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Valentines Brook is Derby bound Astute Henley Brook trainer Mike Reed has the superbly-bred Valentines Brook firmly on target for the $200,000 WA Derby on April 3 after the gelding was not extended in scoring an effortless victory in the APG Perth Sales Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Driven with supreme confidence by Shannon Suvaljko, the Victorian-bred Valentines Brook, a $4.80 chance, began speedily from the No. 5 barrier, dashed to the front after 150m and sped over the final quarters in 28.1sec. and 27.8sec. to beat Miss Eerie by one and a half lengths at a 1.56 rate over 2130m. He certainly was the omen bet or the night --- on Valentine’s Day --- and the gelding, purchased for $52,000 by Albert Walmsley at the 2018 APG yearling sale in Melbourne, now has earned $42,072 from five wins and four placings from 12 starts. Suvaljko, who leapt at the opportunity to drive Valentines Brook for the first time (with Michael Grantham serving a term of suspension), was full of praise for the gelding’s performance and rated him a genuine Derby prospect. “I was happy to let him bowl along in the lead and he had plenty left on the line,” he said. “They said he went for a knee a bit but he was pretty clean in front. He did it quite easily.” Valentines Brook’s win completed a double for Suvaljko, who was successful with the Matt Scott-trained Son Of A Tiger in the Perth Plasterboard Centre Pace. Son Of A Tiger Successful in Perth Plasterboard Centre Pace Five-year-old Son Of A Tiger, the $2.80 favourite from barrier two, relished the role of pacemaker and won from the fast-finishing The Dali Express and Touch Of Success, rating 1.58 over 2130m. “He won’t run in the $50,000 RWWA Cup next Friday night,” Scott said. “I’ll take him to Bunbury for the $25,000 Manea Classic the following night before looking at the $50,000 Four and Five-Year-Old Championship at Gloucester Park on March 13. “Son Of A Tiger is a better sit and kick horse, but when you draw barrier two, like  did last week and this week, you’ve really got to lead.” Son Of A Tiger, a winner of three races in New Zealand, is proving a good buy for Tim Blee and now has raced 25 times in WA for eight wins and five placings. Stylish Win by Fake News Gary Hall jnr brought up a double when he landed smart four-year-old mare Fake News a stylish winner in the final event, the Catalano Truck and Equipment Pace over 2130m. Fake News, the even-money favourite, enjoyed a perfect trail in the one-out, one-back position, before sprinting home strongly to beat the heavily-supported $2.65 pacemaker Captain Mannering by almost a length. Champion trainer Gary Hall snr was delighted at the victory. He bred the mare on his property after training both her sire Alta Christiano and her dam Is She Talking. Hall prepared the brilliant, but ill-fated Alta Christiano for his ten starts in WA for nine wins (including the Western Gateway Pace and the 2013 WA Derby in 2013) before injuries forced the star pacer into retirement after only 18 starts for 13 wins and $309,163. The New Zealand-bred Is She Talking had 32 starts for the Hall stable for 11 wins, eight placings and $81,615. Fake News now has raced 30 times for ten wins and five placings for $121,285 in prizemoney. Standing Start Specialist Always An Honour takes out the Direct Trades Supply Handicap Hall junior’s earlier winner was behind standing start specialist, the Justin Prentice-trained $2.45 favourite Always An Honour, who led throughout and won from outsider Over Loaded in the 2096m Direct Trades Supply Handicap. Hall has driven the Art Major four-year-old 12 times for eight wins. Brown Steers Ideal Liner to Victory Hall snr also prepared the lightly-raced Ideal Liner for his narrow victory in the 2130m Retravision Pace, which gave Maddison Brown perfect record in the sulky behind the New Zealand-bred five-year-old. Brown only previous drive behind the gelding was at Gloucester Park on December 13 last year when he led and beat Simba Bromac over 2536m. Ideal Liner’s win on Friday night was due to the aggression of Brown, who surged the gelding forward, three wide for the first 450m before working in the breeze, with the strongly-supported Ocean Ridge setting the pace. Ideal Liner finished powerfully, took the lead on the home turn and won by a head at a 1.56.9 rate the $2.10 favourite Bill Haley, who finished strongly from last at the bell. “Ideal Liner was a bit disappointing at his previous couple of runs,” said Hall snr. “But worked brilliantly on Wednesday morning. He’s more tough than he’s quick and the RWWA Cup next Friday night probably will be his last run before going for a spell. He will be a better horse next summer.”    Trainer-Reinsman Hayter's First City Success Hoiho, who was making his first appearance at Gloucester Park for exactly one year, gave Bunbury trainer-reinsman Kaiden Hayter for his first city success since he drove eight-year-old Soho Wonder to a last stride nose victory over the pacemaker and $1.50 favourite Argyle Red on November 16, 2018. Hoiho enjoyed a perfect passage behind the pacemaking Illusionation before finishing determinedly to beat the hot favourite While They Pray, who had taken the lead 430m from home. Hoiho, a New Zealand-bred seven-year-old, was a $14.10 tote chance who started at handsome fixed odds of $19. Hayter, a mechanic at Bunbury Honda/Kia, races Hoiho in partnership with his boss Adam Jones and his cousins, twins Heath and Liam Stewart. They purchased the gelding for $10,000 two years ago. “It was a bit more than I would’ve liked to pay,” said Hayter. ”But he’s certainly justified that price.” The gelding has had 39 starts for his new owners for six wins, 12 placings and $45,896 in stakes. Caretaker Cortopassi Delivers  Darling Downs horseman Aldo Cortopassi leapt at the chance to take over the preparation of Lightning Jolt when Byford trainer John Oldroyd left with his wife Val for an ocean cruise just over a week ago. Lightning Jolt, a 6/1 chance, sat behind the pacemaker and hot favourite Athabascan before Cortopassi brought the seven-year-old with a strong burst to hit the front on the home turn and win the 2536m Westral Pace from the fast-finishing Clarenden Hustler. “John asked me to look after the horse while he was away and I jumped at the opportunity,” Cortopassi said. “He said that I had the licence to do what I wanted to do with him. Things fell into place for us, drawing the No. 1 barrier. “I drove him for John for the first time a fortnight ago and he just felt he didn’t hit the line one hundred per cent genuine. So, I thought I’d try the pull-down blinkers on him, to see if they would spark him up a little bit. Everything fell into plan.” Lewis Fillies & Mares Pace A dashing drive by Aiden de Campo paved the way for American Delight’s impressive victory over Mandy Joan and Dancing With Mach in the $30,000 group 3 Lewis Pace. From barrier six, American Delight settled down in 11th position, with the $2.40 favourite Dancing With Mach setting a slow early pace, with a lead time of 38.1sec. and an opening quarter of the final mile in 31.3sec. De Campo set American Delight alight at the 1400m mark and the four-year-old mare burst past Dancing With Mach and into the lead with 1050m to travel. The stewards found de Campo guilty of causing interference to Dancing With Mach and suspended him from driving for seven days. Woodworth Turvey Combo Snatches Victory Five-year-old Bee Seventeen, driven perfectly in the one-out, one-back position by Nathan Turvey for Baldivis trainer Cliff Woodworth, finished gamely to snatch a half-head victory over Major Spoilt in the 2530m Mexican March Madness Pace. Turvey had driven the gelding only once before in his 85 starts --- and that was on debut when he finished second to Warriors Code at Northam on February 4, 2017. Impressive Soho Thunderstruck Four-year-old Soho Thunderstruck revealed impressive fighting qualities when he started from the back line, raced three wide early and then in the breeze outside the pacemaker and hot favourite The Last Drop before finish with great determination to win narrowly from The Last Drop in the 2130m Choices Pace. Trainer-driver Kim Prentice said that the horse still a few problems to iron out, but had a promising future.   Ken Casellas

The Ross Olivieri-trained The Last Drop is being hailed as a star bet at Friday night’s harness racing meeting at Gloucester Park. Respected trotting journalist Ken Casellas and WA Trotting Media Guild president Wayne Currall have made The Last Drop their best bet on the 10-event card. “Inexperienced gelding The Last Drop is a natural frontrunner and he is my best bet on Friday night to set the pace from barrier one and hold his rivals at bay in the 2130m Choices Flooring Pace,” Casellas said. “After a moderate early pace, The Last Drop impressed in sprinting over the final quarter in 27.4sec. to win over 2692m at Pinjarra two starts ago.” And Currall agrees. “Chris Voak should spear The Last Drop straight to the front and from there he can dictate the pace of the race,” Currall said. “We all know that it’s a great advantage leading at the ribbon of light and The Last Drop is perfectly placed to further enhance that fact. Can prove a reliable banker for all-ups and the last leg of the quaddie.” The West Australian’s Ernie Manning believes Fake News can return to winning form in the last race. “Fake News has drawn better than when unplaced at her past two starts and she should also appreciate a slight class drop,” Manning said. “A winner of six Gloucester Park events, she had awkward barriers in races won by Ocean Ridge and Our Alfie Romeo during the last three weeks. Looks ready for the 11th victory of her career.” TABradio’s form analyst Hayden King is keen on Lightning Jolt in race three. “Lightning Jolt now appears for Aldo Cortopassi and has been dealt the inside barrier,” King said. “He has gate speed and can lead throughout if Aldo so chooses.” Radio Great Southern’s form expert Warren Wishart says punters can kick the night off on a winning note by supporting While They Pray. “While They Pray brings the best form into this race and was dominant last start from the breeze after drawing wide over the sprint trip,” Wishart said. “Should control this race - most likely from the breeze - and be too strong.” TABradio’s racecaller Matt Young is confident Bill Haley will rock them in race six. “Bill Haley has powered home impressively at his last two starts,” Young said. ”The smaller field with less depth looks to suit him perfectly.“ But longshot king Pat Harding disagrees with his younger colleague, and has settled on Ocean Ridge in the same race as his star bet. “Looking forward to another good night of competitive racing at GP this week,” Harding said. ”The standout for me comes up in race six with Ocean Ridge. This Bond-trained horse has looked good in his last two wins and I think he can make it three in a row. I’m more than happy to make him my best bet of the night.“ The West Australian’s racing co-ordinator Ryan Havercroft has tipped Gardys Legacy to continue in his rich vein of winning form. “Gardys Legacy has been successful at his last five outings, including a last-start dead-heat with Jaspervellabeach,” Havercroft said. “On that occasion he sat in the breeze and his rivals were only getting to him in the shadows of the post and he looks the one to beat again.” VALUE BETS KEN: For value, I suggest the Ross Olivieri-trained Atmospherical, who is resuming after a three-month absence. He is versatile and from the No. 1 barrier should be in a commanding position throughout the 2130m journey. WAYNE: Four starts ago Anime drew the inside of the second row over the 2536m journey and duly saluted. He’s drawn the same marble again and should be afforded every favour behind likely leader Lightning Jolt. Looks a great each-way prospect. ERNIE: Mister Bushido has been beaten at his past seven starts, but he is fresh and appears close to breaking through. He had a tough run before finishing seventh last Friday night. HAYDEN: The Dali Express is in really top form and, if he can find the right run, he can upstage some of his more fancied adversaries.  WARREN: Waylade drops enormously in class for this and I suspect will be at each-way odds. Can’t see him missing a top-three finish and is an excellent winning chance. MATT: Rum Delight has the early speed to cross in the stand and if he led he would halve his odds. Worth a throw at the stumps. PAT: My value bet comes up in the last race of the night with No 2 Captain Mannering. He did have a win two starts ago and I think he can repeat the dose with Chris Voak aboard. Voak does have a habit of winning the last race on the card. RYAN: Hoiho has been mixing mobile and stand appearances recently while racing consistently on the country circuit. Can position up well from a good draw here. To view all of the Media Guild tips click here.   Good punting.    By Wayne Currall  

Bunbury trainer-reinsman Kaiden Hayter has seven-year-old Hoiho racing keenly on South-West harness racing tracks and will be looking for a strong showing from the gelding when he makes a rare city appearance at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The New Zealand-bred Hoiho is favourably drawn at barrier two on the front line in the opening event, the 2130m Happy Valentine’s Day Pace after he led and dashed over the final two quarters in 28.8sec. and 27.8sec. on his way to victory over Free To Air at Bunbury last Saturday night. Hoiho has not appeared at Gloucester Park for exactly 12 months when he started from the inside of the back line, raced three back on the pegs and ran on solidly to finish third behind James Butt and Absolution over 2130m. His previous run at Gloucester Park was ten months before that when he finished sixth behind Whozideawasthis and El Jacko. Hoiho has won five races at Bunbury and has also won once at Narrogin, Williams, Wagin, Collie, Bridgetown and Busselton. He is seeking his first city success and is sure to meet stiff opposition from While They Pray, Iconic Valor and Illusionation. Illusionation, trained by Reg Phillips and to be driven by Donald Harper, looks the likely pacemaker from the No. 1 barrier, but is expected to be tested in the final stages by Hoiho, While They Pray and Iconic Valor. While They Pray is racing in splendid form for Pinjarra trainer Michael George and looks hard to beat from barrier five with Gary Hall Jnr in the sulky. The WA-bred four-year-old notched his tenth victory from starts when he had a tough run without cover before beating Tajie Baby at a 1.55.6 rate over 1730m on Tuesday of last week While They Pray is by former champion pacer Alta Christiano, who was driven by Hall seven times for seven wins, including the 2013 WA Derby. Hall also drove While They Pray’s dam Slick Bird for three wins and a splendid third behind Artemis Belle in the WA Oaks in May 2011. Slick Bird is a half-sister to High Courage, who raced 35 times in WA for ten wins and six placings before continuing his career in America. Hall was in the sulky for six of High Courage’s WA victories. Ken Casellas

Eye-catching sparkling late finishing bursts in strong Group 2 feature harness racing events on the past two Friday nights have stamped Bill Haley as a star bet at Gloucester Park this week when he will appreciate a drop in class when he contests the $25,000 Retravision Pace over 2130m. The New Zealand-bred five-year-old, trained by Debra Lewis and driven by her husband Chris, has the ability to overcome an awkward draw at barrier six in the field of eight. Bill Haley was 11th at the bell in the 2130m Group 2 Governor’s Cup last Friday night before he went four wide on the home turn and sprinted fast to be third behind Handsandwheels and Galactic Star. A week earlier, after starting out wide at barrier eight, Bill Haley was tenth and last at the bell before surging home, out five wide, to finish fifth behind Handsandwheels and El Jacko.   A winner of 12 races from 51 starts, Bill Haley will clash with up-and-coming five-year-old Ocean Ridge, who ideally drawn at barrier three, giving Ryan Warwick an excellent opportunity to use the gelding’s good gate speed in a bid to burst to the front in the early stages. Ocean Ridge has set the pace and has won very easily over 1730m at his past two outings, rating 1.53.5 and 1.52.6. Adding interest to the race will be the return to racing of the Barry Howlett-trained Three Bears, a smart frontrunner who will be handled by Gary Hall jnr from the prized No. 1 barrier. The eight-year-old, a winner at 19 of his 55 starts, has not raced for five months. Whether he can hold out Ocean Ridge in the early battle for the lead remains to be seen. And adding further intrigue will be trainer Murray Lindau’s speedy six-year-old Chiaroscuro, who will be driven by Dylan Egerton-Green from barrier four. Chiaroscuro, a winner at 15 of his 50 starts, possesses explosive gate speed. He made his first appearance after a five-month absence when he was restrained from barrier six and raced near the rear before finishing eighth behind Handsandwheels last Friday week. That was his first appearance since he revealed dazzling gate speed to lead from the No. 4 barrier and win easily in modest company at a 1.55 rate over 2130m early last August. He led from barrier seven when he won over 1730m from Livura two starts before that. Ideal Liner (Maddison Brown) and Rock Me Over (Chris Voak) have been in sound form in top company and are sure to appreciate a drop in class. Voak has given punters a good lead by choosing to drive The Last Drop for trainer Ross Olivieri in the 2130m Choices Flooring Pace in preference to stablemate Salacious Gossip. The Last Drop, a good frontrunner, has drawn perfectly at barrier one and Voak is set to make every post a winner by attempting an all-the-way victory. The Last Drop, a four-year-old who has had 21 starts for six wins and four placings, started from the outside of the front line and was restrained to the rear before fighting on from last at the bell to finish sixth behind My Carbon Copy over 2130m on Tuesday of last week. He set the pace and won over 2185m and 2692m at Pinjarra at his two previous outings. Salacious Gossip will be handled by Chris Lewis from barrier No. 3 on the front line and has solid each-way claims. She started from the outside of the back line and raced in seventh position, four back on the pegs, before running home solidly to finish fourth behind Parisian Partygirl last Friday night. Olivieri also has sound prospects with his two runners, Atmospherical (Voak) and The Dali Express (Lewis) in the Perth Plasterboard Centre Pace over 2130m. Atmospherical, a versatile six-year-old, will start from the No. 1 barrier, with The Dali Express at barrier four. Atmospherical has had a short let-up and is capable of a bold showing, while The Dali Express maintained his sound form when he finished solidly from seventh at the bell to be fourth behind his stablemate James Butt last Friday night. Northam Cup winner Son of a Tiger, veteran Waylade and stylish last-start winner Theo Aviator will have plenty of admirers. By Ken Casellas

Outstanding Boyanup trainer Justin Prentice has been happy with Always An Honour’s unplaced runs in harness racing mobiles at his past three outings and is delighted that the comparatively inexperienced four-year-old will be returning to his favoured standing-start event when he begins from the inside of the front line in the 2096m Direct Trades Supply Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. “He seems to settle better early in stands and he quickly gets into his rhythm,” said Prentice. Always An Honour, a 33/1 outsider from barrier seven in a 2536m mobile event last Friday night, impressed when he was a distant 11th at the bell before finishing solidly to be fourth behind Valbonne. He improved from 12th in the middle stages to finish seventh behind Its Rock And Roll over 2130m at his previous appearance. The New Zealand-bred Always An Honour’s first three wins were when he set the pace in mobiles at Gloucester Park. Since then he has proved himself to be a standing-start specialist, with seven starts in stands producing five wins, a third and a seventh placing. The lightly-raced Ross Olivieri-trained eight-year-old Jimmy Mack will be driven by Chris Lewis from the outside of the 20-metre line and looks set to play a major role in Friday night’s event. Jimmy Mach, who has had only 28 starts for 12 wins and 12 placings, impressed in the 2560m Northam Cup last Saturday week when he started off 20m and was 12th and last with two laps to travel before he followed the three-wide run of Miss Sangrial in the final circuit to finish second to Son Of A Tiger. A winner at his only appearance in a stand in New Zealand (over 2700m at Forbury in April 2017), Jimmy Mach’s 18 starts in Western Australia have produced seven wins and eight placings. Seven of those runs were in stands for two wins, two seconds, two thirds and a ninth placing. Another runner with sound each-way prospects is the rejuvenated ten-year-old The Black Cardinal, who will be driven by Ryan Warwick for Jandakot trainer Tommy Sheehy. He will start from barrier three on the front line. The Black Cardinal made an unsuccessful challenge for the early lead before gaining the sit behind the pacemaker Burning Shadows and then finishing gamely to be second to Miss sangria in a 2631m stand at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon. By Ken Casellas

Five-year-old Dancing With Mach has inherited some of the ability of her dam Party Date and she has bright prospects of leading her harness racing rivals on a merry dance and winning the $30,000 Lewis Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. It would be a fitting victory for the Barry Howlett-trained mare who will be driven by champion reinsman Chris Lewis, after whom this feature event for fillies and mares is named. Dancing With Mach is a good frontrunner and Lewis is sure to be keen to take full advantage of the prized No. 1 barrier. Dancing With Mach impressed four starts ago when she set the pace from barrier two and won by a length and a half from Delightful Mandy over 2265m at Albany. Dancing With Mach started from the No. 2 barrier in a 2130m event last Friday night when her nose appeared to hit the arm of the mobile barrier a split second before the start. This caused the mare to become unbalanced for a moment and she was left in the breeze outside the polemarker Bettor Pack It before she was shuffled back to sixth position, one-out and two-back. Dancing With Mach, fifth at the 400m mark, unwound a spirited burst to take a narrow lead 15m from the post, but was overhauled in the final stride and beaten by the fast-finishing Parisian Partygirl. Dancing With Mach is bred to be a good winner, with her dam Party Date earning $256,003 from 25 wins and 27 placings from 111 starts. Party Date finished third behind Te Kanarama and Lombo Fe Fe in the Golden Nugget at Gloucester Park in February 2004, three months before she won the Group 3 Ladyship Cup at Moonee Valley. Party Date has produced seven winners, with Dancing With Mach earning $45,148 from seven wins and nine placings from 27 starts. Her other progeny include Bettor Party (38 wins, 52 placings and $314,182 from 190 starts) and Rocknroll Whitby (91 starts for 12 wins, 12 placings and $151,480). She is also the dam of Pierre Whitby, a four-year-old gelding who has sound each-way prospects in race two, the 2536m Mexican March Madness at the Beau Rivage Pace on Friday night. Bettor Pack It, who finished a close third behind Parisian Partygirl and Dancing With Mach last Friday night, will start from the inside of the back line this week and should enjoy a soft run on the pegs for Chris Voak and certainly is capable of fighting out the finish. Other mares with sound each-way claims in what appears to be a very even field include Tajie Baby, Fulfil The Dream, Countess Grace, Mary Joan and American Delight. Tajie Baby is a speedy beginner and Lindsay Harper is likely to attempt to send the eight-year-old veteran of 114 starts to the front from barrier five. She ended a sequence of nine unplaced efforts when she enjoyed an ideal passage, one-out and one-back, before finishing solidly to be second to While They Pray over 1730m on Tuesday of last week. Four-year-old Fulfil The Dream, to be driven by Gary Hall Jnr for trainer Justin Prentice, gave a solid frontrunning display to win from Gunna Get Lucky over 2536m on Tuesday of last week. However, she will need a shade of luck to overcome the disadvantage of starting out wide at barrier eight. By Ken Casellas

Another mixed bag of best bets from members of the WA Trotting Media Guild for this Friday night’s meeting at Gloucester Park. Only two members - longshot guru Pat Harding and Guild president Wayne Currall - have agreed on a best bet on the 10-event card. Harding and Currall believe punters can start the night off on a winning note by supporting Sir Galahad. “So pleased to see some capacity fields at GP this Friday night compared to last week,” Harding said. ”My best bet of the night comes up in race one and should get punters off to an excellent start on what promises to be an exciting night. Coming out of barrier six, the Garry Hall-trained Sir Galahad looks the goods and should make it four wins in a row.“ And Currall agrees. “I searched high and low for something to beat Sir Galahad in the opening event,” Currall said. “In the end, I surrendered to logic and went for the horse with winning form. Sir Galahad won’t have it as easy as last week, but the 2536m race gives champion reinsman Gary Hall Jr plenty of time to slot the horse in and then come with one strong run. He’s the one they all have to beat.” The West Australian’s Ernie Manning is keen on the consistent Theo Aviator in race seven. “Theo Aviator is showing toughness by holding top form after having raced prominently in a series during November and December,” Manning said. “He won the 4YO Championship, then ran third in the 4YO Classic and fourth in the Golden Nugget. A fortnight ago, the gelding fought on gamely to finish fourth after facing the breeze. He looks ready for his 14th win.” This season’s leading tipster, TABradio’s Hayden King, believes James Butt gets his chance to return to the winner’s list. “On a highly competitive night of pacing, James Butt gets his chance to lead and win,” King said. “He was his own worst enemy last time and can bounce back this time.” Radio Great Southern’s form analyst Warren Wishart, who is running a very close second behind King after tipping eight winners last Friday night, has opted for Tiffany Rose as his star bet. “Tiffany Rose looks well placed here with the low draw,” Wishart said. “Should find the lead and in that role I can’t see anything getting over her.“ TABradio’s Matt Young has made As Happy As Larry his best bet. “As Happy As Larry is racing very well and is suited in this grade,” Young said. “He should be able to breeze and be too strong here.“ Veteran tipster Ken Casellas likes the chances of Bettor Pack It. “On a highly competitive program on Friday night when selecting more than a couple of winners will be a notable feat, I have earmarked Bettor Pack It as my best bet - to lead all the way from barrier one in race eight,” Casellas said. “The Terry Ferguson-trained four-year-old led when a fighting second to Culpeka in the Albany Cup at her most recent appearance.” The West Australian’s racing co-ordinator Ryan Havercroft believes Culpeka can continue on his winning ways. “ Culpeka has been racing in fine form, winning at his last five outings, including a last-start win in the Albany Cup when going from last-to-first in the final lap,” Havercroft said. “This is tougher and he is drawn awkwardly, but he has the services of Chris Lewis, who will extricate him from inside of the back line.” VALUE BETS PAT: My value bet comes up in race six with No.1 James Butt. With Chris Voak aboard and a couple of good places after a spell, I think he is ready to win and I expect a forward showing over the 2130 metres. WAYNE: Parsisian Partygirl should appreciate a trailing draw in the eighth race. She has a paralysing burst when held up for one sprint and can win this, especially if the sparks fly early. ERNIE: Charlie El has not been placed in his past 12 starts, but gate two gives him the chance to bounce back and be a first-three prospect. He drew the back line when finishing ninth and fifth on the last two Friday nights. HAYDEN: Dontstopbelievin went around at odds on last time and should be a much better price this week in a similar field. She will be hard to hold out. WARREN: Vampiro would have to be the unluckiest horse in the State drawing nine for the third consecutive time. While there is speed underneath him, I can see him racing handy. He could have won all three of the features, so he clearly brings the best form in. The offer of $6 is available on fixed odds. I think he is a great bet. MATT: Jilliby Jake is a solid chance of rolling to the top and is suited in this class. KEN: For value, I suggest Mister Bushido in race seven. He was most impressive first-up last Friday night when he thundered home to be second to Touch Of Success. RYAN: Twoandahalf Tigers trailed Sokys Bigbullet all of the way to finish second in the Village Kid Sprint at Northam on Saturday. Drawn well behind a fast beginner and can get the same run here into the placings. To view all of the Media Guild tips click here. Good punting.    Wayne Currall

Rising star Culpeka has overcome problems and is poised to extend his winning sequence to six when he contests the Happy Chinese New Year Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The New Zealand-bred five-year-old will start from the inside of the back line and has the ability to overcome the tricky draw and beat his most serious rival, Bletchley Park, who will be having his first start for Bunbury trainer Stephen Reed. Culpeka, trained at Busselton by Barry Howlett, arrived in WA in June 2018 after winning four times from 19 starts in New Zealand for Howlett, his wife Lyn and their son Jimmy. But on arrival in WA it was discovered that Culpeka had bone chips in his hind legs, which required surgery. The operation was successful, but Culpeka had a bad reaction to anti-biotics and was laid low by constantly scouring for 12 months. Another Howlett-owned pacer, Major Express, also had surgery to remove bone chips in a leg and also suffered from scouring which delayed his debut in WA for 16 months. Finally, Howlett’s patient care was rewarded when Culpeka and Major Express were fit enough to resume their careers. Major Express reappeared at Bunbury last December when he broke and finished last. He has since won at each of his next three starts, twice at Bunbury and once at Pinjarra. Culpeka, now a five-year-old, resumed after an 18-month absence when he finished a sound third to Its Rock And Roll and Shadow Roll at Pinjarra on December 2 last year. He has gone on to win at each of his next five starts by a total of 46.8 metres (an average margin of three lengths). Howlett certainly has no regrets now that he refused substantial offers to sell Culpeka and Major Express before they left New Zealand in mid-2018. Culpeka warmed up for his Gloucester Park assignment this week in fine style with a dazzling victory in the Albany Cup over 2690m last Saturday week. He charged home from tenth and last at the bell to win in effortless fashion by five lengths from Bettor Pack It. Bletchley Park will be having his first start since he met with interference and broke and finished last behind Shockwave in the Golden Nugget Championship on December 13. His 22 starts for astute Henley Brook trainer Mike Reed have produced ten wins, four seconds, one third and $162,867 in stakes. He is now being prepared in Bunbury by Reed’s son Stephen. Bletchley Park gave a sample of his wonderful ability when he finished second to Major Trojan in the WA Derby last April when he finished in front of several talented pacers, including Franco Edward, Shockwave, Patrickthepiranha, Eloquent Mach and Sangue Reale. He will start from barrier four on Friday night and will be handled by Michael Grantham. He will have many admirers.   Ken Casellas

A change in her training routine is paying dividends for exciting filly Double Expresso, who has bright prospects of overcoming an awkward draw at barrier six and winning the $50,000 Dainty’s Daughter Classic at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Astute Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri is confident that Double Expresso will give him his first success in the classic for three-year-old fillies and star reinsman Chris Lewis his third win in the race after succeeding with Five Hundred More in 2005 and Sheer Royalty in 2009. Double Expresso, a winner at eight of her 11 starts, warmed up for this week’s classic with a devastating performance to win a 2185m trial at Pinjarra last Sunday week, rating 1.55.6 with her final four 400m sections of 29.5sec.,29.3sec., 27.8sec. and 28.1sec. She began fast from the outside of the front line to burst to the front after 80m. She led by two lengths at the 400m and romped home, unextended, by about eight lengths from Farawayeyes.      “That trial was a test to see how she was going after a change in her training,” said Olivieri. “A win in that fast time was a very good result. We wanted to keep her off the hard tracks and work her in the sand, galloping and working in the jog cart. And she loves it. “We’re very happy with her at the moment. And the way she went in the trial, you’d have to be happy with her. She had plenty up her sleeve.” Olivieri has a second string in this week’s race in Run For Mercy, who will be driven by Chris Voak from the No. 2 barrier on the back line. “Her run when fourth behind I Work Out at Northam last Saturday night was disappointing,” said Olivieri. “We’ve changed a few things around with her and, hopefully, she will respond.” Suing You, Tiffany Rose and Star Fromthepalace loom as the main rivals for Double Expresso whose main aim this season is the $150,000 WA Oaks on May 1. Suing You, trained at Boyanup by Justin Prentice, will be handled by champion reinsman Gary Hall Jnr and will start from barrier No. 5 on the front line. Suing You, a winner of three races as a two-year-old, has resumed after a spell in fine style, with her first three outings as a three-year-old producing a first-up Pinjarra win, a head second to Double Expresso and an all-the-way victory at Gloucester Park. “She is a very nice filly and her three runs back have been good,” Prentice said. “She’s definitely up to the fillies on Friday night. It was a good run two starts ago when second to Double Expresso. At the time I thought that whatever she did that night she would improve on. I said to Junior (Hall) I don’t think I’ve got her quite right, so drive her conservatively. “I think that he might have under-driven her a little bit; and he was really happy with the way she went.” Hall also has a high opinion of Suing You, saying: “Double Expresso’s trial was off the map, but I think Suing You is capable of beating her. If Star Fromthepalace leads, she also capable of winning.” Star Fromthepalace, to be driven by Deni Roberts for Byford trainer Peter Anderson, is sure to be prominent throughout from the prized No. 1 barrier. “She’s a talented filly who has matured from her two-year-old days,” said Anderson. “Everything has worked perfectly this preparation, two strong trials at Byford and a first-up win at Pinjarra. I reckon she is among the best half dozen fillies in the State.” Star Fromthepalace is a tough staying type, who will take catching if she is able to hold the lead and set the pace. However, if she is headed in the first circuit, she should enjoy an ideal trail behind the pacemaker and is capable of unwinding a spirited finishing burst. The New Zealand-bred Tiffany Rose will have many admirers, particularly after drawing the No. 3 barrier on the front line for Henley Brook trainer Mike Reed and reinsman Michael Grantham. After being placed at seven of her eight starts in New Zealand, Tiffany Rose won easily at her first five starts in Western Australia before finishing a brilliant, fast-finishing third to Double Expresso and then covering a lot of extra ground before fading to last behind talented colt Howard Hughes at her past two starts. Owners Jim and Wilma Giumelli are hoping that Tiffany Rose can make up for the disappointment of Arma Indie, starting from the outside barrier and surging home from last to finish second to the pacemaker Typhoon Tiff in last year’s Dainty’s Daughter Classic. Typhoon Tiff gave trainer-driver Colin Brown his second success in the feature event (after driving Centrefold Angel to a head victory over Ella Sue in 2010) and he is hoping for a strong effort from Farawayeyes, who will start out wide at barrier seven. Farawayeyes is an improving filly who has raced nine times for two wins and five placings. My Sweet Deal and Some Copper Beach are smart types but will need a shade of luck from barriers eight and nine, respectively. My Sweet Deal, trained by David Hunter in Collie, will again be driven by Stuart McDonald, who has handled the filly at all of her 12 starts for seven wins, four seconds and a third placing. Aiden de Campo trains and drives Some Copper Beach, who has won at six of her 13 starts. She has been off the scene since finishing sixth behind Tiffany Rose at Gloucester Park on December 6. “She was just a bit disappointing after a good first-up win, so I have given her a light freshen-up,” said de Campo. “She’s been in work long enough to be forward enough. But barrier nine hurts us a lot. She seems to go better when driven forward and all of her good races have been when she’s been on-speed, going forward. There is a lot of speed inside of us, but it is more than likely that she’ll come across with them and then try to find a hole. Hopefully, we can slot in somewhere and run home late.”   Ken Casellas

Ryan Warwick, the State’s leading reinsman, has given punters a massive lead by choosing to drive veteran pacer Our Jimmy Johnstone in the $50,000 Governor’s Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He has enjoyed remarkable success with all of the five Cup runners prepared by leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond and he elected to drive the 11-year-old Our Jimmy Johnstone, a marvel who will be having his 129th start in a race when he begins from the favourable No. 2 barrier on the front line in the 2130m feature event. Warwick has handled Our Jimmy Johnstone in only one of his past 18 starts and that was when the New Zealand-bred gelding began speedily from barrier five and stormed to the front after 500m on his way to an easy victory over Whozideawasthis and Ideal Liner at a 1.53.5 rate over 1730m three starts ago. Warwick has been in the sulky for 13 of Our Jimmy Johnstone’s 20 wins in Western Australia. He has driven star pacer Galactic Star in all of his 19 WA wins, Vampiro at 18 of his 21 WA wins, Our Alfie Romeo at 16 of her 17 WA wins and El Jacko at 16 of his 20 wins in the State. Our Jimmy Johnstone excelled in the major summer carnival events, finishing fifth behind Caviar Star and Vampiro in the 2536m Fremantle Cup and a close third to stablemates Mighty Conqueror and Vampiro in the 2936m WA Pacing Cup. Our Jimmy Johnstone will be contesting the Governor’s Cup for the fourth time. He was second favourite at 5/2 when, driven by Warwick, he led from the No. 6 barrier and won by two lengths at a 1.55.2 rate from Red Salute, with Im Full of Excuses in third place in 2017 before finishing seventh (from barrier six) behind Chicago Bull in 2018 and a fading tenth behind Rocknroll Lincoln 12 months ago. On Friday night Kim Prentice will drive El Jacko from the No. 3 barrier, Colin Brown will handle the in-form Vampiro from barrier nine, Dylan Egerton-Green has been engaged to drive the brilliant Galactic Star (inside of the back line) for the first time, and Michael Grantham will handle Our Alfie Romeo (the only mare in the race) from the No. 2 barrier on the back line. Six-year-old Vampiro is in superb form, with three wins from his past six starts and head seconds behind Caviar Star in the Fremantle Cup and behind Mighty Conqueror in the WA Pacing Cup at his past two runs. Remarkably, Vampiro has started from the No. 9 barrier in both the big Cup events in which he began brilliantly, dashed to an early lead and was defeated in desperately close photo finishes. Again, Vampiro and Brown will have to contend with the outside barrier this week. Brown is almost certain to attempt to charge to the front with Vampiro, but it is somewhat problematical that the gelding will be able to get straight to the front, with speedy beginners Rock Me Over (Shannon Suvaljko) drawn favourably at barrier one, Our Jimmy Johnstone at No. 2 and Talktomeurmattjesty (Kyle Harper) at barrier six. Galactic Star was far from disgraced last Friday night when he raced without cover in the breeze and finished fourth behind Handsandwheels over 2130m last Friday night. He can never be under-estimated. An eye-catching run in that event was handed in by the Debra Lewis-trained Bill Haley, who was restrained from barrier eight and was last at the bell before flashing home, out five wide, to finish fifth. Again, he is awkwardly drawn at barrier seven this week, but capable of causing an upset.    Fremantle Cup winner Caviar Star’s prospects slumped when he drew out wide at barrier eight, but reinsman Gary Hall Jnr has not given up hope, saying: “It’s tough, but not impossible. He’s too good a horse to leave out.” Handsandwheels, an effortless all-the-way winner from barrier one in the 2130m Group 2 City of Perth Cup last Friday night, fared poorly in the draw this week and will start from the outside of the back line. “Twelve is not as bad as some draws, but it is definitely not favourable,” said trainer-reinsman Aiden de Campo. “However, he’ll run a good race. He’s not purely a frontrunner and he has progressed well this week after his win last Friday night. Handsandwheels started from barrier two on the back line in the Governor’s Cup 12 months ago when he moved to the breeze after a lap and then gained a good sit in the one-out, one-back position. He was hampered for room until the final 100m before finishing strongly to be fourth behind Rocknroll Lincoln. Two starts ago, Handsandwheels showed his class as a sit-sprinter when he was tenth at the 500m before finishing fast to be fourth behind Mighty Conqueror in the WA Pacing Cup.   Ken Casellas

New Zealand-bred six-year-old Angel In White will make her West Australian debut when she starts from barrier No. 2 in the 1730m Crystal Printing Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Trained at Stoneville by Simon Lowings, Angel In White will be driven by Aldo Cortopassi and, judged by her form in sprint event in New South Wales, she should take plenty of beating. A winner at one of her 11 starts in New Zealand (over 2200m at Gore as a two-year-old), Angel In White won eight times in NSW--- all over 1609m with rates of 1.54.8, 1.53.4, 1.52.8, 1.52.7, 1.52.2 and 1.52.1 at Menangle and 1.56.5 and 1.54.5 at Newcastle. She possesses good gate speed but has not been successful since May 5, 2018 when she led and beat Cherry Mahoney at a 1.52.7 rate at Menangle, with quarters of 28.3sec., 29.3sec., 27.8sec. and 27.3sec. She has not raced since finishing seventh behind Chachingchaching at Newcastle on October 19 last year. Cortopassi gave punters a strong lead by choosing to drive Angel In White in preference to Lightning Jolt, a John Oldroyd-trained gelding he handled when he finished solidly from sixth at the bell to be third behind You Gotta Have Faith last Friday night. Lightning Jolt (barrier seven) will be handled by Ryan Warwick this week. There is sure to be plenty of early fireworks, with several fast beginners in the event, including Tajie Baby (barrier three), Illusionation (eight) and Saleahs Comand (nine). Gary Hall Jnr said that Our Rhythm N Blues, who will start from the No. 5 barrier, should be prominent after seconds to Machlani and You Gotta Have Faith at his past two starts. “There’s plenty of pace in the race, out wide in particular, and Our Rhythm N Blues should figure in the finish,” he said. Hall said that drawing barrier No. 1 with Touch of Success in race four and Sir Galahad in race eight gave both pacers sound winning prospects. Touch of Success, trained by Nathan Turvey, has not appeared since finishing second to Bronze Seeker on March 8 last year. “It looks a winnable race for Touch of Success and over a mile I should be able to let him run along in front,” he said. Sir Galahad, trained by Gary Hall Snr, will start from barrier one in the 2130m Whiteside’s Pace. He has won at his past two starts, over 2536m at Gloucester Park and over 2692m at Pinjarra six weeks ago. “It’s a really good draw for him,” said Hall. “He’s had a little time off since his last run, so he’s going to be slightly vulnerable against horses like Grinny Vinnie and Iconic Valor. It was only a minor issue that prevented him from racing and not a big problem. Those wins in December were a couple of good efforts and he won’t get many better chances to win a Friday night race than he will this week.”     Chris Voak will drive the Ross Olivieri-trained Iconic Valor from barrier four and he declared: “He can win. He cut his leg in the paddock and had a bit of time off before racing last Friday (when he met with severe interference in the final lap and was retired from the race). “Before that he won three in a row when he sat three deep and beat Its Rock And Roll and when he sat in the breeze and came home in 55.8sec. to beat Dennis and Quick Stride, coming home in 55.8sec. I think that’s good enough form line.”      Ken Casellas

“I’ve always wanted to drive Im Soxy,” said champion reinsman Gary Hall Jnr. “I remember watching him, driven by Deni Roberts, coming from last to win a race in Bunbury a couple of years ago.” “Now, finally, I’m going to drive Im Soxy for the first time and I’m looking forward to it.” Hall was engaged to drive the WA-bred seven-year-old by his Bunbury trainer Brian Clemens in the $20,000 Worldwide Packaging Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night when Ryan Warwick was committed to drive the Greg and Skye Bond-trained classy six-year-old Mighty Santana. Im Soxy, who has been handled in his 88 starts by ten different drivers, is favourably drawn at barrier No. 2 in a field of eight and though he has a losing sequence of 19, Hall is confident of success. “This is a huge drop in class for Im Soxy and he can go forward at the start and lead,” Hall said. “I believe he’s capable of holding out Mon Lillies (a speedy beginner who is drawn at barrier four).” Im Soxy showed a return to form at his last start when he began speedily from barrier seven in a 2536m event last Friday night, but was unable to cross the polemarker Talktomeurmattjesty, who set the pace and won from Gotta Go Gabbana and Im Soxy, who was three back on the pegs in fourth position at the bell before fighting on to finish only a length behind the pacemaker. McArdles Gem will start from barrier one and there is a strong possibility that Brett Smith will opt to take a sit behind Im Soxy and pin his faith in McArdles Gem’s strong finishing burst. The previous time McArdles Gem started from barrier one was five starts ago when Smith surrendered the lead after 250m to Saleahs Comand. McArdles Gem then enjoyed a perfect passage behind the frontrunning Saleahs Comand before he burst to the front on the home turn and raced away to win by two lengths from Bad Round. McArdles Gem meets much stronger opposition this week. Mighty Santana is in sparkling form and is sure to make a bold bid to defeat Im Soxy. He raced wide early (from barrier five) and then in the breeze outside the pacemaker Argyle Red before finishing with great determination to be a head second to the fast-finishing Roman Aviator. A week earlier Mighty Santana started from barrier eight and was restrained to the rear before charging home from seventh at the bell to win easily from Braeview Bondi at a 1.54.2 rate over 1730m. Braeview Bondi, to be driven by Michael Grantham for trainer Michael Brennan, looks one of the best bets on the ten-event program when he starts from the No. 1 barrier in the 2536m Skender’s Stakes Pace. Braeview Bondi was untroubled to set a brisk pace and win by more than three lengths over 2536m two starts ago. Jocelyn Young, who finished Tuesday night’s meeting at Gloucester Park on a high, has excellent prospects of continuing in top form by driving talented four-year-old mare Has No Fear to victory in the opening event on Friday night. Hass No Fear, trained by Justin Prentice, has the ability to overcome an awkward draw at barrier six and notch her eighth win from 27 starts. Her chief rival could the Corey Peterson-trained Dontstopbelievin, who will start from the No. 5 barrier. Dontstopbelievin has raced without cover at each of her past three starts for an easy Albany win, a half-length second to Pick My Pocket and a solid third behind Tyler Brett at Gloucester Park. Peterson has opted to drive in four events at Busselton on Friday night and Dontstopbelievin will be handled by Kim Prentice.   Young was the dominant performer in the final three events on Tuesday evening when she drove Commander Chapel and Our Mandingo before finishing a close second to the pacemaker Sagatious with Warriors Legacy.      Ken Casellas

Prominent reinsman Chris Voak is bubbling with confidence about Withoutthetuh’s winning prospects in the Active 8 AR Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The Victorian-bred gelding has drawn the No. 1 barrier in a field of six for the 2130m event for three-year-olds and Voak is planning to set the pace. Withoutthetuh won twice (at Kilmore and Ballarat) in Victoria and his first three starts in Western Australia for astute trainer Michael Brennan have produced an easy first-up victory against moderate opposition at Bunbury, followed by a well-beaten second to Awaitinginstructions at Northam and an excellent second to Howard Hughes last Friday night when he finished strongly from fifth, one-out and one-back, at the bell. “I think he should be getting fitter and can beat Gardys Legacy,” said Voak. “He went 1.56.3 last week when he raced in the one-out line. If he can rate 1.56 in front this week, he should get the job done. He will have every chance. “Gardys Legacy rated only 1.57.4 when he won at his latest start and I get my chance to lead on Friday night. Gardys Legacy will make it a staying test over the last 1200 metres. The pegs is easier than the breeze.” Withoutthetuh is a half-brother to Space Junk, one of Voak’s favourite pacers who has raced 33 times for 14 wins, seven placings and $101,578 in stakes. Voak has driven Space Junk at all of his 21 starts in WA for nine wins and four placings. Gardys Legacy and Withoutthetuh are being prepared for the $200,000 WA Derby on April 3. Gardys Legacy, trained at Boyanup by Justin Prentice, will be handled by Gary Hall Jnr. The Bettors Delight gelding is the first foal out of Southern Legacy, who finished second to the brilliant Sensational Gabby in the 2012 WA Oaks and was retired after having 26 starts for six wins, ten placings and stakes of $81,326. Gardys Legacy is closely related to several outstanding pacers, including Whitbys Merit (ten wins and $168,598 from 14 starts), Whitby Heritage (22 wins and $201,758), Whitby Timer (23 wins and $314,899), Whitbys Miss Penny (32 wins and $568,289), Ace of Whitby (29 wins and $317,247), Scram Jet (24 wins and $235,076) and Pride of Colorado (17 wins and $153,867).  Hall believes that Gardys Legacy, who will start from barrier two has the ability to notch his fifth win in a row, saying: “At his latest start Gardys Legacy raced without cover and won from Awaitinginstructions. He had something left at the finish but not a lot. “I’m glad I did what I did last start, and this could result in us leading. But if I don’t, I’m still pretty confident. Withoutthetuh was beaten by 20 metres at Northam two starts ago and he would have to improve a lot to beat me. Gardys Legacy has all the attributes of a really nice horse. He’s speedy and tough.” Hall said he also had plenty of respect for trainer-reinsman Aiden de Campo’s gelding Ata Engen, w   Ken Casellas

Six-year-old Handsandwheels is a brilliant frontrunner and his trainer Aiden de Campo is poised to set the pace and win the $50,000 City of Perth Worldwide Cup over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Handsandwheels has led at 16 of his 25 victories in a splendid 74-start career which has netted his owners $560,718 in prizemoney. He has drawn the prized No. 1 barrier this week and he possesses the necessary gate speed to keep his rivals at bay once the mobile barrier gets the ten runners on their way. Handsandwheels has started from the No.1 barrier only four times at Gloucester Park, all in 2130m events, for three all-the-way victories and a wilting fourth behind Whozideawasthis, Vultan Tin and Im Full of Excuses nine months ago. He is also a big-race specialist, with his wins including the WA Derby and the Westbred Classic for three-year-old colts and geldings, the Four and Five-Year-Old Championship and the Bunbury Cup and RWWA Cup last year. Handsandwheels impressed in the inaugural Group 2 City of Perth Cup (formerly known as the Lord Mayor’s Cup) 12 months ago when he started from barrier three, raced in sixth position in the one-wide line and ran home determinedly from a four-wide position at the 300m finish third behind the pacemaker Vultan Tin and the fast-finishing El Jacko. He finished an eye-catching fourth behind Mighty Conqueror in the $450,000 WA Pacing Cup last Friday week when he started from the back line and was in tenth position 500m from home. Galactic Star, prepared by leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond and driven by Ryan Warwick, was an unlucky fifth in the Pacing Cup and, from barrier three this week, he looms large as the toughest opponent for Handsandwheels.            El Jacko, a stablemate of Galactic Star, also will have many admirers, particularly being the only runner off the back line, leaving Dylan Egerton-Green plenty of options, including remaining on the pegs and trailing the expected pacemaker Handsandwheels before getting into the clear in the final lap and relying on the gelding’s explosive finishing burst. Hall of Fame trainer Gary Hall Snr has won the Lord Mayor’s Cup a record eight times, scoring with Tricky Bey (1994), Abit Rich (1997), Live To Reign (2007), Talk To Me Courage (2010), Livingontheinterest (2014), Northview Punter (2015), Cyamach (2016) and Chicago Bull (2017). This year he will be pinning his faith on five-year-old Ideal Liner, who is favourably drawn barrier two. “Ideal Liner is one draw away from being the winner,” said reinsman Gary Hall Jnr. “Handsandwheels, from one, looks very hard to beat.” Champion reinsman Chris Lewis is looking to winning the Cup for the ninth time when he handles Bill Haley, who is prepared at Hopeland by his wife Debra. Bill Haley, a winner over Caviar Star and Herrick Roosevelt three starts ago before finishing strongly to be third behind Caviar Star and Vampiro in the Fremantle Cup. Bill Haley is awkwardly drawn out wide at barrier eight but is capable of unwinding a powerful finish. Lewis has won the race with Village Kid (1985, 1986, 1989 and 1990), Ballantines (1992), Desert Patrol (1993), Royal Motoring (1998) and Ohoka Ace (2005).   Ken Casellas

It’s a virtual smorgasbord for punters at Gloucester Park on Friday night with seven different best bets - two of them in the same race - from WA Trotting Media Guild members. Guild president Wayne Currall gets the ball rolling in the opening event where his best for the night, Golden State, starts out in gate seven from the 2536m start. “Golden State has had four runs back since a five-month spell and should be cherry ripe to deliver the goods,” Currall said. “He drops appreciably in class in this race and I’m hoping driver Michael Grantham uses the horse’s speed from the mobile to take up the early running. If Golden State finds the front his nine rivals will find it very hard to run him down.” The West Australian’s Ernie Manning is keen on Crocodile Kid in race three. “Crocodile Kid provides the rare example of a pacer that can be declared as best bet only one week after running last,” Manning said. “But he endured a tough run in the breeze last Friday night and now gate one has swung the odds back in his favour. A winner of 13 races, he deserves to break through for another victory after twice running second by a head at Gloucester Park in recent weeks.” Next cab off the rank is TABradio’s Matt Young, who has opted for Mighty Santana in race four as his star bet. “Mighty Santana has been racing very well and can do his fair share of work,” Young said. “I expect him to be too strong for his rivals.” The Longshot King, Pat Harding, steps up to the plate next and the man who has won the Guild’s longest-priced winner competition for several years in a row, predicts pre-post favourite Ocean Ridge will take out the $50,000 The West Australian Nights of Thunder Final (1730m). “On what should be a very competitive night of racing, my best bet comes up in the sixth race, the feature Nights of Thunder Final,” Harding said. “I think Ocean Ridge from barrier three is the one to follow. After an excellent win last week, I think he can give punters more joy and make it two in a row.” Veteran journalist Ken Casellas, who this week penned a moving tribute to Joe Petricevich, 97, who passed away on the eve of the WA Pacing Cup, has come up with the aptly named Sameplace Sametime in the tribute race for the late trainer. Not surprisingly, Mr Casellas - Kenny to his mates - gave a wink and a nod to the heavens when he nominated Sameplace Sametime as his star bet in the Vale Joe Petricevich Pace (2130m). Kenny explains. “There’s plenty of value at Gloucester Park on Friday night and I’m suggesting as my best bet Sameplace Sametime, a Kevin Charles-trained mare with a losing sequence of 15,” he said. “The five-year-old is sure to appreciate a favourable draw at No. 2 on the front line and she should be prominent throughout.” But TABradio’s Hayden King took the losing-sequences theory to another level when he settled on Leftrightgoodnight as his best bet in the same race. The Sonia Zucchiatti-trained 10-year-old gelding hasn’t saluted in more than 40 races, but that hasn’t deterred King. “Leftrightgoodnight has really run into some form recently and he is drawn to secure a delicate run behind the leader,” King said. “Daylight is likely to come and he can outgun them late.” The West Australian’s racing co-ordinator Ryan Havercroft rounds out the night with Howard Hughes as his best. “Howard Hughes has impressed at two Pinjarra outings since arriving from New Zealand and appears a likely WA Derby candidate,” Havercroft said. “It is hard to see any of his rivals in this being able to stop his undefeated local record from continuing.“ VALUE BETS WAYNE: Mister Ardee should get out to a juicy price in the fourth event. He’s been about the place of late and just needs a quick pace to rocket home. ERNIE: Mandy Joan impressed when clearly winning a Byford trial last Sunday and looks capable of a big first-up run despite having drawn gate 12. The mare, who last raced in August, has won three Gloucester Park events. MATT: Leftrightgoodnight has a beautiful draw and with an ounce of luck will have last crack at them. The old boy is capable of winning. PAT: My value bet comes up in race nine the trotters event. I believe Spud coming out of barrier No.5 is long overdue for a win. He has been about the place in his last few races, but gets his chance to record a much-needed victory. KEN: For value, I suggest Mandy Joan in the Im Themightyquinnfinal. The David Thompson-trained mare will be at juicy odds from the outside of the back line at her first appearance after a spell. She has impressed with convincing wins in Byford trials on the past two Sunday mornings. HAYDEN: Im Full Of Excuses won't be too short and he is drawn to trail the leader in the FFA. He has proven formidable from this position before and he seems to be really hitting his straps recently. He will be hard to beat. RYAN: You Gotta Have Faith has been thereabouts at recent outings and loves being out in front. The draw brings him right into calculations. To view all of the Media Guild tips click here.   Wayne Currall

“This looks like a real good race for him,” declared Darling Downs trainer-reinsman Aldo Cortopassi when assessing Theo Aviator’s prospects from barrier five in the 2130m Westral Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Theo Aviator, a smart four-year-old who has raced 38 times for 13 wins and 11 placings, has worked hard in the breeze at his past two starts for a close fifth behind Convert Denario over 1730m and a fighting second to the pacemaker As Happy As Larry over 2536m last Friday night. “It is a big drop in class for him this week and I give him a good chance of winning,” said Cortopassi. “Racing in the breeze doesn’t worry him; he actually likes it. That’s why the big four-year-old races suited him because they were run up-tempo, and he gets into a rhythm and he can hold a rhythm. When they go slow, he mixes his gait a bit and takes a bit to get going. “We’ll be going forward and if they want to hold us out, so be it. Naturally, you’d love to lead. But I’d also be happy to park him in the breeze. However, whoever is going to lead is going to have to earn it.” Cortopassi will also be represented in Friday night’s race by five-year-old Naval Aviator, who will be driven by Dylan Egerton-Green from the inside of the back line. Naval Aviator has been unplaced at his past nine starts, with Cortopassi admitting that the horse had been disappointing in recent outings. “So, I’ve changed his training a bit to try to freshen him and get some speed back in him,” he said. “He missed last Friday night’s meeting and hopefully this week he will be a bit sharper.”     Cortopassi, who drove promising mare Aly Shar to an impressive all-the-way victory for Byford trainer John Oldroyd at Gloucester Park on Tuesday evening, is looking forward to handling for the first time Oldroyd’s seven-year-old gelding Lightning Jolt from barrier three in the Perth Plasterboard Centre Pace over 2130m.  “Lightning Jolt’s two runs since a spell have been really good and he’s got the gate speed to come across with them early,” Cortopassi said. “We’ll come off the gate and see what happens. If he can’t get the front, he should be able to get a good trail in the moving line.” Star reinsman Gary Hall Jnr has chosen to drive Ideal Liner in preference to Fremantle Cup winner Caviar Star in the Ray Duffy Memorial over 2536m. Ideal Liner will start from barrier three and Caviar Star will start from the No. 6 barrier for Stuart McDonald. Hall said that the two five-year-olds trained by his father Gary Hall Snr were capable of winning in the seven-horse field, with tactics by all runners behind the polemarker and likely pacemaker Talktomeurmattjesty sure to play a significant part in the outcome. Ideal Liner, a winner at 12 of his 21 starts, raced in sixth position, one-out and two-back before finishing determinedly, out five wide in the closing stages, when second to Im Full of Excuses over 2130m last Friday night. “I thought he was a little disappointing last week,” said Hall Jnr. “But he probably didn’t get enough time to really wind up. He can win this week and so can Caviar Star.”   Ken Casellas

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