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Six-year-old Runaway Three returned to form and ended a losing sequence of 12 when he set the pace and beat Oneonthewood and Ideal Flipflop over 2536m at Gloucester Park on Tuesday night and young reinsman Corey Peterson is confident that the Mach Three gelding can handle the rise in class when he contests the Rock N Roll World at Allwood Stud Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Runaway Three, prepared by Kristian Hawkins, will start from the No. 1 barrier and Peterson is anxious to take full advantage of the draw by setting the pace. “The run on Tuesday night will do him the world of good,” said Peterson. “It will sharpen him right up, and before discussing tactics with Kristian, the likely plan is to lead. “His past few runs have been quite good (including a close second to Jaxon Fella after working hard without cover three starts ago) and I think he’s on the way up again. On Tuesday night he went to the line with plenty left in the tank. When there’s a horse right next to him, he will go all day. But if the horse in the breeze drops back, he’ll switch off a little bit.”       Runaway Three’s previous win was when he started from barrier one, set the pace and beat Hasani and Mister Spot over 2100m at Bunbury in late February. He is sure to meet with plenty of opposition on Friday night, particularly from Ideal One, Carter Micheal, Walkinshaw, El Hombre and his stablemate The Trilogy. Ideal One, trained by Gary Hall snr and to be driven by Maddison Brown, is favourably drawn at barrier two and looks very hard to beat. Ideal One started from barrier six in a 1730m sprint last Friday night and impressed in finishing with a resolute burst from sixth at the bell to be second to the pacemaker and stablemate Mad Robber, with a final quarter in 27.8sec. Ideal One is a smart frontrunner, like he showed four starts ago when he set the pace over 2536m and won from Waimac Attack and Beltane. The Nathan Turvey-trained Carter Micheal will be driven by Kyle Harper and the six-year-old is handily drawn at barrier three and looks set to fight out the finish. His past seven starts produced two wins, two seconds and three thirds.  Hawkins will handle The Trilogy, who will start from the inside of the back line and is capable of unwinding a strong finishing burst. The Trilogy took full advantage of the No. 1 barrier last Friday night when he led and won in fine style from Bad Round and Rock Me Over. Peterson will also drive the Hawkins-trained Call Me Ernie in the Melbourne Cup Luncheon at Gloucester Park Handicap, a stand over 2096m in which he will start from the inside of the front line. Peterson has driven Call Me Ernie to victory in 2560m stands at Northam at two of his past three starts. He rises sharply in class and Peterson said that the gelding is a reliable beginner in stands who would be suited by the relatively short distance. “But a place looks his best possible chance,” he said. Kingslayer, a recent import from New Zealand and a newcomer to the Forrestdale stables of Greg and Skye Bond, will be a short-priced favourite at his Gloucester Park debut who should maintain his unbeaten record in Australia after commanding victories in stands at Pinjarra at his first three starts in Australia. The Ross Olivieri-trained Space Junk (Chris Voak) will share the front line with Call Me Ernie, Kingslayer, Ideal Investment, Destined To Rule and Starlight Brigade and he is capable of a bold showing. Ken Casellas

Six-year-old Atmospherical, generally regarded as a standing-start specialist, surprised eight-time WA premier trainer Ross Olivieri with his brilliant victory in a mobile sprint event last Friday night and Olivieri is looking for the gelding to repeat the dose when he starts from barrier five in the 1730m Better Your Bet With TABtouch Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Atmospherical, with Chris Voak in the sulky, resumed after a four-month absence with three runs in stands at Gloucester Park last month (for a second to Eloquent Mach followed by modest sixth and seventh placings) before Olivieri decided to give him a taste of mobile sprint racing last week when he started from the No. 5 barrier over 1730m. He raced in sixth position before a sparkling three-wide burst at the 650m mark took him to the front 200m later on the way to an effortless three-length win over Bee Seventeen at a 1.56.1 rate. “I was surprised by the way he won so well last week,” Olivieri admitted. “I knew he was good, but I didn’t realize that he would go that good. He came back this preparation off a bit of an injury. Another horse kicked him in the back leg. And that’s why he had the time off and he’s taken a couple of runs to get things right. “He’s a good 2500m stand horse and he gets away that well off the front that he generally gets to the lead and leading is not his go. And 1700m races are not his preferred distance. I don’t think that he has the gate speed to lead from barrier five. But they are going to run a bit which gives him the chance to sit and then run home.” Olivieri has nine runners on Friday night and he could well be the trainer to follow, with all his team having sound each-way prospects. Apart from Atmospherical, Olivieri strongly fancies The Dali Express, who will be driven by Chris Lewis from the prized No. 1 barrier in the final event, the Book Your Christmas Party at Gloucester Park Pace over 2130m. “The Dali Express is flying, and he won’t hand up the lead unless Ocean Ridge is too fast for him,” Olivieri said. “His run in a stand two starts ago when he galloped at the start (and finished tenth behind Twilight Sage) was enormous.” Lewis agreed with Olivieri that the New Zealand-bred six-year-old would be very hard to beat, saying: “It will be quite an advantage starting from barrier one and he’ll give Ocean Ridge plenty of competition. I’ll be looking to hold the lead and if he does, he will be hard to beat.” Ocean Ridge, to be driven by Ryan Warwick for leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond, will start from the No. 2 barrier and the five-year-old who has won seven times from 16 starts will have many admirers despite a costly last-start failure when a 2/1 on favourite and a disappointing ninth behind One Off Delight five Fridays ago. Ocean Ridge had settled in the one-out, one-back position before he galloped badly 550m after the start. He was shifting in and broke into a gallop when being corrected by Warwick. He dropped back to the rear before he dashed forward to be fourth at the 400m mark and then was hampered for room in the home straight. That followed a brilliant first-up victory over 2692m at Pinjarra when he finished powerfully from sixth at the bell to beat Starlight Brigade by eight and a half lengths at a 1.57.78 rate, with final quarters of 27.7sec. and 28.4sec. Olivieri agreed that Ardens Concord (race one), El Hombre (two), Crystal Sparkles (four), Motu Premier (five), Atmospherical (six), Space Junk (seven), Joe With The Flow (eight) and The Dali Express (nine) had sound each-way claims.   Ken Casellas

Champion reinsman Chris Lewis has won the $50,000 James Brennan Memorial a record eight times and he has not given up hope of recording his ninth victory in the Group 2 2536m feature event at Gloucester Park on Friday night despite Our Corelli drawing the outside barrier (No. 9) on the front line. Our Corelli, trained by Lewis’s wife Debra, is in superb form and has been most impressive in recording effortless all-the-way victories over 2130m on the past two Friday nights when he started from the prized No. 1 barrier. Lewis admitted that the lightly-raced five-year-old faced a stern test from the wide barrier but said that the gelding could not be written off as a winning prospect. “He keeps on improving and has stepped up in the past couple of starts,” he said. “The saving grace this week is that the race is over 2536m and that gives us some chance.” Our Corelli, who has won at seven of his ten starts for the Lewis stable, possesses sparkling gate speed, but Lewis is unlikely to use this ability in a bid to outpace the eight runners drawn on his inside. “There’s nothing like leading,” Lewis said. “But he comes home strongly from behind, and we will be reliant on a good solid pace.” Lewis was philosophical about Our Corelli drawing the outside barrier, saying: “We’ve had a fairly good run with draws in recent times until Deb has got three runners on Friday night and they have all drawn barrier nine in random draws.” Leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond have high hopes of turning the tables on Our Corelli after Vampiro gave a fighting performance to finish a 7m second to Our Corelli in last Friday night’s group 3 York Cup. Vampiro raced wide early and then worked hard in the breeze and battled on gamely, with the final 800m being covered in 54.9sec. Vampiro will start from the outside (barrier two) on the back line and should settle down in a handy position in the one-wide line for star reinsman Ryan Warwick. Vampiro raced without cover before finishing determinedly to snatch a half-head victory over the pacemaker Our Corelli in the 2536m August Cup four weeks ago. Vampiro, a winner of one raced from seven starts in New Zealand, has been a wonderful performer in Western Australia with 18 wins and 15 placings from 42 starts. He was hot favourite at 3/1 on when he started from barrier three and dashed to the front after 120m before setting a solid pace and sprinting over the final 800m in 55.9sec. when he won the 2130m Brennan Memorial from stablemate Our Jimmy Johnstone and Tricky Styx last November. The Bond stable will again be represented by 11-year-old Our Jimmy Johnstone as well as seven-year-old El Jacko in this week’s feature event. The evergreen Our Jimmy Johnstone will start from the No. 1 barrier with Bailey McDonough in the sulky, with Dylan Egerton-Green handling the talented El Jacko from the inside of the back line. Adding interest to this week’s race will be the return of the smart Ross Olivieri-trained seven-year-old Motu Premier, who will be making his first appearance since he had a tough run in the breeze before winning the 2536m Media Guild Cup 50 weeks ago, beating King of Swing and Vampiro in a desperately close three-way photo finish. Lewis has driven Motu Premier for seven of his eight wins from 26 starts in WA. Chris Voak will handle the New Zealand-bred seven-year-old for the first time in a race. He handled the gelding in three recent 2150m trials at Byford for two wins and a third placing. Motu Premier was driven by Lewis when he finished powerfully from sixth at the bell to be third behind Chicago Bull and Soho Tribeca in the 2536m Brennan memorial two years ago. “The 2536m is not ideal for Motu Premier first-up,” said Olivieri. “His trials have been good. He will probably need a run or two to reach his peak, but he should be thereabouts. We’re ready to go and his main mission will be the Fremantle Cup and WA Pacing Cup in January.” Hall of Fame trainer Gary Hall Snr will be represented by smart five-year-olds Speed Man (barrier four) and King of Swing (five). Stuart McDonald will handle King of Swing, who was driven by Gary Hall Jnr when he enjoyed an ideal passage, one-out and one-back, and fought on well when third behind Our Corelli last Friday night. Hall jnr has opted to drive Speed Man, who started from barrier nine and raced at the rear when eighth behind Our Corelli last week. In-form Andrew de Campo-trained six-year-old Handsandwheels is awkwardly drawn at barrier five and Aiden de Campo is likely to keep his options open regarding his tactics. Handsandwheels, a winner of three races in a row last month, is capable of fighting out the finish. Ravenswood trainer Nathan Turvey is hoping for a strong performance from Simba Bromac, who is ideally drawn at barrier two. Lewis drove Simba Bromac to an all-the-way win from the No. 2 barrier over 2130m at his latest appearance, six weeks ago.   Ken Casellas

Trainer Mike Reed has delivered a glowing assessment of promising pacer Bletchley Park, labelling him one of the best horses he’s had ahead of his second-up assignment at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The WA Derby runner-up returned in style at Gloucester Park on August 27, where he recorded an 18m win as a short-price favourite. The four-year-old now steps up in company to Friday’s Christmas Sundowner Packages Available At GP Pace (2130m) and is expected to take plenty of beating once again from barrier seven. Reed said Bletchley Park had enormous potential and was excited about his future. “I think he’s the best horse I’ve got in my stable,” he told GPTV Powered By RWWA. “I class him as good as any horse I’ve had. “He’s a very smart horse.” The son of American Ideal has seven rivals to contend with this Friday night, where Joe With The Flow (barrier one), The Arsonist (five) and Bee Seventeen (six) are expected to provide the stiffest competition. A winner at eight of his 15 career starts to date, Bletchley Park’s campaign will centre on the Group 1 Golden Nugget in December, a race Reed finished fifth in last year with Golden State. Despite the tricky draw this Friday night, Reed said he expected Bletchley Park to be too strong for the small field. “He should win,” he said. “It’s never easy, but I think it should be easy for him. “We worked him on Saturday and he’s right on song. “He worked the best he’s worked in a long time.” Bletchley Park was expected to back-up off his first-up win at Gloucester Park a fortnight ago, but Reed said he scratched the pacer after he didn’t eat all his feed following the win. Meanwhile, trainer Ross Olivieri has given a strong push for The Dali Express in the Book Your Christmas Party At Gloucester Park Pace (2130m) . The Dali Express won first-up in WA at Pinjarra on July 1, but has since managed just one placing in five subsequent starts. However, Olivieri said the gelding had his best chance to return to the winners list from barrier one this week. “I think The Dali Express is the one to beat barring the Bond’s horse (Ocean Ridge),” Olivieri told GPTV Powered By RWWA. “The Dali Express will run along and whatever is good enough to beat him will beat him. “He’s flying at the moment.” Olivieri also has Carrera Mach engaged in the race from barrier nine and indicated he was also nearing a win if he replicated his trackwork. Elsewhere, a field of 11 has assembled for the Group 2 James Brennan Memorial (2536m) on Friday night. Simba Bromac (barrier two), King Of Swing (five), Handsandwheels (six) and Vampiro (11) loom as key contenders in the $50,000 event. Tim Walker

Highly talented pacer Mighty Conqueror is nearing a return to racing, as he looks to work his way into feature races over the summer. The Greg and Skye Bond-trained gelding made a big impression in his first season of racing in Western Australia, winning nine of his 13 starts. His most impressive performance, arguably, came in the Golden Nugget where he finished second to stablemate Ana Malak. Greg Bond said Mighty Conqueror had battled a few minor issues in his first season and gave him an extended break following his Easter Cup win in April. “He’s working up with Our Alfie Romeo now, so they’re probably three weeks away this Friday from coming back to the races,” he told TABradio. “We decided to give him a longer break than what we might normally give them. “He’d done a lot of work, so he’d earnt the right to a couple of months off.” Bond said he hoped Mighty Conqueror would be able to get to races like the Fremantle Cup and WA Pacing Cup in January, but felt the five-year-old would have to prove himself of being up to that level. “He’s probably got to earn the right to get in to those races,” he said. “He’s still only just over a $70,000 earning horse, so he still has less than $100,000 races to pick his way through. “If he’s good enough he will be there. “I’m pretty sure he will get there and when he does I’m sure he’ll be good enough as well.” Ana Malak won both the Group 1 4YO Classic and Golden Nugget last season and has returned to the Bond team’s stable for the upcoming summer features. The son of Bettors Delight went to Dean Braun’s Victorian stable earlier this year and won four of his seven starts. However, Bond said Ana Malak was still some time from returning to the track. “He’s had his second gallop today, so he’s probably six weeks away,” he said. “He will come back and we will target Christmas time and January with him as well.” Bond also confirmed Our Alfie Romeo would be the stable’s number one hope for the Group 1 Mares Classic over the summer. Meanwhile, Kingslayer continued his unbeaten run in WA with another strong win in the Alcoa Family Fun Day Standing Start (2116m) at Pinjarra yesterday. The gelding sat outside stablemate and race leader Where Ya Bin and went on to score a commanding 4.2m win. Bond said it was rare the stable purchased five and six-year-olds from New Zealand, but felt Kingslayer could be a good acquisition for them. “It looks like he’s going to develop into a nice performer for us,” he said. “He’s not the age we normally buy, but I was over there in October and quite liked him. “When he fronts up to mobile racing, I expect him to be more than competitive.” Tim Walker

Friday night at Gloucester Park marks the beginning of the 2019\20 metropolitan harness racing season. But before we dissect tomorrow night's card, we should acknowledge the WA Trotting Media Guild’s winners for the 2018\19 season. Matt Young made it two in a row when he finished on top as the leading tipster, Pat Harding won the longest-priced winner (for maybe the ninth time in a row) and Ken Casellas and Wayne Currall shared the spoils for the most winners on a night (nine on a 10-event card). Congratulations to all our winners. Polemarkers Mad Robber and Our Corelli are two horses earmarked by members of the Guild as star bets on Friday night. The newest member of the panel, former RWWA chief handicapper Warren Wishart and now a form analyst on Radio Great Southern, is keen on Mad Robber, as is TABradio racecaller Hayden King and The West Australian’s racing co-ordinator Ryan Havercroft. “The best bet of the night comes up in race nine in Mad Robber,” Wishart said. “He looks beautifully placed over the sprint distance drawing barrier one. Should lead and win.” King and Havercroft agree. “Mad Robber has the pole again and the result should be as predictable as last week,” King said. “He is a very competent frontrunner and this looks his for the taking.” “Mad Robber led easily last week from the same draw and this field looks no better,” Havercroft said. “I’m not sure any of these are good enough to get around him over the sprint distance.” Longshot guru Harding and The West Australian’s Ernie Manning believe Our Corelli will continue on his winning ways. “Could be a good night for favourites for the first Friday night meeting of the season at GP,” Harding said. “My best bet of the night come up in race five with Our Corelli. He again has the benefit of barrier one and should make it two wins in a row. His last win was impressive and he should give another excellent front-running exhibition.” Manning concurs. “Our Corelli gets the chance to repeat his impressive all-the-way win last Friday after again drawing gate one,” Manning said. “The gelding will be hard to run down, judging by the way he scored by almost 11m and rated 1:52.7 over 1730m last week. He looks a Fremantle Pacing Cup and WA Pacing Cup hope, on the strength of six wins in nine starts since a transfer to trainer Debra Lewis.” TABradio’s Young has gone with another polemarker in the shape of Extreme Prince. “Extreme Prince has returned with good form, awfully unlucky last run and has the draw to go the journey,” Young said. On-course announcer Casellas is looking at another horse who has drawn the pole to keep the winners rolling in. “The Trilogy switches back to mobile racing on Friday night and gets an ideal opportunity to end a losing sequence of 10 by leading all the way from the No. 1 barrier,” Casellas said. “My best bet on the night possesses excellent gate speed and relishes the role of pacemaker. The Kristian Hawkins-trained and driven The Trilogy has been racing in good form in stands at his past four starts, the most recent being three Fridays ago when he started off 30m and sustained a spirited burst from last to finish a close second to Eloquent Mach.” Guild president Currall is the only member of the panel not to make a polemarker his best bet. “Aldo Cortopassi will have a look for the lead from gate two with Major Pocket, but the rails horse Waimac Attack may have too much speed at the start,” Currall said. “Forget Major Pocket went around last week when he finished down the track behind the ‘Crazy Burglar’ - he was tramping three and four deep when they were scooting home in a slick 56.4. Major Pocket’s four previous runs were terrific efforts and I think he’ll break his drought in this race.” VALUE BETS WARREN: I expect improvement tonight from Hot Fraternity, and I also think he will be at each-way odds. This race shapes far more ideally for him and he will give a great sight. HAYDEN: Sir Nicholas is racing well but always needs luck. He has won over this track and distance before and he could blouse them late. RYAN: Spud’s numerical form doesn’t look enticing, but this assignment for his local debut should represent a big drop in class. A recent second at Byford trials suggests he is ready to go. PAT: I thought Michael Joseph was a tad unlucky last week. He’s coming out of barrier four over the sprint distance and should give punters an excellent sight. ERNIE: Champion trainer Gary Hall is persevering with nine-year-old The Arsonist, who has not won in his past 13 starts, and the gelding  should be kept under consideration by punters. He can improve on a ninth last Friday, when  racing for the first time in five months. MATT: Lightning Calder trialled well at Northam and, even though off 30m, should run a big race at decent odds. KEN: Michael Joseph could provide some good value by bouncing back to his best in race eight. He will pay to follow, taking into account his strong second to Roman Aviator two starts ago. WAYNE: El Hombre finished third behind Our Corelli last week and this represents a drop in class. He’s drawn to get the world perfect run behind the ‘Crazy Burglar’ and could finish right over the top at each-way odds. Two former Media Guild members are doing it tough at the moment. Stuart Lowe and Robbie Dewar are struggling with health problems. On behalf of all Guild members and the harness racing fraternity, we wish them both all the best and hope to see them back on their feet in the near future. To view all of the Media Guild tips click here. Good Punting   Wayne Currall

Giant five-year-old pacer Always On is poised to make a successful Western Australian debut after beating smart last-start winner Neighlor in a track workout last Saturday morning. Trained at Serpentine by Matt Scott, the Victorian-bred Always On is a sprint specialist who will start from barrier four in the 1730m Sun of Anarchy Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He will be driven by Shannon Suvaljko. “He was advertised for sale on the Trading Ring and one of my owners John Gullace made a few inquiries and he and a couple of other gentlemen decided to buy the horse for $14,000,” Scott said. “He has been here for about a month and is working quite well. Neighlor couldn’t beat him on Saturday morning. He is fast out of the mobile and is a good frontrunner. We will be coming out hard on Friday night and we’re keen to lead over the mile. “At his latest start he raced in the breeze before running away from them and winning the Robinvale Cup at Mildura on July 24. He’s a good chance on Friday night.” The $7000 Robinvale Cup was run over 1709m and Always On, having his first start for three months, rated a modest 1.58.1, with final quarters of 29.1sec. and 29.9sec. His appearance on Friday night will be his first in a metropolitan-class event.   Always On, a massive gelding who stands more than 17 hands tall, has had only 26 starts for eight wins and six placings. Six of his wins have been at Mildura, all over 1790m, and he has been successful over 2040m at Ouyen and 2180m at Stawell. Suvaljko said that he had watched replays of Always On’s races. “He’s huge and has got gate speed, and this looks a winnable race for him,” he said. Suvaljko, who landed a treble with Brookies Jet, Son Of A Tiger and The Midas Touch last Friday night, faced a difficult decision in choosing between The Midas Touch and Son of A Tiger in the Corey Peterson Pace over 2130m. He settled on The Midas Touch, who will start from barrier three on the front line. His daughter Emily will drive Son Of A Tiger, who is poorly drawn out wide at barrier nine. “My sister Georgena Navin owns The Midas Touch and he should be able to duck in and get a good run behind Waimac Attack and Major Pocket, while Son Of A Tiger, from nine, probably will have to go back at the start,” he said. The Midas Touch set the pace from barrier two last week and dashed over the final three quarters in  29.7sec., 28.3sec. and 28.5sec. when he defeated the strong-finishing Waimac Attack by a half-neck. He rated 1.57.2 over 2130m, with the pacemaking Son Of A Tiger was untroubled to coast to an effortless all-the-way victory at a 1.58.1 rate over 2130m. “The Midas Touch doesn’t have to lead,” Suvaljko said. “He only does what he has to do and can win again. Son Of A Tiger also is capable of winning. He did it easily and ran home in 27.8sec. last week.” Emily Suvaljko has a perfect record in the sulky behind the Matt Scott-trained Son Of A Tiger, have guided the gelding to victory at his first two starts in WA, at Wagin and Narrogin.   Ken Casellas

Ten-year-old square gaiter Ton Tine broke through for an overdue win and ended a losing sequence of 15 when he scored a decisive victory in a 2116m stand at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon and driver Maddison Brown has high hopes that the old gelding can repeat the dose by winning the final event at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Ton Tine, who is trained at Oakford by Claire Cummins, will start from the outside of the 10m line in a 2096m stand and Brown said that the oldstager relished contesting standing-start events. “He’s very quirky and you’ve got to keep him happy,” she said. “He can get quite keen, so the stands do suit him because he can just get away at his own sort of time and then settle. “When I drove him for the first time, in a mobile at Pinjarra four starts ago, he was too keen on the gate and that undid him.” He galloped just after the start, raced at the rear and finished a distant ninth, 30 lengths from the winner One Bid Buys. Brown drove him at his following start, in a 2631m stand at Pinjarra, when he led early and then sat behind the pacemaker before finishing a close second to Mortician. Ton Tine began smoothly in a stand at Pinjarra on Monday and settled down in third position on the pegs in an Indian-file race, six lengths behind the pacemaker Angus Bolt. He cruised to the front 220m from home and was not extended in winning easily from Earl Harbour. Thirteen of Ton Tine’s 15 wins have been in stands six in New Zealand, four at Adelaide’s Globe Derby Park and three in Western Australia. Brown is also enjoying a great run of successes with star trotter Lord Liam, having driven him seven times for trainer Bob Mellsop for a third placing followed by six wins in a row. “Ton Tine is not a horse who has a quick sprint in him; he’s a bit of a rolling type,” Brown said. “Lord Liam is a different type of horse. He’s been there, done that. He’s fairly laid back and knows what he is doing. He doesn’t have as many quirks as Ton Tine, but both are good, consistent trotters. “Until recently I haven’t had much experience driving trotters. They are very different to drive, compared to driving pacers. It’s a totally different feel and I’m still getting used to it. But I’m enjoying it, particularly as I have had nice trotters to handle.”    Adding considerable interest to Friday night’s event for trotters will be the first appearance in WA of Spud, a Victorian-bred eight-year-old gelding who has recently entered the Oldbury stables of Kim Prentice. Spud, who has not raced since finishing an inconspicuous tenth in a 2240m mobile event at Melton on July 13, will start from 10m. He has a losing sequence of ten and has won only once from his past 24 starts. He has won 15 times from 131 starts, with nine of those wins in stands. He has won six races in Victoria and nine in Queensland. Spud warmed up for this week’s assignment in good style when Prentice drove him in a two-horse 2550m standing-start trial at Byford last Sunday week. He set the pace and covered the final quarters in 29.8sec. and 28.8sec., finishing a 1m second to four-year-old pacing mare Fortunate Adda.   Ken Casellas

A decision early this year by Ashleigh Reeves and her husband, Coolup trainer Hayden Reeves, to lease Whitbys Gamble from breeder Ed Dewar is paying sound dividends. Whitbys Gamble, a six-year-old mare by Bettors Delight, has had 29 starts this year for the Reeves stable for four wins, four seconds, three thirds and six fourths  and she has excellent prospects of breaking through for her first metropolitan-class success when she contests the opening event, the $18,000 GP Trainer of the Year Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Whitbys Gamble, to be driven by Bailey McDonough, will start from the No. 2 barrier on the front line and her recent form suggests she will prove very hard to beat. She started out wide at barrier eight in a 2130m event at Gloucester Park on Tuesday evening when she settled in last place in a field of ten and was eighth at the bell before sprinting home strongly to finish second to Sameplace Sametime. That followed her eye-catching performance in the Group 3 Schrader final over 2130m last Friday night when she started from barrier nine and was 11th and last at the bell before finishing powerfully to be fifth behind Infinite Symbol, with final quarters of 29.1sec. and 27.8sec. At her previous outing, over 2185m at Pinjarra four days earlier, she led from barrier two and won from Tiffany Twirl.  “She went through a period when she was really off, three or four months ago,” said Hayden Reeves. “It turned out that it was a hoof abscess (that was affecting her). We spelled her for two weeks and brought her back and now she’s fully recovered. “She won two in a row (over 1684m at Pinjarra) last April. But she seemed a bit weak. But this time in, even though she recorded a slow time (1.59.7) in winning over 2185m at Pinjarra three starts ago, she’s actually gone out of the gate, led and gone on with it, without just sitting on a helmet and running home. “Regarding tactics this week from barrier two, I’ll leave it up to Bailey. Everybody wants to lead at Gloucester Park, but we don’t mind if she doesn’t lead. She actually prefers to sit. “Her run on Tuesday night was really good. She gave them quite a big head start and made up a lot of ground over the final 400m, which was covered off the front in 28.8sec. And she pulled up in magnificent shape. “Two starts in a week won’t worry her. A lot of my horses start twice a week, once I’ve got them fully fit. She’s been an honest horse and is such a trier.” Whitbys Gamble is the last foal out of Crouch mare Tweed For A Lady, who had 60 starts for six wins, 14 placings and stakes of $46,007. Tweed For A Lady is the dam of six winners of 68 races.  Reeves also has hopes of a strong performance from Minimum Wage, who will be driven by Dylan Egerton-Green from barrier two in the $18,000 GP Pacer of the Year pace over 2130m. The five-year-old has won only four times from 52 starts, but his recent form has been encouraging. He trailed the pacemaker Hez A Chance in a 2130m event on Tuesday night, but was hopelessly blocked for a clear passage throughout the final circuit and finished last behind the brilliant four-year-old mare Arma Indie. “Minimum Wage would have run second if he had gained a clear run at some stage,” Reeves said. “He does nothing at home, but loves racing twice a week. Three starts ago he ran on strongly when second to Arma Indie.”   Ken Casellas

One would suggest that it is highly unlikely that an eight-year-old pacer who has been unplaced at his past eight starts would excite harness racing pundits but champion reinsman Gary Hall Jnr declares that everything points to a win by Extreme Prince in the $18,000 Better Your Bet With TABtouch Pace over 1730m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. “Everything is in his favour,” said Hall. “He’s got barrier one, he’s got gate speed and he loves the sprint trip. He went really good at his latest start when he ran home pretty well, and I think he should probably be winning this week. “Franco Joaquin has good gate speed and Pradas Ideal Dahling is racing well, but I don’t think they will be able to beat Extreme Prince.” Extreme Prince, trained by Hall’s father Gary Hall Snr, certainly caught the eye last Friday night when he started from the inside of the back line and raced three back on the pegs in fifth position before getting clear and finishing solidly, out three wide, to be fourth behind the pacemaker Son Of A Tiger over 2130m. That was the New Zealand-bred gelding’s second appearance after an absence of five months. His most recent victory was 11 months ago when he started from barrier one and Lauren Jones drove him to an all-the-way victory over 2130m, beating Mister Ardee and Always Arjay. With Extreme Prince setting the pace it will enhance the prospects, particularly the place prospects, of the Ross Olivieri-trained The Dali Express, who is the only runner on the back line. Chris Lewis is likely to take the opportunity of giving The Dali Express a perfect passage behind the pacemaker. Hall is also bullish about the prospects of nine-year-old Mad Robber in the $20,000 Community TAB Pace over 1730m, in which the stallion will start from the coveted No. 1 barrier. Mad Robber, trained by Hall Snr., started from the inside barrier in a 2536m event last Friday night and was not extended in setting a leisurely pace for the first couple of laps before sprinting over the final quarters in 28sec. and 28.4sec. and winning easily from Bob Wheel and Smoldering Ashes. “He’s up in class, but he did it that easily last week,” said Hall Jnr. “He should win again. He felt as though he could’ve gone another two laps; he did it really comfortably.” Hall also said that Mad Robber had derived plenty of benefit from a short two-month break from racing and that he was most impressed with the horse’s second-up fifth two starts ago when he started from the outside of the back line and charged home from twelfth (and last) at the bell to finish fifth behind Eloquent Mach   Ken Casellas

Hopeland trainer Debra Lewis has transformed Our Corelli into a giant killer who should continue on his winning ways by leading throughout in the $30,000 TABtouch York Cup over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Champion reinsman Chris Lewis will be looking forward to sending the lightly-raced five-year-old straight to the front from the perfect No. 1 barrier in the field of nine, adopting the same tactics from the same draw when Our Corelli simply toyed with the opposition in last week’s 1730m Free-For-All in which he beat Im Soxy by just under four lengths. Our Corelli is proving a wonderful bargain for Mark Lewis, son of Debra and Chris. In nine starts for the Lewis family, Our Corelli has won six times and finished a half-head second in the space of nine weeks, earning $73,247. Chris Lewis had no hesitation in electing to handle Our Corelli ahead of the Ross Olivieri-trained Mr Mojito, a smart pacer and winner of 13 races from 37 starts. Lewis has driven Mr Mojito at nine of his ten starts for Olivieri for two wins, two seconds and three fourths. The seven-year-old Mr Mojito will be driven for the first time by Chris Voak and will start from the No. 5 barrier. He has had a winter spell since his most recent appearance, when a strong-finishing fourth behind Whozideawasthis and Handsandwheels on March 22. Handsandwheels and Vampiro appeal as the only realistic threats to Our Corelli, who is stamping himself as a major player in the Fremantle Cup and WA Pacing Cup at the summer carnival. Handsandwheels, trained at Capel by Andrew de Campo and to be driven by his son Aiden, is in wonderful form since resuming from a spell, with his six starts in this campaign producing three wins, a second, a fourth and a sixth placing. He has drawn awkwardly at barrier seven and Aiden de Campo will assess the tempo of the race before deciding to send the six-year-old forward. In last week’s event, Handsandwheels started from the outside barrier (No. 9) and raced three wide early before moving into the breeze position after 500m. He fought on doggedly to finish fourth behind Our Corelli, who impressed in rating a slick 1.52.6 over 1730m. Vampiro, to be driven for trainers Greg and Skye Bond by Ryan Warwick from barrier four, has won at 19 of his 48 starts, the most recent of those victories being two starts ago when he worked hard in the breeze before running home with commendable determination to snatch a last-stride half-head win from the pacemaker Our Corelli in the 2536m August Cup. The Lewis stable also has excellent prospects with Pierre Whitby in race six, the 2130m Im Soxy Pace, in which the four-year-old gelding has the ability to overcome a wide draw at barrier eight. Pierre Whitby, a winner of four races last season, is racing keenly and maintained his sound form last Friday night when he ran home solidly from sixth at the 600m mark to finish third behind Brookies Jet and Baptism of Fire. Jocelyn Young, who has driven Pierre Whitby at 18 of his 21 starts, will drive stablemate Athabascan from barrier nine in Friday night’s race, with Chris Lewis in the sulky behind Pierre Whitby. Lewis has driven Pierre Whitby only once for a half-head win over Elsu You in a 2692m event at Pinjarra on July 29 this year.   Ken Casellas

Veteran pacer Mad Robber was a 100/1 outsider last Friday night, but will be at a much shorter quote when he begins from the prized No. 1 barrier in the 2536m Murdoch Jones Realty Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The New South Wales-bred eight-year-old, trained by Gary Hall Snr, will be handled by Gary Hall Jnr who is likely to attempt an all-the-way victory. Mad Robber started from the outside of the back line last week and he was last in the field of 12 at the bell before sprouting wings over the concluding stages to finish an eye-catching fifth behind Eloquent Mach in the group 2 Binshaw Pace over 2130m. One of his main rivals looms as Smoldering Ashes, who will start from the inside of the back line and should gain an ideal passage behind the likely pacemaker Mad Robber. Early this week star reinsman Aiden de Campo took over the training of Smoldering Ashes from his father Andrew. “This is a good draw for him and the distance suits,” said Aiden de Campo. “He should get a good run behind Mad Robber and so he’s in with a chance of a top three placing. I have been concentrating on driving this season, but as you get older you have got to start training a couple to ensure longevity in the sport. “With me taking over the training of Smoldering Ashes it’s something different for him and I’ll see if I can liven him up before he has to go for a spell.” The ultra-consistent five-year-old Major Pocket, trained at Mt Helena by Ray Williams, will be strongly fancied, despite his awkward draw at barrier seven. Since resuming from a spell Major Pocket was a first-up third behind Saying Grace before recording seconds to Our Corelli, Simba Bromac, Major Trojan and Carter Micheal. He is overdue for a change of fortune for Williams and reinsman Aldo Cortopassi.      Williams and Cortopassi will join forces again later in the program when Walkinshaw resumes after a spell in the 2130m Book Your Next Conference at Gloucester Park Pace. Walkinshaw will receive stiff opposition from in-form pacers Carter Micheal and Speed Man, but will still be hard to beat following his excellent win in a 2150m trial at Byford on Sunday morning when he dashed to an early lead and set a solid pace on his way to a convincing win over Mr Mohito and Motu Premier, rating 1.57.3 with a final 800m in 56.6sec. Cortopassi did not release the ear plugs as the stallion went to the line full of running. One of the highlights of the ten-event program will be the clash between talented three-year-olds Robbie Easton (barrier six), The Bird Dance (seven), Bettor Be Oscar (eight) and Bletchley Park (nine) in the Follow Gloucester Park On Facebook Pace. Robbie Easton and Bletchley Park impressed with convincing victories at Gloucester Park on Tuesday night, The Bird Dance has not been extended in winning at his first two WA starts after winning at two of his five starts in New Zealand and Better Be Oscar notched his seventh win when he finished strongly to score at Bunbury last Saturday night.   Ken Casellas

This time last year Thereugo was a metropolitan maiden performer but five wins in metro-class events in the past 11 months have enabled the West Australian-bred six-year-old to graduate to open-class company. He will continue his intriguing duel with current Free-For-All star Handsandwheels when he contests the $25,000 Cybem Mechanical Services Pace over 1730m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. And reinsman Donald Harper certainly hasn’t given up hope that Thereugo can beat the brilliant Handsandwheels, who is in the best form of his career and will be seeking to extend his winning sequence to four. Thereugo, who has claims as the fastest beginner in the State, will start from barrier No. 5, with the Andrew de Campo-trained Handsandwheels poorly drawn on the outside at No. 9 in a field of nine. At his past two outings Thereugo has begun speedily and has led from barriers seven and three but has wilted slightly to finish third behind Handsandwheels over 1730m and fifth behind the same pacer over 2130m. “In those two races Handsandwheels has rated 1.53.9 and 1.53.7, and those sorts of times seem to sort out Thereugo a little bit,” Harper said. “If they go 1.54 or a bit slower this week Thereugo should prove hard to beat. “We will be going forward and should find the front --- and then I’ll work things out from there. It’s very rare that when Thereugo has been sent forward that he hasn’t crossed to the lead. Obviously, Handsandwheels is in very good form and it will be interesting to see whether he keeps coming forward from the start or takes a sit. Hopefully, we can pinch a little bit.” Thereugo was switched from Harper’s stables recently and has been prepared for his past three starts by Sue Wiscombe for an all-the-way win, rating 1.56.4 over 2130m when he beat Chiaroscuro and Im Soxy, followed by his third and fifth placings behind Handsandwheels. Thereugo is by American stallion McArdle and is the first pacer bred by Harper. He has raced 56 times for 20 wins, 11 placings and $165,555 in stakes. He is out of the New Zealand-bred mare Janice Franco, who earned $76,782 from her eight wins and 19 placings from 110 starts. While Handsandwheels and Thereugo are sure to be solidly supported, many punters are expected to back the polemarker Our Corelli, who was most impressive in chalking up strong victories at his first five starts for new trainer Debra Lewis before two unplaced runs and  then a last-start half-head second to Vampiro when he set the pace in the 2536m August Cup last Friday week. Capel trainer Andrew de Campo has Handsandwheels, the 2017 WA Derby winner, racing in magnificent form, but the classy stallion will need to be at his peak to overcome the disadvantage of the outside barrier. “From barrier nine it’s hard to see where we end up,” said reinsman Aiden de Campo. “Probably, we’ll need a fair bit of speed early and in the middle stages. It will be a lot harder than it was last week, for sure. But he’s probably racing better than his rivals. We need speed early and a genuine tempo. “I’ll have to put him in the race at some stage. I’ll play it by ear. Maybe I’ll come out hard and try to find a spot.” King of Swing, the 2018 WA Derby winner, faces a stern test from barrier eight and the Brian Clemens-trained Im Soxy is capable of improvement after disappointing when a distant seventh in a field of seven behind Handsandwheels last Friday night when he was affected by a gear malfunction.   Ken Casellas

“He’s got gate speed and he should be able to lead and dictate and run a really good race,” declared Serpentine trainer Matt Scott after New Zealand-bred gelding Son of a Tiger drew the coveted No. 1 barrier in  the 2536m Highland Medical Centre Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Scott, who is enjoying a successful season with 64 winners, said that Shannon Suvaljko would be aiming to make every post a winner from the ideal barrier. “Last week Son of a Tiger drew out wide (barrier five) and we came across, but were unable to lead,” Scott said. “We ended up in the breeze, which isn’t ideal over 2536m. He has had only 20 starts and isn’t ready to race in the breeze yet.” Son of a Tiger, a winner at six of his past 13 starts, has started from the No. 1 barrier only once in Western Australia --- when he set the pace and won easily over 2662m at Narrogin on June 28. The American Ideal four-year-old battled on gamely last week to finish fifth behind the richly-talented Wildwest. One of the main dangers to Son of a Tiger on Friday night appears to be the Craig Hynam-trained Presidentmach, who will be driven by Ryan Warwick from barrier six. Presidentmach led for the first 650m from barrier two last week and then enjoyed a perfect passage behind the pacemaking Wildwest before fighting on to finish second to that pacer. Scott is also quite optimistic about the prospects of Rock Me Over in race two on Friday night, the 2536m Book Your End of Year Function at Gloucester Park Pace, in which he will be driven by Chris Voak from the No. 2 barrier on the front line. Rock Me Over has a losing sequence of 23, but is racing keenly, with his past eight starts producing four seconds, two thirds, a fourth and a sixth. He enjoyed an ideal passage, one-out and one-back in a 1730m event at Gloucester Park on Tuesday night before finishing determinedly with a three-wide burst to be a neck second to his stablemate and pacemaker Neighlor. “He’s a gross type of horse who thrives on racing and he’ll go good on Friday night,” said Scott. Two of Rock Me Over’s chief rivals are sure to be Pierre Whitby and Dennis, who will start from the back line. Pierre Whitby, a three-year-old Mach Three gelding trained by Debra Lewis and driven by Jocelyn Young, looks hard to beat. Pierre Whitby started out wide at barrier eight last week and was eighth at the bell before unwinding a spirited four-wide burst to finish an eye-catching fifth behind Mister Ardee, Carter Micheal, Speed Man and Mighty Flying Deal. Three nights before that he started from the No. 8 barrier and impressed in charging home, out wide, from ninth at the bell to hit the front on the home turn and win by more than a length from the fast-finishing Baptism of Fire. The Ross Olivieri-trained Dennis, a New South Wales-bred five-year-old, also should fight out the finish. He overraced badly in the breeze before taking the lead 220m from home and fighting on doggedly to finish a head second to Kennys Revenge over 2130m on Tuesday night. That followed his fast-finishing second to Beltane over 2190m at Northam at his previous outing. Scott also has high hopes that his four-year-old mare Cut Above will be prominent off the 10m mark in the Better Your Industry With TABtouch Handicap, a stand over 2503m. “She got held up a bit in a mobile Free-For-All for mares last week and did well to finish fourth behind Just Rockon Bye,” he said. “She has a very good record in stands.” Cut Above will again be driven by Shannon Suvaljko, who combined with Scott and owner Tim Blee to score a dashing all-the-way victory with Neighlor on Tuesday night. That gave Suvaljko his 115th winner for the season. Scott has engaged Kyle Harper to handle the speedy Clarenden Hustler in the 2536m Murdoch Jones Realty Pace and said that the chestnut would be driven more conservatively this week. Clarenden Hustler began fast from barrier six in a 1730m event last Friday night, but after being trapped four wide and unable to get to the front he was restrained to the rear before running on from last at the bell to finish a close-up seventh behind Roman Aviator. “Clarenden Hustler went a bit half-hearted and came out a bit 50-50 last week,” Scott said. “This week, he’s going to sit.”   Ken Casellas

Star reinsman Aiden de Campo, fresh from a treble last Friday night, has given punters a good lead by choosing to drive Parisian Partygirl in preference to Delightfulreaction in the $30,000 Schrader Pace for fillies and mares at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He admitted that it was tough choice, but said he was swayed in favour of Parisian Partygirl because he was delighted with her fast-finishing third behind Eloquent Mach and Convert Denario in the Group 2 Binshaw Pace last Friday night. “I was really excited by the way she came home last week,” he said. “We got held up approaching the corner and if she had got clear and gone wide, I think she would have got close to winning.” Parisian Partygirl, a West Australian-bred six-year-old by Courage Under Fire who is trained at Bindoon by Bernard James, started from barrier six and was eighth at the bell before surging home with a late burst on the inside to finish a close third to Eloquent Mach. Three starts before that, Parisian Partygirl trailed the pacemaker Bettorgrinanbarit in a 2130m Free-For-All for mares and finished fast to win by two lengths from Maczaffair. Parisian Partygirl, a sister to former smart Pacers Winter Retreat (33 wins) and Kissed Flush (30 wins), has been a model of consistency, with ten wins, 24 seconds and 15 thirds from 89 starts. She will start from the inside of the back line, immediately behind speedy beginner and good frontrunner Mon Lillies. Delightfulreaction, the only three-year-old in Friday night’s event, will start from the No. 4 barrier on the front line and will be handled by Mark Johnson. She boasts a good record of 38 starts for seven wins, 11 seconds and three thirds from 38 starts and maintained her excellent form when she started from the outside of the back line and raced in ninth position in the one-wide line before running home strongly to be second to stablemate American Delight. Delightfulreaction is prepared at Capel by de Campo’s father Andrew and has the ability to upstage her older rivals. Last week Delightfulreaction was driven by Johnson, with Aiden de Campo opting for American Delight. “It didn’t surprise me at all with the way she finished last week,” said de Campo. “I had a quick look over my shoulder (in the home straight) and I saw her coming and thought for a minute that she might’ve beaten me. She’s taking on older mares this week and I don’t see whey she won’t be able to handle the rise in class.” The Schrader Pace looks an open affair, with considerable interest surrounding the return to racing of former juvenile star Cott Beach after an absence of three months. Cott Beach, trained at Coolup by Kristy Elson, has amassed $273,760 in prizemoney from 15 wins and 13 placings from 39 starts. She will start from the outside of the back line with Nathan Turvey in the sulky. She sprinted home strongly with a final quarter in 27.1sec. to finish second to the leader Three Bears in a 2185m trial at Pinjarra last Sunday week. She should be flying home in this week’s race. Last-start winners Just Rockon Bye and Catastrophic Event will be fancied as will be the consistent four-year-old Infinite Symbol, who is favourably drawn at barrier two on the front line for trainers Greg and Skye Bond and reinsman Ryan Warwick. Infinite Symbol, a winner of a group three event for mares seven starts ago, covered a lot of extra ground last Friday night when a strong third behind Just Rockon Bye and Crystal Sparkles. Rockon Bye, trained by Gary Hall Snr and driven by Gary Hall Jnr, began speedily from barrier four and set a solid pace to win in good style at her first appearance for five months. Again, she will have many admirers, even from her wide draw at barrier eight.   Ken Casellas

Reinsman Mark Reed has sounded an ominous warning to his rivals about promising colt Bletchley Park ahead of his return to racing in the Westral Pace (2130m) at Gloucester Park tonight. The three-year-old is first-up since his unplaced effort at Gloucester Park on April 18. Bletchley Park finished second to Major Trojan in the WA Derby earlier in that campaign. A winner at seven of 14 career starts, Reed said he expected a bold showing from Bletchley Park this evening. “He’s come back really well,” he told TABradio. “He had a trial a week ago and it was a soft trial. “He should win by as far as I want him to win by, he’s flying.” Reed said Bletchley Park had done a super job to run second in the WA Derby, given he had a chequered path to the Group 1 feature. The American Ideal colt looms as a potential player in the Golden Nugget later this year. The Reed stable will also welcome back promising filly Arma Indie in tonight’s Perth Plasterboard Centre Pace (2536m). Arma Indie has had just two starts in WA, the most recent a large defeat at the hands of Balcatherine in the WA Oaks Prelude on April 26. The Well Said filly trialled at Byford on August 18 and Reed said he was pleased with her performance. “She had the one trial last week where there was only three in the trial,” he said. “She led and went 1.58.3 but did it well within herself. “She’s got very good gate speed and she should be able to find the front very easily. “Just A Sec looks the one to beat…but we’ve got the barrier draw and she should be able to take advantage of that.” Meanwhile, trainer Gary Elson has indicated impressive last start Bunbury winner Longreach Bay would start at Gloucester Park this Friday night. The gelding had just his second career start at Bunbury on Saturday night and scored an emphatic 4.8m victory after he worked to the front from the second line.   Tim Walker

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