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New Zealand-bred Bettor's Delight four-year-old Bungalow Bill was gallant in defeat when second to Mattjestic Star last Friday night and Greg Bond, who trains the harness racing gelding in partnership with his wife Skye, considers he will go one better and win the $20,500 The Seppelt Long Drive Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Bungalow Bill, to be driven by Ryan Bell, has drawn perfectly at No. 1 in the 2130m event and Bond declared: “He’ll definitely hold up and lead and prove very hard to run down. I was very happy with his effort last week when he started from the outside in the field of nine over 1730m.” Bungalow Bill raced three wide in the early stages and then worked hard in the breeze outside Calais before taking a narrow lead 350m from home. He was overhauled 60m from the post by the fast-finishing Mattjestic Star, who rated 1.55.4. The lightly-raced Bungalow Bill (20 starts for nine wins and fiver placings) is one of three Bond runners in Friday night’s event, the others being Assassinator (barrier three) and Holy Grail (six). “Assassinator and Holy Grail will need luck, but are capable of being placed,” Bond said. Royal Mach, to be driven by Chris Lewis for Collie trainer David Hunter, appears Bungalow Bill’s chief rival from the favourable No. 2 barrier. Another Vinnie, a smart all-the-way winner last Friday night, should be prominent, despite starting from the outside of the front line. And Rycroft, trained by Mike Reed and a winner at two of his past three starts, will have admirers from the inside of the back line. The Bond camp also has good winning prospects with Ohoka Squire (Penfold Max Classic) and Risk (third heat of the Spring Into Summer Schrader Pace). Ohoka Squire ended a losing sequence of ten when Mitchell Miller drove him in fine style to score an impressive victory at a 1.54.8 rate over 1730m at Gloucester Park on Tuesday night. The seven-year-old sustained a powerful three-wide burst from the rear to hit the front 270m from home. He then drew away from the opposition. Ohoka Squire has drawn the coveted No. 1 barrier on Friday night and Miller is expected to make use of the gelding’s gate speed and attempt an all-the-way win over the 2130m journey. Before Tuesday night’s success, Ohoka Squire’s previous win was when he led from the No. 1 barrier and beat Znana and Major Dancer over 1730m at Gloucester Park last November. Risk will be handled by Ryan Bell from the No. 2 barrier on Friday night and the New Zealand-bred four-year-old looks hard to beat. He made a successful Australian debut when he began badly from 40m at Northam on Tuesday of last week and raced in the breeze in the middle stages before winning by a head from Tuapeka Kahu over 2560m. “He’s a nice type of horse who raced in good company in New Zealand --- in the Messenger, Taylor Mile and the Jewels --- against some good horses,” Bond said. “He has impressed us and won in good style, first-up at Northam. He was quite clear (of the opposition) on the corner. Ryan (Warwick) sat up on him and the horse took advantage of that and switched off a bit. That won’t happen again. I expect him to be pretty hard to beat on Friday night.” Ken Casellas

Smart harness racing youngster Bettor Not Bitter should prove to be the bet of the night at Gloucester Park on Friday evening by proving the master of his 11 older and more experienced opponents in the 2130m Led Goldfields Westbred Pace. “He’s a nice horse who is being set for the $100,000 Westbred Classic for three-year-old colts and geldings the following Friday night,” said Forrestdale horseman Greg Bond, who prepares the gelding in partnership with his wife Skye. Bettor Not Bitter will be driven by Colin Brown and will start from the No. 5 barrier. He has had 15 starts for four wins and five placings and should be too smart for his rivals, who have managed just 55 wins from a combined total of 633 starts. At his most recent outing Bettor Not Bitter set the pace and finished second to It Aint Royal over 2130m at Gloucester Park on May 27. That followed wins at Narrogin and Bunbury and a fighting second to Mach Time at Gloucester Park after working hard out three wide and then in the breeze. “He’s had a couple of easy weeks and this will be his tune-up for the Westbred final,” Bond said. “To have a chance of winning that race or if you’re going to be in the cut-up you would like to think that he’s got to be hard to beat this week. “All’s good at home with him. He had a few runs as a two-year-old and you could see he was going to improve with time. And he has done that. He’s a developing horse who is going to do a nice job.” Ken Casellas

Pinjarra harness racing trainer Michael Brennan advises punters to overlook talented five-year-old Billies A Star’s seventh behind Elegant Christian last week and predicts that the New Zealand-bred gelding will be prominent in the $23,000 Schneider Electric Pace over 2536m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Billies A Star led from the No. 1 barrier last Friday night, but was challenged relentlessly by Elegant Christian in the first circuit before Elegant Christian forged clear after a lap and then set the pace and won by a nose from Waylade at a 1.54.9rate over the 2130m journey. “He just couldn’t handle that pressure in that grade,” Brennan said. “This is a bit of a drop in grade and there’s no Elegant Christian there. Last week he was crunched by Elegant Christian, who is just phenomenal. He is one of those horses who just crushes you. And last week, unfortunately, Billies A Star was the one being crushed.”            At his previous outing, over 2692m at Pinjarra on June 6, Billies A Star raced three back on the pegs in fifth place before fighting on to finish third behind Phoenix Warrior and Our Jimmy Johnstone. Billies A Star will be driven by Nathan Turvey on Friday night and he should have the gelding in a forward position all the way after starting from barrier four. Brennan will also be represented by Jason Rulz, who is unfavourably drawn out wide at barrier eight. “His run first-up for five months was good when eighth behind Glenlochar last week,” Brennan said. “From his wide barrier it was impossible to get into the race. I’m very happy with him, but he’s drawn out at No. 8 again this week. He’s going to have to go back and it looks tough.” Serpentine trainer Gary Hall sen. said he expected the consistent Waylade (barrier seven) to be hard to beat. “It was a good effort to come from the rear to finish a very close second to Elegant Christian last week,” he said. “The first two beat the rest by the length of a cricket pitch.” Forrestdale trainer Greg Bond said that he expected Our Jimmy Johnstone to run a strong race from the No. 6 barrier.   “He’s going good are we’re hoping he can work forward from barrier six and find a forward position,” Bond said. “I like to think he can fight out the finish. I think he’s right up there with the other horses in the field.” Ken Casellas

When harness racing driver Greg Bond drove Slick Chic to victory in a two-year-old event in Kalgoorlie 16 years ago he didn’t have the slightest idea - or have any indication - that she would become one of his favourite horses. Slick Chic was retired after that one win from just four starts, with earnings of $1580. Now she is poised to add further lustre to her standing as an outstanding brood mare with her eighth and most recent foal Dodolicious looking set to prove the master of her 11 rivals in the $150,000 Gannon’s WA Oaks at Gloucester Park on Friday night. All eight of Slick Chic’s foals have been winners, with Dodolicious the stand-out, earning $242,733 from 11 wins and six seconds from 18 starts. Dodolicious, bred, owned and trained by Greg Bond and his wife Skye, will start from barrier five in the 2536m classic and she is set to give Bond his second success in the WA Oaks. He trained the brilliant Millwood Meg, who dashed to an early lead and strolled to an easy victory over Arctic Fire in the 2010 Oaks. Ryan Warwick will be in the sulky behind Dodolicious on Friday night and he looks certain to adopt similar tactics to those he used when he handled the filly in an Oaks prelude last Friday night. Dodolicious began speedily from the outside barrier (No. 9) before challenging unsuccessfully for the early lead. The Spinster held out Dodolicious and Warwick was quite content to allow Dodolicious to settle in the breeze. She coasted to the front 250m from home and won by just under two lengths from the fast-finishing Dame Puissant, rating a smart 1.55.5 over the 2130m journey. Two starts before that Dodolicious gave a superb performance to fight on powerfully to finish second to champion filly Our Dream About Me in the 2400m New South Wales Oaks at Menangle. Bond started Slick Chic’s third foal Cuvee Riche in the 2008 WA Oaks in which she finished sixth behind Ruby Dazzler. She retired after 125 starts for $112,125 in prizemoney from ten wins and 30 placings. Slickalong, a six-year-old half-brother to Dodolicious, started the week in propitious style with a win at Kellerberrin on Sunday. Dodolicious, a daughter of champion sire Bettor's Delight, appears certain to be at odds-on this week. Odds-on favourites (Millwood Meg, 9/10; Artemis Belle, 1/3; Sensational Gabby, 1/25; Frith, 4/7 and Libertybelle Midfrew, 1/10) won five successive Oaks before Major Reality (9/1) won last year, narrowly beating her stablemate Quite A Delight (6/1) and the 6/4 on favourite Tricky Styx. After her decisive victory last Friday night, Warwick described Dodolicious as a grand trier. “She had to do all the work, sitting in the breeze,” he said. “She does just what she has to do, and she does it well. She shows great courage, and if you went to war, you would take her with you.” Baldivis trainer Nathan Turvey  holds a strong hand in Friday night’s classic in which he has four runners, Our Gamma Lady (barrier one), Chevrons Champion (No. 9), Bethany Aitch (inside of the back line) and Better Boa (outside of the back line). Our Gamma Lady, a filly by Mach Three, won once from seven starts in New Zealand and has impressed at her first three starts in Western Australia, winning at her only two appearances at Gloucester Park before working hard in the breeze and finishing third to Dior Mia More and Sheer Rocknroll at Bunbury. Chevrons Champion, by Bettor's Delight and out of the unraced Dreamsaregold (a full-sister to former champion Christian Cullen), has raced 21 times for seven wins and six placings. But her prospects slumped when she drew the outside of the front line. Bethany Aitch, winner of the $102,000 Diamond Classic at Bunbury last June, is favourably drawn on the inside of the back line, while Bettor Boa has place prospects from the outside (barrier No. 3) on the back line. She has had 11 starts as a three-year-old for six wins and two seconds. Bettor Boa will be driven by Chris Lewis, who has won the WA Oaks four times, scoring with Jamcaro in 1988, Showtime Franco (1996), Sheer Royalty (2009) and Sensational Gabby (2012). Henley Brook trainer-reinsman Robbie Williams is delighted with Dame Puissant’s recent efforts and he should have the Tintin In America filly in a prominent position throughout from her favourable No. 2 barrier. She started from the back line and was a 33/1 chance in last week’s prelude in which she was eighth on the pegs at the bell before finishing strongly to be second to Dodolicious. Dame Puissant set a track record for two-year-old fillies at her previous outing, rating 1.56.2 over the 2536m journey. She sat behind the pacemaker Sheer Rocknroll before sprinting home fast to defeat Madame Croupier and Dior Mia More. Madame Croupier (barrier two on the back line) and Dior Mia More (barrier No. 4 on the front line) are trainer Gary Hall’s representatives. Hall won the Oaks in 2004 with Miss Holmes. Ken Casellas | GPTV

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