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Gloucester Park Harness Racing today announced that the TABtouch Inter Dominion Grand Final will be broadcast live nationally on Free-to-air television for the next three years.  At a function signifying 200 days until the Grand Final on Sunday 13 December attended by the Minister for Racing and Gaming, the Hon Colin Holt MLC, the major announcement was that Channel Seven will broadcast the Inter Dominion Grand Final at Gloucester Park.  GPHR President Mr John Burt said the partnership will be a great boost for the championship as well as an excellent opportunity to promote Perth as a great sporting destination.  “The Inter Dominion is Australasia’s greatest harness race and an event of its stature deserves to be broadcast live to as many people as possible” said GPHR President Mr John Burt   “Through Channel Seven we will be able to promote our great sport as well as our beautiful city all over Australia.”  Seven West Media chief executive, Chris Wharton, was delighted with the association.  “Gloucester Park is a Perth, indeed West Australian, landmark” stated Wharton  “The Inter Dominion is a part of racing history, especially to Western Australians, and Seven West is proud to be part of the championship.  “The $1.3 Million Grand Final will be one of the highlights of the sporting year and it is fantastic that a race of this calibre be shown live on Free-to-air television by Channel Seven,” he said.  It was also announced that Bunbury will host the second heat of the series, the first for a provincial club in Western Australia. In another first for an Inter Dominion in WA, the Grand Final will be run on a Sunday.   Racing and Gaming Minister Colin Holt said the new timeslot would allow the final to be beamed live into the eastern states and New Zealand during prime time, creating further television exposure for the event and Perth.   “As well as a substantial television audience, we are expecting more than 30,000 people to attend the series over the four race meetings,” Mr Holt said.  “More than 3,000 interstate and international trainers, horse owners and trotting fans are expected to visit Perth and Bunbury during the two-week series, tipping hundreds of thousands of dollars into the local economy.”  Mr Burt also announced that iconic Western Australian sporting commentator Dennis Cometti will once again lead the promotion of the Perth Inter Dominion.  “Dennis is another great tie-in with Channel Seven. He will once again be an ambassador for the TABtouch Inter Dominion, reuniting with Gloucester Park after performing the role in 2012.   “Dennis is synonymous with first-class Australian sport and is a great Western Australian, much like the Inter Dominion itself” joked Mr Burt  Racing and Wagering WA (RWWA) Chairman Jeff Ovens announced increases to the supporting races during the TABtouch Inter Dominion Championship inclusive of the Golden Nugget, Norm’s Daughter and Mares Classic.  “With strong performance of the WATAB underpinning industry funding for 2015/16, RWWA is pleased to invest a total of $1.85M towards the Inter Dominion Championship and its supporting feature races.” Ovens said.  Grand Final Day will stage a massive four Group One Events, including the $50,000 Trotters Cup, the first-ever Group One race for square gaiters in Western Australia. In addition, the Group Ones will be supported by three Group Two races.  The TABtouch Inter Dominion Championship starts on November 27 at Gloucester Park, culminating in the $1.3 Million Grand Final on Sunday 13 December. #HarnessTheMoment The Media Statement from Hon. Colin Holt MLC, Minister for Racing and Gaming; World’s richest harness series returns home $1.8 million up for grabs in prestigious harness pacing race series Perth and regional WA to host the series for the next three years In just 200 days Perth will play host to the world’s richest harness pacing race series - an event expected to bring thousands of interstate and international visitors to Western Australia. The Inter Dominion Championship will feature three qualifying heats spanning a fortnight, including - for the first time - a heat in Bunbury. It will culminate in the $1.3 million Grand Final  at Gloucester Park on the afternoon of Sunday, December 13. Racing and Gaming Minister Colin Holt said the new timeslot would allow the final to be beamed live into the eastern states and New Zealand during prime time, creating further television exposure for the event and Perth. “As well as a substantial television audience, we are expecting more than 32,000 people to attend the series over the four race meets,” Mr Holt said. “More than 3,000 interstate and international trainers, horse owners and trotting fans are expected to visit Perth and Bunbury during the two-week series, tipping hundreds of thousands of dollars into the local economy.” The first Inter Dominion was held in Perth in 1936 and was last hosted by Gloucester Park in 2012. The Minister said the timing coincided with Perth’s busy late spring and summer thoroughbred carnival period - including the Group 1 Winterbottom and Railway Stakes - making WA the epicentre of Australian racing and pacing for more than a month.  “This will give both interstate and international racing fans a further reason to visit WA during this time to enjoy the racing and entertainment offered by both codes,” he said. Gloucester Park Harness Racing and Racing and Wagering WA officials recently visited the United States and New Zealand to promote the Inter Dominion series and were encouraged by the increased desire for international involvement. “We’re anticipating up to 15 interstate and international horses to participate in the 2015 Inter Dominion series,” Mr Holt said. Fact File Heats at Gloucester Park will be held on Friday, November 27 and December 4 The Bunbury heat will be held on Tuesday, December 1 The Inter Dominion Championship is the most prestigious harness pacing race series in Australasia and is one of the seven major events internationally Hon. Colin Holt MLC, Minister for Racing and Gaming

Ace Banjup trainer-reinsman Colin Brown has high hopes that five-year-old Erskine Range will develop into an interdominion championship contender in November and he is setting his sights high by giving the brilliant chestnut the task of winning two feature harness racing events in the space of three days. Erskine Range, a winner of 21 of his 57 starts, will contest the $25,000 Brear And Doonan Pure Steel final over 2100m at Bunbury's Donaldson Park on Friday night before running in the $50,000 Pinjarra Cup over 2692m on Monday afternoon. Gloucester Park Harness Racing Club's meetings have been transferred to Bunbury for the next four Friday nights to enable the Gloucester Park track to be resurfaced and to have the camber raised on the turns into and out of the home straight. Erskine Range, whose past 20 starts have produced ten wins, six seconds, one third, one fifth and one seventh, faces a moment of truth this week after faring poorly in the random barrier draw. He will start from the No. 3 on the back line, but Brown believes that the gelding has the ability of overcome this disadvantage. "His work last Saturday morning was exceptional," he said. "I galloped him on the sand track at Jandakot and his times were exceptional and his heart rate was unbelievable. So he's ready; he's cherry ripe and is in the race right up to his eyeballs. "It won't be easy, but we're ready to give it our best shot. You've always got to worry about the Hall runners (Crusader Banner and Soho Lennon) because they can run time. However, in saying that, there looks likely to be plenty of speed on early and that should suit Erskine Range, who is a lovely horse. "In a heat of this event (last Friday week) he just led and that was it. He wasn't extended and ran home in 56.4sec. He was very casual about it. Barrier ten is not ideal for any horse at Bunbury, but he can do it. "He's the fittest I've had him. He had nine days off after putting up a huge run to finish second to Smokey The Bandit in the Clarke final two starts ago and because he hadn't raced for seven week when he ran in a heat of the Pure Steel I wanted him to be very solid, bearing in mind that I was setting him for the final of that race followed by the Pinjarra Cup three days later. "He's going to butter up okay. He loves backing up and the 2692m won't worry him. History shows that having two runs in the space of three days is not a problem. I didn't see why we shouldn't take the opportunity to race for $75,000 in three days. "I know that we will be meeting horses of the calibre of David Hercules, Machtu and Pacific Warrior. But we need to find out whether he can compete against those sort of horses. We're hoping that he steps up to be an inters contender, so we've got to throw our hat into the ring at some stage." Crusader Banner (barrier four on the front line) and Soho Lennon (No. 7) each finished second at their latest start and star reinsman Gary Hall jun.¸ son of champion trainer Gary Hall sen., said that he expected the four-year-olds to be prominent. Crusader Banner finished strongly from sixth at the bell to be second to Erskine Range last Friday week. That followed smart wins at his two previous outings, his first runs after a spell. Soho Lennon resumed after a spell in fine style last Friday night when he raced three wide for much of the way and finished second to the fast-finishing Ohoka Kentucky last Friday night. Henley Brook trainer-reinsman Robbie Williams is confident that Ohoka Kentucky will run a strong race and he rates the New Zealand-bred six-year-old an excellent each-way prospect from barrier three on the front line. Ohoka Kentucky set the pace and rated 1.56.6 when he won over 2130m two starts ago before he rated 1.56 when he finished powerfully, three wide, from 11th at the 950m to snatch victory from Soho Lennon last Friday night. "We will come out and have a look for the early lead," Williams said. "If we can't get the lead off the likely pacemaker Local Rogue, I'll try to get the one-out, one-back trail. He doesn't have to lead to win. He can lead, breeze or sit and his trackwork has been super." Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri is disappointed at Chief Thundercloud's wide barrier at No. 6 on the front line and said that the gelding, placed at three of his past four starts, faced a very tough task. Smokey The Bandit is on fire West Australian-bred five-year-old Smokey The Bandit has struck a purple patch with five wins from his past six starts and the Bunbury specialist has excellent prospects of maintaining his grand form by overcoming the outside barrier on the back line and winning the $25,000 Retravision Pace over 2100m at Donaldson Park on Friday night. Trained at Busselton by part-owner Michael Callegari and driven by Ash Markham, Smokey The Bandit is at his best when held up for a late burst and the grey gelding's sizzling finishes have captured the imagination of harness racing fans. Markham again is certain to adopt similar patient tactics on Friday night on a 1000m track where the gelding has raced 21 times for six wins, seven seconds and three thirds. He flooded home from eighth at the bell to win at his latest appearance, over 2130m at Gloucester Park last Friday week. His two previous wins were at Bunbury when he unleashed his trademark whirlwind finishing burst. Lovers Delight, trained at Bunbury by Stephen Reed, appears the chief danger to Smokey The Bandit. He will start from barrier four on the back line and is sure to settle in front of Smokey The Bandit. He has won at four of his past six starts and is capable of working hard in his races and still producing a strong finishing effort. The Andrew de Campo-trained Callaway Bromac is capable of a bold showing, despite being unplaced at his first four starts after a spell and boasting a losing sequence of eight. A speedy beginner, he looks ideally placed at No. 2 on the front line. Reinsman Aiden de Campo said that Callaway Bromac is a natural frontrunner and that he would be anxious to get to an early lead with the six-year-old. "We will come out as hard as we can and have a decent crack at the polemarker Courage Tells," he said. "I'll be holding the top if we get there." Evergreen ten-year-old Shardons Rocket, a fighting second to David Hercules two starts ago, after a strong fourth behind Libertybelle Midfrew the previous week, will start from barrier two on the back line and Colin Brown will be looking to get into the action soon after the start. Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri has each-way prospects with the in-form Our Blackbird and Red Salute, who is resuming after a six-month absence. Lisharry, a winner of six races for Bickley trainer Peter Anderson this season, should obtain a handy pegs run from the inside of the back line and is capable of unwinding a fast late sprint. The Arsonist looks the goods Lightly-raced New Zealand-bred four-year-old The Arsonist is poised to make a successful Australian debut when he starts from the awkward barrier of No. 5 on the front line in the 2100m Princi Butchers Pathway Pace at Bunbury on Friday night. The chestnut with a distinctive white blaze put the writing on the wall when he contested a 2150m trial at Byford on Sunday morning. Driven by leading reinsman Gary Hall jun., The Arsonist was restrained to the rear from barrier five in the trial and he raced in eighth position before Hall sent him forward with a smart three-wide burst approaching the bell. The gelding burst to the front 650m from home and after final quarters in 28.7sec. and 28.9sec. he coasted across the line, hard held, to win by four lengths from Millwood Faith at a modest 2.1.3 rate. He did not race as a two or three-year-old before having four starts in New Zealand this season for two wins, a second and a third. At his most recent outing, over 2200m at Waikato on January 2, he started out wide at barrier eight, raced three wide early and then dropped back to tenth in a field of 12. He was still tenth approaching the bell before Phil Butcher sent him forward and he quickly moved into the breeze. He got to the front 280m from home and dashed away to win by three lengths from the fast-finishing Elisaveta at a 2.0.5 rate, with the final 40o0m taking 28.7sec. At his previous start, over 2200m at Waikato on December 18, The Arsonist started from a wide barrier, raced four wide for the first 300m before being restrained to last in the field of ten. He ran on determinedly from ninth at the bell to finish a half-length second to Fleetwood Mach after a final quarter in 28sec. The Arsonist is prepared at Serpentine by Gary Hall sen. and he is probably the first of the progeny of former outstanding Victorian-bred pacer Safari to race in Western Australia. Safari, by Fake Left, amassed $535,445 from his 28 wins and 18 placings from 67 starts in Australia. The Arsonist is out of the dual-gaited Payson's Brother mare Sporty Spice, who had 30 starts in New Zealand for one win from 19 starts as a pacer and one win from 11 starts as a trotter. Sporty Spice's first foal Mingara is a trotter who won at her Australian debut in a 2300m stand at Menangle in June 2014. She has had 34 starts for ten wins and ten placings (six wins in New Zealand and four in New South Wales) from 34 starts. Maddy White looking for five in a row Four-year-old Maddy White has resumed after a spell in fine style for Capel trainer Andrew de Campo and his son Aiden is quietly confident that she will be able to extend her winning sequence to five when she contests the 2100m Premier Motors Suzuki Mares Pace at Bunbury on Friday night. Aiden de Campo is happy with Maddy White's draw at No. 3 on the front line and said he would be making every effort to burst to an early lead and then dictating the terms of the race. "We'll be coming out hard and I'll have a good crack at getting to the front," de Campo said. "Robyns C C is a good mare who has drawn the No. 1 barrier. But she is first-up and, with the sprint lane in use at Bunbury, they might want to hand up to us. Hopefully, we will get to the front. But Maddy White is not just a frontrunner. She does her best work in front, but she can also come from behind. "She has done well since her most recent start. She's quite a big filly and doesn't need a lot of work to keep fit. She's still pretty fresh and that's good." Maddy White has had six starts in her current campaign for two minor placings followed by four wins in a row, in which she made most of the running. Maddy White is bred to be a good winner. Her maternal granddam Magic Maddy Lombo is the dam of outstanding New South Wales pacer Suave Stuey Lombo, who has earned $566,512 from 33 wins and 21 placings from 98 starts. Maddy White is also related to former star pacer Lombo Pocket Watch (83 starts for 45 wins, 17 placings and $1,522,638). by Ken Casellas  

RWWA Stewards have today issued the following penalties in relation to the Stewards inquiry conducted on 14 May 2015 at which harness racing trainer Mr Ryan Bell pleaded guilty to the following charges after a report from the ChemCentre in Perth, that the pre-race blood sample taken from THE SILVER FOX prior to it competing and finishing unplaced in Race 5 at Gloucester Park on Friday, 24 April 2015, had a level of total carbon dioxide (TCO2) in excess of 36.0 millimoles per litre in plasma. Charge under Harness Rule of Racing (HRR) “193(1) Stomach tubing, atomisers and other devices” with the particulars of the charge being that he did on Thursday 23 April 2015, stomach tube THE SILVER FOX which was nominated to compete in a race on Friday 24 April 2015 which was within 48-hours and contrary to the provisions of the rules. Charge under HRR190(1),(2) Presentation free of prohibited substances, with the particulars of the charge being that “as the trainer, he presented THE SILVER FOX to Race in race 5 at Gloucester Park on 24 April 2015, with the prohibited substance alkalinising agents, evidenced by a concentration of TCO2 in excess of 36.0mm/L in plasma. In relation to the above charges the Stewards have imposed a six (6) month disqualification for each offence. After taking into account the principles of totality, the Stewards have directed that three months of the penalty issued for the breach of Rule 193 is to be served concurrently, with the remaining three months to be converted to a suspension to be served cumulatively. Accordingly the total period of penalty to be served shall be 6-months disqualification followed by 3-months suspension backdated to commence as of 14 May 2015, that being the date upon which Mr Bell was stood down pending outcome of the Stewards deliberations. Under the provisions of Rule 195 THE SILVER FOX has also been disqualified from Race 5 at Gloucester Park on the 24 April 2015 with all prizemonies to be returned to RWWA as prescribed by the RWWA Rules of Harness Racing. In regards to penalty the Stewards considered and took into account as appropriate: Mr Bell’s plea of guilt, co-operation and good record over many years of licensed involvement His relative youth, level of involvement and that he had been involved in the industry since he was 14-years of age The reported level of 37.4mm/L of TCO2 The need for deterrence both general and specific That the stomach tubing had not occurred on the day of the actual race and had been admitted to by Mr Bell when first interviewed by the RWWA Investigator and Stewards That the stomach tubing of the horse included alkalinising agents, albeit that such timing and nature of administration did not satisfactorily account for the reported level Trainers are again reminded that it is a serious offence under Rule 193 to attempt to stomach tube, or stomach tube a horse within 48 hours of the commencement of a race in which a horse is nominated. Media Contact: Denis Borovica – General Manager Racing Integrity  

The first race at Gloucester Park on Friday night has drawn together a handy harness racing field of 3yo’s and the Kim Prentice trained Our Black Diamonds looks well placed to take advantage of his best barrier draw yet. The son of Bettors Delight only made his debut in January of this year when taking out a 3yo MS Pace at Northam in great style despite beginning badly and breaking gait during the race. Prentice then gave punters an insight into what he thought of the gelding when at only his second start he elected to take on the likes of Beaudine Boaz and Kiwi Legend in a Derby prelude. After racing on the pegs for the duration Our Black Diamonds closed well to be beaten only 10m in a 1:54.9 mile rate. The horse was then knocked out of running in another WA Derby prelude, before Prentice took him back to Northam for further re-education. Despite a back row draw over the minimum 1780m journey he overcame a tough run to score impressively in 1:57.4. That earned him another trip to town and on face value he appeared quite disappointing when only 7th of 9 in a similar race here two weeks ago. He was forced to do a small amount of work early on that occasion before finding cover and not finishing the race off as strongly in a quick 1:55.1. He has drawn much better this Friday night and appears the likely leader, which would present him with his best opportunity yet to show his wares in town. The dangers appear likely to come from Mynameiskenny, Ima Connoisseur and Captain Oats. Mynameiskenny is from the astute John Oldroyd yard which has been enjoying a stellar run in recent times. Although resuming from a slight lay off, the son of Village Jolt was in terrific form before the break and he has drawn to advantage despite not having trialed in preparation for this event. Ima Connoisseur hasn’t drawn well once again but he will surely relish the drop back to racing his own age group, whilst Captain Oats has improved significantly since joining Justin Prentice and he remains a winning hope notwithstanding the worst barrier draw in the race. Tyrone Group Pace M3+ Star mare Libertybelle Midfrew will again be the star attraction at Gloucester Park this Friday Night as trainer Mike Reed continues her introduction to ‘fast class’. The rising 5yo daughter of Christian Cullen asserted her authority over a similar field at Gloucester Park on the 8th of May. On that occasion she drew perfectly in barrier one whereas this Friday she has drawn outside the back-line in eleven. She was able to handle a similarly tricky gate last Friday night in winning the WASBA Breeders Stakes where she drew barrier five over the sharp 1730m trip. Whilst on paper barrier five doesn’t look that precarious a starting position, Libertybelle Midfrew was drawn outside of a fast front-line and regular driver Mark Reed was forced to check out of the early speed battle. Reed was able to catch a trail home at the bell when Justin Prentice made his move on The Parade, and he will no doubt be looking to employ similar tactics here. Central to her chances will be the result of the early burn for the lead. Notabadexcuse has drawn perfectly outside of renowned sit and sprinter Danieljohn and he looks the most likely to set the pace. His recent form has been ‘below the required’, but it is worth noting that premier reinsman Gary Hall Jnr has jumped back aboard having not driven the horse in his past seven starts. Former kiwi Our Jimmy Johnstone is the other likely pacesetter in the event. The rising 7yo son of P Forty Seven was a 1:53.7 winner over this course and distance during the heats of the Nights Of Thunder series from the breeze, and Colin Brown appears likely to employ the same tactics here. ‘Jimmy’ is coming off a record breaking win at Pinjarra last start where he made light of the 70m handicap to score by a neck over Chevayo in a smashing 1:57.8 for the 2631SS. He now comes back to the minimum trip and you suspect connections will rely on fitness and stamina to outstay rivals on Friday night. Fremantle Cup placegetter Copagrin has come up with a useful barrier draw in eight. Driver Kyle Harper will be content to follow the pegs from the outset and hope that a strong pace can break the field up, ensuring he can find clear running late on. Pure Steel Qualifying Heat 3 Nights Of Thunder winner Soho Lennon resumes from a spell on Friday night looking to establish himself amongst the stars of the Gary Hall Snr stable. The rising 5yo son of Mach Three looked very progressive last campaign taking out nine wins from eighteen starts including the Group 2 $50,000 Nights Of Thunder Final defeating In The Perfect Storm and Machtu. As such he was nominated for the Fremantle Cup series, eventually making the consolation and finishing down the track. A win against moderate opposition followed that before his campaign was ended after running unplaced in the $25,000 Im Themightyquinn FFA. Soho Lennon has not trialed in preparation for Friday night’s race, however it is not unusual for the stable to produce them in this manner.  Hall Snr has a proven ability to produce them ‘race fit’ first up from a spell and the awkward barrier position arguably presents itself as more of a problem for backers of Soho Lennon. Former Victorian Must Be Nice has drawn gate 1 and it is likely connections will want to hold the front should he be quick enough. He is likely to be tested by Mein Guy, The Court Jester and/or Ohoka Squire in the early stages so Hall Jnr may be presented with an opportunity to work away from the pegline on Soho Lennon should he so desire. In any case, Must Be Nice has shown reasonable form since arriving in WA and would present as one of the main dangers to Soho Lennon, especially if he can hold the lead. He was an M0 winner at Melton before joining the stable of Debbie Padburg and his last start 11th of 12 can be dismissed as he hung in and broke on that occasion. He has since trialed to the stable’s satisfaction and ace reinsman Chris Voak will take the steer. McLoughlin Butchers Conditioned Pace M1+ Arguably the most interesting race of the night is the M1 or better standing start event where rising star Heez On Fire tackles the very classy Lovers Delight. Heez On Fire has been a ‘talking horse’ since his 2yo days but trainer Rod Oliver has plotted a slow and steady course with the son of Courage Under Fire. The rising 6yo has graced the track on just 29 occasions in what has been a very patient build up to fast class racing for the dual Group 2 winner. With his star pacer now assessed as an M4, Oliver has fewer options available and has had to resort to a standing start contest to continue on with the horse’s education and introduction to fast class racing. Blessed with a terrific turn of foot, Heez On Fire is certain to be one of the big players in the feature races over the coming months and continuing on towards November’s Inter Dominion Series. While Heez On Fire continues on his inevitable rise up the ranks, another horse is continuing to re-establish his reputation as one of the more talented horses in the state. A year younger than Heez On Fire, Lovers Delight made an immediate impression on WA race goers when debuting for Ross Oliveri back in 2011. Only 4 starts later he was running 3rd in the WA Derby, and he came back as a 4yo to further enhance his reputation by placing in both the McInerney Ford and the 4yo Championship. But after three more runs the horse was badly injured and not seen on a racetrack for 2 years. When he was seen again it was for a new trainer in Andrew De Campo. De Campo was able to coax a Group 3 success in the Harvey Cup out of the then 5yo but after a handful more wins the horse was back to the paddock. When he was again ready to resume it would be with another trainer – Stephen Reed. Reed has built a solid reputation with bad-legged horses and in Lovers Delight he has found a willing subject. The son of all conquering Bettors Delight has won 4 of 6 since joining his new mentor including wins in the $40,000 Easter Cup at Gloucester Park, and last start in the $30,000 Narrogin Cup defeating Our Jimmy Johnstone. Lovers Delight would seem to hold a small advantage over Heez On Fire this Friday night due to the fact that he is more experienced than his younger rival from this mode of start, and despite this they will start from the same mark of 20m. by Jason Lincoln

Harness racing reinsman Chris Voak believes Im A Peregrine has scope for further improvement after a top runaway win at Gloucester Park on Friday. Giving Voak the first leg of a driving treble, the Elsu gelding made it look easy when he put 17 metres on his nearest rival, favourite, Jumbo Jet. ”I thought he was my best winning chance on the night,” said Voak on Tabradio. “His runs prior were really good and I thought he would win. “He had to cover ground early and it was impressive. “I didn’t have to pull the plugs or anything and after the race he could have gone another lap. “That was the most impressive thing.” The Bucket List was sent out a short-priced favourite and gave punters little cause for concern when he swept past leader Northview Cardle in the straight. The Christian Cullen gelding posted his second win for trainer Michael Brennan and bounced back after a distant third in the Narrogin Cup. Despite winning comfortably by seven metres Voak said The Bucket List was made to earn his first victory at Gloucester Park. “When you get a standout like him he can become a target for the other horses,” said Voak. “I didn’t think he would have to run the time he did to win the race. “If you look at the sectionals The Bucket List had to work that much harder. “The leader in the race was a tremendous run. “It was good to see him dig in and have his class prevail. “It was a very tough and strong effort.” Voak said there was a sense of atonement when he piloted home Delusional from an outside draw to bring up a winning treble. Voak was behind the Rich and Spoilt gelding when he ran sixth to Fully Zapped at Gloucester Park seven days earlier “A week ago he drew favourably in barrier nine and three back the fence became available, but he got held up,” said Voak. “I kicked myself all week for driving him that way and I wasn’t going to make a mistake on Friday so it was good to get a bit of retribution back for Peter Tilbrook. “He went as well as I thought he would go and showed good tough qualities to hang on in the last 50 metres.” RWWA

A very interesting barrier draw has set up an intriguing race for Friday night's $40,000 WASBA Breeders Stakes at the harness  Gloucester Park. The logical pre-post favourite Libertybelle Midfrew has come up with a tricky alley in gate six and it appears on paper as though driver Mark Reed will have to 'take his medicine' early and look for a trailing position. The outstanding daughter of Christian Cullen was an effortless winner on resumption last Friday night when only required to sprint up the last 'furlong' to record an easy win in a mile rate of 1:58.5 (last 800m 55.7) for the 2536m. "She worked beautifully this morning (Wednesday) at Gloucester Park just dashing up the last little bit. She hasn't left an oat since her first up win and besides the draw, I couldn't be happier," said conditioner Mike Reed. The winner of last year's Group 1 Golden Nugget and the previous season's Group 1 WA Oaks has been imperious since arriving in WA, notching up a record of 10 wins from 15 starts. But there will be no pushover about Friday night's race given the way the draw has fallen. Indomitable has proven herself a sit sprint mare of considerable ability this campaign and driver Clinton Hall must certainly take credit for the consistency with which the Barry Morrison trained mare is now racing. Previously a very headstrong mare with blistering gate speed, Hall's 'softly softly' approach to driving Indomitable has seen her become a potent force in any race where there is early speed. He has piloted the daughter of former WA champion Saab to a remarkable 7 wins from only 16 drives. The early speed duel between Leda McNally, Dontdoubtme and Sensational Gabby will be central to the end result. Certainly Indomitable has the speed to hold up, but it is unlikely that they will shy away from the 'sit/sprint' style of racing that has served her so well this past 12 months. However, it is likely that they will have a strong say in who crosses them in the run through the first turn. Although Leda McNally is a top flight mare at her best, it is fair to say that she has been down on that form in recent times and it may be the case that Hall doesn't consider her a viable trailing option. Dontdoubtme is a very speedy mare that is well suited to short course racing. She resumed with a tidy second to Libertybelle Midfrew last week having come from the pocket, and she looms as a handy alternative given Clinton Hall will be privy to the progress she has made since that run. Along with Libertybelle, Sensational Gabby represents the class in this race, but as ever she remains questionable when unable to find the lead. She was unable to cross from a similar gate last week and her hopes rest on master driver Chris Lewis being able to fire her out with more alacrity. Trainer of the moment Justin Prentice is represented by classy duo Bettor Dreams and The Parade. Both mares are former WA Oaks place-getters and The Parade in particular has been in stunning form of late taking out the $35,000 Race for Roses last week, on the back of her win in the $25,000 The Johnson Final two weeks earlier. Better Dreams should not be dismissed however as she boasts an 8 from 14 record over this trip, and she has drawn to pinch cheap runs from a position on the marker pegs. Jason Lincoln.

In Greek mythology Hercules is famous for his strength and for his numerous far-ranging adventures, and harness racing’s version has certainly proven himself worthy of the name during his seven years on the racetrack. The fact that David Hercules has always been ‘a good horse’ is not up for debate, for he was a dual Group winner in his debut season as a two-year-old. But recognition of him being a bit more than ‘a good horse’ had been slow to take hold in his home state. Arguably it was because, much like his namesake, his greatest achievements had occurred whilst away on one of those ‘numerous far-ranging adventures’. Despite being a multiple Group One winner in Victoria, he remained a ‘Group one maiden’ in Western Australia having lived in the shadow of Im Themightyquinn since graduating to fast class. He had long been thought of as the heir apparent to the King of Gloucester Park’s throne, but it wasn’t until January of this year that he was finally able to add a well-deserved hometown Group One to his list of accomplishments, when brilliantly taking out the $250,000 Fremantle Cup. Arguably, David Hercules turned in an even greater performance just seven days later when he went down bravely in the $400,000 WA Pacing Cup to My Hard Copy. Previously regarded by some as ‘more of a speed horse ‘, his trainer David Thompson is quick to dismiss those suggestions ahead of David Hercules return from a spell tomorrow night. “While he has definitely gotten stronger with age, I have never thought of him as a one trick pony,” Thompson saod. “I couldn’t be happier with him, he has just had the one trial and I was very happy with that. “ With an eye to November’s Inter Dominion series at Gloucester Park, Thompson is looking to keep the son of Artesian ‘on the go’ during the winter months. “We’ll look at the Pinjarra Cup despite his assessment, as well as races like the August Cup,” Thompson said. “He’s a bit older now so I’d like to keep him ticking over and we’ll just pick races off as need be” Pacific Warrior has been dominating the open class ranks in David Hercules’ absence, and with a fitness edge, he remains the one to beat. RWWA Media

The $150,000 West Australian Oaks for three year old fillies at the harness racing meeting at Gloucester Park on Friday night was meant to be a one filly affair with Tricky Styx from barrier two seen as virtually unbeatable. Justin Prentice had two quality fillies in the field in the form of Quite A Delight and Major Reality but both fillies had drawn poorly on the second line. Donegal Kahlum from barrier one grabbed the early lead for Colin Brown with the favourite Tricky Styx and Aiden De Campo settling three back on the outer in the running line. Both of Justin Prentice's fillies settled near the back of the field early and stayed there for the first lap and a half. With just over 1200 metres to go Gary Hall Jnr took off on Major Reality and worked his way to the death seat with 900 metres to go. Major Reality was tracked up by the stablemate Quite A Delight with trainer Justin Prentice in the bike and she made the death seat with 800 metres to go. Passing the 500 metres mark Donegal Kahlum threw out the anchor leaving Quite A Delight in front with Major Reality and Tricky Styx both coming into it wider out. Quite A Delight turned for home first but bit by bit Major Reality inched closer and right on the line grabbed the stablemate for a great win. Quite A Delight was gallant in defeat, just half a head away from her stablemate with a length back to Tricky Styx in third. Major Reality paced the 2536 metres in 3:08.7, a mile rate of 1:59.8 with closing sectionals of 56.2 and 27.5. Major Reality Major Reality is a three year old daughter of Art Major who was purchased out of the New Zealand Premier Yearling Sale in Christchurch in 2013 for $31,000 by Kim Prentice which must look a bargain now. Another filly that Kim Prentice purchased on that trip was Quite A Delight who was also brought out of the New Zealand Premier Sale in Christchurch in 2013 and cost $30,000 And for the trifecta, the third placed Tricky Styx was also purchased out of the 2013 New Zealand Premier Sale at Christchurch for the princely sum of $5,000 It is hard enough to get one filly to peak for an Oaks but to have two runners and to run the quinella is a huge achievement and a real feather in the cap of their young trainer Justin Prentice. Justin Prentice interview Harnesslink Media

Tonight's $35,000 Race For Roses at Gloucester Park is a unique race on the WA harness racing calendar in that it is a standing start feature race for mares only, and the winner will also qualify for the rich WA Breeders Stakes held on May 15. Two of the placegetters from last year’s event are engaged again this year, Salliwood and Leda McNally, with the latter mare 10m better off this year having come back to a mark of 40m. Salliwood has been a marvel for connections and is dangerous in any standing start race that she contests from a front line draw. Leda McNally doesn’t appear to be racing in the same form that we have become accustomed to over the past few seasons, but this race does represent a drop in grade from contesting open aged free for alls Last year’s Oaks runner-up The Parade is engaged and she shapes as one of the leading chances despite her tricky mark of 20m. She is part of the ever-strengthening team of Justin Prentice and was last seen to advantage bolting away with the Final of the $25,000 The Johnson at Gloucester Park two weeks ago, in a very quick 1:56.7. Fridays night’s event will be her first attempt at a standing start under race conditions, but Prentice was very happy with how she performed in a standing start trial about 3 weeks ago. “She stepped cleanly and I was very happy with how she went, she is in great form”.  Justin also lines up Bettor Dreams, who coincidently ran second in the 2013 WA Oaks. “I was happy with how she went in her standing start trial and the 2500m will really suit her although she isn’t as versatile as The Parade”. Bettor Dreams has performed admirably in a number of mares feature races over the past 2 seasons having won the $25,000 The Coulson back in December. My Samantha Jane and Harriet Elizabeth round out the main chances although both are maidens from a standing start, with only My Samantha Jane actually having contested a standing start under race conditions. by Jason Lincoln

It is ladies’ night at Gloucester Park tomorrow night, with the 47th running of the West Australian Oaks heading the program. For most of the season Oaks discussions have centred on the Gary Hall-trained Nuala, but due to a paddock accident, the filly will not contest the Group One. Despite Nuala’s absence, the Blue Riband has attracted a strong line-up and it will be no surprise to see many of these fillies ‘train on’ to future feature race success. Outstanding youngster Tricky Styx heads betting markets following her brilliant campaign through the recent Derby series. After running a solid third in the $50,000 Western Gateway Classic, the strapping daughter of Jeremes Jet was ‘best of the rest’ behind the irresistible Boadine Boaz in the Western Australia Derby. Aiden De Campo always had her travelling smoothly from a horror draw, and she more than held her own storming from midfield in a 54-second last half to run an excellent second behind this season’s premier colt. De Campo will be looking to join his father as a winning driver in the fillies’ classic, with Andrew having driven crowd favourite Norms Daughter to a ‘Herculean’ win against the My Cherie in 1994. Andrew will be represented by classy filly Delightful Jade, a winner at 14 of her 24 starts. She recently ran third in the Country Derby, but her chances have been sullied by a poor draw in gate seven. Victorian horseman Dean Braun is no stranger to WA success, having campaigned many of his stable stars such as Mustang Mach, Chancellor Cullen and Chilli Palmer to capture local features during the past few years. Braun has brought Victorian Oaks heat winner Sudden Change across the Nullarbor, with the daughter of Changeover has drawn handily in barrier five. Fifth in the $205,000 Victorian Oaks Final, Sudden Change rounded off her preparation for a trip west with a solid third in the Prendergast Oaks at Ballarat, with Braun booking Morgan Woodley to partner his charge. JASON LINCOLN

The harness racing pundits in Western Australia thought last nights Champagne Classic for two year olds at Gloucester Park was a one horse affair with the unbeaten Ideal Tyson a very warm favourite. And why wouldn't he be with six wins in a row and a best time of 1:55.5. The Gary Elson trained son of American Ideal was given time by driver Chris Voak to find his feet early from barrier five before before pressing on to the front with just over a mile to go. Another Gary Elson trained runner in Sprinter with Nathan Turvey in the bike was also well supported but he dropped out to the rear from the outside of the front line as soon as the gate went. Chris Voak kept Ideal Tyson bowling along in front and passing the 600 metres mark he looked to still have plenty left in the tank until Rich Yankee attacked the leader and Ideal Tyson was immediately under pressure. Rich Yankee turned for home in front with first starter Lightning Jolt in hot pursuit but both were bloused late by a flying Sprinter , who came from last at the 400 metres for an emphatic victory. Sprinter paced the 2130 metres in 2:36.7, a mile rate of 1:58.4 with closing sectionals of 58.9 and 29.6. Gary Elson, who had three runners in last nights race may have come up empty with the hot favourite Ideal Tyson but still scooped the major share of the $50,000 race with one of his other his other runners, Sprinter. A $34,000 purchase at last years Australasian Classic yearling sale at Auckland by Gary, the son of Mach Three had won three of five before last night and looked like a horse on the up. Last night was the first time that a lot of those two year olds had gone much further than a mile and Sprinter looked to really appreciate the extra distance of the Champagne Classic. Harnesslink Media 

Unbeaten harness racing youngster Ideal Tyson gives every indication he is ‘one out of the box’. Successful at his six starts, Ideal Tyson appears to have it all – he can sprint and stay with equal ease. As such, it appears certain the Gary Elson-trained two-year-old will join past greats as the winner of tomorrow night’s Champagne Stakes at Gloucester Park. One of Western Australia’s most popular features, the Group Two has been captured by the likes of Chandon, Saab, Talladega, James Matthew and Tricky Styx. Although drawn awkwardly in barrier five, Ideal Tyson is expected to work his way to the front, which has seen him installed a prohibitive $1.80 favourite. To be driven by Chris Voak, the son of American Ideal is one of three Elson-trained runners, with the astute mentor also represented by Scoobys Delight and Sprinter. Although drawn better of the pair in gate four, Scoobys Delight is yet to win from four outings, whereas Sprinter boasts three wins and two placings from five starts. The son of Mach Three faces a tough task from the outside of the front row. One of Sprinter’s defeats came behind Rich Yankee, which is trained by Jesse Moore who is no stranger to Champagne Stakes glory. Triumphant with Nixon Adios in 1979, Moore also captured the feature with Wirrpunda in 2001, All Four Firing in 2002 and Tricky Styx last season. As for Rich Yankee’s prospects, the colt will have to overcome the outside of the back line with Aiden De Campo in the cart. PAUL COURTS

Champion harness racing trainer Gary Hall sen. is out to right a wrong. He is hellbent on breaking through for his first victory in the Memorial Day Stakes which will be run over a sprint journey for the first time at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Hall prepares four of the 12 runners in the $22,500 feature event over 1730m. His main hope is the immature, lightly-raced five-year-old John of Arc, who has drawn awkwardly at barrier six on the front line. His other runners are Zacs Nuggett (No. 3 on the front line), Notabadexcuse (No. 3 on the back line) and Benjamin Banneker (No. 5 on the back line). John of Arc has won at 12 of his 19 starts, but he had a rare failure last Friday night when he finished fifth, two lengths behind the winner Pacific Warrior in a 2130m event in which the final 800m was covered in a sparkling 56.5sec. John of Arc was restrained from barrier six and settled down in tenth position before Gary Hall jun. sent him forward from ninth at the bell with a three-wide burst. The gelding went four wide 450m from home before he raced roughly and gave ground on the home turn. Hall explained to the stewards that John of Arc raced roughly when being eased up the track rounding the final bend and as a result he was unable to drive the pacer out as he wished. John of Arc set the pace and won in effortless fashion over 2130m at his two previous starts, prompting Hall sen. to predict the gelding should develop into a strong candidate for the interdominion championship series to be held in Perth in November-December this year. Hall sen. is hoping for a change of luck in the Memorial Day Stakes, an event which was first run in 1959 when Ken Ford drove Halt to victory over Noon Quest and Steel Master. He has had many starters and has trained five second placegetters --- Zakara (1991), Bengeeman (2003), Patches (2006), Dartmoor (2009) and Whos Mistake (2013) and two thirds --- Talk To Me Courage (2010) and Sanjaya (2013). Toughest for John of Arc to beat on Friday night appear to be Chief Thundercloud, who has drawn perfectly at No. 1 on the front line, and exciting five-year-old Smokey The Bandit, who has struck top form with brilliant wins at his past three starts and should prove hard to beat from the favourable No. 2 barrier. Chief Thundercloud, trained by Ross Olivieri, resumed after a brief spell in a 2692m mobile event at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon when he was a 6/4 favourite. Chris Lewis restrained the seven-year-old from the wide No. 7 barrier back to the rear before starting a three-wide move approaching the bell. He struggled to make up ground when the third quarter of the final mile was covered in a sparkling 27.5sec. and he was never a realistic possibility, finishing doggedly into seventh place, just over two lengths behind the winner Hes Ritehererightnow. Earlier in the season Chief Thundercloud had 11 starts for five wins and five seconds. Lewis will be anxious to hold the lead with Chief Thundercloud over the short trip and the gelding could prove hard to catch. Olivieri has been successful as a trainer in the Memorial Day Stakes with Captain Lee (1995) and Tsunami Lombo (2011), while Lewis has won the race as a reinsman with Village Kid (1985), Elteei (1986), Captain Lee (1995) and Wrongly Accused (2013). Smokey The Bandit, trained at Busselton by Michael Callegari and driven by Ash Markham, cannot be underestimated after sizzling finishing bursts propelled him to victory at each of his past three starts, twice over 2130m at Gloucester Park and then in the 2100m Manea Classic at Bunbury. Veteran trainer Tony Svilicich will be represented by nine-year-old Onedin Crusader, who faces a stern test from barrier four on the front line. He has won the race with Mysta Magical Mach (2009) and Wrongly Accused (2013). Tuapeka Kahu, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, is racing with tremendous enthusiasm, but will need plenty of luck from the outside barrier on the front line. Black colt is Destined To Rule Baskerville trainer Sonia Zucchiatti is a keen student of breeding and she picked out a striking black colt at the 2014 Gloucester Standardbred yearling sale. Kim Prentice did the bidding and the youngster was knocked down to him for $24,000 on behalf of Zucchiatti, Peter Yewers, Glenn Grant, Michael Ditchfield, Jeff Sarich, Peter Teale, Stephen Bomford, Ian Noble and Henry Lee. The colt, by American stallion Shadow Play and out of Northern Luck mare Chemical Romance, is named Destined To Rule and he looks one of the main chances in the $100,000 Gloucester Standardbred Sales Classic for two-year-old colts and geldings at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He is trained at Baskerville by Zucchiatti and will be driven by Prentice. He will start from the outside barrier (No. 3) on the back line in the 1730m classic, but has the class to overcome this disadvantage. He made an auspicious debut in a qualifying heat of this event on Tuesday of last week when he was a 17/2 chance from the inside of the back line. He was seventh early before Prentice quickly had him poised to strike from the one-out, one-back position. He sprinted home in fine style, burst to the front in the final 50m and won by just under a half-length from the pacemaker Straittothebar at a 1.58.7 rate. Bred by Steve Johnson, Destined To Rule, has the bloodlines to succeed. His dam Chemical Romance was retired after being unplaced at her three starts as a two-year-old in 2009. But her dam, Ferrari Trunkey, was a champion mare who raced 40 times for 22 wins and seven placings for earnings of $267,527. Ferrari Trunkey produced eight winners, the best being Trunkey Maseratti, who amassed $273,457 from 22 wins and ten placings from 85 starts. Kevin Keys drove the Jesse Moore-trained Trunkey Maseratti to victory in the 1993 Sales Classic. Straittothebar should be prominent from the No. 4 barrier on the front line. Trained at Byford by Katja Warwick, he is a full-brother to Straittothehilton, who won the $100,000 Westbred Classic for two-year-old fillies last June. Warwick has a sound second string in Gangbuster, who is out of former smart mare Hello Boys, a half-sister to former star mare Party Date. Party Date earned $256,003 from 25 wins and 27 placings from 111 starts. She is the dam of Rocknroll Whitby, one of the fancies in Friday night's race. e will be driven by the in-form Chris Voak. Rocknroll Whitby Rocknroll Whitby, who finished second to the speedy Duschka in a qualifying heat, will have admirers from barrier three in the final. The gelding, trained and driven by Callan Suvaljko, was an effortless all-the-way winner at his debut, scoring by almost seven lengths from Soho Central Park at Northam on March 24. In the heat of the Sales Classic he started from the outside of the front line, raced wide early and then in the breeze before fighting on determinedly. Suvaljko drove Henry T Whitby to victory in the 1998 Sales Classic for two-year-old colts and geldings. Henry T Whitby was trained by Ed Dewar, who bred Rocknroll Whitby with his friend Geoff Groenenberg. Suvaljko won this classic for the second time when Ballas Arockstar was successful in 2009. If Destined To Rule triumphs on Friday night it will give Kim Prentice his third victory in the event after winning with Fake Embrace in 2004 and Aikido Whitby in 2006. Chris Lewis has won the classic seven times --- with The Vigilante (1995), Saab (1997), Talladega (1999), On Line Brut (2000), Wirrpunda (2001), Lombo Wave Link (2005) and Mister Jadore (2013). He will handle the Ross Olivieri-trained gelding Looking Forclues from the inside of the back line. Justin Prentice is hoping for better luck with Navy Blues, who will be tested from the outside of the front line. Navy Blues met with severe interference in a qualifying heat before he made up considerable lost ground with a determined three-wide burst to finish a most creditable fourth behind Duscha in a heat. Navy Blues is related to former outstanding performers Black And Blue, Bonnie Blue Eyes and No Blue Manna. Duscha, a brilliant winner of a qualifying heat, will miss the final, suffering from a leg injury. Baby She Rocks looks the goods Baby She Rocks, a $14,000 yearling, is poised to give young Bunbury trainer-reinsman Kaiden Hayter his biggest win in harness racing by overcoming a back line draw and beating her nine rivals in the group 1 $100,000 Gloucester Standardbred Sales Classic for two-year-old fillies at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Baby She Rocks gave a sample of her class when she made the most of the prized No. 1 barrier with an impressive all-the-way victory in a qualifying heat on Tuesday of last week. She covered the final 800m in 59sec. and rated 1.58.7 in beating Trubluwaussie by just under four lengths. That followed her excellent debut at Gloucester Park three weeks earlier when she raced in the one-out, one-back position and finished strongly to be a close second to Dodolicious. One of her chief rivals is the other heat winner Bettor Bling, who will start from the inside of the back line. Bettor Bling, trained and driven by Callan Suvaljko, also started from the inside of the back line in a qualifying heat when she trailed the pacemaker Mystery Princess before finishing fast to beat that filly by a half-length at a 2.0.4 rate after sprinting the final 400m in 28.4sec. The prospects of Mystery Princess slumped when she drew the outside of the front line. Trubluwaussie drew more favourably at No. 4 on the front line and she appeals as a good each-way prospect for trainer Mike Beech and reinsman Chris Lewis. Victory would give Lewis his seventh success in this classic event for fillies, after wins with Miss Booth (1991), Parthenon (1994), Backin A Jiffy (2000), Hindu Sitara (2003), Amongst Royalty (2006) and Fidelius Charm (2008). The race record is held by Trevor Warwick, who was successful with Gold Duchess (1989), Bonnie Blue Eyes (1993), Concorde Lombo (1996), Tailamade Lombo (1997), Lombo Rapida (1998), Lombo Quest (1997) and Nevabend Lombo (2001). Egerton-Green strikes a purple patch Young reinsman Dylan Egerton-Green has excellent prospects of continuing a wonderful purple patch by winning the Cowden Limited Westbred Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night with promising five-year-old Aussie Jet. Aussie Jet, trained at Busselton by Colin Reeves, has drawn ideally at barrier one on the front line of the 2130m event. The gelding has won at each of his past three starts, all at Bunbury when handled by Egerton-Green. Aussie Jet completed the hat-trick when he started at 10/9, set the pace from the No. 2 barrier and held on gamely to defeat Black N Bettor by a head, rating 1.57.2 over 1609m, with the final 800m taking 55.9sec. Egerton-Green continued in splendid form with a double at Pinjarra on Monday with 92/1 outsider Free To Air and Moonlight Rockhole (12/1), followed by a win at Narrogin on Tuesday night with 6/1 chance Fifty Hertz. Aussie Jet, bred and owned by Colin and Sue Reeves, is out of former smart mare Pharosan, who was driven by Mike Reed when she caused an upset by winning the group 1 WA Oaks at Gloucester Park in May 2000, beating hot favourite and brilliant Victorian filly Cornsilk. The main dangers to Aussie Jet appear to be Intrepidation (a stylish all-the-way Pinjarra winner last Monday week) and Fully Zapped (whose recent form has been excellent). Cardigan Boko out to make history Up-and-coming square gaiter Cardigan Boko will create history if he wins the Schweppes Trotters Mobile over 2536m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He warmed up for this assignment with a most impressive victory over Earl Harbour and Xenon in a 2100m trot at Bunbury on April 4, when he set the pace dashed over the final quarters in 29.3sec. and 28.9sec. to score by five and a half lengths at a 2.1.6 rate. A win this week would give Cardigan Boko the distinction of being the first Swedish-bred horse to win a race at Gloucester Park. Cardigan Boko is trained at Herron by Clive Dalton and will be driven by Chris Lewis. The six-year-old stallion, owned by Neven Botica, has had only 16 starts for nine wins and three seconds. He won at eight of his 14 starts in Victoria before failing at his WA debut at Pinjarra, when he broke twice in running and finished a distant eighth as a 2/1 on favourite behind Balletto. He then redeemed himself with his easy win at Bunbury. His clash with the in-form Natalie Duffy-trained eight-year-old Hot Holiday should provide an excellent spectacle. Hot Holiday, who will start from the outside of the front line, has worked hard before scoring strong wins at three of his past four starts. by Ken Casellas  

Champion harness racing trainer Gary Hall is out to right a wrong. He is hell bent on breaking through for his first victory in the Memorial Day Stakes, which will be run over the sprint journey for the first time at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Hall prepares four of the 12 runners in the $22,500 feature, with lightly-raced five-year-old John Of Arc his best chance. The son of Courage Under Fire drawn awkwardly in barrier six. Halls other runners are Zacs Nuggett from barrier three, Notabadexcuse, which will begin from 10 and Benjamin Banneker, which has the outside of the second line to contend with. Successful at 12 of his 19 starts, John Of Arc finished fifth, two lengths behind the winner Pacific Warrior last week. John of Arc was restrained from barrier six and settled towards the tail of the field before Gary Hall junior made his move at the bell. After racing three and four-wide, John of Arc battled up the home straight. In what is a rarity for Hall, who has won nearly every major race in Western Australia, the Memorial Day Stakes keeps proving elusive. Hall’s best efforts in the event are five seconds - Zakara (1991), Bengeeman (2003), Patches (2006), Dartmoor (2009) and Whos Mistake (2013) and two thirds --- Talk To Me Courage (2010) and Sanjaya (2013). The Memorial Day Stakes was inaugurated in 1959 when Ken Ford drove Halt to victory over Noon Quest and Steel Master. KEN CASELLAS

The harness racing pundits in Western Australia reckoned the $200,000 WA  Derby tonight at Gloucester Park was a match race between the two best three year old pacers in the west. Beaudine Boaz from barrier one and Kiwi Legend from barrier two were everybodys pick for the quinella with most opting for the Gary Hall trained Beaudiene Boaz as the likely winner. Gary Hall jnr held the front easily with Beaudiene Boaz with All Aussie Boy and Kyle Harper sitting parked which gave Kiwi Legend and Mark Reid a lovely sit in the one by one. Gary Hall jnr was able to back the pace off over the next two laps with no mid race pressure and it wasn't until he went past the 800 metres to go mark that he turned up the wick with a quarter down the back in 27 before brushing home in 27 to distance the opposition. At the finish Beaudiene Boaz was 24 metres in front of the game filly Tricky Styx who made ground well from a long way back and Danny Crane who had received the run of the race on the back of Beaudiene Boaz in the trail. Kiwi Legend made a three wide run from the 600 metres but only battled in to seventh while the well supported Delightful Offer galloped when looking a big place chance with 350 metres to go. Beaudiene Boaz paced the 2536 metres in 3:06.4, a mile rate of 1:58.3 with closing sectionals of 27 and 27 - a 54 half. It was the eighth win in Australia for the son of Badlands Hanover from just nine starts and the Kiwi import took his lifetime earnings over the $400,000 mark. Harnesslink Media

Champion harness racing reinsman Gary Hall jun. is promising a blistering start with Beaudiene Boaz and is confident the star New Zealand-bred colt will set the pace and win the $200,000 Sky Racing WA Derby at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Hall is determined to make every post a winner after Beaudiene Boaz drew the coveted No. 1 barrier on the front line in the group 1 classic over 2536m and the Badlands Hanover three-year-old is certain to start a red hot odds-on favourite. “We will be coming out of the gate all guns blazing, regardless of what the tactics of the other runners are,” he said. “Kiwi Legend, from barrier two, obviously will have a look (for the lead) out of the gate, and we’ll come out as fast as we can. I’m as confident as you can be in a Derby. But you can’t be too confident in those sort of races. It can be your undoing sometimes. “I’m confident Beaudiene Boaz will lead; I’m confident he’s good enough and I’m confident that he’s well in himself. So taking all those things into consideration I am as confident as I can be. I don’t like to be over-confident.” Champion trainer Gary Hall sen. echoed the sentiments of his son, saying: “Beaudiene Boaz should lead and win. I think he has improved slightly on his win in the Western Gateway last Friday week. He’s got the right barrier and he’s going to make use of it.” Beaudiene Boaz set a track record for a three-year-old over the Derby distance of 2536m (rating 1.56.3) when he started out wide at No. 6, raced three wide for the first 500m, took the lead 150m later and reeled of quarters in 30sec., 28.2sec., 27.5sec. and 29.2sec. in beating Military Master by just over four lengths. That victory made amends for his shock failure at 3/1 on when he raced in the breeze and met interference in the final lap, broke and finished eighth behind the pacemaking Kiwi Legend over 2130m the week before the Western Gateway Classic . Kiwi Legend rated 1.54.7 over the 2130m in that brilliant victory before he raced in the breeze outside Beaudiene Boaz and wilted to finish eighth. “When you’re going 1.54 and a bit over 2130m and on the rail no one is going to sit in the breeze and beat you,” said Hall jun. “In New Zealand Beaudiene Boaz was driven as a  speed horse and when he came over here Dad thought he was just a speed horse. But I reckon he’s more the other way, more tough than fast. He proved at his latest win that the 2536m is right up his alley. “Beaudiene Boaz is a bit of a pain and he doesn’t do much on the sand track, so we’ve got to get into him when it is hopple day. So I let him run along last Wednesday and gave him a good hit-out. I sort of made him go a little bit too quick early, wanting to see how he finished off. He had Elegant Christian sitting on him, and he’s about ready to resume racing. But he didn’t even get to my wheel. I was really happy with the workout.” Asked to compare Beaudiene Boaz with Alta Christiano, who he drove to a runaway victory in the 2013 WA Derby for his father after racing without cover, Hall said: “It’s hard to line them up. Alta Christiano didn’t have the same sort of competition as Beaudiene Boaz has got from Kiwi Legend. We never saw the best of Alta Christiano because his legs were stuffed.” Hall sen. said that Beaudiene Boaz, winner of ten of his 15 starts, would go for a spell after Friday night’s classic. He said that New Zealand authorities had telephoned him to see whether he would like Beaudiene Boaz to be Australia’s invited representative in the rich Jewels Classic in the winter. “I declined the offer and my plans are to concentrate on racing him exclusively in Western Australia,” he said. “After a spell, I’ll bring him back and prepare him for the Golden Nugget and then there’s the interdominion championship here for him in the following two years. He’s got everything here for him and there’s no incentive for me to leave here with him.” The Halls are looking for their second WA Derby success, while the father-son combination of trainer Mike Reed and reinsman Mark Reed is aiming for victory with Kiwi Legend. The Reeds combined to win the Derby with Tricky Vic (2002) and Ace of Spades (2003). Forrestdale trainers Greg and Skye Bond hold a strong hand in this week’s classic with five runners, Ima Connoisseur, Assassinator, Bungalow Bill, Denny Crane and Delightful Offer. Delightful Offer was most impressive when Ryan Warwick drove him to an effortless five-length victory over El Comacho and Bungalow Bill in a 2130m Derby prelude last Friday night. Delightful Offer’s prospects diminished significantly when he drew barrier three on the back line. “The draw, with Beaudiene Boaz at No. 1, makes all the other runners only a place chance,” Warwick said. “Delightful Offer felt good and looked good last week. But he faces a stern test and so do all the other runners. Beaudiene Boaz would have to do something wrong to be beaten.” Pacific Warrior clashes with John of Arc Mt Helena trainer Ray Williams described Pacific Warrior as fit, fresh and bright --- and ready to maintain his splendid form by winning the $22,500 Sky Racing Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night.      And if Pacific Warrior performs strongly Williams will set him for the $30,000 Narrogin Cup, a mobile over 2662m, on May 2. Pacific Warrior, who has earned $99,950 from four wins and three placings from 13 starts in his current campaign, fared perfectly in the random draw and will start from the prized No. 1 barrier on the front line. His clash with up-and-coming star John of Arc will be a highlight on the ten-event program. John of Arc, who has won in dashing style at his past two starts for leading trainer Gary Hall sen. and ace reinsman Gary Hall jun., steps up considerably in class. But the five-year-old, a comparative novice of just 18 starts for 12 wins and four seconds, faces a moment of truth from the unfavourable barrier six on the front line. The wide draw is not fazing Hall sen., who said: “I reckon if he had drawn inside of Pacific Warrior he could beat him. If Pacific Warrior leads, I don’t think John of Arc can beat him. But I think John of Arc is a better horse than Pacific Warrior and he will give him a fright on Friday night. “We won’t give the race to Pacific Warrior. We’ll go round and have a look at him at some stage.”  Hall jun. is looking forward to John of Arc being tested in stronger company.” I thought he could win with a good draw,” he said. “But it will be hard from out wide. “He’s a funny horse who has shown us at home that he is right up there with the best horses we’ve had. But his manners aren’t the best. He won’t do anything wrong, but he doesn’t get around the track all that well. He’s had bad legs, so it’s probably not all his fault.” Williams said that if Pacific Warrior, to be driven by Kade Howson, would contest the Narrogin Cup if he maintained his excellent form in Friday night’s race. “If he leads and any horse apart from John of Arc beats him he will go straight to the paddock,” he said. “The Narrogin Cup could well be his final run in this preparation. He will have a spell for about six weeks before coming back to be prepared for the interdominion championship series in Perth in November and December.” Hall also is looking at the interdominion championship for John of Arc, providing he stays sound. Nuala set to remain unbeaten Outstanding reinsman Clint Hall is bubbling with confidence that brilliant three-year-old Nuala will maintain her unbeaten record by proving too strong for her six rivals in the Push By Schneider WA Oaks Prelude at Gloucester Park on Friday night. “This will be her first test over 2536m (the distance of the $150,000 WA Oaks on May 8) and I expect her to enjoy the increase in distance,” he said. “It should be to her liking and I expect her to jump to the front from barrier two and then run a controlled lead time. We’re very happy with where she’s at.” The New Zealand-bred Nuala has not been extended in winning at all her six starts --- by an aggregate margin of 70.1 metres, an average of 11.68m (just under four lengths). Trainer Gary Hall sen. should provide the quinella, with Giuliana Rancic, to be driven by Gary Hall jun., expected to provide the strongest opposition to Nuala. Remarkably, Giuliana Rancic consistently beats Nuala in trackwork at the Hall’s Serpentine training establishment. “I’ve chased Nuala home with Giuliana Rancic in her past two to three runs and haven’t been able to get near her,” Hall jun. said. “And I can’t see this changing on Friday. She’s a bit of a pain because she beats Nuala on the track all the time, leading or sitting. If I lead with Giuliana Rancic, Nuala doesn’t get near her and if I sit I get over her almost every time.   “It’s a bit like Zennart and Beaudiene Boaz. Zennart always beats him on the track, but it’s a different matter in a race.” Leading WA Oaks candidates Tricky Styx and Quite A Delight are not in Friday night’s prelude, with Northam trainer Jesse Moore preferring to contest the WA Derby with Tricky Styx and Justin Prentice keeping Quite A Delight at home. However, adding interest to Friday night’s event will be the first appearance in WA of the Courtney Burch-trained Uaintseennothinyet, the Mike Reed-trained Foxy Dame and Baileys Gold, trained by Greg and Skye Bond. Uaintseennothinyet has won once from ten starts in New Zealand and should obtain an ideal passage from the No. 1 barrier. Foxy Dame has won at one of her six starts in New Zealand and Baileys Gold is capable of a sound effort at her debut after scoring easy wins in three Byford trials in recent weeks.  Jungle Jewel will pay to follow Well-performed four-year-old Jungle Jewel will resume racing after a 31-day absence when she starts from barrier two on the front line of the third heat of the Clipsal Powerhouse Johnson Mares Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night and reinsman Ryan Warwick says that she will pay to follow in this campaign. Warwick, in top form after landing trebles at Gloucester Park last Friday night and at Kellerberrin on Sunday, said: “She’s pretty close and will improve with the run. She’s going pretty good and she had a good hit-out in a trial at Byford on Sunday morning when she sat one-out and one-back and got pushed around a little bit.” Jungle Jewel finished fifth in the six-horse trial, five lengths from the winner Heez On Fire, who rated 1.58.5 over the 2185m journey.  Jungle Jewel, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, rarely performs below par and has already earned $89,082 from ten wins and seven placings from 35 starts. Byford trainer David Thompson will be represented by smart four-year-olds Harper Grace (barrier one) and Harriet Elisabeth (No. 2 on the back line) and both mares will have admirers. Hall fancies insignificant horse Champion reinsman Gary Hall jun. is excited at the prospect of driving inexperienced New Zealand-bred four-year-old Ideal Justice for the first time when the stallion starts from the No. 1 barrier in the 2130m Sky Racing Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Ideal Justice raced three times in New Zealand for a first-up win and two seconds and he is unbeaten at two WA starts when driven by Alysha Johnston and Clint Hall. He raced without cover before careering away for easy wins in his two WA starts. “I haven’t driven him in a race and I’m pretty excited at seeing what he feels like,” Hall jun. said. “He’s been very impressive. “He’s a funny horse who doesn’t show much at home. He’s an insignificant sort of horse at home, who does nothing to grab anyone’s attention. But he has just come out and gone bang, bang. “We had him for quite a long time and he had soreness issues and we couldn’t find anything. We stopped everything and turned him out for a while before starting again.” Hall sen. said that Ideal Justice kept going lame. “So I just put him in a box for six weeks,” he explained. “He had no treatment and now he doesn’t show any sign of any problem.” by Ken Casellas

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