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It is not often in harness racing that a great sire doesn't go on to become a great broodmare sire although the degree of that success can vary every now and again. In The Pocket has done in the broodmare paddock exactly what he did as a sire, having already won the overall title of leading broodmare sire and being the leading pacing broodmare sire in the season just concluded.  In The Pocket has been first or second on the New Zealand broodmare siring charts for the last five years but is under real pressure going forward to hold off the challenge of one of his sons in Christian Cullen. Christian Cullen has made rapid progress up the broodmare siring charts in the last five years as more of his mares are bred from, rising from 27th in 2011 to third overall last season and a close second on the pacing list to In The Pocket.  The rise has been startling and Christian Cullen has the same potential to click with champion sires Bettors Delight and Art Major as his sire In The Pocket has done. Mares by Christian Cullen have only produced 605 foals three year old or older to date which has put him at a major disadvantage against the likes of Holmes Hanover and In The Pocket whose foal numbers are counted in the thousands not hundreds. However as more and more Christian Cullen mares move into the breeding barn, those numbers will change quickly. This season there are 180 two year olds in New Zealand from Christian Cullen mares and there are also 184 yearlings from Christian Cullen mares on the ground so he will quickly catch up numbers wise over the next few years. When you look at the quality of the racehorses his mares are producing, it is no surprise that he has moved up the charts so quickly. Horses of the class of Ohoka Punter 1:51.1p ($599,013) - Te Kawau 1:54.3p ($131,674) - Express Stride 1:54.3p ($132,395) alongside two of last season's standout two year olds in Lazarus 1:52.9 ($265,562) and Chase The Dream 1:53.1p ($212,026) have helped establish Christian Cullen as an elite broodmare sire. One thing of note is that all five of the horses quoted above are sons of Bettors Delight. The best performer produced by a Christian Cullen mare to date is of course Highview Tommy 1:55.2 ($1.021,904) who is also by Bettors Delight. Broodmare earnings in New Zealand have already topped the $6,000,000 mark while over the Tasman in Australia he is slightly ahead of that with $6,179,816 in earnings to date. Looking ahead to next years yearling sales, vendors with Bettors Delight progeny from Christian Cullen mares can expect their stock to be keenly sought after by buyers from both sides of the Tasman. Harnesslink Media

Ararat freelance reinsman Michael Bellman took the honours for the night at the harness racing meeting at Terang on Tuesday June 23 with a driving treble – Babalaas Jack in the Noir Rover 3-Y-0 Pace over 1680 metres, Four Starzzz Fella in the Welcome Computers Pace for C1 class over the same journey and Sheza Party Doll in the Phonse Hickey Memorial Pace for C0 class over 2180 metres. Babalaas Jack a fully American bred Somebeachsomwhere/Western Tingira colt bred and raced by David Carpenter and trained at Great Western by Michelle Wight, spent most of the race at the tail of the field after starting from the extreme draw. Despite being five wide on the final bend, Babalaas Jack was too strong at the finish for a most unlucky Mister Chomp which was all set to win approaching the final bend only to go off stride before getting going again in the straight to fail by a head in 2-00.1. Cheersbigears finished third after trailing the weakening leader Aurelius. Five year old Four Starzzz Shark/Clarenden Diva gelding Four Starzzz Fella trained at Heywood by Kevin Brough coming off a victory at Mildura on June 12, was given an easy time three back in the moving lane after also starting from the extreme draw. Moving forward three wide uncovered in the final circuit, Four Starzzz Fella outstayed his rivals to score by 6.7 metres in advance of a death-seating Smoken Fields, with the pacemaker Emma Jade third. The mile rate 1-59.9. Michael Bellman was to finish the night on a high note after Holmes Hanover/Divine Lustre 5-Y-0 gelding Our Bold Lustre landed the Murfett & Whiting Pace for C1 class over 2180 metres, as he trains the winner. Using a concession for Denbeigh Wade, Our Bold Lustre began with a rush from outside the front line, but was unable to head off the speedy Jilliby Diablo (gate four). Taking cover on Our Uptown Girl mid-race, Our Bold Lustre switched down to the sprint lane on straightening to score by 1.9 metres over Jilliby Diablo in 2-02.2, with Destined To Take (three wide last lap from last) third. Sheza Party Doll a 4-Y-0 mare by Dream Away from Lombo Party Doll trained by Bec East at the Brough property, came from near last at the bell after starting from gate three on the second line to defeat Mister Untouchable which raced parked from the bell by 2.2 metres in 2-01.9. Dayraid (one/one at bell) finished third after switching down to trail the weakening pacemaker and odds-on favourite Jilliby Passion in the last lap.   Bec East landed a training double at the meeting, when Rocknroll Hanover/Best Of Wine gelding Dancin With Elvis greeted the judge in the Talisman Floats 3-Y-0 Pace over 1680 metres with Jayson Finnis in the sulky. Starting from gate two, Dancin With Elvis angled away from four back the markers to be one/one for the last lap, before running home strongly to account for Esspee Rockstar (gate three) which galloped away before circling the field to lead at the bell. Turbo Elly finished third after easing to face the breeze from three back the markers in the last lap. The mile rate 2-01.7.   Four year old Chief Marty/Quintessa Bromac gelding Our Supreme Guy gave veteran Glenburnie (Mt Gambier) trainer Ken Dihm a happy birthday present when successful in the Cooinda Work Crew Pace for C1 class over 2180 metres at Terang. Driven by local Glen Craven, Our Supreme Guy showed blistering speed from gate five to lead easily as the mobile moved away, before surrendering to the polemarker Nobetterthanthis which moved off his back to assume control. Using the sprint lane, Our Supreme Guy raced clear over the concluding stages to register a 2.3 metre victory over Nobetterthanthis and Top Trio which followed the pair. The mile rate 2-02. It was Our Supreme Guy’s 5th victory in 39 outings. Ken Dihm had enormous success in the nineties with a fabulous mare by the name of Helens Pleasure who won 32 races including several at Moonee Valley and Globe Derby Park.   Dunnstown brothers John and David Murphy snared the Terang Co-Op Trotters Handicap for T0 or better class over 2180 metres with honest 5-Y-0 Armbro Variable/Irish Tess gelding Tommy Kay in a mile rate of 2-08.2. Coming from 10 metres, Tommy Kay was sent forward by David to park in the open with The Night Wind leading from barrier two.  Gaining cover when Bee Arr Dee dashed to face the breeze at the bell from mid-field, Tommy Kay Joined Bee Arr Dee on the home turn and finished best to register a 13 metre victory (his third) over Veegee Bentley (four back the markers), with Bee Arr Dee holding down third. Long Forest duo Andy and Kate Gath’s Kiwi bred Bettor’s Delight/We Love To Party 4-Y-0 gelding Party Boy led throughout from the pole to land the Dick & Anne Box Pace for C4 to C5 class over 2180 metres. Allowed to dictate terms to suit without any challengers, Party Boy was untroubled to win by 7.9 metres from No Bettertime along the sprint lane from three back the markers, with Keayang Storm third after trailing the winner. The mile rate 2-01.1. Len Baker  

Anyone who has studied breeding was confident about one thing when it came to Holmes Hanover and that was that he would do a great job in the brood mare barn. His fillies were tough hard wearing types who if anything lacked an ounce of high end speed but were wide open on the breeding front to all the Direct Scooter blood prevalent in New Zealand and Western Hanover and his sons. The clincher for a lot of people was the dam of Holmes Hanover in Hazel Hanover was the best Tar Heel race mare of her time.  Hazel Hanover did just as good a job at stud as she did on the track so confidence was high that Holmes Hanover would equal or better what he did as a sire in the brood mare ranks. And that confidence was not misplaced as Holmes Hanover has already passed what he earned as a sire with his brood mare earnings recently topping the $26,000,000 mark.  As you would expect there are a lot of progeny in this years sales from Holmes Hanover mares and by a lot of speed sires that we think would suit Holmes Hanover mares. One of the lots that we think looks well matched is Lot 113 at the Australasian Classic sale at Auckland. Named Thunderbolt Kid, he is a son of noted speed sire American Ideal from the Holmes Hanover mare, Spirit Of Spring. She is already the dam of three winners including the very talented Umoja 1:51.1 ($264,620) The grand dam is the Lordship mare Spirit Of Venus who left the smart racehorse Nketia 1:52.4 ($394,035) and Ciccio Star 1:58.4 ($102,499) as well as the dams of a string of big earners such as Jinni's Fantasy 1:51.4 ($457,586)  Fake Spirit 1:59.8 ($184,368)  Waltzing With Cullen 1:51.7 ($152,131) and Zenthura 1:56.5 ($117,705) to mention just a few. Spirit Of Venus ia also a half sister to Burgundy Lass, the dam of the dual New Zealand Cup winner IL Vicolo 1:56.7 ($1,580,948) while a half sister to IL Vicolo in Sparkling Burgundy is the dam of the millionaire pace Gotta Go Cullen 1:55.5 ($1,173,343). This is the other side of the Black Watch family that Sandy Yarndley had so much success with and Thunderbolt Kid looks just the type to add to that legacy. Harnesslink Media  

Nevele R Stud has had a major influence on harness racing in the Southern Hemisphere since its inception over 40 years ago and that influence continues to this day. From Live Or Die to Holmes Hanover to anyone of another half a dozen stallions they have stood, a lot of pedigrees in New Zealand have a Nevele R influence.  The up coming sales have a lot of yearlings whose maternal families are almost completely Nevele R Products and one of those is Lot 97 at the Australasian Classic sale in Auckland. Named Got The Music In You, she is a daughter of of the champion sire Rocknroll Hanover from the outstanding Caprock mare OK Rock 1:56.1 ($168,529) who won the Great Northern Oaks and the New South Wales Oaks on her way to the New Zealand 1999 three year old filly of the year title. At stud OK Rock has left the very talented Big Dog 1:58.7 ($206,682) as well as Burning Cash 1:53 ($40,555) and the talented filly Mohua 1:57.3 ($75,016) A half sister to OK Rock in the Live Or Die mare Lets Scoot Franco 1:56.6 is the dam of the southern superstar Franco Ledger 1:53.7 ($487,982). The grand dam of Got The Music In You is the OK Bye mare Looks Ok who has left five winners to date including OK Galleon 1:53.7 ($125,490) The third dam is the former outstanding racemare Lancia (10 wins) who went to open class in New Zealand in the late 1970s. The winners tracing back to her are too numerous to mention but include such standouts as Late Bid 1:57.1 ($506,413) Ohoka Arizona 1:56.2 ($273,499) and Franco Lotsmore 1:56.8 ($271,403). One thing about Got Music In You is certain and that is her residual value when she retires from the track will be significant. Harnesslink Media  

It is not that often that horses from the central districts of the north island are sent out the hot favourite at the northern harness racing capital of Alexandra Park. But then Te Kawau is not your normal central districts horse. Going into tonights race as the warmest of favourites was due in no small part to the outstanding runs he put up last season at three against Locharburn, Sky Major and company. With two runs back against Cyamach to help him to full fitness, Te Kawau looked very hard to beat and so it proved. Steadied from his second row draw by driver Zac Butcher in the 2200 meters mobile event, Zac sent him forward with 1400 to go and grabbed the lead off Royal Taz with 1100 meters to run. From there Te Kawau always held too many guns for the opposition and comfortably held them at bay in the home straight. Pricillas Girl continued her rich vein of form to grab second after starting from the outside of the second row while early leader Royal Taz was a nose away in third. Te Kawau paced the 2200 meters in 2:43.71 with closing sectionals of 57.3 and 27.3 It was his sixth win from just 14 starts along with five minor placings and stake earnings of $39,727 When you look at how Te Kawau is bred it is no wonder he is smart. By the champion sire Bettors Delight , the dam of Te Kawau is Haylin Express, a daughter of Christian Cullen who won $44,438 on the track and Te Kawau is her first foal. The grand dam by Holmes Hanover is a half sister to the brilliant Agua Caliente 1:55.3 ($413,027) and the ill fated Haylin Fella (7 wins) who died suddenly in Auckland after being sold for big money to Queensland interests. A big striking looking individual, Te Kawau looks to have come back better than ever and should grace the better four year old races later in the season. Harnesslink Media    

The siring fortunes of the son of Art Major, Major In Art are following those of many sires before him in the harness racing industry. Off to a slow start with his first crop as 2 year olds last year, Major In Art has steadily made progress with that first crop as 3 year olds. From a small crop of just 32 live foals eligible to race in New Zealand, Major In Art has now left eight winners with a handful looking above average. Major Sam 1:54.7 ($85,030) and Ultimate Major 1:58.2 ($38,460) both did well in New Zealand before carrying on the good work across the Tasman in Australia. The pick of his New Zealand bred stock is undoubtedly  Dalton Bromac. The 3 year old gelding started his career under the care of the Butcher stable from Cambridge in the North Island. After showing plenty of promise in his first three starts, Dalton Hill was purchased by Brendan Hill of Monkey King fame for a stable client and himself. Since relocating to the South Island, Dalton Bromac has set the track watchers talking with displays of power and stamina. Tonight at Addington was just further evidence if any was needed of what an emerging talent Dalton Bromac is. Restrained off the gate early by driver Ricky May, Dalton Bromac was sent to the front after 400 meters of the 2600 meters mobile race and from there the race became a procession. Challenged by the unbeaten Wesley Silcox from a lap out, Dalton Bromac simply put the pedal to the metal and cruised home an easy winner with Ricky May hardly moving in the cart. It was Dalton Bromac's third win from just four starts since joining the Hill barn and easily his most impressive. Dalton Bromac covered the 2600 meters mobile in 3.13.7, a mile rate of 1:59.8 with a last  800 meters in a brilliant 54.7 and 400 meters in 26.9 without being seriously asked. Dalton Bromac is from the Holmes Hanover mare in Desiholmes which like most of the Butcher Horses traces back to the outstanding U Scott mare in Desiree. It is a breed that has left the Butchers plenty of top liners in the last fifty years while Desiree is of course a full sister to Desilu who left Delightful Lady (47 wins) With Dalton Bromac to fly the flag in Canterbury, Major In Art has a ready made star to promote his siring abilities in New Zealand. Harnesslink media

This seasons crop of two year olds by Art Major has produced some really smart individuals from his smallish crop of  just 85 foals and Piece Of My Heart looked to further embellish that record  with a stylish win in the Marlin Transport Fillies and Mares Mobile Pace over 2200 meters at the harness racing meeting at Alexandra Park tonight Friday the 18th of July. With harness racing in winter being a touch lower key than normal, quality horses at this time of year in New Zealand can be hard to find. But anyone who saw the  Steve Telfer and Chris Garlick trained Piece Of My Heart win tonight would have seen a filly with a big future. Settling second last from her second line draw, driver Scott Phelan sent her forward three wide with 1200 meters to go and she found the front at the 900 meters mark. From there she turned the race into a procession, shooting clear on the corner before easing down in the last 100 meters for a comfortable two length victory. Tonights win was her first in four starts and she has also finished second once for stakes totaling $6954. She paced the 2200 meters in 2:46, a mile rate of 2:01.4 with closing sectionals of 59.6 and 28.6. Piece Of My Heart was passed in at last year's Australasian Classic Sale for $17,000. She is now raced on lease by Miss T M McMullen, L R Campbell, D L Campbell, L J Goldsmith and R S Toman from her breeders Chris and Tina Barlow. Piece Of My Heart is the fifth winner of the Holmes Hanover mare Highfields Diamond. This is the Anna Pavlova branch of the famous Coo Doo family which has provided the Grice brothers of Mid-Canterbury with so many stakes and classic winners over the last forty years. This is a breed that has produced numerous high class fillies over the years and in Piece Of My Heart it looks to have found another one. Piece Of My Heart  Harnesslink media

 Following on from another week's racing the chase for 100 seasonal wins has become that much easier for the Robert Dunn stable. Wins by Florin - Addington Friday and I've Got This - Timaru Sunday, now take the winning tally to 96, just four shy of the ton. The 4yr old Holmes Hanover mare Florin, was having her first start for the Dunn’s after having been at the Woodend stable for just six days. The manner of her winning performance, winning easing down by 2 lengths, suggests that there is far more in store for her and connections before the winter is over. At yesterday's Timaru meeting, it was stable junior reinsman Matt Purvis and I've Got This, that looked a very progressive combination over the upcoming season. Having just his 5th race start, the 3yr old Love You gelding was driven confidently by Purvis throughout.  While the margin was a narrow half head, this was a perfectly executed drive by Matt, who was recording his 5th winning drive for the season from just 63 opportunities. From the same family as top trotter Dr Hook (15 wins) and the well performed Moment Of Truth (22 wins), this guy is one to definitely keep an eye for in future months.      Meanwhile in other premiership news: - Samantha holds a 3 win lead in the junior drivers' - John is now on 90 wins for the season and a chance to get back to back 100's - Dexter is just 4 wins shy of another double-century   By Mike Drury (ROBERT DUNN RACING)

Now for the Lombardo final for Jungle Genie Classy New Zealand-bred pacer Jungle Genie leapt the first hurdle in her quest to win two feature events in the space of eight days when she produced a powerful burst to score a narrow victory in the $30,000 Clipsal And Schneider Electric Pace for four-year-old mares at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Her strong performance boosted the confidence of Forrestdale trainers Greg and Skye Bond that she will complete the double by proving too good for her rivals in the $25,000 final of the Lombardo Pace next Friday night. Jungle Genie, second favourite at 9/2, overcame the distinct disadvantage of starting from the outside of the back line when she relished the solid pace set by 9/1 chance Loving You. Colin Brown was content to keep Jungle Genie ninth position before starting a three-wide move in the final circuit. Miss Atomic, the 10/9 favourite, surprisingly was easily beaten out at the start when she was lethargic and lacked sparkle. Stablemate Loving You burst straight to the front from the No. 2 barrier and then was able to withstand an early challenge from Am Opulent. Miss Atomic slotted in behind the pacemaker and gained a fortuitous inside passage when Loving You, despite the efforts of reinsman Morgan Woodley, drifted off the pegs passing the 450m mark. Miss Atomic then took lead 150m later and Chris Lewis drove her vigorously in the home straight. But she was unable to hold out the fast-finishing Jungle Genie, who got to the front 120m from the post and won by a head from Miss Atomic, with 20/1 chance Bettor Dreams running on from tenth at the bell to be third, a head in front of Cielito. The final 800m was covered in 58.5sec. and Jungle Genie rated 1.57.2 over the 2130m. She has been wonderfully consistent for owners Greg Bond, Kevin, Rob and John Gartrell, Andrew Foster and Craig Hampson since arriving in Australia 13 months ago after managing just one third placing from five starts in New Zealand as a three-year-old. Her 34 WA starts have produced 14 wins and 13 placings and her win on Friday night boosted her earnings to $101,412. She is by Bettors Delight and is the second foal out of the Live Or Die mare Jungle Jane, who raced 43 times for six wins, ten placings and $58,371 in prizemoney. Im Themightyquinn on target for Queensland It's all systems go for Im Themightyquinn, who will enter the next phase of his remarkable career when he contests feature events at the annual Queensland winter carnival in Brisbane next month. The champion pacer rounded off his preparation with a thrilling last-gasp victory over stablemate My Hard Copy in the 2130m Clipsal Powerhouse Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night and he will travel by air to Brisbane on Thursday, with his driver Gary Hall jun. full of confidence. "I know that a lot of people will think that he hasn't come back anywhere near his best (after a nose victory over Crombie in the Pinjarra Cup followed by a two-length second to David Hercules at Gloucester Park)," Hall said. "But I'm glad that they are sort of writing us off again before we go to Queensland. "I've got no worries. He'll be excited because it will be a new place and once he gets into a genuinely-run race and is driven the way he likes to be driven, he'll prove his worth. "There aren't many horses capable of doing what he did tonight. I think that people expect him to just beat those horses easily because they consider those horses are not in the same class as he is. But those horses are hard to beat round here (the 805m circuit at Gloucester Park) when they run a slow lead time (69.9sec.) and then walk around the next half (60.9sec.) and then run a 55sec. last half. "That makes it almost impossible to come from the back in the field. Around the bend out of the front straight in the last lap I had a good hold of him and he was going pretty much as fast as he can go. That was a quarter in 27.6sec. off the front and he would have gone 27sec. "I think that in his old age he has got a bit dour. Tonight I just wanted to creep up on the others, nice and relaxed, but he's gone back to pulling a bit. It's always hard to do that (remaining relaxed) when he is out of his comfort zone and they're running 55sec. halves. "However, I always felt that he was going to win. I was still holding him a bit down the back straight. When we got to the breeze he thought that his job was done. But he knuckled down in the straight when I gave him two cuts with the whip. He dug in as deep as he ever has. "He's having a bit of trouble in recent races because they are so slow early and are not really genuine fast-class races. Generally there is no pressure put on the leader and he's finding it a bit tough with that. And the way the track is, horses from behind are having trouble getting past the leader when they're running quick times in the last lap. "I don't think that he's a hundred per cent fit yet. He's come in tonight a bit big, but that's not too much of a worry. He's got a lot ahead of him. He leaves by plane on Thursday and will be on the tarmac for an hour in Melbourne before continuing to Brisbane. "Once he gets over there he can really tighten up. I have no doubts that he has come back as good as ever." Champion trainer Gary Hall sen. will remain with Im Themightyquinn and prepare him at Shannon Price's property. Hall jun. will fly in and fly out to drive the nine-year-old in the $60,000 Sunshine Sprint at Albion Park on Saturday week (July 5) and the $100,000 Blacks A Fake Free-For-All a fortnight later. Providing that he performs strongly in those events, Im Themightyquinn will wind up his Queensland campaign in the $40,000 standing-start Redcliffe Cup on August 8. Im Themightyquinn was favourite at 10/1 on in Friday night's race in which he started from the No. 6 barrier on the front line. He was restrained back to last, while stablemate My Hard Copy, second fancy at 6/1 from the No. 2 barrier, bounced straight to the front for Clint Hall, with Shardons Rocket moving to the breeze after 450m. Hall jun. started a three-wide run with Im Themightyquinn with 900m to travel and the champion sustained his spirited finishing burst to get up and score in the final stride, rating 1.58.5 over the 2536m journey. Im Themightyquinn boosted his earnings to $4,468,736 from 56 wins and 33 placings from 108 starts. Pacific Black proving a wonderful bargain Baskerville trainer Sonia Zucchiatti and Adam Kirke made an inspired decision six years ago when they outlaid $20,000 to purchase Victorian-bred three-year-old Pacific Black. Now a nine-year-old, Pacific Black, ended a losing sequence of 27 when he sprinted home fast to score a surprise win at 18/1 in the 2503m Schneider Electric Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. This boosted Pacific Black's earnings for Zucchiatti and Kirke to $167,609 from 16 wins and 38 placings from 122 starts to take his career record to 143 starts for 21 wins, 46 placings and $190,684. As a three-year-old, Pacific Black won four races in a row in the month of August 2008, one at Shepparton and three at Wagga, before being advertised for sale. "I saw him advertised on the internet, on the Trading Ring, for $20,000," Zucchiatti said. "He had won four in a row and I thought that was a good enough reason to buy him. He had one start for us and won at Harold Park and now has won five city-class races at Gloucester Park. " Pacific Black certainly has made the most of the drop-down regulation which enables a pacer assessed M2 or better to drop down a classification every time he has a losing sequence of ten. Pacific Black has gradually dropped down in class and went into Friday night's race as an M1-class performer. He is now back to an M2 mark. Zucchiatti credits Pacific Black's longevity to racing almost exclusively in stands. His five city wins have been in stands and he has contested a mobile race only twice in his past 50 starts. "He pulls in mobiles and I've had to restrict him to stands in the past few years," she said. "He is getting old and basically he needs to race back on the fence. He travels better on the fence and if he gets the right run he'll finish thereabouts." Pacific Black started off the 10m mark on Friday night and Kim Prentice quickly manoeuvred the old gelding to the pegs, with 11/1 chance Telham Lane setting the pace. Pacific Black gained a split half-way down the home straight and he sprinted fast to gain the upper hand in the final couple of strides. Heez Orl Black bred to be a star It is little wonder that Heez Orl Black is developing into a smart performer. He is closely related to former champion pacer and highly-successful sire Christian Cullen. The New Zealand-bred five-year-old is by In The Pocket out of the unraced Holmes Hanover mare Cracker Kate, who is a half-sister to Christian Cullen, who earned $1,249,150 from 22 wins and four placings from 31 starts before developing into an outstanding sire. Cracker Kate is also a full-sister to Kates First, who had 65 starts for 19 wins, 19 placings and $624,023 in prizemoney. Kates First's successes included the New Zealand Oaks at Addington and the Queensland Oaks at Albion Park in 1997 when she defeated Concorde Lombo. She finished second to Holmes D G in the $250,000 Victoria Cup at Moonee Valley in January 1999 when she finished in front of Our Sir Vancelot, Tailamade Lombo and Iraklis. Heez Orl Black, owned by Max Grynberg, Bill Paterson, Tony and Ruth Thompson, Dave Kahl, Karen Hall, Frank Borrello and Trudi Spiniello, revealed tremendous pace to score an effortless victory in the Clipsal Saturn Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. This gave leading trainer Gary Hall sen. the first leg of a double and reinsman Kim Prentice the second leg of a double after an earlier success with Pacific Black. Heez Orl Black, favourite at 10/9 on from the coveted No. 1 barrier on the front line, had no difficulty in jumping straight to the lead. After a slow lead time of 8.6sec., the tempo increased when outsider Empire Flame began to overrace badly in the breeze and the first 400m section of the final mile whizzed by in 27.5sec., followed by a quarter of 28.8sec. Gary Hall jun. eased 4/1 third fancy Vapour from the one-out, one-back position to start a three-wide move 650m from home. The third quarter was covered in 29.2sec. and Heez Orl Black appeared vulnerable after such a hectic pace. However, Heez Orl Black revealed sparkling speed and great resilience to dash over the final quarter in 28sec. and win by five metres from Vapour, with Slick Chapel (7/2) running on from sixth at the bello to be third to give Hall sen. a trifecta result in the 1730m event. Heez Orl Black rated a sparkling 1.53.6 to improve his record to 59 starts for 14 wins, 16 placings and $190,065. He has had 27 starts in Western Australia for eight wins and eight placings. Macintosh surges from last to first New Zealand-bred four-year-old Macintosh looks well and truly on the path to many more wins when he impressed with a splendid last-to-first victory in the 2536m Clipsal Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Produced in fine fettle by veteran trainer Dick Moore, Macintosh, favourite at 6/4, was driven with supreme confidence by Colin Brown. Macintosh started from the outside of the back line and Brown was quite content to let the Mach Three gelding lob along in last position in the field of eleven. Four Grinners (15/1) set the pace and Brown had Macintosh travelling easily at the rear until Chris Voak started a three-wide move with Barkers Hall 1100m from home. Brown then followed the run of Barkers Hall and Macintosh exploded to the front 60m from the post to win easily by four metres from Four Grinners, with Barkers Hall three lengths away in third place. Macintosh rated 1.59.2 and took his West Australian record to seven wins from nine starts after having raced ten times in New Zealand for two wins and three third placings. Macintosh is the second foal out of Style By The Mile, who won once from 17 starts. Style By The Mile is a full-sister to Gomeo Romeo, who earned $340,193 from 13 wins and 12 placings from 52 starts. He was the winner of one group 1 and two group 2 events in New Zealand. Olivieri consolidates second place Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri maintained his recent run of successes with a double at Gloucester Park on Friday night and consolidated his spot in second place on the Metropolitan trainers' premiership table. Olivieri now has trained 54 city winners this season and trails Gary Hall sen. (143 wins), with Greg and Skye Bond in third place with 43 winners. Olivieri's winners on Friday night were Real Hammer and Finbar Abbey. Real Hammer, a Victorian-bred five-year-old, was second fancy at 9/4 who enjoyed the ideal passage behind the pacemaker and 11/4 chance Well Hello Dolly in the 1730m Schneider Acti 9 Pace before gaining a late split and finishing strongly to beat that mare by one metre, with 6/4 favourite Black Aquila a fighting third after working hard in the breeze. This gave Chris Lewis the first leg of a double, which he completed with the all-the-way win of Say It Now in the final event. Real Hammer, a recent addition to the Olivieri stable, has now raced 23 times in Western Australia for four wins and five placings to improve his career record to 12 wins, 14 placings and $100,062 from 52 starts. Finbar Abbey, driven by Chris Voak, was a 11/2 chance off the 20m mark in the 2503m Clipsal Lighting Handicap, in which former New Zealand performer Robyns Raider dominated betting and was favourite at 5/4 at his first appearance at Gloucester Park. Punters groaned when Robyns Raider galloped from the outside of the front line and lost several lengths. However, Colin Brown quickly got Robyns Raider back into a pacing gait and the four-year-old surged forward to assume control after 450m. Finbar Abbey settled down in ninth place before Voak sent him forward, three wide, after a lap to move to the breeze 1450m from home. The eight-year-old appeared under considerable pressure 250m from home when he was not responding particularly strongly to heavy punishment. However, he ran home with dogged determination to hit the front 50m from the post and win by a neck from 16/1 chance Thumpem, who was eighth on the pegs at the bell before finishing fast. Robyns Raider was a close third. Finbar Abbey, who has won at five of his nine starts for Olivieri, has earned $138,831 from 16 wins and 24 placings from 106 starts. $400 pacer takes earnings to $96,870 Four-year-old West Australian-bred mare Lucky Joy, unwanted as a yearling before being picked up for a mere $400 at a dispersal sale, boosted her earnings for Raelene and Ian Williams and their son Robbie to $96,870 when she stormed home to win the 2130m third heat of the Clipsal 56 Series Lombardo Pace for mares at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Robbie Williams, who trains Lucky Joy at Henley Brook, drove a typical patient race with the talented sit-sprinter, who started from barrier two on the back line and raced in sixth position in the one-wide line before unleashing a powerful finishing burst, out wide, to hit the front 70m from the post and win by a half-length from the fast-finishing 16/1 chance Ace of Cards. Hoylakes Firstlady, second fancy at 3/1, had a tough run in the breeze before fighting on to finish third, with the heavily-backed 6/4 favourite My Lady of the Night setting the pace and fading to finish sixth. Lucky Joy, by Canadian stallion Northern Luck, was third favourite at 9/2 and she impressed in dashing over the final 400m in 28.9sec. Her 30 starts have produced seven wins and 11 placings. Smooth Caesar is a giant-killer Giant pacer Smooth Caesar, a generally unfancied 21/1 chance, caused an upset when he stormed home from tenth and last 350m from home to beat 6/4 favourite Pride of Colorado in the 2130m Clipspec Claiming Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The powerfully-built eight-year-old has certainly been a great buy for Marie Bingham, who claimed him for $10,000 last November. Since then Smooth Caesar has won four races and been placed nine times for Pinjarra trainer-reinsman Kim Young, earning $46,985 in stakes to take his career record to 91 starts for 13 wins, 24 placings and $115,039. Polemarker Heavens Delight (7/4) set the pace from Pride of Colorado in the breeze, with Our Gent trailing the pacemaker and Elite Under Fire enjoying the one-out, one-back trail after having been fastest into stride from barrier five, but being unable to cross to the lead. Smooth Caesar, who started from the No. 3 barrier, was tucked away on the pegs and did not get into the clear until 420m from home. He was still last at the 350m mark when Young switched him five wide. After a third quarter in a slick 28.8sec., the final section was a considerably slower 30.2sec. and Smooth Caesar burst to the front 50m from the post before defeating Pride of Colorado by two metres. Veteran The Oyster Bar was a half-length away in third place. Say It Now has the last say Noted frontrunner Say It Now further illustrated the great advantage of the prized No. 1 barrier at Gloucester Park when Chris Lewis drove him to an all-the-way victory in the 1730m Clipsal and Schneider Electric Westbred Pathway Pace on Friday night. Say It Now was a well-fancied 7/4 second fancy, but many punters preferred the highly-promising four-year-old Bettor Party, who was favourite at 5/4 despite the marked disadvantage of starting from the outside of the front line of seven. Bettor Party was wisely eased back to last by Colin Brown, while the lack of any great pressure in the early stages enabled Lewis to rate Say It Now expertly in front, with modest opening quarters of the final mile in the sprint trip in 30sec. and a casual 31.1sec. This proved the decisive factor in the result. Brown started a three-wide move with Bettor Party approaching the bell and the gelding moved to seco0nd 320m from home and fought on with great determination. But after a third quarter in 29sec. Say It Now was able to sprint the final section in 28.4sec. and just hold Bettor Party at bay to score by a head at a 1.57.7 rate. Leftrightgoodnight tracked Bettor Party in the final lap and ran home strongly to be a close third. Say It Now, bred and owned by Kevin Charles and his son Kody, is prepared at Hopeland by Kevin Charles and the stallion showed early promise with wins in the 2012 South-West and Country Derbies. He has now earned $90,431 from 11 wins and 11 placings from 51 starts. He is related on his dam's side to former champion pacer Preux Chevalier, who won the 1985 interdominion championship at Moonee Valley, beating Village Kid, before being retired with earnings of $791,331 from 40 wins and nine placings from 53 starts. by Ken Casellas  

The feature two-year-old event at Redcliffe is fast becoming a race of domination. And leading the charge is gifted harness racing horseperson Kylie Rasmussen. Rasmussen steered talented filly Mathilda Diventa to victory in the Gr.2 $60,000 Garrards Redcliffe Yearling Sale Series No.6 Final defeating Rockstar Rikki and Irockymyworld. It was the third time Rasmussen has won the feature event following her success with Cha Ching Chaching and Couldntresist. The victory also provided Club Patron Chris Garrard and his family double celebration, not only is he the major sponsor of the event, he also shares ownership of the winner with his son Daren and friend Steve Hawkins. “This is a great thrill to win this race, both Daren and Steve are very excited and we can’t thank Kylie and Darren (Weeks – trainer) enough. This is a wonderful concept and it continues to evolve each year and I’m proud to be associated with it, credit to Kerry (Ebert – Club President) and his committee.” Garrard said. Two years ago, the Garrard family raced Couldntresist with Kylie Rasmussen. As for the breeders, Burwood Stud, it was their fourth success in the feature with Cha Ching Chaching, Couldntresist, Designer Style and now Mathilda Diventa. Stud principal Noel Denning and his wife Christine were both on hand last night to witness the victory. Mathilda Diventa is a filly by Cammibest out of the Holmes Hanover mare Holme Call and ranks as a younger half-sister to Couldntresist. Burwood Stud also bred the third placegetter Irockmyworld, a younger half-brother to another former winner in Cha Ching Chaching. “To win this race four years in a row is quite amazing, we’re very proud of the fact that we continue to produce quality racehorses who can win major races like this.” Denning said. Mathilda Diventa led throughout in the 1780m event before cruising clear over the concluding stages to win by 10m in a time of 2;00.0 with Rockstar Rikki battling hard after racing without cover while Irockmyworld also fought gamely to hold third. The Darren Weeks trained filly will now start in a heat of the $35,000 QBRED Breeders Classic at Albion Park next Friday night. The $20,000 Comfort Inn & Suites Northgate Redcliffe Derby was dominated by brilliant colt Bling It On. The highly decorated colt eased back to last soon after the start before making a midrace move to find the lead, it quickly became a procession there after. Bling It On defeated Raring To Go and Max Richter by over 21m in a race record time of 1;58.3 for the 2280m event. The American Ideal colt finished off in 28 seconds with winning driver Luke McCarthy barely moving. Trainer Belinda McCarthy is now setting Bling It On for the Gold Coast/Queensland Derby double next month. Bling It On is raced by Harvey Kaplan, the estate of Kaye Kilgour, Sammy Kilgour, Peter & Zilla O’Shea and Alan Fairley. by Chris Barsby Racing Queensland

Harness racing buyers at this years All Aged sale in Canterbury held the upper hand right from the opening lot. Most of the broodmares for sale had foals at foot by such well-established sires such as Badlands Hanover and McArdle but most failed to even make four figures. Lockerup, the aged dam of champion trotter Sovereignty $678,321 made $5,000 in foal to Monarchy but most struggled to attract interest. Good examples of that lack of interest would be mares such as: Keepalert - A Life Sign half sister to Mach Alert $394,945 with a Changeover filly at foot made a paltry $400 High Tops Hanover - A mare by Western Hanover from a Big Towner half sister to Holmes Hanover with a filly by Tintin in America at foot fetched just $700 Cullen Katching - A striking young  mare by Christian Cullen from a Western Hanover half sister to seven winners including Pacific Flight 1:51 $562,345 and The Unicorn 1:56.7 $488,524, who was not in foal sold for a touch more at $1100. The weanlings were much more in demand. Top price went to the stunning McArdle colt from the 13 win mare Lady Toddy who is already the dam of four in 1;58. He fetched healthy $15,500 which in the context of the sale was a great result for the vendors, Nevele R Stud. Other weanlings to attract interest included *Changeover / Last Port Of Call  colt--$8100 *Monarchy / Lockerup  colt--$6400 * Vintage Master / Joyful Holmes  colt $6200 *Vintage Master / Supreme Classie  colt $4600 *Dali / Tammy Franco  colt $4500 For full results click here. The North Island leg of the All Aged sale will be held at Karaka on May 30th, The day before the Harness Jewels at Cambridge. Harnesslink media

When former champion juvenile Sensational Gabby managed just one win and one third placing from 11 starts between December 2012 and January this year her harness racing future was in extreme doubt. She was wrecking her winning prospects by overracing fiercely and hanging and her connections were seriously considering retirement plans. But astute Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri did not give up the battle and after months of experimenting he has cured her bad habits of pulling hard and hanging in her races and now she has regained all the brilliance which enabled her to win at 23 of her first 27 starts. She paced generously and faultlessly when she revealed blistering speed to outclass her rivals in the Ray Duffy Memorial at Gloucester Park on Friday night, recording a smart 1.54.8 rate over the 2130m after speeding over the final mile in 1min.53.9sec. Sensational Gabby now has several feature events for mares over the next two months at her mercy. These include the $20,000 Golden Girls Mile at Pinjarra on April 21, the $35,000 Race For Roses at Gloucester Park on May 9, the $40,000 WASBA Breeders Pace on May 23 and the $30,000 Westbred Fillies and Mares Classic on May 30. And so well is Sensational Gabby performing that there are plans to set her for rich feature events next summer, including the Fremantle Cup and WA Pacing Cup. Olivieri is well pleased that Sensational Gabby is now tractable in her races, but he remains tight-lipped about what gear changes he has made to cure her bad habits. Sensational Gabby was an easing 13/4 second favourite on Friday night when most punters pinned their faith on Soho Valencia, who was a heavily-supported 2/1 on favourite from the No. 2 barrier on the front line. However, the anticipated battle for supremacy never really eventuated, with Chris Lewis firing out Sensational Gabby from the No. 1 barrier and establishing a decisive early lead on the opposition, leaving Soho Valencia in the breeze, but a couple of lengths behind the flying pacemaker. After a 29.3sec. first 400m section of the final mile Sensational Gabby left the opposition floundering in her wake as she sped of the next quarters in 28.5sec., 27.7sec. and 28.4sec. Sensational Gabby won by two lengths from Soho Valencia, with almost a length to Code Red (9/1) in third place after he had trailed the leader throughout. The five-year-old WA-bred Sensational Gabby has now amassed $527,495 from 27 wins and six placings from 48 starts. Sensational Gabby's win gave Lewis the third leg of a winning treble in consecutive events --- after wins with Shirlz Sensation and Lovers Delight. Lewis almost landed four wins in a row (in the four legs of the quadrella) when Pembrook Henry set the pace and finished second to Erris Lad. MACHTU EQUALS STATE RECORD Crack New Zealand-bred gelding Machtu is now a clear favourite for the $200,000 WA Derby on Friday week after his devastating performance to crush his rivals in the Cowden Ltd Derby Prelude at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Machtu, prepared by leading trainer Gary Hall sen., is spot on for the rich classic and he equalled the State record for three-year-olds over 2536m when he rated 1.57.2 in beating Three Blind Mice by almost seven lengths. Robyns C C also rated 1.57.2 when she finished strongly to win a race for fillies last August. What made Machtu's performance all the more impressive was that he worked hard without cover for much of the way before storming away from his rivals in the final stages with a final 400m in 28.2sec. After unplaced runs at his first two starts in New Zealand as a two-year-old in December 2012, Machtu has won at seven of his next eight starts. His five WA starts have produced four wins and a fighting second to stablemate Elegant Christian. Machtu, favourite at 3/1 on, started from barrier four and raced three wide for the first 200m before Clint Hall restrained him back to settle in ninth position. Hall started a three-wide run after 900m and Machtu quickly moved alongside the pacemaker So Ubettabelieveit. Machtu surged to the front 270m from home and careered away from his rivals. Three Blind Mice, trained by Barry Howlett, was a 19/1 chance who raced without cover during the first lap and then gained the one-out, one-back trail behind Classic American before being shuffled back to seventh at the bell. He finished powerfully, out wide, to be a splendid second. Life Live Fast (66/1) enjoyed an ideal pegs run throughout and fought on along the inside to be third, with Zacharia finishing solidly into fourth place. Machtu, who has earned $51,038 from seven wins and a second from ten starts, is the fourth foal out of Holmes Hanover mare Letatalk, who managed to win only once from 20 New Zealand starts for stakes of just $3938. SHIRLZ SENSATION IS ON THE RISE Four-year-old Shirlz Sensation looks set for a bright career after another outstanding performance to score an effortless victory in the Community Newspaper Group Westbred final at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Starting favourite at evens from barrier two on the back line, Shirlz Sensational was driven aggressively by Chris Lewis before scoring by three lengths from Smooth Caesar (6/1), with the strongly-supported 9/4 second fancy Soho Jackman one and a half lengths farther back in third place. Oneheart Twofists jumped straight to the front from barrier three and he was joined by Shirlz sensation 700m after the start after a slow 37.9sec. lead time and 30.9sec. opening quarter of the final mile. The third quarter whizzed by in 28.1sec. before Lewis sent Shirlz Sensation to the front with 230m to travel. The final quarter was covered in a sparkling 27.8sec. and Shirlz Sensation rated a smart 1.57 over the 2130m. Soho Jackman started from the outside of the back line and did a good job to finish third. He was last 1050m from home before sustaining a solid three-wide burst. Shirlz Sensation, part-owned and trained by Mike Beech, has turned the corner this season, with his past seven starts producing five wins, a second and a third. He was also extremely impressive last Friday week when he raced without cover before winning by more than ten lengths. He now has raced 22 times for seven wins and three placings for stakes of $58,720. LOVERS DELIGHT IS GETTING TOUGHER Lightly-raced six-year-old Lovers Delight, a noted frontrunner, revealed improved stamina and determination when he raced in the breeze before beating the pacemaker Lord Lombo in the $25,000 Pick Of The Little Scrapbooking Clarke final at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Trained at Capel by Andrew De Campo and driven by Chris Lewis, Lovers Delight, the heavily-supported 3/1 favourite, simply carried too many guns for his 11 rivals. Lord Lombo, a 9/1 chance, was first into stride from barrier two and Lewis then was quite content to allow Lovers Delight to settle in the breeze. After a third section of the final mile in 28.1sec. Lord Lombo looked set to score an upset win. But he was unable to withstand the finishing effort of Lovers Delight who got to the front in the final 25m and scored by 2m at a 1.57.6 rate over 2130m. Outsider Franco Torres overcame the disadvantage of starting from the outside of the back line when he ran on from eighth (on the pegs) at the bell to be third, a half-head in front of polemarker Benjamin Banneker. The New Zealand-bred Lovers Delight has raced 22 times in WA for eight wins and eight placings to take his career record to32 starts for 12 wins, ten placings and $170,203. He now graduates to an M3 classification and looks set for many more successes. BREAKTHROUGH SUCCESS FOR MISSISSIPPI BELL Four-year-old Mississippi Bell, unplaced at her only seven previous appearances at Gloucester Park, made a significant breakthrough when her Waroona trainer Bob Mellsop drove her to a convincing victory in the 2130m Ross North Group Mares Pace on Friday night. Mississippi Bell, a 12/1 chance from the inside of the back line, relished the run of the race behind the pacemaker Awesome Desire (13/4) before Mellsop eased her into the clear in the closing stages. She ran on determinedly to hit the front 80m from the post and draw away to beat Awesome Desire by almost a length, with 20/1 chance Mene Jaccka coming from three back on the pegs to fill third position. Love In The Dark, a newcomer from Queensland, was strongly supported to start favourite at 10/9 on at her WA debut for Byford trainer-reinsman Shannon Suvaljko. She was beaten for early speed from the No. 3 barrier and worked hard in the breeze before fading to finish eighth. Mississippi Bell rated 2.0.3 and took her record to 28 starts for six wins and one placings for stakes of $33,032. She is by American stallion Riverboat King out of Northern Lights mare Firestorm Whitby and is certainly bred to be a good winner. Firestorm Whitby's dam Tempting Franco produced five winners, including Typhoon Whitby, who had 46 starts for 17 wins, seven placings and $163,751. Typhoon Whitby finished second to The Kindly One in the $100,000 1999 Bathurst Gold Tiara, won the $60,000 State Sires Series for two-year-old fillies at Gloucester Park in August 1999 and was fourth behind Tupelo Rose in the 2000 Victoria oaks. Mississippi bell also is closely related to former outstanding pacer Franco Tiger, who amassed $991,387 from 43 wins and 36 placings from 116 starts. Franco Tiger's victories included the 1992 Miracle Mile, the 1992 Australian Pacing Championship, the 1992 Queensland Pacing Championship and the 1993 Treuer Memorial. He also finished second to Westburn Grant in the 1992 interdominion championship at Moonee Valley and third behind The Harlem Boy and Jack Morris in the 1993 WA Pacing Cup. SPRINT TRIP SUITS CARTERS ROCKET Carters Rocket, a flop when he led and faded to third behind Wolowitz over 2190m at Northam last Tuesday, appreciated returning to a sprint journey when he scored an all-the-way victory in the 1730m Kennards Hire Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. His one-length win over Ima Grumpy Jasper at a 1.57.78 rate ended a losing sequence of 12, which included only two placed efforts. Polemarker Im Clean Cut, a surprising 5/4 on favourite after finishing ninth, twelfth and eleventh at his three previous starts, was beaten out at the start by Carters Rocket (second fancy at 17/4) from the No. 2 barrier. This proved decisive. Colin Brown gave Carters Rocket his head and the New Zealand-bred five-year-old by Elsu sped through the first 400m section of the final mile in 28.7sec. before Brown was able to give the gelding a breather with a leisurely second quarter in only 31.9sec. Carters Rocket covered the final quarters in 29.8sec. and 28.2sec. and won from Ima Grumpy Jasper, a 12/1 chance who ran on from eighth in the middle stages. Im Clean Cut trailed the pacemaker before getting a clear passage in the final stages to finish gamely into third place. Carters Rocket, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, won twice from seven New Zealand starts and has been a handy performer in Western Australia where his 38 starts have produced eight wins and seven placings. He now has a record of 46 starts for ten wins, ten placings and $57,931. Carters Rocket is out of the unraced Pocket Rose, whose full-sister Tupelo Rose was a champion performer who earned $879,867 from 35 wins and 25 placings from 101 starts. Hollywood Rose, a mare by Butler B G, failed to win from 20 starts in the early 1990s. However, Tupelo Rose quickly developed into a superstar who won several group 1 and group 2 events as a juvenile. She won two group 1 classics for fillies as a two-year-old at Alexandra Park in 1999 before winning the New Zealand Great Northern Oaks, the Victoria Oaks, the Queensland Oaks and Australian Oaks the following year. Tupelo Rose won 12 races in New Zealand, 12 in Australia, one in Canada and ten in America. AM OPULENT Four-year-old Am Opulent, a group 1 classic winner as a two-year-old in New Zealand, took full advantage of the coveted No. 1 barrier at Gloucester Park when she gave a bold frontrunning display to win the 2130m Gannons Mares Pace on Friday night. Favourite at 7/4 on, Am Opulent was driven with supreme confidence by Ryan Warwick, who gave the mare her head when she dashed over the final 800m in 57.5sec. She won by a neck at a 1.57.3 rate from 15/1 chance Bettor Whitby, who trailed her throughout. Jungle Genie (13/2), a stablemate of the winner, sustained a three-wide burst from last in the middle stages to be a neck away in third place. Am Opulent, who ended a losing sequence of ten with an easy victory at Harvey at her previous outing, gives every indication of many more wins. She has earned $162,757 from ten wins and eight placings from 31 starts. A winner of three races from seven starts in New Zealand, Am Opulent has had 24 starts in WA for seven wins and seven placings. She revealed abundant early promise and was successful in the group 1 Caduceus Club Classic for two-year-old fillies at Alexandra Park in April 2012. Her dam Imprint (by Life Sign) earned only $22,622 from three wins and three placings from 14 starts, but she is closely related to Smart Son, who earned $347,805 from 41 wins and 59 placings from 226 starts. He was successful in New Zealand, Australia and the United States. Am Opulent completed a double in the first two events on Friday night's program for Forrestdale trainers Greg and Skye Bond, who prepared Carters Rocket for his win in the opening event. The Bonds continued on their winning ways with a double at Kellerberrin on Sunday afternoon when Showstopper and Jungle Jewel scored all-the-way victories. DASHING CHRISTIAN ENDS LOSING RUN OF 14 New Zealand-bred seven-year-old Dashing Christian ended a losing sequence of 14 when he unleashed a powerful burst which enabled him to get up in the final stride to snatch victory by a nose over 7/4 favourite Mighty Flying Thomas in the 2536m Plscrapbooking.com.au Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Dashing Christian, third favourite at 5/1, started from the inside of the back line and Clint Hall had him in fifth position, three back on the pegs, for most of the race, with Shifting Sand (14/1) setting the pace. Mighty Flying Thomas settled in tenth place before Morgan Woodley sent him forward after 550m to move into the breeze. After a third quarter of the final mile in a brisk 28.2sec., Mighty Flying Thomas got his head in front with 375m to travel and looked set for victory when he led clearly in the home straight. But Dashing Christian sprouted wings and gained the verdict by the barest of margins after a final quarter in 28.9sec. The Feather Foot (9/2) ran on strongly from sixth at the bell to be third. Dashing Christian, who had finished encouraging seconds at his two previous starts, gave trainer Gary Hall sen. and Clint Hall a double after they had combined to win the previous event with Machtu. Dashing Christian, a winner at one of his seven New Zealand starts, raced seven times in New South Wales for seven wins and six placings. He has had 23 starts in WA for three wins and nine placings to take his career earnings to $105,955 from 11 wins and 19 placings. He is then second foal out of Falcon Seelster mare Dreamy Dash, who managed just one win and seven placings from 33 starts for earnings of $17,165. ERRIS LAD MAKES THE MOST OF DROP-DOWN RULE The drop-down rule introduced a couple of years ago which enables pacers assessed M2 and better to drop down a grade has proved a tremendous boon for WA-bred Erris Lad, who has returned to winning form three times after receiving this advantage. Horses handicapped M2 or better drop down a grade after completing a losing sequence of ten. Erris Lad, trained at Hazelmere by Mike Reed, dropped back from an M2 to an M1 classification after chalking up a losing run of ten when a sound fourth behind Major Fury last Friday week. This enabled the seven-year-old to start from the front line in Friday night's 2503m TABtouch Handicap, an event for M1 and better-class pacers. Colin Brown took advantage of the front-line draw and had Erris Lad, a 20/1 outsider, poised to strike from the one-out, one-back position, with 3/1 chance Pembrook Henry setting the pace. Erris Lad finished full of running to take the lead 100m from the post. He went on to beat Pembrook Henry by a half-length, with a neck back to 16/1 chance Hez Got the Nod, who finished strongly out five wide after racing three back on the pegs. Flyalong Falcon, favourite at 5/2, lost his chance by galloping at the start. Mister Sarkozy also galloped and The Pacing Priest broke soon after the start. Flyalong Falcon came from tenth in the middle stages to be fifth before breaking on the home turn and dropping back to finish last. Erris Lad has been the beneficiary of the drop-down rule three times. His previous victory was last November when having his first start after a losing run of ten. His previous win before that success came after he had also enjoyed a downgrade. Under the old handicapping regulations Erris Lad would now have an M5 classification. His win on Friday night returns him to an M2 mark. FLYING START PAVES THE WAY FOR LA PASSIONE A flying start from the outside barrier paved the way for New Zealand-bred five-year-old La Passione's impressive victory in the 2536m McInerney Ford Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Darling Downs trainer Aldo Cortopassi revved up La Passione from the unfavourable No. 7 barrier and the gelding quickly charged past polemarker Good Luck Dollar and into the lead. Cortopassi was able to get La Passione to relax and the 4/1 second favourite coasted through the first two sections of the final mile in 31.8sec. and 30.7sec. before dashing over the next two quarters in 28.7sec. and 29.1sec. to win by two lengths from Black Cracker, who fought on doggedly after racing without cover. Good Luck Dollar trailed the leader and finished a neck away in third place. La Passione, by American stallion Pacific Rocket, is beginning to realise his potential after arriving in Western Australia about 14 months ago after having had 18 starts in New Zealand for four wins and seven placings. His 21 WA starts have produced four wins and six placings and he should develop into a handy and consistent city performer. Ken Casellas  

Champion reinsman Gary Hall jun. predicted that Im Victorious would be a star on the Australian grand circuit over the next few years after driving the brilliant five-year-old to a superb victory in the $250,000 Yes Loans Fremantle Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night. A bold move by Hall to set Im Victorious alight from the rear with a three-wide burst after 650m to race outside the pacemaker and 6/4 favourite Bettors Fire paid handsome dividends when the Michael Brennan-trained gelding surged to the front on the home turn and beat his arch rival by 2m. This gave the 31-year-old Hall his sixth victory in the Fremantle Cup to equal the record of Chris Lewis in the group 1 event which was first run in 1928. "Im Victorious is a wonderful animal and, fingers crossed, he can stay fit and healthy for the next few years because he's going to be a very good representative for WA in the major Eastern States races," Hall said. And now Brennan, who had the task of preparing Im Victorious for the Fremantle Cup less than a month after the New Zealand-bred gelding had finished fourth in the Miracle Mile at Menangle and then an unlucky last in the Victoria Cup at Melton after receiving severe interference, is setting his sights on the $400,000 Nepean Conveyors WA Pacing Cup next Friday night. "He was a bit flat when he returned from Victoria before he enjoyed a week off relaxing in his own special paddock at Debbie Prentice's Boyanup property," Brennan said. "Debbie does a fantastic job and she treats him like one of her own. "He then came back into work and was still a little bit flat before he started picking up. His work last Saturday and again on Wednesday was first-class and I was confident of winning the Cup even though he didn't draw a good barrier." Hall jun. praised Brennan, saying: "Full credit to him; to get the horse back to his best after an Eastern States campaign is not easy. I know, through experience with Dad, how hard it can be. Hat's off to Mouse (Brennan), Lara (his wife) and the crew at Brennan Pacing. "I'm sure that everyone hoped Im Victorious could do what he did tonight, but I wasn't really sure whether he could definitely do so. I thought that it was the perfect race to attempt to do that (go forward early and into the breeze) and just see where he was in relation to the rest of them ... to see if he could make his own luck. "A lot of people think that his speed is his biggest asset, but his biggest asset is his manners and his ability to relax when you use him mid-race. He's the complete package. "I have been very lucky to have driven horses like The Falcon Strike and Im Themightyquinn. We were driving down the Freeway the other day and Dad asked me if I realised how lucky I have been in the game. And I do often sit back and think about it, but while you're still competing and coming out every week you've got to keep that behind you and keep moving forward and upwards. "I'm sure that one day when it all sinks in and when you've got time to sit back and think about it all I'll appreciate what has happened and I'll appreciate all the support I've had along the way." Im Victorious was a 5/2 second favourite from barrier four on the back line and he settled down in ninth position before Hall made his pre-emptive strike after 650m. Dasher VC, winner of the Fremantle Cup 12 months earlier, broke into a fierce gallop moments after the start, while Kyle Harper took up the running with the polemarker Bettors Fire. After first quarters of the final mile in 29.5sec. and 29sec., Harper lifted increased the tempo with a 28.2sec. section. But Bettors Fire was unable to shrug off Im Victorious, who gained the ascendancy on the home turn and covered the final 400m in 28.sec. to beat the gallant Bettors Fire at a 1.56.5 rate over the 2536m. David Hercules, fourth favourite at 11/1 from the outside of the back line, raced in tenth position before starting a three-wide run (with a trail) 1400m from home. He sustained his strong effort to finish third, a length behind Betters Fire. Hokonui Ben, who enjoyed a good suit, one-out and one-back, for much of the journey, was a sound fourth. This Time Dylan, a stablemate of Im Victorious, was ninth at the bell before finishing strongly into sixth place. Washakie, third favourite at 5/1, raced in sixth position in the one-wide line in the middle stages before John McCarthy sent him forward, three wide, with 1400m to travel. He moved to fifth at the bell before wilting to 11th. Im Victorious is still comparatively inexperienced, having raced only 31 times for 21 wins and three placings for stakes of $707,035. Hall was driving Im Victorious on Friday night for the first time for 22 months. He drove him three times for his first three wins in February and March 2012 and he boasts a 100 per cent record with the son of Washington VC, who has sired the winner of the past five Fremantle Cups (Im Themightyquinn three times and Dasher VC in 2013 before Im Victorious continued the streak on Friday night). Hall has won the Fremantle Cup six times (twice with The Falcon Strike, three times with Im Themightyquinn and once with Im Victorious). Lewis has won the Fremantle Cup with Black Irish, Village Kid (twice), John Albert, Sandy Bay and Dasher VC. HEZ THE BART MAN COMPLETES A TREBLE FOR CORTOPASSI Darling Downs horseman Aldo Cortopassi struck a purple patch at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he landed a treble in the space of 85 minutes. The 37-year-old Cortopassi completed the treble when he brought veteran pacer Hez The Bart Man home with a spirited burst to score an easy victory in the $25,000 Yes Loans Fremantle Cup Consolation over 2536m. This followed wins with Topnotch Dan and Pure Empathy. Hez The Bart Man, a New Zealand-bred eight-year-old trained at Oakford by Ross Olivieri, was a 9/1 chance from barrier two on the back line in a race in which the polemarker Sneakyn Down Under was a solidly-supported 9/4 favourite, with Pacific Warrior the second fancy at 4/1. Sneakyn Down Under set a brisk pace and Cortopassi had Hez The Bart Man poised to strike in sixth position in the one-wide line. Cortopassi started a three-wide move approaching the bell and the gelding got to the front 250m from home before drawing away to win by two lengths from 9/1 chance Danieljohn, who finished boldly from seventh at the bell. Famous Alchemist (16/1) raced three back on the pegs and did not get clear until very late, when she flashed home to be third, just ahead of outsider Cyclone Mitch, who rattled home from tenth with a lap to travel. "Hez The Bart Man was going to run second at his previous start (when fourth behind Toretto) before making a mistake with 100m to travel," Cortopassi said. "And I was very happy when I got the call to drive him again tonight. He loves to roll into the race and with a nice even tempo he just keeps going at the one speed." Sneakyn Down Under faded to finish tenth, while Pacific Warrior raced at the rear and was twice inconvenienced in the final circuit before finishing a creditable sixth. Hez The Bart Man, owned by David and Carolyn Ward, won once from two starts in New Zealand and seven times in Victoria before arriving in WA where his 24 starts have produced four wins and 12 placings. His career record stands at 59 starts for 12 wins, 22 placings and stakes of $146,203. LORD LEXUS MAKES A GOOD IMPRESSION Five-year-old New South Wales-bred Lord Lexus showed that he has the ability to maintain a successful family tradition when he scored an impressive victory at his second appearance in Western Australia. He overcame the disadvantage of starting from the outside of the front line and he was last in the first lap before finishing powerfully, three and four wide, from eighth at the bell to romp home an easy two-length winner over In The Perfect Storm in the 2130m Yes Loans Pathway Pace. Trained at Hazelmere by Mike Reed and driven confidently by Shannon Suvaljko, Lord Lexus was a 15/2 chance in a race in which polemarker Shnappy (7/4) and Ben Cartwright (5/2 from barrier two) dominated betting. The victory gave Reed a most satisfying birthday present after turning 59 four days earlier. Ben Cartwright was smartest into stride and challenged Shnappy hard, but unsuccessfully, for the lead over the first 350m. This resulted in a particularly fast lead time of 35.5sec. and left Shnappy and Ben Cartwright susceptible to horses who had comfortable passages at the rear. Gary Hall jun. finally got Ben Cartwright to the front 250m from the post, but the four-year-old was a sitting shot. Suvaljko drove Lord Lexus to the front with 100m to travel and the gelding scored by two lengths from 9/2 chance In The Perfect Storm, who started a three-wide burst from the rear approaching the bell and was tracked by the winner, who rated 1.57.7. Ben Cartwright held on to finish third and will pay to follow. Shnappy wilted to finish fifth. Lord Lexus, by Bettors Delight and out of Panoramic Lady, has raced only 17 times for four wins, nine placings and $25,063 in prizemoney. Panoramic Lady had 50 starts for ten wins, ten placings and $29,594. Lord Lexus is a half-brother to outstanding performers Make Me Smile (678 starts for 34 wins, 14 placings and $517,518), Cant Bluff (60 starts for 21 wins, 21 placings and $281,348) and Lady Lexus (54 starts for 25 wins, 17 placings and $316,518). Make Me Smile won the New South wales Derby at Harold Park in April 2005 before finishing third behind Innocent Eyes in the Chariots Of Fire the following January. MACHTU STAKES HIS CLAIM AS A WA DERBY PROSPECT Lightly-raced gelding Machtu is the latest in an ever-increasing army of talented three-year-olds trained in Serpentine by Gary Hall sen. to emerge as a strong prospect for the rich WA Derby in April. Machtu, a winner at three of his five starts in New Zealand, made a stylish Australian debut at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he was favourite at 3/1 on and worked hard without cover before winning the 2130m Yes Loans Three-Year-Old Pace by three lengths from fast-finishing stablemate Eyre Crusher (22/1), with two lengths to the pacemaker Hugh Victor (6/1) in third place. Morgan Woodley jumped polemarker Hugh Victor straight to the front before being tackled hard for the lead by 84/1 outsider Crimson Floyd. The lead time was a fast 35.8sec. and after 500m Matt White gave up his quest for the lead and slotted Crimson Floyd to the pegs to follow Hugh Victor. This left Machtu in the breeze and Woodley gave Hugh Victor a much-needed breather with a 32.8sec. first quarter of the final mile, followed by a 30.9sec. quarter. Hugh Victor then sped over the third 400m section in 28.1sec. and the final quarter went by in 28.8sec. Machtu got on terms with Hugh Victor 550m from home before gaining a narrow ascendancy on the home turn. Eyre Crusher rattled home from last at the bell to deprive Hugh Victor of second placing. The winner rated 1.58.2 over the 2130m to take his record to six starts for four wins and $23,518 in prizemoney. His dam Letatalk (by Holmes Hanover) managed just one win, one placings and $3938 in stakes from 20 starts. "He was purchased for 'a bit of money' and with that sort of record in New Zealand you would expect him to come here and show something," said reinsman Gary Hall jun. "He's worked up very nicely at home and is a really nice horse to drive. He does everything you want him to do and is very versatile. "So that's why we chucked him in at the deep end straight away and he's come up with the goods. I thought that we were in a little bit of trouble early. I don't think he's got a hell of a lot of gate speed, and there was plenty there from a few unexpected ones. "I think that Hugh Victor would have been pretty hard to beat (had it not been for the spirited early challenge). We planned to sit outside of him, quietly, until the 900m and then apply a bit of pressure. But we might have struggled to get over him, based on his run, after what he had to do early." OUR AMAZING ART'S WIN REVIVES HIS FORM AS A TWO-YEAR-OLD As a two-year-old Our Amazing Art won at Addington from The Gold Ace and then finished a head second to Our Major Mark in a group 1 $80,000 feature event. The Gold Ace has now amassed $1,028,621 from his 19 wins and 12 placings from 52 starts and Our Major Mark has earned $645,935 from 22 wins and 20 placings from 70 starts. Our Amazing Art, now a six-year-old, went into the M0-class 2130m Yes Loans Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night, favourably drawn at barrier two on the front line and at the gift price of 11/2. Punters who took into account his form as a juvenile in New Zealand and his splendid record as a pacemaker were on good terms with themselves when Shannon Suvaljko got Our Amazing Art past the polemarker and 9/4 favourite Justlikelindt and into the lead 50m after the start. Suvaljko then rated Our Amazing Art expertly in front and the Artsplace gelding strolled to victory by 4m over Justlikelindt, rating 1.57.4 to boost his record to 59 starts for 11 wins, 12 placings and stakes of $108,907. This ended a losing sequence of 12, stretching back to last May when he was successful at Penrith. Our Amazing Art, prepared at Wanneroo by Debbie Padberg, had put the writing on the wall the previous Friday night when he sat behind the pacemaker Rocky Marciano and finished second to that pacer over 2536m. "Last week he raced over 2536m and he's a bit suspect over that distance," Suvaljko said. "He can't get hoppled during the week and I'd like to thank Isaac Edwards, who does all the work with this horse."" Last-start winner Tuxedo raced three wide for the first lap before getting to the breeze before he faded to finish ninth. Justlikelindt was blocked for a clear passage in the final lap. "Tuxedo was coming around them, so I had to make him do some work, and down the back I've made them run (with a third quarter in 28.6sec.) and I had them all off the bit," Suvaljko said. "We had Justlikelindt on our back and so I had to hold him back in a pocket for as long as possible." TOPNOTCH DAN GETS HOME AT 67/1 Aldo Cortopassi made the most of the opportunity to drive veteran pacer Topnotch Dan for the first time when trainer Ross Olivieri's No. 1 driver Chris Lewis opted to handle stablemate Lord Coburn in the 2130m Yes Loans Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Topnotch Dan, a Tasmanian-bred nine-year-old and rank outsider at 67/1, caused a major upset when he finished solidly from sixth at the bell to win narrowly from fast-finishing pair Menelaus of Sparta (46/1) and Lisharry (17/1). Most punters pinned their faith in noted frontrunner Real Hammer, who was resuming after a spell and looked a certainty from the prized No. 1 barrier, particularly after a dashing Byford trial win the previous Sunday. Real Hammer set the pace and after the first two quarters of the final mile in moderate 29.6sec. and 29.5sec. he looked set for an easy victory. The third section whizzed by in 28.9sec., but Real Hammer then began to show signs of wilting. Topnotch Dan, who had enjoyed an ideal sit in the one-out, two-back position (behind Lord Coburn in the one-out, one-back position), started a three-wide burst after the bell. He went four wide at the 400m and hit the front 50m from the post. Lisharry, who started a three-wide run at the 900m, was forced five wide passing the 400m and he finished determinedly. Menelaus of Sparta impressed in charging home from eighth at the bell to snatch second place. Topnotch Dan, owned by Lloyd and Judith Whish-Wilson of Launceston, had been unplaced at each of his seven starts in his current campaign and had a losing sequence of 13. After extending his losing sequence to ten late in November, Topnotch Dan's classification went from M2 to M1 under the drop-down regulation. He now moves to an M2 mark again. He won 13 races in Tasmania and one in Victoria before arriving in WA where he has raced 41 times for four wins. He won a group 3 $30,000 classic for two-year-olds in Hobart in July 2007 and is one of seven winners out of the unraced Torado Hanover mare Shansue Mod. Topnotch Dan now has earned $182,921 from 18 wins and 32 placings from 105 starts. GDAY MATE'S WIN SURPRISES HIS TRAINER-DRIVER New Zealand-bred five-year-old Gday Mate, whose previous five wins had been in stands, caused an upset in the 2536m mobile Yes Loans Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he stormed home from the rear to snatch victory at 20/1. It was a win which surprised the gelding's trainer-driver Justin Prentice, who gave him little chance against several smart rivals, including J Walker (7/2), Hokuri Handrail (5/4) and Franco Renegade (7/1). Hokuri Handrail (Gary Hall jun.) was kept under pressure in front, with Franco Renegade pulling hard in the breeze and having his head in front for much of the way. Gday Mate raced in ninth position before sustaining a spirited finishing burst to get to the front in the final 30m to beat J Walker by a metre, with Hokuri Handrail a metre away in third place. Franco Renegade wilted to finish seventh. "I didn't think Gday Mate was going to get over J Walker," the 25-year-old Prentice said. "J walker has been flying and was in the one-out, two-back position, leaving us with a lot of ground to make up. At the 400m Gday Mate was making up a lot of ground and I thought we were a chance turning for home. But half-way down the straight I didn't think I was going to catch J Walker. So he's done a massive job to fight out the finish and put his head in front." Gday Mate, owned by Shannon Prentice, Mark Conlan, Clive Berryman, Peter Kennedy and Ross North, has done all his racing in WA where he has had 71 starts for 20 wins, 34 placings and $239,550. BRONZE SEEKER BREAKS A LOSING SEQUENCE OF 16 A switch from mobile racing to a stand did the trick for New Zealand-bred five-year-old Bronze Seeker, who recovered from a tardy start to record a smart victory in the 2503m Yes Loans Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The win ended a frustrating run of outs and a losing sequence of 16, stretching back to his narrow win over Red Salute in the Manea Classic at Bunbury last March. Bronze Seeker, whose previous nine starts had been in mobiles, galloped out for a few strides from the inside barrier on the front line and settled down racing without cover five lengths behind the early leader Balleybofey. Bronze Seeker then was able to gain the one-out, one-back trail 600m after the start when Shannon Suvaljko sent Adda Paternal Suit forward and into the breeze. Bronze Seeker, favourite at 2/1, gave a fine example of his sit-sprint ability. After a 28.3sec. third quarter of the final mile, Bronze Seeker sprinted over the final 400m in 27.9sec. and got to the front in the final couple of strides to beat Balleybofey by a head, with two lengths to Adda Paternal Suit in third place. After winning 11 times from 26 starts in New Zealand, Bronze Seeker, a son of Mach Three, was purchased by Ian Sermon, Lee Bunney, Ross Waddell, Ken Casellas and Tracey Sermon and now the gelding has had 34 starts in WA for Bickley trainer Peter Anderson for four wins and eight placings. "Credit is due to Peter," said reinsman Morgan Woodley. "He's had Bronze Seeker spot on for a long time, but the horse hasn't had any luck and this had all of us pulling our hair out. Bronze Seeker found the line strongly tonight and should win a couple more." PURE EMPATHY Smart New Zealand-bred mare Pure Empathy made the most of the coveted No. 1 barrier at Gloucester Park when Aldo Cortopassi drove her to an effortless all-the-way victory in the first heat of the 2130m Yes Loans Im Themightyquinn Mares Pace on Friday night. "She's been going great this whole campaign," said Cortopassi. "All she needed was a good draw. She won pretty easily and went to the line with the plugs in. I never really asked her for an effort." Pure Empathy, trained at Pinjarra by Brad Groves, was favourite at 9/4 and she was able to amble through the first two 400m sections of the final mile in 31.7sec. and 31sec. before sprinting over the final quarters in 28.8sec. and 28.7sec.Millies Girl (25/1) trailed the leader all the way and finished just more than a length behind the winner in second place. Corza Commotion (18/1) raced three back on the pegs and got clear in the late stages to flash home into third place. Pure Empathy, owned by Brad and Kelly Groves, Laurie and Valerie Groves and Kalina Brew, has had 56 starts for ten wins, 18 placings and $76,230. MAGGIES MYSTERY PROVES TOO GOOD FOR HER MALE RIVALS West Australian-bred five-year-old Maggies Mystery, the only mare in the 1730m Yes Loans Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night, proved too speedy for her ten gelding rivals when Kim Prentice drove her to an all-the-way victory. Favourite at 5/4 on, Maggies Mystery, trained at Burekup by Colin Reeves, made full use of the prized No. 1 barrier and was able to withstand constant pressure applied by Cool Johnny and go on and win by a nose from 13/1 chance Rocky Marciano, with 2m back to 6/1 chance Heez Orl Black in third place. Maggies Mystery sprinted over the final 400m in 28.3sec. and rated 1.56 in taking her record to breeder-owner Kim Marsh to 59 starts for 12 wins, 16 placings and $133,155. "I didn't really have any concerns mid-race when Cool Johnny was applying pressure in the breeze," Prentice said. "She was always under control. Down the back they were coming four and five wide and she took a little bit to get going. But when I pulled the deafeners she knuckled down and did the job. "Morgan (Woodley) had me 20m out when Rocky Marciano was definitely in front. But to Maggies Mystery's credit she kicked to regain the lead. Maggies Mystery is a beautiful horse to drive and she will keep earning." by Ken Casellas  

A spur of the moment decision by part-time Pinjarra trainer Chris King to telephone Victorian Greg Stubbs almost four years ago, simply on a whim, seeking to lease veteran pacer Flamin Tact, has had far-reaching repercussions. They had never met, but Stubbs agreed to lease Flamin Tact and they thoroughly enjoyed their first association, with Flamin Tact winning eight races for King and running 16 minor placings for stakes of $113,565. "I didn't know Greg from a bar of soap, so it has been a great decision," said King. The liaison led to Stubbs sending Leda McNally to King early last year when Stubbs and trainer Tony Peacock were disappointed with the form of Leda McNally, who had managed just one win (at Cobram in January 2012) and three placings from 15 starts in Victoria and New South Wales for $7818 in prizemoney. There were no high hopes when Leda McNally arrived at King's stables. However, the mare, now a five-year-old, has exceeded all expectations and she hit the high spot of a Fabulous career when she outclassed her rivals in the $100,000 Make Smoking History Mares Classic at Gloucester Park on Friday night to boost her record to 44 starts for 17 wins and eight placings for earnings of $257,308. Her victory by two and a half lengths over the fast-finishing Famous Alchemist gave the 41-year-old King and 25-year-old reinsman Chris Voak their first success in a group 1 event. Now King is keenly looking forward to Leda McNally challenging the best mares in the country in the $200,000 Ladyship Mile at Menangle on March 2 next year. Stubbs, who travelled to Perth to watch Friday night's race, praised the efforts of King and his partner Barbra Gray, particularly for nursing the mare back to health after she had received serious leg and hoof injuries when she bolted in a paddock after taking fright during an electrical storm earlier this year. "We sent her over here a couple of years ago as a three-year-old filly who had won one race and now she has won well over $200,000," he said. "Tony Peacock and I bought her as a two-year-old with the intention of selling her. But she couldn't win enough races, so we sent her to Perth, and now the rest is history." Leda McNally, winner of the $40,000 Norms Daughter Classic the previous week, started from the No. 5 barrier on the front line on Friday night and was favourite at evens. Shannon Suvaljko sent the polemarker Loving You (8/1) straight to the front, but was happy to relinquish the lead when challenged strongly by Leda McNally, who burst to the front after only 250m. Voak then was able to get Leda McNally to relax and the mare strolled through the first 400m section of the final mile in 31.3sec. and the next quarter in 29.3sec. before covering the next two quarters in 28.8sec. and 29.3sec. Leda McNally rated 1.57.6 over the 2130m journey and Voak produced a triumphant salute over the final 25m. Famous Alchemist (22/1) surged home from tenth at the bell to be second, with 12/1 chance Sensational Gabby, last in the middle stages, sustaining a strong burst to finish third, a head in front of 5/2 second fancy Bettor Cover Lover, who raced in the breeze over the final 1050m and fought on gamely. Voak said that he did not expect to find the lead so easily. "There were a lot of rumours going around earlier in the week that Loving You was going to lead from the pole," he said. "I had done a lot of track work for Tilley (Loving You's trainer Peter Tilbrook) a year or so ago and I knew deep down in my heart that he is not that sort of operator. He knows the class of his horse, so I think that the talk of Loving You holding the lead was just a bit of bluff." RED SALUTE SHINES AND GIVES OLIVIERI A TREBLE Noted frontrunner Red Salute made the most of the prized No. 1 barrier when he bounced back to top form and ended a losing sequence of nine with a bold frontrunning display to win the $25,000 The Kersley final over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. This completed a treble for Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri, who had been successful earlier in the program with Imtheguy and Lord Coburn. It was also the first leg of a driving double for Chris Voak, who was successful in the following event with Leda McNally. Red Salute had started from the back line in four of his six starts since resuming from a spell and had drawn out wide in the other two starts. His prospects on Friday night soared after he drew the No. 1 barrier. He was a 5/1 chance and Voak sent him straight to the front and was able dawdle through the first 400m section of the final mile in 31.2sec. before dashing over the next quarters in 29.5sec., 28.8sec. and 28.5sec. He went on to win at a 1.57.4 rate by a half-length from 27/1 chance Code Red, who sustained a powerful finishing burst from eighth in the middle stages. El Machine, favourite at 5/4, raced in the one-out, two-back position before starting a three-wide move with 1100m to travel. He fought on doggedly to be third, a half-length behind Code Red. "He's now had the ks (kilometres) in his legs and his two previous starts (for two thirds) were an improvement," Voak said. "He was probably found wanting over the final 50m at his previous start, but Ross has now got him back to somewhere where he needs to be. "He is going to improve, no problem, and can reach the potential that everyone involved with the horse thinks he can get to. His real ability lies in the 250m kick he's got." Red Salute, winner of the group 2 Binshaw Classic last February, is raced by his breeder Jeanine Diederich, Denise Trobe, Adrian Staltari and Tony Jones and has earned $122,189 from 12 wins and nine placings from 40 starts. By Life Sign, he is the fourth foal out of the New South Wales-bred mare Gold Stature, who had 74 starts for 14 wins, 28 placings and $61,562. LIVINGONTHEINTEREST LEVELS THE SCORE WITH HOKONUI BEN Lightly-raced six-year-old Livingontheinterest, beaten into fifth place behind Hokonui Ben last Friday week, turned the tables on his stablemate when he enjoyed a perfect passage, one-out and one-back, and sprinted home strongly to win by 4m from Hokonui Ben in the Quitline Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. This levelled the score between the geldings, who are trained by Gary Hall sen. They have met 12 times, with each winning three times and each finishing ahead of the other three times in the other six events. Hokonui Ben, favourite at 2/1 on and driven by Clint Hall, bowled along in front, but was found wanting in the closing stages over the 2536m journey. Kim Prentice got Livingontheinterest, second favourite at 8/1, away smartly from barrier three and the gelding raced without cover for the first 300m before Shardons Rocket moved to the breeze. Prentice bided his time before bringing Livingontheinterest home with a well-timed burst, which saw the New Zealand-bred gelding hit the front 100m from the post. The final 400m was covered in a moderate 29.2sec. after the two previous quarters had whizzed by in 28.8sec. and 28.7sec. Shardons Rocket held on well to be third, with Dasher VC (12/1) running home solidly, three wide, from tenth at the bell. Livingontheinterest, a winner at seven of his 15 starts in New Zealand, won at first seven starts in WA and now his 20 starts in the State have produced 11 wins and two placings to take his earnings to $198,465. "He has been going good, but just hasn't had the right draw," Prentice said. "They ran really good time tonight and he had a beautiful sit just in behind them. He found the line really well. Last week (when fifth behind Hokonui Ben) he didn't pace as well as he did tonight. But Gary has put the polish on him during the week and he has come up trumps." NORTHERN ASSASSIN EARNS A START IN THE GOLDEN NUGGET Busselton trainer Peter Bell will have a runner in the $175,000 Lancaster Park Golden Nugget Championship next Friday night after Northern Assassin set the pace and scored a narrow victory over Northview Punter in the Smoke Free Nugget Prelude at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Punters declared Northern Assassin a good thing after he had drawn the prized No. 1 barrier and the stallion was sent out hot favourite at 6/4 on. Matt White sent Northern Assassin straight to the front and after easy first quarters of the final mile in 31.4sec. and 30.7sec., he gave the opposition something to chase after a third quarter in 29.2sec. and a sizzling final 400m in 27.4sec. Northview Punter (13/2) moved to the breeze 650m after the start and got on terms with the pacemaker 450m from home. He fought on grandly and was beaten only by a metre. Erskine Range (8/1) sat behind the leader and fought on to be two lengths farther back in third place. Northern Assassin, making only his fourth appearance at Gloucester Park, rated 1.58.2 and took his record to 16 starts for six wins, six placings and $43,833 in stakes. He is the first foal out of the unraced Parsons Den mare Let It Rock and is related on the dam's side to former top-flight performer Buck the Odds (121 starts for 31 wins, 29 placings and $307,547). "It was a bit of a worry early, not knowing how much gate speed he had," said White. "But we were able to hold the top and he got it pretty easy early and he kicked home good. Pete's done a great job with him and I think he's got a bit of bottom to him. He keeps giving and he's a high cruising sort of horse." PUNTERS DISREGARD KHUN RATHA AFTER NARROW FIRST-UP DEFEAT Promising three-year-old Khun Ratha resumed after a spell at Harvey last Tuesday week and was a warm 6/4 favourite who set the pace and was beaten a nose in the final stride by Live Life Fast. However, punters abandoned him and he was a 24/1 outsider in the 1730m Thank You For Not Smoking Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Most punters pinned their faith in last-start winners and stablemates Black Mr Mach (evens) and Offtocullect (10/9). But Khun Ratha, trained at Capel by Andrew De Campo and driven by his son Aiden, enjoyed the perfect one-out, one-back trail before sprinting home on the rain-soaked track to burst to the front in the final 30m and beat the pacemaker Black Mr Mach by a half-length, with Modigliani (15/1) a fast0-finishing third. Offtocullect, who started from the outside barrier in the field of seven, raced greenly at the rear and did not threaten danger before finishing in fifth place. A fierce downpour flooded the track and Khun Ratha did well to sprint over the final 800m in 57.6sec. He rated 1.59.7 and boosted his earnings to $17,513 from two wins and two placings from six starts. Khun Ratha, bred by his owner Paul Poli, is by Bettors Delight and is the first foal out of Holmes Hanover mare Calafia, who won at seven of her 21 WA starts and was retired after racing 43 times for eight wins and ten placings for $43,303 in prizemoney. JOHNS TARGETS THE TROTTERS CUP WITH Earl HARBOUR Waroona trainer-reinsman Nigel Johns is setting Earl Harbour for the $30,000 Trotters Cup in January after the New Zealand-bred seven-year-old scored a stylish win in the Breathe Easier Trot at Gloucester Park on Friday night. After praising the gelding for having perfect manners, Johns said that Earl Harbour was on track to win more races in Western Australia. "He will be set for the Trotters Cup and if he lobs handy he's a chance in any race here," he said. Johns won the 2009 Trotters Cup with Compressor. Earl Harbour ended a losing sequence of 14 (including eight minor placings) when he started at 16/1 and enjoyed an ideal passage, one-out and one-back, before dashing to the front on the home turn and winning by just under two lengths from 61/1 chance Keepyaguardup, with a further 8m to 5/4 on favourite Prince Eddie. Owned by Christine Germain, tote manager at Pinjarra Paceway and a sister of Johns' partner Deb Woodley, Earl Harbour was a consistent performer in Victoria and now has had 94 starts for nine wins, 30 placings and $90,027 in prizemoney. Earl Harbour has impressed at his four WA starts which have produced a win and two placings. "He is by Canadian sire Earl, like his stablemate All Flair," Johns said. "And he has got good manners, which are a bit better than the trotters by Sundon, even though I love the trotters by Sundon because they're brilliant horses, but are a bit fizzy. "Tonight's race was set up for Earl Harbour. He lobbed handy and there was a fair bit of speed, and I was just sitting there. He always performed well in Victoria against the good trotters and I think he will go a fair way here. I didn't even pull the plugs." OHOKA COURAGE GIVES HARPER PLENTY OF REASON TO SMILE Young reinsman Kyle Harper seized the opportunity to drive Ohoka Courage for the first time when he brought the seven-year-old home with a powerful burst to score an easy victory in the Quit Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Harper was delighted when Forrestdale trainer Jarrad Humphries offered him the drive. He had taken special notice of the gelding at his previous start, at Northam last Tuesday week, when he surged past his pacer Springsteen to win a 2560m stand in fine style. "I have plenty of respect for Springsteen and I sat up and took notice of Ohoka Courage when he went past us at Northam," Harper said. "I was confident of winning tonight when the pace went on early. I was just sitting back and having a giggle. Ohoka Courage had plenty in reserve at the finish; he only does what he has to." Ohoka Courage started at 8/1 from barrier three on the back line in the 2130m event and raced in sixth position in the one-wide line while Herbies Dream set the early pace, with Captain Proud overracing in the breeze. Captain Proud pulled his way to the front 1300m from home and the second quarter of the final mile was covered in a slick 28.6sec. Mister Roberto, who raced in the one-out, one-back position, dashed to the front leaving the back straight in the final circuit while the 7/4 favourite Jay Bees Grin was badly blocked for a clear passage in the ruck. Harper timed Ohoka Courage's finishing burst to perfection and the gelding swept to the front in the final 100m to win convincingly at a 1.57.7 rate. Jay Bees Grin, who had been eased off the pegs by Colin Brown about 600m from home, got into a bad traffic jam and did not obtain a clear run until late --- when he rattled home to be a most unlucky third. Ohoka Courage has had 49 starts for 11 wins, 15 placings and stakes of $63,745. It was his third win from eight WA starts after winning four races in New Zealand and another four in Victoria. Ohoka Courage is a half-brother to Ohoka Dallas, who has earned $350,661 from 15 wins and 20 placings from 102 starts. IMTHEGUY RELISHES THE No. 1 BARRIER TO END LOSING RUN OF 11 Victorian-bred and Adelaide-owned pacer Imtheguy made the most of drawing the prized No. 1 barrier when Chris Lewis drove the five-year-old to an all-the-way victory in the 1730m Make Smoking History Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Imtheguy, a heavily-supported 5/4 on favourite gave Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri the first leg of a treble and Lewis the first leg of a double when he dashed over the final 400m in 28.9sec. and held on to beat the 7/2 second favourite Heez Orl Black by a metre at a 1.56.6 rate. Imtheguy, owned by Mary Harding and Richard Noble, had put the writing on the wall with a very close second to Rakatup at his previous start, ended a losing sequence of 11 and looks capable of further city successes. Imtheguy won at four of his five starts in South Australia and at three of his nine appearances in Victoria before being sent to Western Australia where he has had 17 starts for two wins and five placings. He has earned $46,534 from nine wins and nine placings from 31 starts. He is out of the unraced Village Jasper mare Its All About Rose and is related on his dam's side to former star mare Jasmarilla, who had 213 starts in the 1980s for 50 wins, 68 placings and $503,000 in prizemoney. SANJAYA IS CLAIMED BEFORE LEADING AND WINNING There was plenty of activity before the Mick's Claiming Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night when eight claims, all of $10,000, were lodged. Serpentine trainer-reinsman Chris Brew claimed Sanjaya, who started favourite at 6/4 on from the No. 1 barrier and set a brisk pace before winning by a length from stablemate This Time Dylan (7/2), with Marooned (11/2) finishing third after trailing the pacemaker throughout. Sanjaya, trained by Gary Hall sen., was driven aggressively by his son Clint and he gave his rivals little chance by speeding over the final four 400m sections of the final mile in 29.5sec., 28.9sec., 28.9sec. and 28.3sec. He rated 1.55 over the 1730m and took his record to 68 starts for 13 wins and 20 placings for stakes of $90,799. Sanjaya ended a losing sequence of seven and improved his WA record to 18 starts for three wins and four placings. The New Zealand-bred seven-year-old won four times in New South Wales and another four times in Queensland before arriving in WA. Arnoux, a New Zealand-bred seven-year-old trained by Hall sen., was claimed by Adam Jones of Treendale and there were six claims lodged for Marooned, a seven-year-old trained by Michael Brennan. The successful claimant was Gary Scott. LORD COBURN WINS EASILY AFTER AN EARLY SCARE Victorian-bred six-year-old Lord Coburn, the heavily-supported 6/4 on favourite, gave his backers a scare when he galloped for a couple of strides at the start of the Fresh Air Handicap, a 2503m stand at Gloucester Park on Friday night. But Chris Lewis quickly got him into his pacing gait and after a spirited battle with the polemarker To Transcend, Lord Coburn forged to the front after 300m and gave a strong frontrunning display before winning by two lengths from outsider Anvils Big Punt, with a nose to To Transcend in third place. "I was happy once he got to the front," said Lewis. "We had done a bit of work, but I was still feeling confident. He finished the race off well." Lord Coburn, who is owned by a group of Mildura folk, Christopher Clohesy, Louise Tarrant, Richard and Daniel Tankard, William Robinson and Ian Watson, has had seven starts in WA for trainer Ross Olivieri for two wins and three placings. He has now earned $78,780 from 12 wins and 13 placings from 45 starts. By American stallion Grinfromeartoear, Lord Coburn is out of former outstanding New Zealand-bred mare Posh Jaccka, who had 132 starts for 29 wins and 43 placings for stakes of $331,155. STEWARDS SUSPEND VOAK FOR 11 DAYS Outstanding young reinsman Chris Voak has been suspended from driving for 11 days for causing interference in a race at Gloucester Park on Saturday night. He pleaded guilty to a charge of causing severe interference to Aldebaran Swannee at the winning post, just after the start of the European Prestige Handicap, a 2503m stand. He was driving Art In Your Face, who began speedily from the outside of the front line and burst to the front on the first turn before setting the pace and finishing second to Cometao. The stewards took into account Voak's guilty plea and his excellent driving record and they reduced a 19-day penalty to 11 days. Voak had driven in 910 races and had not been suspended since his previous suspension last January. Clint Hall started serving a 35-day suspension at midnight on Friday night. He was suspended for 21 days for his incorrect whip action when driving Famous Alchemist into second place behind Leda McNally in the $100,000 Mares Classic. This suspension was added to a 14-day penalty for an incorrect whip action when driving Waylade in a race at Bunbury the previous Saturday night. Brett Smith was suspended for 17 days for causing interference in the Kersley final at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He drove Menelaus of Sparta, who checked The Feather Foot soon after the start. Nathan Turvey was suspended on Friday night for ten days for causing interference with Sonic Classic in the Quit Pathway Pace. Luke Edwards received a 16-day suspension for causing interference in a race at Northam last Tuesday and Stuart McDonald was suspended for four weeks for an unacceptable drive behind Celtic Crusader in a race at Narrogin on November 21. Celtic Crusader finished second to Pure Empathy. He pleaded guilty to a charge of causing severe interference to Sachin Arden (Shannon Suvaljko) at the winning post, just after the start of the European Prestige Handicap, a 2503m stand. He was driving Art In Your Face, who began speedily from the outside of the front line and burst to the front on the first turn before setting the pace and finishing second to Cometao. by Ken Casellas  

Quick thinking by Kyle Harper enabled him to narrowly avoid a dramatic situation as the mobile barrier released the field for the $50,000 Nepean Conveyors Mount Eden Sprint at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Harper was driving 13/8 second favourite Bettors Fire when the five-year-old, starting from the prized No. 1 barrier, ducked his head and attempted to dive underneath the mobile barrier arm. The big gelding then veered sharply towards the inside of the track and Harper had to reef him back to get him behind the arm. Harper had Bettors Fire keen on the bit to ensure that he would take full advantage of the inside draw by jumping straight to the front. But Bettors Fire was so anxious to outpace his rivals at the start that he made an attempt to get under the mobile arm. The 23-year-old Harper remained cool in the crisis and was able to avert what could have been a catastrophic situation. For a fleeting moment there appeared the possibility that the horse could have become wedged under the arm of the mobile barrier, and this could have resulted in him crashing to the track and causing chaos to the runners on the back line in the field of 12. Bettors Fire burst straight into the lead and gave a superb frontrunning display to win the feature event by two and a half lengths from the 10/9 on favourite Im Victorious, with a length to 40/1 chance Dredlock Rockstar, who was most impressive in charging home from last at the bell. Bettors Fire sped over the final 800m in 56.8sec. and his rate of 1.53.8 was the second fastest recorded in the 58-year history of the Mount Eden Sprint, formerly known as the State Sprint Championship. The race record of 1.53.6 was set by Im Themightyquinn over 1700m in 2011. All honours were with the brilliant Bettors Fire, who is owned by Frank Ranaldi and appears set for stardom. But Im Victorious was extremely unlucky, after starting from the No. 2 barrier on the back line and being hopelessly hemmed in between runners for most of the event. Im Victorious was tenth with 350m to travel before, finally, Justin Prentice was able to get the five-year-old into the clear about 300m from home. Im Victorious sprouted wings and flew down the home straight. Harper was simply following a family tradition. His father Lindsay drove Havago to victory in the Mount Eden Sprint in 2002 and was successful with Lively Medley in 2004. Kyle Harper’s elder brother Donald won the race with Hayton Brain in 2007. Kyle Harper now has ambitious plans for Bettors Fire, including contesting the $250,000 Yes Loans Fremantle Cup and $400,000 Nepean Conveyors WA Pacing Cup in January. “He is a very good horse,” he declared. “I’ve tried to play him down and keep him a bit quiet. But he is a very serious horse and everything has fallen into place for him. The barrier draws have been perfect.” Bettors Fire set the pace from Dasher VC, with Banana Dana on the pegs and Adda Paternal Suit in the one-out, one-back position. Shardons Rocket went forward from the No. 5 barrier and was trapped out on a limb, three wide, in fourth place for the entire race. Wrongly Accused, trained by Tony Svilicich and a stablemate of Shardons Rocket, followed his three-wide run and kept Im Victorious in a watertight pocket in the one-wide line until the race was virtually all over. “I thought that when Tony’s horses were three wide it was going to make it difficult for Im Victorious to get out,” Harper said. “Had you switched the draws it probably would be a different story. But with the No. 1 draw I was pretty confident going into a race like this with an M1 horse against Im Victorious, Dasher VC and Better Cover Lover. “When I saw that Im Victorious was hemmed in I backed off and tried to get a bit of a breather (with a 29.1sec. for the second 400m section of the final mile). I thought that I wouldn’t have to get going until the bell and unleash him at the 600m. Unfortunately for Im Victorious the race wasn’t run to suit him.. “Bettors Fire had only one month off after arriving from New Zealand, but providing if he keeps going forward we’ll be aiming for the big carnival races.” Bettors Fire has won at seven of his eight starts in Western Australia and now has earned $158,407 from 18 wins and eight placings from only 38 starts. Dasher VC, who was making his first appearance since last February, fought on well to be fourth, while champion New Zealand mare Bettor Cover Lover was a 17/1 chance from the outside of back line and finished in seventh place after5 settling down in 11th position and sustaining a three-wide burst from tenth at the bell. ARTORIUS COMPLETES A BONANZA FOR THE BONDS AND BROWN Forrestdale trainers Greg and Skye Bond have never lost faith in their Victorian-bred pacer Artorius, who charged home from the rear to snatch a last-stride victory in the 2536m TABtouch Claiming Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night to give them and ace reinsman Colin Brown five winners on the ten-event program. Artorius was a $6.60 chance on the tote and their other winners were At Princeton ($10.60), Bettor Still ($13.80), Johnny be ($1.70) and Our Major Mark ($5.50). The stable also had two quinella results, with Lord Jowers ($17.20) finishing a head second to Bettor Still and Talk It Up ($10.30) finishing a half-head second to Artorius. Artorius ended a losing sequence of 25, but the Bonds have no regrets that the heeded the advice of a Victorian contact and outlaid just $15,000 to purchase Artorius early in 2010. Now an eight-year-old, Artorius, a son of former champion pacer Our Sir Vancelot, has had 69 starts for them for 11 wins, 20 placings and stakes of $128,361. Artorius, who has been noted throughout his career for his sparkling late finishing bursts, has an overall record of 113 starts for 22 wins, 33 placings and $169,261 in prizemoney. He started from the outside of the front line on Friday night and Brown was happy to drop him back to the rear in the small field of seven. He was sixth at the bell and Brown waited until passing the 400m mark before sending him forward with a four-wide burst. Arnoux, the 6/4 favourite, set the pace from 33/1 outsider Tsunami Lombo, with Shifting Sand on the pegs and Talk It Up in the one-out, one-back position. Ryan Warwick started a three-wide move with Talk It Up with 320m to travel and the nine-year-old got to the front 90m from the post before being grabbed by Artorius in the final stride. Arnoux was a wilting third. The quintet of winners for Greg and Skye Bond completed a tremendous week for them. The had four runners at Kellerberrin , and all four of them --- Lunar Tide, Carters Rocket, Jungle Genie and Galactic Galleon --- were driven to victory by Ryan Warwick. Then the Bonds were successful with Condrieu (Brown) at Gloucester Park on Monday. There was one claim lodged in Friday night’s event, with Vance and Wayne Stampalia outlaying $10,000 for Shifting Sand, who finished fifth at his first outing since mid-July. Shifting Sand, a seven-year-old by Jennas Beach Boy, has had 51 starts for ten wins, 14 placings and $55,190. AWKWARD OUR MAJOR MARK KEEPS BROWN GUESSING New Zealand-bred six-year-old Our Major Mark thundered home with a sizzling late charge to score an easy victory in the 2536m Retravision Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night to take his earnings to $622,965 from 21 wins and 17 placings from 62 starts. But he continues to cause his driver Colin Brown plenty of headaches. “He is an awkward horse to drive and basically he goes just when he wants to go,” Brown said. “When his head is right he is a very good horse, but he certainly gives you some anxious moments. When I hooked him out he started to make ground and about half-way round the bend I actually thought he could win. “But he puts that little bit of doubt every time you sit behind him, and he keeps you guessing. But maybe he just knows where the finishing line is and is telling me not to worry.” Our Major Mark, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, settled down behind the early pacemaker Heavens Delight before being shuffled back to last in the field of six. The polemarker Hez The Bart Man, favourite at 7/4 on, galloped badly in the score-up and lost about eight lengths. Gary Hall jun. sent 5/2 second fancy Askmenow to the front after 450m and was joined 500m later by Hez The Bart Man, giving Smirking the one-out, one-back trail. Hez The Bart Man put in a tremendous effort to get to the front 250m from home, but he was swamped by Our Major Mark, who was still last with 360m to travel. Our Major Mark surged to the front 90m from the post and won by two lengths from Hez The Bart Man, with a fading Askmenow a further 8m back in third place. Our Major Mark sprinted both the final two quarters in 28.4sec. and recorded a mile rate of 1.58.1. TOUGHER GDAY MATE IS NO LONGER JUST A SIT-SPRINTER New Zealand-bred seven-year-old Gday Mate has turned the corner and the renowned sit-sprinter is surprising Boyanup trainer-reinsman Justin Prentice with his newly-found strength. Gday Mate, a 5/1 chance off the 10m mark in the Chaff City Handicap, settled in ninth place before Prentice sent him forward, three wide, after 700m. The gelding then raced in the breeze outside then pacemaker Ya Dreamin for 550m before 20m backmarker and 6/4 favourite The Ragpickers Dream dashed forward from the rear to race without cover. The Ragpickers Dream eventually worked his way to the front 150m from home, but was no match for Gday Mate, who produced a sizzling late burst to race away and win by two and a half lengths at a 2.1 rate in the 2503m stand. Ya Dreamin held on to be third. “Now Gday Mate makes it much easier, being able to be used earlier to get into a forward position,” Prentice said. He said that circumstances had forced him to take off, three wide, with Gday Mate much earlier than usual at his previous start when the gelding was beaten by a nose in the final stride by This Time Dylan. “I didn’t want to do that, but it was a good test for him and he showed that he could do it,” Prentice said. “Things worked out perfectly tonight. He did a bit of work early (to get to the breeze) and then The Ragpickers Dream gave me cover, and then we were always going to be hard to hold out.” SWITCH TO STANDS SUITS THIS TIME DYLAN “He’s got a few more wins in store for him,” declared leading reinsman Gary Hall jun. after driving This Time Dylan to a convincing victory in the 2503m European Prestige Auto Service Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. “I think the switch to stands has been the key for him. He always got too fired up in mobiles and never settled or paced that well.” This Time Dylan, a New Zealand-bred eight-year-old trained by Gary Hall sen., was favourite at 11/4 and he impressed in running on from eighth in the middle stages to hit the front 140m from the post and race away to win by almost three lengths from Lord Coburn (10/1), with a head to Red Salute (10/1) in third place. Hall jun. gave the gelding time to settle from the 10m mark while Ideas Man set the pace. Chris Voak made a fast move 1050m from home with Red Salute to move to the breeze, leaving This Time Dylan three wide without a trail in the final circuit. This Time Dylan fought on grandly to hit the front soon after rounding the home turn. The final two quarters whizzed by in 28.4sec. and 28.6sec. and This Time Dylan rated 2.0.9 in improving his record to ten wins and six placings from 31 starts for stakes of $80,405. He has had 23 starts in WA for seven wins and three placings. He raced eight times in New Zealand, all in mobiles, for three wins and his first 16 starts in WA were in mobiles and produced three wins in modest company. Hall sen. switched him to stands less than two months ago and his first seven starts in stands have produced four wins. “He is racing super and he did something tonight that I didn’t think he was capable of,” said Hall jun. “We followed Red Salute into it and when he got the breeze we lost our cover. So I thought we would struggle from then on. He took charge of me a little bit when we lost the cover and he travelled very well down the back. “He’s a funny sort of horse. You can’t fight him too much, so I just let him slide and was very surprised on the home bend when I pulled the plugs and he had that much to offer. He’s really turned the corner.” KISS CHASEY UPSETS BIT OF A LEGEND AT HIS WA DEBUT West Australian-bred six-year-old Kiss Chasey made the most of the massive advantage of starting from the No. 1 barrier at Gloucester Park when he set a solid pace and caused a major upset in holding on to defeat star New Zealand pacer Bit Of A Legend in the 1730m Lancaster Park Pace on Friday night. Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri produced Kiss Chasey in fine fettle and Chris Lewis rated the gelding expertly with quarters of 29.6sec., 30.1sec. and 29sec. before a blistering final 400m in 27.9sec. Bit Of A Legend, a winner at 16 of his 32 starts for stakes of $621,918, was making his first appearance in Western Australia and was having his first start since mid-August. He was considered a certainty in the M0-class event and was favourite at 5/1 on. Brent Mangos gave Bit Of A legend time to settle down from the wide barrier at No. 6 on the front line before he started a three-wide move after 450m to move to the breeze at the 1000m mark. He finished determinedly, but failed by a neck to beat Kiss Chasey, who rated 1.55.8. Bit Of A Legend is in Perth to contest the three rich events for four-year-olds over the next five weeks. He is sure to be vastly improved by his first-up performance. “Starting from barrier one over the short distance suited Kiss Chasey,” Lewis said. “The other horse (Bit Of A Legend) had to do a bit of work to get around, and it’s early in his preparation. He obviously needed the run and that I was hoping would be the case.” Kiss Chasey has started from the No. 1 barrier seven times for four wins, a second, a third and a fifth. He is owned by the reinsman’s wife Debra and has earned $74,179 from nine wins and nine placings from 31 starts. He is by Yankee Sensation and his dam Hello Boys (by Crouch) raced 55 times for 12 wins, 17 placings and $89,541. Hello Boys is a half-sister to former talented mares Party Date (111 starts for 25 wins, 27 placings and $256,003) and Red Hot Date (44 starts for 12 wins, nine placings and $99,730). BROWN TIPS MANY MORE WINS FOR SPEEDY JOHNNY BE Colin Brown was effusive in his praise of Johnny Be and declared the New Zealand-bred six-year-old had the ability to become a top-class performer after driving him to a stylish all-the-way victory in the 2536m Make Smoking History Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Johnny Be, a heavily-supported 7/4 on favourite, burst straight to the front from the No. 3 barrier and set a solid pace before giving his rivals little chance by sprinting the final 400m in 28.4sec. He won by a length from 35/1 outsider Franco Torres, who came from the rear with a fast move at the 1500m mark to work hard in the breeze. Chloe Vargarita (4/1) trailed the pacemaker and finished third. “The horse’s head is in a good space at the moment,” Brown said. “He went through a period of about 12 months once where he would knock off in the run and wasn’t quite genuine. But his head has been in the right place for his past half dozen runs. “The horse has always had the ability and we think he is an open-class horse, providing his head is right. He’s certainly got the motor and the speed. And he can stick on as well. So as long as Skye (Bond) can keep his head right, we’re looking okay. Johnny Be was able to contest the M1-class event on Friday night because he had received a downgrading from M2 to M1 last May when he posted a losing sequence of ten. He has earned $118,605 from 14 wins and 31 placings from 82 starts. He is raced by Greg Bond, Kevin, Rob and John Gartrell, Andrew Foster and Craig Hampson, who also were successful on Friday night with At Princeton and Our Major Mark. Brad Collett also is a part-owner of Our Major Mark. KOROBEIT ANGEL BOOSTS HER CLAIMS FOR A RUN IN RICH EVENT Korobeit Angel, a Victorian-bred four-year-old, enhanced her prospects of gaining a start in the $100,000 group 1 Mares Classic at Gloucester Park on November 29 with a smart victory in the 2130m West Australian Mares Pace on Friday night. Favourite at 3/1 on, she started from the No. 5 barrier on the front line and raced three wide for the first 500m before getting to the breeze outside Hoylakes Firstlady. She began to overrace and Robbie Williams relinquished the lead to her with 1100m to travel. She went on to win by 4m at a 1.58.7 rate from Hoylakes Firstlady, with Terra Into The West running on from ninth (and last) at the bell to be third. “She’s probably going to be outclassed in the $100,000 race, but you’ve got to be in it to win it,” said reinsman Gary Hall jun. She’s just a crazy, crazy redhead, but she is a nice mare if we can get her to settle. “Obviously Robbie (Williams) wanted to hold the lead with Hoylakes Firstlady and I was happy to leave him in front. But Korobeit Angel just takes charge and you can’t do much about it. It was good that Robbie elected to sit and he’s earned second place by doing so.” Korobeit Angel, trained by Gary Hall sen., has won at six of her 12 WA starts and has an overall record of 25 starts for 11 wins, six placings and $71,420 in stakes. BETTOR STILL BREAKS A LOSING SEQENCE OF 21 Bettor Still made the most of the benefit of two concessions under the drop-down regulations when he scored a narrow victory over stablemate Lord Jowers in the 2536m McInerney Ford Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The New Zealand-bred eight-year-old, trained at Forrestdale by Greg and Skye Bond, had his classification reduced from M3 class to M1 class after two successive losing sequences of ten during this year and his victory broke a losing sequence of 21. He started at 13/1 on the tote and from out wide at barrier five on the front line and Colin Brown was content to drop him back to the rear in the small field of eight while 5/2 favourite The Feather Foot set the pace from barrier two. Brown started a three-wide move with 950m to travel and Bettor Still got to the front 140m from the post before he held on to win by a head from 16/1 chance Lord Jowers, who finished powerfully from the rear. “When he got out there three deep he was travelling very strongly and when the horse is right and you turn for home he drops into another gear, which he did tonight,” said Brown. “Fortunately, we had enough left on the line (to hold out Lord Jowers). “Skye was confident that he would run a race tonight. The company was less than impressive and it was a small field. His run when fifth at Kellerberrin last Sunday was quite good. He had to go four deep and didn’t get into the race.” Bettor Still is the second foal out of Holmes Hanover mare Dancinonmoonlight, who amassed $402,832 from 19 wins and 34 placings from 100 starts. She won four times in New Zealand, ten times in Australia and twice in America and three times in Canada. Bettor Still now has earned $110,670 from 16 wins and 13 placings from 69 starts. AT PRINCETON SURPRISES HIS DRIVER New Zealand-bred six-year-old At Princeton surprised Colin Brown when he began speedily from the No. 3 barrier and burst to the front after 100m before setting the pace and scoring a runaway victory in the 2130m Gannon’s Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Unplaced at five previous starts, At Princeton was a 10/1 chance, with most punters pinning their faith with Soho Highroller and Rakatup from the stables of leading trainer Gary Hall sen. However, At Princeton relished his frontrunning role and after speeding over the final 400m in 28.7sec. he beat the fast-finishing Ardens Southee by just over three lengths at a 1.57.7 rate. Soho Highroller (5/4) and Rakatup (13/4) did not enjoy the best of luck in running and finished seventh and tenth, respectively. “Before the race I didn’t think I could lead,” Brown explained. “Last week I went wide (three wide early, the breeze after 300m and then in the one-out, one-back position before finishing fifth behind Mohegan Sun) which I thought was the right move. “But we got dragged back and I thought it was a good run and a pointer that he was ready to win. But we thought that he had to draw to lead to win, and it just goes to show you that you’re not always right.” At Princeton raced 24 times in New Zealand for four wins and seven placings and his 20 WA starts for trainers Greg and Skye Bond have produced four wins and two placings. He has earned $47,546. He is a half-brother to San Fran lady, who has won seven times in New South Wales and seven times in Queensland in the past three years and has earned $127,012. by Ken Casellas

Rising star Im Victorious remained firmly on track for an assault on rich feature events on the Australian circuit this season when he was driven in masterly fashion by Justin Prentice to score a magnificent upset victory over champion Im Themightyquinn in the $35,000 Brear And Doonan Members’ Sprint at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Produced in superb condition by Pinjarra trainer Michael Brennan, Im Victorious was second favourite at 3/1, with Im Themightyquinn, reappearing after an absence of ten weeks, red hot favourite at 3/1 on from the prized No. 1 barrier over the 1730m journey. Im Victorious was the only runner off the back line in the field of eight and Prentice was content to keep the five-year-old on the pegs, following the pacemaking Im Themightyquinn. Im Victorious then dropped back to be three back on the pegs when Brad Stampalia manoeuvred Sneakyn Down Under to the pegs to follow the leader 700m after the start. Prentice made a brilliant split-second decision to ease Im Victorious off the pegs with a lap to travel, as Adda Paternal Suit moved forward to the outside of the leader and an instant before Passion Stride was about to move into the one-out, one-back position to keep Im Victorious locked up. Im Victorious then was one-out and one-back and Prentice waited until switching the gelding three wide 550m from home. Then, at the 400m mark, Prentice switched Im Victorious to the pegs, behind the flying Im Themightyquinn. Then, with 230m to travel, Prentice eased Im Victorious off the pegs to issue a powerful challenge to Im Themightyquinn on the home turn. Im Victorious sprinted brilliantly and surged past the champion 110m from the post to record a notable triumph by 4m, with Passion Stride, a 90/1 outsider at his first appearance in Western Australia, 15m away in third place. Im Victorious rated a smart 1.53.5 which was a race record, lowering the 1.54.5 recorded by Albert Jaccka when he charged home to score narrowly from Has The Answers in 2010. This fast time was set up when Sneakyn Down Under, an 11/1 chance from the No. 2 barrier, challenged Im Themightyquinn strongly for about the first 600m. The first 400m section of the final mile was covered in a sizzling 27.4sec. before the pace slackened with a 30.6sec. second quarter. And then the final two quarters whizzed by in 28.3sec. and 27.7sec. Gary Hall jun. got Im Themightyquinn away to a flying start from the No. 1 barrier and easily held out Sneakyn Down Under to the first turn. Stampalia continued to apply the pressure with Sneakyn Down Under, but the 11-year-old was unable to get past Im Themightyquinn. Chairman of stewards Bill Delaney reported that he had opened an inquiry into Stampalia’s driving tactics. Sneakyn Down Under faded to finish seventh, more than ten lengths from the winner. Brennan and Prentice were thrilled at the performance of Im Victorious, with the win boosting his record to 18 wins and two placings from 25 starts for stakes of $451,164. Brennan said that Im Victorious would contest the $35,000 Navy Cup over 2536m next Friday week and would probably have a couple more starts in Perth before travelling to Melbourne to run in the Victoria Cup. “After that he will return to Perth to be prepared for the WA Pacing Cup and Fremantle Cup and then we’ll look at the Hunter Cup in Melbourne in February,” Brennan said. Prentice said that Im Victorious appeared to be getting better with age and he was looking forward to further improvement. “He hit the line really strongly and then in the warm-down lap he was hard on the bit and I think he wanted to keep going,” he said. “I thought that the way Sneakyn Down Under made Quinny burn out of the gate that if Quinny, first-up, was ever going to not finish off a race like he normally does, it was going to be tonight. So I decided to get on to his back (leaving the back straight the final time) to give Im Victorious a bit of a breather, because we had sprinted pretty hard down the back. “And turning for home I was pretty confident that I had him. It feels pretty good just to drive a horse who can race in the same race as Quinny.” IM THEMIGHTYQUINN IS LAME AND NEW ZEALAND TRIP IS SCRAPPED Champion pacer Im Themightyquinn is lame and plans for him to contest the $650,000 New Zealand Cup at Addington next month have been scrapped. It was feared that his magnificent career had come to a dramatic end on Friday night when he was a sad and sorrowful sight in his stall at Gloucester Park after his fighting second to Im Victorious in the Brear And Doonan Members’ Sprint. The nine-year-old superstar, winner of the past three interdominion championships and $4,377,016 in prizemoney, was standing on three legs as he was in pain and lifting his off hind leg off the ground. Champion trainer Gary Hall sen. was distraught and feared that Im Themightyquinn was suffering from a fracture in his hind leg or had torn a muscle. However, a veterinary examination early on Saturday morning revealed that Im Themightyquinn was not suffering any serious structural or muscular damage. “He has got very, very badly damaged feet,” Hall said. “He’s got soft soles from the wet paddocks and the vet has nerve-blocked all his feet. But the good news is that he is sound. “However, the trip to New Zealand is definitely off. He can probably resume working in a week’s time, but it might be three or four weeks before he can fast work again.” Hall had planned to start Im Themightyquinn in the $35,000 Stratton Cup at Gloucester Park next Friday night before travelling with him by air to Melbourne on the following Wednesday and continuing with a flight to Auckland the next day. The plans were to fly to Christchurch where Im Themightyquinn was going to contest the $50,000 Kaikoura Cup on Monday, November 4 before running in the rich New Zealand Cup eight days later. Then Im Themightyquinn was to have travelled to Sydney to run in the Miracle Mile before returning to Perth for the WA Pacing Cup and Fremantle Cup. “I had a sleepless night on Friday, but I’m very relieved now and am pretty happy,” Hall said. “Quinny hasn’t got anything permanent, and that’s the good news. Maybe he will be able to go to Sydney for the Miracle Mile and hopefully he will be able to run in the Fremantle Cup and WA Pacing Cup. The interdominions in Sydney in March could still be a chance. “All his four feet are affected, but the worst is his off hind. If a horse’s hooves get soft they bruise easily, and that’s what has happened. He really pounds his feet down when he’s racing. “He is quite happy today and I don’t think it will be a long-term problem. My gut feeling is that he will get over it and be able to return to racing pretty soon. It could have been something like a hairline fracture or ligament, suspensory or sesamoid damage. But it is nothing serious like that.” Hall said that he was jogging Im Themightyquinn at his Serpentine property on Thursday morning when the gelding stumbled and knuckled down. “I got the vet to look at him and he was okay.” ASKMENOW WARMS UP FOR RICH FEATURE EVENTS FOR MARES “She’s moving in the right direction, that’s for sure,” said Gary Hall jun. after driving Askmenow to an effortless victory over older and more experienced rivals in the Harriet Horsfall Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Askmenow, a New Zealand-bred four-year-old trained by Gary Hall sen., won with such authority that she looks certain to develop into a leading candidate for the $40,000 Norm’s Daughter Classic over 1730m next Friday week and the $100,000 Nepean Conveyors Mares Classic over 21230m the following week. Askmenow, favourite at 10/1 on after easy wins at her first two starts after resuming from a spell, surged to the front (from barrier three) after 250m and coasted through the first two 400m sections of the final mile in 30.7sec. and 30.5sec. before sprinting over the final quarters in 29.2sec. and 27.7sec. She won by four lengths from 12/1 chance Hoylakes First Lady, who trailed her throughout. Terra Into The West (16/1) ran on from three back on the pegs to be third. Askmenow rated 1.58.3 and took her record to 28 starts for nine wins and nine placings for earnings of $87,905. It was her seventh win from only nine starts in WA for the Hall camp after she was placed twice from seven starts as a two-year-old in New Zealand and had four starts in New South Wales for one win and eight starts in Victoria for one win and seven placings. “She looked the winner on paper and it worked out that way,” Hall jun. said. “It was a soft win and there’s plenty in store. She’s a pretty nice mare and is not far behind in ability the best mares I have driven. She probably lacks a bit in manners at this stage and is a bit of a work in progress. “She’s got a bit of a funny mouth and can get overracing at certain stages. But this time in she’s been a lot better.” Askmenow, by Washington VC, is the seventh foal out of Holmes Hanover mare Coming Up Roses (who failed to win a race from 14 starts). Regal Dash, the first foal out of Coming Up Roses, won at his first eight starts as a two and three-year-old in Victoria and South Australia and he had 45 starts for 21 wins, 14 placings and $152,824. His biggest win was in the group 3 Bendigo Cup in 2006. Askmenow is closely related to former champion mare Foreal, a Washington VC mare whose dam Krystie is a half-sister to Coming Up Roses. Foreal amassed $664,800 from 18 wins and 19 placings from 57 starts. Foreal’s wins included two group 2 events for fillies and the group 1 Great Northern Oaks in Auckland before travelling to Australia where she won the group 1 New South Wales Oaks at Harold Park in February 2005, the group 1 Ladyship Mile at Harold Park in November 2005 and a heat of the 2006 interdominion championship in Hobart. WESTERN CULLEN RETURNS TO THE WINNING LIST Matt White freely admitted that he was overjoyed when Western Cullen drew the prized No. 1 barrier for the 2130m Leading Trotter Tuhimata Glass Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night and his joy was not ill-founded when he drove the New Zealand-bred five-year-old to a stylish win. “He had put the writing on the wall over the past couple of weeks and I had a smile on my face on Tuesday night (when he drew barrier one) and it worked out good for us,” he said. “I just let him roll through the first half (of the final mile) in a tick under a minute, and he was doing it well within himself.” Western Cullen, favourite at 10/9 on, then dashed over the final two quarters in 28.2sec. and 28.6sec. and won by just over a length from The Ragpickers Dream (7/2), with a head to the fast-finishing Some Kinda Tactics (54/1). Western Cullen rated 1.57.2 and ended a losing sequence of nine. A winner at two of his five starts as a two-year-old in New Zealand for owners Paul and Tony Poli, the Christian Cullen gelding won the $125,000 group 1 Golden Slipper from Major Catastrophe and Gracias Para Nada at his WA debut in July 2011. He now has a wonderful record of 47 starts for 17 wins, 16 placings and $434,057. The Ragpickers Dream fought on grandly after racing three wide early and then without cover. He will pay to follow. So, too, will Mighty Flying Thomas, who trailed the pacemaker and was hopelessly blocked for a clear run throughout the final circuit and finished full of running, close-up in fourth place. Western Cullen is following in the footsteps of his dam Western Dream, who earned $336,361 from 14 wins and two placings from 27 starts. She won at her first five starts as a two-year-old and later won two group 2 events and three group 1 races, including the New Zealand Oaks at Addington. NORTHVIEW PUNTER ON TARGET FOR RICH FOUR-YEAR-OLD FEATURES Northview Punter maintained his splendid form and strengthened his prospects in the rich feature events for four-year-olds in the coming months when he gave an impressive performance to win the second heat of the 2130m Nicole Pettigrew Preux Chevalier Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Second fancy at 7/4 from the outside of the back line, the New Zealand-bred gelding trained by Gary Hall sen. sustained a strong three-wide burst in the first lap to race in the breeze before overhauling the pacemaker and 6/4 favourite Kiss Chasey 250m from home. Northview Punter drew away to score by just over a length from the fast-finishing Mein Guy (11/2), with a head to Kiss Chasey. Northview Punter, a winner at one of his two New Zealand starts, now has earned $166,605 from 14 wins and six placings from 23 starts and he should perform strongly in the $50,000 Retravision Four-Year-Old Championship on November 15, the $125,000 McInerney Ford Classic the following week and the $175,000 Golden Nugget Championship on December 6. Kiss Chasey set a solid pace throughout and Northview Punter revealed excellent strength to outmuscle him in the final stages. He rated 1.57.7. “Northview Punter has been somewhat suspect from back in the field and from bad draws,” said reinsman Gary Hall jun. “He has turned the corner a bit this time in and has matured a bit. He was always a smart three-year-old and he looks like he’s going to improve and develop into a class four-year-old. He put the writing on the wall at his previous start when he held of Bettors Fire.” THE BACK MARK DOESN’T WORYY SHARDONS ROCKET For the past decade veteran Byford trainer Tony Svilicich has had the uncanny knack of racing his pacers week in and week out for month after month after month. Veteran Shardons Rocket is no exception and the hardy nine-year-old continued to prove to be a wonderful moneyspinner for owners Ashley and Gavin McPhail when he made light of the back mark of 30 metres to win the 2503m Electrical Distributors Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Good value at 9/2, Shardons Rocket did all the work in the race, racing outside the pacemaker To Transcend for more than two laps before getting to the front and fighting on grimly to defeat 13/2 chance Copagrin by a half-head. This boosted the earnings of the New Zealand-bred gelding to $266,937 from 23 wins and 40 placings from 119 starts. Shardons Rocket settled at the rear before Morgan Woodley started a three-wide move after only 450m. Gary Hall jun. then vacated the one-wide line with 3/1 favourite This Time Dylan and sent him forward, giving Shardons Rocket a trail until Shardons Rocket moved to the breeze after 700m had been covered. This Time Dylan then gained the ideal one-out, one-back trail. But he was hampered for room in the final circuit before running on late to be fourth. Shardons Rocket had got to the front 220m from home and had to fight grimly to stave off Copagrin, who finished solidly from seventh at the bell. “He thoroughly deserved that win,” said Woodley. “He does all the work in his races. And I can see no reason why he cannot continue on his winning ways.” SECOND WIN IN FIVE DAYS FOR FRONTRUNNING RAYMON JOHN Raymon John, a newcomer to the Darling Downs stables of Aldo Cortopassi, scored his second effortless all-the-way win in the space of five days when he proved far too good for his rivals in the 2130m TABtouch Western Bonanza Westbred Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. After he defeated Conniving Major Dave by three lengths at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon, Raymon John appeared a certainty from the prized No. 1 barrier on Friday night. The five-year-old resisted an early challenge from Equivocate and then was able to stroll through the first two 400m sections of the final mile in 30.8sec. and 31.4sec. before Cortopassi gave him more rein and he sped over the final 800m in 58.8sec. to win by 4m from Big And Smooth, who fought on gamely after working hard without cover. Nitro Norrie followed the pacemaker and was blocked for a clear run in finishing third. Raymon John has been lightly raced and has earned $58,003 from ten wins and five placings from 33 starts. By Northern Luck, he is the first foal out of Chilli Waters, who won once (at Bunbury in June 2004) from seven starts. Chilli Waters is out of Cool Waters, the dam of three winners, including Village Hero, who earned $182,133 from 16 wins and 20 placings from 136 starts. Village Hero finished fourth behind Mr Yankee in the 2006 Golden Nugget Championship before winning the Pinjarra Cup and August Cup at Gloucester Park the following year. INJURY-PLAGUED TORETTO SHOWS HIS CLASS The career of promising New Zealand-bred gelding Toretto has always been clouded with considerable doubt. A tendon injury has kept him out of action for long periods and at Gloucester Park on Friday night the five-year-old was having just his sixth start in a race and his second after an 11-month absence. From barrier two on the back line in the 1730m Leading Junior Driver Shane Butcher Pathway Pace he was a 6/1 chance in a race in which his stablemate Rowchester dominated betting and started at 10/9 on. But Rowchester had a horror run and was trapped out three wide until wilting and finishing ninth. Toretto, trained by Gary Hall sen. and driven by his elder son Clint, settled in ninth position in the field of ten before he moved forward approaching the bell to get the three-wide trail behind Rowchester. Polemarker Franco Nasser (7/1) set the pace, with 54/1 chance Caesars Cloud in the breeze. Gary Hall jun. sent Rowchester (who started from the outside of the front line) forward from the outset, but the four-year-old was trapped three wide and was unable to get to the breeze, with the first two 400m sections of the final mile being covered in 28.4sec. and 28.9sec. Chairman of stewards Bill Delaney reported that the stewards had opened an inquiry into the tactics adopted by Chris Brew with Caesars Cloud. Toretto moved to sixth at the bell and he went four wide at the 500m mark before sweeping to the front 380m from home. He won in good style by just over two lengths from 4/1 chance Turnpike Cruiser, who finished determinedly from ninth at the bell. The winner rated a slick 1.55.9 and looks set for many more wins. He has raced only six times for four wins and one placing and stakes of $19,855. “He’s not the nicest horse to drive, so I went for home a little earlier than I normally would,” said Clint Hall. “He probably would go to fast class if we could straighten him out. He’s a little bit stubborn, but we’ll keep trying.” EL MACHINE IS PROVING TO BE A SPLENDID MONEY MACHINE Up-and-coming WA-bred five-year-old El Machine maintained his sparkling form and completed a hat-trick when he proved too strong for the opposition in the 2130m Paul Andrews Memorial Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. This was El Machine’s fifth win from his past eight starts and part-owner and trainer-reinsman Kade Howson said that the gelding would keep on racing while he was showing such enthusiasm. El Machine, purchased as a yearling for $5000 by Howson and Michael George, has now earned $118,164 from 15 wins and 12 placings from 39 starts. El Machine started from barrier two on the back line and he enjoyed a good trip in sixth place in the one-wide line before Howson sent him forward, three wide, 1100m from home after an extremely slow lead time of 39.3sec. and slow first sectionals of 32.6sec. and 30.4sec. Polemarker Sir Swanky set the dawdling pace, with Wrongly Accused in the breeze, Talk It Up behind the leader and Bronze Seeker in the one-out, one-back position. El Machine swept to the front with 370m to travel and he won by 4m from the fast-finishing Bronze Seeker. El Machine rated rated a slow 2.0.1, even after the final two quarters went by in 28.78sec. and 28sec. “He’s going great guns,” said Howson. “He’s a lovely little horse who tries his heart out every time he comes out to race.” ARNOUX RELISHES THE No. 1 BARRIER New Zealand-bred seven-year-old Arnoux gave further proof that the No. 1 barrier at Gloucester Park is a massive advantage when he bowled along in front and held on to win the 2130m Leading Pacer Mysta Magical Mach Pace on Friday night. Arnoux, unplaced at his five previous starts from less favourable barriers, was a heavily-supported 7/4 on favourite. After a brisk lead time of 36.9sec., Shane Butcher was able to get Arnoux to relax and cover the first two 400m sections of the final mile in 31sec. and 30.9sec. before he lifted the tempo with final quarters of 29.8sec. and 29.8sec. Heisbackinblack (12/1) finished strongly from the one-out, one-back position to be second, a half-length from the winner, with 70/1 outsider Belhelvie fighting on to be a good third after doing all the work in the breeze. “We had to burn early to hold the front and then we were lucky enough to get away with a soft half,” said Butcher. The win gave leading trainer Gary Hall sen. four winners and a second placing in the first five events on the ten-race program. Arnoux, who had 42 starts in New Zealand for seven wins and seven placings, has raced 28 times in WA for six wins and two placings. He has earned $115,336. HOT HOLIDAY BREAKS A LOSING SEQUENCE OF 12 Honest square gaiter Hot Holiday was rewarded for his consistency with an overdue victory in the 2130m Corey Mills Memorial Trot at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Favourite at 5/4, the Natalie Duffy-trained New Zealand-bred seven-year-old ended a losing sequence of 12 when Aaron Skalecki drove him to an all-the-way win over Xenon (12/1) and Don Guerrero (10/1). The race was marred as a spectacle when Idle Maple, a stablemate of the winner, galloped in the score-up and was left 50m and Sandakan Lombo also broke in the score-up. Don Guerrero was slow to begin and the well-fancied Backas Cobber broke into a bad gallop soon after the start. “He doesn’t have the speed of the top ones, but he’s a real tough horse who keeps grinding away,” Skalecki said. Hot Holiday has earned $115,234 from 13 wins and 16 placings from 56 starts. He has had 29 starts in WA for ten wins and seven placings. by Ken Casellas  

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