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Locally trained horses Bill Haley and Shockwave have received a significant boost of winning Friday night’s Retravision-Fremantle Cup (2536m) at Gloucester Park following last night’s barrier draw. Bill Haley, who booked his spot in the race with a win in last week’s Free-For-All, drew barrier one, while last month’s Retravision-Golden Nugget winner Shockwave drew barrier two. Gary Hall Jnr, a winner of the race on eight previous occasions, reunites with Shockwave for the first time since the 3YO Sales Classic last March with regular driver Aiden De Campo teaming up with Handsandwheels. Chris Lewis, who has won the race six times, retains the drive on former Queenslander Bill Haley. Defending champion My Field Marshal, who is yet to land in Perth for the $300,000 event, drew barrier four and retained favouritism with TABtouch at $2.75. The other east coast representative in the race Alta Orlando drew barrier five and is the $4.40 second elect. Bill Haley ($4.60) and Shockwave ($5.50) are the leading local chances in the market. The training partnership of Greg and Skye Bond have four runners in the Group 1 race, after they had seven in it last year. The quartet had contrasting fortunes at the draw, where Galactic Star ($7.50) fared the best with barrier 10. Village Kid Sprint winner Vampiro will start from the outside of the front row in barrier nine, while Ana Malak will have the job in front of him from barrier seven. El Jacko, second in last year’s WA Pacing Cup, drew barrier 11 alongside Galactic Star on the second row. Meanwhile, Maddison Brown is set for one of the biggest moments in her short driving career to date when she teams up with the Gary Hall Snr-trained Herrick Roosevelt. Brown, whose father Colin won the race in 2006, will have her first drive in the Group 1 event on Friday night. Brown said she didn’t expect she would get the opportunity to drive in this year’s feature and was hopeful Herrick Roosevelt could overcome barrier eight. “It was a bit of a surprise,” she told TABradio. “Senior said he’d like to have me on, but obviously he had to speak to the owners. “From the draw we will definitely be going back and if the two horses from the east come over it probably helps our cause. “His form has been outstanding and I think that’s what got him into the race.” Caviar Star is the other Hall Snr-trained runner in the race and has drawn nicely in barrier three for reinsman Stuart McDonald. Friday night’s Fremantle Cup gets underway at 7.10.   Tim Walker

Six-year-old Back To the Beach has been unplaced at his past nine starts, but he makes strong appeal from the No. 1 barrier in the opening harness racing event, the 1730m Westral Pace, at Gloucester Park on Friday night. This will be his third start after a spell after an inconspicuous last as a $91 outsider behind Iceenothink after racing at the rear from his wide barrier at No. 8 and then seventh at $41 behind The Trilogy after starting from the outside of the back line and racing at the rear. Punters would be well advised to take into account Back To The Beach’s outstanding record as a frontrunner. The Ross Olivieri-trained gelding who will be driven by Chris Voak, has set the pace at ten of his 74 starts for eight wins, a third and a fifth placing. Voak is sure to take full advantage of the inside barrier by attempting an all-the-way victory. The Debra Lewis-trained Athabascan looms large as the main danger to Back To The Beach. Athabascan, to be driven by Jocelyn Young, is drawn favourably at No. 3 on the front line and will have many admirers after his strong third behind Zennart and Gee Jay Kay over 1730m last Friday night after he had worked hard in the breeze. Courage Tells, trained by Greg and Skye Bond and to be driven by Ryan Warwick, also has claims from barrier two. The 12-year-old, who has won at 36 of his 243 starts, possesses good gate speed. He began speedily from out wide at barrier eight three starts ago when he dashed to an early lead, set the pace and held on to win by a neck from Star Armbro over 2130m. Warwick has bright prospects in the third event, the Etch Coating Pace over 2130m, in which he will drive the highly-promising mare Our Alfie Romeo, who will start from barrier two on the back line. Our Alfie Romeo maintained her excellent form when she began brilliantly from the outside barrier (No. 9), sped to the front after 220m and was untroubled to win from stablemate Infinite Symbol and Miss Sangrial, rating 1.56 over 2130m. That took the five-year-old’s record to 34 starts for 17 wins, seven seconds and two thirds. Miss Sangrial (barrier one) and Dracarys (barrier two) loom as the main dangers to Our Alfie Romeo. The Bonds and Warwick will be looking for the brilliant, lightly-raced Mighty Conqueror to bounce back to form when he contests the Mondo Doro Smallgoods Pace over 2130m. The New Zealand-bred five-year-old, a winner at 15 of his 25 starts, faces a stern test from barrier eight in a field of ten. Mighty Conqueror was an impressive all-the-way winner over Motu Premier and Our Jimmy Johnstone over 2130m four starts ago but has had little luck when unplaced at his next four starts. He started from the back line in the Village Kid Sprint last Friday night when he raced in tenth position before dashing forward with a three-wide burst in the final circuit. He was challenging for the lead, three wide, 400m from home before breaking into a gallop soon afterwards and dropping back to finish eighth behind Vampiro. Mighty Conqueror then contested a 2185m trial at Pinjarra on Sunday morning when he set the pace and finished second to Golden Nugget winner Shockwave, with the final 400m being run in a blistering 25.8 sec.   Ken Casellas

Harness racing promising five-year-old Ideal Liner will be on trial for a start in the Fremantle Cup and WA Pacing Cup when he contests the $22,000 Retravision Pace over 2536m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. An impressive victory would enhance his prospects of being selected in the rich Group 1 feature events. Ideal Liner, prepared by master trainer Gary Hall Snr and to be driven by champion reinsman Gary Hall Jnr, has raced only 19 times for 11 wins and five placings and he looks extremely hard to beat on Friday night from the prized No. 1 barrier. “He’ll be nominated for the Cups,” said Hall Jnr. “Obviously, he will need to win on Friday night to have a chance of being chosen to race in the Cups. I think that the way he is going, he should win this week. He should hold up from barrier one and set the pace, and the 2536m will be in his favour. “He has shown gradual improvement at his five runs in this campaign. I thought he went pretty good last Friday night when he worked pretty hard to get to the breeze and then hold on for third behind Im Full of Excuses. He’s not a role player in the big ones (Cups), but he’s an earner with the right draws.” Two starts ago, last Friday week, Ideal Liner began from barrier seven and settled in last position in a field of nine before sustaining a strong three-wide burst from eighth at the bell to finish third behind Our Jimmy Johnstone and Whozideawasthis in a fast-run 1730m event. A week earlier he was an easy all-the-way winner from Simba Bromac over 2536m. Western Australia’s star pacers will be challenged in the major summer feature events at Gloucester Park by two outstanding horses from Sydney My Field Marshal and Alta Orlando. My Field Marshal, trained by Tim Butt, resumed racing after a lengthy spell with an excellent first-up second to Alta Orlando in a 2300m group 3 Free-For-All at Menangle on December 14. And then he finished fourth behind Alta Orlando in the group 2 Shirley Turnbull Memorial at Bathurst on Boxing Day. My Field Marshal, who has had 66 starts for 26 wins, 22 placings and stakes of $1,373,612, shone at the Gloucester Park summer carnival 12 months ago when he won the Village Kid Sprint and the Fremantle Cup (beating Galactic Star and Vultan Tin) before finishing fourth behind Rocknroll Lincoln in the WA Pacing Cup. Luke McCarthy trains Alta Orlando, who has raced 69 times for 15 wins, 21 placings and $446,607 in prizemoney. He was an outstanding juvenile performer in New Zealand, winning two rich feature events at Addington as a two-year-old. After having 57 starts in New Zealand for 11 wins and 17 placings Alta Orlando was sent to Australia where he had three starts at Brisbane’s Albion Park in July this year for seconds to Self Assured in a group 3 Free-For-All and to Colt Thirty One in the group 1 Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship over 2680m. Since then, he has won three times in New South Wales. Two starts ago he won a group 3 Free-For-All at Menangle, beating My Field Marshal and Tiger Tara, and at his latest appearance he won the Turnbull memorial at Bathurst. Ken Casellas

Ross Olivieri, eight-times leading harness racing trainer in Western Australia, has high hopes of breaking through for his first success in the WA Trotters Cup when the lightly-raced Mr Sundon contests the $50,000 Group 2 feature event at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The New Zealand-bred Mr Sundon arrived in WA from Victoria five weeks ago and has created a tremendous impression with two runaway victories in 2130m mobile events at Gloucester Park with winning margins of ten lengths and six lengths. This week the big six-year-old gelding faces a moment of truth when he begins off the 10m mark in the 2503m standing-start event. Fourteen of his 33 starts have been in stands for five wins on debut as a two-year-old at Maryborough in August 2016 and at Terang, Ballarat, Melton and Horsham. But unruly behaviour (galloping at the start and breaking soon after the start) has led to several defeats and he is classified as an ODS performer (out of the draw in stands). However, Olivieri believes he has the secret of getting the gelding to begin smoothly. “He’s ODS, but for me he seems to handle the stand well,” Olivieri said. “I’ve given him jump-outs at home and at Byford, and he has performed without any problems. “There’s a little method you’ve got to use to get him away. Kerryn Manning’s stable (in Victoria) told us the method and we’ve tried it and I agree with them.” Champion reinsman Chris Lewis will be in the sulky again this week after guiding Mr Sundon to his two wins in WA. “He was so impressed with his win last Friday night that, ever the comedian, he asked me: ‘which Cup do you want to go in?’” This was a jocular suggestion that Mr Sundon had the ability to challenge the State’s best pacers in the Fremantle Cup and WA Pacing Cup. Lewis has tasted success in the Trotters Cup, winning the event with the Clive Dalton-trained Earl of Charity, the 5/4 favourite who romped to victory by 25m over Idle Maple in December 2015. However, Olivieri has not been successful at several attempts to win the State’s major event for square gaiters. In 2009, Apache Blue Jean, the 3/1 favourite, galloped hopelessly at the start and was distanced behind Compressor. A year later, with Lewis in the sulky, Apache Blue Jean finished second to Nacokee. The Olivieri-trained Paddy Cullighan (Peter Tilbrook) was a 20/1 chance who finished third behind Scusi Doctor in 2011 and in recent years Lewis and Olivieri have combined for thirds with Earl Or Nothing (the 11/8 favourite who was hampered by a flat tyre) and 9/4 chance Blue Sky Commander before Sunoflindenny, favourite at 7/4, finished fifth behind Sun of Anarchy 12 months ago. Lewis has also recorded a second with Nicky Eileen in the 2011 Trotters Cup and thirds behind Trappers Spirit (2008) and Nicky Eileen (2012). Mr Sundon was untroubled last Friday night to set the pace from barrier two in a 2130m mobile event and win by six lengths from Lord Liam, with smart quarters of the final mile in 30.1sec., 29.9sec., 29.3sec. and 29.5sec. His rate of 1.58.2 was just outside Cardigan Boko’s track record of 1.58.1. Cardigan Boko’s track record of 2.1.2 for a stand over 2503m also is in danger of being broken. The race record rate is 2.2.3, set by Earl of Charity in 2015. Mr Sundon is by former champion trotter, the North American-bred Sundon, who was a superstar in New Zealand. He won at each of his first 14 starts and at 17 of his first 18 starts. He is now widely regarded as the greatest trotting sire to have stood in Australasia.     Sundon, who died aged 29 in April 2015, is also the sire of Mr Sundon’s most serious rivals on Friday night Sun of Anarchy and Rock Tonight. The WA Trotters Cup was first run in January 2006 and the Justin Prentice-trained Sun of Anarchy will be attempting to become the first dual winner of the race. Sun of Anarchy, with Prentice in the sulky, started from 20m in last year’s Cup, settled in sixth place in Indian file before enjoying the one-out, one-back trail and running home strongly to beat the pacemaker Tenno Sho by a half-length. Champion reinsman Gary Hall Jnr will handle Sun of Anarchy this week when the ten-year-old and a veteran of 119 starts will be the lone backmarker off 60m. Hall has a strong association with Sun of Anarchy, having driven him 12 times for six wins, two seconds, two thirds, a fourth and an eleventh placing. Sun of Anarchy’s 28 starts in Western Australia have produced 13 wins and 11 placings. Nine of those 28 starts were in stands for six wins (one from 70m, three from 50m and one each from 20m and 10m.  The gelding also won eight times from a stand in Victoria. Sun of Anarchy certainly has the ability to defy the odds (having his first start for five months, starting off the back mark and being rated an ODS performer). “I don’t think the ODS will be a problem,” said Hall. “I think that part (getting away safely) will be all right. We know how good he is. He is a very good trotter, but he will need to be off the 60m handicap.  It is hard to see Mr Sundon being beaten if he is safe away.”  Hall is seeking his first success in the Trotters Cup after third placings behind Tuhimata Glass in 2013 and Prince Eddie in 2014.     Rock Tonight also has an ODS classification. He will start from the 30m mark and is sure to be prominent if he begins safely. Since working hard in the breeze and winning in grand fashion from Lord Liam at Pinjarra five starts ago, he has recorded a second and three thirds at Gloucester Park. Rock Tonight is prepared at Waroona by Nigel Johns and will be driven by Morgan Woodley, who combined to win the 2009 Trotters Cup with 13/4 chance Compressor. Johns will also be represented on Friday night with 12-year-old Diamond Geezer, a high-stepping brown gelding who has had 225 starts for 17 wins and 67 placings. Of the other runners, Tokyo Joe (Robbie Williams), Im Not Eyre (Jocelyn Young) and Ton Tine (Maddison Brown) are capable standing-start performers who are racing in sound form. By Ken Casellas

WHAT a shame Kiwis never got to see the “real” Colt Thirty One during the Inter Dominion in Auckland. Never really being comfortable on the track, luckless early runs, especially that gut-buster in the second round of heats all conspired to ruin his Auckland raid. But, remarkably, he returned home to win a Group 2 feature just a week after the last run of his Kiwi campaign. Despite having to fly back to Sydney then face a 10-hour road trip up to Brisbane, Colt Thirty One successfully defended the Group 2 Queensland Cup crown he won last year. He only arrived back at trainer-driver Grant Dixon’s stable on Thursday. Not only did he do it the hard way getting home, but also in the race last night (Saturday). Colt Thirty One, the $1.60 favourite, sat outside third favourite Glenferrie Hood with second elect Bad Billy stalking behind the leader. They went a 1min 54.7sec mile rate for the 2138m and zipped down the back in 28.1 sec, but Colt Thirty One was still able to zoom past the leader then hold-off Bad Billy, who had every possible chance, to win by a half-head. It was a mighty win on every level. “I’m super proud of the horse, it’s more about him than anything else, along with Dale (Hogan), who’s been with him every step of the way,” Dixon said. “He’ll have a week off now and then we’ll work out what’s next.” And it will now be interesting to see whether Dixon travels again for a race like the Hunter Cup on February 1 at Melton or waits for the Miracle Mile qualifiers at Menangle a few weeks later. Earlier in the night, Dixon also snared the quinella in another feature, one named after his father “The Bill Dixon”, with former All Stars’ three-year-old Virgil and the very exciting Governor Jujon. Dixon’s wife Trista, back driving just over three weeks after having their third child, Cooper, drove Virgil, who led throughout from the pole and just held-on by a nose in a blistering 1 min 52.3 sec mile rate for 1660m. The run of Governor Jujon to get so close from the back row was monstrous. Dixon will surely be tempted to tackle the Victoria Derby heats at Ballarat on January 18 with both of them. To cap the massive night, he Dixon-trained Kiwi import Wee Man Trouble, won the race he was specifically bought to chase, the Group 1 Darrell Alexander Memorial Trot. It gave Adam Sanderson his first Group 1 driving success. ______________________________________________________________________________ EXCITING four-year-old Patrickthepiranha is just the ideal Gloucester Park horse. His blazing gate speed and tractability are made for Perth’s tight circuit. Just a week after leading, copping pressure and running a fantastic second in WA’s biggest four-year-old race, the Group 1 Golden Nugget, the gelding landed a feature of his own. Trained and driven by veteran Colin Brown, Patrickthepiranha drew the pole, led easily and just held-on to win the $50,000 Group 2 Christmas Gift final. It was Brown’s sixth driving win in the feature, following Russley Rascal (2011) and Motu Treasure (2010) for trainer Greg Bond, Has The Answers (2002) for trainer Les Coulson, Julian Doe (1991) for trainer Suzanne Tolcon and his own horse, Simeon Bay (1988). Brown has been happy to watch from the sidelines with Dylan Egerton-Green doing the driving on Patrickthepiranha, but that changed last Friday because Egerton-Green had to drive his own horse Tyler Brett (seventh). ______________________________________________________________________________ IT was two years ago when Vultan Tin ran the race of his life for fourth in the Perth Inter Dominion final. He chased home Lazarus, Chicago Bull and Tiger Tara and beat home the likes of Lennytheshark, Soho Tribeca, San Carlo, Have Faith In Me and Galactic Star. Now you could argue he’s back to that sort of form, even in the twilight of his career as eight-year-old. “I don’t know if he’s ever raced better,” driver and unashamed fan Chris Voak said. “Last week he came and sat parked and won in 1 min 54 sec and change, so it gave me the confidence to put him straight into the race again (last Friday).” Despite being three-wide early and around to sit parked outside favourite Herrick Roosevelt, Vultan Tin was too strong, winning by 1.3m in a 1 min 57.2 sec for 2130m. It was an inspired drive, daring to “crush” the leader with a 27.2 sec third split and still holding-off noted sit-sprinter El Jacko to in a 28.5 sec closing split. There’s no doubt Vultan Tin will be a major player in the big Fremantle (January 10) and WA Pacing Cup (January 17) double. It will be interesting to see if trainer Phil Costello backs him up quickly again for next Friday’s Village Kid Sprint. Last Friday’s other free-for-all went to evergreen 11-year-old Our Jimmy Johnstone for Team Bond in a scorching 1min53.5sec mile rate for 1730m. Team Bond also won the mares’ feature on the night with the classy former Kiwi Our Alfie Romeo, who boasts a fantastic record since coming to WA of 26 starts for 15 wins, seven placings and earnings over $220,000. ______________________________________________________________________________ REIGNING Great Southern Star champion Dance Craze showed she was on target for a title defence with an impressive Melton win last night (Saturday). Anton Golino’s six-year-old was superbly driven by Glen Craven to beat a good field, including Tornado Valley, in the Group 3 Freestone Trotters Cup in a 1 min 59.4 sec mile rate for 2240m. As good as Dance Craze was, nothing went right for Tornado Valley, who settled near last, was held-up behind tiring horses at a crucial stage and then charged home from an impossible to finish just five metres from the winner in fifth spot. On the same card, Victoria Oaks hopeful Rockingwithsierra landed a plunge ($16 into $6) when she upset hot favoirite Iolanta in the Group 3 Gold Chalice. And excitement continues to build around unbeaten three-year-old trotter Keayang Ignite, who won his fourth race and his first at Group 1 level in the Vicbred Platinum Home Grown final. Trained by Paddy Lee and driven by his brother, Jason, the son of Angus Hall gaped his rivals by 17.3m in a  1 min 59.6 sec mile rate for 1720m, capped by a 27.9 sec closing quarter. ______________________________________________________________________________ JUST a few years back Tasmania’s Beautide won back-to-back Inter Dominions. Now Tassie has another buzz pacer, Ryley Major, but fans will have to wait a little longer to see him chasing big races on the mainland. The six-year-old son of Art Major took his record to 23 wins (and nine placings) from just 33 starts with an epic win off a 30m backmark and after looking spent on the home turn at Launceston last night (Saturday). He still paced a 1 min 57.6 sec mile rate in arguably his best win yet. Trainer-driver Rohan Hadley said he would stay at home for the Devonport Cup on February 2 rather than chase some country cups in Victoria in the short term.   Adam Hamilton

Last week’s Golden Nugget runner-up Patrickthepiranha is all the rage with members of the WA Trotting Media Guild at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Radio Great Southern’s form analyst Warren Wishart, The West Australian’s racing co-ordinator Ryan Havercroft, longshot king Pat Harding and The West Australian’s Ernie Manning have all made the Colin Brown-trained four-year-old their best bet. Wishart summed up the thoughts of his colleagues. “Patrickthepiranha brings Golden Nugget form to this restricted-class race then draws barrier one,” Wishart said. ”It will indeed be a Christmas gift and punters will be lining up to collect.” TABradio’s form expert Hayden King is keen on Son Of A Tiger. “Son Of A Tiger is a potent frontrunner and gets the draw he needs,” King said. ”He has been busting for a draw and this Friday he can finally utilise it.” Veteran form analyst Ken Casellas, TABradio racecaller Matt Young and Guild president Wayne Currall make a strong case for Simba Bromac. “Simba Bromac is knocking on the door and is poised to end a losing sequence of 11 by proving too smart for his 11 rivals on Friday night, despite an awkward draw at barrier five,” Casellas said. ”He’s my best bet on what appears to be a highly competitive program. He finished with a solid burst from sixth at the bell to be second to Ideal Liner last Friday night - a week after his fast-finishing head second to Our Corelli.“ Young agrees. “Simba Bromac was game in defeat last run and looks ready to return to the winners circle,” Young said. “He can sit parked if need be to win this.” VALUE BETS WARREN: Bill Haley hasn’t had much go his way of late and I’m expecting him to get a gun run here. The $11 indicative price looks extremely juicy. RYAN: Our Jimmy Johnstone drops in class on his recent outings and the evergreen pacer keeps running good races. He gets into this field nicely. PAT: My value bet comes up in race six with the Bond-trained Our Jimmy Johnstone. He hasn't won for a while but has been placed a couple of times and I think from barrier five over the sprint journey he can bring a smile to the punters faces. ERNIE: Our Jimmy Johnstone, who ran an eye-catching fourth after having difficulty getting clear a fortnight ago, is due to end a seven-race losing sequence. The veteran, a winner of 28 races, is likely to be prominently positioned from gate five. HAYDEN: Tradie is drawn to get a dreamy run on the pegs and in this mediocre line-up the gaps will open for him if the tempo is sufficient. From there, he has the necessary tools to blouse them late. KEN: For value, I suggest As Happy As Larry in race two, a 2536m event in which he is nicely drawn at barrier two on the back line and has the ability to outmuscle the likely favourite and pacemaker Son Of A Tiger. His strong-finishing first-up second to Roman Aviator last Friday week was full of merit and he looks set for a profitable campaign for trainer-reinsman Robbie Williams.   MATT: Regal Ambition goes well in front and there doesn’t appear to be much pressure and should run out a strong 2500. He should go well. WAYNE: The consistent Our Alfie Romeo could get out to an each-way quote in the mares race. She’s drawn awkwardly in gate nine, but there’s no doubting her ability. Each-way all day. To view all of the Media Guild tips click here. Good punting and, on behalf of the WA Trotting Media Guild, a Merry Christmas to all.   Wayne Currall

Eight-time West Australian leading trainer Ross Olivieri holds the whip hand in the Handicap over 2503m at Gloucester Park on Friday night when his runners Kiwi Bloke and Jimmy Mack have bright prospects of fighting out the finish. Kiwi Bloke, a standing-start specialist, will begin from the inside barrier on the front line and Chris Voak is sure to attempt an all-the-way victory. However, the New Zealand-bred six-year-old is likely to face a serious challenge from Jimmy Mack, who will start from the 10m line. Kiwi Bloke disappointed when a hot favourite from the back line in a 2130m mobile event last Friday night. He raced in sixth position in the one-wide line, but lacked sparkle and finished a disappointing seventh, seven lengths behind the winner Ideal Investment, who had managed just one win from his previous 63 starts in ending a losing sequence of 36. However, Kiwi Bloke’s previous form in stands was hard to fault. Jimmy Mack, an eight-year-old who has won 11 times from 22 starts, is unreliable in standing start events. But if he begins safely for Chris Lewis, he is sure to prove hard to beat. Jimmy Mack reappeared after a ten-month absence when he contested 2096m stand last Friday week. He galloped out and did well to sustain a solid three-wide run from sixth at the bell to finish an encouraging third behind rank outside Allwood Peacemaker and Kiwi Bloke.        Ten-year-old Attack On Command is racing with plenty of enthusiasm for Baldivis trainer Jason Woodworth and reinsman Aiden de Campo. He is the lone backmarker off 20m and is capable of causing an upset. A veteran of 171 starts, Attack On Command has recorded promising seconds to Maximum Demand, the Dali Express and Sarah Goody at three of his past four starts.    Allwood Peacemaker was a strong-finishing winner in a stand two starts ago and will have friends from barrier three on the front line. Boyanup trainer Justin Prentice will be looking for a strong performance from the inexperienced four-year-old Always An Honour, who has raced only 13 times for seven wins and three placings. Always An Honour (Gary Hall Jnr) raced in the breeze before fading to seventh behind Allwood Peacemaker last Friday week. He finished strongly to score an effortless victory in moderate company in a 2503m stand at Bunbury at his previous outing.   Ken Casellas

Former Victorian performer American Tour was a 15/1 chance when she made her West Australian debut at Gloucester Park last Saturday night. But she will be at a much shorter quote when she contests the Chris Murphy Band Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Her winning prospects appear quite rosy after her impressive effort last Saturday when she was restrained to the rear from a wide barrier and was last in a field of ten with 550m to travel before sustaining a spirited three and four-wide burst to finish an eye-catching fifth behind Leap Of Faith. Owned in Victoria by Susan Thistlethwaite and now trained at Serpentine by Clint Hall, the New Zealand-bred American Tour will again by handled by champion reinsman Chris Lewis, who is likely to take full advantage of an ideal barrier at No. 2 and attempt to set the pace. American Tour possesses good gate speed and she led all the way in five of her nine wins at Mildura. Her other victory from 36 Victorian starts was on debut at Ouyen. A strong pointer to American Tour’s chances was given by Lewis, who had the option of handling the Ross Olivieri-trained Dennis, a pacer he has handled at his past ten starts. Dennis, who will start from barrier eight, will be driven by Mitch Miller. Olivieri’s best prospects in the race appear to rest with Salacious Gossip, who will be driven by Chris Voak from barrier two on the back line. Salacious Gossip led from barrier two when an easy winner over 2536m two starts ago before racing three back on the pegs and finishing a fair fifth behind Millwood Molly over 2130m last Friday night. Voak has also given punters a valuable lead by choosing to handle the Annie Belton-trained Gotta Go Gabbana from barrier seven in the 2130m Thirsty Merc Live Pace in preference to Olivieri’s promising mare Queen Shenandoah. Queen Shenandoah will be driven from barrier No. 3 by Chris Lewis, and after sound seconds at two of her past three starts is capable of figuring in the finish. Gotta Go Gabbana is versatile and tough and Voak is expected to send her forward after a lap in a concerted effort to put plenty of pressure on the frontrunners. Gotta Go Gabbana was most impressive at her fourth outing after a spell when she started from the No. 1 barrier and gave a bold frontrunning display to score an easy victory over Our Alfie Romeo and Arma Indie in the group 1 Westral Mares Classic over 2536m last Friday week. Our Alfie Romeo was superb in defeat after settling in seventh position and then working hard in the breeze. A winner at 16 of her 33 starts, she has the ability to overcome the disadvantage of starting from the outside barrier in the field of nine. Miss Sangrial, trained by Michael Brennan, is likely to be a warm favourite on Friday night after drawing the prized No. 1 barrier. She raced without cover early and then was shuffled back to seventh at the bell before finishing gamely to be fifth behind Gotta Go Gabbana last Friday week.   Ken Casellas

Smart, lightly-raced six-year-old Herrick Roosevelt will begin his summer campaign and his preparation for the Fremantle and WA Pacing Cups when he resumes after a four-month absence in the $25,000 NYE At Gloucester Park Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The New Zealand-bred Christian Cullen gelding will start from the prized No. 1 barrier and Gary Hall Jnr will be anxious to set the pace and dictate the tempo of the 2130m event. Herrick Roosevelt is a noted frontrunner, who has started from the No. 1 barrier five times (all over 2130m) in his 36 starts for four all-the-way victories, rating 1.57.4, 1.56.8, 1.54.9 and 1.54.3 and a fading sixth behind Handsandwheels in the $50,000 RWWA Cup last February when he set the pace and wilted after being softened up when strongly challenged by Vultan Tin in the first lap. Herrick Roosevelt has not been produced in recent trials, but champion trainer Gary Hall snr takes great pride in producing his pacers in excellent condition for their first-up assignments. He will again clash with Vultan Tin, who is in top form for Coolup trainer Phil Costello. Vultan Tin will start out wide at barrier eight and there is every chance that Chris Voak will adopt similar tactics as he employed last Friday night when the tough eight-year-old started from barrier nine and settled down in last position before charging forward after a lap to move to the breeze and apply pressure on the pacemaker. Vultan Tin overhauled the pacemaker Rocknroll Lincoln 250m from home and went on to win by just over a length from the fast-finishing Handsandwheels. The final three quarters whizzed by in 28.3sec., 27.8sec. and 27.9sec. and Vultan Tin rated 1.54.5. Herrick Roosevelt will also have to contend with several smart and in-form pacers including the Greg and Skye Bond-trained pair of Galactic Star and El Jacko, Motu Premier and Bill Haley. Galactic Star will start from the outside barrier (No. 9) but cannot be underestimated. He notched his 26th victory from 65 starts last Friday week when he raced without cover over the final 1300m and won by a neck from Vultan Tin, who charged home from last at the bell in the field of eight. Leading reinsman Ryan Warwick will again handle Galactic Star, with Dylan Egerton-Green taking the reins behind El Jacko, the solitary back-line runner who should enjoy a perfect passage behind Herrick Roosevelt. Mitch Miller has been engaged by trainer Ross Olivieri to drive Motu Premier, with Voak choosing to stick with Vultan Tin. Voak handled Motu Premier when the seven-year-old won a 2185m trial in grand style at Pinjarra on Sunday morning when unwound a spirited finishing burst to beat stablemate Madame Meilland, with final quarters in 28.4sec. and 27.2sec. The Debra Lewis-trained Bill Haley is handily drawn at barrier No. 3 and should be prominent. A winner at seven of his past 11 starts, Bill Haley was an unlucky sixth behind Talktomeurmattjesty last Friday night when he met with interference 400m from home.   Ken Casellas

Ace reinsman Colin Brown has high hopes of winning the $50,000 Christmas Gift at Gloucester Park on Friday night after Patrickthepiranha drew the coveted No. 1 barrier in the Group 2 feature event. Brown, who has won the Group 2 Christmas Gift a record five times, prepares the four-year-old Patrickthepiranha, the youngest runner in the 2130m event, but has driven him only once in an outstanding 23-start career of ten wins and five placings. He replaces Dylan Egerton-Green, who has handled Patrickthepiranha in 22 of his racetrack appearances. Egerton-Green will drive his own nomination Tyler Brett, who fared poorly in the random draw and faces a tough assignment from the outside (No. 9) on the front line on Friday night. Brown’s only race drive behind Patrickthepiranha was when the WA-bred gelding led from barrier three and finished a well-beaten second to star pacer Mighty Conqueror over 2130m on October 18. Patrickthepiranha has begun from barrier one three times. He led and won the 2130m Caduceus Club Classic from Eloquent Mach and Gee Jay Kay last February, he led and wilted to sixth behind Eloquent Mach in the 2536m Western Gateway Pace in March and he set the pace when second, beaten a head by Shockwave in the 2536m Golden Nugget last Friday night.   Brown has no peer in WA as a frontrunning driver and he is sure to make a bold bid to lead throughout with the son of Canadian stallion Four Starzzz Shark, who is proving a great buy for Liam O’Connor and Jim Currie. The gelding was purchased as a yearling for $30,000 and now has amassed $215,106 in stakes.   His dam is the New Zealand-bred Thats The Spirit, who won 22 races one in New South Wales, ten in Queensland and 11 in Victoria. That’s The Spirit’s half-sister Fake Spirit was a smart performer, who earned $184,368 from five wins (including the NSW Oaks in March 2003) and nine placings from 27 starts. The Christmas Gift was first run in 1963 when Alan Woodworth drove Johnny Scott to victory over Jack Junior at a 2.9 rate and Brown has been successful with Simeon Bay (1988), Julian Doe (1991), All The Answers (2002), Motu Treasure (2010) and Russley Rascal (2011). He trained Simeon Bay, Sue Tolcon trained Julian Doe, Les Coulson was the trainer of All The Answers, Greg Bond trained Motu Treasure and Bond and his wife Skye prepared Russley Rascal when he won from stablemates Dundee Three and Talk It Up. The Bond stable’s only runner in this year’s Christmas Gift is five-year-old Ocean Ridge, a winner at nine of his 24 starts. He was won in good style at two of his past three starts and has sound prospects, despite his poor draw at barrier seven. Ocean Ridge will be driven by Ryan Warwick, who drove the Bond-trained Saying Grace, favourite at 3/1 on, to victory over Gotta Go Gabbana in last year’s event. Hall of Fame trainer Gary Hall Snr will be pinning his faith on the talented and lightly-raced American Brave, who will need a touch of luck to overcome the disadvantage of starting out wide at barrier eight.      Hall is the leading trainer in the history of the Christmas Gift, having been successful with Nixons Creed (1993), Allioop (2004), McRaes Mate (2007), Livingontheinterest (2012), Toretto (2013) and Herrick Roosevelt (2017). The Christmas Gift is one of the very few feature events that has eluded champion reinsman Chris Lewis, who will drive Carrera Mach from barrier two on the back line for trainer Ross Olivieri, who has won the Gift with Savette in 2002 And Im A Peregrine in 2015. The Craig Saligari-trained Crocodile Kid is in sparkling form and has bright prospects from the inside of the back line for reinsman Michael Grantham. Crocodile Kid raced three back on the pegs and went to the line strongly when an impressive and close-up fourth behind Stefsbest over 1730m last Friday night, following stylish victories over the same distance on the two previous Friday nights.   Ken Casellas

The last time the members of the WA Trotting Media Guild all had different best bets, I had a $10 all up on their selections (I left my selection out). The first five legs came in and I had The War Nurse running for $2400 - not a bad return for my $10 outlay. Unfortunately, The War Nurse was a casualty and faded to finish out of the money after leading for most of the race. This week at Gloucester Park, a similar scenario has emerged and, once again, I’ll be throwing a $10 all up on the six best bets (I’ll leave my selection out again). Veteran tipster and multiple winner of the Guild’s tipping competition Ken Casellas gets the ball rolling with Son Of A Tiger in race two. “Son Of A Tiger, a winner at six of his first 10 starts in WA, has been plagued by bad draws and has been unplaced at his past five outings,” Casellas said. “He has drawn out wide at barrier eight on Friday night, but is overdue for a change of fortune. The New Zealand-bred five-year-old, to be driven by Chris Voak for trainer Matt Scott, is my best bet to buck the odds and return to the winning list against modest opposition. He is capable of sustaining a powerful finishing burst.” TABradio’s form expert Hayden King, a man of few words, believes Speed Man can bounce back to winning form in the fourth. “Speed Man draws favourably and gets his chance to lead this week,” King said. ”I think he can dictate throughout and turn over some of his better-credentialed adversaries.“ Longshot guru Pat Harding is the next cab off the rank and he believes Taroona Bromac can win the Group 1 $200,000 Retravision Golden Nugget. “Should be another great night for the Greg and Skye Bond camp with at least four winners,” Harding said. “My best bet of the night comes up in the Golden Nugget. Last week saw another impressive win for the Bond-trained Taroona Bromac. Coming out of barrier five for the 2536 metre journey should give this horse an opportunity to be well placed to record yet another win.” TABradio racecaller Matt Young steps up next and he is keen on Rosies Ideal in race six. “Rosies Ideal was unlucky in her last two runs in top mares company,” Young said. “She comes down in grade and is versatile. Expecting to see her back in the winners circle.” Radio Great Southern’s form analyst Warren Wishart’s best of the night is Ideal Liner in the ninth. “An early Xmas present for trainer Gary Hall here with Ideal Liner dropping back from open company to a conditioned race and drawing ideally in barrier two,” Wishart said. “Will be winning and hopefully by a considerable margin.” The West Australian’s Ernie Manning rounds out the sixth best bet of the night in the last with Kiwi Bloke. “New Zealand import Kiwi Bloke, a Pinjarra winner at four of six WA starts, now looks set for city successes,” Manning said. “The six-year-old is expected to improve on his close second when making a Gloucester Park debut last Friday night. He is shaping to be yet another profitable proposition for trainer Ross Olivieri and Melbourne owner Merv Butterworth.” (At the current odds, a $10 all up investment would return a tidy $35,840, if all six horses salute). Guild president Wayne Currall, whose tipping record this season leaves a lot to be desired, is keen on Saleahs Comand in the opening event. “Lindsay Harper should be able to get an easier lead this week with Saleahs Comand,” Currall said. “The horse had to go too hard to hold the front last week in a sprint race and was left vulnerable over the last 100 metres. Will prove hard to run down with a couple of 30 plus quarters.” VALUE BETS KEN: For value, I suggest Brett Smith’s reliable and versatile campaigner McArdles Gem in race one in which he is sure to enjoy starting from the coveted No. 1 barrier. He certainly has the ability to upset the short-priced favourite and noted frontrunner Saleahs Comand. HAYDEN: Sangue Reale may not have been in the conversation for this race a month ago, but he is thriving throughout this campaign. He is going from strength to strength and he draws exceedingly well. PAT: My value bet of the night comes up in race nine with No. 3 Zennart. Lauren Jones has a habit of bobbing up on Hall-trained horses and I think he is well placed in a small field to give punters good value. MATT: Im Soxy is a great each-way chance. He’s been unlucky his past two runs and has drawn to get a good run. WARREN: Black Jack Zac (10) has the perfect draw for him to trail the speed, importantly on the pegs. With clear running he can win and will be at each-way odds. ERNIE: Zennart has not won in his past six starts, but should be considered after nine wins and five places from 25 Gloucester Park appearances. The Gary Hall-trained veteran was racing only second-up when facing the breeze last week and he can be excused for running unplaced. WAYNE: Perennial placegetter Robb Stark hasn’t won since May, but he draws to get the run of the race behind likely leader Whoswhointhezoo. He loves the pegs and will be finishing hard. To view all of the Media Guild tips click here. Good Punting   Wayne Currall

With two winners, three seconds and two thirds in the rich Golden Nugget Championship, astute Henley Brook trainer Mike Reed has been a major player in this time-honoured feature event for four-year-old pacers ever since Manageable finished third behind Eastern States invaders Sinbad Bay and Another Bart 30 years ago. Reed is going into Friday night’s $200,000 Group 1 Retravision Golden Nugget with a two-pronged attack of the New Zealand-bred Gran Chico and the Victorian-bred Bletchley Park. His main chance emerged as Gran Chico after the big Bettors Delight gelding drew favourably at barrier two on the front line in the testing 2536m classic. Reed has engaged big-race specialist Kim Prentice to drive Gran Chico for the first time. Prentice, who trained and drove 3/1 chance Soho Tribeca to a convincing victory over Nathans Courage and Chicago Bull in the 2016 Golden Nugget, replaces Shannon Suvaljko, who is under suspension. Prentice, no doubt, is hoping that he enjoys the same good fortune as he did when he was a late engagement to drive Im Themightyquinn in the 2011 WA Pacing Cup, replacing the suspended Gary Hall Jnr. Im Themightyquinn stormed to a brilliant victory over Mysta Magical Mach and Ima Spicey Lombo. Gran Chico, purchased in New Zealand two months ago by Jim and Wilma Giumelli for what is understood to be the second-highest price paid for a New Zealand pacer imported to Western Australia (behind the $500,000 outlaid to buy Alta Christiano in 2013). A substantial outlay to purchase a pacer does not guarantee great successes but Gran Chico is a redoubtable stayer with wonderful ability. The 2536m of the Nugget will test the 12 runners, who have chalked up 107 wins. Gran Chico revealed his staying potential in New Zealand, when in his final appearance there, he finished an excellent fourth behind champion Chase Auckland in the 3000m Methven Cup on October 13, nine days after an impressive first-up victory over 1980m at Addington. At his previous start, four months earlier, Gran Chico finished a splendid second in the group 1 $150,000 Emerald at Addington. In the 1980m Emerald, Gran Chico started out wide at barrier seven and was 12th (and last) at the bell, ten lengths from the leader before he sustained a spirited three-wide burst to finish second to Jesse Duke. Gran Chico made his WA debut against modest company in a 2130m event at Gloucester Park on November 15. After settling in fifth position he dashed to the front after 500m and was not extended in winning by a length from Dominate The Dojo after final quarters of 28.3sec. and 27.7sec.  Then he started from barrier two in the Group 1 Simmonds Steel Classic over 2130m last Friday week when he settled in fourth place and was shuffled back to sixth at the bell before finishing solidly, out six wide, to be a well-beaten sixth behind Sangue Reale. He is sure to have derived great benefit from that performance. Gran Chico possesses good gate speed but is unlikely to be able to wrest the early lead from speedy beginner and smart frontrunner Patrickthepiranha, who will be handled by Dylan Egerton-Green for trainer Colin Brown and looks certain to set the pace. Patrickthepiranha has started from the No. 1 barrier twice when he led and won the Caduceus Club Classic from Eloquent Mach and Gee Jay Kay, rating 1.56.1 over 2130m last February and when a month later he led and faded to sixth behind Eloquent Mach in the 2536m Western Gateway Classic. Therefore, there is a query over his strength to run a solid 2536m journey. Bletchley Park is a solid stayer whose three attempts over 2536m have produced a win and a second to Major Trojan in the WA Derby last April. A winner at ten of his 21 starts, Bletchley Park will start from barrier six on the front line with Michael Grantham in the sulky. Baskerville trainer Ryan Bell, who was a part-owner of 2008 Golden Nugget winner Schinzig Buller, will be hoping for a change of luck for Shockwave, a winner and placegetter over 2536m. Shockwave, who finished powerfully to cross the finishing post in first place in the 2130m Simmonds Steel Classic last Friday week before being relegated to second after a successful protest, has the class to overcome the disadvantage of starting from the outside of the back line. Aiden de Campo will be fit to drive Shockwave despite suffering bruised ribs when he was struck by a back-line runner after his drive, The Kraken, galloped at the start in a stand at Narrogin on Tuesday night. He bounced back in style in the following event by landing 7/1 chance Walsh a winner after receiving a miracle inside passage in the closing stages after the pacemaker Our Mandingo broke into a gallop in front of him. It could well be a lucky omen. Walsh is raced in the same interests as those who own Shockwave. Sangue Reale (Chris Voak) has excellent prospects of giving trainer Michael Brennan a second win in the Golden Nugget after the win of Im Victorious in 2012. Sangue Reale, who charged home from fifth at the 400m to finish a half-head behind Shockwave last Friday week, is nicely drawn on the inside of the back line and should enjoy a perfect passage behind the likely pacemaker Patrickthepiranha. Theo Aviator, trained and driven by Aldo Cortopassi, is in top form after winning the group 2 Four-Year-Old Championship from Sangue Reale and Shockwave two starts ago and then finishing strongly to be third behind those two pacers. Theo Aviator should enjoy a good run after starting from the No. 2 barrier on the back line. Leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond, who had the distinction of preparing the first five placegetters (Ana Malak, Mighty Conqueror, Fizzing, Bright Diamond and Bettor Aim) in the Nugget last season, will be pinning their faith on the inexperienced but highly-promising Taroona Bromac, who will be driven by Ryan Warwick from barrier five. Taroona Bromac has won at nine of his 11 starts and is capable of surprising. Champion trainer Gary Hall Snr has won the Nugget with The Gold Ace (2011) and Beaudiene Boaz (2015) and will be represented by Eloquent Mach (Stuart McDonald) and Robbie Easton (Gary Hall Jnr). Eloquent Mach appeals as the better of the Hall runners. He charged home from 11th at the bell when fourth behind Sangue Reale last Friday week and has won over 2503m, 2536m and 3309m. For the record, Reed has won the Golden Nugget with Tricky Vic (2002) and Libertybelle Midfrew (2014) and has recorded seconds with Rich And Spoilt (2000), Kiwi Legend (2015) and Maczaffair (2017) and thirds with Manageable (1989) and Astra Nom McCool (2001).   Ken Casellas

A $3000 bargain snapped up by Craig Saligari and Chris Plozza just over 15 months ago has paid handsome dividends and is directly responsible for them owning Crocodile Kid, who is attempting to notch a hat-trick of wins when he contests the Retravision 24 Days of Christmas Giveaways Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Crocodile Kid, a striking black gelding, is awkwardly drawn at barrier five in a field of eight in the 1730m sprint in which he will clash with several smart pacers including Stefsbest, Ocean Ridge, The Dali Express and Sergeant Oats. However, he is a brilliant sprinter who has revealed great versatility in winning in fast time over 1730m on each of the past two Friday nights when handled skilfully by Michael Grantham. After a most encouraging fifth behind Ocean Ridge over 2130m at his WA debut three Friday nights ago, Crocodile Kid flourished in the following two weeks, setting the pace and winning at a 1.55.2 rate from Red October and Robb Stark and then racing three back on the pegs before sprinting home fast to beat Mon Lillies and Saleahs Comand at a 1.55.4 rate.    “He’s not just a miler,” said Saligari, who prepares the Victorian-bred six-year-old at Wanneroo. “He’s versatile and able to run all distances, with the right sort of runs. He is a good leader as well as being a good sit-sprinter.” Sailgari and Plozza are certainly not shedding any tears at their decision to outlay $30,000 to purchase the Armbro Operative gelding who is the first and only one of four foals out of the Safely Kept mare Crocodile Tears to have raced. Crocodile Tears took 44 starts to record her first victory (in an R0 event in Albury in December 2010) and managed just four country-class wins from 66 starts in Victoria. She is related to Onaventure, who had 79 starts in WA for seven wins between 2005 and 2008. Crocodile Kid is bred to be a good winner. His ancestry on his dam’s side traces back in a direct path to the mighty Aachen, who won at each of his first 20 starts (from February 1956 to December 1958). This sequence was an Australian record until 1970 when Lucky Creed recorded 24 consecutive wins. The record of 29 straight wins is now held by West Australian champion San Simeon. New Zealand mare Connenora produced Aachen and there is a direct line of mares culminating with Crocodile Tears. The current Saligari-Plozza success story began almost 16 months ago when they bought Bob Wheel from Ryan Bell for $3000. “I was doing a lot of trackwork with Ryan at the time,” Saligari explained. “Ryan basically had had enough of him. He was trackworking really well but wasn’t performing well in races. He offered Bob Wheel to us for $3000, and we took him.” Bob Wheel had won six races for Bell, including the $25,000 WA Sales Classic for three-year-olds in March 2017. He enjoyed his new environment in Wanneroo and won at his third start for his new owners, starting at 20/1, racing in the breeze and winning easily to earn $4,163.     And then, early this year Bob Wheel was successful at Gloucester Park from barriers No. 9 and No. 8 when he paid $64.10 and $51 on the tote. Before Bob Wheel contests the second event at Gloucester Park this week he had raced 36 times for Plozza and Saligari for six wins, three seconds, three thirds and $61,527 in prizemoney. “We own two-thirds of Bob Wheel and Dad has a third share,” said Saligari. “Mum and Dad have been able to buy a car out of the winnings and recently Chris thought it was time to get another horse. She made a lot of contacts and there were a few on the Trading Ring that she had a look at. And then she got on Messenger and texted a few people who have big stables over east. “We were hoping to get a nice horse and bring him on one-on-one at a smaller stable and give him all the care he needs. We came across Crocodile Kid and went through all his performances. Looking at his replays we were impressed with his gate speed and his final quarter was always good. And he can do things tough, as well. “He breezed and ran 1.54 in Sydney and he won a race (over 1609m) at Menangle, going 1.53.2, coming home in 26.7sec. That run spurred Chris on to make the decision to buy him for $30,000.” Crocodile Kid raced 50 times for ten wins in Victoria for his breeder-owner-trainer-reinsman Noel Tyndall before having nine starts at Menangle for prominent trainer Kevin Pizzuto for one win. He is proving to be a great buy, with his three runs at Gloucester Park producing a fifth and two wins for stakes of $22,266.   Ken Casellas

It’s a mixed bag of best bets from members of the WA Trotting Media Guild for Friday night’s meeting at Gloucester Park. Only two members - The West Australian’s racing co-ordinator Ryan Havercroft and longshot king Pat Harding - have settled on the same horse as their star bet for the 11-event program. “Taroona Bromac was terribly held up two starts ago in the 4YO Championship and sat on the sidelines as an emergency for last week’s 4YO Classic,” Havercroft said. ”Trainers Greg and Skye Bond will be trying to make sure he lines up next week in the Golden Nugget and so he should be accounting for his rivals on Friday.“ And Harding agrees. “My best bet of the night comes up in  race six with No. 11 Taroona Bromac,” Harding said. “I think this horse has a great future in WA and as this is a pretty weak field. I expect him to win again.” Radio Great Southern’s form analyst Warren Wishart is keen on Shadow Roll in race seven. “Shadow Roll went very well over the sprint trip behind a good one (Its Rock And Roll) on Monday at Pinjarra from the back line,” Wishart said. “Much better drawn here and he looks a good thing. It was tough for most punters last week, but there looks to be a few standouts this week.” TABradio racecaller Matt Young believes Roman Aviator can post an all-the-way victory. “Roman Aviator has drawn to lead and will run a super mile out in front,” Young said. “It looks his race to win.“ The West Australian’s Ernie Manning has advised punters to keep their powder dry until the last race. “Tiffany Rose, on trial for a trip to tackle next  month’s Victoria Oaks, is shaping to maintain her unbeaten WA record,” Manning said. ”The filly, who ran four seconds and three thirds from eight New Zealand starts, has blossomed to win each of her three races since joining Mike Reed’s stable. She scored twice over 1684m at Pinjarra, then produced a stylish front-running display in her Gloucester Park debut  a fortnight ago. The filly looks capable of matching top opposition in Melbourne.” Gloucester Park stalwart Ken Casellas is a Convert Denario fan. “A massive drop in class should enable Convert Denario to account for his rivals in the 10th event on Friday night, despite his awkward draw at barrier seven in a field of eight,” Casellas said. “Therefore, I am more than happy to make the Clint Hall-trained six-year-old my best bet.  Convert Denario was an 80/1 outsider in the Group 2 Bunbury Cup in which he led early and then sat behind the pacemaker Handsandwheels before running home solidly along the sprint lane to be a 2m second to that pacer.” TABradio’s form expert Hayden King is firmly in the camp of Gotta Go Gabbana. “Annie Belton has been attending the Christian Cullen chapel and praying for a barrier with Gotta Go Gabbana,” King said. “Her prayers have been answered and her prized mare should lead throughout.” Guild president Wayne Currall believes the speedy Saleahs Command can lead all the way in the second event. “Lindsay Harper will be keen to fire Saleahs Command out from gate two over the sprint trip,” Currall said. “He always runs a cheeky race when in front and can keep his rivals at bay here.” VALUE BETS RYAN: Mon Lillies has blistering early speed and this isn’t a strong field. Will give cheek if she finds the top. PAT: My value bet comes up in race four. With only a small field I think No. eight Vultan Tin can take the prize. Given that its a 2536 metre race, I believe he will come home with a wet sail. WARREN: Mister Ardee can run a race here from the good draw. I’m expecting some heat mid-race and he can finish off strongly. The $11 indicative price looks good each-way value. MATT: Miss Sangrial is a great each-way chance and has the gate speed to put herself into a great position. ERNIE: Gunna Get Lucky appears ready to be prominent in her return to city racing. The veteran’s only win in her past 26 starts was a Wagin victory which she notched on November 22. But she has won 10 races and can improve on a Narrogin second last Friday night. KEN: For value, I suggest Always An Honour in race eight, a 2096m stand in which he is sure to seriously test the warm favourite Kiwi Bloke. A proven standing-start performer, Always An Honour romped home at his most recent outing when he beat Five Star Major by 13 lengths at Bunbury. HAYDEN: Sergeant Oats has drawn the pole and they will likely exercise the option of leading this time with Hall Jr engaged. He can lead throughout. WAYNE: The Gary Hall-trained Just Rockon Bye could be the forgotten horse in the Group 1 Westral Mares Classic. She was most unlucky in the Mount Eden Sprint in October and will be rocketing home if the pace is on over the longer trip. To view all of the Media Guild tips click here.   Wayne Currall

Darling Downs horseman Aldo Cortopassi is driving in wonderful form and looks set for a winning double at Gloucester Park on Friday night with Roman Aviator in race three and Shadow Roll in the seventh event. He trains Roman Aviator, who is sure to relish a perfect draw at barrier one on the front line in a 1730m sprint event. The five-year-old Roman Aviator has been plagued by unfavourable barriers in recent months but has performed creditably with third placings at three of his past five starts from barriers five, nine and eight. His most recent success was eight starts ago when he began from the No. 6 barrier as an 82/1 outsider. After racing wide in the early stages, Roman Aviator was restrained to the rear before moving forward in the middle stages to the one-out, one-back position. He then unleashed a powerful burst to hit the front in the final 50m and won from the fast-finishing Bettor Party at a 1.56.7 rate over 2130m. Roman Aviator is an excellent frontrunner and Cortopassi is sure to use this quality in a bid for an all-the-way success in a race in which he will clash with smart eight-year-old As Happy As Larry, who will be resuming after a six-month absence. As Happy As Larry, trained and driven by Robbie Williams, will start from barrier six and is capable of a bold first-up showing. Early this year he impressed with placings behind pacers of the calibre of Mighty Conqueror, Im Soxy and Warfare. His latest success was six starts ago when he finished strongly from sixth at the bell to beat Lady De La Renta at a 1.56.1 rate over 2130m early last April.    Shadow Roll, trained at Mt Helena by Ray Williams, is a promising four-year-old who has had 14 starts for six wins and eight placings. He is ideally drawn at barrier two in the 1730m Westral Vertical And Panel Blinds Pace. Shadow Roll has resumed after a spell in fine style with a first-up Pinjarra victory followed by a close third behind Flying Mister Ideal over 2185m at Pinjarra and a wonderful second to Its Rock And Roll over 1684m on the same track. He was most impressive on Monday afternoon when he was eighth at the bell before finishing with a powerful burst to beat all but the stylish frontrunner Its Rock And Roll. The final quarters were run in 28.5sec. and 27.6sec.

Kiwi Bloke, a slow developer who was unplaced at his first 15 starts in New Zealand, has blossomed over the past 12 months and looks set for a strong effort at his debut at Gloucester Park when he contests the Westral Venetian And Honeycomb Blinds Handicap. The comparatively inexperienced six-year-old has developed into a reliable standing-start specialist, with five of his six wins coming in stands. His final seven starts in New Zealand produced two wins (in stands), two seconds and one third and he has had five starts in Western Australia for Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri and reinsman Chris Voak for four wins (three in stands) and one third placing. At his most recent outing, at Pinjarra last Monday week, Kiwi Bloke broke for just one stride soon after the start before dashing to the front after 150m and setting a solid pace to win by three lengths from Burning Shadows, with slick final quarters in 27.5sec. and 27.6sec. Kiwi Bloke is by Courage Under Fire out of the Falcon Seelster mare A Good Kiwi Chick, who raced nine times for four wins, one placings and $15,897. A Good Kiwi Chick’s claim to fame is that she is a half-sister to Kiwi Ingenuity (by Christian Cullen), who amassed $516,821 in stakes from 11 wins and eight placings from 27 starts. She was a brilliant three and four-year-old and at her only Australian start she finished fourth behind Monkey King in the Miracle Mile at Menangle in November 2009. The clash between Kiwi Bloke and Always An Honour should be a highlight of the 11-event program. Always An Honour, a New Zealand-bred four-year-old, is trained by Justin Prentice and will be driven by Gary Hall Jnr. He is also a standing-start specialist, with five starts in stands producing four wins and a third placing. At his most recent outing, Always An Honour dashed over the final 400m sections in 27.9sec. and 28.8sec. to win a 2503m stand at Bunbury on November 16 by more than nine lengths. Adding interest to Friday night’s race will be the return to racing after a ten-month absence of the Ross Olivieri-trained Jimmy Mack, who will start off the 10m mark with Chris Lewis in the sulky. Jimmy Mack warmed up for this assignment when he set the pace and sprinted over the final quarters in 28.7sec. and 27.8sec. in winning a 2116 standing-start trial by eight lengths from Packed Carefully on Sunday morning.   Ken Casellas

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