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Maddison Brown, fresh from driving Highly Flammable to an easy victory at Gloucester Park on Tuesday night, is looking forward to handling stablemate Ideal One in the 2536m TABtouch Pace on Friday night. Hall of Fame trainer Gary Hall Snr declared that the No. 1 barrier would suit the eight-year-old Ideal One, saying: “He hasn’t had much luck with barriers, and I think that this is definitely a winnable race. Maddison will try to lead with him, with the only problem being whether the horse gets too much pressure. “Ideal One overraced outside the leader (Runaway Three) when fifth behind Son of a Tiger over 2130m last week. The 2536m will not be a concern for Ideal One. All my horses go better over the longer distances; the further they go, the better they go.” Ideal One showed his liking for 2536m five starts ago when he set the pace from barrier two and won from Waimac Attack and Beltane at a 1.58.5 rate. This will be the first time in 27 starts at Gloucester Park that Ideal One will begin from the No. 1 barrier. He has won at six of his 36 starts in WA and he set the pace in four of his six wins in New South Wales. Ideal One’s main dangers this week appear certain to be the three horses drawn at barriers two, three and four The Trilogy, Pierre Whitby and Carter Micheal.       Another good drive for Brown will be Just Rockon Bye, who will start from the outside barrier in a field of eight in the 2536m Garrard’s Horse and Hound Pace. Trainer Gary Hall Snr engaged Brown in order to use her concession as a novice driver and become eligible for the $20,000 event for mares. Gary Hall Jnr drove Just Rockon Bye last Friday night when she gave a superb performance to race without cover before finishing with tremendous determination to win by a nose from the odds-on favourite and pacemaker Hit It Rich in a 2130m event for mares, with the final quarters whizzing by in  27.4sec. and 28.3sec. Just Rockon Bye will clash with several in-form mares, including the lightly-raced Mike Reed-trained Arma Indie, Hit It Rich and Delightfulreaction. Arma Indie, who will start from the No. 1 barrier, has resumed after a spell in fine form with three effortless victories from three outings against considerably weaker opposition. Hall Jnr has given punters a significant lead by choosing to drive the Justin Prentice-trained Warfare in preference to nine-year-old Mad Robber, an all-the-way winner at his past two starts, in the third event, the 2130m Simmonds Steel Pace. Warfare, a winner at 15 of his 56 starts, is a strong frontrunner who looks the winner from the prized No. 1 barrier. Ken Casellas

A sparkling trial at Byford on Sunday morning is a strong pointer to a win by James Butt in the 2130m Specialised Equipment Funding Solutions Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. “He’s a nice horse who is tough and tries hard, but his greatest strength is his high speed,” said eight-time West Australian premier trainer Ross Olivieri, fresh from preparing four winners last Friday night. James Butt, who was handled in the 2150m trial by his regular reinsman Chris Voak, has drawn awkwardly at barrier five in the field of nine at his first appearance after an absence of 54 days. But he has the natural speed to overcome this disadvantage. In a three-horse trial at Byford, James Butt burst to the front after 500m and then dashed over the final three quarters in 30sec., 29.3sec. and 27.2sec. to win from open-class performer Waylade at a 1.58.2 rate. “He’s in with a chance and will go good on Friday night,” said Olivieri. “Hy Leexciting and Major Pocket have drawn to his inside and they are in good form and should prove hard to beat.” James Butt, a five-year-old by American stallion Big Jim, won at three of his 20 starts in New Zealand and has impressed in Western Australia with four wins and two placings from ten starts. Hy Leexciting, an eight-year-old to be driven by Emily Suvaljko for Banjup owner-trainer Ian Barker, is racing keenly and was a convincing winner three starts ago after racing without cover. He is favourably drawn at barrier two. The Ray Williams-trained Major Pocket also will have many admirers from barrier No. 3. With five seconds and one third from his past eight starts, he is overdue for a change of fortune. Also in contention is the polemarker, the Craig Hynam-trained Presidentmach, who will be driven for the first time by Shannon Suvaljko. He is a noted frontrunner, with eight of his 12 wins in South Australia coming after setting the pace. The most recent of his four wins in this State was when he started from the No. 2 barrier and set the pace before scoring from Quincey Brogden at Gloucester Park last April. Olivieri said that he was also looking forward for strong showings from The Last Parisian in race one, the Mondo Doro Smallgoods Pace, and Ardens Concord in race eight, the Worldwide Printing Pace. The Last Parisian, to be driven by Chris Lewis from out wide at barrier eight, will return to mobile racing after contesting stands at his past five starts. This will be his first appearance since he galloped at the start and finished at the rear behind Seven Demerits over 2560m at Northam on August 3. The Last Parisian came from fifth in the middle stages to finish second to talented four-year-old Ana Afreet in a 2150m trial at Byford on Sunday morning. “It was a very good trial and he has gone forward since then,” said Olivieri. “Ardens Concord is also an each-way chance.” Ardens Concord will be driven by Chris Voak from the prized No. 1 barrier and he is capable of improving considerably from unplaced efforts at his past six starts since he set the pace from barrier two and won from Waimac Attack at a 1.57.5 rate over 2130m in March this year. Ken Casellas

El Jacko and Vampiro, two of the star performers from the powerful Greg and Skye Bond stables, look set to dominate the $50,000 Navy Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night and have bright prospects of providing the husband and wife combination with a quinella result in the Group 2 feature event. Punters face an intriguing quandary when choosing their selection in the 2130m race in which the talented stablemates have drawn favourably. The only real certainty surrounding the tactics of the 12 runners is that polemarker Thereugo will reveal his normal brilliant gate speed and will set the pace for Lindsay Harper, who celebrated his 60th birthday on Tuesday. El Jacko, with Dylan Egerton-Green in the sulky, will start from the No. 2 barrier, with Vampiro (Ryan Warwick) at No. 3. El Jacko finished an eye-catching second to the pacemaker and stablemate Our Jimmy Johnstone in the 2536m James Brennan Memorial last Friday night after enjoying a perfect passage behind the leader. He was hampered for room until getting into the clear 100m, when he sprinted fast, but was unable to overhaul Our Jimmy Johnstone, who set his rivals a difficult task by dashing over the final two quarters in 27.5sec. and 28.1sec. Vampiro started from the back line and raced in eighth position before fighting on doggedly to be sixth, less than three lengths from the winner and two lengths behind El Jacko. He will be very hard to beat this week, particularly if Warwick is able to slot him into the one-out, one-back position or the one-out, two-back spot. El Jacko, a seven-year-old with 21 wins from 58 starts, is an enigmatic pacer who gave a sample of his class by racing three back on the pegs and flashing home along the inside to finish a half-length second to the pacemaker Rocknroll Lincoln in the 2936m WA Pacing Cup last January. Then, in March he won the Pinjarra Cup from Rocknroll Lincoln and the Narrogin Cup. He has also had difficulty in the past of negotiating the final bend in races at Gloucester Park, particularly when racing one wide or wider on the track. Astute punters could well opt for Vampiro, a six-year-old with 19 wins from 50 starts, taking into account his splendid performance four starts ago when he began from barrier seven and worked hard in the breeze before finishing powerfully to snatch a half-head victory from the pacemaker Our Corelli in the 2536m August Cup. The Bonds also will be represented in Friday night’s Cup by 11-year-old Our Jimmy Johnstone, who will again be handled by Bailey McDonough, who rated the gelding perfectly in front to win last week’s Brennan Memorial. However, he will be at long odds this week after drawing the outside barrier (No. 9).           Greg Bond is seeking his second success in the Navy Cup. He prepared 9/4 favourite Richard Henry, who started from the No. 2 barrier, set the pace for Colin Brown and held on to win by a short half-head from Lightning Jake in November 2006. Chris Lewis, who has won the Navy Cup behind Skiptar (1980), Western Gentleman (1994), Mark Craig (1995), Super Strike (1996) and Lovers Delight (2015), will drive the in-form Our Corelli, who is handily drawn at barrier two on the back line. Our Corelli has won seven times from 11 starts for trainer Debra Lewis and he was far from disgraced in fading to finish ninth in last week’s Brennan Memorial when he began speedily from the outside barrier but was unable to cross to the front. He then had a tough run in the breeze before wilting only over the final 150m. Ross Olivieri, who has won the Navy Cup with Chipmont (1991), Mark Craig and Super Strike, will be pinning his faith on Mr Mojito, who will be driven by Chris Voak from barrier eight. Mr Mojito will be improved after his sound first-up fourth behind Our Corelli in the York Cup last Friday week, but faces a hard task from the wide draw.     Champion trainer Gary Hall Snr has won the Navy Cup with Abit Rich (1997), Real Life (2009), Hokonui Ben (2012), Beaudiene Boaz (2016) and Chicago Bull (2017 and 2018). He will be represented in Friday night’s Cup by King of Swing (barrier five) and Speed Man (barrier seven), who will need plenty of luck from their awkward draws. Ken Casellas

Lightly-raced four-year-old Bletchley Park is firmly on target for the $200,000 Golden Nugget Championship on December 13 and is a star bet at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he contests the Christmas Sundowner Packages Pace over 2130m. “He’s one of the best pacers I’ve trained,” declared astute horseman Mike Reed. “He should win on Friday night and his main aim is the Golden Nugget and then, possibly, I’ll set him for the WA Pacing Cup in January.” Reed’s son Mark will again be in the sulky behind Bletchley Park, who has drawn awkwardly at barrier seven. “He can go back or forward; I’ll leave it up to Mark. “I think he’s a very good horse. He showed that when he ran second in the WA Derby last April when he was miles underdone. He won at his first two starts as a three-year-old, at Pinjarra in December last year. But then he received a serious eye injury when a stone must have flipped up and hit him in the eye. “This resulted in an ulcer and it was feared that he could lose an eye. He had eight weeks off and wasn’t allowed out of the box three months before the Derby.” Bletchley Park resumed racing after an absence of just over four months when he scored a brilliant six-length victory over Universal Major, rating 1.56.8 over 2130m at Gloucester Park three Thursdays ago when he sped over the final quarter in 27.9sec. “His win was a bit harder run than I wanted him to have and he left a bit of feed after the race, so I decided not to run him on the following Friday,” Reed said. “He worked very well last Saturday and he’s back on song.” Reed said that he was also very satisfied with the form of his Well Said mare Arma Indie, who has won in sparkling fashion at her first three runs after a spell. “She could also be a candidate for the Golden Nugget,” he said. In-form trainer Matt Scott was bitterly disappointed at the fading effort of Neighlor in finishing a well-beaten eighth behind The Trilogy over 2130m last Friday night and has changed his training routine in a bid to have the six-year-old recover his zest for racing. Neighlor will start from barrier three in the 1730m Follow The Stars at Allwood Stud Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Neighlor enjoyed a perfect passage in the one-out, one-back position last Friday night, but wilted badly over the final 400m in last Friday night’s race. This was in marked contrast to his win at a 1.57.2 rate over 1730m at his previous outing ten nights earlier when he began speedily from barrier seven and set the pace before winning from Rock Me Over and Im Batman. “Neighlor pulled up blowing quite a bit after his last-start failure,” Scott said, admitting that he had probably been too easy on the gelding. “So, I have changed his work. He’s a bit lazy, so that’s why I’m working him harder. It’s handlebars down for his work this week, which includes two one-mile heats at Jandakot when I’m trying to rev him up. “He’s got to improve this week; I hope he will. I don’t know whether he can cross (to lead) this week. I think that Bettor Party could try to lead from the No. 1 barrier.” Ken Casellas

Star reinsman Chris Lewis has fond memories of his brief association with Bettor Reward and he is looking forward to joining forces again with the eight-year-old in the opening event, the Allwood Stud Farm Pace over 1730m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. “He looks my best drive at the meeting,” he declared after the Clint Hall-trained eight-year-old drew the coveted No. 1 barrier in the $20,000 sprint. “It’s a good race for him, 1730m and barrier one. Wesley (barrier five) has good gate speed, but one is a good advantage.” Bettor Reward has raced 51 times for 13 wins and 11 placings, but Lewis has driven him only four times for a second to Three Bears at Bunbury in February 2016, an all-the-way win over The Odd Lover in the Manea Classic at Bunbury the same month, an unplaced run at Gloucester Park in December 2017 and fort an all-the-way win over 2190m at Northam seven starts ago. Bettor Reward was a winner three starts ago when he was handled by Hall and worked hard in the breeze for much of the way before beating Dominate The Dojo and The War Nurse at a 1.57 rate over 1730m at Gloucester Park on August 9. At his next two starts, with Hall in the sulky, Bettor Reward started from wide barriers and was unplaced over 2130m Black Jack Zac (barrier two) and Ardens Concord (three) should appreciate favourable draws, while Wesley (five), You Gotta Have Faith (six), Saleahs Comand (eight) and Hy Leexciting (No. 3 on the back line) will have admirers. Wesley, to be driven by Dylan Egerton-Green for Bunbury trainer Sarah Wall, possess sparkling gate speed and is overdue for a change of luck after close seconds to Catastrophic Event (over 1609m at Bunbury) and Magestic Prince (over 1684m at Pinjarra). However, Lewis is confident Bettor Reward can hold out the speedy pacer in the early battle for the lead. Saleahs Comand and Roman Aviator (barrier nine) also possess excellent gate speed, but like Wesley, they face tough tasks to outspeed Bettor Reward after the mobile releases the field.              You Gotta Have Faith, to be driven by Gary Hall Jnr for Waroona trainer Bob Mellsop, looks set for a strong return to racing after an absence of almost six months. He impressed in a 2185m trial at Pinjarra last Sunday morning when he began speedily from barrier four, led for the first 550m and then took the trail behind James Butt before sprinting home strongly to win from that pacer at a 1.57.9 rate, with final quarters of 27.6sec. and 28.3sec. Ken Casellas

Six-year-old Runaway Three returned to form and ended a losing sequence of 12 when he set the pace and beat Oneonthewood and Ideal Flipflop over 2536m at Gloucester Park on Tuesday night and young reinsman Corey Peterson is confident that the Mach Three gelding can handle the rise in class when he contests the Rock N Roll World at Allwood Stud Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Runaway Three, prepared by Kristian Hawkins, will start from the No. 1 barrier and Peterson is anxious to take full advantage of the draw by setting the pace. “The run on Tuesday night will do him the world of good,” said Peterson. “It will sharpen him right up, and before discussing tactics with Kristian, the likely plan is to lead. “His past few runs have been quite good (including a close second to Jaxon Fella after working hard without cover three starts ago) and I think he’s on the way up again. On Tuesday night he went to the line with plenty left in the tank. When there’s a horse right next to him, he will go all day. But if the horse in the breeze drops back, he’ll switch off a little bit.”       Runaway Three’s previous win was when he started from barrier one, set the pace and beat Hasani and Mister Spot over 2100m at Bunbury in late February. He is sure to meet with plenty of opposition on Friday night, particularly from Ideal One, Carter Micheal, Walkinshaw, El Hombre and his stablemate The Trilogy. Ideal One, trained by Gary Hall snr and to be driven by Maddison Brown, is favourably drawn at barrier two and looks very hard to beat. Ideal One started from barrier six in a 1730m sprint last Friday night and impressed in finishing with a resolute burst from sixth at the bell to be second to the pacemaker and stablemate Mad Robber, with a final quarter in 27.8sec. Ideal One is a smart frontrunner, like he showed four starts ago when he set the pace over 2536m and won from Waimac Attack and Beltane. The Nathan Turvey-trained Carter Micheal will be driven by Kyle Harper and the six-year-old is handily drawn at barrier three and looks set to fight out the finish. His past seven starts produced two wins, two seconds and three thirds.  Hawkins will handle The Trilogy, who will start from the inside of the back line and is capable of unwinding a strong finishing burst. The Trilogy took full advantage of the No. 1 barrier last Friday night when he led and won in fine style from Bad Round and Rock Me Over. Peterson will also drive the Hawkins-trained Call Me Ernie in the Melbourne Cup Luncheon at Gloucester Park Handicap, a stand over 2096m in which he will start from the inside of the front line. Peterson has driven Call Me Ernie to victory in 2560m stands at Northam at two of his past three starts. He rises sharply in class and Peterson said that the gelding is a reliable beginner in stands who would be suited by the relatively short distance. “But a place looks his best possible chance,” he said. Kingslayer, a recent import from New Zealand and a newcomer to the Forrestdale stables of Greg and Skye Bond, will be a short-priced favourite at his Gloucester Park debut who should maintain his unbeaten record in Australia after commanding victories in stands at Pinjarra at his first three starts in Australia. The Ross Olivieri-trained Space Junk (Chris Voak) will share the front line with Call Me Ernie, Kingslayer, Ideal Investment, Destined To Rule and Starlight Brigade and he is capable of a bold showing. Ken Casellas

Six-year-old Atmospherical, generally regarded as a standing-start specialist, surprised eight-time WA premier trainer Ross Olivieri with his brilliant victory in a mobile sprint event last Friday night and Olivieri is looking for the gelding to repeat the dose when he starts from barrier five in the 1730m Better Your Bet With TABtouch Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Atmospherical, with Chris Voak in the sulky, resumed after a four-month absence with three runs in stands at Gloucester Park last month (for a second to Eloquent Mach followed by modest sixth and seventh placings) before Olivieri decided to give him a taste of mobile sprint racing last week when he started from the No. 5 barrier over 1730m. He raced in sixth position before a sparkling three-wide burst at the 650m mark took him to the front 200m later on the way to an effortless three-length win over Bee Seventeen at a 1.56.1 rate. “I was surprised by the way he won so well last week,” Olivieri admitted. “I knew he was good, but I didn’t realize that he would go that good. He came back this preparation off a bit of an injury. Another horse kicked him in the back leg. And that’s why he had the time off and he’s taken a couple of runs to get things right. “He’s a good 2500m stand horse and he gets away that well off the front that he generally gets to the lead and leading is not his go. And 1700m races are not his preferred distance. I don’t think that he has the gate speed to lead from barrier five. But they are going to run a bit which gives him the chance to sit and then run home.” Olivieri has nine runners on Friday night and he could well be the trainer to follow, with all his team having sound each-way prospects. Apart from Atmospherical, Olivieri strongly fancies The Dali Express, who will be driven by Chris Lewis from the prized No. 1 barrier in the final event, the Book Your Christmas Party at Gloucester Park Pace over 2130m. “The Dali Express is flying, and he won’t hand up the lead unless Ocean Ridge is too fast for him,” Olivieri said. “His run in a stand two starts ago when he galloped at the start (and finished tenth behind Twilight Sage) was enormous.” Lewis agreed with Olivieri that the New Zealand-bred six-year-old would be very hard to beat, saying: “It will be quite an advantage starting from barrier one and he’ll give Ocean Ridge plenty of competition. I’ll be looking to hold the lead and if he does, he will be hard to beat.” Ocean Ridge, to be driven by Ryan Warwick for leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond, will start from the No. 2 barrier and the five-year-old who has won seven times from 16 starts will have many admirers despite a costly last-start failure when a 2/1 on favourite and a disappointing ninth behind One Off Delight five Fridays ago. Ocean Ridge had settled in the one-out, one-back position before he galloped badly 550m after the start. He was shifting in and broke into a gallop when being corrected by Warwick. He dropped back to the rear before he dashed forward to be fourth at the 400m mark and then was hampered for room in the home straight. That followed a brilliant first-up victory over 2692m at Pinjarra when he finished powerfully from sixth at the bell to beat Starlight Brigade by eight and a half lengths at a 1.57.78 rate, with final quarters of 27.7sec. and 28.4sec. Olivieri agreed that Ardens Concord (race one), El Hombre (two), Crystal Sparkles (four), Motu Premier (five), Atmospherical (six), Space Junk (seven), Joe With The Flow (eight) and The Dali Express (nine) had sound each-way claims.   Ken Casellas

Champion reinsman Chris Lewis has won the $50,000 James Brennan Memorial a record eight times and he has not given up hope of recording his ninth victory in the Group 2 2536m feature event at Gloucester Park on Friday night despite Our Corelli drawing the outside barrier (No. 9) on the front line. Our Corelli, trained by Lewis’s wife Debra, is in superb form and has been most impressive in recording effortless all-the-way victories over 2130m on the past two Friday nights when he started from the prized No. 1 barrier. Lewis admitted that the lightly-raced five-year-old faced a stern test from the wide barrier but said that the gelding could not be written off as a winning prospect. “He keeps on improving and has stepped up in the past couple of starts,” he said. “The saving grace this week is that the race is over 2536m and that gives us some chance.” Our Corelli, who has won at seven of his ten starts for the Lewis stable, possesses sparkling gate speed, but Lewis is unlikely to use this ability in a bid to outpace the eight runners drawn on his inside. “There’s nothing like leading,” Lewis said. “But he comes home strongly from behind, and we will be reliant on a good solid pace.” Lewis was philosophical about Our Corelli drawing the outside barrier, saying: “We’ve had a fairly good run with draws in recent times until Deb has got three runners on Friday night and they have all drawn barrier nine in random draws.” Leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond have high hopes of turning the tables on Our Corelli after Vampiro gave a fighting performance to finish a 7m second to Our Corelli in last Friday night’s group 3 York Cup. Vampiro raced wide early and then worked hard in the breeze and battled on gamely, with the final 800m being covered in 54.9sec. Vampiro will start from the outside (barrier two) on the back line and should settle down in a handy position in the one-wide line for star reinsman Ryan Warwick. Vampiro raced without cover before finishing determinedly to snatch a half-head victory over the pacemaker Our Corelli in the 2536m August Cup four weeks ago. Vampiro, a winner of one raced from seven starts in New Zealand, has been a wonderful performer in Western Australia with 18 wins and 15 placings from 42 starts. He was hot favourite at 3/1 on when he started from barrier three and dashed to the front after 120m before setting a solid pace and sprinting over the final 800m in 55.9sec. when he won the 2130m Brennan Memorial from stablemate Our Jimmy Johnstone and Tricky Styx last November. The Bond stable will again be represented by 11-year-old Our Jimmy Johnstone as well as seven-year-old El Jacko in this week’s feature event. The evergreen Our Jimmy Johnstone will start from the No. 1 barrier with Bailey McDonough in the sulky, with Dylan Egerton-Green handling the talented El Jacko from the inside of the back line. Adding interest to this week’s race will be the return of the smart Ross Olivieri-trained seven-year-old Motu Premier, who will be making his first appearance since he had a tough run in the breeze before winning the 2536m Media Guild Cup 50 weeks ago, beating King of Swing and Vampiro in a desperately close three-way photo finish. Lewis has driven Motu Premier for seven of his eight wins from 26 starts in WA. Chris Voak will handle the New Zealand-bred seven-year-old for the first time in a race. He handled the gelding in three recent 2150m trials at Byford for two wins and a third placing. Motu Premier was driven by Lewis when he finished powerfully from sixth at the bell to be third behind Chicago Bull and Soho Tribeca in the 2536m Brennan memorial two years ago. “The 2536m is not ideal for Motu Premier first-up,” said Olivieri. “His trials have been good. He will probably need a run or two to reach his peak, but he should be thereabouts. We’re ready to go and his main mission will be the Fremantle Cup and WA Pacing Cup in January.” Hall of Fame trainer Gary Hall Snr will be represented by smart five-year-olds Speed Man (barrier four) and King of Swing (five). Stuart McDonald will handle King of Swing, who was driven by Gary Hall Jnr when he enjoyed an ideal passage, one-out and one-back, and fought on well when third behind Our Corelli last Friday night. Hall jnr has opted to drive Speed Man, who started from barrier nine and raced at the rear when eighth behind Our Corelli last week. In-form Andrew de Campo-trained six-year-old Handsandwheels is awkwardly drawn at barrier five and Aiden de Campo is likely to keep his options open regarding his tactics. Handsandwheels, a winner of three races in a row last month, is capable of fighting out the finish. Ravenswood trainer Nathan Turvey is hoping for a strong performance from Simba Bromac, who is ideally drawn at barrier two. Lewis drove Simba Bromac to an all-the-way win from the No. 2 barrier over 2130m at his latest appearance, six weeks ago.   Ken Casellas

Giant five-year-old pacer Always On is poised to make a successful Western Australian debut after beating smart last-start winner Neighlor in a track workout last Saturday morning. Trained at Serpentine by Matt Scott, the Victorian-bred Always On is a sprint specialist who will start from barrier four in the 1730m Sun of Anarchy Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He will be driven by Shannon Suvaljko. “He was advertised for sale on the Trading Ring and one of my owners John Gullace made a few inquiries and he and a couple of other gentlemen decided to buy the horse for $14,000,” Scott said. “He has been here for about a month and is working quite well. Neighlor couldn’t beat him on Saturday morning. He is fast out of the mobile and is a good frontrunner. We will be coming out hard on Friday night and we’re keen to lead over the mile. “At his latest start he raced in the breeze before running away from them and winning the Robinvale Cup at Mildura on July 24. He’s a good chance on Friday night.” The $7000 Robinvale Cup was run over 1709m and Always On, having his first start for three months, rated a modest 1.58.1, with final quarters of 29.1sec. and 29.9sec. His appearance on Friday night will be his first in a metropolitan-class event.   Always On, a massive gelding who stands more than 17 hands tall, has had only 26 starts for eight wins and six placings. Six of his wins have been at Mildura, all over 1790m, and he has been successful over 2040m at Ouyen and 2180m at Stawell. Suvaljko said that he had watched replays of Always On’s races. “He’s huge and has got gate speed, and this looks a winnable race for him,” he said. Suvaljko, who landed a treble with Brookies Jet, Son Of A Tiger and The Midas Touch last Friday night, faced a difficult decision in choosing between The Midas Touch and Son of A Tiger in the Corey Peterson Pace over 2130m. He settled on The Midas Touch, who will start from barrier three on the front line. His daughter Emily will drive Son Of A Tiger, who is poorly drawn out wide at barrier nine. “My sister Georgena Navin owns The Midas Touch and he should be able to duck in and get a good run behind Waimac Attack and Major Pocket, while Son Of A Tiger, from nine, probably will have to go back at the start,” he said. The Midas Touch set the pace from barrier two last week and dashed over the final three quarters in  29.7sec., 28.3sec. and 28.5sec. when he defeated the strong-finishing Waimac Attack by a half-neck. He rated 1.57.2 over 2130m, with the pacemaking Son Of A Tiger was untroubled to coast to an effortless all-the-way victory at a 1.58.1 rate over 2130m. “The Midas Touch doesn’t have to lead,” Suvaljko said. “He only does what he has to do and can win again. Son Of A Tiger also is capable of winning. He did it easily and ran home in 27.8sec. last week.” Emily Suvaljko has a perfect record in the sulky behind the Matt Scott-trained Son Of A Tiger, have guided the gelding to victory at his first two starts in WA, at Wagin and Narrogin.   Ken Casellas

Ten-year-old square gaiter Ton Tine broke through for an overdue win and ended a losing sequence of 15 when he scored a decisive victory in a 2116m stand at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon and driver Maddison Brown has high hopes that the old gelding can repeat the dose by winning the final event at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Ton Tine, who is trained at Oakford by Claire Cummins, will start from the outside of the 10m line in a 2096m stand and Brown said that the oldstager relished contesting standing-start events. “He’s very quirky and you’ve got to keep him happy,” she said. “He can get quite keen, so the stands do suit him because he can just get away at his own sort of time and then settle. “When I drove him for the first time, in a mobile at Pinjarra four starts ago, he was too keen on the gate and that undid him.” He galloped just after the start, raced at the rear and finished a distant ninth, 30 lengths from the winner One Bid Buys. Brown drove him at his following start, in a 2631m stand at Pinjarra, when he led early and then sat behind the pacemaker before finishing a close second to Mortician. Ton Tine began smoothly in a stand at Pinjarra on Monday and settled down in third position on the pegs in an Indian-file race, six lengths behind the pacemaker Angus Bolt. He cruised to the front 220m from home and was not extended in winning easily from Earl Harbour. Thirteen of Ton Tine’s 15 wins have been in stands six in New Zealand, four at Adelaide’s Globe Derby Park and three in Western Australia. Brown is also enjoying a great run of successes with star trotter Lord Liam, having driven him seven times for trainer Bob Mellsop for a third placing followed by six wins in a row. “Ton Tine is not a horse who has a quick sprint in him; he’s a bit of a rolling type,” Brown said. “Lord Liam is a different type of horse. He’s been there, done that. He’s fairly laid back and knows what he is doing. He doesn’t have as many quirks as Ton Tine, but both are good, consistent trotters. “Until recently I haven’t had much experience driving trotters. They are very different to drive, compared to driving pacers. It’s a totally different feel and I’m still getting used to it. But I’m enjoying it, particularly as I have had nice trotters to handle.”    Adding considerable interest to Friday night’s event for trotters will be the first appearance in WA of Spud, a Victorian-bred eight-year-old gelding who has recently entered the Oldbury stables of Kim Prentice. Spud, who has not raced since finishing an inconspicuous tenth in a 2240m mobile event at Melton on July 13, will start from 10m. He has a losing sequence of ten and has won only once from his past 24 starts. He has won 15 times from 131 starts, with nine of those wins in stands. He has won six races in Victoria and nine in Queensland. Spud warmed up for this week’s assignment in good style when Prentice drove him in a two-horse 2550m standing-start trial at Byford last Sunday week. He set the pace and covered the final quarters in 29.8sec. and 28.8sec., finishing a 1m second to four-year-old pacing mare Fortunate Adda.   Ken Casellas

A decision early this year by Ashleigh Reeves and her husband, Coolup trainer Hayden Reeves, to lease Whitbys Gamble from breeder Ed Dewar is paying sound dividends. Whitbys Gamble, a six-year-old mare by Bettors Delight, has had 29 starts this year for the Reeves stable for four wins, four seconds, three thirds and six fourths  and she has excellent prospects of breaking through for her first metropolitan-class success when she contests the opening event, the $18,000 GP Trainer of the Year Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Whitbys Gamble, to be driven by Bailey McDonough, will start from the No. 2 barrier on the front line and her recent form suggests she will prove very hard to beat. She started out wide at barrier eight in a 2130m event at Gloucester Park on Tuesday evening when she settled in last place in a field of ten and was eighth at the bell before sprinting home strongly to finish second to Sameplace Sametime. That followed her eye-catching performance in the Group 3 Schrader final over 2130m last Friday night when she started from barrier nine and was 11th and last at the bell before finishing powerfully to be fifth behind Infinite Symbol, with final quarters of 29.1sec. and 27.8sec. At her previous outing, over 2185m at Pinjarra four days earlier, she led from barrier two and won from Tiffany Twirl.  “She went through a period when she was really off, three or four months ago,” said Hayden Reeves. “It turned out that it was a hoof abscess (that was affecting her). We spelled her for two weeks and brought her back and now she’s fully recovered. “She won two in a row (over 1684m at Pinjarra) last April. But she seemed a bit weak. But this time in, even though she recorded a slow time (1.59.7) in winning over 2185m at Pinjarra three starts ago, she’s actually gone out of the gate, led and gone on with it, without just sitting on a helmet and running home. “Regarding tactics this week from barrier two, I’ll leave it up to Bailey. Everybody wants to lead at Gloucester Park, but we don’t mind if she doesn’t lead. She actually prefers to sit. “Her run on Tuesday night was really good. She gave them quite a big head start and made up a lot of ground over the final 400m, which was covered off the front in 28.8sec. And she pulled up in magnificent shape. “Two starts in a week won’t worry her. A lot of my horses start twice a week, once I’ve got them fully fit. She’s been an honest horse and is such a trier.” Whitbys Gamble is the last foal out of Crouch mare Tweed For A Lady, who had 60 starts for six wins, 14 placings and stakes of $46,007. Tweed For A Lady is the dam of six winners of 68 races.  Reeves also has hopes of a strong performance from Minimum Wage, who will be driven by Dylan Egerton-Green from barrier two in the $18,000 GP Pacer of the Year pace over 2130m. The five-year-old has won only four times from 52 starts, but his recent form has been encouraging. He trailed the pacemaker Hez A Chance in a 2130m event on Tuesday night, but was hopelessly blocked for a clear passage throughout the final circuit and finished last behind the brilliant four-year-old mare Arma Indie. “Minimum Wage would have run second if he had gained a clear run at some stage,” Reeves said. “He does nothing at home, but loves racing twice a week. Three starts ago he ran on strongly when second to Arma Indie.”   Ken Casellas

One would suggest that it is highly unlikely that an eight-year-old pacer who has been unplaced at his past eight starts would excite harness racing pundits but champion reinsman Gary Hall Jnr declares that everything points to a win by Extreme Prince in the $18,000 Better Your Bet With TABtouch Pace over 1730m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. “Everything is in his favour,” said Hall. “He’s got barrier one, he’s got gate speed and he loves the sprint trip. He went really good at his latest start when he ran home pretty well, and I think he should probably be winning this week. “Franco Joaquin has good gate speed and Pradas Ideal Dahling is racing well, but I don’t think they will be able to beat Extreme Prince.” Extreme Prince, trained by Hall’s father Gary Hall Snr, certainly caught the eye last Friday night when he started from the inside of the back line and raced three back on the pegs in fifth position before getting clear and finishing solidly, out three wide, to be fourth behind the pacemaker Son Of A Tiger over 2130m. That was the New Zealand-bred gelding’s second appearance after an absence of five months. His most recent victory was 11 months ago when he started from barrier one and Lauren Jones drove him to an all-the-way victory over 2130m, beating Mister Ardee and Always Arjay. With Extreme Prince setting the pace it will enhance the prospects, particularly the place prospects, of the Ross Olivieri-trained The Dali Express, who is the only runner on the back line. Chris Lewis is likely to take the opportunity of giving The Dali Express a perfect passage behind the pacemaker. Hall is also bullish about the prospects of nine-year-old Mad Robber in the $20,000 Community TAB Pace over 1730m, in which the stallion will start from the coveted No. 1 barrier. Mad Robber, trained by Hall Snr., started from the inside barrier in a 2536m event last Friday night and was not extended in setting a leisurely pace for the first couple of laps before sprinting over the final quarters in 28sec. and 28.4sec. and winning easily from Bob Wheel and Smoldering Ashes. “He’s up in class, but he did it that easily last week,” said Hall Jnr. “He should win again. He felt as though he could’ve gone another two laps; he did it really comfortably.” Hall also said that Mad Robber had derived plenty of benefit from a short two-month break from racing and that he was most impressed with the horse’s second-up fifth two starts ago when he started from the outside of the back line and charged home from twelfth (and last) at the bell to finish fifth behind Eloquent Mach   Ken Casellas

Hopeland trainer Debra Lewis has transformed Our Corelli into a giant killer who should continue on his winning ways by leading throughout in the $30,000 TABtouch York Cup over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Champion reinsman Chris Lewis will be looking forward to sending the lightly-raced five-year-old straight to the front from the perfect No. 1 barrier in the field of nine, adopting the same tactics from the same draw when Our Corelli simply toyed with the opposition in last week’s 1730m Free-For-All in which he beat Im Soxy by just under four lengths. Our Corelli is proving a wonderful bargain for Mark Lewis, son of Debra and Chris. In nine starts for the Lewis family, Our Corelli has won six times and finished a half-head second in the space of nine weeks, earning $73,247. Chris Lewis had no hesitation in electing to handle Our Corelli ahead of the Ross Olivieri-trained Mr Mojito, a smart pacer and winner of 13 races from 37 starts. Lewis has driven Mr Mojito at nine of his ten starts for Olivieri for two wins, two seconds and three fourths. The seven-year-old Mr Mojito will be driven for the first time by Chris Voak and will start from the No. 5 barrier. He has had a winter spell since his most recent appearance, when a strong-finishing fourth behind Whozideawasthis and Handsandwheels on March 22. Handsandwheels and Vampiro appeal as the only realistic threats to Our Corelli, who is stamping himself as a major player in the Fremantle Cup and WA Pacing Cup at the summer carnival. Handsandwheels, trained at Capel by Andrew de Campo and to be driven by his son Aiden, is in wonderful form since resuming from a spell, with his six starts in this campaign producing three wins, a second, a fourth and a sixth placing. He has drawn awkwardly at barrier seven and Aiden de Campo will assess the tempo of the race before deciding to send the six-year-old forward. In last week’s event, Handsandwheels started from the outside barrier (No. 9) and raced three wide early before moving into the breeze position after 500m. He fought on doggedly to finish fourth behind Our Corelli, who impressed in rating a slick 1.52.6 over 1730m. Vampiro, to be driven for trainers Greg and Skye Bond by Ryan Warwick from barrier four, has won at 19 of his 48 starts, the most recent of those victories being two starts ago when he worked hard in the breeze before running home with commendable determination to snatch a last-stride half-head win from the pacemaker Our Corelli in the 2536m August Cup. The Lewis stable also has excellent prospects with Pierre Whitby in race six, the 2130m Im Soxy Pace, in which the four-year-old gelding has the ability to overcome a wide draw at barrier eight. Pierre Whitby, a winner of four races last season, is racing keenly and maintained his sound form last Friday night when he ran home solidly from sixth at the 600m mark to finish third behind Brookies Jet and Baptism of Fire. Jocelyn Young, who has driven Pierre Whitby at 18 of his 21 starts, will drive stablemate Athabascan from barrier nine in Friday night’s race, with Chris Lewis in the sulky behind Pierre Whitby. Lewis has driven Pierre Whitby only once for a half-head win over Elsu You in a 2692m event at Pinjarra on July 29 this year.   Ken Casellas

Veteran pacer Mad Robber was a 100/1 outsider last Friday night, but will be at a much shorter quote when he begins from the prized No. 1 barrier in the 2536m Murdoch Jones Realty Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The New South Wales-bred eight-year-old, trained by Gary Hall Snr, will be handled by Gary Hall Jnr who is likely to attempt an all-the-way victory. Mad Robber started from the outside of the back line last week and he was last in the field of 12 at the bell before sprouting wings over the concluding stages to finish an eye-catching fifth behind Eloquent Mach in the group 2 Binshaw Pace over 2130m. One of his main rivals looms as Smoldering Ashes, who will start from the inside of the back line and should gain an ideal passage behind the likely pacemaker Mad Robber. Early this week star reinsman Aiden de Campo took over the training of Smoldering Ashes from his father Andrew. “This is a good draw for him and the distance suits,” said Aiden de Campo. “He should get a good run behind Mad Robber and so he’s in with a chance of a top three placing. I have been concentrating on driving this season, but as you get older you have got to start training a couple to ensure longevity in the sport. “With me taking over the training of Smoldering Ashes it’s something different for him and I’ll see if I can liven him up before he has to go for a spell.” The ultra-consistent five-year-old Major Pocket, trained at Mt Helena by Ray Williams, will be strongly fancied, despite his awkward draw at barrier seven. Since resuming from a spell Major Pocket was a first-up third behind Saying Grace before recording seconds to Our Corelli, Simba Bromac, Major Trojan and Carter Micheal. He is overdue for a change of fortune for Williams and reinsman Aldo Cortopassi.      Williams and Cortopassi will join forces again later in the program when Walkinshaw resumes after a spell in the 2130m Book Your Next Conference at Gloucester Park Pace. Walkinshaw will receive stiff opposition from in-form pacers Carter Micheal and Speed Man, but will still be hard to beat following his excellent win in a 2150m trial at Byford on Sunday morning when he dashed to an early lead and set a solid pace on his way to a convincing win over Mr Mohito and Motu Premier, rating 1.57.3 with a final 800m in 56.6sec. Cortopassi did not release the ear plugs as the stallion went to the line full of running. One of the highlights of the ten-event program will be the clash between talented three-year-olds Robbie Easton (barrier six), The Bird Dance (seven), Bettor Be Oscar (eight) and Bletchley Park (nine) in the Follow Gloucester Park On Facebook Pace. Robbie Easton and Bletchley Park impressed with convincing victories at Gloucester Park on Tuesday night, The Bird Dance has not been extended in winning at his first two WA starts after winning at two of his five starts in New Zealand and Better Be Oscar notched his seventh win when he finished strongly to score at Bunbury last Saturday night.   Ken Casellas

This time last year Thereugo was a metropolitan maiden performer but five wins in metro-class events in the past 11 months have enabled the West Australian-bred six-year-old to graduate to open-class company. He will continue his intriguing duel with current Free-For-All star Handsandwheels when he contests the $25,000 Cybem Mechanical Services Pace over 1730m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. And reinsman Donald Harper certainly hasn’t given up hope that Thereugo can beat the brilliant Handsandwheels, who is in the best form of his career and will be seeking to extend his winning sequence to four. Thereugo, who has claims as the fastest beginner in the State, will start from barrier No. 5, with the Andrew de Campo-trained Handsandwheels poorly drawn on the outside at No. 9 in a field of nine. At his past two outings Thereugo has begun speedily and has led from barriers seven and three but has wilted slightly to finish third behind Handsandwheels over 1730m and fifth behind the same pacer over 2130m. “In those two races Handsandwheels has rated 1.53.9 and 1.53.7, and those sorts of times seem to sort out Thereugo a little bit,” Harper said. “If they go 1.54 or a bit slower this week Thereugo should prove hard to beat. “We will be going forward and should find the front --- and then I’ll work things out from there. It’s very rare that when Thereugo has been sent forward that he hasn’t crossed to the lead. Obviously, Handsandwheels is in very good form and it will be interesting to see whether he keeps coming forward from the start or takes a sit. Hopefully, we can pinch a little bit.” Thereugo was switched from Harper’s stables recently and has been prepared for his past three starts by Sue Wiscombe for an all-the-way win, rating 1.56.4 over 2130m when he beat Chiaroscuro and Im Soxy, followed by his third and fifth placings behind Handsandwheels. Thereugo is by American stallion McArdle and is the first pacer bred by Harper. He has raced 56 times for 20 wins, 11 placings and $165,555 in stakes. He is out of the New Zealand-bred mare Janice Franco, who earned $76,782 from her eight wins and 19 placings from 110 starts. While Handsandwheels and Thereugo are sure to be solidly supported, many punters are expected to back the polemarker Our Corelli, who was most impressive in chalking up strong victories at his first five starts for new trainer Debra Lewis before two unplaced runs and  then a last-start half-head second to Vampiro when he set the pace in the 2536m August Cup last Friday week. Capel trainer Andrew de Campo has Handsandwheels, the 2017 WA Derby winner, racing in magnificent form, but the classy stallion will need to be at his peak to overcome the disadvantage of the outside barrier. “From barrier nine it’s hard to see where we end up,” said reinsman Aiden de Campo. “Probably, we’ll need a fair bit of speed early and in the middle stages. It will be a lot harder than it was last week, for sure. But he’s probably racing better than his rivals. We need speed early and a genuine tempo. “I’ll have to put him in the race at some stage. I’ll play it by ear. Maybe I’ll come out hard and try to find a spot.” King of Swing, the 2018 WA Derby winner, faces a stern test from barrier eight and the Brian Clemens-trained Im Soxy is capable of improvement after disappointing when a distant seventh in a field of seven behind Handsandwheels last Friday night when he was affected by a gear malfunction.   Ken Casellas

“He’s got gate speed and he should be able to lead and dictate and run a really good race,” declared Serpentine trainer Matt Scott after New Zealand-bred gelding Son of a Tiger drew the coveted No. 1 barrier in  the 2536m Highland Medical Centre Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Scott, who is enjoying a successful season with 64 winners, said that Shannon Suvaljko would be aiming to make every post a winner from the ideal barrier. “Last week Son of a Tiger drew out wide (barrier five) and we came across, but were unable to lead,” Scott said. “We ended up in the breeze, which isn’t ideal over 2536m. He has had only 20 starts and isn’t ready to race in the breeze yet.” Son of a Tiger, a winner at six of his past 13 starts, has started from the No. 1 barrier only once in Western Australia --- when he set the pace and won easily over 2662m at Narrogin on June 28. The American Ideal four-year-old battled on gamely last week to finish fifth behind the richly-talented Wildwest. One of the main dangers to Son of a Tiger on Friday night appears to be the Craig Hynam-trained Presidentmach, who will be driven by Ryan Warwick from barrier six. Presidentmach led for the first 650m from barrier two last week and then enjoyed a perfect passage behind the pacemaking Wildwest before fighting on to finish second to that pacer. Scott is also quite optimistic about the prospects of Rock Me Over in race two on Friday night, the 2536m Book Your End of Year Function at Gloucester Park Pace, in which he will be driven by Chris Voak from the No. 2 barrier on the front line. Rock Me Over has a losing sequence of 23, but is racing keenly, with his past eight starts producing four seconds, two thirds, a fourth and a sixth. He enjoyed an ideal passage, one-out and one-back in a 1730m event at Gloucester Park on Tuesday night before finishing determinedly with a three-wide burst to be a neck second to his stablemate and pacemaker Neighlor. “He’s a gross type of horse who thrives on racing and he’ll go good on Friday night,” said Scott. Two of Rock Me Over’s chief rivals are sure to be Pierre Whitby and Dennis, who will start from the back line. Pierre Whitby, a three-year-old Mach Three gelding trained by Debra Lewis and driven by Jocelyn Young, looks hard to beat. Pierre Whitby started out wide at barrier eight last week and was eighth at the bell before unwinding a spirited four-wide burst to finish an eye-catching fifth behind Mister Ardee, Carter Micheal, Speed Man and Mighty Flying Deal. Three nights before that he started from the No. 8 barrier and impressed in charging home, out wide, from ninth at the bell to hit the front on the home turn and win by more than a length from the fast-finishing Baptism of Fire. The Ross Olivieri-trained Dennis, a New South Wales-bred five-year-old, also should fight out the finish. He overraced badly in the breeze before taking the lead 220m from home and fighting on doggedly to finish a head second to Kennys Revenge over 2130m on Tuesday night. That followed his fast-finishing second to Beltane over 2190m at Northam at his previous outing. Scott also has high hopes that his four-year-old mare Cut Above will be prominent off the 10m mark in the Better Your Industry With TABtouch Handicap, a stand over 2503m. “She got held up a bit in a mobile Free-For-All for mares last week and did well to finish fourth behind Just Rockon Bye,” he said. “She has a very good record in stands.” Cut Above will again be driven by Shannon Suvaljko, who combined with Scott and owner Tim Blee to score a dashing all-the-way victory with Neighlor on Tuesday night. That gave Suvaljko his 115th winner for the season. Scott has engaged Kyle Harper to handle the speedy Clarenden Hustler in the 2536m Murdoch Jones Realty Pace and said that the chestnut would be driven more conservatively this week. Clarenden Hustler began fast from barrier six in a 1730m event last Friday night, but after being trapped four wide and unable to get to the front he was restrained to the rear before running on from last at the bell to finish a close-up seventh behind Roman Aviator. “Clarenden Hustler went a bit half-hearted and came out a bit 50-50 last week,” Scott said. “This week, he’s going to sit.”   Ken Casellas

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