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Natural Disaster is one of the State’s most promising pacers, but so far winning a feature harness racing event has eluded the son of American stallion Shadow Play. However, his recent outstanding form is a strong indication that he will break through at Gloucester Park on Friday night for a well-deserved victory in the $25,000 Kerry Clarke Westbred final, a listed classic for four and five-year-olds. Natural Disaster, a four-year-old bred and owned by Rob Tomlinson’s Oz-West Pacing and trained and driven by Justin Prentice, warmed up for this week’s assignment in splendid fashion with his fast-finishing third behind Motu Premier and Mach Time in the Chandon final, a listed classic, last Friday night. That followed wins at his three previous outings, at Bunbury and Gloucester Park in May and at Gloucester Park early last month. He is handily drawn at barrier three on the front line on Friday night and Prentice should have the gelding in a commanding position throughout. Natural Disaster, a winner at nine of his 27 starts, finished second to Johnny Disco in the group 3 Country Derby at Pinjarra in March 2016, third behind New World Order in the group 1 $100,000 Westbred Classic in July 2016, third behind Chicago Bull in the McInerney Ford Classic in November 2016 and fourth behind Soho Tribeca in the Golden Nugget two weeks later. He is closely related to former smart pacer Hy Falutin, whose 18 wins from 43 starts included the Christmas Gift in 1999 and the Celebrity Mile in December 2001. Natural Disaster’s most serious rival looms large as five-year-old Military Master, who will start from the No. 4 barrier. Trainer Ross Olivieri is confident of a bold showing from Military Master, a winner of ten races from 30 starts. The stallion was a disappointing in finishing sixth behind Thereugo last Friday week. But Olivieri explained that there were excuses for that run, saying: “He was a bit below par and then I found that he was affected by a greasy heel. I’ve fixed that and, hopefully, he goes better this week. I’m very pleased with him and his form has been top-class. “Three starts ago Military Master ran the fastest quarter (26.4sec.) that I can remember at Gloucester Park for any quarter of any race.” In that event, Military Master set the pace and had to withstand a spirited challenge for the lead in the first lap, during which he sped over the first 400m section of the final mile in 26.4sec. He wilted only over the final stages and finished fourth behind Zach Maguire. Argyle Red, Fanci A Dance, Tommy Be Good and Abraxas Blues will have plenty of admirers in Friday night’s 2130m event.   Argyle Red, trained at Pinjarra by Rob MacDonald, will be making his first appearance for four months. He is the only runner off the back line and will be handled by Morgan Woodley. He impressed in winning a 2185m Pinjarra trial at a 1.57.7 rate last Sunday when he dashed over the final quarters in 28.1sec. and 27.3sec. Fanci A Dance, trained in Busselton by Barry Howlett, has won at six of his past ten starts and is capable of overcoming the disadvantage of starting out wide at barrier seven. Tommy Be Good and Abraxas Blues warmed up with excellent efforts at Gloucester Park last Friday night. Ken Casellas

Veteran pacer Better Than Money bounced back to form with a smart all-the-way victory over 2130m last Friday night and harness racing trainer-reinsman Kyle Harper is confident the nine-year-old will give a bold showing in the $23,000 Vale Laurie Kennedy Pace over 1730m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. “He’s dropping back to a mile, and a mile is his forte … where he runs his best races,” Harper said. “Yes, it is a step up in class for him, but in terms of a Free-For-All field, it’s not the strongest. He can run a very good time over a mile and I think that, if he jumps to the front, he’ll rattle off a 1.54 which would leave him somewhere in the finish. “He was very good last week. The previous week (when he led from barrier nine and faded to 11th behind Sprinter over 2130m) he needed the run. He had missed a bit of work because of sore feet, and I expected him to be better at his next start, which he was when he won (beating Quite A Delight).” Better Than Money, who will be having his 146th start, will begin from the No. 4 barrier in the field of nine and Harper is planning a fast start in a bid for the early lead. “I think he can cross Americanbootscoota (barrier one),” said Harper, who celebrated his 27th birthday with a winning double last Friday night. “I would like not to have to fire him out too much, but I think he’s got the speed to cross. We won’t be stopping to chat, either which way.” Chris Lewis, who drove Always Arjay to a thrilling victory at Gloucester Park on Tuesday night to record his 195th driving success for the season on his 62nd birthday, has a high opinion of Americanbootscoota, who has won at six of his past ten starts and is expected to be a firm favourite for Friday night’s race in which he will start from the coveted No. 1 barrier. He is a good beginner and an excellent frontrunner and Lewis is sure to jump Americanbootscoota to the front and then will weigh up his options --- whether to resist the expected challenge from Better Than Money or to take the sit behind that horse and rely on Americanbootscoota’s powerful finish. Ideal Alice, a freewheeling mare who has won 19 races and has a M11 classification, will start from the outside in the field of nine. A smart all-the-way winner from Vultan Tin over 2536m last Friday week, she faces a stern test from her wide draw. The Ross Olivieri-trained Jambiani also will need luck after starting from barrier eight. He showed a return to top form last Friday night when he was last in a field of nine at the 300m mark before charging home to snatch victory from Vultan Tin over 2536m. Olivieri said that luck would play a part in determining the result of Friday night’s race. “I didn’t think Jambiani could win last week,” he said. “But he went terrific and has done well since winning.” Ken Casellas

Four-year-old Scoobys Delight has been unplaced at his past six starts, but in-form harness racing reinsman Aiden de Campo is bullish about the horse’s prospects of ending a losing sequence of 11 when he starts from barrier two on the front line in the 1730m Horse Shares Available With Trotsynd Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. “If he can find the front I’d be very confident of winning, especially overt the mile,” said de Campo. “He’s been racing really well without luck.” Scoobys Delight, trained at Blythewood by Gary Elson , was a sound last-start fifth behind The Publisher over 2130m last Friday week when he started from the outside of the back line, raced wide early and then in the breeze. Scoobys Delight will need to be close to his top to beat Ima Rocknroll Legend, a promising four-year-old in the stables of Gary Hall sen. who has won at five of his past ten starts. Ima Rocknroll Legend will be driven by Gary Hall jun., who said that the gelding was most disappointing when a fading last behind Rock Diamonds in the Higgins Memorial last Friday night. “He definitely drops in class, but his run last week was terrible,” Hall said. “This was almost his worst run, but his previous run when third to Johnny Disco and Ideal Tyson at Pinjarra was nearly the best run he’s put in.” De Campo has several other handy drives on Friday night --- Muffins, Its My Lucknow, Ideal Tyson, Oneonthewood and Under The Tower. He rates Ideal Tyson, a stablemate of Scoobys Delight, as his best prospect. Ideal Tyson will start out wide at barrier nine in the first qualifying heat of the 2130m Schrader Pace. The four-year-old set the pace and finished third behind Rock Diamonds and Sprinter in the Higgins Memorial last Friday night. “It’s a tough draw and I might have to go back and make a run at them late,” he said. “He and Livura look the class runners. Last week I just had to grab him up round the corner to keep the horse on my back in a pocket. That probably didn’t suit him; once in front he likes to keep trucking.” Its My Lucknow, trained at Cardup by Sarah Suvaljko, has sound claims in the Own A Piece of the Action With Trotsynd Mares Pace. She had a tough run in the breeze before wilting to finish a close-up seventh behind Once Bitten over 2130m on Tuesday night. At her previous start she covered a lot of extra ground before winning over 1730m at a 1.57.7 rate. “She’s going pretty good and the 2500m will suit her down to the ground; she loves the longer distance,” de Campo said. “Under The Tower has a chance in the final race in which she has drawn well at No. 2. She went really good two starts ago when Chris (Lewis) drove her and she finished a close second to Soho Changeling.” Muffins will be having her first start in a race when she begins from the No. 1 barrier in the Owners Only Pace for two-year-old fillies. Trained by Michael Brennan, Muffins finished second in a 2185m trial at Pinjarra on Sunday morning. Hot favourite in this event will be the Shane Young-trained Rosies Ideal, who has impressed in winning at three of her seven starts. Justin Prentice will drive her for the first time and she should carry too many guns for her seven rivals. Ken Casellas

Gangbuster has struck a purple patch of form for Byford harness racing trainer Katja Warwick with three wins and two seconds from his past six starts and ace reinsman Gary Hall jun. predicts the gelding will prove hard to topple in the 2130m Has No Fear Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. “He’s going really good and will take beating,” Hall said. “Donegal Rundlescreek is probably the one to beat. I’ll play things by ear, but the main aim will be to stay in front of Donegal Rundlescreek.” Gangbuster will start from barrier seven, with Donegal Rundlescreek on the outside in the field of nine. Donegal Rundlescreek, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, is in sparkling form, with two wins and a third behind Quite A Delight at her past three starts. She will be driven by Michael Blakemore and should prove very hard to beat. Hall is also upbeat about the prospects of Whozideawasthis and Sprinter. The New Zealand-bred Whozideawasthis, trained by Gary Hall sen., will start from barrier two on the front line in the 2130m Know When To Run Pace and the Gary Elson-trained Sprinter has the disadvantage of starting from the outside (No. 9) on the front line in the 2130m I Am Immortal Pace. “Whozideawasthis has gate speed and I’ll come out and look for the front and then take it from there,” Hall jun. said. “He’s a nice little horse who will probably win a couple in town. He’s been hanging really badly and we’ve put a pole on him. He’s going a bit better, but he still runs in badly. “He’s got enough ability, from what he shows us at home, to beat horses of the calibre of Ideal Tyson, Livura and Mach Time. “Sprinter put up a super run last week (when starting from barrier nine and coming from last in the middle stages to be a close second to Rock Diamonds). It would have been nice to have drawn inside Vultan Tin (barrier 8). I expect Sprinter and Vultan Tin to quinella the race. It all depends on what sort of run I get. However, Sprinter should have too much speed for Vultan Tin in the final stages of the race.” Ken Casellas

A South Australian-bred five-year-old who has won in three States and has had the services of 19 different harness racing drivers in a 50-start career is an interesting runner in the 1730m Get Ready To Rock Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He is the Sportswriter gelding King Crocker, who has been unplaced at seven starts since winning in very modest company in Albany early last February. King Crocker is a recent addition to the Oakford stables of eight-time WA premier trainer Ross Olivieri and he failed to flatter first-up in a C3-class event over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Tuesday of last week when he revealed good gate speed and raced in the breeze for the first 700m before gaining the one-out, one-back trail. He wilted over the final 300m to finish 11th behind Hy Fyfe. “He’s had one run for me and I was quite pleased with the run,” Olivieri said. “I think he gets his chance this week. I think he will lead and win.” Indeed, King Crocker has the breeding to succeed. He is a half-brother to Major Crocker, who has earned $639,312 from 26 wins and 21 placings from 82 starts. Major Crocker won a 2536m heat of the Interdominion championship at Gloucester Park in December 2015 and he finished second to New Zealand superstar Lazarus in the Victoria Cup at Melton last January. King Crocker, whose eight wins from 50 starts have been in moderate company, has earned just $30,105. He will be driven on Friday night by Chris Voak. Olivieri also expects a strong showing from Cullen Class in the 2130m Cosmic Horizons Pace for three-year-old Westbred fillies. Cullen Class will be handled by Voak from barrier four in a very open affair. She has managed just two placings from ten starts. “Her latest run was very good,” Olivieri said. “She breezed and fought on really well (when fourth behind Susie Rocks). She’s not out of this race; she’s a chance.” Ken Casellas

Outstanding young reinsman Michael Grantham has given harness racing punters an important lead by opting to drive Foxy Dame in preference to Sea Cider in the Retravision Pace for mares at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Grantham has yet to drive Foxy Dame in a race and he has jumped at the opportunity to handle the mare this week. His engagement by trainer Mike Reed enabled Foxy Dame, an M2-class performer, to contest the race which is restricted to M1-class mares, with Grantham claiming a concession as a junior driver. Grantham has handled the Sarah Suvaljko-trained Sea Cider at four of her past five starts for a most impressive victory over Madame Croupier and Mon Lillies over 2130m at Gloucester Park two starts ago, seconds to Sheer Rocknroll and Mon Lillies and a last-start fourth behind El Hombre last Friday night. Sea Cider will be driven this week by Aiden de Campo and she looks set to fight out the finish after starting from the No. 4 barrier on the front line. Foxy Dame has the ability to overcome the disadvantage of starting out wide at barrier eight. She galloped at the standing start and simply trailed her rivals and finished a distant last behind Sheer Rocknroll last Friday night. But her form in mobiles in several previous starts was excellent. Two starts ago, last Friday week, Foxy Dame started from the outside of the back line and was ninth with a lap to travel before finishing powerfully with a three-wide burst from the 700m mark to be a half-length second to Sheer Rocknroll, with a final 800m in 56.8sec. Ravenswood trainer Nathan Turvey will also make use of a junior concession by engaging Jocelyn Young to handle M2-class mare Chevrons Champion, who will have many admirers at her third outing after a spell. She is handily drawn at No. 3 on the front line. Chevrons Champion sustained a solid three-wide burst from sixth at the bell to finish fourth behind Sheer Rocknroll last Friday night. She ran home solidly from seventh on the pegs at the bell to finish a first-up third to Sheer Rocknroll the previous week. In an even field of mares, the Justin Prentice-trained Maia Maguire has claims from barrier six after her stout-hearted effort in the 2503m Race For Roses last Friday night when she set the pace and fought on grandly to finish third behind Sheer Rocknroll and Dodolicious. Ken Casellas

Four-year-old Ima Rocknroll Legend managed just two wins from 17 starts in New Zealand, but he has bright prospects of making a successful Australian debut when he contests the Gannon’s Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Now trained by Gary Hall sen., Ima Rocknroll Legend will start from barrier five on the front line and his form in New Zealand suggests that he will prove mighty hard to beat. He was successful at his most recent appearance when he rated 1.59.4 over 2200m at Cambridge on January 6. He raced wide early and then in the breeze before getting to the front after 500m. He immediately gained the sit behind the pacemaker Smiley Sophie, and making use of the sprint lane he charged to the front 100m from the post and won easily from that pacer, with a final quarter in 28.2sec. His previous win was six starts earlier when he rated 1.58 over 2600m at Addington. He is related to former top-flight pacer The Unicorn (94 starts for 29 wins, 32 placings and stakes of $488,524) and is a half-brother to Twist And Shout and Our Jerry Lee. Rocknroll Legend winning in New Zealand Twist And Shot earned $133,265 from his five wins and 16 placings from 39 starts before being retired. She is the dam of Hall’s smart four-year-old Harry Hoo, whose 36 starts have produced ten wins, nine placings and stakes of $86,892. Our Jerry Lee has won five races in New Zealand and ten in Western Australia for earnings of $92,499. Hardest for Ima Rocknroll Legend to beat is likely to be the polemarker Bad Round, who is racing with great heart for Wanneroo trainer Debbie Padberg. Shannon Suvaljko appears certain to set the pace in a strong bid for victory. Bad Round started from barrier four and dashed to the front after 300m when an excellent second to Just Bet On Black over 2130m last Friday week. That followed an easy win at Kellerberrin and a strong-finishing third to Wimbaliri and Bettor Twisted. Just Bet On Black will start from the coveted No. 1 barrier in the second heat of the Princi Butchers Pure Steel Pace and he should notch his sixth win in a row for trainer Colin Brown. Just Bet On Black will again be handled by Brown’s daughter Maddison, and they also have good prospects with the speedy Franco Rayner in the Choices Flooring Pace. Ken Casellas

Donald Harper maintained his reputation as a harness racing driver of long-priced winners when he brought inexperienced three-year-old The Mighty Rock home with a powerful burst from the rear to score a smart victory in a 2185m event for R0-class performer at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon. Trained at Byford by Peter Anderson, The Mighty Rock was an unwanted $193.20 outsider, making him one of the longest-priced winners in West Australian harness racing history. The Mighty Rock, who had finished tenth at Pinjarra and eighth at Kellerberrin at his only previous starts, began from barrier four on the back line and was 11th in a field of 12 at the bell before he charged home, out five wide, to win from King of Cougars and Son of a Digger. This followed the last-to-first victory of the Anderson-trained and Harper-driven $48.60 outsider Irockmyworld in the Kellerberrin Cup eight days earlier. The Mighty Rock is out of the unraced Die Laughing mare Marilyn Ann, an unraced Hilarion mare who produced seven winners, including Buck The Odds, who was trained by Anderson throughout his career of 121 starts for 31 wins, 29 placings and $307,547 in stakes.   The Mighty Rock is the fifth foal out of Marilyns Might, whose first foal Might Be Luck is still racing in claimers at Menangle. Might Be Luck has been placed at two of his past three starts and has won at Melton, Ararat, Yarra Valley and Terang this season. Anderson trained Might Be Luck for much of his career in WA before Harper took over as trainer and drove him to victory at long odds ($38.50) when he flew home from 11th at the 250m mark to gain a last-stride victory over Hugh Victor at Gloucester Park in September 2015. Might Be Luck now has earned $115,848 from 18 wins and 18 placings from 115 starts. The Mighty Rock was bred and is owned by Bob Fowler, who was holidaying with his wife Marilyn in Morocco when he won at Pinjarra on Monday. Long-priced winners is certainly nothing new for the 29-year-old Harper. Last December Harper drove nine-year-old Gallymont Cohort to and all-the-way win over Calais and Rocky Marciano at Northam. Gallymont Cohort, trained by Harper, went out at odds of $91.50 on the tote. Another of Harper’s wins as a trainer and driver this season was with Jasper Whitby, who scored at $44 at Northam in March. Reinforcing the claims that Harper deserves to be recognised as WA’s long-shot king is that he trained and drove Sir Artsplace for a memorable victory at tote odds of $121.70 in the Pat Cranley Sprint over 1700m at Gloucester Park on September 30, 2011. Harper restrained Sir Artsplace from the No. 7 barrier back to 11th position before sending him forward to be sixth, three wide with a trail, at the bell. The gelding got to the front in the final 20m and won from Wrongly Accused and My Jasami. Another current long-shot driver is Dean Miller, whose winners this season include Be Prepared (a $152.20 shot who came from the rear to win at Gloucester Park on February 24), Hilo Angus (a winner at $94.80 at Narrogin in March) and Smashing American (a Pinjarra winner vat $48.80 in March). Chris Voak’s numerous winners this season include Turquia ($72.70) and Firebomb ($61.20) and drivers of other long-priced winners include Deni Roberts (Borntobeanartist at $68.80 and Tsar Bomb at $63.50), Stuart McDonald (Sir Slick at $82.80), Lauren Jones (Tajie Baby at $61 and Shardons Rocket at $46), Callan Suvaljko (Ingot Dreaming at $58.50, Sweet Dilemma at $56.30 and Aldebaran Eastwood at $46.40), Bailey McDonough (Hot Fraternity at $81.60), Shannon Suvaljko (Foxy Dame at $75.70, The Midas Touch at $31.80, Bad Round at $29.30, Qtown Rip Roaring at $27.70, Spot The Shark at $24.30 and Colour Coded at $23.20), Garry Johnson (Spoilt Dilinger at $63.40) and Michael Grantham (Who Thru Teddy at $51.50, Northern Emperor at $30.20, Racey American at $29.80 and Real Zeal at $23.30). Ken Casellas

Astute Henley Brook horseman Mike Reed is poised to become the most successful harness racing trainer in the history of the Gannon’s WA Oaks by winning the prestigious $150,000 group 1 classic with outstanding filly Maczaffair at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Maczaffair is in dazzling form and will be a short-priced favourite after drawing the prized No. 1 barrier. Reinsman Shannon Suvaljko will attempt an all-the-way victory with Maczaffair, a stylish frontrunner who started from the No. 1 barrier and was untroubled to set the pace and win a 2130m Oaks prelude by more than four lengths from Gotta Go Gabbana last Friday week. This will be the 50th running of the WA Oaks and Reed has won the classic with Pharosan (2000), Sheer Royalty (2009) and Libertybelle Midfrew (2014). The only other trainers to have won the Oaks three times are Fred Kersley jun. and Trevor Warwick.   Kersley was successful with Wannerie (1979), Capricciosa (1980) and Countess Gina (1985) and Warwick has won the event with Benemerenza (1982), Parthenon (1995) and Lombo Rapida (1999). Albert and Julie Walmsley and Suvaljko are looking for their second success in the Oaks --- after Christian Cullen mare Libertybelle Midfrew, favourite at 10/1 on, set the pace from barrier five and won the 2014 classic by more than seven lengths from The Parade --- after scoring effortless victories in both Oaks preludes. Maczaffair, a Mach Three filly, is the most successful filly in Friday night’s event, having won nine times for stakes of $138,650 from 20 starts. The 2536m journey will be no problem for Maczaffair, who gave a superb performance as a 44/1 outsider when she finished with a dazzling burst of speed which carried her from tenth at the 600m and seventh at the 250m to be a half-head second to classy colt Mitch Maguire in the group 2 Western Gateway Pace three starts ago. Adding considerable interest to Friday night’s race will be the first appearance at Gloucester Park of the New Zealand-bred Bettors Delight filly Better B Chevron, who will start from barrier five on the front line and will be driven by Ryan Warwick for champion trainers Greg and Skye Bond. Better B Chevron made an outstanding Australian debut when she set the pace and dashed over the final quarters in 27.1sec. and 28.2sec. to beat Gonzos Shadow by two and a half lengths at a 1.57.2 rate over 2185m at Pinjarra on Monday of last week. That followed easy wins over 2200m at Invercargill at her two previous outings. On March 11 she was first out from the No. 1 barrier before being restrained to trail the 6/4 on favourite The Bus after 100m. Making use of the sprint lane, she burst to the front 130m from the post to win by one and a half lengths from Lilac Flash, with a final 400m in 26.8sec. A week later, she started from the No. 4 barrier and raced in the breeze before taking the lead with 120m to travel and winning, unextended, by one and a quarter lengths from Santanna’s Rocket after sprinting the final quarter in 27.8sec. The Bonds are hoping that drawing the No. 5 barrier will be a lucky omen (after their star filly Dodolicious began from that barrier and was favourite at 3/1 on when she raced in the breeze before winning last year’s Oaks narrowly from outsider Bettor Boa. Greg Bond also trained Millwood Meg when Colin Brown drove that filly to an easy victory in the 2010 WA Oaks. The Bonds will also be represented in Friday night’s race with Hit It Rich, an easy all-the-way winner at Pinjarra on Monday of last week --- her fourth win from just six starts. Boyanup trainer Justin Prentice, who prepared Major Reality for her narrow victory over stablemate Quite A Delight in the 2015 WA Oaks, has four runners in this year’s classic --- Allamerican Queen, Im Stylish, Lady Luca and Somewhereonlyiknow. Allamerican Queen led from barrier three and scored a three-length victory over Myanniegoat in the 2569m Country Oaks at Bunbury’s Donaldson Park track last Saturday week. That was her second win from 16 starts and she meets far stronger opposition this week. Prentice will drive Allamerican Queen, Tom Buchanan will be in the sulky behind Im Stylish (a winner at five of her 12 starts) and Hayden Charles has been engaged for last-start all-the-way Pinjarra winner Lady Luca and Nathan Turvey for Somewhereonlyiknow, who faces a tough task from the outside of the front line. Kim Prentice has two smart fillies engaged for prominent owner Robert Watson --- Soho Angel (barrier six) and Angel Bromac (barrier two on the back line). He will drive Angel Bromac (who has impressed with four wins and three seconds from seven starts) and Victorian reinsman Michael Stanley has been engaged for Soho Angel, who has won five races and been placed nine times. Ken Casellas

Boyanup trainer-reinsman Justin Prentice is hoping that Maia Maguire will be on her best behaviour and can cause an upset by winning the $35,000 Race For Roses at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Four-year-old Maia Maguire is one of four frontmarkers in the 2503m standing-start group 3 event and she showed her ability as a pacemaker five starts ago when she was racing first-up and won in good style in a minor mobile event at Narrogin. She revealed her versatility with strong-finishing efforts to win at Narrogin and Bunbury at her next two starts before failing at her past two outings. She began badly in a stand and was never in contention in an event won by McClinchie at Pinjarra last Monday week. A win by Maia Maguire on Friday night would complete a hat-trick of victories for Prentice in the Race For Roses. Prentice brought 15/1 chance Digital Art home with a powerful burst from three back on the pegs to snatch a head victory from the pacemaker Blacknsweet Adda in last year’s Race For Roses. He trained and drove The Parade to victory in the Race For Roses the previous year. The Parade started off 20m and won from Hoylakes Firstlady and My Samantha Jane. Maia Maguire is owned by Bob Fowler, who has two other runners --- frontmarker Hugmeifuluvme and Sheer Rocknroll, the lone backmarker off 30m. Four-year-old Hugmeifuluvme set the pace and won a stand over 2116m at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon. That was her second win from nine starts and she faces a much more difficult task on Friday night. However, four-year-old Sheer Rocknroll has the class to overcome the back mark in her first attempt in a standing-start event. The Ross Olivieri-trained mare (a stablemate of Hugmeifuluvme) is in sparkling form and is ready to meet strong challenges from another talented WA-bred four-year-old Dodolicious and the smart New Zealand-bred five-year-old Foxy Dame. Olivieri boasts the best record as a trainer in the Race For Roses which was first run in 1997. He has been successful with Yippy Yi Yo (1998), Arctic Fire (2011) and Selkie (2014). Chris Lewis, who will drive Sheer Rocknroll, has the best record as a driver in the feature event, having been successful with Lady De Beau (2007), Arctic Fire and Selkie. Dodolicious, winner of the WA Oaks 12 months ago, and Foxy Dame also will be contesting a standing-start event for the first time. They will share the 20m mark with Sheer Rocknroll maintained her excellent form and won for the 12th time from her past 20 starts when she started from the outside barrier (No. 9) last Friday night and raced four and three wide for the first 500m before working in the breeze outside the pacemaking Dame Puissant and getting to the front with 250m to travel and then resisting a strong late challenge from Foxy Dame, who impressed in finishing determinedly from ninth at the bell. Foxy Dame is trained by Mike Reed and will be driven by Shannon Suvaljko. She has a record of 56 starts for nine wins and 21 placings and performs at her best when saved up for a last-lap burst. Dodolicious, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, will share the 20m mark with the Nathan Turvey-trained pair of Chevrons Champion and Hidden Bad. She is an outstanding pacer who has amassed $441,433 from 15 wins, seven seconds and one third from 26 starts and though this will be her first appearance for five months she cannot be underestimated. Ken Casellas

Star New Zealand-bred harness racing pacer Ohoka Punter was outstanding in defeat when third in the Easter Cup on April 13 and he should overcome the disadvantage of the outside barrier (No. 9) and win the $23,000 Gannon’s Flags And Banners Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He gave a sample of his class in the 2902m Easter Cup when he started off the 50m mark and started a three-wide move 1800m from home. He was kept out wide for the next 500m before getting to the breeze outside the pacemaker Galactic Star. Finally, he got his head in front with 350m to travel, but wilted in the late stages to finish a gallant third behind Assassinator and Galactic Star. That followed his impressive first-up performance the previous week when he started from barrier nine, raced in the one-out, one-back position and burst to the front at the 450m mark before dashing away to score by two and a half lengths from stablemate American Boy, rating 1.55.5 over 2130m. Trained by Gary Hall sen., Ohoka Punter will again be handled by Gary Hall jun., with Clint Hall taking the drive behind American Boy, who will start out wide at barrier eight. The stablemates will clash with the brilliant, but injury-plagued Heez On Fire (barrier seven). Heez On Fire, nursed back to fitness by octogenarian trainer Bill Horn, made a wonderful return to racing with a dazzling victory at a 1.55.9 rate over 2130m last Friday week. He was 12th with 650m to travel when he started a three-wide move which ended with him surging past the pacemaker Erskine Range in the home straight. Erskine Range began fast from barrier two to dash to an early lead in that race and Maddison Brown is likely to be keen to take advantage of the chestnut’s gate speed from the No. 3 barrier. However, the evergreen eight-year-old Bonze Seeker has sparkling early pace and Chris Lewis will be anxious to hold the lead from the coveted No. 1 barrier. This will be the eighth time in 139 mobile starts in Western Australia that Bronze Seeker will start from the No. 1 barrier. His record from barrier one is two wins, two seconds, two thirds and a 12th placing (when shuffled back behind a tiring runner). Bronze Seeker was an all-the-way winner over 2130m from the No. 1 barrier eleven starts ago. He was unwinding a spirited burst before receiving severe interference 250m from home when he galloped and was distanced behind Shardons Rocket last Friday night. Shardons Rocket is a remarkable 12-year-old trained by Tony Svilicich who will be having his 310th start in a race when he begins from barrier six on Friday night. He has won 44 races and has been placed 87 times. Ken Casellas

Prominent harness racing owners Steve and Christina Chapman and their children are sure to be cheering enthusiastically in the final stages of the $18,000 Gannon’s Pony Trots at Gloucester Park Pace on Friday night --- when their two runners are likely to be involved in a ding-dong tussle for supremacy in the 1730m event for three-year-olds. El Barcelona (Dali) and Runrunjimmydunn (American Ideal) are two of four runners in the field of eight who are trained by Gary Hall sen. and they should fight out the finish. Runrunjimmydunn (Clint Hall) prevailed when he charged home to get up in the final stride to defeat El Barcelona (Gary Hall jun.) in a 2130m event last Friday week. Runrunjimmydunn is generally expected to start a warm favourite, but El Barcelona has the ability to turn the tables. El Barcelona has drawn barrier No. 6, with Runrunjimmydunn drawing the outside No. 8 barrier. This could prove a decisive advantage for El Barcelona, who should settle in front of his stablemate. The barrier draws were reversed when the New Zealand-bred geldings last met and when they settled at the rear. After 450m El Barcelona followed the three-wide move of Bravo Tex before getting to the breeze 1000m from home. Clint Hall then sent Runrunjimmydunn forward, three wide, with 900m to travel. El Barcelona forged to the front at the 600m mark as Runrunjimmydunn moved into the breeze position. In a stirring duel, Runrunjimmydunn got up to beat his stablemate in a close photo-finish. Quite remarkably, the two pacers go into Friday night’s race with a record of 14 starts for five wins. They are both showing steady improvement and Hall sen. Is confident they will prove worthy candidates for the rich Golden Nugget Championship in the coming summer. The Hall stable’s other runners in Friday night’s event are The Publisher, to be driven by Kim Prentice from the No. 2 barrier, and Herrick Roosevelt, to be driven by Chris Lewis from barrier seven. The lightly-raced Herrick Roosevelt possesses excellent gate speed, but is still learning to race, being inclined to overrace. However, he looks destined for a bright future. He led from the No. 2 barrier and won from El Barcelona over 2130m at Gloucester Park at his second start in a race, last December. The Publisher has won once (as a two-year-old in New Zealand) made his Australian debut at Gloucester Park last Friday week when he pulled hard in the breeze in the middle stages and faded to last behind Runrunjimmydunn. Then he raced at Northam on Tuesday night when he ran home strongly, out wide, from eighth at the 400m to finish a neck second to Ace Bromac. Ken Casellas

Benjor Maddy Lombo hardly set the world on fire during a modest harness racing career on the racetrack, but she has burst into prominence in recent months as the dam of WA Derby winner Handsandwheels and the highly-promising two-year-old colt Rock Me Over. Rock Me Over, purchased for $28,000 at the Gloucester Standardbred yearling sale early last year, has drawn favourably at barrier two on the front line and looks set to fight out the finish of the $50,000 Retravision Champagne Classic over 1730m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The Rock N Roll Heaven colt, trained at Byford by Katja Warwick, warmed up for this week’s assignment in excellent style with a fast-finishing second to Play The Boys in the group 1 $100,000 Sales Classic final last Friday night. Driven by Gary Hall jun., Rock Me Over raced in sixth position in the one-wide line before starting a three-wide move at the 500m. He charged home to finish a half-head behind the pacemaking Play The Boys. Rock Me Over was successful at his two previous starts, finishing strongly to beat his stablemate Mistersandman over 1684m at Pinjarra and then setting the pace and dashing over the final 400m in 27.7sec. to beat Kohli by more than two lengths over 1730m at Gloucester Park. Benjor Maddy Lombo, by American sire Perfect Art, began her career in Western Australia before being relocated in Victoria where she won three times, as a three-year-old in moderate company at Mildura, Gunbower and Charlton. She was retired with those three wins from 34 starts for stakes of $21,510. She is an elder half-sister to Miss Trickin Lombo (109 starts for 15 wins and 29 placings for earnings of $230,312) and to star performer Suave Stuey Lombo, who amassed $587,032 from 33 wins and 23 placings from 110 starts. Rock Me Over has already earned $24,310 from his two wins and a second placing from four starts, while Handsandwheels has raced 20 times for six wins, six placings and $165,099. Rock Me Over is sure to meet plenty of stiff opposition, particularly from the New Zealand-bred gelding Pocket More For Less and Cott Beach, one of three fillies in the race. Pocket More for Less, trained and driven by Justin Prentice, will have many admirers from the prized No. 1 barrier on the front line. He was seventh in the one-out, one-back position at the bell before starting a three-wide move at the 700m and running home determinedly to be second to the pacemaker Warriors Code over 1609m at Bunbury last Saturday night. Pocket More For Less gave a sample of his ability at his only other starts, for wins over 1730m at Gloucester Park in March. He overcame severe interference before finishing strongly from fourth at the bell to win from Universal Major and then worked hard in the breeze before winning from Kohli. Cott Beach, a filly by Advance Attack, has been most impressive in her short career for trainer Gary Elson and reinsman Nathan Turvey. After a strong-finishing second to Tenniele Erin on debut at Bunbury she was successful at her next three starts, two at Pinjarra and one at Gloucester Park, when she revealed excellent gate speed and then made all the running. She rated 1.57.6 (with final quarters of 28.8sec. and 27.7sec.) over 1730m at Gloucester Park two starts ago when she scored by nine lengths over Cheeseacracker. And then she led from barrier No. 6 and won by just unde3r four lengths from Princess Major at Pinjarra when she rated 1.55.2 over 1684m after dashing over the final two quarters in 27.9sec. and 27.8sec. Cott Beach fared badly and will need to be at her top to overcome the disadvantage of starting from the outside barrier (No. 9) on Friday night. The Champagne Stakes was first run in 1970 and since then the fillies to have won the classic have been Jidaley (1971), Deep Décor (1974), Chrysou Mou (1976), Whitby Tolez (1991), Whitbys Merit (1993), Nowuseemenowudont (2000), Sheza Clout (2006), Arma Xpress (2012) and Tricky Styx (2014). Elson and Turvey combined to win the Champagne Classic in 2015 when Sprinter defeated Lightning Jolt and Rich Yankee. Ken Casellas

Mon Lillies has led in six of her ten wins, but Boyanup harness racing hobby trainer James Sortras is far from dismayed at her drawing the back line in the $25,000 final of the Johnson Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. “She’s not just a frontrunner,” Sortras said. “She’s also got a very good sit and kick on her. She showed that when second at Pinjarra two starts ago.” Mon Lillies, a six-year-old mare by American sire Artesian, has proved a remarkable bargain for Sortras who purchased her as an untried two-year-old for an extremely small figure. Her stylish all-the-way win last Friday night boosted her earnings to $93,355 from ten wins and 18 placings from 73 starts. Another victory this week would take her prizemoney to $109,855. The 56-year-old Sortras grew up in Gelorup in a strong harness racing atmosphere. His late father George was a prominent trainer and driver whose best pacer was Magic Embrace. “I drove a lot of horses bred from Magic Embrace, with the best of them being Come On Magic,” he said. “I suppose you could count the number of winners I drove on country tracks on my two hands. “I got out of the sport more than 15 years ago to concentrate on my job in the building trade, to pay off the mortgage and to provide for a young family. “Then, four or five years ago, I decided to get back into harness racing. When I was looking around for a horse, a good mate of mine, Stephen Simms, recommended an unraced two-year-old filly, whom, he advised, possessed plenty of speed, but had a lot of growing to do and needed to mature.” It was arranged for Sortras to drive the filly on the Byford track. “I gave her a workout and she gave me a pretty good feel,” Sortras said. “So that day I put her on the float and brought her home. I bought her for a very cheap outlay. She now has gone past her dam Mon Poppies, who had 69 starts for ten wins, 21 placings and $88,350 in stakes.” Lindsay Harper was in the sulky when Mon Poppies won at Bunbury and Pinjarra as a three-year-old in February 2005, and Harper’s younger son Kyle has driven Mon Lillies to victory eight times. Mon Lillies impressed in a heat of the Johnson Pace last Friday night when she set the pace and dashed over the final 800m in 56.7sec. to win from Sea Cider and Madame Croupier. At Pinjarra four days earlier Mon Lillies illustrated her versatility when she started from the No. 5 barrier, raced three wide for the first 300m and was eighth in the one-wide line at the bell. She was seventh with 400m to travel and was hampered for room in the home straight before getting clear in the final stages and flashing home to be second to Just bet On Black. Sortras, who races Mon Lillies in partnership with his wife Debbie, her daughter Lucinda and his children Ebony and Colbey, also trains and drives Five Star Fairy, who has yet to break through for her first win. The Johnson final looks an open affair, with four-year-olds The Spinster (Chris Lewis), Madame Croupier (Clint Hall) and Shes Artful (Ryan Warwick) all racing keenly and five-year-olds Sea Cider (Michael Grantham), Giuliana Rancic (Gary Hall jun.) and C C Chevron (Nathan Turvey) in sound form. Seven-year-old Auctioneers Elsu, to be driven by Maddison Brown for Cardup trainer Sarah Suvaljko, will also receive good support after drawing the prized No. 1 barrier. Auctioneers Elsu notched her 15th victory from 151 starts when she enjoyed an ideal passage, one-out and one-back, before finishing strongly to win from C C Chevron at her most recent outing, on April 13. Ken Casellas

The powerful Greg and Skye Bond harness racing stable appears to have a stranglehold on the $23,000 Retravision Online Pace over 1730m at Gloucester Park on Friday night with three of the ten runners, Galactic Star, Superimposed and Condrieu, the only last-start winners in the race. And the stable’s No. 1 driver Ryan Warwick has sent a strong message to punters by opting for Galactic Star, a brilliant four-year-old who has drawn perfectly at barrier one on the front line. Galactic Star was most impressive last Friday night when he started from 10m and raced in fifth position with a trail before unleashing a powerful burst to take the lead 70m from the post on his way to winning by more than a length from New World Order over 2503m. That gave the Bettor's Delight four-year-old a winning record of 50 per cent --- 15 wins from 30 starts --- to go with his seven seconds and three thirds. Warwick also drove Superimposed, a Jeremes Jet four-year-old, to a smart all-the-way victory over 2130m last Friday. That was the gelding’s tenth win from 34 starts. He will start from the No. 2 barrier on Friday night, with Dylan Egerton-Green in the sulky. Ryan Bell will drive seven-year-old Condrieu from barrier five on Friday night after guiding the gelding to an easy all-the-way victory from Franco Rayner over 2130m on Easter Thursday. Erskine Range, who showed a welcome return to form last Friday night when he set a solid pace and was overhauled in the final couple of strides by the fast-finishing Heez On Fire, faces a much tougher test this week from out wide at barrier No. 7 on the front line. The Bond stable also holds a strong hand in the $23,000 Retravision Your Fujitsu Specialist Pace over 2130m with Vanquished (Ryan Warwick) and Risk (Mitch Miller) drawn to be prominent. Four-year-old Vanquished has good prospects of leading from barrier two and five-year-old Risk is handily drawn at No. 4. They are sure to meet stiff opposition from the Michael Brennan-trained Billies A Star, who will be making his first appearance for six months. However, Billies A Star is at somewhat of a disadvantage from out wide at barrier No. 8. Brennan has given the New Zealand-bred six-year-old a solid preparation, including three sound trials at Pinjarra earlier this month. He won a 2185m trial by seven lengths from Downtoafineart last Sunday, with final quarters in 27.2sec. and 29.1sec. A week earlier Billies A Star set the pace and won a four-horse trial by seven lengths, with final sections in 28.4sec. and 28.3sec. Vanquished has been placed at his three starts since resuming from a spell and is ready to return to the winning list. He finished solidly from sixth at the bell to be third behind Condrieu over 2130m at his latest outing, on Easter Thursday. Risk is a most consistent performer, with 14 wins and 16 placings from 44 starts and he can never be underestimated. He raced without cover when a fighting third behind Livura at Bunbury last Saturday night. Ken Casellas

High-priced New Zealand harness racing import Shandale should make amends for his defeat as a 6/4 on favourite last Friday night by winning the Retravision 1800 Too Hot Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He started from the outside barrier (No. 9) last week and raced at the rear before moving to eighth at the bell, out three wide, and finishing with plenty of determination to be a one-length second to another talented four-year-old in Overboard Again. The final quarters of the race were covered in 27.1sec. and 28.2sec. --- times which made Shandale’s task of winning almost impossible. This week Shandale will certainly appreciate a far better barrier at No. 2 on the front line and he should carry too many guns for his 11 rivals. Shandale, who has had 35 starts for nine wins and ten placings, is trained at Henley Brook by Mike Reed and will again be driven by Shannon Suvaljko. This combination also has excellent prospects in the Retravision 60 Price Promise Pace with smart New Zealand-bred mare Foxy Dame. Foxy Dame put the writing on the wall for another success with an impressive performance last Friday night when she started out wide at barrier seven and was in eighth place, four back on the pegs at the bell, before finishing powerfully from fifth on the home turn to be a close third to Superimposed and Lord Lombo. That was her fourth placing from her past five starts and she has the ability to overcome the disadvantage of starting from the outside of the back line. She is at her best when held up for a late charge. Two of Foxy Dame’s chief rivals, Sheer Rocknroll (No. 9) and Hidden Bad (No. 8) have drawn wide barriers, but are capable of overcoming those draws. Four-year-old Sheer Rocknroll, trained by Ross Olivieri, has been a revelation, with 19 wins, ten placings and stakes of $211,402 from 46 starts, while the Nathan Turvey-trained Hidden Bad is capable of a bold effort at her first appearance for almost five months. Ken Casellas

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