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Simply Susational further lifted his Inter Dominion Championship prospects, a fighting harness racing winner in tonight's $25,000 Fred Doy Memorial Pace (2130m) at Gloucester Park. The Skye Bond-trained pacer, driven by Ryan Warwick and starting at $3.30, overcame a tough run outside pacemaker Ideal Tyson. New Zealand import Simply Susational, who rated 1:56.6, scored by 1.75m from Ideal Tyson and Major Reality finished a further 1.5m away in third place. "Skye Bond deserves a lot of credit for this horse's success," said Kevin Gartrell, whose family part-own Simply Susational. "He's shown outstanding form in winning at his past two starts." Simply Susational is ranked 20th in the Inter Dominion which begins at Gloucester Park next month. Inters rival Motu Premier had earlier tonight notched an impressive victory in the $22,000 Simpson Pace (2130m). Starting a $1.80 favourite, he rated 1:56.1 for reinsman Chris Lewis and scored by 1.5m from Condrieu. El Hombre, who set the pace, finished a neck back in third place. The Merv Butterworth-owned Motu Premier, trained by Ross Olivieri, was tonight having his first race for two months. He has won at 16 of 34 starts. Meantime, first acceptance fees have been paid for the top 10 pacers in Inter Dominion Championship rankings. Star Australian and New Zealand pacers are aimed at the series which culminates with a $1.1 million final on December 8. Leading contenders Lazarus, Lennytheshark, Chicago Bull, Our Dream About Me, Have Faith In Me, Tiger Tara, My Field Marshall, Ohoka Punter, Soho Tribeca and Major Crocker remained in the championship after first acceptances closed today. Racing and Wagering WA harness racing manager Barry Hamilton said Australasia's best pacers looked set to tackle Inters heats. "It's a great Inters boost to have the 10 top ranked horses all being declared as first acceptors," Hamilton said. "Only five of the leading 30 ranked horses were withdrawn. "John Of Arc, Our Waikiki Beach, Ultimate Art, Tricky Styx and Heez On Fire, who were ranked from 15th to 26th, have dropped out. "Norvic Nightowl, ranked No 32, is also scratched." Only the top 30 ranked pacers will be eligible to contest Inters qualifying heats. Horses currently ranked from 11th to 30th are Beaudiene Boaz, Run Oneover, Devendra, My Hard Copy, The Bucket List, Our Jimmy Johnstone, Yayas Hot Spot, Motu Premier, Jambiani, Simply Susational, Im Full Of Excuses, Major Reality, Jilliby Jagger, Galactic Star, Shandale, Americanbootscoota, Mr Mojito, Condrieu, Bettor Reward and Vultan Tin. Opening heats will be run at Gloucester Park on November 24, before second round qualifiers are at Bunbury on November 28. Gloucester Park will host third round heats on December 1 and the rich final over 2936m a week later. Reprinted with permission of The West Australian

The deadline to withdraw from the 2017 TABtouch Inter Dominion series in Perth without paying the continuation fee closed this afternoon, and all indications are this will be the best of the three harness racing series held in Perth. From the second rankings released by Racing and Wagering Western Australia’s Chief Handicapper Warren Wishart on October 6, only five horses from the top 30 did not pay the first acceptance fee. The Clive Dalton trained John of Arc (15) and Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen’s Our Waikiki Beach (16) are the highest ranked pacers to be withdrawn from the series, while Ultimate Art (19), Tricky Styx (24) and Heez On Fire (26) were the other runners in the top 30 withdrawn. Gary Hall Senior’s Norvic Nightowl (32) was one of the pacers hoping to find his way into the top 30 on the rankings, but has been withdrawn from the series. RWWA Harness Racing Manager Barry Hamilton said it was pleasing to see all horses in the top 10 from the second rankings paying the acceptance fee. “To have all of the top 10 paid up is a great boost for the TABtouch Inter Dominion series,” he said. “We can’t wait to see the highest quality pacers in Australasia competing at Gloucester Park later this year.” The TABtouch Inter Dominion series starts with the first set of heats at Gloucester Park on Friday November 24, before the series once again heads to Bunbury for the second round on Tuesday November 28. The third and final set of heats will be held at Gloucester Park on Friday December 1, before the Grand Final on Friday December 8. FIRST ACCEPTANCES              HORSE  Trainer  1st Ranking 15/09/2017  2nd Ranking 06/10/2017  1st ACPT  3rd Ranking 23/10/2017  4th Ranking 08/11/2017  LAZARUS NZ  Mark Purdon  1 1 a      LENNYTHESHARK  David Aiken  2 2 a      CHICAGO BULL NZ  Gary Hall Snr  3 3 a      OUR DREAM ABOUT ME NZ  Mark Purdon  4 4 a      HAVE FAITH IN ME NZ  Mark Purdon  9 5 a      TIGER TARA NZ  Kevin Pizzuto  5 6 a      MY FIELD MARSHAL NZ  Tim Butt  6 7 a      OHOKA PUNTER NZ  Gary Hall Snr  7 8 a      SOHO TRIBECA  Kim Prentice  8 9 a      MAJOR CROCKER  Vince Vallelonga  12 10 a      BEAUDIENE BOAZ NZ  Gary Hall Snr  11 11 a      RUN ONEOVER NZ  Gary Hall Snr  10 12 a      DEVENDRA  Todd Rattray  13 13 a      MY HARD COPY NZ  Clinton Hall  15 14 a      THE BUCKET LIST NZ  Michael Brennan  17 17 a      OUR JIMMY JOHNSTONE NZ  Skye Bond  18 18 a      YAYAS HOT SPOT NZ  S P Tritton, L R Tritton  20 20 a      MOTU PREMIER NZ  Ross Olivieri  22 21 a      JAMBIANI  Ross Olivieri  23 22 a      SIMPLY SUSATIONAL NZ  Skye Bond  27 23 a      IM FULL OF EXCUSES NZ  Ross Olivieri  21 25 a      MAJOR REALITY NZ  Justin Prentice  25 27 a      JILLIBY JAGGER  Glen Craven  28 28 a      GALACTIC STAR NZ  Craig Cross  30 29 a      SHANDALE NZ  Mike Reed  29 30 a      AMERICANBOOTSCOOTA  Debra Lewis  33 31 a      MR MOJITO NZ  Kerryn Manning  35 33 a      CONDRIEU NZ  Skye Bond  57 35 a      BETTOR REWARD  Justin Prentice  37 36 a      VULTAN TIN  Phil Costello  39 37 a      LETS CHASE THE DREAM NZ  Gary Hall Snr  34 38 a      IDEAL TYSON  Gary Elson  41 39 a      SAN CARLO  Stephen O'Donoghue  42 41 a      CODE BLACK NZ  Kevin Pizzuto  48 43 a      MAJORDAN  Amanda Turnbull  59 44 a      EGODAN  Kevin Pizzuto  71 49 a      NATURAL DISASTER  Justin Prentice  51 54 a      SPRINTER NZ  Gary Elson  55 57 a     

Harness racing trainer Ross Olivieri and reinsman Chris Lewis have been a powerful and highly successful combination for 30 years and they will join forces at Gloucester Park on Friday night when they attempt to win three consecutive events with talented New Zealand-bred pacers Itz Bettor To Win, Motu Premier and Im Full of Excuses. These three pacers are raced by leviathan owner Merv Butterworth, who is hoping the trio will qualify for the rich TABtouch Inter Dominion championship series, starting on November 24. Butterworth makes no secret that he considers five-year-old Motu Premier a superior pacer to Im Full of Excuses and Itz Bettor To Win. Sharing his opinion is Lewis, who said: “Motu Premier is a nice horse who goes good. And now he’s got to step up to the next level if he’s going to be an Inter Dominion contender.” Motu Premier, whose six starts in Western Australia have resulted in five wins and a close second placing, will be making his first appearance for nine weeks when he starts from the No. 3 barrier on the front line in the $22,000 Simpson Pace over 2130m on Friday night. Motu Premier is a strong and dour gelding who has won many races after working hard in the breeze and he is likely to have to endure a tough run again on Friday night when his chief rival looms large as the Olivieri-trained El Hombre. El Hombre will start from the No. 1 barrier and Chris Voak said he would be keen to set the pace. “He produced a powerful effort when he raced without cover before winning from Soho Chelsea and Mach Time last week,” he said. “He should go even better by leading this week and I give him a good chance of beating Motu Premier.” Lewis appreciates that El Hombre will be a worthy opponent on Friday night, saying: “That was one of his best runs and this will be a challenge for Motu Premier. However, all things being equal, I’d say Motu Premier is a better horse.”   Adding considerable interest to Friday night’s race will be the reappearance of Natural Disaster, an up-and-coming five-year-old who will be driven by his trainer Justin Prentice. Natural Disaster, who impressed in winning at eight of his 13 starts last season, will be having his first start for ten weeks. He faces a stern test from the outside (No. 9) on the front line. Motu Premier is at No. 21 in the second list of ranking for the Inter Dominion championship series. Stablemate Jambiani is ranked No. 22, with Im Full of Excuses at No. 25, El Hombre at No. 58 and Itz Bettor To Win at No. 70. Itz Bettor To Win will start out wide at barrier eight in the Celebrating Melissa Renouf Pace on Friday night and Lewis expects him to perform strongly at his second start in Western Australia. The six-year-old gelding was favourite at 6/4 when he dashed to the front from barrier three after 200m and set a brisk pace before wilting slightly in the closing stages to finish fourth behind Soho Tribeca, Bronze Seeker and Ideal Tyson. “I think he ran pretty well,” Lewis said. “He obviously needed the run and even though he’s not well drawn this week, he will be one of the main players in the race.” Im Full of Excuses will start from barrier four in the $25,000 Fred Doy Memorial Pace on Friday night in which he will clash with in-form pacers Simply Susational, Ideal Tyson and Cut For An Ace, as well as outstanding mare Major Reality, who will be having her first start since winning the Golden Girls Classic at Pinjarra on March 27. Im Full of Excuses will be having his second start after a spell. He resumed last Friday week when he started out wide at barrier nine and was restrained to the rear before dashing forward to race in the breeze outside the pacemaker Sheer Rocknroll before wilting to fifth behind Simply Susational. “I was happy with his first-up effort and I think he should step up and run a pretty good race this week,” Lewis said. Ken Casellas

Byford trainer-reinsman Callan Suvaljko is hoping for just a little bit of luck when he drives Bettor Bling in the $18,000 Retravision Pace for harness racing mares over 1730m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The five-year-old certainly deserves a bit of good fortune after she was a certainty beaten when fifth behind Bethany Aitch over 2130m last Friday night. She started from the inside of the back line and met with severe interference when Its My Lucknow galloped badly at the start. She was seventh on the pegs at the bell and was badly blocked for a clear passage until the very late stages when she flashed home out wide. The previous Tuesday Bettor Bling charged home, out wide, from ninth at the 300m to finish a close third to Bad Round and a week earlier she was a fast-finishing second to Chiaroscuro. “Her run last Friday night, when she got cleaned up at the start, was very good,” Suvaljko said. “And then, if she had got out at the 400m she would’ve been very hard to beat. She’s racing well and with a touch of luck she will be right there this week. “A 1700m journey is her pet distance. In races over 2100m you have to save her up for one kick. So, on Friday night I intend to come out from barrier three. If we can’t cross She Could Be Good (barrier one) I hope that the speed will be on and that we get the one-out, one-back trail and the last shot at the leaders.” Bettor Bling, bought for $18,000 as a yearling in 2014 by Sue and Graham Worrall, won the Group 1 WA Sales Classic for two-year-old fillies in April 2015 and she now has earned $112,836 from eight wins and 12 placings from 55 starts. By Bettors Delight, she is the last of Whitby Solitaire’s ten foals and is a full sister to the ninth foal Delightful Jade, who has raced 65 times for 22 wins, 13 placings and stakes of $223,577. Suvaljko is also delighted at the form of Skippy Rascal, who will start from the No. 5 barrier on the front line in the $20,000 Electrolux Pace over 2130m. “He went to the line bolting and with nowhere to go last Friday night,” he said. “I kept kicking up between horses, but there wasn’t a run there. The opposition is tougher this week, so we’ll be virtually driving for luck.” Skippy Rascal will need all the breaks to defeat the polemarker Fifth Edition, who looks set to lead for Ryan Warwick and take a power of catching. Fifth Edition was unlucky last Friday night when he enjoyed the one-out, one-back trail but was hopelessly blocked for a clear passage until 130m from the line, when he surged home powerfully to finish second to Smoldering Ashes. He was terrorized in front when second to Jaxon Fella the previous week.   Suvaljko also gives another of his runners, Sightseeing Anvil, a good chance in the $20,000 Westinghouse Pace over 2130m in which the nine-year-old will start from the inside of the back line. “He’s a lot better horse in front, but this is a weaker field than the opposition he met when sixth behind Jaxon Fella last week,” he said. “It’s not over-strong and he has some chance.” Ken Casellas

Hall of Fame trainer Gary Hall Snr has declared lightly-raced New Zealand-bred pacers Tuas Delight and Extreme Prince fit and ready to be prominent first-up in harness racing metropolitan maiden company at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Each pacer has recovered from injury. Tuas Delight, who will start out wide at barrier eight in the $18,000 Dishlex Pace, suffered serious injuries to a hock soon after finishing a most encouraging second to Mister Versace at Gloucester Park in the first week of April this year. That was his second start in Western Australia after his first-up fourth behind Americanbootscoota at Pinjarra at his WA debut. “He hurt himself when he got caught up in a fence,” said Hall. “He is better now and the injury is not going to affect him.” Tuas Delight, to be driven by Gary Hall Jnr, has won at four of his 24 starts and should prove hard to beat on Friday night. However, he may have to lower his colours to the Nathan Turvey-trained and driven six-year-old Livura, a winner of 17 races and capable of overcoming the distinct disadvantage of starting from the outside barrier (No. 9) on the front line. Extreme Prince, a six-year-old who has won at five of his 19 starts, will begin from barrier four on the front line in the 1730m Kelvinator Pace. He has not appeared since finishing fifth behind Majorlicious at Pinjarra on May 1 this year. “He has now recovered from an infected pedal bone,” said Hall Snr. Extreme Prince revealed excellent gate speed when he began speedily from barrier six and set the pace before winning in 1.53.3 over 1609m at Menangle five starts ago, back in October 2016. The David Thompson-trained Rudimental Sol will start from the prized No. 1 barrier and he and Extreme Prince are likely to dominate betting on the race.  Ken Casellas

Early last year El Machine was classified as an M6 harness racing performer after winning the $50,000 RWWA Cup. A year earlier he won the Village Kid Sprint from Uppy Son, rating 1.55.8 over 1780m at Northam, and four starts before that he won the Manea Classic from Leda McNally at Bunbury, rating 1.56.5. He has lost form and at nine years of age is in the twilight of his 103-start career of 21 wins and 17 placings for stakes of $243,598. He also was the winner of a WA Derby prelude in April 2012. He has dropped back to an M2 classification in a moderate field of mostly veteran pacers and will start from barrier two on the back line with Luke Edwards in the sulky. It should be a wide-open betting race in which punters should consider El Machine’s superior record. The eleven runners have chalked up a combined total of 1043 starts for 145 wins. Six of the runners are nine-year-olds and there are one ten-year-old, one eight-year-old, one seven-year-old and two six-year-olds. The Clint Hall-trained and driven Yackandandah (barrier four) is the likely favourite, after working hard and winning at Gloucester Park four starts ago. Another major hope is six-year-old mare Sea Cider, who will be driven by Dylan Egerton-Green from barrier five. Sea Cider has managed just one placing from her past 15 starts, but she is sure to take a power of beating. She revealed wonderful fighting qualities at Gloucester Park on Tuesday evening when she raced wide early and then without cover for almost two laps when an extremely close fourth behind Guns With Cows in a four-way photo. Sea Cider is prepared by Sarah Suvaljko, who will also be represented by ten-year-old Atlastalone. A fast-finishing winner at Gloucester Park three starts ago. Michael Grantham had the choice of driving Sea Cider and Atlastalone, who raced at the rear and then three wide in the final circuit before finishing eighth, ten lengths behind the winner The Trilogy in a 2503m stand on Tuesday evening. Grantham opted for the Michael Brennan-trained Ona Happy Note, who has a losing sequence of 21 (including just two third placings). Ona Happy Note was eighth at the bell and just plugged on along the pegs when a last-start fifth behind Im Rockaria at Narrogin. The drive behind Atlastalone has gone to outstanding South Australian 17-year-old reinsman Jayden Brewin, who drove 62 winners last season, 55 in South Australia and seven in Victoria.  Ken Casellas

Members of the WA Trotting Media Guild expect champion reinsman Chris Lewis and Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri to dominate Friday night’s nine-event harness racing card at Gloucester Park. The West Australian’s Ernie Manning has made Motu Premier - trained by Olivieri and reined by Lewis - his best bet. “Motu Premier is 21st in the second round of Inters rankings and he is primed to advance to the top bracket with a first-up win,” Manning said. “The gelding showed  class when a Chandon Final and Marathon Pace winner at his last two starts before going out in August for a let-up. He won eight races in New Zealand before scoring two victories during a brief NSW stint early this year. Since joining Ross Olivieri’s stable four months ago, he has won at five of six starts.” Manning likes Ona Happy Note as his value selection. “Ona Happy Note has not won in his past 21 starts, but he drew barrier three in moderate company and the Michael Brennan-trained gelding only needs to be somewhere near his best to figure prominently,” he said. “He won in New Zealand before recording eight Victorian victories. Three Queensland wins preceded his move to WA last year and he was a GP winner at his debut here.” Veteran tipster Bill Brindley believes the Lewis/Olivieri combination can win with Itz Bettor To Win and Motu Premier. “My best bet is Itz Bettor To Win,” Brindley said. “He’s a classy type who should have benefited from his first-up run and can win this race. I also like Motu Premier as a star bet. Brindley has selected King Lebron as his value for the night. “If he’s anyway near fit he could give them something to catch,” he said. TABradio announcer Matt Young has started the new season in “hot form” and is the current leader in the Media Guild’s tipping competition. Young is another expecting big things from Lewis. “My best bet comes up in the first with the Chris Lewis-driven Rockin The Boys,” he said. “She’s back to mares company and looks well placed here. She’s come on this preparation and I think she can win from the breeze ... pretty keen to start the night off well.” Young has opted for Cut For An Ace as his best value. “I think Cut For An Ace is racing super and has the gate speed to either lead or put himself in a top spot to get over the top,” he said. “His last run was very strong in FFA company off the pegs and this is a suitable race.” Longshot maestro Pat Harding, yet to tip his once-a-year-winner at cricket score odds, is also a fan of Rockin The Boys. “With another tough night coming up at GP on Friday and very few standouts, I thought punters could get off to a good start in the opening race with Rockin The Boys,” he said. “This mare has quite a bit of good form and Lewis should see her home.” Harding agrees with Manning about the chances of Ona Happy Note. “Not a great deal of form in the fourth, but with barrier three I thought Ona Happy Note might just provide that for punters,” he said. “Michael Grantham takes the drive for trainer Michael Brennan and that combination has had a good deal of success and it's certainly worth a bet.” Last year’s leading tipster Stuart Lowe has gone against some of his colleagues by throwing out Millview Sienna (in the same race as Rockin The Boys) as his best. “My best bet is the former New Zealander Millview Sienna, who has won two of her four WA starts,” Lowe said. “She covered plenty of extra ground, before winning here in 1.56.9, over 1730 at her last start. Drawn to lead and the one to beat.” Lowe likes Rycroft for his value selection. “My value bet is Rycroft, who has not enjoyed much luck at four starts this season and his form is better than it reads,” he said. “Should appreciate barrier two and will go well.” On-course announcer Ken Casellas has labelled Fifth Edition as his best bet. “Eight-year-old Fifth Edition is bursting at the seams to break through for another win and he gets a perfect chance to notch his 15th victory when he starts from the prized No.1 barrier on Friday night,” he said. “He is my star bet on the nine-event program.” Casellas is also keen on Rycroft. “Noted frontrunner Rycroft is my value bet when he takes on quality opposition in Itz Bettor To Win, Mach Time and Bronze Seeker in the Celebrating Melissa Renouf Pace,” he said. “Rycroft, to be driven by Shannon Suvaljko for trainer Mike Reed, is favourably placed at the No.2 barrier and he appeals as the likely pacemaker and gets an ideal chance to end a losing sequence of seven.” Media Guild president Wayne Currall has opted for the Nathan Turvey-trained and reined Livura as his best for the night. “Livura could only manage a third and a sixth at his past two starts, but that was against far superior opposition to what he meets on Friday night,” he said. “Despite starting from outside the front line, Turvey should be able to put his horse into the race at some stage over the longer journey of 2536m and prove the testing material.” Currall likes Rudimental Sol as his value selection. “This bloke has drawn the pole in the last and Dylan Egerton-Green will be attempting an all-the-way victory on the David Thompson-trained gelding,” he said. “Could prove hard to catch in a race where many runners are out of form.” To view all of the Media Guild Tips for this week click here. Good punting. Wayne Currall

Equine millionaire Mysta Magical Mach, a forgotten harness racing star in recent years, will wind back the clock when he contests the $25,000 Fred Doy Memorial Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. This will be the 13-year-old New Zealand-bred gelding’s first appearance for three and a half years. The son of Mach Three will start from the outside barrier in a field of seven and will be the rank outsider. Veteran Byford trainer Tony Svilicich has never lost faith in Mysta Magical Mach, who has been troubled by leg ailments and spent a couple of years in the paddock. “He’s had bad legs, so I gave him a break,” the 71-year-old Svilicich said with a wry grin. “Demoralizer had similar leg problems --- and he kept going. So, I thought that Mysta Magical Mach could do it. I’ve had him back in work for about ten months to strengthen his legs. A horse has to be strong enough in the legs to compete.” Demoralizer was a wonderful money-spinner for Svilicich, retiring with earnings of $358,199 from 26 wins and 49 placings from 186 starts. Mysta Magical Mach, whose most recent appearance was when he finished last behind Im Themightyquinn at Gloucester Park on May 16, 2014. His record stands at 160 starts for 34 wins, 39 seconds and 15 thirds for $1,261,371 in prizemoney. Ben Millen drove Mysta Magical Mach in a 2185m trial at Pinjarra on Sunday morning when he led early and then took the sit behind the pacemaker Im Batman before fading to seventh and last, 32 metres behind the winner Johnny Disco. The final three sections of the final mile were run in 29.5sec., 28.5sec. and 28.7sec. “No horse could have run those sectional times at his first fast workout after such a long time,” Svilicich said. “And I told Ben not to push him. He could’ve gone quicker. He’ll improve a lot after Friday night’s run. He might run last, but next time he’ll be better and better.” The 30-year-old Millen, a farrier who also works occasionally as the catcher at Gloucester Park meetings, is hoping that Mysta Magical Mach will give him his first Gloucester Park success. “There’s a lot of good horses in Friday night’s race, but Mach will be alright,” Millen said. “He’ll get a lot better.” Mysta Magical Mach has been a wonderful pacer, winning nine group events, including the group 1 WA Pacing Cup. He also finished second in four other group 1 events, the 2012 Interdominion championship, the 2011 Australian Pacing Championship and WA Pacing Cup and the 2008 Golden Nugget. Ken Casellas

Punters will be looking to make a bright start to Friday night’s harness racing meeting at Gloucester Park by supporting Millview Sienna in the opening event, the second heat of the Retravision Preux Chevalier Pace for mares. Mt Helena trainer Ray Williams is confident the sparingly-raced New Zealand-bred five-year-old will prove hard to beat, particularly after she drew favourably at the No. 2 barrier on the front line in the 2130m event. She has won at two of her first four starts in Western Australia after winning at five of her 24 New Zealand outings. “She goes alright and the draw helps a bit,” said Williams. “She is still learning, but her latest run was good. She’s essentially a sit-and-kick horse, but she seems quite strong and I’d like to say that we’ll jump to the front. I know that Rockin The Boys gets out smartly. However, I’ll leave things to Ryan (Warwick); he can play things by ear.” At her most recent appearance, Millview Sienna began from barrier five and raced three wide early to move into the breeze before surging to the front 300m from home and winning easily from You Bettor Watch Me at a 1.56,9 rate over 1730m. Four-year-old Rockin The Boys, the youngest mare in the race, is in superb form for Hopelands trainer Debra Lewis, with her past eight starts producing five wins and two seconds to improve her career record to 29 starts for nine wins and eight placings for earnings of $50,834. She gave a bold frontrunning display and fought on determinedly to win from Ruling Gold and Abraxas Blues over 2130m last Friday night when she dashed over the final quarters in 28.1sec. and 27.9sec. “This week’s race looks a little bit harder, but she’ll be around the place again,” said reinsman Chris Lewis. “She’s consistent and I expect her to run a nice race.” Williams also has high hopes for New Zealand-bred five-year-old Walkinshaw, who is unbeaten at two West Australian starts. The Mach Three stallion was untroubled to score an easy victory over Lightning Jolt in a C1-C4 event over 2130m on Tuesday evening. He started from barrier seven and dashed to the front after 400m and sprinted over the final 400m in 27.8sec. That was his eighth win from 39 starts. “We put our toe in the water and nominated him for the Inter Dominion championship,” Williams said. “In fairness to the horse, he probably needs this preparation and then a break. And then, hopefully, he comes back and turns into a nice horse. At the moment, we’re just happy with the way he’s going.” Ken Casellas

Friday night’s JP Stratton Cup was just a glimpse of what we have to look forward to when the Inter Dominion rolls around in November but in the meantime the battle between a couple of the Gloucester Park Harness Racing sponsors is set to heat up. Albert Walmsley owner of Shandale is the Managing Director of long time sponsor Westral and Rob Watson owner of Soho Tribeca is the Managing Director of Gloucester Park’s newest sponsor, Perth Plasterboard Centre. When you look at the field that contested the JP Stratton Cup on Friday night it is safe to say it included the cream of the crop of WA pacing and when Soho Tribeca levelled with Shandale down the straight on Friday night two of Gloucester Park’s sponsors had their hearts in their mouths.  Shandale took out the win in a smart 56.1 last half but can Soho Tribeca even the score in their next clash? Both horses are being campaigned towards the $50,000 Mount Eden Sprint on Friday 20thOctober which is coincidentally sponsored by Perth Plasterboard Centre. If Soho Tribeca can turn the tables Rob will be presenting the trophy to himself, something that Albert has always joked about doing. Adding to our list of sponsors with horses in the big league the Gartrell’s from Slater Gartrell Sports have high hopes for Our Jimmy Johnstone who looks to make his second Inters campaign better than the last and Retravision General Manager of Retail, Glen Mortimer has a few handy horses with Justin Prentice that could pop up in the supporting races over the series. We at Gloucester Park are fortunate to have such great supporters of not only the industry but our club and wish them the best of luck and safe racing when the gates roll back for the first heats of the 2017 TABtouch Inter Dominion on November 24.  Gloucester Park  

Star pacer Chicago Bull will travel to Melbourne to contest the harness racing $200,000 Victoria Cup at Melton on Saturday week if he wins the $50,000 J. P. Stratton Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night. That’s the tentative plan formulated by the five-year-old’s master trainer Gary Hall Snr. “We’re thinking about tackling the Victoria Cup, and if he wins on Friday night we will seriously consider it,” Hall said. “I’ve tentatively booked the flight to Melbourne. “I had also planned to run Beaudiene Boaz in the Victoria Cup, but he has a quarter crack in his off fore hoof and he won’t be ready to resume racing for a month.” The Victoria Cup is a 2240m mobile event, with a random barrier draw. It is a race that Hall would dearly love to win. He took Im Themightyquinn to Melbourne for the Victoria Cup in 2010, 2011 and 2012. In 2010, Im Themightyquinn finished third to Mr Feelgood in the Victoria Cup a week after winning the Cranbourne Cup. In 2011, Im Themightyquinn finished last behind Smoken Up in the Victoria Cup after finishing third to Smoken Up in the Miracle Mile, a nose second to Melpark Major in the Group 3 Popular Alm Free-For-All and second to Mr Feelgood in the Cranbourne Cup. Then, in December 2012, Hall made a hit-run trip to Melbourne when Im Themightyquinn finished third to Caribbean Blaster in the Victoria Cup after winning a Free-For-All at Gloucester Park the previous week. Chicago Bull, who has earned $963,434 from 23 wins and eight placings from just 36 starts, has drawn awkwardly on the inside of the back line in the 2130m Stratton Cup and reinsman Gary Hall Jnr’s initial thoughts are to stay on the pegs, trail the likely pacemaker Shandale and rely on a slice of luck to obtain a clear run in the final circuit. “I reckon it’s too hard to go back (from the inside of the back line) and then go around the rest of the field,” Hall Jnr said. Hall Snr agreed that the inside of the back line was far from an ideal draw. “I was hoping for a front-line draw so we could push him out of the gate, just to test his gate speed a bit. “He’s just a great little horse and his latest run was outstanding. That was his second run after a short spell and I wouldn’t have thought he was 100 per cent for that race, so I was a bit surprised at how well he did it. He’s going to keep getting better and better, I hope, leading up to the Inters.” The wonderful combination of Hall Snr and Jnr has won the Stratton Cup three times --- with Bengeeman (2002), Alzona (2011) and Waylade (2015). Hall Snr will also be represented in this year’s Cup by Norvic Nightowl (Stuart McDonald), Run Oneover (Nathan Turvey) and American Boy (Lauren Jones). Norvic Nightowl ran a splendid Cup trial last Friday night when he was ninth at the bell before sustaining a powerful three-wide burst which took him to a narrow lead 70m from the post before finishing an extremely close third behind Simply Susational and Tricky Styx. He is handily drawn at barrier two on Friday night and is sure to be prominent. Chicago Bull’s chief rivals are likely to be Soho Tribeca (barrier two on the back line), Shandale and Norvic Nightowl. Soho Tribeca made a wonderful return to racing after a short spell when he started out wide at barrier nine, raced three wide for much of the first lap and then in the breeze before getting to the front on the home turn and winning from Bronze Seeker and Ideal Tyson over 2130m last Friday night. That was his fourth win in a row and his 16th victory from 40 starts. Shannon Suvaljko, who has been successful in the Stratton Cup with The Hunter (2010) and Libertybelle Midfrew (2016) is delighted at Shandale’s barrier draw at No. 1 on the front line and said he expected the five-year-old to prove hard to beat. “Chicago Bull and Soho Tribeca have difficult draws and I’ve got a good draw over 2130m,” he said. “I’ll definitely be holding the lead and I’ll be letting Shandale roll along. His latest run, when seventh behind Chicago Bull in the Navy Cup last Friday week was good. He was off the track when they ran the third quarter of the last mile in 27.4sec. and he still fought on. “I honestly think he’s a winning chance; he’ll definitely finish in the top three. If they get over him, they get over him. But they’ll have to run some time to get past him.” Shandale is prepared by Mike Reed, who has won the group 3 Stratton Cup with Just Packapunch (1995), Capitol V (2008) and Libertybelle Midfrew (who set the pace from the No. 1 barrier and won easily from The Bucket List and Bettors Fire last year). Hall of Fame reinsman Chris Lewis is seeking his eighth win in a Stratton Cup after being successful with Black Irish (1983), Village Kid (1985, 19888, 1991), Ohoka Ace (2005), Sneakyn Down Under (2009) and Sensational Gabby (2014). He will drive Americanbootscoota, who was outstanding in defeat when second to Chicago Bull in the Navy Cup after setting the pace and being under extreme pressure from Run Oneover, who overraced badly in the breeze. Americanbootscoota is awkwardly drawn at the No. 6 barrier on the front line. Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri, who won the Stratton Cup with Just Packapunch (1993) and Sensational Gabby (2014), will be represented by Jambiani (Chris Voak) and Sheer Rocknroll (Morgan Woodley), who face tough tasks from wide barriers. Ken Casellas

Covered N Diamonds is a standout on Friday night’s harness racing card at Gloucester Park, according to members of the WA Trotting Media Guild. Leading tipster Stuart Lowe, The West Australian’s Ernie Manning, veteran tipster Bill Brindley, Sunday Times columnist Robbie Dewar and Guild president Wayne Currall have all labelled the Skye Bond-trained Covered N Diamonds as their best bet. Lowe spoke for his colleagues when he said Covered N Diamonds looked a class above her rivals in the last race. “Covered N Diamonds will be making her debut at GP, but she has won six times and run second once from her last seven starts,” he said. “All of her four WA starts at Pinjarra have resulted in four wins and she should continue the winning streak here.” Lowe’s value bet is Master Jaxon. “He has had only one run back from a spell, but spoilt his chances when he galloped away from the stand and finished last,” he said. “He had close to a 40 per cent winning rate before that run. Looks well suited here with the pole draw at the mobile start and should figure in the finish.” Manning has opted for Bettor Bling as his each-way choice. “Bettor Bling is showing glimpses of the ability which enabled her to win Gloucester Park juvenile events, including the WA 2YO Fillies Sales Classic (1730m), at her first two starts,” he said. “Now a five-year-old, the mare has run second and third over 2130m at GP midweek meetings in her past two appearances. She has drawn inside the second line on Friday night and will follow out Its My Lucknow, who is in solid form.” Brindley also fancies Master Jaxon as his value bet. “Master Jaxon can lead throughout from his inside draw and roll hot favourite Idealndiamonds,” he said. Dewar has opted for Chevrons Champion as his value selection. “Chevrons Champion is looking to break a 20-run losing streak on Friday night,” he said. “Ran a nice fourth behind Jaxon Fella last week and if she gets a good run in transit looms as a sound each-way prospect.” Currall believes R J Bopper could run a race at odds. “R J Bopper finished fourth last Friday night and is drawn to run a race from the inside of the back line,” he said. “This is a very winnable race in a field where there is a lack of depth.” Long shot king Pat Harding has labelled the costly Lets Chase The Dream as his star bet. “One of my better bets is with the Garry Hall-trained Lets Chase The Dream,” he said. “He has been very consistent in his four runs back from a spell and gate nine shouldn't worry him over the 2536m. “The other runner I like is in the fourth. This is a pretty open race with not a great deal of form among the runners. For that reason I favour Foxy Dame from the pole. In-form driver Shannon Suvaljko is aboard and the mare should give punters a good sight.” On-course announcer Ken Casellas has made Foxy Dame his best bet. “The Mike Reed-trained mare has drawn the coveted No.1 barrier and Shannon Suvaljko will be determined to get to an early lead and then dictate the terms of the 2130m event,” he said. “She should prove the bet of the night.” Like Manning, Casellas is a fan of Bettor Bling. “It’s great to see Callan Suvaljko back in the sulky after recovering from serious injuries and he has excellent prospects with the nippy sit-sprinter Bettor Bling, my best value bet on the 10-event program,” he said. “Bettor Bling will start from the inside of the back line and should enjoy an ideal passage. The five-year-old caught the eye at Gloucester Park on Tuesday evening when she flew home, out wide, from ninth at the 300m to finish a close third to Bad Round and Torrevean Mio. That followed her fast-finishing second to Chiaroscuro a week earlier.” TABradio’s announcer Matt Young believes punters can get their money early doors. “My best bet of the night is Smoldering Ashes in the opening event,” he said. “This horse has been performing superbly since entering the Capel stables of Andrew De Campo, comes up with the perfect barrier and, in a race lacking mid-race pressure on paper, can lead throughout and win comfortably.” Young has nominated Cut For An Ace as his each-way selection. “Cut For An Ace is in a hot stand, but gets into the race nicely and is flying,” he said. “With a safe start this gelding has to be considered a good chance. Strong last-start second to Heez On Fire after leading him up in the three-wide line. This time Cut For An Ace meets Heez On Fire 10m better off.” The West Australian’s racing co-ordinator Ryan Havercroft is keen on Idealndiamonds. “Idealindiamonds looks set to continue on his winning ways when contesting the TABTouch Inter Dominion Gala Dinner Pace,” he said. “Unbeaten in three local starts, he has sat on the speed in all of those and barrier four presents the opportunity for the son of American Ideal to dictate terms.” Havercroft is a fan of Shandale on an each-way basis. “Shandale has strong claims in the feature event, the J P Stratton Pace,” he said. “It would pay to overlook his last run where he dropped out and was unsuited in making a mid-race move. His previous two runs were impressive when sitting outside the leader and barrier one gives Shannon Suvaljko the opportunity to place him on the speed.” To view all of the Media Guild Tips for this week click here. Good punting. Wayne Currall

Ten-year-old gelding Cut For An Ace is racing with youthful enthusiasm for Blythewood harness racing trainer Michael Brennan, and his nephew Michael Grantham predicts that the old-timer has excellent prospects of turning the tables on top-flight pacer Heez On Fire when they clash in the 2503m TABtouch Inter Dominion Barrier Draw Luncheon Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Heez On Fire, trained by Bill Horn, unwound a sizzling late burst of speed to win narrowly from Cut For An Ace in a 2503m stand last Friday week. This week Heez On Fire will start from the back mark of 40m, with Cut For An Ace handicapped off 20m. This means that Cut For An Ace will meet Heez On Fire on 10m better terms. “Cut For An Ace was super impressive last start,” said Grantham. “He led up the three-wide train, with Heez On Fire on his back. Heez On Fire had the advantage of the cart-up and he was able to get over the top of Cut For An Ace in the closing stages. This week Cut For An Ace can definitely beat Heez On Fire.” Aldo Cortopassi, who has driven Heez On Fire at his past 11 starts for four wins for veteran trainer Bill Horn, will be in Kalgoorlie on Friday night where he has ten runners on the six-event program. Colin Brown has been engaged to handle the eight-year-old Heez On Fire, reuniting with the gelding he drove five times for three wins as a two-year-old in 2012. Adding considerable interest to Friday night’s race will be the appearance of The Odd Lover for Oldbury trainer-reinsman Kim Prentice. The Odd Lover, a six-year-old with an imposing record of 20 starts for 11 wins and seven seconds, will start from the 10m line at his first outing since winning at Gloucester Park 14 months ago. He has recovered from a suspensory injury and has had a thorough preparation. Ken Casellas

In-form reinsman Shannon Suvaljko will be busy at Gloucester Park on Friday night with drives in eight of the ten events. He declares Foxy Dame the best of his drives and astute harness racing punters are sure to share his enthusiasm. Foxy Dame, trained at Henley Brook by Mike Reed, has drawn the prized No. 1 barrier in the 2130m TABtouch Inter Dominion Grand Final December 8 Pace and Suvaljko is aiming for an all-the-way victory. “I think she is a really good chance,” he declared. “She’s a good horse in front or sitting. Her latest run was full of merit; she hit the line charging. From the draw on Friday night I think we will definitely hold up and control the race in which a few of her main rivals haven’t drawn particularly well. She’s the one to beat. “At her latest start (last Friday night) she was in a good field and I sat four back on the rails and she got out only late. The final quarter was run in 27.7sec. and I got out only half-way down the straight and she really charged the line and finished fifth, just over a length from the winner Abraxas Blues. Foxy Dame ended a losing sequence of 18 two starts before that when she raced wide early and then without cover for a while before obtaining the one-out, one-back trail and then finishing strongly to win from Sea Me Smile and Donegal Rundlescreek. Mighty Major, trained at Jandabup by Ryan Cummins, has place prospects from the No. 2 barrier, despite being unplaced at his past 14 starts and boasting a losing sequence of 18. “His numerical form does not indicate the way he is going,” said reinsman Michael Grantham. “He’s going well and, hopefully, I can save him up for that last little bit.” Another with each-way prospects is Shes Artful, who will start from barrier three. Wundowie trainer Bruce Stanley has engaged Chris Voak to handle the five-year-old mare who has an all-the-way winner over 2130m three starts ago. Ken Casellas

Aiden de Campo, fresh from the excitement of being one of the 100,021 spectators at the AFL grand final at the MCG last Saturday, is bullish about the prospects of giving harness racing punters a good start to Friday night’s meeting at Gloucester Park by driving Smoldering Ashes to victory in the opening event, the 2130m TABtouch Inter Dominion Starts November 24 Pace. Five-year-old Smoldering Ashes, a recent newcomer to the Capel stables of de Campo’s father Andrew, has overcome a wide barrier (eight) and a 30m handicap to win decisively at his past two starts. He is ideally drawn at the No. 1 barrier on the front line on Friday night and Aiden de Campo is aiming to win the start. “His runs since arriving at the stable have been really good and if he leads he’ll give a ton of cheek and will take beating,” he said. “There’s bit of pace on the front line from horses like Im Batman and Messi. This is Smoldering Ashes’ first run back in the draw and from all reports he gets out pretty well. Hopefully, he can hold the front.” Messi, to be driven by Colin Brown from barrier seven, is a speedy beginner and looms as a major rival to Smoldering Ashes. Messi, from barrier one, led for the first 120m in a 2130m event last Friday night before taking the sit behind the stablemate and hot favourite Idealindiamonds and finishing a sound second to that talented and lightly-raced six-year-old. Ryan Warwick will drive Fifth Edition from barrier six in Friday night’s race and the New Zealand-bred eight-year-old, trained by Skye Bond, will have many admirers. Fifth Edition, favourite at 6/4 on, was most unlucky last Friday night when second to Jaxon Fella after being under duress in front by Debt Free Charlie, who overraced badly. De Campo will also have many friends when he drives veteran mare Its My Lucknow from the No. 1 barrier in the TABtouch Inter Dominion Heat Night Two Pace over 2130m. De Campo will replace Dylan Egerton-Green, who will drive his own nomination Honey And Lime, an easy last-start all-the-way winner over 1684m at Pinjarra. However, Honey And Lime faces a stern test from the outside of the back line. Its My Lucknow is an honest nine-year-old who will be having her 225th start in a race. She started from a wide barrier and raced four back on the pegs before finishing solidly to be third behind Millview Sienna over 1730m at Gloucester Park on Tuesday of last week. Bettor Bling, trained and driven by Callan Suvaljko, will be one of the fancies in Friday night’s event for mares. A winner at Pinjarra five starts ago, she has impressed with fast-finishing efforts at her past two outings. She was seventh at the bell and finished fast to be a close third to Bad Round and Torrevean Mio over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Tuesday night. A week earlier she finished strongly from fourth at the bell to be second to Chiaroscuro. She will start from the inside of the back line and is sure to threaten danger if she obtains a clear run in the concluding stages. Ken Casellas  

Harness racing driver Chris Voak sat behind Soho Tribeca (American Ideal) for the first time when the star five-year-old worked with two other pacers at Byford on Tuesday morning and he was left in awe at the stallion’s amazing talent. Voak will now drive Soho Tribeca in the Matt McDermott Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night when the Kim Prentice-trained pacer will start his spring and summer campaign with the main focus on the rich TABtouch Inter Dominion championship series at Gloucester Park in November and December. Voak has leapt at the opportunity to drive Soho Tribeca after Prentice was suspended recently for causing interference in a race. He has driven only twice for the Prentice stable when seventh with Soho Angel behind Rock Diamonds in the Caduceus Club Classic in February this year and when successful with Abraxas Blues at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon this week.  “I’ve had the experience of driving some outstanding horses of the calibre of Crombie, Dasher VC and Ima Spicey Lombo, and Soho Tribeca is one of the best horses I’ve sat behind,” Voak said. “We went even pace for a mile in the workout this morning (Tuesday) and then got home with a solid last half. I sat last and pulled out with a lap to go and won from The Odd Lover. We went under 55sec. for the last half and I haven’t driven a horse who can drop fractions like he can so easily. “Honestly, I haven’t driven one on the track who has done that and has felt like that. Kim told me that after he had driven Soho Tribeca to win the Golden Nugget last year that he’s the best horse he has trained, ahead of Baltic Eagle. I haven’t yet had the chance to speak to Kim to see how he wants me to drive the horse on Friday night. “What impressed me with Soho Tribeca was the ease in which he did it, and how much power he had. I haven’t had the opportunity to drive a horse of his capability in a race. I think he is the type of horse who in a good race will make his own luck. I’ve always had to drive horses who have had to rely on luck but this one is one who has the power to make his own luck.” Soho Tribeca, bred and owned by Rob Watson, faces the distinct disadvantage on Friday night of starting from the outside (No. 9) on the front line but he has the ability to overcome the wide barrier. He has not appeared since he raced wide early and then set the pace before winning the Group 1 Vicbred Four-Year-Old Classic for entires and geldings at Melton on July 8. He was in dazzling form in Perth last summer when he won the Golden Nugget from Nathans Courage and Chicago Bull before finishing second to Chicago Bull in the Fremantle Cup and third to the same pacer in the WA Pacing Cup. His chief rivals on Friday night are likely to be Itz Bettor To Win, Ideal Tyson and Bronze Seeker. Itz Bettor To Win is a highly-promising six-year-old who has had only 29 starts for 11 wins and seven seconds. He will be having his first start in Western Australia and will be driven by Chris Lewis from barrier three on the front line. He is being set for the TABtouch Inter Dominion championship series. “I have had him in my stable for five to six weeks and I expect him to run first or second on Friday night,” Olivieri said. He’s a big, strong horse whose major assets are his strength and speed. He is a serious horse and he will improve on whatever he does this week. “He’s got a win over in the Franklin Cup in New Zealand, beating top horses like Smolda, Have Faith In Me and Ohoka Punter.” Itz Bettor To Win raced 18 times in New Zealand for eight wins and three placings and his 11 starts in Victoria produced three wins and four placings. As a three-year-old Itz Bettor To Win won a 2700m stand at Alexandra Park, beating horses of the calibre of Border Control, Smolda and Have Faith In Me. Two months earlier, he won the Group 2 Alabar Classic, rating 1.55.9 over 2200m. As a four-year-old, he won the Franklin Cup, a 2700m stand, beating home Mossdale Conner, Have Faith In Me, Ohoka Punter and Smolda. Ideal Tyson, who gave a powerful frontrunning display to win from Mach Time and Bronze Seeker over 2130m last Friday night, faces a sterner test this week from out wide at barrier seven. He will be driven by Gary Hall Jnr, who replaces Aiden de Campo, who will be in Melbourne preparing to watch the AFL grand final between Richmond and The Adelaide Crows on Saturday. The Peter Anderson-trained Bronze Seeker will be driven by Deni Roberts from the No. 1 barrier and the versatile nine-year-old should be prominent throughout the race. Ken Casellas

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