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Six-year-old Tuxedo Tour went within a whisker of causing a major upset last Friday night when he ran home with great determination to finish a head second to 5/1 on favourite Heez On Fire and he gets a chance to turn the tables on his brilliant rival when he meets him on better terms in the $35,000 Kennards Hire Christmas Gift final at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Tuxedo Tour, trained at Herne Hill by Kevin Keys, started from barrier three on the back line and settled down in ninth position before he surged forward to move to the breeze on the outside of the pacemaking Heez On Fire with 1200m to travel in a heat of the Gift last week. Heez On Fire, who was untroubled to lead from the prized No. 1 barrier, fought on grimly to stave off the late challenge from Tuxedo Tour, with the final two quarters being covered in 28.9sec. and 27.6sec. This week Tuxedo Tour will start from the No. 3 barrier on the front line, with Heez On Fire out at barrier five. Noted frontrunner Dashing Christian is likely to lead from the No. 1 barrier and there is a strong possibility that Tuxedo Tour will again have to work hard in the breeze. All Bettor (barrier two) and Ti Amo Franco (four) possess good natural gate speed and Chris Lewis will be anxious to slot Heez On Fire into a commanding position in the one-wide line. Heez On Fire is extremely versatile and is capable of unwinding a dazzling finishing burst, like he revealed when he thundered home from the rear to win from Medley Moose two starts ago. Despite his awkward draw, Heez On Fire is likely to start a short-priced favourite in his quest to extend his winning sequence to six and improve his record to 15 wins and four placings from only 27 starts. The WA-bred five-year-old was purchased as a four-month-old weanling by Cardup trainer Rod Oliver for $15,000 and has already amassed $178,005 in prizemoney for Oliver, his mother Doreen, brother Perry and friends Andrew Walker, Geoff Ramm, Darrell Dwyer and Kieren Eiffler. Tuxedo Tour has earned $122,876 from 11 wins and 18 placings from 41 starts after being purchased for $18,000 at the 2010 Gloucester Standardbred yearling sale by Tom Marsden, who races the stallion in partnership with his son Rod and Martin, Colin and Stephen Campbell. The Christmas Gift is one of the very few feature events in WA that has not been won by Lewis, who is in devastating form in the sulky. Champion trainer Gary Hall sen. is hoping that Dashing Christian can go one better than he did in a qualifying heat last Friday night when he set the pace and was overhauled in the final stride and was beaten by a head by the fast-finishing Mosquito Buzzin. Hall won the Christmas Gift for the fifth time when Kim Prentice drove the polemarker and 6/4 on favourite Toretto to a comfortable all-the-way victory over Our Major Mark and Red Salute 12 months ago. This followed wins with Nixons Creed (1993), Allioop (2004), McRaes Mate (2007) and Livingontheinterest (2012). Ti Amo Franco, trained in Collie by Dale Jackson, will have admirers from barrier four on the front line. He began brilliantly from the No. 5 barrier in a heat last week, but was unable to cross Dashing Christian. He then obtained a good sit, one-out and one-back, and moved to second on the home turn before wilting to fourth behind Mosquito Buzzin. He won in good style at two of his three previous starts. Matt White will resume as Mosquito Buzzin's driver this week after Aiden De Campo handled the six-year-old last week. De Campo will replace Chris Voak behind Mosquito Buzzin, with Voak on the sidelines serving a 19-day suspension after causing interference in a race last Friday night. Mosquito Buzzin has drawn ideally on the inside of the back line and should enjoy a perfect sit behind the likely pacemaker Dashing Christian. Woodley to drive This Time Dylan Outstanding young reinsman Morgan Woodley has been engaged to drive strong stayer This Time Dylan in the $22,500 Mount Eden-No Dill Christmas Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night and the nine-year-old looks capable of fighting out the finish of the 2503m stand at his fourth appearance after a spell. Woodley, who will be driving This Time Dylan for the first time, replaces Justin Prentice, who was in the sulky last Friday night when the gelding was prominent throughout and sustained a solid three-wide run to finish third behind Lisharry and Some Kinda Tactics in a 1730m sprint, with the final 800m being covered in a sparkling 55.6sec. Prentice was committed to driving Dardys Delight, a five-year-old he trains at Boyanup. Dardys Delight, who will share the front line with the Ross Olivieri-trained Chief Thundercloud, rises considerably in class, but is in sound form, with his past six starts (all in stands) producing two wins, two seconds and two thirds. Before that he had contested only one stand in 348 starts. He is closely related to Winter Strike, who earned $416,693 from 33 wins and 50 placings from 143 starts. He was a winner of eight stands, six at Gloucester Park and two at Pinjarra. This Time Dylan, trained at Pinjarra by Michael Brennan, will start off the 40m mark, but is capable of a bold showing. He has a losing sequence of 13, dating back to last May when he won a 2503m event off 30m at Gloucester Park. Four months earlier he finished a splendid third behind Hokonui Ben and Toretto in the 2936m WA Pacing Cup. He won four times (all off 10m) over 2503m in September-October 2013 and he impressed when he started off 40m and finished second to Rocket Reign in the 3309m Marathon Handicap in August this year. Some Kinda Tactics will share the 40m handicap with This Time Dylan on Friday night and should also prove hard to beat. He is racing consistently, with his 12 starts this season producing three wins, four seconds and three thirds. Chief Thundercloud, a lightly-raced New Zealand-bred seven-year-old, will be one of the main fancies after having four starts in WA for a win in a 2503m stand and three second placings. He raced without cover for the final two laps when a sound second to the frontrunning Avalon Bromac in a 2536m mobile at Gloucester Park last Saturday night. Olivieri will also be represented by veteran pacers Pembrook Henry and To Transcend and Wanneroo trainer Debbie Padberg will be looking for a stout-hearted effort from 11-year-old mare Salliwood, who will start off 20m and will be handled by Mark Reed,. Salliwood has finished second in the past two Christmas Handicaps. She was driven by Shannon Suvaljko when she finished strongly into second place behind Uncle Kracker in 2012 and then was awarded the race after the winner was disqualified. In last year's race Salliwood set the pace and was defeated by a half-head by the fast-finishing J Walker. It all points to Sensational Gabby Brilliant mare Sensational Gabby looks set to complete her preparation for the $60,000 Village Kid Sprint on Friday week in fine style by proving too speedy for her 11 male rivals in the 2130m Merry Xmas Del Basso Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Her prospects soared when she was dealt the No. 3 marble in the random barrier draw and Chris Lewis is likely to make a bold bid to dash her straight to the front. Drawn inside her are Soho Highroller and Go West U Terror, geldings with good gate speed, but susceptible to an early challenge from Sensational Gabby, who can begin with dazzling speed. In the event of Soho Highroller holding up and leading, Lewis would be anxious to gain a good sit in the one-wide line before asking Sensational Gabby to unleash her renowned sizzling finishing burst. She was seventh (on the pegs) at the bell before finishing fast to be third behind David Hercules and Soho Highroller over 1730m last Friday night. Soho Highroller certainly looks the pick of the four runners from the all-conquering Gary Hall sen. stable. He notched his third successive second placing last Friday night when he finished strongly from sixth at the bell to beat all but David Hercules. The prospects of seven-year-old Lisharry completing a winning hat-trick diminished when he drew poorly at No. 5 on the front line. He set the pace for easy victories over 2503m and 1730m on the past two Friday nights. Unbeaten youngsters to clash The clash between highly-promising unbeaten three-year-olds Ima Connoisseur and Zennart in the 1730m Kennards Hire Pace should be a highlight of the ten-event program at Gloucester Park on Friday night. In the blue corner will be Ima Connoisseur, a gelding trained by Greg and Skye Bond who has not tasted defeat in four starts, and in the blue and gold corner is Zennart, a colt trained by Gary Hall sen. who has been most impressive in winning at his only two starts in New Zealand. Ima Connoisseur won by ten and a half lengths at his debut, over 2200m at Alexandra Park in June this year, and then was untroubled to win at Pinjarra at his first three Australian starts, scoring twice over 1684m and once over 2185m. He sprinted the final 400m in 27.3sec. in both his sprint wins and was timed at 27.5sec. when he won over 2185m. Zennart led from barrier three and set the pace when he won easily on debut, scoring by four and a half lengths and rating 1.59.9 over 2200m at Alexandra park on July 25 this year. He sprinted the final 800m in 57.2sec., with the final 400m taking 27.8sec. At his next start Zennart started from the outside in a field of six and was restrained to last (eight lengths from the leader) before moving to fourth at the bell and coming from third (three wide) on the home turn to hit the front 30m from the post to win by a half-length at a 1.59.9 rate. He dashed over the final 400m in 27.9sec. Hall has not produced Zennart at public trials, but the Art Major colt is sure to be strongly supported, particularly when he drew inside of Ima Connoisseur. Zennart will start from barrier five on the front line, with Ima Connoisseur at No. 6. Zennart is a half-brother to Zenas Art, who raced 51 times for 14 wins (four in New Zealand, two in Victoria and eight in New South Wales) for stakes of $100,298. Zennart and Ima Connoisseur look set to fight out the finish and each should develop into a worthy contender for the WA Derby next year. Colin Brown, who will drive Ima Connoisseur in the first event on the program, also has excellent prospects in the second event, the third heat of the Free Entry Boxing Day the Coulson Pace for mares, in which he will drive Harriet Elisabeth for Byford trainer David Thompson. Harriet Elisabeth, a winner at nine of her 25 starts, is ideally drawn at barrier two on the front line in the 2130m event in which she will clash with in-form mares Rivers of Babylon and Washington Express. by Ken Casellas  

Brilliant pacer Bettors Fire is one of the most versatile performers in Western Australia, which has harness racing trainer Kyle Harper bubbling with confidence ahead of Friday night’s Fred Doy Memorial at Gloucester Park. Bettors Fire can switch from stand to mobile and from staying events to sprints without turning a hair and that’s why Harper believes the son of Bettors Delight can win despite awkwardly in barrier five. Bettors Fire’s clash with dashing sprinter David Hercules promises to be the highlight of the 10-event program, with Bettors Fire gaining an early advantage by drawing inside of David Hercules, which will start from six at his first appearance for three-and-a-half months. Bettors Fire won stands over 2503 metres in October and November and then mustered tremendous early speed before setting the pace and winning the Group Three Parliamentarians Cup over 2536 metre at Gloucester Park and the Group Two Bunbury Cup over 2569 metres at Donaldson Park last Saturday night. “I thought I could zap them in the Bunbury Cup and I did and he had a pretty happy trip in front,” Harper said. “In Friday night’s race there is a fair bit of speed inside him, but I’d say they would all would want to be taking a sit. However, you never know. “My plan is to go forward at the start and I’ll be moving forward beneath David Hercules. Hopefully, Bettors Fire will be able to find the front and he should take some beating. But you can never discredit David Hercules, who is a very good horse. “After the race Bettors Fire will have a couple of weeks off before he starts in the Village Kid Sprint over 1730 metres. Then he will contest the Fremantle Cup (2536 metres) and WA Pacing Cup (2936 metres). “It’s hard to say whether he is a better stayer or sprinter because he does everything so well. I think he’s a better stayer, but there’s not many at the moment who can run as quick a mile as he can.” Harper has nominated Bettors Fire for the Inter Dominion, with the Final to be run at Menangle on March 1. “Whether we go to Sydney will depend on how he performs in the Cups,” Harper said. “I don’t like to get too far ahead of myself. “I would have to say that Bettors Fire is the best horse I have driven. I have been fortunate to have driven some very nice horses like Has The Answers and Mysta Magical Mach and I think he is better than those two, which is a big call. “I rarely hopple Bettors Fire and he’s had just one hoppled run in this preparation. The rest has been gallop work on the beach and at home in the heavy sand. He also does plenty of wading at the beach.” Bettors Fire has raced superbly in Western Australia where his 21 starts have produced 13 wins and three placings. He won at 11 of his 30 starts in New Zealand and has earned $336,252 in prizemoney. KEN CASELLAS

Champion reinsman Gary Hall jun. is not fazed at Waylade’s awkward barrier at No. 6 on the front line and has full confidence that the lightly-raced, inexperienced four-year-old will give him his 39th victory in a group 1 event by proving the master of his 11 rivals in the $175,000 Retravision Golden Nugget Championship at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The 32-year-old Hall, who has also driven the winners of 26 group 2 events and 40 group 3 races, is refusing to become flustered at the wide draw and he declared that the Nugget was “just another race for us.” However, he conceded that barrier six presented a great challenge for the immature New Zealand-bred gelding who has had only nine starts. But the Hall stable is used to confronting challenges head-on and overcoming them with monotonous regularity. “We’ll probably find out a lot about him,” Hall said. “And we’ll probably have to come from behind.” Waylade, prepared by master trainer Gary Hall sen., is well on truly on target of bringing up the third leg of the prestigious Triple Crown for four-year-olds, after his superb victories in the $50,000 Four-year-Old Championship and $125,000 McInerney Ford Classic in the past three weeks. Waylade has bright prospects of becoming the seventh pacer to complete the McInerney Ford Classic-Golden Nugget double in 19 years since the McInerney Ford Classic was first run. The double has been achieved by Salinger (1997), Saab (1998), Gee Whiz Fizz (2005), Mr Yankee (2006), Lombo Pocket Watch (2007) and Bonavista Bay (2009).   Sixty-five-year-old Hall sen. had no hesitation in declaring that Waylade was the best of his six runners in the Golden Nugget. He said that the initial plans were for Waylade to go back from his wide barrier and then hope for a bit of luck. “He will be as good as he was when he won the McInerney Ford Classic,” he said. “He hasn’t been extended in his past three wins and I’m sure he’s the one to beat. If it is a truly-run race, as I’m sure it will be, he will be very hard to beat.” At his most recent start, in the 2536m McInerney Ford Classic last Friday week, Waylade was smartest into stride from the No. 2 barrier before setting a solid pace and strolling to victory by just under  four lengths from Bettor Offer, who fought on doggedly after working hard in the breeze for most of the journey. A week earlier Waylade started from barrier four on the front line and raced without cover before winning the 2130m Four-Year-Old Championship from VC Manoeuvre and Bettor Offer. And a week before that Waylade raced in the breeze and won a Nugget Prelude over 2536m from Classic American and Soho Lennon. The Hall camp’s other five runners are Majorly Foxy Styx (No. 2 barrier on the front line), Soho Lennon (No. 3), A Boy Named Rosie (No. 7), VC Manoeuvre (inside of the back line) and Classic American (outside of the back line). Majorly Foxy Styx, a brilliant all-the-way winner of the group 1 Mares Classic at a 1.56.3 rate over 2130m last Friday night, will be driven for the first time by champion reinsman Chris Lewis and looks certain to be a freewheeling pacemaker. “Much depends on how she settles, but she should be there at the finish,” Hall sen. said. “Soho Lennon worked in great style this morning and he should gain the one-out, one-back position. He will be an improver.” Soho Lennon will be driven by Hall’s elder son Clint, with Kim Prentice engaged for A Boy Named Rosie, Nathan Turvey for VC Manoeuvre and Lauren Jones for Classic American. Hall sen. discounted A Boy Named Rosie’s chances from the outside barrier, but said that VC Manoeuvre and Classic American were capable of winning. “VC Manoeuvre should race three back on the pegs and he’s a definite blowout chance,” he said. “Classic American will be driven quietly and will be looking to follow through behind VC Manoeuvre. He’s flying and 2536m will be right up his alley.” Majorly Foxy Styx and the Mike Reed-trained Libertybelle Midfrew are the only mares in the 12-horse field and each will have admirers, even though only one mare, the frontrunning Countess Kala, in 1999, has been successful in the 34-year history of the Nugget. Reed, who trained Tricky Vic for his Nugget win in 2002, predicted that Libertybelle Midfrew would run a big race, saying: “Barrier two on the back line is a really good draw for her, particularly being behind such a quick beginner as Majorly Foxy Styx. Libertybelle Midfrew has won over 2536m and she’ll be doing nothing on Friday night, while the others will be doing all the work. She’s a great each-way chance.” Michael Brennan, who prepared Im Victorious for his Nugget win two years ago, will be represented by Billies A Star, who has just arrived in Western Australia after having ten starts in New Zealand for four wins and three placings. His best and most impressive effort was at his most recent appearance, when he was successful at a 1.57.9 rate in a 2600m mobile at Addington on November 14. He settled in tenth position , started a three-wide move at the 1500m mark before gaining a one-out, one-back sit and bursting to the front 200m from home and winning by just over two lengths. Billies A Star has drawn the coveted No. 1 barrier and Luke McCarthy is generally expected to take the trail behind the free-running Majorly Foxy Styx. Trainers Greg and Skye Bond are hoping for a change of fortune with Bettor Offer after the gelding’s third and second placings behind Waylade at his latest starts. Bettor Offer has not drawn well at No. 5 on the front line. “He has trained on in great style after his second in the McInerney Ford after racing in the breeze,” Greg Bond said. “We’ll be rolling forward and this might work for us or it might work against us. This horse has a bright future and he goes well in big races.” Colin Brown will again be in the sulky behind Bettor Offer and he will be drawing confidence on the fact that Bettor Offer set the pace and won by more than two lengths from Waylade over 2130m at Gloucester Park on October 31. Boyanup trainer Justin Prentice is confident that Mista Rush will be prominent after starting from barrier four on the back line. Mista Rush has won at eight of his 17 starts. “If he runs up to his ability he will be right there,” the 26-year-old Prentice said. “I really like the horse and I think he is right up there with the best four-year-olds in the State. His work yesterday was as good as it has ever been.” Kade Howson, who has driven Mr Yankee (2006) and Schinzig Buller (2008) to victory in the Nugget, trains the promising Ohoka Cooper, who will be driven by Chris Voak from barrier four on the front line. “It’s a tricky draw and we will need to find a nice spot,” Howson said. “He’ll run out the 2536m and that’s in his favour.” Three Blind Mice, the WA Derby winner last season, will start from barrier three on the back line and trainer-reinsman Matt White said that he would be relying on a good tempo in the race. “That will help him to ruin on solidly late,” he said. The latest market: 7/4 Waylade, 7/2 Bettor Offer, 5 Libertybelle Midfrew, 6 Majorly Foxy Styx, 7 Billies A Star, 25 Soho Lennon, Classic American, 40 VC Manoeuvre, 66 Ohoka Cooper, 100 Three Blind Mice, Mista Rush. Tricky Styx will be hard to catch Brilliant filly Tricky Styx, who is noted for her devastating finishing bursts, looks set to be seen in the role of pacemaker when she contests the 2130m Retravision Air Conditioning Pace for three-year-olds at Gloucester Park on Friday night. She has drawn perfectly at barrier one on the front line and reinsman Aiden de Campo said he expected her to set the pace and prove hard to run down. Tricky Styx, a winner of five races as a two-year-old, has resumed this season in grand form for Northam trainer Jesse Moore and looks set to be a leading contender for the WA Oaks early next year. At her first two starts as a three-year-old Tricky Styx has scored runaway wins (by a combined margin of 64.8 metres) over 2190m and 1780m at Northam last month. She has won at seven of her 11 starts and her clash on Friday night with unbeaten fillies Nuala and Im Justforyou will be a highlight of the meeting. The fillies will be opposed by three colts and one gelding. “I’ll speak to Jesse regarding tactics,” de Campo said. “We’ve always wanted to see if she can lead. She did lead from barrier two and easily won a heat of the Diamond Classic last May. She has come back in this preparation a lot more relaxed and in my opinion I’ll be trying to hold the front, not wanting to give the others a head start. “Her final 800m is really dazzling and I think that she can produce a similar sprint after bowling along in front. She’s quite a big, tough filly and I can’t see toughness being a problem for her. The opposition is pretty good and the three fillies are probably the best horses in the race, even though the other runners are pretty smart. Jesse said that Tricky Styx probably would have four or five starts before giving her a spell and then getting her primed for the Oaks.” Nuala, to be driven by Clint Hall for his father, leading trainer Gary Hall sen., will be making her first appearance since she made an auspicious Australian debut, winning easily over 2185m at Pinjarra on August 25 after racing wide early and then setting the pace. She also won easily at her only start in New Zealand, over 2000m at Oamaru in mid-May. “Nuala is a high-class filly and will go well,” said Hall sen. “She will need the run, but is still a winning chance. She has a tricky draw and this is a tough race.” Im Justforyou (who will be driven by Chris Lewis from barrier three) has not been seriously challenged at her three starts, winning in New Zealand in September and at Pinjarra in October and November. “She has won at both her WA starts pretty impressively and I think she is a genuine Oaks filly,” said trainer Clive Dalton. “She’s got a bit of depth about her and I expect her to run a good race on Friday night. “She’s got a bit of class and rated 1.57.5 in each of her wins over 1684m at Pinjarra. In the first of those runs she started from barrier seven and came from well back and ran the final 400m in 27.1sec. At her next start, her first run for five weeks, she breezed and fought it out very well. “Tricky Styx has the draw in her favour and will be hard to beat. Im Justforyou will be running on whatever happens.” Opposing the fillies will are three pacers (Red Hot Major, Mister Ardee and Arturus) trained by Gary Elson and the Callan Suvaljko-trained Blacklist. Mister Ardee is extremely consistent, with his 21 starts producing four wins, nine seconds, six thirds, a fourth and a seventh placing. Olivieri likes Earl Or Nothing Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri is proud of Earl Or Nothing’s consistency and he has high hopes that the Queensland-bred eight-year-old will keep up the good work by winning the 2503m Hisense Trotters Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Earl Or Nothing, to be driven by Chris Lewis, is ideally drawn in the stand at No. 1 on the front line and he meets many of his rivals on better terms than he has in recent months. “He has been consistent and compared with some of the races he’s been in lately he gets a really good pull on the handicaps,” Olivieri said. “He’s given these horses starts or has been on the same mark as them. “He’s off the front and I’m happy about that. He’s versatile and has won after leading. I reckon he’s a shade better coming from behind, but I’ll leave the tactics up to Chris. It won’t be easy on Friday night and of all the barriers No. 1 off the front is not my favourite draw. But I suppose I shouldn’t complain; I don’t get No. 1 very often.” Earl Or Nothing started off 60m over 2631m at Pinjarra on Monday of last week and finished a creditable fourth behind Enjoy A Coldie, who started off the 30m mark. Enjoy A Coldie, trained and driven by Nathan Turvey, will start off 10m on Friday night, meaning that Earl Or Nothing will meet Enjoy A Coldie on 40m better terms.      Earl Or Nothing has had eight starts in Western Australia for five wins, two seconds and a fourth. Looming as some of the main dangers to Earl Or Nothing are Retained and Enjoy A Malabu. The nine-year-old Retained (10m) should figure in the finish. He has been driven in all of his 18 WA starts by his trainer Clive Dalton for five wins and three placings. He raced wide early and then had a tough run in the breeze before finishing a head second to Enjoy A Malabu over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Tuesday of last week. “That was a big run and I have put Luke McCarthy on him this week. I’ll tell Luke to go forward to the breeze.” Enjoy A Malabu (20m) is in splendid for Wundowie trainer Bruce Stanley and has won at three of his past six starts. He unwound a typical strong finishing burst to win from Retained at Gloucester Park on Tuesday of last week. by Ken Casellas

The stage is set for another enthralling harness racing tussle between Sensational Gabby and Libertybelle Midfrew when they clash at Gloucester Park tomorrow night. The two top performers are engaged in the $100,000 Del Basso Smallgoods Mares Classic, with rival reinsmen Chris Lewis and Mark Reed poised for an intriguing cat-and-mouse duel. Lewis won the battle of tactics last week when he guided Sensational Gabby to a superb victory over Libertybelle Midfrew in the Norms Daughter Classic. Sensational Gabby, from the back line, settled midfield, two lengths in front of Libertybelle Midfrew, which was eased back to the rear after starting from the outside of the front line. Approaching the bell, with Deluxe Edition setting a fast pace, Lewis had Sensational Gabby ready to strike. He bided his time until Reed sent Libertybelle Midfrew forward three-wide at the 950-metre mark when he angled Sensational Gabby into a trail. Libertybelle Midfrew sustained her powerful burst to hit the front turning for home, but couldn’t hold out Sensational Gabby, which swept to the lead to rate rating a slick 1.54.4. This time Sensational Gabby has drawn awkwardly in barrier five, with Libertybelle Midfrew directly on her outside. Polemarker Bettor Dreams possesses good gate speed, but appears likely trail Dontdoubtme or Majorly Foxy Styx. There is a strong chance Dontdoubtme will get to an early lead before handing up to the speedy Majorly Foxy Styx. This surely will leave Lewis and Reed weighing up their options, whether to press forward or to restrain to the rear. Adding further interest will be Victorian mare Bellas Delight, which is unfavourably drawn on the back line. Driver Greg Sugars could wait until the bell before sending Bellas Delight forward with a three-wide burst. This could provide Sensational Gabby with a perfect trail. Much of this is pure conjecture in an event in which tactics are sure to play a significant part in the outcome. KEN CASELLAS

Up-and-coming harness racing star Waylade is poised to complete a hat-trick in the space of 15 days by proving too slick in the $125,000 McInerney Ford Classic at Gloucester Park tomorrow night. Champion trainer Gary Hall is highly optimistic, particularly after the inexperienced New Zealand-bred gelding drew favourably at barrier two over 2536 metres. “He will definitely go better this week,” Hall said. “He’s getting better with every run and hasn’t reached his peak yet. “By Friday night I reckon he’ll be at his peak, and he should maintain peak form for the Golden Nugget a fortnight later.” Waylade has been most impressive in winning a Nugget prelude and the $40,000 Four-Year-Old Championship durign the past two weeks and he is firmly on target to complete a clean sweep of the rich age-restricted features by winning the McInerney Ford and the Nugget. “He has always shown a bit of ability, but until now he hasn’t revealed that sort of depth,” Hall said. “He’s got fitter and a bit more mature --- and he’s shown a lot more depth. “He’s certainly got the speed…his 27.7-second quarter down the back last week proved that.” Waylade has started from barrier four at his past two starts and has been untroubled to score after racing without cover in both events. From two this week, driver Gary Hall junior is likely to make a bold bid for the lead. Drawn on his inside is classy stablemate Soho Lennon, a winner at eight of his 24 starts. He is a versatile pacer which should be prominent throughout. Hall advised punters to disregard Soho Lennon’s 11th in the Four-Year-Old Championship last Friday night when the gelding started from barrier five and was restrained to the rear by Lauren Jones. Soho Lennon was at the tail of the field at the bell and was forced wide during the final circuit before a wheel of his sulky became locked with a wheel of stablemate Classic American’s sulky on the home turn. “Soho Lennon was off the track in the final lap and even though he wasn’t going to run anywhere before locking wheels, I’d recommend that you forget that he even raced,” Hall said. “I’d say he’ll be an improver.” Hall also has A Boy Named Rosie, Classic American and Vc Manoeuvre in the feature, with each a chance of playing a role in the finish. KEN CASELLAS

Waylade, the youngest and most inexperienced runner in the field, is poised to provide harness racing duo Gary Hall and Gary junior with their third success in Four-Year-Old Championship at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Waylade has raced only seven times for three wins, three seconds and earnings of $29,465 - all his rivals have had more starts, won more races and earned more prizemoney. Regardless of records, Waylade, one of six entrants from the all-conquering Hall stable, appeals as the warm favourite following his convincing sample of his class when he started from barrier four in a Golden Nugget Prelude last week. After racing three-wide early before being settled in the breeze, Waylade outclassed his rivals to score with ease from stablemates Classic American and Soho Lennon. Waylade has drawn four again, with Junior expected to send the son of Washington Vc forward in search of the lead. The most likely scenario, however, is Waylade will have to work in the breeze outside the polemarker Ohoka Cooper, which is in sparkling form for Pinjarra trainer Kade Howson. Ohoka Cooper’s last seven starts have netted five wins, a second and a third. The Halls have won the Championship twice, firstly with The Gold Ace in 2011 then Bettor Reason the following year. The Gold Ace started as an odds-on favourite and gave a powerful display to race without cover before winning from Lovers Delight and Ohokas Bondy. Favourites have a poor record in the feature, with Bonavista Bay (5/4) finishing sixth behind Ima Rocket Star in 2009, Motu Crusader (1/2) finishing last behind Dasher VC in 2010, Im Victorious (11/8) finishing 11th behind Bettor Reason in 2012, and Bit of a Legend (evens) finishing 11th behind Nowitzki last year. Hall will also be represented by Soho Lennon, A Boy Named Rosie, Vc Manoeuvre, High Courage and Classic American, with each capable of a forward showing. Waylade certainly has the breeding to be a star, with his family tracing back to Party Party, Another Party and Champagne Party. Another Party heads the clan, with his 31 wins including the Fremantle and A G Hunter Cups. KEN CASELLAS

With Galactic Galleon overcoming his poor attitude, Forrestdale harness racing trainers Greg and Skye Bond are at last reaping the benefits of their perseverance. Ace reinsman Colin Brown is also getting to appreciate Galactic Galleon’s ability as he matures into a more tractable pacer, with the prominent driver predicting Galactic Galleon will be hard to beat in tonight’s LD Total Kersley Pace at Gloucester Park. Galactic Galleon has drawn perfectly in barrier one, with Brown looking to lead throughout. “He is an exceptional front runner and his recent work suggests he can be right in it at the finish,” Brown said. “He has been in a lot better form, both at the races and on the training track. “He seems to have matured somewhat and is now a better driving horse. He used to hang badly and had a very ordinary attitude. “But after a short let-up he’s come back with a different attitude and is actually a pleasure to sit behind. Something had to happen eventually…he couldn’t be that stupid for so long.” Brown cites the Clive Dalton-trained Our Jerry Lee, which has won at eight of his 11 Western Australian starts, as the one to beat. Our Jerry Lee, to be driven by Chris Lewis, has drawn barrier two on the back line and will follow out speedy beginner Shifting Sand. Dylan Egerton-Green drove Galactic Galleon last Friday night when he gave a splendid performance to finish a neck second to Miss Madoff over 1730 metres after facing the breeze. A week earlier the son of Art Major led from before being restrained to race behind the pacemaker Tuapeka Khan. He finished a sound fourth behind Soho Highroller, Libertybelle Midfrew and Soho Jackman. “Our Jerry Lee is a quality animal, but I don’t know that he gets around Gloucester Park quite as good as he does at Pinjarra,” Brown said. KEN CASALLAS

Champion harness racing trainer Gary Hall has seven of the 10 runners in Friday night’s Golden Nugget Prelude at Gloucester Park and has no hesitation in nominating Soho Lennon as his brightest prospect. “He is the best of my runners and should prove hard to beat,” Hall said. Hall then ranked Classic American as second best, followed by High Courage, Waylade, Vc Manoeuvre, A Boy Named Rosie and Eliseos Falcon. Soho Lennon, Classic American and High Courage were impressive in winning trials by big margins in dashing style at Byford last Sunday. Soho Lennon, who will be driven by Clint Hall, is a highly-talented and versatile four-year-old, which has drawn ideally in barrier two. Classic Courage will start from five, with High Courage to begin from barrier three, while Vc Manoeuvre has the back line to content with. Soho Lennon will be first-up since winning at the same venue last July when he raced three-wide for most of the 2130 metre trip. He beat Black Mr Mach by four lengths in recording his fifth win from his past seven starts and improving his record to eight wins and six placings from 22 starts. Last weekend, the son of Mach Three set the pace during his trials to account for Vc Manoeuvre in 1:57.6 for the 2150 metres, covering the last half in 55.4 seconds. “He needed the run and went a phenomenal time and bolted in,” Hall declared. “I expect So Ubettabelieveit to lead from the pole, but that could be to his detriment.” Classic American rated 1.58.3 in his trial, dashing over the final 800 metres in 55.9 seconds. He has won nine of his 17 starts, with Hall describing him as a “really good horse” which would be running home strongly in Friday night’s race. High Courage rated 1.58.1 when he beat Bhagwan by five lengths during their trial. “If he had drawn to lead on Friday night I would have rated him a good chance,” Hall said. “Waylade is a nice horse on the way up and Vc Manoeuvre, A Boy Named Rosie and Eliseos Falcon all have plenty of ability. “Vc Manoeuvre went well in Sunday’s trial, but he pulls hard and I’m a little worried about that.” Chris Voak, who will drive So Ubettabelieveit for Pinjarra trainer Kade Howson, predicted the gelding would run a solid race. “He’s got good gate speed and I will determine my tactics after speaking to Kade and also will be guided by the speed he and others show out of the barrier,” Voak said. KEN CASELLAS

Leading harness racing trainer Gary Hall has identified outstanding American performer Heston Blue Chip as the pacer he wants to continue his dominance in the rich Inter Dominion Championship. Hall and his son, Gary, have enjoyed a high rate of success in the great race in recent years, winning with champion Im Themightyquinn in Auckland in 2011, Perth 2012 and Sydney in 2013. They also finished a nose second to Jofess with the Falcon Strike in 2004. Heston Blue Chip has won 36 races and has earned in excess of $1.7million, with Hall in negotiations with the stallion’s owner, New York businessman Ken Jacobs. “I’m hoping to be able to purchase Heston Blue Chip at a reasonable price and discussions are going along very well,” Hall declared. Im Themightyquinn is now a 10-year-old and in the twilight of a magnificent career, with Hall looking for a ready-made replacement. The premier horseman is confident Machtu will continue to improve and develop into a serious Inter Dominion contender when the event is run at Gloucester Park for three years, beginning in November 2015. The Final each year will offer a purse of $1.3 million – the richest pacers’ event in the world. But he is extremely keen to buy a top-flight American pacer on behalf of several stable clients to give him a great chance to add to his Championship successes. Heston Blue Chip is by American Ideal and is the first foal from Shot Togo Bluechip. He has proved a great bargain for Jacobs, who liked the five-year-old’s breeding and bought him for just $30,000 at the 2010 standardbred sales. Heston Blue Chip was a good winner as a two-year-old before a dominant season in 2012 when he won at 14 of his 18 starts, set four track records and won the prestigious Dan Patch award as the Three-Year-Old Colt of the Year in America. Trained by Linda Toscano, Heston Blue Chip has been driven to most of his victories by Tim Tetrick, who summed up the stallion by saying: “I can’t say enough good things about this horse. He is such a pleasure to drive; it’s like driving a Cadillac out there.” A versatile campaigner, Heston Blue Chip’s chief asset is his dazzling early speed, which has seen him set the pace in most of his wins at Yonkers, Meadowlands, Vernon Downs, Woodbine, Harrah’s Philadelphia, Saratoga Raceway and Dover Downs. Heston Blue Chip, whose stable name is Moses, set an all-age track record of 1.48 over a mile in December 2012. If Hall is able to clinch the deal, Heston Blue Chip will become only the fifth American pacer to race at Gloucester Park, joining Crouch, Tibet, Ultra jet and Mr Feelgood. KEN CASELLAS

Star harness racing mare Libertybelle Midfrew, the youngest runner in tonight’s McInerney Ford Pace at Gloucester Park, is on trial for next week’s Mount Eden Sprint. Hazlemere trainer Mike Reed declared the New Zealand-bred four-year-old is in splendid shape for her first assignment for six weeks and is confident of success. Winner of eight of her last nine starts, Libertybelle Midfrew has drawn awkwardly on the inside of the back line, but to connections’ delight, her main rivals are also drawn along the back. Brilliant pacer Soho Jackman has the outside of the back line to contend with, as does his stablemate Soho Highroller. New Zealand-bred geldings Galactic Galleon and Tuapeka Kahu have fared better in gates one and two. Libertybelle Midfrew was highly impressive in winning two trials at Byford over 2150 metres during the past fortnight, with driver Mark Reed motionless in the cart. Mike originally nominated Libertybelle Midfrew for the Navy Cup, but opted to start her in a M1 to M3 mobile against weaker opposition. “She hasn’t had that much racing, so I thought I’d pick out an easier race first instead of going up against the big boys straight away,” Mike explained. “Sooner or later she will race against the best. Maybe we’ll head for the big one, the Mount Eden Sprint, the following week. That will depend on how she goes on Friday night. “I couldn’t be happier with her the way she’s going. It’s not the best of draws, but we’re there and we’ve got to do the best we can. We’ve got the option of staying on the back of the pole marker Galactic Galleon, hoping that he can hold up. “It’s up to what Mark wants to do. If she gets beaten, she gets beaten and it won’t be the end of the world. It’s a good field, but I think that she can come from last and win.” KEN CASELLAS

Champion reinsman Chris Lewis is firmly on target to notch his seventh victory in the Stratton Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Lewis will partner former outstanding youngster Sensational Gabby, which gave every indication she is back to her best with a stylish win at the same venue last week. At her second run from a spell for trainer Ross Olivieri, Sensational Gabby led throughout to capture the Members’ Sprint in 1:54.9 for the 1730-metre trip. The daughter of Yankee Sensation has drawn to repeat the dose after drawing the coveted pole once again. Lewis’ previous victories in the Group Three are Black Irish (1983), Village Kid (1985, 1988 and 1991), Ohoka Ace (2005) and Sneakyn Down Under (2009). Meanwhile, Lewis is also set to partner Senator Whitby in the Mexican Vale Pace. Triumphant at three of his last four starts, the son of Artiscape is also expected to lead throughout from barrier one. Prepared by Darryl Howes, Senator Whitby is racing his way to towards some of Western Australia’s feature events during the summer. KEN CASELLAS

Star harness racing reinsman Gary Hall jun. has given punters a valuable lead by deciding to drive Soho Jackman in preference to Crusader Banner in the $22,500 TABtouch Cranley Memorial Sprint at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Hall drove both pacers to effortless victories last Friday night when Soho Jackman, at his first appearance for six months, came from tenth in the middle stages to race without cover before dashing away to score by more than a length over Walter James, rating 1.59.6 over 2536m, and Crusader Banner was equally impressive when he surged home from sixth and last at the bell to win by just under three lengths from Diamonds A Blaze, rating 1.55.5 over 1730m. The Cranley Memorial will be decided over 1730m and Hall is bubbling with confidence that five-year-old Soho Jackman will prove too speedy for his six rivals, including up-and-coming four-year-old Crusader Banner, who will be driven by his brother Clint. Both pacers are prepared by champion trainer Gary Hall sen. "Soho Jackman is a good horse who begins fast and I expect him to lead from barrier one and win," Hall jun. said. However, Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri is adamant that Soho Jackman is not a past-the post proposition. He gives his runner, the Victorian-bred six-year-old Real Hammer, a strong winning chance. Real Hammer, a winner at 13 of his 56 starts has been an erratic and hard-to-control pacer for much of his career, which included a stint under the care of Hall sen. when Hall jun. drove him eight times for two wins. Real Hammer has a history of racing erratically and pulling hard. Real Hammer has not appeared for six weeks, when he was inclined to hang in and raced at the rear before finishing last behind Zacs Nuggett over 2130m at Gloucester Park. Real Hammer, a noted frontrunner, charged home from the rear to win a race over 2185m at Pinjarra at his previous outing. He was an all-the-way winner, rating 1.55.6 over 1730m at Gloucester Park three starts before that. Olivieri said that Real Hammer was becoming far more tractable following some gear changes. "He went to Byford on Sunday morning and you wouldn't believe how well-mannered he was in his trial," he said. "He came out very well from behind the mobile and sat behind the pacemaker Sensational Gabby before finishing second to her, coming home in 57.8sec. and 27.1sec. "I was very pleased with the trial and the draw (No. 2) for Friday night. I'm using a new lugging bit on him and he raced tractably. Whether he does it in a race, I don't know. I have also made a change to his head gear and he will race with block blinkers. He ran with the blinkers in Sunday's trial and they are settling him down instead of stirring him up." Hall jun. said he considered Real Hammer to have no hope of beginning fast enough to wrest the early lead from Soho Jackman. "If Soho Jackman is to be beaten, it will be by Crusader Banner," he said. Crusader Banner has been untroubled to win at his past three starts in which his average winning margin has been 11 metres. Chris Lewis has chosen to handle Real Hammer in preference to speedy frontrunner Blissfull Boy, who will start from barrier three. Trainer Kevin Charles has engaged Dylan Egerton-Green to drive Blissfull Boy. The Hall camp has a third runner in the event, The Ragpickers Dream, who faces a tough task from the No. 6 barrier. The New Zealand-bred seven-year-old has a losing sequence of 16 and will be driven by Kim Prentice. The Cranley Memorial has been run nine times and Hall sen. and Hall jun. combined to win with El Padrino, who raced without cover before getting to the front 520m from home and then holding on to defeat the fast-finishing Dhoni by a nose in 2012, after finishing second with Im Themightyquinn in 2008 and third with My Jasami in 2011. Lewis was successful with the Alan Bell-trained Mister Veejays Fella in 2009. Williams to drive Zacs Nuggett Pinjarra trainer Kade Howson has engaged Robbie Williams to drive Zacs Nuggett in the McInerney Ford Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night and the eight-year-old should maintain his excellent form by proving too tough for his 11 rivals over his pet journey of 2536m. Zacs Nuggett is an M3-class performer and is able to contest Friday night's event restricted to M0 to M2-class runners with Howson taking advantage of Williams's concession as a junior reinsman. Zacs Nuggett has the ability to overcome the distinct disadvantage of starting from the outside of the front line. Williams, who will be having his first drive behind the West Australian-bred pacer, looks set to send Zacs Nuggett forward in the first lap to race in the breeze outside either Grand Cru or Tuapeka Kahu. Grand Cru (barrier two) and Tuapeka Kahu (three) are smart frontrunners, with the Mike Reed-trained Grand Cru bringing up his second win in a row with an all-the-way success over 2620m at Northam on Tuesday of last week and Tuapeka Kahu (trained by Greg and Skye Bond) finishing an encouraging second behind Jaccka Felix last Friday night after all-the-way wins in successive starts in August. Howson drove Zacs Nuggett at his most recent outing, last Friday week, when the hardy gelding raced three wide early and then in the breeze before winning from Bet Your Life and Romulus over 2130m. "He has thrived since that win and should again prove hard to beat," Howson declared. Williams also has bright prospects with Dashing Christian, who has drawn the prized No. 1 barrier in the 2130m Gannon's Pacing Colours Pace. Williams will attempt an all-the-way victory with the New Zealand-bred eight-year-old who has been unplaced at his past two starts from back-line draws, following an all-the-way success with Williams in the sulky, over 2130m on August 29. Dashing Christian is one of five runners in Friday night's race who are prepared by ace trainer Gary Hall sen. The other Hall runners are Soho Highroller (Micheal Ferguson), Some Kinda Tactics (Stuart McDonald), Heez Orl Black (Tom Buchanan) and Jaccka Felix (Dylan Egerton-Green). Heez Orl Black is racing keenly and is capable of a bold showing from barrier two on the back line. The richly-talented Bettors Fire also makes strong appeal at his second appearance after a lengthy spell. Bettors Fire, to be driven by his trainer Kyle Harper, is the class runner and should fight out the finish, despite the disadvantage of starting from the outside of the front line. He covered a lot of extra ground when a splendid first-up sixth behind Some Kinda Tactics over 1730m last Friday week. Three Blind Mice poised for first-up win Brilliant, lightly-raced pacer Three Blind Mice should make a triumphant return to racing and send punters home on a happy note by winning the final event, the 2130m Alltools Pathway Pace, at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Busselton trainer-reinsman Matt White said that Three Blind Mice was on target to contest the feature events for four-year-olds this season, including the McInerney Classic and Golden Nugget Championship. "That's the plan, to have him peaking for those big races," said White, who has taken over the preparation of Three Blind Mice from the gelding's part-owner Barry Howlett. White recently acquired his A-grade trainer's licence and has already prepared five winners. Three Blind Mice gave a superb performance to set the pace and win the WA Derby from Elegant Christian and Machtu early last April. He then led and won at Bunbury and Harvey at his following two starts before going for a spell. White took Three Blind Mice to Pinjarra to contest a 2185m trial on Sunday morning and was fully satisfied with his performance, finishing a head second to the pacemaker Awesum Teddy, rating 1.58 after dashing over the final two 400m sections in 28.4sec. and 27.9sec. "It was a good hit-out," White said. "Three Blind Mice sat behind the leader before finishing strongly," he said. "They rolled along a bit and he hit the line together with Awesum Teddy. "From barrier four on Friday night I'll probably roll forward and I'd like to think he will get to the front. He's only a C2-class pacer and his next start probably will be in the country." The only possible danger to Three Blind Mice on Friday night appears to be smart four-year-old High Courage, who will be driven by Gary Hall jun. for his father, leading trainer Gary Hall sen. High Courage, who has won at six of his 18 starts, will begin from the outside of the front line. An easy all-the-way winner over 2130m at Gloucester Park three starts ago, he had an extremely tough run in the breeze when a fighting third behind stablemate Crusader Banner over 1730m last Friday night. "He's race fit and will make a race of it with Three Blind Mice," said Hall jun. "However, the draw makes it tough for High Courage." Prentice hoping for winning run to continue Boyanup trainer-reinsman Justin Prentice, fresh from winning with Tasmanian Bromac at Pinjarra on Monday and Kiralin and Bettor Dreams at Gloucester Park on Tuesday evening, has high hopes of ending the week on a high note by driving promising four-year-old Where Dreams Grow to victory in the first heat of the Melbourne Cup Luncheon Preux Chevalier Pace for mares at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The WA-bred Where Dreams Grow has struck a purple patch with four wins and a second placing from her past six starts. She has fared poorly in the random draw and will start from the outside of the back line. However, Prentice is quietly confident that she will prove to be an excellent each-way chance, with her chief rivals Harriet Elisabeth (barrier three on the back line), Diamonds A Blaze (barrier seven) and Robyns C C (six) drawing poorly. "Where Dreams Grow has the ability to win from the No. 12 barrier," Prentice said. "She has been going very well and felt super at her latest outing, at Pinjarra on Monday of last week. "She felt really good and switched on at Pinjarra and repeating that performance she should finish in the money on Friday night and qualify for the final. She's reasonably strong and pretty quick as well. "She has got a tricky draw, but the three who appear hardest to beat have all drawn awkwardly. I'll see how things pan out early and then I'll probably put her into the race at some stage." Prentice said that he would nominate Kiralin for the second heat of this event in a bid to qualify her for the final. He has been training Kiralin, a five-year-old by Elsu, for four weeks and produced her in fine fettle for her first start since mid-August. Prentice is also looking forward to driving standing-start specialist Multibet for the first time on Friday night when the Jess Moore-trained seven-year-old begins from the inside of the front line in the Sky Racing Handicap over 2503m. Multibet ran home solidly on the inside from eighth at the bell to finish third behind Medley Moose and Bashful Compton in the group 3 Kalgoorlie Cup at huis latest outing. Earl of Charity a real bargain Young horseman Michael Young, Courtney Burch and Brett Archibald made a wise decision to out lay just $6000 six weeks ago to purchase Victorian-bred trotter Earl of Charity. The seven-year-old will start from the inside of the front line in the $17,500 Slater Gartrell Sports Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night and reinsman Gary Hall jun. is full of confidence that he will maintain his winning form. "If he gets away in the stand and leads I don't think they'll see which way he went," Hall said. "If he doesn't lead, he could still win. He's quite a nice horse and as long as he settles, he can come from anywhere." Earl of Charity is trained by Gary Hall sen. and he made an impressive debut for the Hall stable when he started from the 30m mark, and despite breaking in running, he was prominent throughout before winning from Keepyaguardup and Conquer All over 2503m last Tuesday week. "He was in good form when we got him, but had a few issues, with pulling," Hall jun. said. "I think that being in a big stable has helped him and he has settled down a lot. He never used to get away in stands. He got away at his first start for us, off 30m. And he did get away off the front in a trial. "Late in August Michael Young approached the owners, but he didn't really expect them to sell. However, they agreed to sell him for $6000." Young seized the opportunity to buy the gelding, who was due to contest a race at Pinjarra a couple of days later. He agreed to let part-owner Terry Wegner start him at Pinjarra, with the proviso that the two parties share any prizemoney. Earl of Charity, who had won at his previous start, repeated the dose with Wegner guiding the gelding to victory over Idle Maple and All Flair. The new owners had an immediate return and gained half of the $4485 first prize. Then Earl of Charity earned $4550 with his first-up success with the Hall camp. by Ken Casellas

Champion harness racing trainer Gary Hall has sounded an ominous warning to rivals ahead of Friday night’s Sully's Painting New Seasons Pace at Gloucester Park. Set to launch a four-pronged attack on the feature, Hall is confident he only requires one runner – promising pacer, Northview Punter. Although drawn awkwardly on the outside of the second row, Northview Punter only has to repeat last week’s August Cup performance to emerge triumphant once again. “Even though he is a noted front runner and loves leading, he’ll be the one to beat,” Hall said. “The journey (2536 metres) is right up his alley.” Northview Punter led throughout on a rain-affected track to complete a decisive win from Ima Rocket Star in the Cup, which was contested over the same distance. Northview Punter, the youngest runner in the field, will again be driven by Gary Hall junior, who combined with his father to win the New Seasons Pace with Southern Ruler in 2005 and Talk To Me Courage in 2009. Hall’s other runners are Our Arlington, which will begin from the outside of the front line, Benjamin Banneker, barrier five, and Livingontheinterest, gate 11. Seven-year-old Livingontheinterest adds considerable interest to the race. A winner at 20 of his 44 starts, he will be first-up since his unlucky 10th behind Beautide in the Inter Domnion at Menangle last March. Before that the son of Dream Away was a nose second to Im Victorious over 2536 metres at Gloucester Park, and at his previous outing. he led throughout the Lord Mayor's Cup. “Livingontheinterest probably needs the run,” Hall said. A Hall victory will see the Serpentine mentor equal the race record held by veteran Byford horseman, Tony Svilicich, who captured the event with Taihape Tickler (2006) and Has The Answers (2010 and 2011). Ken Casellas

Woodley to break through in August Cup Morgan Woodley, who has driven a placegetter in three of the past four August Cups, has high hopes of breaking through for his first victory in the winter feature event by scoring with David Hercules in the $35,000 Curtin FM August Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night. David Hercules, trained at Byford by David Thompson, has drawn fairly at barrier four on the front line, but is likely to be left in the breeze outside the likely pacemaker Northview Punter, who will start from the coveted No. 1 barrier in the 2536m event. Trainer Gary Hall sen. conceded that he was slightly disappointed at Northview Punter's effort when second behind stablemate Our Arlington in a 2503m stand last Friday night. But his spirits were boosted after the random barrier draw. David Hercules proved the master of Northview Punter three starts ago when he started from the No. 5 barrier and worked hard in the breeze before finishing strongly to beat the pacemaking Northview Punter by a half-length, rating 1.55.7 over 2130m. David Hercules was gallant in defeat when fourth behind Reuben Brogden in a 1730m sprint last Friday night. He was at a significant disadvantage, starting from the outside of the back line. He settled at the rear before Woodley started a three-wide move 1100m from home. The seven-year-old sustained a strong effort to finish just under two lengths from the winner. David Hercules had been most impressive in winning at his four previous starts (after resuming from a spell), winning twice each over 2130m and 2536m. Friday night's event will be the 63rd running of the August Cup and Thompson is hoping that David Hercules will become just the eighth horse to complete the Winter Cup-August Cup double in the one season. Those to have achieved this feat are Tavis (1975), Peter Anstey (1977), High Moore (1979), Preux Chevalier (1985), Manageable (1989), Shattering Class (1998 and 1999) and Another Party (2000). Woodley's placegetters in recent August Cups have been Mysta Magical Mach (third behind Im Themightyquinn in 2010), Has The Answers (third behind Lombo Navigator and Rocket Reign in a thrilling three-way photo finish in 2011) and Has The Answers (second to Uppy Son last year). Mysta Magical Mach and Has The Answers were prepared by Tony Svilicich, who won the August Cup with Digger of Fortune in 2003. Svilicich has trained six minor placegetters in the past six August Cups. In 2008 he was represented by Roydon Holmes and Demoralizer. Roydon Holmes (9/1) led until the final 20m and finished a close second to Glencadam, and Demoralizer was third. He did not have a runner in 2009 before Has The Answers led until the final 50m when second to Im Themightyquinn in 2010. His other runner Mysta Magical Mach was third. A year later Has The Answers (6/4 on) set the pace when third. In the 2012 August Cup Mysta Magical Mach (6/1) set the pace and was two lengths in front with 120m to travel before being swamped and was relegated to fifth behind Dasher VC. Twelve months ago Has The Answers was favourite at 6/4 when set the pace from barrier two and led until the final 90m when beaten by the fast-finishing Uppy Son. This year Svilicich will be represented by outsider Shardons Rocket, who will be driven by Chris Lewis, but faces an extremely difficult task from the outside of the back line. The August Cup is a particularly significant event for Hall sen., who had the distinction of training Zakara for his four wins in the race --- in 1991, 1992, 1993 and 1994. Hall's other August Cup winner was Im Themightyquinn, who started at 5/2 on in 2010 when he got to the front 50m from the post before defeating the pacemaker Has The Answers. The Cup prospects on Friday night of last-start winners Reuben Brogden and Our Arlington were boosted when they drew favourably at No. 2 and No. 3 on the front line. Reuben Brogden, trained by his owner Gary Elson, was most impressive last Friday night when he was tenth at the 500m mark and stormed home from sixth, five wide, on the home turn to defeat Old McDonald at a 1.54.4 rate over 1730m. Our Arlington also caught the eye last Friday night when he galloped soon after the start and settled down a distant ninth before dashing forward to move into the breeze 1400m from home and then gained the one-out, one-back trail and then finishing boldly to snatch victory from Northview Punter. Hall predicts big things for Machtu Champion trainer Gary Hall sen. has labelled Machtu the second best pacer in his Serpentine stables and is bubbling with confidence that the New Zealand-bred three-year-old will make a triumphant return to racing by proving too powerful for his rivals in the 2130m Glengarry Spectacles Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Machtu will be making his first appearance for 20 weeks when he starts out wide at No. 4 on the back line for champion reinsman Gary Hall jun. This will be the gelding's first start since he finished a close third behind Three Blind Mice and Eyre Crusher in the WA Derby early last April. "He has returned in great shape and his trials at Byford on the past two Sundays have been phenomenal," said an enthusiastic Hall sen. "He won both his trials, beating open-class horses and you would think that he would just win on Friday night. "In a 2550m stand on Sunday Machtu led and beat his open-class stablemate Livingontheinterest by a length after sprinting the final 400m in 27.9sec. In a 2150m mobile the previous Sunday he led and covered the final 800m in 56.5sec. and beat top-class pacer David Hercules on his merits. "Machtu is the second best horse in our stable, behind Im Themightyquinn. We are really happy with him and his long-term mission is the interdominion championship in Perth in 2016. At the moment we will take races as they come and see how he goes. "Quinny is back in work and is coming along nicely. He should resume racing towards the end of October and his main target is the $700,000 New Zealand Cup on the second Tuesday in November. It's a stand and he will draw the front line." Machtu, who has won at seven of his 12 starts, is one of three Hall runners in Friday night's race, the others being High Courage (No. 3 on the front line) and Classic American (outside of the back line). High Courage and Classic American are smart colts, but appear a class below Machtu. Nonetheless, each will be fancied to figure in the finish along with Burning, the promising Mach Three colt in the stables of Greg and Skye Bond. Burning, a speedy frontrunner and winner at seven of his 16 starts, will begin from the inside of the back line. An all-the way Pinjarra winner three starts ago, he lost few admirers when a fighting second to Elegant Christian over 2130m last Friday night after working hard without cover. Hall sets sights on 250 winners There is no stopping the all-conquering Hall training complex and now champion horseman Gary Hall sen. has lifted the bar and is setting himself fresh challenges as the 2013-14 season comes to an end. The Hall camp has 14 starters on the ten-event program at Gloucester Park on Friday night and punters would be well advised to include all 14 runners in their thoughts. Hall, a runaway winner of the trainers' premiership, would dearly love to end the season in a blaze of glory on Friday night. Leading reinsman Gary Hall jun. also would love to wind up the city season by winning the final event with honest performer Globalization in the Pedrini Painting Westbred Pathway Pace. Hall sen. leads the Metropolitan trainers' premiership with 169 wins --- a mile head of Greg and Skye Bond (63), Ross Olivieri (62), Debbie Padberg (32) and Andrew De Campo (25). On all tracks in Western Australia during the season he has had 814 starters for 209 winners, 116 seconds and 96 thirds for prizemoney of $2,966,533. In second place is the Bond stable with 146 winners and 128 placegetters from 817 starters. This is the first time a trainer has prepared more than 200 winners in a season in this State. Hall currently has 50 horses in work and he wants to keep the winners rolling in. "My aim for the 2014-15 season is to train 250 winners and to win the WA Pacing Cup for the ninth time," he declared. "Im Themightyquinn will run in the Cup, providing the wheels stay on." Hall is also looking for big things from exciting three-year-old Machtu and he also predicted bright futures for many of his horses, including Beaudiene Boaz, Nuala, Zennart and Juliana Bromac. Get on Machs A Pearler Unfavourable barriers have dogged Machs A Pearler in recent weeks and the New Zealand-bred four-year-old should greatly appreciate starting from the prized No. 1 barrier in the first event at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The honest gelding, trained at Forrestdale by Greg and Skye Bond, looks a good thing and punters should establish a good bank for the night by supporting him to end a losing sequence of seven. Machs A Pearler has enjoyed little luck recently after starting from the back line three times and from the outside of the front line twice at his past five outings. He is a smart frontrunner ideally suited over the sprint trip of 1730m. Punters should take it into serious consideration that he has led in ten of his 490 starts for five wins and five second placings. The Bond stable has 13 runners on Friday night, including six starters in the $25,000 King's Park Fashion Schrader final over 2130m. Four of those runners --- Tuapeka Kahu, Lunar Tide, Bettor Offer and Im Terrific --- are last-start winners, while the other two, Jay Bees Grin and Condrieu each finished third at their most recent outing and have sound prospects. Libertybelle Midfrew runs a sizzling trial Star filly Libertybelle Midfrew looms large as the best bet on the ten-event program at Gloucester Park on Friday night after running a superb trial at Byford on Sunday morning. Libertybelle Midfrew, trained by Mike Reed and to be driven by his son Mark, has the class to overcome the disadvantage of starting from barrier seven, the outside of the front line in the 1730m Casey Australia Pace. She warmed up for the race in dashing style at Byford on Sunday morning when she raced wide early and then took up the running before careering away from her four rivals to win the 2150m trial by almost 19 lengths from Shezablaze, rating 1.57.1 after sprinting over the final 800m in 56sec. This performance showed that the filly was poised to make amends for her shock first-up defeat at 10/1 on when she raced without cover and finished third behind Harriet Elisabeth and Jungle Jewel over 2130m on August 1. That was her first appearance since scoring a runaway victory in the WA Oaks on May 9 to take her West Australian record to five starts for five wins. Making good appeal as a placegetter is the Andrew De Campo-trained Maddy White, who should be prominent throughout from the No. 2 barrier on the front line. The David Thompson-trained Harriet Elisabeth has won at seven of her 18 starts and is capable of a bold showing from barrier three on the back line. Where Dreams Grow, trained and driven by Justin Prentice, has won at each of her past three starts, two at Bunbury and then one at Gloucester Park, when she set the pace from barrier two. But she faces a stern test from the No. 6 barrier.  Ken Casellas  

Rich feature events at Gloucester Park in November are on the agenda for outstanding filly Libertybelle Midfrew, who will resume after a brief spell in the Rigbys Bar Pace over 2130m on Friday night. Hazlemere trainer Mike Reed is setting the New Zealand-bred Libertybelle Midfrew for the $40,000 Norm's Daughter Classic and the group 1 $100,000 Mares Classic and she should have no difficulty in overcoming the disadvantage of starting from the outside of the front line on Friday night. She has not appeared since she outclassed her rivals in the $150,000 WA Oaks in early May when she beat The Parade by more than seven lengths to take her Australian record to five starts for five wins. If Libertybelle Midfrew continues her dazzling form Reed and owners Albert and Julie Walmsley will be sorely tempted to tackle the $175,000 Golden Nugget championship at Gloucester Park on December 5. She will be driven for the first time in a race by Mark Reed on Friday night and there appears to be no filly in the race capable of extending her or ending her winning sequence. Jungle Jewel and Maddy White are smart fillies, but do not appear to be in the same class as Libertybelle Midfrew. Jungle Jewel, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, has won at eight of her 22 starts and will be attempting her fourth win in a row. But her task from out wide at the No. 6 barrier looks extremely difficult. She was most impressive at Gloucester Park on Monday afternoon when she raced three back on the pegs in a field of three before being sent forward at the 600m mark and sprinting over the final 400m in 27.6sec. to beat Harriet Elisabeth and Casey Isabella at a 1.59 rate over 2130m. Maddy White, a winner of seven races, has plenty of ability and she should enjoy a soft run from the inside of the back line and should be running on solidly at the business end of the race. By Ken Casellas

Champion harness racing trainer Gary Hall sen. achieved a notable milestone at Gloucester Park on Monday afternoon when his only runner, Massive Attack, scored an easy all-the-way victory over Show You A Trick and Mister Atomic in the 2130m Lancaster Park Pace for two-year-olds. This gave him the distinction of becoming the first man to train 200 winners in a season in Western Australia. Hall has no stand-out performers at Friday night's meeting at Gloucester Park. But he has good prospects of opening the program with a winner when he will be represented by improving four-year-old Globalization in the Legends Bar Westbred Pathway Pace. Globalization is handily drawn at No. 3 on the front line and is sure to be prominent throughout the 2130m event. He set the pace and won two in a row at Gloucester Park, over 2130m and 1730m at Gloucester Park before he did not enjoy the best of luck in finishing fourth behind the classy Our Jerry Lee at Pinjarra three Mondays ago. Globalization's stiffest opposition is likely to come from Captain Proud and Justlikelindt. Captain proud, trained at Capel by Andrew De Campo, is in sparkling form and the four-year0-old gave a spirited display when third behind El Machine and Leda McNally in the Manea Classic at Bunbury last Saturday night. He worked hard before winning from Just Moses at Bunbury two starts before that. by Ken Casellas

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