off earlier than planned when Kristian Hawkins started a three-wide move with Pembrook Henry 700m metres from home, threatening to put The Feather Foot in restricted room. Edwards switched The Feather Foot three wide at the 650m mark and the WA-bred seven-year-old sprinted fast (with the third quarter whizzing by in 28.1sec.) as he charged past Chocolatto with 400m to travel. The Feather Foot covered the final quarter in 28.9sec. and won by more than two lengths from Pembrook Henry (15/1), with Veitchy (28/1) finishing strongly from the rear to be a close third. The winner rated 1.58.9. The Feather Foot, by former champion pacer The Falcon Strike, started at 11/2 and ended a losing sequence of 29. However, he has proved a wonderful acquisition for owners John Padberg, Edwards, his younger brother Isaac, Kiara Davies and Michael Tenardi. They claimed the gelding last July for a mere $4000 and his 20 starts for trainer Debbie Padberg he has won once and been placed eight times for stakes of $22,603. The Feather Foot now has amassed $157,471 from 13 wins and 21 placings from 89 starts. He won the $100,000 group 1 State Sires Series final for three-year-old colts and geldings in July 2010, beating Erris Lad and Thomas With Steam. His maternal granddam Maybe Rich (a winner of ten races) produced six winners, including Fac Et Spiro, who had 85 starts for 23 wins, 30 placings and stakes of $386,695. Edwards, who drove Myouri to victory in an $8000 Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park in mid-February, said he was confident that The Feather Foot would prove hard to beat on Friday night despite finishing ninth in a field of ten behind Rowchester the previous Friday night. "He had a soft run along the pegs and was climbing all over them, but didn't get a clear run," he said. "And at his previous start he was beaten a nose by Shifting Sand. We put him in the race tonight and he was good enough to do the job. I had to go a bit earlier than I would have liked, but if I hadn't he would have been in a pocket. "He will strip fitter at his next start and I reckon he's got another two or three wins in him." Edwards also is hoping for further successes with Gamblers Power, a filly he trains and has driven to two wins at Northam this season. Edwards has no family background in horses. "About four years ago my boss had horses with Kevin Keys and I had my first involvement with horses, working with youngsters with him," he said. "I started to go through the reinsmen's school and then John and Debbie offered me a job as a stablehand. "Debbie gave me a few horses to drive in trials and when I graduated from the reinsmen's school I started working full-time with the Padbergs." SOUTHERN LEGACY LIVING UP TO EXPECTATIONS Breeding suggests that Southern Legacy will continue her wonderful consistent form and win many more races for owner-trainer-reinsman Justin Prentice. Southern Legacy, a 10/1 chance, raced three back on the pegs before finishing powerfully to score an easy victory over 82/1 outsider La Stella Del Mare and Mene Jaccka (22/1) in the 2130m Sully's Painting Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. It was a dream price for the five-year-old, who was having her seventh start after a spell. Her previous six runs had produced two wins, one second and three thirds. Punters rallied to support the polemarker Bonsu, who was sent out at 6/4 on. Bonsu set the pace for Shannon Suvaljko before wilting to finish fourth, with Southern Legacy charging to the front in the final 50m to win at a 1.57.8 rate and take her record to 23 starts for five wins, ten placings and $69,911. Southern Legacy, by Canadian sire Northern Luck, is out of Lady Legacy. She did not race as a two-year-old and showed early promise when, at her third start, finished second to the brilliant Sensational Gabby in the WA Oaks in May 2012. Southern Legacy's dam Lady Legacy raced 23 times for five wins and one placings for stakes of $23,280 before producing six winners, including Scram jet (172 starts for 24 wins, 42 placings and $235,076) and Pride of Colorado (67 starts for 14 wins, 14 placings and $125,013). Lady Legacy's dam Fiscal Miss (15 wins and $53,854) produced 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). Fiscal Miss was out of smart mare Remit, whose eight winners included Whitby Heritage (66 starts for 22 wins, 18 placings and $201,758), Whitby Timer (44 starts for 23 wins, eight placings and $314,899) and Whitbys Merit (14 starts for ten wins, two placings and $168,598). FRANCO TORRES BUCKS ALL THE ODDS Six-year-old New Zealand-bred gelding Franco Torres went into the 2130m first heat of the Burswood On Swan Clarke Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night as the rank tote outsider at 57/1 for three reasons: he had drawn out wide at barrier five, he had finished tenth at his most recent start and was an M2-class performer competing against three M3-class pacers and four M4 horses. However, he bucked the odds and caused a major upset when he stormed home from seventh at the bell to race away and score an easy victory, beating Danieljohn by more than two lengths, with Uppy Son (13/4) a half-length away in third place. Lord Coburn, an easy all-the-way winner at his two previous starts and drawn the prized No. 1 barrier, was all the rage and started favourite at 10/9 on. Lord Coburn led easily, with Black Pontiac in the breeze, Uppy Son on the pegs behind the pacemaker and Mighty Flying Thomas one-out and one-back. The pace slackened after about 500m and Morgan Woodley wisely took off with Mighty Flying Thomas after 650m in a bid to move alongside the pacemaker. But the move was foiled when 25/1 chance Black Pontiac's hind legs contacted the sulky and made him pull hard. This left Mighty Flying Thomas out on a limb, three wide. Franco Torres was seventh at the bell and 50m later Shannon Suvaljko switched him three wide to follow Mighty Flying Thomas, who eventually got to second in the back straight. But he was a spent force and Franco Torres burst to the front 250m from home before racing away from his rivals. Uppy Son pulled up lame in the near foreleg. Suvaljko was fined $200 by the stewards for having crossed his hands to use the whip before the final 200m mark. Franco Torres, trained by Debbie Padberg and owned by John Padberg and David and Alison Wiggers, won twice in New Zealand and three times in New South Wales before being purchased for $25,000. He now has raced 67 times for 11 wins, 18 placings and $89,338. He is a half-brother to Franco The Man, who has earned $185,496 from 19 wins and 28 placings from 105 starts. He is also related to This Time Franco (36 starts for ten wins, 11 placings and $249,151), Franco Thunder (178 starts for 44 wins, 43 placings and $199,928) and Franco Tiger (116 starts for 43 wins, 36 placings and $991,387). VOAK'S TACTICS PAY OFF WITH BET THE MAX There was action aplenty in the 2536m Community Newspaper Group Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night before the innovative Chris Voak triumphed with 11/2 chance Bet The Max. The first surprise came when good frontrunner Waipawa Junior, the 13/4 second fancy from the No. 1 barrier, was crossed by 10/1 chance Elusive Courage, who began speedily from barrier three. Christian Banner, favourite at 2/1, was restrained from the outside barrier back to last in the field of ten. Bet The Max started from barrier two on the back line and settled down in sixth position before Voak vacated the one-wide position and urged the gelding forward in a dashing bid for the lead. Bet The Max sprinted fast and got a length and a quarter in front of Elusive Courage, but was unable to cross to the lead. Voak then restrained Bet The Max and tried to slot in behind the pacemaker. But Bet the Max broke into a gallop and Voak had to abandon that manoeuvre as Colin Brown kicked up with Waipawa Junior to retain the position behind the leader. Voak quickly got Bet The Max back into a pacing action and the gelding was left in the breeze. Elusive Courage then dawdled through the opening quarter of the final mile in 32.4sec. before Luke Edwards brought outsider Myouri with a fast burst from the rear to join the leader and stablemate Elusive Courage 1350m from home, thus providing Bet The Max with the one-out, one-back sit. Myouri got to the front 430m from home, but was unable to hold off the strong-finishing Bet The Max and Christian Banner. The final quarter was run in 28.5sec. and the winner, who is owned by Harry Capararo and trained at Northam by Lang Inwood, rated 2.1.8. Bet The Max surged to the front at the 100m mark and went on to win by 2m from Christian Banner, who finished determinedly, three wide, from seventh at the bell to be second, almost a length in front of Myouri. The New Zealand-bred Bet The Max ended a losing sequence of 15, stretching back to an all-the-way Albany win 14 months ago, and he now has had 61 starts for ten wins, 14 placings and $49,064. Voak, who was driving Bet the Max for the first time, was fined $100 for careless driving in that he reduced the speed dramatically when he tried to restrain Bet The Max to obtain the run behind the leader. This caused the gelding to break into a gallop. WOTAVUGOT SHOWS THAT HE HAS GOT WHAT IT TAKES New Zealand-bred six-year-old Wotavugot certainly is not in the same league as his half-brother Chancellor Cullen, but he certainly gave a most impressive display when he outclassed his eight rivals in very modest company in the 2130m Make Smoking History Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Driven with extreme confidence by Chris Brew for Barragup trainer Laurie Groves, Wotavugot, a son of In The Pocket and a heavily-supported 5/2 on favourite, charged to the front 80m after the start and gave a bold frontrunning display to win by just under 11 lengths from Fully Zapped, rating 1.58.6 after final quarters in 28.4sec. and 29.1sec. This ended a losing sequence of 17, stretching back to a win in a stand at Narrogin in June 2012. Chancellor Cullen, who has had 43 starts for 16 wins, 11 placings and $363,752, is remembered by WA harness racing fans for his half-head victory over Bronze Seeker in the group 1 McInerney Ford Classic at Gloucester Park in November 2012. Wotavugot had 24 starts in New Zealand for seven wins and seven placings. His four wins and four placings from 22 starts have boosted his earnings to $61,257. MANTOMAN TOO TOUGH FOR BOOFSHALFBROTHER New South Wales-bred seven-year-old Mantoman gave a strong staying performance to record a fighting victory over Boofshalfbrother and Franco Jackson in the 2130m Spices Group Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The Michael Brennan-trained gelding was driven for the first time by Gary Hall jun. and was a well-supported 13/4 chance from barrier four on the front line. Boofshalfbrother (9/1) took full advantage of the No. 1 barrier and he set the pace, with opening quarters of the final mile in 31.6sec. and 30.7sec. Hall moved Mantoman into the breeze after 400m when Colin Brown switched Franco Jackson to take the trail behind the leader after being first out from barrier two, but being unable to cross Boofshalfbrother. After a third quarter in 28.4sec. Mantoman moved alongside Boofshalfbrother and got to the front 150m from the post. Boofshalfbrother fought back grimly and went down by only a neck after a final quarter in 29.1sec. Franco Jackson battled on into third place, with the 2/1 favourite Shnappy faded to eighth after racing three wide in the middle stages. Mantoman, by Art Major, is out of Pretty Inpink, a mare who earned $103,492 from 15 wins and ten placings from 47 starts. Mantoman won 12 times in New South Wales and he has had 16 starts in WA for two wins and one placing. His earnings stand at $89,427. SMOOTH CAESAR UPSETS SOHO JACKMAN Big eight-year-old gelding Smooth Caesar outmuscled the opposition when he finished with great spirit to beat 2/1 on favourite Soho Jackman in the first heat of the 2130m Red Pepper Catering Westbred Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Owned by Marie Bingham, and trained and driven by Pinjarra horseman Kim Young, Smooth Caesar started from the coveted No. 1 barrier, but was a 10/1 chance despite a last-start second at Pinjarra and a win on the same track three starts before that. Last-start winner and a 4/1 tote outsider Oneheart Twofists began brilliantly from barrier six and Matt White had the gelding in front after 220m, giving Smooth Caesar a favourable sit on the pegs. Soho Jackman, from the outside of the back line, settled down in 11th position before Gary Hall jun. took him three wide approaching the bell. Soho Jackman sustained his effort and took the lead 100m from the post. But he was unable to hold out Smooth Caesar, who got the upper hand in the final 50m and scored by 2m at a 1.56.7 rate. Smooth Caesar has had 82 starts for 11 wins, 21 placings and $87,487 in prizemoney. WHOS MISTAKE THE FIRST OF SIX WINNERS FOR HALL Veteran pacer Whos Mistake got leading reinsman Gary Hall junior's weekend away to a flying start when he led all the way in the 2130m Munja Gardens Claiming Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Hall completed a double later in the program when he was successful Mantoman and he travelled to Bunbury on Saturday night where he drove four winners --- Truckers Buckeroo, Rocky Pop, Pelusiac and Ben Cartwright. Whos Mistake, trained by Gary Hall sen., was favourite at 6/4 on and he gave punters little cause for concern as he set a solid pace and scored by 4m from 10/1 chance Pride of Colorado, who put up a great performance to fight on doggedly after racing three wide for most of the race. Whos Mistake, owned by Doug Webster, has been a most reliable performer who has earned $148,710 from 18 wins and 25 placings from 124 starts. by Ken Casellas  

Trainer-reinsman Aldo Cortopassi justified the faith placed in him by Queensland owner Jeroen Nieuwenburg when he brought Hokonui Ben home with a sparkling late burst to snatch victory from Northview Punter in the $50,000 MMJ Real Estate RWWA Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Nieuwenburg shocked West Australian harness racing fans early this month when he switched Hokonui Ben from the stables of leading trainer Gary Hall sen. and gave him to Cortopassi to train. In his final two starts for Hall Hokonui Ben Hall had scored a splendid all-the-way victory in the $400,000 WA Pacing Cup and then finished a half-head second to stablemate Livingontheinterest in the $35,000 Lord Mayor's Cup. Clint Hall was in the sulky for Hokonui Ben's WA Pacing Cup triumph, and in an ironic twist, Hall drove Northview Punter in Friday night's race. Northview Punter, a 7/1 chance, began with tremendous dash from the No. 3 barrier and burst straight to the front. Northview Punter looked the winner when he rounded the home bend full of running and holding David Hercules at bay. But he was unable to hold out 13/2 chance Hokonui Ben, who started from the back line and was tenth when he started a three-wide run 950m from home. Hokonui Ben was in eighth place, out wide, with 450m to travel before he thundered home to gain the upper hand in the final couple of strides. He beat Northview Punter by a neck, with David Hercules, equal favourite at 7/4 with polemarker This Time Dylan, a fighting third after starting from the outside of the front line. Morgan Woodley sent David Hercules forward in the first circuit, but the gelding was kept three wide by 26/1 chance Mysta Magical Mach until David Hercules finally got to the breeze after a lap. This Time Dylan enjoyed an ideal passage behind Northview Punter before finishing fourth. In an up-tempo race the New Zealand-bred Hokonui Ben rated a smart 1.55.8 over the 2536m and took his record to 18 wins and 15 placings from 53 starts for stakes of $581,639. His 29 starts in Western Australia have produced 12 wins and ten placings. "We were on a hiding to nothing when we took him and I had a big set of shoes to fill," taking a horse off Senior (Hall sen.)," Cortopassi said. "He has done a huge job with the horse and won the Pacing Cup. I'm just grateful to have the opportunity to race on with the horse. He's a lovely horse and is the real deal. He's probably the best horse I've had the opportunity to train. "Special thanks to Jeroen to have the faith in me to have a crack with the horse. We didn't have to do a lot with him. All I had to do was to try to keep him at that level after all the work that had been done with the horse previously. "This was probably the weakest race Hokonui Ben has contested for a while. There was no Im Victorious or Livingontheinterest. So he was probably the class runner and has done a great job. He really sprinted brilliantly. The race was put on as well after the early burn which made it for horses like him. Luck was on our side." LEDA McNALLY IS SPOT ON FOR THE LADYSHIP MILE AT MENANGLE Leda McNally completed her preparation for the $200,000 Ladyship Mile at Menangle next Sunday in dashing style with a stylish all-the-way win in the first prelude of the MMJ Land Sales Empress Stakes at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The 5/2 on favourite was untroubled to bounce to the front from the No. 1 barrier and set a solid pace before sprinting over the final 400m in 27.9sec. to defeat Sensational Gabby by just under a length at a 1.57.2 rate over 2130m. Famous Alchemist (13/4) trailed the pacemaker and battled on doggedly into third place. It was a performance that pleased reinsman Chris Voak, who said that Pinjarra trainer Chris King had the five-year-old spot on for her battle against her nine rivals, including champion New Zealand four-year-old Adore Me and Baby Bling, winner of last year's Miracle Mile. "She has broken 1.54 on this track (Gloucester Park) and I've driven at Menangle and run at a 1.52 speed and I think that she can easily handle breaking 1.52 speed there," he said. "We'll rely on the barrier draw and hopefully there is genuine tempo in the race. She certainly does her best work when sat up." Voak said he was hopeful that Leda McNally (who will leave Perth for Sydney by air on Tuesday) would handle the travel and change of environment. He pointed out that Leda McNally had won the group 3 Norms Daughter Classic and the group 1 Mares Mile at Gloucester Park in November, with star New Zealand mare Bettor Cover Lover finishing third and fourth in those feature events. "So now we are hoping that Leda McNally is not affected by the travel," he said. The versatile Leda McNally has raced 50 times for 19 wins and nine placings for earnings of $278,308. BROWN PREDICTS BIG THINGS FROM MACH BANNER Recent New Zealand import Mach Banner gave a sample of his class and showed that he is capable of developing into a top-line performer in Perth when he set the pace and held on to beat the fast-finishing Marooned in the third heat of the MMJ Valuations and Consultancy Lewis Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Reinsman Colin Brown said that he had been informed by trainer Greg Bond and stable worker Ryan Warwick that Mach Banner's work during the week, and following his second West Australian appearance when fifth behind Im Victorious in the interdominion championship heat the previous Saturday, had been sensational. "This is the first time that he has put his hoof up, if you like, and declared how good he is," Brown said. "On the track he ran home in 26 (sec.) something and so the horse is on the way up. I think he has got a little bit of class." Mach Banner, a New Zealand-bred five-year-old, arrived in Western Australia with a splendid record in top company in New Zealand where he had 55 starts for 12 wins and 17 placings for stakes of $225,565. Even though he performed soundly in the interdominion heat the previous Saturday and was favourably drawn at No. 2 on the front line on Friday night, Mach Banner was sent out second fancy at 9/4, behind the less-credentialled Northern Assassin, who started from barrier three as a heavily-supported 5/4 favourite. Brown stole a march on Northern Assassin when he urged the seven-year-old forward in the early stages to take up the running after 100m. Polemarker The Oyster Bar broke badly after 200m and Ryan Bell was left in the breeze with Northern Assassin. After a lead time of 37sec. Mach Banner reeled off quarters in 30sec., 29.1sec. 29.1sec. and 28.8sec. and he just held on to beat 15/1 chance Marooned, who trailed the leader before flashing home. Franco Torres, a 66/1 outsider, raced in the one-out, one-back position and finished third, with Northern Assassin wilting to sixth. LITTLE BOY BLUE PROVING A GOOD BUY FOR VAL MELLSOP Val Mellsop, wife of Waroona trainer-reinsman Bob Mellsop, made a wise decision when she outlaid $10,000 to purchase Little Boy Blue from Gary Elson last July. The New Zealand-bred five-year-old notched his fourth win for his new connections when Mellsop drove him to an effortless all-the-way victory from the No. 1 barrier in the 1730m MMJ Facilities Management Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. That boosted his earnings for the Mellsops to $29,930 and took his career record to 54 starts for 12 wins, 17 placings and $95,887 in prizemoney. Little Boy Blue, a strong-finishing winner at Harvey ten nights earlier, was favourite at 3/1 on and he gave his supporters no cause for concern. Little Boy Blue rattled home over the final 400m in 27.3sec. and won at a 1.56.1 rate by just over two lengths from 14/1 chance Hoylakes Firstlady, who started immediately behind the favourite and trailed him throughout. "He's going super and just like me, he loves being spoilt," Mellsop said. "I'm not in a hurry to come back to town. I'll run around in the country and milk it a little bit. He's only five, and he's sound." The win gave Mellsop a belated birthday present. He turned 57 the previous Sunday and had further reason to celebrate when he prepared The Big Bite for his all-the-way win in the Hahn Pace at Bunbury on Saturday night. The Big Bite was driven by Colin Brown and paid $12.40 on the tote. Little Boy Blue did not race in New Zealand. By Armbro Operative, he is out of Robyn Blue, a mare who earned $99,634 from eight wins and 17 placings from 48 starts. As a two-year-old in December 2004 Robyn Blue was placed three times behind Foreal in group 1 and 2 events for two-year-old fillies at Alexandra Park. TRUCKERS RUFFNUT PROVIDES A BOOST FOR EGERTON-GREEN Eight-year-old Truckers Ruffnut caused his second upset in the space of three starts in his long-awaited comeback when 21-year-old Dylan Egerton-Green celebrated his first drive behind the horse by bringing him home with a storming run to win the 2130m MMJ Investment Sales Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Not only was the win a triumph for Bunbury trainer Murray Hansen, but it gave Egerton-Green a timely boost before he represents Western Australia in the $50,000 Australasian Young Drivers championship at Menangle next Sunday. The State's other representative at Menangle next Sunday is Aiden De Campo, who drove even-money favourite Danieljohn in Friday night's race in which Truckers Ruffnut was an easing 33/1 outsider. Danieljohn started from barrier one and bowled along in front before he was overhauled by Truckers Ruffnut about 60m from the post. The final 800m was covered in 56.9sec. and Truckers Ruffnut rated a smart 1.56. Mighty Flying Thomas (4/1) trailed the pacemaker and finished full of running to be a close-up third. This was Truckers Ruffnut's fifth start after an absence of 39 months. He was successful two starts before Friday night's race when he started at 21/1 on the tote. He had been driven at his three previous runs before Friday by Shane Butcher, who returned home to New Zealand about a week ago. This gave Egerton-Green the opportunity to take the drive. Truckers Ruffnut started from barrier two on the back line and Egerton-Green had him three back on the pegs in fifth place at the bell when Rocky Marciano was in the breeze and Whos Mistake was enjoying the one-out, one-back trail. Egerton-Green got Truckers Ruffnut off the pegs 250m from home and took him three wide on the home turn. Truckers Ruffnut accelerated strongly and Danieljohn was powerless to defy his late challenge. Egerton-Green was the 13th reinsman to have driven Truckers Ruffnut during his 52-start career which has produced 20 wins, 14 placings and stakes of $249,770. "He did it pretty easily and was just too good," Egerton-Green said. "But I had to get stuck into him a bit. He was just being a bit cunning." Truckers Ruffnut, a top-flight juvenile who as a three-year-old won the group 3 WA Sales Classic, the group 1 $100,000 State Sires Series and the consolation of the Breeders Crown at Melton, damaged a suspensory ligament in 2010 and then injured his other leg. This is his fourth attempt at a comeback after he had gone amiss at his three previous attempts to resume racing. He is related to New Zealand-bred chestnut Motoring Magic, who earned $366,395 from ten wins and ten placings from 34 starts. FOOTNOTE: Aiden De Campo had three drives on Friday night for seconds with Conniving Major Dave and Danieljohn and a third with Trojan Bromac, all trained by his father Andrew. It was a different story at Donaldson Park in Bunbury the following night when they dominated the eight-event program. Aiden De Campo drove four winners --- Gotta Go Chocolate, Typhoon Tan, Vertical Four and Tricky Styx. The first three are trained by his father and Tricky Styx is trained by Jesse Moore. Andrew De Campo also trained Lovers Delight, who was driven by Chris Lewis for his smart victory in the Bunbury Patrons Cup. GALACTIC GALLEON PROVES TOO TOUGH FOR THE PACEMAKER Galactic Galleon maintained his recent splendid form and notched his fourth win from his past five starts when he revealed wonderful fighting qualities to get up a beat 2/1 on favourite Conniving Major Dave in the 2130m MMJ Real Estate Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. After starting from barrier two on the back line Galactic Galleon(second fancy at 6/1) was rushed forward by Colin Brown to race in the breeze, but well back from the pacemaking Conniving Major Dave. After a third quarter in 28.6sec. Conniving Major Dave looked the likely winner turning for home. But Galactic Galleon refused to give in and surged home to get to the front 40m from the post and win by a head from the favourite. The final section was also covered in 28.6sec. and the winner rated 1.58.6. "Galactic Galleon had the advantage of race fitness over the leader and that told in the end," said Brown. Galactic Galleon, by Art Major and the ninth and last foal out of the unraced Soky's Atom mare Moonshaker, was placed at three of his five starts in New Zealand and now has raced 23 times in WA for eight wins and ten placings. STAMPALIA REPEATS THE DOSE AND STEALS A MARCH WITH KRISTEN LOUISE Almost seven years ago Vance Stampalia drove horse No. 5 in the tenth and final event at Gloucester Park. He stole a march on his rivals when he set the pace with Black Line, an 11/2 chance trained by Debbie Padberg. Black Line went on to win from Ideal Lavros. Stampalia repeated the dose at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he was in the sulky behind the No. 5 runner, Kristen Louise, in the tenth and final event, the 2130m second prelude of the MMJ Real Estate Empress Stakes. He again stole a march on his rivals when he got Kristen Louise, the 16/1 rank outsider in a field of six, away to a flying start. Kristen Louise simply had too much pace for her rivals and burst to the front after 100m before setting a solid pace and winning by a half-length from 7/1 chance Selkie, who trailed her all the way. Ace of Cards came from the one-out, one-back position to finish third. Stampalia was able to get Kristen Louise to relax after her fast start and the four-year-old mare, the youngest and least experienced runner in the race, was able to dawdle through the lead time in 39.1sec. and the first 400m section of the final mile in a slow 32.3sec. She had plenty in reserve and was able to keep the opposition at bay with final quarters of 28.9sec. and 28.5sec. The wonderful connection behind the No. 5 runner in race ten is that Kristen Louise is closely related to Black Line. Kristen Louise, bred and owned by Marshall Taylor and Tony Glass, is the 11th foal out of Windshield Wiper mare Demarcation (a winner of nine races in Victoria). Demarcation's dam Picket Line produced ten winners of 109 races, including Black Line, who earned $255,232 from 18 wins and 13 placings from 78 starts. Picket Line is a half-sister to Shadow Line, who won 14 times in WA for Ken White. Stampalia drove Shadow Line twice for an 11th placing and a nose second to Guys Laughing over 1700m at Gloucester Park in September 2001. Kristen Louise has earned $38,590 from five wins and eight placings from 34 starts. LEWIS MAKES THE MOST OF A LUCKY BREAK WITH LORD COBURN Invariably when a horse gallops fiercely at the start of a stand the runner behind him meets with severe interference and frequently is virtually out of contention. The polemarker Czargem galloped badly when the tapes released the field for the MMJ Commercial property Management Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The well-supported 13/4 second favourite and last-start winner Lord Coburn was immediately behind Czargem on the inside of the 10m line. But most fortuitously Czargem veered outwards to provide a dream saloon inside passage for Lord Coburn, who burst straight to the front while the well-fancied Erris Lad was inconvenienced by the galloping Czargem and was foiled in an anticipated bid for the early lead. Chris Lewis then dictated terms in front with the Ross Olivieri-trained Lord Coburn, who was not extended in running the first two sections of the final mile in 31.5sec. and 30.2sec. before sprinting over the next two quarters in 28.6sec. and 28.5sec. to coast an easy 7m victory over Erris Lad, who had trailed the pacemaker all the way. Trojan Bromac, favourite at 3/1, fought on to be third after racing in the one-out, one-back position. "A bit of luck goes a long way," said Lewis. "You take it when you can. Obviously it made this horse's job a lot easier. Lord Coburn is in form and once he was in front he was going to be pretty hard to beat. I think he has stepped up a notch and he's definitely got more wins in him." The Victorian-bred Lord Coburn has had 53 starts for 14 wins, 14 placings and $103,665. He has had 15 starts in WA for four wins and four placings. PREORDAINED BREAKS THROUGH AND ENDS A LOSING SEQUENCE OF 16 Preordained, a New South Wales-bred five-year-old, had been unplaced at all his 16 appearances at Gloucester Park before he was sent out a warm 5/4 favourite from the prized No. 1 barrier in the 1730m MMJ Commercial Strata Pace on Friday night. But he gave his supporters a giant scare before prevailing by a nose as he held on grimly to defeat the fast-finishing 11/4 second fancy Barkers Hall to end a losing sequence of 16. Preordained, driven by Morgan Woodley for Northam trainer Glenn Elliott, was beaten out by 25/1 chance Nuclear Bunny from barrier three. However, Nuclear Bunny was unable to cross to the pegs and Preordained, after a slick first quarter in 29.7sec., coasted through the next 400m in a leisurely 31.5sec. before final quarters of 28.8sec. and 28.9sec. Woodley dashed Preordained away after rounding the home turn, but the Parsons Den gelding had to fight grimly to keep Barkers Hall at bay. "He put the writing on the wall at Northam last week when he whizzed forward from an outside gate, got to the lead and hung in really good (when second to Fully Zapped)," Woodley said. "And on paper this looked like his race from barrier one over a mile on a predominately leader-biased track. Everything looked in his favour. "But it was a lot closer than I would have liked on the line. He got away with easy sectionals and I thought he would have had a fairly good kick left in the straight. But when I went for him there wasn't quite as much there as I thought I might have had. "I was definitely worried when Barkers Hall came at him. Preordained was a short-priced favourite and I probably could have made the decision just to keep sitting against the horse and keep Barkers Hall in a pocket a lot longer than I did. When I made the decision to kick I thought I had plenty in reserve. But then there were certainly nervous moments for me." Preordained has raced 59 times for eight wins, 14 placings and $50,703. IT'S JUST A STROLL IN THE PARK FOR MISTER JADORE It certainly looked a one-sided affair when Mister Jadore lined up against four moderate rivals in the $21,000 MMJ Commercial Leasing Sales Classic for three-year-old colts and geldings at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Mister Jadore was the State's star two-year-old in the 2012-13 season and went into the race as the winner of seven races and $168,129, with the combined earnings of his rivals being a mere $28,514 from a total of four wins. Starting at 10/1 on, Mister Jadore made it a one-act affair as Chris Lewis drove him to an effortless all-the-way victory, rating 1.58.4 after sprinting over the final quarter in 28.7sec. He crossed the line 19m ahead of the 9/1 second fancy Apache Cruiser, who trailed him throughout. Mister Jadore, trained by Annie Belton and raced by her and her husband Colin, boosted his prizemoney to $181,989 from eight wins and nine placings from 20 starts. "He has run a nice time, which he needs to at this time of the year," said Lewis. "It has taken him a little bit of time to get back to his best and he's now bringing his times down." by Ken Casellas  

Veteran pacer Mysta Magical Mach bounced back to top form with an all-the-way victory in a 2536m event at Gloucester Park last Friday night and astute Byford trainer Tony Svilicich has high hopes the nine-year-old can equal the feat of former champion Village Kid by winning the $35,000 Make Smoking History Lord Mayor's Cup on Friday night for the fourth time. Trainer Bill Horn combined with champion reinsman Chris Lewis to win the Lord Mayor's Cup with Village Kid in 1985, 1986, 1989 and 1990. Svilicich has won the Cup with Mysta Magical Mach in 2009, 2011 and last year. Morgan Woodley, who handled Mysta Magical Mach in the 2009 and 2013 Cup victories, will again be in the sulky in this year's 2536m Cup. Justin Prentice drove the New Zealand-bred gelding when he won the 2011 Cup. Woodley has also won the Cup with the Svilicich-trained Taihape Tickler in 2006 and was successful behind Another One For Me in the 2012 Cup. Mysta Magical Mach has drawn awkwardly on the inside of the back line in this year's Cup, but the hardy gelding has a fine history of overcoming disadvantages. He started from the outside of the front line (barrier nine) in the 2009 Cup when he was restrained to the rear and then covered a lot of extra ground in the middle stages before winning from Mr Yankee and Smooth Crusa. He also started from the outside at No. 9 in 2011 when he raced wide early and then in the breeze before defeating Can Return Fire and Tsunami Lombo. In last year's Cup Mysta Magical Mach (4/1) started from the No. 2 barrier and Woodley got him to the front after 400m, with Im Themightyquinn, the 11/4 on favourite settling in sixth position in the one-wide line before starting a three-wide move 1100m from home. Mysta Magical Mach held Im Themightyquinn at bay and beat him by a half-length. Im Themightyquinn was driven by Kim Prentice for leading trainer Gary Hall sen., deputising for the champion's regular driver Gary Hall jun., who was in Mildura contesting the annual invitation drivers' championship at that club. Hall sen. and Prentice are now confident of making amends for Im Themightyquinn's defeat in last year's Cup by succeeding with Livingontheinterest, who is ideally drawn at No. 2 on the front line and looks the likely leader. Prentice will take over from Hall jun., who drove Livingontheinterest when he finished a close third behind Mysta Magical Mach and Red Salute last Friday night. Hall jun. will be in Mildura on Friday night as Western Australia's representative in the invitation drivers' championship. Hall sen. has a good record in the Lord Mayor's Cup. He trained and drove Tricky Bey to victory in 1994 and Abit Rich for his win in 1997. He also won the Cup with Live Live To Reign (Hall jun. in 2007) and Talk To Me Courage (Shayne Cramp in 2010). In last week's race Livingontheinterest started from barrier five on the front line and Hall jun. restrained him to the rear. Woodley was able to get Mysta Magical Mach to relax in front and the gelding ambled through the first 400m section of the final mile in 32.8sec. Livingontheinterest made a lightning move 1300m from home to quickly move alongside the pacemaker, who then dashed over the final three quarters in 28.4sec., 28.3sec. and 27.7sec. Mysta Magical Mach held on to score by a head from the fast-finishing Red Salute, with a neck to Livingontheinterest. "I don't think any runner can beat my two runners, Livingontheinterest and Hokonui Ben," said Hall sen. "Livingontheinterest lost by only a long neck last week after working in the breeze. There's not much between him and Hokonui Ben. Livingontheinterest grows a leg in front." Livingontheinterest has won six times at Gloucester Park when leading and there appears little doubt that he will burst past the polemarker Ohoka Dallas in the early stages. Nine-year-old Ohoka Dallas has a losing sequence of 34 (in which his only placing was 27 starts ago) and he will be at6 handsome odds. Hokonui Ben is favourably drawn at barrier three on Friday night for his first appearance since Clint Hall drove him to an all-the-way victory in the $400,000 WA Pacing Cup over 2936m last Friday week. Clint Hall is serving a term of suspension and Hall sen. will confer with the gelding's Queensland owner Jeroen Nieuwenburg on Wednesday before a substitute reinsman is engaged. Lewis, who has won the Lord Mayor's Cup a record eight times, will handle the Ross Olivieri-trained Red Salute, who rattled home from fifth on the pegs at the bell to be second to Mysta Magical Mach last week. Red Salute will start from the outside of the back line and should be finishing with a flourish. Hall jun. will be busy at the Mildura meeting on Friday night with eight drives. In the four heats of the invitation drivers' championship he will handle Rose Harvest, Our Bedrock, Aldebaran Macha and Ya Bowen Delight, and in minor events he will drive Em Jay Fortyseven, Par Three, Queen Mab and Saint Theory. ARISTOCRATIC GLOW WARMS UP IN FINE STYLE Five-year-old Aristocratic Glow has never set the pace during her 33-strart career and she is unlikely to lead from the prized No. 1 barrier in the $25,000 Put Smoking Behind You Im Themightyquinn Mares final at Gloucester Park on Friday night. But the Barry Warwick-trained mare should enjoy an ideal passage throughout the 2130m mobile event and should prove hard to beat. She warmed up for this week's feature event in splendid fashion when she charged home from the rear to be second to Courage On Fire over 2130m last Friday night. Aristocratic Glow started from barrier four and lacked early sparkle. She was tenth with 400m to travel before she unwound a spirited finishing burst, flying home from seventh (five wide) on the home turn. She was a Gloucester Park 2130m winner three starts before that when she surged home from sixth at the bell to beat Tatum Franco by a length. With Aristocratic Glow unlikely to muster sufficient early speed to lead, there is likely to be a keen battle for the front between Pure Empathy (barrier two) and Millies Girl (No. 3). Both are smart frontrunners. Pure Empathy, trained by Brad Groves, will be handled by Aldo Cortopassi, who drove the mare when she gave a strong frontrunning display to win from Millies Girl and Corza Commotion in a 2130m heat of this event three starts ago. Millies Girl has set the pace in all of her six wins from 58 starts and Shane Young will be expected to make a spirited effort to get to an early lead. One of the fancies is sure to be the Ross Olivieri-trained four-year-old Deluxe Edition (Chris Voak), an extremely consistent performer whose 32 starts have produced eight wins and 14 placings. Deluxe Edition, who is inclined to pull hard in her races, will start from the No. 4 barrier Deluxe Edition covered extra ground, out three wide and then in the breeze, before getting to the front and then finishing third to Lord Diego in fast time over 1730m last Friday night. She was most impressive the previous week when she flew home from the rear to be a close second to Talk About Mach. Talk About Mach, to be driven by Kyle Harper for veteran trainer Bill Horn, will have many admirers from the inside of the back line. A versatile five-year-old, she has won at three of her past four starts, all over 2130m at Gloucester Park. ASKMENOW READY FOR HER FIRST STAND AFTER A DASHING TRIAL A dazzling trial by Askmenow at Byford on Sunday morning has filled leading trainer Gary Hall sen. with confidence for the four-year-old mare's first appearance in a stand --- the 2503m Quit Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The New Zealand-bred Askmenow, the youngest runner in the race, will start from 20m in the field of 12 and will be driven by Kim Prentice for the first time. Prentice was engaged because Gary Hall jun. will be driving at the Mildura meeting on Friday night and his elder brother Clint is under suspension. Askmenow, who has raced 34 times for ten wins and 11 placings, qualified to start in a stand for the first time when she began smoothly from the outside of the front line in a 2550m stand at Byford on Sunday morning. Driven by Hall jun., Askmenow set the pace and won by 24 lengths from Lifes A Journey at a 2.1.5 rate. After a third quarter of the final mile in 29.5sec., Askmenow sprinted brilliantly over the final 400m in 27.8sec. "Rating 2.1.5 in a stand at Byford is really flying," said Hall sen. "They usually run 2.3 or 2.4 in similar company. She did it easily and getting caught up in traffic should be her only worry on Friday night." Askmenow resumed after a brief let-up when she began from the outside of the front line and was restrained to the rear before finishing powerfully to be fifth behind Rocky Marciano over 2130m last Friday week. Hall sen. also has excellent prospects with the New Zealand-bred Majorly Foxy Styx in the Smoke Free Pace for three-year-old fillies. Majorly Foxy Styx has won at Gloucester Park at each of her past five starts, including her first four runs as a three-year-old. She will start out wide, at barrier five on the front line and will be driven by Kim Prentice. "She should go very close and her only danger appears to be Generally Outspoken, providing that filly does everything right," Hall said. "Generally Outspoken galloped over the line when she won a Byford trial on Sunday morning." Chris Voak has been engaged to drive Generally Outspoken, who has a distinct advantage, starting from the coveted No. 1 barrier. CONDRIEU SHOULD SEND PUNTERS HOME ON A WINNING NOTE New Zealand-bred four-year-old Condrieu, the youngest and least experienced runner in the final event at Gloucester Park on Friday night, should overcome the disadvantage of the outside barrier on the front line and prove the master of his ten rivals in the 2130m Thank You For Not Smoking Pace. Trained at Forrestdale by Greg and Skye Bond, Condrieu will be driven by Ryan Warwick, who replaces the suspended Colin Brown. Condrieu is a classy animal who should certainly have the edge over his rivals. There is plenty of early speed on the front line and Warwick is likely to restrain Condrieu before unleashing the gelding alight when the pace slackens. However, there is a possibility that Warwick could attempt to set Condrieu alight when the mobile barrier releases the field. Brown used the element of surprise successfully when he got Condrieu away brilliantly from the No. 5 barrier in the McInerney Ford Classic in November when the gelding burst straight to the front and set the pace before finishing a gallant second to Chilli Palmer. Whatever the scenario Condrieu appeals as the winner. He has raced 28 times for nine wins and 11 placings and looks set for a bright career. SCHOOLBOY GETS HIS CHANCE WITH THREE TOP DRIVES AT ALBANY Sixteen-year-old Micheal Ferguson has been rewarded for working over the school holidays for leading trainer Gary Hall sen. by being engaged to drive three smart Hall pacers at the Albany Cup meeting on Friday night. Ferguson will handle in-form pacers Ben Cartwright, Westernator and Vapour, each of whom has an excellent winning chance. Hall, who will have ten starters at the Gloucester Park meeting on Friday night, has five runners engaged at the Albany meeting. He has engaged Michael George for speedy Eyre Crusher, who looks a certainty in the Auto One Albany Three-Year-Old Pace after his dashing victory at Gloucester Park last Friday night, and Rowchester, who has drawn perfectly at barrier one in the $30,000 GWN7 Albany Cup. "Micheal Ferguson helped out over the school holidays and he deserves to get the chance with some good horses," Hall sen. said. Ben Cartwright should prove very hard to beat from the No. 3 barrier in the 2258m Bevan's WA Seafood Pace after his runaway victory over Grand Cru and Livelong And Prosper at Gloucester Park last Friday night. The American-bred Westernator has bright prospects from the No. 1 barrier in the 2683m MCB Construction Pace. Westernator, a winner at one of his six starts in America, has had 12 starts in Western Australia for two Gloucester Park wins and five placings. Vapour has strong claims from barrier five in the 2258m Snacks HSV Fremantle Pace. A winner of two races in New Zealand, Vapour has had four starts in WA for two wins, a second and an unplaced effort. Rowchester, a New Zealand-bred four-year-old with seven wins and eight placings from 21 starts, is in splendid form and should fight out the finish of the 2683m Albany Cup in which he will clash with Cyclone Mitch, Smokey the Bandit, Mighty Flying Thomas, Gday Mate, Son of Fergie and Lovers Delight. By Ken Casellas

Master horseman Gary Hall sen. took a calculated risk when he abandoned his regular training program for Hokonui Ben leading into Friday night's $400,000 Nepean Conveyors WA Pacing Cup --- and his bold gamble paid handsome dividends when his elder son Clint drove the seven-year-old to a dashing all-the-way victory in the group 1 feature event. This continued the 64-year-old Hall's remarkable dominance of the State's major pacing event, a race he now has won eight times in the past 12 years to extend his lead over the late Phil Coulson, who prepared the winner of five WA Pacing Cups. "It probably was more of a jag, rather than good training," a humble Hall said. "The previous week Hokonui Ben worked in terrific style on the Wednesday morning, but I wasn't happy and was disappointed with his run in the Fremantle Cup on the Friday night." Hokonui Ben enjoyed a perfect trail, one-out and one-back, in the Fremantle Cup, but lacked sparkle in finishing a well-beaten fourth behind Im Victorious, Bettors Fire and David Hercules. "I thought that Hokonui Ben had every chance, so I decided to freshen him up and didn't hopple him during the week," Hall said. "I normally hopple him every week, but I took the chance and confined his work to just cantering every day." Hokonui Ben, favourably drawn at the No. 2 barrier on the front line in the 2936m WA Pacing Cup, was third favourite at 11/2 behind Im Victorious (5/4 on) and David Hercules (5/1), with Bettors Fire the next fancied runner at 10/1. Clint Hall dashed Hokonui Ben past the polemarker, inexperienced stablemate Toretto (a 45/1 outsider), 100m after the start and he relished his pacemaking role before holding on to win by a nose from the fast-finishing Toretto, with 17/1 chance This Time Dylan third and David Hercules fourth. This gave the 36-year-old Hall his biggest success in harness racing and his first win in a group event, 20 years after his first drive in a race, when he finished fourth with favourite Prince of Azhar at the now defunct Cunderdin track. Hall has an enviable record as a reinsman, having won at his first appearance at Gloucester Park and at each of his first two drives in America. He was successful at his 11th drive in a race, when Sweet Boronia won by eight lengths at Bunbury on October 8, 1994. He won with his first drive at Gloucester Park when Little Town Blues beat Just As Sweet in a junior drivers' event on February 17, 1995. He won with his first two drives in America, scoring with former WA pacers Lombo Dominator and Super Strike. Hall sen said that he was extremely proud of Clint, saying: "He has always been a great driver and unfortunately he went to America and has probably lived in Gary's shadow. But he has proved tonight that he is right up there with some of the very best drivers around." The 31-year-old Gary Hall jun. opted to drive Im Victorious for trainer Michael Brennan and he certainly had mixed fortunes in the big race. Im Victorious started from the inside of the back line and Hall drove him hard early in an attempt to get off the pegs and into the one-wide line. However, when Im Victorious was in fourth position 150m after the start he was checked, raced roughly and lost two lengths. The stewards found that Ima Rocket Star (Colin Brown) had shifted down when not clear of Im Victorious. They suspended Brown from driving for 23 days. After this early setback Hall jun. urged Im Victorious forward with a three-wide burst 400m after the start. This caused Kyle Harper, in the breeze with Bettors Fire, to speed up and resist the move. This sudden acceleration opened up the field and Hall was able to immediately slot into the prime one-out, one-back position. Harper then rated back in the breeze, with Bettors Fire almost two lengths behind the pacemaker. Clint hall then was able to get Hokonui Ben to relax, without being under any pressure. No further moves came until Hall jun. eased Im Victorious out from the one-wide line 1300m from home. Hall was half-carting, and Ima Rocket Star, who had been trailing Im Victorious in the one-wide line, contacted the nearside sulky wheel of the favourite. This flattened the tyre, putting Im Victorious at a significant disadvantage. Im Victorious then began a three-wide burst to be fourth at the bell, but he was unable to get past Bettors Fire and had to race out wide for the remainder of the race. He looked a spent force passing the 400m mark and finished sixth. Clint Hall dashed Hokonui ben away from his rivals approaching the home turn, and this allowed Kim Prentice to get into the clear with Toretto, who was two lengths behind the leader at the 100m before finishing with great determination to fail by just a nose. This Time Dylan, who was eased off the pegs approaching the bell, was held up for clear running in the final circuit and Justin Prentice angled the gelding back on to the pegs turning for home. This Time Dylan then finished solidly into third place, a nose ahead of David Hercules, who raced at the rear before unwinding a powerful burst, out wide. After Hokonui Ben coasted through the first 400m section of the final mile in 31.1sec., he gave his rivals something to chase when he sped over the next two quarters in 28.4sec. and 28.1sec. before a final quarter in 29.2sec. He rated 1.59.6 over the 2936m. Clint Hall, who earned a winning driver's percentage of $12,500, was fined $1000 and was suspended for 28 days for improper use of the whip in the closing stages when he wielded the whip with more than an elbow to wrist action. Kim Prentice, who failed by a whisker to land his third winner of the WA Pacing Cup, was fined $500 for the incorrect use of the whip, and a similar fine was imposed on Harper for a similar offence. Gary Hall jun. was fined $200 for half-carting with Im Victorious 1300m from home. Clint Hall said that everything worked in favour of Hokonui Ben, saying: "Tonight I gave myself a good chance if I had things my own way, and it turned out perfectly. My worst nightmare was Kyle holding out Junior three wide early and causing (plenty of) pace. It was a gift when Junior got into the one-one and then Kyle let me do what I wanted to do. That's all I needed. "With a lap to go my fingers were hurting, with Hokonui Ben travelling that well. I knew at the 400m, or even earlier, that we had the fancied runners beaten and I was feeling a lot better than them. About 75m out I was cursing myself that I had kicked away and given Toretto the run that far from home. "I dashed away because I had the other ones off the track. And to be honest I didn't think that Toretto could beat Hokonui Ben. I see a lot of them at home and Hokonui Ben has got a fair bit on Toretto." Hokonui Ben is owned by Queenslander Jeroen Nieuwenburg. A seven-year-old gelding by Washington VC, he was having only his 50th start ibn a race on Friday night. A winner at six of his 24 starts in New Zealand, he has raced 26 times in WA for 11 wins, eight seconds and one third placing. His career record stands at 50 starts for 17 wins, 14 placings and stakes of $540,339. He is the first foal and only one of four foals out of Jane Halsey to have raced. Jane Halsey, by American stallion Admiral Halsey, had 15 starts in New Zealand for one third placing and prizemoney of $413. Her dam Taurus Jane earned just $670 from one third placing from eight starts. Hall sen. said that he would now set Hokonui Ben for the West Australian heat of the interdominion championship at Gloucester Park on Saturday, February 15. "I'm hoping to take Alta Christiano to Sydney for the $200,000 Chariots of Fire (on March 2)," he said. "And if Hokonui Ben qualifies for the interdominion championship final, I'll take him, too." Video attached. GDAY MATE WINS THE CUP CONSOLATION WITH A TYPICAL SPARKLING SPRINT New Zealand-bred seven-year-old Gday Mate, generally regarded as just a good, solid standing-start performer, maintained his rise to the top when he produced a typical sparkling late sprint to score an easy win in the Nepean Conveyors WA Pacing Cup Consolation at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He raced three back on the pegs before trainer Justin Prentice got him into the clear with 300m to travel. And then he charged to the front 100m from the post to win by 4m from the pacemaker Shardons Rocket. Gday Mate rated 1.59 in the 2936m mobile event, which compares favourably with the track record of 1.58.3, set by Dasher VC when he led and won the 2013 Fremantle Cup. Gday Mate covered the journey in 3min. 37.1sec., which was significantly faster than the 3min. 38.2sec. recorded by Hokonui Ben in winning the WA Pacing Cup 25 minutes later. "I'm stoked with him and he showed that he's up there with the best of them," said the 25-year-old Prentice. Gday Mate's win came a week after his fast-finishing victory in a 2536m mobile the previous Friday night. "I was a bit worried about how he would back up tonight," Prentice admitted. "Since I've had him, I've raced him every two to three weeks, and this is the first time I've tried backing him up. Maybe I should've been doing it for a long time." Chris Lewis sent Shardons Rocket (13/2) to the front after 200m and the Tony Svilicich-trained nine-year-old was joined 950m after the start by stablemate and 11/4 favourite Mysta Magical Mach, giving Uppy Son (7/1) the one-out, one-back sit, while Sanjaya (10/1) trailed the pacemaker. Gday Mate travelled well all the way and it was only a matter of getting a clear run. Once Prentice eased him off the pegs 300m from home the result was a foregone conclusion. Sanjaya fought on to finish third, while Mysta Magical Mach wilted to finish seventh and Uppy Son faded to tenth. Gday Mate's past 12 starts have produced five wins and three seconds and he now has earned $184,598 from 15 wins and 31 placings from 87 starts. HALL PERFORMS A MIRACLE TO GET CODE RED BACK INTO ACTION New Zealand-bred pacer Code Red broke down with a serious injury to his off-side foreleg during a track workout on Wednesday December 4. But leading trainer Gary Hall sen. has worked an equine miracle to get him back into action and the gelding returned to racing with a flourish, scoring a most impressive victory in the 2130m Nepean Conveyors Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Hall has used a new, revolutionary treatment to get the gelding back into training and racing. "Code Red damaged his suspensory ligament early last month and I had to scratch him from a race at Gloucester Park the following Friday night," Hall explained. "It is a really bad injury and he hasn't recovered. It is a nine out of ten tear, from top to bottom. But I have treated the injury with this new treatment I've got, and the injury doesn't worry him. It is a treatment I have learnt from a guy in America. It's no drugs or anything like that involved. "It is called PRP and you take the blood and get the serum out of it and inject it into the damaged ligament." Investigations revealed that PRP stands for Platelet Rich Plasma, which is a new therapy for the treatment of equine tendon and ligament injuries. The collection and preparation of platelet rich plasma is simple and non-invasive and takes only about 30 minutes. Blood is collected from the horse's jugular vein and then a process separates the serum from the red blood cells. Eventually, after a series of processes, the platelet rich plasma is injected back into the injured tendon or ligament under ultrasound guidance. Code Red, a seven-year-old by American stallion Red River Hanover, started from the No. 2 barrier on the front line on Friday night and was heavily supported to start favourite at 5/4. Clint Hall got Code Red past polemarker Maggies Mystery and into the lead after 60m and the gelding gave a bold frontrunning display to win by a length from stablemate and 11/4 second fancy Northview Punter. Code Red was not extended in coasting through the lead time in 38.8sec. and the first two 400m sections of the final mile in 30.8sec. and 30.5sec. before he dashed over the final quarters in 28.9sec. and 27.7sec. He rated 1.58.4. Code Red, a winner of six races in New Zealand, left that country with a losing sequence of 21. He has raced 19 times in WA for six wins and six placings to take his career record to 68 starts for 12 wins, 16 placings and stakes of $129,579. He is the first foal out of the In The Pocket mare Asabella, who also produced the brilliant Ohokas Bondy and Dancing Diamonds. The ill-fated Ohokas Bondy raced 44 times for 22 wins, nine placings and $388,148. He was undefeated at his first 13 starts in WA, including the 2010 Golden Slipper. Dancing Diamonds was a brilliant two-year-old and she has earned $343,276 from nine wins and five placings from 21 starts. MAJORLY FOXY STYX SET FOR DAINTYS DAUGHTER CLASSIC Promising filly Majorly Foxy Styx is being set for the $50,000 Dainty's Daughter Classic on February 14 after she extended her winning sequence to five with a convincing victory in the 2130m Nepean Conveyors Three-Year-Old Fillies Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. And after contesting the Dainty's Daughter Classic, Majorly Foxy Styx will be prepared by leading trainer Gary Hall sen. for the rich WA Oaks in April. Majorly Foxy Styx, driven by Gary Hall jun. and hot favourite at 3/1 on, started out wide at barrier six on Friday night and after racing wide early, she got to the front after 500m and went through the first two 400m sections of the final mile in 30.6sec. and 30.5sec. She sprinted over the next two quarters in 28.6sec. and 29.4sec. and won easily by 7m from 7/1 second fancy My Samantha Jane, with two lengths to The Parade (15/2) in third place. The winner rated 1.57.7. Polemarker My Samantha Jane lacked early sparkle and settled down in sixth position and was seventh at the bell before producing a powerful finishing burst. The Parade also ran on gamely from sixth at the bell. Hall sen. said that he was a little concerned at Majorly Foxy Styx's habit of pulling hard. "I didn't like the way she was pulling tonight," he said. "Gary tried to get her to back off, but she wouldn't. However, she still won pretty easily and she's pretty good." WHAT GOD KNOWS GIVES DAVIES HER FIRST CITY SUCCESS Twenty-three-year-old Kiara Davies was all smiles after landing her first Metropolitan-class winner when she drove veteran pacer What God Knows to an all-the-way victory in the third heat of the San Simeon Championship at Gloucester Park on Friday night. And she celebrated this success the following night at Northam when she gave another polished performance in the sulky to score an upset victory with 28/1 outsider Sir Excellent Art, who charged to the front after 100m, set the pace and defeated the 7/4 on favourite Falconice in a 2190m C0-C2-class event. What God Knows, who started at 10/1, and Sir Excellent Art are trained at Wanneroo by Debbie Padberg. Davies, who won the inaugural Junior Drivers Challenge series last year, had to drive What God Knows vigorously under the whip in the early stages to withstand a strong challenge for the lead from Soldier Boy (Clint Hall). After a lead time of 37.4sec., What God Knows went through the first 400m section of the final mile in 29.5sec. before Davies gave him a breather with a 30.2sec. quarter, followed by final sections of 28.9sec. and 29.4sec. Outsider Atomic Chip, who was buried away on the pegs in tenth position at the bell, flew home on the inside and got to within a neck of the winner on the line. Sonic Classic came from seventh on the pegs to be third. Raymon John, favourite at 3/1, was ninth in the middle stages before starting a three-wide move 1050m from home. He sustained the strong burst and appeared the likely winner when he moved into second place passing the 400m mark. But he broke into a gallop with 300m to travel and dropped back to finish in 11th place. What God Knows ended a losing sequence of 13 and took his record to 135 starts for 11 wins and 29 placings for earnings of $106,344. He won at six of his 47 starts in New Zealand and once from five starts in New South Wales. His 83 starts in WA have produced four wins and 20 placings. ATLASTALONE KEEPS THE WEST AUSTRALIAN FLAG FLYING Lightly-raced six-year-old Atlastalone kept the West Australian flag flying at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he was untroubled to set the pace and score an easy win in the second heat of the San Simeon Championship. Atlastalone, bred and owned by Ross Waddell, was the only WA-bred pacer to be successful on the ten-event program. He was a strongly-supported 13/4 favourite and a fast start paved the way for an impressive victory. Byford trainer Garry Butler got Astlastalone away at full tilt from barrier two and he surged past the polemarker The Black Lord and into the lead after only 50m before going through the lead time in a very comfortable 38.2sec. and the opening quarter in a leisurely 31.3sec. After a moderate second quarter in 30.1sec., Atlastalone sped over the final sections in 28.1sec. and 28.3sec. to win by 5m from 13/2 chance Erskine Range, who fought on doggedly after working hard in the breeze throughout the 2130m journey. Lord Lexus enjoyed the one-out, one-back position before fighting on to be third. Atlastalone was off the scene for nine months before resuming racing in mid-December. After a first-up sixth he led and won at Pinjarra and raced in the breeze and finished second to Lovers Delight at Bunbury before contesting Friday night's race. "We had a few issues with him and he's had a good spell," Butler said. "He has come back really good and we're happy with him. He is definitely a nice horse when he leads." Atlastalone has raced 24 times for six wins, five placings and $33,199 in prizemoney. By American stallion Dawn Of A New Day, he is the first foal out of Classy And Smart, who earned $104,828 from 14 wins and 21 placings from 73 starts. TOUGH ROWCHESTER LOVES A FIGHT New Zealand-bred four-year-old Rowchester gave leading trainer Gary Hall sen. the first leg of a quartet of winners at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he revealed typical toughness to win the first heat of the San Simeon Championship. And followers of the all-conquering Hall stable cashed in handsomely, with the Bettors Delight horse starting at the gift price of 7/1. Gary Hall jun. drove Rowchester like the best horse in the race. Rowchester started from barrier four and raced three wide before he got to the breeze outside the pacemaker Jay Bees Grin (9/1), with the polemarker and 10/9 on favourite Ohoka Kentucky behind the leader. Heez On Fire, second fancy at 11/4, dashed forward from the midfield to be fourth at the bell. But he was kept wide in the back straight before Hall jun. sent Rowchester to a narrow lead 300m from home. Heez On Fire fought on grimly, but Rowchester withstood the challenge and beat him by one metre, with a half-head to Ohoka Kentucky, who was hampered for room in the final circuit before finishing fast along the pegs. The final sections were run in 28.2sec. and 29.2sec. and Rowchester rated 1.57.9. "No one really knew what Robbie's horse (Ohoka Kentucky) was going to do from one," said Hall jun. "When he got crossed the race opened up for us. But I thought that jay Bees Grin would be hard to beat. "Rowchester has got a bit of bottom to him and he loves a fight. So it was probably a good thing that we had Heez On Fire there keeping us honest." Hall sen. refused to agree with the general perception that toughness was Rowchester's main asset, saying: "He can be sat up and I reckon if he gets a good sit he could really zip." Rowchester won at three of his five New Zealand starts and has raced 15 times in WA for five wins and seven placings. He has earned $49,530 from his seven wins and eight placings from 20 starts. He is a half-brother to nine-year-old The Musics Over, who won five races in New Zealand and 11 in Tasmania. Rowchester's maternal granddam Samantha Franco produced good WA performer Banana Dana (61 starts for 14 wins, 13 placings and $142,629). His great granddam Smarty Pants produced Smart Son (who was a winner in New Zealand, Australia and America before retiring with earnings of $347,805 from 41 wins and 59 placings from 226 starts) and Vanderel (87 starts for 14 wins, 23 placings and $164,163). ROCKY MARCIANO GOES PAST THE $100,000 MARK Classy New Zealand-bred four-year-old Rocky Marciano underlined his potential and took his earnings past the $100,000 mark when he outpaced his rivals in the 2130m Nepean Conveyors Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. "He looks to have plenty more wins in store," enthused Morgan Woodley after he had driven the Christian Cullen gelding to a decisive victory by just less than two lengths over Our Amazing Art, with three lengths to Mohegan Sun in third place. Our Amazing Art (7/1) jumped in front from the No. 2 barrier and led for the first 500m before Rocky Marciano, the 10/9 on favourite, stormed into the lead after a sizzling lead time of 36sec. Woodley then was able to get Rocky Marciano to relax and go through the first two 400m sections of the final mile in 30.6sec. and 30.8sec. Mohegan Sun, who settled in seventh spot, started a three-wide move with 1200m to travel and he got to third at the bell when Woodley increased the tempo and Rocky Marciano surged through the third quarter in 29.1sec. before sprinting over the final quarter in 28.2sec. to win at a smart 1.56.9 rate. Rocky Marciano, placed at three of his ten New Zealand starts, has been extremely consistent for Bickley trainer Peter Anderson, with his 31 WA starts producing nine wins and ten placings. His stake-earnings now stand at $101,389. TALK ABOUT MACH REVIVES MEMORIES OF VILLAGE KID It was extremely fitting that the colours of blue, gold sash and striped sleeves made famous by the outstanding deeds of Village Kid were to the fore on WA Pacing Cup night at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The colours of octogenarian Hope Valley trainer Bill Horn were worn by 23-year-old Kyle Harper, who drove Talk About Mach to a stylish victory in the 2130m second heat of the Nepean Conveyors Im Themightyquinn Mares Pace. The same colours were carried by Village Kid throughout his magnificent career, which included four victories in the WA Pacing Cup in the 1980s. Talk About Mach, a last-start winner, was a 16/1 chance from barrier three on the back line, with deluxe Edition favourite at 5/2 and polemarker Kotare Ash at 11/4. Kotare Ash, as expected, set the pace, with Harper settling Talk About Mach in eighth position in the one-wide line. Deluxe Edition was restrained from the No. 5 barrier by Chris Voak and went back to last in the field of 12. Aristocratic Glow started a three-wide move approaching the bell, and her run was followed by Talk About Mach, who sustained a strong effort to come from eighth with a lap to travel to hit the front in the final 100m before winning by a half-length from Deluxe Edition, who finished strongly out wide. Kotare Ash held on to be third. Talk About Mach rated 1.58.8 and took her record to ten wins, 14 placings and $105,302 from 47 starts. "When Bill has her absolutely spot on you can tell the difference, and tonight when I hit the track (for the preliminary) I said 'yes this is the one we want and I was pretty confident in the warm-up.'" BRAEMOOR RECOVERS AFTER A TARDY START Boyanup trainer-reinsman Justin Prentice completed a double when Braemoor recovered after a bad start to come from the rear and score a narrow victory in the 2503m Nepean Conveyors Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Prentice had won earlier in the program with Gday Mate in the WA Pacing Cup Consolation. Braemoor, a 15/4 chance off 10m, galloped for a few strides at the start and settled down in ninth position. Lisharry (13/2) galloped badly at the start and broke again 300m later. Im Elmer Fudd (15/1) set the pace for Chris Lewis and he held off an early challenge from Erris Lad. Then Anvils Big Punt (16/1) went forward to race in the breeze in the final two laps. After the first two sections of the final mile min 31.2sec. and 31.3sec., Im Elmer Fudd sped up with a 28.7sec. third quarter as the challengers were coming from the rear. Rockyourbaby went forward 1050m from home and Prentice followed his three-wide burst to move to seventh at the bell. Braemoor went four wide on the home turn and hit the front 50m from the post before holding the fast-finishing Coringa Cory (11/1) at bay to score by a head at a 2.2 rate. Im Elmer Fudd held on to be third, a neck in front of Anvils Big Punt. "At the 400m I thought he was just winning, but at the top of the straight I thought I'd be lucky to run a place," Prentice said. "And when I had Robbie come off my back with Coringa Cory I thought he would have gone straight past me. Braemoor has done a good job to hold him off." Braemoor, a New Zealand-bred seven-year-old by Christian Cullen, has had 27 starts in WA for nine wins and five placings to take his career record to 58 starts for 12 wins, 13 placings and stakes of $111,221. BALLEYBOFEY WINS NORTHAM CUP AT 5/1 New Zealand-bred eight-year-old Balleybofey gave a bold frontrunning performance to win the $30,000 Northam Cup at Burwood Park on Saturday night to give reinsman Chris Lewis his second success in the event. Lewis won the 2001 Cup with the Les Coulson-trained All The Answers. Balleybofey, a 5/1 chance off the 10m mark, began speedily and dashed to the front after 450m to give the 2/1 favourite Flyalong Falcon the trail behind the pacemaker. Kyle Harper dashed Springsteen (off 20m) forward in the first lap to work hard in the breeze. Balleybofey fought on grandly to win by a length from Springsteen, with Flyalong Falcon finishing determinedly, out wide, to be third. The winner rated 2.1.2 over the marathon 2970m and took his record to 14 wins and 24 placings from 68 starts for stakes of $122,086. Balleybofey is trained at Mt Helena by Ray Williams, whose son Grant drove Silvers Coin and Navigator Dee to victory in the Northam Cup in 2002 and 2003, respectively. Navigator Dee was trained by Ray Williams' brother Mike, who also drove High Narai to victory in the 1977 Northam Cup. by Ken Casellas  

Lightly-raced seven-year-old Hokonui Ben emerged as a leading candidate for the rich Cup events at Gloucester Park in January when he outclassed his eight rivals in the $60,000 group 2 Retravision Village Kid Sprint on Friday night. Having only his 48th start, Hokonui Ben, hot favourite at 7/4 on from the coveted No. 1 barrier, survived early pressure applied by Sneakyn Down Under and a flying first quarter of the final mile in 27.2sec. to go on and defeat the fast-finishing 8/1 chance David Hercules by just over two lengths, rating 1.54.3 over the 1730m journey. Hokonui Ben's effortless victory was the high spot on a wonderful night for champion trainer Gary Hall sen. and his son Gary. Hall sen. equalled his best performance at Gloucester Park by preparing six winners on the ten-event program, while Hall jun. drove five winners. Hall sen., who trained five winners the previous Friday night, was a notable absentee on Friday night. He is enjoying a brief holiday in New Zealand with his wife Karen and is also taking the opportunity to cast his eye over some yearlings. Hall jun. praised Hokonui Ben and predicted that the Washington VC gelding would be a major player in the $250,000 Yes Loans Fremantle Cup on January 10 and the $400,000 Nepean Conveyors WA Pacing Cup the following Friday night. "He's gone huge tonight and if he gets a good draw in some of the big races coming up he's going to be very hard to beat," he declared. "On paper it looked that we would have an easy lead, without too much trouble, but I really had to gas him early. "It was a lot harder than we wanted. It was a bit concerning, but we got away with a quiet half (with the second and third 400m sections of the final mile in 30.1sec. and 29.1sec.). But then he wanted to fight me, so full credit to the horse. He found plenty when he needed to. "I knew that after the first quarter that David Hercules was right in the race. And I just had to wait until he pulled out before we got going. He got to us on the bend and got close to us, and when he went four wide I just had to go for home and hope that I was good enough to hold those horses on the fence at bay." David Hercules, who started from the outside of the front line and raced in seventh position in the one-wide line before following the three-wide run of Livingontheinterest approaching the bell. David Hercules charged home, four wide, in the home straight to be an excellent second, with the final quarter taking 28.5sec. Toretto, a stablemate of the winner and a 12/1 chance, enjoyed the run of the race behind the pacemaking Hokonui Ben before running home solidly to be a half-head behind David Hercules in third place. Lord Lombo (50/1) was eighth at the bell before running home strongly along the pegs to be fourth. Dasher VC (16/1) ruined his chances when he broke into a gallop and almost fell soon after the start. Hokonui Ben had 24 starts in New Zealand for six wins and five placings and then his Queensland owner Jeroen Nieuwenburg sent him to Western Australia in April 2012 to be trained by Hall sen. But then a hairline fracture in his near hind leg kept Hokonui ben on the sidelines until he made his Australian debut when an unlucky second to Vital Equalizer at Gloucester Park in late October 2012. Hokonui Ben then won at his next four starts, including the Navy Cup at Gloucester Park and the Bunbury Cup. He now has raced 24 times in WA for ten wins, eight seconds and a third to take his career record to 48 starts for 16 wins, 14 placings and $281,339 in prizemoney. He is the first foal out of Jane Halsey, who had 15 starts in New Zealand for one third placings and stakes of $413. REFORMED SOHO REDFORD HAS COME A LONG WAY Reformed pacer Soho Redford gave promise of better things to come when he gave a bold frontrunning display to win the $25,000 The West Australian Coulson final at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Produced in great shape by Wanneroo trainer Tonia Stampalia, the Mach Three four-year-old horse made the most of the prized No. 1 barrier and simply carried too many guns for his 11 rivals, scoring by a length from the fast-finishing 20/1 chance Heez Orl Black, with 1m to Bettors Ace (12/1), after that pacer had enjoyed the one-out, one-back trail. Soho Redford, a noted frontrunner who had won by four lengths at Northam at his previous outing, was heavily supported and started at 5/4 on. Im Terrific quickly moved into the breeze and Strampalia paved the way for victory when was able to settle Soho Redford and get him to stroll over the lead time in 37.8sec. and the first 400m section of the final mile in 30.6sec. Stampalia increased the tempo and Soho Redford dashed over the next three sections in 29.4sec., 28.8sec. and 29.7sec. He rated 1.58.1 over the 2130m and took his record to 35 starts for eight wins and eight placings for earnings of $59,687 for breeder Rob Watson, who races the horse in partnership with two syndicates. Soho Redford's dam The Dream Bet did not race, but her dam Better Bet earned $96,018 from eight wins and 18 placings from 39 starts. "He has come a long way in 12 months," Vance Stampalia said. "When we first got him he was a bit of a head case. But now you can do anything with him and he's actually a treat to drive. We used to fight a lot, but now we're good mates. Tonia keeps him fresh in the mind with a lot of swimming in the pool." CLASSIC AMERICAN IS DEVELOPING INTO A WA DERBY PROSPECT Leading trainer Gary Hall sen. has no regrets that he convinced several stable clients to outlay $70,000 to purchase Classic American after the colt had scored a runaway victory at his New Zealand debut six months ago. Classic American is living up to Hall's expectations and is showing all the signs of developing into a good prospect for the rich WA Derby next year. Driven confidently by Gary Hall jun., Classic American overcame the significant disadvantage of starting from the outside barrier on the front line to record an impressive victory in the 1730m Electrolux Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The 5/4 on favourite was restrained to the rear before he sustained a powerful three and four-wide burst over the final 900m to beat the fast-finishing Mister Jadore by a length at a 1.57.8 rate after sprinting over the final 800m in 57.6sec. This improved Classic American's record in WA to three wins and a second from four starts. Polemarker Zacharia (13/2) set the pace from Macon Georgia (breeze), Crimson Floyd (behind the leader) and Major Rush (one-out and one-back). Classic American was in fifth position when Hall jun. switched him four wide 300m from home. The colt raced greenly and veered inwards rounding the home turn before bursting to the front 90m from the post. Hall jun. was driving Classic American for the first time and was suitably impressed, saying: "He's a classy animal. When he arrived we thought he had great speed. But it's always a question when they get to the races, and now he's shown that as well. Initially, we thought he was going to be just below the top ones, but the way he is going and with natural improvement with racing, he's going to be right up there." Kim Prentice had driven Classic American at his first three WA starts for a first-up second to Calais and two easy wins. The colt had raced in the breeze in those three outings. Hall jun. said that he considered racing without cover was far from ideal for Classic American and therefore he restrained the colt to the rear on Friday night and saved him for a last-lap effort. "I knew he is a pretty good horse because, at home, his speed is exceptional, and he got to show that tonight," he said. "He was a bit of a handful on the last bend when he wanted to get in really badly. So we will have to do something to sort that out." Classic American was favourite at 5/2 on for his only appearance in New Zealand, in a 2200m mobile event at Cambridge on June 27 this year when he charged to the front after 500m in a field of six, set a slow pace and sprinted the final 400m in 28.5sec. to win by seven and a half lengths at a 2.2.5 rate. He arrived in WA early in August. His dam Classic Vicolo was retired in 2007 after failing to be placed in ten starts. FAMOUS ALCHEMIST SETS THE PATTERN FROM THE INSIDE BARRIER New Zealand-bred five-year-old Famous Alchemist took full advantage of the prized No. 1 barrier at Gloucester Park when she set the pace and scored a convincing win over Maggies Mystery and Elsu Sheila in the 2130m The West Australian Pace on Friday night. She was the first of five winners to start from the inside barrier and lead throughout in the nine mobile events on the program. The four other pacers who started from the No. 1 barrier recorded three seconds and a third placing. Famous Alchemist, who went into the race with a losing sequence of seven, was a firm 6/4 on favourite, with star mare Leda McNally second fancy at 11/4 from the outside of the back line in the 2130m event. Gary Hall jun. was able to get Famous Alchemist to coast through the lead time in 38.4sec. and the first quarter of the final mile in 30.1sec. before reeling off the next three 400m sections in 29.5sec., 28sec. and 28.5sec. She recorded a slick rate of 1.56.7. Maggies Mystery, from the inside of the back line, ran home solidly into second place, with 118/1 outsider Elsu Sheila running on gamely from three back on the pegs to be third, just ahead of Sensational Gabby, who fought on from sixth at the bell. "She has been ever so consistent and is a quality mare," said Hall. "It looked on paper that we were going to get the perfect run. She fought me a bit for the first half of the final mile and I was a little bit concerned that she wouldn't be able to punch out quick closing sectionals because she had pulled a little bit. "But she did it quite comfortably and I probably eased up on her too early, half way up the straight, and she took advantage of me (by switching off)." Famous Alchemist, owned by Karen Hall, wife of leading trainer Gary Hall sen., won at five of her 17 New Zealand starts and now has raced 17 times in WA for six wins and six placings. She has amassed $215,109 from her 11 wins and 11 placings from just 34 starts. She showed early promise and as a two-year-old at Alexandra Park in April and May 2011she finished second to Dancing Diamonds ibn a $195,000 classic for fillies and was third in a three-way photo finish behind O Baby and Cowgirls And Indians in a group 1 $156,400Two-Year-Old Fillies Championship. BUTCHER FORMS A STRONG ALLIANCE WITH MY HARD COPY Young New Zealand reinsman Shane Butcher continued his successful association with My Hard Copy when he drove the New Zealand-bred four-year-old to an impressive all-the-way victory in the first heat of The West Australian Nights of Thunder at Gloucester Park on Friday night. My Hard Copy was not extended in leading from the No. 1 barrier and then setting a brisk pace to win by one and a half lengths from The Feather Foot, with a neck to Glenferrie Hood. He rated 1.54.6, the fastest of the heat winners. Polak and Courage Tells won the other heats, with each pacer rating 1.54.9 over the 1730m sprint. My Hard Copy, who had run home solidly to be fifth behind Nowitzki in the Golden Nugget Classic at his previous outing, was favourite at 10/9 on, with his stablemate Northview Punter second fancy at 5/2 from the wide barrier, No. 8, with nine runners across one line. Butcher gave his rivals little chance by setting a fast pace, with the last mile sectionals in 29sec., 29.2sec., 28.3sec. and 28.5sec. My Hard Copy dashed away from the opposition in the closing stages to win by one and a half lengths from The Feather Foot (who ran on from three back on the pegs). Glenferrie Hood finished third after trailing the pacemaker and Copagrin was fourth after enjoying the one-out, one-back trail. Northview Punter raced at the rear before Gary hall jun. sent him forward, three wide, with 870m to travel. But the four-year-old failed to make any impression on his rivals and finished last. "My Hard Copy has been racing against the best and has been running good races from bad draws," Butt said. "In The Golden Nugget he drew seven and I was lucky enough to get a good run and finish close to them. He definitely loves the mile and is a good frontrunner. From No. 1 tonight I thought he was a good chance. There's not much of the little horse, but he gives it his all every time he goes out. "Every time you ask him, he keeps giving as much as he can. He is such a genuine horse and races so well. He never takes it out of himself. He doesn't overrace or anything like that. He's a gentleman to drive." My Hard Copy had 16 starts in New Zealand for three wins and eight placings before starting six times in Victoria for two wins and two placings. His 12 WA starts for trainer Gary Hall sen. have produced five wins and two placings and he now has earned $101,993 from ten wins and 12 placings from 34 starts. BROWN SETS ERSKINE RANGE FOR SAN SIMEON CHAMPIONSHIP Banjup trainer Colin Brown is setting Erskine Range for the $50,000 San Simeon Championship on January 24 after driving the promising four-year-old to a narrow victory in the 2130m Retravision As Local As You Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. And after Erskine Range contests that feature event Brown plans to send the gelding for a spell, with high hopes that he will resume an even better performer during his next campaign. Heats of the San Simeon Championship, restricted to M0-class pacers, will be run on January 17. Erskine Range was favourite at 5/4 on for Friday night's event in which he was smartest to begin from the No. 3 barrier, but had to work hard to get to the front after 270m. Brown then got the gelding to relax and he went through the lead time in a comfortable 38.5sec. before strolling over the first 400m section of the final mile in a dawdling 31.9sec. Rank outsider Tuxedo raced in the breeze and polemarker Veitchy enjoyed a perfect passage behind the pacemaker. Erskine Range sped over the third quarter in 28.3sec. before a final section in 29.3sec. He just held on to beat 18/1 chance Veitchy by a head, rating 1.58.7. Sparkling Seelster, seventh on the pegs at the bell, rattled home to be a close third, with Borntobeanartist finishing strongly from last in the middle stages to be fourth. Tuxedo was checked on the home turn and broke into a gallop before finishing last. The stewards suspended Michael Robinson for 19 days for allowing Veitchy to shift out and check Tuxedo. Brown said that he would set Erskine Range for the san Simeon, even though he was slightly disappointed at the chestnut's performance. "I actually thought that he might have let down better than that, considering the early sectionals," he said. "But a win is a win. However, I would have liked him to have let down a bit better. He came to my stable a little bit speedy and a little bit mad and when we settled him down he has gone the other way a little bit too much." The Victorian-bred Erskine Range is owned by Jim Currie and is by Canadian stallion Four Starzzz Shark. He is the second foal out of South Australian-bred mare Living Hei, who was retired after only one start, when seventh at Bendigo in March 2007. Living Hei's first foal is five-year-old mare Im Living The Dream, who has had 53 starts for nine wins, 16 placings and $95,972. Erskine Range, who is related to WA winners Our mac Attack (16 wins), Chanoine (nine), Princess Tenille (two) and Tara Village (13), has earned $40,797 from eight wins and two placings from 22 starts. FLYING START PAVES THE WAY FOR POLAK'S UPSET VICTORY A plan devised by trainer Mike Reed and reinsman Shannon Suvaljko to surprise the opposition by setting Polak alight from the No. 6 barrier at the start of the second heat of The West Australian Nights of Thunder at Gloucester Park on Friday night paid handsome dividends when the five-year-old carried too many guns for his seven rivals. Most pundits agreed that polemarker and 2/1 on favourite Silent Prowl would set the pace and prove hard to beat. But Suvaljko got Polak, a 13/1 chance, away with dazzling speed to burst straight past Silent Prowl. Polak then set a fast pace, reeling off quarters in 28.5sec., 29.9sec., 28.3sec. and 28.6sec. to beat Silent Prowl by just over a length at a 1.54.9 rate over the 1730m. Silent Prowl got off the pegs behind Polak in the home straight and finished fast. Xupan Three, who raced three back on the pegs, was 2m away in third place. "All the speed underneath wasn't that quick, except for the one (Silent Prowl)," Suvaljko explained after the race. "So our plan was just to time the gate and get him out as fast as he can. And he really came out of the gate at a hundred miles an hour, and once he got to the front he was always going to be the one to beat. He can run really good times in front and we'll be hoping for a favourable barrier in the final." Polak, who ended a losing sequence of seven, has amassed $160,555 from 15 wins and 15 placings from 51 starts. He is a full-brother to Schinzig Buller, who has raced 52 times for 11 wins, 12 placings and $289,452 in prizemoney. Schinzig Buller's most notable victory was when he defeated Mysta Magical Mach and Im Themightyquinn in the Golden Nugget in November 2008. COURAGE TELLS HOLDS ON AFTER SETTING THE PACE Well-travelled New Zealand-bred six-year-old Courage Tells maintained his splendid form for Hopeland trainer Colin Joss when he set the pace and held on to win the third heat of The West Australian Nights of Thunder at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Favourite at 10/9 on from the prized No. 1 barrier, Courage Tells bowled along in front for Morgan Woodley and beat the 7/2 second fancy Smokey The Bandit by a head at a 1.54.9 rate over the 1730m. Rowchester, third favourite at 4/1, fought on to be third after enjoying the one-out, one-back trail. Smokey The Bandit trailed Courage Tells all the way and got clear in the closing stages. He flashed home, but just failed to overhaul the leader. Woodley said that Courage Tells was better suited as a sit-sprinter, but he did not want to sacrifice the advantage of the No. 1 barrier over the sprint trip. "He's a nice type of horse and I think you see the best of him in a sit and sprint capacity," he said. "That's his best asset, his let-down speed. However, this is such a leader-biased track that you've got to stay there (in front). He has certainly got a lot more wins ahead of him." Courage Tells won twice from three starts as a two-year-old in New Zealand and then had 58 starts in Victoria and New South Wales for another 15 victories. He has had 11 starts in WA for three wins and four placings and now has earned $126,830 from 20 wins and 24 placings from 72 starts. NEW TACTICS SUIT PRINCE EDDIE --- AND NOW FOR THE TROTTERS CUP New Zealand-bred five-year-old Prince Eddie earned a crack at the $30,000 Trotters Cup at Gloucester Park next Friday night when he was on his best behaviour and produced a brilliant late burst of speed to get up and score a narrow victory in the 2503m Fisher and Paykel Handicap on Friday night. Trained by Gary Hall sen. and driven by Gary Hall jun., Prince Eddie, second fancy at 3/1, trailed the pacemaker and 11/4 favourite The Beau Brummell and did not look likely to succeed when he was in fourth position just 60m from the post. But Hall called on the Monarchy gelding for a special effort and he responded grandly, sprinting fast to get up and snatch victory by a neck from Hot Holiday, the third favourite at 4/1 who started from 30m and raced without cover over the final 1500m. A nose away in third place was the Beau Brummell. After a slow early pace, the final 800m was covered in 59.2sec. and the winner rated 2.9.2. Hall jun. said it was pleasing that Prince Eddie was showing form leading into the Trotters Cup. "Originally we thought he would be a good frontrunner, but we are now driving him in the field and keeping him for a late burst," Hall said. "Everything has been turned upside down after he had led in a couple of races and then folded up. Now we know that when we drive him this way (with a sit) that he can beat the good ones." This was Prince Eddie's second win from six WA starts after he had won once from eight New Zealand starts and four times from seven outings in New South Wales. He has earned $43,491. Prince Eddie is out of Hands And Heels, who finished tenth at her only start, at Addington in May 2002. He is a full-brother to King Charlie (67 starts for 15 wins, 14 placings and $238,291) and Shezoneoftheboyz (13 starts for eight wins, one placings and $91,849). BRENNAN TO TRAIN THIS TIME DYLAN FOR RIDLEY Serpentine horseman Michel Brennan will train This Time Dylan after the gelding was claimed for $20,000 by Brian Ridley at Gloucester Park on Friday night. This Time Dylan, a New Zealand-bred eight-year-old, has been in outstanding form for leading trainer Gary Hall sen. and he kept up the good work when he stormed home from the rear to score an effortless win in the 2536m Retravision.com.au Claiming Pace. This Time Dylan, a chunky little son of Dream Away, is the leader in the Pacer of the Year award with seven wins, three seconds and a third in the first four months of the season. He has competed in claiming races at each of his past six starts for three wins and three seconds to take his career record to 37 starts for 13 wins, nine placings and $112,125. He is now on an M6 mark. Shardons Rocket (3/1) dashed to the front after 500m in Friday night's event and Gary Hall jun. was content to keep This Time Dylan in sixth place in the field of seven before starting a three-wide move 600m from home. This Time Dylan burst to the front at the 4o00m mark and raced away to beat Talk It Up by three lengths, with Shardons Rocket a wilting third. Ridley is hoping that This Time Dylan proves to be an even better success than the previous horse he claimed from the Hall stable --- Rakarebel. Ridley outlaid $10,000 to claim Rakarebel early last May, and in ten starts for Brennan Rakarebel won once and was placed four times for earnings of $18,550. And then Ridley received $20,000 when Rakarebel was claimed in July by eastern states owners. Rakarebel has continued his career in New South Wales and Victoria where he has had 11 starts for seven third placings. Talk It Up was claimed by a syndicate headed by Laurie Kennedy and the evergreen nine-year-old will be prepared by Wanneroo trainer Barry Morrison. by Ken Casellas  

Toretto's effortless victory in the $35,000 Kennards Hire Christmas Gift final at Gloucester Park on Friday night was the highlight on a memorable evening for champion trainer Gary Hall sen. and star reinsman Kim Prentice. Hall and Prentice combined to win five of the ten events on the program, with Hall extending his lead on the Metropolitan trainers' premiership table. He shows the way with 51 winners and 71 placegetters from 240 starters and leads from Greg and Skye Bond (26 winners from 143 starters) and Ross Olivieri (19 winners from 152 starters). The quintet enabled Prentice to move into fourth place on the city drivers' premiership table. He has driven 19 winners from 93 drives and is behind Gary Hall jun. and Colin Brown (30 winners each) and Chris Lewis (20). Toretto is, at last, repaying Hall sen. for his great patience with the New Zealand-bred five-year-old who has been plagued by injury and on Friday night was having only his 14th start after spending much of the past couple of years recuperating from bowing a tendon twice on the same leg. Hall has trained a quintet of winners several times, but this was only the second time that Prentice has landed five winners on a program. Hall also trained six winners (all driven by his son Gary) at Gloucester Park two months ago. Prentice has been driving most of the Hall runners in recent weeks while champion reinsman Gary Hall jun. and his elder brother Clint have been on the sidelines, serving terms of suspension. Hall jun. was also suspended when Prentice previously drove five winners --- at Gloucester Park on October 8, 2011. Three of them, Im Tim Kelly, Lukcon Lad and Albert Jaccka, were trained by Hall sen. and he trained the other two, My Sound of Thunder and Sea Gale. Toretto, who has won nine times from his 14 starts (all in WA) for earnings of $83,730, arrived from New Zealand in Perth in November 2011 and won at two of his first three starts in the State between June and November 2012. He then bowed a tendon and was out of action for 11 months. Toretto, perfectly drawn at the No. 1 barrier, was a warm 6/4 on favourite and he gave his supporters little cause for concern as he jumped straight to the front and dictated the terms of the race and won by 5m from 28/1 chance Our Major Mark, who started at three-wide move with 1250m to travel. Red Salute (5/1) trailed the leader throughout and finished third, a head in front of 10/1 chance Hez The Bart Man, who sustained a strong burst from the rear to move into second place in the closing stages before breaking into a gallop in the final couple of strides. The winner rated a moderate 2.0.1 over the 2`30m. Toretto is by Julius Caesar and is the seventh and last foal out the unraced Soky's Atom mare Scottish Seal and he looks destined for bigger and better things. "He surprised me last week with the ease of his win in the heat and when he drew the No. 1 marble I was very excited to keep the drive," Prentice said. "Gary has been saying for a long time that Toretto has got a huge amount of ability and tonight he has won in second gear. "He was absolutely just jogging. Gary said that the previous time he had led he was off the bit and Junior (Hall jun.) had to drive him the whole way. But he was hard on the bit tonight and was never ever going to lose. He'll go all the way; he's definitely fast-class material. " Toretto's win gave Hall sen. a record fifth success in the Christmas Gift after wins with Nixons Creed (1993), Allioop (2004), McRaes Mate (2007) and Livingontheinterest (2012). It was the second win for Prentice, who drove McRaes Mate to victory over Cosmic Legacy. J WALKER STORMS HOME FOR THE IN-FORM WILLIAMS Young Henley Brook trainer Robbie Williams continued his recent run of successes when he produced a near-perfect patient drive to land 11/4 favourite J Walker a thrilling last-stride winner over the pacemaker Salliwood in the $20,500 Kennards Hire Mount Eden-No Dill Christmas Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The New Zealand-bred J Walker, a seven-year-old son of Christian Cullen, started from 20m and the 25-year-old Williams was quite content to allow the gelding to relax at the rear in the field of 12, while frontmarker and 8/1 chance Salliwood set the pace J Walker was tenth after a lap and ninth at the bell before he unwound a spirited burst to charge home and snatch victory from the ten-year-old Salliwood, who had won the Christmas Handicap 12 months earlier. The half-head defeat also foiled reinsman Shannon Suvaljko's bid to win the event three years in a row. Before Salliwood's 2012 win, Suvaljko had driven Rocket Reign to victory in 2011. Boyanup trainer Justin Prentice prepared the third and fourth placegetters. He brought Braemoor (13/2) home with a powerful burst from the rear at the 1250m mark to be third, with Kaiden Hayter finishing fourth with Gday Mate (7/1). Gate Bender, a brilliant first-up winner in weaker company a week earlier, was second favourite at 15/4 off the 20m mark. He dashed forward in the first circuit to move into the breeze before gaining a good sit, one-out and one-back. But he had no luck in the last lap and finished tenth. J Walker, owned by former New Zealand trainer-reinsman Graham Bond and Stephen Schmedje, of Esperance, won eight times from 50 starts in New Zealand before arriving in WA in August 2012. Friday night's win boosted his record to 81 starts for 17 wins and 18 placings for stakes of $163,456. J Walker is named after John Walker, one of New Zealand's greatest athletes, winner of the 1500m at the Olympic Games in Montreal in 1976. He broke Tanzanian Filbert Bayi's world record for a mile with a time of 3min. 49.4sec. at Gothenborg in Sweden in August 1975 and he ended his career with the remarkable record of 135 sub-4min. miles. J Walker is the sixth foal out of Tareena Jay (21 starts for five wins, four placings and $41,606) and he is a half-brother to Presidential Ball gelding Jays Debut, who amassed $239,455 from six wins and five placings from 22 starts, including wins in the $100,000 group 1 New Zealand Two-Year-Old Championship at Alexandra Park in June 2005 and a $97,500 listed classic at Franklin the following month. J Walker is also closely related to Lordship pacer Reba Lord, who earned $384,880 from 17 wins and 16 placings from 69 starts in New Zealand, Australia and America. "We have had a few problems with his soundness," Williams said. "But at the moment he's pretty good and, fingers crossed, he can keep fit and go through the grades. I think he has a bright future. He's a beautiful little horse and is no trouble. He's easy to train and is lovely to drive." LIVINGONTHEINTEREST, NOT AT HIS BEST, IS STILL TOO FAST FOR HIS RIVALS Speedster Livingontheinterest warmed up for the $60,000 Village Kid Sprint next Friday night with a smart all-the-way victory in the $21,000 Medic One Pace over 1730m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. But the New Zealand-bred six-year-old did not impress reinsman Kim Prentice, who said that the gelding did not travel with his usual zest. "He's gone really good, time-wise. Normally he travels really, really strongly, but to me he didn't feel the same as he normally does. But he has won the race and that's what counts. I'm just glad to get that out of the way. "He had me worried the whole way because he normally travels really, really strongly, and tonight he didn't travel well at all. However, he responded when challenged in the closing stages and Senior said that the horse's last 50m was what pleased him." Livingontheinterest, favourite at 3/1 on, began fast from the No. 1 barrier, but had to be driven hard to resist an early challenge from 110/1 outsider Ohoka Dallas from barrier three and he sped over the first 400m of the final mile in 28.5sec. Dasher VC, third favourite at 11/1, dashed forward in the first lap to move into the breeze and put pressure on the leader, and after a second quarter in 29.5sec. the third section whizzed by in 28.4sec. Hokonui Ben, the 4/1 second fancy and stablemate of the pacemaker, enjoyed the trail behind the leader before finishing determinedly in the home straight. Livingontheinterest held Hokonui Ben at bay and beat him by a half-length, rating 1.54.9 after a final quarter in 28.9sec. Dasher VC held on to be 11m farther back in third place. Livingontheinterest, who is related to prolific winners Party Party, Another Party and Champagne Party, won at seven of his 15 starts in New Zealand and now has a fine record of 37 starts for 19 wins, seven placings and $212,325 in prizemoney. MAJORLY FOXY STYX EMERGES AS A BRIGHT PROSPECT FOR THE WA OAKS New Zealand-bred filly Majorly Foxy Styx has resumed after a spell in superb condition and owner Rob Watson and trainer Gary Hall sen. are looking forward with confidence to the rich WA Oaks next year after her runaway victory in the Kennards Hire Pump and Power Three-Year-Old Fillies Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Her win by five lengths from Generally Outspoken at a 1.58.7 rate over 2130m followed her outstanding first-up performance to win the previous Saturday night when she raced three wide all the way and won convincingly from The Parade. Generally Outspoken, owned by Watson and Grace Inwood and trained at Northam by Glenn Elliott, should also develop into a leading Oaks candidate. Second fancy at 7/2, Generally Outspoken (Chris Voak) raced without cover for most of the way and battled on gamely before breaking into a gallop in the final couple of strides. Majorly Foxy Styx, favourite at 5/4, began speedily from barrier five and Kim Prentice sent her past polemarker Flicka Whitby and into the lead after 500m. Prentice then was able to get the three-year-old to relax and travel through the first two quarters of the final mile in 31.4sec. and 30.4sec. before she sprinted over the final quarters in 29.3sec. and 28.8sec. Majorly Foxy Styx did not race in New Zealand and she raced seven times in Victoria as a two-year-old for three seconds (at Kilmore, Ararat and Bathurst) before coming to Western Australia. She now has earned $30,865 from three wins and three placings from 11 starts. She is the second foal out of unraced Christian Cullen mare Foxy Styx, whose dam Prim And Proper (by Soky's Atom) had seven starts for one win, by a half-head in a minor race over 2200m at Greymouth. NORTHVIEW PUNTER WINS "WITH A LEG IN THE AIR" Four-year-old Northview Punter gave further proof that he is on the road to developing into a top-flight open-class performer when he outclassed his older rivals in the 2536m Kennards Hire Pump and Power Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. A strongly-supported second favourite at 5/2, Northview Punter made light of starting from the outside of the back line and the ease of his victory delighted trainer Gary Hall sen. and reinsman Kim Prentice. "He's gone super," said Prentice, substituting in the sulky for the suspended Gary Hall jun. "Junior said that he likes to chase, and down the back the final time I couldn't hold him slow enough to them, waiting for something to come to keep him concentrating. He was travelling that well that I just had to cut him (loose) and he's won with a leg in the air. I just wish it was that easy all the time." Asian Courage, favourite at 9/4, jumped straight to the lead from the No. 2 barrier while Northview Punter settled down in tenth position. Prentice quickly seized the initiative and he sent Northview Punter forward with a fast three-wide burst after 550m. Northview Punter then sat on the outside of Asian Courage before bursting to the front 350m from home and winning by two and a half lengths from 10/1 chance Bronze Seeker, who was tenth at the bell before unwinding a sparkling sprint. The final 400m was covered in 28.4sec. and the winner rated 1.58.4. The Feather Foot (85/1) impressed in coming from last at the bell to finish third and veteran Rojen Cruz (14/1) also caught the eye by finishing powerfully from the rear to be fourth. Asian Courage faded badly to finish last. Northview Punter, a winner of one race from two starts in New Zealand as a two-year-old, ended a losing sequence of six and improved his record to 30 starts for 15 wins and ten placings for earnings of $192,825. He is the ninth foal out of American-bred mare Watch Your Step and is a half-brother to smart New Zealand and American winners Stopwatch and Announcement. FLYALONG FALCON CONTINUES ON HIS MERRY WINNING WAYS Promising New Zealand-bred six-year-old Flyalong Falcon maintained his outstanding form and upset strong betting moves for Vapour and Shnappy when he finished full of running to win the 2536m Make Your Job Easy Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Flyalong Falcon, part-owned, trained and driven by Nathan Turvey, was sent out at the handsome odds of 11/2, with Vapour (11/8) and Shnappy (2/1) both heavily supported. Polemaker Grand Cru (5/1) set the pace, with Shnappy (making his WA debut after winning ten times in Victoria) in the breeze and Vapour (unbeaten at his first two WA starts after three wins in New Zealand) racing in seventh position in the small field of eight. Flyalong Falcon, the solitary runner on the back line, enjoyed a perfect run behind the pacemaker before Turvey eased him off the pegs and into the clear 350m from home. Flyalong Falcon surged to the front 60m from the post to beat Vapour (who had started a three-wide move with 950m to travel) by a half-length, with Grand Cru finishing third and Shnappy wilting to fifth. The final 800m was covered in a brisk 56.9sec. and Flyalong Falcon rated 2.0.2 and took his record in WA to five wins and a second from six starts after having 29 starts in New Zealand for three wins and nine placings. He has earned $46,216. He is the only foal out of unraced Christian Cullen mare Skip Along. "He got the right run, which obviously helps," said Turvey. "He also got out at the right time and that went a long way towards his win. His best attribute is his standing-start manners and he's a pretty adaptable and laid-back character. I'd like to think he will win one or two more in the city." IM TERRIFIC DAWDLES EARLY BEFORE SPRINTING AWAY FOM HIS RIVALS New Zealand-bred five-year-old Im Terrific took full advantage of the prized No. 1 barrier at Gloucester Park when Colin Brown drove him to an easy all-the-way victory in the 2130m second heat of the Kennards Hire Lift And Shift The Coulson Pace on Friday night. Starting favourite at 5/4, Im Terrific took a stranglehold on the race when he dawdled through the lead time in 38.8sec. and ambled through the first 400m section of the final mile in a slow 31.9sec. After a second quarter in 30.2sec. Im Terrific dashed over the final quarters in 28.6sec. and 28.2sec. to win by just under a length from 11/1 chance Rocky Marciano, who enjoyed the perfect trail, one-out and one-back, before finishing strongly. Heez On Fire (2/1) was an excellent third, just a head behind Rocky Marciano. Heez On Fire was trapped four wide early before Chris Lewis restrained him to the rear and then set him alight, three wide, from tenth at the bell. "I don't think that we necessarily had to get it as easy as that early," said Brown. "But once we did, it was all over. Since they put the go-straights on him he has improved no end. He used to get on a knee a little bit, particularly at Gloucester Park. Now he's a different horse and has got a lot more confidence." Im Terrific, who is trained by Greg and Skye Bond, had eight starts in New Zealand for one win (over 2000m at Otago as a three-year-old in January 2012) and his 223 starts in WA have produced nine wins and six placings. MOONLIGHT ROCKHOLE ENDS A LOSING SEQUENCE OF 19 Veteran performer Moonlight Rockhole ended a losing sequence of 19 when he unwound a stirring finishing burst to get up in the final couple of strides to snatch victory from the pacemaker and 4/1 favourite Miss Rivertin in the 1730m Kennards.com.au Westbred Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Moonlight Rockhole started at 17/2 and his young trainer-driver Dylan Egerton-Green was content to sit back in the field before asking him for a strong effort in the closing stages. Moonlight Rockhole was eighth in the one-wide line at the bell where Miss Rivertin was being put under pressure by nine-year-old Whitbys Beach, who was making his first appearance for 23 months. A hectic opening quarter of the final mile in 28.6sec. set the scene for a swooper and the final quarters were run in only 29.5sec. and 29.9sec., with the winner rating 1.58.2. Kristen Louise (9/2) ran on solidly from seventh at the bell to be third.' "He has been a grand old horse for us and the Robbie Tomlinson syndicate," said Egerton-Green, who explained the seven-year-old's disappointing sixth behind Soho Monza in a field of seven at his previous outing a fortnight earlier by saying that the gelding was a bit flat when having his second run in the space of five days. Moonlight Rockhole, who is still eligible to contest a Metropolitan-class maiden event, has amassed $98,683 from 15 wins and 31 placings from 127 starts. By Northern Luck, he is out of Windshield Wiper mare Gold Duchess, who had 27 starts for eight wins, six placings and $116,920. Moonlight Rockhole is a half-brother to six winners, including Manu Magic (152 starts for 13 wins, 30 placings and $89,986) and Goldanover (135 starts for 11 wins, 30 placings and $75,220). BEAUTIFUL NIGHT SETS THE PACE AND FIGHTS ON GAMELY Six-year-old Beautiful Night, who is in foal, broke a losing sequence of 11 when she set the pace from the coveted No. 1 barrier and fought on grimly to win the 2130m Kennards Hire Merry Christmas Mares Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Favourite at 2/1, Beautiful Night was rated well by Shannon Suvaljko and she had just enough in reserve to defeat the strong-finishing 12/1 chance Hoylakes First Lady by 1m, with Arch On Fire (25/1) coming from fifth at the bell to be third. The winner, trained by Peter Tilbrook, rated 1.58.2. Beautiful Night, bred and owned by Neven Botica, has been a handy performer and she now has earned $70,369 from nine wins and 16 placings from 51 starts. By American stallion Western Terror, Beautiful Night is out of the New Zealand-bred P JS Dream, who won five times from 25 starts in New Zealand before having two unplaced runs in WA (at Gloucester Park and Pinjarra) in November-December 2006 and then being retired to the breeding barn. "The barrier certainly helped," said Suvaljko. "She has led from an inside barrier before and I was confident of leading again tonight. She received a good bit of pressure early and did a good job to hold on and win." THIS TIME DYLAN TURNS THE TABLES ON MAROONED Rejuvenated pacer This Time Dylan notched his sixth win from his past 11 starts when he came from last in the middle stages to score a runaway victory in the 2130m Kennards Hire Concretecare Claiming pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. His five-length win over Marooned made amends for his second at odds-on to Marooned in a claimer the previous Friday night. This Time Dylan, favourite at 6/4 from the outside of the front line, was restrained to the rear by Kim Prentice while 40/1 outsider Heavens Delight set the pace from Davy Maguire (in the breeze), Artorius (behind the leader) and Tee pee Village in the one-out, one-back position. The pace was fast and furious throughout, with a sizzling lead time of 36sec. Prentice started a three-wide move (following Marooned) approaching the bell. Marooned got to the front 380m from home before This Time Dylan swept past him 130m later and raced away to win very easily at a 1.56.3 rate. "They went hard early and we just had to go back, and it all just fell into place" Prentice said. "The only decision I had to make was when to come off the back of Marooned. I knew that this guy would sustain a real strong sprint. If I had left it to the top of the straight I probably still would have beaten Marooned. But I just wanted to make sure of it." by Ken Casellas  

Champion trainer Gary Hall sen. is poised to win the Kennards Hire Christmas Gift final for a fifth time and wipe the names of legendary horsemen Lyle Lindau and Fred Kersley jun. off the record books when he starts leading candidates Toretto, Famous Alchemist and The Ragpickers Dream in the $35,000 feature event at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Hall's prospects soared when Toretto drew the prized No. 1 barrier and Famous Alchemist the No. 2 spot in the 2130m race, in which The Ragpickers Dream will start from the No. 5 barrier on the front line. Toretto, a five-year-old New Zealand-bred gelding and the least experienced runner in the Gift, was the fastest of the 12 qualifiers for the final when he charged home from ninth at the bell to win by more than two lengths from Hez The Bart Man last Friday night, rating 1.56. The other heat winners were Sensational Gabby (1.57.1) and Red Salute (1.59.1). The Ragpickers Dream was beaten by a nose in the final stride by Sensational Gabby and Famous Alchemist impressed when she finished strongly to be second to the pacemaking Red Salute in the other qualifying heat. Being the fastest qualifier (by a considerable margin) is no guarantee of success in the final. But from the inside barrier Toretto looks sure to start favourite and prove mighty hard to beat. However, 12 months ago Sensational Gabby was the fastest of the qualifiers for the Christmas Gift and also drew the No. 1 barrier in the final in which she started equal favourite at 6/4 with Livingontheinterest and set the pace before wilting in the home straight to finish a disappointing ninth behind Livingontheinterest. Livingontheinterest gave Hall his fourth victory in the Christmas Gift after he had been successful with Nixons Creed (1993), Allioop (2004) and McRaes Mate (2007). The Gift was first run in 1963 when Alan Woodworth drove Johnny Scott to victory over Jack Junior. Since then Lindau and Kersley have each trained the winner of the Gift four times. Lindau has won the event with Beau Shannon (1964), Prince Shane (1968), Typhson (1974) and Oxford (1977) and Kersley has been successful with James Eden (1971), Pure Steel (1975), Nixon Adios (1976) and Neeron Boy (1980). Hall, who landed the quinella in the 2007 Gift with McRaes Mate and Cosmic Legacy, has a good chance of providing the trifecta this year with Toretto, Famous Alchemist and The Ragpickers Dream, a rare feat which was achieved in the 2011 Gift when Greg and Skye Bond prepared the first three placegetters, Russley Rascal, Dundee Three and Talk It Up. The Bonds will be represented this year by Our Major Mark, who maintained his sound form when he worked hard without cover and finished third behind Red Salute last Friday night. Our Major Mark, to be handled by Ryan Warwick, is unfavourably drawn at barrier six. Colin Brown, who will drive his own nomination Old McDonald from the outside of the back line, has driven the winner of the Gift a record five times. He has won with Simeon Bay (1988), Julian Doe (1991), All The Answers (2002), Motu Treasure (2010) and Russley Rascal (2011). Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri has three runners in Friday night's feature --- heat winners Sensational Gabby and Red Salute and Hez The Bart Man, all of whom are racing with abundant enthusiasm. Olivieri's only success in the event was with 5/4 favourite Savette, who finished in second place in 1992 before being awarded the race after the winner Nero's Son returned a positive swab. No mare has been successful since Savette. Sensational Gabby, Famous Alchemist and Lucie Boshier are the mares in this year's field. After his fast-finishing victory in a heat, Toretto had an impressive record of eight wins and two placings from only 13 starts. Toretto is extremely versatile and will be suited in a pacemaking role. He started from barrier two when he led and won easily from Our Boy Su over 2130m at Gloucester Park four starts ago. IMPRESSIVE GATE BENDER MAKES STRONG APPEAL Few horses have been as impressive in recent months as Gate Bender was at Gloucester Park last Friday night and the New Zealand-bred eight-year-old has the ability to continue on his winning way when he starts from 20m in the $20,500 Kennards Hire Mount Eden-No Dill Christmas Handicap on Friday night. Serpentine trainer Stephanie Smith produced the gelding in great shape for his first run for six months and he simply coasted to victory in a 2503m stand after galloping at the start and being a conspicuous last in the field of 12 with two laps to travel. However, he unwound a splendid three-wide burst (with cover) from the 1300m to charge to the front 130m from the post and win by almost two lengths from Shardons Rocket. This week, with Morgan Woodley in the sulky, Gate Bender will start from the 20m mark and he looks highly capable of repeating the dose, particularly with a safe beginning. Evergreen ten-year-old Salliwood, the only mare in the race, is a foolproof performer in stands and she appeals as the likely early leader. Shannon Suvaljko then will weigh up his options whether he continues to set the pace or to take a sit. Salliwood started from 10m and raced three back on the pegs before finishing fast to be second to Uncle Kracker in last year's Christmas Handicap. She has raced in weaker company at her two most recent starts, both over 2503m, the distance of this week's race, when she set the pace and won from Shifting Sand and then finished second to Braemoor when the final 800m whizzed by in 56sec. Braemoor should give Boyanup trainer Justin Prentice a good chance of victory after winning six times from his past 13 starts. Prentice also has high hopes with Gday Mate, another experienced standing-start performer who is in good form. Both New Zealand-bred seven-year-olds will start off the 20m mark. Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri, who has prepared the second placegetter in three of the past five Christmas Handicaps (Our Dream Scene, 2008, Nickelmeldon, 2009, and Hustlers Crown, 2011) is hoping to go one better this year when he will be represented by 10m runners Pembrook Henry and Lord Coburn, each of whom is in sound form. Shardons Rocket, the sole backmarker off 40m, maintained his consistent form for trainer Tony Svilicich when he started from 30m and finished second to Gate Bender last Friday night. Backmarkers have a good record in the Christmas Handicap. Uncle Kracker won off 30m last year, Rocket Reign was the sole backmarker off 40m when he won in 2011, Alzona was the co-backmarker off 50m when he was successful in 2010 and Power of Tara was the sole backmarker off 40m when he won in 2008. New Zealand-bred seven-year-old J Walker (20m) will have many admirers after his brilliant first-up performance last Friday week when he started from 20m and charged home from last to win in dashing style for young trainer-reinsman Robbie Williams. THE No. 1 BARRIER POINTS TO LIVINGONTHEINTEREST IN SPRINT EVENT Barrier draws have a significant influence in determining the outcome of races at Gloucester Park and when Livingontheinterest drew the prized No. 1 barrier in the 1730m Medic One Pace on Friday night he emerged as the likely winner. The New Zealand-bred six-year-old, the youngest of the 12 runners, is a talented frontrunner who looks certain to set the pace and prove extremely difficult to overcome. He is prepared by leading trainer Gary Hall sen., whose other runner Hokonui Ben looks Livingontheinterest's most serious rival after drawing the inside of the back line. Friday night's event will be an excellent pipe-opener for the 1730m Village Kid Sprint the following week. Veteran Sneakyn Down Under started from the No. 1 barrier in the 2130m Fred Doy Memorial last Friday night when he led and won from Hokonui Ben and David Hercules. Hokonui Ben raced in the breeze and fought on grimly, with the final 800m being covered in 56.7sec. Livingontheinterest started from barrier two on the back line and did not threaten danger. He raced in sixth position in the one-wide line before starting a three-wide move approaching the bell. However, Livingontheinterest failed to sustain his effort and faded to eighth. But the inside draw on the front line this week will make a tremendous difference. Sneakyn Down Under went into last week's event with a losing sequence of 11 and unplaced at his previous six outings. But he was a firm third favourite at 7/2 because of the No. 1 barrier. He will be at much longer odds from barrier two on the second line this week. Veteran Mysta Magical Mach, who will be making his fourth appearance after resuming from a six-month absence, faces a stern test from the outside of the front line and Dasher VC, being prepared for an assault on rich summer carnival events including the WA pacing Cup and Fremantle Cup, will need plenty of luck from barrier three on the back line. SMART TRIAL GIVES SHNAPPY A HOPE AT HIS FIRST WA OUTING Former Victorian pacer Shnappy has managed just one minor placing from nine starts since winning at Melton last May, but he should be prominent at his West Australian debut when he contests the 2536m Make Your Job Easy Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The seven-year-old has not raced since mid-July, but he caught the eye with a smart win in a 2150m trial at Byford on Sunday morning when he broke soon after the start and recovered to defeat Springsteen by a length at a 1.58.1 rate. He sprinted over the final two 400m sections of the trial in 28.8sec. and 27.9sec. He is now being prepared by Ross Olivieri and Chris Lewis will drive him from the No. 4 barrier in an event in which he will clash with some smart pacers including Vapour, Flyalong Falcon Grand Cru and Hez Got The Nod. Shnappy has arrived in WA with a good record of ten wins and ten placings from 50 starts and will pay to follow. Vapour, a New Zealand-bred four-year-old trained by Gary Hall sen., has the disadvantage of starting from the outside of the front line, but will have many admirers after winning at each of his first two starts in the State earlier this month. He raced 16 times in New Zealand for three wins and five placings. Flyalong Falcon, a New Zealand-bred six-year-old trained by Nathan Turvey, has been most impressive since arriving in WA where his first five starts have produced four wins and a close last-start second to Art In Your face at Narrogin. Flyalong Falcon is the only runner off the back line. by Ken Casellas  

Sneakyn Down Under, an 11-year-old in the twilight of a wonderful career, bounced back to top form when he gave a typical powerful frontrunning performance to win the $21,000 TABtouch Fred Doy Memorial at Gloucester Park on Friday night and now will be set for the $60,000 Village Kid Sprint over 1730m on December 27. Starting third favourite at 7/2, Sneakyn Down Under took full advantage of the prized No. 1 barrier when Chris Lewis gave the New Zealand-bred gelding's ten rivals a difficult assignment to overhaul him by setting a brisk pace in the 2130m event. After comfortable first two 400m sections of the final mile in 29.8sec. and 29.1sec., Sneakyn Down Under sped over the final quarters in 28.1sec. and 28.6sec. and won by 2m from 3/1 second fancy Hokonui Ben, with a head to the fast-finishing 5/2 favourite David Hercules, rating a smart 1.55.2. Sneakyn Down Under's victory came on a tough night for punters, with eight favourites, including five at odds-on, being beaten. Beaten favourites were Courage On Fire (7/4 on), Calais (7/4 on), Hez The Bart Man (7/4), The Ragpickers Dream (6/4), David Hercules (5/2), Condrieu (5/4 on), Jay Bees Grin (5/4 on) and This Time Dylan (10/9 on). "It was a great run, 1.55.2 for an 11-year-old; it couldn't be better," Lewis said. "If he can draw one, he'll probably win a few more." Sneakyn Down Under, a rangy Badlands Hanover gelding raced by Darren Duffy and his sister Tracey, is a brilliant sprinter who will be ideally suited in the Village Kid Sprint if he draws favourably. He was recommended to the late Ray Duffy (father of Darren and Tracey) by Invercargill harness racing identity Graham Anderson after he had won twice over 2700m at Forbury as a three-year-old. Friday night's victory ended a losing sequence of 11 and boosted Sneakyn Down Under's record to 94 starts for 26 wins and 20 placings for stakes of $450,344. He is a half-brother to Countess Kala, who set the pace and won the Golden Nugget in a thrilling four-way photo finish at Gloucester Park in December 1999. Hokonui Ben began smartly from the No. 3 barrier and was kept three wide by Banana Dana for the first 250m before getting to the breeze. Morgan Woodley restrained David Hercules from barrier five and was content to remain at the rear. David Hercules was still last at the bell when he was following a three-wide run of Mysta Magical Mach. He was switched four wide at then 650nm mark and finished determinedly, out wide, to be an excellent third. Banana Dana finished strongly to be fourth after enjoying the ideal one-out, one-back sit. GATE BENDER REWARDS SMITH AND GIVES HER FIRST CITY TRAINING SUCCESS Young Serpentine trainer Stephanie Smith was rewarded for months of diligent, loving care when eight-year-old pacer Gate Bender gave a tremendous first-up performance to score an effortless victory in the Congratulations Washakie Five Straight Treuer Memorials Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. It was an outstanding training feat to produce the New Zealand-bred gelding in such superb condition after a six-month absence. The win gave Smith her first training success in a Metropolitan-class event after wins in minor races with Sovereign Grange and Bolshevic in her first year as a trainer. Smith, her father Stewart, Lee Bunney and Ian Sermon outlaid $10,000 to claim Gate Bender last June. But the gelding suffered severe suspensory damage to a foreleg before being laid low by a similar injury to the other foreleg. However, Smith refused to admit defeat and she nursed the gelding back to fitness, using her expertise as a qualified veterinary nurse and devising a training regime that would suit a horse with bad legs. This included taking the horse to the beach to wade in the water and galloping exercise in a jog cart. Smith, who is also an accomplished equestrian rider, engaged Donald Harper to handle Gate Bender on Friday night after her partner and star reinsman Morgan Woodley opted to drive Hokuri Handrail for trainer Kristie Morrone. "I was honoured when Steph rang and asked me to drive the horse," Harper said. "She has done a really great job with the horse. I was really impressed with him tonight, especially after blowing the start. He just powered over them and I think that if he stands up he will win a fair few more." After a win in a Pinjarra trial by five lengths two Sundays ago Gate Bender, an M2-class performer, was handicapped on the front mark in Friday night's 2503m stand for M0 and better pacers. Punters were mindful of the smart trial win and the speed the gelding had shown in his first 30 starts in Western Australia after arriving from New Zealand and he was favourite at 4/1 in a wide-open betting race. However, his supporters groaned when he galloped at the start and was last in the field of 12 after a lap had been completed. Erris Lad (11/2) was bowling along in front, with Lennys In Heaven in the breeze and Thirtyeight Special trailing the pacemaker. With 1300m to travel Aldo Cortopassi dashed the 30m backmarker Shardons Rocket (9/2) forward and Harper urged Gate Bender forward to follow that horse's three-wide run. Shardons Rocket worked his way to the front 420m from home, but was unable to withstand the powerful finishing burst of Gate Bender, who charged to the front 130m from the post and was hard held by Harper as he crossed the line just under two lengths in front of Shardons Rocket, rating 1.59.9 over the 2503m journey. Anvils Big Punt (15/1) followed Gate Bender over the final 1300m and finished a sound third. So well was Gate Bender travelling in the final circuit that Harper did not pull the ear plugs. Gate Bender, by Courage Under Fire, won five times in New Zealand and he now has earned $139,505 from 18 wins and 19 placings from 68 starts. His 31 WA starts have produced 13 wins and ten placings. His first stake of $11,550 was a splendid return for the $10,000outlaid to claim him on June 14. PRENTICE PREDICTS BIG THINGS FOR CLASSIC AMERICAN Kim Prentice predicted a "great" future for Classic America after driving the inexperienced three-year-old to an impressive victory in the 2130m TABtouch.com.au Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Classic American, at a gift price of 8/1, raced wide early and then in the breeze before scoring easily from the pacemaker Modigliani (12/1) and Swagga (11/2), rating 1.57.8 after dashing over the final 800m in 56.7sec. A runaway winner at his only start in New Zealand (in June this year), Classic American started a hot favourite at his WA debut ten days before Friday night's run when he raced without cover and finished a 10m second to debutant Calais. On Friday night Calais, from barrier two, was a 7/4 on favourite. But he was beaten for early speed by polemarker Modigliani and was shuffled back to eighth at the bell before finishing solidly into fourth place. "Classic American has learnt a lot from his first-up run and Senior (trainer Gary Hall sen.) said during the week that he had improved out of sight," Prentice said. "When he was in the breeze tonight he was just on a loose rein and I didn't know how much was there. But each time I asked him for a little but he grabbed hold (of the bit) and I knew at the 400m they weren't going to beat him because I knew I still had plenty of horse. "To get home in 28.1sec. was a fine effort, considering that he turned off half-way down the straight. He's got a great future, for sure." Classic American has earned $15,210 from two wins and a second from three starts. The win gave Prentice the first leg of a double and Hall sen. the first leg of a treble. They combined to win with Toretto and Soldier Boy, driven by Shane Butcher, completed the Hall treble when he drove Soldier Boy to a thrilling victory late in the program. SENSATIONAL GABBY ENDS A YEAR-LONG DROUGHT Former champion juvenile pacer Sensational Gabby returned to form when she unwound a dazzling late burst of speed to snatch a last-stride victory over 6/4 favourite The Ragpickers Dream in the third heat of the Heather King-KC Sports Christmas Gift at Gloucester Park on Friday night. It was the five-year-old mare's first success since she won a heat of the Christmas Gift exactly 12 months ago. Since that win she had raced only seven times and on Friday night was making her third appearance after a seven-month absence. Sensational Gabby, third favourite at 9/2, began from the inside of the back line and she pulled very hard behind the pacemaker Wrongly Accused (15/4). However, this did not prevent her from producing her whirlwind finish. The final quarter was covered in 28.3sec. and Sensational Gabby rated 1.57.1 over 2130m. "She's been a great filly and a great mare for us and it's just nice to see her back, winning," reinsman Chris Lewis said. "It's always a query when a horse travels so strongly (pulling) as to exactly how they are going to finish off. But I was confident that there would be something left in the tank." The win gave Lewis the first leg of a double and completed a training double for Ross Olivieri, who prepared Red Salute for his win in the previous event. Lewis was successful 30 minutes later when Sneakyn Down Under won the Fred Doy Memorial. Kim Prentice drove The Ragpickers Dream hard from the No. 2 barrier to get past the polemarker Wrongly Accused after 100m and then Dylan Egerton-Green eased Wrongly Accused off the pegs and into the breeze 200m later. After an opening quarter of the final mile in 29.5sec., The Ragpickers Dream was able to relax and cover the next section in 30.6sec. before the final quarters were covered in 29.1sec. and 28.3sec. The Ragpickers Dream dashed away approaching the home turn and led by two lengths with 120m to travel. But he failed by a nose to hold out the fast-finishing Sensational Gabby. Sanjaya, having his first start for owner-trainer-reinsman Chris Brew, flew home along the pegs to be a head away in third place. Sensational Gabby was a brilliant juvenile who won at her first eight starts as a two-year-old in 2011, including two $100,000 classics for fillies, and won the 2012 WA Oaks. Her 39starts have produced 25 wins and three placings for earnings of $468,595. MAGGIES MYSTERY IN TUNE FOR A SUCCESSFUL CAMPAIGN Five-year-old Maggies Mystery gave convincing proof that she will be a leading contender in races for mares this season when she sustained a spirited finishing burst from the rear to snatch victory in the 2130m Download TABtouch Today Mares Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Making her fourth appearance after a spell for Burekup trainer Colin Reeves, Maggies Mystery started from barrier four on the back line and was a 12/1 chance, with the polemarker Courage On Fire all the rage as a 7/4 on favourite. Courage On Fire set the pace and after covering the first two 400m sections of the final mile in 30sec. and 30.7sec., she increased the tempo and sprinted over the final quarters in 28.9sec. and 28.8sec. Maggies Mystery settled down in ninth position and she improved to seventh at the bell where she was following the three-wide run of 9/1 second favourite Chloe Vargarita. Maggies Mystery rattled home and got her head in front of Courage On Fire in the final couple of strides to score by a head, with 10/1 chance Hoylakes First Lady two and a half lengths away in third place after racing without cover over the final 1500m. Maggies Mystery rated 1.58.5 and improved her record to 55 starts for 11 wins and 14 placings for stakes of $116,290. "That's her ideal scenario, just sitting back and being saved up for one 250m sprint," said reinsman Morgan Woodley. "She drew barrier 11 and that didn't do her any favours. We were fortunate to get that nice run tonight and she was good enough to use it. She sits on speed really well and I'm sure that she can certainly match it with the best when she gets up in class." BELL TAKES FULL ADVANTAGE OF THE No. 1 BARRIER WITH BETTORS ACE Victorian-bred six-year-old Bettors Ace, who is closely related to former star performers Saab and Talladega, caused an upset when he started at 12/1 and gave a strong frontrunning exhibition to win the 2130m second heat of the TABtouch The Coulson Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The win was a triumph for young trainer-reinsman Ryan Bell, who produced the gelding in fine fettle for his first outing for seven weeks. Bell made full use of the considerable advantage of the No. 1 barrier on the front line and Bettors Ace relished his pacemaking role to score by one and a half lengths from 38/1 outsider Clifford, with the 5/4 on favourite Condrieu a half-length away in third place. Condrieu started from the outside of the back line and Colin Brown wasted no time in dashing the classy four-year-old forward, out three wide, before moving into the breeze after 500m. Bell then kept his rivals honest as Bettors Ace covered the final four 400m sections in 30.3sec., 30.1sec., 28.6sec. and 29.1sec. and 29.1sec. The winner rated 1.57.6 and took his record to 48 starts for ten wins and 12 placings for earnings of $94,260 for owners Kevin Jeavons, Gino Monaco and Lindsay Severn. "Bettors Ace is not at his top," said Bell. "We've had a fair few issues with him over the past two months and that's why he's had only two runs in that time. He's still not 100 per cent, so it means that we have something to work with. His best go is rolling and at his best he has two low 28sec. quarters in him, which makes him hard to catch. "Tonight I thought that Brownie (Condrieu) and Butcher (Shane Butcher, Soho Highroller) would be punching through (from the back line) at the start and it was going to be an interesting contest. But once it was only Brownie I knew I couldn't let him pass my wheel --- and it paid off." Bettors Ace is the second foal out of the Classic Garry mare Saabette, who had 29 starts between 2003 and 2005 for nine wins, six placings and $34,378. Saabette is a full-sister to five winners and a half-sister to six other winners. Among her full-brothers are Saab (63 starts for 21 wins, 18 placings and $577,197), Talladega (66 starts for 18 wins, ten placings and $411,680) and Saabella (74 starts for 17 wins, 14 placings and $205,754). INSIDE RUNS ENABLES SOLDIER BOY TO GET UP IN A SEVEN-WAY PHOTO FINISH Soldier Boy, under lock and key in sixth position on the pegs for most of the journey, made the most of a dream inside passage to get up in the final stride to score a thrilling victory in the 2130m Crash Craddock Pathway Pace on Friday night. It was one of the most exciting and closest finishes ever witnessed at the course, with only a neck separating the first seven runners, spread right across the track. Young reinsman Shane Butcher simply had nowhere to go half-way down the back straight in the final circuit, with Dilinger Dreaming setting the pace and steaming through the third quarter of the final mile in 28.2sec. But when Shannon Suvaljko restrained Hez Got The Nod and moved the gelding off the pegs with 380m to travel Butcher gleefully sent Soldier Boy, a 10/1 chance, through on the inside to get on to the leader's back. Hez Got the Nod then was able to get on to the back of the 5/4 on favourite Jay Bees Grin and he and several other runners surged forward as the field rounded the home bend. And then, shortly afterwards, Butcher gained his second piece of good fortune when Dilinger Dreaming drifted up the track, allowing him to send Soldier Boy through a needle-eye opening and get up in the final stride to score by a half-head from Hez Got the Nod. Grand Cru (10/1) was a half-head away in third place, with a nose to Jay Bees Grin. Only centimetres separated the next three runners, Notabdexcuse (a 7/2 chance, who had sustained a strong three-wide burst to get to a narrow lead 70m from the post), Mister Roberto and Dilinger Dreaming. Ashleigh Markham was fined $100 by the stewards for allowing Dilinger Dreaming, a 20/1 chance, to shift outwards and allow an inside run for Soldier Boy. "I got a bit of luck, which you need," said Butcher. "Soldier Boy is a funny horse. You really have to drive him and he hasn't got a lot of point-to-point speed." Soldier Boy, trained by Gary Hall sen., is by Washington VC and he had 20 starts in Victoria for seven wins and six placings before arriving in Western Australia where he has raced 12 times for two wins and seven placings. He is raced by Beth Richardson, Karen Hall, Luke Montgomery and a group of New South Wales owners, Jamie Durnberger-Smith, Natalie Stephens, Sam Oscuro, Christine Ianson, Anthony McAlpine, Kevin Hunter and Joshua Mackison. MAROONED GIVES SCOTT AN EARLY RETURN Gloucester Park Harness Racing committeeman Garry Scott has no regrets at his decision to pay $10,000 to claim seven-year-old Marooned on November 29. There were six claims for Marooned and Scott was successful in the ballot. Marooned, having his second start for trainer Matt Scott, son of the owner, was an 8/1 chance who finished fast from fourth at the bell to win easily from 10/9 on favourite This Time Dylan in the 2130m TABtouch Claiming pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. This ended a losing sequence of 21, stretching back to a victory at 48/1 at Menangle last February and took the New South Wales-bred pacer's record to 66 starts for 15 wins, 14 placings and $108,077 in prizemoney. First prize for Friday night's win was $5200 and the gelding looks sure to earn his new owner plenty more in stakes. Heavens Delight (14/1) set the pace on Friday night and Chris Voak made a sound decision to send Marooned forward, three wide, from out wide at No. 6 on the front line. Marooned swept forward to move into the breeze and soon afterwards was able to enjoy the perfect one-out, one-back sit when Kim Prentice sent This Time Dylan forward to race without cover. This Time Dylan, second at his two previous starts after a hat-trick of wins, took the lead 250m from home, but was powerless to hold off the fast-finishing Marooned, who got to the front 75m from the post. The win completed a double for Voak, who had been successful with Red salute earlier in the night. VOAK TIPS MORE SUCCESSES FOR FRONTRUNNING RED SALUTE "This horse will go from strength to strength," declared Chris Voak after driving Red Salute to an easy win in the 2130m second heat of the Del Basso Smallgoods Christmas Gift at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Red Salute, hot favourite at 5/2 on from the prized No. 1 barrier, gave his supporters no cause for concern as he set a dawdling early pace before sprinting home stylishly when he covered the final 800m in 56.4sec. and the last 400m in a scorching 27.6sec. He rated only 1.59.1, but could have gone considerably faster. Red Salute ambled through the lead time in an extremely slow 39.8sec. before dawdling through the first two 400m sections of the final mile in 31.6sec. and 29.8sec. He won by just over a length from 12/1 chance Famous Alchemist, who enjoyed an ideal passage, one-out and one-back. Our Major Mark held on to be third after working in the breeze for most of the way. Red Salute advanced to an M4 classification and looks set to perform soundly in open-class company. He has earned $136,859 from 13 wins and ten placings from 42 starts. "I probably didn't need to go so slow for the lead time, but you've got to get what you can get," Voak said. "I think he was a better horse for the run he had last week (when second to Hez the Bart Man). This horse will go from strength to strength." TORETTO SHOCKS AND IMPRESSES PRENTICE The lightly-raced Toretto impressed Kim Prentice when he drove the New Zealand-bred five-year-old to an easy victory in the 2130m first heat of the Cavalia Christmas Gift at Gloucester Park on Friday night. "This is the first time I have sat behind him," Prentice said as he admitted that he had some misgivings about driving the gelding because of his habit of racing ungenerously. "I know that Senior (trainer Gary Hall sen.) has always had a high opinion of him. But his habit of hanging has been a problem. I asked Clint (Hall's son) if Toretto was steering any better than he was a few weeks ago and he replied that he was gradually getting the hang of things. He got round the last bend and won like a good horse. He shocked me." Polemarker Xupan Three set the pace, with 3/1 chance Your Good Fortune in the breeze and Lucie Boshier in the one-out, one-back position. Toretto was ninth in the field of ten at the bell before he unwound a powerful burst which carried him to the front 110m from the post. He won at a 1.56 rate by just over two lengths from the 7/4 favourite Hez the Bart Man, who came from the rear in the middle stages and sixth at the bell. Xupan Three held on to be third. Toretto now has earned $60,630 from eight wins and two placings from 13 starts. by Ken Casellas  

A meticulous long-range plan, carefully-mapped out by Victorian trainer-reinsman Daniel Jack returned handsome dividends when the lightly-raced Nowitzki scored an impressive victory in the $175,000 Lancaster Park Golden Nugget Championship at Gloucester Park on Friday night. A sizzling start paved the way for the Art Major four-year-old who burst straight to the front from barrier two and set a solid pace before winning by 2m from 43/1 outsider Smokey The Bandit, with 29/1 chance Heez On Fire charging home from the rear to be third, just ahead of the even-money favourite Chilli Palmer. The win was the culmination of Jack's plan to bring the gelding from Victoria to Western Australia early in September. This was to give Nowitzki every opportunity to become acclimatised to the local conditions. Nowitzki spent two months at Pinjarra before making his WA debut, when he was surprisingly beaten into second place by Our Boy Su in a city M0-class event on November 8. He then led from the No. 1 barrier and won the $50,000 Retravision Four-Year-Old Championship from Mexicano before starting from the outside of the front line and finishing ninth behind Chilli Palmer in the McInerney Ford Classic. A $100,000 yearling, Nowitzki has earned $207,925 from his nine wins and five placings from 18 starts and he looks certain to develop into a quality grand circuit performer. Nowitzki was a $6.80 chance on the tote, with polemarker Chilli Palmer, the brilliant last-to-first winner of the McInerney Ford Classic a fortnight earlier, all the rage at evens from the prized No. 1 barrier. Jack stole a march on his rivals when Nowitzki revealed sparkling early speed to charge straight past Chilli Palmer and into the lead when the mobile barrier released the 12 runners in the 2536m journey. Condrieu began speedily from barrier six and quickly moved into the breeze, while Chilli Palmer settled down in sixth position before Chris Alford eased him off the pegs and into the one-wide line. It was while Chilli Palmer was struggling to muster early speed that Ashleigh Markham urged Smokey The Bandit forward from barrier two on the second line to get into the prime position behind the pacemaker. Nowitzki relaxed after his early burst of speed and was able to coast through the first 400m section of the final mile in 31.3sec. before sprinting the next three quarters in 28.5sec., 28.4sec. and 29sec. He rated 1.57.5. Bit Of A Legend (13/4) was sixth after a lap in the one-wide line, and was being followed by Chilli Palmer. Bit Of A Legend started a three-wide move with about 1100m to travel and again he was followed by Chilli Palmer. However, Nowitzki showed no signs of weakening and it was left to the unheralded Smokey The Bandit to issue the only serious challenge in the home straight. Jack threw the kitchen sink at Nowitzki and he was suspended from driving for 14 days for an improper whip action in the home straight. The stewards also fine him $200 for loose reining --- for throwing the reins extravagantly as the gelding charged towards the finishing post. Markham was fined $400 for an incorrect whip action. "I have a very high opinion of Nowitzki and wasn't really concerned during the race," Jack said. "You go out there and try to beat one horse (Chilli Palmer) and you often come unstuck and something else beats you. That's racing and, thankfully, that wasn't the case tonight. He now has earned a spell." Nowitzki is the sixth foal out of the Armbro Operative mare Full Pleasure, who had 26 starts in 2001 and 2002 for three wins in NSW and seven in Victoria for earnings of $106,496. Full Pleasure's first six foals are all winners (of a total of 75 races), with her second foal Kept For Pleasure having 37 starts for 19 wins, ten placings and $542,343 and Lebron earning $155,084 from 22 wins and Its My Pleasure winning 14 races and $141,908. CORTOPASSI MAKES THE MOST OF CHANCE DRIVE BEHIND HEZ THE BART MAN New Zealand-bred eight-year-old Hez The Bart Man bounced back to form with a vengeance when he sustained a powerful three-wide burst to win the 2130m Jayden Barber Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night to end an eight-month drought and snap a losing sequence of 16. A 27/1 tote outsider, he was driven for the first time by Aldo Cortopassi, who brought the gelding home with a spirited three-wide burst from fourth at the bell to a decisive one-length win over stablemate Red Salute (24/1). This gave Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri a quinella result. The stable's No. 1 reinsman Chris Lewis had the choice of driving either horse and when he chose last-start winner Red Salute it gave Cortopassi the chance of handling Hez the Bart Man. Western Cullen was a hot favourite at 2/1 on from the No. 1 barrier. As expected, he set the pace, and even after a slow first quarter of the final mile in 31.2sec. he wilted over the final 400m to finish sixth. Hez The Bart Man hit the front 320m from home and he won from Red Salute, who finished with admirable determination. Courage Tells, who trailed the pacemaker, finished third. The final 800m was covered in 56.3sec. and the winner rated a slick 1.56.2 to take his record to 56 starts for 11 wins, 21 placings and $125,333 in stakes. "I knew there was going to be a lot of early speed and we got a really good trip into the race," Cortopassi said. "He toughed it out really good. As soon as I got the plugs out and gave him a cut with the whip he levelled out and knew where the line was." J WALKER EXCELS AT FIRST OUTING FOR THREE MONTHS Young Henley Brook trainer Robbie Williams predicted more wins for New Zealand-bred gelding J Walker after driving the seven-year-old to a splendid first-up victory in the 2503m Russky the Bandit Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. "I've got a bit of an opinion of this bloke," he said after J Walker, a 7/1 chance off the back mark of 20m, had thundered home from last in the middle stages and from eighth at the bell to win easily from the pacemaker Bobby Teal (12/1) and 13/1 chance Turnpike Cruiser, who rattled home from last with a lap to travel. J Walker, who hit the front 120m from home, was making his first appearance for three months and his win broke a losing sequence of nine. "He's had a few little niggles, so we put him out in the paddock," Williams said. "And now he seems to be over them. My only concern tonight was that I thought he was a little bit big in condition." J Walker now moves to an M3 classification and looks capable of advancing to a tighter mark. He has raced 80 times for 16 wins, 19 placings for $149,926 in prizemoney. His win on Friday night completed a double for Williams, who had been successful earlier in the night with Franco Torres. COOL JOHNNY SPARKLES ON HIS RETURN TO RACING Cool Johnny, a lightly-raced five-year-old prepared at Forrestdale by Greg and Skye Bond, reappeared at Gloucester Park at Gloucester Park on Friday night after an absence of 11 weeks and he surprised reinsman Colin Brown with the ease of his victory. "I can't say that his trackwork has been exceptional. But he certainly lifted tonight," Brown said. "The barrier draw (No. 1) certainly helped." Cool Johnny was solidly supported and started at 7/4. He was smartest into stride and after quarters of 30.1sec. and 30.8sec., he sprinted over the final sections in 29.7sec. and 28.3sec. He rated 1.58.4 and defeated What God Knows (13/2) by just under four lengths. Soho Redford, who raced in the breeze, fought on grandly to be third. Soho Highroller (7/4) was popular with punters, but he was trapped three wide all the way before wilting from third at the bell to sixth. It was a fine effort. "Ï had a good look at the 400m and a few of them were struggling," Brown said. "We appeared to be travelling okay, so I dashed him away. The last thing you want to do is to get run over by something sprinting over the top. He finished it off well." Cool Johnny won once from three starts in New Zealand now has a record of 22 starts for nine wins and three placings for stakes of $48,904. MENELAUS OF SPARTA SHINING UNDER SMITH'S GUIDANCE Kenwick trainer Brett Smith made a wise decision three months ago when he claimed six-year-old Menelaus of Sparta for $10,000 on behalf of his mother Jenny and a few friends. Menelaus of Sparta has flourished under Smith's care and he maintained his excellent form when he stormed home from the rear in the middle stages to score an easy victory in the 2130m David Cairo and Jamie Congerton Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. This took his record for Smith to 12 starts for five wins and two placings for $33,715 in stakes and his overall record to 17 wins, 19 placings and $111,346 from 74 starts. Smith is serving a term of suspension for causing interference and this created an opportunity for Morgan Woodley to drive Menelaus of Sparta for the first time. "All credit to Brett," Woodley said. "He has got this horse absolutely flying at the moment. He's been a revelation under his training. Tonight he's got the perfect run into the race. From the 1200m to the 400m they've run that half in 58.2sec. before the final quarter was run in 29sec. That was right up this horse's alley. He can let down realty well and he showed that tonight." Menelaus of Sparta started at the handsome odds of 14/1, mainly because most punters pinned their faith in veteran Pembrook Henry from the No. 1 barrier. Dylan Egerton-Green jumped Pembrook Henry in front, but the gelding was placed under heavy pressure when Absolute Cool paced strongly in the breeze. Rojen Cruz rattled home from last in the middle stages to be second, one length behind Menelaus of Sparta and Pembrook Henry did well to finish third, with Absolute Cool in fourth place. WILLIAMS BRINGS FRANCO TORRES (33/1) HOME WITH A POWERFUL BURST Robbie Williams made the most of the opportunity to drive Franco Torres in the Happy Birthday Ryan Berti Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night when Shannon Suvaljko, the No. 1 driver for the Debbie Padberg stable, opted to drive the Mike Reed-trained Taiaha. Taiaha was a solidly-supported 2/1 favourite from the No. 1 barrier, while Franco Torres was a 33/1 outsider, going into the 2130m event with a losing sequence of 11. Taiaha set the pace, while Williams, driving Franco Torres for the first time, was content to keep his horse in sixth position in the one-wide line. Wrongly Accused worked hard in the breeze before getting to the front with 400m to travel. However, Franco Torres sprinted home strongly over the final quarter in a28.6sec. to burst to the front in the closing stages to beat Wrongly Accused by just over a length. Bet Your Life came from three back on the pegs to be third, a nose ahead of Corza Commotion, who finished powerfully from ninth (on the pegs) at the bell. Taiaha faded to finish last in the field of 12. The New Zealand-bred Franco Torres has earned $77,624 from ten wins and 17 placings from 63 starts. EGERTON-GREEN LANDS BLACKNSWEET ADDA AT HANDSOM ODDS Young reinsman Dylan Egerton-Green maintained his splendid form in the sulky when he brought 13/1 chance Blacknsweet Adda home with a strong burst to win the V. and K. Congerton Mares Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Herne Hill Trainer Kevin Keys engaged Egerton-Green to drive the four-year-old for the first time and it proved to be a wise decision with Egerton-Green trailing the pacemaker Miss Tee Dawn until he urged Blacknsweet Adda forward approaching the home turn. Miss Tee Dawn, driven by ace New Zealand reinsman Dexter Dunn, was showing signs of weakening and Blacknsweet Adda hit the front 90m from the post before winning by just over a length from Pure Empathy, who sizzled home out five wide after being last in the middle stages and tenth at the bell. Blacknsweet Adda ended a losing run of seven and took her record to five wins and seven placings from 28 starts for stakes of $43,090. SOHO MONZA BRERAKS THROUGH AFTER A SUCCESSION OF MINOR PLACINGS Five-year-old Soho Monza was rewarded for his consistency when he broke through for an overdue win at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The Pacific Fella gelding, bred and owned by Rob Watson, had been placed at eight of his past 13 starts since winning at Northam early in July. He drew the prized No. 1 barrier and was favourite at 10/9 on. Hopeland trainer Kim Prentice set Soho Monza the task of leading all the way and the gelding responded in fine style, sprinting over the final two 400m sections in 28.8sec. and 28.7sec. to win by 2m from veteran pacer Cometao, who fought on grandly after racing without cover. Mister Roberto ran on from seven and last at the bell to be third. Soho Monza is the first foal out of the Perfect Art mare Spic And Spangled, who raced only five times for two wins at Kalgoorlie in October-November 2006. The Victorian-bred Spangled Black, the great granddam of Soho Monza, had 64 starts in the 1980s for 12 wins, 18 placings and $64,114. HERBIES DREAM GIVES PADBERG THE FIRST LEG OF A DOUBLE Wanneroo trainer Debbie Padberg's recent run of successes continued at full tilt at Gloucester Park on Friday night when she landed a double --- with Herbies Dream and Franco Torres. This followed her good night at Northam on Thursday evening when she had four starters for a win with Hez Got The Nod, seconds with Sir Ricky and Alta Onassis and a third with Big Bad Wolf. The New Zealand-bred Herbies Dream was an 8/1 chance and Shannon Suvaljko made the most of the prized No. 1 barrier by setting the pace and winning by just under a length from Grand Cru (who trailed the leader throughout), with the 5/4 favourite Notabadexcuse a half-head away in third place. Notabadexcuse raced in fifth position before starting a three-wide move approaching the bell. He fought on doggedly at his first start for leading trainer Gary Hall sen. and should pay to follow. Herbies Dream raced 22 times in New Zealand for three wins and seven times in New South Wales for one win before arriving in Western Australia where his four starts have produced one win. HOT HOLIDAY NEVER GETS TIRED, SAYS SKALECKI Hot Holiday, who broke three times in running when a distant eighth behind Earl Harbour in a race at Gloucester Park last Friday week, was on his best behaviour when he trotted faultlessly and scored an effortless victory in the 2130m Kyle and Dozer Trot on Friday night. After the race Skalecki said that the Natalie Duffy-trained seven-year-old had been at a disadvantage the previous week because he had raced without front shoes. "He has gone super tonight," Skalecki said. "He went round without front shoes last week and that made it a bit difficult. Tonight we were pretty confident. That's where he likes it, outside the leader. "He doesn't like chasing too hard, but once he's up there (in the breeze) he'll just grind all day. He never gets tired and he'll just fight." Prince Eddie (5/2) set the pace and Skalecki was quite happy to have Hot Holiday, the 2/1 favourite, in the breeze. Hot Holiday forged to the front 420m from home and raced Away to score by four lengths from Backas Cobber, who ran on from the rear. Hot Holiday has raced 60 times for 15 wins, 16 placings and stakes of $130,849. by Ken Casellas  

Leading Victorian trainer Dean Braun was ecstatic when his star four-year-old Chilli Palmer drew the coveted No. 1 barrier on the front line in the $175,000 Lancaster Park Golden Nugget Championship at Gloucester Park on Friday night and predicted that the gelding would lead and prove very hard to beat. Braun's optimism will certainly take the wind out of the sails of several rival trainers and reinsmen who were planning for their horses to charge forward in determined bids to take an early lead against Chilli Palmer, a pacer they believed did not possess the speed to take advantage of the inside barrier. The brilliant Chilli Palmer, to be handled by ace Victorian reinsman Chis Alford, has won at each of his past six starts and has a record of nine starts for seven wins, a second and a seventh. He has won most of his races by producing a sizzling finishing burst. He has never jumped straight to the lead in his brief but spectacular career. "Everyone is entitled to his opinion," Braun said from Melbourne after the barrier draw. "But we will be aiming to make full use of the inside barrier. Chilli Palmer has got great natural high speed and I haven't had a horse with more natural gate speed. So far we have never really used his gate speed. "I couldn't be happier with the way is working. He had a good blowout at Byford on Saturday when Shaun Kittel worked him over a mile and a half and he sprinted over the final 400m in 27.3sec. "Hopefully Chilli Palmer will be able to make amends for the defeats of my horses Mustang Mach and Chancellor Cullen in the past two Gold Nuggets. It should be a great race on Friday night and every horse in the field can win, with the right run, but I wouldn't swap my horse for any other runner." Mustang Mach (11/1) started from barrier four and raced without cover for most of the way when a fighting second to The Gold Ace in 2011 and Chancellor Cullen (5/4) raced in the breeze for the final 1550m when fourth behind Im Victorious a year ago. The No. 1 barrier has been a huge advantage in the recent Golden Nugget Championships, with the No. 1 horse leading and winning three of the past five Nuggets and the other two winners in this period coming from the No. 2 barrier. Schinzig Buller won from barrier two in 2008 and then Bonavista Bay (13/8), Dasher VC (6/4 on) and The Gold Ace (10/1 on) won in the following three years before Im Victorious (11/4) started from barrier two and thundered home from ninth at the bell to win from Bettor Reason (20/1) and 6/1 chance Reuben Brogden, who started from barrier one and set the pace until the final stages. Chilli Palmer could not have been more impressive than he was at his West Australian debut in the 2536m McInerney Ford Classic last Friday week when he charged home from last at the 600m to score a decisive victory over the pacemaker Condrieu, with My Hard Copy third and Rocky Marciano fourth. Condrieu began with devastating speed from barrier five to burst to the front after 120m and Greg Bond, who trains the gelding with his wife Skye, plans to instruct reinsman Colin Brown to charge forward from out wide at barrier six. "We'll go forward; there's no point in going backward," he said. "We decided to have a crack for the lead from barrier five in the McInerney Ford, and it worked for us. The element of surprise won't work for us again, but we'll still be going forward. "We don't know whether Chilli Palmer has the necessary gate speed. He may well be better sat up; that's how he has been driven in most of his races. I don't think they will want to be caught in the early hustle bustle. Condrieu has done well since his second in the McInerney Ford and we're really happy with him." Condrieu is at his best when he leads. He has set the pace at four of his seven wins in WA, two of them being over 2536m, the distance of the Golden Nugget. Victorian trainer-reinsman Daniel Jack was delighted to draw barrier two with the speedy Nowitzki, who led from the No. 1 barrier and won the $50,000 Four-Year-Old Championship three Fridays ago. "The draw goes a long way (to winning) and I'll be trying to get across to the lead," he said. "His three runs in WA have been below par, but I expect him to go better this week. If he races as well as he can, he's certainly the horse to beat." Leading WA trainer Gary Hall sen. was disappointed with the barriers drawn by his two runners, Northview Punter (No. 3 on the back line) and My Hard Copy (outside of the front line) and said that he would need plenty of luck to win. "It's going to be a great race and I reckon Nowitzki will come out hard and lead --- and Condrieu will also come out hard," he said. "So hopefully it will be on from start to finish. My best chance from the draw is Northview Punter. We might drive him a bit quiet and let him come home." DALGETY RETAINS FAITH IN BIT OF A LEGEND Champion New Zealand trainer Cran Dalgety returned to Perth last week for the first time for 17 years and he has not given up hope of winning the $175,000 Lancaster Park Golden Nugget Championship at Gloucester Park on Friday night with outstanding four-year-old Bit Of A Legend, even though the horse was unplaced in the Four-Year-Old Championship and McInerney Ford Classic at his past two starts. The 45-year-old Dalgety has fond memories of his first trip to Western Australia when he prepared Desperate Comment for the 1996 interdominion championship. Desperate Comment, who was driven by Peter Jones, qualified for the final as leading points scorer after a third, a second and a win in the heats. But he finished sixth in the final, won by Young Mister Charles. Bit Of A Legend, who has amassed $640,178 in prizemoney from 17 wins and 11 seconds from 36 starts, was trained and driven for his four starts at Gloucester Park in this campaign by New Zealander Brent Mangos. His best effort was an easy victory in a prelude of the Golden Nugget three starts ago when he defeated Galactic Galleon and Northview Punter. "Brent has done a fine job with him, but the horse faces a hard task in Friday night's race," Dalgety said. "Bit Of A Legend is only small and he's not stylish or elegant, but his assets are his great will to win and determination. "He has drawn barrier four and I'm pretty excited that just to be inside barrier five on the front row. Nowitzki and Condrieu are very fast beginners and I think that when we settle Bit Of A Legend will definitely be in the better half of the midfield --- and that will be a good start. In most of his wins he's come from behind. He just wants to be the winner." Bit Of A Legend, who will be driven by New Zealand's champion reinsman Dexter Dunn, and has the stable name of Carter, after Dalgety's ten-year-old son Carter, who insisted that his father buy the pacer at the New Zealand yearling sale. "Bit Of A Legend was very little, but Carter picked him out and said 'we've got to have this one,' Dalgety said. "So I bought him for $NZ50,000, probably from the heart than the head. I had had his half-brother London Legend, who was a good horse. "I bought Bit Of A Legend for myself, a good stable client in Darryl Brown, from Perth, Ross Stanbury, from Christchurch, and Pat Cabarlla, from Invercargill, and we have no regrets." London Legend, by In The Pocket and the first foal out of Soky's Legend, raced 101 times for Dalgety between 2008 and 2011 for 25 wins, 27 placings and stakes of $456,124. DEXTER DUNN OUT TO EQUAL HIS FATHER AT GLOUCESTER PARK Dexter Dunn, New Zealand harness racing's golden boy and a superstar at the age of 24, will make his first appearance in Western Australia when he drives Bit Of A Legend in the $175,000 Lancaster Park Golden Nugget Championship at Gloucester Park on Friday night. And he would dearly love to emulate the performance of his father Robert, who landed a winner at his only trip to WA, in 1996 when he was successful with Master Musician in a second-round heat of the interdominion championship. Robert Dunn then was in the sulky when Master Musician, the 5/2 favourite, finished third behind Young Mister Charles and Sunshine Band in the final. Dunn, who will arrive in Perth on Thursday, will get the opportunity to experience driving on the 805m circuit when he handles three pacers trained by Matt Scott in early events on the program. Scott has nominated Dunn to drive Miss Tee Dawn in the 1730m V. and K. Congerton Memorial Mares Pace, Marooned in the 2130m Happy Birthday Ryan Berti Pace and Zurbaran in the first heat of the Livio (The Champ) Tolomeo The Coulson Pace. Miss Tee Dawn has drawn the prized No. 1 barrier and has sound prospects of giving Dunn a winner at his first drive at Gloucester Park. This would equal his feat of landing a winner at his first drive in America --- when he was successful behind McClelland (1.50.1) over 1609m at the Meadowlands in New Jersey on June 25, 2011. Miss Tee Dawn started from the outside of the back ,line and did a good job to finish strongly from the rear to be fourth behind Arts Gangsta over 2190m at Northam on Tuesday of last week. She also unwound a powerful burst from the rear to win from Mount Richon over 2150m at Harvey the previous week. Marooned, who was claimed for $10,000 last week, has a losing sequence of 20 and faces a stern test from barrier four on the back line. He trailed the pacemaker Sanjaya when a sound third to that pacer last week, with the winner rating 1.55 over 1730m. Punters are likely to be keen to support the polemarker and smart frontrunner Taiaha against Marooned and the other ten runners in this week's event. Taiaha, who is prepared by Hazelmere trainer Mike Reed, caught the eye when racing first-up at Northam on Tuesday of last week when he raced three back on the pegs and was hampered for room before finishing solidly to be second to Celtic Crusader. Zurbaran, a winner six starts ago and placed second at two of his past four starts, will be at handsome odds from the outside of the front line in a race in which polemarker Cool Johnny (resuming after a let-up), What God Knows and Soho Highroller will be fancied. THE BEAU BRUMMELL RETURNS AFTER A SPELL IN FINE STYLE New Zealand-bred five-year-old The Beau Brummell looks one of the best bets on the program at Gloucester Park on Friday night after scoring an effortless first-up victory at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon. Waroona trainer Bob Mellsop produced The Beau Brummell in fine fettle for his first appearance for three months when he trotted faultlessly three back on the pegs in a race run in Indian file before he surged to the front 100m from home and scored by more than three lengths from All Over Red Rover at a 2.1.9 rate over 2185m. The Beau Brummell will start from barrier three on the front line in the 2130m mobile Kyle And Dozer Trot on Friday night in which he will clash with then highly-regarded Prince Eddie, smart frontrunner Heez Speedy Gonzalez, last-start winner Earl Harbour and Hot Holiday, who has won in good style at two of his past four starts. by Ken Casellas  

A spur of the moment decision by part-time Pinjarra trainer Chris King to telephone Victorian Greg Stubbs almost four years ago, simply on a whim, seeking to lease veteran pacer Flamin Tact, has had far-reaching repercussions. They had never met, but Stubbs agreed to lease Flamin Tact and they thoroughly enjoyed their first association, with Flamin Tact winning eight races for King and running 16 minor placings for stakes of $113,565. "I didn't know Greg from a bar of soap, so it has been a great decision," said King. The liaison led to Stubbs sending Leda McNally to King early last year when Stubbs and trainer Tony Peacock were disappointed with the form of Leda McNally, who had managed just one win (at Cobram in January 2012) and three placings from 15 starts in Victoria and New South Wales for $7818 in prizemoney. There were no high hopes when Leda McNally arrived at King's stables. However, the mare, now a five-year-old, has exceeded all expectations and she hit the high spot of a Fabulous career when she outclassed her rivals in the $100,000 Make Smoking History Mares Classic at Gloucester Park on Friday night to boost her record to 44 starts for 17 wins and eight placings for earnings of $257,308. Her victory by two and a half lengths over the fast-finishing Famous Alchemist gave the 41-year-old King and 25-year-old reinsman Chris Voak their first success in a group 1 event. Now King is keenly looking forward to Leda McNally challenging the best mares in the country in the $200,000 Ladyship Mile at Menangle on March 2 next year. Stubbs, who travelled to Perth to watch Friday night's race, praised the efforts of King and his partner Barbra Gray, particularly for nursing the mare back to health after she had received serious leg and hoof injuries when she bolted in a paddock after taking fright during an electrical storm earlier this year. "We sent her over here a couple of years ago as a three-year-old filly who had won one race and now she has won well over $200,000," he said. "Tony Peacock and I bought her as a two-year-old with the intention of selling her. But she couldn't win enough races, so we sent her to Perth, and now the rest is history." Leda McNally, winner of the $40,000 Norms Daughter Classic the previous week, started from the No. 5 barrier on the front line on Friday night and was favourite at evens. Shannon Suvaljko sent the polemarker Loving You (8/1) straight to the front, but was happy to relinquish the lead when challenged strongly by Leda McNally, who burst to the front after only 250m. Voak then was able to get Leda McNally to relax and the mare strolled through the first 400m section of the final mile in 31.3sec. and the next quarter in 29.3sec. before covering the next two quarters in 28.8sec. and 29.3sec. Leda McNally rated 1.57.6 over the 2130m journey and Voak produced a triumphant salute over the final 25m. Famous Alchemist (22/1) surged home from tenth at the bell to be second, with 12/1 chance Sensational Gabby, last in the middle stages, sustaining a strong burst to finish third, a head in front of 5/2 second fancy Bettor Cover Lover, who raced in the breeze over the final 1050m and fought on gamely. Voak said that he did not expect to find the lead so easily. "There were a lot of rumours going around earlier in the week that Loving You was going to lead from the pole," he said. "I had done a lot of track work for Tilley (Loving You's trainer Peter Tilbrook) a year or so ago and I knew deep down in my heart that he is not that sort of operator. He knows the class of his horse, so I think that the talk of Loving You holding the lead was just a bit of bluff." RED SALUTE SHINES AND GIVES OLIVIERI A TREBLE Noted frontrunner Red Salute made the most of the prized No. 1 barrier when he bounced back to top form and ended a losing sequence of nine with a bold frontrunning display to win the $25,000 The Kersley final over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. This completed a treble for Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri, who had been successful earlier in the program with Imtheguy and Lord Coburn. It was also the first leg of a driving double for Chris Voak, who was successful in the following event with Leda McNally. Red Salute had started from the back line in four of his six starts since resuming from a spell and had drawn out wide in the other two starts. His prospects on Friday night soared after he drew the No. 1 barrier. He was a 5/1 chance and Voak sent him straight to the front and was able dawdle through the first 400m section of the final mile in 31.2sec. before dashing over the next quarters in 29.5sec., 28.8sec. and 28.5sec. He went on to win at a 1.57.4 rate by a half-length from 27/1 chance Code Red, who sustained a powerful finishing burst from eighth in the middle stages. El Machine, favourite at 5/4, raced in the one-out, two-back position before starting a three-wide move with 1100m to travel. He fought on doggedly to be third, a half-length behind Code Red. "He's now had the ks (kilometres) in his legs and his two previous starts (for two thirds) were an improvement," Voak said. "He was probably found wanting over the final 50m at his previous start, but Ross has now got him back to somewhere where he needs to be. "He is going to improve, no problem, and can reach the potential that everyone involved with the horse thinks he can get to. His real ability lies in the 250m kick he's got." Red Salute, winner of the group 2 Binshaw Classic last February, is raced by his breeder Jeanine Diederich, Denise Trobe, Adrian Staltari and Tony Jones and has earned $122,189 from 12 wins and nine placings from 40 starts. By Life Sign, he is the fourth foal out of the New South Wales-bred mare Gold Stature, who had 74 starts for 14 wins, 28 placings and $61,562. LIVINGONTHEINTEREST LEVELS THE SCORE WITH HOKONUI BEN Lightly-raced six-year-old Livingontheinterest, beaten into fifth place behind Hokonui Ben last Friday week, turned the tables on his stablemate when he enjoyed a perfect passage, one-out and one-back, and sprinted home strongly to win by 4m from Hokonui Ben in the Quitline Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. This levelled the score between the geldings, who are trained by Gary Hall sen. They have met 12 times, with each winning three times and each finishing ahead of the other three times in the other six events. Hokonui Ben, favourite at 2/1 on and driven by Clint Hall, bowled along in front, but was found wanting in the closing stages over the 2536m journey. Kim Prentice got Livingontheinterest, second favourite at 8/1, away smartly from barrier three and the gelding raced without cover for the first 300m before Shardons Rocket moved to the breeze. Prentice bided his time before bringing Livingontheinterest home with a well-timed burst, which saw the New Zealand-bred gelding hit the front 100m from the post. The final 400m was covered in a moderate 29.2sec. after the two previous quarters had whizzed by in 28.8sec. and 28.7sec. Shardons Rocket held on well to be third, with Dasher VC (12/1) running home solidly, three wide, from tenth at the bell. Livingontheinterest, a winner at seven of his 15 starts in New Zealand, won at first seven starts in WA and now his 20 starts in the State have produced 11 wins and two placings to take his earnings to $198,465. "He has been going good, but just hasn't had the right draw," Prentice said. "They ran really good time tonight and he had a beautiful sit just in behind them. He found the line really well. Last week (when fifth behind Hokonui Ben) he didn't pace as well as he did tonight. But Gary has put the polish on him during the week and he has come up trumps." NORTHERN ASSASSIN EARNS A START IN THE GOLDEN NUGGET Busselton trainer Peter Bell will have a runner in the $175,000 Lancaster Park Golden Nugget Championship next Friday night after Northern Assassin set the pace and scored a narrow victory over Northview Punter in the Smoke Free Nugget Prelude at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Punters declared Northern Assassin a good thing after he had drawn the prized No. 1 barrier and the stallion was sent out hot favourite at 6/4 on. Matt White sent Northern Assassin straight to the front and after easy first quarters of the final mile in 31.4sec. and 30.7sec., he gave the opposition something to chase after a third quarter in 29.2sec. and a sizzling final 400m in 27.4sec. Northview Punter (13/2) moved to the breeze 650m after the start and got on terms with the pacemaker 450m from home. He fought on grandly and was beaten only by a metre. Erskine Range (8/1) sat behind the leader and fought on to be two lengths farther back in third place. Northern Assassin, making only his fourth appearance at Gloucester Park, rated 1.58.2 and took his record to 16 starts for six wins, six placings and $43,833 in stakes. He is the first foal out of the unraced Parsons Den mare Let It Rock and is related on the dam's side to former top-flight performer Buck the Odds (121 starts for 31 wins, 29 placings and $307,547). "It was a bit of a worry early, not knowing how much gate speed he had," said White. "But we were able to hold the top and he got it pretty easy early and he kicked home good. Pete's done a great job with him and I think he's got a bit of bottom to him. He keeps giving and he's a high cruising sort of horse." PUNTERS DISREGARD KHUN RATHA AFTER NARROW FIRST-UP DEFEAT Promising three-year-old Khun Ratha resumed after a spell at Harvey last Tuesday week and was a warm 6/4 favourite who set the pace and was beaten a nose in the final stride by Live Life Fast. However, punters abandoned him and he was a 24/1 outsider in the 1730m Thank You For Not Smoking Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Most punters pinned their faith in last-start winners and stablemates Black Mr Mach (evens) and Offtocullect (10/9). But Khun Ratha, trained at Capel by Andrew De Campo and driven by his son Aiden, enjoyed the perfect one-out, one-back trail before sprinting home on the rain-soaked track to burst to the front in the final 30m and beat the pacemaker Black Mr Mach by a half-length, with Modigliani (15/1) a fast0-finishing third. Offtocullect, who started from the outside barrier in the field of seven, raced greenly at the rear and did not threaten danger before finishing in fifth place. A fierce downpour flooded the track and Khun Ratha did well to sprint over the final 800m in 57.6sec. He rated 1.59.7 and boosted his earnings to $17,513 from two wins and two placings from six starts. Khun Ratha, bred by his owner Paul Poli, is by Bettors Delight and is the first foal out of Holmes Hanover mare Calafia, who won at seven of her 21 WA starts and was retired after racing 43 times for eight wins and ten placings for $43,303 in prizemoney. JOHNS TARGETS THE TROTTERS CUP WITH Earl HARBOUR Waroona trainer-reinsman Nigel Johns is setting Earl Harbour for the $30,000 Trotters Cup in January after the New Zealand-bred seven-year-old scored a stylish win in the Breathe Easier Trot at Gloucester Park on Friday night. After praising the gelding for having perfect manners, Johns said that Earl Harbour was on track to win more races in Western Australia. "He will be set for the Trotters Cup and if he lobs handy he's a chance in any race here," he said. Johns won the 2009 Trotters Cup with Compressor. Earl Harbour ended a losing sequence of 14 (including eight minor placings) when he started at 16/1 and enjoyed an ideal passage, one-out and one-back, before dashing to the front on the home turn and winning by just under two lengths from 61/1 chance Keepyaguardup, with a further 8m to 5/4 on favourite Prince Eddie. Owned by Christine Germain, tote manager at Pinjarra Paceway and a sister of Johns' partner Deb Woodley, Earl Harbour was a consistent performer in Victoria and now has had 94 starts for nine wins, 30 placings and $90,027 in prizemoney. Earl Harbour has impressed at his four WA starts which have produced a win and two placings. "He is by Canadian sire Earl, like his stablemate All Flair," Johns said. "And he has got good manners, which are a bit better than the trotters by Sundon, even though I love the trotters by Sundon because they're brilliant horses, but are a bit fizzy. "Tonight's race was set up for Earl Harbour. He lobbed handy and there was a fair bit of speed, and I was just sitting there. He always performed well in Victoria against the good trotters and I think he will go a fair way here. I didn't even pull the plugs." OHOKA COURAGE GIVES HARPER PLENTY OF REASON TO SMILE Young reinsman Kyle Harper seized the opportunity to drive Ohoka Courage for the first time when he brought the seven-year-old home with a powerful burst to score an easy victory in the Quit Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Harper was delighted when Forrestdale trainer Jarrad Humphries offered him the drive. He had taken special notice of the gelding at his previous start, at Northam last Tuesday week, when he surged past his pacer Springsteen to win a 2560m stand in fine style. "I have plenty of respect for Springsteen and I sat up and took notice of Ohoka Courage when he went past us at Northam," Harper said. "I was confident of winning tonight when the pace went on early. I was just sitting back and having a giggle. Ohoka Courage had plenty in reserve at the finish; he only does what he has to." Ohoka Courage started at 8/1 from barrier three on the back line in the 2130m event and raced in sixth position in the one-wide line while Herbies Dream set the early pace, with Captain Proud overracing in the breeze. Captain Proud pulled his way to the front 1300m from home and the second quarter of the final mile was covered in a slick 28.6sec. Mister Roberto, who raced in the one-out, one-back position, dashed to the front leaving the back straight in the final circuit while the 7/4 favourite Jay Bees Grin was badly blocked for a clear passage in the ruck. Harper timed Ohoka Courage's finishing burst to perfection and the gelding swept to the front in the final 100m to win convincingly at a 1.57.7 rate. Jay Bees Grin, who had been eased off the pegs by Colin Brown about 600m from home, got into a bad traffic jam and did not obtain a clear run until late --- when he rattled home to be a most unlucky third. Ohoka Courage has had 49 starts for 11 wins, 15 placings and stakes of $63,745. It was his third win from eight WA starts after winning four races in New Zealand and another four in Victoria. Ohoka Courage is a half-brother to Ohoka Dallas, who has earned $350,661 from 15 wins and 20 placings from 102 starts. IMTHEGUY RELISHES THE No. 1 BARRIER TO END LOSING RUN OF 11 Victorian-bred and Adelaide-owned pacer Imtheguy made the most of drawing the prized No. 1 barrier when Chris Lewis drove the five-year-old to an all-the-way victory in the 1730m Make Smoking History Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Imtheguy, a heavily-supported 5/4 on favourite gave Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri the first leg of a treble and Lewis the first leg of a double when he dashed over the final 400m in 28.9sec. and held on to beat the 7/2 second favourite Heez Orl Black by a metre at a 1.56.6 rate. Imtheguy, owned by Mary Harding and Richard Noble, had put the writing on the wall with a very close second to Rakatup at his previous start, ended a losing sequence of 11 and looks capable of further city successes. Imtheguy won at four of his five starts in South Australia and at three of his nine appearances in Victoria before being sent to Western Australia where he has had 17 starts for two wins and five placings. He has earned $46,534 from nine wins and nine placings from 31 starts. He is out of the unraced Village Jasper mare Its All About Rose and is related on his dam's side to former star mare Jasmarilla, who had 213 starts in the 1980s for 50 wins, 68 placings and $503,000 in prizemoney. SANJAYA IS CLAIMED BEFORE LEADING AND WINNING There was plenty of activity before the Mick's Claiming Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night when eight claims, all of $10,000, were lodged. Serpentine trainer-reinsman Chris Brew claimed Sanjaya, who started favourite at 6/4 on from the No. 1 barrier and set a brisk pace before winning by a length from stablemate This Time Dylan (7/2), with Marooned (11/2) finishing third after trailing the pacemaker throughout. Sanjaya, trained by Gary Hall sen., was driven aggressively by his son Clint and he gave his rivals little chance by speeding over the final four 400m sections of the final mile in 29.5sec., 28.9sec., 28.9sec. and 28.3sec. He rated 1.55 over the 1730m and took his record to 68 starts for 13 wins and 20 placings for stakes of $90,799. Sanjaya ended a losing sequence of seven and improved his WA record to 18 starts for three wins and four placings. The New Zealand-bred seven-year-old won four times in New South Wales and another four times in Queensland before arriving in WA. Arnoux, a New Zealand-bred seven-year-old trained by Hall sen., was claimed by Adam Jones of Treendale and there were six claims lodged for Marooned, a seven-year-old trained by Michael Brennan. The successful claimant was Gary Scott. LORD COBURN WINS EASILY AFTER AN EARLY SCARE Victorian-bred six-year-old Lord Coburn, the heavily-supported 6/4 on favourite, gave his backers a scare when he galloped for a couple of strides at the start of the Fresh Air Handicap, a 2503m stand at Gloucester Park on Friday night. But Chris Lewis quickly got him into his pacing gait and after a spirited battle with the polemarker To Transcend, Lord Coburn forged to the front after 300m and gave a strong frontrunning display before winning by two lengths from outsider Anvils Big Punt, with a nose to To Transcend in third place. "I was happy once he got to the front," said Lewis. "We had done a bit of work, but I was still feeling confident. He finished the race off well." Lord Coburn, who is owned by a group of Mildura folk, Christopher Clohesy, Louise Tarrant, Richard and Daniel Tankard, William Robinson and Ian Watson, has had seven starts in WA for trainer Ross Olivieri for two wins and three placings. He has now earned $78,780 from 12 wins and 13 placings from 45 starts. By American stallion Grinfromeartoear, Lord Coburn is out of former outstanding New Zealand-bred mare Posh Jaccka, who had 132 starts for 29 wins and 43 placings for stakes of $331,155. STEWARDS SUSPEND VOAK FOR 11 DAYS Outstanding young reinsman Chris Voak has been suspended from driving for 11 days for causing interference in a race at Gloucester Park on Saturday night. He pleaded guilty to a charge of causing severe interference to Aldebaran Swannee at the winning post, just after the start of the European Prestige Handicap, a 2503m stand. He was driving Art In Your Face, who began speedily from the outside of the front line and burst to the front on the first turn before setting the pace and finishing second to Cometao. The stewards took into account Voak's guilty plea and his excellent driving record and they reduced a 19-day penalty to 11 days. Voak had driven in 910 races and had not been suspended since his previous suspension last January. Clint Hall started serving a 35-day suspension at midnight on Friday night. He was suspended for 21 days for his incorrect whip action when driving Famous Alchemist into second place behind Leda McNally in the $100,000 Mares Classic. This suspension was added to a 14-day penalty for an incorrect whip action when driving Waylade in a race at Bunbury the previous Saturday night. Brett Smith was suspended for 17 days for causing interference in the Kersley final at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He drove Menelaus of Sparta, who checked The Feather Foot soon after the start. Nathan Turvey was suspended on Friday night for ten days for causing interference with Sonic Classic in the Quit Pathway Pace. Luke Edwards received a 16-day suspension for causing interference in a race at Northam last Tuesday and Stuart McDonald was suspended for four weeks for an unacceptable drive behind Celtic Crusader in a race at Narrogin on November 21. Celtic Crusader finished second to Pure Empathy. He pleaded guilty to a charge of causing severe interference to Sachin Arden (Shannon Suvaljko) at the winning post, just after the start of the European Prestige Handicap, a 2503m stand. He was driving Art In Your Face, who began speedily from the outside of the front line and burst to the front on the first turn before setting the pace and finishing second to Cometao. by Ken Casellas  

Young reinsman Chris Voak stands by his claim that Leda McNally has the quickest turn of foot of any mare in Australia and is bubbling with confidence that the five-year-old will prove too speedy for her rivals in the $100,000 Make Smoking History Mares Classic at Gloucester Park on Friday night. A win in the group 1 feature event over 2130m would help Voak and Pinjarra trainer Chris King to overcome the trauma they experienced 12 months ago when Leda McNally met with interference in the home straight and finished fourth in the inaugural Mares Classic. Voak had Leda McNally poised to strike in the one-out, one-back position for most of the way and she was unwinding a spirited burst when Kamwood Laughter ran out under pressure and her off-side sulky wheel became locked with the near-side wheel of Leda McNally’s sulky. This caused Leda McNally to lose her momentum and she finished fourth behind the pacemaker and 6/4 on favourite Baby Bling. Voak lodged a protest and the stewards upheld the objection and elevated Leda McNally to third place. Leda McNally was a 50/1 outsider with bookmakers and a 65/1 chance on the tote. But this week she will be one of the favourites with Bettor Cover Lover, Famous Alchemist, Loving You, Sensational Gabby and Askmenow. Leda McNally is in superb form and has scored impressive victories at her past two starts, both over 1730m and rating a sizzling 1.54.3 in each event. Voak said that the extra journey of 2130m this Friday night would not trouble the brilliant Victorian-bred mare. Two starts ago Leda McNally revealed her normal sparkling gate speed when she set the pace and won convincingly from deluxe Edition and famous Alchemist. She started from the No. 4 barrier in the Norms Daughter Classic last Friday night when she raced in sixth position in the one-wide line before sprinting home brilliantly to get up and defeat Famous Alchemist by a head, with Bettor Cover Lover a gallant third after working hard outside the pacemaker Askmenow. Leda McNally will start from the No. 5 barrier on the front line this week and Voak is expected to get her away speedily in a bid to take up an advantageous position in the one-wide line. He could even be tempted to make a bid for the early lead. But this could prove to be an unwise strategy, considering that speedy beginner and noted frontrunner Loving You has drawn the prized No. 1 barrier. This is a major advantage for Loving You, a smart four-year-old to be driven by Shannon Suvaljko for trainer Peter Tilbrook. Loving You was a 72/1 tote outsider in the Norms Daughter Classic last Friday night when she started from the outside of the back line. She fought on from seventh at the bell to finish sixth. Loving You will be at much shorter odds this week and is a realistic chance, even though she is only on an M1 mark, while Leda McNally has a M8 classification and Bettor Cover Lover is on an M6 mark. Famous Alchemist, Sensational Gabby, Lucie Boshier and Miss Azooma have all reached an M3 mark. Loving You has set the pace before winning five times. Her other two wins in a 31-start career have come after she had sat behind the pacemaker and after racing without cover. Bettor Cover Lover boasts the best record of the 12 runners, with 19 wins and 12 placings from 35 starts for earnings of $999,756. She will start from the No. 2 barrier on the back line and should settle in a favourable position for her New Zealand trainer-reinsman Brent Mangos. She looks set to fight out the finish. Leading trainer Gary Hall sen. has three runners, Famous Alchemist (Clint Hall), Askmenow (Gary Hall jun.) and Chloe Vargarita (Daniel Jack) and he would dearly love to go one better than he did when Aussie Made Lombo (Hall jun.) thundered home from tenth at the 400m and eighth on the home turn to finish a 5m second to Baby Bling 12 months ago. Famous Alchemist looks his best prospect, even though she has drawn poorly on the outside of the back line. In last week’s race Famous Alchemist trailed the pacemaker Askmenow before bursting to the front about 120m from home and being overtaken in the final stride by Leda McNally. Askmenow’s prospects on Friday night faded when she drew barrier four on the back line. Chloe Vargarita will start from the No. 3 barrier on the front line. Former star juvenile Sensational Gabby will start out wide at barrier six on the front line, but she has the natural speed to quickly get into a favourable position. She should be improved considerably by her first-up effort when eighth behind Leda McNally last Friday night. Sensational Gabby probably would have finished closer to the winner had she not become unbalanced and broke into a gallop just after leaving the back straight in the final circuit. HOWSON IS BACK AS EL MACHINE ATTEMPTS HIS FIFTH WIN IN A ROW Pinjarra trainer Kade Howson will complete a 12-day suspension at midnight on Thursday night and will be eligible to resume driving at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he has high hopes of landing the winner of the $25,000 Kersley final with up-and-coming star El Machine. When suspending Howson for causing interference in a race at Bunbury last Saturday week the stewards took into account his excellent driving record and his plea to be able to resume this Friday night in order to be in the sulky behind El Machine, a WA-bred five-year-old he trains and owns in partnership with Michael George. El Machine is one of the most improved pacers in the State and has won easily at each of his past four starts, all at Gloucester Park and all over 2130m, the distance of this week’s final. In three of those wins El Machine has produced a strong, sustained finishing burst before racing away from his rivals. He will start from barrier two on the back line on Friday night and Howson appears certain to bide his time before asking the gelding for a supreme effort in the final circuit. El Machine meets stiff opposition, including last-start winners Old McDonald, Our Major Mark and Menelaus of Sparta, who will start from the front line along with the talented Toretto, who has won in fine style at four of his past six starts. Old McDonald, trained and driven by Colin Brown, was the fastest of the three qualifying heat winners, will start out wide at the No. 6 barrier. But he has the ability to overcome this disadvantage. He started from barrier five in his heat last Friday week when he raced in fifth position in the one-wide line before storming home to beat Code Red by a neck at a 1.55.7 rate. El Machine came from eighth in the middle stages to win his heat from Pembrook Henry and Menelaus of Sparta at a 1.57.4 rate three Friday nights ago. He rated 1.58, 1.57.1 and 2.0.1 at his three previous outings and he warmed up for this week’s event by making most of the running and winning a four-horse Pinjarra trial at a 2.0.8 rate over 2185m after sprinting the final 800m in 57.3sec. Our Major Mark, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, was most impressive in his heat last Friday night when he raced without cover, took the lead 480m from home and sped over the final 400m in 27.8sec. to beat Toretto by a length at a 1.57.3 rate. He will start from the No. 5 barrier. Menelaus of Sparta, trained and driven by Brett Smith, improved his prospects when he drew the No. 2 barrier. He followed wins at Pinjarra and Northam with another victory at Northam on Tuesday night when he settled in ninth place and charged home from fifth at the bell to win from Im Elmer Fudd at a 1.59.5 rate over 2190m. The prospects of the Ross Olivieri-trained five-year-old Red Salute improved when he drew the prized No. 1 barrier. Red Salute, who has finished sound thirds at his past two outings, is a smart frontrunner who will have many admirers. MY HARD COPY HAS SOUND CLAIMS IN GOLDEN NUGGET PRELUDE Smart New Zealand-bred stallion My Hard Copy has bright prospects of clinching a place in the field to contest the $175,000 Lancaster Park Golden Nugget championship by winning the $21,000 Nugget prelude over 2130m at Gloucester park on Friday night. My Hard Copy, trained by Gary Hall sen., will start from the No. 4 barrier on the front line and Shane Butcher should have him in a prominent position throughout. The winner of the race will automatically qualify for a start in the final of the Nugget the following Friday night. My Hard Copy led briefly from the No. 1 barrier in the 2536m McInerney Ford Classic last Friday night and then trailed the pacemaker Condrieu before fighting on strongly to finish third behind the brilliant Chilli Palmer and Condrieu. Looming as the hardest for My Hard Copy to beat is his stablemate Northview Punter, who has won at 14 of his 27 appearances and has the ability to overcome the wide draw at No. 6 on the front line. He will again be driven by Gary Hall jun., who was in the sulky when he raced without cover in the second lap and then was shuffled back to eighth at the bell before finishing eighth behind Chilli Palmer last week. Northern Assassin, trained by Peter Bell, has drawn the prized No. 1 barrier on the front line, but is likely to be challenged hard for the early lead by Erskine Range (barrier two) and Adda Notherzero (No. 3). Northern Assassin won for the fifth time from 15 starts when he raced wide early and then worked hard in the breeze before winning easily from Im Riddick over 2100m at Bunbury last Saturday night. Adda Notherzero is a noted frontrunner who has set the pace in each of his four wins from 13 starts. Erskine Range also possesses good gate speed and he led from the No. 1 barrier and won from Jay Bees Grin and Loving You over 2185m at Pinjarra two starts ago before started at long odds from the outside of the back line and fought on from tenth at the bell to be seventh behind Nowitzki over 2130m last Friday week. HEEZ ORL BLACK SHOULD GET PUNTERS AWAY TO A FLYING START Harness racing buffs who watched Heez Orl Black storm home from tenth on the home turn to get up and win from Johnny Be over 2692m at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon have marked him down as a star bet in the opening event, the 1730m Make Smoking History Pace, at Gloucester Park on Friday night. And they will not be concerned that the New Zealand-bred five-year-old will be dropping back to a sprint trip because they will point out that the gelding has raced four times over 1730m at Gloucester Park for two wins (rating 1.55 and 1.57.5) and two second placings. He also won over 1684m in 1.53.4 at Pinjarra in August, and in New Zealand he was a winner over 1609m and three times over 1950m. Heez Orl Black, trained at Serpentine by Gary Hall sen., was making his first appearance for six and a half weeks when he won so brilliantly on Monday afternoon. He started from barrier three on the back line and was eighth at the bell before being shuffled back to tenth on the home turn. He then stormed home, five wide, to score most impressively. This took Heez Orl Black’s record to 12 wins and 11 placings from 47 starts for earnings of $149,510, certainly wonderful credentials for a pacer contesting a Metropolitan maiden event. Drawn inside him on Friday night are good frontrunners Imtheguy (barrier one) and At Princeton (two), but they will be hard pressed to withstand his powerful finishing burst. Soho Redford and Soho Highroller will have many admirers after each having won in good style at his past two starts. But Soho Redford faces a stern test from the outside of the front line and Soho Highroller, a stablemate of Heez Orl Black, will have to overcome the disadvantage of starting from barrier four on the back line. by Ken Casellas  

CHILLI PALMER HAS GOLDEN NUGGET AT HIS MERCY AFTER DAZZLING VICTORY Inexperienced New Zealand-bred gelding Chilli Palmer appears to have the $175,000 Lancaster Park Golden Nugget at his mercy after producing an electrifying burst of dazzling speed to come from last at the 600m to score a superb record-breaking victory in the $125,000 McInerney Ford Classic at Gloucester Park on Friday night. “This was only his third run back from a spell and so, in two weeks’ time, hopefully he’ll be even better,” said master reinsman Chris Alford after Chilli Palmer swamped his 11 rivals and careered away to win by just under a length from the pacemaker Condrieu. The Golden Nugget will be decided over 2536m at Gloucester Park next Friday week and regardless of what barrier Chilli Palmer draws he is sure to be a firm favourite. Chilli Palmer’s victory gave leading Victorian trainer Dean Braun his third win in three years in the group 1 McInerney Ford Classic for four-year-olds. He was successful with Mustang Mach in 2011 and Chancellor Cullen 12 months ago. Chill Palmer, making his first appearance in Western Australia, drew unfavourably on the outside of the back line, but many astute punters were confident that he would stretch his winning sequence to six and the Elsu gelding was sent out equal favourite at 5/2 with Northview Punter, with New Zealand star Bit Of A Legend at 4/1. The first surprise in an up-tempo race of many moves came when Colin Brown got 16/1 chance Condrieu away brilliantly from barrier five on the front line. Condrieu burst past the polemarker My Hard Copy (9/1) and into the lead after 120m. Northview Punter also began speedily from the No. 4 barrier and he raced wide early before Gary Hall jun. got him across to race three back on the pegs soon after the start. Hall then eased Northview Punter off the pegs and into the breeze after 700m. Bit Of A Legend, from barrier six, and Nowitzki (barrier seven) were restrained to the rear in the field of 12 and Daniel Jack was the first to make a decisive move when he urged Nowitzki (14/1) forward and into the breeze with 1400m to travel. His run was followed by Bit Of A Legend, who got to the breeze 1250m from home. Robyns C C surged forward to be third at the bell and her three-wide burst was followed by Mexicano and Heez On Fire. But the ice-cool Alford was quite content to keep Chilli Palmer at the rear. Chilli Palmer was 12th and last in the one-wide line 600m from home before Alford made his move. Chilli Palmer sprinted fast down the back straight and he was forced five wide 300m from home as he sustained his blistering burst of speed. Chilli Palmer charged home down the outside and got the measure of Condrieu about 75m from the post. He drew away and won convincingly, with the conservative Alford showing a rare moment of exultation with a subdued wave of the whip. The final 800m was covered (off the front) in 57.9sec. and the last 400m in 28.8sec., with Chilli Palmer rating 1.57.2 over the 2536m journey. This smashed the track record for a four-year-old of 1.58.1 set by Northview Punter when he led and defeated Bettors Fire on October 1. My Hard Copy fought on determinedly to be third, a length in front of 20/1 chance Rocky Marciano, who had enjoyed an ideal trail three back on the pegs. Chilli Palmer, owned by Victorians Karlos Farah, Aziz Kheir, Mara Scarpino, Joe Pezzimenti, Sharyn Parkinson, Adam Mathews, Clint and Alex Badcock and Braun. The son of former star pacer Elsu has raced only nine times for seven wins, a second and a seventh placings for earnings of $121,450. Alford, who achieved the tremendous milestone of 5000 winners when successful with the Braun-trained Macho Comacho at Kilmore on October 27 this year, said that Braun had always had a “super opinion” of Chilli Palmer. “When they all went in front of me at the bell I was a little bit worried because the one in front of me couldn’t quite keep up that well,” he said. “But my horse was travelling so well down the back and when I went to pull the ear plugs he nearly ran up the tail of the horse I was tracking up. So I had to ease him out four wide and he just went around the corner like a greyhound and he sprinted like a jet. “He gets a little bit lost when he gets to the front. He probably hit the front about 100m out and he has a tendency to knock off. So I thought I had better give him a couple of cracks. I didn’t get the time to pull the plugs. I always thought I had Condrieu covered.” VOAK TARGETS LEDA McNALLY FOR RICH LADYSHIP MILE Young reinsman Chris Voak sang the praises of Leda McNally after driving the Victorian-bred five-year-old to an impressive narrow victory in the $40,000 Norm’s Daughter Classic at Gloucester Park on Friday night, declaring her one of the fastest mares in Australia and New Zealand. And Voak is extremely keen for Leda McNally to challenge the best mares in the country by contesting the $200,000 Ladyship Mile at Menangle on March 2. “She deserves to be invited to run in the Ladyship Mile,” he said. “She has the quickest turn of foot of any filly or mare in Australia. And I think she is one of the quickest mares in Australasia. She is a real good miler and a mile is her pet distance. “But it will not be a problem for her in the 2130m group 1 $100,000 Mares Classic next Friday night. Horses with her speed are always dangerous.” Leda McNally, trained at Pinjarra by Chris King for Victorian owner Greg Stubbs, was a 6/1 chance from the No. 4 barrier on the front line in the Norm’s Daughter Classic and Voak quickly had her in sixth position, one-out, two-back, with polemarker Askmenow (5/1) setting a brisk pace, with the heavily-supported 10/9 on favourite Bettor Cover Lover in the breeze, Famous Alchemist (8/1) trailing the pacemaker and Sensational Gabby (11/2) in the one-out, one-back position. Askmenow raced roughly when the mobile barrier sent the field on its way and Brent Mangos had Bettor Cover Lover (from the No. 2 barrier) a full length in front. But Askmenow (Gary Hall jun.) kicked up on the inside to hold out Bettor Cover Lover. After a quick first 400m section of the final mile in 28.6sec., Askmenow relaxed and went through the next section in 29.7sec. before she sprinted over the third quarter in 28sec. Bettor Cover Lover took a narrow lead 300m from home and then Famous Alchemist was being hailed the winner when Clint Hall dashed her to the front with about 130m to travel. However, Leda McNally flew home, out wide, to snatch victory by a head from Famous Alchemist, with Bettor Cover Lover almost two lengths farther back in third place. Askmenow finished fourth and, after a final quarter in 28.4sec., the winner rated 1.54.3 for the 1730m to improve her record to 43 starts for 17 wins, eight placings and $191,308 in prizemoney. HOKONUI BEN WARMS UP FOR SUMMER FEATURE EVENTS IN STYLE New Zealand-bred seven-year-old Hokonui Ben enhanced his prospects in the rich summer carnival feature events when he gave a dashing frontrunning display to win the 2130m McInerney Ford Falcon Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Making his second appearance after a spell for leading trainer Gary Hall sen., Hokonui Ben further illustrated the great advantage of the No. 1 barrier by winning the start from the speedy David Hercules (barrier two), setting the pace and scoring by 2m from the gallant David Hercules. A week earlier David Hercules, resuming after a spell, started from the No. 1 barrier, made all the running and won by six lengths over 1730m. Hoknui Ben, also racing first-up, started from barrier three and finished fifth. This week, most punters declared for Hokonui Ben from the prized No. 1 barrier and he started favourite at 7/4 on, with David Hercules at 5/2. After a moderate lead time of 37.8sec., Hokonui Ben dawdled through the first 400m section of the final mile in 31.4sec. before sprinting over the next quarters in 28.9sec., 27sec. and 27.8sec. to make the task of David Hercules (in the breeze) virtually impossible. David Hercules fought on grandly to be a 2m second, with 9/1 chance Ima Rocket Star three lengths farther back in third place after trailing the leader all the way. Hokonui Ben rated a slick 1.55.5 and took his record to 15 wins and 11 placings from 44 starts for stakes of $230,399. He has had 20 starts in WA for the Hall camp for nine wins and six placings. “In this sort of company barrier draws are very important,” said reinsman Gary Hall jun. “Until the big guns come out for the bigger money these races turn into a bit of a walk in the middle stages and then a sprint home. We were very happy with the draw tonight and we are happy with the way Hokonui Ben is going, too.” THE PARADE STRENGTHENS HER CLAIMS FOR THE WA OAKS New Zealand-bred filly The Parade maintained her unbeaten record as a three-year-old and gave further proof that she is developing into a leading candidate for the WA Oaks next year when she overcame the disadvantage of an unfavourable barrier to win the 2130m McInerney Ford Belmont Service Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Boyanup trainer-reinsman Justin Prentice has brought The Parade back after a spell in tremendous shape and the filly is going from strength to strength. After one minor placing from three starts as a two-year-old The Parade has scored decisive victories at her first four starts as a three-year-old. Her win on Friday night completed a training and driving double for the 25-year-old Prentice, who was successful earlier in the night with Braemoor. The Parade, second favourite at 5/2, started from the outside of the back line and Prentice settled her in seventh place in the one-wide line as Shane Butcher sent 13/2 chance Lipizzaner to an early lead from polemarker Artistic Copper, with the 11/8 favourite The Prodigy in the breeze. A slow lead time followed by a dawdling first 400m section of the final mile in 31.8sec. sparked Prentice into action and he dashed The Parade forward to move into the breeze 1200m from home. Prentice was content to keep The Parade outside of the pacemaker until he sent her to the front with 250m to travel. The Parade dashed over the final 400m in 28.3sec. and won by 4m from Then Prodigy, with 11m back to the third placegetter, the 55/1 outsider Flicka Whitby, a stablemate of the winner who was driven by Prentice’s father Kim. Flicka Whitby finished solidly from tenth at the bell. The winner rated 1.59.8. The Parade, whose maternal granddam Atomic Lass produced former star pacer Auckland Reactor (53 starts for 32 wins, four placings and $1,759,374 in prizemoney), has won at four of her seven starts for earnings of $37,080. SOHO REDFORD MAKES THE MOST OF THE No. 1 BARRIER The two youngest runners in the 2536m McInerney Ford Focus Westbred Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night dominated betting, with Soho Redford favourite at 10/9 and Extreme Dreams at 6/4. The four-year-olds dominated proceedings, with Soho Redford taking full advantage of the prized No. 1 barrier to set the pace and win easily from Extreme Dreams, who started from the inside of the back line and raced without cover for most of the way. Back in third place, three lengths behind Extreme Dreams, was 20/1 chance Atomic Chip, who ran home nicely from eighth at the bell. “When he’s in front he’s a different horse,” said Vance Stampalia, who drove the son of Mach Three for his sister, Wanneroo trainer Tonia Stampalia. “He is going pretty good and in the past when he has led he has either won or been beaten by some pretty smart horses.” Soho Redford, bred and owned by Rob Watson, has earned $37,152 from six wins and seven placings from 30 starts and he looks set for further successes in the city. He is out of the unraced Dream Away mare Dream Bet and is a full-brother to five-year-old Soho Indianapolis, who has had 58 starts for ten wins, 15 placings and $58,270 in stakes. JAR ZINYO CAUSES AN UPSET AND ENDS 23-MONTH DROUGHT South Australian-bred seven-year-old Jar Zinyo ended a 23-month drought and broke a losing sequence of 20 when he started at 15/1 and caused a major upset when he flashed home to snatch victory from the 10/1 on favourite Dredlock Rockstar in the 1730m McInerney Ford Falcon Ute Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Dredlock Rockstar, stylish all-the-way winner of the 2130m Parliamentarians Cup at his previous outing, was considered a certainty by most punters. But he played the pivotal role in his defeat by a half-head when, after starting from the No. 1 barrier and being smartest into stride, he broke into a gallop for about two strides on the first bend, shortly after the start. This prompted Shannon Suvaljko to dash 62/1 outsider Xupan Three forward in a determined bid for the lead. However, the move was unsuccessful as Kaiden Hayter quickly got Dredlock Rockstar back into a smooth pacing action. But this early action placed considerable pressure on Dredlock Rockstar, who sped through the first 400m section of the final mile in 28.8sec. Then after resisting the early challenge from Xupan Three, Dredlock Rockstar was kept under pressure from Kiss Chasey and Wrongly Accused (three wide). After the second and third quarters in 29.6sec. and 29.2sec. Dredlock Rockstar sprinted fast in the final quarter which took just 28.7sec. However, he was beaten in the final stride by Jar Zinyo, who started from the inside of the back line and trailed the pacemaker throughout. “It looked as though Jar Zinyo would be guaranteed second money, starting from the inside of the back line and behind the favourite,” said reinsman Gary Hall jun. “You probably would have thought that if he did get a crack at the leader late he would definitely struggle to pick him up. I didn’t think that Jar Zinyo had that point-to-poi8nt speed in him, but he really crunched the line when he found it.” “On that run he should win a few more city races. He’s had his fair share of leg problems since he has been here (in WA) and this is probably the first time we have got him up and running without any problem.” Jar Zinyo, who gave Hall and his father, trainer Gary Hall sen., the first leg of a double, had been unsuccessful at his first ten WA starts. His previous win was in a 2240m stand at Melton in December 2011. A smart juvenile performer, Jar Zinyo, owned by Douglas Webster, has earned $126,874 from 18 wins and 25 placings from 81 starts. He is the last foal out of the WA-bred mare Whitby Heritage, who amassed $201,758 from 22 wins and 18 placings from 66 starts. OUR MAJOR MARK DEFIES THE ODDS AND BOOSTS HIS EARNINGS TO $634,370 Our Major Mark provides a perfect example that breeding is not everything in horse racing. He is the sixth and last foal out of the unraced Live Or Die mare Gucci Franco and he boosted his earnings to $634,370 from 22 wins and 17 placings from 65 starts when he scored an easy victory in the third heat of the 2130m McInerney Ford FPV The Kersley Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The only other winner out of Gucci Franco is Supersonic Cullen, who raced 23 times for three wins in minor events and six placings for stakes of $15,913. He won once at Yarra Valley in 2006 and twice at Cranbourne in 2008. Our Major Mark’s win by a length over Toretto on Friday night was his tenth from 20 starts in Western Australia and gave trainers Greg and Skye Bond the second leg of a double after Lunar Tide’s easy win in the previous event. Veteran pacer Rojen Cruz set the pace and Ryan Warwick was happy to rate Our Major Mark in the breeze until sending the New Zealand-bred six-year-old to the front 480m from home. Our Major Mark, who started at $3.10 on the tote, dashed over the final 800m in 56.3sec. and the last 400m in 27.8sec. and won comfortably from Toretto, who started tote favourite at $3.The winner rated 1.57.3. Toretto, aiming at his third win in a row, started out wide at barrier six and he raced in sixth place in the one-wide line in the field of seven. Gary Hall jun. switched him three wide with 750m to travel and he ran home determinedly. Hez The Bart Man ran home solidly from last at the bell to be third. “He probably should run to his ability more often,” said Warwick. “He has a mind of his own. Tonight he felt good in the preliminary and came off the arm very well. I really wasn’t bothered being in the breeze in the small field. It didn’t matter where we were, as long as we didn’t do anything silly and became a sitting shot. “He felt really good in the run and still had a bit up his sleeve. When he wants to he can do really good things.” BLACK PONTIAC CONTINUES TO EXCEL AS A FRONTRUNNER “Barrier one around here really helps,” said trainer Donald Harper after driving 9/1 chance Black Pontiac to an all-the-way win over Mighty Flying Thomas and Sanjaya in the 1730m McInerney Ford Fiesta Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Harper also had made full use of the No. 1 barrier by guiding Black Pontiac to his two previous victories, both over 1730m at Gloucester Park, in August and October this year. “Obviously it gets a lot harder from now (with Black Pontiac graduating to an M3 classification), but with good barriers and in short races I think he will still earn money.” A noted frontrunner, Black Pontiac easily resisted an early challenge from the 2/1 on favourite Ohoka Samson and after a 28.9sec. quarter of the final mile, he had a breather with a 30.2sec. section before sprinting over the final quarters in 28.6sec. and 28.1sec. to score by 4m at a 1.55.2 rate from 22/1 chance Mighty Flying Thomas, who raced four back on the pegs before surging home along the inside. Ohoka Samson, racing first-up after a brief let-up, wilted after working hard in the breeze and finished last in the field of nine. Black Pontiac, bred in Victoria, has earned $105,097 from 17 wins and 11 placings from 83 starts. BRAEMOOR OVERCOMES A SLOW START TO UPSET THE FAVOURITE A tardy beginning from the 10m mark saw Braemoor well back in 11th position in the middle stages of the 2503m McInerney Ford Ranger Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. But considerable mid-race pressure applied to the pacemaker and 2/1 favourite Lord Coburn played into the hands of Braemoor, who dashed forward, three wide, from 11th at the 880m mark to move into the breeze 400m from home and then get to the front in the final 25m to win by a metre from Lord Coburn, with Erris Lad finishing with a late burst, a close third. Lord Coburn had an easy time in front until Adda Paternal Suit dashed forward to move into the breeze after a lap. Adda Paternal Suit then began to overrace badly, leaving the 30m backmarker Shardons Rocket out on a limb, three wide. This pressure on Coburn Bay led to that gelding sprinting over the first 400m section of the final mile in 28.1sec., leaving him susceptible to late challenges. Braemoor accelerated quickly and Justin Prentice had him outside the pacemaker just before the turn out of the back straight. Prentice said that the fast pace had helped Braemoor. “I was a bit worried about Courageous Ned getting off the fence (from behind the leader) when I got to the breeze,” he said. “So when Braemoor got there I took a hold of him --- and he switched off and didn’t want to get going.” However, Braemoor responded to Prentice’s urgings and he overhauled Lord Coburn in the final stages. This was the New Zealand-bred Braemoor’s seventh win from 23 WA starts and it took his overall record to ten wins and 12 placings from 54 starts for stakes of $93,606. LUNAR TIDE MAKES AMENDS FOR HIS SURPRISE DEFEAT New Zealand-bred five-year-old Lunar Tide made amends for his defeat at 5/1 on at Gloucester Park last Friday week when he started at 3/1 on and proved far too good for his nine rivals in the 2536m McInerney Ford Morley Service Pathway Pace on Friday night. Driven by Colin Brown for trainers Greg and Skye Bond, Lunar Tide mustered plenty of early pace from barrier four and surged to the front 150m after the start. He set a solid pace and sprinted over the final 800m in 57.8sec. to win by 10m from 12/1 chance Zurbaran, who trailed him all the way. Lunar Tide rated 1.58.9. The previous week Lunar Tide led in a 2130m event before finishing second to Soho Highroller, who rated a slick 1.56.7. “He copped a fair bit of attention last week and they went 1.56, which is a bit beyond him at this stage,” Brown explained. “Getting the comfortable lead time tonight and an easy first quarter really set it up for him. “He just keeps improving. I didn’t think much of him when I first sat behind him. He has gone out and had a spell and has come back far better. He’s the type of horse who could continue to improve.” by Ken Casellas  

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