Day At The Track
Search Results
1 to 8 of 8

Reinsman Donald Harper has claimed a thrilling finish to the Albany Harness Racing Club’s driver of the year award despite not recording a winner at the final meeting of the 2018-19 season on Friday night. Aaron Beckett led the standings by four points over Harper heading into the last meeting but when Beckett didn’t make the trip down to Albany, it was set up for a cracking finish. With points awarded to the top three drivers in each race, Harper had six drives on the 10-race card to overhaul Beckett. Harper wasted no time as he finished second in the first three races on Peter Anderson-trained runners to take the lead. Driver Donald Harper with Girlfromdandalup on Friday night. He added two third placings, including in the $10,000 Denmark Cup to reach 69 points and win the AHRC Drivers’ Premiership. Harper had 10 winners from his 63 drivers in Albany across the season to edge out Beckett (65 points). Emily Suvaljko enjoyed a terrific season to claim third place in the standings with 62 points, while the top five was rounded out by Trent Wheeler (56) and Tim Stone (43). Anderson had already wrapped up the trainers’ title and, like Harper, was not able to notch a winner on the final night, but his success was evident with a comfortable win in the trainer of the year award. With 15 wins to his name from a total of 71 runners, Anderson collected 90 points to easily beat Barry Howlett (58), Alfred Paganoni (32) and Peter Fairless (32). Disco Under Fire was crowned Pacer of the year after a third win of the season on Friday took him to 21 points to defeat Marilyn Said (17). Suvaljko was a clear winner in the junior driver standings. AHRC Trainer-of-the-Year Peter Anderson 90 points Barry Howlett 58 Alfred Paganoni 34 AHRC Driver-of-the-Year Donald Harper 69 points Aaron Beckett 65 Emily Suvaljko 62 AHRC Pacer-of-the-Year Disco Under Fire 21 points Marilyn Said 17 Its Major Bubbles 13 Cameron Newbold / Albany Advertiser Reprinted with permission of The West Australian

It’s a classic case of tearing out your hair and then curling the mo. That’s the rollercoaster ride of Oldbury horseman Donald Harper with pint-sized gelding Thereugo, the first pacer he has bred. Four-year-old Thereugo, a handful as a two-year-old, has blossomed recently, revealing dazzling gate speed and winning at five of his past six starts and at Gloucester Park on Friday night he faces a moment of truth when he clashes with the brilliant Nathans Courage in the third qualifying heat of the Schrader Pace. Thereugo is raced by Harper’s octogenarian grandfather Don Harper, who played 11 league matches for Claremont in 1952 and 1953 as a hard-nut half-forward flanker and rover. He went on to become a successful trainer-reinsman, whose successes included winning the 1959 Country Derby and WA Derby at Gloucester Park with Pauls Gift. Thereugo, by American-bred sire McArdle, is out of the New Zealand-bred mare Janice Franco, who had 110 starts for eight wins, 19 placings and stakes of $76,782. “I was driving for Tracey Reed about seven or eight years ago and she was training Janice Franco,” Donald Harper said. “Janice Franco then came up for sale and I bought her for $10,000 and won a couple of races with her. Her first foal was Thereugo, who gave me quite a few problems as a youngster. I was pulling my hair out a bit with him; he was just pulling so hard. He was running good times on the track, but I couldn’t get him to sit up and kick home.” It was then that Harper decided to give Thereugo to his younger brother Kyle to train in a hope that he could cure the pacer’s problems. “I had a few in work and giving him to Kyle seemed an easy option at the time. “He’s inherited his speed from McArdle and he’s definitely toughened up as he’s got older. He still doesn’t look like a four-year-old; he looks more like a three-year-old. The whole way through he’s been six months behind; as a two-year-old he was smaller than all the others. “He has drawn barrier five on Friday night and I think he’ll probably find the front. If he does, I think he can win. I know he can rate around 1.56 over 2130m.” Thereugo improved his record to ten wins and two thirds from 24 starts for earnings of $55,790 when he started from the outside barrier (No. 9) and raced three and four wide early before bursting to the front after 500m and setting a brisk pace and winning easily from Debt Free Charlie and Abraxas Blues over 2130m last Friday night. That followed all-the-way wins from barriers five and seven at his two previous outings. The appearance of Nathans Courage, who will be driven by Michael Grantham from barrier seven, will be one of the highlights of the ten-event program. The four-year-old, who has won at 11 of his 25 starts, has not raced since he led from the No. 4 barrier and won the 1730m Nights of Thunder from American Boy and Bettor Offer at a 1.53.4 rate at Gloucester Park on January 13 this year. He had given a sample of his class and wonderful potential in December when second to Mr Mojito in the Four-Year-Old Championship and second to Soho Tribeca in the Golden Nugget. Trainer Michael Brennan is looking forward to another exciting and successful campaign from Nathans Courage and he said that he is confident of a strong first-pup performance after the gelding had led and finished a half-head second to Smokey The Bandit in a 2185m trial at Pinjarra last Sunday week, rating 1.57 after final quarters of 27.3sec. and 28sec. Gary Hall jun. has given punters a good lead in this event by choosing to drive Overboard Again in preference to stablemates Ideal Justice and Campora, who will be handled by Clint Hall and Lauren Jones, respectively. Overboard Again, a winner at nine of his 23 starts, will start out wide at barrier eight, but is capable of a bold showing. Ken Casellas

Donald Harper maintained his reputation as a harness racing driver of long-priced winners when he brought inexperienced three-year-old The Mighty Rock home with a powerful burst from the rear to score a smart victory in a 2185m event for R0-class performer at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon. Trained at Byford by Peter Anderson, The Mighty Rock was an unwanted $193.20 outsider, making him one of the longest-priced winners in West Australian harness racing history. The Mighty Rock, who had finished tenth at Pinjarra and eighth at Kellerberrin at his only previous starts, began from barrier four on the back line and was 11th in a field of 12 at the bell before he charged home, out five wide, to win from King of Cougars and Son of a Digger. This followed the last-to-first victory of the Anderson-trained and Harper-driven $48.60 outsider Irockmyworld in the Kellerberrin Cup eight days earlier. The Mighty Rock is out of the unraced Die Laughing mare Marilyn Ann, an unraced Hilarion mare who produced seven winners, including Buck The Odds, who was trained by Anderson throughout his career of 121 starts for 31 wins, 29 placings and $307,547 in stakes.   The Mighty Rock is the fifth foal out of Marilyns Might, whose first foal Might Be Luck is still racing in claimers at Menangle. Might Be Luck has been placed at two of his past three starts and has won at Melton, Ararat, Yarra Valley and Terang this season. Anderson trained Might Be Luck for much of his career in WA before Harper took over as trainer and drove him to victory at long odds ($38.50) when he flew home from 11th at the 250m mark to gain a last-stride victory over Hugh Victor at Gloucester Park in September 2015. Might Be Luck now has earned $115,848 from 18 wins and 18 placings from 115 starts. The Mighty Rock was bred and is owned by Bob Fowler, who was holidaying with his wife Marilyn in Morocco when he won at Pinjarra on Monday. Long-priced winners is certainly nothing new for the 29-year-old Harper. Last December Harper drove nine-year-old Gallymont Cohort to and all-the-way win over Calais and Rocky Marciano at Northam. Gallymont Cohort, trained by Harper, went out at odds of $91.50 on the tote. Another of Harper’s wins as a trainer and driver this season was with Jasper Whitby, who scored at $44 at Northam in March. Reinforcing the claims that Harper deserves to be recognised as WA’s long-shot king is that he trained and drove Sir Artsplace for a memorable victory at tote odds of $121.70 in the Pat Cranley Sprint over 1700m at Gloucester Park on September 30, 2011. Harper restrained Sir Artsplace from the No. 7 barrier back to 11th position before sending him forward to be sixth, three wide with a trail, at the bell. The gelding got to the front in the final 20m and won from Wrongly Accused and My Jasami. Another current long-shot driver is Dean Miller, whose winners this season include Be Prepared (a $152.20 shot who came from the rear to win at Gloucester Park on February 24), Hilo Angus (a winner at $94.80 at Narrogin in March) and Smashing American (a Pinjarra winner vat $48.80 in March). Chris Voak’s numerous winners this season include Turquia ($72.70) and Firebomb ($61.20) and drivers of other long-priced winners include Deni Roberts (Borntobeanartist at $68.80 and Tsar Bomb at $63.50), Stuart McDonald (Sir Slick at $82.80), Lauren Jones (Tajie Baby at $61 and Shardons Rocket at $46), Callan Suvaljko (Ingot Dreaming at $58.50, Sweet Dilemma at $56.30 and Aldebaran Eastwood at $46.40), Bailey McDonough (Hot Fraternity at $81.60), Shannon Suvaljko (Foxy Dame at $75.70, The Midas Touch at $31.80, Bad Round at $29.30, Qtown Rip Roaring at $27.70, Spot The Shark at $24.30 and Colour Coded at $23.20), Garry Johnson (Spoilt Dilinger at $63.40) and Michael Grantham (Who Thru Teddy at $51.50, Northern Emperor at $30.20, Racey American at $29.80 and Real Zeal at $23.30). Ken Casellas

Another one of Harnesslink's previews for the big day of harness racing at Melton on Sunday. First up this time it is the turn of the 4 year old mares. Breeders Crown 4 Year Old Mares Final One mare stands head and shoulders above the rest here and that of course is the outstanding racemare Frith. The winner of 28 races as well as 8 placings from just 37 starts, Frith has a major obstacle in her way to claim win number 29. Frith has drawn one on the second row and is going to need divine intervention at some point in the race if she is to add another trophy to the cabinet. The tactics here are all important but we feel Bruce Harpley may drop Frith back early to try to get away from the inside running line. If Frith can get off the inner in the first lap then she is still the horse to beat but the draw has definitely brought her right back to the field. Just as clearly second pick for us is the super consistent Im Smouldering who has only missed a placing four times in 42 starts. She has the master Gavin Lang in the bike and the draw of five is perfect for her. Im Smouldering will definitely work her way forward and has the all round game to win this race.  After those two mares it becomes a very even contest but we always like to stick with the proven class performers and that's what we have done here. Our Femme Fatale from barrier one is a major player but she will want to take a sit because if she leads she is a sitting duck for Frith. Who she hands up to is the big question but Arma Express looks the logical choice. The Western Australian Arma Express will definitely have a look for the lead from barrier three for her trainer /driver Donald Harper. Arma Express has only had two runs back from a long spell so should have derived further improvement from her gutsy run in the heat last Sunday. The other mare we like is Couageousnquick but her draw of six makes this a difficult ask for the talented mare. Chris Alford in the bike is a big plus and she is a major player here with the run to suit. SELECTIONS Even from the draw we are still drawn back to Frith. She is one hell of a racemare and with any kind of luck Frith will notch win number 29 on Sunday. The danger for us is undoubtedly Im Smouldering who looks back to her best after her tough run for second to Frith last Sunday in the heat. After that we think that Our Femme Fatale, Arma Express and Courageousnquick all have the talent to play a part in the finish. First four players should add The Baggy Green and Cenosilocophobia to the mix as cover. Breeders Crown 4 year Old Colts/Geldings Final The old saying that form is temporary and class is permanent is apt in the case of the outstanding four year old Bit Of A Legend. Sent to Perth in December last year for the Golden Nugget, the trip turned into a nightmare for  Bit Of A Legend and he returned to New Zealand with his tail between his legs. Nursed back to full fitness by Cran Dalgety, Bit Of A Legend had his first start back from the Perth disaster at Melton last Sunday in a Breeders Crown heat. Wide early and then parked there after, Bit Of A Legend just absolutely blew them away when Dexter Dunn asked him to run at the 400 meters mark. He should take a huge amount of improvement out of his first run for over nine months and even from six on the second row Bit Of A Legend is first pick for us.  The obvious danger is Chilli Palmer who has drawn at barrier five on the front line. He likes to launch off a horses back and is not renowned for doing it tough but he does have a lightning sprint if held up for that one run. Chilli Palmer will go back at the start and look for that slingshot run at them late in the piece. The Tasmanian Pachacuti has really been in the zone lately but faces his stiffest test from four on the second line. Still a major player and can rough it but the draw has hurt his winning prospects in our view.. The winner should come from those three runners we have previewed. The next two after the leading trio are Marty Monkhouser and Lettucefib who could both run in three with a run to suit. SELECTIONS  Bit Of A Legend is shooting for his third Breeders Crown title on Sunday and we think he will bag number three. A combination of a great horse, trainer and driver means Bit Of A Legend picks himself in our view. Chilli Palmer is a clear second pick as he has beaten Guaranteed and Smoken Up this season so he has all the ability in the world. The only negative is his racing style but as he has shown in the past he can overcome that. Pachacuti has won ten of his last eleven and winning can become a habit. His trainer Barrie Rattray is top class and Pachacuti will be primed to run the race of his life on Sunday. Marty Monkhouser and Lettucefib are the next two runners we like while first four players should include Flaming Flutter and Lochinver as cover. Harnesslink Media

Four-year-old Smokey The Bandit is proving to be an outstanding bargain. Purchased by Busselton's Michael Callegari and Rohan Baillie for a mere $2000 at the 2011 Gloucester Standardbred yearling sale, the exciting grey gelding boosted his earnings to $132,935 when he finished with a devastating burst to win The West Australian $50,000 Nights of Thunder at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Trained in Busselton by Callegari and driven with supreme confidence by Bunbury reinsman Ash Markham, Smokey The Bandit, second favourite at 5/2, stormed past the pacemaker and 5/4 favourite Silent Prowl 70m from home to win by a half-length from that pacer. Trainer Bob Mellsop jumped Silent Prowl straight to the front from the prized No. 1 barrier and Markham immediately eased Smokey The Bandit from barrier two in behind the leader, who had a comparatively easy time in front, coasting through the first two 400m sections of the final mile in 30.5sec. and 30.9sec. Mellsop then increased the tempo and the third quarter whizzed by in 28.sec., with 11/1 chance Rowchester working strongly in the breeze and My Hard Copy (11/1) enjoying an ideal passage, one-out and one-back. Markham eased Smokey The Bandit off the pegs approaching the home turn and the West Australian-bred son of Jet Laag accelerated brilliantly as he charged to the front. The final quarter took 27.9sec. and the winner rated 1.56.7 to improve his record to ten wins and 16 placings from 40 starts. Rowchester held on to finish third, with My Hard Copy in fourth place. Smokey The Bandit has rarely performed below par since he made a successful debut, winning as a two-year-old at Gloucester Park in January 2012. He started at 98/1 on the tote when he finished powerfully to win the WA Derby Consolation last April and he impressed when second to Nowitzki in the Golden Nugget Championship last month. Smokey The Bandit is the only foal out of the unraced Barnett Hanover mare Cheers To All. His maternal great granddam Discreet Adios produced Ridge, who won seven races in WA between 2000 and 2002 before being retired in America with a record of 219 starts for 45 wins, 60 placings and stakes of $232,355. There was a highly unusual sequel to Friday night's group 2 event when it was discovered that two horses had started from incorrect barriers in the one line field of nine. Michael Tenardi started from barrier seven with The Feather Foot when the gelding was drawn to start from the No. 8 barrier. And Matt White started from barrier eight with Copagrin instead of starting from the No. 7 barrier. The stewards fined both Tenardi and White $500 for starting from the wrong barrier. Copagrin (28/1) settled in last position and was sixth at the bell before finishing in sixth place. The Feather Foot (37/1) raced at the rear before breaking into a gallop 650m from home and finishing last. MELLSOP FINALLY ACHIEVES HIS AMBITION OF WINNING THE TROTTERS CUP Waroona horseman Bob Mellsop finally achieved his ambition of winning The West Australian Trotters Cup when he drove The Beau Brummell to a smart all-the-way victory in the group 3 feature event at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Mellsop had started nine runners in the first eight runnings of the event, but managed only one placing, when Dash of Light finished second to Macladdie in the inaugural Trotters Cup in 2006. He produced The Beau Brummell, a New Zealand-bred five-year-old, in fine fettle on Friday night and he dictated terms in front after The Beau Brummell had jumped straight to the lead from the inside barrier on the front line in the 2503m stand. After modest opening quarters of the final mile in 31.8sec. and 31.1sec. The Beau Brummell, favourite at 5/2, made life tough for his 12 rivals by sprinting the final 400m sections in 29.6sec. and 29.2sec. Mellsop's pent-up emotions overflowed when he gave an extravagant salute with the whip as The Beau Brummell reached the post a half-length in front of the gallant Hot Holiday. Heez Speedy Gonzalez raced without cover early before Matt White got Ushaka Bromac to the breeze in the first lap. Hot Holiday, second fancy at 3/1 off the 30m mark, settled in 11th position before Aaron Skalecki sent the seven-year-old forward, three wide, to move outside the pacemaker 1400m from home. Hot Holiday got his head in front at the bell, but The Beau Brummell kept him at bay throughout the final circuit. Prince Eddie, who had won from Hot Holiday and The Beau Brummell a week earlier, ran home gamely from seventh at the bell to be third. The winner rated 2.7.2. The stewards fined Skalecki $200 for an incorrect whip action in the home straight. The Beau Brummell, winner of two races from 20 starts in New Zealand, then had 21 starts in New South Wales for five wins and eight placings. He has had eight starts for Mellsop in WA for three wins and two placings to take his career record to ten wins, 12 placings and $70,661 in prizemoney from 49 starts. RED SALUTE RUNS A GOOD TRIAL FOR RICH CUP EVENTS Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri had three runners in the 2130m TABform Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night when most punters pinned their faith in even-money favourite Sensational Gabby. But Sensational Gabby was upstaged by her stablemate and 15/4 second fancy Red Salute, who enjoyed an ideal passage, one-out and one-back, while Sensational Gabby bowled along in the lead after starting from the No. 1 barrier. Veteran Sneakyn Down Under (11/2) raced in the breeze, but did not seriously challenge the pacemaker at any stage. Red Salute, driven confidently by Chris Voak, finished strongly and took the lead 150m from the post before winning by a neck from 21/1 chance Our Major Mark, who finished boldly from tenth at the bell. Danieljohn (10/1) fought on seventh on the pegs at the bell to be a half-head away in third place. Sensational Gabby wilted to finish sixth, with Sneakyn Down Under a fair fifth. Olivier's third runner, Argent Treasure (45/1) raced three back on the pegs in fifth place before finishing eighth. Red Salute, a WA-bred five-year-old by American stallion Life Sign, advanced to an M5 classification and is sure to be nominated for the $250,000 Yes Loans Fremantle Cup over 2536m at Gloucester Park next Friday night and the $400,000 Nepean Conveyors WA Pacing Cup over 2936m the following week. Red Salute is improving steadily and now has earned $153,869 from 14 wins and 11 placings from 44 starts. ROCKY MARCIANO OUTPACES HIS OLDER RIVALS New Zealand-bred four-year-old Rocky Marciano made the most of a favourable barrier and proved too fast and strong for his 11 older rivals in the 2536m West Wheels Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Rocky Marciano, a solidly-supported 5/4 on favourite, began speedily from the No. 2 barrier and Morgan Woodley sent him past the polemarker Our Amazing Art and into the lead after 60m. After a 31sec. first 400m section of the final mile, Rocky Marciano reeled off quarters of 29.2sec., 28.1sec. and 28.5sec. to win comfortably at a 1.59.2 rate by just over a length from 13/2 second fancy Our Amazing Art, who fought on doggedly after sitting behind the leader throughout. Last-start winner Moonlight Rockhole finished fast from seventh at the bell to be third. Rocky Marciano was placed at three of his ten starts in New Zealand and is proving a good purchase for Ian Sermon, Lee Bunney, Dave Morley, Tracey Sermon, Andy Baayens, Ken Casellas, Peter Anderson and Ross Waddell. His 29 starts in Western Australia have produced eight wins and nine placings. Rocky Marciano, trained at Bickley by Anderson, is by Christian Cullen and is the only foal out of Riverboat Royce, who had 55 starts in New Zealand for nine wins, ten placings and $65,234 in stakes. Rocky Marciano has earned $86,689 from eight wins and 12 placings from 39 starts. WILLIAMS PRODUCES PACIFIC WARRIOR IN GREAT SHAPE FOR FIRST-UP WIN Astute Mt Helena trainer Ray Williams produced highly-promising six-year-old Pacific Warrior in superb shape when the New Zealand-bred gelding scored a most impressive first-up victory in the Weekend West Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Starting favourite at 5/2 at his first appearance for four months, Pacific Warrior began from the inside of the back line and Chris Lewis had the gelding poised to strike as he trailed the polemarker and pacemaker Xupan Three. Lucie Boshier, who made an unsuccessful bid for the early lead, then worked in the breeze before Gary Hall jun. injected considerable life into the event when he urged 12/1 chance Why Live Dangerously forward, three wide, in a lightning move from tenth position at the 1150m. Why Live Dangerously charged forward and got his nose in front of Xupan Three at the bell. Hall then took hold of Why Live Dangerously, causing slight interference to Lucie Boshier and Marooned and severe interference to Cool Johnny, Menelaus of Sparta and Bronze Seeker. Lewis eased Pacific Warrior off the pegs 570m from home before taking the gelding three wide at the 300m mark. Pacific Warrior burst to the front on the home turn and raced away to win by three lengths from 52/1 outside Elsu Sheila, with Maggies Mystery rattling home to be third, two and a half lengths in front of the unlucky Bronze Seeker. The near side tyre of Bronze Seeker's sulky was punctured in the mix-up at the bell and the five-year-old impressed with his sparkling late burst after being ten lengths from the lead at the 400m mark and in tenth position on the home turn. The stewards fined Hall $200 for having reduced the speed abruptly when he got Why Live Dangerously to the breeze at the bell. Pacific Warrior has earned $129,604 from 17 wins and 14 placings from 50 starts. He raced 27 times for four wins in New Zealand and his 23 WA starts have produced 13 wins and seven placings. THIS TIME DYLAN GIVES NEW OWNER A QUICK RETURN Brian Ridley received a quick dividend when lightly-raced eight-year-old This Time Dylan surged home from the rear to score a narrow victory in the 2536m The Form Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Ridley outlaid $20,000 to claim This Time Dylan the previous Friday night and the gelding was transferred from the stables of leading trainer Gary Hall sen. to Michael Brennan's Pinjarra training establishment. This Time Dylan's victory on Friday night at 11/2 saw the gelding boost his earnings by $13,650 to a career record of 38 starts for 14 wins and nine placings for stakes of $125,775. This Time Dylan, driven by Gary Hall jun., started from barrier four on the front line and after being trapped three wide early, Hall restrained the gelding to the rear in the field of eight while polemarker Adda Paternal Suit was setting the pace from Shardons Rocket (breeze), Your Good Fortune (pegs) and Ima Rocket Star (one-out and one-back). The 9/4 favourite Dasher VC started from the outside of the front line and was restrained back to last before Chris Lewis started a three-wide move approaching the bell. Hall then switched This Time Dylan out wide to follow the run of Dasher VC, who got to a narrow lead 300m from home. But This Time Dylan was carrying far too many guns and he surged to the front 50m later and held on in the closing stages to defeat the fast-finishing Leda McNally by a head at a 1.57.3 rate. Dasher VC finished a further 10m back in third place. Ima Rocket Star finished sixth. This Time Dylan is in a rich vein of form, with his past 13 starts producing eight wins, three seconds and one third placing and Ridley is hoping he will prove an even better investment than Rakarebel, a pacer he claimed for $10,000 from the Hall stable last May. Rakarebel then was trained by Brennan and in ten starts for his new connections he won once and was placed four times for earnings of $18,550 before Ridley received $20,000 when an eastern states syndicate claimed the gelding in July. OLDTIMER TUXEDO ENHANCES SVILICICH'S REPUTATION Tuxedo, an 11-year-old veteran of 134 starts with one placing from his previous 11 starts and a losing sequence of 20, further enhanced veteran Byford trainer Tony Svilicich's reputation as a genius when he gave a powerful display to win the 1730m The Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Tuxedo, owned by Peter Ensel, was having just his fifth start for Svilicich and judged by his sterling performance he should be capable of winning an M0 event in the coming few weeks. Remarkably, Tuxedo was a rank outsider at 155/1 the previous Friday night when he finished 12th and last, 119m behind the winner Erskine Range in a 2130m event. But there was a significant excuse for that effort. Tuxedo raced wide early and then in the breeze before he met with severe interference on the home bend. He was a 9/1 chance from barrier four on the front line on Friday night and Kyle Harper took him three wide early to issue a strong challenge to the pacemaker and 10/9 on favourite Major Nick after 550m. Major Nick resisted the challenge, but backers of the favourite were dismayed soon afterwards when Major Nick broke into a fierce gallop approaching the winning post with a lap to travel. Major Nick continued to gallop and dropped back to a distant last. Harper then was able to send Tuxedo to the front and the New Zealand-bred gelding fought on determinedly to win by a half-length from outsider Knight Crusader, who finished solidly from eighth at the bell. Veitchy, who raced one-out and one-back, battled on to be third, a neck in front of former South Australian pacer Ben Cartwright, who finished strongly from the rear. Kim Prentice, driver of Major Nick, was at a loss when the horse broke into a gallop when in front. But it was discovered (on video evidence) that Major Nick had shied at an object lying on the track. This was a boot which had been displaced from a foreleg of Who Thru teddy soon after the start. Major Nick, owned by trainer Chris Phatouros and Raff Barbaro, damaged a tendon in his near foreleg in the incident. Tuxedo, whose previous success was at Wagin 14 months ago, is still a Metropolitan maiden performer, despite earning $82,319 from ten wins and nine placings from 135 starts. ARISTOCRATIC GLOW HAS THE BREEDING TO SUCCEED Aristocratic Glow, a five-year-old mare related to several prolific winners, including 1996 WA Derby winner Mon Poppy Day and former star juvenile Amongst Royalty, bounced back to form and ended a losing sequence of ten when she unwound a spirited late burst to win the 2130m The West Australian Mares Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Bred and owned by Bob Fowler and trained at Pinjarra by Barry Warwick, Aristocratic Glow was a 15/2 chance driven confidently by Chris Lewis. Polemaker Indomitable (8/1) set the pace, with 3/1 on favourite Arma Xpress in the breeze and 10/1 chance Miss Atomic behind the pacemaker. Lewis was content to keep Aristocratic Glow in sixth position in the one-wide line until he brought her home with a strong late burst. She hit the front 60m from the post and won by just over a length from the strong-finishing 61/1 outsider Tatum Franco, with a nose to Indomitable in third place. Arma Xpress faded badly to finish a distant last in the field of 11. Aristocratic Glow rated 1.58.3 and took her record to 30 starts for seven wins, eight placings and $45,645 in prizemoney. She is by Canadian sire Northern Luck out of the unraced Northern Lights mare Arctic Glow. Aristocratic Glow is a half-sister to Chazsalico (135 starts for 20 wins, 31 placings and $141,515), Amongst Royalty (86 starts for 23 wins, 27 placings and $570,820), Made of Dreams (49 starts for ten wins, 14 placings and $39,664() and Idolize me (53 starts for ten wins, seven placings and $60,099). Amongst Royalty's wins included the $100,000 Gold Tiara at Bathurst and the $150,000 Australian Pacing Gold at Ballarat as a two-year-old in 2006 and the Gold Chalice at Moonee Valley the following season. Arctic Glow is out of Broncroft Castle (34 starts for six wins, 12 placings and $17,556). Broncroft Castle produced eight winners, including Travcor (110 starts for 18 wins, 30 placings and $102,664), Parthenon (25 starts for six wins, two placings and $79,920) and Mon Poppy Day (50 starts for 20 wins, 16 placings and $318,558). Trainer-driver Donald Harper was at a loss to explain the poor performance of Arma Xpress, who went into the race with 11 wins from 12 starts. He informed the stewards that the mare had been heavily in season on Wednesday. SPARKLING SEELSTER UNWINDS TYPICAL POWERFUL FINISH Six-year-old Sparkling Seelster maintained his excellent form and showed that he is ready to win in M0 company when he produced a typical powerful finish to score an easy victory in the 2130m The West Australian Westbred Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Second favourite at 7/2, Sparkling Seelster started from the inside of the backline and was under lock and key in fifth position, three back on the pegs, until Chris Voak eased 3/1 favourite Art In Your Face of the pegs behind the leader Intrepidation 650m from home. Justin Prentice then was able to move Sparkling Seelster behind Intrepidation before getting the gelding into the clear approaching the home turn. Captain Proud (9/2) had taken the lead 380m from home before Sparkling Seelster stormed to the front at the 110m mark and went on to win by just over a length from 46/1 outsider Arts Gangsta, who ran on from eighth (on the pegs) at the bell. Captain Proud finished third and Art In Your Face was fourth. Sparkling Seelster, who is prepared by Prentice at Boyanup, has had 55 starts for nine wins, 15 placings and $57,562. He is by Falcon Seelster out of Soky's Atom mare Sally Anna, who had 17 starts in WA for seven wins and seven placings and was retired to stud with a record of 37 starts for ten wins, 15 placings and $59,428. Sally Anna is a daughter of Our Sally, a mare by American stallion Nat Lobell. Sally Anna had 79 starts for 12 wins, 25 placings and stakes of $27,331. HEEZ ORL BLACK GETS UP TO WIN IN THE FINAL STRIDE Heez Orl Black, a New Zealand-bred five-year-old related to outstanding stallion and former champion and $1 million earner Christian Cullen, broke his Metropolitan maiden status and took his earnings to $168,710 when he was a fast-finishing winner of the 2503m West Real Estate Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Heez Orl Black, the 7/4 favourite trained by Gary Hall sen. and driven by his son Gary, was prominent throughout in fourth position, with ten-year-old mare Salliwood setting the pace and Springsteen in the breeze. Kyle Harper sent Springsteen to the front 40m from the post, but the five-year-old was unable to hold out Heez Orl Black, who got up by a head in the final stride. Salliwood held on to be third, with J Walker finishing fast into fourth place. Heez Orl Black, owned by Max Grynberg, William Paterson, Tony and Ruth Thompson, Dave Kahl, Karen Hall, Frank Borrello and Trudi Spiniello, has had 20 starts in Western Australia for seven wins and five placings to take his record to 52 starts for 13 wins and 13 placings. The winner is by In The Pocket and his great granddam Pleasant Franco produced Christian Cullen, who won at 22 of his 31 starts and amassed $1,249,150 in prizemoney. by Ken Casellas  

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

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

IM VICTORIOUS SIMPLY AWESOME, DECLARES Justin Prentice Justin Prentice declared that Im Victorious felt “simply awesome” and that his effortless triumph in the $35,000 J. P. Stratton Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night was the best performance of his sensational 26-start career. And Prentice predicted that the five-year-old would “give them a big shake over there” if he gained a start in the $750,000 Miracle Mile at Menangle on November 30. Unbeaten at his six starts since resuming from a spell, Im Victorious moved another giant step forward to receiving an invitation to contest the Miracle Mile with his record-breaking victory, by three lengths over Ima Rocket Star in the 2130m Stratton Cup. “He could have won by a bigger margin,” said Prentice who sat quietly in the sulky and did not drive out the gelding over the final 250m. “This was probably his best win. He showed that he can do the work and still win easily and proved to those doubters who considered him just a one-trick pony. Tonight he just wanted to go and normally he switches off at the end of his races. But not tonight. “Down the back I was trying to go easy on him, but he was hard on the bit and just wanting to go. He hasn’t done that for a while and it was good for him to show that spirit in this class.” Trainer Michael Brennan and the band of ten owners will now wait anxiously to see whether the New South Wales harness racing officials offer an invitation for Im Victorious to contest the Miracle Mile. Im Victorious, favourite at 2/1 on, started from the back line and settled in eighth position in the one-wide line as Passion Stride set the early pace from Sneakyn Down Under (breeze), Crombie (pegs) and Ima Rocket Star in the one-out, one-back position. Im Victorious has been driven as a sit-sprinter in most of his races, but Prentice showed his confidence in the gelding when he switched him three-wide and urged him forward at the 1000m mark. He cruised to the front with 400m to travel and coasted to victory from Ima Rocket Star, second fancy at 5/1 who finished solidly. Outsider Shardons Rocket followed the three-wide run of the winner and fought on strongly to be third. Im Victorious, winner of the WA Derby and Golden Nugget last year, rated 1.55.9 (after final quarters in 28.8sec. and 29.2sec.) which is the fastest rate recorded in the 65 runnings of the Stratton Cup which has been decided over various distances and from a stand many times. Im Victorious has now amassed $474,660 in prizemoney from 19 wins and two placings from 26 starts. HALL FATHER-AND-SON COMBINATION DOMINATES WITH SIX WINNERS The all-conquering combination of leading trainer Gary Hall sen. and his son, leading reinsman Gary Hall jun., dominated the ten-event program at Gloucester Park on Friday night and they brought up their sixth victory when the disappointing Northview Cardle snapped a losing sequence of 11 by setting a brisk pace and scoring an easy win in the 2130m Yes Loans Pathway Pace. With the 2013-14 season only in its second month, the Halls have already established substantial leads on the premiership tables, with Hall sen. the leading Metropolitan trainer with 25 wins and 25 placings from 97 starters and Hall jun. the top reinsman with 20 wins and 19 placings from 69 drives. Hall sen. leads from Greg and Skye Bond, who have had 50 city starters for eight wins and eight placings. In second spot on the reinsmen’s premiership is Colin Brown with ten wins and ten placings from 52 drives. The New Zealand-bred Northview Cardle, purchased for a high figure by New South Wales breeder John Starr, raced 21 times in NSW for six wins and seven placings in country-class events before being sent to Hall sen. Northview Cardle disappointed at his first 11 WA starts, managing only four minor placings. But the five-year-old was ideally drawn at barrier two on the front line against modest opposition in Friday night’s event in which he was well supported and started third favourite at 7/2 behind Lord Coburn (5/2) and At Princeton (3/1). Hall jun. decided that aggressive tactics would be the best way for Northview Cardle to break the drought. He dashed the gelding straight to the front and set a solid pace before getting the opposing runners out of their comfort zone with a 28.9sec. third quarter of the final mile. At Princeton, who had raced without cover, began to fade and so, too, did polemarker Alta Onassis, who had enjoyed the run of the race behind the pacemaker. Zurbaran also began to feel the pinch from the favourable one-out, one-back position. Northview Cardle then dashed away to score by two lengths from 10/1 chance Mister Roberto, who finished solidly from eighth at the bell. Lord Coburn, who started a three-wide move at the bell, plugged on to finish third. Northview Cardle rated 1.r58.7 and took his record to 33 starts for seven wins and 11 placings for earnings of $33,370. His dam Bonnie Beaudiene (by Nero’s B B) managed just one placing from 12 starts in New Zealand. But she has produced eight winners, including Beaudiene Vicolo (nine wins and $48,404), Beaudiene Lightning (five wins and $16,492) and Beaudiene Terminator (four wins and $41,914). THE PARADE EVOKES MEMORIES OF Auckland Reactor Lightly-raced New Zealand-bred three-year-old The Parade showed that she has a bright future when she outclassed her rivals in the 2130m Retravision Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. And it is little wonder that she has a good share of ability. She is closely related to champion New Zealand pacer Auckland Reactor, who impressed local fans when he won three heats of the interdominion championship at Gloucester Park in February 2012 before he started from the outside barrier and worked hard in the breeze from the 1200m and faded to seventh behind Im Themightyquinn in the final. There is certainly little likelihood that The Parade will reach the heights of Auckland Reactor, who has earned $1,759,374 from 32 wins and four placings from 53 starts. He has won seven group 1, eight group 2 and three group 3 events and was a nose second to Choise Achiever in the 2012 Hunter Cup. His group 1 victories include the 2008 New Zealand Derby, the 2009 Auckland Cup and the 2009 Emerald for four-year-old horses and geldings. The Parade, by American stallion Real Desire, is the first foal out of Hearty Lass, an unraced Badlands Hanover mare whose dam Atomic Lass (by Soky’s Atom) managed two wins in minor country events in New Zealand in October 1990 before producing seven winners, including Auckland Reactor and former West Australian performers Taihape Tickler (113 starts for 19 wins, 19 placings and $183,919) and Riffle Dragon (125 starts for eight wins, 18 placings and $58,112). It was a good effort by The Parade to defeat six geldings and one other filly (Art Force) on Friday night after she had scored a three-length first-up victory over several colts and geldings at Pinjarra 11 days earlier. The Parade, driven by her trainer Justin Prentice, was favourite at 10/9 on from barrier two on the back line on Friday night and she settled in sixth position in the field of eight before Prentice sent her forward, there wide, at the 1250m. She moved to the breeze with 1050m to travel and cruised past the pacemaker Organized Chaos 500m from home before winning by 8m from Our Mandingo (9/1), with Soho Cash 4/1) a battling third after trailing the pacemaker. The Parade impressed in sprinting over the final 400m in 28.7sec. and Prentice is hopeful she will continue her improvement and develop into a candidate for the WA Oaks next year. “She has come back better than her two-year-old campaign (when placed once from three starts) and at the moment I’m aiming her for some races for fillies at Gloucester Park in the next couple of months,” he said. Two 2130m $17,000 events for three-year-old fillies have been programmed in the coming weeks, on November 22 and December 20. “She’s definitely got the speed,” Prentice said. “And if she keeps improving she will be an Oaks candidate. I was hoping to sit her in tonight’s race, but I was flushed out a lot earlier than I had hoped. And then she showed that she can do it both ways.” EXTREMELY GOOD STAKES HIS CLAIM FOR A START IN THE GOLDEN NUGGET Talented New Zealand-bred pacer Extremely Good lived up to his name when he made a wonderful return to racing at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Driven confidently by his part-owner and trainer Chris Butt, Extremely Good crushed his rivals in the 2130m Del Basso Smallgoods Pathway Pace when he gave a sample of his undoubted ability. Though the opposition of older and more experienced rivals was not outstanding, Extremely Good was most impressive and showed that he has the potential to develop into a candidate for the upcoming rich features for four-year-olds, including the $175,000 Golden Nugget on December 6. Extremely Good, making his first appearance for three months, was sent out at the lucrative odds of 13/2 in a race in which ultra-consistent five-year-old In The Perfect Storm dominated betting and was favourite at 7/4 on. In The Perfect Storm was beaten out from barrier three and Gary Hall jun. had to race without cover as 12/1 chance Franco Nasser (barrier two) set a dawdling early pace. Butt restrained Extremely Good back to last. Hall applied mid-race pressure on Franco Nasser and the second 400m section of the final mile whizzed by in 28.6sec. In The Perfect Storm then got his nose in front at the bell, but was unable to cross Franco Nasser. Extremely Good was seventh at the bell and Butt finally urged the gelding forward turning into the back straight. Extremely Good sprinted fast, out four wide, from the 520m to burst to the front 360m from home. He then raced away to win by four lengths from In The Perfect Storm, with Ya Dreamin running on from sixth at the bell to be third. The final two quarters each took just 28.8sec. and the winner rated 1.58.6 to improve his record to five wins and 14 placings from 26 starts for stakes of $43,235. It was his second win from 12 WA starts after winning twice from ten starts in New South Wales and once from four Victorian starts. Extremely Good is the fourth foal out of Beach Towel mare Dollys Daughter and is a half-brother to Bruce Almighty, who has had 70 starts for 11 wins (ten in WA), 20 placings and $82,290. THIS TIME DYLAN IS RELISHING A SWITCH TO STANDING STARTS A switch from mobile racing to standing-start events has helped New Zealand-bred eight-year-old This Time Dylan turn the corner and produce the best form of his brief career. This Time Dylan, favourite at 7/4 from the 10m mark, relished his sit-sprint capacity to sustain a spirited three-wide burst from the rear to get up in the final stride to snatch a nose victory from Gday Mate (5/1) in the 2503m TABtouch Western Bonanza Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Gary Hall jun. was content to have This Time Dylan in tenth position before he followed the three-wide burst of Gday Mate from the 1200m mark. Justin Prentice sent Gday Mate to the front 400m from home and the gelding rounded the final bend with what appeared to be a winning advantage. But he just failed to hold out This Time Dylan, who fought on determinedly under the urgings from Hall, wielding the whip in his left hand. “He loses his way a bit on the last bend when he wants to get in a bit,” Hall explained. “I thought we had a good shot, but when Justin kicked away I thought we would run second at best. But he’s a little horse with a big heart. He digs deep and definitely knows where the line is. It’s a great advantage having as horse like him who gets away (from a stand) so well.” Trainer Gary Hall sen. started This Time Dylan in mobiles at his first 16 starts in Western Australia for three wins and two placings. Then he switched the gelding to stands and he has started in a stand at each of his past six starts for three wins and a third placing. He has now earned $68,855 from nine wins and six placings from 30 starts. Evergreen nine-year-old Courageous Ned (16/1) maintained his wonderful consistency in stands by running on to finish third after trailing the pacemaker To Transcend, who finished fourth. No. 1 BARRIER MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE FOR BLACK PONTIAC Victorian-bred seven-year-old Black Pontiac further illustrated the considerable advantage of the No. 1 barrier at Gloucester Park when Orange Grove trainer Donald Harper drove him to an all-the-way victory in the 1730m West Australian pace on Friday night. Black Pontiac had started at double figure odds at his five previous starts, including odds of 53/1, 71/1 and 56/1 at his three previous outings when he finished seventh, ninth and eleventh from less favourable draws. But from the No. 1 barrier on Friday night he was all the rage and started at 5/2 on. He set the pace and was kept honest by False Promise in the breeze, with the final four quarters going by in 29.2sec, 30.4sec., 28.9sec. and 29.2sec. He fought on grimly to defeat the fast-finishing Asian Courage (97/1) by a nose, with a length to 160/1 chance Franco Torres in third place. Asian Courage flew home from tenth in the middle stages and Franco Torres ran on from third-last at the bell. Black Pontiac’s previous win was when he led from the No. 1 barrier and beat Imtheguy over 1730m on August 16. The noted frontrunner now has earned $91,237 from 16 wins and 11 placings from 80 starts. He has had 69 starts in Western Australia for 11 wins and eight placings after winning at five of his 11 Victorian starts. By Grinfromeartoear, he is the second (and last) foal out of the Safely Kept mare Short And Black, who had 47 starts in Victoria for ten wins, 11 placings and $53,619 in prizemoney. Short And Black’s first foal Falcons Legend has had 118 starts in Queensland for 14 wins, 24 placings and $63,860. ASKMENOW REMAINS ON TARGET FOR RICH EVENTS FOR MARES Up-and-coming four-year-old Askmenow remained unbeaten this season when she proved far too good for her rivals in the 2130m McInerney Ford Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Her decisive victory by one and a half lengths over stablemate Chloe Vargarita enhanced her prospects in the rich feature events for mares next month, the Norm’s Daughter Classic and the group 1 Nepean Conveyors Mares Classic. Askmenow, trained by Gary Hall sen., was favourite at 5/1 on and she gave her supporters little cause for concern. She started from out wide on the back line and Gary Hall jun. took her three wide in the first circuit to move into the breeze after a lap. Polemarker Luck Has It set the pace and Hall was content to leave Askmenow in the breeze until he sent her to the front 220m from home. She then raced away to score easily from Chloe Vargarita, a 25/1 chance driven by visiting Victorian horseman Daniel Jack who rattled home from last in the middle stages and seventh at the bell. Arousing (23/1) did well to run home strongly tenth at the bell to be third. Askmenow, by Washington V C, has been outstanding since arriving in WA where her ten starts for the Hall camp have produced eight wins. She now has a record of 29 starts for ten wins, nine placings and stakes of $99,125. THE RAGPICKERS DREAM IS A GENTLEMAN, SAYS HALL Leading reinsman Gary Hall jun. praised The Ragpickers Dream’s gentlemanly manners after driving the New Zealand-bred six-year-old to victory in the 2130m TABtouch Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. “He got a little bit tired late, but the quarters he had run suggested that he would,” Hall said after The Ragpickers Dream had set the pace from the prized No. 1 barrier and had fought on tenaciously to beat Hez The Bart Man by just under a length, with Mighty Flying Thomas an unlucky third. “He’s probably won the race by being such a gentleman to drive,” Hall said. “He was happy to let Wrongly Accused to race a half-length in front of him and drop the bit and allow me to rate him. “Hez The Bart Man is a very good horse who never stops and that probably helped me because he was able to keep Mighty Flying Thomas In The Pocket. The Ragpickers Dream was definitely getting very tired late and I was just glad that he was able to hold on.” The Ragpickers Dream, favourite at 5/1 on, led from barrier one and was joined soon after the start by 25/1 chance Wrongly Accused, who got to a narrow lead in the middle stages. Mighty Flying Thomas (10/1) trailed the leader throughout and was unable to obtain a clear passage in the home straight before finishing a head behind Hez The Bart Man. The Ragpickers Dream covered the final 800m in 57.2sec. and rated 1.56.9. A winner of 13 races in Victoria, including six in a row in late 2011, he has raced five times in WA for two wins and two seconds. He has earned $110,598 from 15 wins and 11 placings from 45 starts. PROBLEM PACER TORETTO TAKES A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION “He’s got a lot of problems, but he’s got a lot of bottom to him,” said Gary Hall jun. after driving 5/4 favourite Toretto to an easy victory in the third heat of the Preux Chevalier Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Toretto started from the back line and Hall wasted little time in sending him forward, three wide, to race outside the pacemaker Imtheguy. Finally, Toretto got to a clear lead 100m from the post and then drew away to beat 97/1 outsider Trents Courage by one and a half lengths, with 1m to Imtheguy. Toretto sprinted over the final 400m in 28.7sec. and rated 1.58 over the 2130m. It was his third start after an absence of 11 months and it took his record to seven starts for five wins, one third and $30,745 in prizemoney. “Dad has been persistent with him,” said Hall jun. “Toretto is not the easiest horse to get around the circuit, and that’s why I put the pressure on because I didn’t really want a fast last half because he’s a nightmare on the last bend. He was pretty good tonight and it was a step in the right direction. “He has had a leg problem as well along the way which has set him back for almost a year. The ability has always been there, but getting it out of him has always been the hard thing. We have tried probably every bit that has ever been made, and none of them seemed to work. But he’s worth persisting with.” GOOD DRAW ENABLES HEAVENS DELIGHT TO RETURN TO THE WINNING LIST Heavens Delight, unplaced at his previous six starts, made the most of an ideal draw when Gary Hall jun. jumped him straight to the front from the No. 2 barrier and landed him a smart all-the-way winner in the 1730m Nepean Conveyors Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Favourite at 6/4, the New Zealand-bred six-year-old trained by Gary Hall sen., dashed over the first 400m section of the final mile in 29.7sec. before coasting through the next quarter in 31.3sec. He then had plenty in reserve as he sprinted over the final two sections in 29.8sec. and 28.5sec. He rated 1.58.1 and beat 4/1 second fancy Bet Your Life by just under a length. Polemarker Lombo Air Express ran on to be third after trailing the leader all the way. Heavens Delight has had 33 starts in WA for ten wins and nine placings to take his overall record to 41 starts for 12 wins, nine placings and $80,281. “He put the writing on the wall at his previous start (when he started out wide on the back line and covered a lot of extra ground before finishing sixth behind Arnoux),” said Hall jun. “That’s not the way he likes to race and I thought he boxed on very well. “He has been racing well, but hasn’t been able to get a win on the board because of bad draws. He’s a few lengths better on the rail, but he’s probably limited to one or two more wins in town. He does have good sit-sprint capacity, but with the way races are run at Gloucester Park he’d end up nearer last than first if he was driven like that (as a sit-sprinter).” by Ken Casellas  

1 to 8 of 8