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Much-travelled 21-year-old harness racing reinsman Paul Diebert landed his first Gloucester Park winner when he guided talented four-year-old Nathans Courage to a smart all-the-way victory in a 2130m mobile event on Tuesday night. Diebert, born in Leeton in the heart of the New South Wales Riverina district, grew up in the Victorian town of Bendigo and has worked in the harness racing industry in NSW, Victoria and Queensland. He is a third generation harness racing performer who has been in Western Australia for seven weeks, working for Pinjarra trainer Michael Brennan. Brennan met Diebert when he was working for leading trainer-driver Grant Dixon in Queensland a year or so ago and he offered him a job a year later. On Tuesday night Diebert was having his second drive at Gloucester Park and his ninth in WA when he was successful with the Brennan-trained Nathans Courage. Nathans Courage, favourite at 9/4 on, set a brisk pace and won in fine style from The Storm Chief, rating 1.57.8 over 2130m. “He goes real good,” said Diebert. “But I’ve got to try to settle him a bit more. He’s still a bit revvy, but that’s the Courage Under Fire in him. In the bigger races it is all about settling him. It’s alright winning a C1 event doing things wrong. But in the big ones you’ve got to do everything right. He was on the steel the whole race tonight and instead of running home in 27sec. he’s got home in 27.6sec. which isn’t too bad.” Brennan, who completed a double when Gary Hall jun. drove 9/4 chance Rub Of The Green to victory in a 2503m stand, said that he was aiming Nathans Courage at the rich feature events for four-year-olds in the coming summer. “Whether he measures up or not we’ll have to wait and see,” he said. “He was a bit underdone tonight and will improve.” Ken Casellas

New Zealand-born harness racing reinsman Michael Paris notched his first win at Gloucester Park when he drove veteran pacer Unsinkable Boxer to a dashing all-the-way victory in a 2130m mobile event on Tuesday night. The ten-year-old Unsinkable Boxer, prepared by Brad Lynn, was favourite at 13/8 and he rated 1.57 in beating Nicnak Paddy Wak by two lengths. The 28-year-old Paris was having about his tenth drive at Gloucester Park. His only other WA success was with Hoylakes Next Lady at Wagin last March. He drove three winners, behind trotters, at Cambridge in New Zealand, before moving to Western Australia four years ago. His first winner was with seven-year-old mare Milldorf for trainer Dave Iremonger. “I’ve been in and out of the game a bit,” he said. “I help Brad and work part-time for a stockfeeds company.” Ken Casellas  

History will be made at Cruikshank Park on Friday night when champion harness racing reinsman Chris Lewis drives in Kalgoorlie for the first time in his distinguished 46-year career. And he should celebrate the occasion by winning the $30,000 XXXX Gold Kalgoorlie-Boulder Cup with Im Full of Excuses. “I have never even been to Kalgoorlie and I’m looking forward to the experience,” the 61-year-old master reinsman said. Im Full of Excuses, a New Zealand-bred gelding owned by Merv Butterwortrh, is trained by Ross Olivieri, who is confident the five-year-old will prove hard to beat in the Cup, a 2518m stand in which he will start from barrier five on the front line. Im Full of Excuses has raced only 25 times for ten wins, four placings and stakes of $82,658. After being unplaced in  a mobile event at his West Australian debut, Im Full of Excuses has been most impressive in winning in stands at his next three starts --- twice over 2631m at Pinjarra and once over 2503m at Gloucester Park. “This will be my first trip to Kalgoorlie for many, many years,” Olivieri said. “Im Full of Excuses is a good one and I’ve nominated him for the interdominion championship series, but though I think he’s an Inters horse. I don’t think he is this year. “He needs seasoning and to learn a bit more. He’s a bit of a dummy, but he is a fast dummy. They’ll know he’s there in Friday night’s Cup.” Lewis also has brought prospects at the meeting with the Olivieri-trained and Butterworth-owned Our Jericho and Frostyflyer. Our Jericho will clash with Phoenix Warrior and Ohoka Squire (both trained by Greg and Skye Bond) in the Milton Cairnduff Memorial, a 2550m mobile event, and Frostyflyer will start from the No. 1 barrier in the 1750m TABtouch Mount Eden Mile.       Lewis will also drive the Olivieri-trained Limelight Bay and On My Oath, Khun Lek and Truth Without Fear for local trainer Dean Kelly on Friday night. Ken Casellas

“He’s a poor relation, but he’s been a wonderful horse for me,” says Hopeland harness racing owner-trainer Kevin Charles when describing veteran iron pacer Blissfull Boy, who will be having his 184th start when he contests the 1730m Lugarno Gumby Punters Club Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. And Charles is upbeat about the nine-year-old’s chances from the favourable No. 2 barrier over his favourite distance of 1730m. Blissfull Boy, to be driven by Chris Voak, has been unplaced from unfavourable barriers at his past four starts. “But he’s a different horse when he is able to lead,” said Charles, who purchased the gelding from  Ken White in December 2012. Since then Blissfull Boy has had 115 starts for Charles for ten wins, 29 placings and $87,964 in prizemoney to take his career statistics to 183 starts for 20 wins, 53 placings and stakes of $140,680 --- a remarkable record for a pacer who is still assessed as an M0 and C5 performer. “He’s a poor relation --- to his half-brother Lennytheshark, who has earned more than a million dollars,” Charles said. “Ken White did a good job with him and he has also done very well for me. “I don’t like to disclose how much I paid for him. He was a bargain when I bought him and he’s an even better one now. “He loves to lead and roll along and if he finds the front on Friday night he will definitely give a lot of cheek and prove hard to beat. So it will be our aim to lead. “He’s as bright as a button around the stable and has never shown any signs of soreness. He’s got wind galls on his legs, but I don’t tell him and he doesn’t know.” Mighty Major, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, will resume after a two-month absence and will be fancied from the prized No. 1 barrier. He led from the No. 1 barrier and won from Bettor Scoot over 2190m at Northam on June 28, but finished at the rear at his next three starts. The favourite is sure to be the lightly-raced five-year-old Tact Major, who will need all the breaks to overcome the disadvantage of starting from the outside (No. 9) over the sprint journey. Tact Major, to be driven by Gary Hall jun., was gallant in defeat last Friday night when worked hard in the breeze and fought on gamely when second to the pacemaker Kiwi Legend over 2130m. Aiden de Campo, refreshed after a two-week holiday in America, will return to action at Gloucester Park and he should be prominent with Ultimate Major, who is handily drawn at barrier three on the front line. Ken Casellas

Pinjarra harness racing trainer Michael Brennan declares that The Bucket List has never been better and he is confident that the New Zealand-bred seven-year-old will prove hard to beat in the $23,000 Media Guild Cup over 2536m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. “The distance and the small field (eight runners) will suit and he will be right in the race,” Brennan said. Michael Grantham will drive the gelding, who will start from the No. 6 barrier and will clash with up-and-coming star Beaudiene Boaz, brilliant mares Libertybelle Midfrew and Tricky Styx and exciting prospect Heez On Fire. “The Bucket List was in real good form during his previous preparation, but he’s come back a whole lot better this time, for sure. He’s a top-line little horse who really stepped up at his latest start when he smashed the clock in his final sectionals trying to take ground off Bettors Fire. The Bucket List raced without cover for much of the first lap before gaining a perfect sit, one-out and one-back, in the group 3 Howard Porter Memorial over 2130m last Friday week. After a third quarter of the final mile in 28.7sec., Bettors Fire sprinted over the final 400m in 26.9sec. and beat The Bucket List, who finished with great determination, by a neck. The Bucket List won at his two previous starts, by a nose over Our Ideal Act over 2692m at Pinjarra and by a length over Flyalong Falcon in a 2503m stand. “I’ll leave the tactics up to Michael,” Brennan said. “Let him decide when the arms go back. There’s plenty of options; he can breeze and he can sit.” The Bucket List, who has had 61 starts for 18 wins and 25 placings for stakes of $234,105, has been ranked No. 46 for the TABtouch interdominion championship series in November and December. “Hopefully he can climb up the rankings and make the final 30,” Brennan said. “He deserves to run in the series.” Looming large as a major threat to The Bucket List is the brilliant Beaudiene Boaz, who will boost his earnings past the $1 million mark if he finishes first, second or third.    Beaudiene Boaz, a New Zealand-bred five-year-old who has won at 22 of his 32 starts, will begin from the outside (barrier eight) in Friday night’s Cup. His trainer Gary Hall sen. has won the Media Guild Cup with The Falcon Strike (2003), Kotare Flame (2007), Washakie (2008) and Our Arlington (2014). Gary Hall jun., who will drive Beaudiene Boaz, has been successful with The Falcon Strike, Kotare Flame, Washakie and the Kevin Keys-trained Tuxedo Tour (2015). Beaudiene Boaz has overcome a setback in his preparation and will be making his first appearance since he was restrained from the outside barrier, raced at the rear and was forced out wide in the final circuit when a well-beaten ninth behind Our Jimmy Johnstone over 2130m on August 5. “He seems to have recovered from whatever was affecting him last time,” Hall jun. said. “He had some sort of lung bug. “He’ll need the run, but he’s working good enough to win. He’s had a few good hit-outs at home and it will be just a matter of getting him to do something from behind (instead of setting the pace as he has in many of his wins). “It’s a small field, but a good field. The Bucket List is flying and the mares are getting a free-kick (drawing the No. 1 and No. 2 barriers under the preferential conditions for mares). Libertybelle Midfrew (barrier one) and Tricky Styx (two) will have many admirers. Each is a smart frontrunner. Libertybelle Midfrew showed a welcome return to form last Friday night when she started from barrier six and finished strongly from seventh at the bell to be third behind Bettors Fire and Copagrin in the 2130m Spring Pace. Tricky Styx, a winner at 18 of her 41 starts, raced three back on the pegs in fifth position and was hampered for room in the home straight when a sound fourth behind Bettors Fire last Friday week. Adding considerable interest to the race will be the return of the WA-bred seven-year-old Heez On Fire, who has not raced since finishing last behind El Machine last February. The winner of 16 races from 30 starts, he is now trained by octogenarian Bill Horn. Heez On Fire, who has been affected by leg problems, has impressed in three trials at Pinjarra in July and when second to Another Vinnie in a Pinjarra trial last Sunday week. At his previous trial appearance (over 2185m) Heez On Fire won from The Bucket List after sprinting over the final quarter in a sizzling 26.4sec. He won trials at each of the two previous Sundays, with final quarters in 27.8sec. and 27.5sec. Ken Casellas

Star pacer Elegant Christian will resume harness racing after an absence of 79 days when he contests the $23,000 Spring Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night --- and trainer Clive Dalton declared that the six-year-old was spot-on and ready to win first-up. Elegant Christian’s clash with the richly-talented Bettors Fire, a stylish winner at his past two starts, will be the highlight of the ten-event program. Bettors Fire, trained and driven by Kyle Harper, has shown dazzling gate speed from the No. 4 barrier at his two latest outings before setting the pace and winning comfortably. However, Dalton is confident that Elegant Christian will prove too speedy from the prized No. 1 barrier and will set the pace. “Bettors Fire is a good horse, but he can’t cross Elegant Christian from barrier seven,” Dalton predicted. “I don’t think he’s got any hope of crossing, not from out that wide. From a bit closer, maybe. “Elegant Christian begins quickly and the plan will be for Clint Hall to allow him to bowl along in front, like he normally does. He’s very forward, probably about 85 per cent, and that’s a forward 85 per cent. “Barrier one is a perfect draw for him, first-up. He’s forward enough to win. He wouldn’t be going around if I didn’t think he could win.” Dalton returned to Western Australia almost three weeks ago after a three-and-a-half-week holiday in Croatia, Ireland and England. Six horses in his stable, including Elegant Christian, remained in work. “Elegant Christian had ten days off after his latest start (when fifth behind Run Oneover in the 2536m Winter Cup on July 1) and then I worked him before going away on holidays,” Dalton said. “Erin Tapper worked him and kept him ticking over while I was away. He’s had a lot of long, strong work.” Elegant Christian and Bettors Fire will be two of Western Australia’s best prospects for the TABtouch interdominion championship series in November and December. “That’s the pipe dream --- to try to win the interdominion with Elegant Christian,” Dalton said. “He’s sound and he certainly won’t disgrace himself. I’ll space his runs before the series starts. I’ll probably start him fortnightly. And then when it’s interdominion time the cotton wool will have to come off.” The New Zealand-bred Elegant Christian has done all his racing in Western Australia and leg problems have restricted him to just 34 starts for 19 wins and seven placings for earnings of $301,129. Everything is in his favour for Friday night’s 2130m event. He has won first-up four times; 14 of his wins have been over 2130m and he has led in 15 of his victories. Admirers of Bettors Fire will pin their faith in the New Zealand-bred eight-year-old and will be confident that the gelding’s three splendid runs since resuming from a spell will give him a decisive edge in fitness over Elegant Christian. Bettors Fire notched the 29th win of his 71-start career last Friday night when he began brilliantly and jumped straight to the front from barrier four. He then was under not the slightest pressure at any stage of the race, with an extremely slow lead time of 39sec. and modest opening quarters of the final mile in 30.9sec. and 30sec. before sprinting the next 400m sections in 28.7sec. and 26.9sec. to win by a neck from The Bucket List. Two weeks earlier, Bettors Fire was not extended in leading and winning the 2536m August Cup from Run Oneover and Cyamach. Our Ideal Act, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, ran a good trial for this week’s feature event when he worked hard in the breeze before finishing strongly to win by three lengths from the pacemaker That’s Rite over 2536m last Friday night. The six-year-old fared badly in the random draw and will need a good slice of luck to overcome the disadvantage of barrier eight. The Michael Brennan-trained This Time Dylan will start from the inside of the back line with Maddison Brown in the sulky. The evergreen 11-year-old was an 18/1 chance when he finished fast for reinsman Justin Prentice to snatch a half-head victory from the 5/4 favourite Northview Punter in the Spring Pace 12 months ago. He has built up a losing sequence of 38 since then. Ken Casellas

Byford harness racing trainer Brendan Abbott has high hopes of starting the Gloucester Park meeting on a successful note by winning the opening event, the third heat of the Retravision Westbred Pace, with lightly-raced five-year-old Blacklist. And he has an excellent second string in four-year-old Cams Resurgence. The son of Courage Under Fire, to be handled by Shannon Suvaljko, will start from the prized No. 1 barrier and Cams Resurgence (Peter Tilbrook) is favourably drawn at barrier three. The 41-year-old Abbott took both pacers to Kellerberrin on Sunday and they warmed up for Friday night’s event in good style, with Blacklist sustaining a spirited burst which carried him from ninth at the bell to victory, by a length from Cams Resurgence, who fought on determinedly after working hard in the breeze all the way. Blacklist has been raced sparingly since he made a successful debut fort trainer-reinsman Suvaljko when he won a qualifying heat of the Sales Classic for two-year-old colts and geldings at Gloucester Park in April 2014. Then, at his next start, Blacklist finished third behind Persistent Threat and Captain Oats in the group 1 $100,000 final of the Sales Classic. While Blacklist impressed with his solid finishing effort at Kellerberrin on Sunday, he is certain to be seen in a vastly different role on Friday night. Suvaljko will be keen to take full advantage of the inside barrier and give the gelding the opportunity to enjoy a pacemaking role. Blacklist is a smart frontrunner who set the pace when a close third to Mako Shadow over 2620m at Northam three starts ago. Two starts before that, at his first appearance after a spell, Blacklist led and was beaten by a margin of a half-head by C C Chevron over 1730m at Kellerberrin. Cams Resurgence gave a stout-hearted performance three starts ago when he raced wide early and then without cover before winning from the pacemaker Texan Tycoon over 1730m at Gloucester Park. Before that victory Abbott had prepared Gloucester Park winners in the past decade with Ricky Rainbow, Death Adda, Shez Sensational and Sukhovey Wind. In an even field on Friday night, Hindu Rajah, Muscle Torque, Sea Me Smile, Gotta Go Chocolate and Master Play will have admirers. Gotta Go Chocolate, who will start from the outside of the back line, caught the eye at 87/1 when he was sixth at the bell and finished fast to be third behind Royal Mach and Kinda Black over 2536m last Friday night. He worked hard before winning easily over 2569m at Bunbury at his previous outing. Muscle Torque, a lightly-raced six-year-old who will start from barrier five, will pay to follow. He raced three back on the pegs in fifth position but was blocked for a clear passage in the final circuit when an unlucky fifth behind Mako Shadow over 2130m last Friday night. Hindu Rajah, trained and driven by Aldo Cortopassi, chalked up his third win from ten starts when he raced in the breeze before fighting on to get up and defeat the pacemaker Karloo over 1730m at Kellerberrin on Sunday. Ken Casellas

High-priced New Zealand import Kiwi Legend will have a new driver when he runs in the $18,500 Choices Flooring Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night --- and he should prove hard to beat after a strong performance in a 2150m harness racing trial at Byford on Sunday morning. Shannon Suvaljko, who will take over the reins from Mark Reed on Friday night, handled the five-year-old in the trial in which he finished strongly to win by more than two lengths from Bonny Under Fire after covering the final quarters in 29.2sec. and 28.7sec. Reed has handled Kiwi Legend in all of his 20 WA starts for five wins and ten placings. The Art Major gelding had only two starts in New Zealand for two wins in February 2015. Nothing went right for Kiwi Legend at his latest appearance, at Gloucester Park three Friday nights ago. He was restrained to last in a field of nine from barrier seven and certainly was not suited with a moderate lead time of 37.7sec. and modest opening quarters in 29.8sec. and 29.9sec. before the tempo was lifted with final sections of 27.6sec. and 28.7sec., with Kiwi Legend out three wide. His form before that was good. He raced one-out and one-back when second to the speedy Risk two starts ago, after his previous five starts produced a win, three seconds and a third. Kiwi Legend’s major (and serious) rival on Friday night looms large in the form of Tact Major, an up-and-coming New Zealand-bred five-year-old trained by Gary Hall sen. Tact Major’s 13 starts have all been in WA and have produced seven wins and two placings. Tact Major has resumed after an absence of eight months in fine style with effortless wins at Kellerberrin and Gloucester Park. He is well drawn at barrier two on Friday night. He raced three wide for most of the journey in both those events before finishing strongly. Ohoka Assassin, who has won at two of his four starts since resuming after an absence of almost two years, cannot be underestimated. The seven-year-old trained by Greg and Skye Bond, will start from the inside of the back line and will have a perfect run if Kiwi Legend sets the pace. Kinda Black, a stablemate of Ohoka Assassin, is also worth consideration. He raced wide early and then worked hard in the breeze when a fighting second to Royal Mach over 2536m last Friday night. Ken Casellas

Harness racing lightly-raced five-year-old Bungalow Bill is racing with wonderful heart and he looks capable of overcoming g a back-line draw and winning the $20,500 www.Allwoodstud.com.au Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The Bettors Delight gelding, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, has shown admirable determination to be placed at his past two starts after working hard in the breeze. This week he will start from the No. 2 barrier on the back line and could enjoy racing with a sit. A fast pace will suit Bungalow Bill and this looks extremely likely with several speedy beginners and noted frontrunners in the field. They include the polemarker Bonny Under Fire, Paid Twice (barrier two), Thats Rite, Change Gear and Bhagwan. And Another Vinnie, who will start from the outside of the front line, looks certain to ensure a fast pace by surging forward in the first lap. Bungalow Bill, to be driven by Ryan Warwick, began speedily from the No. 4 barrier last Friday night, but was unable to wrest the lead from Mynameskenny. He raced in the breeze and refused to surrender when Mynameskenny sprinted over the final quarters in 28.1sec. and 27.7sec. He was beaten by less than a half-length by Mynameskenny, who rated 1.56.3 over the 2130m trip. A week earlier, Bungalow Bill started out wide at barrier seven and raced outside the pacemaker Ideal Justice. He got to a narrow lead 300m from home before wilting late to finish third behind Say It Now and Lady Willoughby. He led from the No. 1 barrier and won easily from Rycroft and Royal Mach at his previous outing. The likelihood of a fast pace also should suit the well-performed Smokey The Bandit, who will be driven by Michael Grantham from the outside of the back line. Last Friday night Smokey The Bandit trailed the pacemaker Change Gear and finished strongly to be third behind Ima Connoisseur and Risk in a fast-run 1730m event. Four days before that the seven-year-old grey finished solidly to be third to Nicnak Paddy Wak over 2100m at Bunbury. Ken Casellas

Emerging harness racing star Chicago Bull will have no problem in increasing his winning sequence to ten when he contests the 2130m Pegasus Sweetmax Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night, according to his trainer Gary Hall sen. Gary Hall jun. will resume in the sulky after serving a brief suspension and the four-year-old should overcome the disadvantage of starting out wide at barrier eight on the front line. “I can’t fault Chicago Bull,” said Hall sen. “I’ll leave the tactics up to Gary. It probably depends on the pace of the race. I don’t think it matters what he does; he just does it. “I’ll set him for the upcoming M0 series and then he’ll go into the big four-year-old classics.” The Bettor's Delight gelding has already amassed $257,280 from 12 wins and three placings from 19 starts. His 12 WA starts have produced ten wins and two thirds. Hall sen. is confident that his other stable runner The Arsonist will finish second to Chicago Bull. The Arsonist, to be driven by Clint Hall, looks the pacemaker from the coveted No. 1 barrier. He warmed up in good style for the race with an excellent second to El Jacko over 2185m at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon.     “That was one of his better runs,” Hall said. “He beat home Our Ideal Act and was beaten only by El Jacko, who is a real smart horse. They ran a bit of time and a fast last half (55.5sec.).” Hall said that he had nominated six pacers for the TABtouch interdominion championship series in November and December --- Cyamach, Waylade, Run Oneover, Beaudiene Boaz, My Hard Copy and Ideal Alice. “But Ideal Alice won’t run in the series; she’ll be kept for the major races for mares,” he said. Ken Casellas

Bettors Fire was a warm 9/4 favourite when he finished a close third in the Howard Porter Memorial 13 months ago. But he is in better form now and should make amends for that defeat by proving too fast and strong for his harness racing rivals in the $35,000 Porter Memorial over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The New Zealand-bred eight-year-old by Bettor's Delight showed that he would be one of Western Australia’s major hopes in the TABtouch interdominion championship in December when he revealed sparkling gate speed from barrier four and then set a fast pace to win the August Cup, rating 1.57.4 over 2536m last Friday week. Bettors Fire will again start from the No. 4 barrier this week and trainer Kyle Harper is likely to make use of the gelding’s early brilliance. Victory would take the gelding’s earning past the $500,000 mark. A win would give Frank Ranaldi’s strikingly handsome brown pacer’s seventh success in a group feature event. He has won three group 2 events, the 2013 Mount Eden Sprint and the 2014 and 2015 Bunbury Cups, and three group 3 features, the 2013 Navy Cup, the 2014 Parliamentarians Cup and the 2016 August Cup.    Bettors Fire will need to be at his best to beat stylish last-start winners Tricky Styx and Phoenix Warrior. But he should be up to the task. Phoenix Warrior, to be driven by Ryan Warwick for leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond, will start from the prized No. 1 barrier. However, it is problematical whether Phoenix Warrior is capable of mustering sufficient speed to prevent Bettors Fire dashing to an early lead. Phoenix Warrior was restrained to the rear from the outside barrier (No. 9) in last Friday night’s 2130m New Season Pace before he moved to sixth, three wide, at the bell and took the lead on the home turn on his way to easily defeating El Machine and Change Gear. A week earlier he charged home from tenth at the bell to be an eye-catching fourth behind Bettors Fire in the August Cup. In 38 starts in WA, the New Zealand-bred Phoenix Warrior has started from the No. 1 barrier only once. That was in the final of the 1730m $50,000 Nights of Thunder last January when he was favourite at 2/1 and was easily beaten out by Better Than Money. He raced three back on the pegs before moving to the one-wide line at the bell. He moved up to be fifth at the 400m and was four wide 250m from home when he was inconvenienced and broke into a gallop, dropping back to finish last, 31 lengths behind the winner Mohegan Sun. Tricky Styx, the only mare and youngest runner in Friday night’s race, will be the only runner off the back line in the field of ten. The Jesse Moore-trained five-year-old will be driven by Nathan Turvey and she can never be underestimated. She notched her 18th win from 40 starts when she proved far too strong for moderate opposition in heavy rain over 2536m last Friday week. Tricky Styx can unwind a brilliant finishing burst and Turvey is likely to rely on this wonderful attribute this week. The Michael Brennan-trained The Bucket List is favourably drawn at barrier two and Michael Grantham should have the seven-year-old in a prominent position throughout. The Bucket List has come from behind and finished full of running to win at his past two starts. He charged home from tenth at the bell to win by a half-head from Our Ideal Act over 2692m at Pinjarra on August 1 and then 18 nights later he started from 20m and sustained a powerful burst, three wide without cover, to hit the front on the home turn and go mon and win by a length from Flyalong Falcon over 2503m. Brennan will also be represented by Naughty Maravu, who has been racing keenly and most consistently in stands. Naughty Maravu (Gary Hall jun.) will start from barrier three and will be at liberal odds as the least successful of the ten runners. Our Sky Major, trained and driven by Justin Prentice, is racing with commendable heart and is capable of a strong showing from barrier six.  Ken Casellas

Strength and versatility are the hallmarks of stout-hearted harness racing New Zealand-bred pacer Our Jericho, who will need to be at the top of his game to complete a winning hat-trick at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Eight-time West Australian leading trainer Ross Olivieri has set the New Zealand-bred seven-year-old the daunting task of switching from staying standing-start events to a 1730m sprint, the Milne Horse Muesli Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. And to made Our Jericho’s task even more difficult, he will start from the outside in the field of eight because of his superior classification (M4). Our Jericho has finished powerfully to win at his past two outings --- beating Naughty Maravu and Our Sky Major in the 3309m Marathon Handicap on August 12 and then proving too strong for Naughty Maravu and Sky Art over 2503m last Friday night. Our Jericho, a winner at four of his 27 starts in New Zealand, has thrived under Olivieri’s care in Western Australia where he has had 176 starts for eight wins and three seconds. He failed at his only appearance over 1730m, when sixth behind the pacemaker Ricimer on July 1. He started from barrier seven and raced three wide for the first 500m before racing without cover for a while and then gaining the one-out, one-back trail. The Tomahawk gelding has impressed Olivieri so much that he will nominate the gelding for the TABtouch interdominion championship series at Gloucester Park in November and December. “He is a pretty versatile horse who is racing well,” Olivieri said. “We’ll roll the dice and see how he goes over 1730m from the outside. However, I’m mindful that barrier draws in mile events have an influence on the result. “He’s a good competitor. Both his past two wins came after a 21-day break and that has given me a bit of a clue as to what he likes. But he won’t be able to have this (21-day breaks) at the Inters. However, you can’t question what he has done up to this stage.” Greg and Skye Bond, last season’s leading Statewide trainers in WA, hold a powerful hand in Friday night’s event with speedsters and last-start winners Risk (barrier five) and Ima Connoisseur (seven). Five-year-old Risk, a winner at nine of his 30 starts in New Zealand, has been most impressive in winning at his first three starts in WA. Risk was restrained from barrier five and he raced in sixth position, one-out and two-back, before starting a three-wide move with 750m to travel and going on to win by a length from the 7/4 on favourite and pacemaker American Boy at a 1.56.2 rate over 2130m last Friday week. He dashed over the final quarters in 27.6sec. and 28.7sec. On the same program Ima Connoisseur began brilliantly from barrier seven and gave a bold frontrunning display to win at a 1.56.5 rate from Our Ideal Act and Jambiani over 2130m. Michael Grantham will drive the polemarker Smokey The Bandit for the first time and the grey who has a fine record of 18 wins, 34 placings and stakes of $250,783 from 87 starts will have many admirers from his favourable draw. Grantham will replace Ash Markham, who has driven Smokey The Bandit 81 times for 17 wins and 32 placings. Markham was suspended for 21 days for causing interference in a race at Bunbury last Saturday night. Chris Lewis has opted to drive Our Jericho in preference to nine-year-old Kiss Chasey, who reappeared after an absence of almost 23 months when he led from barrier one and won easily from Frostyflyer, rating 1.58 over 2130m on Tuesday of last week. Ken Casellas

Harness racing driver Stuart McDonald, the State’s leading junior reinsman, has been engaged to handle talented five-year-old Mynameskenny in the $21,000 Mt Barker Chicken Free Range Steaks Pace over 21230m at Gloucester Park on Friday night.  Byford trainer John Oldroyd called on McDonald’s services to make use of his claim, which effectively reduced Mynameskenny from an M2-class pacer to an M1 performer. This claim enabled Mynameskenny to draw favourably at barrier No. 2 on the front line and he will meet several M1-class pacers on advantageous terms. A son of Village Jolt, Mynameskenny who has won at 17 of his 31 starts, has been freshened up since his latest appearance, when he covered a lot of extra ground and wilted to finish eighth behind Ricimer over 2130m on July 29. The WA-bred horse had won at each of his previous seven starts. McDonald, who will be handling Mynameskenny for the first time in a race, is likely to be anxious to set the pace from his ideal draw. However, he could well face a tough task to get past the polemarker Blacknsweet Adda in the early stages. Blacknsweet Adda, who is trained by Courtney Burch and will be driven by Morgan Woodley, possesses good gate speed and is a smart frontrunner. She has had a brief let-up since she gave an outstanding performance to finish a head second to Delightful Jade at a 1.56.8 rate over 2130m on July 29.       She was restrained from barrier eight and was 12th and last at the bell before sustaining a grand three-wide burst to get to finish a head behind Delightful Jade. Blacknsweet Adda’s past seven starts have produced four wins and two seconds. Delightful Jade is in sparkling form and as an M4-classs performer is the highest-assessed runner in the field. She will be handled by Micheal Ferguson, who has been in the sulky at her past three starts for two wins (after facing the breeze). However, trainer Gary Hall sen. said that Delightful Jade’s task appeared beyond her from the outside barrier. owever, she faces a stern test from the outside (No. 9) of the front line. “She has learnt how to relax and is going really well,” Hall said. “However, she has drawn too wide. My other runner, Ideal Justice, has also drawn too wide at No. 7.” Greg and Skye Bond have two runners, Ima Tragedy (barrier three) and Bungalow Bill (four), and they will have admirers. Bungalow Bill worked hard in the breeze when third behind Say It Now and Lady Willoughby over 2130m last Friday night after a smart all-the-way win over Rycroft at his previous start. Ima Tragedy, to be driven by Mitch Miller, caught the eye last Friday night when he was seventh at the bell and finished fast to be second to Delightful Jade.  McDonald will have an interesting and challenging tradition to uphold. Mynameskenny has been handled by claiming drivers only twice before ---last December when Tom Buchanan was successful at Northam and Micheal Ferguson at Gloucester Park. Ken Casellas

Victorian-bred gelding Hectorjayjay will be a major player in the rich TABtouch Interdominion Championship at Gloucester Park in November and December, according to his Victorian trainer David Aiken, who had no qualms in comparing his horse favourably with recently-retired harness racing superstar Im Themightyquinn. “Hectorjayjay can cover a field very quickly and he possesses similar dazzling speed that made Quinny such a champion,” Aiken said at the launch of the $1.8 million series on Tuesday afternoon. Aiken, who prepared Lennytheshark for his brilliant victory in the final of the Inters at Gloucester Park last December, will campaign with both Lennytheshark and Hectorjayjay this year. Both pacers will have the services of champion Victorian drivers, with Gavin Lang in the sulky behind Hectorjayjay and Chris Alford behind Lennytheshark. Im Themightyquinn won the interdominion championship three times --- in 2011, 2012 and 2013 --- and he retired with earnings of $4,567,456 from 58 wins, 21 seconds and 13 thirds from 111 starts. His trainer Gary Hall sen. agreed with Aiken’s claim that Hectorjayjay possesses similar characteristics which made Im Themightyquinn such a magnificent champion. “Yes, Hectorjayjay can unwind a devastating burst of speed,” Hall said. “But I’m not convinced that he has the same strength as Quinny at the end of his races.” Hectorjayjay is only a comparatively recent addition to Aiken’s training establishment. He was transferred from Simone Walker’s stables to Aiken last February and in ten starts for Aiken the gelding has won seven times and finished second twice. His 62 starts have produced 30 wins and 19 placings for stakes of $508,084. Five starts ago Hectorjayjay won the group 1 Len Smith Mile at Menangle, beating Lennytheshark by 1.2m in 1.50.5 over the 1609m journey. Two weeks later he gave a phenomenal performance to thunder home from a seemingly hopeless position in second-last place 400m from home to win the 1660m Sunshine Sprint at Albion Park, rating 1.51.8. Hectorjayjay is not exclusively a sprinter. He has won over 2627m, 2600m (twice) and several times over 2240m. His recent form, including a strong second to Ohoka Punter in the $200,000 group 1 Blacks A Fake Classic over 2680m at Albion Park on July 16. Lennytheshark, who has earned $1,896,790 from 27 wins and 20 placings from 51 starts, has had a spell since finishing second to Hectorjayjay in the Len Smith Mile on June 26. “He has just come back into work and everything is on course for him to attempt to win the Inters again this year,” Aiken said. Adding considerable interest to this year’s championship series will be the expected appearance of star pacer Smolda, a veteran star of the All Star New Zealand stable of Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen. Speaking via a video link at Tuesday’s launch, Purdon said he was keen to bring Smolda to Perth for the big series. Smolda, bred in Victoria, has raced 53 times for 27 wins, 16 placings and $1,518,824 in stakes. He has had a beneficial winter spell since finishing a neck second to Locharburn in a $100,000 3200m stand at Addington on March 26. Smolda won the group 1 New South Wales Derby at Menangle in April 2012 and other feature wins since then include the Len Smith Mile at Menangle in April 2014 (beating Beautide and Lennytheshark), the group 1 Ballarat Cup last January (beating Lennytheshark), the $500,000 Hunter Cup (beating Ohoka Punter) at Melton and the Brian Hancock Cup and the Bohemia Crystal Free-For-All at Menangle last February. Hall said that Beaudiene Boaz would head his list of about ten nominations for the championship series. Beaudiene Boaz, winner of 22 races from 32starts for earnings of $998,014, is progressing well and will resume racing soon. His victories include five in group 1 events (the 2014 Golden Slipper, the WA Derby, the McInerney Ford Classic and Golden Nugget in 2015 and the Fremantle Cup last January). Hall is hoping for a trouble-free preparation for Beaudiene Boaz after the disappointment of that pacer’s half-brother Beaudiene Beaufighta breaking down with a damaged suspensory ligament after scoring a smart all-the-way victory over 2130m at Gloucester Park last Friday night. The injury will keep Beaudiene Beaufighta out of action for at least six to seven months. Gloucester Park Harness Racing president John Burt said that more than 25 nominations from four States have been received and the club was expecting further interstate entries and many more from local owners before nominations close at 4pm (WA time) at RWWA on Friday September 9. Ken Casellas

Harness racing co-trainers Greg and Skye Bond were delighted with Phoenix Warrior’s fast-finishing effort when fourth behind Bettors Fire in the August Cup last Friday night and they plan to nominate him for the $1.8 million TABtouch inter dominion championship series at Gloucester Park in November and December. The Bonds, who also own Phoenix Warrior, are experiencing a purple patch and have finished the 2015-16 season as the leaders in the Statewide trainers’ premiership. At Gloucester Park last Friday night they prepared five winners --- Assassinator, Pay Me Cullen, Ima Connoisseur, Risk and Messi --- and they landed a treble with Shes Artful, Mister Daytona and Ohoka Assassin at Gloucester Park on Tuesday night. Phoenix Warrior raced in tenth position before he flooded home, out six and seven wide, to finish fourth in the 2536m August Cup. A fortnight earlier the Jereme's Jet gelding started from 30m and raced without cover for almost three laps when a fighting fourth behind Our Jericho in the 3309m Marathon Handicap. The versatile New Zealand-bred gelding will start from the outside (No. 9) on the front line in the $23,000 Sully’s Painting New Season Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night and will be driven by Ryan Warwick, resuming after serving a term of suspension. He has the ability to overcome this disadvantage and beat the out-of-form Thats Rite, who looks likely to set the pace from the coveted No. 1 barrier for Clint Hall, and the Ross Olivieri-trained pair Im A Peregrine and Our Blackbird. Thats Rite is an M1-class performer and the lowest-assessed runner in the field of 12. He has been unplaced at his past seven starts, including five runs in his current preparation. But he is a noted frontrunner, who has started from the No. 1 barrier three times in Western Australia for three all-the-way wins over 2130m at Gloucester Park, rating 1.56.8, 1.54.1 and 1.56.1. He started from the No. 1 barrier twice over 2190m at Mildura in February 2014 for two all-the-way wins. The Bond stable will also be represented in Friday night’s race by Change Stride, who will be driven by Ryan Bell, fresh from a treble at Gloucester Park on Tuesday night and a treble last Friday night. Change Stride has been unplaced at his three starts since resuming from a spell and is awkwardly drawn at barrier seven. He won 12 times from 29 starts last season and cannot be underestimated. Im A Peregrine, drawn at barrier six and to be handled by Chris Voak, has a losing sequence of 14. But his recent efforts have been encouraging --- a fast-finishing third behind Billies A Star and a strong-finishing head second to Ideal Justice. Ken Casellas

Chris Voak, fresh from landing the final winner of the 2015-16 harness racing season --- when he brought 20/1 outsider Manhattan Billy home with a spirited burst from sixth at the bell to beat the pacemaker Bellerkerrin in a C0 event on Tuesday night --- has high hopes of making a successful start to the new season by driving Naughty Maravu to victory in the NRL WA on The Way Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. This gave Voak his 119th driving success for the season and he finished fifth in the WA reinsmen’s premiership, behind Gary Hall jun., Chris Lewis, Nathan Turvey and Ryan Warwick. It was the fourth successive year that Voak had driven more than a hundred winners. Pinjarra trainer Michael Brennan engaged Voak after Hall was suspended for nine days for causing another runner to cover extra ground in a race at Bunbury last Saturday week. Hall was granted a stay of proceedings and he started his suspension after driving three winners at Kellerberrin on Sunday. Hall has driven the promising Naughty Maravu at the gelding’s past five starts for a win, two seconds, a third and a seventh placing. The Badlands Hanover gelding started from 10m in a 2503m event last Friday night. He settled in eighth position and was sixth at the bell before starting a three-wide move 650m from home and running on with great determination to be third, beaten a nose behind the dead-heaters Assassinator and Pay Me Cullen. At his previous outing, Naughty Maravu started from 10m before dashing to the front after 500m in the 3309m Marathon Handicap. He set a solid pace and finished second to Our Jericho. The final quarters were run in 28.3sec. and 27.8sec. Voak has enjoyed a good association with Naughty Maravu, having driven him to three wins and a third from eight drives. Naughty Maravu will continue his rivalry with Assassinator and Pay Me Cullen this week and those pacers, stablemates at Greg and Skye Bond’s training establishment in Forrestdale, will have many admirers. Assassinator (Ryan Warwick) and Pay Me Cullen (Ryan Bell) will share the 10m mark with Naughty Maravu, with the Bond team’s third runner, Bettor Offer (Colin Brown) starting off 20m with last-start winner Our Jericho (Chris Lewis). The Bond stable has 13 runners engaged at the meeting and the best of these appears to be Delightful Offer, who will be driven by Lauren Jones from the outside of the front line in the 2536m Maureen Clement Memorial Pace. Delightful Offer resumed after a ten-month absence last Friday week when he was restrained from barrier five and was ninth at the bell before charging home late, out five wide, to be a close-up, eye-catching fourth behind Ideal Justice. Ken Casellas

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