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Noted harness racing frontrunner Ti Amo Franco has struck a purple patch of form and his brilliant gate speed should enable him to overcome a wide draw at No. 6 and win the $23,000 2130m mobile event at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Ten-year-old Onedin Crusader (barrier two) and Erskine Range (No. 5) possess excellent gate speed and relish the role of pacemaker. But they will need to be at their top to hold out Ti Amo Franco in the early stages. Bronze Seeker, a fast-finishing winner over Mohegan Sun over 21230m last Friday night, is in splendid form and will start from the No. 1 barrier. He possesses sound gate speed, but is generally best suited when held up for a late burst. He has drawn the No. 1 barrier only four times in his first 87 starts in mobiles in Western Australia. Only once in those four starts did he attempt to lead all the way, and that was in a Golden Nugget prelude over 2100m in November 2012 when he finished third behind Soho Valencia. After winning at 11 of his 26 starts in New Zealand, Bronze Seeker has won at nine of his 94 WA appearances. He has won at four of his past 18 starts after experiencing a losing sequence of 38 in a 17-month period. The winner of the 2014 Albany Cup (beating Lovers Delight) and the 2013 Manea Classic in Bunbury and a nose second to Chancellor Cullen in the 2012 McInerney Ford Classic, the Peter Anderson-trained seven-year-old has also been placed in the Wagin, Kalgoorlie and York Cups. He is racing with youthful enthusiasm and is sure to be dangerous on Friday night. Ti Amo Franco started out wide at barrier eight in the $50,000 Nights of Thunder final last Friday week when he began speedily and took the lead after 550m. He bowled along in front and finished second to the fast-finishing Mohegan Sun. He led from barrier two and sprinted over the final quarters in 28.1sec. and 27.6sec. when an easy winner over Ohoka Squire, rating 1.53.3 over 1730m the previous week. Erskine Range has resumed after a spell in fine style for Banjup trainer Colin Brown and should prove hard to beat from the No. 5 barrier, with Maddison Brown in the sulky. He reappeared after a three-month absence at Gloucester Park early this month when he began fast, raced wide early and then in the breeze before finishing  second to Copagrin over 2536m. The enigmatic Machtu has yet to regain his best form in this campaign. But he is capable of considerable improvement. He looks well placed from the No. 3 barrier. Ken Casellas Fields for Gloucester Park, Friday 29 January 2016 Form guide for Gloucester Park, Friday 29 January 2016

New Zealand-bred stallion Zacharia has managed just one second and two thirds from 18 starts at Gloucester Park. But he is favourably drawn at the No. 2 barrier on the front line in the 2536m mobile event at Gloucester Park on Friday night and is expected to be one of the main harness racing fancies. He has raced only once at Gloucester Park in his past 18 starts which include two wins at Northam and successes at Kellerberrin and Kalgoorlie. He is prepared by Greg and Skye Bond, currently the leading trainers in Western Australia with 75 winners this season, and will be driven by in-form reinsman Colin Brown. Zacharia will meet moderate opposition and Brown is expected to attempt an all-the-way win. Brown’s first task will be to get Zacharia past the polemarker Terraforce, who has been unplaced at his seven starts since showing ability as a pacemaker with an all-the-way victory over 1684m at Pinjarra early last March. Bounty Eyre, a stablemate of Zacharia, also has claims from his ideal draw on the inside of the back line. He won three times from four starts early this season and his recent form has been fair. He will be driven by Ryan Warwick. Walter James, Qtown Rip Roaring, Avalon Bromac, Jungleface Jake, Lord Lexus, Always Arjay and Mister John Jones have shown flashes of form recently and all are capable of winning in what should be a wide-open betting race. Ken Casellas Fields for Gloucester Park, Friday 29 January 2016 Form guide for Gloucester Park, Friday 29 January 2016

New Zealand-bred five-year-old Thats Rite should maintain his unbeaten record at Gloucester Park by setting the pace from the prized No. 1 barrier and proving too smart for his rivals in the $25,000 final of the Im Themightyquinn Pace on Friday night. Clint Hall gave punters a strong lead when he chose to handle Thats Rite in preference to the exciting John Oldroyd-trained Mynameskenny in the 2130m event. Hall has been full of praise for Mynameskenny after driving the four-year-old to two splendid wins and a very close second to Bhagwan at his past three starts. However, it came as no surprise whatsoever when he elected to drive Thats Rite, who is an up-and-coming star in the Serpentine stables of leading trainer Gary Hall sen. He is unbeaten at four appearances at Gloucester Park and has won at each of his past four starts (three at headquarters and one in Bunbury) by a combined total of 41.9 metres, an average margin of 10.25m. Friday night’s final brings together a quality field, but Thats Rite simply appears to have an edge over the opposition, which includes several M0-class pacers destined for outstanding careers. Apart from Mynameskenny, who will start from barrier six on the front line and will be driven by Chris Lewis, the field includes talented performers in Atlastalone, Glenferrie Rustler, Burning, Offtocullect, Bhagwan, Calais and Captain Under Fire. Thats Rite warmed up for this week’s assignment with a dominant performance at Bunbury last Saturday night when he settled in fifth position before bursting to the front approaching the bell and racing away to win at a 1.56.9 rate by more than four lengths from Wills Boy and Our Ideal Act over 2100m. The final three quarters whizzed by in 28.8sec., 29.3sec. and 28.4sec. Eight nights earlier Thats Rite was untroubled to lead from barrier one and sprint over the final quarters in 28.3sec. and 27.3sec. to defeat Burning by just under two lengths at a 1.56.8 rate over 2130m at Gloucester Park. Burning, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, raced three and four wide early and then worked hard in the breeze before fighting on gamely to finish second. He will start from the No. 2 barrier on Friday night and should again be prominent. Burning’s stablemate Offtocullect will be driven by Ryan Warwick from barrier five. The five-year-old has resumed after an absence of 23 months in fine style, with a strong-finishing first-up victory at Pinjarra followed by an excellent second to Atlastalone at Gloucester Park last Friday night when he raced three wide for much of the way. Atlastalone, trained at Boyanup by Justin Prentice, was most impressive at his first outing for a month. He settled in ninth place before Prentice dashed him forward, three wide, after a lap to move into the breeze outside the pacemaker Captain Under Fire. Atlastalone surged to the front 220m from home and coasted to victory. “He felt like the winner a long way out and he hit the line really good,” Prentice said. “I think he should win a couple more up here (at Gloucester Park).” Atlastalone’s prospects in the final diminished when he drew out wide at barrier eight. However, Prentice is sure to put the eight-year-old into the thick of the action in the middle stages. Bhagwan began speedily from barrier seven to burst to the front after 250m before setting the pace and winning easily from Ginas Ingot in a qualifying heat. But he faces a tougher task from No. 7 to get to an early lead in the final. Likely to be prominent is the Debbie Padberg-trained Glenferrie Rustler, who is sure to be improved after his first two runs after a spell. He is handily drawn at barrier three. Ken Casellas

Brilliant Pinjarra-trained three-year-old Sprinter fared badly when he drew the outside barrier (No. 7) in the third heat of the Victoria Derby to be run over 2200m at Ballarat on Saturday night. However, harness racing trainer Gary Elson and reinsman Nathan Turvey have high hopes that Sprinter will qualify for the $200,000 final at Melton the following Saturday night. Elson and Turvey will also have to contend with barrier No. 7 with Sprinter’s classy stablemate Ideal Tyson in the first heat of the classic. Sprinter has won at his first two starts as a three-year-old, at Narrogin on December 9 and at Gloucester Park on January 1 when he worked hard without cover before finishing with great determination to snatch victory from the pacemaker Harry Hoo. Sprinter warmed up for his Victorian mission with an outstanding win in a 2185m trial at Pinjarra last Sunday week when he beat Nathans Courage at a 1.55.9 rate, with the final two quarters in 28.3sec. and 27.7sec. Ideal Tyson also won a trail at a 1.58 rate later in the morning. The New Zealand-bred Sprinter has raced 11 times for eight wins, two seconds and a third, with his victories including the group 2 Champagne Classic and the group 1 Golden Slipper as a two-year-old. The Victorian-bred Ideal Tyson has had 11 starts for eight wins and three unplaced runs. Among Sprinter’s rivals on Saturday night are Power of Red, who has won at five of his six starts, and last-start winner Soho Tribeca, who was bred and is owned by WA businessman Rob Watson. Ideal Tyson will clash with sensational New Zealand colt Lazarus, who has earned $488,262 from ten wins and two placings from 12 starts. Ken Casellas

Inexperienced New Zealand-bred four-year-old American Boy has not tasted defeat in four career starts and he should maintain his unbeaten record when he clashes with 11 seasoned harness racing pacers in the 2130m Steelo’s Bistro Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. His rivals have had a combined total of 649 starts (an average of 59 starts per runner), but this experience is likely to amount to very little when they meet the talented American Boy, who has the class to overcome the awkward draw on the inside of the back line. Clinton Hall will drive American Boy and will be anxious to get the gelding off the pegs as early as possible. American Boy will start immediately behind the polemarker Lagoon Stride, a capable frontrunner for Hopeland trainer Colin Joss and star reinsman Chris Lewis. The heavily supported Lagoon Stride disappointed two starts ago when he set the pace from the No. 1 barrier before wilting in the final stages to finish fourth behind Change Stride over 1730m at Gloucester Park early this month. Lewis employed different tactics when Lagoon Stride contested a 2620m event at Northam the following week. He restrained the five-year-old from the No. 4 barrier and the gelding raced four back on the pegs before sprinting home strongly to win easily from Delete And Deny, thus ending a losing sequence of 17. American Boy, trained at Serpentine by Gary Hall sen., warmed up for Friday night’s engagement in fine style with an effortless win at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon. He raced wide early and then without cover before forging to the front 420m from home. He sprinted over the final 400m in 27.8sec. and won by three lengths from Always Arjay, with Stunin Eyes Only four lengths farther back in third place. He raced three wide early and then in the breeze at each of his two previous starts --- for convincing victories over 2130m and 2536m at Gloucester Park. Those three wins were in this month and came after an 11-month absence, when he was successful at his only start in New Zealand, beating Concorde by two lengths over 2200m at Alexander Park in February of last year. American Boy, by American stallion American Ideal, is out of the unraced Live Or Die mare Alesandra Ambrosio, a half-sister to several winners, including Party Party (45 starts for 13 wins, 23 placings and $251,236), Another Party (149 starts for 31 wins, 42 placings and $888,678) and Champagne Party (41 starts for 14 wins, 12 placings and $152,445). Calais, a lightly-raced New Zealand-bred five-year-old, makes strong appeal as the likely runner-up to American Boy. Calais, part-owned, trained and driven by Robbie Williams, will start from barrier two on the back line and he is capable of producing a powerful finishing burst. He has won at two of his past four starts --- at Narrogin and Bunbury. Ken Casellas Fields for Gloucester Park, Friday 22 January 2016 Form guide for Gloucester Park, Friday 22 January 2016

Pinjarra harness racing trainer Chris King has high hopes that his evergreen mare Leda McNally will maintain her splendid record from the coveted No. 1 barrier at Gloucester Park by setting the pace and proving the master of her eight gelding rivals in the $23,000 TABtouch Pace over 2536m on Friday night. The Victorian-bred seven-year-old has started from barrier one eight times at Gloucester Park for four wins, one second and three thirds. Leda McNally, to be driven by Nathan Turvey, will be on trial for next month’s $50,000 2536m Empress Stakes, an event in which she finished second to Sensational Gabby early last year. She started from barrier three in a 2536m event last Friday night when she raced in fifth position, three back on the pegs, and was hampered for room in the home straight when she finished fifth behind the pacemaker Cyamach, who dashed over the final quarters in 28.2sec. and 27.5sec. after setting a dawdling pace in the first circuit. A week earlier she enjoyed an ideal trail, one-out and one-back, before finishing solidly to be third behind Soho Lennon and Jungle Jewel. She finished a half-length behind the winner, who sprinted over the final sections in 27.7sec. and 28.7sec. Three starts before that (the most recent time she started from the No. 1 barrier) she set the pace and held on to win by a half-head from smart Victorian mare Berisari in the 2130m Parliamentarians Cup. Leda McNally, winner of the group 1 $100,000 Mares Classic in November 2012 and November 2013, has amassed $397,083 from her 23 wins and 18 placings from 80 starts. Her chief rivals Cyamach, Our Blackbird, Soho Lennon and Copagrin are in excellent form and will have many admirers. Cyamach will start from the outside barrier in the field of nine and will be driven for champion trainer Gary Hall sen. by his son Clint, who replaces Gary Hall jun., who is serving a seven-week term of suspension. Hall jun. drove a confident race to land Cyamach an easy winner over Elegant Christian last Friday night. The New Zealand-bred six-year-old has won at five of his past eight starts and boasts a fine record of 16 wins and 23 placings from 59 starts. He looks set to fight out the finish. The Ross Olivieri-trained Our Blackbird (barrier eight) has managed just one placing from his past ten starts, but he deserves plenty of respect after strong finishing efforts to be fifth behind Lennytheshark in the interdominion championship final and a c lose-up sixth behind My Hard Copy in the WA Pacing Cup last Friday night when he has hampered for room in the closing stages. Soho Lennon and Copagrin each has won twice from their past three starts and must be considered.  Ken Casellas Fields for Gloucester Park, Friday 22 January 2016 Form guide for Gloucester Park, Friday 22 January 2016

Byford harness racing trainer-reinsman Aldo Cortopassi has Showstopper racing in sparkling form and the six-year-old mare has sound prospects of notching her seventh win from her past eight starts when  she starts from the No. 3 barrier on the front line in the Ross North Homes Pathway Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Showstopper was most impressive at Northam last Saturday night when she started out wide at barrier seven and did all the work when she raced in the breeze, some three to four lengths back from the tearaway pacemaker All About Pink. She revealed excellent fighting qualities when she finished determinedly to hit the front in the final 25m to win by a length from Nightwatch Lady and Donegal Kahlum, rating 1.55.5 over the 1780m trip. She also started out wide at barrier seven in a 1780m event at Northam nine nights earlier when she raced four and three wide in the early stages and then in the breeze before winning from Jasper Whitby. Showstopper is sure to receive plenty of opposition from the John Oldroyd-trained Mynameskenny, a smart four-year-old who has won at nine of his 21 starts. Mynameskenny faces a stern test from the outside (No. 9) on the front line. He was gallant in defeat over 2130m at Gloucester Park last Friday week when he pulled hard in the breeze for much of the way and fought on grandly to finish a head second to the speedy Bhagwan at a 1.56.2 rate over 2130m. Others with each-way claims include the polemarker Loaded Aussie, who has been placed at four of her past six starts for Byford trainer Linda Hamilton, and Luminosa, who scored an impressive all-the-way win at a 1.57.1 rate over 1780m at Northam for trainer-driver Kristian Hawkins last Saturday night. by Ken Casellas Fields for Gloucester Park, Friday 22 January 2016 Form guide for Gloucester Park, Friday 22 January 2016

Talented harness racing trainer-reinsman James Rattray is delighted at drawing the coveted No. 1 barrier with Devendra in the $450,000 TABtouch WA Pacing Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night and he declares that the six-year-old will lead at all costs and prove hard to run down. Caretaker trainer Gary Elson said that he spoke with Rattray after the barrier draw and that he had no intention of relinquishing the lead to any other runner. “James told me that he would not surrender the lead regardless of how much pressure was applied to Devendra,” Elson said. “He sees it as vitally important not to hand up, particularly with a proven frontrunner.” Elson has taken over the preparation of Devendra at his Pinjarra property while the Tasmanian-born Rattray tends to his stable of pacers in New South Wales. “We were really happy with Devendra’s fourth behind Beaudiene Boaz in the Fremantle Cup last Friday night,” Elson said. Devendra started from the inside of the back line and raced in fifth place three back on the pegs before being held up for a clear run on the home turn. The gelding eventually got clear and impressed in sprinting home strongly. “Devendra is fit, well and happy and is enjoying swimming in the dam at my place twice a day,” Elson said. “I gave him a light hoppled run today (Tuesday) and he ran home nicely. He’s pretty sharp. With the Pacing Cup in mind I have been working him over two miles.” Devendra, a winner of 25 races and $314,973 in prizemoney, is a versatile performer who raced in fine style at the recent interdominion championship series. He led from barrier four and scored an easy win over Waylade in a 2130m heat and flew home from last to win a 2536m heat. Lovers Delight, trained in Bunbury by Stephen Reed, revealed sparkling early speed from the No. 7 barrier when he led and gave a bold frontrunning performance to win a 2536m Inters heat from Lennytheshark. He set the pace until the final stages when a wonderful second to Lennytheshark in the $1.3 million final. Chris Lewis looks certain to rev up Lovers Delight at the start in a bid to burst past Devendra or to take up the position in the breeze. Run Oneover (barrier two) and stablemate John of Arc (five) also are likely to go forward at the start. Bettors Fire, who led for the first 650m in last Friday night’s Fremantle Cup and then sat behind the pacemaker before finishing solidly into third place behind Beaudiene Boaz, is awkwardly drawn out wide at No. 7 on the front line. Trainer-reinsman Kyle Harper will weigh up his options in the early stages. Bettors Fire possesses sparkling gate speed, but Harper could well decide to restrain the handsome gelding before determining his tactics as the race unfolds. He spoke with GPTV soon after the barrier draw - to see what he had to say; Libertybelle Midfrew, the only mare in the Cup, is a proven group 1 performer, having won the WA Oaks and Golden Nugget. And she gave further proof of her class by setting the pace and winning a 2536m Inters heat from Philadelphia Man. She will start from the No. 4 barrier on the front line. Trainer Mike Reed said that his son Mark would “come out and have a look” at the start in a bid to gain a prominent forward position. She started from the back line and raced four back on the pegs before finishing eighth in the Fremantle Cup. “They walked early and ran the final 1100m hard,” Mike Reed said. “This made it impossible for horses to come from behind. She has done well since that race and she’ll love the 2936m.” Libertybelle Midfrew faces a stern test. No mare has won the WA Pacing Cup since Pyramus was successful in 1972. Mike spoke with GPTV after the barrier draw function, the interview is below; by Ken Casellas Fields for Gloucester Park, Friday 15 January 2016 Form guide for Gloucester Park, Friday 15 January 2016

Harness racing drivers Lewis and Harper are certainly not about to concede defeat in the Cup. “Lovers Delight (trained in Bunbury by Stephen Reed) is going super and his second to Lennytheshark in the interdominion championship final was simply brilliant,” Lewis said. “Barrier five is the big question. It’s somewhat of an awkward draw and I’d say, without speaking to Stephen or the owners, we’ll probably get a forward position. We’ll come out and have a look and getting to the front would be perfect. But the front mightn’t be on offer. However, you never know. “If we end up racing in the breeze it wouldn’t be a problem. He’s tough and is better on the pace. He’s definitely a player in the race. He can put himself into a race, so we will be using those attributes.” Lovers Delight, who set the pace when second in the Inters final, gave a sample of his sparkling gate speed in a 2536m heat of the Inters when he began fast from the No. 7 barrier and crossed to the front after 450m before going on to set the pace and sprint over the final 800m in 54.5sec. to beat Lennytheshark. Lewis has won the Fremantle Cup six times --- with Black Irish (1983), Village Kid (1988 and 1989), John Albert (1995), Sandy Bay (2005) and Dasher VC (2013). Harper said he was hoping it would be a case of third time lucky with Bettors Fire, who led and finished second to Im Victorious in the 2014 Cup and then was fourth behind David Hercules last year. “I’m very happy with the draw and we’ll be leading from barrier one,” he declared. “Bettors Fire has the gate speed to hold up quite comfortably. The 2536m shouldn’t worry him first-up. He’s a lot further forward than he was in the first set of interdominion heats in November when his fifth behind Philadelphia Man was quite impressive, considering the power of work he did early. “He shouldn’t have to do that much work this time and he should be further forward than he was for his first-up Inters run. He should run a nice bold race. “Things haven’t been ideal in the lead-up. He had setbacks a month ago. He had a lot of soundness issues going into the first Inters heat which we couldn’t pick. He missed a bit of work due to lameness, but he came good before the first heat. “After his run in the second set of heats (ninth behind My Hard Copy in Bunbury)he pulled up a bit sore behind and wasn’t quite himself. His run was disappointing. Then three days later quite a large abscess burst in his nearside hind, which pretty much explained everything. “I then scratched him from the rest of the championship series and after a week off he’s had plenty of work. He’s forward enough to run an honest race and whatever he does he will improve on. I think he will be about 90 per cent this week and 100 per cent the following week for the WA Pacing Cup.” Bettors Fire, a winner of 27 races from 65 starts and $428,332 in prizemoney, worked impressively in a 2150m mobile trial at Byford last Sunday week when he rated 1.56.4 in finishing strongly to win from Formyeyesonly. The final quarters were covered in 303sec., 28.9sec., 28.9sec. and 28.1sec. “He’s had plenty of beach work and galloping since then and if we don’t cop a lot of unnecessary pressure early I think he will run a very good race, with Devendra, sitting on my back, the main danger,”” Harper said. “Beaudiene Boaz is a class animal and he might be just too good on the night.” Devendra, trained and driven by James Rattray, showed his class with wins in Inters heats over 2130m and 2536m, is now being prepared at Pinjarra by Gary Elson. Rattray will travel from Sydney to drive the six-year-old on Friday night. In the first market available on Tuesday night Devendra was favourite at $2.90, ahead of Beaudiene Boaz ($3), Waylade ($8), Bettors Fire and Lovers Delight ($9), My Hard Copy ($10) and John of Arc and Run Oneover ($18).  GPTV has interviews with connections for both Lovers Delight and Bettors fire... by Ken Casellas VIDEO: Lovers Delight ready to go one better. VIDEO: Harper to tighten screws on Bettors Fire Fields for Gloucester Park, Friday 08 January 2016 Form guide for Gloucester Park, Friday 08 January 2016

Highly-promising Mach Three gelding Sprinter will be aiming to retain his undefeated harness racing record at Gloucester Park when he contests the $18,000 Ross North Homes Pace on Friday night. He is ideally drawn at barrier two in the field of six and owner-trainer Gary Elson and reinsman Nathan Turvey are full of hope that the smart three-year-old will prove too smart for his strong opposition and improve his Gloucester Park record to five starts for five wins and enhance his Western Australia Derby prospects. Sprinter was WA’s star two-year-old last season, winning the $50,000 Champagne Classic and the $125,000 Golden Slipper. He reappeared after a five-month absence and had his first outing as a three-year-old in a field of three over 1823m at Narrogin on December 9 when he set the pace and was not extended in winning by a half-length from the fast-finishing Navy Blues. Leading trainer Gary Hall sen. will be looking to upset Sprinter with either of his last-start winners Harry Hoo or Chicago Bull. Harry Hoo, to be driven by Clint Hall from the No. 1 barrier, is showing steady improvement and has won at three of his four starts in Western Australia. He overcame the disadvantage of a punctured sulky tyre and of racing without cover to win easily from Mister Versace over 1684m at Pinjarra on Monday of last week. Gary Hall jun. will drive Chicago Bull from the outside barrier in the small field and the Bettors Delight gelding is sure to prove hard to beat following his impressive victory over El Jacko, rating 1.55.9 over 2130m three Fridays ago. Rocknroll Whitby, trained and driven by Callan Suvaljko, should make his presence felt from barrier four. He notched his third win from 11 starts when he worked hard without cover before finishing solidly to beat Soho Wolverine at a 1.58.2 rate over 1780m at Northam on December 17.  by Ken Casellas Fields for Gloucester Park, Friday 01 January 2016 Form guide for Gloucester Park, Friday 01 January 2016

Six-year-olds Im A Peregrine and Vapour are the tightest assessed harness racing pacers as M4-class performers in the $23,000 Del Basso Smallgoods Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night --- and they should fight out the finish of the 2130m event. Im A Peregrine is in splendid form for Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri and he has bright prospects. He will start out wide at barrier seven on the front line, but young reinsman Stuart McDonald is sure to take full advantage of the gelding’s major assets --- a fast beginning and a propensity to lead or work hard in the breeze. “He’s a very strong horse and he loves rolling,” said McDonald after Im A Peregrine had given a powerful frontrunning display to win the 2130m Christmas Gift final from Mighty Flying Thomas and Mohegan Sun last Friday week. After a fast lead time of 35.5sec. Im A Peregrine forged to the front after 450m and after slowing down for opening quarters of the final mile in 30.3sec. and 32.1sec. Im A Peregrine gave his rivals little hope by dashing over the final 400m sections in 28.6sec. and 27.9sec. Vapour, to be driven by Clint Hall for leading trainer Gary Hall sen., will start from the inside of the back line  and should be prominent throughout. He will be having his third start after a spell and will pay to follow. He impressed, first-up, two start ago when he raced without cover in the final circuit and finished determinedly to be a neck second to his brilliant stablemate John of Arc, with the final quarter of the 2130m event whizzing by in 27.1sec. Bronze Seeker, trained by Peter Anderson at Byford, has struck form and should be running home strongly after starting from barrier two on the back line. He sustained a strong three-wide burst to finish a last-start fourth behind Im A Peregrine, following fast-finishing victories at his two previous outings. by Ken Casellas Fields for Gloucester Park, Friday 01 January 2016 Form guide for Gloucester Park, Friday 01 January 2016

Evergreen nine-year-old pacer Avonnova has a losing sequence of nine and is a veteran of 137 starts, but Queensland harness racing owner-trainer Ian Gurney is bubbling with confidence that the hardy gelding will prove hard to beat in the $60,000 Village Kid Sprint over 1730m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Gurney is not intimidated by the magnitude of the task of challenging and beating the powerful squad of six runners from the all-conquering stable of champion West Australian trainer Gary Hall sen. Hall’s runners, including rising superstar Beaudiene Boaz, 2015 WA Pacing Cup winner My Hard Copy and the richly-talented but injury-plagued John of Arc, look set to dominate the Village Kid Sprint. But Gurney is not fazed by the class of Avonnova’s opposition. Avonnova, to be driven by Shane Graham, has drawn favourably at barrier three in the one line of nine runners and Gurney declared that the gelding would be driven aggressively. “I’ll discuss tactics with Shane when he arrives from Brisbane,” Gurney said. “But I can say that Avonnova is brilliant in the breeze and even better in front. He’s a forward-going horse and should be going forward. I’d say that he will be launching forward and will keep punching. He’s a real chance.” Gurney has every reason to feel confident. Avonnova has won 45 races and has been placed 41 times, with 15 of his wins over sprint journeys between 1609m and 1730m. Avonnova led and finished a close second to dual interdominion champion Beautide in the group 1 Len Smith Mile at Menangle in April 2014 and seven months later he started out wide at barrier eight when he set the pace and won the Newcastle Mile (1609m) from Teo Enteo and Chariot King when his time of 1.52.2 broke Beautide’s track record of 1.52.6. At Albion Park last July Avonnova, a free-legged pacer, led from the No., 1 barrier and won the group 1 Sunshine Sprint from Smolda, rating 1.51.3. “He’s a great sprinter,” Gurney said. “He should have beaten Im Themightyquinn in the Sunshine Sprint at Albion Park in July 2014. He raced in the chair (breeze) and Im Themightyquinn sat behind him. And that’s what enabled Im Themightyquinn to beat Avonnova. “Avonnova is a nine-year-old but is still capable of running fast times. He is working beautifully. Since I’ve been in WA he has never felt better and he has never worked better. The very hot weather has not affected him; all I’ve made sure is that I have kept him hydrated.” Avonnova has worked in grand style at the Forrestdale stables of star trainers Greg and Skye Bond since his outstanding effort to finish fourth behind Lennytheshark in the final of the TABtouch interdominion championship at Gloucester Park three Sundays ago. In the final Avonnova settled well back before Graham urged the gelding forward with a spirited three-wide burst which carried him into third place 300m after the start. But Avonnova was unable to get past Lennytheshark and into the breeze, forcing Graham to restrain the gelding back to the rear. Avonnova was last in the field of ten at the 400m mark before he finished powerfully with an inside run to be fourth. Avonnova appears to have sound prospects of getting to an early lead from the No. 3 barrier and with Beaudiene Boaz and the four-year-old’s stablemate Waylade drawn on his inside. Waylade is not blessed with outstanding gate speed and the inexperienced Beaudiene Boaz faces his first serious test in open-class company. There is no doubting Beaudiene Boaz’s class and his wonderful potential. He is unbeaten at his four appearances over 1730m at Gloucester Park, recording rates of 1.54.6, 1.54.4, 1.54.8 and 1.55. He has raced only 26 times for 19 wins and three placings for earnings of $704,504. His victories include the group 1 Golden Slipper, the group 3 Caduceus Club Classic, the group 2 Western Gateway and the group 1 features, the WA Derby and the Golden Nugget. Beaudiene Boaz, to be driven by ace reinsman Gary Hall jun., was not extended at his most recent appearance when he raced wide early and burst to the front after 700m before dashing over the final three quarters in 28.5sec., 28.8sec. and 28.7sec. and scoring a 5m win over Kiwi Legend at a 1.55.7 rate in the 2536m Golden Nugget three Sundays ago. My Hard Copy is a brilliant sit-sprinter who has won three times over 1730m at Gloucester Park, with a best rate of 1.54.6 and John of Arc has raced twice over 1730m for stylish victories in 1.55.2 and 1.53.4. Apart from Beaudiene Boaz, My Hard Copy and John of Arc, the Hall stable will be represented in the field of nine by Waylade, Crusader Banner and Classic American. As well as that, the Hall-trained Run Oneover and Machtu are the emergencies. Hall sen. has won the Village Kid Sprint (formerly the Celebrity Sprint) with The Falcon Strike (2003), Rakarebel (2011) and Hokonui Ben (2013). Lovers Delight, who set the pace and finished a splendid second to Lennytheshark in the interdominion final, and star mare Libertybelle Midfrew, winner of the WA Oaks and Golden Nugget in 2014, make up the star-studded field. Lovers Delight, trained in Bunbury by Stephen Reed, will again be handled by Chris Lewis. Lovers Delight will start from the No. 6 barrier and Lewis will think seriously about using the gelding’s sparkling early speed in a bid to get to the front or into the breeze. Lovers Delight sprinted the final 800m in 55.1sec. when he won a 2100m trial at Bunbury’s Donaldson Park by ten lengths on Wednesday of last week. Libertybelle Midfrew, trained by Reed’s father Mike, faces a tough assignment from the No. 8 barrier. The mare will be handled by Mark Reed, who has driven the winner of the Village Kid Sprint with Another Party (2000) and Lookslikelightning (2006). by Ken Casellas Fields for Gloucester Park, Friday 01 January 2016 Form guide for Gloucester Park, Friday 01 January 2016

Former star apprentice jockey Michael Grantham has bright prospects of landing his most important winner as a harness racing reinsman by guiding the ultra-consistent The Bucket List to victory in the $35,000 group 3 Christmas Gift at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The 20-year-old Grantham will drive the New Zealand-bred six-year-old for his uncle, Pinjarra trainer Michael Brennan, and the gelding has the ability to overcome the disadvantage of starting out wide at No. 7 on the front line in the 2130m feature event. The Bucket List is certain to start favourite after being the fastest of the three heat winners last Friday night. He rated 1.56 when he sustained a powerful three-wide burst from fourth at the bell to win by almost a length from the pacemaker Our Major Mark, with a head to Im A Peregrine. The other heat winners were Fernleigh Rebel (1.56.3) and Bronze Seeker (1.56.7). Fernleigh Rebel will start from barrier two on the back line, with Bronze Seeker on his outside.    Grantham, who rode 97 winners before increasing weight forced his retirement as a jockey in 2012, has a close affinity with The Bucket List, who he has driven four times for two wins and two thirds. The Bucket List has been a model of consistency throughout his 46-start career which has produced 13 wins, 12 seconds and six thirds for $157,336 in prizemoney. Since arriving in WA from New Zealand eight months ago he has had 13 starts for seven wins and six placings. By Christian Cullen, The Bucket List is the first foal out of the American-bred mare Saddle Ridge (by Artsplace). The mare’s second foal is the Mach Three gelding Extreme Machine, who won twice at Alexandra Park in November-December 2013 before being sold to America where he has proved highly successful for owner Joseph Muscara, trainer Darren Cassar and reinsman Eric Goodell. The Bucket List is sure to have to do plenty of work from his wide barrier in an open event in which the powerful Hall and Bond stables will each be represented by three runners. Gary Hall sen. will be pinning his faith on Algranco Under Fire, Soho Lennon and Mohegan Sun, while Greg and Skye Bond’s runners Jumbo Jet, Phoenix Warrior and Our Major Mark will be popular with punters. Algranco Under Fire will start from the coveted No. 1 barrier and Clint Hall is sure to make full use of the gelding’s good gate speed. Algranco Under Fire trailed the pacemaker Fernleigh Rebel when an excellent second to that pacer in a qualifying heat last Friday night. Hall sen. will be looking to one of his runners to give him his sixth winner in the Christmas Gift. He has been successful with Nixons Creed (1993), Allioop (2004), McRaes Mate (2007), Livingontheinterest (2012) and Toretto (2013). The Bond stable has won the Christmas Gift with Motu Treasure in 2010 and Russley Rascal in 2011 and Jumbo Jet, Phoenix Warrior and Our Major Mark are racing keenly and are capable of winning. Perhaps the best of the trio will be Jumbo Jet, who will be driven by Colin Brown from barrier four on the front line. Jumbo Jet ran home solidly from sixth at the bell when third behind Fernleigh Rebel and Algranco Under Fire last Friday night. Jumbo Jet gave a superb performance at his previous outing when he thundered home from the rear to win from Phoenix Warrior and Smokey The Bandit over 2100m at Bunbury. Fernleigh Rebel is in line to complete a hat-trick for 87-year-old Wanneroo owner-trainer Ken White after sparkling all-the-way wins over 2130m at his two most recent outings when he relished staring from the No. 1 barrier on each occasion. He will start from the No. 2 barrier on the back line on Friday night, which will not prove an insurmountable problem. He can unwind a sparkling late sprint. Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri will be looking to Im A Peregrine to give him his second win in the Christmas Gift, following the success of Savette in 1992. Im A Peregrine will be driven by the in-form Stuart McDonald, who will be toying with a plan to take the early lead from the No. 3 barrier. Im A Peregrine is not only a smart frontrunner, but has shown plenty of strength in races in which he has worked hard in the breeze. He raced without cover and fought on grandly when third, less than a length behind the winner The Bucket List in a qualifying heat. Bronze Seeker has struck a purple patch for Byford trainer Peter Anderson with fast-finishing wins over 2130m last Friday night and on Sunday afternoon. Chris Lewis will handle the New Zealand-bred seven-year-old who will start from the outside of the back line. Bronze Seeker is a smart sit-sprinter capable of making his presence felt. The Christmas Gift is one of the very few WA feature events which has eluded Lewis and the champion reinsman would dearly love to right that wrong on Friday night. by Ken Casellas

Astute harness racing trainer Mike Reed has high hopes of celebrating his move this week from his long-time training establishment in Hazlemere to a new stable complex in Henley Brook by winning the $25,000 Mount Eden-No Dill Christmas Handicap at Gloucester Park with the dependable stayer Im Riddick. Im Riddick will start from the back mark of 20m in the 2503m event and the gelding is sure to prove hard to beat after close-up second placings on each of the past two Friday nights.   Two weeks ago Im Riddick started from 10m and settled down in tenth position before surging forward in the first circuit to race without cover for almost two laps. He finished determinedly, but was beaten by a half-head by the pacemaker Gallileo. Last Friday night he started from 20m and was ninth at the bell before flashing home, out five wide, to be a neck second to Bettor Party. The final quarters whizzed by in 28sec. and 28.1sec. An overdue win by Im Riddick would give Reed his second success in the Mount Eden-No Dill Christmas Handicap. He won with Golden Resonator, driven by his son Mark, in 2003. Mark Reed has also won the race behind Hot Cam in 2001 and Aliveandwell in 2009. Bettor Party again looms as the hardest for Im Riddick to beat. The Eric Chabros-trained six-year-old is tough and resilient. He worked hard in the breeze for almost two laps before winning from Im Riddick last week when he started from the 10m mark. This week Im Riddick will start on terms with Bettor Party and again the geldings look set to stage a spirited battle. Chris Lewis has won the Mount Eden-No Dill Christmas Handicap a record four times --- with Phar From A Fake (2005), OK Windermere (2006), Sneakyn Down Under (2008) and Chief Thundercloud (2014). At the time of writing Lewis had not decided which pacer he would drive this year. Evergreen standing-start performer Bartowski looks set to be the pacemaker from the No. 2 barrier on the front mark and Gary Hall jun. will give the opposition something to chase. Bartowski excels when he is leading and he has realistic prospects of ending a losing streak of 20 for Serpentine trainer Matt Scott. Hall has won this event with Fac Et Spiro (2007) and Alzona (2010). Frontmarker Fac Et Spiro was favourite at 5/4 when he led and beat stablemate Vintage Concerto and Alzona was a co-backmarker off 50m and favourite at 5/2 when he surged home from ninth at the bell to defeat stablemate Ohoka Rebel. Stuart McDonald is in splendid form in the sulky and he will partner the Peter Anderson-trained Rocky Marciano, who has not enjoyed much luck when unplaced at his past three starts. The six-year-old was driven by McDonald when he worked in the breeze for almost two laps before winning a 2503m stand from Sonic Classic and Tanaka Eagle five starts ago. Young trainer Ryan Cummins has two runners, Everton VC and False Promise, who will start next to each other off the 10m line. Both veterans are solid and reliable standing-start performers. Everton VC, who will be making his first appearance for almost seven months, has a unique record. He has never contested a race from behind a mobile barrier. All his 47 starts (three in New Zealand and 44 in WA) have been in stands for 12 wins and 13 placings.  by Ken Casellas  

Speedy six-year-old Am Opulent was a rank outsider at $108.40 when a distant 11th behind Nike Franco in the group 1 Westral Mares Classic on Sunday afternoon, but she will be at a far shorter price when she contests the $25,000 De Jong Hoists Coulson final for mares at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The New Zealand-bred mare, prepared by leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond, will appreciate a considerable drop in class and Ryan Warwick is expected to use Am Opulent’s sparkling gate speed in a bid to get to an early lead and then set the pace in the 2130m feature event. She was favourite at 6/4 two starts ago when she mustered abundant early pace from the No. 6 barrier and swept to the front after 400m before dictating terms in front and winning by a length from Maggies Mystery at a 1.57.8 rate over 2130m last Friday night. A week before that Am Opulent was a $104.10 outsider when she was restrained from a wide barrier, broke early and did not show up when tenth behind Leda McNally in the Norms Daughter Classic. Though Am Opulent has won only once from her past 15 starts, she looks one of the main chances in Friday night’s event in which her chief rivals appear to be stablemate and polemarker Millwood Faith, Kiralin (No. 2 barrier), Sovereign Faith and Maggies Mystery. Millwood Faith has a losing sequence of 16, but she has sound prospects, either leading or sitting behind the pacemaker for reinsman Colin Brown. Kiralin, trained and driven by Justin Prentice, is a smart frontrunner who could seriously challenge Millwood Faith and Am Opulent for the early lead. She was an all-the-way winner at Pinjarra three starts ago after working hard in the breeze and winning at Bunbury and Gloucester Park at her two previous outings. Sovereign Faith, to be driven by Nathan Turvey for Mt Helena trainer Ray Williams, is well worth considering.  Her effort in finishing on gamely from 11th at the bell to be sixth behind Nike Franco on Sunday was highly commendable. She has the ability to overcome the wide barrier (No. 8). by Ken Casellas       Fields for Gloucester Park, Friday 18 December 2015 Form guide for Gloucester Park, Friday 18 December 2015    

Rising star Commander Chapel should give harness racing punters a flying start to the meeting at Gloucester Park on Friday night by overcoming a wide barrier and winning the opening event, the 2130m Retravision Pace. The New Zealand-bred four-year-old, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, has created a great impression in chalking up nine wins in succession before he suffered a rare defeat at the good odds of 5/1 in the final of the San Simeon Pace on Sunday afternoon. He started from the back line and raced in seventh position before unleashing a dazzling late sprint to flash home from sixth at the 100m mark to dead-heat for second with classy Victorian mare Morton Plains, just a neck behind the Bond stable’s Ima Connoisseur. The sky appears the limit for Commander Chapel, a Bettor's Delight four-year-old who has raced 11 times for nine wins (one in New Zealand and eight in WA). He will again be driven by Ryan Warwick on Friday night when Warwick is likely to give the gelding time to settle in the early stages before sending him forward. Aiden de Campo is likely to set the pace with polemarker Typhoon Tan, a noted frontrunner who has the good record of 55 starts for 11 wins and 16 placings for stakes of $85,612.       Adding interest to the race is the return to the racetrack of Big Spook for Serpentine trainer Gary Hall sen. Big Spook, who will be having his first start since he covered a lot of extra ground and finished a close second to Bhagwan over 1730m in August, has raced 46 times for nine wins (one in New Zealand and four each in New South Wales and Victoria) and 16 placings. The Bond stable holds a powerful hand in the Princi Butchers Pace with four of the eight runners --- Ima Connoisseur, Assassinator, Ima Tragedy and Jungle Jewel. If Ima Connoisseur reproduces his effort on Sunday he will win again. He will be driven by Colin Brown from the prized No. 1 barrier. The four-year-old gave an outstanding performance to win the Prince Butchers San Simeon final on Sunday when he raced three wide for the first 750m and then outside the ;pacemaker Our Jericho before getting to the front 350m from home and beating Commander Chapel and Morton Plains at a 1.56.2 rate over 2130m.  by Ken Casellas

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