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

Up-and-coming star Northview Punter is working in grand style and champion reinsman Gary Hall jun. is confident the four-year-old will make a successful return to harness racing by proving the master of outstanding pacer David Hercules in the 2130m Yes Loans Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. “He has come back (from a spell) pretty well and he should work to the front and prove hard to beat,” said Hall, who will celebrate his 32nd birthday on Saturday. “I think he can beat David Hercules. He loves leading and he’s a hard horse to get to.” However, Hall has great respect for David Hercules, saying: “I wouldn’t be surprised if he sat outside Northview Punter and beat him.” Northview Punter, the youngest and least experienced runner in the race, has not appeared since he raced in the one-out, one-back position before finishing strongly to win the $35,000 Four and Five-Year-Old Championship from stablemate Soho Valencia at Gloucester Park on March 21. That was his 18th win from only 38 starts. Hall was in Brisbane on Sunday morning after driving Im Themightyquinn to a thrilling victory in the group 1 Blacks A Fake Championship at Albion Park on Saturday night when his brother Clint drove Northview Punter in a trial at Byford. Northview Punter impressed when he set the pace and beat David Hercules by just over a length in the 2150m trial, rating a sizzling 1.55.6. “From all reports he went super at the trials,” said Hall jun. “He is showing that he is improving all the time.” Northview Punter has drawn to lead from the No. 3 barrier, and this should prove an important advantage over David Hercules, who will start from barrier five. Clint Hall said that Northview Punter had been lazy in the trial and that he required constant urging. However, he said that drawing inside of David Hercules should give him an edge over his classy rival. Morgan Woodley, who has driven the David Thompson-trained David Hercules to dashing and decisive wins at his first two starts after a spell, conceded that the barrier draw would make life tough for his horse. “The one horse I wanted to draw inside was Northview Punter,” he said. “Northview Punter went fast in Sunday’s trial and he rated a fast 1.55.6, which is low flying. However, David Hercules did a tremendous job. He sat last in the four-horse trial and he made good ground and finished at the winner’s wheel. “You definitely can’t take anything away from his performance. However, I would love it if the barrier draws were reversed on Friday night. Probably, realistically, we’ll end up in the breeze because we can’t afford to spot Northview Punter a big start. “If we go back at the start Northview Punter would be able to waltz to an easy lead. So if we were to give him three of four lengths at the 1000m mark it would make our job near on impossible. So I’d say we’ll look to get up outside him and try to turn it into a staying competition. “I expect it to be a fast-run race and the Halls will assess David Hercules as the hardest opposition, and they are likely to drive in a manner which will make it difficult for David Hercules to win. We expect a real hard tussle.” Ken Casellas

Talented four-year-old Condrieu has resumed after a spell in sparkling form and Forrestdale trainers Greg and Skye Bond have high hopes that he will make amends for his narrow defeat in the 2013 John Higgins Memorial by winning the $35,000 group three event at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Ryan Warwick has driven the New Zealand-bred gelding assertively for decisive victories at his first two starts after a spell and he is racing with such zest that he is capable of overcoming the distinct disadvantage of starting from the outside (barrier seven) on the front line in the 2130m feature event. Condrieu possesses dazzling gate speed and it would come as no surprise if Warwick takes advantage of that wonderful asset by dashing the gelding forward in an attempt to burst to an early lead. Condrieu reappeared after a four-month absence at Pinjarra last Monday week when he began from the back line and settled in seventh position before Warwick dashed him forward, three wide, after 300m to take the lead 250m later. Condrieu relished his pacemaking role and revelled in the heavy conditions as he sped over the final two quarters in 2u8.1sec. and 27.6sec. to win by two lengths from In The Perfect Storm. Then in a 2536m event at Gloucester Park last Friday night Condrieu started from barrier six on the front line and raced four wide for the first 350m before bursting to the front. He relaxed and meandered through the first 400m section of the final mile in 33.3sec. before he coasted through the next quarter in 31.3sec. He gave his rivals little hope by sprinting over the final sections in 28.7sec. and 28.4sec. and winning easily from stablemate Jays Bee Grin. Twelve months ago Condrieu was the only three-year-old in the Higgins Memorial and he was favourite at 5/4 on when he began speedily from barrier three and was in front after 120m. After easy opening sections of the final mile in 31.2sec. and 31.1sec. Condrieu sped over the final 800m in 57.7sec. and was overhauled in the final stride by the fast-finishing Pacific Warrior, who gained the verdict by a nose. Greg Bond has an excellent record in the Higgins Memorial, winning with Money Magnet in 2004 and Richard Henry the following year. Richard Henry, a 7/2 chance, started out wide at barrier six and raced in the breeze before getting up in the final stride to defeat the pacemaker Bank The Money by a nose. Colin Brown, who was successful with Money Magnet and Richard Henry, will drive Lunar Tide for the Bonds in Friday night's feature. Lunar Tide, favourably drawn at No. 2 on the front line, is sure to be prominent. He raced wide early and then without cover when fourth behind Condrieu at Gloucester Park last Saturday night. Before that Lunar Tide had worked hard before winning first-up at Narrogin and then he covered a lot of extra ground before finishing second to Jasper Freeway at the same track. The Bonds will also be represented in this week's race by Galactic Galleon, who will start from No. 4 on the back line and will be handled by Morgan Woodley. Galactic Galleon finished strongly when a head second to Erskine Range at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon. Condrieu is overdue for a change of luck in a feature event. He has contested seven group races in his 23 starts in Western Australia for three minor placings last year --- second to Chilli Power in the group 1 McInerney Ford Classic, second in the Higgins Memorial and third in the group 3 Caduceus Club Classic. His dam Oaxaca Lass won three group 1 events (the Queensland derby at Albion Park and the Australian Oaks at Moonee Valley in 2002 and the Chariots of Fire at Harold Park in 2003. She also won three group 2 features and was placed in four other group events. Looming as the main dangers to Condrieu are polemarker In The Perfect Storm, Jasper Freeway, Wynberg Terror and Shnappy. In The Perfect Storm, trained at Pinjarra by Michael Brennan, resumed after a five-month absence when he started from barrier three and led early before taking the trail behind Condrieu and then finishing doggedly along the sprint lane to be second to that pacer at Pinjarra last Monday week. "His first-up run was good," said reinsman Gary Hall jun. "We've got the speed to hold up, but I'll wait to see what Mouse (Brennan) says. Hall won the Higgins Memorial in 2010 when he guided Partywiththedevil (barrier two) to an all-the-way victory over Son of Fergie and Lombo Navigator. Northview Punter ready to fire Up-and-coming star Northview Punter is working in grand style and champion reinsman Gary Hall jun. is confident the four-year-old will make a successful return to racing by proving the master of outstanding pacer David Hercules in the 2130m Yes Loans Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. "He has come back (from a spell) pretty well and he should work to the front and prove hard to beat," said Hall, who will celebrate his 32nd birthday on Saturday. "I think he can beat David Hercules. He loves leading and he's a hard horse to get to." However, Hall has great respect for David Hercules, saying: "I wouldn't be surprised if he sat outside Northview Punter and beat him." Northview Punter, the youngest and least experienced runner in the race, has not appeared since he raced in the one-out, one-back position before finishing strongly to win the $35,000 Four and Five-Year-Old Championship from stablemate Soho Valencia at Gloucester Park on March 21. That was his 18th win from only 38 starts. Hall was flying back from Brisbane on Sunday morning after driving Im Themightyquinn to a thrilling victory in the group 1 Blacks A Fake Championship at Albion Park on Saturday night when his brother Clint drove Northview Punter in a trial at Byford. Northview Punter impressed when he set the pace and beat David Hercules by just over a length in the 2150m trial, rating a sizzling 1.55.6. "From all reports he went super at the trials," said Hall jun. "He is showing that he is improving all the time." Northview Punter has drawn to lead from the No. 3 barrier, and this should prove an important advantage over David Hercules, who will start from barrier five. Clint Hall said that Northview Punter had been lazy in the trial and that he required constant urging. However, he said that drawing inside of David Hercules should give him an edge over his classy rival. Morgan Woodley, who has driven the David Thompson-trained David Hercules to dashing and decisive wins at his first two starts after a spell, conceded that the barrier draw would make life tough for his horse. "The one horse I wanted to draw inside was Northview Punter," he said. "Northview Punter went fast in Sunday's trial and he rated a fast 1.55.6, which is low flying. However, David Hercules did a tremendous job. He sat last in the four-horse trial and he made good ground and finished at the winner's wheel. "You definitely can't take anything away from his performance. However, I would love it if the barrier draws were reversed on Friday night. Probably, realistically, we'll end up in the breeze because we can't afford to spot Northview Punter a big start. "If we go back at the start Northview Punter would be able to waltz to an easy lead. So if we were to give him three of four lengths at the 1000m mark it would make our job near on impossible. So I'd say we'll look to get up outside him and try to turn it into a staying competition. "I expect it to be a fast-run race and the Halls will assess David Hercules as the hardest opposition, and they are likely to drive in a manner which will make it difficult for David Hercules to win. We expect a real hard tussle." Hall sticks with Soho Lennon Star reinsman Gary Hall jun. drove Crusader Banner to an effortless first-up victory at Northam on Tuesday night, but he has elected to handle stablemate Soho Lennon in the 2130m Slater Gartrell Sports Pace for three-year-olds at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Crusader Banner and Soho Lennon are two of champion trainer Gary Hall senior's five runners in Friday's event, the others being Eliseos Falcon, Themightynadal and High Courage, and Hall junior's decision to drive Soho Lennon comes as an important guide to punters. Soho Lennon, driven by Hall jun., overcame the disadvantage of starting from the outside of the back line when he raced wide in the middle stages before finishing powerfully to win by a length from the pacemaker Local Rogue at a 1.58.4 rate in a 2536m Pathway Pace last Friday night. Again, Soho Lennon is not ideally drawn at No. 3 on the back line in Friday night's race in which Crusader Banner is much better drawn at No. 3 on the front line. "I'll drive Soho Lennon and will be putting him in the race at some stage," said Hall jun. "I think he can win. Black Mr Mach is obviously improving and he's probably the danger from the draw." Black Mr Mach, to be driven by Colin Brown for trainers Greg and Skye Bond, has excellent prospects from the coveted No. 1 barrier. He has won at his past two starts, running on to beat Tarsao at Gloucester Park and then setting the pace and winning narrowly from Ima Tragedy over 2185m at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon. Crusader Banner was having his first start for 12 months when he gave a sparkling frontrunning display to score an easy victory from Your Excused, rating 1.59.1 over 2190m at Northam on Tuesday night. "He's still very green and very much a baby in the head," said Hall jun. "He pulled a little bit and did a few things you'd expect from a two-year-old. But he hasn't had much racing. He's had a lot of time off with a damaged ligament in his shoulder. "His best asset is his speed and he's probably best sat up. But while he's going through the grades he will race in front if the lead is there for him." Eliseos Falcon, a former Victorian pacer, made an impressive WA debut when he produced a strong finishing burst to win from Machs A Pearler over 2185m at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon. It was his seventh win from 19 starts. Slick Chapel to lead all the way Noted frontrunner Slick Chapel will be a short-priced favourite for the $25,000 City Livestock The Chandon final over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night after drawing the prized No. 1 barrier. He is one of four runners in the race prepared by Gary Hall sen. and when he drew the inside barrier Gary Hall jun. had no hesitation in opting to drive him in preference to last-start winners Rowchester and Heez Orl Black and Notabadexcuse, a winner two starts ago. "Slick Chapel is probably the best of our runners and he's drawn the best," said Hall jun. "It's a good draw for more than one reason. He's got the lead and has Dynamite Dude drawn behind him. So I should be able to control the result and I won't be letting Dynamite Dude out." Dynamite Dude, trained by Ross Olivieri and to be driven by Chris Lewis, will start from the inside of the back line and will need plenty of luck to get a chance to beat Slick Chapel. Dynamite Dude won at his first five starts in Western Australia before he started from barrier four ion the back line and raced three wide for much of the way when a fighting fourth behind Condrieu at Pinjarra last Monday week. Slick Chapel has had 32 starts for ten wins and ten placings. He was an all-the-way winner two starts ago and then started from the back line and raced without cover for most of the way before winning from Soho Monza last Friday week. The No. 1 barrier also will greatly enhance the prospects of Miss Atomic in the $40,000 McInerney Ford Pace for mares. A winner at ten of her 23 starts, she should be able to hold up and set the pace for Chris Lewis. Speedy My Lady of the Night was a smart all-the-way winner over 1730m last Friday night, but though she is blessed with sparkling gate speed it is problematic whether she will be able to cross Miss Atomic. Lucky Joy, a brilliant winner at Gloucester Park last Saturday night, will start from barrier three on the back line and is capable of a bold showing. by Ken Casellas

Young Boyanup harness racing trainer-driver  Justin Prentice is a keen student of breeding and he has high hopes that his judgment in purchasing Major Reality at the 2013 New Zealand yearling sales will be vindicated by driving the filly to victory in the $125,000 Premier Suzuki Golden Slipper at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Major Reality ran a superb trial for the group 1 Golden Slipper for two-year-olds when she set the pace and sped over the final 400m in 27.4sec. to score an effortless win in the $35,000 Gold Bracelet last Friday night. Her prospects of winning the Slipper soared when she drew the prized No. 1 barrier and the 26-year-old Prentice will be aiming for another all-the-way success this week. Prentice studied the 2013 yearling catalogue and was determined to buy the Art Major filly, originally named Just Like Mum. "She is by a strong stallion and her dam Reality Check was a smart performer as a two-year-old," Prentice said. "So I just picked her out on breeding. Dad (trainer-reinsman Kim Prentice) was over at the sales and he checked out the filly and gave her the okay. "I told Dad that I was prepared to go to $50,000 for her and was stoked when I was able to get her for $31,000." Justin Prentice bought the filly on behalf of stable client John Wulff, who had been a co-owner of Carim Courage and Im Hey Jude. Wulff then sold shares in Major Reality to a few mates and the filly has already proved her worth, earning $37,200 from three wins from her first four starts Major Reality is following the footsteps of Reality Check, who won three races as a two-year-old and one as a three-year-old before being retired after 24 starts with earnings of $139,495. She was successful at Alexandra Park at her second start, in March 2006, and then won a $40,000 feature event for fillies at Cambridge the following month before winning a 1700m $125,000 classic at Alexandra Park at her sixth start. She then finished third in a group 1 classic. Major Reality won with such ease last week that she is likely to be a warm favourite for the Slipper. But favourites have a terrible record in recent runnings of the classic. Only one favourite has been successful in the past 14 years. That was Western Cullen, who started at evens and charged home from sixth in the middle stages to easily beat Major Catastrophe and Gracias Para Nada in 2011. And fillies have won only eight times in the 46-year history of the Slipper. They have been Sordice (1968), Omista (1971), Via Vista (1980), Mazzini Magic (1988), Whitbys Miss Penny (1990), Whitbys Merit (1993), Spirit of Navajo (2005) and Arma Xpress (2012). Kim Prentice purchased The Odd Lover for prominent owner Rob Watson at the 2013 New Zealand yearling sales and the Art Major colt looms as one of the chief rivals for Major Reality after he drew favourably at barrier two on the front line in the 2130m event. Prentice, who trains the colt at Hopeland, has a high opinion of him and would dearly love him to make amends for his bad luck when 2/1 on favourite in the group 1 $100,000 Pearl Classic last month when a tyre of his sulky was punctured early in the event and then the tube became entangled in the wheel, causing him to drop back from the breeze position to finish at the rear. At his next appearance, over 2130m at Gloucester Park last Friday night, The Odd Lover started from the back line and raced three wide early before moving to the breeze and finishing second to the pacemaker Isaiah Artois. From barrier two this week, The Odd Lover meets Isaiah on better terms. The David Thompson-trained Isaiah Artois will start from the No. 4 barrier and although he possesses sparkling gate speed he is most unlikely to be able to wrest the early lead from Major Reality. The query runner is Beaudiene Boaz, who will be making his first appearance in Australia for leading trainer Gary Hall sen. after winning at three of his seven starts in New Zealand. He stormed home to gain a last-stride victory in the group 1 $150,000, Emerald at Cambridge on May 31 before being sold to a group of Hall's clients, headed by Beth Richardson. Beaudiene Boaz was a smart trial winner at Byford on Sunday morning and he will have a legion of followers. Isaiah Artois has won at five of his eight starts and cannot be underestimated. Consistent filly Sea Me Smile has drawn perfectly on the inside of the back line and Chris Lewis should have her on the back of the pacemaking Major Reality all the way. Mister Ardee, to be driven by Kim Young for owner-trainer Gary Elson, is capable of a bold showing from barrier two on the back line, while Straittothehilton, one of five fillies in the race, has place prospects from the No. 3 barrier. Beaudiene Boaz is the best, says Hall "Without sounding too arrogant I've got no doubt that he's the best horse in the race, but he will have his work cut out from barrier six," said champion reinsman Gary Hall jun. when assessing the prospects of New Zealand newcomer Beaudiene Boaz in the $125,000 Premier Suzuki Golden Slipper at Gloucester Park on Friday night. "His trial at Byford on Sunday was super, but a two-year-old having his first look at the track will need to do everything that we think he's capable of to be able to beat Justin Prentice's filly Major Reality." Hall said that the barrier draw had tilted the odds in favour of Major Reality, who is sure to make the most of the coveted No. 1 position by setting the pace in the 2130m group 1 classic. "The draw really evens things up," Hall said. "I think Beaudiene Boaz is capable of beating Major Reality, but he will have to prove every bit as good as we think he is. He's got a bit of everything. He's definitely very quick and he seems to be quite strong. "However, there appears to be no chink in Major Reality's armour. She is such a good gaited horse who seems to do everything right. She has got good gate speed and it's not likely that she will have to be rushed out to hold the lead. She'll hold it easy; nothing can really trouble her early and she'll get a soft lead, and that will make her hard to beat. "We know that she can run a quarter in 27 and a bit, so we will have to try to take it (the sting) out of her early. However, doing that will probably set it up for something back in the field. I haven't determined my tactics, but obviously getting to the breeze is the way to go. You can't win by going back (early)." Beaudiene Boaz is trained by Gary Hall sen., who is in Brisbane campaigning with superstar Im Themightyquinn. Hall will be attempting to emulate the performance of Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri, who won the 2011 Golden Slipper with Western Cullen at his Australian debut. Hall jun. drove Beaudiene Boaz in a 2150m trial on Sunday morning when the Badlands Hanover colt sat behind the pacemaker, three-year-old stablemate Crusader Banner before sprinting home strongly to beat that pacer by a length at a 1.58.6 rate after sprinting over the final two 400m sections in 28.3sec. and 28.1sec. Beaudiene Boaz has won at three of his seven starts in New Zealand for trainer Ray Green. He was sold to clients of the Hall stable after he had given a superb performance to win the $150,000 Emerald for two-year=-old colts and geldings at Cambridge on May 31. An outsider at 38/1 and driven by Zac Butcher, Beaudiene Boaz was seventh on the pegs at the bell and still in sixth place 400m from home before he charged home, out four wide, to snatch a last-stride victory by a head over Bettor Spirits, covering the metric mile (1609m) in 1.54, track record for two-year-olds. The 400m sections whizzed by in 27.4sec., 29sec., 28.6sec. and 28.9sec. Two starts earlier Beaudiene Boaz dashed over the final quarter in 28.2sec. and rated 2.1.8 in winning over 2200m at Alexandra Park. Hall sen. has won the Slipper only once, when he trained and drove Love of Glory to victory over Possibly and Almagest in 1989. Hall jun. has yet to taste victory in a Golden Slipper. Four years ago he set the pace with 6/4 on favourite Go West U Terror, who finished second to Ohokas Bondy. Then he drove Gracias Para Nada (22/1) into third place behind Western Cullen in 2011,Northview Punter (10/9 on) when he finished a half-head second to Arma Xpress in 2012 and the 6/4 on favourite Crusader Banner when he set the pace before fading to ninth behind Class of Tara last year. Leda McNally set for unusual hat-trick Classy mare Leda McNally has won races on the Golden Slipper program on the past two years and she has excellent prospects of completing an unusual hat-trick at by outpacing her rivals in the Premier Suzuki Genuine Parts Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Trained at Pinjarra by Chris King, Leda McNally has been unplaced at her past five starts and has a losing sequence of seven. But she looks ideally suited, and well handicapped, off 20m in the 2503m event for M4 and better class pacers. The five-year-old Leda McNally has won at 19 of her 57 starts and has an M10 assessment. This will be only her second appearance in a standing-start event. She gave an outstanding performance at her only run in a stand, when she began off 50m, was tenth at the bell and stormed home, five wide, on a heavy, rain-soaked track to finish third behind Selkie and Salliwood in the Race For Roses over 2503m at Gloucester Park on May 9 this year. She was a 5/1 chance when Chris Voak took her to an early lead and she went on to win by two lengths from Blissfull Cullen in a 2100m mobile on Golden Slipper night in July 2012. Voak again was in the sulky when Leda McNally, favourite at 11/4, sustained a powerful burst to win easily from Slick Bird over 2130m 12 months later. Voak handled Leda McNally when she was untroubled to win a four-horse trial at Pinjarra on Sunday morning. After a moderate early pace Leda McNally sprinted over the final 800m in 56sec. and defeated Countess Krista by a length at a 1.59.5 rate. A small field of seven should help Leda McNally's cause on Friday night when she is likely to meet stiff opposition from the four runners trained by Gary Hall sen. They are Bettor Reason, My Hard Copy, Our Arlington and Some Kinda Tactics. The Tony Svilicich-trained Shardons Rocket is a tough, consistent campaigner who should again fight out the finish. Hall marching to 200 winners Champion trainer Gary Hall sen. has 13 runners at Friday night's meeting at Gloucester Park and he looks set to take a giant step towards his ambition of becoming the first West Australian to train 200 winners in a season in WA. He and his younger son Gary, the State's premier reinsman, should give punters a flying start to the meeting by winning the opening event, the Suzuki Way Of Life Pathway Pace with the brilliant three-year-old Soho Lennon. Soho Lennon, a winner at six of his 20 starts, gave a tremendous performance last Friday night when he produced a powerful finishing burst to be a nose second to classy stablemate VC Manoeuvre over 1730m at a 1.55.3 rate. Soho Lennon, who beat VC Manoeuvre at his previous outing, was driven at his latest two starts by the trainer's elder son Clint. "I'm looking forward to getting back behind him," said Hall jun., who drove the gelding to easy wins at Pinjarra and Gloucester Park in June. "Starting from No. 12 (the outside of the back line) is not easy for a three-year-old taking on older horses," he said. "But he races like an older horse and I really like him. "I know that VC Manoeuvre beat him last week, but I reckon Soho Lennon is not far behind Elegant Christian and Machtu. "Senior is not far from 200 winners for the season --- and that's his aim. He gave us a rev up the other week when he reckoned we were running out of time. So it was nice to have five winners last Friday night and to keep him off our back for a week." Hall sen. is the State's leading trainer with 190 winners and 189 placegetters from 717 starters. by Ken Casellas  

Veteran Northam horseman Jesse Moore describes his star filly Tricky Syyx as "simply awesome" and is confident she will be capable of overcoming a back-line barrier and proving too good for her ten rivals in the $35,000 Central Fruit Sales Gold Bracelet at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Widely regarded as one of the finest mentors of juvenile pacers in Western Australia over the past 40 years, Moore has no hesitation in declaring that Tricky Styx is "a long way in front of any fillies I've ever had."' "It's awesome what she can do," he said. "Against older horses on the track, she can just squat on them and then blow them away." Tricky Styx, brilliant winner of the $50,000 Champagne Classic in May and the $100,000 Diamond Classic last month, has drawn the No. 2 barrier on the back line and will clash with several smart, in-form fillies, including Straittothehilton (winner of the $100,000 Westbred Classic at her most recent appearance), Sea Me Smile, Delightful Jade, Massive Attack, Racketeer Reactor and Major Reality. "The back-line draw probably suits her style of racing," Moore said. "She just likes to sit up a bit and get home. The barrier is actually better than it looks. I'm happy with her and she couldn't have worked any better than she did this (Tuesday) morning. So there's no excuses." Moore, who prepared 12/1 chance Fidelius Charm when she started from a wide barrier and charged home from sixth at the bell to get up and gain a last-stride victory by a nose over Sheer Royalty in the 2008 Gold Bracelet, said that the filly had suffered from foot soreness after her victory in the Diamond Classic on June 6. "She had a couple of corns coming on her heels," he said. "So we put some different shoes on her and she has responded well. I took her to the trials at Byford last Sunday week because she hadn't raced for about three weeks. I thought I had better just check how she was going." Race reinsman Aiden De Campo travelled from Capel to handle the filly in the 2150m trial in which she started out wide at barrier six and was restrained to the rear before unwinding a dazzling finishing burst to score an effortless victory by three and a half lengths from smart three-year-old gelding Hugh Victor. After slow early quarters Tricky Styx dashed over the final 400m in 28.2sec. and rated 2.2.8. "She was put in a trial for two-year-olds, but there were a couple in the trial who were there just to qualify," Moore said. "So I took her out and put her in a trial for older horses. She sat back at the rear and when Aiden let her go she just went whoosh. She took off leaving the back straight and she was in front before they straightened up. Aiden was more than happy with the trial." The 22-year-old de Campo is hoping for a change of fortune after driving the 3/1 on favourite Im Bella Jay into second place behind Generally Outspoken in the Gold Bracelet 12 months ago. Im Bella Jay raced three back on the pegs and was blocked for a clear passage until late, when she rattled home to fail by a length to overhaul the pacemaker. Capel trainer Andrew De Campo, father of Aiden, is hopeful that his stylish WA-bred filly Delightful Jade will give him his third success in the classic, after having trained and driven Kiwaussie Girl (1995) and Express Fire (1999) for wins in the race. Delightful Jade is a speedy frontrunner who has won six times from nine starts and will be fancied from the No. 4 barrier on the front line. Chris Lewis is delighted at the progress of Sea Me Smile, who is favourably drawn at barrier two on the front line. Sea Me Smile, trained by Debra Lewis, won for the third time from seven starts when she finished fast to beat highly-regarded colt Mister Ardee at Gloucester Park last Friday night. Lewis has driven a record six winners of the Gold Bracelet. He has been successful with Smooth Sensation (1991), Flames And Flowers (1997), Lady Maryclare (2002), Vinnies Sister (2003), Fidelius Charm (2008) and Sensational Gabby (2011). Leading reinsman Gary Hall jun. will handle Massive Attack from barrier three on the back line and he hopes to cause an upset like he did when he drove 18/1 chance Generally Outspoken to victory in last year's event. "She wouldn't know what a good barrier is," he said. "With a bit more luck with draws she could have won about $150,000 at her past three starts, instead of about $18,000." VC Manoeuvre can turn the tables Leading trainer Gary Hall sen., who is in Brisbane with Im Themightyquinn, dominates the EPT Fruit And Vegetable Merchants Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night with five of the 12 runners and ace reinsman Gary Hall jun. predicts that stablemates VC Manoeuvre and Soho Lennon will fight out the finish of the 1730m sprint. Hall jun. will drive VC Manoeuvre and his elder brother Clint will handle Soho Lennon. Hall jun. said that both geldings are richly talented and that he considered that VC Manoeuvre was capable of turning the tables on his stablemate. In a thrilling spectacle in a 2130m event at Gloucester Park on Monday of last week Soho Lennon caused a minor upset when he charged home to defeat VC Manoeuvre at a 1.56.1 rate over 2130m, with final sections in 28.9sec. and 27.2sec. VC Manoeuvre raced in the one-out, one-back position before bursting to the front with 470m to travel. Soho Lennon, who trailed his stablemate throughout, issued a strong challenge 250m from the post before getting to the front 150m later. VC Manoeuvre is badly drawn at barrier four on the back line and Soho Lennon is even worse off from the outside of the back line. "However, I still think that they should run 1-2," Hall jun. said. "But in saying that, the percentage of winners from those barriers (11 and 12) over 1730m is really low. It's really tough, but they should provide the quinella, barring bad luck. "They've both got a bit of everything, a bit of toughness and they are quick, as everyone saw last start when I didn't think that Lennon would get over VC Manoeuvre. I didn't think that he actually did after the runs we had. I was a bit surprised, but it was hard to be disappointed with Manoeuvre. "These two horses are probably not far off Elegant Christian and Machtu, if at all. They're both really good and I think at this stage that VC Manoeuvre has probably got more improvement in him, taking into account greenness and the way he races." Stablemates Themightynadal (Kim Prentice), Avalon Bromac (Lauren Jones) and Tanaka Eagle (Robbie Williams) are in sound form, but do not appear capable of seriously testing the better-performed VC Manoeuvre and Soho Lennon. Prentice hoping for a birthday gift Boyanup horseman Justin Prentice has sound prospects of celebrating his birthday by driving consistent eight-year-old This Time Dylan to victory in the $21,000 Quality Produce Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Prentice, who turns 26 on Saturday, drove the Michael Brennan-trained gelding into third place behind Hokonui Ben and Toretto in the 2936m WA Pacing Cup in January and then guided him to victory over Uppy Son in the 2662m Narrogin Cup the following month. The New Zealand-bred This Time Dylan will start from barrier four on the back line on Friday night, but he is sure to appreciate quite a drop in class after racing four back on the pegs and fighting on to finish fourth behind the brilliant David Hercules in the 2536m Winter Cup last Friday night. This Time Dylan, who is capable of unwinding a power-packed finishing burst, is an M9-class performer and has a decided class edge over all his rivals with the exception of Ima Rocket Star (with an M7 classification) and Rocket Reign (M7), a ten-year-old in the twilight of his career and boasting a losing sequence of 17. Ima Rocket Star, making his third appearance after a spell, will start from the outside of the front line, but cannot be disregarded after running home solidly from three back on the pegs to finish third behind David Hercules and Please Release Me last Friday night. The youngest runners in the race are five-year-olds Benjamin Banneker and Reuben Brogden, who both have winning prospects. Reuben Brogden impressed when he stormed home to win from Slick Chapel three starts ago. Benjamin Banneker has been unplaced at his past ten starts and has a losing sequence of 19 this season after winning nine times from 19 starts the previous season. However, he will have admirers this week after drawing the prized No. 1 barrier. "I'd like to think he will be prominent," said reinsman Gary Hall jun. "And from this draw he gets his chance. The numbers next to his name are terrible, but he's obviously better suited on the pace, so I'll be definitely be trying to hold up and take advantage of the draw." Mighty Flying Thomas, placed only once from his past eight starts, has not enjoyed much luck in recent starts and even though somewhat awkwardly drawn at barrier four, he is capable of a bold showing. And, so too, is Lord Lombo. Isaiah Artois to warm up for Golden Slipper Speedy two-year-old Isaiah Artois will have his final warm-up for the $125,000 Golden Slipper on Friday week when he contests the Mercer Mooney Fruit And Vegetables Merchants Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. His clash with other Slipper hopefuls, notably Mister Ardee, Assassinator, The Odd Lover and Artillery Major, should provide plenty of fireworks. The David Thompson-trained Isaiah Artois is a noted frontrunner and Colin Brown is likely to attempt to get the Modern Art gelding to muster plenty of pace in a bid to get to an early lead from the No. 4 barrier. The three horses drawn on his inside possess good gate speed, but Isaiah Artois looks capable of sizzling to the front and dictating terms. Mister Ardee (barrier seven) and The Odd Lover (No. 2 on the back line) have wonderful potential and loom as dangerous rivals. Mister Ardee has finished a close second to handy filly Sea Me Smile at his past two outings and he gives the impression that he will continue to improve. He had a tough run, three wide early and then without cover before bursting past the pacemaker Assassin in the home straight and then being overhauled in the final few strides by Sea Me Smile last Friday night. Three wins and eight placings from 12 starts underline his consistency and punters cannot afford to underestimate him. The Kim Prentice-trained The Odd Lover also looks set to fight out the finish. He was desperately unlucky in the $100,000 Pearl Classic on June 13 when he competed with a flat sulky tyre and was then seriously hampered when the tube became entangled in the axel. His previous form, three wins and a second, was outstanding. by Ken Casellas  

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

A favourable draw for My Hard Copy has greatly enhanced the prospects of champion trainer Gary Hall sen. and star reinsman Gary Hall jun. of continuing their remarkable dominance of the Channel 9 Winter Cup when the New Zealand-bred four-year-old starts from the No. 2 barrier in the $35,000 feature at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The 64-year-old Hall has trained the winner of the group 3 Winter Cup a record seven times and his 31-year-old son has driven the winner of this event six times. Hall sen. has won the event with Kaydee (1994), The Falcon Strike (2003), Iontheball (2004), Washakie (2008), Im Themightyquinn (2009 and 2013) and Davy Maguire (2012). Hall jun. has been the winning driver behind The Falcon Strike, Washakie, Im Themightyquinn (twice), Davy Maguire and Lookslikelightning in 2005. For good measure, Hall sen. has trained the second placegetter in the Winter Cup five times. My Hard Copy is the youngest runner in this week's Cup and Hall jun. looks set to make a bold bid to burst straight to the front and set the pace over the 2536m journey. My Hard Copy started from the No. 2 barrier in a 2536m event two starts ago, last Friday week, when he was smartest into stride, set the pace and sprinted over the final two 400m sections in 27.6sec. and 28.3sec. before being overhauled in the final stride and being beaten by a half-head by superstar Im Themightyquinn. Then, last Friday night My Hard Copy started from the inside of the back line in the 2130m Past Presidents Cup. He trailed the pacemaker Please Release Me before fighting on determinedly to finish fourth, just a half-length behind the winner Our Arlington. My Hard Copy is at his best when he leads, and if he repeats his effort when narrowly beaten by Im Themightyquinn two starts ago he should emerge triumphant. Hall sen. bypassed the chance for Im Themightyquinn to win the Winter Cup for a record third time (in the Cup's 63-year history). He is in Brisbane with high hopes of a victory by Im Themightyquinn in the $60,000 group 2 Garrard's Sunshine Sprint over 1660m at Albion Park on Saturday night. Hall jun. will fly out of Perth after the Gloucester Park meeting to handle the champion. My Hard Copy is one of three Hall-trained runners in the Winter Cup. The others are Our Arlington, who will be driven by Clint Hall and should be prominent from the coveted No. 1 barrier, and Bettor Reason. Both the New Zealand-bred five-year-olds are last-start winners. Our Arlington began speedily from the No. 4 barrier last week and then obtained a perfect trip, one-out and one-back, before finishing powerfully to win the Past Presidents Cup from Dundee Three, Please Release Me and My Hard Copy. Bettor Reason, who will start from barrier three on the back line, impressed at his second appearance after a ten-month absence when he raced without cover before finishing strongly to win a 1730m event in considerably weaker company at Gloucester Park on Tuesday of last week. Brilliant pacer David Hercules fared badly in the random draw and will be tested from the No. 6 barrier on the front line. He led easily from barrier two when he went on to defeat Im Themightyquinn over 2130m at a 1.55.3 rate three Fridays ago. He possesses sparkling early speed, but it is problematical whether he will be able to muster sufficient pace to get to an early lead. David Hercules, a winner of 30 races and $820,304 in prizemoney, warmed up for the Cup with an effortless win in a 2150m trial at Byford on Sunday morning. Morgan Woodley dashed the David Thompson-trained seven-year-old straight to the front from barrier five. But there will be far greater pressure on him to get to an early lead in Friday night's race. After setting a slow early pace in the trial, with first quarters in 32.1sec. and 31.1sec., David Hercules was not extended in sprinting the final sections in 28.9sec. and 27.2sec. to win by four lengths from Condrieu. Woodley drove David Hercules in last year's Winter Cup when the gelding started from barrier four, raced three wide early, sustained a punctured tyre of the sulky and had a tough run in the breeze before wilting to fifth. Woodley drove Mysta Magical Mach when the gelding flew home from last at the bell to be a half-length second to Im Themightyquinn in the 2009 Winter Cup and he was successful in the race two years later when Has The Answers led from barrier five and easily beat Flamin Tact and Nowuseeme. Chris Lewis, who drove Has The Answers to victory in the 2010 Winter Cup, has also been successful behind Village Kid in 1991 and Pocket Power in 2001. This year he will drive Dundee Three, who is racing keenly and cannot be disregarded, even from his awkward draw at No. 5 on the front line. Dundee Three worked hard without cover and fought on grandly when a close second to Our Arlington last Friday night. Clint Hall was impressed with Our Arlington's performance last week and he is hoping that the six-year-old will give him another win in the Winter Cup after his success with Iontheball, who beat Hilton Adios and The Falcon Strike in 2006. Mista Rush can overcome wide draw Up-and-coming gelding Mista Rush has the ability to overcome a wide barrier and win the $100,000 Tim McMillan On Nine News Westbred Classic for three-year-old colts and geldings at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Trained at Boyanup by Justin Prentice, Mista Rush has had a well-planned preparation for the group 1 feature event, with his eight runs this season producing five wins, a second and a third placing. He wound up his preparation with a striking performance at Gloucester Park on Monday of last week when he started from the No. 2 barrier on the back line and enjoyed the one-out, one-back sit for the first lap before starting a three-wide move at the bell. Prentice then got the gelding back into then one-out, one-back position 250m later before again switching him three wide with 350m to travel. Mista Rush burst to the front on the home turn and won, untouched, by almost two lengths from Algranco Under Fire, rating 1.57.1 over the 1730m journey. He sizzled home over the final 800m in 55.4sec. Mista Rush showed his toughness and versatility when he raced without cover before winning over 1684m at Pinjarra in April and over 2100m at Bunbury in May. He will start from barrier No. 6 on the front line in Friday night's classic and Prentice will be anxious to obtain a favourable passage in the one-wide line. Mister Jadore, the State's star two-year-old last season, is likely to be a short-priced favourite from his handy draw at No. 3 on the front line. Banjup trainer Annie Belton produced Mister Jadore in splendid shape for his first-up run at Bunbury last Saturday week when he began speedily from barrier six, set the pace and won easily from The Real Nadal and Choccy Mac over 2100m That was Mister Jadore's first appearance since his unplaced effort behind Three Blind Mice in the WA Derby on April 11. His 27 starts have produced 11 wins, ten placings and $201,889 in prizemoney. There is little doubt that Chris Lewis will be keen to get Mister Jadore straight to the front. But there is no certainty that he will be able to cross polemarker Khun Ratha and Keeper of Keys (barrier two). Both pacers possess excellent gate speed and have been successful when leading. Mister Jadore worked in good style when he led from barrier four and won a 2185m trial at Pinjarra on Sunday morning when he dashed over the final 400m sections in 29.3sec. and 28.4sec. Khun Ratha, trained at Capel by Andrew De Campo, has enjoyed a brief spell since finishing third to Mista Rush over 2185m at Pinjarra on March 17. He has not been produced in public trials, but he is a speedy beginner and smart frontrunner, capable of a bold first-up effort. The David Thompson-trained Keeper of Keys led from barrier four and won from Soho Cash and Hugh Victor over 2190m at Northam on June 17. That was his third win from seven starts and he warmed up for Friday night's assignment when he rated 2min. and won a seven-horse trial over 2150m by more than eight lengths at Byford on Sunday morning. Colin Brown will drive Keeper of Keys and Morgan Woodley will handle smart stablemate Hugh Victor, who will start from barrier five on the front line. Im Bella Jay in peak form Im Bella Jay gave a commanding exhibition of her ability when she obliterated her rivals in a 2130m event at Gloucester Park on Monday afternoon and she has excellent prospects of maintaining her winning form and completing a hat-trick when she contests the $100,000 Sally Ayhan On Nine News Westbred Classic for three-year-old fillies on Friday night. She will start from barrier two on the back line in the 2130m group 1 feature event. But this should not prove a serious impediment to the chances of a tough and versatile filly. She started from barrier four on the back line in Monday's race and settled in eighth position before Aiden De Campo set her alight mid-race and she stormed into third place, three wide, at the bell before she burst to the front at the 400m mark and raced away to score by seven lengths from Formyeyesonly, rating 1.58.3. At her previous appearance, over 2180m at Wagin ten nights earlier, she raced three wide in the first lap and then in the breeze before winning easily from Navajo Windtalker in considerably easier company than she will meet on Friday night. A winner at seven of her 24 starts for Capel trainer Andrew De Campo, Im Bella Jay is likely to meet the stiffest opposition from fellow back-line runners, her stablemate Maddy White, Harriet Elisabeth and Pure Royalty. Maddy White has won seven times from 29 starts and has the ability to overcome the disadvantage of starting from the outside of the back line. Harriet Elisabeth has an impressive 50 per cent record, six wins from 12 starts. And with Colin Brown in the sulky from barrier three on the back line, the David Thompson-trained filly has the speed and strength to fight out the finish. Mark Reed gave punters a lead when he decided to drive the Ryan Bell-trained All About Pink from the No. 6 barrier on the front line in preference to Pure Royalty, a smart filly and winner of five races who is prepared by his father Mike Reed. The in-form Chris Voak has been engaged to drive Pure Royalty. Bond team in sparkling form The powerful combination of trainers Greg and Skye Bond and ace reinsman Colin Brown are in dazzling form and they should give punters a flying start by winning the opening event at Gloucester Park on Friday night with the small but speedy Assassinator. Assassinator has drawn the prized No. 1 barrier in the 2130m The Block On Nine Pace for two-year-olds. He gave a sample of his ability when he started from barrier four and burst straight to the front before romping to a two-length victory over Front Cover Girl, rating 1.57.8 over 1730m at Gloucester Park on Monday afternoon. That followed his close second to Mynameskenny over 2130m six days earlier. Assassinator has won just once from six starts, but is improving with every run. His win on Monday was the first of five winners for the Bonds and Brown in the space of two days. The combination also was successful on Monday with Machs A Pearler before a treble at Northam on Tuesday night with smart three-year-olds Jumbo Jet and Ima Tragedy and five-year-old Barrow Street. Assassinator is sure to meet strong opposition from Mynameskenny and Mister Ardee, who will start from barriers, three and four, respectively. Mynameskenny, trained by John Oldroyd, impressed first-up at Gloucester Park last Tuesday week when he raced wide for much of the way before beating Assassinator by a neck. Mister Ardee, a winner at two races in New Zealand, is trained by Gary Elson and has showed excellent potential at his first two Australian starts, covering a lot of extra ground before winning first-up by five lengths at Gloucester Park and then running home strongly to be a close second to Sea Me Smile at Pinjarra. Hall set to keep up the good work Star reinsman Gary Hall jun. notched his century of city winners this season when he drove Globalization to an easy all-the-way victory at Gloucester Park on Monday afternoon, should keep up the good work by scoring an all-the-way win with Slick Chapel in the 2130m PWC People Business Pace on Friday night. The New Zealand-bred four-year-old is the youngest runner in the race and he should carry too many guns for his rivals by setting the pace from the prized No. 1 barrier. He started out wide from barrier six in a 2130m event last Friday night and was restrained back to last in the field of 12. He started a three-wide move approaching the bell and went four wide 420m from home before finishing powerfully to be second to El Machine. by Ken Casellas  

Talented gelding Persistent Threat has recovered from a hoof abscess and is poised to run a big race in the $100,000 Clipsal Schneider Westbred Classic for two-year-old colts and geldings at Gloucester Park on Friday night, according to his Bunbury trainer John Graham. "It's not ideal to go into a big race without a run or two under your belt," Graham said when assessing Persistent Threat's prospects at his first appearance for eight weeks. "But his recent work has been as good, or even slightly better, than it was before he won the $100,000 Sales Classic at the end of April. "It took him a while to get over the foot abscess, about six or seven days, and he missed fast work in that time. However, he was able to retain his fitness by being able to swim in that period." Persistent Threat, driven by Tom Buchanan, won at each of his first five starts before suffering his first defeat when he set the pace and wilted to a well-beaten third behind Tricky Styx and The Odd Lover in the $50,000 Champagne Classic at Gloucester Park on May 2. He possesses excellent gate speed, is a noted frontrunner and has drawn favourably in Friday night's group 1 event over 2130m at barrier two on the front line. "It's certainly not an easy race and there are a good few winning chances," Graham said. "It is not essential for Persistent Threat to lead. If he leads, all well and good. But his work at home shows us that he goes well from behind." Graham identified polemarker All Aussie Boy, Isaiah Artois, Ezygatboy and Artillery Major as the major dangers to Persistent Threat. Isaiah Artois, trained at Byford by David Thompson for breeder-owner Steve Johnson, has won in dashing style at each of his past four starts and looks set for an outstanding career. But his prospects diminished slightly when he drew the outside barrier on the back line. He has led at three of his past four outings and he sat behind the pacemaker before finishing strongly on the inside for his other success. Reinsman Colin Brown will have to use vastly different tactics from the gelding's unfavourable draw. However, there is no doubting the ability of the son of Modern Art and he certainly can overcome his wide barrier. All Aussie Boy, trained at Bunbury by Robert Wood, soared into contention after drawing the prized No. 1 barrier. Kyle Harper is certain to attempt an all-the-way victory. All Aussie Boy led when he won from Mago Man and A Force In Action over 2185m at Pinjarra two starts ago. He then started from barrier three on the back line and performed admirably when he raced wide in the middle stages and then without cover before finishing a close third to Sea Me Smile and Mister Ardee over the same distance at Pinjarra on Monday of last week. Artillery Major has resumed after a spell in splendid form for Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri and the colt will have many admirers, particularly after drawing the No. 3 barrier on the front line. He raced three back on the pegs and ran home strongly from fifth at the bell to be second to Isaiah Artois in the 2130m Pearl Classic last Friday week. He led from barrier three when an easy winner over Mister Atomic in a heat of the Pearl. Delightful Jade aiming for five in a row Delightful Jade is carrying all before her and has bright prospects of stretching her winning sequence to five by proving the master of her rivals in the $100,000 NHP Westbred Classic for two-year-old fillies at Gloucester Park on Friday night. She is bred to be a good winner and is following the footsteps of her illustrious relative Whitbys Miss Penny, a champion two-year-old 14 years ago. Delightful Jade's maternal granddam Fiscal Miss produced Whitbys Miss Penny, who earned $568,289 from 32 wins and six placings from 50 starts. Delightful Jade, trained at Capel by Andrew De Campo, will be driven by his son Aiden. The filly has been most impressive, winning six times from only seven starts. She is handily drawn at No. 3 on the front line, she possesses sparkling early speed and is a superb frontrunner, having set the pace in each of her past four starts. However, she is not certain to lead on Friday night. The Katja Warwick-trained Straittothehilton is also a wonderful frontrunner and Morgan Woodley is sure to attempt to steal a march on her rivals by jumping to the front from the coveted No. 1 barrier. The most recent occasion Straittothehilton clashed with Delightful Jade was in the 1609m $20,000 Ray de Campo Memorial at Bunbury on May 10 when Delightful Jade led from barrier three and held on to beat Straittothehilton by a nose in 1.55.9. Straittothehilton raced three back on the pegs before rattling home with a powerful burst. That performance and the fact that Straittothehilton will start from barrier one will influence many punters to fancy the polemarker, easily the most experienced runner in the event, with her 13 starts producing two wins, six seconds and two thirds. Soho New York, trained at Northam by Glenn Elliott, Massive Attack, trained by Gary Hall sen., and Sea Me Smile, trained by Debra Lewis, also have sound prospects. Soho New York (to be handled by Justin Prentice) won at her first four starts before blotting her copybook with her fourth in a field of six at Narrogin and her last placing in a field of six at Bunbury last Saturday night. She ruined her chances at Narrogin by galloping at the start and then raced without cover. She started from barrier six at Bunbury, was restrained to the rear and then had a tough run in the breeze. Soho New York faces a stern test from the outside of the back line, while a back-line draw is likely to make life tough for Sea Me Smile, who impressed at Pinjarra last Monday week when she started out wide at barrier six, raced wide early and then obtained an ideal passage before finishing solidly with a 56.1sec. final 800m to defeat Mister Ardee and All Aussie Boy. Her previous form of a first-up success over Straittothehilton and placings behind Delightful Jade and Tricky Styx was excellent. Massive Attack (Gary Hall jun.) shows plenty of promise and has won twice from only three starts. From barrier four she should be prominent. Please Release Me gets his chance Veteran pacer Please Release Me has a losing sequence of 19 and has managed just one placing from his past 14 starts, but he has strong claims in the $25,000 Led Perth Past Presidents Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Major factors in his favour are that he will appreciate the absence of recent constant rivals Im Themightyquinn and David Hercules and that he is a brilliant frontrunner who should really appreciate starting from the prized No. 1 barrier. Please Release Me, trained at Collie by his owner Dave Hunter, has been out of the winning list for almost 14 months. However, he should give his supporters a great run for their money, with Matt White sure to attempt an all-the-way win. At his most recent outing Please Release Me was the solitary runner off the back line and he raced in fifth position, three back on the pegs, before he finished solidly to move into third place in the home straight before being relegated to fourth position in the final couple of strides by the fast-finishing Dundee Three. The race was won by David Hercules, who defeated Im Themightyquinn by just over two lengths. After a slow early pace, the final 800m was covered in 54.9sec. Dundee Three will be one of the fancied runners on Friday night when Morgan Woodley will attempt to gain a favourable passage in the one-wide line from a somewhat awkward barrier at No. 5 on the front line. Dundee Three impressed with two strong-finishing wins at his three previous outings. Punters should obtain good value in this event, with most of the ten runners have solid winning prospects. Leading trainer Gary Hall sen. will be represented by My Hard Copy, Toretto and Our Arlington. Pinjarra trainer Chris King's runners Lord Lombo and Leda McNally are versatile and consistent performers who can never be underestimated. Added to that are the Michael Brennan-trained This Time Dylan and the talented Ima Rocket Star, resuming after a five and a half-month absence for Greg and Skye Bond. The up-and-coming four-year-old My Hard Copy, the youngest runner in the race and fresh from his wonderful effort when a half-head second to champion Im Themightyquinn over 2536m last Friday night when he sprinted the final 800m in 55.9sec., would have been a hot favourite had he drawn to lead. However, the result became significantly more difficult to forecast when My Hard Copy drew barrier two on the back line. He certainly has undeniable winning prospects, but is by no means a good thing. This Time Dylan, to be driven by Justin Prentice, will have many followers after his smart trial win over 2185m in a trial at Pinjarra on Sunday morning. Driven by Brennan, This Time Dylan dashed to an early lead and sprinted over the final two 400m sections in 28.3sec. and 27.1sec. to defeat El Machine by a head. He should be powering home in Friday night's race. Aldo Cortopassi has been successful twice in the nine-year history of the Past Presidents Cup, with wins behind Just Jasper (7/2) in 2008 and Franco Renegade (51/1 last year). He faces an extremely difficult task with nine-year-old Elite Under Fire, who has been out of the winning list for 22 months. The Parade capable of overcoming tough draw New Zealand-bred filly The Parade continues to improve and she has sound prospects of being able to overcome the disadvantage of starting from the outside of the back line in the 2130m Sylvania Trader Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. She was most impressive last Friday week when she started out wide (barrier six) on the front line, dropped back to last and sustained a marvellous three-wide burst from the 950m to hit the front 250m from home and win from My Samantha Jane at a 1.56.3 rate over 1730m. That followed placings behind Libertybelle Midfrew, Jungle Jewel and Typhoon Tan at her three previous outings. My Samantha Jane, trained at Hazelmere by Mike Reed, will have many admirers from her favourable draw at No. 2 on the front line. Mark Reed should be able to get her to an early lead and then dictate terms. She had a perfect run behind the leader harper Grace when she finished strongly for her last-start second to The Parade. Capel trainer Andrew De Campo has two smart fillies engaged and both Maddy White and Typhoon Tan should be prominent from back-line draws. Aiden De Campo will drive Maddy White and Dylan Egerton-Green has been engaged for Typhoon Tan. Earlier in the program Chris Voak would dearly love to celebrate his 26th birthday by guiding Arousing to victory in the $25,000 Nexans Olex The Lombardo Pace for mares. But Chris Lewis could spoil the party by winning with Arousing's stablemate Selkie. Ross Olivieri trains last-start winners Arousing and Selkie, Selkie has the class to overcome barrier six on the front line, while Arousing should enjoy an ideal passage after starting from barrier two on the back line. by Ken Casellas  

Stylish gelding Isaiah Artois has the $125,000 Golden Slipper on July 18 firmly in his sights after giving a bold frontrunning display to score a decisive victory in a drama-filled International Health Pearl Classic at Gloucester Park on Friday night. All honours were with Isaiah Artois, third favourite at 15/2 who was produced in great shape by Byford trainer David Thompson and was driven with aggression and confidence by Colin Brown. But there was a sad tale of woe, with the 2/1 on favourite The Odd Lover having his off-side sulky tyre punctured 100m after the start. In Nyrobi overraced badly when the mobile barrier released the field and Gary Hall jun. had a hectic time trying to settle the youngster who was virtually uncontrollable. Hall had a battle in trying to steer In Nyrobi as he attempted to guide him towards the outside fence. As he desperately tried to manoeuvre In Nyrobi away from behind The Odd Lover (racing three wide) In Nyrobi's near front leg clipped the wheel of The Odd Lover's sulky. Kim Prentice then dashed The Odd Lover forward to move into the breeze after 550m. Mister Atomic had galloped at the start and Morgan Woodley sent Nitro Lad into the lead before Isaiah Artois surged to the front after 200m. Punters realised that there was a serious problem when Prentice took a sustained look at The Odd Lover's off-side sulky wheel as the field raced down the front straight to receive the bell. The tyre was flattened, but stayed on the rim. However, the tube had become loose and had become wrapped around the axel. The Odd Lover, under the massive disadvantage of having to pull his disabled sulky, began to wilt half-way down the back straight in the final circuit and as Prentice was easing him back towards the rear approaching the home turn The Odd Lover was tightened and broke into a gallop. He finished 105m behind the winner in eleventh position. Steve Johnson, the breeder and owner of Isaiah Artois, was delighted with the victory and paid tribute to the professional care of Thompson and his wife Karen as well as the skill of Brown. "We came here tonight expecting that the Odd Lover would be extremely hard to beat," he said. "And I feel a little bit sorry for Kim Prentice, having to carry a flat tyre." After a reasonable lead time of 37.7sec., Isaiah Artois had the luxury of coasting through the first 400m section of the final mile in 31.4sec. before covering the next quarters in 29.4sec., 29.8sec. and 30.1sec. He rated 1.59.7 over the 2130m and defeated 11/2 second fancy Artillery Major by a length, with almost a length to Kasey Kahne (15/1) in third place. Artillery Major finished solidly from fifth on the pegs at the bell and Kasey Kahne came from seventh with a lap to travel. Isaiah Artois has had six starts for four wins and two thirds for stakes of $74,698. He is by Art Major and is the second foal out of Endless Journey (by American stallion Die Laughing) who had nine starts in Western Australia as a two and three-year-old in 2006 and 2007 for two minor placings and stakes of $2560. Endless Journey is a half-sister to Like A Dame, the dam of top-flight seven-year-old David Hercules, who had set the pace and beaten Im Themightyquinn 30 minutes before the win of Isaiah Artois in the Pearl. Endless Journey is out of Victorian-bred mare Hold Tight, whose five winners included Fake Embrace, winner of the Sales Classic for two-year-old colts and geldings at Gloucester Park in March 1994. Fake Embrace earned $240,249 from 37 wins and 40 placings from 178 starts. David Hercules claims a mighty scalp In ancient times the mythical Greek divine hero Hercules was famous for his strength and was acclaimed for slaying, bare-handed, the ferocious Nemean lion, a vicious monster who was considered indestructible. The modern-day Hercules appeared in the form of David Hercules at Gloucester Park on Friday night when his victim was Australasia's greatest pacer Im Themightyquinn. Im Themightyquinn was considered a certainty by most pundits, but he had his colours lowered by David Hercules, who proved too speedy for his illustrious rival in the 2130m KA Cleans And Flushes Pace. David Hercules, resuming after a spell, charged straight to the front from the No. 2 barrier and he relished his pacemaking role before beating Im Themightyquinn by just over two lengths, with Dundee Three finishing strongly from seventh on the pegs at the bell to be 10m away in third place. Im Themightyquinn, favourite at 2/1 on, started from barrier three and raced without cover for the first 550m before Toretto assumed the position in the breeze. Morgan Woodley rated David Hercules perfectly, and after opening quarters of the final mile in 30.9sec. and 29.1sec. the West Australian-bred seven-year-old gave his rivals very little chance by sprinting brilliantly over the final two quarters in 27.3sec. and 27.6sec. Im Themightyquinn, driven for the first time in a race by Clint Hall, started a three-wide move towards the end of the back straight in the final circuit. He finished solidly, but found the task beyond him. Woodley admitted he was more than pleasantly surprised at the splendid first-up performance from David Hercules, a clear second favourite at 5/2 at his first appearance for just over three months. "He exceeded my expectations," he said. "I went out thinking that if I could pinch an easy time early he might have a good chance of finishing close with Im Themightyquinn. My suspicion was that Im Themightyquinn, with race fitness under his belt and the way he has been racing in such a rich vein of form, would prove a little bit too good for us. "The lead time (37.6sec.) and the leisurely first quarter (30.9sec.) allowed me to be really up tempo from the 1200m and make it very hard for anything from behind. He certainly did exceed my expectations and I was very happy with him and the most positive thing to come out of it is that I think that he will improve. "I believe it was the winning move, sprinting the third quarter in 27.3sec. It wasn't premeditated, it wasn't a plan; it just seemed like the right thing to do. So I rolled the dice and threw caution to the wind down the back straight and tried to pinch a good break. "As we turned into the back straight the last time I had a look over my shoulder and saw that Im Themightyquinn still hadn't pulled out off the back of Toretto, and I thought, well now's my chance. If I can pinch a couple of lengths here and he has to be going sideways while I'm going forward, well I can really make a race of it. "Fortunately David Thompson had the horse right, and this made my drive look good. A lot of times you can try things like that, but if the horse isn't up to the mark they will wilt over the final stages and you will have egg on your face. So credit is due to David for having the horse so forward. "David Hercules ran out a little bit in the home straight, but that is not something that's of great concern. If it was the first time he had done it, then I would be worried. It seems to be quite a consistent thing with him. He has raced with block blinkers on from time to time and, who knows, moving forward, it might be the case that he goes back and has some form of eye-wear to keep him a little more focused and straight. "He's quite a large horse and I think that some of this is probably because he is running too quickly for his frame. Im Themightyquinn is pint-sized compared to David Hercules." David Hercules, owned by David Botha and Jeneen Johnson, has amassed $820,304 in prizemoney from 30 wins and 31 placings from 88 starts. The Parade, a model of consistency A wide barrier did not prove a disadvantage for talented filly The Parade, who maintained her wonderful consistency when she sustained a powerful burst from last to win the 1730m Electromix-Electrolytes And Sweat Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Despite her excellent form, including her second to the brilliant Libertybelle Midfrew in the WA Oaks last month, many punters overlooked her claims and she started at a gift price of 7/1 from the No. 6 barrier on the front line. Boyanup trainer Justin Prentice wisely restrained The Parade back to last at the start, while polemarker and 5/4 on favourite Harper Grace was put under plenty of early pressure, first from Maddy White (5/1) and then Jungle Jewel (8/1). This resulted in a fast opening quarter of the final mile in 28.2sec. After a second section in 30.1sec., Harper Grace led from Jungle Jewel at the bell, with My Samantha Jane (11/1) next on the pegs and Maddy White in the one-out, one-back position. Prentice started a three-wide move 950m from home and The Parade sustained a strong burst to take the lead with 250m to travel. The final sections went by in 28.9sec. and 29.8sec. and the winner rated a slick 1.56.3. She won by 2m from My Samantha Jane, with 5m to Maddy White in third place. Harper Grace weakened to finish fourth. The Parade has earned $108,144 from seven wins and eight placings from 20 starts. She is by American stallion Real Desire and is the first foal out of unraced Badlands Hanover mare Hearty Lass, whose dam Atomic Lass produced former champion Auckland Reactor (53 starts for 32 wins, four placings and $1,837,043) and Taihape Tickler, who had 113 starts for 19 wins, 19 placings and $183,919. The Parade's win completed a double for Prentice, who was successful earlier in the night with the Ken Kirke-trained The Pacing Priest. Finbar Abbey and Arousing win for Olivieri and Voak Veteran New Zealand-bred pacer Finbar Abbey, who holds the unique distinction of being the only horse to have won a race in Australia in which outstanding four-year-old Alta Christiano tasted defeat, gave Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri and reinsman Chris Voak the first leg of a double at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he finished strongly to win the 2503m Ironvita Blood And Oxygen Handicap. The pair completed the double when Arousing was successful in the second qualifying heat of the Neutra Syrup Netralises And Removes Lombardo Pace. Finbar Abbey, a 4/1 chance, began speedily from the 10m mark, and after racing wide early, slotted in to the one-out, one-back position, with Bartowski setting the pace from Gallileo in the breeze. Shardons Rocket, the 30m backmarker, surged forward, three wide, in the first lap before eventually getting to the front 1270m from home. This relegated Finbar Abbey to sixth in the one-wide line, but Voak remained patient before he switched Finbar Abbey three wide at the 600m mark. Finbar Abbey dashed to the front 50m from the post and won by a length from 5/1 chance Ohoka Courage, who was eighth at the bell and followed the last-lap three-wide run of the winner. Heez Orl Black, the 6/4 favourite, who moved to the breeze 950m from home, wilted to fifth. Finbar Abbey, who won the 2902m Easter Cup from Polak and Alta Christiano on April 17, has flourished under Olivieri's care and looks set for further successes. The eight-year-old has had 105 starts for 15 wins and 24 placings for stakes of $127,281. He had 63 starts in New Zealand for five wins and 14 placings before arriving in Australia. Arousing, second fancy at 4/1, made the most of the prized No. 1 barrier when she set a moderate early pace before covering the final 800m in 57.5sec. to beat 5/4 favourite Jungle Genie by one and a half lengths. This ended a losing sequence of nine and boosted her earnings to $102,696 from ten wins and 24 placings from 92 starts. Jungle Genie was not suited by the dawdling pace and did a good job to come from seventh at the bell. Olivieri and Voak kept up the good work at Gloucester Park on Saturday night when 5/2 chance Hes Ritehererightnow finished strongly to win a 2503m stand from Ardens Southee. Elson and Young strike purple patch Owner-trainer Gary Elson and reinsman Kim Young completed a wonderfully successful week when they combined to score an upset victory with 44/1 outsider Reuben Brogden in the2536m Min-A-Vit Racing And Breeding Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. This followed wins with two-year-old Mister Ardee and three-year-old Class of Tara at Pinjarra on Monday and two-year-old Arturus at Gloucester Park on Tuesday. Reuben Brogden, a New Zealand-bred five-year-old, started from the outside of the back line and he was last in the field of 12 after a lap before storming home from the rear at the bell to snatch a last-stride victory by a head from 5/4 favourite Slick Chapel, with Vapour (9/4) a close third after appearing certain to win when he led clearly on the home turn. Polemarker Im Terrific set the pace until Lauren Jones sent Vapour (sixth at the bell) to the front at the 400m mark. Gary Hall jun. then issued a spirited challenge with Slick Chapel, who had followed Vapour's three-wide run in the final circuit. Vapour began to wilt in the closing stages and was overhauled by Reuben Brogden and Slick Chapel. The final 800m was covered in 59.5sec. and Reuben Brogden rated 1.58.4. Young drove vigorously in the home straight and earned a $400 fine from the stewards for an incorrect whip action. Reuben Brogden, who finished third to Im Victorious in the Golden Nugget Championship at Gloucester Park in December 2012, has been lightly raced and his win on Friday night improved his record to 36 starts for 14 wins and ten placings for stakes of $114,936. The son of American stallion Real Desire, Reuben Brogden was placed twice from three starts in New Zealand in October 2011 before coming to WA. He is the first foal out of Presidential Ball mare Ruby Choozday, who had eight starts for one win, two placings and $5970. Spectacular debut by Spectactular New Zealand-bred five-year-old Spectactular, a standing-start specialist in his home country with five wins in stands, revealed sparkling early speed from behind the mobile at Gloucester Park on Friday night when made an impressive Australian debut with an effortless victory in the 2130m Mecworma And Bot Worming Paste Pathway Pace. Produced in fine fettle by leading trainer Gary Hall sen., Spectactular, hot favourite at 3/1 on, gave Gary Hall jun. an armchair drive as he bowled along in front before sprinting over the final 400m in 27.8sec. to win by just over four lengths from polemarker Kristoff, who had trailed him throughout. Spectactular rated 1.57.4 to improve his record to nine wins and six placings from 37 starts for stakes of $64,862. By Christian Cullen, he is the eighth foal out of New York Motoring mare Tact Hayley, who was placed at five of her 11 starts before being retired to the breeding barn. Halls maintain their dominance with two trebles The all-conquering combination of master trainer Gary Hall sen. and champion reinsman Gary Hall jun. maintained their outstanding form with another three winners at Gloucester Park on Friday night. They were successful with Black Aquila (5/2), Spectactular (3/1 on) and My Hard Copy (2/1 on) and then they combined with another treble at Gloucester Park on Saturday night, scoring with Massive Attack, VC Manoeuvre and Soho Lennon. Black Aquila, a newcomer to the Hall stable, gave a powerful display to win the 1730m Protexin Multi Strain Probiotic Pace from Desirable Guy and Roy Bolt. He started from the No. 5 barrier on the front line and raced three wide for the first 550m before moving into the breeze outside the pacemaker Roy Bolt. Black Aquila moved on terms with the leader 450m from home before taking a clear lead 150m later and racing away to score by a length and a half at a 1.56.8 rate after the final 800m was covered in a slick 57.3sec. Owned by Michael Young, Courtney Burch and John Young, Black Aquila showed early promise when he won the group 1 Sales Classic for two-year-old colts and geldings at Gloucester Park in April 2011 when he defeated Polak and El Machine. The son of Totally Ruthless, he is bred to be a good winner. He is the first foal out of the unraced Il Vicolo mare My Date With Destiny, whose dam Baltic Flight produced Baltic Eagle, whose 40 starts produced 21 wins, seven placings and stakes of $746,980. Baltic Eagle's wins included the WA Pacing Cup, Fremantle Cup and interdominion championship in Christchurch early in 2003, the FTC Members Sprint in November 2003 and the Celebrity Mile at Gloucester Park in December 2004. New Zealand-bred four-year-old My Hard Copy maintained his outstanding form when he was untroubled to set the pace and win easily from strong-finishing stablemate Our Arlington and Black Pontiac in the 1730m Horsport Rehydration And Recovery Pace. My Hard Copy set a cracking pace and reeled off quarters in 28.4sec., 28.9sec., 29sec. and 27.9sec. He now has earned $146,047 from 14 wins and 13 placings from 40 starts. The Pacing Priest prevails A pre-emptive strike by reinsman Justin Prentice paid dividends when he guided the injury-plagued The Pacing Priest to a narrow victory in a punishing finish to the 2503m Sootha Nerves And Stress Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The well-supported New Zealand-bred eight-year-old (9/2) started from the inside of the 10m line and settled down in tenth position on the pegs before Prentice seized the initiative by dashing the gelding forward, three wide, after 750m to move outside the pacemaker Turbo Gold (40/1) with 1450m to travel. Prentice was content to leave The Pacing Priest in the breeze until he urged the gelding forward to take the lead 250m from home. The Pacing Priest then fought on doggedly to score by a metre from 9/2 chance Bubbles And Bling, who came from 11th at the bell and followed the three-wide run of Trojan Bromac before going four wide at the 300m mark and finishing strongly. Turbo Gold held on to finish third. The Pacing Priest, who is trained at West Swan by Ken Kirke, ended a losing sequence of ten and improved his record to 45 starts for ten wins, 13 placings and $110,451 in prizemoney. by Ken Casellas  

Superstar Im Themightyquinn will have a new driver when he contests the $21,000 KA Cleans And Flushes Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He will be handled for the first time in a race by Clint Hall, elder son of the champion pacer's trainer Gary Hall sen., with regular driver Gary Hall jun. taking the reins behind Toretto. "Clint is driving him .... Just to give him the experience," Hall sen. said. "Im Themightyquinn has gone super since his Pinjarra Cup win." Im Themightyquinn will start from the No. 3 barrier on the front line and is unlikely to have everything his way when he clashes with David Hercules, Crombie and his stablemate Toretto. Im Themightyquinn, who has amassed $4,451,096 from 55 wins, 19 seconds and 13 thirds, has been handled by only seven reinsmen in his Fabulous 106-start career. Hall jun. has driven him to victory 47 times. The remarkable New Zealand-bred gelding has also been driven by Kim Prentice (one win), Greg Bennett (one), Shayne Cramp (no wins), Ricky May (four), Dexter Dunn (one) and Mark Jones (one). "We always planned to give Clint a drive on Quinny at some stage," Hall jun. explained. Friday night's event looks to be an intriguing affair, with the richly-talented David Hercules resuming after a spell for trainer David Thompson, Crombie starting from the prized No. 1 barrier after finishing strongly to be a nose second to Im Themightyquinn in the 2692m Pinjarra Cup on Monday of last week, and Toretto, a nose second to Hokonui Ben in the WA Pacing Cup in mid-January, resuming after a spell. Morgan Woodley, driver of David Hercules, predicted that the race would not be a cakewalk for Im Themightyquinn, saying: "I'll be looking to make it difficult for Im Themightyquinn. I'm hoping that David Hercules is forward enough to really stretch his neck." David Hercules, who has won at four of his ten first-up runs, is favourably drawn at the No. 2 barrier on the front line and Woodley is keen to send the seven-year-old to an early lead and then set the pace. "David Hercules trialled well at Byford on Sunday morning," Woodley said. "He drew the inside of the back row behind Toretto, who led and rated 1.55.9, a nice rate over 2150m around the Byford track. "I eased David Hercules out about 1000m from home and took a bit of closer order. They ran the last half in 56 seconds and David Hercules finished third, only about one and a half lengths from the winner, Toretto. Being the nice horse that he is, I think he will certainly be improved by the run. "If he is able to get to his favourite role in front I am sure he will give a great account of himself. Crombie has led in the past, but he is getting on a little bit in his career and in recent times he seems to be racing a bit better when driven a bit more conservatively. "He sat back on the pegs in the Pinjarra Cup and made some nice late ground against Im Themightyquinn. So, given his inside draw, he certainly will be one of the main dangers to both myself and Im Themightyquinn." Toretto, who will start from barrier five, has not raced for four and a half months. But he has had a solid preparation and is sure to be prominent. He has contested a 2150m trial at Byford on each of the past four Sundays for three wins and a second. Before leading and winning last Sunday Toretto had worked in the breeze before finishing strongly at his three previous trials. Toretto appeals as the likely breeze horse in Friday night's race, particularly as Lombo Navigator (who has worked in the breeze in many of his races) is reappearing after a four-month break and his new trainer-reinsman Ryan Bell is likely to be reluctant to give the seven-year-old a tough first-up run. Woodley has opted to drive David Hercules in preference to the speedy Dundee Three, who finished strongly when a close fourth in the Pinjarra Cup, after stylish Gloucester Park wins at his two previous outings. Owner-trainer Stephanie Smith has engaged Chris Lewis to drive Dundee Three, who faces a stern test from out wide at the No. 6 barrier. Prentice praises The Odd Lover Hopeland harness racing trainer-reinsman Kim Prentice is excited at the wonderful potential of The Odd Lover and is bubbling with confidence about the colt's winning prospects in the $100,000 International Animal Health Pearl Classic at Gloucester Park on Friday night. "He's got heaps of raw ability and is a very good horse," he said. "He hasn't had the deafeners pulled yet and I'm sure he will find a lot more lengths once we pull them." That was the chilling warning issued to the connections of the other two-year-olds who will contest the group 1 classic over 2130m. Prentice is fully aware of what is required to win the Pearl after having trained and driven 6/4 on favourite Your Call Lombo for his brilliant all-the-way victory over Spanna and Winforus in the 2002 Pearl. Your Call Lombo smashed the race record with a 1.57.5 rate over 1740m. The New Zealand-bred The Odd Lover, owned by Robert Watson, was the fastest of the three heat winners at Gloucester Park on Tuesday of last week, rating 1.58.2, which was considerably faster than the rate set by the other heat winners, Artillery Major (2.3.2) and Isaiah Artois (2.0.4). The Odd Lover began out wide at barrier six in his heat and Prentice restrained him at the start and the colt settled down almost seven lengths behind the early leader In Nyrobi before he urged him forward, three wide to burst to the front after 550m had been covered. He bowled along in front and sped over the final 800m in 56.9sec. The Ross Olivieri-trained Artillery Major, who set the pace in his heat, covered the final 800m in 58.9sec. and Isaiah Artois, prepared by David Thompson, came home in 58.5sec. The Odd Lover, who is by Art Major, races with his head held low, and he raced with spreaders at his latest appearance. "He had been brushing his off-side knee and was losing his confidence a little bit," Prentice explained. "So I put the spreaders on in his final track workout before the qualifying heat and he went a lot better. He will probably wear them for the rest of his two-year-old career, but I'm sure as a three-year-old he will not need them." Regarding the colt's habit of racing with his head held low, Prentice said that he worked him with a head check before he made his race debut with an easy win at Northam in late April. "But before his first start I removed the head check and put his hopples right out, and he just went a lot better," Prentice said. "Since I've had the head check off he has paced a lot better and has found a lot more speed. "I was trying different things, the one percenters, trying to get him perfect. He still hangs a bit, but he's got heaps of raw ability." The Odd Lover will start out wide at the No. 6 barrier on Friday night, but this is not causing Prentice any great concern. "In his two trials he showed very good gate speed and I've got no doubt that if I want to come out of the gate he can come out humming. He crossed from barrier five or six in his second trial at Byford." Chris Lewis gave punters a good lead when he opted to drive Artillery Major (from the favourable barrier No. 2 on the front line) ahead of the Bryan Cousins-trained In Nyrobi, whom he has driven at his only three starts for three second placings. In Nyrobi led for the first 550m in his heat and then trailed the pacemaking The Odd Lover before finishing gamely to be second, just under two lengths behind the winner. Cousins has engaged Gary Hall jun. to drive In Nyrobi and Hall is hoping that the unfavourable barrier No. 11 (four out on the back line) will be an omen for success. Hall drove 11/4 chance Swagga for trainer Kristie Morrone in last year's Pearl when the colt settled in tenth position and charged home from fifth at the bell to win by ten and a half lengths from the 10/9 on favourite Mister Jadore. Hall drove Go West U Terror for Cousins when he started from barrier two and set the pace before winning the 2009 Pearl by just under ten lengths from Soho Dionysus. Hall also won the Pearl behind the Jesse Moore-trained The Jobs On in 2004 and the Kevin Keys-trained Itsallabout Nicole in 2009. Lewis has won the Pearl with the Olivieri-trained Lombo Laredo (1994) and Argent Treasure (2007) and in 1995 with Mitemptation, who was trained by his wife Debra. Olivieri said that Artillery Major was capable of a bold showing on Friday night. "He should strip a bit fitter than he did when he raced first-up and won his heat," he said. "First-up, he was a bit slack in front, but when the challenges came he held them comfortably. He should be the early leader and will run a good race." The speedy Isaiah Artois cannot be discounted after winning in good style at each of his past three starts. He will start from barrier five on the front line and possesses good gate speed. Trainer Peter Anderson and reinsman Morgan Woodley, who combined to win the Pearl in 2008 with the brilliant James Matthew, will be represented by Nitro Lad, who will start from barrier three on the front line. He is the most experienced runner in the race, having had ten starts for one win (at Narrogin in March) and seven minor placings. He will be at long odds. Bond fancies Jungle Genie Forrestdale horseman Greg Bond, who trains Jungle Genie in partnership with his wife Skye, is confident the four-year-old will maintain her consistent form and prove hard to beat in the second heat of the Neutra Syrup Neutralises And Removes Lombardo Pace for mares at Gloucester Park on Friday night. "She's drawn a bit wide (No. 5), but she's more of a sit-sprint horse and is a good chance," he said. "The race lacks a bit of depth and hopefully there will be a bit of genuine speed. She can sit on speed and kick real good." Jungle Genie, who will be driven by Colin Brown, has won at 13 of her past 32 starts and she finished strongly from sixth at the bell to be second to Macintosh over 1684m at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon when the final 800m was covered in a slick 55.5sec. The Bonds also have two other runners in Friday night's event, four-year-olds Am Opulent and Showstopper. Am Opulent, a smart Pinjarra winner on Monday of last week, finished last in a field of seven behind Selkie at Gloucester Park last Friday night. "She was travelling well when she clipped a wheel and broke," Bond said. "It wasn't her fault and she should be running on this week." Showstopper faces a hard task from barrier six. She has not been dangerous when she started from the back line and finished eighth at Pinjarra at her past two starts. She was an easy all-the-way winner in moderate company at Harvey three starts ago. Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri said he expected Arousing to, prove hard to beat after drawing the prized No. 1 barrier. "This will suit her and she is capable of leading and she is a good chance," he said. Jungle Genie's younger half-sister Jungle Jewel has sound prospects in the Electromix Electrolytes And Sweat Pace for three-year-old fillies on Friday night. "She went great at Pinjarra on Monday and won with a leg in the air," Bond said. "But this is a step up in class against fillies like The Parade, Maddy White, Harper Grace and All About Pink. They show good ability and Jungle Jewel will need some luck from barrier five." Morgan Woodley, who will drive Harper Grace for owner Steve Johnson and trainer David Thompson, said that the filly had sound prospects, even though she has been unplaced at her past five starts. "I think she has a great chance from barrier one over 1730m," he said. "The statistics say that we're in with a good chance, purely on the distance and the barrier draw. I was impressed with Harper Grace's latest run when she made nice late ground to finish fifth behind Typhoon Tan. "She got wide on the last turn in a race in which they did slip home in relatively good time, and I thought that she hit the line well. The barrier draw and short trip really bring us in with a really good chance." Spectacular poised for debut victory New Zealand-bred five-year-old Spectacular should make a successful Australian debut by winning the 2130m Mecworma And Bot-Worming Paste Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Leading trainer Gary Hall sen. said that the Christian Cullen gelding was "nothing special," but looked the goods from his ideal barrier at No. 2 on the front line over 2130m. Spectacular has won five stands in New Zealand, but is also a capable mobile performer, with three wins in mobile events. He last appeared when he started from 20m, raced four back on the pegs and finished strongly along the inside to hit the front 30m from the post and score narrowly in a four-way photo finish, rating 2.0.7 over 2700m at Waikato.. Two starts before that he won an 1800m mobile event, rating 2.7.6 on the grass track at Wanganui when he was sixth early and then in the one-out, one-back position before spring fast in the home straight to hit the front 80m from the post. by Ken Casellas  

It's only a $7500 event for Metropolitan maiden performers, but the final race at Gloucester Park on Friday night, the 2130m Make Smoking History Pathway Pace, is of significant importance to Chris Brew, who is confident of success with Wotavugot, a six-year-old with a losing sequence of 16 and unsuccessful since scoring at Narrogin in June 2012. "This could well be my final appearance at Gloucester Park and I would dearly love to win the race," said the 32-year-old Brew, who has decided to embark on a new career path. "I will be seen as a trainer for the final time when I drive Glenferrie Hood in the Manea Classic at Bunbury on Saturday night and debutant Dainty Diva at Collie on Sunday afternoon. I will leave Western Australia in two weeks and it's possible I might not drive again at Gloucester Park." The Victorian-born 32-year-old Brew would dearly love to end his career in this State the same way as he started it --- when he brought Long Shot Lou home with a powerful three-wide burst to win at Gloucester Park in December 2007 at his first appearance in the State. He will be moving home to Melbourne with his wife Kalina and children Olivia (six) and Toby (nine months) and will become a fly-in, fly-out truck driver in Karratha, in the far north of WA. "This is something I've decided I need to do for my family," he said. "I'll miss training and driving here in WA. I haven't got many regrets and I've enjoyed my time here over the past six and half years. I'd love to bow out with a winner or two." The pint-sized Brew has winning prospects with his two drives on Friday night --- Christian Banner in the Community Newspaper Group Pace and Wotavugot in the final event. Wotavugot, who is trained at Barragup by Laurie Groves, warmed up for this week's assignment in good style when he trailed the pacemaker Raza Sharp Lombo before finishing fast to be a close second to that horse over 2536m last Friday night. He is ideally drawn in this week's event at No. 2 barrier on the front line. "He was impressive last week and seems like a horse on the way up," Brew said. "I would like to think that he will lead and take catching." Wotavugot certainly makes strong appeal as the likely leader, with the moderate performer Big Shot Barbie (who has managed one placing from her past 21 starts) on his inside. "Even though he finished seventh at his previous start (behind Vertical Four at Bunbury at his previous start) Wotavugot impressed me," Brew said. "He came from a long way back and attacked the line very well. "Laurie Groves and his son Brad, David Hunter and Dennis Roche have been the biggest supporters I've had and it would be fantastic to drive a winner for them before I go home. "Christian Banner, who is trained by Hunter, has drawn the outside of the front line, but he is a winning chance. It wouldn't matter where he draws; he's always a chance because he's just a good, honest and consistent horse. He has a good turn of foot and if the race is run to suit he's always a chance. "His last-start fourth was in a good field at Harvey and they sprinted a fast last sectional. He will be suited over the 2536m. His record over 2500m is very good. He is a model of consistency and he came from last to win the Williams Cup over 2666m in December." Christian Banner has won twice over 2600m at Addington and over 2569m at Bunbury and two starts ago he finished with a powerful burst to be second to Clifford over 2597m at Bridgetown. Clifford franked that form with a strong victory at Gloucester Park last Friday night. Brew also is confident of strong showings from Glenferrie Hood in the Manea Classic at Bunbury on Saturday night and he said he expected Dainty Diva would produce a strong effort at her debut in a three-year-old maiden event at Collie on Sunday. " "Dainty Diva is very fast away from a stand and she's clean-gaited," he said. "I'm hoping she draws the front line, and if she does she should prove a good winning chance. Glenferrie Hood should go well at Bunbury. I'm hoping for a favourable draw. After the race Glenferrie Hood will leave for New South Wales where he will be trained by Luke McCarthy." Brew said that he had had his share of success and his share of heartbreak in WA and would leave with many happy memories. His major triumphs were winning the $100,000 group 1 State Sires Series final for three-year-old colts and geldings with The Feather Foot in July 2010, the group 2 $50,000 Binshaw Classic with Please Release Me in February 2012 and two group 3 events with Lucie Boshier in 2012 --- the John Higgins Memorial and the Norm's Daughter Classic. Brew's decision to quit harness racing will further deplete the ranks of talented young reinsmen. In the past month New Zealand-born drivers Chris Butt and Shane Butcher have left WA. Butcher has resumed driving in Auckland and Butt has gone to Paris to work in a stable there before going to America to gain further experience and then returning to his homeland. WOODLEY OUT TO MAKE AMENDS IN THE AUTUMN CHAMPIONSHIP Outstanding reinsman Morgan Woodley is hellbent on making amends for the defeat of David Hercules in last year's Autumn Championship by driving the David Thompson-trained gelding to victory in the $21,000 Mulberry Estate Autumn Championship at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Twelve months ago Woodley chose to drive David Hercules in preference to Mysta Magical Mach when David Hercules, from barrier No. 4, worked hard in the breeze and battled on to be a well-beaten second to the pacemaking Mysta Magical Mach, who was heavily backed to start favourite at 6/4 on for star reinsman Chris Lewis. Woodley had driven Mysta Magical Mach to victory in the Autumn Championship in 2012, after having won the feature event with Scruffy Murphy in 2008. In a major change the Autumn Championship will be decided over 1730m after the race was run over 2536m last year and 2506m the previous year. David Hercules is a brilliant sprinter who holds the track record for 1700m (1.52.8) and 2130m (1.53.6). He proved far too good for the opposition last Friday night when he started from the outside of the front line (barrier seven)and worked without cover before surging past the pacemaker Truckers Ruffnut and into the lead 450m from home before winning by 5m from Red Salute, rating 1.55 over 2130m. He sprinted over the final 800m in 55.6sec. Woodley was full of praise for the seven-year-old, describing him as a tremendous performer with a high cruising speed and keen appetite for racing. David Hercules will start out wide again this week and Woodley is likely to send him forward from the No. 6 position immediately after the start or when the field settles down after 400m or so. Hokuri Handrail, who will be driven for the first time by Chris Voak, is favourably drawn at No. 2 and has sound prospects of leading. He has managed just one placing from his past 14 starts, but is a smart frontrunner, capable of considerable improvement. Polak, to be driven by Clint Kimes for trainer Mike Reed, will start from barrier three. He possesses sparkling gate speed and is likely to press forward at the start in a bid for the lead. The chief rival for David Hercules could be This Time Dylan, who is likely to be restrained at the start from the No. 7 barrier and be saved up for a powerful last-lap sprint. This Time Dylan, trained by Michael Brennan, has won at nine of his past 18 starts and is the leader in the Gloucester Park Horse of the Year award. STAND SPECIALIST LORD COBURN RETURNS TO MOBILE RACING Former Victorian pacer Lord Coburn, who has scored effortless all-the-way victories in 2503m stands at his past two starts, will return to mobile racing when he starts from the prized No. 1 barrier in the 2130m first heat of the Burswood On Swan Clarke Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri said that he had hoped Lord Coburn would continue contesting stands and was disappointed when the advertised 2503m stand for M4-class pacers was not included in the ten-event program because of insufficient nominations. "The mobile was my second choice and I still consider Lord Coburn will prove hard to beat," he said. "He is in terrific form and he should lead and play a big part in the race. I would have preferred for him to run in a stand because he is such a good beginner that he would've jumped 10 metres in front of his rivals. But he should still lead in the mobile." Lord Coburn, to be driven by Chris Voak, is a six-year-old gelding by Grinfromeartoear who has relished his pacemaking role at his past two starts in 2503m stands and has won by 13m and 7m. He has started 15 times in WA, with 11 of those events being a standing-start race over 2500m --- for four wins, two seconds and one third placing. "He wasn't sent to me as a stand horse; he was sent to me as a fast 1700m horse," Olivieri explained. "And I have found that he is a good standing-start horse over 2503m." Friday night's race looks sure to provide keen betting, with all eight runners having admirers. The Andrew De Campo-trained Danieljohn is knocking on the door after five placings from his past six starts and he looks set to fight out the finish. He set a fast pace and sprinted over the final 800m in 56.9sec. when second to truckers Ruffnut over 2130m last Friday week. Uppy Son is close to another win after his head second to Lord Lombo last Friday night when he finished with great determination after racing outside the pacemaker Midnight Dylan. He is the only runner on the back line and appeals as a major hope in a race in which Benjamin Banneker (trained by Gary Hall sen.) and stablemates Bronze Seeker and Mighty Flying Thomas (trained by Peter Anderson) must be considered. Benjamin Banneker was most impressive at his second appearance after a spell when he worked hard without cover before fighting on grandly to be second to Lovers Delight in the 2550m Harvey Cup last Saturday night. Olivieri also expects a strong showing from Shnappy in the Spices Group Pathway Pace over 2130m. To be driven by Voak, Shnappy returns to mobile racing after contesting 2503m stands at his past two starts for a win and a second. He will start from the outside of the front line, but looks hard to beat against moderate opposition. by Ken Casellas  

Noted frontrunner Courage On Fire has drawn the prized No. 1 barrier in the $50,000 Community Newspaper Group Empress Stakes at Gloucester Park on Friday night to boost Wanneroo trainer Debbie Padberg's hopes of winning the group 2 feature event for mares for the second time. She trained Glitzy Miss for her dramatic victory in the Empress Stakes in April 2008 when the five-year-old was tenth with 550m to travel and seventh at the 100m before flying home, out wide, to defeat the pacemaker Alkira Jet. The New Zealand-bred Courage On Fire has won ten races in Australia, with five of those wins coming when she has set the pace --- over 1720m and 2125m at Penrith, over 1609m at Menangle and over 1730m and 2130m at Gloucester Park. The Empress Stakes will be decided over 2536m and this should not seriously trouble Courage On Fire, who has raced four times over that distance at Gloucester Park for a fourth, a fifth, a second and a win (when she sat behind the pacemaker and ran on to win narrowly from Next Dawn and Chocolatto early last December). Mrs Padberg is delighted with the favourable barrier and said that Courage On Fire was "very good" in front. The seven-year-old led and won easily from Aristocratic Glow over 2130m three starts ago before starting from the outside of the back line and finishing strongly to be third to Aristocratic Glow and Deluxe Edition. She was sixth at the bell and finished seventh behind Leda McNally in a 2130m prelude of the Empress Stakes last Friday night. Mrs Padberg, who is in fourth place in the Metropolitan trainers' premiership table, said that she was undecided on what tactics reinsman Michael Tenardi would adopt. Much would depend on whether Courage On Fire was challenged strongly in the early stages. Two speedy beginners are on the outside of Courage On Fire --- four-year-olds Askmenow (barrier two) and Kristen Louise (three). Askmenow has been unplaced at her past six starts and has a losing sequence of eight, but her trainer Gary Hall sen. said that if she was able to lead she would be very hard to beat. Hall has a higher opinion of stablemate Famous Alchemist, who will start from the inside of the back line, immediately behind Courage On Fire. "It's a tricky draw, but she can certainly win," he said. Famous Alchemist has had only 38 starts for 12 wins and 13 placings. Famous Alchemist charged home from last at the bell to finish third behind her stablemate Aussie Made Lombo in the Empress Stakes last March to give Hall his third success in the race which he first won with Moray Miss in 1991. Vance Stampalia, who drove Glitzy Miss for her win in this race six years ago, is the regular driver of four-year-old Kristen Louise, who is prepared at Wanneroo by his sister Tonia. Stampalia stole a march on his rivals when he got Kristen Louise away to a flying start from the No. 5 barrier in the second prelude of the Empress Stakes last Friday night. Kristen Louise charged to the front after 100m and was not extended in winning from Selkie and Ace of Cards. "She crossed them easily last week," he said. "And it would be nice to be able to lead again this week. Kristen Louise has improved since her win last week and is thriving on a preparation of mainly swimming in the pool." Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri has cured speedy mare Sensational Gabby of her habit of overracing and he has sound prospects of winning the event for the third time, after scoring with Elysees Crest in 2010 and Ima Spicey Lombo the following year. Olivieri also trained Live High when she surged home from 11th at the 600m to finish second to Aussie Made Lombo last year. Sensational Gabby raced without cover when second to Famous Alchemist over 1730m two starts ago before she started from the outside of the front line, was restrained to last and then sprinted fast after 700m to join the leader Leda McNally last Friday night when she fought on to finish second to that mare. HALL SAYS NORTHVIEW PUNTER CAN OVERCOME BACK-LINE BARRIER Leading trainer Gary Hall sen. was naturally disappointed when speedy New Zealand-bred four-year-old Northview Punter drew badly at barrier four on the back line in the $25,000 Fremantle Gazette The Lewis final at Gloucester Park on Friday night, but defiantly declared that all was not lost and that the horse was capable of overcoming this disadvantage and winning the 2130m event. "It was a phenomenal run by Northview Punter when second to Hokonui Ben last week and he can win from the back line," said Hall, who will be in Sydney on Friday night keeping his eye on Livingontheinterest before that pacer contests the interdominion championship final at Menangle on Sunday. Hall makes no secret that he considers that Northview Punter is far better suited to leading in his races than coming from behind. But he believes that the horse is gaining in experience and is capable of proving more versatile. Northview Punter began with great dash from barrier three to set the pace in the 2536m RWWA Cup last Friday night and he fought on grandly when beaten by only a neck by the fast-finishing Hokonui Ben, rating 1.55.8 over the 2536m. At his previous appearance, two weeks before last Friday night's run, Northview Punter worked hard for the first 500m before taking up the running and going on to win by more than two lengths from Pacific Warrior over 2130m. A week later Pacific Warrior led from the No. 1 barrier and won easily from Mighty Flying Thomas and Uppy Son over 2130m. He will start from barrier five on the front line this week and looks set to fight out the finish. The Matt Scott-trained Marooned has drawn the prized No. 1 barrier and even though the seven-year-old's best performances in Western Australia have been when he has produced a powerful finishing burst reinsman Chris Voak will be strongly tempted to attempt an all-the-way win. Marooned does possess good gate speed and has led and won at two of his 16 wins, over 1609m at Menangle and 2170m at Canberra. Mohegan Sun (barrier two) and Menelaus of Sparta (three) have each won twice when leading all the way. But they are not noted frontrunners, and this could make it easier for Marooned to set the pace. Marooned was most impressive last Friday night when he started from the back line and trailed the pacemaker Mach Banner before flashing home with a sparkling late burst to finish a half-head second to Mach Banner. TRUCKERS RUFFNUT WORKS WITH DASH BEFORE HIS CLASH WITH DAVID HERCULES A sizzling final 800m in 56sec. in a track workout at Donaldson Park in Bunbury on Tuesday morning greatly impressed his trainer Murray Hansen, who is confident the eight-year-old can cause an upset and beat star performer David Hercules in the $21,000 Stirling Times Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. In the random draw, Truckers Ruffnut gained the prized No. 1 barrier, while David Hercules fared poorly and will start from the outside of the front line (No. 7) in the small field of eight. "Our one big advantage over David Hercules is the barrier draw," Hansen said. "We've drawn one and will be utilising it and holding up to lead. Truckers Ruffnut has always possessed good gate speed and in previous campaigns was always a very hard horse to beat when he was in front. "David Hercules will have to be right at the top of his game to beat Truckers Ruffnut. I feel sorry for David Hercules, with all the bad barriers he has been getting. I think that my horse can run a really good time." Leading reinsman Gary Hall jun. will be reunited with Truckers Ruffnut after the horse has been driven at his first five starts after an injury-enforced absence of 39 months by Ryan Bell, Shane Butcher (three times) and Dylan- Egerton-Green. Hall has an outstanding record with Truckers Ruffnut, having driven him 24 times for 11 wins, nine seconds, two thirds, one seventh and one eighth. Truckers Ruffnut has finished strongly to win at two of his past three starts at Gloucester Park. He raced three back on the pegs in fifth position before charging home brilliantly to win from Danieljohn and Mighty Flying Thomas last Friday night. Hansen drove Truckers Ruffnut in his workout on Tuesday morning when the horse was clocked over the 1200m trip in 3min. 5sec. and sprinted the final 800m in 56sec. "He worked really well and I feel he is better than he was when he won last week. He does all his trackwork on his own and he works free-legged," Hansen said. "He's that good a pacer that he could race without hopples. He has run a half in 55sec. free-legged without putting a foot wrong." Byford trainer David Thompson said that he was becoming resigned to receiving wide draws for David Hercules. But he was full of praise for the even-year-old's splendid third behind Hokonui Ben and Northview Punter in the 2536m RWWA Cup last Friday night. David Hercules started from barrier seven and was restrained to the rear by Morgan Woodley before he dashed the gelding forward in the first lap to work hard outside then pacemaker Northview Punter. David Hercules fought on grandly to finish only a length behind Hokonui Ben. An improver in Friday night's race appears certain to be the Ross Olivieri-trained Red Salute, who is sure to appreciate the favourable No. 2 barrier on the front line in the field of eight. Red Salute has been dogged by unfavourable draws in recent outings. DON'T DISREGARD THE BEAU BRUMMELL, ADVISES MELLSOP Waroona trainer-reinsman Bob Mellsop offered some sound advice to punters when he said that they should completely disregard The Beau Brummell's last-start seventh behind Earl Harbour at Gloucester Park last Saturday week when assessing the five-year-old's chances in the $30,000 Happy Birthday Alison Ward Discreet Romeo Sprint for trotters on Friday night. "He met with severe interference soon after the start before making up a great deal of ground," Mellsop said. "He will start on the inside of the back line this week and should get a good run behind the polemarker Ushaka Bromac." The Beau Brummell's form before his unlucky last-start effort was very good. His six previous starts, after resuming from a spell, produced two wins (including the WA Trotters Cup), two seconds, one third and one fifth placing. Vance Stampalia, driver of the Bruce Stanley-trained Ushaka Bromac, and Gary Hall sen., trainer of Prince Eddie, are both confident of success. Stampalia believes that Ushaka Bromac will have the early speed to lead from the No. 1 barrier in the 1730m event. She led early and then sat behind the pacemaker Idle Maple before finishing solidly to be a close second to Earl Harbour over 1730m last Saturday week. Prince Eddie, whose past eight starts have produced four wins, one second and two thirds, looks nicely placed from the No. 2 barrier. He raced without cover when third to Earl Harbour at his latest start. He finished powerfully to win from Sandakan Lombo in a 2503m stand at his previous start. by Ken Casellas  

David Butcher might be off the scene for six months after pulling pectoral muscle away from the bone, but that doesn’t mean there will be one less Butcher on the New Zealand harness racing scene. Butcher’s nephew Shane arrived home from Perth last Thursday after spending almost three seasons driving In Western Australia. The 22-year-old drove 50 winners there in 2012-2013 and almost 100 since leaving these shores in 2011. He is keen to carry on that success in New Zealand. “I’d like to get as many drives as I possibly can. I’m going to give David and my grandfather (John) a hand, and hopefully break in a few from the Sales. “I’d love to get all David’s drives. That would be a dream, but I’m not a dreamer. I’m realistic and not many reinsmen are as good as him. He’s one of New Zealand’s best and I wish him a speedy recovery. He’s a fantastic driver,” Butcher said. Butcher is the youngest son of David and Philip Butcher’s Cambridge-based sister, Pauline. His older brother Stephen is an amateur driver, while middle brother Matthew, who is a hairdresser, has never been interested in a racing career. Born in Hamilton and educated at Cambridge High School Butcher left school and worked for Tony Herlihy and then Steven Reid before joining the Graeme Rogerson team in Tauherenikau. He then had a stint with Todd Mitchell before flying to Perth in 2011. “I got a job working with David Thompson at Byford thanks to Simon Lawson. Simon was in Melbourne while David was campaigning David Hercules there. “They got talking and because of that I ended up in Western Australian. I worked for David for about a year before joining Gary Hall in Perth. “I ended up being his number one claim driver but in the end I got tired and homesick and wanted to be with family and try my luck back here,” Butcher said. Apart from driving dual Inter Dominion winner Themightyquinn in track work, Butcher said the best horse he drove on race-day was the New Zealand bred son of Washington VC and Jane Halsey – Hokonui Ben. He has so far won 17 of his 52 starts and more than half a million dollars in purses. As for Butcher’s biggest win – that came on January 4 last year in the Group Two $30,000 Western Australia Trotters Cup when he steered the Hall trained Makati Maximus to a six metre victory. The son of Brylin Boyz and Sounds Good (NZ) was a $2 favourite that night. “It was great working for one of Australia’s best horsemen, but you would be working and travelling every day or night of the week, and to be honest I missed home quite a bit. “I really want to make a good go of it back here. I’m open to everyone for drives. I want to freelance as much as I can,” said Butcher. Before leaving for Australia Butcher had 12 winners and 44 placings from 303 New Zealand junior drives. He also won $115,610 in stakes. Since arriving back in his homeland he has had five average drives – two at Cambridge (8th and 5th) last Thursday night, and three at Stratford on Sunday, where he finished fifth, 10th, and eighth behind Jonny Wilkinson in the Stratford Cup. “It will be great to get that first win behind me. I really enjoy being back home with family and driving here again,” the likeable reinsman said. By Duane Ranger (Harness Racing New Zealand)

Ace harness racing reinsman Kim Prentice will resume at Gloucester Park on Friday night after a term of suspension and has landed the plum drive behind This Time Dylan in the $50,000 MMJ Real Estate RWWA Cup. Pinjarra trainer Michael Brennan engaged Prentice after the gelding's regular reinsmen, Justin Prentice and Gary Hall jun., were unavailable. Justin Prentice, son of Kim Prentice, is committed to drive his own nomination Gday Mate and Hall is serving a brief term of suspension. This Time Dylan is in dazzling form, with his past 16 starts producing nine wins, three seconds, two thirds, a fourth and a sixth. He is the leader in the Gloucester Park Horse of the Year award with 70 points, 20 ahead of Northview Punter. This Time Dylan was most impressive at his most recent outing when he was eighth in the middle stages before charging home with a powerful three-wide burst to win the 2662m Narrogin Cup on February 6. That followed his fast-finishing third to Hokonui ben and Toretto in the 2936m Fremantle Cup. Enhancing This Time Dylan's prospects in the 2536m RWWA Cup is the fact that he will start from the coveted No. 1 barrier. Kim Prentice drove the eight-year-old for his previous trainer Gary Hall sen. three times, in claiming races in November and December for a win and two seconds and he has a high opinion of the chunky little pacer. Gday Mate will also be one of the main fancies on Friday night. He has won at five of his past 12 starts, including two fast-finishing victories at Gloucester Park before he contested the 2683m Albany Cup on January 31 in which he raced three wide for much of the way and finished strongly to be a close third behind Bronze Seeker and the pacemaker Lovers Delight. Star pacer David Hercules is the likely favourite, but will need a good share of luck after starting from the outside (No. 7) on the front line. The WA-bred seven-year-old trailed them pacemaker Livingontheinterest before getting off the pegs at the bell and fighting on to be fourth behind Im Victorious in the 2536m interdominion championship heat at Gloucester Park last Saturday night. Eight nights earlier the David Thompson-trained David Hercules led from barrier three and rated 1.54.8 when he beat Our Major Mark by seven lengths over 2130m at Gloucester Park. Our Major Mark, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, performed soundly in Saturday night's interdominion heat when he was eighth on the pegs at the bell before finishing solidly into third place behind Im Victorious and Livingontheinterest. He lined up again at Gloucester Park on Tuesday night when he started off the 40m mark and surged home from ninth at the bell to be third behind Shnappy. He is well placed from the No. 2 barrier in Friday night's Cup. Leading trainer Gary Hall sen. will be represented by Northview Punter (barrier three), Our Arlington (six) and Passion Stride (barrier two on the back line). Northview Punter dashed to the lead 500m after the start and gave a bold frontrunning display to score an easy two-length win over Pacific Warrior over 2130m last Friday week. He bowled along in front and won a 2150m trial in good style at Byford on Sunday morning when he sprinted over the final two quarters in 28.4sec. and 27.7sec. to beat stablemate Famous Alchemist by a head at a 1.576.2 rate over 2150m. . Adding depth to the RWWA Cup is Fremantle Cup winner Hokonui Ben, who will start from barrier three on the back line for his new trainer-reinsman Aldo Cortopassi. Hokonui ben was tenth at the bell before finishing strongly and going five wide on the home turn to be sixth in Saturday night's interdominion heat. LAUREN JONES TO MAKE HER WA DEBUT BEHIND WHOS MISTAKE Diminutive Queensland teenager Lauren Jones will make her West Australian debut when she drives Whos Mistake in the $21,000 MMJ Investment Sales Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The 18-year-old arrived in Perth last Friday week to work for leading trainer Gary Hall sen. at his Serpentine training establishment and she appeared in public for the first time in the State when she drove Northview Punter to victory in a Byford trial on Sunday morning. Hall engaged Jones, who weighs a mere 49kg, to drive Whos Mistake to take advantage of her junior concession to enable Whos Mistake, classified as an M5 performer, to contest Friday night's event which is restricted to horses handicapped on an M4 mark or an easier mark. Whos Mistake, a Victorian-bred eight-year-old, is a smart frontrunner and is favourably drawn at No. 2 on the front line. Gary Hall jun. drove Whos Mistake to an effortless all-the-way victory at a 1.58.3 rate over 2130m last Friday night. He sprinted over the final 800m in 56.4sec. Jones, a daughter of Queensland trainer-reinsman Peter Jones, has had about 250 drives for 19 wins. Her final drive before heading to Perth was at Redcliffe on Thursday, February 6 when she was in the sulky behind five-year-old Wake Up Quinn, an $18.70 tote outsider with a losing sequence of 34. Wake Up Quinn raced without cover for the first 500m before gaining the one-out, one-back position. Jones eased him three wide 450m from home and the chestnut burst to the front 250m from the post. After a highly successful career contesting events for mini trotters, Jones started driving at Albion Park, Redcliffe and the Gold Coast at 17. She represented Queensland in a championship event for mini trotters at Alexandra Park in Auckland in 2011, in which she finished third. She won three of the four races in the Marburg series at Ipswich West late last year. She saw a job advertised on the Trading Ring to work at the Hall training establishment. She applied and got the job and has started a three-month trial period. In the random draw for Friday night's event, the Andrew De Campo-trained Danieljohn fared best and is sure to appreciate the prized No. 1 barrier. Aiden De Campo will be anxious to get Danieljohn away smartly and attempt to lead throughout over the 2130m journey. "He hasn't had a good draw for a while and we'll be trying to lead," said de Campo sen. "Lord Lombo also gets away fast, but we will be aiming to hold the lead." Bickley trainer Peter Anderson will be represented by in-form pacers Rocky Marciano (barrier five) and Mighty Flying Thomas (inside of the back line). Morgan Woodley gave punters a lead by opting to drive Rocky Marciano in preference to Mighty Flying Thomas, who trailed the pacemaker and was hampered for room when a splendid second behind the pacemaker Pacific Warrior in the 21230m Governor's Cup last Friday night. Rocky Marciano also was unlucky when he failed to obtain a clear passage in the final circuit when third to Famous Alchemist over 1730m the previous Friday night. LEDA McNALLY READY FOR A STRONG EFFORT BEFORE THE LADYSHIP MILE Speedy mare Leda McNally ran a sparkling trial at Pinjarra on Sunday morning and looks set to lead and should take plenty of beating in the first prelude of the MMJ Land Sales Empress Stakes at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The 2130m event should prove a perfect lead-up for the $200,000 Ladyship Mile at Menangle on Sunday week. "She sat back in the trial before finishing strongly to win by more than three lengths from Carim Courage," said reinsman Chris Voak. "She recorded almost her best winning mile rate (1.56.7) over the trip (2185m). "It was a good blow-out for her and Friday night's race will be a good conditioning run for the Ladyship Mile. We are hoping and expecting to win, even though she has been programmed for the Ladyship Mile. "She should be leading on Friday night in a race in which the Hall stable will mount a two-pronged attack with Askmenow and Famous Alchemist. I expect one of them to work forward and apply a lot of pressure. But I think Leda McNally is ready to run a good race." Leda McNally, trained at Pinjarra by Chris King, should appreciate racing against her own sex after performing soundly against some of the State's best pacers in recent feature events, including the Fremantle Cup and Lord Mayor's Cup. She should get spirited opposition from Askmenow and Famous Alchemist. Askmenow, a New Zealand-bred four-year-old, has ruined her chances at her past two starts with bad beginnings in standing-start events. She looks far better suited in Friday night's mobile event over 2130m in which she will start from the No. 4 barrier on the front line. Famous Alchemist set the pace and dashed over the final 400m in 27.2sec. when she won from Sensational Gabby and Rocky Marciano over 1730m last Friday week. She will be the only runner on the back line in Friday night's event and looks set to fight out the finish. CONNIVING MAJOR DAVE GETS HIS CHANCE FROM BARRIER THREE Capel trainer Andrew De Campo predicted that four-year-old Conniving Major Dave would be "pretty hard to beat" after the New Zealand-bred gelding drew barrier three on the front line in the MMJ Real Estate Pathway Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. "I was very happy with his run last week and if he finds the top or the breeze this week he should be the one to beat," he said. "Those are the positions from which he races at his best. It was hard for him to make up ground last week, being off the track in the last lap." Conniving Major Dave started from the outside of the back line in a 1730m Pathway last Friday night when he settled down in ninth position and did well to fight on, out wide, from seventh at the bell to be fourth behind the pacemaker Myouri, who sprinted over the final 800m in 57.6sec. Conniving Major Dave won at three of his 12 starts in New Zealand and has raced 12 times in WA for four wins and four placings. He will be having his second start after a spell this week. "He had a good prep last year and ran some good times, including 1.54.6 over 1684m at Pinjarra last October. And he's getting better with age." Conniving Major Dave will be handled by Aiden De Campo, who also has sound prospects with Trojan Bromac and Danielhjohn later in the program. Trojan Bromac will start from barrier five off the front in the MMJ Commercial Property Handicap, a stand over 2503m. "His form is good and he hasn't missed the money at his past five or six starts," said trainer Andrew De Campo. It's not a strong field on Friday night and he should go well." Trojan Bromac's past six starts have produced two wins, two seconds and two thirds. SHEZABLAZE GIVES TERESA SCHOFIELD HER FIRST TRAINING SUCCESS Teresa Schofield, wife of Bennett Springs horseman Greg Schofield, landed her first winner as a trainer when Matt White drove Shezablaze to victory in the 1730m Yes Loans Pace for three-year-old fillies at Gloucester Park on Tuesday afternoon. The inexperienced Shezablaze was a 21/1 outsider who exceeded expectations when she raced wide early and then in the breeze before finishing strongly to defeat Major Flirt by a neck at a 1.58.7 rate. This was the filly's fourth appearance as a three-year-old after a ten-month absence, following a third and a fourth in March 2013. Shezablaze, by Courage Under Fire, is the third foal out of the Village Jasper mare Fluent Style, who was trained by Greg Schofield for seven wins, eight placings and stakes of $78,033 from 28 starts. Fluent Style finished second to Dilingers Reign in the WA Oaks in May 2006. Fluent Style's half-brother Effortless (by Crouch) was a handy performer for Greg Schofield, earning $64,743 from 12 wins and 21 placings from 89 starts. Shezablaze was bred by Teresa Schofield and Rod Price, who race the filly in partnership with Glen Price, a greyhound trainer. Teresa Schofield has had a battle on her hands with Shezablaze, who has made many trips to the veterinary surgeon in attempts to cure physical problems. "She has had problems that we couldn't solve," she said. "She was sore somewhere, but we were unable to pinpoint the problem. We were told that she was just suffering from growing pains. "She's got ability and it's just a matter of getting it out of her. She has tended to pace roughly. She goes all right for the first thousand and after that she goes roughly. Recently I decided to treat her with Bowen therapy; it's cross fibre manipulation by hand. She has had muscle soreness on all parts of her body. "She now has had three treatments, once a week, and after each treatment she has improved a bit. She paced okay today. It's the best she's ever gone around since I've been treating her." White completed a double when he drove four-year-old mare Cielito to victory in the 2130m Caduceus Club Pace. Cielto, trained at Busselton by her owner Barry Howlett, started at 11/1 and won from the fast-finishing El Sunami. It was her second start after an absence of nine months. by Ken Casellas  

Champion reinsman Gary Hall jun. has driven the winner of almost every feature event in Western Australia and he is aiming to put the record straight by adding the $50,000 Make Smoking History Dainty's Daughter Classic to his imposing list of achievements when he handles the highly-impressive Majorly Foxy Styx in the group 3 race at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Hall has driven in seven of the 14 Dainty's Daughter Classics for two seconds, a third, a fourth, a fifth, an eighth and an 11th placing and his prospects of breaking through for an overdue success in this 2130m event for three-year-old fillies soared when the New Zealand-bred Majorly Foxy Styx drew the coveted No. 1 barrier on the front line. The stewards suspended Hall from driving for 12 days after he had pleaded guilty of causing interference when driving Vapour in a race at Gloucester Park on Monday afternoon. Hall immediately sought a stay of proceedings to enable him to drive Majorly Foxy Styx and several other stable runners on Friday night and Im Victorious in the WA heat of the interdominion championship the following night. His request was granted and his suspension will begin at midnight on Saturday night. Majorly Foxy Styx, trained by Hall's father Gary, has won at each of her past six starts by an average margin of just over two lengths and the big Art Major filly warmed up for this week's assignment in devastating style with a nine-length victory in a 2150m trial at Byford on Sunday. Driven by Clint Hall, Majorly Foxy Styx raced without cover early and then set the pace before sprinting over the final 800m in 56.4sec. and the last 400m in 27.5sec. Clint was substituting for his brother Gary, who was returning from Adelaide where he drove a winner (Copthewrath) for his mate, Mildura trainer Shayne Cramp, and finished third with Dontdoubtme in the South Australian Oaks at Globe Derby Park on Saturday night. Hall jun. and his father combined to land a treble with Prince Eddie, High Courage and Machtu on Monday afternoon and they were also successful with Classic American at Harvey on the following nighty. Now Hall sen. is poised to bring up his century of winners on Friday night when he will have nine runners. His season's tally stands at 97. Majorly Foxy Styx will be a firm favourite in a race in which she will clash with several smart fillies, including Harriet Elisabeth, Artistic Copper, The Parade, Maddy White and My Samantha Jane. Harriet Elisabeth, trained by David Thompson, won at three of her five starts as a two-year-old before she resumed after a seven-month absence and finished last as an odds-on favourite at Gloucester Park four Tuesdays ago. She will start from barrier three and is capable of a bold showing. The Andrew De Campo-trained Artistic Copper has led and won impressively at her past three appearances and will start from the inside of the back line. She should gain a perfect run behind the pacemaking Majorly Foxy Styx. Boyanup trainer Justin Prentice has engaged star reinsman Chris Lewis to drive The Parade, who chalked up her fifth win from 12 starts when she finished powerfully to defeat Maddy White and Typhoon Tan at Bunbury last Saturday night. PACIFIC WARRIOR GETS HIS CHANCE IN CUP FROM INSIDE BARRIER New Zealand-bred six-year-old Pacific Warrior has led from start to finish only once from his 27 starts in Western Australia, but he makes strong appeal as the likely leader from the prized No. 1 barrier in the $25,000 Make Smoking History Governor's Cup over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He has won 13 races and been placed eight times in WA when his only all-the-way victory was over 2185m at Pinjarra at his second run in Australia when he took full advantage of the inside barrier. The only other time he has started from the No. 1 barrier was in the 2692m Pinjarra Cup early last June when he pulled hard in front and finished third to Ima Rocket Star and Hokonui Ben. Pacific Warrior, who is prepared at Mt Helena by Ray Williams and will be driven by Kade Howson, ran a splendid Cup trial last Friday night when he started from barrier four, raced three wide early and then without cover and finished an fighting second to noted frontrunner Northview Punter when the final 800m was covered in 56.1sec. The Cup is for pacers handicapped M2 to M4, but trainer John Guagliardo is so pleased with the form of Copagrin that he nominated the five-year-old for the race, even though he is still on an M1 mark. Copagrin, to be driven by Matt White, is ideally drawn at No. 2 on the front line and will have many admirers. Copagrin impressed greatly last Friday night when he raced three back on the pegs and did not get clear until late when he flashed home to be third behind Marooned and Northern Assassin in the 2130m Binshaw Classic, Uppy Son, who will start from barrier four on the back line for Bunbury trainer-reinsman Stephen Reed, is getting close to another win. He stormed home, three wide, from eighth at the bell to be a neck second to WA Pacing Cup placegetter This Time Dylan in the 2662m Narrogin Cup on Thursday of last week. And then two nights later Uppy Son started off 70m in a 2500m stand at Bunbury and finished powerfully from last in the field of seven at the bell to be a close-up fifth, just two lengths behind the winner Im Riddick. The Ross Olivieri-trained Hez The Bart Man is sure to appreciate a drop in class and cannot be underestimated. He covered a lot of extra ground when an impressive Gloucester park winner three starts ago. Bickley trained Peter Anderson has each-way prospects with Bronze Seeker (barrier four) and Mighty Flying Thomas (inside of the back line). Bronze Seeker, a sit-and-sprint exponent, charged home from three back on the pegs to snatch victory in the 2683m Albany Cup two starts ago, but was found wanting in last week's Narrogin Cup when he raced in the one-out, two-back position in a muddling-run race and just battled on into sixth place behind This Time Dylan. Mighty Flying Thomas will be making his third appearance after an absence of two months and should enjoy a good passage on the pegs. He covered a good deal of extra ground when a wilting last-start seventh in the Albany Cup. DELUXE EDITION SET FOR A BATTLE WITH BLACKNSWEET ADDA West Australian-bred four-year-old Deluxe Edition should be rewarded for her consistency by winning the $17,000 Mick's Mares Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The mare, who is trained at Oakford by Ross Olivieri, will be handled by her regular reinsman Chris Voak, who is in the midst of a purple patch. She musters plenty of early speed and is a good frontrunner, ideally suited from the No. 3 barrier. However, Deluxe Edition could strike a snag in the form of the Kevin Keys-trained Blacknsweet Adda, who will be driven by Dylan Egerton-Green from barrier two. Blacknsweet Adda gave a bold frontrunning display on Tuesday of last week and was overhauled in the final stages when third behind classy three-year-old Classic American over 1730m. She raced again on Tuesday of this week when she thundered home from 11th at the bell to be an eye-catching second to Mako Shadow over 1730m. Exposed form suggests that Deluxe Edition will forge to the front, giving Blacknsweet Adda a perfect trail. Whatever transpires, the race appears likely to develop into a spirited battle between the paid. Deluxe Edition, who has a tendency worrying tendency to pull hard in her races, is proving a splendid moneyspinner for her breeders and owners Denise Trobe and Adrian Staltari. She has earned $88,487 from eight wins and 15 placings from 33 starts. LEWIS TO DRIVE FRONTRUNNING COOL JOHNNY FOR THE FIRST TIME New Zealand-bred five-year-old Cool Johnny who excels as a frontrunner, will be driven for the first time by Chris Lewis when he stars from the ideal No. 2 barrier in the 2536m Put Smoking Behind You Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Trainers Greg and Skye Bond engaged Lewis when the stable's No. 1 driver had two of his own horses (Pete of Pan and Mein Guy) in the field. The Bonds also have a second runner in Im Terrific, who will be handled by Ryan Warwick. Though unplaced at his past six starts, Cool Johnny makes good appeal. The gelding has scored four all-the-way wins in Western Australia and he also has proved to be a sound stayer, with wins over 2692m, 2536m (twice) and 2503m. Mein Guy showed that he is likely to be prominent with a strong performance last Friday night when he finished strongly from sixth at the bell to be third to Northview Punter and Pacific Warrior. This is a weaker field in which the stablemates Dashing Christian and Why Live Dangerously (trained by Gary Hall sen.) will start from the two widest positions on the front line, but are capable of surprising. IM VICTORIOUS LOOKS GOOD THING TO QUALIFY FOR INTERDOMINION FINAL The scratching of Argent Treasure has brought star pacer Im Victorious in to barrier four on the front line in the $48,000 TAB.com.au Interdominion qualifying heat over 2536m at Gloucester Park on Saturday night and the Michael Brennan-trained five-year-old should prove too strong for his rivals. The first two placegetters in the heats to be decided on Saturday in Perth, Christchurch, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney (two) will qualify for the $750,000 final to be run over 3009m at Menangle on Sunday March 2. And the NSWHRC officials will select two wild cards to make up the field of 14 which will start with ten across the front line and four off the back line. Im Victorious, brilliant winner of the 2536m Fremantle Cup on January 10, failed when sixth as the 5/4 on favourite in the 2936m WA Pacing Cup the following week when he endured a tough passage and was hampered in the final lap by a punctured tyre of his sulky. Gary Hall jun. looks set to drive Im Victorious aggressively on Saturday night and the star pacer could well race in the breeze for the greater part of the event. Hokonui Ben, who led and won the WA Pacing Cup from Toretto, This Time Dylan and David Hercules, has switched stables and will be driven by his new trainer Aldo Cortopassi. He will start from barrier three on the back line and should fight out the finish. Livingontheinterest, trained by Gary Hall sen., who has prepared champion Im Themightyquinn for his wins in the past three interdominion championship finals, will be represented by Livingontheinterest, a talented frontrunner who looks certain to lead from the No. 2 barrier with Clint Hall in the sulky. "Livingontheinterest ran a super trial at Byford on Sunday," Hall said. "Our plan is to lead and I consider Im Victorious and Hokonui Ben as his only two dangers." Livingontheinterest, driven by Brian Dunne, began speedily from barrier six in Sunday's trial and led throughout, rating 1.57.4 over the 2150m, with the final 800m being covered in 57.4sec. That was his first public appearance since he led and won the 2130m Lord Mayor's Cup by a half-head from Hokonui Ben last Friday week,. "He went too slowly in the early stages (lead time: 37.4sec. and opening quarters in 31.3sec. and 30.4sec.)," Hall sen. said. "This week I'll want him to go faster. Going slowly doesn't suit him and he's better off bowling along." David Thompson, trainer of David Hercules, a brilliant all-the-way winner at a 1.54.8 rate last Friday night, was disappointed when the star seven-year-old drew awkwardly on the inside of the back line, behind modest performer Empire Flame. "That's the luck of the draw," said a philosophical Thompson. "His fate is in the lap of the gods and what will be, will be. We'll be hoping for the best." by Ken Casellas  

Western Australian trainer David Thompson thought he was due to draw a barrier in a big race with his star pacer David Hercules but was expecting another poor one. Unfortunately his expectations turned out to be correct when David Hercules drew barrier eight in Saturday night's Inter Dominion heat at Gloucester Park with his main rival Im Victorious coming up with gate five. "I haven't had much luck with the barrier draws but like everyone says the barrier is just where they start from," Thompson said. "David Hercules has pulled up very well from his run on Friday night at Gloucester Park, he had a light jog and a swim on Monday, was very relaxed and will be ready to race on Saturday night." No stranger to travelling to the eastern states Thompson has no worries with David Hercules handling the trip to Sydney should he qualify for the Inter Dominion final. "The horse has spent plenty of time at my brother's (Peter Thompson trainer) place in Melbourne and he has settled in very well each time we have gone there." "The only time I took him to Sydney it was a different story, I decided to make it into a real hit and run mission and drove up on the day of the race but it didn't suit him at all and he didn't race well as a result." Thompson has been in contact with Sydney trainer Peter Walsh and has arranged for David Hercules to stay at his stables should he get to Sydney.   "I've known Peter Walsh for a very long time and he is a fantastic bloke and that's where we will be staying should he run first or second in Saturday night's heat."   "If we do qualify I'm unsure whether to race him the week before the grand final or wait until the Tuesday before and have a trial, that might be all a waste of time if things don't go right on Saturday night so we will just have to wait and see." Nancy O'Grady | Executive Assistant | Harness Racing New South Wales |              

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