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Tonight at Gloucester Park sees the 23rd running of the harness racing John Higgins Memorial. The race recognises former WA Trotting Association President John Higgins who tragically died in a motor vehicle accident in 1994 and was posthumously acknowledged with a James Brennan Award for his service to harness racing. A Narrogin-based lawyer John Higgins had served as President of the WA Country Trotting Association for ten years before becoming President of the WATA in 1991 Equally at ease talking with the State’s leaders or his mates at the Narrogin Trotting Club John Higgins was at all times a passionate advocate for trotting. The supporting races at tonight’s meeting recognise a number of trainers, drivers and administrators who also made significant contributions to harness racing at Gloucester Park. Members of their families will be guests of Gloucester Park at tonight’s meeting. Les Poyser drove 757 winners with 512 of them in Perth including the 1980 WA Pacing Cup with Pure Steel and three WA Derbies in a five year period with Swahili, Satanas and Volutis.  He also trained 639 winners including Little William which dead-heated with Virgil Queen in the 1977 Members Sprint. Les Poyser died in 2015. Fred Hough drove 512 winners between 1947 and 1990 including the 1955 WA Pacing Cup with Hall Of Fame inductee Frosty Nelson. Fred Hough drove Step Lad when that horse dead-heated with Attaboy in the first ever photo-finish dead-heat at Gloucester Park. Fred Hough died in 2016 at age of 86. Ray Sweetman drove 491 winners with 283 of them in Perth including a win in the 1979 WA Derby with Special Garry. He also educated and trained Australia’s first 1:55 pacer Classic Garry and won an Easter Cup with Binshaw before switching to thoroughbreds where he trained 127 winners. Ray Sweetman died in June 2017. Les Marriott drove 454 winners with 216 of them in Perth including a win in the 1971 WA Pacing Cup with Pyramus who remains the last mare to win the WA Cup. Les also trained and drove another champion mare in Virgil Queen which dead-heated with Little William in the 1977 Members Sprint. Les Marriott died in 2015. A member of the WA Racing Industry Hall of Fame, Max Johnson won four Perth Drivers Premierships. His 1952 title as 21yo gives him the record as the youngest driver to win the title. There was a 59 year span between his first and last wins as a driver. Max Johnson died in 2015 at age of 84. Bob Pollock drove 853 winners with 484 of them in Perth with a span of 58 years between his first and last winners. Those wins included the 1953 Inter Dominion Grand Final with Captain Sandy. His first win came as a 17yo driving the 15yo gelding Tommy Dillon. Bob Pollock died in 2012. Ron Percival commenced working for the WA Trotting Association in 1914 as a 15yo office boy. He became the Association’s Secretary in 1935 and was in that role for the first Inter Dominion Championship in 1936 and subsequent Inter Dominions in 1940, 1947 and 1953. Ron Percival died in 1957. Roy Annear was a breeder and owner and a former Vice-President of the WA Trotting Association and he, in partnership with his wife Diane, owned more than 700 winners including 100 in the 1979/80 season. It was Roy Annear’s idea to run the highly successful New Year’s Eve race-meetings at Gloucester Park. Roy Annear died in May 2017. Jack Simmons drove some 236 winners with 173 of them in Perth between 1917 and 1950 including the 1923 WA Derby with Miss Chicago. He trained and drove the champion mare Lady Childewood when she finished fourth to Logan Derby in the first Inter Dominion final in Perth in 1936. It is intended to run races in memory of past champion trainers, drivers and administrator’s each year on the night of the Higgins Memorial with the names being used on a rotational basis. Alan Parker

Following a short battle, popular Committee Member Laurie Kennedy sadly passed away in the early hours of Wednesday morning 26 July. A Life member of both Gloucester Park Harness Racing and the WA Standardbred Breeders Association, as well as a long-time owner-breeder, who sold a Sportswriter filly for $20,000 at the Perth Sales earlier this year, the last yearling through his Brook Park establishment.  Laurie was responsible for the beautiful garlands presented to the feature race winners at Gloucester Park, including the 2015 and 2016 Inter Dominion Grand Finals. “Laurie had a real passion for harness racing and was well respected in the industry” remembered John Burt, President Gloucester Park Harness Racing “He was a great contributor on the Gloucester Park Committee, but above all he was a wonderful man who will be sorely missed” said Burt As a sign of respect, reinsman will wear black armbands in the feature event on Friday night, the $35,000 John Higgins Memorial. 

Five-year-old Vultan Tin is flourishing under the care of Coolup owner-trainer Phil Costello and he has bright prospects of ending a losing sequence of nine by winning the 2536m In Memory of Fred Hough Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He will start out wide at barrier seven in the field of nine and reinsman Chris Voak is planning to drive the gelding “tough” in a bid for victory. Vultan Tin put the writing on the wall last Friday night when he raced in the breeze for the final two laps and fought on grandly to be a close second to the pacemaker Ideal Alice. “He sat in the breeze in a Free-For-All last week and went down by a half-length,” Voak said. “So, I’d say he’d be comfortable in the breeze again. We’ll wait for him to settle and then he’ll be put in the race and driven positively. He’s dropping back to an M1/M3 field and should be hard to beat.” “I got the drive behind Vultan Tin by chance. Morgan Woodley was his regular driver, but in a race back in May Morgan elected to drive the $1.20 favourite Argyle Red and I got the opportunity to drive Vultan Tin for the first time. He performed like a super star that night and got up at 25/1 from Argyle Red. I’ve been fortunate to drive Vultan Tin since then and he hasn’t run a bad race for me.” Since that victory Voak has driven Vultan Tin 11 times for two wins, four seconds and two fourths and the gelding now has a record of 77 starts for 11 wins and 23 placings for earnings of $144,144. Blinding Light, trained by Greg and Skye Bond and driven by Ryan Warwick, looks the hardest for Vultan Tin to beat. Blinding Light enjoyed an ideal passage, one-out and one-back, before finishing strongly to be second to Sprinter over 2130m last Friday night.   Ken Casellas

Oldbury trainer-reinsman Kim Prentice admits that Abraxas Blues is not particularly tough, but he admires the four-year-old’s sit-sprint ability. Abraxas Blues will start from the inside of the back line in the In Memory of Max Johnson Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night and Prentice gives the gelding a good chance of notching his seventh win at his 25th start. Abraxas Blues caught the eye last Friday night when he started from the outside of the front line and settled down in 11th position before moving to ninth (three wide) at the bell and sustaining the effort to finish a half-head second to hot favourite The Publisher over 2130m. He sprinted fast from the 400m and looked likely to overhaul The Publisher but The Publisher dug deep to prevail in a thrilling finish. “The way he sprinted I thought he was going to run past The Publisher,” Prentice said. “But The Publisher just nodded off and when I got alongside of him, he picked up. However, it was a very good run by Abraxas Blues. “Drawn the inside of the back line on Friday night, I’m hoping the pole marker Attack On Command holds up and leads. Then we’ll just be sitting along the fence and, hopefully, we’ll get the run at the right time. He loves just sitting back and it gives him a good chance.” Another four-year-old in Fanci A Dance, trained in Busselton by Barry Howlett and with Chris Lewis in the sulky, will start from the No. 2 barrier on the back line and he looks a major winning chance after scoring at six of his past nine starts. He maintained his splendid form at Bunbury at his latest appearance, on July 8, when he raced wide in the middle stages and then in the breeze before winning from Our Zac Whitby, rating 1.57 over 2100m. Another well-fancied runner will be the Justin Prentice-trained and driven Quite A Delight, a winner at ten of her 27 starts, who will start from barrier five on the front line. She made a most impressive return to racing after an absence of almost seven months last Friday week when she finished powerfully to win from Mary Catherine and Donegal Rundlescreek, rating 1.58.3 over 2536m. Ken Casellas

Leading reinsman Chris Lewis is looking forward to driving top-flight filly Maczaffair for the first time when she contests the In Memory of Ron Percival Pace over 1730m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Lewis replaces Shannon Suvaljko, who is serving a term of suspension. Maczaffair, trained by Mike Reed, will be having her second start after an eleven and a half-week absence and she will need to be close to her top to overcome the disadvantage of starting from the outside (barrier nine) over a sprint journey. The Mach Three filly resumed in a heat of the Breeders Crown at Gloucester Park on Monday afternoon when she finished a close second to Better B Chevron in a field of four. The winner rated 1.57.6 over 2130m and the final three quarters were run in 29.5sec., 27.3sec. and 28.1sec. Maczaffair settled in last position in the field of four before Suvaljko moved her into the breeze in the middle stages. She fought on determinedly. Lewis, who finished fourth with Lady Luca in that race, had a good look at Maczaffair and he said that she looked slightly underdone. “Just looking at her, I thought she was just short of a run,” he said. “And it was no disgrace to be beaten by a very good filly. You’d expect her to be right in the finish on Friday night.” Maczaffair is the class filly in Friday night’s race, having earned $235,415 from ten wins and seven placings from 22 starts. She won the Group 3 Gold Bracelet as a two-year-old and earlier this season she was successful in the Group 2 Dainty’s Daughter Classic and Group 1 WA Oaks. Her stiffest opposition this week is likely to come from the Justin Prentice-trained trio of Pick My Pocket, Allamerican Queen and Somewhereonlyiknow. Prentice, who also has Lady Luca engaged in the race, has opted to handle the consistent Pick My Pocket. Lewis will also replace Suvaljko behind Rycroft in the In Memory of Les Marriott Handicap, a stand over 2503m. Rycroft, a winner of a 2503m stand four starts ago, looks well placed off the front and is sure to be prominent. Gary Hall Jnr gives front marker Whozideawasthis a good chance in this event after the six-year-old’s sound run at his WA debut last Friday night when he raced wide in the middle stages and then in the breeze before fighting on doggedly to be a half-length second to the pacemaker Dana Duke in a 2130m mobile in which the final 800m was covered in 56.8sec. “I’m not sure how he gets away in a stand,” Hall said. “If he jumps to the front he’ll be hard to beat. He’s also good with a sit. It was a good first-up run last week.” Ken Casellas  

Hall of Fame trainer Gary Hall Snr landed the quinella in last year’s Chandon Final and he is hoping to repeat the dose in the $25,000 In Memory of Bob Pollock The Chandon Final over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He has four runners, Mach Time (barrier one), Harry Hoo (two), Zach Maguire (inside of the back line) and King Lebron (outside of the back). Gary Hall Jnr has given punters a good lead by opting to drive Zach Maguire, a stylish all-the-way last-start winner over Motu Premier. His elder brother Clint will handle talented frontrunner Mach Time, Chris Voak has been engaged for Harry Hoo and Lauren Jones for King Lebron. “It’s a really good field, with many winning chances,” said Hall Jnr, who finished second with 6/1 chance American Boy in the Chandon Final 12 months ago after racing in the breeze for the final 1500m. Stablemate Ricimer, a 16/1 chance driven by Kim Prentice, set the pace and beat American Boy by just under a length. “Mach Time looks set to lead on Friday night and I should be sitting on him with Zach Maguire.” Zach Maguire is capable of unwinding a strong finishing burst, and Hall is hopeful the Bettors Delight four-year-old will get clear in the final circuit and outsprint Mach Time, another New Zealand-bred four-year-old with excellent potential. The main dangers to Mach Time and Zach Maguire loom large as Motu Premier, Natural Disaster and Vanquished. Motu Premier, to be driven by Chris Lewis for Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri, is in dazzling form and should prove mighty hard to beat. A winner of seven races in New Zealand, Motu Premier raced in New South Wales four times for three wins and his four starts in Western Australia have produced three wins and a last-start second to Zach Maguire when he had a tough run in the breeze. “It’s always a task when you draw wide (barrier eight), but I think he will run a good race,” said Lewis. Natural Disaster, a WA-bred four-year-old by American stallion Shadow Play, is in brilliant form for Boyanup trainer-driver Justin Prentice, with his 11 starts this season producing seven wins and two placings. He is unbeaten at his three outings after resuming from a spell and he should obtain an excellent passage after starting from the No. 2 barrier on the back line. Vanquished, in the stables of leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond, will be driven by Ryan Warwick from barrier three on the front line and he warmed up for Friday night’s event with an impressive victory at Gloucester Park on Tuesday night.   He raced in sixth place in the one-wide line before bursting to the front 520m from home and winning by more than two lengths from Auctioneers Elsu, rating a smart 1.55.2 over the 2130m journey. Ken Casellas

Rosies Ideal has struck a purple patch of form for Pinjarra trainer-reinsman Shane Young and has sound prospects of overcoming the outside barrier in a field of eight and winning the $18,000 Garrards Horse & Hound Pace for two year old fillies at Gloucester Park on Friday night. She will appreciate a considerable drop in class after finishing a commendable fourth behind the brilliant colt Jack Mac in the Group 1 Golden Slipper last Friday night. She lacked sparkle from the No. 3 barrier and settled in eighth position before Young set her alight in the middle stages to move to the breeze outside Jack Mac at the bell. She battled on gamely, with the winner sprinting over the last half in 56.6sec. A week earlier Rosies Ideal gave a sample of her class in winning the Group 3 Gold Bracelet in which she started from barrier seven and dropped back to 12th and last in the early stages before Young sent her forward, three wide, after a lap to move into the breeze outside The War Nurse. Rosies Ideal then surged to the front with 220m to travel and won from The War Nurse, with final quarters of 28.9sec. and 29.1sec. She also produced a powerful finishing burst to win at Bunbury two starts before that. The Terry Ferguson trained Cimorene, winner of the Group 1 Diamond Classic four starts ago, looks the toughest for Rosies Ideal to beat. Cimorene, to be handled by Gary Hall Jnr, will start from the No. 4 barrier. Cimorene started from barrier seven and was restrained to the rear in the Golden Slipper before Hall dashed her forward into the breeze in the first lap. She then gained the one-out, one-back position before wilting to finish eighth. The opposition this week is much weaker. All Over Tan, trained at Byford by peter Anderson, is showing steady improvement and has led and won at Gloucester Park at two of her past three starts. However, she faces a sterner test here from barrier seven.    Ken Casellas

Outstanding young reinsman Michael Grantham landed his 200th winner when he guided 11/8 favourite Clear Image to victory in an event for three year olds at Northam on Thursday night and he completed a double when 11/4 favourite Ideal Flipflop stormed home from last to snatch victory over Baptism of Fire in a 2190m event. The 22-year-old Grantham now cannot claim a concession as a junior driver and this meant he has had to forfeit drives behind Red Salute, Billies A Star and Mexicano at Gloucester Park on Friday night. His record stands at 1587 drives for 201 wins, 207 seconds and 180 thirds.  He still has some excellent drives on Friday night with Khun Ratha, Mary Catherine, The Storm Chief, The Bucket List, Jason Rulz and Captured Delight. It is a dangerous policy to select a pacer who has been unplaced at his past ten starts and who has a losing sequence of 14 and has the disadvantage of starting from the outside barrier (No. 9) but the Ross Olivieri trained Red Salute looks close to a certainty from the outside of the front line in the $20,000 Garrards Horse & Hound One Stop Shop Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He is an eight-year-old who has a vastly superior record to the records of his 11 rivals. He has earned $259,809 from 18 wins and 42 placings from 120 starts. He started from barrier nine in a 2130m event last Friday night and caught the eye when he was 12th at the bell before finishing strongly to be sixth, only two lengths behind the winner Thereugo (who dashed over the final quarters in 27.6sec. and 28.6sec.). An interesting runner in Friday night’s race is the New Zealand-bred former New South Wales performer Whozideawasthis, a six year old trained by Gary Hall Snr. Whozideawasthis will be driven by Gary Hall Jnr and should gain a good passage after starting from barrier two on the back line. The American Ideal gelding has not been produced in trials in this State. His most recent appearance was in a 1720m event at Penrith on February 23 this year when he raced three back on the pegs and finished fourth behind Jodan. He has been unplaced at his past ten starts since he started at 5/1 and finished strongly from eighth at the bell to win at a 1:58.4 rate over 1720m at Penrith on June 16 last year. The final quarters were run in 28.7sec. and 28.8sec. He has a record of 46 starts for 13 wins and three placings for stakes of $65,372. He won nine times in New Zealand and has won four races at Penrith. His great granddam Jacuzzi produced Mattnamaras Band, who had 113 starts for 13 wins, 27 placings and stakes of $243,072. Hall Snr trained Mattnamaras Band and produced him in splendid shape for his WA debut when he started off 30m in a C0 event over 2503m at Gloucester Park on May 2, 2009 and won from Black Saint and Fire Rebel. Ken Casellas

Ryan Warwick has given punters a massive lead by opting to drive the lightly raced Bettor Not Bitter in preference to standing start specialist Assassinator in the $23,000 Garrard’s Horse & Hound BOTRA Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Five year old Assassinator’s past seven wins have been in stands, with Warwick in the sulky for five of those victories. Assassinator, who boasts a record of 18 wins and 29 placings from 94 starts, and four-year-old Bettor Not Bitter are trained by Greg and Skye Bond, who are seeking their first win in a BOTRA Cup. Bettor Not Bitter has won at seven of his 26 starts and faces a considerable rise in class in Friday night’s Cup, a stand over 2503m, in which he will start off the front, with Assassinator, to be driven by Ryan Bell, on the 10m mark. Bettor Not Bitter made his first appearance in a stand when he began smoothly off 20m and mustered great early pace to burst to the front after 550m before bowling along and winning easily by more than four lengths in modest C0 company over 2503m at Gloucester Park last Saturday night, rating 2:1.3 on a very heavy track. He charged home from the rear to win narrowly from Cest Lheure in a 2185m mobile event at Pinjarra the previous Monday.  Assassinator warmed up for this week’s event with a sound third behind Motu Premier and Always Arjay in a mobile event at Gloucester Park on July 1. Blythewood trainer Michael Brennan, who was successful in last year’s BOTRA Cup with 5/1 chance Naughty Maravu, holds a strong hand in Friday night’s race with three runners - Im Master Charlie, Jason Rulz and Cut For An Ace. Michael Grantham had the choice of these three pacers and he has opted to drive Jason Rulz, who has been unplaced at four starts since finishing strongly to win a 2636m stand at Narrogin on May 9. Chris Voak will handle Im Master Charlie and Gary Hall Jnr (who drove Naughty Maravu to victory in last year’s BOTRA Cup) will drive Cut For An Ace. Im Master Charlie is in good form, with solid placings at his past three starts and he makes good appeal off the front. Chris Voak drove Im Master Charlie when he led for the first 650m and then trailed the pacemaker Naughty Maravu running third to his stablemate in last year’s BOTRA Cup. Im Master Charlie won two stands in New Zealand and has won four stands in WA, with Voak in the sulky for the first two of those wins, in May 2016. Nine-year-old Cut For An Ace will start off 10m and he impressed last Friday night when he finished determinedly from sixth at the bell to be a close third behind Zach Maguire and Motu Premier. Five-year-olds Tommy Be Good (20m) and Rycroft (10m) will also be fancied in a very open affair. The Katja Warwick-trained Tommy Be Good is capable of producing a strong finishing burst and many keen students of form will declare him the winner after discovering that his past six runs in stands have produced five wins and a third placing. He will be driven by Stuart McDonald, with Aiden de Campo opting to drive frontmarker and consistent performer Sky Art, who is prepared in Capel by de Campo’s father Andrew. Ken Casellas

Veteran tipster Bill Brindley showed all his experience when he led the members of the WA Trotting Media Guild with eight winners from last week's meeting at Gloucester Park. Brindley tipped the first six winners on the card, including value selections Donegal Rundlescreek ($5.50) and Natural Disaster ($5.30), before finishing strongly with The Revolution ($2.70) and Mileys Desire ($4.30). It was an outstanding effort, rating just behind leading tipster Stuart Lowe's superb nine winners earlier this year. Brindley summed up most Guild members' thoughts on their best bet for the night. "It is hard to go past Chicago Bull as the best bet, however Jack Mac also looms as a special on his outstanding form in this State," Brindley said. "Livura should lead throughout for the in-form Nathan Turvey and the Justin Prentice-trained and driven Quite A Delight is my value bet." Lowe has opted for Motu Premier as his best bet on a quality card of pacing. "My best bet is in race five - Motu Premier," he said. "He's a promising type who has won all three of his starts in WA. Last week he breezed at Bunbury before defeating a good field over 2100m in 1.55.6. A repeat of that run would make him very hard to beat here." Lowe likes Budd Sidewinder in the last as his value bet. "This horse has returned to form at his last two starts with a win and close third in the country," he said. "Drawn wide, but this field is not overly strong, and he gets his chance to earn." TABradio's race caller Matt McDermott and Guild president Wayne Currall have also nominated Motu Premier as their best bet. "Motu Premier has recorded nine wins in his last 11 starts and is unbeaten in WA," McDermott said. "He defeated some nice horses in Sydney before making his way west and from gate two, barring any unforeseen circumstances, will be winning here." McDermott likes Rub Of The Green as his next best. "Great win at Narrogin last start in really good time off 60m and was an excellent first-up second at his start prior at Pinjarra," he said. "If Rub Of The Green jumps safely enough from the stand and can land close to them he'll be right in the finish." Currall is a fan of Livura in the second last. "This bloke has been crying out for a draw and he gets it in gate two on Friday night," he said. "Should run to the front and lead them a merry dance." The Sunday Times columnist Robbie Dewar has opted for Jack Mac in the rich Golden Slipper as his best bet. "Jack Mac will be going for six on end in Friday night's $125,000 Choices Flooring Golden Slipper Stakes," he said. "Won by two lengths over 2130m at Gloucester Park when doing all the work in the race, drawn beautifully in gate two and to be driven by Chris Lewis - hard to see him getting beat." Dewar likes Shes Artful as his value for the night. "Shes Artful has drawn ideally in gate one," he said. "She finished a close fourth behind stablemate Donegal Rundlescreek last Friday night. Looks set to get the pie ride in transit and at a backable price could be a good each-way investment." On-course announcer Ken Casellas is at odds with Dewar, making Donegal Rundlescreek his best bet. "Donegal Rundlescreek gives every indication of being a strong stayer and she should be capable of overcoming a back-line draw and winning over the 2536m trip on Friday night," he said. Casellas likes The Storm Chief as his best value for the night. "He has a losing sequence of 10, but he's drawn to lead in this race and could prove hard to run down for reinsman Michael Grantham." The West Australian's Ernie Manning is a big fan of Americanbootscoota. "Americanbootscoota has won four of his past five races and is establishing impressive statistics for trainer Debra Lewis," he said. "The gelding has been unplaced only twice in 11 starts since a transfer to her stable. It would not surprise if he graduated to cups class by next summer." Manning likes Quite A Delight as his best value. "She is resuming after a seven-month break from racing and should not be underrated despite her 11-start losing sequence," he said. "Trainer-reinsman Justin Prentice is expected to bring her back to form this time in." Longshot king Pat Harding believes it will be a favourite’s night. "I have a feeling that this Friday night should be a good night for favourites at GP," he said. "Punters should get off to an excellent start in the first with The Publisher. It was an excellent win last week and with Gary Hall Jr aboard should make it three wins in a row." Harding has gone for Velvet Feels Good as his value selection. "Looking for a bit of value for punters, I went to the last with Velvet Feels Good," he said. "With Chris Voak aboard this horse does have a bit of form and could prove a good each-way bet." TABform racing co-ordinator Ryan Havercroft has opted for The Publisher to get punters off on the right foot in the first. "The three-year-old had the same barrier over the same trip when untroubled in rating a smart 1:56.5 here last week," he said. "Can lead all the way again and give punters a good start." Havercroft is another Guild member who fancies Motu Premier. "Motu Premier is drawn to continue his unbeaten WA record when he contests a heat of The Chandon series," he said. "In three local starts he has shown versatility, winning from both stand and mobile starts. This assignment presents his best draw since arriving from Sydney and he looks up to the rise in class." Good punting. Wayne Currall

Nathan Turvey is driving in grand form and he should bring up his century of winners for the season at Gloucester Park on Friday night. His best prospects are Livura (Choices Flooring Midland Pace) and Blazing Saddles (Choices Flooring Northam Pace). Turvey landed a double with Blazing Saddles and Springfield Hugh at Pinjarra on Monday and was successful with Robert The Bruce on Tuesday night. His record for the season stands at 99 wins, 110 seconds and 89 thirds from 842 drives. Livura is an ultra-consistent five-year-old who has excellent prospects on Friday night from the No. 2 barrier. He sustained a powerful three-wide burst to finish a neck second to Messi over 2242m at Narrogin on Tuesday of last week. That followed a fast-finishing second to Ideal Tyson and Messi over 2130m at Gloucester Park at his previous outing. Blazing Saddles has drawn the prized No. 1 barrier on Friday night and Turvey will be anxious to set the pace. Blazing Saddles broke through for his first win at his fifth start when he led from barrier one and beat Jessie Joan in convincing style over 2185m at Pinjarra on Monday. Gary Hall jun. gave punters a good lead when he opted to drive The Publisher in preference to Heez Manly in the Choices Flooring Joondalup Pace for three-year-olds. He had driven both pacers to stylish wins at their most recent starts. The Publisher led all the way from barrier one when he won from Walkabout Creek and The Storm Chief over 2130m last Friday night. Six nights earlier The Publisher raced three wide for most of the way before winning by a head from stablemate Heez Manly. Heez Manly led from barrier two and held on gamely to win narrowly from Vampiro over 2185m at Pinjarra on Monday. He impressed with final quarters in 27.9sec. and 27.5sec. Vampiro was most impressive at his first Australian start when he worked hard in the breeze and finished with great determination. The gelding, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, will start from barrier three in Friday night’s race and is sure to issue a spirited challenge to The Publisher and Heez Manly (who will be handled by Clint Hall). Ken Casellas

Champion reinsman Chris Lewis will have a massive public following when he drives Americanbootscoota and Motu Premier in successive events at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The four-year-olds are in tremendous form and Americanbootscoota looks set to extend his winning sequence to four by proving the master of his rivals in the Choices Flooring Bunbury Pace and Motu Premier stands head and shoulders above the opposition in the second heat of the Chandon Pace after having won at nine of his past 11 starts. Wins by Americanbootscoota and Motu Premier will bring up a century of winners for Lewis at Gloucester Park this season. And Lewis also has extremely bright prospects of completing a treble by guiding the brilliant Jack Mac to victory in the Choices Flooring Golden Slipper. Lewis is the leading city driver this season with 98 wins and has a good margin over Gary Hall jun. (85 wins) and Ryan Warwick (64). He is also the leading driver on all tracks this season, with 184 winners and a healthy margin over Warwick (158) and Hall (148). Americanbootscoota, trained by Lewis’s wife Debra, is racing with great heart. He began speedily from barrier nine and forged to the front after about 450mbefore giving a powerful frontrunning display to win by four lengths from Billy Mack at a 1.58.2 rate over 2536m last Friday night. Lewis is again likely to drive the gelding aggressively from barrier five this week. Motu Premier has worked hard and covered extra ground at his first three starts in Western Australia, but he has not been fully extended in winning all three races. Lewis has been engaged to drive veteran Northam-trained pacer Celestial Ruler in the Choices Flooring Busselton Pace. The 11-year-old Celestial Ruler will be at long odds at his 205th start. But he could sneak a place. He will start from the inside of the back line and will enjoy a soft passage if the polemarker The Storm Chief holds up and sets the pace. The Merv Jupp-trained The Storm Chief has a losing sequence of ten, but has sound prospects from the No. 1 barrier over 2130m.The gelding is noted for his powerful finishing bursts, but he is also a capable frontrunner. The previous time The Storm Chief started from the No. 1 barrier was 12 starts ago when he led and won at a 1.57.9 rate from Superimposed and James Galleon on March 17 this year. The only previous time he has started from the pole was 40 starts before that, at his WA debut at Gloucester Park on March 29, 2016, when he trailed the pacemaker American Boy and finished second to that smart pacer. Ken Casellas

Busselton trainer Barry Howlett is delighted that he rejected a tempting offer of $100,000 for Jack Mac four months ago and he is looking forward with confidence to the brilliant colt winning the $125,000 Choices Flooring Golden Slipper at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Howlett picked out Jack Mac and bought him as a weanling in New Zealand. He races the two-year-old in partnership with his wife Lyn and their son Jim and he was seriously considering the big offer after Jack Mac had been unplaced at his first five starts in New Zealand when he earned just $7450. However, Howlett pointed out that Jack Mac, trained by Brent Mangos, had been racing against the best two-year-olds in New Zealand and he is more than happy that the colt has developed into a star performer in Western Australia where he is unbeaten in five starts, earning $99,298. Howlett’s confidence grew considerably when the colt drew most favourably at barrier two on the front line in Friday night’s 2130m classic. The colt will be driven by Chris Lewis, who holds the record in the 49-year history of the Golden Slipper with seven victories ---- with Pardon Me Boys (1987), Harry Gunn (1995), Saab (1997), Talladega (1999), The Jobs On (2004), Aikido Whitby (2006) and Western Cullen (2011). Howlett is hopeful of winning the Golden Slipper for the second time. He is a part-owner of Mitch Maguire, who started at 3/1 on and made full use of the prized No. 1 barrier by leading all the way for trainers Greg and Skye Bond and reinsman Ryan Warwick and scoring an easy win over Major Pocket and El Barcelona in last year’s classic. “I bought Mitch Maguire for $43,000 as a yearling in New Zealand, sold a share to Trevor Lindsay and gave Mangos a share,” Howlett said. “After Mitch Maguire had finished third in the Jewels we decided to sell him to Greg and Skye Bond. Then Greg asked if we would be interested in keeping a share. So, Trevor and I kept a ten per cent share. My wife wasn’t very happy when I sold Mitch Maguire and she strongly suggested that I shouldn’t sell Jack Mac. Therefore, I didn’t. Now I consider that Jack Mac goes better than Mitch Maguire.” Lyn Howlett named Jack Mac after her late father Jack McGowan. And, remarkably, there is little to suggest in his breeding that he should be such a brilliant young pacer. Jack Mac, by Mach Three, is the seventh foal out of Matavutu, whose first six foals had only a combined total of 62 starts for seven wins in minor races for combined earnings of $45,686. The only bright feature in Jack Mac’s breeding goes back a long way. His great, great granddam Wainoni Command’s first foal was Markovina (by Mark Lobell) who was a star of the 1970s, winning 35 races and being placed another 20 times from 97 starts. Trained and driven by Brian Gath, Markovina unwound a powerful finishing burst to win the 1978 Inter Dominion championship final at Moonee Valley. “I was up north fishing a couple of years ago when I picked out two or three youngsters at the weanling sales in Auckland,” Howlett said. “I asked Brent to have a look at them and he liked the look of Jack Mac and bought him for me. Brent broke in Jack Mac and the colt always showed a bit." He impressed at his final start in New Zealand in finishing fifth behind the outstanding colt Alta Maestro in a 1700m heat of the New Zealand Sires Stakes at Cambridge on March 23 this year. He started out wide at barrier seven and raced at the rear before running home solidly from eighth at the bell. The quarters were run in 27.9sec., 29.1sec., 28.3sec. and 28.3sec. and the winner rated 1.53.3, a national record for two-year-olds. Jack Mac has had to work hard and cover a lot of extra ground in four of his five WA starts, but he should be able to set the pace from the No. 2 barrier on Friday night. “He’s got a lot of early speed if you want to use it,” Howlett said. “He’s got speed and stamina and has also got a good kick when you want it.” At his most recent start, at Gloucester Park last Saturday week, Jack Mac started from barrier five, raced three wide early and then in the breeze before wobbling and running out on the turn into the back straight in the final circuit. Lewis quickly got his mind back on the job and the colt burst to the front and was coasting when he won by two lengths from Antero at a 1.57.8 rate over 2130m. “He went to run off the track,” Howlett said. “He thought he had finished and wanted to pull up, something he had never done before. However, he went to the line well and still had the ear plugs in. Chris said he was travelling easily." "We thought he was a little bit underdone, so we gave him a little light hit-out in a trial at Pinjarra on Sunday morning.” He set the pace and was not extended in winning the trial by more than three lengths. Ken Casellas

Blythewood trainer Gary Elson is full of praise for diminutive filly Cott Beach and he gives the aptly-named pacer an excellent chance of winning the $125,000 Choices Flooring Golden Slipper at Gloucester Park on Friday night The Golden Slipper has been run 49 times, but only eight fillies have been successful --- Sordice (1968), Omista (1971), Via Vista (1980), Mazzini Magic (1988), Whitbys Miss Penny (1990), Whitbys Merit (1993), Spirit of Navajo (2005) and Arma Xpress (2012). Cott Beach has won at six of her nine starts and is handily drawn at No. 4 on the front line. She possesses blistering gate speed and Nathan Turvey could well go for broke and attempt to send the filly to the front from the outset. While Cott Beach is a dashing frontrunner, she can also race back in the field and produce a powerful finishing burst. She has given superb frontrunning displays to win at her past two starts, in feature events for fillies. Cott Beach is owned by Peter King, an Englishman who trained and drove winners in England, his wife Barbara Pellick, a remarkable international marathon swimmer, and King’s 25-year-old son Michael. “Barbara is the queen of the Rottnest channel, with 28 solo crossings and one double,” King said. “The annual Rottnest swim starts from Cottesloe Beach, hence our filly’s name. She is also the first West Australian to get the triple crown of ocean swimming --- the English Channel, the 48km Manhattan Island swim and the Catalina Channel swim --- and she overcame the strong currents to do the Straits of Gibraltar swim two years ago. King and Pellick work at Alcoa and live in Coolup and King has always taken a keen interest in harness racing. “I grew up with horses,” King said. “My uncle was a jockey and my Dad always had thoroughbreds. I got into pacers when I was 16 and I owned and drove pacers. I won a few races as a driver on grass tracks and I came out to Australia in 1987 when I got a job working for Trevor Warwick.” King gained a licence to train and drive in WA. He bred Kings Tricks (by American stallion Just Ever Thankful out of the Racy Prince mare Sahara So Long) and at his first drive in a race in WA he finished second with Kings Tricks (behind Crash City Revhead) at Busselton on December 27, 1994. His first Australian winner was Kings Tricks, whom he drove to victory over Hard Copy (Grant Williams) in a three-year-old event in Collie on April 29, 1995. King drove Kings Tricks at 70 of his 130 starts for five wins (three at Collie and one each at Bridgetown and Busselton). His WA driving career ended with eight wins and 30 placings from 213 drives. He also trained nine winners from 232 starters. His only city training success was with Our Master Jamie in a 1700m $10,000 M0 event at Gloucester Park on February 15, 1991. King also has dabbled with breeding for many years and Cott Beach is the result of his decision to outlay $4500 to buy well-performed mare Back In The Black when she was in foal to Advance Attack. Back In The Black, a winner of seven races and $58,780, produced Cott Beach on October 10, 2014 and Cott Beach goes into this week’s Golden Slipper with a wonderful record of nine starts for six wins and two seconds for stakes of $136,550. Cott Beach’s breeding traces back to the champion world record-holder Dainty’s Daughter, a superstar of the 1970s and 80s. “The rest is history,” said King. “We ended up with this little filly who has turned out to be a pocket rocket.” The Golden Slipper on Friday night promises to be a fabulous spectacle, with Jack Mac, unbeaten at his five WA starts, a hot favourite, but facing serious challenges from Cott Beach and several other up-and-coming two-year-olds. Ryan Warwick and the powerful Bond stable will be out to notch their third win in the classic, with Warwick having been successful with Spirit of Navajo in 2005 and Mitch Maguire last year and the Bonds winning the race with Ohokas Bondy in 2010 and Mitch Maguire. Warwick will drive the Bond-trained Ella Gant Player, who warmed up for the classic with a strong-finishing third behind Rosies Ideal and The War Nurse in the group 3 Gold Bracelet last Friday night. Rosies Ideal, trained and driven by Shane Young, will have admirers after her superb victory last week when she settled down in last position and then started a three-wide move after a lap. She worked hard in the breeze before getting to the front 220m from home. Rosies Ideal was bred and is owned by Busselton businessman Craig Lynn, who also bred and owns Highroller Joe, a promising gelding who will be driven by his trainer Justin Prentice from the outside of the back line. Highroller Joe thundered home from sixth at the bell to score an easy win in the group 1 Westbred Classic last Friday week. Ken Casellas

On Thursday 29 June 2017, RWWA Stewards conducted an inquiry into the reasons for former licensed driving stablehand Terry Trewenack failing to provide a urine sample when directed to do so at a Gloucester Park race meeting in February 2016. At the time Mr Trewenack had been working as a stablehand and had left the racecourse without providing a sample after being directed to do so and Stewards have been unable to contact him until recently. After considering all the evidence, Mr Trewenack was issued a charge under rule 250A(1)(b) which states: A person carrying on or purporting to carry on an activity regulated by licence at any time or carrying on official duties at a meeting commits an offence if he or she refuses or fails to deliver a sample as directed by the stewards, or tampers with, adulterates, alters, substitutes or in any way hinders the collection of such sample or attempts to do any of these things. The specifics of the charge were that in February 2016 while licensed as a driving stablehand he failed to deliver a urine sample when directed to do so by Stewards at Gloucester Park Racecourse. Mr Trewenack pleaded guilty to the charge and was subsequently disqualified for a period of 6 months to take effect immediately. In determining penalty, Stewards took into account the following factors: • The seriousness of the offence • Mr Trewenack’s previous record • The need for the penalty to achieve specific and general deterrence • Mr Trewenack’s guilty plea and forthright evidence • His personal circumstances at the time of the offence and the steps that he has taken to improve his circumstances. Rhys Chappell Deputy Chief Steward

Friday in Perth-Western Australian local time at Gloucester Park, the WestBred $100,000 Finals where run for harness racing two and three year old pacing fillies and colts and geldings. The four WestBred finals were for pacers foaled and registered in Western Australia.  The two-year-old fillies final was taken out by Cott Beach leading all the way over the 2130 metres in a 1:58:8 mile rate and a margin of over 20 metres to easily win with sectionals of.. Lead Time 38.2..First Quarter..31.0..Second Quarter..30.0..Third Quarter..29.4..Fourth Quarter..28.7. The added Westbred interest with the winner was that she was sired by local stallion Advance Attack out of the broodmare Back In The Black. (Armbro Operative).. Click on this link for a Cott Beach six generation pedigree. Click this link for race replay.  The two-year-old colts & geldings final was won by Highroller Joe by Roll With Joe out of  Illeagle by Northern Lights who flashed home to win by 7 metres in a 1.58.6 mile rate.  This win also has a secondary WestBred connection with the dam of Highroller Joe, Illeagle bred by local sire Northern Lights in 2005. Click this link for Highroller Joes six generation pedigree. And click this link for a race replay.  The three-year-old colts and geldings final was an all the way win for Handsandwheels who ran the 2130 metres in a mile rate of 1.56.9..Sectionals..Lead Time..36.7 First Quarter..30.5..Second Quarter..29.9..Third Quarter..28.7....Fourth Quarter..28.9. Just a couple of months ago Handsandwheels won the  $200,000 WA Derby, so a nice money earning 3 year old season for the colt which is a son of Mach Three  out of the mare Benjor Maddy Lombo. Click this link for a Handsandwheels six generation breeding pedigree. And click this link for race replay. Finally the three-year-old fillies final was won by Allamerican Queen in a 1.58.7 MR. The added WestBred connections with this winner are endless..Firstly Allamerican Queen is bred by the local sire Allamerican Ingot out of the mare Teen Queen Lombo bred and owned by Bob Fowlers Allwood Stud Farm.  The win for the filly is a fitting reward for Mr Fowler who over many years has invested in the local breeding industry importing stallions such as Northern Lights, Million To One and more recently owning and standing stallions Tinted Cloud, Follow The Stars, Lombo Mandingo and Parsons Den. Coming this season will be the sensational son of Mach Three, Fly Like An Eagle who will stand locally at Allwood Stud. The other Westbred connection with Allanerican Queen is that she is out of the broodmare Teen Queen Lombo who was bred by another leading West Australian and Australian breeder Mick Lombardo's Lombo Standardbreds who also has invested heavily over the years in the local and national breeding industry. Click this link for the Allamerican Queens six generation pedigree. And click this link for race replay. And finally to be kept informed on Harness Racing News from around the world simply click the Like/Follow icon on the Standardbred Breeding Facebook page.   StandardBred And Breeding For All

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