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
Experienced harness racing reinsman Brad Stampalia has injected considerable spice into the long-awaited clash between superstars Im Themightyquinn and Im Victorious in the $35,000 Brear And Doonan Members Sprint at Gloucester Park on Friday night by declaring that the event is not just a two-horse match race. Stampalia will handle the Darren Duffy-trained veteran Sneakyn Down Under and he said that punters would be unwise to overlook the claims of the evergreen 11-year-old. “He’s definitely not just making up the numbers,” Stampalia said. “We’ll be out there having a crack, and that’s what we do every time. If they’re good enough to beat us, so be it. But I reckon it will take a good horse to beat us on Friday night. “I give Sneaky Down Under a big chance of causing an upset. He’s going very well and his last run was very good. The sprint (1730m) is his distance and we’ll be going forward as I’m very sure Darren’s instructions will be to get to the front. “Any horse who can run the times he did at his latest start is going pretty well, whether he’s a young horse or an old horse. He doesn’t know how old he is. Obviously, leading is his go.” The return to racing of the champion Im Themightyquinn, winner of the past three interdominion championships and $4,370,716 from his 51 victories and 31 placings from 101 starts, will be a highlight of the spring racing at Gloucester Park and the nine-year-old’s first-up clash with the brilliant lightly-raced five-year-old Im Victorious has sporting fans in Perth looking forward to Friday night’s action with great anticipation. Im Themightyquinn fared well in the random barrier draw and will start from the prized No. 1 position, while Im Victorious is the only runner off the back line in the field of eight. Sneakyn Down Under, one of the State’s fastest beginners, is ideally drawn at barrier two and he looks set to apply considerable pressure on Im Themightyquinn by mustering great early speed and making a bold bid to take the lead soon after the mobile barrier sets the field on its way. At his most recent appearance Sneakyn Down Under started from barrier three and Stampalia did not bustle him early as the two runners inside him, Lord Lombo and Please Release Me, had a spirited battle for the early ascendancy. Then Stampalia dashed Sneakyn Down Under to the front after 650m and he set a fast pace before Im Victorious, who had started from the back line and was seventh at the bell, swept to the front 130m from the post. Sneakyn Down Under fought back tenaciously and Im Victorious defeated him by just one metre at a 1.55.8 rate over the 2130m to record his fourth impressive victory at his fourth start after a spell to boost his record to 17 wins and two placings from just 24 starts for earnings of $428,460. “He fought back strongly against Im Victorious and Justin (Prentice) was a bit scared half way up the straight,” Stampalia said. A week earlier Sneakyn Down Under set a fast pace from barrier two and sprinted the final 800m in 56.5sec. when a half-length second to the fast-finishing Leda McNally, who rated 1.54 over the 1730m. Stampalia’s confidence is matched by that of Gary Hall sen., the trainer of Im Themightyquinn, and Michael Brennan, trainer of Im Victorious. “I’d like it if Im Themightyquinn can hold out Sneaky Down Under,” Hall said. “But the last time he met Sneakyn Down Under he couldn’t hold him out at the start.” That occasion was the 2130m Winter Cup on July 5 when Im Themightyquinn started from the No. 1 barrier and lacked early sparkle and settled in sixth position while Sneakyn Down Under began brilliantly from barrier five and burst to the front after 100m. He set the pace before fading to seventh, while Im Themightyquinn charged home from sixth at the bell to win easily from Please Release Me. Hall said that Im Themightyquinn, to be driven by his son Gary, would be looking to holding up from the inside barrier. “But we’re not going to put him under the stick and try to hold out Sneakyn Down Under if he has a strong go for the lead,” he said. “Quinny has been working as good as ever, but he has a big campaign ahead of him and is only about 80 per cent fit. He is quite big (in condition) and is probably about 20kg above his best fighting weight of around 428kg. He has won first-up and big in condition before and he’s been beaten over a mile before. “Really, he should be a certainty, but there are no certainties in racing.” Hall said that Im Themightyquinn had made a full recovery from a setback a few months ago when it was thought that he had been bitten by a spider. “This caused him to get cellulitis,” he explained. “His chest blew up and he couldn’t put one of his feet on the ground. But he has recovered well. “The only problem on Friday will be if Quinny gets locked up and can’t get a clear run. I don’t think that Im Victorious can beat him.” Brennan refused to concede that Im Victorious had little chance of beating Im Themightyquinn and he described the race as a good challenge for the star five-year-old. “Im Victorious has met Im Themightyquinn only once and that was in the Auckland Cup last March when Quinny won and our horse finished seventh,” he said. “But Im Victorious carried a flat tyre over the final 1400m and he put in one of his best runs. “We’re not the only ones who have never beaten Quinny. It’s good four our bloke to race against a horse like him. Horses coming through the grades, like Im Victorious, learn a lot from racing. He learnt a lot at his last start, chasing home an old warrior like Sneakyn Down Under. All this is brilliant for his development at this stage of his career. It’s perfect. “I thought his latest run was fantastic and in answering those who considered his win was disappointing I’d say that they are clueless and have no idea. Let’s face it, the horse ran 55sec. for his last half, racing three wide and running down a horse like Sneakyn Down Under after a 31.2sec. first quarter. “What was he going to do? Run another quarter in 27.2sec., like he did down the back and run 54.4sec. around Gloucester Park? “Im Victorious can run a fast 1730m, but he’s going to be dictated by what’s happening in front of him. We’ve got to play the reactive game this week. I’ll leave the tactics up to Justin. Everything is going to unfold in front of him and he’s got various options. There’s the option of leader’s back, three back on the fence, or coming straight off the inside. “This will be good for us; it’s another step up in class. It’s all about progression and learning for him. I couldn’t be happier and he’s continuing to work along nicely.” ASKMENOW POISED TO COMPLETE A WINNING HAT-TRICK Leading trainer Gary Hall sen. is supremely confident that up-and-coming four-year-old Askmenow will complete a winning hat-trick by proving too speedy for her seven rivals in the 2130m Harriet Horsfall Mares Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Hall is using this event as a stepping stone to the $40,000 Norm’s Daughter Classic over 1730m on November 22 and the group 1 $100,000 Mares Classic over 2130m the following week. “She’s a good horse and a strong, dour stayer,” he said. “I was hoping that Leda McNally and some other very good mares would be in the race --- just to see how she measured up against them,” he said. But the field is not particularly strong and Askmenow should prove a star bet on the ten-event program. Nicely drawn at barrier three on the front line, she should prove far too strong for Arousing and Kamwood Girl. Askmenow, to be driven by Gary Hall jun., has resumed after a four-month absence in fine style with effortless victories at Pinjarra and Gloucester Park. She made much of the running when she sprinted over the final 800m in 55.1sec. and won by three and a half lengths from Conniving Major Dave at a 1.59.3 rate over 2692m at Pinjarra on September 23. Then at Gloucester Park on Monday of last week she started from a wide barrier and was restrained to the rear before starting a three-wide move from last 1100m from home. Askmenow got to the front on the home turn and raced away to win by two and a half lengths from Asian Courage, rating 1.58.2 over 2130m. The Ross Olivieri-trained Arousing appears to be the only possible danger. She will start from barrier five and will be handled by Chris Voak. She raced in stronger company last Friday night when she led for the first 600m and then trailed the pacemaker Bronze Seeker before finishing strongly to be second to Adda Paternal Suit over 2536m. RAYMON JOHN TO SEND PUNTERS HOME ON A HAPPY NOTE Promising five-year-old Raymon John will make a rare appearance at Gloucester Park and he should send punters home on a winning note by taking full advantage of the prized No. 1 barrier and outpacing his rivals in the final event, the TABtouch Western Bonanza Westbred Pathway Pace on Friday night. He has just been transferred from part-owner Ray Grantham’s Pinjarra stables to Aldo Cortopassi’s Darling Downs training establishment and warmed up for Friday night’s engagement in dashing style with an effortless victory at a 1.58.7 rate over 2185m at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon. Driven by Cortopassi, Raymon John set a brisk pace and sped over the final two 400m sections of the final mile min 27.2sec. and 28sec. to beat Conniving Major Dave by three lengths. At his only appearance at Gloucester Park in 2013 Raymon John started from a wide barrier and ran home well along the inside to come from 12th at the bell to finish seventh behind Black Pontiac over 1730m on August 16. Raymon John has earned $52,803 from nine wins and five placings from 32 starts and he looks set for many more wins. Those expected to be fighting out for the minor placings behind Raymon John this week are Equivocate, Nitro Norrie and Big And Smooth. ARNOUX GROWS A LEG WHEN HE LEADS, SAYS HIS TRAINER New Zealand-bred seven-year-old Arnoux has been unplaced at his past five starts and failed to flatter at 40/1 when a first-up ninth behind Midnight Dylan over 1730m last Friday night. But leading trainer Gary Hall sen. is extremely bullish about his prospects in the Mysta Magical Mach Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Arnoux will be driven by Shane Butcher, whose junior concession will enable the M2-class gelding to drop down and contest the event which is restricted to M1-class performers. And Arnoux received another bonus when he drew the coveted No. 1 barrier. “He should lead and win,” Hall declared. “He grows a leg when he leads. His form now is as good as when he won the last time.” Arnoux’s latest success was six starts ago, at Gloucester Park on April 26 when he was favourite at 6/4, started from barrier five, dashed to the front after 100m and went on to win by more than two lengths from Domino Bromac at a 1.56.7 rate over 2130m. He had led and won over 2100m at Bunbury at his previous outing. By Ken Casellas
Champion five-year-old Im Victorious remained unbeaten in his current campaign when he sped over the final 800m in 56sec. to defeat bold frontrunner Sneakyn Down Under in the $35,000 Cowden Ltd James Brennan Memorial at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Pinjarra trainer Michael Brennan, no relation to James Brennan, the founding president of the West Australian Trotting Association, after whom the Brennan Memorial is named, has high hopes that Im Victorious will continue on his winning ways when he contests the $35,000 Members Sprint over 1730m next Friday week and the $35,000 Navy Cup over 2536m a fortnight later. Im Victorious is unbeaten at four starts at Gloucester Park since resuming from a spell and he looks set to be a star in group 1 feature events later this season. Starting favourite at 5/2 on, Im Victorious began from the outside of the back line in Friday night’s 2130m event and Justin Prentice was quite content to settle the New Zealand-bred gelding at the rear while Please Release Me began speedily from the No. 2 barrier, got to a length lead over the polemarker Lord Lombo, but was unable to cross to the pegs. Brad Stampalia allowed 7/1 second fancy Sneakyn Down Under time to settle before sending the veteran to the front after 650m. Im Victorious was seventh in the one-wide line at the bell and Prentice waited until 650m from home before sending Im Victorious forward, three wide. Sneakyn Down Under dashed over the third 400m section of the final mile in 28.1sec. before Im Victorious got to a narrow lead with 130m to travel. Sneakyn Down Under fought back with great determination and was beaten by only one metre, with Lord Lombo 5m away in third place. Leda McNally maintained her splendid form by running on from ninth at the bell to be fourth. Im Victorious rated 1.55.8 in notching his 11th win from only 16 starts at Gloucester Park. Im Victorious, who is still on target for a trip to Melbourne to contest the Victoria later this year, boosted his earnings to $428,460 from 17 wins and two second placings from 24 starts. A jubilant Brennan was full of praise for Prentice and Im Victorious, saying: “To the owners of Im Victorious, the ride continues, boys, JP, you’re a champion, and the horse was again very, very good tonight, and we’ll just keep moving forward.” YOUR GOOD FORTUNE EMERGING AS A STRONG SUMMER CARNIVAL PROSPECT The recent prediction of part-owner and co-trainer Greg Bond that Your Good Fortune would go right through the classes and develop into a serious contender for the rich summer carnival feature events gained further impetus when the New Zealand-bred five-year-old scored a fighting victory in the $25,000 final of the Warwick Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Hot favourite at 3/1 on, Your Good Fortune was driven aggressively by Colin Brown and burst to the front 220m after the start before setting a solid pace and then revealing grand fighting qualities to stave off a spirited late challenge from the 10/1 second fancy the Ragpickers Dream. The Ragpickers Dream started from the outside of the back line and he settled at the rear before Gary Hall jun. set him alight with a three-wide burst 450m after the start which took him to the breeze after a lap had been completed. The Ragpickers Dream challenged the pacemaker approaching the home turn and got his nose in front about 80m from the post. But Your Good Fortune refused to surrender and he fought back tenaciously to win by a nose, with polemarker Artesian Boy 13m farther back in third place after enjoying the run of the race behind the leader. The final 800m was covered in 57.1sec. and Your Good Fortune rated 1.56.8m over the 2130m. The son of Bettors Delight won at three of his seven starts in New Zealand and has raced superbly for trainers Greg and Skye Bond in WA where his 23 starts have produced 11 wins and seven placings. He has earned $175,804. Brown and the Bond team have made a solid start to the 2013-14 season. Brown has had 35 drives for 14 wins and four placings and shares top spot on the Statewide reinsmen’s premiership table with Shannon Suvaljko, who has had 59 drives for 14 wins and 15 placings. The Bond team shows the way on the Statewide trainers’ premiership table, with 17 winners and 15 placings from 65 starters. Gary Hall sen. is in second spot with 12 winners and 13 placings from 54 runners. SWIMMING DOES THE TRICK FOR LUCIE BOSHIER Early this year Lucie Boshier’s racing career was in doubt when she had spurs on a back hock and front knee. It was too late in her career to operate and trainer Chris Brew was having problems in keeping her sound. Then her New Zealand part-owners Andrew Stuart and Rebecca Sutorius suggested that the mare change stables to be prepared by a trainer who had a swimming pool on his property. So it was then decided to send Lucie Boshier to the Boyanup stables of Dennis Roche where Roche was able to give the mare plenty of swimming exercise in his pool. The change had an immediate effect, with Roche gaining a first-up win with Lucie Boshier when Brew drove her to a fast-finishing victory at Gloucester Park in the final week of July. Then followed five unplaced runs before Lucie Boshier returned to top form with a narrow win over her former stablemate, the Chris Brew-trained and driven mare Kotare Ash in the 2130m Freo, Onetogo Mares Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Lucie Boshier, who started from the outside of the front line and at 23/1, was driven for the first time by Matt White, who replaced Brew, who was committed to driving his own nomination, Kotare Ash, the 9/1 equal second favourite in an event in which polemarker Chloe Vargarita was favourite at 3/1 on. Shane Butcher was able to send Chloe Vargarita through the lead time in a modest 38.4sec. when Lucie Boshier was trapped five wide before being restrained by White. But when Chris Lewis dashed Hermattjesty Mulan forward after 250m, White decided to urge Lucie Boshier forward, three wide. Kotare Ash was in last place after 450m and Lucie Boshier moved to the breeze 150m later. Kotare Ash then sprinted fast and Brew issued a strong challenge after a lap had been completed. Kotare Ash got a length in front, but was unable to cross to the pegs as Butcher drove Chloe Vargarita hard to retain the lead. It was then that White had Lucie Boshier in the box seat, one-out and one-back. Kotare Ash got the upper hand and got past Chloe Vargarita about 90m from the post. But Lucie Boshier sprinted fast to get up and snatch victory by a nose, rating 1.57.7 over the 2130m. A winner at three of her 36 starts in New Zealand, Lucie Boshier has had 18 starts in WA for eight wins and a head second from 18 starts. She now has earned $107,969. It was an exciting climax to an interesting race on Friday night which gave Brew’s wife Kalina a quinella result. She is the principal owner of Lucie Boshier, who she races in partnership with Stuart, Sutorius, Jason Payne, Brad Hallows, Mark Pink, Barry Starcevich and K. J. Cameron. Kalina Brew is the sole owner of Kotare Ash. Brew said that maintaining Lucie Boshier’s fitness had been a balancing act for Roche, who had the task of having the mare fit enough and sharp enough to race competitively with a program of swimming and restricted work on the track. “She requires a lot of work and Dennis has got to know the horse and this was her best run for him.” Lucie Boshier, a six-year-old by Elsu, is now going to stud and Brew said that if she got into foal quickly she would be able to resume training and racing. “If she gets in foal we can race her for another hundred days and she could be a player in the feature events for mares over the summer carnival,” he said. Brew said he was setting Kotare Ash for the feature events for mares, including the Nepean Conveyors Mares Classic in December. “First, she will have a short freshen-up before being prepared for the races for mares,” he said. “Kotare Ash is a nice mare, but I think she is a notch below Leda McNally and Bettor Cover Lover. But the track here is a great leveller, so she is a chance for some sort of prizemoney, perhaps, down the track.” ROJEN CRUZ GIVES Chris Voak THE LAST LAUGH Some of Chris Voak’s mates could hardly conceal their mirth when the young reinsman outlaid $3000 to claim Rojen Cruz last March when the veteran pacer had a losing sequence of 29 stretched over a barren period of three years and two months. But the 25-year-old Voak is enjoying the last laugh. The ten-year-old Rojen Cruz took his prizemoney in six months for his new owner to $34,612 when he scored an effortless win in the 2130m Chris Carr Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. These handy and well-deserved proceeds have come from four wins and five placings from 18 starts. The Victorian-bred gelding now has earned $85,405 from 15 wins and 23 placings from 94 starts. Rojen Cruz is trained at Oakford by Ross Olivieri and Voak drove him to wins at Northam and Gloucester Park, while Chris Lewis was successful with him at Bunbury in July and was again in the sulky for Friday night’s victory at 11/1. Voak had driven Rojen Cruz the previous Friday night when he finished gamely to be second to El Machine. But he opted to take the drive behind the Bob Mellsop-trained Chaldea in Friday night’s race in which that gelding also started at 11/1 and enjoyed an ideal passage, one-out and one-back, before finishing on to be third. Noted frontrunner Blissfull Boy set the pace and Lewis had no hesitation in dashing Rojen Cruz forward from barrier four to work hard in the breeze. Rojen Cruz got his head in front 570m from home before he powered away to win by three and a half lengths from 50/1 chance Takeabow, who was eighth at the bell before finishing fast. Heez Orl Black, favourite at 3/1 on, settled in sixth position in the one-wide line before Gary Hall jun. sent him forward, three wide in the middle stages. Heez Orl Black moved to third at the bell, but was kept out wide for the next 500m by Rojen Cruz. Heez Orl Black got to second passing the 400m mark before wilting and dropping back to finish seventh. Rojen Cruz, by the American stallion Sports Town, is the fifth of ten foals out of unraced mare Vera Cruz, whose only other winners have been Exotic Cruz (one win, at Gawler in November 2004, from three starts) and Cruzin A Falcon (one win, at Echuca in September 2011, from 35 starts). This all goes to show that Voak must be a pretty good judge of horseflesh. REJUVENATED WHERE AND WHEN GIVES Kiara Davies HER FIRST CITY-CLASS SUCCESS A nine-year-old pacer with a losing sequence of 25 (since scoring his only win in WA, by a nose at 53/1 at Northam 14 months ago) was sent out a hot favourite at 7/4 on in a full field of 12 in a Metropolitan-class event at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The veteran gelding Where And When has been despised by punters throughout his career in WA since arriving from South Australia in the winter of 2011. His average starting price on the tote in his 33 WA starts (for one win and three placings) before Friday night’s event was $58. In his previous 13 starts he went out at long odds, including $141, $86, $51.10, $108.20, $144.20, $118.90, $108.60, $68.50 and $130.80. This remarkable turnabout resulted in Where And When, taking full advantage of the prized No. 1 barrier, scoring an effortless victory. He set the pace and sprinted over the final 800m in a sparkling 28.4sec. to win by three lengths from 7/1 chance Three Quarter Drive at a 1.59.4 rate over 2130m. And his wonderful win gave 23-year-old Kiara Davies her first Metropolitan-class training success. She is a talented driver who is in splendid form in the sulky and is leading the Garrard’s Junior Concession Drivers’ Challenge series. Davies has worked as a full-time stablehand for Wanneroo trainer Debbie Padberg since last March where she trains Where And When (who is owned by her father Graeme) and Arts Gangsta, a handy pacer she has driven to wins at Kellerberrin, Narrogin and Pinjarra. “Dad bought Where And When from Adelaide and he gave him to me to train earlier this year, just for a bit of fun,” Davies said. “Where And When is a gentle giant and beautiful horse to work. He had a throat operation about 18 months ago to cure an epiglottis entrapment and is not troubled by that problem now.” Where And When, who won 11 times at Globe Derby Park before arriving in WA, is not fashionably bred. But he does have one claim to fame. He is the first foal and only winner out of Misty Wings, who failed to be placed at her only three starts, in New South Wales in late 2002. Misty Wings is out of Luscious Lady, a full-sister to Scientific, who raced 41 times for 21 wins, eight placings and stakes of $173,273. Scientific won a 1609m heat of the 1986 interdominion championship at Brisbane’s Albion Park, beating Bag Limit by a nose, before finishing second in a 2100m heat to the mighty Village Kid. SPEEDY BEGINNING PAVES THE WAY FOR OUR BOY SU’S WIN New Zealand-bred seven-year-old Our Boy Su relishes racing in September. He notched his fifth win in the month of September when he gave a splendid frontrunning exhibition to beat Cheeryrose and Four Grinners in the 2130m TABtouch Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. His first two wins were at Alexandra Park in Auckland in September 2010 and he was successful at Cambridge in September 2011. He resumed racing after a brief spell when he led and won over 2100m at Bunbury on September 21 this year. Our Boy Su, trained at Waroona by Bob Mellsop, was a solidly-supported second favourite at 2/1 on Friday night in a race in which former Victorian performer Ima Grumpy Jasper was favourite at 7/4 for his West Australian debut. Mellsop gained an important advantage over the opposition when he got Our Boy Su away speedily from the No. 2 barrier, easily beating out noted frontrunner Ima Grumpy Jasper from barrier three. Mellsop was able to give Our Boy Su an easy time in front with the gelding coasting through the first two 400m sections of the final mile in 31.3sec. and 30.4sec. before dashing over the final two quarters in 29.1sec. and 28.6sec. He rated 1.58.8 in beating Cheeryrose, who ran on well after trailing the pacemaker throughout. Four Grinners fought on well to be third after racing without cover for most of the way. Ima Grumpy Jasper raced in sixth place in the one-wide line before starting a three-wide move approaching the bell. He faded badly to finish last and the stewards reported that the gelding had pulled up sore in the off foreleg. Our Boy Su looks certain to prove to be hard to beat when he contests an M0-class event. He has earned $81,943 from ten wins and 15 placings from 52 starts. He raced 37 times in New Zealand for six wins and 11 placings and his 15 WA starts for Mellsop have produced four wins and four placings. He is by Elsu and is the sixth foal out of Star Fleet, who won once from 14 starts and has produced Our First Lad (ten wins and $63,830), Fleeting Imagery (six wins and $28,746) and Star of the Ball (eight wins and $68,331). BANANA DANA REMAINS UNBEATEN FROM THE No. 1 BARRIER Smart eight-year-old Banana Dana has drawn the coveted No. 1 barrier only four times in his 53-start career for Woodvale trainer Darren Duffy and he has set the pace and won at each of those four races. He maintained his perfect record from the inside barrier when Brad Stampalia drove him to an easy all-the-way win over Benjamin Banneker and Me Old Mate in the 1730m Trevor Itzstein Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. It was a carbon copy of a 2130m event the previous Friday night when Stampalia was in the sulky for the gelding’s win over Wrongly Accused and Sir Swanky. Banana Dana, favourite at 7/4 on, had a comfortable time in front in the early stages and coasted through the first two 400m sections of the final mile in 30sec. and 29.8sec. with Wrongly Accused in the breeze. He sped over the final two quarters in 28.7sec. and 28.2sec. and rated 1.56.1. Bred in New Zealand, but having all his 53 starts in Western Australia, Banana Dana has earned $139,949 from 14 wins and 13 placings. He is the seventh foal out of unraced Holmes Hanover mare Samantha Franco, whose dam Smarty Pants had 51 starts for ten wins, seven placings and $54,715. Smarty Pants produced Smart Son, who raced in New Zealand, Australia and America, earning $347,805 from 41 wins and 59 placings from 226 starts. Another of Smarty Pants’ progeny, Vanderel had 87 starts for 14 wins, 23 placings and $164,163. Vanderel finished third to Il Vicolo in a group 1 classic for two-year-olds at Addington in May 1994 and won a group 2 four-year-old championship at Forbury Park in January 1996. THIS TIME DYLAN ERUPTS TO SNATCH LAST-STRIDE VICTORY Improving eight-year-old New Zealand-bred gelding This Time Dylan charged home to dead-heat for first with Demon Possessed at Gloucester Park last Friday week and he went one better on Friday night when he erupted from sixth at the 100m mark to snatch a last-stride victory by a nose over Turnpike Cruiser in the 2503m Colin Cowden Handicap. Trained by Gary Hall sen. and driven by his son Gary, This Time Dylan started off the 10m mark and was at 9/2 with frontmarker Turnpike Cruiser and 30m backmarker Shardons Rocket at 7/2. Four runners galloped at the start and Chris Lewis sent Turpike Cruiser to the front after 550m. This Time Dylan raced wide early and Hall dashed him into the breeze in the first circuit before having him in the box seat, one-out and one-back, behind Shardons Rocket. Shardons Rocket gained a narrow lead by a head 570m from home, but Turpike Cruiser fought back to regain the lead. He just failed to hold on and beat the fast-finishing This Time Dylan. This Time Dylan has been lightly raced. He had eight starts in New Zealand for three wins and he now has won five times from 19 WA starts. He has earned $54,735 from his eight wins and five placings. EL MACHINE PROVES FAR TOO GOOD Bargain pacer El Machine maintained his sparkling form when he annihilated his 11 rivals in the 2130m final of the Frank Fuller Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Trainer Kade Howson gave El Machine, the 3/1 on favourite, time to settle before dashing him past Atomic Chip and Soho Aintree and into the lead 450m after the start. From then on it was a procession and El Machine sped over the final 800m in 56.9sec. to win by six lengths from Atomic Chip (16/1), with 60/1 outsider Mister Roberto running home strongly from eighth at the bell to be third. The winner rated 1.57.1. El Machine, an Elsu five-year-old, was bred in WA and was purchased as a yearling for just $5000 by Howson and fellow-reinsman Michael George. The gelding has now earned $105,954 from 14 wins and 12 placings from 38 starts. OLD AGE IS NO BARRIER FOR CONQUER ALL Eleven-year-old Conquer All proved conclusively that age is no barrier when he outclassed his younger rivals in the 2503m Brian Atkin Trotters Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Conquer All, trained at Pinjarra by David Young and driven by his brother Shane, was a 7/1 chance who began like a flash from the 20m mark, and taking advantage of the early erratic behaviour of three of his eight rivals, charged to the front after 350m. From then on it was easy going for Conquer All, who trotted through the first 400m section of the final mile in a leisurely 32.3sec. Then followed a 30.7sec. quarter before the old gelding trotted faultlessly over the final 800m in 59.6sec. to win by just over three lengths from 7/2 second favourite Hot Holiday, who plugged on doggedly after working hard without cover. Sandakan Lombo, aiming to complete a winning hat-trick, galloped badly at the start and raced at the rear with Idle Maple (who also galloped at the start). Heez Speedy Gonzalez (11/2) led for the first 350m before breaking badly 50m later. Conquer All has been a good moneyspinner and he has earned $150,846 from 16 wins and 20 placings from 98 starts. by Ken Casellas
NEW SOUTH WALES DERBY ON THE AGENDA FOR ELEGANT CHRISTIAN Leading trainer Gary Hall sen. is excited at the wonderful potential of New Zealand-bred three-year-old Elegant Christian and is mapping out an ambitious program for the big, powerfully-built gelding, including the $200,000 New South Wales Derby in March and the $200,000 WA Derby the following month. “If he keeps going well I’ll take him to Sydney next year when I travel over with Im Themightyquinn for the interdominion championship,” Hall said after Elegant Christian had scored an effortless victory in the Go Freo Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Elegant Christian, at unbackable odds of 25/1 on, gave Clint Hall an armchair drive as he set a brisk pace and romped to victory by three lengths over stablemate Eyre Crusher in a field of four. He sped over the final two 400m sections in 28.8sec. and 27.9sec. and rated an excellent 1.57 over the 2130m. This took Elegant Christian’s record to four starts for four wins and earnings of $31,865 and he is proving a very good buy for his owners Karen Hall, Neven Botica, Garry Ralston, Glenn Moore, Mark Congerton, John Burt, Andrew Curran and Ross North. Congerton purchased eight yearlings in New Zealand last year and paid $27,000 for Elegant Christian, who is by Christian Cullen and out of English Elegance, a mare by the American stallion Camtastic. He then offered shares in the yearlings to several of his friends. Botica decided to buy a share in only Elegant Christian because he had unsuccessfully attempted to buy English Elegance about six or seven years ago as a breeding proposition. Elegant Christian is the sixth foal out of English Elegance and Congerton bought Elegant Christian because he had been so impressed by Home Secretary, a full-brother to the youngster. “I bought Home Secretary and he looked like being anything as a two-year-old,” Hall said. “He’s a real nice horse, but he kept breaking down. He was too big and got pushed too early (in New Zealand). He ran a 56sec. half in a trial as a two-year-old.” Home Secretary has broken down twice with suspensory ligament problems and his future is extremely uncertain. He has had only three starts, finishing second to Kiss Chasey as a three-year-old at Pinjarra on debut in May 2011. He broke down and was out of action for 19 months before resuming with a second placing to Major Catastrophe at Gloucester Park in December 2012. Then, a week later, Home Secretary won a 2185m race at Pinjarra by seven lengths after sprinting over the final two 400m sections in 28.2sec. and 26.7sec. He has not raced since. “But there’s a cloud in every silver lining,” Hall said. “If I hadn’t had Home Secretary we wouldn’t have had Elegant Christian now.” Elegant Christian’s brilliant victory completed a splendid night for Hall, who, earlier in the program had been successful with Chloe Vargarita, This Time Dylan and The Ragpickers Dream. Hall is so impressed by Elegant Christian that he has just paid $40,000 for his yearling brother Chevrons Delight. LEDA McNALLY SET FOR BIG SUMMER CARNIVAL EVENTS Five-year-old Victorian-bred Leda McNally gave further convincing proof that she will be a leading contender in the rich feature events for mares in the summer months when she finished with a sizzling burst to win the $21,000 Ross North Group Spring Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Pinjarra trainer Chris King is setting Leda McNally for the Nepean Conveyors Classic for mares at Gloucester Park in December and is hoping she will maintain her brilliant form and will be able to contest the Fremantle Cup and WA Pacing Cup. Leda McNally, the only mare in Friday night’s event and third favourite at 13/2, started from the inside of the back line and Chris Voak had her travelling smoothly three back on the pegs before she flashed home to get up and defeat the pacemaker and 5/4 on favourite Sneakyn Down Under by a half-length, rating 1.54 over 1730m after the final 800m was covered in 56.5sec. Owned by Victorian Greg Stubbs, Leda McNally managed one win from 15 Victorian starts before being sent to WA to be prepared by King. She now has raced 24 times in this State for 14 wins and five placings and her earnings stand at $151,088. Sneakyn Down Under, driven for the first time by Brad Stampalia (in the absence of the 11-year-old’s part-owner and trainer Darren Duffy, who is serving a term of suspension from driving), burst straight to the front from the No. 2 barrier and he sped through the first quarter of the final mile in 28.9sec. before coasting through the next section in 29.3sec. However, Sneakyn Down Under began to show signs of weakening in the home straight before Leda McNally charged to the front about 20m from the post. This was Leda McNally’s fourth win from seven starts in her current campaign. Leda McNally is showing no signs of the injuries she suffered when she took fright during an electrical storm at King’s property last March when she bolted and burst through a couple of fences, suffering severe lacerations to her legs and damage to hooves. Fortunately, King was able to catch the mare and this prevented further injuries. EL MACHINE GIVES HOWSON AND GEORGE GOOD REASON TO SMILE Young trainer-reinsmen Kade Howson and Michael George were enjoying a couple of refreshing beers at the Gloucester Standardbred yearling sale in 2010 when they decided, on a whim, to outlay $5000 for lot 32, a small colt by former star pacer Elsu. The colt is now a five-year-old gelding by the name of El Machine, who is proving a wonderful bargain. The 25-year-old Howson trains El Machine at Pinjarra and he drove him to an impressive victory in the 2130m TABtouch Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night to take his record to 37 starts for 13 wins, 12 placings and $96,205 in prizemoney. “El Machine is a brother of In A Fashion, a horse I liked, so we bought the colt even though he was not much to look at,” Howson said. In A Fashion raced 78 times for 12 wins, 14 placings and stakes of $77,858 and a half-brother Parsons Clothes managed four wins from 75 starts for earnings of $30,014. El Machine and his brothers are out of Fashion Statement, a mare by Life Sign, who earned just $6290 from a win at Kalgoorlie and two at Geraldton in a 22-start career. El Machine is also related to Little Town Blues, who earned $104,066 from 13 wins and 18 placings from 62 starts. As a three-year-old El Machine finished second to the brilliant Gracias Para Nada in the Sales Classic and he won a prelude of the WA Derby. He gives every indication of being able to continue on his winning ways. El Machine was a solidly-supported 7/4 favourite on Friday night when Howson restrained him from barrier six to the rear before sending him forward, three wide, after a lap. He then was able to follow the three-wide run of Lord Diego and was sixth at the bell before surging to the front 250m from home. He raced away to score by three lengths from 15/4 second fancy Rojen Cruz, with a head to the pacemaker Boy O Boy, rating 1.58 after covering the final 800m in 57.2sec. CHLOE VARGARITA REVIVES THE DEEDS OF THE MIGHTY DIVISIVE Memories of former champion pacer and equine millionaire Divisive were rekindled when New South Wales-bred mare Chloe Vargarita stormed home to win the 2130m Ross North Complete Homes Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Chloe Vargarita is the first foal out of Badlands Hanover mare Susie O’Neill, an elder half-sister to Divisive, who won the Victoria Derby at Moonee Valley, the NSW Derby at Harold Park and Australian Derby in Launceston in 2006 and the Miracle Mile at Harold Park in November 2008. Divisive then came to Perth when he made two appearances at Gloucester Park in January 2009, finishing second to Power of Tara in the Fremantle Cup and a nose second to Mysta Magical Mach in the WA Pacing Cup. Susie O’Neill was a handy performer who retired with a record of 11 wins and 14 placings from 52 starts for stakes of $61,179. Chloe Vargarita is owned by a Victorian syndicate headed by Andrew Grover. She was prepared by outstanding Victorian reinsman Daniel Jack who recently decided to send her to WA to be trained by Gary Hall sen. in a bid to win a city race or two before being retired to the stud later this year. Chloe Vargarita had eight starts in Victoria for three wins, nine starts in NSW for two wins and eight starts in Tasmania for three wins. Her first three starts for Hall have produced a win, a second and a third. She has earned $48,454 from nine wins and five placings from 29 starts. Chloe Vargarita started from the inside of the back line on Friday night and was a solidly-supported 11/8 favourite. Gary Hall jun. settled her down behind the polemarker and pacemaker Grin On The Beach before he cleverly angled her off the pegs about 870m from home. Chloe Vargarita was forced four wide just before the turn out of the back straight and she produced a powerful finishing burst to hit the front 90m from the post. After a moderate early pace, the final 800m whizzed by in 57sec. And Chloe Vargarita rated a modest 2.0.6. BANANA DANA APPRECIATES A DROP IN GRADE Lightly-raced New Zealand-bred eight-year-old Banana Dana is the latest pacer to make the most of the drop-down regulation. He was recently reclassified from an M3-class performer to an M2 classification. This downgrade (granted to horses graded M2 or better after completing a losing sequence of ten) enabled him to start in the Ross North Signature Range Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night and he received an additional bonus when he drew the prized No. 1 barrier. Part-owner and trainer Darren Duffy is serving a term of suspension and he handed the reins to Brad Stampalia, who had driven Banana Dana at his first two starts as a two-year-old at Gloucester Park in June and July 2008 when he won on debut before finishing a close second to Aussie Reactor. The drop-down regulation certainly proved a tremendous bonus for Banana Dana, particularly considering that before he completed a losing sequence of ten he had won five races in a row for $45,870 in prizemoney. The Courage Under Fire gelding now has earned $126,089 from 13 wins and 13 placings from 52 starts. An indication of Banana Dana’s ability can been gleaned from the fact his previous win before Friday night was in the 2012 Media Guild Cup when he defeated class performers Can Return Fire, Sneakyn Down Under and Mysta Magical Mach. Stampalia had no difficulty in jumping Banana Dana, hot favourite at 10/9, straight to the front and he rated the gelding perfectly, with Old McDonald (7/1) working hard in the breeze, Sir Swanky (11/2) trailing the pacemaker and Wrongly Accused (22/1) in the one-out, one-back position. After a third quarter of the final mile in 29.4sec., Banana Dana sped over the final section in 28.7sec. and won comfortably by 2m from Wrongly Accused, with Sir Swanky a close-up third. DEMON POSSESSED GIVES PEARCE HIS FIRST METRO-CLASS WIN Part-time Middle Swan trainer Clinton Pearce landed his first Metropolitan-class winner when 52/1 tote outsider Demon Possessed gave a bold frontrunning performance to dead-heat with the fast-finishing This Time Dylan in the 2503m Download Complete Homes App Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Demon Possessed, a five-year-old Life Sign gelding, stole a march on his rivals when Jamie Rigoli got him away brilliantly from the outside (barrier four) on the front line in the stand. Demon Possessed bowled along in front and he fought on grandly to cross the line locked together with This Time Dylan, an 9/2 chance off the 10m line, who was 11th in the middle stages and then followed the three-wide burst of 7/2 favourite False Promise before putting in a desperate lunge right on the line. The photo finish equipment malfunctioned and there was considerable conjecture over which horse had won. Finally, after the judges, relying on their vision and watching the video tape of the finish, declared a head-heat. Polemarker Ya Dreamin (11/1) was third after trailing the leader all the way. Braemoor, who started off 20m, finished strongly to be fourth, with False Promise in fifth place. Demon Possessed, a winner at Northam in June and at Kellerberrin in August, is raced on lease from Frank Bratovich by the 29-year-old Pearce, a finance broker, his wife Danielle, father Ross, brother Travis and P. W. Cheater. Clinton Pearce trained his first winner at Gloucester Park 11 days earlier when Rigoli was successful with 10/1 chance Spoilt Rich in a country-class event. Demon Possessed has now earned $20,419 from five wins and two placings from 36 starts. He is a half-brother to Adayspay (83 starts for 19 wins, 18m placings and $134,594) and Country Change (41 starts for 11 wins, ten placings and $95,383). This Time Dylan, trained by Gary Hall sen. and driven by his son Gary, has had 26b starts for seven wins, five placings and $43,515. He has had 18 starts in WA for four wins and two placings. SPARKLING SEELSTER GETS HOME AT LAST AND ENDS LOSING RUN OF 22 Consistent six-year-old Sparkling Seelster broke through for a long overdue win when Boyanup trainer Justin Prentice brought him home with a spirited burst to score an easy victory in the third heat of the 2130m Ross North Complete Home And Land Packages Westbred Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Sparkling Seelster, a 9/1 chance, started from the outside of the back line and he settled at the rear before Prentice started a three-wide move approaching the bell. Polemarker and 2/1 favourite Luck Has It was setting the pace, with Levi Judd and then Cheeryrose in the breeze. Sparkling Seelster was eighth at the bell and he sustained a strong three-wide burst to hit the front 100m from the post. He drew away to score by 5m from Ballas Arockstar, with Moonlight Rockhole running home fast to be third. The win ended a losing sequence of 22 for Sparkling Seelster, with those 22 starts yielding five seconds and four thirds. He now has earned $50,182 from eight wins and 13 placings from 50 starts. He won at each of his first four starts, three at Bunbury and one at Harvey, and also was successful at his Gloucester Park debut. His dam Sally Anna had 17 starts in WA for seven wins in 2001-02 before being retired with a record of ten wins, 15 placings and stakes of $59,428 from just 37 starts. ASIAN COURAGE RETURNS TO FORM AND COMPLETES A DOUBLE FOR HOWSON Asian Courage, unplaced at his eight starts since winning at Pinjarra in May, bounced back to form with a splendid victory in the 2130m TABtouch.com.au Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. His fast-finishing win by a half-length over Franco Nasser gave 25-year-old Pinjarra horseman Kade Howson the second leg of a training and driving double. Howson had started the program with El Machine’s win in the opening event. Asian Courage started from barrier four on the back line and was an 11/1 chance in an event in which the polemarker Glow Bright was a surprisingly short-priced favourite at 10/9. Glow Bright set the pace for Brian Kersley while Howson bided his time in tenth position before starting a three-wide move, with cover, approaching the bell. Give Us A Hand moved on terms with Glow Bright 550m from home after working hard in the breeze. But he wilted badly top finish last Asian Courage sustained his strong effort to get to the front in the final stages and win from 10/1 chance Franco Nasser, who finished determinedly. Glow Bright held on to be a nose away in third place. Asian Courage, a New Zealand-bred seven-year-old by Courage Under Fire, took his earnings to $36,943 from five wins and 11 placings from 38 starts. THE RAGPICKERS DREAM MAKES A PERFECT WA DEBUT Former Victorian performer The Ragpickers Dream made an impressive West Australian debut when he stormed home to snatch victory in the third heat of the Developwest The Warwick Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Having his first start since mid-April, the New Zealand-bred six-year-old started from the back line and was third favourite at 6/1, with the polemarker The Pacing Priest hot favourite at 10/9 and Copagrin second fancy at 13/4. Gary Hall jun. quickly had The Ragpickers Dream in an ideal position, one-out and two-back, following Copagrin. And when Darren Kerr sent Copagrin forward approaching the bell, Hall followed that horse’s three-wide run. The Ragpickers Dream finished too strongly for his rivals, bursting to the front in the final 90m and winning by a neck from The Pacing Priest, with North Toa Luckstar a head away in third place after trailing the leader throughout. Copagrin was a close fourth. The final 800m was covered in 57.2sec. and The Ragpickers Dream rated 1.59.5 over the 2130mn journey. The Ragpickers Dream, trained by Gary Hall sen., was unplaced at two starts as a two-year-old in New Zealand in March 2010. Then he made a terrific start to his career in Victoria where his first 15 starts produced ten wins and four placings. He was claimed when he won a claiming event at Melton last January and his new owners, led by Matt Leppard, sent him to be trained at Mildura. But he was not comfortable racing on the Mildura track and Leppard then offered him to Hall, the trainer of his promising four-year-old mare Korobeit Angel. The Ragpickers Dream is a full-brother to Dream Guest, who raced in WA in 2010-11 when his 12 starts in the State produced three wins and two placings. Dream Guest has earned $87,986 from 12 wins and 15 placings from 88 starts. The Ragpickers Dream has earned $90,018 from 13 wins and nine placings from 41 starts. SHEZ EL DE ROSA LEADS AND ENDS A LOSING SEQUENCE OF 12 New Zealand-bred eight-year-old Shez El De Rosa made the most of the prized No. 1 barrier when Shannon Suvaljko drove her to an easy all-the-way victory in the 2130m Download Ross North Homes App Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. This broke a losing sequence of 12. Trained at Wanneroo by Debbie Padberg, Shez El De Rosa was a firm 5/4 on favourite and her supporters were on good terms with themselves when Suvaljko guided her through the first two 400m sections of the final mile in 32.5sec. and 30.2sec. Suvaljko increased the tempo with a 28.7sec. third quarter before the mare strolled over the final section in 29.3sec. to win by a length and a half from Zamaye at a modest 2.1.1 rate. Here For The Money battled on to be third after trailing the leader all the way. Shez El De Rosa had 14 starts in New Zealand for three wins and five placings before winning three races at Penrith in New South Wales before arriving in Western Australia where she has had 20 starts for Padberg for two wins and four placings. Shez El De Rosa has now earned $57,088 from eight wins and 13 placings from 66 starts. by Ken Casellas
IMA ROCKET STAR ON TARGET FOR RICH CARNIVAL EVENTS Eight-year-old Ima Rocket Star has fully recovered from debilitating leg injuries and is firmly on track to contest rich feature events at the coming summer carnival, including the WA Pacing Cup and Fremantle Cup. Driven assertively by Colin Brown, Ima Rocket Star, a heavily-supported 5/4 on favourite, gave a typical powerhouse performance to win the 2536m Clipsal And Schneider Electric New Season Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night to record his eighth win from his past 14 starts. Ima Rocket Star is now repaying the faith and patience of trainers Greg and Skye Bond, who have persevered with the New Zealand-bred gelding, who was able to race only once in the space of 24 months, between January 2011 and January 2013. A winner at six of his 12 starts in New Zealand, Ima Rocket Star has been a star for the Bond camp, with his 40 WA starts producing 18 wins and ten placings. He also raced twice at Menangle in July 2010, finishing a half-length second to Make Mine Cullen in the Hondo Grattan Sprint and a length second to Villagem in the Chariots of Fire. Ima Rocket Star started out wide from the No. 6 barrier on the front line on Friday night and Brown sent him forward, three wide, as soon as the mobile sent the field on its way, with the polemarker Lord Lombo setting the early pace. Ima Rocket Star dashed to the front after 400m and he was joined soon afterwards by 13/2 chance Sneakyn Down Under. Ima Rocket Star sped over the first 400m section of the final mile in 28.9sec. before covering the final three quarters in 29.3sec., 28.9sec. and 29.6sec. He won by 1m from ten-year-old Rocket Reign (16/1), who finished powerfully from ninth at the bell at his first appearance for two months. Adda Paternal Suit ran home solidly from fifth at the bell to be third, with Sneakyn Down Under fading to last in the field of eleven. Franco Renegade came from last at the bell to be fourth. Ima Rocket Star now boasts the impressive record of 54 starts for 24 wins and 14 placings for earnings of $354,094. Ima Rocket Star, by Badlands Hanover, is the sixth foal out of Star Rhapsody, who won four times from 31 starts in New Zealand and whose younger half-sister Anvil’s Star amassed $470,115 from 17 wins and 33 placings from 116 starts. Anvil’s Star was successful at her first Australian start, beating Desperate Comment in the group 2 Bendigo Cup in February 1997 before finishing second to desperate Comment in the group 1 Victoria Cup and a nose second to Surprise Package in the A. G. Hunter Cup at his next two starts. Sneakyn Down Under’s trainer-driver Darren Duffy had his licence suspended for 18 days when the stewards completed an adjourned inquiry into an incident at the turn into the home straight in the first lap of a 2130m event the previous Friday night. Duffy was found guilty of causing interference to Adda Paternal Suit (Aiden De Campo). OHOKA SAMSON USETS PLUNGE ON OLD McDONALD A substantial plunge on Old McDonald failed narrowly when the seven-year-old set a fast pace and was overhauled in the final stride by Ohoka Samson in the 1730m Clipsal 56 Series Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Old McDonald, trained at Banjup by Colin Brown, was making his first appearance for six months and was a heavily supported favourite at evens, with last-start winner Ohoka Samson at the surprisingly good odds of 9/2. Brown used the junior concession of Robbie Williams to enable Old McDonald, an M3-class pacer, to contest the event which was restricted to M2-class performers. And trainer Kade Howson also used the claim of Dylan Egerton-Green to enable Ohoka Samson to run. Old McDonald drew the prized No. 1 barrier, with Ohoka Samson at No.2, prompting most pundits to declare the even a match between the two. Williams got Old McDonald straight to the lead, with Egerton-Green content to race Ohoka Samson in the breeze. Old McDonald sped over the third 400m section of the final mile in 28.3sec. and appeared set to win. But Ohoka Samson, having his sixth start after a spell, finished with great determination to snatch victory on the line, with a final quarter in 28.6sec. Banana Dana, who enjoyed the one-out, one-back trail, ran on gamely to be third. The eight-year-old Ohoka Samson rated 1.55.5 and improved his record in an injury-plagued career to 14 wins and eight placings from just 31 starts for prizemoney of $114,594. Ohoka Samson was trained and driven by Tony Herlihy in New Zealand for three wins and three placings from eight starts before arriving in Western Australia. His nine-year-old full-brother Ohoka Arizona raced 20 times for eight wins and four placings for earnings of $273,498. Ohoka Assassin, a younger full-brother of Ohoka Samson, looks set for a bright career. His first 14 starts have produced three wins and five placings. LEWIS LANDS A TREBLE AND SHARDONS ROCKET ENDS LOSING RUN OF 20 Durable nine-year-old Shardons Rocket, an M7-class pacer three months ago, made the most of the drop-down rule when he started from the back mark of 30m in the M0-class Clipsal Modena Handicap over 2503m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He went into the event with a losing sequence of 20 and was downgraded to an M5 classification. He had a vastly superior record to all of his 11 rivals and astute punters cashed in handsomely when he was sent out at the tempting odds of 11/2. His narrow victory completed a treble for star reinsman Chris Lewis, who had been successful earlier on the program with Arousing and Kiss Chasey. Frontmarkers Our Classie Mach and Gallileo began badly and 10m runners Braemoor, J Walker and Erris Lad met with interference while polemarker That is Correct set the pace. Shardons Rocket was ninth after a lap and Lewis dashed him forward to be fourth, three wide, at the bell before he got to the front 300m from home after a third quarter of 28.8sec. J Walker was 11th at the bell and he sustained a spirited three-wide burst to join Shardons Rocket on the line. Shardons Rocket gained the verdict by a nose and rated 1.59.5. Shardons Rocket, trained at Byford by Tony Svilicich, boasts a wonderful record of 114 starts for 22 wins and 38 placings for stakes of $250,237. He won once from seven starts as a three-year-old in New Zealand and has won ten times in Victoria, twice in Tasmania and nine times in Western Australia. He was successful at his WA debut, at Narrogin in May 2011 and then had a losing sequence of 26 before scoring at Bunbury in December 2012. And then he won at six of his next 12 starts at Gloucester Park. His granddam Shardon Lass produced Shardons Aflyin, who earned $500,651 from 21 wins and 16 placings from 61 starts. Shardons Aflyin won at 11 of his first 12 starts in WA for trainer-reinsman Grant Williams. In March 2007 he won the Fremantle Cup and Australian pacing Championship and was second to Vanlo Yorker in the WA Pacing Cup in January 2008. EMPIRE FLAME GIVES HOWLETT A QUICK RETURN East Fremantle key defender Tom Howlett has a good eye for a horse. He certainly made a wise decision to outlay $10,000 to claim New Zealand-bred gelding Empire Flame on August 9. The eight-year-old, a 16/1 chance driven perfectly by Bunbury reinsman Ashleigh Markham, scored an impressive victory in the 1730m Clipsal Datacomms Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night at his second start for his new owner. This followed Empire Flame’s strong-finishing third to Bettors Fire at Gloucester Park three days earlier. These two efforts by Empire Flame have netted $12,110 in prizemoney. The gelding is now trained at Busselton by Howlett’s father Jamie. Empire Flame started from barrier two on the back line and Markham quickly had him in the one-out, one-back position, with Lucie Boshier (3/1) setting the pace from Black Pontiac (10/1), Wrongly Accused out on a limb, three wide, and Jambo Emaili on the pegs behind the leader. Benjamin Banneker, the 7/4 favourite, was eighth at the bell before unwinding a spirited burst to finish second, just over a length behind Empire Flame, who took the lead 80m from the post. Black Pontiac fought ion grimly to be third, a head behind Benjamin Banneker, with Lucie Boshier a wilting fourth. Empire Flame, who ended a losing sequence of 14, has raced 70 times for 16 wins, 15 placings and $119,030 in stakes. AROUSING TURNS THE CORNER WITH FOURTH WIN IN 32 DAYS One month ago Arousing had a losing sequence of 20 and had managed just three wins, at Narrogin, Kalgoorlie and Pinjarra, from 51 starts. Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri has rejuvenated the six-year-old mare who notched her fourth win in the space of 32 days when she finished boldly to beat the pacemaker and 6/4 favourite Beautiful Night by a half-length in the 1730m Clipsal Led Lighting Pace. Arousing, third favourite at 4/1, had warmed up for Friday night’s event by contesting a 2130m race on the same track three days earlier when she worked hard in the breeze, got to the front in the home straight and was overhauled in the final stride and beaten by a nose by Kinsfolk. On Friday night Arousing started from the inside of the back line and Chris Lewis was happy to have her trailing the pacemaking Beautiful Night before she got into the clear when the breeze horse Big And Smooth began to drop back leaving the back straight. Arousing sprinted fast to get to the lead in the final 20m. Chloe Vargarita, second fancy at 7/2, enjoyed the perfect trail, one-out and one-back, and Gary Hall jun. switched her three wide 520m from home. She got on terms with Beautiful Night 200m later and the pair settled down to a head-and-head struggle in the home straight before she broke into a gallop in the final 20m and dropped back to finish a close third. Arousing now has raced 57 times for seven wins, 17 placings and $59,943 in prizemoney. By American stallion Western Terror, Arousing is out of the Christian Cullen mare Roustabout, who had 12 starts for four wins. Roustabout won at Pinjarra at her West Australian debut in March 2006 before winning the group 3 Empress Stakes at her next appearance, beating Precious Maiden and Sovereign Beejay. Roustabout is a half-sister to highly-promising three-year-old Pelusiac and her granddam Impressionable is a daughter of Impressionable, whose dam Tilla produced former star Victorian pacer Impressionist, who won the group 1 Golden Nugget at Gloucester Park from Whitbys Miss Penny at Gloucester Park in January 1992. Impressionist retired with a record of 56 starts for 23 wins, 12 placings and stakes of $427,005. CUP OF LIFE SETS THE PATTERN FROM THE No. 1 BARRIER The considerable advantage of the No. 1 barrier on the front line in mobile events at Gloucester Park was further illustrated at Gloucester Park when Chris Brew drove 9/2 chance Cup of Life to a smart all-the-way victory in the opening event, the 2130m Clipsal Powerhouse Pace. And this set the pattern for the night, with three more No. 1 horses (Kiss Chasey, Franco Torres and Millies Girl) winning and three others (Beautiful Night, Domino Bromac and Old McDonald) finishing second. Myouri (6/1) was smartest into stride from barrier two, but was unable to cross Cup of Life, who coasted through the first 400m section of the final mile in 31.6sec. before increasing the tempo with quarters of 28.7sec., 29.4sec. and 30.1sec. to win by 4m from 10/1 chance Turnpike Cruiser, who followed the leader all the way. High Five Mozza (50/1) caught the eye when he charged home , five wide, from last at the bell to be third, ahead of the 5/2 favourite Imtheguy. Lord Diego, second fancy at 4/1, faded to sixth after racing in the breeze over the final 1000m. Cup of Life won twice in New Zealand and he arrived in Western Australia with a losing sequence of 19. He now has had 16 starts for Brew for three wins and six placings to take his career record to 43 starts for five wins, ten placings and $39,878. IT’S NO TROUBLE FOR NOTED FRONTRUNNER REAL HAMMER Champion trainer Gary Hall sen. freely admits that former Victorian performer Real Hammer is a one-dimensional pacer who excels when leading and struggles when he races back in the field. The speedy five-year-old again relished the pacemaking role when he started favourite at 5/1 on, began speedily from the No. 3 barrier and bowled along in front before scoring an effortless victory from Donovan Bromac in the first heat of the 2130m Clipsal Saturn The Warwick Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Real Hammer now has won ten races from 36 starts, when he has set the pace in eight of those victories. There was no pressure applied to Real Hammer in the early stages of Friday night’s event and he strolled through the first 400m section of the final mile in 31.5sec. before dashing over the next three quarters in 30.2sec., 29.1sec. and 27.4sec. He rated 1.57.8 and beat 38/1 outsider Donovan Bromac by just over two lengths. Donovan Bromac started from the pole and trailed the leader throughout, while the third placegetter My Jasami ran on well after racing three back on the pegs. Real Hammer, a winner of eight races in Victoria, has won at two of his seven WA starts for a career record of ten wins and 11 placings from 36 starts for stakes of $75,563. KISS CHASEY MAINTAINS HIS CONSISTENT FORM Six-year-old Kiss Chasey, whose ancestry traces back to South Australian-bred pacers Main Morris and Forward Step, stars of the 1970s, maintained his consistent form when he gave a good frontrunning exhibition to win the 2130m Clipsal Energy Efficiency Westbred Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Trained at Oakford by Ross Olivieri for owner Debra Lewis and driven confidently by her husband Chris, Kiss Chasey, favourite at 5/4, made the most of the No. 1 barrier and he fought on gamely to defeat Soho Aintree by a half-length, with El Machine finishing strongly from the rear to be a close third. Kiss Chasey sprinted over the final 400m in 28.4sec. and rated 1.57.6. Kiss Chasey now has earned $58,249 from eight wins and seven placings from 26 starts. His past ten starts have produced four wins, four seconds, one third and a fifth placing. Kiss Chasey, by Yankee Sensation, is out of Hello Boys, who raced 55 times for 12 wins, 17 placings and $89,541. Hello Boys is out of Boom Or Bust, a winner at eight of her 36 starts and the dam of former star mare Party Date, who had 111 starts for 25 wins, 27 placings and $256,003. FRANCO TORRES HAS THE PEDFIGREE TO BE A GOOD WINNER New Zealand-bred six-year-old Franco Torres, whose dam There’s A Franco won two group 1 events in New Zealand, went into Friday night’s CMS Cup Pace at Gloucester Park boasting unplaced efforts at his previous eight starts and a losing sequence of 11. But punters rallied to support him solidly to start a hot favourite at 10/9 from the prized No. 1 barrier. The Debbie Padberg-trained gelding did not let his supporters down, with Shannon Suvaljko making the most of the ideal barrier by driving him to an effortless all-the-way victory. Franco Torres sprinted over the final 400m in 28.4sec. and beat Will of Iron (who trailed him throughout) by three lengths. Chaldea, who raced in the one-out, one-back position, battled on into third place. The winner rated 1.57.8 and improved his record to 51 starts for nine wins and 14 placings for earnings of $59,639. There’s A Franco was a quality performer in New Zealand where she won at her first three starts, including a group 2 event for three-year-old fillies at Alexandra Park in December 1995. Later that season she won a group 1 classic for fillies at Addington and won another group 1 event at Canterbury two years after that as well as finishing fourth behind Christian Cullen, Iraklis and Franco Enforce in the $350,000 group 1 New Zealand Cup at Addington. She was retired after her 45 starts produced 13 wins, 13 placings and prizemoney of $217,588. There’s A Franco’s full-sister This Time Franco was successful in group 1 and group 2 events before being retired with earnings of $249,151 from ten wins and 11 placings from 36 starts. MILLIES GIRL RETURNS TO FORM WITH AN ALL-THE-WAY VICTORY Even though Millies Girl had failed to be placed at her seven previous starts, she was a well-supported favourite at 13/4 for the 1730m Clipsal C-Bus Mares Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night --- and she did not let her supporters down, scoring an easy all-the-way win. Trained at Pinjarra by David Young for owner Peter King, the seven-year-old was handled confidently by the trainer’s elder brother Shane, who jumped the mare straight to the lead from the No. 1 barrier. Millies Girl set a solid pace and sprinted over the final 400m in 28.6sec. to beat 9/2 second favourite Terra Into The West by 5m at a 1.57 rate. My Lady of the Night (13/2) trailed the pacemaker and finished a sound third. Millies Girl improved her record to 46 starts for six wins, six placings and $32,965. David Young kept up the work when he was successful with Trustytrev in the Perkins Builders Pace at Bunbury’s Donaldson Park on Saturday night. Trustytrev, favourite at 5/4 on, was driven by Shane Butcher. He set the pace from the No. 1 barrier and won from the fast-finishing Captain Proud. by Ken Casellas
Evergreen champion Has The Answers has drawn the prized No. 1 barrier and the noted frontrunning speedster should lead his rivals on a merry dance in the 2130m Racing Radio Pace at Gloucester Park tonight. Morgan Woodley should get the hardy ten-year-old straight to the front and there does not appear to be another runner on the front line capable of applying great pressure in the first lap. Sneakyn Down Under, the other ten-year-old in the field, is the solitary runner on the back line and this will prevent Darren Duffy from getting to the breeze in the early stages. Sneakyn Down Under started from the outside of the front line in the 2536m August Cup last Friday night and Duffy restrained him back to last before he followed the three-wide runs of Ima Rocket Star and Shardons Rocket to move to the breeze in the middle stages and put pressure on the pacemaking Has The Answers. Has The Answers defied the challenge from Sneakyn Down Under and fought on grandly to finish a 2m second to the fast-finishing Uppy Son. Sneakyn Down Under was a nose away in third place. Has The Answers proved the master of Sneakyn Down Under three starts ago when he raced in sixth place in the one-wide line and flashed home from fifth at the 100m mark to narrowly defeat the pacemaking Sneaky Down Under at a 1.53.8 rate over 1730m. Has The Answers, an equine millionaire, should again prove too good for Sneakyn Down Under and chalk up his 76th victory at his 240th start. HALL AND NORTHVIEW PUNTER ARE A DEVASTATING COMBINATION Champion reinsman Gary Hall jun. has driven Northview Punter 12 times for eight wins, three seconds and one third and this devastating combination should strike again when they join forces in the 2130m Mornings With Matt McDermott Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Northview Punter resumed in style after a four-month absence when Shane Butcher drove him to an easy victory over 2130m at a 1.57.4 rate at Gloucester Park on Tuesday of last week. The classy colt settled down in the one-out, one-back position before moving outside the pacemaker Bettors Ace after a lap. He swept to the front 320m from home and won by 5m from Zamaye. That took the New Zealand-bred three-year-old’s record to ten wins and five placings from just 18 starts. Northview Punter is unfavourably drawn on the outside of the back line on Friday night, but he has the ability to overcome this disadvantage. His chief rival is likely to be his stablemate Slick Chapel, who will start from the outside (No. 7) on the front line. Slick Chapel, who has won at four of his 19 starts, resumed after a spell at Gloucester Park last Friday week when he covered a good deal of extra ground and finished fourth behind Ohoka Assassin. He is sure to be improved by that outing, his first run for four months. One runner who is sure to have many admirers is Desgerrado, who is in line to complete a hat-trick after strong wins at Northam and Gloucester Park. Desgerrado outclassed his nine rivals when he set the pace and scored by more than eight lengths from Banned For Life over 2536m at Gloucester Park on Monday of last week. He has been driven in all of his 28 starts by part-owner and trainer Ray Retzlaff, who will hand the reins over to Nathan Turvey. Retzlaff is serving a 19-day suspension for causing interference in a race at Northam. Desgerrado will start from barrier three on the back line and cannot be underestimated. BUTCHER CHOSEN TO DRIVE OHOKA SAMSON Part-owner and trainer Kade Howson has engaged talented young reinsman Shane Butcher to drive smart but injury-plagued seven-year-old Ohoka Samson in the 2130m Drivetime With Stewart Maister Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night to enable the New Zealand-bred gelding to qualify for a start in an event restricted to M1-class pacers. Ohoka Samson, is on a M2 mark, but can contest Friday night’s event with Howson making use of Butcher’s concession as a junior driver. Ohoka Samson, a winner at 12 of his 29 starts, is handily drawn at No. 2 on the front line and looks set to fight out the finish with last-start winners Heavens Delight, Kotare Ash, Arch On Fire and Real Hammer. Howson drove Ohoka Samson at his previous outing when the gelding was a most unlucky second to Bulldozer in a fast-run 2130m event at Gloucester Park last Friday week. Ohoka Samson worked hard in the breeze for the second part of the race and crossed the line locked together with the pacemaking Bulldozer. There was a malfunction with the photo-finish equipment and Bulldozer was declared the winner by a nose. Two starts before that Ohoka Samson burst to the front in the middle stages and went on to win over 2100m from Bledisloe and Chaldea at Bunbury. Another M2-class pacer, Kotare Ash, will contest Friday night’s event, with trainer and senior reinsman Chris Brew in the sulky. In races in which there are concessions for junior drivers, mares are eligible to drop down a class.’ Kotare Ash will have many admirers after finishing strongly to win at her past two starts, over 1730m at Gloucester Park last Friday week and over 2130m at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon. by Ken Casellas (Courtesy of Harness Racing Australia)
GRAND CRU IS BRED TO BE A STAR Grand Cru, a son of Under Cover Lover, one of the best mares to have raced in Australasia in the past 15 years, should end his campaign as a three-year-old on a winning note by proving too strong for his 11 rivals in the 2130m TABform Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Trained at Hazelmere by Mike Reed, Grand Cru is a noted frontrunner who is certain to appreciate the prized No. 1 barrier and he should end a losing sequence of five. He will be handled by his regular reinsman Shannon Suvaljko, who is in sparkling form, having scored with All Williams (5/2) and Modern Love (11/2) at Pinjarra on Monday and with 7/1 chance Sign In at Northam on Tuesday night. The New Zealand-bred Grand Cru did not race as a two-year-old and he has had 17 starts for Reed in Western Australia for three wins and six placings. He set the pace at his two most recent wins, at Gloucester Park in February and at Northam in April. Under Cover Lover, by the American stallion In The Pocket, was an outstanding performer who was retired to the stud after winning by six lengths over 2200m at Alexandra Park in December 2000 at her final start. She amassed $864,923 from 21 wins (15 in New Zealand and six in Australia) and 22 placings from 70 starts. Grand Cru, by Bettors Delight, is her seventh foal. Grand Cru’s most serious rivals appear to be Dardy Delight (barrier two) and the only other New Zealand-bred pacer in the race, Mexicano (barrier three). Dardy Delight, a winner at Bridgetown and Narrogin earlier this year, raced wide early and then gained a good sit, one-out and one-back, before getting to the front 120m from home and then wilting to third behind La Bella Flame and Coolest Easton over 2185m at Pinjarra on Monday of last week. He led early and then sat behind the pacemaker when a sound third to Another Vinnie and Truckers Buckeroo over 2100m at Bunbury at his previous outing. Mexicano, a winner of two races in New Zealand (as a two-year-old on debut, beating Slick Chapel at Alexandra Park) and at Addington as an early three-year-old last November, has started favourite at his first three starts in WA, for a second to Bettor Giddyup at Gloucester Park and fourths behind Desgerrado at Northam and La Bella Flame at Pinjarra. He is capable of improvement. Batavia Comet, who will start from the No. 4 barrier, warmed up for the race with an encouraging effort at Northam on Tuesday night when he sustained a spirited burst from ninth at the bell to get up and beat the pacemaker Gamblers Power. HALL POISED TO LAND THE TRIFECTA IN THE OPENING EVENT Punters keen to build up a bank at Gloucester Park on Friday night should invest on the trifecta in the opening event, the TABtouch.Mobi Pace, and select leading trainer Gary Hall senior’s three runners, Pelusiac, Elegant Christian and Soho Starr. All three geldings are racing with tremendous zest and should fight out the finish of the 2130m event for two-year-olds. My suggestion for the trifecta would be to select Pelusiac as the winner and couple the other Hall runners for second and third. The New Zealand-bred Pelusiac has been most impressive in scoring effortless victories at his first two starts, beating All Williams by eight lengths at a 1.58.7 rate over 2185m at Pinjarra three Mondays ago and then winning by four lengths from Soho Starr, rating 1.59.2 over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Monday of last week when he sped over the final 800m in 56.4sec. Pelusiac will start from the outside (barrier two) on the back line, with Soho Starr starting from the No. 2 barrier on the front line and Elegant Christian out wide at No. 6. Soho Starr started from barrier seven, settled in last position and finished strongly from sixth at the bell when a last-start second to Pelusiac. He worked hard in the breeze before winning at Northam and Gloucester Park in July. Elegant Christian, bred in New Zealand, made an outstanding debut when he set a brisk pace and won by four lengths from Batavia Ace over 1684m at Pinjarra on Monday of last week. He was not extended in sprinting over the final 800m, 56sec. and he rated 1.56.8. All Williams, trained by Peter Anderson, broke through for his first win when he raced behind the pacemaker Samuel Colt and made full use of the controversial sprint lane to get up and snatch victory by a nose from that gelding over 2185m at a 2.4.1 rate at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon. He will again be driven by Shannon Suvaljko from the prized No. 1 barrier. HAS THE ANSWERS LOOKS THE GOODS FROM THE No. 1 BARRIER Evergreen champion Has The Answers has drawn the prized No. 1 barrier and the noted frontrunning speedster should lead his rivals on a merry dance in the 2130m Racing Radio Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Morgan Woodley should get the hardy ten-year-old straight to the front and there does not appear to be another runner on the front line capable of applying great pressure in the first lap. Sneakyn Down Under, the other ten-year-old in the field, is the solitary runner on the back line and this will prevent Darren Duffy from getting to the breeze in the early stages. Sneakyn Down Under started from the outside of the front line in the 2536m August Cup last Friday night and Duffy restrained him back to last before he followed the three-wide runs of Ima Rocket Star and Shardons Rocket to move to the breeze in the middle stages and put pressure on the pacemaking Has The Answers. Has The Answers defied the challenge from Sneakyn Down Under and fought on grandly to finish a 2m second to the fast-finishing Uppy Son. Sneakyn Down Under was a nose away in third place. Has The Answers proved the master of Sneakyn Down Under three starts ago when he raced in sixth place in the one-wide line and flashed home from fifth at the 100m mark to narrowly defeat the pacemaking Sneaky Down Under at a 1.53.8 rate over 1730m. Has The Answers, an equine millionaire, should again prove too good for Sneakyn Down Under and chalk up his 76th victory at his 240th start. HALL AND NORTHVIEW PUNTER ARE A DEVASTATING COMBINATION Champion reinsman Gary Hall jun. has driven Northview Punter 12 times for eight wins, three seconds and one third and this devastating combination should strike again when they join forces in the 2130m Mornings With Matt McDermott Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Northview Punter resumed in style after a four-month absence when Shane Butcher drove him to an easy victory over 2130m at a 1.57.4 rate at Gloucester Park on Tuesday of last week. The classy colt settled down in the one-out, one-back position before moving outside the pacemaker Bettors Ace after a lap. He swept to the front 320m from home and won by 5m from Zamaye. That took the New Zealand-bred three-year-old’s record to ten wins and five placings from just 18 starts. Northview Punter is unfavourably drawn on the outside of the back line on Friday night, but he has the ability to overcome this disadvantage. His chief rival is likely to be his stablemate Slick Chapel, who will start from the outside (No. 7) on the front line. Slick Chapel, who has won at four of his 19 starts, resumed after a spell at Gloucester Park last Friday week when he covered a good deal of extra ground and finished fourth behind Ohoka Assassin. He is sure to be improved by that outing, his first run for four months. One runner who is sure to have many admirers is Desgerrado, who is in line to complete a hat-trick after strong wins at Northam and Gloucester Park. Desgerrado outclassed his nine rivals when he set the pace and scored by more than eight lengths from Banned For Life over 2536m at Gloucester Park on Monday of last week. He has been driven in all of his 28 starts by part-owner and trainer Ray Retzlaff, who will hand the reins over to Nathan Turvey. Retzlaff is serving a 19-day suspension for causing interference in a race at Northam. Desgerrado will start from barrier three on the back line and cannot be underestimated. BUTCHER CHOSEN TO DRIVE OHOKA SAMSON Part-owner and trainer Kade Howson has engaged talented young reinsman Shane Butcher to drive smart but injury-plagued seven-year-old Ohoka Samson in the 2130m Drivetime With Stewart Maister Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night to enable the New Zealand-bred gelding to qualify for a start in an event restricted to M1-class pacers. Ohoka Samson, is on a M2 mark, but can contest Friday night’s event with Howson making use of Butcher’s concession as a junior driver. Ohoka Samson, a winner at 12 of his 29 starts, is handily drawn at No. 2 on the front line and looks set to fight out the finish with last-start winners Heavens Delight, Kotare Ash, Arch On Fire and Real Hammer. Howson drove Ohoka Samson at his previous outing when the gelding was a most unlucky second to Bulldozer in a fast-run 2130m event at Gloucester Park last Friday week. Ohoka Samson worked hard in the breeze for the second part of the race and crossed the line locked together with the pacemaking Bulldozer. There was a malfunction with the photo-finish equipment and Bulldozer was declared the winner by a nose. Two starts before that Ohoka Samson burst to the front in the middle stages and went on to win over 2100m from Bledisloe and Chaldea at Bunbury. Another M2-class pacer, Kotare Ash, will contest Friday night’s event, with trainer and senior reinsman Chris Brew in the sulky. In races in which there are concessions for junior drivers, mares are eligible to drop down a class.’ Kotare Ash will have many admirers after finishing strongly to win at her past two starts, over 1730m at Gloucester Park last Friday week and over 2130m at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon. by Ken Casellas
Advancing years have not dimmed the brilliance of rising 11-year-old Sneakyn Down Under, who gave a typical powerful frontrunning performance to crush his rivals in the $35,000 Howard Porter Memorial at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Driven with supreme confidence by part-owner and trainer Darren Duffy, Sneakyn Down Under earned a reprieve from a proposed retirement when he stormed to victory by just over a length from Franco Renegade, rating 1.56.8 over the 2130m journey. This ended a losing sequence of ten and boosted Sneakyn Down Under’s earnings to $421,364 from 25 wins and 16 placings from 82 starts. It was the gelding’s first success for eight months and his impressive return to form prompted Duffy to reconsider his retirement plans for the big, rangy New Zealand-bred gelding. It was an historic victory, with Sneakyn Down Under maintaining his dominance in the Porter Memorial, a race he won in 2009 and 2012. No other pacer has won the group 3 event more than once since Pure Steel won the inaugural Porter Memorial in 1978. Sneakyn Down Under, favourite at 2/1, began with his usual brilliance from barrier four and dashed past Shardons Rocket to take up the running after 120m. After covering the first 400m section of the final mile in 30.6sec., Sneakyn Down Under gave the opposition little chance of overhauling him as he sped over the final three quarters in 28.8sec., 28.3sec. and 28sec. Franco Renegade (13/4) raced three back on the pegs before finishing strongly to deprive Shardons Rocket of second place. Has The Answers raced four back on the pegs and ran home gamely to be fourth. Sneakyn Down Under raced 11 times in New Zealand for two wins over 2700m as a three-year-old at Forbury before arriving in Western Australia. By American stallion Badlands Hanover, he is out of Sneaky Peak, the dam of Countess Kala, winner of the Golden Nugget at Gloucester Park in December 1999. OHOKA ASSASSIN BOOSTS STABLE’S HOPES IN THE GOLDEN NUGGET Lightly-raced New Zealand-bred three-year-old Ohoka Assassin emerged as an excellent second string runner for the powerful Greg and Skye Bond stable in the rich Golden Nugget Classic late this year when he gave a bold frontrunning display to win the 2536m Premier Suzuki Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The Bonds have high hopes with Condrieu in the Golden Nugget, and Ohoka Assassin, fit now after being laid low by a leg problem earlier this year. “Ohoka Assassin has had a few little hiccups along the way and he damaged a hock soon after arriving in WA,” said Greg Bond. “We haven’t probably seen the best of him yet and I’m hoping that he will measure up for the Nugget. He’s got more than his share of ability.” Ohoka Assassin, favourite at 5/2 from the No. 1 barrier on the front line, was sent straight to the front by Ryan Warwick and he relished his pacemaking role. He sprinted over the final 800m in 56.9sec. and won by 1m from 4/1 third fancy Another Vinnie, who finished strongly from tenth in the middle stages and sixth at the bell. Conniving Major Dave impressed at his Gloucester park debut in finishing boldly from eighth at the bell to be third, with Slick Chapel, second favourite at 11/4, a fighting fourth after working hard, three wide and then in the breeze. Rocky Marciano also lost few admirers when he sustained a strong finishing burst from the rear to finish fifth. Ohoka Assassin won once from seven New Zealand starts and his two wins from seven WA appearances have taken his record to 14 starts for three wins, five placings and $30,575. His win came three nights after his four-year-old full-brother Ohoka Colorado was successful at Menangle to improve his record to nine wins, 13 placings and $74,725 from 42 starts. Ohoka Assassin’s dam, the Falcon Seelster mare Millwood Krystal has also produced Ohoka Arizona (20 starts for eight wins, four placings and $273,498), Ohoka Samson (29 starts for 12 wins, eight placings and $91,164), Ohoka Detroit (28 starts for four wins, six placings and $14,845) and Millwood Manhattan (19 starts for three wins, three placings and $40,364). Ohoka Arizona was an outstanding juvenile in New Zealand in 2007 when he finished well ahead of Im Themightyquinn in several races. His wins included a group 1 classic at Addington, two group 3 events and a win in the $200,000 Emerald for colts and geldings. He also finished a close second in the group 1 Sires Stakes at Addington. UNSOCIABLE MIGHTY FLYING THOMAS BECOMES A GENTLEMAN Mighty Flying Thomas is an unsociable gelding, generally unfriendly and ill-tempered and with a mind of his own. But he is a favourite at the Bickley stables of Peter Anderson because of his fierce determination, his tenacity and tremendous will-to-win. He was at his cantankerous worst when Anderson took him to Narrogin for his Western Australian debut in July of last year. He simply refused to score up at two attempts and was withdrawn by the stewards. Not amused at this punishment, Mighty Flying Thomas then dug his toes in and required a great deal of persuasion from reinsman Morgan Woodley to eventually leave the track and return to his stall in the birdcage. It was a long, wet and cold night for all concerned. However, Mighty Flying Thomas has responded to Anderson’s patient care and Woodley’s skill in the sulky to develop into an almost perfect gentleman on the track, invariably getting away swiftly and racing with tremendous zest. His speed, strength and wonderful fighting qualities have enabled him to become a shining light in his current campaign and he kept up his fine work with a notable triumph over 2/1 on favourite Pacific Warrior in the 2536m Nepean Conveyors Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Mighty Flying Thomas, second fancy at 11/2, began speedily from the No. 4 barrier and after racing four wide in the early stages Woodley deftly manoeuvred the gelding into the one-out, one-back position as Showdownatmidnight worked his way past the polemarker I Am legend to take up the running after 300m. Woodley then seized the initiative, vacating the prime one-out, one-back spot after 500m and dashing Mighty Flying Thomas forward, three wide, before bursting to the front 150m later. Woodley gave Mighty Flying Thomas a breather with a leisurely first 400m section of the final mile in 32.1sec. and then he increased the tempo, reeling off quarters in 28.9sec., 28.7sec. and 28.6sec. as he kept Pacific Warrior (in the breeze) at bay on the way to recording a splendid victory by just under a length, rating 1.58.7. To maintain such a high speed and cover the final 1200m in 1min. 26.sec. was an outstanding effort by the five-year-old Mighty Flying Thomas. That time certainly compares favourably with the final 1200m in 1min. 25.1sec. recorded by open-class star Sneakyn Down Under when he won the Howard Porter Memorial, over the shorter 2130m journey later in the program. Mighty Flying Thomas is undefeated at three attempts over 2536m at Gloucester Park. Not only is he a redoubtable stayer, but he is a very smart sprinter who is being set for the $10,000 Mount Eden Golden Mile over 1750m at Kalgoorlie on September 17. Mighty Flying Thomas has had 13 starts in WA for six wins and three placings and his career record stands at 12 wins and ten placings for stakes of $87,213 from just 40 starts. While he is performing strongly, so, too, is his six-year-old half-sister Flying Pocketlands, who took her record to 21 wins, 29 placings and $442,423 from 90 starts when she won the listed classic, the Alabar Breeders Crown Graduate Mares Free-For-All at Ballarat on Saturday of last week. IM ELSA ENDS LOSING RUN OF 20 AND GIVES ANDREWS A DOUBLE New Zealand-bred mare Im Elsa bounced back to her best form and ended a losing sequence of 20 when she scored an impressive all-the-way victory in the 1730m Gannon’s Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. She started favourite at 7/4 and her win over Sovereign Grange (11/1) and Bettor Whitby (15/1) completed a training double for Wes Andrews, who was successful earlier in the night with It And A Bit. Aiden de Campo got Im Elsa away speedily from barrier three and the six-year-old got past polemarker Siena Franco and into the lead after 200m. She set a solid pace and was never seriously threatened. She covered the final 800m in 58.3sec. and rated 1.57.1. This took Im Elsa’s record to nine wins and 19 placings for stakes of $112,632 from 63 starts. A winner of four races in New Zealand, she has raced 32 times in WA for five wins and seven placings. At her third start in WA she won the group 3 $35,000 WA Mares Mile from Artemis Belle at Gloucester Park in December 2011. By former star pacer Elsu, Im Elsa is out of Champagne Party, who won at 14 of her 40 starts and earned $152,445. Her wins included the group 2 Queen of the Pacific at Moonee Valley in June 2002. Champagne Party’s dam Bee Gee’s Dream produced star performers in Party Party (45 starts for 13 wins, 23 placings and $251,236) and Another Party (149 starts for 31 wins, 42 placings and $888,678). AIDEN de CAMPO BRINGS UP HIS CENTURY Outstanding young Capel reinsman Aiden de Campo notched a century of winners in a season for the first time when he drove The Black Lord to victory in the 2100m Happy 50th Johnny Ryan Pace at Bunbury on Saturday night. The Black Lord, trained by Chelsey Harding, was favourite at 6/4 and he surged home from sixth at the bell to win in fine style from Off The Chain. BLACK PONTIAC RELISHES HIS FRONTRUNNING ROLE Victorian-bred pacer Black Pontiac has struck a purple patch for Orange Grove trainer-reinsman Donald Harper and he notched his fifth win from his past 12 starts when he set the pace and held on grimly to defeat the fast-finishing Imtheguy by a head in the 1730m West Australian Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Harper made the most of the perfect No. 1 barrier and Black Pontiac set a fast pace, recording a slick rate of 1.55.3 after sprinting over the final 800m in 56.9sec. Black Pontiac was second favourite at 9/4 and he defied the pressure applied by 11/8 favourite Real Hammer, who got his head in front at the bell, but was unable to forge to a clear lead. Imtheguy(6/1) enjoyed a perfect run behind the pacemaker before issuing a spirited late challenge. Lewis Hamilton (33/1) raced three back on the pegs and finished strongly to be third. Real Hammer wilted to finish fourth after working without cover throughout. Black Pontiac, owned by Tara Sweet, had 11 starts in Victoria for five wins and three placings before arriving in WA where his 63 starts have produced ten wins and seven placings. By Grinfromeartoear, Black Pontiac is the second foal out of Short And Black, who had 47 starts for ten wins, 11 placings and stakes of $53,619. Short And Black’s first foal Falcons legend is still racing in Queensland where he has earned $63,860 from 14 wins and 24 placings from 118 starts. Short And Black is one of the nine winners out of Gaviston, a daughter of Gavigold, whose nine winners included No Damage (294 starts for 46 wins, 94 placings and $240,428) and Natures Fury (317 starts for 48 wins, 104 placings and $422,193). BULLDOZER CONTINUES ON HIS MERRY WAY Victorian-bred pacer Bulldozer, claimed for $9000 by Banjup trainer Annie Belton 13 months ago, is proving a wonderful bargain. The six-year-old maintained his sound form when he surged to the front after 300m, set a brisk pace and held on to score a narrow win in the 2130m Yes Loans Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. A warm favourite at 5/4, Bulldozer had to be driven right out by Chris Lewis to hold on and beat Ohoka Samson (11/1) by a nose after a photo-finish malfunction left the judges to make a decision in a desperately close finish. The judges were unanimous in their declaration that Bulldozer had hung on by the barest possible margin. Ohoka Samson started from the outside of the front line and Kade Howson restrained him back to last in the field of 11 before he dashed the gelding forward after 700m. Ohoka Samson moved outside the pacemaker at the 1100m mark and he sustained a spirited finishing effort to cross the line locked together with Bulldozer. Wrongly Accused (9/2) ran home solidly along the pegs to be a close third after trailing the pacemaker. Bulldozer, a Courage Under Fire gelding, was acquired by Belton after contesting a claimer at Warragul in August of last year and he now has raced 21 times for his new owner for five wins and five placings for stakes of $57,521. His career record now stands at 99 starts for 15 wins, 28 placings and $118,677. A half-brother to The Sentry, who earned $452,452 from 23 wins and 13 placings from 61 starts, Bulldozer looks set to continue to be a good moneyspinner. KOTARE ASH CHARGES HOME FROM A “HOPELESS” POSITION Kotare Ash, seemingly in a hopeless position when locked in on the pegs in sixth position 250m from home, was eased into the clear by Kaiden Hayter on the turn and sprinted brilliantly to get up and snatch a thrilling last-stride victory over Riverboat Ning in the 1730m Brear And Doonan Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Hayter, who was having his first drive behind the New Zealand-bred seven-year-old mare for Serpentine trainer Chris Brew, had her travelling well three back on the pegs all the way while polemarker and 5/4 on favourite Libra Belle was bowling along in front for Dean Miller. Riverboat Ning (8/1) trailed the pacemaker and when Peter Tilbrook eased her off the pegs 225m from home, Hayter was able to get off the pegs and follow Niverboat Ning, who looked certain to win when she swept to the front 70m from the post. But Kotare Ash sprouted wings to overhaul Riverboat Ning right on the line. Arch On Fire ran home gamely to be third, while Libra Belle wilted to fifth. Kotare Ash, a 17/1 tote chance, rated 1.57.3 and ended a losing sequence of 18 and improved her record to 42 starts for nine wins, nine placings and $85,047. Kotare Ash’s victory was the beginning of a great weekend for Hayter, who landed a double at Bunbury on Saturday night. He was successful with the Brian Clemens-trained Asbo (5/2) in the Sky Channel Pace and 30 minutes later he drove his own nomination Pacific Playboy (20/1) to a fast-finishing victory over Tate Gully Gold in the GWN7 Handicap over 2500m. KISS CHASEY ENDS A GOOD NIGHT FOR LEWIS Champion reinsman Chris Lewis completed a double at Gloucester Park on Friday night when 11/1 chance Kiss Chasey proved too strong for his 11 rivals in the final event, 2130m SEW-Eurodrive Westbred Pathway Pace. Kiss Chasey, a five-year-old by Yankee Sensation trained at Oakford by Ross Olivieri and owned by Lewis’s wife Debra, raced three wide early before charging to the front in the first circuit and then setting a solid pace, with Smooth Caesar working hard in the breeze. Moonlight Rockhole finished strongly from eighth at the bell to be second, a length behind the winner, with the 7/4 on favourite Sparkling Seelster a fast-finishing and unlucky third. Sparkling Seelster lacked dash from the No. 1 barrier, with Loaded Aussie beginning speedily from barrier five to take up the early running. Sparkling Seelster was hemmed in on the pegs in seventh position at the bell and did not obtain a clear passage until late in the race. Kiss Chasey has been a good performer for Olivieri, with the gelding’s 25 starts producing seven wins, seven placings and $52,969 in prizemoney. Lewis was successful earlier in the night with Bulldozer in the Yes Loans Pace. Kiss Chasey is out of former smart performer Hello Boys, who raced 55 times for 12 wins, 17 placings and $89,541. Hello Boys, a half-sister to former top-flight mare Party Date, is out of Boom Or Bust, a winner at eight of her 36 starts. Party Date earned $256,003 from 25 wins and 27 placings from 111 starts. Her victories included the 2004 Ladyship Cup at Moonee Valley and the 2005 Easter Cup at Gloucester Park. IT AND A BIT GETS THE JOB DONE IN FINE STYLE Victorian-bred pacer It And A Bit, related to 1990 WA Derby winner Pappy McCoy, showed that he should win more races for Brookdale trainer Wes Andrews when Ben Keiley drove him to a convincing all-the-way victory in the 2130m Del Basso Smallgoods Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. A heavily-supported 9/4 favourite, It And A Bit was smartest to begin from the No. 1 barrier and he won by one and a half lengths from Cup of Life (who trailed him throughout), with 40/1 chance Veitchy running into third place after racing three back on the pegs. Franco Hendrix, who raced four back on the pegs, rattled home along the inside from ninth at the 300m to be fourth. It And A Bit dashed over the final 400m in 28.6sec. and rated 1.57.7. It And A Bit, a winner of nine races in Victoria, has had 28 starts in WA for four wins and seven placings. He is still eligible for metropolitan maiden events with a handy record of 13 wins and 39m placings for stakes of $88,202 from 107 starts. It And A Bit’s maternal granddam Meagan Brooke produced talented South Australian pacer Pappy McCoy, who included the 1990 WA Derby among his 31 wins in a splendid 111-start career which netted $327,932 in prizemoney. WHOS MISTAKE, CLAIMED FOR $8000, CONTINUES HIS WINNING WAYS When Victorian horseman Geoff Webster outlaid $8000 to claim Whos Mistake at Melton in June 2012 he certainly did not predict that the Victorian-bred pacer would be such an outstanding moneyspinner. Webster sent Whos Mistake to Western Australia to be prepared by ace trainer Gary Hall sen. But Whos Mistake managed just one third placing from his first seven starts for Hall before being sent for a spell. Hall revitalised the gelding who resumed racing after a four-month absence with a runaway 11-length victory in moderate company in Albany last January. At Gloucester Park on Friday night Whos Mistake maintained his splendid form with a narrow victory over Gday Mate in the 2503m Alltools Handicap. That took his record for Webster and Hall to 28 starts for six wins and ten placings for stakes of $82,735. His career record now stands at 114 starts for 16 wins, 23 placings and $122,600. Whos Mistake started from the 10m mark and second fancy at 7/2 on Friday night and Gary Hall jun. got him away brilliantly, while the 5/4 on favourite Balleybofey galloped badly on the front line. Whos Mistake surged to the front after 280m and Hall rated him well in front before the seven-year-old sprinted over the final 400m in 28.3sec. He held on doggedly to beat 20/1 chance Gday Mate by a nose, with Johnny Diamond a solid third after trailing the pacemaker. Balleybofey made up a great deal of ground and ran on along the inside from ninth on the home turn to finish fifth. by Ken Casellas
The Howard Porter Memorial has been run 32 times and Sneakyn Down Under is the only horse to have won the group 3 event twice. Now part-owner, trainer-reinsman Darren Duffy is setting his sights on guiding the speedy ten-year-old to victory in the $35,000 race over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Sneakyn Down Under is handily drawn at barrier four on the front line and he appears to have excellent prospects of bursting to the front in the early stages. He started from the outside of the back line and charged home from ninth at the bell to win the Porter Memorial from Indian Giver and Mysta Magical Mach in 2009. He did not contest the race in 2010 and 2011 before he began brilliantly from the No. 3 barrier, set a fast pace and romped home to win the 2012 Porter Memorial by three and a half lengths from Lombo Navigator. Sneakyn Down Under showed a welcome return to form at Gloucester Park last Friday night when he set a fast pace from barrier two and was overhauled in the final couple of strides to finish a 1m second to the fast-finishing Has The Answers over 1730m. He had been unplaced at his previous nine starts. Has The Answers, who started from the back line and charged to the front after 600m before winning the Porter Memorial from Tartary Gladiator in 2011, is nicely drawn on the inside of the back line in this week’s event. He will be driven by Morgan Woodley, who was in the sulky when successful in the Porter Memorial in 2011 and again last week. Creating great interest will be the return to racing of top-flight pacer Lombo Navigator, who will start out wide at No. 5 on the front line at his first appearance since last February. Lombo Navigator finished strongly from sixth at the bell to be second to Sneakyn Down Under in last year’s Porter Memorial. He was unlucky when eighth behind Has The Answers the previous year when he raced three back on the pegs and was hopelessly blocked for a clear passage in the final circuit. Capel trainer Andrew De Campo has had the happy knack of producing Lombo Navigator in fine fettle for his first-up runs. Now a six-year-old, Lombo Navigator has raced first-up eight times in his 77-start career for three wins, three seconds, one third and one fifth placing. Lombo Navigator, who will be driven by Matt White, contested a 2185m trial at Pinjarra last Sunday week and finished solidly to be second, five length behind brilliant four-year-old Im Victorious, with the final 800m being covered in a sizzling 55.6sec. The Million To One gelding, with a splendid record of 24 wins and 26 placings and stakes of $547,449, is sure to have derived great benefit from that trial and should prove hard to beat. Uppy Son, who maintained his excellent form with a strong third behind Has The Answers and Sneakyn Down Under last week, will start from barrier three on the back line, cannot be overlooked, and Franco Renegade, Shardons Rocket and Can Return Fire will have admirers from barriers one, two and three, respectively, on the front line. Can Return Fire, to be driven by Colin Brown for trainers Greg and Skye Bond, extended his losing sequence to 30 last Friday night when fifth behind Has The Answers. He raced in seventh position before sprinting home fast, six wide, to finish only 2.2m from the winner. The Tony Svilicich-trained Shardons Rocket, a stablemate of Has The Answers, has a losing sequence of 17. But he is capable of causing an upset. He started off the back mark of 40m in the 3309m Marathon Handicap last Friday night and fought on grandly to finish a 4m second behind Balleybofey after working hard in the breeze over the final 1400m. SLICK CHAPEL SPARKLES AND IS READY TO RESUME IN STYLE A sparkling trial in fast time at Byford last Sunday morning was convincing proof that Slick Chapel is ready to resume after a spell with a flourish by winning the 2536m Premier Suzuki Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Leading trainer Gary Hall sen. has a high opinion of Slick Chapel, who has had a spell since he set a fast pace before wilting to finish sixth behind stablemate Alta Christiano in the WA Derby on April 19. Slick Chapel, a New Zealand-bred three-year-old, has won three races at Gloucester Park and one at Bunbury this season. He will start from barrier four on the back line on Friday night, but has the class to overcome that draw. His main rival, Another Vinnie, will start from the outside of the back line and Rocky Marciano, a winner of six races this season, is unfavourably drawn on the outside (No. 7) of the front line. Clint Hall drove Slick Chapel in Sunday morning’s 2150m trial in which the gelding rated 1.56.7 in winning by five lengths from Celtic Crusader. He sped over the final two 400m sections in 28.7sec. and 27.8sec. Hall will resume race driving next month and his brother Gary will be in the sulky on Friday night. Another Vinnie, trained at Bunbury by Frank Bonnett, is the best-performed runner in the race and looks set to fight out the finish. Busselton reinsman Aaron Beckett understands the gelding perfectly and he has brought him home with powerful, well-time bursts from the rear to win most of his races. He thundered home from tenth at the bell and sprinted over the final 400m in 27.8sec. to score an impressive victory over Truckers Buckeroo over 2100m at Bunbury’s Donaldson Park track last Saturday night. That took his record to 35 starts for 13 wins, 11 placings and earnings of $169,337.He surged home from last at the bell to win easily from Desgerrado and Big Ben Lombo at a 1.57.2 rate over 2130m at Gloucester Park eight nights earlier. Another Vinnie is one of six last-start winners in the race, the others being Soho Redford, Conniving Major Dave, Erskine Range, Big Ben Lombo and Bettor Giddyup. Conniving Major Dave, a winner of three races in New Zealand, has impressed at his first two starts in Australia for Capel trainer Andrew De Campo. Driven by the trainer’s son Aiden, Conniving Major Dave enjoyed an ideal passage, one-out and one-back before dashing to the front 250m from home and winning easily from Arden Torres at a 1.59.6 rate at Bunbury last Saturday night. He raced without cover when a fighting first-up second to Boy O Boy on the same track the previous Saturday night. WILLIAMS-TURVEY COMBINATION IS POISED TO STRIKE The powerful combination of Mt Helena trainer Ray Williams and Baldivis reinsman Nathan Turvey have bright prospects of landing a double at Gloucester Park on Friday night with Pacific Warrior and Balleybofey. The New Zealand-bred pacers are in top form and each looks certain to start a firm favourite. Pacific Warrior will start from the back line in the 2536m Nepean Conveyors Pace in which he will clash with the in-form Peter Anderson-trained Mighty Flying Thomas. Pacific Warrior, who has had 46 starts for 16 wins and 12 placings, raced out of his class last Friday night when he worked hard in the breeze outside the speedy Lucie Boshier before getting to the front on the home turn and then being beaten by the fast-finishing M3-class mare Leda McNally, who rated 1.56.7 over 2130m. He is sure to appreciate a return to an M1-class event this week. Two starts ago Pacific Warrior finished powerfully out very wide on the track to snatch a thrilling victory in a three-way photo finish from Condrieu and Mighty Flying Thomas in the John Higgins Memorial. He looks set to develop into a contender for feature events in the summer months. Seven-year-old Balleybofey looks one of the best bets on the ten-event program. He will start from barrier three on the front line in a 2503m stand, the Alltools Handicap. He looks the likely leader and should prove too strong for his ten rivals. Balleybofey started off the front and dashed to the lead after 400m before setting a very solid pace on his way to scoring an easy 4m victory over Shardons Rocket in the 3309m Marathon Handicap. He is in the best form of his career, with wins at six of his past ten starts. False Promise, a New Zealand-bred six-year-old in the stables of Greg and Skye Bond, has won at seven of his past 14 starts and appeals as one of Balleybofey’s main dangers. Whos Mistake, Turismo and Strongbow Lombo, who will start off the 10m mark, have been racing keenly over the winter months and will have admirers. Polemarker Johnny Diamond has won in good style in stands at Bunbury at his past two outings and should also be prominent. SPEEDY BULLDOZER MAKES STRONG APPEAL FROM GOOD DRAW Noted frontrunner Bulldozer should appreciate a favourable draw and looks set to fight out the finish of the 2130m Yes Loans Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The six-year-old, trained at Banjup by Annie Belton, will start from the No. 3 barrier on the front line and Chris Lewis is likely to make use of his sparkling gate speed and make a bold bid for the early lead. Polemarker Wrongly Accused (Dylan Egerton-Green) possesses good early pace, but it is problematic whether he will be able to muster enough speed to hold out Bulldozer in the early stages. Bulldozer started from the inside of the back line in a 2130m event last Friday night and did not get clear until the late stages, when he finished full of running to be third behind Leda McNally and Pacific Warrior. Bulldozer, a former Victorian pacer, was a winner six starts ago when he led and defeated Taiaha over 2536m in mid-April. The Andrew De Campo-trained Harrison Maguire, a winner of five races in New Zealand and two in New South Wales, adds considerable interest to the race. He will start from the No. 2 barrier on the front line and Aiden De Campo could attempt to take an early lead with the Christian Cullen gelding who possesses good gate speed. Harrison Maguire started from the outside of the back line and was a 77/1 outsider on the tote at Gloucester Park last Friday night when he raced in seventh position on the pegs before finishing solidly to be fourth behind Leda McNally at his third start in Western Australia. He will be at considerably shorter odds this week. by Ken Casellas
In-form Serpentine horseman Chris Brew has been engaged to drive veteran pacer Sneakyn Down Under in the $25,000 Howard Porter Memorial at Gloucester Park on Friday night and the nine-year-old has excellent prospects of becoming the first pacer to win this feature harness rcing event more than once.
Darren Duffy and Sneakyn Down Under are on track for back-to-back wins after scoring an emotional harness racing win in the race honouring Duffy's late father, the Ray Duffy Memorial, last Friday night (June 22) at Gloucester Park.
Glamour sprinter Sneakyn Down Under faces a big harness racing test at his first standing start for three years in Friday night's $30,000 Group Three Navy Cup. The Darren Duffy trained seven-year-old hasn't started from a standing start since 9th November 2006 when he finished sixth at Forbury Park in New Zealand.
Brilliant seven-year-old Sneakyn Down Under burst back into Miracle Mile contention when he blitzed the opposition in the $20,500 Ross North Zen Spring Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. His dazzling all-the-way harness racing victory by 19m over Talk To Me Courage showed that his battling, well-beaten second to Talk To me Courage two weeks earlier had been an aberration.
Sensational New Zealand-bred five-year-old Sneakyn Down Under was unextended in chalking up his third win from three starts since resuming from a spell and the big gelding is moving in the right direction to be a star performer in the rich summer carnival feature events.