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Diego and Mirragon are good things at Friday night’s meeting at Gloucester Park, according to members of the WA Trotting Media Guild. TABradio colleagues Matt Young and Hayden King have made Diego their best bet on a fantastic night of pacing, featuring the Group 1 WA Oaks. “Diego has a beautiful draw and should trail through nicely and be able to put them away whenever Junior wishes to do so,” Young said. “He looks the winner.” And Young agrees. “Diego is simply a class apart from rivals this Friday.” King said. “I think the backline draw will prove no object and he can win in any way he chooses. He has the high speed of a promising horse who will reach loftier heights than this.” The West Australian’s Ernie Manning and veteran trotting journalist Ken Casellas are equally buoyant about the winning prospects of Mirragon. “Victorian import Mirragon looked back to peak form when running on strongly in a Gloucester Park win last Friday night,” Manning said. “The four-year-old, who often competed in Melbourne feature events, proved his class with four Melton victories. He launched a WA career by winning last February 8 and is now chasing his fourth victory since joining Debra Lewis’ stable.” Casellas is on the same page as Manning. “Mirragon is the youngest runner in the sixth event at Gloucester Park on Friday night and the four-year-old has a decided edge in class over his seven rivals,“ Casellas said. “It’s therefore a simple and straight-forward task of nominating him as my best bet for the evening. Mirragon sped over the final 800m in 55.9sec. last Friday when he dashed home from fourth at the bell to snatch a last-stride victory over Plutonium.” The West Australian’s racing co-ordinator Ryan Havercroft is keen on Nota Bene Denario, a former Kiwi pacer who makes his Australian debut for the Gary Hall stable. “Nota Bene Denario hasn’t raced for over six months but would have derived benefit from his trial win at Byford on Sunday,” Havercroft said. “He won six times and was placed on another 22 occasions in a 49-start New Zealand career – that record suggests he should be more than competitive at his local debut.” Longshot guru Pat Harding has opted for Miss Limelight as his best bet on the 10-event card. “After a tough afternoon at GP last Friday, punters and tipsters could fare better this week,” Harding said. “My best bet comes up in race three with No. 2 Miss Limelight. She has run some good places and is due for a win. I think she will do well in this fillies and mares pace.” Radio Great Southern’s form analyst Warren Wishart has opted for Battlescard as his best for the night. “Have to forget Battlescard’s last start and go on his previous runs, most of which were wins,” Wishart said. “With the low draw he should find the pegs and be very hard to beat in front.” Media Guild president Wayne Currall is sticking with his best bet from last week in Boom Time, who didn’t win but finished a game third behind Mirragon. “Boom Time has run two slashing thirds at his past two starts after doing all the bullocking work in the breeze,” Currall said. “This is a race in which there looks to be plenty of pace, so if Chris Voak can give Boom Time an easier run I think he can salute at good odds.” VALUE BETS MATT: Manofthepeople wasn’t a bad run last start, steps well and looks a suitable race to earn. HAYDEN: Whoswhointhezoo has been in career-best form recently. He now steps up in class, but comes up with the pole draw. The times he has been running suggest that he is a big chance in anything he contests. ERNIE: Henwood Bay, the winner of 15 races, gets his chance to break a 17-start losing run when he begins from barrier two. The Errol Ashcroft-trained gelding finished second at Gloucester Park on March 26 after being held up. He came from three back on the pegs to run fourth last Friday night. KEN: For value, I suggest Savvy Bromac in race three. She caught the eye when she sprinted home fast from last to finish second to her smart stablemate Heavens Showgirl last Friday. RYAN: Whoswhointhezoo has shown a return to form in recent runs and gets the benefit of an inside draw here. Good each-way prospect from the pole. PAT: My value bet comes up in race six with No. 4 Mr Kiwi. He had a win five starts ago and I believe Gary Hall Jr can guide him to victory at a good price. WARREN: This is a rare city run for Budd Sidewinder, but he comes to town off a good last start win. Loves the stand and not a bad draw for him. Great each-way bet. WAYNE: I’m expecting the WA Oaks to be run at high-speed and some of these fillies will be “feeling the pinch” at the end of a gruelling 2536m trip. One filly who should relish the distance is Royal Essence. Her toughness has been on show at her past three starts where she’s done it hard outside the leader. If she can get an economical run in transit, she’ll be storming home at the business end for young Emily Suvaljko. It’s great to see Bill Crabb, the former long-time photographer at GP, and Robbie Dewar, the former Sunday Times trotting writer, being honoured with races named after them. Both gentlemen have been wonderful servants of harness racing in WA. To view all of the media guild tips click here. Good punting.   Wayne Currall

On paper, Perfect Major stands out as a star bet in the opening event, the 2130m Simmonds Steel Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Perfect Major, prepared by Ross Olivieri, is one of four stablemates in the field of seven, and Voak had the choice of driving Perfect Major, Stefsbest or Carrera Mach. Perfect Major will be having his first start since he led and finished third behind Cyclone Banner over 2130m on December 18. He had raced against superstar Chicago Bull and other star pacers at each of his four previous starts following wins at his first four appearances in WA. He finished third behind Chicago Bull and Shockwave in the Cranley Memorial, eighth behind Chicago Bull in the Fremantle Cup, won from Chicago Bull in the RWWA Cup and then finished fifth behind Vultan Tin and Chicago Bull in the WA Pacing Cup. Voak is now somewhat puzzled at Perfect Major’s seemingly disappointing form in three recent Byford trials in which he raced in the breeze and finished a close fourth behind Ace Bromac, third in a field of three behind Gran Chico, and a three-length second behind Alice Kay on Sunday morning after racing without cover. “It doesn’t look like that he is going any good,” said a perplexed Voak. “His trials have been ordinary. However, his work during his previous preparation wasn’t much good. But when he went to the races, he was a totally different horse. He ran fifth in the WA Pacing Cup, so he must have some chance, first-up.” Olivieri also was guarded in his prediction of how Perfect Major would perform on Friday night, saying: “He probably needs the run.” Perfect Major will start from the outside in the field of seven, and Voak will wait and see how the race unfolds before deciding on his tactics.        Stefsbet, a smart first-up winner over Gee Jay Kay at Pinjarra two starts ago, will be handled by Shannon Suvaljko from barrier five; Chris Playle will drive Carrera Mach from barrier four, and Olivieri’s other runner, Kiwi Bloke will start from the No. 1 barrier with Chris Lewis in the sulky. Making up the field will be recent winners Extradite, Thomson Bay and Rakasinc. View the Gloucester Park fields click here!   Ken Casellas

New Zealand-bred six-year-old Nota Bene Denario looks a good bet at his Australian debut when he starts from barrier No. 1 in the Allwood Stud Farm Pace, a 2503m stand at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The son of American stallion Well Said, Nota Bene Denario excelled in standing-start events in New Zealand where four of his six wins from 49 starts were in stands, three over 2400m and one over 2700m. He gave a sample of his ability when he won a 2150m mobile trial at Byford on Sunday morning for champion trainer Gary Hall Snr. Driven by Gary Hall Jnr, Nota Bene Denario was not bustled at the start from the outside (No. 6) barrier and the gelding settled down in fourth position, five lengths behind the leader. He then enjoyed a perfect passage, one-out and one-back, before being switched three wide 650m from home and then taking the lead 100m later on his way to victory over Bettor My Dream, rating 1.59.9 after final quarters of 29.8sec. and 29.4sec. Nota Bene Denario meets moderate opposition and should be capable of winning, with his chief rival likely to be veteran pacer Budd Sidewinder, who ended a losing sequence of 36 when he raced without cover in the middle stages before scoring an easy win in the 2590m Wagin Cup on Thursday of last week. “Nota Bene Denario’s trial was good, and he should go close on Friday night,” said Hall Snr. The Hall camp also has bright winning prospects with Diego in the 2130m Westral Pace in which the New Zealand-bred five-year-old will start from the No. 2 barrier on the back line. Diego, a winner at nine of his 32 starts, drops appreciably in class after seconds behind Mighty Conqueror and Miracle Moose at his past two appearance. Diego impressed last Friday when he ran home powerfully from fifth at the bell to be second to Miracle Moose over 2130m, with the final 800m being run in 55.5sec. View the Gloucester Park fields click here!   Ken Casellas

Veteran New Zealand-bred pacer Galactic Star is poised for his 31st  win after drawing the prized No. 1 barrier in the 2536m In Appreciation of Bill Crabb Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The evergreen eight-year-old, who will be driven by ace reinsman Ryan Warwick for leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond, is an excellent frontrunner who has set the pace at seven of his Gloucester Park victories. He has been unplaced from poor draws at his past three runs since he led from barrier four and won from Vultan Tin and Bletchley Park over 2536m when he dashed over the final 800m in 55.5sec. Galactic Star began out wide from barrier seven when he worked hard in the breeze for most of the 2130m journey before wilting to finish sixth behind his talented stablemate Mighty Conqueror, who led from barrier one and defeated Diego and Runaway Three last Friday week. Mighty Conqueror faces a sterner test this week when he will start from the outside barrier in a field of nine. He will be handled by Dylan Egerton-Green. Adding interest to the race will be the return to action of six-year-old Jack Farthing, a New Zealand-bred pacer in the stables of Justin Prentice. Jack Farthing won at his WA debut when he ran on to beat Braeview Bondi over 2536m last October. Then, after finishing third behind Chicago Bull and Shockwave at his next start, he was unplaced in top company at his following three starts before being sent for a spell. Jack Farthing warmed up for his return to racing in fine style with a most encouraging win in a seven-horse trial over 2185m at Pinjarra last Wednesday week. He raced in last position before Aiden de Campo eased him off the pegs and sent him forward with a lap to travel. Jack Farthing finished strongly to gain a last-stride victory over Aliman and Jack Mac in a three-way photo finish. The final 400m sections were covered in 27.9sec. and 27.5sec. and the winner rated 1.56.6. Jack Farthing will start from barrier four and Prentice is confident of a good first-up performance. “The trial was good, and Aiden was happy with him,” said Prentice. “He settled really well which is obviously the main thing. “He is up to the class, but first-up over 2536m we will be on the cautious side, and, hopefully, he’ll hit the line strongly.” Phil Costello’s nine-year-old Vultan Tin is in excellent form and should make a bold bid for victory. He will start out wide at barrier eight and Emily Suvaljko is likely to send him forward to race in the breeze. Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri is happy with Im Full Of Excuses draw at barrier two, and said that after working strongly this week, the nine-year-old was capable of a bold showing. View the Gloucester Park fields click here!   Ken Casellas

Chris Voak, last season’s champion driver in Western Australia, is delighted that Black Jack Baby has drawn the coveted No. 1 barrier in the $150,000 WA Oaks at Gloucester Park on Friday night and he is planning for an all-the-way win in the testing 2536m classic event for three-year-old fillies. “We have been drawing badly for so long, and now she gets her chance to lead,” he said. “Nothing can cross her and she has been beaten only once when she has set the pace.” Black Jack Baby, bred, owned and trained by Shane Quadrio, has won at 11 of her 20 starts. She has set the pace in eight of her races, with her only defeat being at her fifth race start, as a two-year-old in the Western Crown Classic when she was second, a half length behind Rumour Has It. She has enjoyed the luxury of the No. 1 barrier only once, and that was nine starts ago when she led early and then raced three back on the pegs before finishing eighth, nine lengths behind the winner Cordero over 2185m at Pinjarra on January 4 this year. Voak said that he has not been disappointed with Black Jack Baby’s fourth placings at each of her past two starts (behind Newsy and Unconditional) when she was restrained from wide barriers. “In those races Black Jack Baby was four deep on the last bend, spotting the leaders three lengths,” he said. “This week, she is going to be three lengths in front of her rivals, and they will have to come wide. Her sectionals in those races were the fastest last halves, with times of under 56sec.” Black Jack Baby will be having her first start over 2536m. Her only appearances in races beyond 2130m have been two starts over 2185m at Pinjarra for an eighth and a second placing. The only runners to have contested a race beyond 2400m are Bettor Beach Belle and Just For Love, who fought out the finish of the $25,000 Country Oaks over 2569m at Bunbury last Saturday week. Bettor Beach Belle, trained by Terry Ferguson, led early and then trailed the pacemaker Just For Love before finishing strongly to win the event by a neck from that filly, with final quarters of 28.9sec. and 27.8sec. Michael Grantham guided Bettor Beach Belle to victory in the Country Oaks, but he has opted to handle the Michael Brennan-trained Miss Boudica on Friday night. Aiden de Campo will drive Bettor Beach Belle for the first time in this week’s race. Bettor Beach Belle will start from the inside of the back liner and should enjoy a good trip behind Black Jack Baby. Miss Boudica, a winner at Gloucester Park in December at Northam last month, is awkwardly drawn at barrier six. Boyanup trainer Justin Prentice is looking for a strong showing from Always An Angel, a talented filly who has won at six of her 11 starts. She returned to close to her best form last Friday week when she started out wide at barrier eight, settled in last position in the field of ten, dashed forward three wide to move to the breeze at the bell and finished second to Newsy. Always An Angel again will be driven by Gary Hall jnr. “I thought Always An Angel was back to herself last start when she ran a really strong last 1200m,” said Prentice. “It was a really good lead-up for the Oaks after I was slightly disappointed with her couple of runs before that. The draw (barrier five) is not perfect; it could be worse, so I can’t complain.” Ace trainer-reinsman Colin Brown is happy with the progress of his filly Joelene, who is favourably drawn at barrier No. 2. She has been placed at four of her five starts as a three-year-old, including seconds behind Black Jack Baby at her past two outings. “We’ll try to settle as close as we can, and hopefully do a job,” said Brown. “She hung a bit at her latest start when I expected her to have gone better. We have straightened her up, and she should go better. She is a good honest little filly and should be competitive.” Star trainers Greg and Skye Bond are sure to be prominent with their three runners, last-start winners Newsy and Unconditional and Booraa, a newcomer from New Zealand who will start from barrier three at her Australian debut. Ryan Warwick will drive Newsy, who should enjoy an ideal passage after starting from barrier two on the back line. Newsy has won in dashing style at her past two starts and should fight out the finish. Unconditional, an all-the-way winner from the promising Royal Essence last Friday will be driven by Dylan Egerton-Green from the No. 6 barrier, and Deni Roberts will handle Booraa from barrier three. Booraa has shown promise at her four starts this season for two wins, a second and a third, in New Zealand. View the Gloucester Park fields click here!   Ken Casellas

Leap Of Faith is a life-changer When life-long friends Luke Edwards and Dave Simmonds studied video recordings of New Zealand races 18 months ago they were greatly impressed with the wonderful natural speed of a three-year-old filly Leap Of Faith, who has developed into one of Western Australia’s best stayers. “She is a very special horse, the first one I have bought from New Zealand,” said the 31-year-old Edwards after Shannon Suvaljko had driven Leap Of Faith, a $43 outsider, to a thrilling victory in the $50,000 Easter Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night. “She is the horse who has changed my whole career. She cost $NZ33,000 and she won at her first five starts for me at her first preparation in WA.” Those early successes prompted Edwards, a former foreman for Debbie Padberg’s Wanneroo stable, to branch out and become a trainer in his own right. Leap Of Faith, who is raced by Simmonds and Edwards’s main owner Melvin King, now has had 24 starts in WA for seven wins, seven placings and stakes of $75,277. “We picked her out just on her sectionals in New Zealand,” said Edwards. “They were really good, and in a race over there (in the winter of 2019) she recorded the quickest quarter over a period of six meetings. So, we bought her for her speed. “She’s fast when she does nothing in a race. Therefore, in long-distance events you have to put her to sleep and let her have the last crack at them.” Suvaljko agreed that it was unwise to ask Leap Of Faith for too much of an early effort. He was able to get the mare away swiftly from the No. 2 barrier on the front line in the 2902m Easter Cup after the polemarker and $2.90 second fancy Glenledi Chief was slow to begin and lost about three lengths. “She flew away and I was able to hold the lead and wait for one of the better ones to come around,” said Suvaljko. “I didn’t want to burn early because it was a 2900m race and you need to save energy. Therefore, I was able to relinquish the lead after 500m (to Glenledi Chief) and let Leap Of Faith go to sleep. “She got into the right spot; two and then three back on the pegs at Gloucester Park is not too bad, if they run along. And when Hally (Gary Hall jnr) made a move with Mista Shark (and got to the front with just under two laps to go) it played into my hands. “I got off the pegs about 600 metres from home and got on to the back of Lawrence (the $2.70 favourite).” Lawrence took the lead at the 250m mark before Babyface Adda gained a narrow lead at the 100m. Leap Of Faith then sprinted fast to get up and win by a neck from Lawrence, with Glenledi Chief a neck away in third place, a head in front of Babyface Adda. Edwards said that Leap Of Faith would continue racing for a month or so before going for a spell. “After that she will come back in the spring and be prepared for the feature events for mares,” he said.   Reeves strikes gold with Thomson Bay “This is like winning $20,000 with a $2 scratchy,” said Coolup trainer Hayden Reeves after four-year-old Thomson Bay had finished powerfully to snatch a half-head victory over the pacemaker Machlani in the 2536m Mondo Doro Smallgoods Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. “It’s a one in a million chance that I’ve got Thomson Bay, who I was able to buy for $1000,” he said. The gelding, an abject failure at his only start as a two-year-old --- when he was a $126 outsider who faded badly to finish eleventh, 80m behind the winner Caveman at Pinjarra in June 2019 --- now has had 13 starts for Reeves for eight wins, three placings and $64,150 in prizemoney. “I am always on the look-out for horses, with the intention of winning (at least) one race,” said Reeves. “About a year ago I got a phone call and was asked whether I would like to lease Thomson Bay, who had been out in the paddock for 15 months after not making it as a two-year-old. “I was told that he was useless and had performed terribly at his only start as a two-year-old. But that was pretty normal and similar to all the horses I get, so I agreed to lease him. “Later, before he had had a trial or had done anything, I asked them (the owners) if they wanted to sell him. They said yes and I was able to buy him for $1000.” Thomson Bay, who is raced by Reeves’s wife Ashleigh, then made a successful debut for his new stable (at his first appearance for 18 months) when he was a $10 chance in a 2185m maiden at Pinjarra last December. “He won by about 20m and then he went to the Albany for their annual season (when he had seven starts for five wins and two seconds) and that was the making of him,” said Reeves. “It was there that he learnt how to race. “Out of the hundreds of horses I’ve had over the past couple of years he is already way smarter than all of them in terms of intelligence. He’s had just a handful of starts and he has already got more manners. You show him something once, and he picks it up. “Regarding his wonderful form, I’m not having a go at other trainers. It is just quite remarkable that he has delivered the way he has.” On Friday night Thomson Bay, fourth favourite at $4.90, trailed the pacemaker Machlani ($4.80) before Bailey McDonough eased him off the pegs with 300m to travel and he went three wide on the home turn before finishing determinedly to hit the front in the final couple of strides.   Our Rhythm N Blues no longer a bridesmaid Experienced pacer Our Rhythm N Blues has turned the corner for champion trainer Gary Hall snr and has struck a purple patch, winning at six of his past 12 starts. A $4.90 chance, he overcame the disadvantage of starting from the outside barrier in a field of eight when Gary Hall jnr drove him aggressively and confidently to score a narrow victory in the 2536m Westral Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Our Rhythm N Blues settled down in last position before Hall jnr dashed him forward, three wide, after 700m to move outside the pacemaker Mr Kiwi ($9.50) with two laps to travel. Our Rhythm N Blues took a narrow lead 320m from home and he went on to win by a short half-head from the $3.70 favourite Lord Rosco, who sustained a spirited three-wide burst from last in the middle stages. Mr Kiwi held on to finish third. Our Rhythm N Blue had managed just one win from 28 starts before his recent burst of splendid form which has boosted his record to 84 starts for 15 wins, 28 placings and $187,949 in prizemoney. “He has decided to win for a change,” said Hall snr. “He used to be a bridesmaid, and I don’t really know what has turned him around.”   Unconditional earns Oaks start Lightly-raced New Zealand-bred filly Unconditional earned a start in the $150,000 WA Oaks next Friday night when she gave a strong frontrunning performance to win the 2130m Etch Coatings Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The Bettors Delight filly, raced by Team Bond and prepared by leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond, was a $15.10 chance from the No. 2 barrier. Ryan Warwick dashed her past the polemarker Miss Boudica 250m after the start and she set a modest early pace with opening quarters of 31.6sec. and 30.8sec. before she gave her rivals little chance by sprinting over the final 400msections in 28.1sec. and 27.8sec. She won at a 1.57.8 rate by a half-length from $11 chance Royal Essence, who fought on determinedly after working hard in the breeze throughout. Miss Boudica ($5) was a neck away in third place after trailing the leader. Unconditional, who is bred to be a good winner, has raced nine times for four wins, two placings and $26,613 in stakes. She is a full-sister to Our Bettor Dream (68 starts for 13 wins, 24 placings and $224,334), Bettor Offer (50 starts for 15 wins, 14 placings and $207,614), Delightful Offer (99 starts for 27 wins, 28 placings and $336,928), Cant Refuse (89 starts for 16 wins, 27 placings and $288,733), Ultimate Offer (39 starts for 12 wins, 11 placings and $81,128), Acceptance (eight starts for two wins, one placings and $16,790) and Some Do (22 starts for six wins, four placings and $62,460). Unconditional will give the Bonds a strong presence in the WA Oaks, with the stable expecting strong efforts from stylish last-start winner Newsy and Booraa, a Mach Three filly who has yet to appear in WA after racing 13 times in New Zealand for three wins and four placings.   Mirragon gets there in the final stride Talented former Victorian four-year-old Mirragon gave further proof of his potential when he finished strongly, out four wide, to gain a last-stride victory over the pacemaker Plutonium in the 2536m TABtouch Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Mirragon, second fancy at $7, began from the outside in the field of eight, and Chris Lewis gleefully sent him forward in the first lap to follow an early three-wide move from the $7.50 chance Boom Time, who quickly moved to the outside of the frontrunning $1.32 favourite Plutonium. Lewis then was able to slot Mirragon into the prime one-out, one-back position. After a third quarter of 2.3sec. Plutonium sprinted over the final quarter in 28.1sec., but was unable to hold out the strong-finishing Mirragon, who gained the verdict by a nose. This was the Debra Lewis-trained Mirragon’s third win from eight starts in WA and it improved his record to 41 starts for ten wins, 11 placings and stakes of $164,691.   Emily is happy to oblige Top-flight reinsman Shannon Suvaljko faced a difficult decision in choosing his drive in the 2130m Catalano Truck And Equipment Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Eventually, he opted to drive A Boy Named Rosie, a ten-year-old with a losing sequence of 14, mainly because he had drawn perfectly at barrier No. 1 and because he was a splendid frontrunner. He picked A Boy Named Rosie ahead of The Last Drop, a five-year-old with a losing sequence of eight. He had driven The Last Drop at 12 of his 15 previous starts for three wins. So, after he had made his decision, Suvaljko’s daughter Emily was more than happy to take the drive behind the Josh Dunn-trained The Last Drop. A Boy Named Rosie was favourite at $3.10, with The Last Drop the second fancy at $4.50. A Boy Named Rosie was smartest into stride and his supporters were on good terms with themselves as he ambled through the lead time in 38sec. and the opening quarters in 30.4sec. and 29.4sec. One For Dave Andme, third favourite at $4.60, raced in the breeze, with The Last Drop racing in sixth position, one-out and two-back. A Boy Named Rosie was still in front on the home bend before being swamped in the final stages, with The Last Drop finishing powerfully, out wide, to win by more than a length from Naval Aviator ($6.50), with A Boy Named Rosie hanging on to finish fourth. The Last Drop, raced on lease by Dunn and Kristy Sheehy, gave Emily Suvaljko a flying start to the Easter weekend. She completed a double in the following event by guiding Miracle Moose to victory, and she followed that with a double with Miss Harlequin and Foxy Rose at Northam on Saturday night and scored with Addisyn at Collie on Sunday afternoon to take her season’s tally to 29. The Last Drop has thrived under the care of Dunn and Sheehy and his 21 starts for them have produced five wins and four placings to improve his career record to 44 starts for 11 wins, nine placings and $88,302.   Miracle Moose deserves a break Up-and-coming five-year-old Miracle Moose maintained his sound form when he sustained a spirited three-wide last-lap burst to score an easy victory in the 2130m Direct trades Supply Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The $1.60 favourite settled down in seventh position before Emily Suvaljko sent him forward, three wide, approaching the bell, and he gave a sample of his class by dashing over the final two 400m sections in 27sec. and 28.5sec. on his way to a 4m win over the $6.50 equal second favourite Diego, who ran home solidly from fifth at the bell. My Carbon Copy, who raced in the breeze early, took the lead after a lap and was still in front approaching the home turn before wilting to finish fourth. After winning twice from 15 starts in New Zealand, Miracle Moose has excelled in Western Australia, with his 26 starts for Ravenswood trainer Nathan Turvey have produced nine wins and ten placings to improve his career record to 41 starts for 11 wins, 14 placings and $118,050 in stakes. “He is a pretty good horse, and he is now going to the paddock,” said Turvey. “After a spell I’ll be bringing him back to get ready for the major Cup races in the summer.”   Heavens Showgirl remains unbeaten in WA Former Victorian pacer Heavens Showgirl has yet to be extended in Western Australia and she shows promise of developing into a capable candidate for the feature events for mares next summer. The five-year-old mare completed a training double for trainer Nathan Turvey when he drove her to a comfortable all-the-way victory in the 2130m Simmonds Steel Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Her three-length win over fast-finishing stablemate Savvy Bromac followed Turvey’s earlier success with Miracle Moose. Heavens Showgirl dawdled through the early stages of the race, with a slow lead time of 39.1sec. and modest opening quarters of 32sec. and 30.8sec. “Heavens Showgirl is going from strength to strength, and her all-the-way wins from three starts for the stable has obviously been helped by drawing the No. 1 barrier in all three starts,” said Turvey. “I am planning to keep her racing in events for mares. And I’m also pleased with Savvy Bromac’s form. She is a fast mare.” Heavens Showgirl now has had 26 starts for nine wins and ten placings. She has inherited much of her ability from her dam Miss Deville, who had 22 starts in Victoria for 13 wins, one placings and stakes of $53,232.   Texas Tiger amazes Chapman Millionaire pacing champion My Hard Copy had 81 starts for his owner Steve Chapman and his family, and the dual WA Pacing Cup winner never won more than two races in a row. Now Chapman is completely stunned at the brilliance of the family’s latest pacing star Texas Tiger, who crushed his rivals in winning the $25,000 Retravision Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night to chalk up dazzling wins at his first eight starts in WA for his new owners. “This sequence of eight in a row is amazing me,” said Chapman after the four-year-old Texas Tiger, trained by Gary Hall snr and driven by Gary Hall jnr, had set the pace and strolled to an easy victory over Stroke Of Luck and Vultan Tin, rating 1.55.8 after dashing over the final 800m in 552sec. “I just think that the horse has excelled with the training he’s been given. He has always had talent; we all know that after watching the replays when he was running around in New Zealand. He had some terrible draws in New Zealand, and we’ve been pretty lucky with his draws here in Perth, and that’s a big thing. “I think he has got it all; he’s got speed and he’s got toughness. He’s only young, and who knows? Hopefully, the sequence will go on for ever. “I didn’t know he had that much gate speed (as he revealed tonight). I’ve never seen it before. The New Zealand videos didn’t show he could begin like that. The only thing he’s got to do now is to show me that he can sit in the breeze. That’s something he has got to do one day. “And if he has the ability that we all think he has, then I don’t think there’s any doubt that he will become a top-liner. He’s only four and we don’t want to go too big with him too early. Let him mature a bit more. He has done a great job, more than we expected.”  “I think we will nurse him along until Chicago Bull gets back, and then he will have a spell before being brought back for the big races in the summer.”   Ken Casellas

Plutonium, a much-travelled Auckland Reactor five-year-old has bright prospects of making a successful debut at Gloucester Park when he contests the opening event, the 2536m TABtouch Pace, on Friday afternoon. The Michael Young-trained gelding will start from the No. 5 barrier and reinsman Gary Hall Jnr is planning to use his good gate speed in a bid to set the pace. Plutonium made his Western Australian debut in a 2185m event at Pinjarra last Monday week when he was beaten out from the No. 2 barrier by the polemarker Moonlight Shadow before he mustered speed to take up the running after 250m on his way to an easy 10m victory over the fast-finishing Classic Choice. That first-up victory followed the gelding’s three starts in Victoria last December when he led and won all three events. Before that, he had nine starts in New Zealand for one win, and five starts in South Australia for two wins and two seconds. “His Pinjarra run was good,” said Hall. ”He usually gets out quicker than he did at Pinjarra, and I think he will get out better this time from the middle of the line. I think Palatino (barrier one) will hold up early, but we will be having a look for the lead. It’s a good field and Boom Time and Mirragon look the two to beat.” It is interesting to note that Palatino, trained and driven by Cody Wallrodt, is a renowned frontrunner whose six wins have all been achieved after he has set the pace. The Ross Olivieri-trained Boom Time is knocking on the door and will pay to follow after impressive placings behind Matai Geordie and Lawrence at his past two starts. Hall had the choice of driving Diego, Vespa, Liam Neil and My Carbon Copy in the 2130m Direct Trades Supply Pace, and he has opted to handle My Carbon Copy, who starts from the inside of the back line. Micheal Ferguson will drive Diego, a strong-finishing second to Mighty Conqueror last Friday night, Chris Voak has been engaged for Vespa, and Maddison Brown will be in the sulky behind Liam Neil. “It was a choice between My Carbon Copy and Diego and I went for My Carbon Copy because of the draw,” said Hall. “From the inside of the back line we should get a good run behind the likely pacemaker Shadow Roll.” Aldo Cortopassi will drive the Ray Williams-trained Shadow Roll and he said he planned to take full advantage of the No. 1 barrier. “There is a fair bit of speed to our outside, but we will pump the gate hard,” he said. Shadow Roll returned to his best form at Gloucester Park on Tuesday of last week when he led from the No. 1 barrier and won in good style from Dominate The Dojo.   Ken Casellas

Brilliant filly Black Jack Baby will lack nothing in fitness when she contests the $150,000 WA Oaks on Friday week. The winner at 11 of her 19 starts will race at Gloucester Park for the fourth successive Friday when she lines up at barrier No. 7 in the 2130m Etch Coatings Pace for three-year-old fillies on Friday afternoon. Leading reinsman Chris Voak will have plenty of options this week using Black Jack Baby’s sparkling gate speed in a bid to burst to an early lead or restrain her at the start and rely on her devastating finishing speed. The Shane Quadrio-trained filly had no luck last Friday night when she started from the outside barrier (No. 9) and settled down in last position before Voak sent her forward to follow the three-wide run of Always An Angel approaching the bell. Always An Angel then got to the breeze with a lap to travel, which left Black Jack Baby the task of racing out three wide for almost the entire final circuit. Black Jack Baby was far from disgraced in finishing fourth behind Newsy, Always An Angel and Royal Essence. Top-flight reinsman Aldo Cortopassi is delighted with the Peter Anderson-trained Simply Shaz drawing the prized No. 1 barrier and predicted that the New Zealand-bred filly would run a bold race. “She is a nice filly and this looks a good race for her,” said Cortopassi. “She has shown really good gate speed at her five starts in the State and from barrier one I don’t see her having any problems in holding up. “She was just jogging when she won at Kellerberrin on Sunday, and she is a strong each-way chance. Black Jack Baby is the one we all have to aspire to. However, they’re all beatable, as we saw last week.” Simply Shaz, who worked in the breeze before winning by eight lengths over 2185m at Pinjarra three starts ago, was untroubled to set the pace and win, unextended, by three lengths from Wilkins Judy Matao over 2130m at Kellerberrin on Sunday afternoon. Gary Hall Jnr will handle the Michael Young-trained Patrikiar, who will be the sole runner on the back line in Friday’s event. Patrikiar has not raced since she trailed the pacemaker before winning from Galaxy Warrior over 1780m at Northam on December 15. She then ran a sound trial when she raced three back on the pegs in an Indian file 2185m six-horse trial at Pinjarra last Wednesday week. She went to the line strongly and finished sixth, two lengths from the winner Bettor Finish. “Patrikiar has a fair bit of ability, but is her own worst enemy at times,” said Hall. “Hopefully, she will enjoy a good trail behind Simply Shaz and has top three claims.” In an even field on Friday, Miss Boudica (barrier two) and Unconditional (three) are sure to be prominent and have each-way claims.      Ken Casellas

Evergreen nine-year-old As Happy As Larry is fighting fit and in peak form for the testing challenge of overcoming the back mark of 50 metres and winning the $50,000 Easter Cup over 2902m at Gloucester Park on Friday afternoon, according to Henley Brook trainer-reinsman Robbie Williams. “It’s very hard to win off 50m, but he’s definitely up for it,” said Williams. “He is a true stayer and the 2902m suits him; that’s his ideal trip.” The New Zealand-bred As Happy As Larry has a losing sequence of 17, stretching back to April of last year when he was the sole backmarker off 50m in the Easter Cup. He was a $10.40 chance and he quickly made up ground to enjoy an ideal passage in sixth position, one-out and two-back, before being switched four wide at the 250m and bursting to the front on the home turn on his way to an emphatic one length victory over frontmarker Where Ya Bin. Twelve months before that, As Happy As Larry was an $8 chance off the 30m mark when he met with early interference, was tenth in the middle stages and seventh (three wide) at the bell before finishing powerfully to be second, beaten a nose by Mighty Conqueror (off 20m) in the 2019 Easter Cup. Williams is confident that As Happy As Larry has a great chance to become only the fourth pacer to win the Easter Cup twice since the event was first run in 1912. Quartz won the Cup in 1925 and 1926, Big Smoke was successful in 1933 and 1935 and Magic Flute won in 1957 and 1958. “As Happy As Larry was very unlucky not to have won the Cup two years ago, and it would be nice to win the race again this year,” said Williams. “Starting off 50m is not ideal, but he is ready to run a strong 2900m. I wish the race was over 3300m because the longer the distance, the better he is suited. “He is in as good shape as he was this time last year, and his past two runs in this campaign have been exceptional. His Northam Cup run (when third behind Babyface Adda) was very good, probably one of his career-best runs, coming off the 50m handicap over 2560m and going down by not all that much. “Then, his run in the 2536m Free-For-All last Friday night (when he ran on from eighth at the bell to finish fourth behind Mighty Conqueror) was exceptional, too. Glenledi Chief looks hard to beat in a race in which some of the runners are unknown quantities over 2900m. “I’ll probably drive As Happy As Larry the same as I drove him last year’s Easter Cup. I’ll probably try to catch them as quick as we can, probably in the first 500 to 600m and then let him find his feet, balance him up and let him get into rhythm. Once he gets into rhythm, he’ll travel. “In these longer races you can generally see most of the runners and how they’re travelling, especially leading into the 600m mark.” Leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond have a good record in the Easter Cup in recent years, winning with Assassinator in 2017 and Mighty Conqueror in 2019 before Where Ya Bin started from the No. 1 barrier in last year’s Cup and finished second to As Happy As Larry. This year the Bonds will be pinning their hopes on four-year-old Glenledi Chief, the youngest runner in the race who will start from barrier No. 1 on the front line, and six-year-old Lawrence, who will begin off the 10m line. Star reinsman Ryan Warwick has driven Glenledi Chief at his four starts in Western Australia, all in stands, for four wins one at Narrogin and three at Pinjarra and he has given punters a valuable lead by choosing to handle Lawrence, with Dylan Egerton-Green engaged to drive Glenledi Chief. Lawrence warmed up for the Cup in fine style with a smart first-up victory in a 2130m mobile event last Friday night when he dashed to the lead after 220m and sprinted over the final 400m sections in 28.4sec. and 27.4sec. Gary Hall Jnr, who has won the Easter Cup with The Falcon Strike in 2003, Patches in 2006 (when he dead-heated with OK Windermere), Uppy Son in 2012, Rebel Scooter in 2013 and Znana in 2016, will drive the Michael Grantham-trained Mista Shark off the 20m mark. Eight-year-old Mista Shark showed a welcome return to form two starts ago when he led and won a 2130m mobile event from One For Dave Andme. Runaway Three, who finished eleventh in the 2019 Easter Cup, will start off the 40m mark for trainer-reinsman Corey Peterson. The seven-year-old will have admirers after a second to Texas Tiger and a third behind Mighty Conqueror at his past two starts.   Ken Casellas

Newsy completes Warwick’s quartet Ryan Warwick earned the crown as the king of Gloucester Park on Friday night when the lightly-raced Newsy burst into serious WA Oaks contention with an easy victory in the 2130m Tokyo Olympics on Seven Pace. Her win completed a fabulous night for the 42-year-old Warwick, giving him four wins from four consecutive drives, following successes with Wainui Creek, Mighty Conqueror and Lawrence --- with all four winners being prepared by champion trainers Greg and Skye Bond. Warwick and the Bond stable continued in fine form at Bunbury’s Donaldson Park on Saturday night, winning with Ifeel Sikdarl ($7), Be Rock Hard ($1.18) and The Darling ($1.45). Newsy, having her third start as a three-year-old and only her seventh career start, overcame difficulties to record a smart victory by just under two lengths from Always An Angel, rating 1.56.4. A solidly-supported $3.30 second favourite, Newsy missed the start by more than a length and settled down in sixth position, with $23 chance Yellowroseoftexas setting the pace. Warwick then stole a march on his rivals when he sent Newsy forward with a fast three-wide burst to take the lead after 900m. Black Jack Baby, the $2.05 favourite from the outside barrier (No. 9), raced at the rear before Chris Voak followed a fast three-wide burst from Always An Angel approaching the bell. Always An Angel, driven by Gary Hall jnr, got to the breeze with just under a lap to travel, leaving Black Jack Baby trapped out three wide. Black Jack Baby fought on doggedly to finish a well-beaten fourth, just behind the third placegetter Royal Essence. Warwick explained Newsy’s early troubles, saying: “The new mobile took off pretty quick, and if Newsy doesn’t get her head on it early she can do that (lose ground at the start). The No. 5 horse Royal Essence was playing around a bit and didn’t give me the ability to get straight on to the arm.  “I thought that the leader (Yellowroseoftexas) wasn’t the right leader, and even though the speed wasn’t slow, it was an opportunity to go when I did. It was an opportunistic move, and Newsy should be cherry ripe for the Oaks.” The $150,000 WA Oaks will be run next Friday week, with the New Zealand-bred Newsy, who has had seven starts (all in WA) for five wins and a second placing, emerging as a major threat to the brilliant Black Jack Baby. Newsy, by Bettors Delight, is the third foal out of the unraced mare Ultimate Art, whose dam Princess Paua produced the evergreen Durango Kid, who won 24 races in Australia and 18 in America.     Lavra Joe reigns supreme “He’s done that on his ear,” beamed proud owner-trainer Ray Jones after his powerful colt Lavra Joe had crushed his rivals in the 7News Perth Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. And champion reinsman Chris was just as enthusiastic, saying: “He’s becoming a real professional. He came off the gate beautifully and he wasn’t flat out, even when I let him move along in the final half in 54.8sec. He has done that within himself.” Lavra Joe is in all-conquering form and is sure to prove extremely hard to beat in the $200,000 Sky Channel WA Derby on April 30. His win on Friday night by almost five metres over the talented but inexperienced Jumpingjackmac boosted his record to 28 starts for 16 wins, seven placings and $213,727 in prizemoney. “It was just what he needed,” said Jones. “He needed one more run here because the Battle of Bunbury is on April 9, and if he didn’t race here tonight there would have been too big a gap between runs. “After the Battle of Bunbury Lavra Joe will run in the Country Derby two weeks after that race. And a week after the Country Derby he will run in the WA Derby. So, all that means is that he will have two hoppled runs before the Derby.” Lavra Joe, the $1.04 favourite, began speedily from the No. 5 barrier and sped past Aussie Scooter and into the lead after 75m. The race then developed into an Indian file affair for the six runners, with Jumpingjackmac, the second fancy at $7.50, in fourth spot. Give Us A Wave ($23) was eased off the pegs 300m from home and Gary Hall jnr then followed that colt. Jumpingjackmac, having his second start after an absence of 17 weeks, was fourth 50m from the post and finished strongly to be second.   Wainui Creek is turning the corner Wainui Creek, unplaced at her previous four starts, bounced back to top form with a convincing victory at $10 in the group 2 $50,000 Channel 7 Empress Stakes over 2536m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. “I don’t think she has been going that well,” said star reinsman Ryan Warwick. “I thought she has been a bit off, mainly with her attitude and not really with the way she has been racing. Her attitude wasn’t as good as we thought it could have been. “But she has started to turn the corner. She raced three back on the pegs and a few good things happened for her. When Sweet Maddison was in front, I though she wasn’t the right leader. But when you have drawn barrier two, you’ve got to lead. “I thought what made the race for us was when Junior (Gary Hall jnr) went forward with Alice Kay in the second lap.” Alice Kay ($4.80) was ninth with 1400m to travel when Hall set her alight and she sprinted fast in a bid to take the lead from Sweet Maddison, who resisted the challenge. Wainui Creek continued to race in sixth position, three back on the pegs, and Warwick was able manoeuvre the mare into the one-wide line with 420m to travel. Wainui Creed went five wide on the home turn and with 95m to go she burst to the front, overhauling the $3.60 favourite Star Of Diamonds, who had surged into the lead, out four wide, with 250m to travel. Has No Fear ($9) finished strongly to be second, ahead of Star Of Diamonds and Sheez Our Hope ($9). Star Of Diamonds started from the back line and was eighth in the middle stages before sustaining a strong three-wide run to be fifth at the bell. Wainui Creek, a five-year-old Bettors Delight mare who raced 27 times in New Zealand for six wins and 12 placings, has had 11 starts in Western Australia for four wins and one second placing. Her win on Friday night boosted her earnings to $270,696 and gave Warwick his second success in the Empress Stakes --- after he guided the Grant Williams-trained Asian Paradise to a one metre win over Billabong Girl in March 2005.   Second group 3 win for Peterson Twenty-year-old Corey Peterson landed his second group 3 winner when he drove $1.40 favourite Extradite to a comfortable all-the-way victory in the $30,000 Clarke final at Gloucester Park on Friday night. His previous group 3 winner was One For Dave Andme, who started at $5.50 and defeated To Fast To Serious in the John Higgins Memorial last July. “Tonight, it was a drop in grade for Extradite, really,” said Peterson who drove the New Zealand-bred six-year-old for trainer Kim Prentice. “He had the perfect draw (barrier No. 1) and he’s a good frontrunner. I never felt in doubt; I had a look around at the 200m and there was nothing making ground. He has come on in leaps and bounds since Kim changed his work.” Extradite had the luxury of a slow lead time of 38.7sec. and was able to amble through the first quarter of the final mile in 31.9sec. before Peterson increased the tempo and the Washington VC gelding ran the final 400m sections in 29.2sec., 27.3sec. and 28.1sec. to record a mile rate of 1.57.3. Henwood Bay, racing first-up, trailed Extradite all the way and finished second, with Lightning Jolt finishing a sound third after enjoying an ideal passage, one-out and one-back. Peterson has formed a wonderful association with Extradite, having driven the gelding eleven times for six wins, two seconds and three thirds.   Hall maintains top spot An easy all-the-way triumph by Our Rhythm N Blues in the 2130m Flashpoint On Seven Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night gave champion reinsman Gary Hall jnr the first leg of a double and enabled him to stay on top of the national drivers’ premiership table. Hall scored with Griffin Lodge in the final event to take his tally of wins for the season to 60 and hold the lead over Queensland’s Peter McMullen (56 wins) and Tasmanian Jack Laugher (47). Our Rhythm N Blues, prepared by Gary Hall snr, was a hot $1.30 favourite from the prized No. 1 barrier and Hall enjoyed an armchair drive behind the pacemaker who strolled to victory over $26 chance Major Stare, who trailed the leader throughout. Space Junk ($31) fought on to finish third after working in the breeze for much of the way. The seven-year-old New Zealand-bred Our Rhythm N Blues, a son of Rock N Roll Heaven, has been an honest performer throughout his 83-start career of 14 wins, 14 seconds and 14 thirds for stakes of $177,672.   Tenno Sho ends losing run of 18 Veteran square gaiter Tenno Sho ended a ten-month drought and broke a losing sequence of 18 when he was on his best behaviour and gave an impressive frontrunning display to beat Dark Secret by five and a half lengths in the group 3 Wake Up With Sunrise On Seven Trotters Sprint at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The eight-year-old Victorian-bred gelding rated 1.57.4 to equal the track record for trotters over the 1730m journey. The record was set by Invasive when he won a group 2 Great Southern Stars qualifying heat, beating Geez Speedy Gonzalez on January 15, 2016. “Tenno Sho has been a bit of a handful, and credit is due to Michael Grantham who was driving him for the first time,” said owner John Jelf. “When he’s behind the mobile he sort of jumps like a kangaroo.” Tenno Sho had been unplaced at his previous eight starts and was on his worst behaviour when last in a field of six at Gloucester Park last Tuesday week when he raced roughly, hung in and broke twice in running. “He also suffered from heat stress after that event,” said Jelf who bought the gelding quite cheaply from Nathan Turvey more than a year ago. Tenno Sho is one of several trotters in the Pinjarra stables of Tracy Reay, who was successful with On Fast Forward in the race in which Tenno Sho finished last on Tuesday of last week. Tenno Sho was a $23 tote outsider on Friday night, with On Fast Forward at $13 and Reay’s other runner Mortician at $81. On Fast Forward finished seventh and Mortician was sixth in the field of ten. Reay has also had success with pacers, winning races in 2005 and 2006 with veteran chestnut Kobiashi Maru, and her most recent success with a pacer was when New Zealand-bred El Cartel won at Gloucester Park on Tuesday September 4, 2018, after the mare had won at $68.10 in a metropolitan-class event, beating the $2.90 favourite Sheez Edgy by a head on December 22, 2017. Tenno Sho has had 131 starts for 15 wins, 42 placings and stakes of $144,154.   Voak’s daring tactics pay dividends Star reinsman Chris Voak faced a tough decision last week when he had to decide between Carrera Mach and Bracken Sky as his drive in the Game Footy Tipping Competition Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He had handled the Ross Olivieri-trained Carrera Mach in 32 races for four wins, eleven seconds and two thirds, while he had driven the Debbie Padberg-trained Bracken Sky four times for a second, a third, a fourth and a sixth placing. Both pacers had drawn out wide in the 2130m event, and after plenty of thought Voak chose Bracken Sky (barrier nine) ahead of Carrera Mach (seven). He proved to be an excellent judge, with Bracken Sky, a $16.20 chance, winning by just over a length from Gran Chico ($3.20), with $41 chance Carrera Mach, with Chris Playle in the sulky, sustaining a strong finishing burst from eighth at the bell to be a neck away in third place. Bracken Sky’s victory can be attributed to Voak’s daring tactics. He got Bracken Sky away brilliantly and the six-year-old burst past the $3.20 favourite Walsh to take the lead after just 100m. Then, about 280m later Voak surrendered the lead to Gran Chico. Bracken Sky’s prospects appeared hopeless when he was hopelessly hemmed in on the pegs behind Gran Chico approaching the home turn. But then the breeze horse Rakasinc began to wilt, enabling Voak to ease Bracken Sky into the clear with 110m to travel. Bracken Sky charged to the front in the straight and won convincingly at a 1.56 rate. Bracken Sky, who ended a losing sequence of nine, has had 99 starts for 16 wins and 30 placings for stakes of $190,975. He had 45 starts in New South Wales for ten wins and 14 placings, and his 54 WA starts have produced six wins and 16 placings.   Griffin Lodge set for the Pearl A supercharged finishing burst paved the way for smart colt Griffin Lodge’s dashing victory in the 1730m Channel 7 Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Driven by Gary Hall jnr, Griffin Lodge, a $4.90 chance, raced in last position in the field of six before he thundered home to beat Seven No Trumps by five lengths at a 1.56.2 rate. He was still last and starting a three-wide move approaching the 400m mark when the leader Linebacker broke into a gallop, leaving the breeze horse Bushwacked in front. Then, in the twinkling of an eye Griffin Lodge, out three wide, burst past Bushwacked and raced away. Olivieri was delighted with the colt’s splendid performance and he said that Hall had said Griffin Lodge would have won even if Linebacker had not galloped. Griffin Lodge, an easy winner at Pinjarra on debut at his previous start, will be set for the Pearl Classic at the end of May. He is by Fly Like An Eagle and is the first foal out of the unraced Grinfromeartoear mare Bignightout, who showed plenty of promise before breaking down with tendon problems. Griffin Lodge’s great granddam Nolas Nuisance produced seven winners, including Rich And Spoilt, who had 42 starts for 20 wins, 14 placings and stakes of $301,630. Olivieri said that part-owner and breeder Rod Pye had always wanted to name a pacer after Griffin, a legendary mythological creature with a body, tail and back legs of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle. Griffin Lodge certainly has the potential to fly like an eagle. Warwick praises Mighty Conqueror Ace reinsman Ryan Warwick heaped praise on outstanding six-year-old pacer Mighty Conqueror after driving him to an easy victory in the $25,000 Dancing With The Stars On Seven Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. “He is back to how he was in his four-year-old year when I thought he was going better than when he won the WA Pacing Cup as a five-year-old in January 2020,” Warwick said. “I think he is a better horse now than when he won the Pacing Cup. “I don’t know what his target is, but it is just good to see him back in this form. I’d say the next Pacing Cup would be an aim.” Mighty Conqueror, who beat stablemates Vampiro and Our Jimmy Johnstone in the WA Pacing Cup in January 2020, finished third behind Vultan Tin and Chicago Bull in the WA Pacing Cup in December 2020. The New Zealand-bred gelding by American Ideal, is lightly raced, with his 37 starts producing 18 wins, nine placings and stakes of $579,798. On Friday night, Mighty Conqueror was favourite at $1.20 and from the No. 1 barrier he set a brisk pace and scored by a length from Diego ($7), rating 1.55.7 over the 2536m journey, with final quarters of 29sec., 29.1sec., 28.5sec. and 27.9sec.   Lawrence  set for Easter Cup Ace trainers Greg and Skye Bond produced Lawrence in fine fettle for his first-up appearance in the 2130m Big Brother On Seven Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The New Zealand-bred five-year-old was a $2 favourite who began well from barrier No. 4 to dash to the front 200m after the start and then set a solid pace before winning convincingly from stablemate Poisedtopounce ($5) and Boom Time ($5) at a 1.56.5 rate. After having 28 starts in New Zealand for five wins and 11 placings, Lawrence has raced only six times in Western Australia for four wins and two seconds. “Lawrence and Glenledi Chief will go to the Easter Cup,” said star reinsman Ryan Warwick. “They’ve both got good ability and deserve a chance to run in the Easter Cup.” The $50,000 Easter Cup is a stand over 2902m and will be run at Gloucester Park next Friday afternoon. Lawrence has made one appearance in a stand in WA when he had a tough run in the breeze and finished a one-length second to Triroyale Brigade over 2503m at Gloucester Park last December. He raced in eight standing-start events in New Zealand for two seconds, four fourths, an eighth and a tenth placing. His seconds were over 2700m at Gore in December 2019 and over 2600m at Wyndham in January 2020. He started well off the front at Gore, led after 100m and remained in front for the first 1200m before taking the trail behind the favourite Bettathanfast. The final 400m was covered in 28.4sec. and Lawrence finished determinedly to be a half-neck second to Bettathanfast. In the race on the grass track at Wyndham, Lawrence started off the 10m mark and was favourite. He settled in eighth position and was sixth in the one-out, one-back spot at the bell before starting a three-wide move 600m from home. He went seven wide on the home turn and charged home to finish second to the $25 pacemaker I’mallaboutthebase, who sprinted over the final 400m in 28.6sec. Glenledi Chief is unbeaten in four appearances for the Bond stable in WA --- all in stands, three at Narrogin and one at Pinjarra. He has yet to appear at Gloucester Park. His 22 New Zealand starts produced three wins and six placings. He raced in five stands for two thirds over 2600m, a fourth over 2600m and a sixth and an eighth.     View the full Gloucester Park results click here!   by Ken Casellas

Well punters, it’s a case of get your skates on and grab the best price you can on Extradite on Friday night at Gloucester Park. The speedy frontrunner has drawn gate one in race four - the Group 3 $30,000 The Clarke Pace (2130m) - and several members of the WA Trotting Media Guild have made the Kim Prentice-trained Cory Peterson-reined pacer their star bet at the meeting. Veteran trotting journalist Ken Casellas, The West Australian’s Ernie Manning, Radio Great Southern’s form analyst Warren Wishart and The West Australian’s racing co-ordinator Ryan Havercroft have all declared Extradite. “Extradite is a brilliant frontrunner and I’m making the six-year-old my best bet to notch his fourth win from six starts this season when he begins from the No. 1 barrier at Gloucester Park on Friday night,” Casellas said. “He was not extended in winning from Rock Me Over a fortnight ago, and he looks set to repeat the dose.” Manning agrees. “Extradite, who has bounced back from mediocre form, is a smart frontrunner who looks a top prospect from barrier one,” he said. “He was beaten at 15 consecutive starts before recording four wins and three places in his past nine appearances. Trainer Kim Prentice said the improvement resulted from changes to the six-year-old’s training routine. Extradite has set the pace in recent Gloucester Park wins.” Wishart is as equally taken with the horse. “Extradite just keeps raising the bar and has the ideal draw again to lead all the way,” he said. And Havercroft makes it a clean sweep. “Extradite has won the last three times he has exited barrier one and looks hardest to beat in The Clarke Pace,” he said. “After indifferent form at his last campaign, he is racing in fine form this time in and can bring up consecutive wins here.” Media Guild president Wayne Currall also believes Extradite will post an all-the-way victory, but has thrown out another couple of specials for the meeting. “Like most of the boys, I expect Extradite to lead all the way,” he said. “But I’m suggesting punters can get a nice little return by playing an all-up on the brilliant Lavra Joe in the opening event, into Extradite in race four, then all into Mighty Conqueror in race six. With a bit of luck we might be looking at $2.50 to $2.70. Hey, little fish are sweet!” TABradio’s Hayden King is keen on Star Of Diamonds in the Group 2 $50,000 Channel 7 Empress Stakes (2536m). “Star Of Diamonds was superb when routing her opposition in the Golden Girls Mile at Pinjarra, racing clear to win in 1:53.3,” King said. “Again she is presented with a suitable trailing draw and I think she will take plenty of beating.” Longshot guru Pat Harding believes the stable of Greg and Skye Bond will have a good night. “My best bet is a Bond-trained horse, in the main race on the night” he said. “I think Wainui Creek from barrier 10 can be well placed and run home we’ll at a bit of value.” VALUE BETS KEN: For value, I suggest Cordero from the awkward barrier at No. 6 in race seven. He is due for a change of fortune after being severely checked at his past two outings. His form before those two unplaced efforts was most encouraging. ERNIE: One For Dave Andme should not be underrated after he drew barrier nine and has been beaten at his past eight appearances. He ran a stylish second on March 9 and finished fifth after covering extra ground last Friday night. WARREN: I’m expecting a better showing from Sweet Maddison from this draw. At the current fixed odds quote of $7 she is good each-way value. RYAN: Bettor Pack It should get an economical run in the Empress Stakes and some of these may not find the 2536m trip. Place play in an open race. WAYNE: Henwood Bay is poised to get a lovely run behind likely leader Extradite. He’s won both of his recent trials at Bunbury after a three-month spell and looks a great quinella hope. HAYDEN: Once again, I am going to try a place all-up. Naval Aviator draws to be behind the leader/favourite in the second; Star Of Diamonds for the aforementioned reasons should be at least be placing; Runaway Three will be on the back of the leader in the sixth, as he was last start when running second in this company. PAT: My value bet of the night comes up in race nine with No. 7 Lady Jadore. She had a win four starts ago and I think its time for her to step up again at good odds. To view all of the Media Guild tips click here. Good Punting.   Wayne Currall

Talented reinsman Kyle Harper drove stablemates Bushwacked and The Wildcard to smart wins over 1684m at Pinjarra last Monday week, and he has decided to handle Bushwacked in the Channel 7 Pace for two-year-olds at Gloucester Park on Friday night. “Just from the barrier draws and at this point in their campaigns I think Bushwacked is the better racehorse right now,” he said. Bushwacked will start from the No. 4 barrier in the 1730m event, with The Wildcard at No. 5. The youngsters were bred and are owned and trained by Shane Quadrio, who has engaged Harper’s father Lindsay to handle The Wildcard. “Bushwacked can burn out of the gate and run some pretty good times,” said Kyle Harper. “I expect him to run a pretty good race, and he’s going to have to be on his game because it is a good field. If he can find the front Bushwacked will be pretty hard to run down.” Chris Voak also had the choice of two drives in the race, and he has opted for the Barry Howlett-trained Linebacker from the No. 2 barrier ahead of the Ross Olivieri-trained Griffin Lodge, who will start from barrier three and will be driven by Gary Hall Jnr. Voak drove Linebacker at his debut when the New Zealand-bred gelding raced in the breeze and was checked and broke before finishing a well-beaten second to Meteoroid over 1823m at Narrogin last Saturday night. He also drove Griffin Lodge at his debut over 1684m at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon when the colt sat behind the pacemaker before finishing solidly to win easily from Luke Attack. “it was a difficult decision,” said Voak. “Both are capable of winning. Linebacker is a very promising horse and has extreme upside to him but is still a little raw. Griffin Lodge also has plenty of upside and is probably more of a racehorse now.” The best performed runner in the field is Peter Tilbrook’s Seven No Trumps, who will be driven by Shannon Suvaljko from the outside in the field of six. The colt began brilliantly from barrier five and led all the way when an easy winner over Alcopony at a 1.56.6 rate over 1730m last Friday night. A similar performance will make him extremely hard to beat again.   Ken Casellas

“He’s a good frontrunner, so we will be coming out as hard as we can,” said astute trainer Mike Reed when assessing the first-up prospects of Gran Chico, who is favourably drawn at barrier two in the 2130m The Game Footy Tipping Competition Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The New Zealand-bred five-year-old warmed up for his first race for 11 weeks with a narrow 2150m trial win in a three-horse field at Byford on Sunday morning when he trailed the pacemaker Bettor Reward before Mark Reed eased him off the pegs 550m from home. The Bettors Delight gelding then fought on determinedly to get up and beat Bettor Reward by a nose, with Perfect Major a length back. “It was a good trial,” said Reed Snr. “They didn’t go that quick (with comfortable quarters of 32.2sec., 30.9sec. and 29.4sec. before a final 400m section in 27.3sec.) and that doesn’t suit him. He’s more of a stayer. “I haven’t discussed tactics with Mark yet, but I think we could come out blazing, and if he leads, then whatever beats him home will win the race.” Gran Chico, a winner at nine of his 24 starts, should burst past the polemarker Walsh and take an early lead. Walsh started from the No. 1 barrier in a 2130m event last Friday night and was beaten for early speed. He settled down in fifth place, three back on the pegs, and was hampered for room in the home straight when fourth behind Rock Me Over. Gary Hall Jnr has given punters a strong lead by choosing to drive Our Rhythm N Blues in preference to stablemate My Carbon Copy in the Flashpoint On Seven Pace. He said it was an easy decision, with the seven-year-old Our Rhythm N Blues drawing the prized No. 1 barrier, and My Carbon Copy facing a tougher task from the outside of the back line. “The plan will be to lead and win,” said Hall. My Carbon Copy will be driven by Stuart McDonald and has the ability to fight out the finish. Hall drove the five-year-old last Friday night when he raced in the one-out, one-back position and fought on when third behind Rakasinc and Lightning Jolt. That was his first start for five months and he is sure to be improved by the outing.   Ken Casellas

The most recent time when champion colt Lavra Joe clashed with Jumpingjackmack was 17 weeks ago when Jumpingjackmack, at his third race start, set the pace and won from Robbie Rocket and Lavra Joe at Gloucester Park on December 4. A highlight at Gloucester Park on Friday night should be the meeting of these two brilliant three-year-olds in the opening event, the 2130m 7News Perth Pace. Both pacers are leading contenders for the $200,000 Sky Channel WA Derby on April 30. Jumpingjackmac, prepared by Gary Hall Snr, went for a spell after his victory on December 4 and he reappeared at Gloucester Park on Tuesday afternoon when he gave an excellent performance to score an easy win at a slick 1.55.9 rate over 2130m. He settled down at the rear of the seven-horse field and after a scorching lead time of 35.1sec. he was twelve lengths behind the tearaway leader Mister Ridgewell. He then raced without cover until moving into the breeze outside the leader Mister Ridgewell with 1100m to travel. Jumpingjackmac then forged to the front 580m from home and won by 8m from the fast-finishing The Swiss Maestro. It was a testing first-up run for Jumpingjackmac, with the middle quarters whizzing by in 28.7sec. and 28.5sec. Jumpingjackmac will start from barrier three in Friday night’s six-horse field in which Lavra Joe will start from the No. 5 barrier. Lavra Joe is in sensational form and has set class records in winning very easily at his past two starts, rating 1.53.5 when he beat Dominus Factum by four lengths in the 2130m Group 3 Caduceus Club Classic and rating 1.54.4 in beating Pinny Tiger by almost seven lengths in the 2536m Group 2 Western Gateway Pace. Lavra Joe will go into Friday night’s race with a considerable edge in fitness over Jumpingjackmac and he looks set to turn the tables on his talented rival. “Jumpingjackmac is a nice horse, but he is not ready to beat Lavra Joe,” said Hall. “If he was able to lead, he could have a chance, but he is unlikely to be able to cross the horses drawn inside of him (the Greg and Skye Bond-trained pair of Give Us A Wave and Aussie Scooter).” Chris Lewis, who drives Lavra Joe for his owner-trainer Ray Jones, said: “Obviously Ray is very happy with the way he pulled up after last week’s win, and he’s a horse who bounces off hard runs. So, there’s no reason that he won’t run any different.”   Ken Casellas

Outstanding filly Black Jack Baby, a brilliant all-the-way winner last Friday night, will be seen in a different role when she starts from the outside barrier (No. 9) in the 2130m Tokyo Olympics On Seven Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. “She will be driven very conservatively and will be saved for one sharp sprint over the final 400 metres,” said star reinsman Chris Voak. “If we get a helmet to follow into the race it will be perfect. If no-one makes the move, we won’t be making the move until late. She raced very well in front last week and Shane (owner-trainer Shane Quadrio) wanted to race her again before the WA Oaks (on April 9). “This is the sort of run she needs to have to fit in for the campaign. Unfortunately, she has drawn badly (under the conditions for the race), and she won’t be making her own luck.” However, Black Jack Baby, who possesses wonderful gate speed and is a proven frontrunner, also is capable of unwinding a dazzling finishing burst and she should prove extremely hard to beat on Friday night. Her chief rivals appear likely to be Newsy, Always An Angel and Unconditional. Newsy, prepared by Greg and Skye Bond, will start from the No. 6 barrier with Dylan Egerton-Green in the sulky. She impressed, second-up after a spell, when she enjoyed an ideal passage, one-out and one-back, before sprinting fast with a 27.5sec. final quarter to win by more than three lengths from the pacemaker Royal Essence over 2185m at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon. That was her fourth win from six starts. Newsy’s smart stablemate Unconditional (Ryan Warwick) is better drawn at barrier four. She possesses good gate speed and is likely to lead or settle in a favourable forward position. She raced in the breeze before winning over 2242m at Narrogin three starts ago and followed that with a head second to Sound Wave over 2185m at Pinjarra after setting the pace and a wilting fourth behind Black Jack Baby last Friday week after setting the pace. Always An Angel was a splendid first-up winner four starts ago when she scored narrowly from Black Jack Baby, but she has been slightly disappointing at her following three starts when fifth behind Rumour Has It, fourth behind Altamatum and third behind Black Jack Baby.   Ken Casellas

Inexperienced five-year-old Sheez Our Hope has captivated harness racing fans in her brief career with her sparkling speed, and she has bright prospects of overcoming considerable odds by winning the Group 2 $50,000 Empress Stakes at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The Alta Christiano mare, owned and trained by Michael Cornwall, faces the immense task of beginning from the outside of the back line at her first appearance at Gloucester Park at only her seventh start and at her first attempt over 2536 metres. But I have been excited by her enthusiasm and great natural point-to-point speed and expect her to upset her far more experienced and better-performed rivals. Sheez Our Hope will be driven by Kyle Harper, who caused an upset in the Empress Stakes in April 2012 when he drove $20 chance All In Baby to a last-stride nose victory over the $1.80 favourite and pacemaker Kamwood Laughter, driven by Colin Brown, who is hoping that his tough mare Fifty Five Reborn can give him his second training and driving success in the big race after scoring with Sand Pebbles in 2004. Harper realises the magnitude of Sheez Our Hope’s task this week, but he predicts a bright future for the mare. “It’s hard not to be impressed by her,” he said. “For a horse who has had only six starts (for four wins, a second and a third) she is doing things that you would expect from a seasoned Free-For-All mare. “This is a huge jump up in class for her. It was also a big rise in class when she ran in the Golden Girls Mile at Pinjarra on Monday of last week and she handled it with ease.” Sheez Our Hope was an $8.50 chance from the back line in the 1684m Pinjarra feature event in which she settled down in seventh position, was eighth at the bell and started a three-wide move 700m from home and finished strongly to be third behind Star Of Diamonds and Nikasa, with the winner rating 1.53.3 after final quarters of 27.5sec. and 28sec. “She was running on strongly at Pinjarra, and two starts before that, over 2242m at Narrogin, I clocked her to run her final 800m in 55.7sec. when second to the leader Bee Jays Boy. Running 55.7sec. around Narrogin on the rail is impressive, let alone off the rails, chasing. “You don’t run that sort of time at Narrogin, especially for an inexperienced horse. Then, at her next start, over 2100m at Bunbury when she won from Star Of Diamonds, she came from the rear and was clocked at 54.2sec. for her final 800m. “She did that without cover, three deep. She just has that type of speed. But it’s still early doors for her and she is still learning. She is a great horse to drive, and with her you can make your own luck. She could have drawn better on Friday night, but for her the back line is fine. “She is a sit and kick style of horse who has led and won, but in this class over this distance, sit and kick is her go. It is really a question of whether she is up to these over the long journey. However, I don’t think the 2500m will worry her. She has certainly got the ability to stand up and make her presence felt.” Star reinsman Chris Voak is confident that the Barry Howlett-trained four-year-old Star Of Diamonds will be hard to beat. Star Of Diamonds, who has had 29 starts for five wins, seven seconds and three thirds, will, like Sheez Our Hope, be having her first start over 2536m. She will start from barrier two on the back line on Friday night and Voak declared: “She’s a very good chance. I think that she and Sheez Our Hope are the two most promising up-and-coming mares in the State. “They are as good as each other right now, and with a season of winter campaigning under them, I expect them to be potentially a threat to Balcatherine and other good mares when they meet in the major events for mares next summer.” Star of Diamonds has sparkled during her current preparation of four starts for wins at Narrogin and Pinjarra and close seconds at Bunbury and Gloucester Park. She enjoyed an ideal passage, one-out and one-back, before finishing powerfully to hit the front 120m from the post and go on and easily beat Nikasa and Sheez Our Hope in the Golden Girls Mile at Pinjarra. “Star Of Diamonds can repeat the does and beat Sheez Our Hope again,” said Voak. “Whoever gets the better trip out of the two is going to win the race.” Nikasa, to be driven by Dylan Egerton-Green from the No. 4 barrier, is sure to be prominent on Friday night. She finished strongly in the Golden Girls Mile and then warmed up for Friday night’s engagement with an excellent second to Bettys Lass over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Tuesday night when she finished strongly from sixth at the bell. Fifty Five Reborn has won twice over 2536m, Delightfulreaction has won once over 2536m and twice over 2503m, and Sweet Maddison has won twice over 2536m and once over 2569m.   by Ken Casallas

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