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West Australian-bred star David Hercules warmed up for the $48,000 interdominion championship qualifying heat at Gloucester Park next Saturday night in superb style with an effortless victory in the $21,000 Nine News Pace on Friday night. Ace reinsman Morgan Woodley enthusiastically declared that the seven-year-old possessed all the qualities to run a mighty race in the $750,000 interdominion championship final at Menangle on March 2, provided he qualified for a start. It was little more than am training run for David Hercules when he started at 25/1 on and was untroubled to set the pace from barrier three and coast to victory by nine lengths over Our Major Mark, rating 1.54.8 over the 2130m. Woodley had a tight hold on David Hercules as he was timed at 29.8sec. and 29.3sec. over the first two 400m sections of the final mile before he sped over the final quarters in 27.9sec. and 28sec. “Short of falling out (of the sulky), that was the only thing I could’ve done tonight to stuff things up,” an admiring Woodley said. “He has done that like trackwork and it was pretty impressive to reel off that sort of time in second gear and under a hold. It’s really a positive sign, heading towards where we’re heading in the next couple of weeks. “He is a tremendous horse, so tractable. His manners are fantastic and he allows me to do anything I like. I can go back off the gate, go forward, take him around to the breeze or sit him back in the run. He’s definitely a true professional and in the big races you need that.” David Hercules, trained at Byford by David Thompson for owners David Botha and Jeneen Johnson, has amassed $781,304 from 28 wins and 29 placings from 83 starts. By Ken Casellas

Marooned, a seven-year-old gelding, who boasted a losing sequence of 20 when he was claimed for $10,000 ten weeks ago, delighted his new owners when he stormed home from the rear to win the $50,000 Channel Nine Binshaw Classic at Gloucester Park on Friday night. A tote outsider at 46/1, Marooned was handled expertly by Chris Voak and his victory over the heavily-supported 9/2 third favourite Northern Assassin and Copagin (10/1) came as a major surprise. There were six claims lodged for Marooned when he contested a claimer at Gloucester Park on November 29 and Gloucester Park Harness Racing committeeman Garry Scott was exceedingly happy when he was successful in the ballot. Marooned, who is raced by Scott, his wife Janine, their son Matt and friends Tony Maguire, Alison Tilt and the Manton brothers, is proving a splendid acquisition, with his first eight starts since entering Matt Scott's Serpentine stables producing two wins and a second placing for stakes of $42,845. The New South Wales-bred Marooned was able to contest the heats of the Binshaw Classic, restricted to M1-class pacers, because his classification was reduced from an M2 mark to M1 after he had extended his losing sequence to ten last August. He started out wide from barrier six on the front line in Friday night's 2130m final and Voak eased him back to race on the pegs. Polemarker Shnappy, the 3/1 favourite, set the pace after resisting a strong early challenge from Atlastalone. The pace was solid throughout, and after each of the first two 400m sections of the final mile went by in 29.4sec., Shnappy sprinted the third quarter in 28.6sec. Northern Assassin, ninth in the first lap, started a three-wide move approaching the bell and he got to a narrow lead 300m from home and looked the winner until Marooned flew home out wide on the track. Marooned was tucked away in the pegs in ninth position at the bell. He was still ninth when Voak eased him off the inside with 400m to travel. Marooned then went four wide and was sixth on the home turn before charging home to burst to the lead in the closing stages. The final quarter took 29.5sec. and the winner rated 1.57. Copagin, who raced three back on the pegs, finished boldly, out wide, to be a neck away in third place, with Shnappy wilting to fourth. "Last week his run (fourth to Copagrin) was a hell of a lot better than what it looked," Voak said. "I don't think we would have been any match for Copagrin, but I reckon if he had got clear a little earlier he would have run second. "Often in these type of races, with the hot speed, you need a lot of luck, and we got that. But by the same token the horse still has to be good enough to hit the line. And tonight he certainly ate it up. I drove Marooned for Matt early in December and he finished strongly to beat This Time Dylan (who went on to finish third to Hokonui Ben and Toretto in the WA Pacing Cup). If This Time Dylan was in tonight's field he probably would have been the $2 favourite." When Marooned won from This Time Dylan he sprinted the final 800m in 56.7sec. and the last quarter in 27.6sec. and Voak admitted to Matt Scott that the gelding was quite a bit better than he had anticipated. Friday night's win, paying $46.80 on the tote, was one of several successes by the gelding at handsome odds. His New South Wales successes included wins at $44.70 at Wagga and $17.60 and $48.70 at Menangle. By American stallion Hare Hare, Marooned has earned $145,722 from 17 wins and 15 placings from 72 starts. The victory continued the 25-year-old Voak's great run of successes this season. With 63 wins he is in second place behind Gary hall jun. (72) on the Statewide premiership. He is equal sixth on the Metropolitan premiership table with 22 wins, with Hall showing the way with 53 wins. EMPRESS STAKES IS THE TARGET FOR FAMOUS ALCHEMIST Leading trainer Gary Hall sen. is setting talented New Zealand-bred five-year-old Famous Alchemist for the $50,000 Empress Stakes at Gloucester Park on February 28 after she had strolled to victory in the 1730m Alan Vawser Memorial on Friday night. Famous Alchemist, favourite at 7/4 on, was never seriously challenged and she was able to stroll through the lead time in a modest 8.3sec. before simply ambling through the first two 400m sections of the final mile in 31.3sec. and 30.8sec. Rarely, in any company, is a leader able to dawdle over the first 800m of the final mile in 62.1sec. Gary Hall jun. gave Famous Alchemist a little more rein and she sped over the final quarters in 28.5sec. and 27.2sec. She was not extended in coasting to victory by a length from 7/1 chance Sensational Gabby, who fought on doggedly after racing without cover. Rocky Marciano, second fancy at 5/2, trailed the pacemaker throughout and was hopelessly blocked for a run in finishing a close third. Hall did not release the ear plugs and Famous Alchemist rated 1.57.3 and could have gone considerably faster. She has led six times at her 20 starts in Western Australia and has won every time. The expected early speed battle between Famous Alchemist (barrier 1) and Sensational Gabby (three) did not eventuate and trainer Ross Olivieri appears to have cured the mare's recent habit of overracing badly in her races. This surprised Hall jun., who said: "I thought that there would have been a lot of speed off the gate and during the week everyone said to me that Famous Alchemist would have trouble in holding up. And we thought that the first half might be run quicker than the last. "But it was one of those races which did not pan out that way and she has led comfortably. Half-way through the race I felt like pulling her one off the fence and putting some pressure on myself. She is a quality mare who has had a few setbacks, and we're happy to have her racing in this sort of form." Famous Alchemist, owned by Karen Hall, has had 37 starts for 12 wins and 12 placings for earnings of $236,219. LIVELONG AND PROSPER REGAINING FORM AFTER SURGERY About a year ago Livelong And Prosper was laid low by injury and his future was uncertain. He was suffering from severe stifle lock in both hind legs and veterinary surgeon Kim Rose had to cut the ligaments in both legs in an attempt to cure the problem. The operation was successful, but when Livelong And Prosper resumed work for Bickley trainer Peter Anderson the somewhat gangling and lightly-framed gelding struggled to reproduce the form he showed when he started his Western Australian career as a three-year-old early in 2012. Anderson then experimented by giving Livelong And Prosper a lighter workload on the training track and concentrated on a lot of swimming in the pool. This decision is paying dividends. The New Zealand-bred gelding has put on weight and is racing with admirable enthusiasm. In his current preparation he has won at Bunbury in November and at Gloucester Park and Harvey in December and he impressed at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he unwound a sparkling late burst to snatch victory from Im Clean Cut and Soho Jackman in the 2130m See It First on Nine Pathway Pace. Despite fast-finishing thirds at his two previous outings, Livelong And Prosper was a 25/1 chance, mainly because of his wide draw at No. 5 on the front line. Soho Jackman, undefeated at three starts since a spell, was favourite at 10/9 on and polemarker Ohoka Kentucky was a firm 6/4 second fancy. Ohoka Kentucky was first into stride, with Gary Hall jun. getting Soho Jackman away brilliantly from barrier six. Soho Jackman poured on the pressure and was held at bay by Ohoka Kentucky before Robbie Williams relinquished the lead after 450m. The early cracking pace had the rest of the field well spread out, mainly in Indian file, with Morgan Woodley able to get Livelong And Prosper across to the pegs in sixth position. Williams took Ohoka Kentucky off the pegs and into the breeze 1050m from home to put some pressure on the leader. Livelong And Prosper was sixth at the bell when Woodley was able to ease him off the pegs before switching him three wide 460m from home. Then the gelding was forced four wide at the 400m when Shannon Suvaljko started a three-wide move with Im Clean Cut. Livelong And Prosper sustained his spirited burst, out wide, to hit the front about 70m from the post and he beat Im Clean Cut (18/1) by a neck, with a neck to Soho Jackman. Ohoka Kentucky wilted to finish fifth. Livelong And Prosper was purchased as a three-year-old by Ken Casellas and Ross Waddell after his four starts had produced one third placing at Alexandra Park. He made an auspicious start in WA, winning at his first two starts, at Harvey and Narrogin in January 2012 before catching the eye with a splendid fast-finishing third to talented three-year-olds Gracias Para Nada and Western Cullen at Gloucester Park the following month. He is now starting to realise his full potential and should improve on his record of seven wins, 16 placings and $45,235 in stakes from 46 starts. By American stallion Falcon Seelster, Livelong And Prosper is the second foal out of Badlands Hanover mare Nicolosa, who had only five starts for one win (at Alexandra Park in August 2006). Nicolosa is the first foal out of Al Cioccolato, who won at her only start, as a three-year-old at Forbury in May 2001. Woodley said that he felt confident after the fast lead time and with the pressure being applied in front. "I was confident until we were pushed four wide at the 400m," he said. "However, he knuckled down well in the straight." UNWANTED ARTISTIC COPPER SHOWS HER CLASS Prominent breeder Mike Howie was disappointed when Artistic Copper failed to attract a single bid at the 2012 Gloucester Standardbred yearling sale. But now is quite happy that nobody was interested in the filly, who had a reserve price of $10,000. Howie decided to keep the filly and gave her to Andrew De Campo to be prepared for racing. Artistic Copper boosted her earnings to $83,125 when she gave a polished frontrunning exhibition to score a three-length victory over the fast-finishing Lipizzaner in the $21,000 Love Child On Nine WA Sales Classic for three-year-old fillies at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Artistic Copper, hot favourite at 3/1 on, started from barrier two and Matt White dashed her to the front after 120m. After moderate quarters of 31.7sec. and 31.3sec., Artistic Copper sped over the final sections in 28.7sec. and 28.3sec. to win easily from 8/1 chance Lipizzaner, who fought on solidly from sixth and last at the bell. Shez Sensational was a half-length away in third place after racing without cover in the middle stages. This gave Artistic Copper her second success in a feature event for fillies. White drove her to victory in the group 1 $100,000 Sales Classic for two-year-old fillies last April. She now has raced 13 times for four wins and one placing. "She is a lot stronger this time in," said White. "She has got better with every run this preparation and she has put it all together now." Artistic Copper is by American stallion Artistic Fella, who earned $2,604,855 from 26 wins, ten seconds and four thirds from 52 starts. He set a world record rate of 1.49.3 over 1700m and in seven of his wins he rated 1.48.4 or better and in another five wins he rated faster than 1.50. ROBINSON GETS VEITCHTY HOME IN A THREE-WAY PHOTO Trainer Michael Robinson made full use of a needle-eye opening in the final stages of the Fat Tony On Nine Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night to send 9/1 chance Veitchy through on the inside of the pacemaker Sargent Sonny to score in a thrilling three-way photo. The camera revealed that Veitchy had scored by a nose from 9/4 favourite Sparkling Seelster, with a head to Sargent Sonny, the 3/1 second fancy. "He always finishes strongly and hits the line well," Robinson said. "He's so consistent and I love driving him. It's a pleasure to have this little horse." Robinson was happy to take the trail behind the pacemaker Sargent Sonny, with Sparkling Seelster in the breeze and 6/1 chance Soho Highroller in the one-out, one-back position. Sparkling Seelster got his nose in front 20m from the post, but just failed to hold off the fast-finishing Veitchy. Veitchy, who won at seven of his 26 starts in New Zealand, has earned $73,795 from 11 wins and 21 placings from 71 starts. He is raced by Dion Poolman, Ashlee Cortopassi, Barry Street, Christian McArthur, Kirsty Ferguson, Simon Campbell-Hardwick, Brett King, Haley Morland, Frank Ranaldi and Richard McArthur. The six-year-old by Sands A Flyin is related to several good winners, including The Cavalier, who won 15 races and $248,089. He is the second foal out of I'llmakemyname, who had only one start, for a win as a three-year-old at Bay of Plenty in October 2005. NORTHVIEW PUNTER ANSWERS A FEW QUERIES "There has probably been a little bit of a question mark over him lately, whether he is still up to his best form," Gary Hall jun. said after driving Northview Punter to a convincing victory in the first heat of the Block On Nine Lewis Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Well the New Zealand-bred four-year-old, favourite at 10/9 on, certainly showed that he is in splendid form as he surged past stablemate Real Hammer and into the lead after 450m and then relaxed with a muddling 31.5sec. quarter before he sprinted over the final three 400m sections in 29.7sec., 28.1sec. and 28sec. to score by just over two lengths from Pacific Warrior, rating 1.56.8 over the 2130m journey. Pacific Warrior, second fancy at 9/4, raced three wide early and then in the breeze and he was gallant in defeat. Mein Guy ran on from sixth at the bell to be a fair third, with Mohegan Sun finishing boldly to be an eye-catching fourth. "There were questions about his form and tonight we were definitely going to find out," Hall said. "We got away with a bit once we got to the front. Northview Punter is a class animal and when he finds the rail he's a hard horse to get over." Northview Punter, a Bettors Delight horse who is prepared by leading trainer Gary Hall sen., has already earned $208,215 from 16 wins and 11 placings from 34 starts. BOBBY TEAL LEADS AND MAKES IT FOUR WINS IN A ROW Former Victorian pacer Bobby Teal, who managed just one win from his first 25 starts in Western Australia and had a losing sequence of 20 three months ago, has struck a purple patch of form and his smart all-the-way win in the 2503m Mark Readings Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night was his sixth victory from his past nine starts and his fourth in a row. Forrestdale trainer Jarrad Humphries has produced the Life Sign six-year-old in grand shape in the past three months and Kyle Harper has relished the opportunity to drive the standing-start specialist who has contested 44 stands in his past 45 starts. Bobby Teal, equal favourite at 7/4, was not extended in leading throughout to win by 5m from the equal fancy J Walker, who started from 20m and sustained a strong three-wide burst from ninth at the bell. Lord Coburn (22/1) who raced three back on the pegs, ran on strongly to finish third. Once Bobby Teal jumped to the front Harper was able to get the gelding to relax and he was able to amble through the first 400m section of the final mile in 31.1sec. before he lifted his rating and reeled off final quarters of 29.3sec., 28.5sec. and 29.5sec. "A lot of stands recently have been run the same way, with the leader being able to get it easy early and then run a quick time over the final 1200m," Harper said. "Most of these fields are made up of evenly-matched bunches. "There was nothing tonight to put a lot of pressure on and that makes it easy to get what you need, and if the horse is good enough he will prove hard to run down." Bobby Teal, owned by Albany businessman Harry Capararo and Queenslander Wayne Innes, has raced 72 times for 12 wins and 24 placings for stakes of $80,966. TAJIES GIRL FINISHES FAST TO CAUSE AN UPSET West Australian-bred four-year-old Tajies Girl caused an upset when she started at 31/1 and finished strongly to get up and snatch victory from 5/4 on favourite Hoylakes Firstlady in the 1730m The Voice On Nine Mares Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The win, by a head, was a triumph for young owner-trainer-reinsman Chris Butt, who had the Blissfull Hall mare poised to strike in the one-out, one-back position throughout. Hoylakes Firstlady started from the No. 1 barrier and was beaten out by Am Opulent from the No. 3 barrier. However, Am Opulent was unable to cross to the pegs and was forced to race without cover all the way. Butt bided his time and waited until the home turn before switching Tajies Girl three wide. Tajies Girl sprinted strongly and burst to the front in the final 15m, with the final quarter being run in a smart 28.6sec. Am Opulent fought on gamely to be third. The winner rated 1.58.5. Tajies Girl, a sound second to Bonsu at Pinjarra last Monday, drew favourably at barrier two in Friday night's race, but Butt was left to Ponder his tactics. "When the draw came out I wasn't sure how it was going to work out," he said. "And as things turned out we got the perfect trip and she got the job done. "She has been racing well in the country, but she is a bit limited and has to be held up for one run." Tajies Girl is out of Classic Rendezvous, who produced Lord Matao, who has had 42 starts for eight wins, eight placings and $65,040. Tajies Girl now has had 27 starts for four wins, six placings and $32,003 in prizemoney. Classic rendezvous was unplaced at three starts as a two-year-old in early 2000 before being retired. SHARDONS ROCKET APPROACHES $300,000 MILESTONE Seemingly indestructible nine-year-old Shardons Rocket moved a step closer to reaching $300,000 in prizemoney when Chris Lewis drove his assertively to score a solid all-the-way victory in the 2130m A Current Affair Claiming Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Owned by Ashley and Gavin McPhail and trained at Byford by Tony Svilicich, Shardons Rocket is an iron horse who has raced 137 times for 25 wins and 47 placings for stakes of $297,102. He was favourite at 5/4 on and Lewis drove him hard from the No. 2 barrier to get past the polemarker Touch Me Toes and into the lead after 80m. Pride of Colorado, resuming after a spell, raced wide early before moving into the breeze and then Lewis increased the tempo, with Shardons Rocket dashing over the final three quarters in 29.3sec., 28.4sec. and 29.2sec. He had to fight grimly to hold on and beat 9/1 chance Rojen Cruz, who raced three back on the pegs before Chris Voak brought him home with a fast run, out five wide on the track. Pride of Colorado battled on gamely to be a close third, a nose ahead of Whos Mistake. On All Fours, who had won at his two previous starts and had enjoyed an ideal passage, one-out and one-back, lacked sparkle and finished sixth in the field of seven. by Ken Casellas  

Former Victorian pacer Shnappy is poised to end a 21-month drought by setting the pace and winning the $50,000 Channel Nine News Binshaw Classic at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The seven-year-old Shnappy's prospects soared when he drew the coveted No. 1 barrier on the front line of the 2130m feature event. The Binshaw Classic has been run only twice and both winners started from the No. 1 barrier and as odds-on favourites. Please Release Me, trained by David Hunter and driven by Chris Brew, led and rated 1.56.8 in defeating Grehawk and Dundee Three in 2012 and last year Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri and champion reinsman Chris Lewis combined to score easily with Red Salute, who set the pace and won at a 1.57 rate from Western Cullen and Gate Bender. Olivieri and Lewis will join forces again in this year's race and Olivieri was delighted when Shnappy drew the inside barrier for his fifth appearance in Western Australia. Shnappy caught the eye in a qualifying heat of the Binshaw Classic last Friday night when he raced in fifth place, three back on the pegs, before finishing fast to be third behind Northern Assassin and Lunar Tide. "He is certainly capable of holding up and leading," Olivieri said. "He's got good gate speed and if we want to lead, he'll lead. Whether we lead or hand up the lead, he's going to get a nice run and I think that he is one of the main chances in a pretty wide-open race." Shnappy led and won at five of his ten wins in Victoria, at Cobram (twice) and at Geelong, Shepparton and Cranbourne. His latest success was when he began speedily from barrier seven on the front line and raced without cover before beating Lovable Larrikin over 2240m at Melton in May 2012. He has managed only three third placings at his subsequent 13 starts. Noted frontrunner Our Amazing Art has drawn favourably at barrier two on Friday night and Shannon Suvaljko is likely to make a bold bid to outpace Shnappy at the start and attempt an all-the-way win with the Debbie Padberg-trained six-year-old. Our Amazing Art began fast from the No. 2 barrier and was untroubled to set the pace and win a qualifying heat last week when he beat the fast-finishing Atlastalone by two lengths. Atlastalone, trained and driven by Garry Butler, is in sparkling form and cannot be underestimated, even from the No. 5 barrier. He is quite versatile and his past five starts have produced two wins and three seconds. Northern Assassin and Copagrin, stylish heat winners last week when they set the pace, will be unable to use their excellent gate speed to advantage after drawing the back line. Northern Assassin will start from No. 3 on the back line, with Copagrin on his immediate outside. Soho Redford, a fighting second to Copagrin last week when he worked hard in the breeze, will start from the inside of the back line and is worthy of consideration. DAVID HERCULES IS AIMING FOR A TILT AT INTERDOMINION GLORY Byford trainer David Thompson is setting his sights on qualifying star pacer David Hercules for the $750,000 interdominion championship final at Menangle on March 2 and the seven-year-old is spot on to win the $21,000 Nine News Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. This will be the gelding's final appearance before contesting the $48,000 interdominion championship qualifying heat over 2536m at Gloucester Park on Saturday week. David Hercules has drawn favourably at barrier three in Friday night's seven-horse event and he should prove too good for his rivals. His reinsman Morgan Woodley and Thompson should keep their winning streak going after they had combined to win with Hugh Victor and Guilty Grin at Gloucester Park on Tuesday. Three-year-old Hugh Victor is a full-brother to David Hercules, who has raced 82 times for 27 wins, 29 placings and $767,444. "I would have rather drawn a terrible barrier in Friday's race and get a good draw in the interdominion heat," Thompson said. "We really want to go to Sydney and the barrier draw will play a big part in the interdominion heat. "I am sure David Hercules can hold his own anywhere and over any distance, provided he gets the right run. He is not far off a hundred per cent right now. After his most recent run (when a strong-finishing fourth behind Hokonui Ben in the WA Pacing Cup three Fridays ago) he has had a quiet week or ten days at his owners' place in Serpentine when they rode him in the sand and kept him around the mark. "He then ran a very pleasing trial at Byford on Sunday morning when he led and rolled around before sprinting home nicely over the final half-mile. We're fortunate enough to have such a good horse and we want to give him every chance in the big races." David Hercules should prove too speedy on Friday night for veteran pacers Mysta Magical Mach and Ima Rocket Star. Woodley, who won with Mysta Magical Mach two starts ago and was again in the sulky when the nine-year-old finished solidly to be third behind Livingontheinterest and Hokonui Ben in the Lord Mayor's Cup last Friday night, will be replaced by Chris Lewis. Lewis drove The Oyster Bar (a stablemate of Mysta Magical Mach) to an all-the-way win last Friday night to end a losing sequence of 25 and trainer Tony Svilicich has engaged Aldo Cortopassi to drive the seven-year-old from barrier two in Friday night's event. This is a massive rise in class and The Oyster Bar will be at long odds. INSIDE BARRIER POINTS TO THE FRONTRUINNING FAMOUS ALCHEMIST New Zealand-bred mare Famous Alchemist is unbeatable when she leads, according to her trainer Gary Hall sen., and when she drew the prized No. 1 barrier in the 1730m Alan Vawser Memorial Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night he declared: "She'll lead and win." Famous Alchemist will clash with promising four-year-old Rocky Marciano, who has chalked up three wins in a row in the past three weeks, and former juvenile pacing star Sensational Gabby. "Famous Alchemist is much quicker out of the gate than Sensational Gabby," Hall said. "She is in terrific form and even went well in the WA Pacing Cup. I wouldn't want her to sit on Sensational Gabby and I consider Rocky Marciano is the danger." Rocky Marciano, trained by Peter Anderson, was a Metropolitan maiden five weeks ago and has had a rapid rise to an M4 classification. He has won with great authority at each of his past three starts and was most impressive when he raced outside the pacemaker Your Good Fortune before racing away to win easily from Argent Treasure over 2536m last Friday night. He meets stiffer opposition this week, but is capable of a bold showing from the No. 2 barrier against Famous Alchemist, Sensational Gabby, last-start winner Truckers Ruffnut and Lord Lombo, who caught the eye with his fast-finishing fifth behind Livingontheinterest in the 2130m Lord Mayor's Cup last Friday night. Famous Alchemist has led at five of her 19 outings in Western Australia --- and she has won at all those five starts. The appearance of Sensational Gabby certainly adds spice to Friday night's race. The five-year-old possesses sparkling gate speed and she has set the pace and won 18 times during her 42-start career which has produced 25 wins, three placings and $469,485 in prizemoney. "I think she should lead," said trainer Ross Olivieri. And in reference to the mare's habit of pulling hard and overracing, Olivieri added: "She will be going forward; that will be Gabby's plans." HOYLAKES FIRSTLADY GETS HER CHANCE IN MARES SPRINT Smart five-year-old Hoylakes Firstlady has drawn the prized No. 1 barrier for only the fourth time in her career, boosting the confidence of trainer Greg Schofield that she will prove hard to beat in the 1730m The Voice On Nine Mares Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. And Schofield believes it is time for Hoylakes Firstlady to take full advantage of the inside barrier. She has finished second at her three starts from the No. 1 barrier --- at Narrogin in March 2012 and at Gloucester Park last September and October. She has been an honest performer for Schofield, earning $93,917 from nine wins and 19 placings from 64 starts. Schofield said that Hoylakes Firstlady (who will be handled by her regular reinsman Nathan Turvey) would attempt to lead all the way over the sprint journey. "She goes well in front and I think she will hold up from one," he said. "It would wise to overlook her seventh behind Aristocratic Glow last Friday night when she got tangled up and locked wheels with Talk About Mach in the front straight racing for the bell." Hoylakes Firtslady performed strongly the previous week when she raced three wide and then without cover before finishing fourth behind Courage On Fire. Looming as one of the main threats to Hoylakes Firstlady is the New Zealand-bred four-year-old Am Opulent, who has won eight times from 26 starts. At her third appearance after a spell, at Pinjarra last Monday week, Am Opulent surged home from the rear to finish second to Eminence Grise. "It was a really good run at Pinjarra and I expect her to be up there and in the firing line for a long way," said part-owner Greg Bond, who trains the mare in partnership with his wife Skye. "Stablemate Showstopper will start from the inside of the back line and is also capable of a strong showing." PRIDE OF COLORADO TO RESUME IN A CLAIMER Pride of Colorado struggled in Free-For-All company at the end of his most recent campaign, prompting trainer Aldo Cortopassi to start the seven-year-old in claiming company at the start of his current campaign. Pride of Colorado, an M5-class performer, will start from the outside barrier in the field of seven in the 2130m A Current Affair Claiming Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night, his first appearance since early last September. "He had three months off and has had a couple of trials and went pretty well," Cortopassi said. "I sat last and just let him run home when fourth behind David Hercules at Byford on Sunday morning. He ran home well and I'm really happy with him. "He struggled against the Free-For-All horses, mainly because he lacks gate speed and is more tough than he is fast. He had a few cracks at Free-For-Alls and was found wanting. So now it's the claimers; there are no other options." Pride of Colorado won six races in 2013 and is capable of a strong first-up showing on Friday night in a race in which he will meet in-form runners On All Fours, Shardons Rocket, Rojen Cruz and Whos Mistake. by Ken Casellas  

Highly-promising four-year-old Heez On Fire is poised to break a losing streak of five by winning the $50,000 San Simeon Classic at Gloucester Park on Friday night, according to Cardup trainer Rod Oliver. Oliver was delighted when Heez On Fire drew the No. 2 barrier on the front line and said: "I'm very happy; that's the marble I had my eye on. I'd rather draw No. 2 than one. If you make a little fumble from one you're going to get buried. But from two you're in the moving line and all you have to do, hopefully, is maintain your spot. "You're then in the firing line and you don't have to worry about getting a run. It's just what I wanted. Hopefully he can roll to the top. It's not imperative that he gets to the front, but, hopefully, he can. "And if he can roll to the top and get a nice quarter before opening up at the bell, he will be very hard to beat. He has only got to reproduce the run that he produced last week and he'll be right in it. He pulled up a treat and has worked super since then. I've only light jogged him on the sand track at home and he felt really good this (Tuesday) morning. His heart rate was good and his recovery was good. I'm really happy with him. "However, it's a big race and I expect plenty of opposition. Rowchester probably will come around early and if we go to the front he'll probably sit outside of us. There obviously will be some pressure, but if he gets a reasonable first quarter he is capable of running a good last half. If he doesn't get run into the ground he'll be running some good time for the final 800m." Heez On Fire again will have the services of ace reinsman Chris Lewis, who should have little difficulty in getting the WA-bred gelding straight to the front. On the inside of Heez On Fire is The Black Lord, who resumed after a spell last Friday when he also started from the prized No. 1 barrier and surrendered the lead after just 50m to Atlastalone, who began speedily from barrier two. Heez On Fire started from barrier two on the back line last Friday night when he settled down in sixth position before Lewis started a three-wide move approaching the bell. Heez On Fire sustained his effort and finished a splendid second (beaten by 1m) to Rowchester, who had worked hard outside the pacemaker Jay Bees Grin before gaining the upper hand 300m from home. This followed wonderful runs when third at his two previous appearances. He charged home, out very wide, from tenth at the bell when third to Im Terrific and Rocky Marciano on December20. And at his previous outing, a fortnight earlier, he started from the outside of the back line and thundered home from 11th at the bell to be third behind Nowitzki and Smokey The Bandit in the 2536m group 1 Golden Nugget Championship. Heez On Fire has earned $99,821 from eight wins and four placings from 19 starts and Oliver has high hopes that the gelding will develop into a quality fast-class performer. The prospects of What God Knows, the fastest of the three heat winners last Friday night when he rated 1.57.4 after leading and holding on to defeat the fast-finishing Atomic Chip, diminished when he drew out wide at No. 6 on the front line. Ohoka Kentucky, a close and unlucky third in a heat behind Rowchester and Heez On Fire, also fared poorly in the random draw and will start from the outside of the front line. Rowchester, to be driven by Gary Hall jun., will start from barrier three on the back line and should make a bold bid for victory. But a vastly superior draw should tilt the scales in favour of Heez On Fire. Atlastalone impressed with his smart all-the-way win in a heat, will start from the inside of the back line, and the noted frontrunner will need plenty of luck to cause an upset. Chris Voak will drive the Ross Olivieri-trained Four Sisters from barrier two on the back line, replacing Lewis. Morgan Woodley has been engaged to drive the Bruce Whiteman-trained outsider Atomic Chip. He will replace Robbie Williams, who will drive his own nomination Ohoka Kentucky. DASHING TRIAL POINTS TO A STRONG SHOWING FROM LEDA McNALLY A sizzling trial at Pinjarra on Sunday morning is a strong pointer that Leda McNally will prove hard to topple in the 2536m Advance Attack Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. It was a most impressive performance, according to reinsman Chris Voak, who said that Friday night's event would be an early stepping stone to the $200,000 Ladyship Mile at Menangle on March 2. Due to an oversight Leda McNally was not nominated for the WA Pacing Cup at Gloucester Park last Friday night and Voak said that he was anxious to give the five-year-old mare a fast workout at Pinjarra on Sunday morning to prepare her for Friday night's assignment. "I let her run, even though I had a good hold on her," he said. "I didn't think that we were running that quick. She rated 1.54.7, which I believe is the fastest time recorded over 2185m at Pinjarra. She missed the Pacing Cup run and needed a good sharp run. The way she went in the trial showed that she would have been more than competitive in the Cup "She's a classy mare who has the score on the board and she's got a good chance on Friday. The Tony Svilicich-trained runners Shardons Rocket and Mysta Magical Mach will be favoured from barriers one and two. But Leda McNally is ready to run a strong race." Leda McNally, a winner of 18 races from 47 starts, will begin from the No. 4 barrier and Voak is hoping the mare will get a good trail in the one-wide line. She reeled off smart quarters of 28.9sec., 29.5sec., 27.6sec. and 28.8sec. in Sunday's three-horse trial in which she beat stablemate Lord Lombo by five lengths. Shardons Rocket, who will start from the No. 1 barrier, broke a losing sequence of 14 when he raced in the breeze before winning easily from the pacemaker tee Pee Village at a 1.58.1 rate in a 2692m claiming event at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon. That followed his excellent second to Gday Mate in the 2936m WA Pacing Cup Consolation at Gloucester Park last Friday night when he set a solid pace. Svilicich has engaged Aldo Cortopassi to drive Shardons Rocket, with Chrism Lewis driving Pacific Warrior. Cortopassi has driven Shardons Rocket at eight of his 81 starts in Western Australia for four seconds and one third placing. Morgan Woodley will return to the sulky behind Mysta Magical Mach, who looks ideally suited from barrier two. The last time Woodley drove Mysta Magical Mach was nine starts ago when the New Zealand-bred gelding won a 1730m Free-For-All at Gloucester Park last May, beating Uppy Son by a head, with has The Answers in third place. Woodley has a wonderful record behind Mysta Magical Mach, with 20 victories, including the 2009 WA Pacing Cup. Mysta Magical Mach, Shardons Rocket and Leda McNally will clash with Livingontheinterest, who put in a strong performance in the WA Pacing Cup last Friday night when he settled down in eighth position and raced wide over the final 1450m to finish seventh behind Hokonui Ben. "His Cup run was good and if he had drawn a barrier in Friday night's race I would have declared him," said trainer Gary Hall sen. "He's right in this race." HALL ADVISES PUNTERS TO "GET ON" LORD DIEGO FROM THE No. 1 BARRIER New Zealand-bred seven-year-old Lord Diego has been unplaced at his past seven starts and has a losing sequence of ten. But champion trainer Gary Hall sen. advice for punters is to "get on" when the gelding lines up at barrier one in the 1730m Lancaster Park Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Lord Diego resumed after an absence of four months when he battled on from eighth at the bell to finish sixth behind Atlastalone over 2130m last Friday night. "I was very happy with his first-up run," Hall said. "He is a strong stayer and he should lead and win." Lord Diego, who has won at 12 of his 70 starts, will clash with the Ross Olivieri-trained Deluxe Edition, the youngest runner in the race who caught the eye with her excellent second to Talk About Mach over 2130m last Friday night. Four-year-old Deluxe Edition (Chris Voak) was restrained back to last from the No. 5 barrier before she sustained a spirited three-wide burst from the 1050m to lose by half-a-length. She will start from barrier four this week and should fight out the finish. Hall sen. also has high hopes for Toretto in the TABtouch-Home of Racing and Sports Betting Pace after the lightly-raced five-year-old's fine effort to finish a nose second to his more experienced stablemate Hokonui Ben in the 2936m WA Pacing Cup last Friday night. Toretto, driven by Kim Prentice, sat behind the pacemaking Hokonui Ben before finishing fast to fail by the barest possible margin. Gary Hall jun. will replace Prentice, who will handle the polemarker, stablemate Whos Mistake in the 2130m event. "Toretto will go forward and should win," said Hall sen. "Whos Mistake will not be handing up to any horse apart from Toretto, whose Cup run was not beyond my expectations. He's racing in great form and I considered that he was a definite place chance." Hall has two of the fancied runners in the TABtouch Three-Year-Old Pace in Eyre Crusher and High Courage. "I can't separate them," he said. "Gary will drive High Courage because the colt has a few problems ... he hangs and gets on one knee and does a few little things like that. Kim Prentice will drive Eyre Crusher." High Courage, a winner of one race from only four starts, will begin from barrier three, with Eyre Crusher starting from the coveted No. 1 barrier. At his second appearance after a spell High Courage had a very tough run in the breeze when a fighting second to the pacemaker Bettor Rules over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Tuesday of last week. Eyre Crusher, a winner at one of his two starts in New Zealand, has finished second at each of his three starts in Western Australia. He resumed after a spell at Gloucester Park last Friday week when he sprinted home fast to be second to the impressive Machtu over 2130m. Forrestdale trainers Greg and Skye Bond have two good prospects in the race in Black Mr Mach and Zacharia and the David Thompson-trained Hugh Victor and Bob Mellsop's last-start winner Bettor Rules will have many admirers in what should be one of the keenest betting races on the program. Chris Voak, who has driven Prince of Whitby, Ginas Ingot and Soho Mercury to victory at each of their most recent outings, has given punters a lead by choosing to handle the Ross Olivieri-trained Prince of Whitby.   By Ken Casellas  

Young trainer-reinsman Kyle Harper declared that he couldn't be happier with rising star Bettors Fire drawing the coveted No. 1 barrier in the $250,000 Yes Loans Fremantle Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night and said he was confident of leading and holding his 11 rivals at bay. He said that the brilliant five-year-old was "bigger, rounder and stronger" than he was when an unlucky fifth behind Hokonui Ben in the Village Kid Sprint last Friday week. "Since that race I have freshened him up a bit," the 23-year-old Harper said. "He got a little bit lighter than I would have liked and now he's put on between ten to 20kg. I find he races better when he's a bit bigger. He has put on the weight in his neck, over his barrel and over his rump. He's rounded right up and is nice and fit. "I upped his intake of grain and have given him slow work. Now I'm producing him as the sharper horse he was before (when he won the Navy Cup, Mount Eden Sprint and Bunbury Cup) and I think he's got good enough gate speed to hold up pretty comfortably." Harper said that Bettors Fire was one of four stand-out horses in the group 1 Cup over 2536m. "I couldn't be happier, drawing No. 1, especially with two of the main three dangers (Im Victorious and David Hercules) drawing the two outside positions on the back line. The other danger is Washakie, who has drawn the inside of the back line. "Really I think that Bettors Fire, Im Victorious, David Hercules and Washakie stand out above the rest of the field. I think that Im Victorious and David Hercules will come very fast, very late. So then I won't have the chance of holding back to the field and keeping Washakie hemmed in, if he is trailing me. I will just have to get going and hope that we're good enough to hold off Washakie and the others." Kevin Jeavons, who races Washakie in partnership with Gino Monaco and Lindsay Severn, said that the ten-year-old trained in New South Wales by John McCarthy, was still racing with youthful enthusiasm and had arrived in Perth on Tuesday morning in "good nick" after a float trip from Sydney to Melbourne and a flight from Melbourne. He is stabled at Noel Keiley's Byford property. Washakie, who has raced in the Fremantle Cup three times for an eighth behind Power of Tara in 2009, a second to Im Themightyquinn in 2011 and fourth behind Im Themightyquinn in 2012, notched his 53rd victory from 140 starts and boosted his earnings to $1,837,473 when he won the group 3 $45,000 Shirley Turnbull Memorial at Bathurst on December 26. Two starts before that he won the group 1 $100,000 Treuer Memorial at Bankstown for the fifth year in succession. Jeavons said that he would leave the driving tactics to McCarthy, who is due to arrive in Perth on Wednesday to fine tune the evergreen gelding for his assignment on Friday night. David Hercules worked in dashing style in a trial at Byford on Sunday morning for trainer David Thompson, but his prospects diminished when he drew the outside of the back line in the Cup. However, reinsman Morgan Woodley warned that it would be unwise to disregard David Hercules as a realistic prospect, saying: "He has proved himself time and time again that he is a top-notch performer and if the early pace is solid and he gets a suitable run he can certainly come home and make his presence felt. "Perhaps if we can get a cart up behind Im Victorious and get taken into the race he could be a good each-way chance. It looks as though Bettors Fire will lead and prove to be tremendously hard to beat. The rest of us will be relying on that little bit of luck. Thommo couldn't have David Hercules any better than he is at the moment and if the horse had drawn one or two we would have been very confident." At his most recent outing, David Hercules started from the outside of the front line and was restrained to the rear before he finished powerfully to be second to Hokonui Ben in the Village Kid Sprint last Friday week. Woodley then handled David Hercules in a 2150m trial at Byford on Sunday morning when he sat behind the pacemaker Mysta Magical Mach before surging home to win the trial by 7m from Mysta Magical Mach at a 1.57.4 rate after speeding over the final two 400m sections in 28.7sec. and 27.2sec. "He ran the final sectionals in very slippery times and still had something left in reserve," Woodley said. Dasher VC, who started from the No. 1 barrier and set the pace before holding on to win the 2013 Fremantle Cup over 2936m, will start from barrier two on the back line for Capel trainer Andrew De Campo and reinsman Chris Lewis. "It's not a bad draw," said de Campo. "I expect Bettors Fire to lead and Dasher VC should get a good run through. We might go to the fence and be three back. I reckon there will be a fair bit of pressure in the race and Dasher VC can really sprint. His form is good; it's better than it reads on paper and he goes into the race with a chance." By Ken Casellas  

Leading trainer Gary Hall sen. cracked the jackpot when his three brilliant speedsters drew the inside three barriers in the $60,000 Retravision Village Kid Sprint over 1730m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Hokonui Ben will start from the prized No. 1 barrier, rising star Toretto will start from barrier two and Livingontheinterest, the track record-holder over 1730m, will start from No. 3. Champion reinsman Gary Hall jun. will resume driving after serving a term of suspension and will have the choice of driving the classy New Zealand-bred stablemates. Hokonui Ben makes strong appeal. He is a talented frontrunner who has won on each of the two occasions he has drawn the No. 1 barrier in a mobile event in Western Australia, the latest being four starts ago when he scorched over the final 800m in 54.8sec. and rated 1.55.5 in defeating David Hercules over 2130m on November 22. He has finished second at each of his three subsequent outings --- when he led from barrier two and was beaten by Livingontheinterest over 2536m, when he raced in the breeze and was unable to overhaul the pacemaker Sneakyn Down Under over 2130m and when he trailed the pacemaker Livingontheinterest before finishing strongly to be a half-length second to that gelding over 1730m last Friday night. Livingontheinterest and Toretto cannot be underestimated. Kim Prentice drove Livingontheinterest when the six-year-old set the pace and rated a smart 1.54.9 when he beat Hokonui Ben last Friday night. He started from barrier three and made most of the running when he won by almost four lengths from Hokonui Ben when he set a record rate of 1.53.1 over 1730m on June 14 this year. The injury-plagued Toretto is the least experienced of the stablemates, but has created an excellent reputation in winning at nine of his 14 starts. He maintained his superb form when he led from barrier one and coasted to victory over Our Major Mark, Red Salute and Hez The Bart Man in the 2130m Christmas Gift final last Friday night. He gave a sample of his versatility the previous week when charged home from the rear to win easily from Hez The Bart Man. The David Thompson-trained David Hercules is a magnificent sprinter, but his prospects faded when he drew out wide at barrier seven in a one-line field of nine. He led from barrier one and rated 1.54.2 when he beat Son of Fergie by six lengths three starts ago and he set a State record for 1700m when he rated 1.52.8 in beating Grinjaro by three lengths in July 2012. Since his most recent victory David Hercules has finished second to Hokonui Ben and third to Sneakyn Down Under and Hokonui Ben and he warmed up for this week's assignment in great style when he raced without cover early and then set the pace before winning a 2150m Byford trial on Sunday morning by four lengths from Ima Rocket Star. He sped over the final two 400m sections in 28.1sec. and 27.5sec. Morgan Woodley is likely to restrain David Hercules back towards the rear before asking the seven-year-old to unwind a sizzling late sprint. Bettors Fire, a highly-promising New Zealand-bred five-year-old, also warrants considerable respect after winning at eight of his first ten starts in Western Australia for young trainer-reinsman Kyle Harper. Bettors Fire will start from barrier four and Harper will be hoping to obtain a favourable passage in the one-wide line before issuing a last-lap challenge. Bettors Fire has won at his two appearances over 1730m, including his easy all-the-way victory over star pacer Im Victorious in the Mount Eden Sprint in the first week of November when he rated 1.53.8. Dasher VC showed a welcome return to form last Friday night when he started from the back line, dashed forward three wide in the middle stages and then raced in the breeze before fighting on to finish third behind Livingontheinterest. Stating from the No. 6 barrier on Friday night will not help his cause. FRONTRUNNING SOHO REDFORD GETS HIS CHANCE IN COULSON FINAL West Australian-bred four-year-old Soho Redford is a noted frontrunner and his prospects of winning the $25,000 The West Australian Coulson final at Gloucester Park on Friday night soared when he drew the coveted No. 1 barrier in the 2130m feature event. Vance Stampalia is certain to make his intentions perfectly clear that he will be all-out to set the pace with the freewheeling Mach Three horse, even though he is likely to be challenged for the early lead by smart frontrunners Bettors Ace (barrier two) and Im Terrific (three). Bettors Ace, to be driven by his trainer Ryan Bell, resumed after a short let-up in fine style when he led from barrier one and cruised to victory over Clifford and Condrieu in a 2130m event last Friday week. Then Im Terrific, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, made the most of the No. 1 barrier when he led and defeated Rocky Marciano and Heez On Fire over 2130m last Friday night. Soho Redford, whose is prepared by Tonia Stampalia (sister of the reinsman), notched his third win from his past six starts when he led from barrier three and beat Miss Atomic by four lengths over 2190m at Northam on Thursday of last week. Four starts before that, he started from the No. 1 barrier and was not extended in setting the pace and winning by more than two lengths from Extreme Dreams over 2536m at Gloucester Park. Soho Redford's main rivals could well be the other four-year-olds in the race, Heez On Fire, Rocky Marciano and Condrieu. Heez On Fire, trained by Rod Oliver, is nicely drawn at No. 2 on the back line and Chris Lewis is sure to get the Courage Under Fire gelding into a prominent position soon after the start. Heez On Fire was most unlucky when third behind Im Terrific and Rocky Marciano last Friday night when he was trapped four wide early and had to be restrained to the rear before unleashing a spirited finishing burst. He was most impressive two weeks earlier when he charged home from last to finish third behind Nowitzki and Smokey the Bandit in the 2536m Golden Nugget Championship. The Peter Anderson-trained Rocky Marciano is awkwardly drawn at No. 5 on the front line, but he is capable of producing a spirited finish if he is able to slot into an advantageous position soon after the start. He finished strongly when second to Im Terrific last week after enjoying an ideal passage, one-out and one-back. Condrieu, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, has excellent potential and has won at nine and been placed at 11 of his 28 starts. He raced wide for the first 600m and then set the pace before finishing third to Ohoka Courage and Lisharry over 2692m at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon. He showed his class when he began brilliantly, set a fast pace and finished second to Chilli palmer in the 2536m McInerney Ford Classic at Gloucester Park three starts before that. He will start from barrier four on the back line on Friday night. Condrieu's stablemate Cool Johnny, a stylish first-up winner two starts ago, has each-way prospects after drawing perfectly on the inside of the back line. He should gain a wonderful trail behind the likely pacemaker Soho Redford. LEDA McNALLY POISED TO MAKE IT FOUR WINS IN A ROW Star mare Leda McNally fared poorly in the random barrier draw and will start from the outside of the back line in The West Australian Mares Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. But this should prove no disadvantage for the brilliant five-year-old who looks classes above her ten rivals. Leda McNally has won in fine style at her past three appearances to take her record to 18 wins and eight placings from 44 starts for stakes of $257,308. Trainer Chris King tuned Leda McNally up for this week's assignment by sending her around in a 2185m trial at Pinjarra on Sunday morning. She was handled by her race driver Chris Voak and after racing in the breeze early, Leda McNally set the pace and won easily from stablemate Lord Lombo after sprinting the final 800m in 55.6sec. It was an excellent effort by Leda McNally, who completed a hat-trick of wins four Fridays ago when she charged to an early lead and romped to an effortless victory over Famous Alchemist in the 2130m $100,000 Mares Classic. Famous Alchemist, who also finished second to Leda McNally in the $40,000 Norm's Daughter Classic last month, should again fill the runner-up position. The mare, trained by Gary Hall sen., is perfectly drawn at the No. 1 barrier on the front line and should set the pace. But she appears to have little hope of holding out Leda McNally, who can unwind a devastating finishing burst. Maggies Mystery and Sensational Gabby appear the most likely runners to fight out the third placing. Maggies Mystery, a fast-finishing winner two starts ago, will start from the inside of the back line and should get a perfect trail behind the likely pacemaker Famous Alchemist. Sensational Gabby was also an impressive winner two starts ago when she pulled hard behind the pacemaker Ragpickers Dream before finishing strongly to snatch victory from that pacer over 2130m. Sensational Gabby will start from the No. 2 barrier on the back line and should gain an ideal passage in the one-wide line. NORTHVIEW PUNTER LOOKS A STAR BET IN NIGHTS OF THUNDER HEAT New Zealand-bred four-year-old Northview Punter has the class to overcome the disadvantage of a wide barrier in the first qualifying heat of The West Australian Nights of Thunder at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Three heats will be decided over 1730m, with the nine runners in each heat starting from just one line across the track. The fastest nine horses will qualify for the $50,000 final the following Friday night. Northview Punter will start from the No. 8 barrier and Gary Hall jun., resuming after a term of suspension, is sure to set sail after the leaders in the first circuit. Northview Punter returned to peak form last Friday night when he started from the outside of the back line, dashed forward in the first lap and raced without cover before surging to the front 350m from home and winning very easily from the fast-finishing Bronze Seeker, rating 1.58.4 over 2536m. His main opposition is likely to come from stablemate My Hard Copy, who has drawn ideally at No. 1. The four-year-old My Hard Copy has won at nine of his 33 starts and he has the necessary gate speed to be able to set6 the pace. Northview Punter and My hard Copy are prepared by leading trainer Gary Hall sen., who has sound prospects in the other heats of the Nights of Thunder with The Ragpicketrs Dream (heat two) and Rowchester (heat three). by Ken Casellas  

Victorian invader Chilli Palmer is the least experienced runner in the $125,000 McInerney Ford Classic at Gloucester Park on Friday night, but he is in devastating form and has excellent prospects of giving outstanding trainer Dean Braun a perfect record in this group 1 event for four-year-olds. The 37-year-old Braun has had two runners in this event --- and each was successful, with Mustang Mach starting favourite at 6/4 and winning from Lovers Delight in 2011 and Chancellor Cullen starting at 5/2 on, setting the pace from the No. 2 barrier and holding on grimly to beat Bronze Seeker by a half-head 12 months ago. Chilli Power has strung together five wins in succession and goes into Friday night’s event with an enviable record of six wins and a second from only eight starts. He fared poorly in the random draw and will start from the outside of the back line. But Braun sees this as a lucky omen. Mustang Mach wore the No. 12 saddlecloth and started from the outside of the back line for his victory in the McInerney Ford Classic when he raced three wide early to move outside the pacemaker Seel N Print after 750m before getting to the front with 450m to travel and fighting on grandly to defeat the fast-finishing Lovers Delight. Chilli Palmer, a New Zealand-bred gelding by Elsu, warmed up for this week’s assignment in fine style when he raced in sixth position in the one-wide line before sprinting home brilliantly over the final 400m in 27.7sec. to win easily from The Major League over 1720m at Melton last Saturday night. That followed an easy first-up victory over 2100m at Geelong 12 nights earlier. Braun enjoyed his best season in 2012-13 when he trained 106 winners and 93 placegetters in Victoria from only 287 starters. He also won races in Brisbane, Sydney, Hobart and Perth, with his filly Itz Nosurprisesthere successful in the group 1 Queensland Oaks. He has started the 2013-14 season in fine style and is in third place in the Victorian Statewide trainers’ premiership table with 26 winners and ten placegetters from just 54 starters. Champion New Zealand horse Bit Of A Legend has drawn out wide at No. 6 on the front line and reinsman Brent Mangos will be hoping for a far better performance from the stallion after his failure as an even-money favourite when a wilting 11th behind Nowitzki in the Four-Year-Old Championship at Gloucester park last Friday night when he started from barrier five and worked hard in the breeze. This disappointing effort followed his smart win at his WA debut the previous week when he dashed to an early lead, set the pace and sprinted over the final 800m in 56.1sec. He has raced 35 times for 17 wins and 11 seconds for stakes of $638,928 and cannot be underestimated. Adding tremendous interest will be the appearance of the only mare in the event, Robyns C C, who is trained at Serpentine by Chris Brew and is ideally drawn at barrier two on the front line. The mare, who was driven by Mangos at two of her three wins in New Zealand, is in superb form and has not been extended in winning at each of her past six starts. Robyns C C is extremely versatile and has won when leading, after racing without cover and when held up for a late burst. Brew’s other runner, Glenferrie Hood (seven wins and four placings from 13 starts) will start from the No. 2 barrier on the back line, immediately behind Robyns C C. The Victorian-trained Nowitzki, who gave an excellent frontrunning display (from the No. 1 barrier) to score an easy victory over Mexicano and Northview Punter in the 2130m Four-Year-Old Championship last Friday night, faces a tougher task over 2536m this week after drawing the outside barrier (No. 7) on the front line. Leading WA trainer Gary Hall sen. has won the McInerney Ford Classic with The Falcon Strike (2001) and Im Themightyquinn (2008) and this year he will be represented by Northview Punter (14 wins from 26 starts) and My Hard Copy (nine wins from 30 starts). The consistent Northview Punter is a tough, no-nonsense type of pacer with sound prospects from the No. 4 barrier. He trailed the pacemaker Nowitzki for much of the way last week when a fighting third to that gelding. My Hard Copy, an easy all-the-way winner over 1730m at a 1.54.6 rate two starts ago, has drawn the prized No. 1 barrier and will be driven by Shane Butcher. Gary Hall jun. will again be in the sulky behind Northview Punter. Bickley trainer Peter Anderson also has two runners in Friday night’s race, Mexicano (barrier No. 3) and Rocky Marciano (inside of the back line). Mexicano impressed last Friday night when he raced three back on the pegs and finished strongly to be second to Nowitzki and Rocky Marciano ran on gamely from five back on the pegs to finish fourth. BETTOR COVER LOVER SET TO PASS THE MAGIC $1 MILLION MARK A perfect barrier at No. 2 on the front line should be the ingredient for success for champion New Zealand mare Bettor Cover Lover in the $40,000 Norm’s Daughter Classic over 1730m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Owned by prominent West Australian veterinary surgeon Trevor Lindsay, Bettor Cover Lover has a superior record to that of her 11 rivals and she looks set to notch her 20th win from 35 starts and boost her earning past the $1 million mark. The big, rangy mare who stands 16.2 hands has improved a lot since her seventh behind Bettors Fire in the Mount Eden Sprint three Fridays ago. That was her first appearance for five months and she had the distinct disadvantage of starting from the outside of the back line. The six-year-old has worked in fine style for trainer-reinsman Brent Mangos since that defeat and paced stylishly when second to the frontrunning Sensational Gabby in a 2185m trial at Pinjarra last Sunday week when the final two 400m sections were covered in 27.1sec. and 28.4sec. Leading WA trainer Gary Hall sen. has four runners, Askmenow (barrier one), Korobeit Angel (seven), Famous Alchemist (inside of the back line) and Chloe Vargarita (No. 2 on the back line). Askmenow has won at nine of her past 14 starts and is a good frontrunner. But Bettor Cover Lover should reveal superior early speed and is likely to burst to an early lead. The fastest beginners on the front line are Sensational Gabby (No. 3) and Leda McNally (No. 4) and they should make life interesting and challenging for Mangos. Sensational Gabby, a five-year-old who has won at 24 of her 36 starts, will be having her first start for Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri and it is problematical whether Chris Lewis will ask the mare to go flat out at the outset at her first appearance for seven months. However, Chris Voak is sure to be tempted to make an early bid for the lead with the speedy Leda McNally, who is blessed with sparkling gate speed. She began like a flash from the inside barrier before strolling to an effortless all-the-way victory at a 1.54.3 rate over 1730m last Friday night. Leda McNally started from the inside barrier in the 2012 Norm’s Daughter Classic when she trailed the pacemaker Lucie Boshier (barrier three) and was blocked for a clear run when an unlucky third to that mare. Lucie Boshier has won once (four starts ago) and has been unplaced eight times from her past nine starts and she is hard to recommend from the No. 5 barrier. The best of the Hall runners could be Famous Alchemist, who should enjoy a good passage from the inside of the back line. Famous Alchemist had a tough run, three wide early and then in the breeze, when a sound third behind Leda McNally and Deluxe Edition last Friday night. HAYTER GETS A GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY WITH DREDLOCK ROCKSTAR Young Bunbury reinsman Kaiden Hayter has been handed a golden opportunity to land another Metropolitan winner after being engaged to handle the speedy Dredlock Rockstar in the 1730m McInerney Ford Falcon Ute Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The 22-year-old Hayter was offered the drive behind the Michael Callegari-trained five-year-old to enable the gelding to contest the $17,500 event which is restricted to M1-class pacers. Hayter’s junior concession qualified Dredlock Rockstar, an M2-class performer, to contest the race. And Dredlock Rockstar’s prospects soared when he drew the prized No. 1 barrier. Dredlock Rockstar is in superb form, with his past 17 starts producing seven wins and nine placings. He was most impressive at Gloucester Park last Friday week when Aaron Beckett (replacing the suspended Ashleigh Markham) drove him to a brilliant all-the-way victory over Ohoka Dallas and Shardons Rocket in the 2130m Parliamentarians Cup. That took the gelding’s record to 41 starts for 12 wins and 17 placings for stakes of $100,056. This win came a week after Dredlock Rockstar had finished powerfully from last at the bell to be third behind Bettors Fire and Im Victorious in the Mount Eden Sprint. Seven-year-old Jar Zinyo, who has a losing sequence of 20 stretching back to a win at Melton 23 months ago, looks a place certainty. The gelding, trained by Gary Hall sen., will start from the inside of the back line and should trail the pacemaking Dredlock Rockstar throughout. Tough seven-year-old Wrongly Accused also has bright place prospects after he ended a losing sequence of 11 with an easy victory over Raymon John at Gloucester Park on Monday afternoon. That took the Tony Svilicich-trained gelding’s record to 21 wins and 47 placings from 182 starts. SMART TRIAL A POINTER TO THE PRODIGY’S FIRST-UP PROSPECTS A smart trial victory at Pinjarra on Sunday morning by The Prodigy was a strong pointer to her prospects in the 2130m McInerney Ford Belmont Service Pace for three-year-old fillies at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The Prodigy, trained by Ross Olivieri and driven by Chris Lewis, sped over the final 400m of the trial in 27.6sec. and scored by two and a half lengths from Our Jerry Lee. She will start from the No. 3 barrier on Friday night and should be prominent throughout. The Prodigy has not appeared since she raced erratically and covered a lot of extra ground before finishing a distant eighth behind Artistic Copper in the $100,000 Sales Classic for two-year-old fillies last April. Artistic Copper, trained by her breeder-owner Mike Howie, looks likely to be one of The Prodigy’s main rivals. She will start from the No. 1 barrier and Nathan Turvey is likely to attempt an all-the-way win. Artistic Copper resumed after a spell at Northam on Sunday when she raced in the one-out, one-back position and finished third behind Shes So Cool. Shes So Cool faces a tougher task on Friday night from out wide at barrier No. 6. She will again be driven by Brent Mangos, who replaced Pinjarra trainer Kade Howson on Sunday after Howson was suspended for 12 days for having obliged another runner to cover extra ground in a race at Bunbury on Saturday night. New Zealand-bred filly The Parade will be hard to beat despite starting from the outside of the back line. Trained at Boyanup by Justin Prentice, The Parade has scored convincingly at each of her past three starts, two at Pinjarra and one at Gloucester Park. The return to racing of Shez Sensational adds further interest to the race. Shez Sensational is trained at Byford by Callan Suvaljko and she showed abundant promise as a two-year-old and is capable of a bold first-up showing. DAVID HERCULES LOOKS A GOOD BET AFTER BRILLIANT FIRST-UP WIN The ease in which David Hercules defeated his rivals, first-up, over 1730m last Friday night should influence punters to support the seven-year-old when he contests the $21,000 McInerney Ford Falcon Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. David Hercules, trained by David Thompson, led easily from barrier one and sped over the final quarters in 28.2sec. and 27.7sec. to win by six lengths from Son of Fergie at a 1.54.2 rate. David Hercules will start from the No. 2 barrier on the front line and Morgan Woodley is sure to attempt another all-the-way win. However, Woodley might not have an easy task to send David Hercules straight to the front, with Hokonui Ben drawn the prized No. 1 barrier. Hokonui Ben also was racing first-up in last Friday night’s event in which he started from barrier three and raced in the one-out and one-back position before being hampered for room in the closing stages and finishing fifth behind David Hercules. by Ken Casellas  

Victorian trainer-reinsman Daniel Jack sounded an ominous warning when he declared that Nowitzki was not at his top and there was plenty of room for improvement after driving the gelding to a comfortable victory in the $50,000 Retravision Four-Year-Old Championship at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Jack confidently predicted that Nowitzki would take beating in the $125,000 McInerney Ford Classic next Friday night and the $175,000 Lancaster Park Golden Nugget two weeks later when he said: “I don’t think that he went to his peak tonight and I would like to think that he will be better next week and then in the Nugget. “The one thing I’ve got is unwavering faith in the horse. As soon as I saw that he had drawn one for tonight’s race I thought he would win. And an easy first lap made things easier.” Nowitzki’s smart victory came a week after his shock defeat at his West Australian debut, when at his first appearance for three months, he worked hard in the breeze and finished second to Our Boy Su. “There’s no substitute for match practice,” Jack explained. “He had a little bit of that last week. We got the right alley tonight, but the horse still has to be good enough to capitalise on this this. And he was.” Nowitzki, a heavily-supported second favourite at 2/1, revealed sparkling early speed and burst straight to the front from the No. 1 barrier, with the even-money favourite Bit Of A Legend quickly moving outside the pacemaker, who after a modest lead time of 37.8sec., was able to dawdle through the first 400m section of the final mile in a leisurely 32.3sec. There was an early sensation when Extremely Good, who had settled behind the leader, broke into a bad gallop after 250m, causing severe interference to Smokey The Bandit and a slight check to Rocky Marciano. Northview Punter (9/1), who had begun speedily, was able to be taken to the pegs by Gary Hall jun. to gain an ideal run behind the pacemaker. The incident also enabled 84/1 outsider Mexicano to slot into the position three back on the pegs. Nowitzki went through the second quarter in only 29.7sec. before Jack gave the gelding’s rivals something to chase by speeding through the third section in 27.9sec. and then dashing over the final quarter in 28.2sec. Jack drove Nowitzki hard in the home straight and the New South Wales-bred pacer won by just over a length from Mexicano, with Northview Punter a sound third, ahead of 75/1 chance Rocky Marciano, who made up good ground along the pegs. The winner rated 1.57.8 over the 2130m journey. The shock of the race was the failure of Bit Of A legend, who faded badly over the final 450m to finish in last position, eight lengths from the winner. Jack earned the displeasure of the stewards, who fined him $400 for an incorrect whip action in that he used more than a wrist and elbow action in the home straight. He was also reprimanded for having allowed Nowitzki to drift up the track in the concluding stages. Extremely Good (Chris Butt) had to be taken from the track in a float. He was suffering from serious damage to his off foreleg and was taken to a veterinary clinic for X-rays. It was feared that he had suffered a fracture. Nowitzki, a $100,000 yearling owned by Robbie Brockhurst and Matt Jack, now has earned $92,425 from eight wins and five placings from just 16 starts. By Art Major, he is the sixth foal out of the Armbro Operative mare Full Pleasure, who had 26 starts for ten wins, six placings and stakes of $106,496. Full Pleasure won the $100,000 group 1 Vicbred Super Series for two-year-old fillies at Cranbourne in July 2001. She was retired at the end of her three-year-old season. Nowitzki is named after the German professional basketballer Dirk Nowitzki, a star with the Dallas Mavericks in the US NBA. The 7ft (213cm) Nowitzki is a power forward who earns $8 million a year. Nowitzki is a half-brother to former star juvenile performer Kept For Pleasure, who won four group 1 events in a glittering career of 37 starts for 19 wins, ten placings and $542,343. Kept For Pleasure’s major victories were the Australian Pacing Gold for two-year-old fillies at Albion Park in May 2007, the Victoria Oaks (at Bendigo) and Australian Oaks (Moonee Valley) in 2008 and the Australasian Breeders Crown at Melton in August 2009. DAVID HERCULES FLIES IN FRONT AND BLITZES THE OPPOSITION David Hercules made a dazzling return to racing at Gloucester Park on Friday night when his runaway victory in the Fisher and Paykel Pace showed that he is on target to be a major player in the rich feature events over the summer months. The seven-year-old was produced in superb condition by Byford trainer David Thompson for his first-up assignment after an absence of 15 weeks and from the prized No. 1 barrier over the 1730m sprint trip he was favourite at 5/2 on. Morgan Woodley shot David Hercules straight to the front and the gelding relished his frontrunning role and he dashed over the final four 400m sections of the last mile in 29.8sec., 28.9sec., 28.2sec. and 27.7sec. He rated 1.54.2 and defeated 18/1 chance Son of Fergie by six lengths. Son of Fergie started from the inside of the back line and enjoyed the run of the race behind the pacemaker. Western Cullen (50/1) raced three back on the pegs before finishing solidly along the inside to be third, ahead of Shardons Rocket (breeze) and the resuming Hokonui Ben, who raced wide early and then in the one-out, one-back position. Hokonui Ben was hampered for room in the final stages. “He’s a really exciting horse,” enthused Woodley. “Thommo has done a fantastic job to have him so right first-up. He trialled well at Byford on Sunday and pulled up realty well from the trial. He’s come here and really blitzed his rivals, and he has done it with such ease. He has a great will to win and every time he gets out there he just wants to put his best foot forward.” David Hercules ended a losing sequence of six and improved his record to 27 wins and 25 placings from 77 starts for $713,974 in prizemoney. LEDA McNALLY WARMS UP IN STYLE FOR RICH FEATURE EVENTS Victorian-bred five-year-old Leda McNally enhanced her reputation as West Australia’s best mare with an effortless all-the-way victory in the 1730m Panasonic Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Her brilliant win was convincing proof that she has excellent prospects in the $40,000 Norm’s Daughter Classic next Friday night and the $100,000 group 1 Mares Classic the following Friday night. Her clashes with champion New Zealand mare Bettor Cover Lover in those events are sure to produce plenty of fireworks. Leda McNally appeared classes above her rivals on Friday night and astute punters were delighted at her 5/2 on starting price. Leda McNally clearly won the start from the No. 1 barrier and Chris Voak was able to get her to relax and stroll through the first 400m section of the final mile in 30.1sec. and the second quarter in a comfortable 29sec. Voak then slipped Leda McNally into overdrive and she responded with final quarters of 27.6sec. and 28.5sec. without being extended. She rated a slick 1.54.3 over the 1730m. Deluxe Edition (7/1) trailed Leda McNally throughout and fought on gamely to be second, with Famous Alchemist (5/1) finishing third after racing wide early and then without cover. Corza Commotion (40/1) maintained her steady improvement since resuming from a spell with a sound fourth placing after racing three back on the pegs. “We were able to get a 59sec. half, so that was going to make it hard for deluxe Edition to get over us,” Voak said. “It certainly was a good hit-out for the mare. She’s had a great preparation for the rich races for mares and she should be spot on for them. “I never expected her to graduate to an M7 mark. She’s done a great job for trainer Chris King.” Leda McNally was sent to King’s Pinjarra stables by owner Greg Stubbs after she had raced 15 times in Victoria and New South Wales for just one win and three placings. She now has had 27 starts in WA for 15 wins and five placings and her earnings now stand at $164,908. “I think she started at $12 (11/1) at her first start in WA,” Voak said. “And we certainly never though that she would reach the heights that she has. She has gone from strength to strength. “Leda McNally’s performances weren’t that good over east and she was sent to Chris to see if he could do a job with her and try to flog her off for $5000 to $10,000.” OFFTOCULLECT MAKES AN IMPRESSIVE AUSTRALIAN DEBUT Stylish New Zealand-bred colt Offtocullect showed that he would be one of the early fancies for the WA Derby next year when he gave an impressive performance at his Australian debut to score an effortless victory in the 2130m LG Three-Year-Old Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Trained at Forrestdale by Greg and Skye Bond, Offtocullect was driven with supreme confidence by Colin Brown, who got the colt into the clear soon after the start after beginning from the inside of the back line. Brown then sent Offtocullect forward, three wide, to move into the breeze in the first circuit. Offtocullect was an easing 6/4 second favourite, with his stablemate Black Mr Mach (also making his Australian debut for the Bond camp) heavily supported into 5/4 favouritism. Art of Illusion (18/1) was fastest into stride from barrier three, beating out Black Mr Mach (barrier two), and leading for the first 450m before Modigliani (30/1) surged to the front. Brown was content to leave Offtocullect on the outside of Modigliani until he sent the colt to the front 250m from home. Offtocullect dashed over the final 800m in 57sec. and won at a 1.59 rate by three lengths from the fast-finishing Black Mr Mach, with Tasmanian Bromac (26/1) running on into third place. “He’s a very nice horse,” was Brown’s understated comment after the race. “He might not have looked like it, but he actually knocked off a little bit and I had to ask him to run through the line. And there was a little bit more there.” Offtocullect has had six starts for five wins and a second placing for earnings of $28,630. BROWN CASHES IN AS SUVALJKO PULLS THE WRONG REIN Shannon Suvaljko was generous in his praise of Ballas Arockstar after driving him to victory at 37/1 last Friday week, but he opted to handle What God Knows in preference to Ballas Arockstar in the 2536m Mitsubishi Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. It was the wrong decision and Colin Brown made the most of the unexpected opportunity to drive Ballas Arockstar for only the second time in the seven-year-old’s 112-start career by bringing him home at odds of 23/1. Suvaljko set the pace with the polemarker What God Knows (second fancy at 5/2) and he looked set to win when he was still more than a length clear of his nearest rival half-way down the home straight. But Ballas Arockstar sprouted wings to flash home, hit the front 40m out and beat What God Knows by almost a length at a 1.59.5 rate. Nediak trailed the pacemaker and battled on to be third, with the even-money favourite My Hard Copy an unlucky fourth. The complexion of the race changed dramatically when Devastating Power broke when racing outside the pacemaker 750m from home. My Hard Copy, who was moving forward strongly, met with interference and lost momentum. Ballas Arockstar, eighth at the bell, was able to get into the clear and he unwound a powerful finishing burst. My hard Copy came home strongly into fourth place. “Until the horse in the breeze broke I thought I had no hope,” said Brown. “That’s one thing about racing. It’s not over until they hit the line. So we’re going to take this one.” Ballas Arockstar, trained by Shane Tognolini, has been an honest and consistent performer throughout his career of 17 wins and 30 placings for stakes of $152,806. He now moves to an M1 classification and should continue to be a good moneyspinner. SOHO HIGHROLLER HAS THE PEDIGREE TO BECOME A PROLIFIC WINNER West Australian-bred five-year-old Soho Highroller should develop into a prolific winner if he follows then footsteps of some of his famous relations. Soho Highroller, trained by Gary Hall sen., was driven by Gary Hall jun. when he started at 8/1 and caused an upset by beating 5/1 on favourite Lunar Tide in the 2130m Electsales Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He started from the inside of the back line and raced three back on the pegs while Colin Brown held sway in front with Lunar Tide, who was able to stroll through the first 800m of the final mile in 61sec. before sprinting the final two quarters in 28.8sec. and 27.5sec. But Lunar Tide was unable to hold out Soho Highroller, who was eased off the pegs by Hall jun. shortly after the bell and then moved to the breeze 350m from home before sprinting strongly in the home straight to beat the favourite by a length at a 1.56.7 rate. It was an impressive effort from Soho Highroller, who has earned $48,879 from seven wins and 16 placings from 36 starts. By the American stallion bettors delight, Soho Highroller is out of former star mare Pelicanrama, an outstanding juvenile performer who went on to amass $730,271 from 55 wins and 37 placings from 149 starts. Pelicanrama won at 18 of her 24 starts as a two-year-old and at 13 of her 23 starts as a three-year-old. Her victories as a two-year-old in 1999 included the $250,000 Australian Pacing Gold at Harold Park, the $75,000 New South Wales Sires Stakes and the $30,000 Edgar Tatlow Stakes at Moonee Valley. Pelicanrama is a full-sister to Mustang Fighter, who won three races in WA a couple of years ago and ended his career with 29 wins, 26 placings and $292,566 in prizemoney. Soho Highroller also is closely related ion his dam’s side to former brilliant pacer Bag Limit, who earned $794,995 from 35 wins and 21 placings from 71 starts. Bag Limit won the 1985 Victoria Derby, the 1987 Bendigo Cup, the 1988 Ballarat Cup, the $250,000 Winfield Gold Cup at Moonee Valley in 1987 and 1988 and two heats of the 1988 interdominion championship at Harold Park in 1988. TALK IT UP WINS ON PROTEST TO END LOSING SEQUENCE OF 15 Veteran pacer Talk It Up broke a losing sequence of 15 when he finished a close second to This Time Dylan in the 2130m As Local As You Claiming Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night before being awarded the race on protest. This Time Dylan, the even-money favourite and bidding for four wins in a row, settled in last position from the outside of the front line, moved to the breeze outside the pacemaker Im Grant Lea just after a lap had been completed and then took the lead 430m from home. This Time Dylan fought on doggedly to hold out the strong-finishing Talk It Up to gain the verdict in the photo finish by a head. But Ryan Warwick, driver of Talk It Up, lodged a protest, alleging interference in the home straight. After a lengthy hearing the stewards upheld the objection and reversed the placings. The stewards also fined Warwick $200 for an incorrect whip action in that he used more than just a wrist and elbow action. Talk It Up, a nine-year-old Victorian-bred gelding, had not been successful since scoring by a half-head from Onedin Crusader in a claimer at Gloucester Park in May this year. He is trained by Greg and Skye Bond and has now had 103 starts for 11 wins, 29 placings and $106,215 in strakes. Smooth Caesar, an eight-year-old gelding was claimed for $10,000 by Marie Bingham of South Yunderup. He is expected to continue his career under the care of Pinjarra horseman Kim Young. ERRIS LAD MAKES THE MOST OF A BENEFICIAL RE-CLASSIFICATION WA-bred seven-year-old Erris Lad appreciated a drop down from an M2 classification to an M1 mark when he gave a strong frontrunning display to score an effortless victory in the 2503m Retravision On Line Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The Mike Reed-trained gelding started from the front line and was a well-supported second favourite at 7/2. He was untroubled to score by more than four lengths from ten-year-old mare Salliwood, with Polak, a stablemate of the winner, a sound third. Erris Lad went into the race with a losing sequence of ten to earn the right of a re-classification. He had been unplaced at all of those ten starts, all after starting h from the 10m or 20m mark. “He was just waiting for a barrier draw,” said reinsman Shannon Suvaljko. “He’s a really good horse in front, and starting off the front line made all the difference. He can run solid sectionals and once he got to the front he was going to be hard to beat.” This was the second time that Erris Lad had won after receiving the benefit of a re-classification to an inferior mark. The gelding, whom is related to former speedy mare Meggie Dear (56 starts for 24 wins, 11 placings and $186,171) now has earned $135,112 from 12 wins and 18 placings from 71 starts. Gday Mate, the 5/2 favourite off 20m, finished a good fifth after coming from last in the middle stages and tenth at the bell. A CHANGE OF FORMAT REVITALISES OLD McDONALD At the start of Old McDonald’s current campaign, Banjup trainer Colin Brown gave the seven-year-old gelding three starts on three successive Friday nights, and after a great first-up second (beaten a nose in the final stride by Ohoka Samson) he lost some of his sparkle and disappointed with a fifth and tenth placing. So Brown decided to space the gelding’s runs, and he was rewarded when Old McDonald, a 8/1 chance charged home brilliantly to win the second heat of the 2130m Electrolux Kersley Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. At his first start for 11 days, Old McDonald slotted nicely into the one-out, one-back position before unwinding a sparkling late burst of speed to snatch a neck victory from Code Red, who had taken a narrow lead 620m from home after working hard outside the pacemaker Smirking. “I have learnt my lesson that I shouldn’t race him three weeks in a row and that I need to space his runs,” Brown said. “And I’m sure it is making a difference. He has the ability to graduate to Free-For-All company. “I haven’t been happy with the way the horse has looked over the past 12 months, and it has been only in the past three to four weeks that he has started to look good again.” Old McDonald was eligible to start in Friday night’s event restricted to MC-class pacers after receiving a concession with a drop down from an M3 mark to an M2 mark. He went into the race with a losing sequence of 11 and had received a concession before his previous appearance. Old McDonald has earned $103,933 from 13 wins and 15 placings from 42 starts. His win on Friday night completed a treble for Brown, who had been successful earlier on the program with Ballas Arockstar and Offtocullect. TORETTO MAINTAINS HIS SPLENDID FORM Problem pacer Toretto notched his fourth win from his past five starts and gave promise of better things to come when he proved far too good for the opposition in the 2130m Retravision.com.au Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Toretto, hot favourite at 5/1 on, led from barrier two and after modest quarters of 31.8sec. and 30.7sec. he sped over the final two 400m sections in 28.7sec. and 28.6sec. to beat Our Boy Su by 4m after that pacer had worked hard in the breeze. “He has been a problem horse and a nightmare for his owners,” said reinsman Gary Hall jun. “We have had problems with his tractability and he has gone sore a couple of times. “He has definitely got the ability and we’ve tried for a long time to straighten him out. But we haven’t been all that successful. He’s, obviously an on-pace runner and from good draws he’s capable of running good times. I’m sure he will measure up in the better classes when he draws to find the frail or to get outside the leader.” The New Zealand-bred Toretto, a five-year-old by Julius Caesar, has raced only ten times for seven wins and a third placings for $46,520 in prizemoney. by Ken Casellas  

FATHER AND SON LOOKING FOR A HAT-TRICK IN FOUR-YEAR-OLD CLASSIC The powerful father and son combination of leading trainer Gary Hall sen. and leading reinsman Gary Hall jun. is on target to complete a winning hat-trick in the Retravision Four-Year-Old Championship at Gloucester Park on Friday night after Northview Punter drew barrier three on the front line in the random draw for the $50,000 classic. A versatile pacer who has won when leading and also after racing in the breeze and when saved up for a late charge, Northview Punter has been in splendid form since resuming from a spell, with five wins, two seconds and a third from eight starts. The Halls triumphed in the championship 12 months ago when 12/1 chance Bettor Reason started from the No. 3 barrier, set the pace and held on to defeat Your Good Fortune and Bronze Seeker. They were successful the previous year when 5/1 on favourite The Gold Ace started from barrier four and worked hard in the breeze before getting to the front 250m from home and winning from Lovers Delight and the pacemaker Ohokas Bondy. Northview Punter had a tough run without cover before wilting to finish third behind Bit Of A Legend and Galactic Galleon in a prelude of the Golden Nugget last Friday night. He covered the 2130m in 2min. 35.8sec. Bit Of A Legend’s time was 2min. 35sec. Victorian invader Nowitzki, whose prospects soared after drawing the coveted No. 1 barrier on Friday night, ran the 2130m in 2min. 37.4sec. in an M0-class event last Friday night when a head second to the pacemaker Our Boy Su after racing in the breeze. When quizzed by the gelding’s performance by the stewards, trainer-reinsman Daniel Jack said that he was disappointed at the effort, particularly because Nowitzki had been working extremely well in the lead-up to the race. However, he told the stewards that he expected a far more forward showing from the gelding in future. Nowitzki is blessed with excellent gate speed and is a noted frontrunner. Jack is certain to get Nowitzki away fast and attempt to hold the lead from the three runners on his immediate outside, Glenferrie Hood (No. 2), Northview Punter (three) and Heez On Fire (four). Whether any of those three pacers exerts any great pressure on Nowitzki in the early stages is problematical. Indeed, Brent Mangos, the driver of the star New Zealander and nominal favourite Bit Of A Legend, will be hoping that there will be early challenges for the lead which should enable him to position his horse into an advantageous position, just off the speed. Bit Of A Legend boosted his earnings to $638,928 and his record to 17 wins and 11 seconds from 34 starts with his effortless victory last Friday night when he started from barrier three and burst to the front 300m after the start. Mangos will not find things that easy this week. However, the stallion is a high-quality pacer whose past 14 starts have produced 11 wins and three seconds. Heez On Fire, trained by Rod Oliver, will be attempting his sixth win in a row for champion reinsman Chris Lewis. Heez On Fire’s first two runs after a spell produced stylish wins at Harvey. But he meets far stiffer opposition on Friday night. Lewis won the Four-Year-Old Championship in 2010 when Dasher VC raced in the breeze and defeated the pacemaker David Hercules. The New Zealand-bred Extremely Good has resumed after a spell in good form for young trainer-driver Chris Butt and his prospects of fighting out the finish soared when he drew the inside of the back line. However, Condrieu drew poorly at barrier seven, the outside of the front line and Ryan Warwick appears certain to restrain the gelding and rely on his powerful finishing burst. Condrieu, unbeaten at two starts this season, is trained by Greg and Skye Bond. Greg Bond trained Ima Rocket Star when that pacer was driven to victory by Colin Brown in the 2009 Four-Year-Old Championship. Brown will drive his own nomination Erskine Range (a winner at Pinjarra at his two runs this season) from the outside of the back line. Bickley trainer Peter Anderson has two back-line runners in Rocky Marciano (Morgan Woodley) and Mexicano (Chris Voak). Each pacer recorded a first-up win last week, but they will need plenty of luck from barriers three and four on the back line to figure in the finish. SUMMER CARNIVAL HOPES BACK IN ACTION Leading summer carnival feature race contenders David Hercules, Hokonui Ben and Livingontheinterest will resume after winter spells when they clash in the $21,000 Fisher And Paykel Pace over 1730m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. This should provide a major highlight on a night of top-class pacing action. The David Thompson-trained David Hercules fared the best in the random barrier draw and will start from the prized No. 1 position from which Morgan Woodley appears certain to attempt an all-the-way victory. But the brilliant seven-year-old is sure to be seriously tested by the Hall runners who have proved themselves in the best company in the State. Woodley drove David Hercules when the gelding contested a 2150m trial at Byford on Sunday morning this week and rated 1.56.3 when he finished solidly to be a half-length second to Wrongly Accused. David Hercules, the winner of 26 races and $700,114 from 76 starts, last appeared when a fair fifth behind Im Themightyquinn over 2130m at Gloucester Park on August 2. Neither Hokonui Ben nor Livingontheinterest has appeared in recent trials, but Hall has a happy knack of producing horses, first-up, in top condition. He has a remarkable success rate with pacers racing first-up after a spell. Hokonui Ben last appeared when he started from the outside of the back line and came from the rear to race without cover for almost two laps when a fighting third to stablemates Livingontheinterest and Im Themightyquinn over 2536m at Gloucester Park on July 26. Livingontheinterest, who possesses dazzling gate speed, set the pace and went to the line strongly. The previous week David Hercules was a 4/1 on favourite when he led from barrier two and finished a nose second to Hokonui Ben over 2130m --- after Hokonui Ben had worked hard in the breeze for most of the way. The final two quarters were run in 27.8sec. and 27.3sec. Evergreen nine-year-old Shardons Rocket will start from the No. 2 barrier and will be handled by Shannon Suvaljko after Woodley, his usual reinsman, opted to drive David Hercules. Shardons Rocket gave a typical tough performance last Friday night when he raced without cover and fought on grandly to finish third behind Dredlock Rockstar in the 2130m Parliamentarians Cup. LINE UP AND GET READY TO COLLECT ON OFFTOCULLECT Stylish New Zealand-bred colt Offtocullect looks set to make a perfect Australian debut when he contests the $17,000 Panasonic Pace for three-year-olds at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He arrived in Perth less than three weeks ago and will start from the inside of the back line. But he should prove far too good for his nine rivals after proving his fitness with a solid victory in a Byford trial on Sunday morning when he sprinted the final 400m in 28.7sec. and beat his stablemate Black Mr Mach by a neck at a 1.59.4 rate over 2150m. Offtocullect and Black Mr Mach, also just arrived in WA from New Zealand, are trained by Greg and Skye Bond. Offtocullect has raced only five times for four wins and a second. He was most impressive at his latest outing when he began brilliantly and quickly opened up a four-length lead in a 2000m event at Rangiora on September 20. He surrendered the lead to Hannah Jaye after 800m and trailed her until the home turn before careering away to win by two and a half lengths. At his previous outing, over 2200m at Forbury on August 29, Offtocullect was ninth after 1000m before dashing forward, three wide, to race in the breeze before bursting to the front 400m from home and winning by four and a half lengths. Colin Brown will drive Offtocullect, whose main rival is likely to be Black Mr Mach, who has raced only twice for a second and a fourth. He was eighth (and last) at the bell before he started a three-wide burst 550m from home and finished strongly to be fourth over 1700m at Forbury at his latest appearance, on October. He will be driven by Ryan Warwick and is favourably drawn at the No. 2 barrier on the front line. There is plenty of exposed local form in Friday night’s race and the Justin Prentice trained and driven gelding Tasmanian Bromac will have admirers from barrier four on the front line. He finished solidly when a first-up third to Major Presley at Narrogin on Thursday of last week and should be improved by the outing. He finished powerfully to win from Hugh Victor at Gloucester Park in early June. Art Lover, Maxipat, Major Presley, Modigliani and Crimson Floyd are all recent winners, but at this stage of their careers none of them appears capable of defeating Offtocullect. IT LOOKS JUST A DODDLE FOR SPEEDY LEDA McNALLY Brilliant five-year-old Leda McNally should prove to be one of the best bets of the year when she contests the $17,000 LG Pace for mares over 1730m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. She is the best-performed runner in the race and has earned $153,688 from her 15 wins and eight placings from 41 starts. She has an M6 classification and has drawn the prized No. 1 barrier over the sprint journey against eight rivals whose classifications range from M0 to M4. Leda McNally, trained at Pinjarra by Chris King, should give Chris Voak an armchair drive in the lead. She has sparkling early pace and is a talented frontrunner. Leda McNally warmed up for this week’s assignment with a splendid fourth behind Dredlock Rockstar in the 2130m Parliamentarians Cup last Friday night when she started from the back line, raced in the one-out, one-back position and beat home several open-class Cup pacers including Ima Rocket Star, Dasher VC, Please Release Me, Franco Renegade and Sneakyn Down Under. Deluxe Edition will start from the inside of the back line and she should obtain a perfect trail behind the freewheeling Leda McNally and figure in the finish. Famous Alchemist is awkwardly drawn at No. 5 on the front line, but she has the class to overcome that disadvantage and finish in a minor placing. IM VICTORIOUS CRUSHES RIVALS IN VILLAGE KID SPRINT Star five-year-old Im Victorious warmed up for the $750,000 Miracle Mile at Menangle with an effortless victory in the $30,000 Village Kid Sprint at Northam on Tuesday night. He began fast from the outside (No. 7) on the front line and after racing wide in the early stages Justin Prentice sent him to the front. From there it was a procession and Im Victorious won by more than four lengths from Mein Guy at a 1.55 rate over the 1780m trip. This was the New Zealand-bred pacer’s 20th victory from just 28 starts and boosted his earnings past the $500,000 mark. by Ken Casellas  

Outstanding six-year-old David Hercules gets a perfect chance to return to the winning list after drawing barrier No. 2 in the $21,000 Premier Suzuki Says Happy 50TH Birthday Paul Poli Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He has been forced to cover extra ground from unfavourable barriers at his past three starts, when third to Livingontheinterest, third to Franco Renegade and fifth behind Im Themightyquinn. But from the No. 2 barrier this week Morgan Woodley should be able to dash the gelding straight to the front and dictate terms. David Hercules should have no difficulty in going straight past the polemarker Son of Fergie, who has led only twice (for a win and a third) from 112 starts. Son of Fergie is a noted sit-sprinter, who has finished strongly to win over 2130m at his past two outings, at Gloucester Park on the past two Friday nights. David Hercules, trained at Byford by David Thompson, set the track record for 2130m when he led easily from the No. 2 barrier, zoomed over the final 800m in 55.3sec. and recorded a rate of 1.53.6 in defeating Rocket Reign by 17 metres. Livingontheinterest looms as the main danger to David Hercules after he impressed last Friday night when he charged home from eighth and last at the bell to finish third behind Im Themightyquinn and Has The Answers over 1730m. Livingontheinterest, a winner at 16 of his 30 starts, possesses sparkling gate speed and is a brilliant frontrunner. But it is difficult to suggest that he can start from the No. 5 barrier and muster enough early speed to cross David Hercules. Livingontheinterest is trained by Gary Hall sen., who has an excellent second strong in Hokonui Ben, a winner of 13 races from 40 starts. He is racing keenly and twice last month he produced a powerful finishing burst to be second to Livingontheinterest. Veteran Has The Answers, who set the pace and finished an excellent second to Im Themightyquinn over 1730m last Friday night, will start from the back line and faces a very difficult task. However, Please Release Me has sound place prospects from the back line. He caught the eye last Friday week when he rattled home from four back on the pegs to be second to Im Themightyquinn in the 2130m Winter Cup. Ken Casellas

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