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Outstanding concession driver Maddison Brown has formed a strong and successful association with four-year-old pacer Highly Flammable and ten-year-old trotter Lord Liam and she has high hopes of landing a double with them in the first and final events at Gloucester Park on Friday night. “I’ve got the horses to do that,” she said after guiding Highly Flammable to a decisive three-length victory over Mondooley Mach over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Tuesday afternoon. “Hopefully, Highly Flammable can repeat what he’s done tonight, and that’s to get to the front and set the pace. He hasn’t been showing great gate speed, but tonight I just revved him up a bit more in the preliminary and he came out really good. He can switch off, with the hood, but when I got up him, he ran away from them.” Highly Flammable was not extended and impressed with the ease in which he dashed over the final three quarters in 29.8sec., 28.9sec. and 28.5sec. to win at a 1.58.4 rate. That followed a win and a close second at his two previous starts getting to the lead early from barrier six and winning by four lengths from Northview Orator over 2536m and then racing wide early and in the breeze before finishing a half-neck second to My Master of Disguise at a 1.56.6 rate over 1730m. Brown has driven Highly Flammable at his past nine starts for three wins, three seconds, one third and two fourths and trainer Gary Hall Snr said: “He’s getting better with every run. He had a leg injury and we had to turn him out when he got big in condition. It has taken a long time to get him fully fit.” Hardest for Highly Flammable to beat is likely to be the John Oldroyd-trained Lightning Jolt, who will be driven by Chris Voak from barrier four. The seven-year-old has a losing sequence of ten, but his recent efforts, including a last-start fourth behind Bletchley Park, have been quite encouraging. Waroona trainer Bob Mellsop has Lord Liam, a veteran of 89 starts for 29 wins and  29 placings, in superb form, with Brown guiding him to impressive wins at each of his past six starts for a combined winning margin of 49.7m, an average winning margin of 8.2m. Lord Liam set the pace from barrier five when an easy winner from Diamond Geezer over 2100m at Bunbury at his most recent outing, five weeks ago. “Bob has given him a freshen-up and the horse has the gate speed if you need to use it. I’ll see what Bob wants to do from the draw (barrier eight) in the 2536m race. Spud has drawn inside us, and he looks the main danger.” Spud, a seasoned veteran of 133 starts for 17 wins and 36 placings, has flourished under the care of trainer-reinsman Kim Prentice and has won in fine style at his first two starts in Western Australia. He raced without cover before beating Diamond Geezer in a 2631m stand at Pinjarra at his latest appearance and before that he finished strongly to beat Lifes Delight in a 2096m stand at Gloucester Park. Hall Snr is hoping for strong efforts from Robb Stark and Overboard Again, who will be resuming after spells on Friday night. Five-year-old Robb Stark, resuming after a two-and-a half-month absence, is awkwardly drawn at barrier seven in the Retravision Pace in which stablemate The Arsonist has drawn perfectly at barrier one and impressive last-start winner Our Perkins will be strongly fancied from the No. 2 draw. “The barrier draw is against Robb Stark, but he’s still a chance,” said Hall. “He’s had a few little problems, including an infection in his lungs. But we’ve cleared all that up. He’s working well and he should be in the mix, even from barrier seven.” Seven-year-old Overboard Again will be having his first start since April when he begins out wide at barrier eight in the Intersport Slater Gartrell Pace over 2536m.A winner at 12 of his 41 starts, Overboard Again has not appeared since he finished a good second to stablemate Herrick Roosevelt over 2130m at Gloucester Park on April 26. “If he had drawn a favourable barrier, he probably would’ve won,” said Hall. “But from out there, he will need some luck.”   Ken Casellas

Enigmatic five-year-old King of Swing has won only once from his past 14 starts, but he looks the winner of the $50,000 J. P. Stratton Cup over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night after drawing the prized No. 1 barrier. The wonderful combination of Hall of Fame trainer Gary Hall Snr and his son, Hall of Fame reinsman Gary Hall Jnr, have won the Stratton Cup with Bengeeman (2002), Alzona (2011), Waylade (2015) and Chicago Bull (2018) and King of Swing has the class to add to their successes in this Group 2 feature event. “Leading has been his forte,” said Hall Snr. “He’s quick out and should be able to lead and take beating. He raced in the breeze in the 2536m Media Guild Cup last week and didn’t throw in the towel when third behind Waylade and The Bucket List.” King of Swing also worked hard without cover when he won the WA Derby by a head from Bechers Brook in April 2018, but most of his 18 wins from 44 starts have been when he has set the pace. His most recent success was seven starts ago when he led from barrier two and ran a smart lead time of 36.4sec. His previous successes were when he led and beat Saying Grace by eight lengths at a 1.56.3 rate over 2536m, with a final quarter of 26.8sec., and when he rated 1.54.5 in an easy win over 2130m. “In his third most recent win he held out a strong early challenge from Thereugo and ran a lead time of 34.7sec.,” Hall said. “So, he should be able to lead this week and I believe he will go close.” The Hall stable also will be represented in this week’s Stratton Cup by Speed Man (Stuart McDonald) and Mad Robber (Maddison Brown). Speed Man is handily drawn at barrier two on the back line and is capable of figuring in the finish, but nine-year-old Mad Robber faces a stern task from barrier six and will be at liberal odds. Hall of Fame reinsman Chris Lewis is seeking his eighth win in a Stratton Cup, after victories with Black Irish (1983), Village Kid (1985, 1988 and 1991), Ohoka Ace (2005), Sneakyn Down Under (2009) and Sensational Gabby (2014). He will handle five-year-old Our Corelli, who is prepared by his wife Debra and will start from the No. 4 barrier. Our Corelli possesses excellent gate speed and is also versatile and capable of unwinding a spirited finishing burst. He surged home from sixth at the bell to gain a last-stride victory over El Jacko in the 2130m Navy Cup last Friday week. That was his eighth win from his past 12 starts. The Ross Olivieri-trained Motu Premier will start from barrier No. 5 with Chris Voak in the sulky. Olivieri, who has won the Stratton Cup with Just Packapunch (1993) and Sensational Gabby, said that the New Zealand-bred Motu Premier was ready for a strong showing at his third start after a 12-month absence. “Motu Premier has finished fifth at each of his two runs in this preparation and he’s come through those runs really well,” Olivieri said. “They have been very soft runs and he should be getting somewhere near his best form.” Ten-year-old The Bucket List is racing with youthful enthusiasm and his trainer Michael Brennan is hoping that the race will be run at a strong tempo. The Bucket List, who will be handled by Michael Grantham, impressed in last week’s Media Guild Cup when he raced in sixth position and was eighth and last at the 400m mark before switching five wide on the home turn and flying home to finish second to the pacemaker Waylade. “He probably had no right at all to run second,” said an admiring Brennan. “The key to his prospects will be if there are some strong challenges for the lead and the pace is on. We’re relying heavily on tempo in this race. At the top end there’s going to be some quality horses who can run serious sectionals. “If the race is run up-tempo, The Bucket List can definitely win. You saw last week that he’s got an electrifying turn of foot, and he’s very strong as well. But, unfortunately, he’s a one-trick pony and you’ve got to drive him that way (as a sit-sprinter). I think he now races just as well as he did as a younger horse.” The Bucket List raced in the breeze for much of the way when a fading fifth behind Chicago Bull in last year’s Stratton Cup. He sat behind the pacemaker Libertybelle Midfrew when second to that mare in the 2016 Stratton Cup. Brennan has fond memories of the 2013 Stratton Cup when he prepared star pacer Im Victorious for his three-length victory over Ima Rocket Star. Ima Rocket Star was trained by Greg and Skye Bond, who will be represented in this week’s Cup by El Jacko and Our Jimmy Johnstone. El Jacko is a brilliant pacer who has won 21 times from 59 starts and has been placed at each of his past three starts. He will start out wide at barrier eight with Ryan Warwick in the sulky. He is capable of producing a powerful finish and fully testing King of Swing. Simba Bromac (barrier two) and Waylade (three) are racing keenly and should be prominent. Simba Bromac trailed the pacemaker Waylade and was hopelessly blocked for a run when an unlucky fourth to that pacer last week. Kyle Harper, who drives Waylade for trainer Caris Hamilton-Smith, said that the nine-year-old faced a tougher task this week from the No. 3 barrier than he did when he led from barrier one in last week’s Media Guild Cup.   Ken Casellas

Champion reinsman Chris Lewis was born in 1955, the year that famous American rocknroll singer and songwriter Bill Haley topped the charts with Rock Around The Clock. Bill Haley, in the form of five-year-old New Zealand-bred pacer by Rock N Roll Heaven, is sure to have punters singing his praises at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he makes his West Australian debut in the Direct Trades Supply Pace over 2130m. Prepared at Hopeland by Lewis’s wife Debra, Bill Haley will start from barrier No. 1 and Lewis should take advantage of the draw by leading all the way with the gelding and beating his chief rival Major Pocket. Bill Haley has been purchased by Debra and Chris Lewis’s son Mark, Luke Montgomery, Nathan Morrone, Julie Champion, Paul Webster and Victorian harness racing personality Cameron Lee. He is lightly raced, having had 32 starts in New Zealand for four wins and five placings and six starts in Queensland for four wins. He is renowned for his blistering finishing bursts but is also a speedy beginner and highly capable frontrunner. He led from barrier three four starts ago when he won a 2040m event by ten lengths at a 1.58.5 rate at Redcliffe. Bill Haley was most impressive in unwinding dazzling late bursts to win a $31,600 Four-Year-Old Championship over 2138m at Albion Park and a 2280m $25,500 feature event at Redcliffe at his two most recent outings in late July. Two starts ago, he was a 14/1 chance when he raced three wide for the first 300m and then in the breeze for a while before settling in sixth position in the one-wide line. He was sixth with 350m to travel and went five wide on the home turn for reinsman Mark Purdon and flew home to get up and win by a head at a 1.54.5 rate with the final three quarters run in 28.4sec., 28.3sec. and 27.3sec. Six days later at Redcliffe Bill Haley, a 22/1 outsider driven by Kylie Rasmussen, unleashed a devastating burst from sixth at the 400m to get up and win by a half-length from the pacemaker Our Uncle Sam. Bill Haley is out of Presidential Ball mare Elite Belle, who raced 73 times for 11 wins, 15 placings and $102,927 in prizemoney. Elite Belle’s half-sister Five Card Draw has had 163 starts for 31 wins, 49 placings and stakes of $647,224. Her 17 wins in Queensland before going to America in 2016 included the Group 3 Four-Year-Old Championship at Albion Park in July 2014 and the Group 3 Redcliffe Cup in July 2016.   Ken Casellas

The win of Highly Flammable at Gloucester Park tonight brought up the 3000th career win for trainer Gary Hall Snr and he is the first trainer in Western Australia to achieve this milestone. Somewhat remarkably Highly Flammable wasn’t driven by Hall’s son Gary Hall Jnr with Maddison Brown taking the drive. Hall brought up win number 3001 later in the night when Robbie Easton saluted with Gary Hall Jnr at the reins. It was win number 1733 for the father/son combination and Robbie Easton became Hall Snr’s 2246th winner in Perth. The fascination of Gary Hall for harness racing began in 1964 when he used to sneak out of his family home in Mount Lawley and ride his pushbike to Gloucester Park on a Saturday night. Hall and a mate would jump the fence into the course and boost their meagre funds per medium of betting on the horses that graced the track during its halcyon days. Hall was the form student and his mate closer to the legal betting age. “I remember having five shillings on a horse called Yamagee that paid three pounds seventeen and six for the place and I thought it was Christmas”, Hall recalled years later. After building his bank to a bit more than 30 pounds, Hall took a fancy to a gelding called Prince Land and had his mate put ten pounds on the horse. “He told me that he had managed to get 66/1 and the bookie hadn’t wound the price down. I gave him another ten pounds for a second bet at the price”. The horse duly won and Hall was counting out his £1320 winnings on his bed at home when he was sprung by his mother who was more than a little concerned at where the money had come from. Hall came clean and after that night his parents would take him to Gloucester Park. After leaving school Hall got a job as a trainee auctioneer at the Midland saleyards where he met Arthur Jones. Jones, known to all and sundry as Buck, was enjoying success at the time with a gelding called Satin Son and Hall soon began jogging horses for Jones. Like all stable-hands who aspired to being drivers, Hall bought a quiet gelding and went through the Reinsman’s School at Gloucester Park under the tutelage of Cyril Lilleyman. He got his licence to drive in races as an 18yo at a time when driving concessions and junior driver races didn’t exist. Drives were hard to come by and Hall began leasing and training a couple of horses, starting with Silent Revel which he managed to run a couple of places with without winning. A mare called Plebette gave Hall his first win as a trainer when she won at Collie on 5th March 1971 Tobaree gave Hall his first success at Gloucester Park as both a trainer and driver when she won on 16th September 1972. Hall continued to work a regular job as he had a young family to support and a job as a clerk in Perth’s Crown Law Department saw him meet Crown Prosecutor Ron Davies who was equally as big a harness fanatic as Hall. In 1982 Hall’s direction in harness racing was changed when Ron Davies gave him a position as his private trainer and this gave Hall the confidence to branch out on his own as a public trainer in 1983. Another big change occurred for Hall in 1982 but the impact wasn’t quite so immediate. His son Gary was born and from the outset developed a similar obsession with horses to that of his father. With a young family to support, Hall struggled to make ends meet until he leased Maru Adios which had not been placed in three years. Hall turned the gelding around and in his first year at Hall’s Hazelmere stables, Maru Adios won 11 races and almost $39,000 in stakes. Soon owners began to recognise a training talent and better quality horses began to become available. Among them was a Racy Prince stallion called Vero Prince which won six on end and was favourite for the 1986 Golden Nugget Championship before Hall copped a disqualification for a swab. “I was never guilty of giving the horse anything. I may have been guilty of having inadequate stable security but never of giving anything to my horses”, Hall said. Hall managed to get the 12 months penalty reduced to three on appeal but he had lost the momentum and again had to battle to put a team of competitive horses together. Well-known breeder Roy Annear offered to lease Hall a 3yo colt by Racy Prince from the good race-mare Honest Talk with an option to purchase for $5,000. Hall had a couple of smart youngsters at the time in Love Of Glory and Almagest and Hall decided that the Racy Prince colt would have his first run with hopples with the pair. “I got the young stable-hand to drive the colt with instructions to follow us around and not be too concerned if he struggled to keep up in the last lap”, Hall recalled. No one was more surprised than Hall when the colt sprinted past his more illustrious stable-mates in the last lap. Hall, and good mate Glen Moore, exercised the option of purchase the next day. Named Zakara, the colt went on to win 44 of his 134 starts and more than $477,000 in stakes including the historic feat of winning four successive August Cups. Zakara was the first outstanding horse trained by Hall and he gave Hall a taste of just what success was there for the taking if the horse had the natural ability. “I don’t train any differently now to what I did when I started in the sixties but the horses I train now have a lot more ability that what the early ones did”. “I am basically self-taught and although I have watched other trainers closely I have made up my own mind of what is best for each horse. Phil Coulson and Fred Kersey have had a major influence on my training.” Hall believes there is no substitute for plenty of hard work and aerobic work in a jog cart in the sand. “My horses are strong which they need to be if they are to be put into a race”, Hall said. Putting his horses into a race was a characteristic of Gary Hall’s driving style and although he has driven more than 600 winners he was never regarded as a great driver. His record as a trainer is second to none and he has obliterated the training records of the previous Western Australian benchmarks Fred Kersley and Trevor Warwick and has trained 600 more winners than his current closest rival Ross Olivieri. Hall is the leading trainer in the 106 year history of the WA Pacing Cup having trained 11 winners of the race. He is also the leading trainer in the history of the Fremantle Cup with eight wins in that race. Zakara gave Hall a taste for Grand Circuit racing when the stallion finished third to Imprimartar and Time Symbol in the 1991 Fremantle Cup. A month later Zakara finished fourth in the famous 1992 WA Pacing Cup behind Westburn Grant, Franco Ice and Imprimartar and this prompted Hall to take the horse to Victoria where he finished third in the 1992 Victoria Cup behind Franco Ice and Impressionist. “Zakara was the first really good horse I had and he would have had a better record if I hadn’t stuffed four or five big races driving him”, a reflective Hall said some years later. On 16th July 1998 Hall watched his son Gary celebrate his 16th birthday that afternoon by driving Enhancer to victory at Pinjarra. It was the first of more than 1730 winners for the combination and the younger Hall’s aptitude at the reins hastened his father’s scaling back from driving duties. Hall imported his first New Zealand horses in the early nineties but it wasn’t 2001 that he struck the jackpot with the arrival of a 3yo colt called The Falcon Strike. Racing in New Zealand as Falcon Strike, the son of Falcon Seelster had finished fifth to Franco Heir in the Group One New Zealand Sires Stakes before being sold to clients of Hall’s stable. The Falcon Strike was the early favourite for the WA Derby after winning his first four races in Perth including the Group Three Western Gateway Pace but a chequered run in the Derby saw him finish down the track behind the interstate runners Manifold Bay and Franco Heir. Manifold Bay again proved his nemesis eight months later in the 2001 Group One Golden Nugget Championship after The Falcon Strike had won seven of his eight starts leading into the race including the Group Three McInerney Ford Classic. While Manifold Bay was to only win one further Group One race, the 4yo Chariots of Fire at Harold Park in February 2002, The Falcon Strike won both the Group One WA Pacing Cup and Group One Fremantle Cup as a 4yo and then backed that up with a further two WA Pacing Cups, two Australian Pacing Championships and a second Fremantle Cup in the ensuing three seasons. Zakara was Hall’s first runner in an Inter Dominion series when he took part in the 1992 Championship held at Moonee Valley. He was placed third in two heats behind Christopher Vance and Lord Muckalee before he struck trouble in the third round of heats and just missed a spot in the final won by Westburn Grant. He started favourite and finished fourth in the consolation won by Imperial Atom. Twelve years later on his home circuit of Gloucester Park, Gary Hall went within the virtual nostril of winning the Inter Dominion when The Falcon Strike was beaten in the last stride by Jofess. It was an even more remarkable performance given the work Hall had put in to get The Falcon Strike back to the track after an absence of more than 14 months following a fifth placing in the 2002 Victoria Cup won by Safe And Sound. The Falcon Strike broke down that night and didn’t resume racing until April 2003 and for the remainder of his career Hall needed all his experience to keep the stallion sound and fit to compete at the highest level. A campaign through the Perth winter of 2003 was followed by a Newcastle Mile win that earned The Falcon Strike a berth in the 2003 Miracle Mile won by Sokyola. Returning to Perth, The Falcon Strike reeled off four straight wins including a second WA Pacing Cup/Fremantle Cup double and an Australian Pacing Championship for good measure. His form, combined with a home track advantage saw The Falcon Strike installed as pre-post favourite for the 2004 Perth Inter Dominion although some experts, including the Inter Dominion king Brian Hancock expressed doubts as to the horse’s ability to get through four runs in a fortnight. Hall has stuck to his training methods throughout four decades and sees little reason to change. “I train the way I want to train and whenever I have tried to change has been when I have got into trouble”, Hall said. “I am conservative in how fast I work them and when they are racing there are some weeks when they don’t get fast-worked at all”. Most trainers would regard a horse like The Falcon Strike as a once in a lifetime occurrence but in 2008 Hall struck gold a second time when he arranged the purchase for his stable of  the 3yo Im Themightyquinn after the gelding had finished third in the $200,000 Harness Jewels final. It took some time for the high-speed son of Washington VC and his new trainer to gel and at each of his first eight starts in Perth Im Themightyquinn followed the normal Hall stable pattern and either raced in the lead or outside the leader’s wheel. The first time Im Themightyquinn was driven with a sit was in the 2009 Fremantle Cup when, with Shayne Cramp at the reins, he finished third to Power Of Tara and Divisive. “He always had high speed but he pulled very hard so he was worked a lot of long slow work until he eventually learned to relax”, Hall explained. “When a horse with his speed can learn to relax they can do great things”. Commencing with his 4yo season and after learning to relax more in his races, Im Themightyquinn proved almost unbeatable at Group One level and in 28 starts against the Southern Hemisphere’s best over six seasons of racing Im Themightyquinn at Group One level recorded a remarkable 15 wins, four seconds and seven thirds. Hall is the first however to give a big chunk of the credit to his son for the success the pair have enjoyed over the past dozen seasons. “Junior is a natural big-race driver and while I was a decent driver in my own right at Gloucester Park I wasn’t up to driving against the other top-shelf drivers” Hall said. “To beat the likes of Gavin Lang, Chris Lewis, Tony Herlihy and Anthony Butt you need to be in the big races all the time and you also need a relaxed personality which Junior has in spades”. While the self-deprecating Hall may be under-selling his ability at the reins, his record this century as a trainer is without peer in Australia as evidenced by 51 wins at Group One level including a record 11 WA Pacing Cups, three Inter Dominions, eight Fremantle Cups, five Australian Pacing Championships, two Auckland Cups, five WA Derbies, two Golden Nugget Championships, four FHRC 4yo Classics and a Blacks A Fake Championship at Albion Park. Not surprisingly Gary Hall Snr was indicted into The West Australian Racing Industry Hall of Fame in 2014.   Alan Parker

Bletchley Park and The Dali Express are two horses singled out by members of the WA Trotting Media Guild as good things for Friday night’s meeting at Gloucester Park. The West Australian’s Ernie Manning and the newspaper’s racing co-ordinator Ryan Havercroft both believe Bletchley Park can score again. “Bletchley Park looks primed to notch the third win from four starts since a spell and he can consolidate his credentials for the $200,000 Golden Nugget (2536m) in December,” Manning said. “The WA Derby runner-up scored his ninth victory when setting the pace and drawing almost 12m clear of rivals last Friday night. Trainer Mike Reed is likely to also enter him in the $300,000 Fremantle Pacing Cup (2536m) and $450,000 WA Pacing Cup (2936m), both to be run next January.” Havercroft agrees with his colleague. “Bletchley Park cruised to an easy all-the-way victory here from the same draw last Friday,” Havercroft said. “His main rival again, Ocean Ridge, couldn’t get around him on that occasion and it’s hard to see it happening this week.” Radio Great Southern’s form analyst Warren Wishart and Guild president Wayne Currall   are keen on The Dali Express making it successive wins. “The Dali Express was able to lead and win from this draw last start defeating a good horse in Ocean Ridge,” Wishart said. “No problem with the extra distance - he leads and wins again.” Currall agrees. “Champion reinsman Chris Lewis will send The Dali Express straight to the top and it could be race over,” he said. “Doesn’t appear to be too much pressure and he is poised to post another all-the-way victory.” Longshot king Pat Harding has made Walkinshaw his best for the night. “Walkinshaw had a great win last week after three runs back from a spell and I see no reason why he can't repeat the dose on Friday night,” Harding said. TABradio’s Matt Young believes Space Junk can record a hat-trick of victories. “Space Junk has returned to his best after his last two runs and should go on his winning way again in the stand this Friday night,” Young said. Young’s colleague at TABradio Hayden King is keen on Starlight Brigade at odds. “Starlight Brigade flashed home last week and now has come up with the pole,” King said. “He will be in the finish at each-way odds.” But on-course announcer Ken Casellas has earmarked Hy Leexciting, in the same race, as his star bet. “Veteran pacer Hy Leexciting is racing with tremendous verve for owner-trainer Ian Barker and the eight-year-old is my best bet on Friday night,” Casellas said. “Colin Brown, one of the State’s finest frontrunning drivers, will be keen to take up the running in the early stages and then lead his rivals on a merry dance. Hy Leexciting over raced in the breeze last Friday night but still fought on doggedly when a close third behind James Butt and Major Pocket.” VALUE BETS ERNIE: Cott Beach, unplaced at her past five starts, is due for a return to form. The five-year-old, a winner of 15 races and almost $300,000, covered extra ground when a recent first-up  eighth. RYAN: Major Pocket looked the winner until being claimed in the shadows of the post by James Butt last time out. Drawn to be handy again and can go one better. WARREN: The Bucket List is fitter following three runs back this time in and has shown a liking for the 2536m. In a small field he is likely to be each-way odds and look for him late. WAYNE: Destined To Rule has finished in the placings at seven of his past 10 starts. He’s overdue for a win and he is handicapped to turn the tables on favourite Space Junk. PAT: My value bet comes up in the Media Guild Cup. I expect a great run from The Bucket List. Trainer Michael Brennan has high hopes for this horse over the summer and after a good fourth last week I think he can win over the 2536m. MATT: Regal Ambition has the gate speed to find the top and is a good frontrunner and will handle the distance fine. If connections choose to lead I believe he is a great winning chance. HAYDEN: Mighty Flying Deal found the line well from an unpromising position last week and he has drawn handily this time. Michael Grantham has been engaged and he will be in the finish. KEN: For value, I suggest Regal Ambition in race eight. He is a splendid frontrunner and if he is able to get to an early lead he should have sound prospects of ending a sequence of nine unplaced efforts. To view all of the Media Guild tips click here. Good Punting Wayne Currall

Astute Henley Brook trainer Mike Reed landed a double with Bletchley Park and Arma Indie last Friday night and he is bubbling with confidence about repeating the dose with the brilliant four-year-olds at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The talented stablemates will be driven by Mark Reed, with Bletchley Park ideally drawn at barrier two in the $30,000 Warwick Pace over 2130m and Arma Indie handily drawn at barrier three in the $22,000 Media Guild Tips Pace over the same journey. Bletchley Park notched his ninth win from 17 starts when he led from the No. 2 barrier and rated a smart 1.56.4 in winning a 2536m event by four lengths from Ocean Ridge. The final quarters whizzed by in 29.9sec., 28.3sec., 28sec. and 28.5sec. Arma Indie gave further proof of her ability when she also scored an effortless victory at a 1.59.7 rate over 2536m last week. She sped home with quarters of 28.2sec. and 28.1sec. to win by just over a length from Hit It Rich, who trailed the pacemaker and fought on grimly. That splendid performance extended Arma Indie’s winning sequence to four and she should have the speed to again beat the promising Hit It Rich, who is prepared by Greg and Skye Bond and is sure to appreciate starting from the No. 1 barrier. “Bletchley Park pulled up really good after last Friday night,” said Mike Reed. “Originally, I wasn’t going to start him this week, but he pulled up so well that I changed my mind. Hopefully, he will be able to lead and be able to hold fast beginner Franco Joaquin at bay. He’s on target for the Golden Nugget.” Bletchley Park should carry too many guns for his main rivals, Joe With The Flow and Ocean Ridge. Trainer Ross Olivieri has engaged Gary Hall jnr to drive Joe With The Flow, who caused an upset last Friday week when he was driven by Chris Lewis, set the pace and won from Bletchley Park, rating 1.57.2 over 2130m. Lewis will drive Joe With The Flow’s stablemate Dennis, who will start from the inside of the back line. Lewis drove Dennis when the six-year-old led from barrier one and won from Machlani at a 1.58 rate over 2185m at Pinjarra last Monday week. Four-year-old Ocean Ridge, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, will start from barrier two on the back line with Ryan Warwick in the sulky. He has won at seven of his 18 starts and cannot be underestimated after strong seconds to The Dali Express and Bletchley Park at his past two appearances. Praising Arma Indie, Mike Reed said: “She has done everything she has had to. Mark didn’t pull the plugs at her latest start and he said that she was just jogging. It’s a good field on Friday night and she doesn’t have to lead. If she does, she’ll roll along. She will have two or three more starts before I freshen her up for the feature events for mares in the summer.” Ken Casellas

Stylish stallion Walkinshaw ended a losing sequence of 12 when he overcame an awkward barrier at No. 6 to score a dashing victory over 2130m last Friday night. And reinsman Aldo Cortopassi is enthusiastic about the New Zealand-bred seven-year-old’s ability to repeat the dose in the Leading Tipster Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Cortopassi said that trainer Ray Williams had freshened the horse up and that he was back to his best last week. “He’s drawn No. 6 again this week,” Cortopassi said. “He’s versatile; he can sit and sprint --- and he can go forward. He’s got plenty of speed and there might be a chance to work forward and go from there.” Walkinshaw certainly impressed with a sparkling burst of speed last Friday night when he was restrained from barrier six and raced in sixth position in the one-wide line before he made a fast move 450m from home and left his rivals flat-footed as he charged to the front on the home turn before racing away to win by 4m from Vincenzo Peruggia. The final quarters were run in 28.4sec. and 28.2sec. and Walkinshaw rated a smart 1.55.6. Walkinshaw also revealed a tough side of his nature two starts before last week’s win, when he worked hard in the breeze and finished second to Speed Man over 2130m. His chief rivals this week are likely to be Argyle Red, James Butt, The Trilogy and Bettor Party. Argyle Red, to be driven by Morgan Woodley for Pinjarra trainer Rob MacDonald, will start from the coveted No. 1 barrier and is sure to have many admirers despite having a losing sequence of 24, stretching back to 12 months ago when he led and won over 2130m from Overboard Again and Mister Versace. Argyle Red was an 80/1 outsider last week when he was restrained from barrier seven and raced at the rear throughout, finishing eighth in a field of nine behind Roman Aviator. The Ross Olivieri-trained James Butt notched his eighth win from 31 starts when he enjoyed an ideal passage, one-out and two-back, before running home strongly to win by a head from Major Pocket, with Hy Leexciting a close third after overracing in the breeze outside the pacemaker Presidentmach over 2130m last Friday night. Reinsman Chris Voak said that James Butt faced a hard task this week from the outside barrier in a field of nine. “He’s a pretty low-priced purchase from New Zealand and he has exceeded expectations with five wins, four in city-class events, from 11 starts in WA,” Voak said. “He’s got more wins in store. However, it looks tough from the draw on Friday night. It’s a step up for him, but he is improving with every run.” The Trilogy and Bettor Party are in good form but will need all the breaks from wide barriers. Voak and Olivieri are optimistic about Atmospherical’s prospects in the Second Leading Tipster Pace. The six-year-old has struck form with a vengeance, unwinding strong finishing bursts to win convincingly at each of his past two starts. “Barrier two on the back line is a good draw for him,” said Olivieri. And Voak said: “He’s a good sit-and-sprint horse and is a sound each-way hope.” In Friday night’s race, Colin Brown will handle the Ian Barker-trained Hy Leexciting from barrier two. Brown has driven Hy Leexciting at 12 of his 93 starts for one victory ---- when the gelding finished strongly to defeat Cerato at Pinjarra in August 2016. The Midas Touch also will have plenty of support. He will be driven by Shannon Suvaljko from barrier six. The gelding impressed when he set the pace and won from Major Shard in a 2150m trial at Byford on Sunday morning.   Ken Casellas

Promising six-year-old Space Junk, crippled by a fractured pelvis 14 months ago, is on the way to developing into a contender for the rich summer feature events, including the Fremantle and WA Pacing Cups. “He’s definitely a Christmas horse,” declared star reinsman Chris Voak, who is confident of completing a hat-trick of wins with Space Junk, who will start off the 10m mark in the 2503m Third Leading Tipster Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Space Junk, prepared at Oakford by eight-time WA premier trainer Ross Olivieri, has bounced back to his best this month with decisive victories in stands at Gloucester Park and Pinjarra. He enjoyed the one-out, one-back trail before finishing powerfully to win easily from Estocada over 2631m at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon, rating 1.58.6. Ten nights before that Space Junk set the pace in a 2096m stand at Gloucester Park and rated 1.58.7, with final quarters of 27.5sec. and 27.4sec. “The track record over 2096m is 1.57.9 and Space Junk finished with the plugs in,” Voak said. “He is still on the improve and not yet a hundred per cent. He went a very good time in winning at Pinjarra on Monday when I did not pull the ear plugs. “They were running 29sec. quarters and that’s what they run in Free-For-Alls and the final mile was run in 1.57.5. He made up 40 metres and probably ran his last mile in 1.55.8. And that’s pretty good going.” A winner at five of his 12 starts in Victoria, Space Junk was purchased for $45,000 by Bernie Eales and a Sydney syndicate of five, including Ric Giometti and Anthony Moujalli. “He was bought as a horse we thought would we could take through the grades and do a good job,” Voak said. “But soon after he got here and worked on the track, we realised he was a serious horse.” Space Junk won at his West Australia debut, beating El Jacko at a track record rate of 1.56.9 in a 2116m stand at Pinjarra in October 2017. After winning from Michael Joseph and Simba Bromac over 2242m at a track record rate of 1.56.5 rate at Narrogin in July last year the gelding fractured his pelvis when galloping in a jog cart on the heavy sand track at Olivieri’s property. This kept him on the sidelines for ten months. “I was about 50 metres away when Space Junk hurt himself,” OIivieri said. “I heard a crack, like a 0.22 rifle,” he said. “My wife Jemma came up with a plan for him two months in a box, two months in a bigger yard, two months in a small paddock and then agisting him and then back in work. We took a conservative approach and it has been a long road back.” Voak revealed that after recovering fully from the fractured pelvis, Space Junk had given Olivieri some problems during his current preparation. “They were only minor issues and Ross has treated them,” Voak said. Space Junk managed only two placings from his first six appearances on the comeback trail. “But overcoming the minor issues have made a major difference to his performance,” he said.   Ken Casellas

Excellent performances at his past two starts have convinced trainer-reinsman Nathan Turvey that Simba Bromac will prove hard to beat in the $25,000 Media Guild Cup over 2536m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The New Zealand-bred seven-year-old is favourably drawn at barrier two in a feature event of many chances and Turvey declared: “We’ll have a go at leading and I think he can win. “I have been impressed with his past two runs (third to Our Jimmy Johnstone in the 2536m Brennan Memorial and fifth behind Our Corelli in the 2130m Navy Cup) and those two runs on the past two Fridays showed that he should be ready to win. “Simba Bromac led and won over 2130m three starts ago, but I wasn’t impressed with him, so I tried to work out what was wrong. He didn’t race for six weeks and then his latest two runs have been very good, even better than his winning effort. “I didn’t want to give him a gut-buster first-up, so I drove him on the cold side (when he was seventh at the bell and ran home strongly on the inside to be third) and last week he came from last (12th) at the 300m and finished fifth (out six wide) behind Our Corelli. If we want to play a part at Christmas (in the Fremantle and WA Pacing Cups) he should be able to be hard to beat on Friday night.” Simba Bromac, a winner of 21 races from 44 starts for his owner, West Australian businessman Karl Deiley, has blossomed under Turvey’s care, with 20 wins and ten placings from 38 WA starts after her raced six times in Victoria for just one win (by a half-head in a $7000 three-year-old event at Cobram in February 2017. The son of Canadian sire Art Official, Simba Bromac is bred to be a good winner. He is out of unraced Live Or Die mare Sabrina Bromac and is a half-brother to eight winners of 151 races, including Smudge Bromac (36 wins, 50 placings and stakes of $460,958), Ardle McArdle (28 wins, 69 placings and $280,014) and Slick Bromac (33 wins, 39 placings and $256,107). Simba Bromac is sure to receive strong opposition from King of Swing (barrier three) and Motu Premier (barrier four). Champion trainer Gary Hall snr said that King of Swing’s sixth behind Our Corelli last week was a good run. “He ran home strongly, and if he happens to lead this Friday night, he’ll win for sure. And if he gets a sit just off the pace, he might have some hope. But, generally speaking he’s a frontrunner.” King of Swing’s reinsman Gary Hall jnr has won the Media Guild Cup with The Falcon Strike (2003), Kotare Flame (2007), Washakie (2008) and Tuxedo Tour (2015). King of Swing,  winner of the 2018 WA Derby, was the 2/1 on favourite from barrier one in last year’s Media Guild Cup when he set a solid pace and finished a half-head second to 15/2 chance Motu Premier, who started from the No. 5 barrier and after racing wide early, worked hard in the breeze. Motu Premier, trained by Ross Olivieri, will again be handled by Hall of Fame driver Chris Lewis, who has won the Media Guild Cup behind Village Kid (1988 and 1991), Paly (2002), Has The Answers (2010) and Motu Premier (2018). “Here we go again, and, yes, he can win again,” said Olivieri. “I was delighted with his first-up run (fifth behind Our Jimmy Johnstone last Friday week). And he has gone forward since then.” Kyle Harper has driven Waylade in his four starts after resuming from a six-month absence and said that he has been heartened by the nine-year-old’s solid efforts which included a first-up third behind Tommy Be Good and a fourth behind Vampiro. Waylade, prepared by Caris Hamilton-Smith, has drawn the prized No. 1 barrier. He has a losing sequence of 23 and has not been successful since finishing strongly to beat Beaudiene Boaz in the Brennan memorial in November 2016. “Caris has done a terrific job with him and he is racing better than his form reads,” Harper said. “He just hasn’t had a lot of luck. Barrier one definitely suits him, and without yet talking to Caris, I’ll probably like to race on the leader’s back. “But it is hard to say who will be the early leader Simba Bromac or King of Swing or maybe Motu Premier. Who knows? I can see that Waylade is a good each-way chance. He’s got enough speed to hold up and what horse to sit behind.”    Henley Brook trainer Mike Reed will be pinning his faith on Kiwi Legend, who will be making his first appearance for six weeks and faces a stern test from the outside barrier in the field of eight. Reed, who prepared Kiwi Legend for ten wins in 2015-16-17, has taken over the preparation of the eight-year-old from his son Stephen, who is taking a break from the sport because of heavy work commitments as an engineer in Bunbury. “Kiwi Legend’s work has been really good, but it’s going to be hard from the outside barrier,” he said.   Ken Casellas

Trainer Ross Olivieri has declared Motu Premier “one of, if not the, best horse” in his stable, as he prepares for his title defence of the WA Trotting Media Guild Cup (2536m) at Gloucester Park. Motu Premier produced an eye-catching performance in his first run for almost a year in the James Brennan Memorial a fortnight ago, where he finished fifth to Our Jimmy Johnstone. The gelding has come up with barrier four for this Friday’s $25,000 event, having scored in the same race from barrier five from last year. The son of Bettors Delight had to settle in the breeze outside King Of Swing in that race and eventually wore the Gary Hall Snr-trained pacer in the closing stages. Olivieri said he expected the race to set up in a similar way this year and added Motu Premier was going every bit as well. “I decided before his first race I was going to give him two weeks to his next race,” he told RWWA Harness. “I wish I had of had him in last week because he was that well. “He won the race last year and sat outside of King Of Swing. “He may have to do it again.” Last year’s Media Guild Cup had just seven runners in the field, while this year’s event has just one additional runner. Waylade, who ran a credible seventh in last week’s Navy Cup, has drawn barrier one for the Media Guild Cup, while the progressive Simba Bromac has drawn barrier two. The Bucket List, Speed Man, Mister Ardee and Kiwi Legend round out the field for the feature event. Kiwi Legend will have his first run on return to Mike Reed’s stable, having spent the past year with Reed’s son Stephen. Despite drawing barrier eight, Reed said he wouldn’t rule out having a shot for the lead with the gelding, to be driven by his son Mark. “The horse is going well,” he told RWWA Harness. “He has got good gate speed, but I’ll leave it up to Mark. “Even if we go back, he will be running on.” Elsewhere on the program, Olivieri said he expected The Dali Express to continue his good form in the Longest Priced Winner Pace (2536m) and rated him the best of his stable’s runners on the night. The gelding won over 2130m at Gloucester Park on September 13 and Olivieri said he would be suited back up to the 2536m. “The 2500 won’t worry him,” he said. “He should be very hard to beat in that race. “Drawn one, he will lead so that’s probably our best chance.” Friday night’s Gloucester Park meeting gets underway at 5.22.    

Last season’s leading drivers Gary Hall Jnr and Ryan Warwick will represent Western Australia in the Australian Drivers Championship in Tasmania later this year. Hall Jnr and Warwick finished first and second in last season’s drivers premiership and will get the chance to show their skills against the best drivers from around Australia when they converge in Hobart. The pair will compete against the best two drivers from Tasmania, Victoria, Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia across seven races at the meeting. Warwick represented WA in 2017, while Hall Jnr was selected to participate in the series in 2014, 2015 and 2016. Hall Jnr said he was looking forward to getting the chance to represent Western Australia on the national stage once again. “I loved going to the junior drivers championships when I was younger,” he said. “It’s good to go away and catch up with drivers you don’t often get to catch up with. “Last year I got picked to go, but I was unable to go due to being in New Zealand with Chicago Bull. “I finished third in the series once and second in it once as well, so it’d be nice to go over and win this time.” Warwick said selection in the series was a good reward for a year in which he met a lot of the standards he set himself and indicated he was looking forward to returning to Tasmania. “I don’t drive for premierships, but it’s good to finish in the top two,” he said. “I drive for my UDR (Universal Driver Rating). “I went to Tasmania two years ago and really enjoyed it. “They do make it good fun.” Chris Lewis was the best performed driver for WA in last year’s Championship in South Australia, where he finished third behind New South Welshman Todd McCarthy and Queensland’s Adam Sanderson. The 2019 edition will take place on Saturday November 9.   Tim Walker

In last week’s column we sang the praises of Matt Young for tipping the card at a recent Saturday night meeting at Bunbury. What we didn’t report was that The West Australian’s Ernie Manning also tipped the card at the same meeting. Apologies to Ernie for that oversight and belated congratulations to him for realising the dream of every tipster. Now to dissect tomorrow night’s meeting at Gloucester Park by members of the WA Trotting Media Guild. TABradio racecaller Hayden King and Radio Great Southern’s form analyst Warren Wishart are keen on Warfare. “The Justin Prentice-trained Warfare is drawn to lead and should be too good off a let-up,” King said. “He can progress through to FFA class.” And Wishart agrees. “My best bet comes up in race three with No.1 Warfare,” Wishart said. “Very talented type who gets a good draw. I think he should lead all the way.” Leading tipster Young believes El Jacko is poised to return to the winners’ list. “El Jacko has drawn to receive the perfect run and has a good turn of foot and should finish over the top of the leaders in the Navy Cup,” Young said. Longshot guru Pat Harding is a fan of the Ray Williams-trained Walkinshaw. “After last week's tough meeting there might be a few more wins for punters this week,” Harding said. “My best bet comes up in the second race with No. 6 Walkinshaw. This is his third run back after a spell and I think he can prevail in this small field. He’s due for a win and this might be his best opportunity.” Guild president Wayne Currall has made another Williams-trained pacer as his star bet for the meeting. “Major Pocket has been nothing but consistent this campaign with six minor placings from his past eight starts,” Currall said. “Expect him to be driven more aggressively from gate three and he just might prove too strong at the business end.” Manning and his colleague, The West Australian’s racing co-ordinator Ryan Havercroft, have settled on Arma Indie as their best. “Arma Indie has emerged as one of WA’s most promising pacers when winning clearly at her past three starts and looks set to confirm she is a summer carnival prospect,” Manning said. “The four-year-old, who joined Mike Reed’s stable after two New Zealand wins within eight days last January, has shown she has the gate speed to take advantage of barrier one. She won by 13.2m and 23.1m in Gloucester Park races before her 6.8m victory at Pinjarra  last week. She looks an ideal proposition for the Mares Classic in December.” Havercroft agrees. “Arma Indie has resumed from a spell in devastating fashion, winning at all three starts since her injury-shortened Oaks campaign,” Havercroft said. “In two of her three wins she found the front and from the inside draw this week she will likely lob into the lead and be hard to run down.” On-course announcer Ken Casellas believes punters would be wise to get on Vincenzo Perrugia. “Septuagenarian owner-trainer Tony Svilicich has New Zealand-bred six-year-old Vincenzo Peruggia racing with admirable enthusiasm and the gelding is my best bet this week after drawing favourably at barrier three,” Casellas said. “Vincenzo Peruggia looks like founding the top and is capable of leading his rivals on a merry dance. He put the writing on the wall last Friday night when he raced without cover and finished a desperately close second to Bettor Party.” VALUE BETS HAYDEN: Sea Me Smile is flying lately and will sit off the pace in the first. She could soar home over the top with the speed on. WARREN: James Butt is in a much more suitable race tonight. Some of his runs last preparation were very good and at each-way odds. I think he can win. MATT: The old timer Maximum Demand will get a soft run and if he gets any luck he will be sprinting home powerfully at double-figure odds. He’s getting better with every run. PAT: I think Chris Voak can have James Butt well placed to come home strongly and give punters some value. WAYNE: On a night where there doesn’t appear to be too much value, I think Waylade could get a soft run behind likely leader Thereugo and run a race at huge odds. ERNIE: Presidentmach has not won in his past seven starts, but the gelding should not be overlooked from a pole draw. He started from barrier seven when unplaced last Friday night. A winner of 16 races, he recently ran second to the talented Wildwest. RYAN: Jaxon Fella will drop out to last from the wide draw. He erupted late four starts ago and in a small field here he won’t be far from them if there is any speed on. KEN: For value, I suggest Athabascan in the final event. He’s tough and is overdue for a change of fortune. To view all of the Media Guild tips click here. Good Punting   Wayne Currall

New Zealand-bred five-year-old Cut Above bounced back to her best form with a fast-finishing win in fast time at Gloucester Park on Tuesday night and is poised for another powerful effort in the Mondo Doro Smallgoods Pace on Friday night. The Matt Scott-trained mare, to be driven by Shannon Suvaljko, is favourably drawn at barrier three on the front line and should prove to be a serious rival for the strong, in-form Craig Saligari-trained six-year-old Bob Wheel. “Racing twice in the space of four days won’t worry her,” said Scott, who will set a personal record of nine starters at a Gloucester Park meeting. “Cut Above and Son of a Tiger are probably my best winning chances, but Clarenden Hustler, Rock Me Over and Charlie El have each-way prospects.” Cut Above sat behind the pacemaker Highroller Joe before finishing fast to win narrowly from Dredlock Rockstar on Tuesday night, rating 1.56.9 over the 2130m after the three final quarters in 28.4sec., 27.5sec. and 29sec. Cut Above, a winner at one of her two starts in New Zealand, has proved a good investment for Tim Blee, who outlaid $25,000 to buy the mare, who now has had 34 starts in Western Australia for 11 wins, 12 placings and $66,352 in prizemoney. “She has also been high maintenance,” said Scott. “On her first day here, she bucked and got her leg over the cart. She had to have three months off and still has a big scar on a back leg. She’s fine now, but we only lead her in her work because she still bucks at home.” One of Cut Above’s rivals on Friday night is stablemate Always On, who will start from barrier six with Chris Voak in the sulky. The five-year-old Always On, a former Mildura performer, set the pace from barrier four before wilting to finish sixth behind Atmospherical over 1730m last Friday week when making her first appearance in WA.       “It was a very disappointing first-up run,” said Scott. “I’ve changed his work and he has worked a bit better and I’m not sure whether we’ll blast him out (at the start) or drive him with cover. “ Scott admitted that he was also disappointed with Neighlor’s past two unplaced efforts but is hoping for an improved effort from the No. 1 barrier in the Etch Coating Pace. “Whether we’ll lead or race with a sit — I’ll leave that up to Shannon (Suvaljko),” he said. Scott said that he expected another strong showing from Son of a Tiger in the Simmonds Steel Pace in which the New Zealand-bred five-year-old will start from barrier six. “It’s a tricky draw and he goes up in class, but the speed should be on, and that will suit him,” he said. “I reckon they’ll go 1.55 again and he’ll be coming home.” Son of a Tiger started out wide at barrier nine last week and impressed when he was ninth at the bell and charged home to win from Carter Micheal and Extreme Prince, rating 1.55.2 over 2130m. “He will probably have a spell after this week’s run and then freshen him up for Christmas when the Christmas Gift or Nights of Thunder should be right up his alley,” Scott said. “Clarenden Hustler and Rock Me Over are each-way chances. Clarenden Hustler from barrier eight has quick beginners inside of him, but he doesn’t have to lead to win; he can win with a sit and he’s definitely not out of it (in the Worldwide Printing Pace). “Rock Me Over is consistent and has each-way claims in the final race, while Charlie El is likely to find it hard from the wide draw at No. 8 in race six. But Clarenden Hustler couldn’t beat Charlie El on the track two weeks ago and he didn’t get out when fifth at Northam on Saturday night.” Ken Casellas

Maddison Brown, fresh from driving Highly Flammable to an easy victory at Gloucester Park on Tuesday night, is looking forward to handling stablemate Ideal One in the 2536m TABtouch Pace on Friday night. Hall of Fame trainer Gary Hall Snr declared that the No. 1 barrier would suit the eight-year-old Ideal One, saying: “He hasn’t had much luck with barriers, and I think that this is definitely a winnable race. Maddison will try to lead with him, with the only problem being whether the horse gets too much pressure. “Ideal One overraced outside the leader (Runaway Three) when fifth behind Son of a Tiger over 2130m last week. The 2536m will not be a concern for Ideal One. All my horses go better over the longer distances; the further they go, the better they go.” Ideal One showed his liking for 2536m five starts ago when he set the pace from barrier two and won from Waimac Attack and Beltane at a 1.58.5 rate. This will be the first time in 27 starts at Gloucester Park that Ideal One will begin from the No. 1 barrier. He has won at six of his 36 starts in WA and he set the pace in four of his six wins in New South Wales. Ideal One’s main dangers this week appear certain to be the three horses drawn at barriers two, three and four The Trilogy, Pierre Whitby and Carter Micheal.       Another good drive for Brown will be Just Rockon Bye, who will start from the outside barrier in a field of eight in the 2536m Garrard’s Horse and Hound Pace. Trainer Gary Hall Snr engaged Brown in order to use her concession as a novice driver and become eligible for the $20,000 event for mares. Gary Hall Jnr drove Just Rockon Bye last Friday night when she gave a superb performance to race without cover before finishing with tremendous determination to win by a nose from the odds-on favourite and pacemaker Hit It Rich in a 2130m event for mares, with the final quarters whizzing by in  27.4sec. and 28.3sec. Just Rockon Bye will clash with several in-form mares, including the lightly-raced Mike Reed-trained Arma Indie, Hit It Rich and Delightfulreaction. Arma Indie, who will start from the No. 1 barrier, has resumed after a spell in fine form with three effortless victories from three outings against considerably weaker opposition. Hall Jnr has given punters a significant lead by choosing to drive the Justin Prentice-trained Warfare in preference to nine-year-old Mad Robber, an all-the-way winner at his past two starts, in the third event, the 2130m Simmonds Steel Pace. Warfare, a winner at 15 of his 56 starts, is a strong frontrunner who looks the winner from the prized No. 1 barrier. Ken Casellas

A sparkling trial at Byford on Sunday morning is a strong pointer to a win by James Butt in the 2130m Specialised Equipment Funding Solutions Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. “He’s a nice horse who is tough and tries hard, but his greatest strength is his high speed,” said eight-time West Australian premier trainer Ross Olivieri, fresh from preparing four winners last Friday night. James Butt, who was handled in the 2150m trial by his regular reinsman Chris Voak, has drawn awkwardly at barrier five in the field of nine at his first appearance after an absence of 54 days. But he has the natural speed to overcome this disadvantage. In a three-horse trial at Byford, James Butt burst to the front after 500m and then dashed over the final three quarters in 30sec., 29.3sec. and 27.2sec. to win from open-class performer Waylade at a 1.58.2 rate. “He’s in with a chance and will go good on Friday night,” said Olivieri. “Hy Leexciting and Major Pocket have drawn to his inside and they are in good form and should prove hard to beat.” James Butt, a five-year-old by American stallion Big Jim, won at three of his 20 starts in New Zealand and has impressed in Western Australia with four wins and two placings from ten starts. Hy Leexciting, an eight-year-old to be driven by Emily Suvaljko for Banjup owner-trainer Ian Barker, is racing keenly and was a convincing winner three starts ago after racing without cover. He is favourably drawn at barrier two. The Ray Williams-trained Major Pocket also will have many admirers from barrier No. 3. With five seconds and one third from his past eight starts, he is overdue for a change of fortune. Also in contention is the polemarker, the Craig Hynam-trained Presidentmach, who will be driven for the first time by Shannon Suvaljko. He is a noted frontrunner, with eight of his 12 wins in South Australia coming after setting the pace. The most recent of his four wins in this State was when he started from the No. 2 barrier and set the pace before scoring from Quincey Brogden at Gloucester Park last April. Olivieri said that he was also looking forward for strong showings from The Last Parisian in race one, the Mondo Doro Smallgoods Pace, and Ardens Concord in race eight, the Worldwide Printing Pace. The Last Parisian, to be driven by Chris Lewis from out wide at barrier eight, will return to mobile racing after contesting stands at his past five starts. This will be his first appearance since he galloped at the start and finished at the rear behind Seven Demerits over 2560m at Northam on August 3. The Last Parisian came from fifth in the middle stages to finish second to talented four-year-old Ana Afreet in a 2150m trial at Byford on Sunday morning. “It was a very good trial and he has gone forward since then,” said Olivieri. “Ardens Concord is also an each-way chance.” Ardens Concord will be driven by Chris Voak from the prized No. 1 barrier and he is capable of improving considerably from unplaced efforts at his past six starts since he set the pace from barrier two and won from Waimac Attack at a 1.57.5 rate over 2130m in March this year. Ken Casellas

El Jacko and Vampiro, two of the star performers from the powerful Greg and Skye Bond stables, look set to dominate the $50,000 Navy Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night and have bright prospects of providing the husband and wife combination with a quinella result in the Group 2 feature event. Punters face an intriguing quandary when choosing their selection in the 2130m race in which the talented stablemates have drawn favourably. The only real certainty surrounding the tactics of the 12 runners is that polemarker Thereugo will reveal his normal brilliant gate speed and will set the pace for Lindsay Harper, who celebrated his 60th birthday on Tuesday. El Jacko, with Dylan Egerton-Green in the sulky, will start from the No. 2 barrier, with Vampiro (Ryan Warwick) at No. 3. El Jacko finished an eye-catching second to the pacemaker and stablemate Our Jimmy Johnstone in the 2536m James Brennan Memorial last Friday night after enjoying a perfect passage behind the leader. He was hampered for room until getting into the clear 100m, when he sprinted fast, but was unable to overhaul Our Jimmy Johnstone, who set his rivals a difficult task by dashing over the final two quarters in 27.5sec. and 28.1sec. Vampiro started from the back line and raced in eighth position before fighting on doggedly to be sixth, less than three lengths from the winner and two lengths behind El Jacko. He will be very hard to beat this week, particularly if Warwick is able to slot him into the one-out, one-back position or the one-out, two-back spot. El Jacko, a seven-year-old with 21 wins from 58 starts, is an enigmatic pacer who gave a sample of his class by racing three back on the pegs and flashing home along the inside to finish a half-length second to the pacemaker Rocknroll Lincoln in the 2936m WA Pacing Cup last January. Then, in March he won the Pinjarra Cup from Rocknroll Lincoln and the Narrogin Cup. He has also had difficulty in the past of negotiating the final bend in races at Gloucester Park, particularly when racing one wide or wider on the track. Astute punters could well opt for Vampiro, a six-year-old with 19 wins from 50 starts, taking into account his splendid performance four starts ago when he began from barrier seven and worked hard in the breeze before finishing powerfully to snatch a half-head victory from the pacemaker Our Corelli in the 2536m August Cup. The Bonds also will be represented in Friday night’s Cup by 11-year-old Our Jimmy Johnstone, who will again be handled by Bailey McDonough, who rated the gelding perfectly in front to win last week’s Brennan Memorial. However, he will be at long odds this week after drawing the outside barrier (No. 9).           Greg Bond is seeking his second success in the Navy Cup. He prepared 9/4 favourite Richard Henry, who started from the No. 2 barrier, set the pace for Colin Brown and held on to win by a short half-head from Lightning Jake in November 2006. Chris Lewis, who has won the Navy Cup behind Skiptar (1980), Western Gentleman (1994), Mark Craig (1995), Super Strike (1996) and Lovers Delight (2015), will drive the in-form Our Corelli, who is handily drawn at barrier two on the back line. Our Corelli has won seven times from 11 starts for trainer Debra Lewis and he was far from disgraced in fading to finish ninth in last week’s Brennan Memorial when he began speedily from the outside barrier but was unable to cross to the front. He then had a tough run in the breeze before wilting only over the final 150m. Ross Olivieri, who has won the Navy Cup with Chipmont (1991), Mark Craig and Super Strike, will be pinning his faith on Mr Mojito, who will be driven by Chris Voak from barrier eight. Mr Mojito will be improved after his sound first-up fourth behind Our Corelli in the York Cup last Friday week, but faces a hard task from the wide draw.     Champion trainer Gary Hall Snr has won the Navy Cup with Abit Rich (1997), Real Life (2009), Hokonui Ben (2012), Beaudiene Boaz (2016) and Chicago Bull (2017 and 2018). He will be represented in Friday night’s Cup by King of Swing (barrier five) and Speed Man (barrier seven), who will need plenty of luck from their awkward draws. Ken Casellas

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