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A STIRRING track workout has convinced Gary Hall Sr his stable star Chicago Bull is better than ever. And the timing has the champion trainer even more excited. “I feel like I’ve timed it all well. He’s just now getting to his peak, The run this week (Gloucester Park on Friday) night will top him off nicely for the Victoria Cup,” Hall Sr said. Chicago Bull is a dominant favourite in Friday night’s $50,000 Group 2 JP Stratton Cup (2130m) at Gloucester Park tomorrow (Friday) night. He’s aiming for his ninth win on end and his 12th victory from his past 13 starts. “His work on Tuesday was outstanding, just outstanding. It’s as good as he’s ever worked at home,” Hall Sr said. “He’s been building nicely and he’s had some easy wins over here, but the plan was always to wind him right up for the Victoria and NZ Cups. It’s all coming together well. “I deliberately picked the race this week because it’s eight days before the Victoria Cup and he thrives on the quick back-up.” Chicago Bull will start from gate six tomorrow night and looks like finding the lead, unless the headstrong polemarker Talktomeyourmattjesty wants to try and him out from the pole. “It shouldn’t matter either way given how well he’s going,” Hall Sr said. It’s then onto the plane to Melbourne Wednesday night ahead of the Group 1 Victoria Cup on Saturday week. Then it’s another plane flight from Melbourne to Auckland on Thursday, October 18. “That gets him there a week or ahead of the race which suits him at Alexandra Park (October 26),” Hall Sr said. Looking ahead to the NZ Cup, Hall Sr made light of suggestions the 3200m standing-start would be a daunting challenge to a pacer known more for his brilliance. “Everyone talks about his speed, but he’s tough this horse, very tough. He doesn’t have the point-to-point brilliance of Quinny, but not many in history have had that, but he’s tough and he’s versatile,” he said. “The distance doesn’t worry me. He’ll love it. I can’t wait to get over there and give it a crack, you know how much I’ve always to have a runner in the NZ Cup.”   Adam Hamilton

Trainer Gary Hall Snr is in firm agreement with the TAB Inter Dominion handicappers. Chicago Bull is No.1. The Peth superstar pacer owns the rare air of being top-ranked horse for Australasia’s premier harness racing series after Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) announced the first round of rankings today. Last season’s Inter Dominion runner-up has won 11 of his last 12 starts and is about to embark on a monster campaign that will take in the $200,000 Pryde’s EasiFeed Victoria Cup on Saturday night October 13, the $800,000 New Zealand Cup at Addington in November, and ID18 in Victoria, which kicks off on December 1. “He ran second to Lazarus (in the Inter Dominion final) and never got a crack at him; he won two heats and was third in the other. He’s won 11 out of 12 races since … you can’t fault his form,” Hall Snr said. “They keep saying he hasn’t beaten anything but that’s just not true. Lazarus, San Carlo, Tiger Tara … he was racing all those horses over here. I know he was on his home track … but they’re grossly underrating him.” Pressed on where Chicago Bull ranks right now among Hall Snr’s all-time top horses, the trainer was a mix of circumspect and audacious, if it’s possible to be both.  “Right now, he’s the second best horse I’ve ever had,” he said, “But, saying that, he’s also better than Quinny (Im Themightyquinn) was at this stage in his career.” Any suggestion therefore that Chicago Bull requires a coming out party against the best is erroneous; he’s been there and done that in the Inter Dominion. Are travel questions fair? Sure.  “I think he’ll handle that. He’s a pretty laid back fella,” Hall Snr said. “The only thing is you never quite know I suppose. He’s always got a paddock mate, so he needs the right company, that’s all.” The Bulls’ Michael Jordan was always the best, but Scottie Pippen helped. On the New Zealand Cup Hall Snr said it was a race he’d tried to win three times before. “Fourth time lucky hopefully,” he said. “I tried to win it with Quinny but he fibrillated, bled, broke a leg… it just didn’t work out. It’s a great meeting. I went 12 years in a row and would love to win it.” Meanwhile, Tim Butt-trained rising star Let It Ride, who produced a slashing run to win the Grand Circuit Blacks a Fake classic in Queensland, is second on the ID18 pacing rankings, ahead of New South Wales’ Tiger Tara. Kiwi superstar Speeding Spur is top ranked in the TAB Inter Dominion Trotting Championship, with Andy Gath-trained Tornado Valley number two, ahead of Temporale, Kyvalley Blur and Glenferrie Typhoon.   Cody Winnell

CHICAGO Bull will farewell his home state, at least for a couple of months, when he tackles Friday night’s $50,000 J P Stratton Cup at Gloucester Park. Trainer Gary Hall Sr confirmed he would run Chicago Bull this week, just eight days ahead of the Group 1 Victoria Cup at Melton. “It’s a good race this week and he thrives on backing-up,” Hall Sr said. Chicago Bull will dominate betting regardless of draws on Friday given he’s won his past eight on end and 11 of his past 12 starts. Beyond the Victoria Cup, Hall Sr still has his sights on a 2200m standing-start handicap at Alexandra Park on October 26 for Chicago Bull. The Aussie TAB has Chicago Bull $3 favourite for the Victoria Cup and $4.50 favourite for the NZ Cup. __________________________________________________________________________________ EMERGING star Kima Frenning could face a big choice in a week or so. Frenning, the popular former Swede with the infectious smile, won her fourth Victorian country cup inside the past 12 months aboard former claimer Im The Boss last Thursday night. It the biggest of the four as well when Im The Boss led throughout to snare the $70,000 Group 2 Kilmore Cup, a race won by Lennytheshark and Soho Tribeca. It followed last season’s wins in the Cobram, Mildura and Shepparton Cups. The win, first-up from a spell and despite overracing at times in the lead, surely makes Saturday week’s Group 1 Victoria Cup a logical next target. But the same can be said for Im The Boss’ stablemate and another of Frenning’s regular drives, Wrappers Delight, who won well again at Melton last night. Frenning loves both horses, but has a special affinity for Im The Boss as he was her “breakthrough” horse. “I have got absolutely no words for this horse, he has just done so much for me. He just came to the end of his preparation last campaign and to come back and win a race like the Kilmore Cup against horses like that, he is just ridiculous,” she said. “When he is at his best he just goes to the front and keeps going and that is the way he races and that is what he does, he just knows it’s raceday.” Frenning admit to concern down the back straight the last time after Im The Boss had been so keen in front. “I was a bit worried as he’d been pulling a bit and then I saw I had My Kiwi Mate outside of me and Bettermatch out three-wide, but he just felt so strong on the bit and he just keeps boxing on and that is his best asset. He’s just got the biggest heart ever.” Im The Boss held-on to beat the rejuvenated Three Ways by 2.6m with another 1.9m away to Bad Billy in third spot. Favourite My Kiwi Mate didn’t enjoy doing the work outside the leader and tired late for seventh. __________________________________________________________________________________ A VICTORIA Cup tilt is next for classy sit-sprinter Mach Doro after his return to winning form at Menangle last night (Saturday). Owner Dom Martello looks set to have two runners in the Cup with his emerging pacer Wrappers Delight also right on target after winning at Melton last night. For Mach Doro, it won’t be his first Victoria Cup. Trainer Craig Cross took him down for the January, 2017 Cup won by Lazarus, but it was over at the start when Mach Doro galloped away. Cross looks to have timed his run at the race well with Mach Doro needing the run when first-up at Menangle two week’s back, then making the most of a gun run to beat quality rivals last night. Driver Luke McCarthy blasted Mach Doro off the gate to find the lead and then, sensibly, took the trail on seasoned Grand Circuit star Tiger Tara over the longer 2300m trip. Favourite Franco Nelson, first-up since June, had to work outside the leader, while Mach Doro had the cold trail. Tiger Tara sizzled a 26.9sec split from the 800-400m and still ran home in 27.7sec, but Mach Doro out-zipped him along the inside to win by 2.2m. Much-improved mare Village Witch ran a fantastic third, while Franco Nelson tried hard and was only beaten 3.8m in fourth spot in a slick 1min54sec mile rate. __________________________________________________________________________________ A DARING dip into open-class just failed to pay-off with emerging WA star King Of Swing last Friday night. With stable star Chicago Bull having a week off and knowing the Media Guild Cup was a preferential draw, trainer Gary Hall Sr threw King Of Swing into the race. The immensely talented former Kiwi drew the pole and led as expected, but was nabbed late by the tough and more seasoned Motu Premier. King Of Swing certainly had his chance with comfortable early splits and, although got a tad keen at times, driver Gary Hall Jr kicked away with what looked a winning break rounding the home bend. But Motu Premier, who did the work outside, just kept coming and snatched victory by a half-head over King Of Swing with Vampiro another head away in third spot in a 1min57.6sec mile rate for 2536m. It’s great to see Motu Premier, himself a former member of the All Stars’ barn, getting back to his best form for Merv Butterworth and trainer Ross Olivieri. __________________________________________________________________________________ SHANE Tritton has turned his unbeaten Chariots Of Fire hopeful Gods Spirit out for a spell. “He pulled-up with a bit of a cold after winning at Menangle last Tuesday so he can have a break now and come back around Christmas time to wind-up for the Chariots,” Tritton said. Gods Spirit won his first and only NZ run and, since being sold to Tritton, has won all four runs at Menangle by an aggregate of 65.1m. And he’s already paced a 1min50.9sec mile. __________________________________________________________________________________ FORMER Kiwi trotter Father Christmas just keeps getting better for Brent Lilley. The eight-year-old posted his fourth and best win from just 12 Aussie runs – he’s been placed six times as well – when he made light work of a 10m handicap to thrash his rivals in the Group 3 Kilmore Trotters’ Cup last Thursday night. Lilley flexed his muscle with five runners in the race and also snared third spot with Kyvalley Barney.   Adam Hamilton

King Of Swing will take centre stage at Gloucester Park for the Gary Hall stable tonight and looks poised to continue his hot winning streak. The Rocknroll Hanover colt has been in imperious form since taking out the WA Derby in April, justifying his high purchase price from New Zealand. King Of Swing, drawn in barrier one, is the raging $1.50 TAB favourite to make it six straight wins when he tackles a class rise in the 2018 WA Trotting Media Guild Cup (2536m). Hall’s son Gary Jr, who will drive King of Swing, says the bay horse faces his strongest test since arriving from New Zealand, but remained confident he was up to the challenge. The top reinsman said it was his intention for King Of Swing to take full advantage and go to the lead from his coveted inside draw. “I think if you get it right at the start from one at Gloucester Park it’s pretty hard to get crossed,” Hall Jr told Tabradio. “He gets out pretty good and is a lot more keener in his races this time in so the start shouldn’t be a concern. “I don’t think he deserves to be as short as he is and first time in this type of company which will be pretty hard. “You have to take him on trust a little bit meeting this company for the first time, but you would expect him to win if he leads comfortably. "There is no denying his class and ability." Vampiro ($3.80), Motu Premier ($6.50) and The Bucket List ($7.50) are the other runners in the field of seven that are in single figures. At $21 is Im Full Of Excuses, the Ross Oliveri-trained gelding has been unplaced in three runs this campaign and last-start ran fifth to Chicago Bull in the Navy Cup (2130m). But reinsman Chris Voak believes the bay gelding has shown signs of improvement and won’t rule him out of finishing in the placings. “I think he is on the improve and I think this prep you will see him come back to his best form,” Voak said. “His run last-start was good and he worked very well during the week. “He is probably this run and another off recapturing his best form. “I give him a sneaky place hope and thought his last run was full of merit. “He came wide and down the line and wasn’t covered up on the pegs. “He actually made ground and it will be a good race.” Julio Santarelli

Champion trainer Gary Hall Snr has just purchased promising New Zealand three-year-old Major Trojan on behalf of stable clients and will set the son of Art Major for the rich WA Derby next May. Hall, who has won four of the past six the WA Derbies with New Zealand youngsters Alta Christiano, Beaudiene Boaz, Chicago Bull and King of Swing, was impressed when Major Trojan scored a superb first-up victory at Alexandra Park last Friday. After starting from barrier five, Major Trojan settled down in second place before bursting to the front after 400m and then setting a solid pace and winning by four lengths from the fast-finishing Bettorstartdreaming. He dashed over the final 800m in 56.9sec. and the last 400m in 28.4sec. and rated 1.56.6 over the 2200m journey. That was Major Trojan’s second start. After he made his debut at Addington early in February this year when second to Heisenberg over 1950m the colt fractured a cannon bone which kept him out of action for seven months. Major Trojan, who is trained by Michael Purdon and has been driven at his two starts by Nathan Purdon, is a full-brother to the brilliant but injury-plagued The Odd Lover, who has managed to contest only 22 races for 12 wins, seven seconds and one third for earnings of $117,681. Beaudiene Boaz, winner of the 2015 WA Derby, has died in the South West of the State after being retired to stud. The cause of death is believed to be a snake bite. Beaudiene Boaz was an outstanding performer for Hall, winning four group 1 events, four group 2s, one group 3 and two listed classics. His major victories were the Golden Slipper in 2014, the WA Derby the following year, the Golden Nugget championship in 2015 and the 2016 Fremantle Cup. Ken Casellas

High-flying reinsman Chris Voak guided Mister Versace to a stylish all-the-way victory two starts ago last Friday week, but he says the six-year-old is even better when held up for a late burst. Mister Versace, trained at Banjup by Annie Belton, is favourably drawn at barrier three in the $22,000 Most Winners On A Night Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night and Voak hinted strongly that he would adopt different tactics this week. “Even though Mister Versace has good gate speed, I don’t think he can cross Argyle Red (barrier two) and I expect him to perform really well,” he said. “Argyle Red has got Free-For-All form against good horses and is capable of improving on his recent unplaced efforts. “I expect Mister Versace to go well from a sit. He’s a better sit-and-kick horse than a frontrunner. His ability to follow the pace and finish off is his best asset.” Last Friday night Mister Versace was trapped wide early after starting from barrier eight and was then restrained back to seventh in a field of eight. He was sixth at the bell and sprinted strongly approaching the home turn. But he was forced very wide and did well to battle on into fourth place behind Speed Man. “He loomed, out three and four wide, and made ground,” Voak said. “And he has improved since that run.” Argyle Red, trained at Pinjarra by Rob Macdonald, will be handled by Jocelyn Young and the seven-year-old is certain to appreciate a considerable drop in class after competing against Chicago Bull, Vampiro, The Bucket List and Runrunjimmydunn at his past four starts. He has been unplaced at his 11 starts since he led from barrier five and won from Talktomeurmattjesty and Handsandwheels over 1730m late last January. He is very close to recording his 15th victory. Veteran Sokys Big Bullet is also capable of a bold effort at his second appearance after a spell. He trailed the pacemaker Better B Chevron and fought on well when third behind Speed Man and Three Kings over 2130m last Friday night. Leading trainer Gary Hall Snr said he expected a strong showing from Overboard Again from barrier four after the gelding had no luck when seventh behind Soho Chelsea last Friday night when he was forced to cover a lot of extra ground. Ken Casellas

Chicago Bull remains on track for a lucrative campaign to Victoria and New Zealand, following a clinical performance in last night’s (Friday) Group 2 Navy Cup (2130m) at Gloucester Park. Having his first start since August 31, Chicago Bull showed no ill effects from the short break, cruising to his eighth straight victory. Reinsman Michael Grantham forecast pre-race he would look be quick off the arm with The Bucket List from barrier two and that proved to be the case, while Chicago Bull’s driver Gary Hall Jnr slowly moved forward from barrier seven. Within the first 400m, Hall Jnr was able to take the lead with Chicago Bull and got away with a comfortable lead time of 37.9. The six-year-old then had little trouble in front throughout the run, while second favourite Rock Diamonds had to do it tough in the breeze. The Bucket List tried desperately over the concluding stages, but couldn’t make any inroads to Chicago Bull’s lead, as WA’s champion pacer scored by 3m. Veteran pacer Waylade produced an outstanding performance in his first start since December 2016, running on to finish third. Chicago Bull’s trainer Gary Hall Snr said he felt there was no doubt about his stable star being the best pacer in Australasia and would take plenty of confidence to the east coast. “Once he got the lead it was all over,” he said. “The Bucket List ran a credible race. “It augurs well for his trip to Victoria for the Victoria Cup. “I don’t think there’s a horse in Australasia going better than him.” Chicago Bull will line up in the Group 2 Stratton Cup on October 5, prior to his trip to Melbourne for the Victoria Cup on October 13. Hall Snr then said he would give Chicago Bull one run in New Zealand prior to November’s New Zealand Cup. Meanwhile, Hall Snr appears to have another serious contender for this year’s Group 1 Golden Nugget in December, following Speed Man’s win in the 2017/18 GP Junior Driver Of The Year M Grantham Pace (2130m). The pace was clamped right on in the early stages, with Sokys Bigbullet and Speed Man intent on holding the lead from barrier one and two respectively, while Better B Chevron also had a shot for the lead from barrier seven. As a result, the lead time was a slick 35.3 with Better B Chevron eventually taking the lead, while Speed Man was left to face the breeze. That was no obstacle though for Speed Man, who wore down Better B Chevron and held off a string of late challenges from Three Kings and Sokys Bigbullet to record an impressive victory. Hall Jnr said Speed Man’s win was full of merit. “He’s always had toughness on his side,” he said. “If anything, the run last week (2nd to Motu Premier) did him the world of good.” Hall Jnr had two other winners on last night’s program, Soho Chelsea in the 2017/18 GP Trainer Of The Year G Hall Pace (1730m) and Bravo Tex in the GP 2017/18 GP Pacer Of The Year Chicago Bull Pace (2536m). Trainer Matthew Scott and driver Shannon Suvaljko ended the program in impressive fashion, recording a winning double. Despite a wide draw, Neighlor was too good in the TABtouch – Better Your Bet Pace (1730m), before the well supported Smackwater Jack took out the Book Your NYE At Gloucester Park Pace (1730m).   Tim Walker

It would have come as no surprise if Waylade had run his last race on December 23, 2016. The gelding was beaten 12m by Major Reality in a 2536m race at Gloucester Park. Following that run he bowed a tendon and the racing career of the then six-year-old looked as good as over. Trainer Gary Hall Snr made the decision to retire Waylade, who had shown he was capable of performing at the highest level winning the McInerney Ford Classic as a four-year-old. That’s where Caris Hamilton-Smith, who works at the Hall Snr stable, decided to take a chance with Waylade. Hamilton-Smith said it was a significant risk bringing Waylade back into work, given Hall Snr had tried on multiple occasions previously to bring him out of retirement. “He bowed a tendon under his pastern,” she said. “Generally the lower on the leg the injury, the harder it is to get them back. “I asked Senior if I could bring him back into work and he actually offered me the horse. “He looked like a superstar two or three years ago and was one of the favourites for the Inter Dominion, so I was more than happy to take a chance on him.” Now an eight-year-old, the culmination of Hamilton-Smith’s work on the veteran pacer comes tomorrow night in the Group 2 Navy Cup (2130m) at Gloucester Park. Hamilton-Smith said she was extremely careful in bringing Waylade back to a condition which he could race. “It was probably 14 or 15 weeks of work bringing him back, which is probably longer than normal for most other horses,” she said. “There was a lot of hoping he would come up, given Senior had tried to bring him up three or four times before. “Senior has been looking over my shoulder a lot during that time.” Waylade heads in as a $34 chance with TABtouch for tomorrow night’s feature, where he has barrier one for reinsman Michael Ferguson. Unsurprisingly, it is Chicago Bull who has a stranglehold on the market as a $1.14 chance and his appearance in the race means a fairy tale winning return for Waylade is unlikely. Hamilton-Smith said although a win could be out of the question, she is confident Waylade will present as well as she can have him at Gloucester Park. “He looks really good and his legs are perfect,” she said. “It’s been a relatively smooth ride for him given where he was coming from. “He’s probably lacking a few runs for what he needs to win a race like tomorrow night, but he’s only going to get better with racing. “Ideally we will hold up from barrier one, but we are probably all racing for second behind Chicago Bull.” The task of bringing a veteran pacer back to the races is one Hamilton-Smith has already done this year. In March, she had another former Hall Snr pacer Besotted have his first start in her name. It was a successful comeback for Besotted, who won twice in his comeback preparation. Hamilton-Smith, who worked for Peter Anderson for seven years, said she would like to have a similar training establishment to Hall Snr. “I’m coming up on working three years for the Hall stable,” she said. “At this stage I have four in work, given I’m working full time I’m focusing on quality not quantity. “Ideally, long term, I would like to have a setup similar to Senior’s.” Hamilton-Smith said she was very thankful to Hall Snr for the opportunity to train Waylade in between her regular duties as a stablehand. The Navy Cup gets underway at 7.24 tomorrow night.   Tim Walker

Superstar millionaire pacer Chicago Bull will have to set a record if he is to win the $50,000 Navy Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night and he is poised to become the first horse to win the Navy Cup a second time after there has been 47 individual winners of this feature event which was first run in 1965 when Lord Mina was successful. The champion six-year-old is in superlative form and star reinsman Gary Hall Jnr is supremely confident that the little gelding will overcome the disadvantage of starting out wide at barrier seven in the field of eight in the group 2 2130m event. This will be Chicago Bull’s final run or second-last run before Hall of Fame trainer Gary Hall Snr takes him to Melbourne to contest the rich Victoria Cup at Melton on October 13. “Everything is going really well with him and I’d expect him to be winning,” said Hall Jnr. Hall Snr has won the Navy Cup five times with Abit Rich (1997), Real Life (2009), Hokonui Ben (2012), Beaudiene Boaz (2016) and Chicago Bull (2017). Hall Jnr drove Hokonui Ben to an all-the-way victory when the Cup was a 2503m event from a stand and he brought both Beaudiene Boaz and Chicago Bull home with brilliant last-lap bursts to score easy wins in the past two years. Beaudiene Boaz (7/1) started from barrier eight and came from last in a field of ten at the 1050m mark to take the lead 680m from home and win by two and a half lengths from the pacemaker and 9/4 on favourite Bettors Fire. Then, last year, Chicago Bull was favourite at 6/4 from the No. 9 barrier when he settled in 11th position, was seventh (three wide) at the bell and charged to the front with 570m to travel before scoring by four lengths from the pacemaker Americanbootscoota. The Hall stable will also be represented in this week’s Cup by smart five-year-old Runrunjimmydunn, who will start from the outside barrier with Stuart McDonald in the sulky. Runrunjimmydunn impressed when he notched his 15th win from 43 starts when he raced in fifth and last position and was still last on the home turn before sprinting home strongly, out wide, to win from Vampiro over 2536m at a 1.57.8 rate. Runrunjimmydunny, The Bucket List and Rock Diamonds are racing in fine form, but look set to fight out the minor placings behind Chicago Bull, who boasts a marvellous record of 57 starts for 37 wins and 15 placings for earnings of $1,594,199. The Michael Brennan-trained The Bucket List is favourably drawn at barrier two and Michael Grantham is likely to send the nine-year-old forward in a bid for the early lead. Drawn inside of him on the pole is a former Hall star Waylade, an eight-year-old who has been out of action for 21 months. He is now trained by Caris Hamilton-Smith and will be driven by Micheal Ferguson. The gelding, who has earned $408,325 from 16 wins and 20 placings from 52 starts, will be at long odds. The Bucket List, a brilliant winner of the BOTRA Cup seven starts ago after starting off the 50m mark in the 2503m feature event, has maintained his solid form with three placings from his past five starts.      Rock Diamonds, prepared by Greg and Skye Bond, boasts a record of 16 wins and nine placings from 40 starts for stakes of $245,039. He will be driven by Ryan Warwick from the No. 3 barrier. He was a smart winner over The Bucket List four starts ago and was a sound third behind Runrunjimmydunn and Vampiro last Friday night after enjoying an ideal passage, one-out and one-back. Ken Casellas

Veteran injury-plagued pacer Jason Rulz has managed just one win in moderate company at Narrogin from 19 starts in Western Australia. But at his second appearance after a 14-month absence he has the credentials to outclass his rivals in the $22,000 Chicago Bull Pace over 2536m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The Michael Brennan-trained ten-year-old has matched strides in a 79-start career with star pacers of the calibre of Adore Me, Christen Me, Tiger Tara, Border Control, Ohoka Punter, Devendra, Lennytheshark, Smolda, Beaudiene Boaz and My Hard Copy. Jason Rulz won the Group 2 Pelorus Classic at the Waterlea Raceway when he finished powerfully to defeat Christen Me in January 2013. Then, two months later, he finished sixth behind Christen Me, Smolda and Restrepo in the Chariots of Fire at Menangle. At his second WA start he finished second to Beaudiene Boaz in the Group 2 Bunbury Cup in November 2015 before contesting the Inter Dominion championship in November and December that year when his best efforts were fourths in heats behind Devendra and Lennytheshark and second to Major Crocker in a consolation of the championship. His only Australian win came in a 2636m stand at Narrogin in May 2017 when he started off the 50m mark and produced a powerful burst for young reinsman Michael Grantham to defeat Machrie and The Real Nadal. Grantham was again in the sulky when Jason Rulz reappeared after an absence of 14 months in a 2631m stand at Pinjarra on Monday of last week. He began off 50m and was last in a field of eight at the bell before battling on, out wide, to finish fifth, four and a half lengths from the winner Hillbilly Time. He is sure to have derived considerable benefit from that performance and should carry far too many guns on Friday night for the opposition which includes four other ten-year-olds and the 13-year-old Celestial Ruler. Jason Rulz, who will be driven by Corey Peterson has drawn perfectly at barrier one. His chief rivals appear to be five-year-old Bravo Tex and ten-year-old Im Lisart, each of whom is racing with admirable enthusiasm. Bravo Tex will be handled by Gary Hall Jnr for Boyanup trainer Justin Prentice and will start from the outside of the back line. He is a solid, hard-working stayer and is capable of a bold showing after placings behind Rocknroll Beachboy at Bunbury and Arthur Lowe at Gloucester Park at his past two outings. Im Lisart, trained by Terry Ferguson, will be driven by Chris Voak and should be prominent from the inside of the back line. He has a losing sequence of 15, but certainly looks capable of fighting out the finish. Ken Casellas

After last Friday night at Gloucester Park was dominated by favourites, last night was significantly harder for the punters elect’s to salute. There were 10 different trainers take out the 10 races, while Chris Lewis was the only driver on the evening to record a winning double. The first of Lewis’ winners came in the $7 Pints At JP’s Pace (1730m) with six-year-old mare The Spinster, before he completed his double with Heez About To Rock in the final event of the evening. The shortest price favourite of the evening was the Gary Hall Snr-trained Speed Man, who was looking to make it five wins from seven starts to begin his campaign in the Steelo’s Midweek Meals Pace (2536m). Driver Gary Hall Jnr made his move to the front past the winning post with two laps to go and from there was never in danger of being beaten. Hall Snr has identified the Group 1 Golden Nugget over the summer period as a target for Speed Man. Hall Jnr said Speed Man still had plenty of improvement left in him prior to the feature races in the coming months. “He’s ticking along really nicely,” he said. “He’s maturing every time and he’s quite a nice horse. “He’s got a few strings to his bow, he’s got depth, he’s got speed and he’s starting to put it all together.” Meanwhile, the Michael Brennan-trained Whenmechief has ended his time in Perth on a high, taking out the GP’s Bridge Bar Pace (2536m). Whenmechief joined Brennan’s stable in March and has won two races from 20 starts since the move. The eight-year-old held the lead from barrier one for Michael Grantham, before he held off a late charge from Trustytrev. The gelding will now head back to Melbourne, where the owners will plan out a campaign for him. Meanwhile, the Justin Prentice-trained and driven Im Stylish took out the Vale Phil Bonser Mares Pace (2130m), the other of the feature events on the night.   Tim Walker

Champion trainer Gary Hall’s talented four-year-old Speed Man looks a strong prospect for Perth’s Group 1 Golden Nugget later this year and he is the most popular best bet selection given by WA Harness Racing Guild members for Gloucester Park on Friday night. Speed Man appears to have a class edge on older rivals in the Steelo’s Midweek Meals At Gloucester Park Pace (2536m) and gate four is a bonus as he attempts to notch his fifth win in seven starts since a spell. His stylish win at Gloucester Park last Friday night had been preceded by two victories there in July and a Pinjarra success on August 20. Leading the band of Speed Man fans is long-time media guild member Stuart Lowe, who last Friday night was at his best when tipping nine of the 10 winners. “Speed Man won convincingly last week,” Lowe said. “He will be hard to beat again, after four wins from his past six starts. Ryan Havercroft, Matt McDermott and Ernie manning have also nominated Speed Man as their best bet. “He broke his metro class maiden last week and can now rise further in class,” Havercroft said. McDermott said: “His form this time in has been exceptional  and he was outstanding from the breeze at Pinjarra. The distance is no concern. His only unplaced runs over 2500m have been in the WA Derby and Western Gateway.” Manning said’ “Speed Man has the gate speed to go forward from barrier four and reinsman Gary Hall Jr is likely to put him in a commanding position during early stages.” Long Shot King Pat Harding is naming Vampiro as his best bet, while Media Guild newcomer Hayden King has gone for Qtown Rip Roaring and consistent leading tipster Matt Young favours Whenmechief. “Vampiro can overcome gate seven and record his third straight victory after being impressive last week,” Harding said King said: “Qtown Rip Roaring, who has the speed to hold up and lead all the way, gets his chance to break a winning drought.” Value Bets: Stuart: Qtown Rip Roaring is racing better than his numerical form suggests and he has his best draw for a long time. Ryan: Whenmechief is suited from gate one and he meets only moderate opposition. Matt McDermott: Soho Chelsea is competing over the distance at which he last won and another victory is close. Hayden: The Spinster has the early speed to clear rivals. He had quick closing sectionals and hit the line strongly last week. Pat: Free To Air goes well for reinsman Chris Voak and will be suited by the journey. Ernie: Algranco Under Fire ran an eye-catching first-up second last month after leg trouble had kept him out of racing for almost two years. To view all of the Media Guild tips click here. Good Punting   Ernie Manning

Gary Hall Jnr, WA’s leading metropolitan driver for 9 of the past 12 seasons is showing no signs of stopping as the brand-new season rolls on. Hall could be easily forgiven for having his focus elsewhere due to upcoming Grand Circuit features, he and his little mate Chicago Bull will tackle. However he is still determined to dominate the present WA Harness Racing season. Despite 120 of his 173 race wins last season at metro level, Hall Jnr expressed different thoughts for the upcoming season. “My Goal for the new season is to get to more meetings and drive for more outside stables” He has 7 drives in the metropolitan season opener on Friday night. Bravo Tex coming out of gate 6 in Race 1 for Boyanup trainer Justin Prentice has been freshened up since his second on the 17th July at Donaldson Park, Bunbury. Junior says that the gelding is in his words “one paced” but still a chance. Soho Chelsea from barrier 4 in Race 2 over the 1730m was a last start fourth for trainer Glenn Elliott. Where the gelding showed outstanding gate speed to cross but with a hot tempo weakened late. Hall Jnr feels that the drop back to the short course and the small field can suit the Hopeland based pacer. Speed Man, looks hard to beat in the third for Hall and stablemate Runrunjimmydunn will appreciate the non-appearance of WA Champion Chicago Bull in the feature of the night, the New Seasons Pace. The 5yo son of American Ideal has bumped into the little bull 5 of his 7 runs since resuming from a spell, the other two were a luckless fifth behind another stable star My Hard Copy and a win in the marathon back in July. Hall Jnr will also drive rough chances Ideal Investment, Lightning Jolt and Machine Elle and believes they will all need “luck” from their respective draws. He has a big season ahead and it begins on Friday night at Gloucester Park.   Matt Young

Hall Of Fame trainer Gary Hall capped an outstanding championship-winning season with a quartet of winners at Gloucester Park last Friday. Stable star Chicago Bull, Speedman, Beaudiene Beaufighta and Fake News boosted Hall’s 2017-2018 metropolitan tally to 115 wins, more than double his next rival. In a season of major highlights Hall said reaching a personal milestone in July gave him particular satisfaction when he surpassed 2500 career victories. Hall celebrated bragging rights as the leading metropolitan and state trainer with son Gary Jnr, who reigned supreme as Leading Metropolitan driver. Skye Bond also claimed four winners in the final meeting of the Gloucester Park season, making a late dash to join Ross Oliveri in second position. Shannon Suvaljko finished second to Hall Jnr as Leading Metropolitan Driver, but claimed honours as Leading State Driver with 179 wins. Jocelyn Young and Corey Peterson fought out a titanic struggle for honours as Leading Concession Driver, but couldn't be split after 49 wins each. LEADING METROPOLITAN TRAINER Gary Hall Snr 115 Ross Oliveri 52 Skye Bond 52 Nathan Turvey 30 Mike Reed 28 LEADING METROPOLITAN DRIVER Gary Hall Jnr 120 Shannon Suvaljkjo 81 Chris Lewis 80 Ryan Warwick 78 Chris Voak 64   LEADING STATE TRAINER Hall Snr 153 Oliveri 115 Bond 90 Prentice 69 Turvey 65   LEADING STATE DRIVER Shannon Suvaljko 179 Gary Hall Jnr 173 Chris Lewis 169 Chris Voak 154 Ryan Warwick 135   LEADING CONCESSION Jocelyn Young 49 Corey Peterson 49 Mitchell Miller 43 Madeleine Young 33 Deni Roberts 32   LEADING JUNIOR DRIVER Michael Grantham 26 Sturat McDonald 20 Corey Peterson 16 Mitchell Miller 13 Deni Roberts 08       Racing & Wagering Western Australia

AUSTRALIA’S leading NZ Cup contender Chicago Bull is having a brief freshen-up after posting his sixth win from as many starts this campaign at Gloucester Park last Friday night. Gary Hall Sr’s superstar won in trackwork-like style by working to the front from stablemate Runrunjimmydunn, cruising through a 59.8sec middle half and dashing home in 55.3 and 27.5sec to win without being extended. “I wanted to give him a fairly easy time, but he’s having a little break after tonight so I was happy to let him finish-off the race a bit,” driver Gary Hall Jr said. “He’s having three weeks at home now. The first couple fairly quiet, then the hopples on again to prepare for the first of two runs here (Gloucester Park) before he heads to the Victoria Cup (Melton, October 13).” Hall Sr described Chicago Bull’s preparation as “perfect”, but quickly added: “You’re reluctant to say that because they are horses and things can go wrong, but every thing has been perfect so far. “There’s no doubt he’s come back better than ever.” The plan is for Chicago Bull to be flown to Auckland soon after the Victoria Cup and race once at Alexandra Park ahead of his NZ Cup tilt at Addington. Hall Sr and his major rivals Greg and Skye Bond dominated the Gloucester Park card with four wins each. Along with Chicago Bull, Hall Sr teamed with his son, Gary Jr, to win with three-year-old Speed Man, Beaudiene Beaufighter and Alta Christiano juvenile filly Fake News. The Bonds struck early winning the first three races with Lincs Tiger, Detroit Lily and the very emerging open-class player Vampiro. They also snared the quinella in race eight with talented mares Better B Chevron and Dodolicious. The Bonds had to be content with second in the feature of the night when former star juvenile Mitch Maguire chased home the exciting Simba Bromac in the $25,000 Schrader Final. _______________________________________________________________________________ VICTORIANS Chris Alford and Emma Stewart closed-out the 2017/18 season with record-smashing results. Alford obliterated the previous Australian driving record of 388 wins in a season with a staggering 457 victories. They came at a powerhouse 27.92 per cent strike rate. Alford’s dominance was underlined by the fact Greg Sugars finished second with 229 winners. Stewart, who unofficially trains in partnership with Clayton Tonkin, also bettered Grant Dixon’s 299 Australian record with 308 wins. Her strike rate was out of this world at 39.09 per cent and would’ve been far higher if you eliminated the number of times she beat her own horses. The Queensland-based Dixon had another fantastic season with 289 wins, headlined by Colt Thirty One’s Victoria Derby triumph. _______________________________________________________________________________ TIGER Tara’s NZ Cup preparation struck a snag with his scratching from Menangle last night. There’s nothing wrong with the star stayer, but his trainer Kevin Pizzuto is recovering from minor injuries after a car accident last Tuesday. “A car came out of nowhere, hit us side-on, so we lost control and crashed into some trees. It’s wrecked my car and float,” Pizzuto said. “We were lucky it wasn’t a lot worse. “It’s left me needing help with the horses.” Making matters worse in so parts of Australia is the drought conditions, which has made feed both scarce and very expensive. With Tiger Tara out of the Club Menangle free-for-all, Team Tritton’s emerging open-class player My Alpha Rock worked to the front, controlled the tempo and blitzed his rivals. My Alpha Rock finished off in splits of 53.7 and 27.1sec to score by 7.7m in a 1min55.3sec mile rate for 2300m. The other eye-catching Menangle winner was Jason Grimson’s mare Ideal Lifestyle, who was good enough to blaze a 25.8sec lead time, but keep going to win by a whopping 16.5m in a 1min50.3sec mile. _______________________________________________________________________________ GAVIN Lang reminded everyone of his genius in the sulky when he won what looked the unwinnable on the home turn with brilliant mare Carlas Pixel at Melton last night. In a leader dominated race where the last half was run in 54.8sec, Lang felt he couldn’t winning coming wide, so instead weaved his way through the field, then back inside the leader Three Ways to snatch a nose win in a 1min55.2sec mile rate in the My Lightning Blue free-for-all. It came just a week Carlas Pixel won the Breeders Crown 4YO Mares’ final. She’s also won the Group 1 Ladyship Mile at Menangle back in February. Carlas Pixel denied Three Ways’ driver Kate Gath a quartet of wins on the night. She snared wins on High Rolling, Van Mara and emerging trotter Ymbro Wasted. _______________________________________________________________________________ WHEN owner Fred Crews tackled the famous Elitlopp Trot in Sweden with Maori Time earlier this year, he vowed to do it again before too long. Crews and trained Bill Morgan have always had a huge opinion of trotter Maori Law and, after a stint on the sidelines with injury, he has returned in fine style. Maori Law had 13 months out, ran two solid placings in his first two runs back, then scored in dominant style at Melton last night with Gavin Lang aboard. The six-year-old boasts 13 wins from just 18 starts and looks a serious Inter Dominion player later this year. _______________________________________________________________________________ IT was a milestone win for Alleluia in the free-for-all at Albion Park last night. The former Kiwi passed $500,000 in career earnings by posting his 31st win from 132 starts with another 49 placings. Alleluia’s $7075 for the latest win took his bank balance to $500,900.   Adam Hamilton

It was a night for the big names of Harness Racing in Western Australia, with the trainer-driver combinations of Greg and Skye Bond and Ryan Warwick, along with Gary Hall Snr and Gary Hall Jnr taking out eight of the 10 races at Gloucester Park. Punters had the Warwick-Bond combination as the one to beat in the first three races and that is exactly how it played out. Lincs Tiger kicked the night off in fine fashion for them, taking out the Book Into Beau Rivage 3YO Pace (2130m) and despite causing a false start, he was too strong for his rivals. After finishing fifth first-up a fortnight ago, Detroit Lily returned to the winners circle in the $7 Pints At JP’s Sportsbar Pace (2130m). Detroit Lily had a dream run throughout just behind the leaders, before Warwick pulled out three-wide approaching the turn and the filly went on to defeat Veiled Secret and Dontstopbelievin. Vampiro and Better B Chevron completed the successful night for Warwick and the Bond’s. Chicago Bull was, yet again, the star attraction at Gloucester Park and he produced another professional performance to take out the $25,000 Nexus Health & Wellness Pace (2536m). Now a six-year-old, Chicago Bull came the closest he has to defeat this preparation at his last start over this distance, but there were no problems last night. Hall Jnr allowed Chicago Bull to amble to the lead towards the end of the first lap and never looked like being beaten when he got there. The Bettors Delight gelding ran home in a time of 55.3 to win by seven metres to stablemate Runrunjimmydunn. Tricky Styx finished third, making it the same first three runners across the line as last week’s August Cup. Hall Jnr said Chicago Bull would now likely head for a short break, before a couple more runs in Perth and an east coast campaign. “I think it will be three weeks now that he has away from the race track,” he said. “He will have three weeks at home jogging and the last of those weeks he will probably get back in the hopples to get ready for his next two starts here. “Depending on flights and how we go about getting him there…I dare say we will leave as close as we can to the race (Victoria Cup). “Where he’s at, what he’s aimed for and where we have got him, everything is perfect. “You don’t like saying that, because with horses and racing anything can happen day to day.” The Hall Snr and Jnr combination enjoyed a successful second half of the meeting, with Speed Man, Beaudiene Beaufighta and Fake News all recording comfortable victories. Tim Walker

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