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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

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

Hello Hotshot, a two-year-old filly who is closely related to former champion pacer Auckland Reactor, will command considerable attention when she makes her debut in the Bridge Bar Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night.  Purchased in Auckland for $15,000 as a yearling, the daughter of Canadian stallion Four Starzzz Shark has had two trials at Bunbury’s Donaldson Park this month for two wins for Busselton trainer Barry Howlett, who races the filly in partnership with his wife Lyn and their son Jimmy. She beat stablemate Rosies Delight, rating a very modest 2.7.9 in a two-horse educational trial over 1609m on August 11 before she set the pace and beat Rosies Delight by 11m in an eight-horse trial over 2185m on Sunday, rating 2.4.7, with final quarters in 28.3sec. and 29.5sec. Hello Hotshot will be driven by Chris Lewis and should make a bold bid for victory from the favourable No. 2 barrier. Rosies Delight, a $20,000 yearling owned by the Howlett family, will start from barrier five in the field of eight with Colin Brown in the sulky. She is by Bettors Delight out of Jessies Cullen, who earned $51,305 from nine wins and eight placings from 50 starts. She is related to Pazam, a winner at 19 of her 31 WA starts in a 41-start career of 22 wins and six placings for earnings of $136,113. The two Howlett runners are sure to be tested by the more experienced Fake News and Countess Grace, with Fake News, trained by Gary Hall Snr and to be driven by Gary Hall Jnr, expected to be a short-priced favourite after drawing the prized No. 1 barrier. Fake News has had seven starts for one win and two seconds. She had a tough run last Friday week when she raced three wide in the early stages and then worked hard in the breeze before fading to sixth behind the Mike Reed-trained Countess Grace. Three days before that Fake News trailed the pacemaker Major Artist before finishing fast to win from that filly and Countess Grace. Countess Grace followed her fast-finishing third to Fake News with a brilliant all-the-way victory over Rocking With Donna and Majorpride over 2130m last Friday week. That was her first victory from seven starts and she looks set for a bright career. However, she will be tested from the outside barrier in a field of eight on Friday night. Hello Hotshot’s dam May Fly (by Mach Three) was retired after racing ten times for two wins, two placings and stakes of $12,980. May Fly’s dam Bishops Blessing is a half-sister to Auckland Reactor, who was retired to stud after amassing $1,837,043 from 32 wins and four placings from 53 starts. Bishops Blessing produced Devil Dodger, who had 231 starts for 38 wins, 61 placings and $718,692. He was third behind Russley Rascal and Five Star Anvil in the Group 1 Gt Northern Derby at Alexandra Park in March 2010 and second to Sir Lincoln in the Group 1 Emerald at Cambridge three months later before winning the Group 1 Australasian Breeders Crown for three-year-old colts and geldings at Melton in August 2010. Hello Hotshot is also related to Taihape Tickler, a winner of 11 races at Gloucester Park, and The Parade, who earned $425,999 from 22 wins and 15 placings from 55 starts. Her wins included the Group 1 $125,000 Mares Classic at Gloucester Park in December 2016 and the Group 2 Empress Stakes two months later. Ken Casellas

Most equine champions have a haughty appearance and an almost supercilious arrogance but Western Australia’s pacing superstar Chicago Bull certainly does not fit that mould. He is a plain chunky little bay with a short neck and short legs. He has a pleasing placid temperament and never appears to be ruffled or agitated. His only distinguishing feature is his white stocking on his off hind leg. Now a rising six-year-old and at the peak of his powers, Chicago Bull derives his great strength from his well-muscled chest and hindquarters. A wonderful heart obviously provides him with his tremendous speed and endurance. He has won at each of his past six starts, including his five runs since resuming from a spell and he is poised to improve on his magnificent record by winning the Nexus Health and Wellness Expo Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Chicago Bull has certainly come a long way under the expert care of master trainer Gary Hall Snr since he was purchased for $122,000 (landed in WA) in June 2015. He had then had seven starts as a two-year-old in New Zealand for two wins over 1609m at the Central Southland Raceway in Winton (north of Invercargill) when he sprinted home fast from last in small fields of eight and five runners. Chicago Bull, who is being set for the Victoria Cup, New Zealand Cup, Inter Dominion championship at Melton and the WA Pacing Cup and Fremantle Cup over the next five months, has been a revelation in WA where he has amassed $1,578,504 in prizemoney from 34 wins, six seconds and eight thirds from 49 starts. His only unplaced effort was his fourth behind 45/1 outsider Jambiani, Run Oneover and Simply Susational in the 2130m Howard Porter Memorial at Gloucester Park in September last year when he was racing first-up after a two-month absence.   He will start from barrier four on Friday night and Gary Hall Jnr is sure to dictate the terms of the race, either in front or in the breeze, leaving stablemate Runrunjimmydunn, The Bucket List and others to fight out the minor placings. Ken Casellas

IT was a cold winter’s night in a relatively nothing race at Gloucester Park, but Gary Hall Sr thinks it was the turning point of Chicago Bull’s career. As exciting as the pint-sized star had been winning 35 of his first 55 starts, Hall Sr insists he went to the next level winning the August Cup last night. It prompted some of the most bold and lavish praise and predictions you would ever hear from a trainer. “After tonight I think anyone who is not frightened of Chicago Bull in a race, there is something wrong with them. When you sit parked and run home in 54.1sec that easily … he is  real force to be reckoned with,” Hall Sr told Gloucester Park trackside presenter Tim Walker. “He’s a just a star, a really good horse and I don’t know how anyone can fault his form. I think he deserves to be favourite in every race that he’s in and that includes the Victoria Cup, NZ Cup and Inter Dominion for sure and certain.” Pressed about the significance of last night’s win, Hall Sr added: “I knew I had a good horse, but didn’t know how good. I believe he’s comeback better than when he ran second in the Inter Dominion and when held Lazarus out that night and ran third in the Fremantle Cup. He’s just come back that little bit better and that will take him right to the top I think.” Last night’s race didn’t play out well early for Chicago Bull when his emerging stablemate Runrunjimmydunn led easily and dictated to through a 59.9sec middle half, promoting driver Gary Hall Jr to make a move on Chicago Bull and come around to sit parked. It turned into an 800m sprint home which Chicago Bull ran his own split in 54.0sec (officially last half 54.2sec – splits 27.2 and 26.9) to coast past the leader and win as he liked by 3.7m in a 1min55sec mile rate. There is no doubt he’s as at least as good as any open-class horse in Australasia right now. Short but sweet from driver Gary Hall Jr after the race: “Yes, he sure was impressive. I’d be scared if I lived on the eastern seaboard.” Hall Sr will now just plot his path towards through Gloucester Park free-for-alls ahead of the Group 1 Victoria Cup at Melton on October 15. Then it’s straight to NZ for a lead-up race and into the Cup. The other highlight for the night for Team Hall was King Of Swing’s third easy win from as many starts this campaign in the opening race. A staggering $1.40 to $2.20 betting drifter from gate nine, King Of Swing took an advantage of an early, messy speed duel from some of his key rivals to blast around the field and take the lead after 700m. It was then just a matter of how far as he cleared out to win by 10.4m in a 1min55.5sec mile rate for 2130m, including a 1min55sec last mile and 27.5sec final quarter, “He’s definitely come back better and sharper than when he won the Derby for us. We’ve got some exciting times ahead,” Hall Jr said. Hall Sr added: “I was a bit worried about him because he’s not the best track worker, but he’s a racehorse and did it workmanlike in the end. I’m very happy with him as well.” Adam Hamilton

Equine millionaire Chicago Bull, whose ambitious program next season includes the Victoria Cup, New Zealand Cup, Inter Dominion championship, Fremantle Cup and WA Pacing Cup, looks set to continue his dominance of local feature events by winning the $25,000 August Cup over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The star five-year-old has the class to overcome an awkward barrier (No. 6) and prove the master of his six rivals and give Hall of Fame trainer Gary Hall Snr a record sixth victory in the August Cup which was first run in 1950 when Doug Booth drove Lily Girl to victory at a 2.18.2 rate. Hall trained and drove Zakara to wins in the August Cup in 1992, 1993 and 1994 and was also successful with Im Themightyquinn in 2010 and Northview Punter in 2014 when those pacers were handled by his son Gary, who also won the 2013 August Cup with the Stephen Reed-trained Uppy Son. Hall has also prepared the second and third placegetters in the past two August Cups, with Run Oneover and Cyamach being placed behind Bettors Fire in 2016 and Ideal Alice and Run Oneover finishing behind the $96.10 outsider Jambiani 12 months ago. Hall Jnr will drive Chicago Bull, with Stuart McDonald, who brought Jambiani home with a rattling run from fifth and three back on the pegs at the bell to defeat Ideal Alice and the pacemaker Run Oneover, engaged for Runrunjimmydunn. Nathan Turvey will be in the sulky behind the Hall stable’s third Cup runner My Hard Copy. Eight-year-old My Hard Copy, a dual WA Pacing Cup winner and conqueror of the mighty Lazarus in the Fremantle Cup last summer, resumed after an absence of just over four months in fine style last Friday night when he gave a bold frontrunning display to win convincingly from Galactic Star and The Bucket List over 2536, with final quarters in 28.4sec. and 27.2sec. Galactic Star fought on solidly after racing without cover for more than two laps after starting from the outside barrier. He is favourably drawn at No. 3 this week and Ryan Warwick is likely to consider the prospect of leading. Ken Casellas

Just weeks after successful returns from star duo King Of Swing and Speed Man, leading trainer Gary Hall Snr has unveiled another promising three-year-old at Gloucester Park last night, in the form of gelding Benhope Rulz. The gelding only had an abbreviated campaign in Perth earlier this year, but was well beaten in three starts, one of which was the Group 1 WA Derby. Benhope Rulz had his first start in Western Australia on March 23, just a fortnight prior to the WA Derby and couldn’t make an impact on those feature races. Last night, the son of Courage Under Fire closed $1.24 with TABtouch in the Gannons Pacing Colours Pace (2130m) as he looked to record his first win since coming to Perth. Benhope Rulz began only fairly from barrier four and reinsman Gary Hall Jnr was forced to settle one out and one back in the run, as Atchoo set the pace. Hall Jnr was patient in running last night and waited until the back straight on the final lap to make his move on Benhope Rulz. The gelding then hit the front in the home straight and went on to win by five metres to Mega Moolah and Atchoo. The most impressive win of the night was, arguably, the Dean Miller-trained Aliman in the International Animal Health Products Pace (2130m). Aliman was allowed to run to the front from barrier nine, despite not having the best of luck in earlier starts this campaign and produced a satisfactory trial after his most recent start on August 11 when he galloped out. Aliman was able to get away with steady quarters after finding the front in the home straight the first time, before going on to win by almost 20m to Manhattan Billy and Gangbuster. In the two-year-old event of the evening trainer Don Wegner and driver Stephen Simms teamed up with Lady Lani to upstage warm favourite Major Artist. Lady Lani couldn’t hold the lead from barrier one and was forced to settle three pairs back on the pegs as Major Artist crossed to find the front. Lady Lani eventually got clear running in the home straight on the final lap and stormed over the top of Major Artist to win by a head. The standing start event of the evening was taken out by the Peter Anderson-trained Driven, with the nine-year-old leading all of the way in the 2503m event to win by 9m to Maximum Demand and Shes Artful.   Tim Walker

CHICAGO Bull is Gary Hall Sr’s stable top seed, but rejuvenated veteran My Hard Copy isn’t far behind him. And, if came down to emotional connections, My Hard Copy might even be on top. The rising nine-year-old entire returned from a spell to beat a good field easily and post his 27th career win at Gloucester Park last Friday night. My Hard Copy boasts more than $1.25 million in stakemoney, largely through his two Fremantle Cup wins (2015 and this year),  two WA Cup wins (2015 and 2016) and even a third in a Hunter Cup. “We love him. I hoped hew drew well first-up because his work at home had been so good. He’s come back better than even we think,” Hall Sr said. My Hard Copy drew the pole, Gary Hall Jr used his early speed to lead easily and then kept-up a strong tempo to win without being extended by 3.9m over a gallant Galactic Star, who sat parked, with The Bucket List (behind leader) in third spot. The mile rate was a strong 1min56.7sec, which considering the winter conditions, compared well with the track record 1min54.5sec set by Lazarus on night one of last year’s Perth Inter Dominion. Interestingly, My Hard Copy has beaten home Chicago Bull at two of their past three clashes. While Chicago Bull, who will likely race at Gloucester Park net Friday, will travel to the Victoria Cup in Melbourne then onto the NZ Cup, My Hard Copy is staying home. “I’ll just take him through the free-for-alls here and get ready for another go at the Fremantle and WA Cups,” Hall Sr said. ________________________________________________________________________________________ SHADOW Sax has served his “apprenticeship” and now its time for the big league. Emma Stewart’s exciting open-class player looms as one of the key contenders for races like the Victoria Cup and Melbourne Inter Dominion. Stewart took Shadow Sax through a string of country cup wins this season, but dipped him into the elite company for a second to Soho Tribeca in the Kilmore Cup, a win over the same horse in the Melton Plate and a third in the Ballarat Cup. He’s won 11 of 14 starts this season with the only flop, a mystifying one, being a 12th in the Hunter Cup. Shadow Sax brilliantly won the Horsham Cup on April 22 then had a break before resuming with a no-fuss win in the Minuteman free-for-all at Melton last Friday night. Chris Alford used gate three to lead, cruised through a cosy 47.1sec lead time, steady 61.8sec middle half, the zipped home in 55.8 and 26.9sec to score by 3.5m in a 1min58.3sec mile rate for 2240m. Shadow Sax will back-up in next week’s Breeders Crown Open free-for-all then build towards the Victoria Cup on October 15. ________________________________________________________________________________________ GLAMOUR mare Our Golden Goddess earned a crack at Shadow Sax in the Breeders Crown Open free-for-all after winning the mares’ only version last night. It was closer than punters hoped and expected, but Our Golden Goddess led, smashed the clock and just held-out reigning Ladyship Mile winner Carlas Pixel by a neck. They went a slick 1min53.1sec mile rate for 1650m. ________________________________________________________________________________________ TEAM Tritton bring so many horses across from NZ, it takes something special to standout. A few years back Shane Tritton spruiked a mare called Arms Of An Angel before she had her first run for him and we all know hood good she was before being cutdown by injury at her prime. Tritton beamed similar confidence about a three-year-old Tintin In America gelding called Gods Spirit a before he stepped-out for his first run for the stable at Menangle last Tuesday. Gods Spirit won his only start in NZ for trainer-driver Nicky Chilcott by just a neck at a Manawatu meeting back on December 14, last year. “He went a 1min51sec mile at the (Menangle) trials and it was the first time he’d seen the mobile in seven months,” Tritton said. “He could be a freak.” Gods Spirit ran right up to expectations and his trial when he won his first Aussie run by an increasing 26.3m at Menangle last Tuesday. Despite a cosy 57.6sec first half, the gelding ripped home in staggering splits of 53.4 and 26.5sec for a 1min51sec mile, seemingly with Lauren Tritton just nursing him. No three-year-old has gone faster in Australia this season. ________________________________________________________________________________________ VETERAN mare Lola Jones is becoming quite the giant-killer. Kevin Pizzuto’s rising eight-year-old stormed home to upstage her more highly-fancied rivals in the Group 3 Baby Bling at Menangle last night. The leaders went hard through a 55.3sec first half which set-up the overall 1min51.7sec mile. The hardluck story of the race was classy former WA mare Major Reality, who had no racing room when it mattered at her first run for new trainer Craig Cross.   Adam Hamilton

Reigning Fremantle and Pinjarra Cup champion My Hard Copy makes his return to racing in tomorrow night’s Westral Pace (2536m) at Gloucester Park and trainer Gary Hall Snr says the veteran will be hard to beat. The veteran pacer hasn’t been seen since running eighth on April 6 at Gloucester Park at the end of a campaign which included the two feature Cup wins. With Chicago Bull having a short break prior to his east coast campaign, which includes a shot at the Victoria and New Zealand Cups and Inter Dominion, Hall Snr will call upon My Hard Copy to fill the void in Free For All races at Gloucester Park over the next month. My Hard Copy has drawn barrier one for tomorrow night’s $25,000 event, while The Bucket List (barrier two), Runrunjimmydunn (barrier five) and Bettors Fire (barrier six) are expected to feature prominently. Hall Snr said My Hard Copy was in good order ahead of tomorrow night and was looking forward to his return. “He’s good, really good,” he said. “I expect him to lead and be very hard to beat. “He worked yesterday morning as well as he ever has.” Gary Hall Jnr has the drive on My Hard Copy tomorrow night, while Stuart McDonald has the drive on last week’s Marathon Handicap winner Runrunjimmydunn. Hall Snr said My Hard Copy would be given the chance to defend his Fremantle Cup title in January and felt if barrier draws favoured him he could beat Chicago Bull. Despite last week’s win in the Marathon, Hall Snr conceded Runrunjimmydunn would have his work cut out tomorrow night, but said the four-year-old would be competitive. “He’s going well and he has no problems at all,” he said. “He will acquit himself well. “The 2500m from the mobile is like the standing start of 3300m and the distance drop isn’t too much of a concern for my horses.” The pair will look to continue a good week for Hall Snr, after WA Derby winner King Of Swing took out the JP’s Sportsbar Pace (2130m) on Tuesday night at Gloucester Park. Hall Snr said he was pleased with how King Of Swing returned in his two runs this campaign, and would now likely run in a three-year-old race at Gloucester Park next week. Tomorrow night’s Gloucester Park meeting gets underway with the second heat of The Schrader which jumps at 5.20.   Tim Walker

Ace reinsman Mark Reed drove the speedy Pazam to six victories at the turn of the century and he is confident of continuing the family tradition by winning races with promising two-year-old filly Countess Grace. Trained by Reed’s father Mike, Countess Grace is closely related to Pazam, who won 19 races in Western Australia in a splendid 41-start career of 22 wins and six placings for stakes of $136,113. Mark Reed was in the sulky when the New Zealand-bred Pazam won for the final time, at Gloucester Park in February 2004 when he beat The Die Is Cast and Sand Pebbles in a 2140m Free-For-All. He also drove Pazam when he finished sixth behind Lombo Rapida and Shakamaker in the 2000 Chariots of Fire at Harold Park. Countess Grace emerged as a strong winning prospect in the Glenroy Chaff Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night when she unwound a spirited finishing burst to be an eye-catching third behind Fake News and Major Artist over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Tuesday evening. Countess Grace was restrained from barrier eight at the start and settled down in 11th position. She was seventh at the bell, three back on the pegs, before sprouting wings in the home straight, with the final 400m being covered in a slick 28.1sec. Countess Grace has drawn the prized No. 1 barrier in Friday night’s $18,000 event and Mark Reed said: “She will give them something to chase. She has good gate speed, the aim will be to lead and I consider her to have excellent winning prospects. “She was unlucky at her previous start when third behind Majorpride and Fake News. She raced behind the pacemaker Cosmic Horizons and was shuffled back when that filly weakened and dropped back in the final stages.” Majorpride, Fake News and Countess Grace should dominate Friday night’s race in which Countess Grace has a significant advantage over the other two fillies, who will start out wide, with Fake News at barrier seven and Majorpride on the outside in the field of eight. Fake News, trained by Gary Hall Snr, was impressive on Tuesday evening when she enjoyed the perfect trail behind the pacemaker Major Artist before running home fast to snatch victory for star reinsman Gary Hall Jnr. However, Hall Jnr has decided to drive the Justin Prentice-trained Majorpride in preference to Fake News. “There’s not much between them, but Majorpride is probably a bit more of a racehorse at the moment,” he said. Majorpride has raced ten times for three wins, three seconds and two thirds. Mark Reed will fly out of Perth early on Saturday morning to drive star filly Our Angel of Harlem in the second semi-final of the Breeders Crown for three-year-old fillies at Bendigo on Saturday night. Our Angel of Harlem, trained by Mike Reed, has drawn poorly and will start from the outside (barrier three) on the back line. However, she is in top form and should have little difficulty in qualifying for the final the following week. Western Australia will also be represented in semi-finals of the Breeders Crown on Saturday night by the Michael Brennan-trained The Embezzler and the David Thompson-trained Mandy Joan. Michael Grantham will drive The Embezzler from the outside (No. 7) on the front line in the first semi-final for two-year-old colts and geldings. A winner at four of his eight starts and a strong fourth behind Franco Edward in the Pearl Classic, The Embezzler has won at Pinjarra at his past two starts. He possesses wonderful gate speed and is sure to make his presence felt. Mandy Joan also has drawn barrier seven in the second semi-final for two-year-old fillies in which she will be handled by champion Victorian reinsman Gavin Lang. She has won twice from seven starts and is working strongly enough to qualify for the final. Ken Casellas

The Inter Dominion dream is still alive for injury-plagued superstar Hectorjayjay. It’s been well documented his latest injury setback prompted another stable switch to Matty Craven near Warrnambool, so beach swimming could become part of his routine. And that’s just what Hectorjayjay has started doing, making regular visits to into the chilly Lady Bay beach in Warrnambool. “Not only is he swimming and doing really well, but he starts jogging this week,” part-owner Mick Harvey said. “We’ve mapped out a plan for him and the Inter Dominion is part of it. If everything keeps going the way it is, he’ll he on target for the Inters. “Matty is thrilled with how he’s been since he got to his place a few weeks ago.” Hectorjayjay brilliantly won the Group 1 Blacks A Fake last July and returned from almost a year out to win at Kilmore for Gavin Lang in late June, but developed another minor issue. __________________________________________________________________________ NZ Cup hopeful Tiger Tara was beaten, but far from disgraced at his comeback run at Menangle last night. Kevin Pizzuto’s star did plenty of early work to eventually find the lead, kicked away with a big break at the top of the home straight, but was nabbed late by the much-improved sit-sprinter Loorim Creek. They ran a strong 1min51.5sec mile and Tiger Tara was beaten just 1.9m. It was his first run since the Miracle Mile on February 24. The shock of the race was the flop of Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen’s heavily backed favourite Cash N Flow ($2.90 into $1.90), who beat just one rival home. Cash N Flow, an eye-catching when runner-up at his first Menangle run, worked forward early, sat parked, loomed as a winning hope coming to the final bend, but wilted to be beaten 15m in ninth spot. __________________________________________________________________________ LUCKY hobby trainer Ange McDowall is a patient person. McDowall’s star Lumineer – one of Australia’s most exciting pacers – is out of the Breeders Crown with another injury setback, but it’s only minor. “It’s not a broken bone, it’s just an untimely hiccup. It’s an abscess which didn’t burst in time,” she said. Lumineer, who boasts eight wins from nine starts, hasn’t raced since being injured during the Victoria Derby final on January 27. He was scratched from his Breeders Crown qualifier at Bendigo last Friday night. __________________________________________________________________________ STILL on the Breeders Crown qualifiers and, as expected, they proved a feast for co-trainers Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin across four meetings in Victoria last week. Stewart and Tonkin amazingly won all of the nine heats run at Ballarat, Kilmore, Shepparton and Bendigo. At Kilmore last Tuesday, Two Times Bettor turned the tables on Kualoa from the Vicbred final in the first heat, then Somebeachsomewhere filly Swimsuit Edition won the second heat. Stewart and Tonkin landed the trifecta in the second of the Ballarat heats last Wednesday with Hurricane Harley storming home over the top of the leader, Hardhitter, with the emerging Brevity in third spot. In the other heat, Australian Gold and Vicbred winner Centenario led throughout to score. Last Thursday, Stewart and Tonkin easily won both three-year-old pacing fillies’ heats with Pistol Abbey (who beat stablemate Tenniele Erin in the first heat) and final favourite Speak No Evil. With Shez All Rock sidelined, Vicbred winner Speak No Evil looks a standout for the final. Stewart and Tonkin then unleashed seven runners across the three heats for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings at Ballarat on Friday night winning with NSW Derby winner Poster Boy, the untapped Ride High and underrated Major Times, who upstaged more highly-fancied stablemate Maraetai. __________________________________________________________________________ THE old marvel did it again. Kyvalley Blur, the rising 11-year-old who was bred in North America, toyed with his younger rivals in the Group 3 Aldebaran Park Trotters’ free-for-all at Melton last night. It was his second win at the top level in six days after a dominant display in the free-for-all at Maryborough on Redwood Day. Chris Alford was content to sit back and wait for the last shot at Sparkling Success, who gave him the trail home, and comeback champ Keystone Del, who sat parked. Kyvalley Blur exploded past his classy rivals halfway down the straight and cruised to a 5.7m win in a slick 1min58sec mile rate for 2240m. Keystone Del battled on well for second, the spot he occupied at his first run back from a year out. Sparkling Success, who is US bound for the Yonkers International Trot in October, ran on quite well, but has yet to show his peak form in two runs back from a spell. __________________________________________________________________________ STABLE star Chicago Bull stayed home, but trainer Gary Hall Sr still won the major fast-class race at Gloucester Park last Friday night with the promising Kiwi-bred Runrunjimmydunn. The son of American Ideal, superbly driven by Gary Hall Jr, outstayed classy rivals Motu Premier and Vampiro and the end of the Marathon over an epic 3309m. The other fast-class race produced an upset when Greg and Skye Bond’s four-year-old Rock Diamonds upstaged classy open-class performers The Bucket List and Bettors Fire in a slick 1min54.7sec mile rate for 2130m.   Adam Hamilton

Champion trainer Gary Hall Snr, delighted at King of Swing’s effortless victory on Tuesday night, will be looking for strong efforts from American Brave and Speed Man when they clash in the first event, the Seven News Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. This trio of exciting three-year-olds are being aimed at the rich Golden Nugget Championship for four-year-olds in the coming summer. A winner at six of his 13 starts, American Brave made a stylish Australian debut for Hall when he scored a runaway victory against moderate company over 2130m at Gloucester Park on July 14, despite being on one rein for much of the journey. He sprinted over the final quarters in 28.7sec. and 28.1sec. and won by seven and a half lengths. American Brave will be driven by ace reinsman Gary Hall Jnr from the outside (No. 3) on the back line. He stamped himself as a future star when he trailed the pacemaker Solid Gold and sprinted home powerfully along the sprint lane to win by a neck from King of Swing in a heat of the Sires Stakes at Alexandra Park last October. King of Swing had taken the lead 150m from the post after working hard in the breeze. The final 800m was covered in 56.5sec., with the last 400m taking 27.5sec. American Brave rated 1.53.8 over 1700m and his was a notable victory over King of Swing, who gave further proof of his class by winning the Group 1 WA Derby in April. American Brave has inherited much of the ability of his dam Shez Spicey, a mare by Christian Cullen who earned $183,183 from nine wins, seven seconds and one third from just 31 starts. American Brave is a work in progress and looks set to improve massively on his modest record of 13 starts for six wins and one third for stakes of $55,610. Speed Man, who will be handled on Friday night by Stuart McDonald, has earned $61,206 from six wins and five placings from 15 starts. He is unbeaten at his two starts in his current campaign and he is capable of overcoming the disadvantage of the outside barrier (No. 9) and should take a power of beating. King of Swing made a wonderful return to racing on Tuesday night when he began from the No. 1 barrier in a lowly C0-class event over 2130m. He was untroubled to set the pace and romped home by a margin of 67.2m, rating 1.56.9. It was his first appearance since he won the WA Derby by a head from Bechers Brook on April 6. American Brave and Speed Man are two of eight last-start winners in a classy field of 12. The powerful Greg and Skye Bond stable will be represented by Fizzing, a promising Mach Three colt who notched his fifth victory when he worked hard in the breeze before racing away to win by more than four lengths over 2185m at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon.  He should enjoy a comfortable trip after starting from the inside of the back line.    Ken Casellas  

Ross Olivieri, the leading trainer in Western Australia eight times, and champion reinsman Chris Lewis have combined to win the Channel 7 Marathon Handicap a record four times and they are confident that they can notch a fifth victory in the 3309m stand at Gloucester Park on Friday night. They are pinning their faith in the New Zealand-bred five-year-old Motu Premier, who at his 50th start in a race, will be attempting to become the first horse in the 25-year history of the Marathon Handicap to win the race twice. Motu Premier is a proven stayer owned by Merv Butterworth, who raced Chief Thundercloud and Our Jericho, who won the Marathon for the Olivieri-Lewis team in 2015 and 2016, respectively.  Before that, Olivieri and Lewis were successful with the Neville Dewhurst-owned Nickelmeldon in 2009. Motu Premier was the 5-4 favourite in last year’s race when he started off the 30m mark. Lewis stole a march on his rivals when he set Motu Premier alight soon after the start and the gelding burst to the lead after a lap. Then, after sections of 29.6sec., 31.2sec. and 29.3sec., Motu Premier sprinted over the final 400m in 28.9sec. to win by just over a length from The Bucket List, who started from 40m and sustained a strong three-wide burst from ninth in the middle stages. This year Motu Premier will share the 40m mark with Runrunjimmydunn and Devendra and Lewis is likely to adopt the same aggression as he used so successfully 12 months ago. In a field of nine and with only one horse (Cracka Star) off the front and two (Always Arjay and Swimbetweentheflags) off 10m, drivers off the back marks are expected to make strong attacking moves in the early stages. Cracka Star relishes the role of pacemaker, but he rises a great deal in class and it is difficult to suggest he can succeed against several far-better credentialled rivals. He will be handled by Luke Edwards for trainer Debbie Padberg, who prepared Rocket Reign for his Marathon victory in 2014 when he started off 40m and surged home from eighth at the bell to beat This Time Dylan. Always Arjay is a standing-start specialist with a record of 23 starts in stands for seven wins, four seconds, two thirds and five fourths. Confident part-owner and trainer Matt Scott said that he expected Always Arjay to run a super race. “Stands are his forte and if he can lead he is capable of beating the backmarkers,” he predicted. Always Arjay is in splendid form. Although he has a losing sequence of 16, he has finished second at each of his past four starts. He raced three wide early and then in the one-out, one-back position before finishing strongly to be second to Courage Tells in a 2130m mobile last Friday night. Two starts before that Always Arjay finished with great determination to be second to The Bucket List in the BOTRA Cup, a 2503m stand. Motu Premier, at his second outing after a spell, finished third. Last Friday night Motu Premier warmed up for the Marathon in fine style with a close-up third behind Ideal Tyson and Vampiro in a 2130m mobile after working hard in the middle stages. Hall of Fame trainer Gary Hall Snr has sound prospects of winning the Marathon for the third time after successes with Im Themightyquinn off 80m in 2010 and Code Red, the sole frontmarker in 2012. He will be represented by Runrunjimmydunn (40m) and Lets Chase The Dream (20m). “The distance will suit Runrunjimmydunn and he’s a good each-way chance,” Hall said. ”He got home really well when a close third to Chicago Bull and Devendra last week and the distance won’t worry Lets Chase The Dream, who had a hard run before getting to the front and then finishing fourth behind Ideal Tyson last week.” Four-year-old Runrunjimmydunn’s only appearance in a stand from 26 starts in WA was when he began from 30m and finished a close third to Importer Exporter and Bettors Fire in the 2902m Easter Cup in March this year. Nathan Turvey, who set the pace with Baleybofey in 2013 and won the Marathon for trainer Ray Williams, said that Devendra’s frontrunning head second to Chicago Bull last Friday night was a good pointer to his prospects this week. “Devendra flies out from the stand and he must be considered,” said Turvey. The eight-year-old Devendra is an excellent stayer, who won five stands in Tasmania, including the 3020m Devenport Cup in March 2014. In the summer of 2015-16 he won two heats of the Inter Dominion championship at Gloucester Park before finishing second to My Hard Copy in the 2936m WA Pacing Cup. Star trainers Greg and Skye Bond will be looking for a strong performance from Vampiro, an up-and-coming four-year-old who has had 29 starts for 12 wins and nine placings. Ryan Warwick will handle Vampiro, the sole runner off the 30m mark. Vampiro was hampered for room in the home straight before flashing home on the inside to finish a half-head second to Ideal Tyson last Friday night.       Ken Casellas

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