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Lightly-raced seven-year-old Hokonui Ben emerged as a leading candidate for the rich Cup events at Gloucester Park in January when he outclassed his eight rivals in the $60,000 group 2 Retravision Village Kid Sprint on Friday night. Having only his 48th start, Hokonui Ben, hot favourite at 7/4 on from the coveted No. 1 barrier, survived early pressure applied by Sneakyn Down Under and a flying first quarter of the final mile in 27.2sec. to go on and defeat the fast-finishing 8/1 chance David Hercules by just over two lengths, rating 1.54.3 over the 1730m journey. Hokonui Ben's effortless victory was the high spot on a wonderful night for champion trainer Gary Hall sen. and his son Gary. Hall sen. equalled his best performance at Gloucester Park by preparing six winners on the ten-event program, while Hall jun. drove five winners. Hall sen., who trained five winners the previous Friday night, was a notable absentee on Friday night. He is enjoying a brief holiday in New Zealand with his wife Karen and is also taking the opportunity to cast his eye over some yearlings. Hall jun. praised Hokonui Ben and predicted that the Washington VC gelding would be a major player in the $250,000 Yes Loans Fremantle Cup on January 10 and the $400,000 Nepean Conveyors WA Pacing Cup the following Friday night. "He's gone huge tonight and if he gets a good draw in some of the big races coming up he's going to be very hard to beat," he declared. "On paper it looked that we would have an easy lead, without too much trouble, but I really had to gas him early. "It was a lot harder than we wanted. It was a bit concerning, but we got away with a quiet half (with the second and third 400m sections of the final mile in 30.1sec. and 29.1sec.). But then he wanted to fight me, so full credit to the horse. He found plenty when he needed to. "I knew that after the first quarter that David Hercules was right in the race. And I just had to wait until he pulled out before we got going. He got to us on the bend and got close to us, and when he went four wide I just had to go for home and hope that I was good enough to hold those horses on the fence at bay." David Hercules, who started from the outside of the front line and raced in seventh position in the one-wide line before following the three-wide run of Livingontheinterest approaching the bell. David Hercules charged home, four wide, in the home straight to be an excellent second, with the final quarter taking 28.5sec. Toretto, a stablemate of the winner and a 12/1 chance, enjoyed the run of the race behind the pacemaking Hokonui Ben before running home solidly to be a half-head behind David Hercules in third place. Lord Lombo (50/1) was eighth at the bell before running home strongly along the pegs to be fourth. Dasher VC (16/1) ruined his chances when he broke into a gallop and almost fell soon after the start. Hokonui Ben had 24 starts in New Zealand for six wins and five placings and then his Queensland owner Jeroen Nieuwenburg sent him to Western Australia in April 2012 to be trained by Hall sen. But then a hairline fracture in his near hind leg kept Hokonui ben on the sidelines until he made his Australian debut when an unlucky second to Vital Equalizer at Gloucester Park in late October 2012. Hokonui Ben then won at his next four starts, including the Navy Cup at Gloucester Park and the Bunbury Cup. He now has raced 24 times in WA for ten wins, eight seconds and a third to take his career record to 48 starts for 16 wins, 14 placings and $281,339 in prizemoney. He is the first foal out of Jane Halsey, who had 15 starts in New Zealand for one third placings and stakes of $413. REFORMED SOHO REDFORD HAS COME A LONG WAY Reformed pacer Soho Redford gave promise of better things to come when he gave a bold frontrunning display to win the $25,000 The West Australian Coulson final at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Produced in great shape by Wanneroo trainer Tonia Stampalia, the Mach Three four-year-old horse made the most of the prized No. 1 barrier and simply carried too many guns for his 11 rivals, scoring by a length from the fast-finishing 20/1 chance Heez Orl Black, with 1m to Bettors Ace (12/1), after that pacer had enjoyed the one-out, one-back trail. Soho Redford, a noted frontrunner who had won by four lengths at Northam at his previous outing, was heavily supported and started at 5/4 on. Im Terrific quickly moved into the breeze and Strampalia paved the way for victory when was able to settle Soho Redford and get him to stroll over the lead time in 37.8sec. and the first 400m section of the final mile in 30.6sec. Stampalia increased the tempo and Soho Redford dashed over the next three sections in 29.4sec., 28.8sec. and 29.7sec. He rated 1.58.1 over the 2130m and took his record to 35 starts for eight wins and eight placings for earnings of $59,687 for breeder Rob Watson, who races the horse in partnership with two syndicates. Soho Redford's dam The Dream Bet did not race, but her dam Better Bet earned $96,018 from eight wins and 18 placings from 39 starts. "He has come a long way in 12 months," Vance Stampalia said. "When we first got him he was a bit of a head case. But now you can do anything with him and he's actually a treat to drive. We used to fight a lot, but now we're good mates. Tonia keeps him fresh in the mind with a lot of swimming in the pool." CLASSIC AMERICAN IS DEVELOPING INTO A WA DERBY PROSPECT Leading trainer Gary Hall sen. has no regrets that he convinced several stable clients to outlay $70,000 to purchase Classic American after the colt had scored a runaway victory at his New Zealand debut six months ago. Classic American is living up to Hall's expectations and is showing all the signs of developing into a good prospect for the rich WA Derby next year. Driven confidently by Gary Hall jun., Classic American overcame the significant disadvantage of starting from the outside barrier on the front line to record an impressive victory in the 1730m Electrolux Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The 5/4 on favourite was restrained to the rear before he sustained a powerful three and four-wide burst over the final 900m to beat the fast-finishing Mister Jadore by a length at a 1.57.8 rate after sprinting over the final 800m in 57.6sec. This improved Classic American's record in WA to three wins and a second from four starts. Polemarker Zacharia (13/2) set the pace from Macon Georgia (breeze), Crimson Floyd (behind the leader) and Major Rush (one-out and one-back). Classic American was in fifth position when Hall jun. switched him four wide 300m from home. The colt raced greenly and veered inwards rounding the home turn before bursting to the front 90m from the post. Hall jun. was driving Classic American for the first time and was suitably impressed, saying: "He's a classy animal. When he arrived we thought he had great speed. But it's always a question when they get to the races, and now he's shown that as well. Initially, we thought he was going to be just below the top ones, but the way he is going and with natural improvement with racing, he's going to be right up there." Kim Prentice had driven Classic American at his first three WA starts for a first-up second to Calais and two easy wins. The colt had raced in the breeze in those three outings. Hall jun. said that he considered racing without cover was far from ideal for Classic American and therefore he restrained the colt to the rear on Friday night and saved him for a last-lap effort. "I knew he is a pretty good horse because, at home, his speed is exceptional, and he got to show that tonight," he said. "He was a bit of a handful on the last bend when he wanted to get in really badly. So we will have to do something to sort that out." Classic American was favourite at 5/2 on for his only appearance in New Zealand, in a 2200m mobile event at Cambridge on June 27 this year when he charged to the front after 500m in a field of six, set a slow pace and sprinted the final 400m in 28.5sec. to win by seven and a half lengths at a 2.2.5 rate. He arrived in WA early in August. His dam Classic Vicolo was retired in 2007 after failing to be placed in ten starts. FAMOUS ALCHEMIST SETS THE PATTERN FROM THE INSIDE BARRIER New Zealand-bred five-year-old Famous Alchemist took full advantage of the prized No. 1 barrier at Gloucester Park when she set the pace and scored a convincing win over Maggies Mystery and Elsu Sheila in the 2130m The West Australian Pace on Friday night. She was the first of five winners to start from the inside barrier and lead throughout in the nine mobile events on the program. The four other pacers who started from the No. 1 barrier recorded three seconds and a third placing. Famous Alchemist, who went into the race with a losing sequence of seven, was a firm 6/4 on favourite, with star mare Leda McNally second fancy at 11/4 from the outside of the back line in the 2130m event. Gary Hall jun. was able to get Famous Alchemist to coast through the lead time in 38.4sec. and the first quarter of the final mile in 30.1sec. before reeling off the next three 400m sections in 29.5sec., 28sec. and 28.5sec. She recorded a slick rate of 1.56.7. Maggies Mystery, from the inside of the back line, ran home solidly into second place, with 118/1 outsider Elsu Sheila running on gamely from three back on the pegs to be third, just ahead of Sensational Gabby, who fought on from sixth at the bell. "She has been ever so consistent and is a quality mare," said Hall. "It looked on paper that we were going to get the perfect run. She fought me a bit for the first half of the final mile and I was a little bit concerned that she wouldn't be able to punch out quick closing sectionals because she had pulled a little bit. "But she did it quite comfortably and I probably eased up on her too early, half way up the straight, and she took advantage of me (by switching off)." Famous Alchemist, owned by Karen Hall, wife of leading trainer Gary Hall sen., won at five of her 17 New Zealand starts and now has raced 17 times in WA for six wins and six placings. She has amassed $215,109 from her 11 wins and 11 placings from just 34 starts. She showed early promise and as a two-year-old at Alexandra Park in April and May 2011she finished second to Dancing Diamonds ibn a $195,000 classic for fillies and was third in a three-way photo finish behind O Baby and Cowgirls And Indians in a group 1 $156,400Two-Year-Old Fillies Championship. BUTCHER FORMS A STRONG ALLIANCE WITH MY HARD COPY Young New Zealand reinsman Shane Butcher continued his successful association with My Hard Copy when he drove the New Zealand-bred four-year-old to an impressive all-the-way victory in the first heat of The West Australian Nights of Thunder at Gloucester Park on Friday night. My Hard Copy was not extended in leading from the No. 1 barrier and then setting a brisk pace to win by one and a half lengths from The Feather Foot, with a neck to Glenferrie Hood. He rated 1.54.6, the fastest of the heat winners. Polak and Courage Tells won the other heats, with each pacer rating 1.54.9 over the 1730m sprint. My Hard Copy, who had run home solidly to be fifth behind Nowitzki in the Golden Nugget Classic at his previous outing, was favourite at 10/9 on, with his stablemate Northview Punter second fancy at 5/2 from the wide barrier, No. 8, with nine runners across one line. Butcher gave his rivals little chance by setting a fast pace, with the last mile sectionals in 29sec., 29.2sec., 28.3sec. and 28.5sec. My Hard Copy dashed away from the opposition in the closing stages to win by one and a half lengths from The Feather Foot (who ran on from three back on the pegs). Glenferrie Hood finished third after trailing the pacemaker and Copagrin was fourth after enjoying the one-out, one-back trail. Northview Punter raced at the rear before Gary hall jun. sent him forward, three wide, with 870m to travel. But the four-year-old failed to make any impression on his rivals and finished last. "My Hard Copy has been racing against the best and has been running good races from bad draws," Butt said. "In The Golden Nugget he drew seven and I was lucky enough to get a good run and finish close to them. He definitely loves the mile and is a good frontrunner. From No. 1 tonight I thought he was a good chance. There's not much of the little horse, but he gives it his all every time he goes out. "Every time you ask him, he keeps giving as much as he can. He is such a genuine horse and races so well. He never takes it out of himself. He doesn't overrace or anything like that. He's a gentleman to drive." My Hard Copy had 16 starts in New Zealand for three wins and eight placings before starting six times in Victoria for two wins and two placings. His 12 WA starts for trainer Gary Hall sen. have produced five wins and two placings and he now has earned $101,993 from ten wins and 12 placings from 34 starts. BROWN SETS ERSKINE RANGE FOR SAN SIMEON CHAMPIONSHIP Banjup trainer Colin Brown is setting Erskine Range for the $50,000 San Simeon Championship on January 24 after driving the promising four-year-old to a narrow victory in the 2130m Retravision As Local As You Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. And after Erskine Range contests that feature event Brown plans to send the gelding for a spell, with high hopes that he will resume an even better performer during his next campaign. Heats of the San Simeon Championship, restricted to M0-class pacers, will be run on January 17. Erskine Range was favourite at 5/4 on for Friday night's event in which he was smartest to begin from the No. 3 barrier, but had to work hard to get to the front after 270m. Brown then got the gelding to relax and he went through the lead time in a comfortable 38.5sec. before strolling over the first 400m section of the final mile in a dawdling 31.9sec. Rank outsider Tuxedo raced in the breeze and polemarker Veitchy enjoyed a perfect passage behind the pacemaker. Erskine Range sped over the third quarter in 28.3sec. before a final section in 29.3sec. He just held on to beat 18/1 chance Veitchy by a head, rating 1.58.7. Sparkling Seelster, seventh on the pegs at the bell, rattled home to be a close third, with Borntobeanartist finishing strongly from last in the middle stages to be fourth. Tuxedo was checked on the home turn and broke into a gallop before finishing last. The stewards suspended Michael Robinson for 19 days for allowing Veitchy to shift out and check Tuxedo. Brown said that he would set Erskine Range for the san Simeon, even though he was slightly disappointed at the chestnut's performance. "I actually thought that he might have let down better than that, considering the early sectionals," he said. "But a win is a win. However, I would have liked him to have let down a bit better. He came to my stable a little bit speedy and a little bit mad and when we settled him down he has gone the other way a little bit too much." The Victorian-bred Erskine Range is owned by Jim Currie and is by Canadian stallion Four Starzzz Shark. He is the second foal out of South Australian-bred mare Living Hei, who was retired after only one start, when seventh at Bendigo in March 2007. Living Hei's first foal is five-year-old mare Im Living The Dream, who has had 53 starts for nine wins, 16 placings and $95,972. Erskine Range, who is related to WA winners Our mac Attack (16 wins), Chanoine (nine), Princess Tenille (two) and Tara Village (13), has earned $40,797 from eight wins and two placings from 22 starts. FLYING START PAVES THE WAY FOR POLAK'S UPSET VICTORY A plan devised by trainer Mike Reed and reinsman Shannon Suvaljko to surprise the opposition by setting Polak alight from the No. 6 barrier at the start of the second heat of The West Australian Nights of Thunder at Gloucester Park on Friday night paid handsome dividends when the five-year-old carried too many guns for his seven rivals. Most pundits agreed that polemarker and 2/1 on favourite Silent Prowl would set the pace and prove hard to beat. But Suvaljko got Polak, a 13/1 chance, away with dazzling speed to burst straight past Silent Prowl. Polak then set a fast pace, reeling off quarters in 28.5sec., 29.9sec., 28.3sec. and 28.6sec. to beat Silent Prowl by just over a length at a 1.54.9 rate over the 1730m. Silent Prowl got off the pegs behind Polak in the home straight and finished fast. Xupan Three, who raced three back on the pegs, was 2m away in third place. "All the speed underneath wasn't that quick, except for the one (Silent Prowl)," Suvaljko explained after the race. "So our plan was just to time the gate and get him out as fast as he can. And he really came out of the gate at a hundred miles an hour, and once he got to the front he was always going to be the one to beat. He can run really good times in front and we'll be hoping for a favourable barrier in the final." Polak, who ended a losing sequence of seven, has amassed $160,555 from 15 wins and 15 placings from 51 starts. He is a full-brother to Schinzig Buller, who has raced 52 times for 11 wins, 12 placings and $289,452 in prizemoney. Schinzig Buller's most notable victory was when he defeated Mysta Magical Mach and Im Themightyquinn in the Golden Nugget in November 2008. COURAGE TELLS HOLDS ON AFTER SETTING THE PACE Well-travelled New Zealand-bred six-year-old Courage Tells maintained his splendid form for Hopeland trainer Colin Joss when he set the pace and held on to win the third heat of The West Australian Nights of Thunder at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Favourite at 10/9 on from the prized No. 1 barrier, Courage Tells bowled along in front for Morgan Woodley and beat the 7/2 second fancy Smokey The Bandit by a head at a 1.54.9 rate over the 1730m. Rowchester, third favourite at 4/1, fought on to be third after enjoying the one-out, one-back trail. Smokey The Bandit trailed Courage Tells all the way and got clear in the closing stages. He flashed home, but just failed to overhaul the leader. Woodley said that Courage Tells was better suited as a sit-sprinter, but he did not want to sacrifice the advantage of the No. 1 barrier over the sprint trip. "He's a nice type of horse and I think you see the best of him in a sit and sprint capacity," he said. "That's his best asset, his let-down speed. However, this is such a leader-biased track that you've got to stay there (in front). He has certainly got a lot more wins ahead of him." Courage Tells won twice from three starts as a two-year-old in New Zealand and then had 58 starts in Victoria and New South Wales for another 15 victories. He has had 11 starts in WA for three wins and four placings and now has earned $126,830 from 20 wins and 24 placings from 72 starts. NEW TACTICS SUIT PRINCE EDDIE --- AND NOW FOR THE TROTTERS CUP New Zealand-bred five-year-old Prince Eddie earned a crack at the $30,000 Trotters Cup at Gloucester Park next Friday night when he was on his best behaviour and produced a brilliant late burst of speed to get up and score a narrow victory in the 2503m Fisher and Paykel Handicap on Friday night. Trained by Gary Hall sen. and driven by Gary Hall jun., Prince Eddie, second fancy at 3/1, trailed the pacemaker and 11/4 favourite The Beau Brummell and did not look likely to succeed when he was in fourth position just 60m from the post. But Hall called on the Monarchy gelding for a special effort and he responded grandly, sprinting fast to get up and snatch victory by a neck from Hot Holiday, the third favourite at 4/1 who started from 30m and raced without cover over the final 1500m. A nose away in third place was the Beau Brummell. After a slow early pace, the final 800m was covered in 59.2sec. and the winner rated 2.9.2. Hall jun. said it was pleasing that Prince Eddie was showing form leading into the Trotters Cup. "Originally we thought he would be a good frontrunner, but we are now driving him in the field and keeping him for a late burst," Hall said. "Everything has been turned upside down after he had led in a couple of races and then folded up. Now we know that when we drive him this way (with a sit) that he can beat the good ones." This was Prince Eddie's second win from six WA starts after he had won once from eight New Zealand starts and four times from seven outings in New South Wales. He has earned $43,491. Prince Eddie is out of Hands And Heels, who finished tenth at her only start, at Addington in May 2002. He is a full-brother to King Charlie (67 starts for 15 wins, 14 placings and $238,291) and Shezoneoftheboyz (13 starts for eight wins, one placings and $91,849). BRENNAN TO TRAIN THIS TIME DYLAN FOR RIDLEY Serpentine horseman Michel Brennan will train This Time Dylan after the gelding was claimed for $20,000 by Brian Ridley at Gloucester Park on Friday night. This Time Dylan, a New Zealand-bred eight-year-old, has been in outstanding form for leading trainer Gary Hall sen. and he kept up the good work when he stormed home from the rear to score an effortless win in the 2536m Retravision.com.au Claiming Pace. This Time Dylan, a chunky little son of Dream Away, is the leader in the Pacer of the Year award with seven wins, three seconds and a third in the first four months of the season. He has competed in claiming races at each of his past six starts for three wins and three seconds to take his career record to 37 starts for 13 wins, nine placings and $112,125. He is now on an M6 mark. Shardons Rocket (3/1) dashed to the front after 500m in Friday night's event and Gary Hall jun. was content to keep This Time Dylan in sixth place in the field of seven before starting a three-wide move 600m from home. This Time Dylan burst to the front at the 4o00m mark and raced away to beat Talk It Up by three lengths, with Shardons Rocket a wilting third. Ridley is hoping that This Time Dylan proves to be an even better success than the previous horse he claimed from the Hall stable --- Rakarebel. Ridley outlaid $10,000 to claim Rakarebel early last May, and in ten starts for Brennan Rakarebel won once and was placed four times for earnings of $18,550. And then Ridley received $20,000 when Rakarebel was claimed in July by eastern states owners. Rakarebel has continued his career in New South Wales and Victoria where he has had 11 starts for seven third placings. Talk It Up was claimed by a syndicate headed by Laurie Kennedy and the evergreen nine-year-old will be prepared by Wanneroo trainer Barry Morrison. by Ken Casellas  

Leading trainer Gary Hall sen. cracked the jackpot when his three brilliant speedsters drew the inside three barriers in the $60,000 Retravision Village Kid Sprint over 1730m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Hokonui Ben will start from the prized No. 1 barrier, rising star Toretto will start from barrier two and Livingontheinterest, the track record-holder over 1730m, will start from No. 3. Champion reinsman Gary Hall jun. will resume driving after serving a term of suspension and will have the choice of driving the classy New Zealand-bred stablemates. Hokonui Ben makes strong appeal. He is a talented frontrunner who has won on each of the two occasions he has drawn the No. 1 barrier in a mobile event in Western Australia, the latest being four starts ago when he scorched over the final 800m in 54.8sec. and rated 1.55.5 in defeating David Hercules over 2130m on November 22. He has finished second at each of his three subsequent outings --- when he led from barrier two and was beaten by Livingontheinterest over 2536m, when he raced in the breeze and was unable to overhaul the pacemaker Sneakyn Down Under over 2130m and when he trailed the pacemaker Livingontheinterest before finishing strongly to be a half-length second to that gelding over 1730m last Friday night. Livingontheinterest and Toretto cannot be underestimated. Kim Prentice drove Livingontheinterest when the six-year-old set the pace and rated a smart 1.54.9 when he beat Hokonui Ben last Friday night. He started from barrier three and made most of the running when he won by almost four lengths from Hokonui Ben when he set a record rate of 1.53.1 over 1730m on June 14 this year. The injury-plagued Toretto is the least experienced of the stablemates, but has created an excellent reputation in winning at nine of his 14 starts. He maintained his superb form when he led from barrier one and coasted to victory over Our Major Mark, Red Salute and Hez The Bart Man in the 2130m Christmas Gift final last Friday night. He gave a sample of his versatility the previous week when charged home from the rear to win easily from Hez The Bart Man. The David Thompson-trained David Hercules is a magnificent sprinter, but his prospects faded when he drew out wide at barrier seven in a one-line field of nine. He led from barrier one and rated 1.54.2 when he beat Son of Fergie by six lengths three starts ago and he set a State record for 1700m when he rated 1.52.8 in beating Grinjaro by three lengths in July 2012. Since his most recent victory David Hercules has finished second to Hokonui Ben and third to Sneakyn Down Under and Hokonui Ben and he warmed up for this week's assignment in great style when he raced without cover early and then set the pace before winning a 2150m Byford trial on Sunday morning by four lengths from Ima Rocket Star. He sped over the final two 400m sections in 28.1sec. and 27.5sec. Morgan Woodley is likely to restrain David Hercules back towards the rear before asking the seven-year-old to unwind a sizzling late sprint. Bettors Fire, a highly-promising New Zealand-bred five-year-old, also warrants considerable respect after winning at eight of his first ten starts in Western Australia for young trainer-reinsman Kyle Harper. Bettors Fire will start from barrier four and Harper will be hoping to obtain a favourable passage in the one-wide line before issuing a last-lap challenge. Bettors Fire has won at his two appearances over 1730m, including his easy all-the-way victory over star pacer Im Victorious in the Mount Eden Sprint in the first week of November when he rated 1.53.8. Dasher VC showed a welcome return to form last Friday night when he started from the back line, dashed forward three wide in the middle stages and then raced in the breeze before fighting on to finish third behind Livingontheinterest. Stating from the No. 6 barrier on Friday night will not help his cause. FRONTRUNNING SOHO REDFORD GETS HIS CHANCE IN COULSON FINAL West Australian-bred four-year-old Soho Redford is a noted frontrunner and his prospects of winning the $25,000 The West Australian Coulson final at Gloucester Park on Friday night soared when he drew the coveted No. 1 barrier in the 2130m feature event. Vance Stampalia is certain to make his intentions perfectly clear that he will be all-out to set the pace with the freewheeling Mach Three horse, even though he is likely to be challenged for the early lead by smart frontrunners Bettors Ace (barrier two) and Im Terrific (three). Bettors Ace, to be driven by his trainer Ryan Bell, resumed after a short let-up in fine style when he led from barrier one and cruised to victory over Clifford and Condrieu in a 2130m event last Friday week. Then Im Terrific, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, made the most of the No. 1 barrier when he led and defeated Rocky Marciano and Heez On Fire over 2130m last Friday night. Soho Redford, whose is prepared by Tonia Stampalia (sister of the reinsman), notched his third win from his past six starts when he led from barrier three and beat Miss Atomic by four lengths over 2190m at Northam on Thursday of last week. Four starts before that, he started from the No. 1 barrier and was not extended in setting the pace and winning by more than two lengths from Extreme Dreams over 2536m at Gloucester Park. Soho Redford's main rivals could well be the other four-year-olds in the race, Heez On Fire, Rocky Marciano and Condrieu. Heez On Fire, trained by Rod Oliver, is nicely drawn at No. 2 on the back line and Chris Lewis is sure to get the Courage Under Fire gelding into a prominent position soon after the start. Heez On Fire was most unlucky when third behind Im Terrific and Rocky Marciano last Friday night when he was trapped four wide early and had to be restrained to the rear before unleashing a spirited finishing burst. He was most impressive two weeks earlier when he charged home from last to finish third behind Nowitzki and Smokey the Bandit in the 2536m Golden Nugget Championship. The Peter Anderson-trained Rocky Marciano is awkwardly drawn at No. 5 on the front line, but he is capable of producing a spirited finish if he is able to slot into an advantageous position soon after the start. He finished strongly when second to Im Terrific last week after enjoying an ideal passage, one-out and one-back. Condrieu, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, has excellent potential and has won at nine and been placed at 11 of his 28 starts. He raced wide for the first 600m and then set the pace before finishing third to Ohoka Courage and Lisharry over 2692m at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon. He showed his class when he began brilliantly, set a fast pace and finished second to Chilli palmer in the 2536m McInerney Ford Classic at Gloucester Park three starts before that. He will start from barrier four on the back line on Friday night. Condrieu's stablemate Cool Johnny, a stylish first-up winner two starts ago, has each-way prospects after drawing perfectly on the inside of the back line. He should gain a wonderful trail behind the likely pacemaker Soho Redford. LEDA McNALLY POISED TO MAKE IT FOUR WINS IN A ROW Star mare Leda McNally fared poorly in the random barrier draw and will start from the outside of the back line in The West Australian Mares Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. But this should prove no disadvantage for the brilliant five-year-old who looks classes above her ten rivals. Leda McNally has won in fine style at her past three appearances to take her record to 18 wins and eight placings from 44 starts for stakes of $257,308. Trainer Chris King tuned Leda McNally up for this week's assignment by sending her around in a 2185m trial at Pinjarra on Sunday morning. She was handled by her race driver Chris Voak and after racing in the breeze early, Leda McNally set the pace and won easily from stablemate Lord Lombo after sprinting the final 800m in 55.6sec. It was an excellent effort by Leda McNally, who completed a hat-trick of wins four Fridays ago when she charged to an early lead and romped to an effortless victory over Famous Alchemist in the 2130m $100,000 Mares Classic. Famous Alchemist, who also finished second to Leda McNally in the $40,000 Norm's Daughter Classic last month, should again fill the runner-up position. The mare, trained by Gary Hall sen., is perfectly drawn at the No. 1 barrier on the front line and should set the pace. But she appears to have little hope of holding out Leda McNally, who can unwind a devastating finishing burst. Maggies Mystery and Sensational Gabby appear the most likely runners to fight out the third placing. Maggies Mystery, a fast-finishing winner two starts ago, will start from the inside of the back line and should get a perfect trail behind the likely pacemaker Famous Alchemist. Sensational Gabby was also an impressive winner two starts ago when she pulled hard behind the pacemaker Ragpickers Dream before finishing strongly to snatch victory from that pacer over 2130m. Sensational Gabby will start from the No. 2 barrier on the back line and should gain an ideal passage in the one-wide line. NORTHVIEW PUNTER LOOKS A STAR BET IN NIGHTS OF THUNDER HEAT New Zealand-bred four-year-old Northview Punter has the class to overcome the disadvantage of a wide barrier in the first qualifying heat of The West Australian Nights of Thunder at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Three heats will be decided over 1730m, with the nine runners in each heat starting from just one line across the track. The fastest nine horses will qualify for the $50,000 final the following Friday night. Northview Punter will start from the No. 8 barrier and Gary Hall jun., resuming after a term of suspension, is sure to set sail after the leaders in the first circuit. Northview Punter returned to peak form last Friday night when he started from the outside of the back line, dashed forward in the first lap and raced without cover before surging to the front 350m from home and winning very easily from the fast-finishing Bronze Seeker, rating 1.58.4 over 2536m. His main opposition is likely to come from stablemate My Hard Copy, who has drawn ideally at No. 1. The four-year-old My Hard Copy has won at nine of his 33 starts and he has the necessary gate speed to be able to set6 the pace. Northview Punter and My hard Copy are prepared by leading trainer Gary Hall sen., who has sound prospects in the other heats of the Nights of Thunder with The Ragpicketrs Dream (heat two) and Rowchester (heat three). by Ken Casellas  

Champion trainer Gary Hall sen. is poised to win the Kennards Hire Christmas Gift final for a fifth time and wipe the names of legendary horsemen Lyle Lindau and Fred Kersley jun. off the record books when he starts leading candidates Toretto, Famous Alchemist and The Ragpickers Dream in the $35,000 feature event at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Hall's prospects soared when Toretto drew the prized No. 1 barrier and Famous Alchemist the No. 2 spot in the 2130m race, in which The Ragpickers Dream will start from the No. 5 barrier on the front line. Toretto, a five-year-old New Zealand-bred gelding and the least experienced runner in the Gift, was the fastest of the 12 qualifiers for the final when he charged home from ninth at the bell to win by more than two lengths from Hez The Bart Man last Friday night, rating 1.56. The other heat winners were Sensational Gabby (1.57.1) and Red Salute (1.59.1). The Ragpickers Dream was beaten by a nose in the final stride by Sensational Gabby and Famous Alchemist impressed when she finished strongly to be second to the pacemaking Red Salute in the other qualifying heat. Being the fastest qualifier (by a considerable margin) is no guarantee of success in the final. But from the inside barrier Toretto looks sure to start favourite and prove mighty hard to beat. However, 12 months ago Sensational Gabby was the fastest of the qualifiers for the Christmas Gift and also drew the No. 1 barrier in the final in which she started equal favourite at 6/4 with Livingontheinterest and set the pace before wilting in the home straight to finish a disappointing ninth behind Livingontheinterest. Livingontheinterest gave Hall his fourth victory in the Christmas Gift after he had been successful with Nixons Creed (1993), Allioop (2004) and McRaes Mate (2007). The Gift was first run in 1963 when Alan Woodworth drove Johnny Scott to victory over Jack Junior. Since then Lindau and Kersley have each trained the winner of the Gift four times. Lindau has won the event with Beau Shannon (1964), Prince Shane (1968), Typhson (1974) and Oxford (1977) and Kersley has been successful with James Eden (1971), Pure Steel (1975), Nixon Adios (1976) and Neeron Boy (1980). Hall, who landed the quinella in the 2007 Gift with McRaes Mate and Cosmic Legacy, has a good chance of providing the trifecta this year with Toretto, Famous Alchemist and The Ragpickers Dream, a rare feat which was achieved in the 2011 Gift when Greg and Skye Bond prepared the first three placegetters, Russley Rascal, Dundee Three and Talk It Up. The Bonds will be represented this year by Our Major Mark, who maintained his sound form when he worked hard without cover and finished third behind Red Salute last Friday night. Our Major Mark, to be handled by Ryan Warwick, is unfavourably drawn at barrier six. Colin Brown, who will drive his own nomination Old McDonald from the outside of the back line, has driven the winner of the Gift a record five times. He has won with Simeon Bay (1988), Julian Doe (1991), All The Answers (2002), Motu Treasure (2010) and Russley Rascal (2011). Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri has three runners in Friday night's feature --- heat winners Sensational Gabby and Red Salute and Hez The Bart Man, all of whom are racing with abundant enthusiasm. Olivieri's only success in the event was with 5/4 favourite Savette, who finished in second place in 1992 before being awarded the race after the winner Nero's Son returned a positive swab. No mare has been successful since Savette. Sensational Gabby, Famous Alchemist and Lucie Boshier are the mares in this year's field. After his fast-finishing victory in a heat, Toretto had an impressive record of eight wins and two placings from only 13 starts. Toretto is extremely versatile and will be suited in a pacemaking role. He started from barrier two when he led and won easily from Our Boy Su over 2130m at Gloucester Park four starts ago. IMPRESSIVE GATE BENDER MAKES STRONG APPEAL Few horses have been as impressive in recent months as Gate Bender was at Gloucester Park last Friday night and the New Zealand-bred eight-year-old has the ability to continue on his winning way when he starts from 20m in the $20,500 Kennards Hire Mount Eden-No Dill Christmas Handicap on Friday night. Serpentine trainer Stephanie Smith produced the gelding in great shape for his first run for six months and he simply coasted to victory in a 2503m stand after galloping at the start and being a conspicuous last in the field of 12 with two laps to travel. However, he unwound a splendid three-wide burst (with cover) from the 1300m to charge to the front 130m from the post and win by almost two lengths from Shardons Rocket. This week, with Morgan Woodley in the sulky, Gate Bender will start from the 20m mark and he looks highly capable of repeating the dose, particularly with a safe beginning. Evergreen ten-year-old Salliwood, the only mare in the race, is a foolproof performer in stands and she appeals as the likely early leader. Shannon Suvaljko then will weigh up his options whether he continues to set the pace or to take a sit. Salliwood started from 10m and raced three back on the pegs before finishing fast to be second to Uncle Kracker in last year's Christmas Handicap. She has raced in weaker company at her two most recent starts, both over 2503m, the distance of this week's race, when she set the pace and won from Shifting Sand and then finished second to Braemoor when the final 800m whizzed by in 56sec. Braemoor should give Boyanup trainer Justin Prentice a good chance of victory after winning six times from his past 13 starts. Prentice also has high hopes with Gday Mate, another experienced standing-start performer who is in good form. Both New Zealand-bred seven-year-olds will start off the 20m mark. Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri, who has prepared the second placegetter in three of the past five Christmas Handicaps (Our Dream Scene, 2008, Nickelmeldon, 2009, and Hustlers Crown, 2011) is hoping to go one better this year when he will be represented by 10m runners Pembrook Henry and Lord Coburn, each of whom is in sound form. Shardons Rocket, the sole backmarker off 40m, maintained his consistent form for trainer Tony Svilicich when he started from 30m and finished second to Gate Bender last Friday night. Backmarkers have a good record in the Christmas Handicap. Uncle Kracker won off 30m last year, Rocket Reign was the sole backmarker off 40m when he won in 2011, Alzona was the co-backmarker off 50m when he was successful in 2010 and Power of Tara was the sole backmarker off 40m when he won in 2008. New Zealand-bred seven-year-old J Walker (20m) will have many admirers after his brilliant first-up performance last Friday week when he started from 20m and charged home from last to win in dashing style for young trainer-reinsman Robbie Williams. THE No. 1 BARRIER POINTS TO LIVINGONTHEINTEREST IN SPRINT EVENT Barrier draws have a significant influence in determining the outcome of races at Gloucester Park and when Livingontheinterest drew the prized No. 1 barrier in the 1730m Medic One Pace on Friday night he emerged as the likely winner. The New Zealand-bred six-year-old, the youngest of the 12 runners, is a talented frontrunner who looks certain to set the pace and prove extremely difficult to overcome. He is prepared by leading trainer Gary Hall sen., whose other runner Hokonui Ben looks Livingontheinterest's most serious rival after drawing the inside of the back line. Friday night's event will be an excellent pipe-opener for the 1730m Village Kid Sprint the following week. Veteran Sneakyn Down Under started from the No. 1 barrier in the 2130m Fred Doy Memorial last Friday night when he led and won from Hokonui Ben and David Hercules. Hokonui Ben raced in the breeze and fought on grimly, with the final 800m being covered in 56.7sec. Livingontheinterest started from barrier two on the back line and did not threaten danger. He raced in sixth position in the one-wide line before starting a three-wide move approaching the bell. However, Livingontheinterest failed to sustain his effort and faded to eighth. But the inside draw on the front line this week will make a tremendous difference. Sneakyn Down Under went into last week's event with a losing sequence of 11 and unplaced at his previous six outings. But he was a firm third favourite at 7/2 because of the No. 1 barrier. He will be at much longer odds from barrier two on the second line this week. Veteran Mysta Magical Mach, who will be making his fourth appearance after resuming from a six-month absence, faces a stern test from the outside of the front line and Dasher VC, being prepared for an assault on rich summer carnival events including the WA pacing Cup and Fremantle Cup, will need plenty of luck from barrier three on the back line. SMART TRIAL GIVES SHNAPPY A HOPE AT HIS FIRST WA OUTING Former Victorian pacer Shnappy has managed just one minor placing from nine starts since winning at Melton last May, but he should be prominent at his West Australian debut when he contests the 2536m Make Your Job Easy Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The seven-year-old has not raced since mid-July, but he caught the eye with a smart win in a 2150m trial at Byford on Sunday morning when he broke soon after the start and recovered to defeat Springsteen by a length at a 1.58.1 rate. He sprinted over the final two 400m sections of the trial in 28.8sec. and 27.9sec. He is now being prepared by Ross Olivieri and Chris Lewis will drive him from the No. 4 barrier in an event in which he will clash with some smart pacers including Vapour, Flyalong Falcon Grand Cru and Hez Got The Nod. Shnappy has arrived in WA with a good record of ten wins and ten placings from 50 starts and will pay to follow. Vapour, a New Zealand-bred four-year-old trained by Gary Hall sen., has the disadvantage of starting from the outside of the front line, but will have many admirers after winning at each of his first two starts in the State earlier this month. He raced 16 times in New Zealand for three wins and five placings. Flyalong Falcon, a New Zealand-bred six-year-old trained by Nathan Turvey, has been most impressive since arriving in WA where his first five starts have produced four wins and a close last-start second to Art In Your face at Narrogin. Flyalong Falcon is the only runner off the back line. by Ken Casellas  

Sneakyn Down Under, an 11-year-old in the twilight of a wonderful career, bounced back to top form when he gave a typical powerful frontrunning performance to win the $21,000 TABtouch Fred Doy Memorial at Gloucester Park on Friday night and now will be set for the $60,000 Village Kid Sprint over 1730m on December 27. Starting third favourite at 7/2, Sneakyn Down Under took full advantage of the prized No. 1 barrier when Chris Lewis gave the New Zealand-bred gelding's ten rivals a difficult assignment to overhaul him by setting a brisk pace in the 2130m event. After comfortable first two 400m sections of the final mile in 29.8sec. and 29.1sec., Sneakyn Down Under sped over the final quarters in 28.1sec. and 28.6sec. and won by 2m from 3/1 second fancy Hokonui Ben, with a head to the fast-finishing 5/2 favourite David Hercules, rating a smart 1.55.2. Sneakyn Down Under's victory came on a tough night for punters, with eight favourites, including five at odds-on, being beaten. Beaten favourites were Courage On Fire (7/4 on), Calais (7/4 on), Hez The Bart Man (7/4), The Ragpickers Dream (6/4), David Hercules (5/2), Condrieu (5/4 on), Jay Bees Grin (5/4 on) and This Time Dylan (10/9 on). "It was a great run, 1.55.2 for an 11-year-old; it couldn't be better," Lewis said. "If he can draw one, he'll probably win a few more." Sneakyn Down Under, a rangy Badlands Hanover gelding raced by Darren Duffy and his sister Tracey, is a brilliant sprinter who will be ideally suited in the Village Kid Sprint if he draws favourably. He was recommended to the late Ray Duffy (father of Darren and Tracey) by Invercargill harness racing identity Graham Anderson after he had won twice over 2700m at Forbury as a three-year-old. Friday night's victory ended a losing sequence of 11 and boosted Sneakyn Down Under's record to 94 starts for 26 wins and 20 placings for stakes of $450,344. He is a half-brother to Countess Kala, who set the pace and won the Golden Nugget in a thrilling four-way photo finish at Gloucester Park in December 1999. Hokonui Ben began smartly from the No. 3 barrier and was kept three wide by Banana Dana for the first 250m before getting to the breeze. Morgan Woodley restrained David Hercules from barrier five and was content to remain at the rear. David Hercules was still last at the bell when he was following a three-wide run of Mysta Magical Mach. He was switched four wide at then 650nm mark and finished determinedly, out wide, to be an excellent third. Banana Dana finished strongly to be fourth after enjoying the ideal one-out, one-back sit. GATE BENDER REWARDS SMITH AND GIVES HER FIRST CITY TRAINING SUCCESS Young Serpentine trainer Stephanie Smith was rewarded for months of diligent, loving care when eight-year-old pacer Gate Bender gave a tremendous first-up performance to score an effortless victory in the Congratulations Washakie Five Straight Treuer Memorials Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. It was an outstanding training feat to produce the New Zealand-bred gelding in such superb condition after a six-month absence. The win gave Smith her first training success in a Metropolitan-class event after wins in minor races with Sovereign Grange and Bolshevic in her first year as a trainer. Smith, her father Stewart, Lee Bunney and Ian Sermon outlaid $10,000 to claim Gate Bender last June. But the gelding suffered severe suspensory damage to a foreleg before being laid low by a similar injury to the other foreleg. However, Smith refused to admit defeat and she nursed the gelding back to fitness, using her expertise as a qualified veterinary nurse and devising a training regime that would suit a horse with bad legs. This included taking the horse to the beach to wade in the water and galloping exercise in a jog cart. Smith, who is also an accomplished equestrian rider, engaged Donald Harper to handle Gate Bender on Friday night after her partner and star reinsman Morgan Woodley opted to drive Hokuri Handrail for trainer Kristie Morrone. "I was honoured when Steph rang and asked me to drive the horse," Harper said. "She has done a really great job with the horse. I was really impressed with him tonight, especially after blowing the start. He just powered over them and I think that if he stands up he will win a fair few more." After a win in a Pinjarra trial by five lengths two Sundays ago Gate Bender, an M2-class performer, was handicapped on the front mark in Friday night's 2503m stand for M0 and better pacers. Punters were mindful of the smart trial win and the speed the gelding had shown in his first 30 starts in Western Australia after arriving from New Zealand and he was favourite at 4/1 in a wide-open betting race. However, his supporters groaned when he galloped at the start and was last in the field of 12 after a lap had been completed. Erris Lad (11/2) was bowling along in front, with Lennys In Heaven in the breeze and Thirtyeight Special trailing the pacemaker. With 1300m to travel Aldo Cortopassi dashed the 30m backmarker Shardons Rocket (9/2) forward and Harper urged Gate Bender forward to follow that horse's three-wide run. Shardons Rocket worked his way to the front 420m from home, but was unable to withstand the powerful finishing burst of Gate Bender, who charged to the front 130m from the post and was hard held by Harper as he crossed the line just under two lengths in front of Shardons Rocket, rating 1.59.9 over the 2503m journey. Anvils Big Punt (15/1) followed Gate Bender over the final 1300m and finished a sound third. So well was Gate Bender travelling in the final circuit that Harper did not pull the ear plugs. Gate Bender, by Courage Under Fire, won five times in New Zealand and he now has earned $139,505 from 18 wins and 19 placings from 68 starts. His 31 WA starts have produced 13 wins and ten placings. His first stake of $11,550 was a splendid return for the $10,000outlaid to claim him on June 14. PRENTICE PREDICTS BIG THINGS FOR CLASSIC AMERICAN Kim Prentice predicted a "great" future for Classic America after driving the inexperienced three-year-old to an impressive victory in the 2130m TABtouch.com.au Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Classic American, at a gift price of 8/1, raced wide early and then in the breeze before scoring easily from the pacemaker Modigliani (12/1) and Swagga (11/2), rating 1.57.8 after dashing over the final 800m in 56.7sec. A runaway winner at his only start in New Zealand (in June this year), Classic American started a hot favourite at his WA debut ten days before Friday night's run when he raced without cover and finished a 10m second to debutant Calais. On Friday night Calais, from barrier two, was a 7/4 on favourite. But he was beaten for early speed by polemarker Modigliani and was shuffled back to eighth at the bell before finishing solidly into fourth place. "Classic American has learnt a lot from his first-up run and Senior (trainer Gary Hall sen.) said during the week that he had improved out of sight," Prentice said. "When he was in the breeze tonight he was just on a loose rein and I didn't know how much was there. But each time I asked him for a little but he grabbed hold (of the bit) and I knew at the 400m they weren't going to beat him because I knew I still had plenty of horse. "To get home in 28.1sec. was a fine effort, considering that he turned off half-way down the straight. He's got a great future, for sure." Classic American has earned $15,210 from two wins and a second from three starts. The win gave Prentice the first leg of a double and Hall sen. the first leg of a treble. They combined to win with Toretto and Soldier Boy, driven by Shane Butcher, completed the Hall treble when he drove Soldier Boy to a thrilling victory late in the program. SENSATIONAL GABBY ENDS A YEAR-LONG DROUGHT Former champion juvenile pacer Sensational Gabby returned to form when she unwound a dazzling late burst of speed to snatch a last-stride victory over 6/4 favourite The Ragpickers Dream in the third heat of the Heather King-KC Sports Christmas Gift at Gloucester Park on Friday night. It was the five-year-old mare's first success since she won a heat of the Christmas Gift exactly 12 months ago. Since that win she had raced only seven times and on Friday night was making her third appearance after a seven-month absence. Sensational Gabby, third favourite at 9/2, began from the inside of the back line and she pulled very hard behind the pacemaker Wrongly Accused (15/4). However, this did not prevent her from producing her whirlwind finish. The final quarter was covered in 28.3sec. and Sensational Gabby rated 1.57.1 over 2130m. "She's been a great filly and a great mare for us and it's just nice to see her back, winning," reinsman Chris Lewis said. "It's always a query when a horse travels so strongly (pulling) as to exactly how they are going to finish off. But I was confident that there would be something left in the tank." The win gave Lewis the first leg of a double and completed a training double for Ross Olivieri, who prepared Red Salute for his win in the previous event. Lewis was successful 30 minutes later when Sneakyn Down Under won the Fred Doy Memorial. Kim Prentice drove The Ragpickers Dream hard from the No. 2 barrier to get past the polemarker Wrongly Accused after 100m and then Dylan Egerton-Green eased Wrongly Accused off the pegs and into the breeze 200m later. After an opening quarter of the final mile in 29.5sec., The Ragpickers Dream was able to relax and cover the next section in 30.6sec. before the final quarters were covered in 29.1sec. and 28.3sec. The Ragpickers Dream dashed away approaching the home turn and led by two lengths with 120m to travel. But he failed by a nose to hold out the fast-finishing Sensational Gabby. Sanjaya, having his first start for owner-trainer-reinsman Chris Brew, flew home along the pegs to be a head away in third place. Sensational Gabby was a brilliant juvenile who won at her first eight starts as a two-year-old in 2011, including two $100,000 classics for fillies, and won the 2012 WA Oaks. Her 39starts have produced 25 wins and three placings for earnings of $468,595. MAGGIES MYSTERY IN TUNE FOR A SUCCESSFUL CAMPAIGN Five-year-old Maggies Mystery gave convincing proof that she will be a leading contender in races for mares this season when she sustained a spirited finishing burst from the rear to snatch victory in the 2130m Download TABtouch Today Mares Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Making her fourth appearance after a spell for Burekup trainer Colin Reeves, Maggies Mystery started from barrier four on the back line and was a 12/1 chance, with the polemarker Courage On Fire all the rage as a 7/4 on favourite. Courage On Fire set the pace and after covering the first two 400m sections of the final mile in 30sec. and 30.7sec., she increased the tempo and sprinted over the final quarters in 28.9sec. and 28.8sec. Maggies Mystery settled down in ninth position and she improved to seventh at the bell where she was following the three-wide run of 9/1 second favourite Chloe Vargarita. Maggies Mystery rattled home and got her head in front of Courage On Fire in the final couple of strides to score by a head, with 10/1 chance Hoylakes First Lady two and a half lengths away in third place after racing without cover over the final 1500m. Maggies Mystery rated 1.58.5 and improved her record to 55 starts for 11 wins and 14 placings for stakes of $116,290. "That's her ideal scenario, just sitting back and being saved up for one 250m sprint," said reinsman Morgan Woodley. "She drew barrier 11 and that didn't do her any favours. We were fortunate to get that nice run tonight and she was good enough to use it. She sits on speed really well and I'm sure that she can certainly match it with the best when she gets up in class." BELL TAKES FULL ADVANTAGE OF THE No. 1 BARRIER WITH BETTORS ACE Victorian-bred six-year-old Bettors Ace, who is closely related to former star performers Saab and Talladega, caused an upset when he started at 12/1 and gave a strong frontrunning exhibition to win the 2130m second heat of the TABtouch The Coulson Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The win was a triumph for young trainer-reinsman Ryan Bell, who produced the gelding in fine fettle for his first outing for seven weeks. Bell made full use of the considerable advantage of the No. 1 barrier on the front line and Bettors Ace relished his pacemaking role to score by one and a half lengths from 38/1 outsider Clifford, with the 5/4 on favourite Condrieu a half-length away in third place. Condrieu started from the outside of the back line and Colin Brown wasted no time in dashing the classy four-year-old forward, out three wide, before moving into the breeze after 500m. Bell then kept his rivals honest as Bettors Ace covered the final four 400m sections in 30.3sec., 30.1sec., 28.6sec. and 29.1sec. and 29.1sec. The winner rated 1.57.6 and took his record to 48 starts for ten wins and 12 placings for earnings of $94,260 for owners Kevin Jeavons, Gino Monaco and Lindsay Severn. "Bettors Ace is not at his top," said Bell. "We've had a fair few issues with him over the past two months and that's why he's had only two runs in that time. He's still not 100 per cent, so it means that we have something to work with. His best go is rolling and at his best he has two low 28sec. quarters in him, which makes him hard to catch. "Tonight I thought that Brownie (Condrieu) and Butcher (Shane Butcher, Soho Highroller) would be punching through (from the back line) at the start and it was going to be an interesting contest. But once it was only Brownie I knew I couldn't let him pass my wheel --- and it paid off." Bettors Ace is the second foal out of the Classic Garry mare Saabette, who had 29 starts between 2003 and 2005 for nine wins, six placings and $34,378. Saabette is a full-sister to five winners and a half-sister to six other winners. Among her full-brothers are Saab (63 starts for 21 wins, 18 placings and $577,197), Talladega (66 starts for 18 wins, ten placings and $411,680) and Saabella (74 starts for 17 wins, 14 placings and $205,754). INSIDE RUNS ENABLES SOLDIER BOY TO GET UP IN A SEVEN-WAY PHOTO FINISH Soldier Boy, under lock and key in sixth position on the pegs for most of the journey, made the most of a dream inside passage to get up in the final stride to score a thrilling victory in the 2130m Crash Craddock Pathway Pace on Friday night. It was one of the most exciting and closest finishes ever witnessed at the course, with only a neck separating the first seven runners, spread right across the track. Young reinsman Shane Butcher simply had nowhere to go half-way down the back straight in the final circuit, with Dilinger Dreaming setting the pace and steaming through the third quarter of the final mile in 28.2sec. But when Shannon Suvaljko restrained Hez Got The Nod and moved the gelding off the pegs with 380m to travel Butcher gleefully sent Soldier Boy, a 10/1 chance, through on the inside to get on to the leader's back. Hez Got the Nod then was able to get on to the back of the 5/4 on favourite Jay Bees Grin and he and several other runners surged forward as the field rounded the home bend. And then, shortly afterwards, Butcher gained his second piece of good fortune when Dilinger Dreaming drifted up the track, allowing him to send Soldier Boy through a needle-eye opening and get up in the final stride to score by a half-head from Hez Got the Nod. Grand Cru (10/1) was a half-head away in third place, with a nose to Jay Bees Grin. Only centimetres separated the next three runners, Notabdexcuse (a 7/2 chance, who had sustained a strong three-wide burst to get to a narrow lead 70m from the post), Mister Roberto and Dilinger Dreaming. Ashleigh Markham was fined $100 by the stewards for allowing Dilinger Dreaming, a 20/1 chance, to shift outwards and allow an inside run for Soldier Boy. "I got a bit of luck, which you need," said Butcher. "Soldier Boy is a funny horse. You really have to drive him and he hasn't got a lot of point-to-point speed." Soldier Boy, trained by Gary Hall sen., is by Washington VC and he had 20 starts in Victoria for seven wins and six placings before arriving in Western Australia where he has raced 12 times for two wins and seven placings. He is raced by Beth Richardson, Karen Hall, Luke Montgomery and a group of New South Wales owners, Jamie Durnberger-Smith, Natalie Stephens, Sam Oscuro, Christine Ianson, Anthony McAlpine, Kevin Hunter and Joshua Mackison. MAROONED GIVES SCOTT AN EARLY RETURN Gloucester Park Harness Racing committeeman Garry Scott has no regrets at his decision to pay $10,000 to claim seven-year-old Marooned on November 29. There were six claims for Marooned and Scott was successful in the ballot. Marooned, having his second start for trainer Matt Scott, son of the owner, was an 8/1 chance who finished fast from fourth at the bell to win easily from 10/9 on favourite This Time Dylan in the 2130m TABtouch Claiming pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. This ended a losing sequence of 21, stretching back to a victory at 48/1 at Menangle last February and took the New South Wales-bred pacer's record to 66 starts for 15 wins, 14 placings and $108,077 in prizemoney. First prize for Friday night's win was $5200 and the gelding looks sure to earn his new owner plenty more in stakes. Heavens Delight (14/1) set the pace on Friday night and Chris Voak made a sound decision to send Marooned forward, three wide, from out wide at No. 6 on the front line. Marooned swept forward to move into the breeze and soon afterwards was able to enjoy the perfect one-out, one-back sit when Kim Prentice sent This Time Dylan forward to race without cover. This Time Dylan, second at his two previous starts after a hat-trick of wins, took the lead 250m from home, but was powerless to hold off the fast-finishing Marooned, who got to the front 75m from the post. The win completed a double for Voak, who had been successful with Red salute earlier in the night. VOAK TIPS MORE SUCCESSES FOR FRONTRUNNING RED SALUTE "This horse will go from strength to strength," declared Chris Voak after driving Red Salute to an easy win in the 2130m second heat of the Del Basso Smallgoods Christmas Gift at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Red Salute, hot favourite at 5/2 on from the prized No. 1 barrier, gave his supporters no cause for concern as he set a dawdling early pace before sprinting home stylishly when he covered the final 800m in 56.4sec. and the last 400m in a scorching 27.6sec. He rated only 1.59.1, but could have gone considerably faster. Red Salute ambled through the lead time in an extremely slow 39.8sec. before dawdling through the first two 400m sections of the final mile in 31.6sec. and 29.8sec. He won by just over a length from 12/1 chance Famous Alchemist, who enjoyed an ideal passage, one-out and one-back. Our Major Mark held on to be third after working in the breeze for most of the way. Red Salute advanced to an M4 classification and looks set to perform soundly in open-class company. He has earned $136,859 from 13 wins and ten placings from 42 starts. "I probably didn't need to go so slow for the lead time, but you've got to get what you can get," Voak said. "I think he was a better horse for the run he had last week (when second to Hez the Bart Man). This horse will go from strength to strength." TORETTO SHOCKS AND IMPRESSES PRENTICE The lightly-raced Toretto impressed Kim Prentice when he drove the New Zealand-bred five-year-old to an easy victory in the 2130m first heat of the Cavalia Christmas Gift at Gloucester Park on Friday night. "This is the first time I have sat behind him," Prentice said as he admitted that he had some misgivings about driving the gelding because of his habit of racing ungenerously. "I know that Senior (trainer Gary Hall sen.) has always had a high opinion of him. But his habit of hanging has been a problem. I asked Clint (Hall's son) if Toretto was steering any better than he was a few weeks ago and he replied that he was gradually getting the hang of things. He got round the last bend and won like a good horse. He shocked me." Polemarker Xupan Three set the pace, with 3/1 chance Your Good Fortune in the breeze and Lucie Boshier in the one-out, one-back position. Toretto was ninth in the field of ten at the bell before he unwound a powerful burst which carried him to the front 110m from the post. He won at a 1.56 rate by just over two lengths from the 7/4 favourite Hez the Bart Man, who came from the rear in the middle stages and sixth at the bell. Xupan Three held on to be third. Toretto now has earned $60,630 from eight wins and two placings from 13 starts. by Ken Casellas  

A meticulous long-range plan, carefully-mapped out by Victorian trainer-reinsman Daniel Jack returned handsome dividends when the lightly-raced Nowitzki scored an impressive victory in the $175,000 Lancaster Park Golden Nugget Championship at Gloucester Park on Friday night. A sizzling start paved the way for the Art Major four-year-old who burst straight to the front from barrier two and set a solid pace before winning by 2m from 43/1 outsider Smokey The Bandit, with 29/1 chance Heez On Fire charging home from the rear to be third, just ahead of the even-money favourite Chilli Palmer. The win was the culmination of Jack's plan to bring the gelding from Victoria to Western Australia early in September. This was to give Nowitzki every opportunity to become acclimatised to the local conditions. Nowitzki spent two months at Pinjarra before making his WA debut, when he was surprisingly beaten into second place by Our Boy Su in a city M0-class event on November 8. He then led from the No. 1 barrier and won the $50,000 Retravision Four-Year-Old Championship from Mexicano before starting from the outside of the front line and finishing ninth behind Chilli Palmer in the McInerney Ford Classic. A $100,000 yearling, Nowitzki has earned $207,925 from his nine wins and five placings from 18 starts and he looks certain to develop into a quality grand circuit performer. Nowitzki was a $6.80 chance on the tote, with polemarker Chilli Palmer, the brilliant last-to-first winner of the McInerney Ford Classic a fortnight earlier, all the rage at evens from the prized No. 1 barrier. Jack stole a march on his rivals when Nowitzki revealed sparkling early speed to charge straight past Chilli Palmer and into the lead when the mobile barrier released the 12 runners in the 2536m journey. Condrieu began speedily from barrier six and quickly moved into the breeze, while Chilli Palmer settled down in sixth position before Chris Alford eased him off the pegs and into the one-wide line. It was while Chilli Palmer was struggling to muster early speed that Ashleigh Markham urged Smokey The Bandit forward from barrier two on the second line to get into the prime position behind the pacemaker. Nowitzki relaxed after his early burst of speed and was able to coast through the first 400m section of the final mile in 31.3sec. before sprinting the next three quarters in 28.5sec., 28.4sec. and 29sec. He rated 1.57.5. Bit Of A Legend (13/4) was sixth after a lap in the one-wide line, and was being followed by Chilli Palmer. Bit Of A Legend started a three-wide move with about 1100m to travel and again he was followed by Chilli Palmer. However, Nowitzki showed no signs of weakening and it was left to the unheralded Smokey The Bandit to issue the only serious challenge in the home straight. Jack threw the kitchen sink at Nowitzki and he was suspended from driving for 14 days for an improper whip action in the home straight. The stewards also fine him $200 for loose reining --- for throwing the reins extravagantly as the gelding charged towards the finishing post. Markham was fined $400 for an incorrect whip action. "I have a very high opinion of Nowitzki and wasn't really concerned during the race," Jack said. "You go out there and try to beat one horse (Chilli Palmer) and you often come unstuck and something else beats you. That's racing and, thankfully, that wasn't the case tonight. He now has earned a spell." Nowitzki is the sixth foal out of the Armbro Operative mare Full Pleasure, who had 26 starts in 2001 and 2002 for three wins in NSW and seven in Victoria for earnings of $106,496. Full Pleasure's first six foals are all winners (of a total of 75 races), with her second foal Kept For Pleasure having 37 starts for 19 wins, ten placings and $542,343 and Lebron earning $155,084 from 22 wins and Its My Pleasure winning 14 races and $141,908. CORTOPASSI MAKES THE MOST OF CHANCE DRIVE BEHIND HEZ THE BART MAN New Zealand-bred eight-year-old Hez The Bart Man bounced back to form with a vengeance when he sustained a powerful three-wide burst to win the 2130m Jayden Barber Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night to end an eight-month drought and snap a losing sequence of 16. A 27/1 tote outsider, he was driven for the first time by Aldo Cortopassi, who brought the gelding home with a spirited three-wide burst from fourth at the bell to a decisive one-length win over stablemate Red Salute (24/1). This gave Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri a quinella result. The stable's No. 1 reinsman Chris Lewis had the choice of driving either horse and when he chose last-start winner Red Salute it gave Cortopassi the chance of handling Hez the Bart Man. Western Cullen was a hot favourite at 2/1 on from the No. 1 barrier. As expected, he set the pace, and even after a slow first quarter of the final mile in 31.2sec. he wilted over the final 400m to finish sixth. Hez The Bart Man hit the front 320m from home and he won from Red Salute, who finished with admirable determination. Courage Tells, who trailed the pacemaker, finished third. The final 800m was covered in 56.3sec. and the winner rated a slick 1.56.2 to take his record to 56 starts for 11 wins, 21 placings and $125,333 in stakes. "I knew there was going to be a lot of early speed and we got a really good trip into the race," Cortopassi said. "He toughed it out really good. As soon as I got the plugs out and gave him a cut with the whip he levelled out and knew where the line was." J WALKER EXCELS AT FIRST OUTING FOR THREE MONTHS Young Henley Brook trainer Robbie Williams predicted more wins for New Zealand-bred gelding J Walker after driving the seven-year-old to a splendid first-up victory in the 2503m Russky the Bandit Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. "I've got a bit of an opinion of this bloke," he said after J Walker, a 7/1 chance off the back mark of 20m, had thundered home from last in the middle stages and from eighth at the bell to win easily from the pacemaker Bobby Teal (12/1) and 13/1 chance Turnpike Cruiser, who rattled home from last with a lap to travel. J Walker, who hit the front 120m from home, was making his first appearance for three months and his win broke a losing sequence of nine. "He's had a few little niggles, so we put him out in the paddock," Williams said. "And now he seems to be over them. My only concern tonight was that I thought he was a little bit big in condition." J Walker now moves to an M3 classification and looks capable of advancing to a tighter mark. He has raced 80 times for 16 wins, 19 placings for $149,926 in prizemoney. His win on Friday night completed a double for Williams, who had been successful earlier in the night with Franco Torres. COOL JOHNNY SPARKLES ON HIS RETURN TO RACING Cool Johnny, a lightly-raced five-year-old prepared at Forrestdale by Greg and Skye Bond, reappeared at Gloucester Park at Gloucester Park on Friday night after an absence of 11 weeks and he surprised reinsman Colin Brown with the ease of his victory. "I can't say that his trackwork has been exceptional. But he certainly lifted tonight," Brown said. "The barrier draw (No. 1) certainly helped." Cool Johnny was solidly supported and started at 7/4. He was smartest into stride and after quarters of 30.1sec. and 30.8sec., he sprinted over the final sections in 29.7sec. and 28.3sec. He rated 1.58.4 and defeated What God Knows (13/2) by just under four lengths. Soho Redford, who raced in the breeze, fought on grandly to be third. Soho Highroller (7/4) was popular with punters, but he was trapped three wide all the way before wilting from third at the bell to sixth. It was a fine effort. "Ï had a good look at the 400m and a few of them were struggling," Brown said. "We appeared to be travelling okay, so I dashed him away. The last thing you want to do is to get run over by something sprinting over the top. He finished it off well." Cool Johnny won once from three starts in New Zealand now has a record of 22 starts for nine wins and three placings for stakes of $48,904. MENELAUS OF SPARTA SHINING UNDER SMITH'S GUIDANCE Kenwick trainer Brett Smith made a wise decision three months ago when he claimed six-year-old Menelaus of Sparta for $10,000 on behalf of his mother Jenny and a few friends. Menelaus of Sparta has flourished under Smith's care and he maintained his excellent form when he stormed home from the rear in the middle stages to score an easy victory in the 2130m David Cairo and Jamie Congerton Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. This took his record for Smith to 12 starts for five wins and two placings for $33,715 in stakes and his overall record to 17 wins, 19 placings and $111,346 from 74 starts. Smith is serving a term of suspension for causing interference and this created an opportunity for Morgan Woodley to drive Menelaus of Sparta for the first time. "All credit to Brett," Woodley said. "He has got this horse absolutely flying at the moment. He's been a revelation under his training. Tonight he's got the perfect run into the race. From the 1200m to the 400m they've run that half in 58.2sec. before the final quarter was run in 29sec. That was right up this horse's alley. He can let down realty well and he showed that tonight." Menelaus of Sparta started at the handsome odds of 14/1, mainly because most punters pinned their faith in veteran Pembrook Henry from the No. 1 barrier. Dylan Egerton-Green jumped Pembrook Henry in front, but the gelding was placed under heavy pressure when Absolute Cool paced strongly in the breeze. Rojen Cruz rattled home from last in the middle stages to be second, one length behind Menelaus of Sparta and Pembrook Henry did well to finish third, with Absolute Cool in fourth place. WILLIAMS BRINGS FRANCO TORRES (33/1) HOME WITH A POWERFUL BURST Robbie Williams made the most of the opportunity to drive Franco Torres in the Happy Birthday Ryan Berti Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night when Shannon Suvaljko, the No. 1 driver for the Debbie Padberg stable, opted to drive the Mike Reed-trained Taiaha. Taiaha was a solidly-supported 2/1 favourite from the No. 1 barrier, while Franco Torres was a 33/1 outsider, going into the 2130m event with a losing sequence of 11. Taiaha set the pace, while Williams, driving Franco Torres for the first time, was content to keep his horse in sixth position in the one-wide line. Wrongly Accused worked hard in the breeze before getting to the front with 400m to travel. However, Franco Torres sprinted home strongly over the final quarter in a28.6sec. to burst to the front in the closing stages to beat Wrongly Accused by just over a length. Bet Your Life came from three back on the pegs to be third, a nose ahead of Corza Commotion, who finished powerfully from ninth (on the pegs) at the bell. Taiaha faded to finish last in the field of 12. The New Zealand-bred Franco Torres has earned $77,624 from ten wins and 17 placings from 63 starts. EGERTON-GREEN LANDS BLACKNSWEET ADDA AT HANDSOM ODDS Young reinsman Dylan Egerton-Green maintained his splendid form in the sulky when he brought 13/1 chance Blacknsweet Adda home with a strong burst to win the V. and K. Congerton Mares Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Herne Hill Trainer Kevin Keys engaged Egerton-Green to drive the four-year-old for the first time and it proved to be a wise decision with Egerton-Green trailing the pacemaker Miss Tee Dawn until he urged Blacknsweet Adda forward approaching the home turn. Miss Tee Dawn, driven by ace New Zealand reinsman Dexter Dunn, was showing signs of weakening and Blacknsweet Adda hit the front 90m from the post before winning by just over a length from Pure Empathy, who sizzled home out five wide after being last in the middle stages and tenth at the bell. Blacknsweet Adda ended a losing run of seven and took her record to five wins and seven placings from 28 starts for stakes of $43,090. SOHO MONZA BRERAKS THROUGH AFTER A SUCCESSION OF MINOR PLACINGS Five-year-old Soho Monza was rewarded for his consistency when he broke through for an overdue win at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The Pacific Fella gelding, bred and owned by Rob Watson, had been placed at eight of his past 13 starts since winning at Northam early in July. He drew the prized No. 1 barrier and was favourite at 10/9 on. Hopeland trainer Kim Prentice set Soho Monza the task of leading all the way and the gelding responded in fine style, sprinting over the final two 400m sections in 28.8sec. and 28.7sec. to win by 2m from veteran pacer Cometao, who fought on grandly after racing without cover. Mister Roberto ran on from seven and last at the bell to be third. Soho Monza is the first foal out of the Perfect Art mare Spic And Spangled, who raced only five times for two wins at Kalgoorlie in October-November 2006. The Victorian-bred Spangled Black, the great granddam of Soho Monza, had 64 starts in the 1980s for 12 wins, 18 placings and $64,114. HERBIES DREAM GIVES PADBERG THE FIRST LEG OF A DOUBLE Wanneroo trainer Debbie Padberg's recent run of successes continued at full tilt at Gloucester Park on Friday night when she landed a double --- with Herbies Dream and Franco Torres. This followed her good night at Northam on Thursday evening when she had four starters for a win with Hez Got The Nod, seconds with Sir Ricky and Alta Onassis and a third with Big Bad Wolf. The New Zealand-bred Herbies Dream was an 8/1 chance and Shannon Suvaljko made the most of the prized No. 1 barrier by setting the pace and winning by just under a length from Grand Cru (who trailed the leader throughout), with the 5/4 favourite Notabadexcuse a half-head away in third place. Notabadexcuse raced in fifth position before starting a three-wide move approaching the bell. He fought on doggedly at his first start for leading trainer Gary Hall sen. and should pay to follow. Herbies Dream raced 22 times in New Zealand for three wins and seven times in New South Wales for one win before arriving in Western Australia where his four starts have produced one win. HOT HOLIDAY NEVER GETS TIRED, SAYS SKALECKI Hot Holiday, who broke three times in running when a distant eighth behind Earl Harbour in a race at Gloucester Park last Friday week, was on his best behaviour when he trotted faultlessly and scored an effortless victory in the 2130m Kyle and Dozer Trot on Friday night. After the race Skalecki said that the Natalie Duffy-trained seven-year-old had been at a disadvantage the previous week because he had raced without front shoes. "He has gone super tonight," Skalecki said. "He went round without front shoes last week and that made it a bit difficult. Tonight we were pretty confident. That's where he likes it, outside the leader. "He doesn't like chasing too hard, but once he's up there (in the breeze) he'll just grind all day. He never gets tired and he'll just fight." Prince Eddie (5/2) set the pace and Skalecki was quite happy to have Hot Holiday, the 2/1 favourite, in the breeze. Hot Holiday forged to the front 420m from home and raced Away to score by four lengths from Backas Cobber, who ran on from the rear. Hot Holiday has raced 60 times for 15 wins, 16 placings and stakes of $130,849. by Ken Casellas  

Victorian invader Chilli Palmer is the least experienced runner in the $125,000 McInerney Ford Classic at Gloucester Park on Friday night, but he is in devastating form and has excellent prospects of giving outstanding trainer Dean Braun a perfect record in this group 1 event for four-year-olds. The 37-year-old Braun has had two runners in this event --- and each was successful, with Mustang Mach starting favourite at 6/4 and winning from Lovers Delight in 2011 and Chancellor Cullen starting at 5/2 on, setting the pace from the No. 2 barrier and holding on grimly to beat Bronze Seeker by a half-head 12 months ago. Chilli Power has strung together five wins in succession and goes into Friday night’s event with an enviable record of six wins and a second from only eight starts. He fared poorly in the random draw and will start from the outside of the back line. But Braun sees this as a lucky omen. Mustang Mach wore the No. 12 saddlecloth and started from the outside of the back line for his victory in the McInerney Ford Classic when he raced three wide early to move outside the pacemaker Seel N Print after 750m before getting to the front with 450m to travel and fighting on grandly to defeat the fast-finishing Lovers Delight. Chilli Palmer, a New Zealand-bred gelding by Elsu, warmed up for this week’s assignment in fine style when he raced in sixth position in the one-wide line before sprinting home brilliantly over the final 400m in 27.7sec. to win easily from The Major League over 1720m at Melton last Saturday night. That followed an easy first-up victory over 2100m at Geelong 12 nights earlier. Braun enjoyed his best season in 2012-13 when he trained 106 winners and 93 placegetters in Victoria from only 287 starters. He also won races in Brisbane, Sydney, Hobart and Perth, with his filly Itz Nosurprisesthere successful in the group 1 Queensland Oaks. He has started the 2013-14 season in fine style and is in third place in the Victorian Statewide trainers’ premiership table with 26 winners and ten placegetters from just 54 starters. Champion New Zealand horse Bit Of A Legend has drawn out wide at No. 6 on the front line and reinsman Brent Mangos will be hoping for a far better performance from the stallion after his failure as an even-money favourite when a wilting 11th behind Nowitzki in the Four-Year-Old Championship at Gloucester park last Friday night when he started from barrier five and worked hard in the breeze. This disappointing effort followed his smart win at his WA debut the previous week when he dashed to an early lead, set the pace and sprinted over the final 800m in 56.1sec. He has raced 35 times for 17 wins and 11 seconds for stakes of $638,928 and cannot be underestimated. Adding tremendous interest will be the appearance of the only mare in the event, Robyns C C, who is trained at Serpentine by Chris Brew and is ideally drawn at barrier two on the front line. The mare, who was driven by Mangos at two of her three wins in New Zealand, is in superb form and has not been extended in winning at each of her past six starts. Robyns C C is extremely versatile and has won when leading, after racing without cover and when held up for a late burst. Brew’s other runner, Glenferrie Hood (seven wins and four placings from 13 starts) will start from the No. 2 barrier on the back line, immediately behind Robyns C C. The Victorian-trained Nowitzki, who gave an excellent frontrunning display (from the No. 1 barrier) to score an easy victory over Mexicano and Northview Punter in the 2130m Four-Year-Old Championship last Friday night, faces a tougher task over 2536m this week after drawing the outside barrier (No. 7) on the front line. Leading WA trainer Gary Hall sen. has won the McInerney Ford Classic with The Falcon Strike (2001) and Im Themightyquinn (2008) and this year he will be represented by Northview Punter (14 wins from 26 starts) and My Hard Copy (nine wins from 30 starts). The consistent Northview Punter is a tough, no-nonsense type of pacer with sound prospects from the No. 4 barrier. He trailed the pacemaker Nowitzki for much of the way last week when a fighting third to that gelding. My Hard Copy, an easy all-the-way winner over 1730m at a 1.54.6 rate two starts ago, has drawn the prized No. 1 barrier and will be driven by Shane Butcher. Gary Hall jun. will again be in the sulky behind Northview Punter. Bickley trainer Peter Anderson also has two runners in Friday night’s race, Mexicano (barrier No. 3) and Rocky Marciano (inside of the back line). Mexicano impressed last Friday night when he raced three back on the pegs and finished strongly to be second to Nowitzki and Rocky Marciano ran on gamely from five back on the pegs to finish fourth. BETTOR COVER LOVER SET TO PASS THE MAGIC $1 MILLION MARK A perfect barrier at No. 2 on the front line should be the ingredient for success for champion New Zealand mare Bettor Cover Lover in the $40,000 Norm’s Daughter Classic over 1730m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Owned by prominent West Australian veterinary surgeon Trevor Lindsay, Bettor Cover Lover has a superior record to that of her 11 rivals and she looks set to notch her 20th win from 35 starts and boost her earning past the $1 million mark. The big, rangy mare who stands 16.2 hands has improved a lot since her seventh behind Bettors Fire in the Mount Eden Sprint three Fridays ago. That was her first appearance for five months and she had the distinct disadvantage of starting from the outside of the back line. The six-year-old has worked in fine style for trainer-reinsman Brent Mangos since that defeat and paced stylishly when second to the frontrunning Sensational Gabby in a 2185m trial at Pinjarra last Sunday week when the final two 400m sections were covered in 27.1sec. and 28.4sec. Leading WA trainer Gary Hall sen. has four runners, Askmenow (barrier one), Korobeit Angel (seven), Famous Alchemist (inside of the back line) and Chloe Vargarita (No. 2 on the back line). Askmenow has won at nine of her past 14 starts and is a good frontrunner. But Bettor Cover Lover should reveal superior early speed and is likely to burst to an early lead. The fastest beginners on the front line are Sensational Gabby (No. 3) and Leda McNally (No. 4) and they should make life interesting and challenging for Mangos. Sensational Gabby, a five-year-old who has won at 24 of her 36 starts, will be having her first start for Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri and it is problematical whether Chris Lewis will ask the mare to go flat out at the outset at her first appearance for seven months. However, Chris Voak is sure to be tempted to make an early bid for the lead with the speedy Leda McNally, who is blessed with sparkling gate speed. She began like a flash from the inside barrier before strolling to an effortless all-the-way victory at a 1.54.3 rate over 1730m last Friday night. Leda McNally started from the inside barrier in the 2012 Norm’s Daughter Classic when she trailed the pacemaker Lucie Boshier (barrier three) and was blocked for a clear run when an unlucky third to that mare. Lucie Boshier has won once (four starts ago) and has been unplaced eight times from her past nine starts and she is hard to recommend from the No. 5 barrier. The best of the Hall runners could be Famous Alchemist, who should enjoy a good passage from the inside of the back line. Famous Alchemist had a tough run, three wide early and then in the breeze, when a sound third behind Leda McNally and Deluxe Edition last Friday night. HAYTER GETS A GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY WITH DREDLOCK ROCKSTAR Young Bunbury reinsman Kaiden Hayter has been handed a golden opportunity to land another Metropolitan winner after being engaged to handle the speedy Dredlock Rockstar in the 1730m McInerney Ford Falcon Ute Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The 22-year-old Hayter was offered the drive behind the Michael Callegari-trained five-year-old to enable the gelding to contest the $17,500 event which is restricted to M1-class pacers. Hayter’s junior concession qualified Dredlock Rockstar, an M2-class performer, to contest the race. And Dredlock Rockstar’s prospects soared when he drew the prized No. 1 barrier. Dredlock Rockstar is in superb form, with his past 17 starts producing seven wins and nine placings. He was most impressive at Gloucester Park last Friday week when Aaron Beckett (replacing the suspended Ashleigh Markham) drove him to a brilliant all-the-way victory over Ohoka Dallas and Shardons Rocket in the 2130m Parliamentarians Cup. That took the gelding’s record to 41 starts for 12 wins and 17 placings for stakes of $100,056. This win came a week after Dredlock Rockstar had finished powerfully from last at the bell to be third behind Bettors Fire and Im Victorious in the Mount Eden Sprint. Seven-year-old Jar Zinyo, who has a losing sequence of 20 stretching back to a win at Melton 23 months ago, looks a place certainty. The gelding, trained by Gary Hall sen., will start from the inside of the back line and should trail the pacemaking Dredlock Rockstar throughout. Tough seven-year-old Wrongly Accused also has bright place prospects after he ended a losing sequence of 11 with an easy victory over Raymon John at Gloucester Park on Monday afternoon. That took the Tony Svilicich-trained gelding’s record to 21 wins and 47 placings from 182 starts. SMART TRIAL A POINTER TO THE PRODIGY’S FIRST-UP PROSPECTS A smart trial victory at Pinjarra on Sunday morning by The Prodigy was a strong pointer to her prospects in the 2130m McInerney Ford Belmont Service Pace for three-year-old fillies at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The Prodigy, trained by Ross Olivieri and driven by Chris Lewis, sped over the final 400m of the trial in 27.6sec. and scored by two and a half lengths from Our Jerry Lee. She will start from the No. 3 barrier on Friday night and should be prominent throughout. The Prodigy has not appeared since she raced erratically and covered a lot of extra ground before finishing a distant eighth behind Artistic Copper in the $100,000 Sales Classic for two-year-old fillies last April. Artistic Copper, trained by her breeder-owner Mike Howie, looks likely to be one of The Prodigy’s main rivals. She will start from the No. 1 barrier and Nathan Turvey is likely to attempt an all-the-way win. Artistic Copper resumed after a spell at Northam on Sunday when she raced in the one-out, one-back position and finished third behind Shes So Cool. Shes So Cool faces a tougher task on Friday night from out wide at barrier No. 6. She will again be driven by Brent Mangos, who replaced Pinjarra trainer Kade Howson on Sunday after Howson was suspended for 12 days for having obliged another runner to cover extra ground in a race at Bunbury on Saturday night. New Zealand-bred filly The Parade will be hard to beat despite starting from the outside of the back line. Trained at Boyanup by Justin Prentice, The Parade has scored convincingly at each of her past three starts, two at Pinjarra and one at Gloucester Park. The return to racing of Shez Sensational adds further interest to the race. Shez Sensational is trained at Byford by Callan Suvaljko and she showed abundant promise as a two-year-old and is capable of a bold first-up showing. DAVID HERCULES LOOKS A GOOD BET AFTER BRILLIANT FIRST-UP WIN The ease in which David Hercules defeated his rivals, first-up, over 1730m last Friday night should influence punters to support the seven-year-old when he contests the $21,000 McInerney Ford Falcon Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. David Hercules, trained by David Thompson, led easily from barrier one and sped over the final quarters in 28.2sec. and 27.7sec. to win by six lengths from Son of Fergie at a 1.54.2 rate. David Hercules will start from the No. 2 barrier on the front line and Morgan Woodley is sure to attempt another all-the-way win. However, Woodley might not have an easy task to send David Hercules straight to the front, with Hokonui Ben drawn the prized No. 1 barrier. Hokonui Ben also was racing first-up in last Friday night’s event in which he started from barrier three and raced in the one-out and one-back position before being hampered for room in the closing stages and finishing fifth behind David Hercules. by Ken Casellas  

Victorian trainer-reinsman Daniel Jack sounded an ominous warning when he declared that Nowitzki was not at his top and there was plenty of room for improvement after driving the gelding to a comfortable victory in the $50,000 Retravision Four-Year-Old Championship at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Jack confidently predicted that Nowitzki would take beating in the $125,000 McInerney Ford Classic next Friday night and the $175,000 Lancaster Park Golden Nugget two weeks later when he said: “I don’t think that he went to his peak tonight and I would like to think that he will be better next week and then in the Nugget. “The one thing I’ve got is unwavering faith in the horse. As soon as I saw that he had drawn one for tonight’s race I thought he would win. And an easy first lap made things easier.” Nowitzki’s smart victory came a week after his shock defeat at his West Australian debut, when at his first appearance for three months, he worked hard in the breeze and finished second to Our Boy Su. “There’s no substitute for match practice,” Jack explained. “He had a little bit of that last week. We got the right alley tonight, but the horse still has to be good enough to capitalise on this this. And he was.” Nowitzki, a heavily-supported second favourite at 2/1, revealed sparkling early speed and burst straight to the front from the No. 1 barrier, with the even-money favourite Bit Of A Legend quickly moving outside the pacemaker, who after a modest lead time of 37.8sec., was able to dawdle through the first 400m section of the final mile in a leisurely 32.3sec. There was an early sensation when Extremely Good, who had settled behind the leader, broke into a bad gallop after 250m, causing severe interference to Smokey The Bandit and a slight check to Rocky Marciano. Northview Punter (9/1), who had begun speedily, was able to be taken to the pegs by Gary Hall jun. to gain an ideal run behind the pacemaker. The incident also enabled 84/1 outsider Mexicano to slot into the position three back on the pegs. Nowitzki went through the second quarter in only 29.7sec. before Jack gave the gelding’s rivals something to chase by speeding through the third section in 27.9sec. and then dashing over the final quarter in 28.2sec. Jack drove Nowitzki hard in the home straight and the New South Wales-bred pacer won by just over a length from Mexicano, with Northview Punter a sound third, ahead of 75/1 chance Rocky Marciano, who made up good ground along the pegs. The winner rated 1.57.8 over the 2130m journey. The shock of the race was the failure of Bit Of A legend, who faded badly over the final 450m to finish in last position, eight lengths from the winner. Jack earned the displeasure of the stewards, who fined him $400 for an incorrect whip action in that he used more than a wrist and elbow action in the home straight. He was also reprimanded for having allowed Nowitzki to drift up the track in the concluding stages. Extremely Good (Chris Butt) had to be taken from the track in a float. He was suffering from serious damage to his off foreleg and was taken to a veterinary clinic for X-rays. It was feared that he had suffered a fracture. Nowitzki, a $100,000 yearling owned by Robbie Brockhurst and Matt Jack, now has earned $92,425 from eight wins and five placings from just 16 starts. By Art Major, he is the sixth foal out of the Armbro Operative mare Full Pleasure, who had 26 starts for ten wins, six placings and stakes of $106,496. Full Pleasure won the $100,000 group 1 Vicbred Super Series for two-year-old fillies at Cranbourne in July 2001. She was retired at the end of her three-year-old season. Nowitzki is named after the German professional basketballer Dirk Nowitzki, a star with the Dallas Mavericks in the US NBA. The 7ft (213cm) Nowitzki is a power forward who earns $8 million a year. Nowitzki is a half-brother to former star juvenile performer Kept For Pleasure, who won four group 1 events in a glittering career of 37 starts for 19 wins, ten placings and $542,343. Kept For Pleasure’s major victories were the Australian Pacing Gold for two-year-old fillies at Albion Park in May 2007, the Victoria Oaks (at Bendigo) and Australian Oaks (Moonee Valley) in 2008 and the Australasian Breeders Crown at Melton in August 2009. DAVID HERCULES FLIES IN FRONT AND BLITZES THE OPPOSITION David Hercules made a dazzling return to racing at Gloucester Park on Friday night when his runaway victory in the Fisher and Paykel Pace showed that he is on target to be a major player in the rich feature events over the summer months. The seven-year-old was produced in superb condition by Byford trainer David Thompson for his first-up assignment after an absence of 15 weeks and from the prized No. 1 barrier over the 1730m sprint trip he was favourite at 5/2 on. Morgan Woodley shot David Hercules straight to the front and the gelding relished his frontrunning role and he dashed over the final four 400m sections of the last mile in 29.8sec., 28.9sec., 28.2sec. and 27.7sec. He rated 1.54.2 and defeated 18/1 chance Son of Fergie by six lengths. Son of Fergie started from the inside of the back line and enjoyed the run of the race behind the pacemaker. Western Cullen (50/1) raced three back on the pegs before finishing solidly along the inside to be third, ahead of Shardons Rocket (breeze) and the resuming Hokonui Ben, who raced wide early and then in the one-out, one-back position. Hokonui Ben was hampered for room in the final stages. “He’s a really exciting horse,” enthused Woodley. “Thommo has done a fantastic job to have him so right first-up. He trialled well at Byford on Sunday and pulled up realty well from the trial. He’s come here and really blitzed his rivals, and he has done it with such ease. He has a great will to win and every time he gets out there he just wants to put his best foot forward.” David Hercules ended a losing sequence of six and improved his record to 27 wins and 25 placings from 77 starts for $713,974 in prizemoney. LEDA McNALLY WARMS UP IN STYLE FOR RICH FEATURE EVENTS Victorian-bred five-year-old Leda McNally enhanced her reputation as West Australia’s best mare with an effortless all-the-way victory in the 1730m Panasonic Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Her brilliant win was convincing proof that she has excellent prospects in the $40,000 Norm’s Daughter Classic next Friday night and the $100,000 group 1 Mares Classic the following Friday night. Her clashes with champion New Zealand mare Bettor Cover Lover in those events are sure to produce plenty of fireworks. Leda McNally appeared classes above her rivals on Friday night and astute punters were delighted at her 5/2 on starting price. Leda McNally clearly won the start from the No. 1 barrier and Chris Voak was able to get her to relax and stroll through the first 400m section of the final mile in 30.1sec. and the second quarter in a comfortable 29sec. Voak then slipped Leda McNally into overdrive and she responded with final quarters of 27.6sec. and 28.5sec. without being extended. She rated a slick 1.54.3 over the 1730m. Deluxe Edition (7/1) trailed Leda McNally throughout and fought on gamely to be second, with Famous Alchemist (5/1) finishing third after racing wide early and then without cover. Corza Commotion (40/1) maintained her steady improvement since resuming from a spell with a sound fourth placing after racing three back on the pegs. “We were able to get a 59sec. half, so that was going to make it hard for deluxe Edition to get over us,” Voak said. “It certainly was a good hit-out for the mare. She’s had a great preparation for the rich races for mares and she should be spot on for them. “I never expected her to graduate to an M7 mark. She’s done a great job for trainer Chris King.” Leda McNally was sent to King’s Pinjarra stables by owner Greg Stubbs after she had raced 15 times in Victoria and New South Wales for just one win and three placings. She now has had 27 starts in WA for 15 wins and five placings and her earnings now stand at $164,908. “I think she started at $12 (11/1) at her first start in WA,” Voak said. “And we certainly never though that she would reach the heights that she has. She has gone from strength to strength. “Leda McNally’s performances weren’t that good over east and she was sent to Chris to see if he could do a job with her and try to flog her off for $5000 to $10,000.” OFFTOCULLECT MAKES AN IMPRESSIVE AUSTRALIAN DEBUT Stylish New Zealand-bred colt Offtocullect showed that he would be one of the early fancies for the WA Derby next year when he gave an impressive performance at his Australian debut to score an effortless victory in the 2130m LG Three-Year-Old Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Trained at Forrestdale by Greg and Skye Bond, Offtocullect was driven with supreme confidence by Colin Brown, who got the colt into the clear soon after the start after beginning from the inside of the back line. Brown then sent Offtocullect forward, three wide, to move into the breeze in the first circuit. Offtocullect was an easing 6/4 second favourite, with his stablemate Black Mr Mach (also making his Australian debut for the Bond camp) heavily supported into 5/4 favouritism. Art of Illusion (18/1) was fastest into stride from barrier three, beating out Black Mr Mach (barrier two), and leading for the first 450m before Modigliani (30/1) surged to the front. Brown was content to leave Offtocullect on the outside of Modigliani until he sent the colt to the front 250m from home. Offtocullect dashed over the final 800m in 57sec. and won at a 1.59 rate by three lengths from the fast-finishing Black Mr Mach, with Tasmanian Bromac (26/1) running on into third place. “He’s a very nice horse,” was Brown’s understated comment after the race. “He might not have looked like it, but he actually knocked off a little bit and I had to ask him to run through the line. And there was a little bit more there.” Offtocullect has had six starts for five wins and a second placing for earnings of $28,630. BROWN CASHES IN AS SUVALJKO PULLS THE WRONG REIN Shannon Suvaljko was generous in his praise of Ballas Arockstar after driving him to victory at 37/1 last Friday week, but he opted to handle What God Knows in preference to Ballas Arockstar in the 2536m Mitsubishi Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. It was the wrong decision and Colin Brown made the most of the unexpected opportunity to drive Ballas Arockstar for only the second time in the seven-year-old’s 112-start career by bringing him home at odds of 23/1. Suvaljko set the pace with the polemarker What God Knows (second fancy at 5/2) and he looked set to win when he was still more than a length clear of his nearest rival half-way down the home straight. But Ballas Arockstar sprouted wings to flash home, hit the front 40m out and beat What God Knows by almost a length at a 1.59.5 rate. Nediak trailed the pacemaker and battled on to be third, with the even-money favourite My Hard Copy an unlucky fourth. The complexion of the race changed dramatically when Devastating Power broke when racing outside the pacemaker 750m from home. My Hard Copy, who was moving forward strongly, met with interference and lost momentum. Ballas Arockstar, eighth at the bell, was able to get into the clear and he unwound a powerful finishing burst. My hard Copy came home strongly into fourth place. “Until the horse in the breeze broke I thought I had no hope,” said Brown. “That’s one thing about racing. It’s not over until they hit the line. So we’re going to take this one.” Ballas Arockstar, trained by Shane Tognolini, has been an honest and consistent performer throughout his career of 17 wins and 30 placings for stakes of $152,806. He now moves to an M1 classification and should continue to be a good moneyspinner. SOHO HIGHROLLER HAS THE PEDIGREE TO BECOME A PROLIFIC WINNER West Australian-bred five-year-old Soho Highroller should develop into a prolific winner if he follows then footsteps of some of his famous relations. Soho Highroller, trained by Gary Hall sen., was driven by Gary Hall jun. when he started at 8/1 and caused an upset by beating 5/1 on favourite Lunar Tide in the 2130m Electsales Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He started from the inside of the back line and raced three back on the pegs while Colin Brown held sway in front with Lunar Tide, who was able to stroll through the first 800m of the final mile in 61sec. before sprinting the final two quarters in 28.8sec. and 27.5sec. But Lunar Tide was unable to hold out Soho Highroller, who was eased off the pegs by Hall jun. shortly after the bell and then moved to the breeze 350m from home before sprinting strongly in the home straight to beat the favourite by a length at a 1.56.7 rate. It was an impressive effort from Soho Highroller, who has earned $48,879 from seven wins and 16 placings from 36 starts. By the American stallion bettors delight, Soho Highroller is out of former star mare Pelicanrama, an outstanding juvenile performer who went on to amass $730,271 from 55 wins and 37 placings from 149 starts. Pelicanrama won at 18 of her 24 starts as a two-year-old and at 13 of her 23 starts as a three-year-old. Her victories as a two-year-old in 1999 included the $250,000 Australian Pacing Gold at Harold Park, the $75,000 New South Wales Sires Stakes and the $30,000 Edgar Tatlow Stakes at Moonee Valley. Pelicanrama is a full-sister to Mustang Fighter, who won three races in WA a couple of years ago and ended his career with 29 wins, 26 placings and $292,566 in prizemoney. Soho Highroller also is closely related ion his dam’s side to former brilliant pacer Bag Limit, who earned $794,995 from 35 wins and 21 placings from 71 starts. Bag Limit won the 1985 Victoria Derby, the 1987 Bendigo Cup, the 1988 Ballarat Cup, the $250,000 Winfield Gold Cup at Moonee Valley in 1987 and 1988 and two heats of the 1988 interdominion championship at Harold Park in 1988. TALK IT UP WINS ON PROTEST TO END LOSING SEQUENCE OF 15 Veteran pacer Talk It Up broke a losing sequence of 15 when he finished a close second to This Time Dylan in the 2130m As Local As You Claiming Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night before being awarded the race on protest. This Time Dylan, the even-money favourite and bidding for four wins in a row, settled in last position from the outside of the front line, moved to the breeze outside the pacemaker Im Grant Lea just after a lap had been completed and then took the lead 430m from home. This Time Dylan fought on doggedly to hold out the strong-finishing Talk It Up to gain the verdict in the photo finish by a head. But Ryan Warwick, driver of Talk It Up, lodged a protest, alleging interference in the home straight. After a lengthy hearing the stewards upheld the objection and reversed the placings. The stewards also fined Warwick $200 for an incorrect whip action in that he used more than just a wrist and elbow action. Talk It Up, a nine-year-old Victorian-bred gelding, had not been successful since scoring by a half-head from Onedin Crusader in a claimer at Gloucester Park in May this year. He is trained by Greg and Skye Bond and has now had 103 starts for 11 wins, 29 placings and $106,215 in strakes. Smooth Caesar, an eight-year-old gelding was claimed for $10,000 by Marie Bingham of South Yunderup. He is expected to continue his career under the care of Pinjarra horseman Kim Young. ERRIS LAD MAKES THE MOST OF A BENEFICIAL RE-CLASSIFICATION WA-bred seven-year-old Erris Lad appreciated a drop down from an M2 classification to an M1 mark when he gave a strong frontrunning display to score an effortless victory in the 2503m Retravision On Line Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The Mike Reed-trained gelding started from the front line and was a well-supported second favourite at 7/2. He was untroubled to score by more than four lengths from ten-year-old mare Salliwood, with Polak, a stablemate of the winner, a sound third. Erris Lad went into the race with a losing sequence of ten to earn the right of a re-classification. He had been unplaced at all of those ten starts, all after starting h from the 10m or 20m mark. “He was just waiting for a barrier draw,” said reinsman Shannon Suvaljko. “He’s a really good horse in front, and starting off the front line made all the difference. He can run solid sectionals and once he got to the front he was going to be hard to beat.” This was the second time that Erris Lad had won after receiving the benefit of a re-classification to an inferior mark. The gelding, whom is related to former speedy mare Meggie Dear (56 starts for 24 wins, 11 placings and $186,171) now has earned $135,112 from 12 wins and 18 placings from 71 starts. Gday Mate, the 5/2 favourite off 20m, finished a good fifth after coming from last in the middle stages and tenth at the bell. A CHANGE OF FORMAT REVITALISES OLD McDONALD At the start of Old McDonald’s current campaign, Banjup trainer Colin Brown gave the seven-year-old gelding three starts on three successive Friday nights, and after a great first-up second (beaten a nose in the final stride by Ohoka Samson) he lost some of his sparkle and disappointed with a fifth and tenth placing. So Brown decided to space the gelding’s runs, and he was rewarded when Old McDonald, a 8/1 chance charged home brilliantly to win the second heat of the 2130m Electrolux Kersley Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. At his first start for 11 days, Old McDonald slotted nicely into the one-out, one-back position before unwinding a sparkling late burst of speed to snatch a neck victory from Code Red, who had taken a narrow lead 620m from home after working hard outside the pacemaker Smirking. “I have learnt my lesson that I shouldn’t race him three weeks in a row and that I need to space his runs,” Brown said. “And I’m sure it is making a difference. He has the ability to graduate to Free-For-All company. “I haven’t been happy with the way the horse has looked over the past 12 months, and it has been only in the past three to four weeks that he has started to look good again.” Old McDonald was eligible to start in Friday night’s event restricted to MC-class pacers after receiving a concession with a drop down from an M3 mark to an M2 mark. He went into the race with a losing sequence of 11 and had received a concession before his previous appearance. Old McDonald has earned $103,933 from 13 wins and 15 placings from 42 starts. His win on Friday night completed a treble for Brown, who had been successful earlier on the program with Ballas Arockstar and Offtocullect. TORETTO MAINTAINS HIS SPLENDID FORM Problem pacer Toretto notched his fourth win from his past five starts and gave promise of better things to come when he proved far too good for the opposition in the 2130m Retravision.com.au Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Toretto, hot favourite at 5/1 on, led from barrier two and after modest quarters of 31.8sec. and 30.7sec. he sped over the final two 400m sections in 28.7sec. and 28.6sec. to beat Our Boy Su by 4m after that pacer had worked hard in the breeze. “He has been a problem horse and a nightmare for his owners,” said reinsman Gary Hall jun. “We have had problems with his tractability and he has gone sore a couple of times. “He has definitely got the ability and we’ve tried for a long time to straighten him out. But we haven’t been all that successful. He’s, obviously an on-pace runner and from good draws he’s capable of running good times. I’m sure he will measure up in the better classes when he draws to find the frail or to get outside the leader.” The New Zealand-bred Toretto, a five-year-old by Julius Caesar, has raced only ten times for seven wins and a third placings for $46,520 in prizemoney. by Ken Casellas  

FATHER AND SON LOOKING FOR A HAT-TRICK IN FOUR-YEAR-OLD CLASSIC The powerful father and son combination of leading trainer Gary Hall sen. and leading reinsman Gary Hall jun. is on target to complete a winning hat-trick in the Retravision Four-Year-Old Championship at Gloucester Park on Friday night after Northview Punter drew barrier three on the front line in the random draw for the $50,000 classic. A versatile pacer who has won when leading and also after racing in the breeze and when saved up for a late charge, Northview Punter has been in splendid form since resuming from a spell, with five wins, two seconds and a third from eight starts. The Halls triumphed in the championship 12 months ago when 12/1 chance Bettor Reason started from the No. 3 barrier, set the pace and held on to defeat Your Good Fortune and Bronze Seeker. They were successful the previous year when 5/1 on favourite The Gold Ace started from barrier four and worked hard in the breeze before getting to the front 250m from home and winning from Lovers Delight and the pacemaker Ohokas Bondy. Northview Punter had a tough run without cover before wilting to finish third behind Bit Of A Legend and Galactic Galleon in a prelude of the Golden Nugget last Friday night. He covered the 2130m in 2min. 35.8sec. Bit Of A Legend’s time was 2min. 35sec. Victorian invader Nowitzki, whose prospects soared after drawing the coveted No. 1 barrier on Friday night, ran the 2130m in 2min. 37.4sec. in an M0-class event last Friday night when a head second to the pacemaker Our Boy Su after racing in the breeze. When quizzed by the gelding’s performance by the stewards, trainer-reinsman Daniel Jack said that he was disappointed at the effort, particularly because Nowitzki had been working extremely well in the lead-up to the race. However, he told the stewards that he expected a far more forward showing from the gelding in future. Nowitzki is blessed with excellent gate speed and is a noted frontrunner. Jack is certain to get Nowitzki away fast and attempt to hold the lead from the three runners on his immediate outside, Glenferrie Hood (No. 2), Northview Punter (three) and Heez On Fire (four). Whether any of those three pacers exerts any great pressure on Nowitzki in the early stages is problematical. Indeed, Brent Mangos, the driver of the star New Zealander and nominal favourite Bit Of A Legend, will be hoping that there will be early challenges for the lead which should enable him to position his horse into an advantageous position, just off the speed. Bit Of A Legend boosted his earnings to $638,928 and his record to 17 wins and 11 seconds from 34 starts with his effortless victory last Friday night when he started from barrier three and burst to the front 300m after the start. Mangos will not find things that easy this week. However, the stallion is a high-quality pacer whose past 14 starts have produced 11 wins and three seconds. Heez On Fire, trained by Rod Oliver, will be attempting his sixth win in a row for champion reinsman Chris Lewis. Heez On Fire’s first two runs after a spell produced stylish wins at Harvey. But he meets far stiffer opposition on Friday night. Lewis won the Four-Year-Old Championship in 2010 when Dasher VC raced in the breeze and defeated the pacemaker David Hercules. The New Zealand-bred Extremely Good has resumed after a spell in good form for young trainer-driver Chris Butt and his prospects of fighting out the finish soared when he drew the inside of the back line. However, Condrieu drew poorly at barrier seven, the outside of the front line and Ryan Warwick appears certain to restrain the gelding and rely on his powerful finishing burst. Condrieu, unbeaten at two starts this season, is trained by Greg and Skye Bond. Greg Bond trained Ima Rocket Star when that pacer was driven to victory by Colin Brown in the 2009 Four-Year-Old Championship. Brown will drive his own nomination Erskine Range (a winner at Pinjarra at his two runs this season) from the outside of the back line. Bickley trainer Peter Anderson has two back-line runners in Rocky Marciano (Morgan Woodley) and Mexicano (Chris Voak). Each pacer recorded a first-up win last week, but they will need plenty of luck from barriers three and four on the back line to figure in the finish. SUMMER CARNIVAL HOPES BACK IN ACTION Leading summer carnival feature race contenders David Hercules, Hokonui Ben and Livingontheinterest will resume after winter spells when they clash in the $21,000 Fisher And Paykel Pace over 1730m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. This should provide a major highlight on a night of top-class pacing action. The David Thompson-trained David Hercules fared the best in the random barrier draw and will start from the prized No. 1 position from which Morgan Woodley appears certain to attempt an all-the-way victory. But the brilliant seven-year-old is sure to be seriously tested by the Hall runners who have proved themselves in the best company in the State. Woodley drove David Hercules when the gelding contested a 2150m trial at Byford on Sunday morning this week and rated 1.56.3 when he finished solidly to be a half-length second to Wrongly Accused. David Hercules, the winner of 26 races and $700,114 from 76 starts, last appeared when a fair fifth behind Im Themightyquinn over 2130m at Gloucester Park on August 2. Neither Hokonui Ben nor Livingontheinterest has appeared in recent trials, but Hall has a happy knack of producing horses, first-up, in top condition. He has a remarkable success rate with pacers racing first-up after a spell. Hokonui Ben last appeared when he started from the outside of the back line and came from the rear to race without cover for almost two laps when a fighting third to stablemates Livingontheinterest and Im Themightyquinn over 2536m at Gloucester Park on July 26. Livingontheinterest, who possesses dazzling gate speed, set the pace and went to the line strongly. The previous week David Hercules was a 4/1 on favourite when he led from barrier two and finished a nose second to Hokonui Ben over 2130m --- after Hokonui Ben had worked hard in the breeze for most of the way. The final two quarters were run in 27.8sec. and 27.3sec. Evergreen nine-year-old Shardons Rocket will start from the No. 2 barrier and will be handled by Shannon Suvaljko after Woodley, his usual reinsman, opted to drive David Hercules. Shardons Rocket gave a typical tough performance last Friday night when he raced without cover and fought on grandly to finish third behind Dredlock Rockstar in the 2130m Parliamentarians Cup. LINE UP AND GET READY TO COLLECT ON OFFTOCULLECT Stylish New Zealand-bred colt Offtocullect looks set to make a perfect Australian debut when he contests the $17,000 Panasonic Pace for three-year-olds at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He arrived in Perth less than three weeks ago and will start from the inside of the back line. But he should prove far too good for his nine rivals after proving his fitness with a solid victory in a Byford trial on Sunday morning when he sprinted the final 400m in 28.7sec. and beat his stablemate Black Mr Mach by a neck at a 1.59.4 rate over 2150m. Offtocullect and Black Mr Mach, also just arrived in WA from New Zealand, are trained by Greg and Skye Bond. Offtocullect has raced only five times for four wins and a second. He was most impressive at his latest outing when he began brilliantly and quickly opened up a four-length lead in a 2000m event at Rangiora on September 20. He surrendered the lead to Hannah Jaye after 800m and trailed her until the home turn before careering away to win by two and a half lengths. At his previous outing, over 2200m at Forbury on August 29, Offtocullect was ninth after 1000m before dashing forward, three wide, to race in the breeze before bursting to the front 400m from home and winning by four and a half lengths. Colin Brown will drive Offtocullect, whose main rival is likely to be Black Mr Mach, who has raced only twice for a second and a fourth. He was eighth (and last) at the bell before he started a three-wide burst 550m from home and finished strongly to be fourth over 1700m at Forbury at his latest appearance, on October. He will be driven by Ryan Warwick and is favourably drawn at the No. 2 barrier on the front line. There is plenty of exposed local form in Friday night’s race and the Justin Prentice trained and driven gelding Tasmanian Bromac will have admirers from barrier four on the front line. He finished solidly when a first-up third to Major Presley at Narrogin on Thursday of last week and should be improved by the outing. He finished powerfully to win from Hugh Victor at Gloucester Park in early June. Art Lover, Maxipat, Major Presley, Modigliani and Crimson Floyd are all recent winners, but at this stage of their careers none of them appears capable of defeating Offtocullect. IT LOOKS JUST A DODDLE FOR SPEEDY LEDA McNALLY Brilliant five-year-old Leda McNally should prove to be one of the best bets of the year when she contests the $17,000 LG Pace for mares over 1730m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. She is the best-performed runner in the race and has earned $153,688 from her 15 wins and eight placings from 41 starts. She has an M6 classification and has drawn the prized No. 1 barrier over the sprint journey against eight rivals whose classifications range from M0 to M4. Leda McNally, trained at Pinjarra by Chris King, should give Chris Voak an armchair drive in the lead. She has sparkling early pace and is a talented frontrunner. Leda McNally warmed up for this week’s assignment with a splendid fourth behind Dredlock Rockstar in the 2130m Parliamentarians Cup last Friday night when she started from the back line, raced in the one-out, one-back position and beat home several open-class Cup pacers including Ima Rocket Star, Dasher VC, Please Release Me, Franco Renegade and Sneakyn Down Under. Deluxe Edition will start from the inside of the back line and she should obtain a perfect trail behind the freewheeling Leda McNally and figure in the finish. Famous Alchemist is awkwardly drawn at No. 5 on the front line, but she has the class to overcome that disadvantage and finish in a minor placing. IM VICTORIOUS CRUSHES RIVALS IN VILLAGE KID SPRINT Star five-year-old Im Victorious warmed up for the $750,000 Miracle Mile at Menangle with an effortless victory in the $30,000 Village Kid Sprint at Northam on Tuesday night. He began fast from the outside (No. 7) on the front line and after racing wide in the early stages Justin Prentice sent him to the front. From there it was a procession and Im Victorious won by more than four lengths from Mein Guy at a 1.55 rate over the 1780m trip. This was the New Zealand-bred pacer’s 20th victory from just 28 starts and boosted his earnings past the $500,000 mark. by Ken Casellas  

Champion reinsman Chris Lewis has won the $30,000 Sealanes Parliamentarians Cup six times since the race was inaugurated in 1993 and he has bright prospects of maintaining his great strike rate by driving Dasher VC to victory in the 2130m mobile event at Gloucester Park on Friday night. “He should improve a lot on his first-up run (when a fighting fourth behind Bettors Fire in the 1730m Mount Eden Sprint last Friday night) and Chris is happy with him,” said Aiden De Campo, son of the seven-year-old’s trainer Andrew De Campo. “He will probably be doing the work in the breeze, but hopefully he’ll be good enough to win. He was always going to need the run last week, at his first start for almost nine months. We don’t hopple him in between runs and Dad works him in the cart in the bush. “We have been keeping him off the track and confining him to bush work in an attempt to keep him sound. He’s got bad joints, but it’s nothing serious. He’s an old horse and it’s just a bit of wear and tear.” The New Zealand-bred Dasher VC, who has amassed $629,342 in prizemoney from 21 wins and eight placings from only 46 starts, is awkwardly drawn out wide at barrier six on the front line on Friday night and Lewis is likely to go forward in the early stages in a bid to get to the breeze or even take the lead. There is no a great deal of natural speed on the inside of Dasher VC, apart from Please Release Me, who has been placed only twice from his past 11 starts. Please Release Me will start from the No. 5 barrier and it will be most interesting to watch what tactics Chris Brew adopts behind the speedy and versatile eight-year-old. There is also little doubt that the Tony Svilicich-trained Shardons Rocket (Morgan Woodley) will go forward from barrier four. Shardons Rocket is racing with great heart and his effort when sixth behind Bettors Fire last week, when he raced three wide in fourth place for almost the entire journey, was full of merit. But there is little argument that Dasher VC is certainly the class runner in the Cup. He gave a sample of his wonderful ability when he led and held on grimly to win the 2936m Fremantle Cup by a head from Im Themightyquinn last January. A win this week by Dasher VC would help overcome the disappointment of Andrew De Campo when his pacer Lombo Navigator (driven by Matt White) set the pace until the final 150m when second to Im Themightyquinn in the Parliamentarians Cup over 2536m 12 months ago. Lewis has won the race with Hilarion Star (1993), Heros Knight (1998), Our London Pride (1999), Jimmy Nail (2003), Competitive Edge (2006) and Ima Spicey Lombo (2010). Forrestdale trainers Greg and Skye Bond have a strong representation in Friday night’s race, with both Ima Rocket Star (Colin Brown) and Our Major Mark (Ryan Warwick) is splendid form and capable of winning, despite their back-line draws. Greg Bond and Brown combined to win the 2004 Parliamentarians Cup with Money Magnet and Bond is extremely happy with the form of his runners. Ima Rocket Star, a winner at 25 of his 57 starts, raced four and three wide early and then without cover when a fighting second to Bettors Fire in the 2536m Navy Cup last Friday week. That followed wins over 2536m and 2130m and a splendid second to Im Victorious at his three previous outings. Our Major Mark notched his 21st victory when stormed home from last 360m from home to win by two lengths from Hez The Bart Man over 2536m last Friday night. Seasoned performer Davy Maguire has drawn nicely on the inside of the back line for his first start for Wanneroo trainer Debbie Padberg. He was claimed for just $5000 by John and Debbie Padberg when he scored a stylish win at a 1.55 rate over 1730m at Gloucester Park last Monday week. “I quite like him,” said Mrs Padberg. “He’s fit and his track work has been very good.” Leda McNally, the only mare in the race, is nicely drawn at No. 2 on the back line and she is capable of unwinding a sparkling late sprint. Dredlock Rockstar, an M1-class performer trained at Busselton by Michael Callegari, was a 40/1 chance when he impressed greatly last Friday night when he thundered home from 12th and last at the bell to be third behind Bettors Fire and Im Victorious. He will start from barrier two on the front line. BONDS AND BROWN LOOKING FOR MIDNIGHTY DYLAN TO REPEAT THE DOSE “He’s a noted frontrunner and loves this trip,” declared trainer Greg Bond when assessing Midnight Dylan’s prospects in the $21,000 Normandie Foods Italian Sprint over 1730m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Bond and his wife Skye, part-trainer of the New Zealand-bred five-year-old, are confident of success this week after preparing the winner of the Italian Sprint in the past three years. They have combined with ace reinsman Colin Brown to win the sprint with Motu Treasure in 2010 and 2011 and Kamwood Laughter last year. Motu Treasure (10/9 on) led from barrier four and won easily from Mon Gee and Tsunami Lombo in 2010 before he started from the No. 2 barrier and at 9/2 when he set the pace and held on to defeat the 6/4 on favourite Grinjaro by a nose in 2011. Last year Kamwood Laughter was favourite at 5/4 on from barrier four. She raced wide early and then in the one-out, one-back position before being shuffled back to sixth at the bell. She was badly blocked for a clear passage in the back straight before she flew home, out wide, from sixth at the 250m mark to beat the pacemaker Elite Angel by a half-length. Midnight Dylan, a winner at 12 of his 55 starts, gave a sparkling frontrunning display to win effortlessly from Empire Flame at a 1.56.3 rate over 1730m two starts ago, at Gloucester Park five Friday nights ago. A week later he started from the No. 2 barrier when he challenged unsuccessfully for the early lead from polemarker Western Cullen. After racing in the breeze for a while Midnight Dylan raced in the one-out, one-back position and failed to flatter, finishing sixth behind Western Cullen. Bond said it would be wise to overlook that unplaced effort, saying: “Before his win the previous week he had had a couple of runs in Kalgoorlie and at his latest outing he was probably one and a half to two lengths off his best. So we took him home and freshened him up, which he has enjoyed. “He’s now all good to go and we expect him to come out, fit and fresh and firing. He will be holding up from the inside barrier and leading. I’m looking forward to the race, now that he has drawn barrier one. That makes his job a tad easier, if nothing else. He’s not a certainty, because there are some good horses in the race, including The Ragpickers Dream and Danieljohn.” The Bonds also have an excellent second string runner in the race in Your Good Fortune, a smart five-year-old with 14 wins from only 30 starts. Your Good Fortune, a winner at four of his past five starts, is drawn at No. 4 on the front line and will be handled by Ryan Warwick. “Your Good Fortune is a horsed with more than a good share of ability,” Bond said. “If the race is run upside down and if he’s camped over them, he could be dangerous.” Bond said that if Midnight Dylan won another couple of city races he was most likely to be sold to race in America. “We sold Kamwood Laughter to America and she has already won a few races at Yonkers,” he said. “Motu Treasure was sold to race in Adelaide, but after one start at Globe Derby Park he injured a leg. However, he’s on the mend.” Aiden De Campo said he expected a good showing from Danieljohn, who will start from barrier three on the front line at his first appearance since late June. The winner of 16 races from 41 starts, Danieljohn gave a sample of his class when he won the group 2 San Simeon Classic at Gloucester Park last January and the group 3 Harvey Cup from Russley Rascal and Franco Renegade in March. “He has had a fair amount of work and is pretty forward in himself,” said de Campo, who will drive the five-year-old who is trained at Capel by his father Andrew. “He worked well on our home track this morning (Tuesday) when I sat behind Quick Reflection and got up to beat that horse, without either horse being extended.” HALL ON THE DOORSTEP OF THE MILESTONE OF 1500 CITY WINNERS Champion trainer Gary Hall sen. is on the doorstep of a notable milestone. The 64-year-old Serpentine horseman has 15 runners engaged in the ten-event program at Gloucester Park on Friday night and he needs just one winner to record his 1500th city training success. Most of his runners have sound each-way prospects and when asked for his best prospects he said that Askmenow and This Time Dylan were the two he fancied most. But he also said that Soho Highroller, Rowchester, The Ragpickers Dream and Jar Zinyo had sound claims and most of his other starters were capable of winning if they enjoyed a slice of luck. Much water has passed under the bridge since Hall, a week after celebrating his 23rd birthday, trained and drove his first city winner when he dashed 5/2 chance Tobaree to an early lead, set a dawdling pace and then charged away to win at a 2.12 rate over 12 furlongs from Elaborate and Royal Spinner. He has been a trendsetter who has produced many outstanding performers, including superstars The Falcon Strike and Im Themightyquinn. Hall notched his 1499th Metropolitan winner when his son Gary drove hot favourite My Hard Copy to a splendid all-the-way victory over Jay Bees Grin in the 1730m event for C3-class pacers at Gloucester Park on Tuesday night. Hall said that the New Zealand-bred four-year-old Askmenow should prove hard to beat in the 1730m Del Basso Smallgoods Parliamentarians Cup for Mares Pace. Askmenow, to be driven by Gary Hall jun., will start from the No. 2 barrier on the front line. She has won at nine of her past 13 starts and Hall jun. is likely to attempt an all-the-way win over the sprint trip. Hall sen. has four runners (Askmenow, Chloe Vargarita, Famous Alchemist and Korobeit Angel) engaged in the race and he had little hesitation in declaring that Famous Alchemist was the best of that quartet. “But she has drawn on the outside (No. 7) on the front line and will find it tough from there,” he said. “She has got a bit more class and a bit more speed than Askmenow, but Askmenow is more forward in condition and she’s tough. “Dropping back from 2536m to 1730m will also certainly help Askmenow.” Askmenow started from barrier four in a 2536m event last Friday night and she worked hard before getting to the front after 450m and she faded to finish third behind Our Major Mark and Hez The Bart Man. She should appreciate racing against her own sex this week. Hall also has high hopes for This Time Dylan, who will start from the outside of the front line in the 2130m Action Industrial Catering Claiming Pace. The New Zealand-bred eight-year-old was most impressive last Friday night when he came from the rear to race three wide (without a trail) for almost 800m before surging on the front and scoring an 8m victory over Lord Coburn in a 2503m stand. It was his fourth win in a stand from his past six starts, but he should be capable of readjusting to a different tempo when he returns to mobile racing this week. In the latest news from the Hall stable star performers Im Themightyquinn and Alta Christiano are back in work and on the comeback trail. “Im Themightyquinn has been back in work for four days and his sore feet seem to be all right,” Hall said. “He has no other problems and if everything goes well he should be able to resume racing in five to six weeks. Hopefully he will be back to his best for the WA Pacing Cup and Fremantle Cup. I’m still keen to take him to Sydney for the interdominion championship next March. He’s got to defend his title.” Hall said that Alta Christiano, a winner of seven of his 11 starts and unbeaten at three appearances in WA, was on the mend after damaging the suspensory ligament in his nearside foreleg. “After receiving stem cell treatment he got an infection, and that was nearly the end of him,” Hall said. “But he has overcome all those problems and started work on Monday. He probably won’t be ready to race again until about March. If I can get him up and going, I could take him to Sydney for the Chariots of Fire.” NOWITZKI, A FIRST-UP SPECIALIST, TO MAKE HIS WA DEBUT Star Victorian-bred four-year-old Nowitzki should continue his perfect record of recording a first-up victory by proving too smart for his 11 rivals at his WA debut in the 2130m BLVD Tavern Joondalup Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The Art Major gelding has settled well at Michael Brennan’s Pinjarra training establishment for his Victorian trainer-reinsman Daniel Jack and he has the class to overcome the disadvantage of starting from the outside of the front line. He is unbeaten at his three first-up starts in a brief career of 14 runs for seven wins and four placings. He won by 6.7m at his debut, at Melton in March 2012, and he also was successful at his next two first-up runs, by 8.2m at Cobram in November 2012 and by 14.1 at Kilmore last July. He has not raced since he started from the back line, dashed to an early lead, set the pace and faded to third behind Chilli Palmer and Hilltop Hustler over 2240m at Melton on August 23. At his previous start he raced wide early and then in the breeze before finishing third behind Bit Of A Legend over the same journey at Melton. Nowitzki’s only serious rival on Friday night appears to be Rowchester, who will start out wide at barrier six on the front line. Rowchester, trained by Gary Hall sen., has turned the corner with strong wins at his past two starts --- when racing in the breeze and beating Tommy Smith over 2185m at Pinjarra and when leading and beating Ardens Southee over2536m at Gloucester Park. by Ken Casellas  

Talented young horseman Kyle Harper said he would be taking things one step at a time with up-and-coming star Bettors Fire after he had driven the five-year-old to a superb all-the-way victory in the $35,000 TABtouch Navy Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night. But in the same breath he predicted the New Zealand-bred gelding was capable of developing into a grand circuit performer. The lightly-raced son of Bettors Delight certainly looks on target to contest the $250,000 Yes Loans Fremantle Cup and the $400,000 Nepean Conveyors WA Pacing Cup in mid-January. “I’ll keep going with him until he tells me he needs a spell,” said the 23-year-old Harper. “If I can take him through to the summer carnival for those big races I’ll be delighted. He could develop into a grand circuit horse.” And Harper declared that Bettors Fire was going to get better. “We’re going to see improvement in him,” he said. “This is his first preparation since arriving from New Zealand, and horses from New Zealand always seem to come back better in their second prep.” Harper said that Bettors Fire went into the Navy Cup “a tiny bit underdone” at his first outing for 24 days because races in which he had entered him for had failed to eventuate because of insufficient nominations. “Since his previous start I have had to take him down to the beach every day to make sure he was right for this race,” he said. “And with the quick lead time and the early soften-up I was a little bit concerned.” Bettors Fire, owned by Frank Ranaldi, went into the Cup as a Metropolitan maiden performer matched against several seasoned open-class pacers of the calibre of Ima Rocket Star (on an M11 classification), Shardons Rocket (M7) and M6-class pacers Crombie, Franco Renegade, Passion Stride and Tsunami Lombo. Under the preferential barrier draw conditions of the race Bettors Fire started from the No. 2 barrier on the front line, with Ima Rocket Star on the outside of the back line. Punters rallied to support Bettors Fire, who was sent out a warm favourite at 5/4, with Ima Rocket Star at 3/1 and M5-class pacer Uppy Son at 13/2. Bettors Fire burst straight to the front, while Colin Brown immediately sent Ima Rocket Star forward, four and then three wide, to surge alongside Bettors Fire after only 450m. Shardons Rocket also charged forward early in a bid to get to the breeze. But he was beaten to that spot by Ima Rocket Star and was trapped out three wide before Morgan Woodley had no other option but to restrain the gelding back to last. The first lap was run at breakneck speed before Harper was able to ease the pace and give Bettors Fire a much-needed breather with am ambling first 400m section of the final mile in 32.5sec. Then Harper gave Bettors Fire more rein and the next quarters went by in 29.2sec., 28.2sec. and 29.1sec. Ima Rocket Star challenged Bettors Fire relentlessly in the final circuit, but was unable to gain the upper hand. He fought on grandly to be second, 2m from the winner, with Uppy Son fighting on doggedly to be almost two lengths farther back in third place after enjoying a soft run, three back on the pegs. Bettors Fire rated 1.58.4 over the 2536m mobile journey. It was the fastest time recorded by a winner of a Navy Cup, which had been run from a stand in the previous 22 years. The five-year-old has had six starts in WA for five wins and a head second to Northview Punter. His record stands at 37 starts for 17 wins, eight placings and stakes of $125,907. Bettors Fire’s dam Sparks A Flyin amassed $510,133 from 21 wins and 20 placings from 78 starts. She raced seven times in Australia in 2001 for four wins, including the New South Wales Oaks at Harold Park and the Breeders Crown for fillies at Moonee Valley. SLEEPY BUT TOUGH MEIN GUY RISES TO THE CHALLENGE Mein Guy, a New Zealand-bred five-year-old making only his fourth appearance at Gloucester Park, caused a major upset when he sustained a spirited finishing burst to beat 5/1 on favourite Northview Punter in the $25,000 TABtouch Western Bonanza Preux Chevalier final on Friday night. The solid pace suited Mein Guy, who was having his first start for trainer Colin Brown, after spending most of his time in Western Australia in Kalgoorlie. Mein Guy, a 14/1 chance from the No. 2 barrier on the back line, settled down in eighth position, with Ballas Arockstar, Myouri and Kiss Chasey all taking turns of leading in the first 1000m. Northview Punter, a winner at five of his previous six starts, settled in sixth spot in the one-wide line before Gary Hall jun. sent him forward, three wide, after 550m. He was kept out wide by Kiss Chasey for 450m and did not get to the breeze until Chris Lewis got Kiss Chasey to the front at the 1100m. Northview Punter finally got to a narrow lead 450m from home, but was unable to hold out Mein Guy, who started a three-wide move at the 950m mark and got the upper hand over Northview Punter 120m from the post. The final 800m was covered in 57.7sec. and Mein Guy rated 1.56.4 over the 2130m. “That’s the way he likes to run, with consistent quarters,” Brown said. “There’s absolutely no brilliance there, but he is as tough as nails. He has done a lot of travelling and is booked on a float to return to Kalgoorlie on Sunday for as race up there. “He was asleep in the stall before tonight’s race and coming out of the gate he was asleep as well. Fortunately, he’s there when you want him.” Mein Guy is raced by Kalgoorlie folk Peter and Kirsten Gianni, John Sangalli and Leonard Burns and he has earned $85,337 from 14 wins and 17 placings from 47 starts. He finished second to Waltzing With Cullen at his debut, as a two-year-old at Invercargill, before finishing eighth at Wyndham and then being exported to New South Wales where he had 18 starts for six wins and seven placings. His 27 WA starts have produced eight wins (six at Kalgoorlie and one each at Northam and Gloucester Park) and nine placings. MIGHTY FLYING THOMAS A 2536m SPECIALIST A pre-race plan hatched by Bickley trainer Peter Anderson and reinsman Morgan Woodley paid handsome dividends when 21/1 chance Mighty Flying Thomas sustained a spirited three-wide burst over the final 1200m to get up in the final couple of strides to defeat 10/9 on favourite The Ragpickers Dream in the $21,000 Dr Ern Manea Memorial over 2536m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. “We thought that this maybe was the right time that we could put him into the race,” Woodley said. “He is a good stayer and had won at his only three starts over 2536m at Gloucester Park. Everything worked out really well, particularly when we got the trail behind The Ragpickers Dream.” The well-supported polemarker Some Kinda Tactics (7/4) set the pace and when Matt White moved outside the pacemaker with Western Cullen 450m after the start The Ragpickers Dream gained the perfect trail in the one-out, one-back position. Mighty Flying Thomas settled in ninth place. Woodley eased Mighty Flying Thomas three wide passing the 1200m mark and the New Zealand-bred six-year-old surged forward. This flushed out The Ragpickers Dream, who was switched three wide by Gary Hall jun. 950m from home and gave Mighty Flying Thomas a good trail. The Ragpickers Dream forged to the front in the final 40m, but was unable to hold out the strong-finishing Mighty Flying Thomas. “I would have been quite happy to have led up the three-wide line because Mighty Flying Thomas is quite a dour horse,” Woodley said. “But it could not have been scripted any better when we got the trail and the horse has gone extremely well. “I had my doubts on the home turn when it seemed as though The Ragpickers Dream was finding plenty. But Mighty Flying Thomas has a lot of tenacity and he clawed his way to the front. “After he had won his first two races earlier in the year, with good barrier draws in relatively good circumstances, I thought that because of his poor racing manners that we could be waiting a while before another win popped up. However, to his credit and to Peter’s credit the horse has been going from strength to strength. “The manners are getting a lot better. He does have a tendency to hang, which he still did tonight. But we’re learning how to manage this better. The horse is a lot happier with a lot of gear changes. Peter has removed a lot of gear that was aiding in getting him to go straight, but was making us encounter other problems with the horse. We have removed a lot of that gear and it has just been a learning process.” Mighty Flying Thomas has now raced 21 times in Western Australia for seven wins, five placings and $65,384 in prizemoney. His career record stands at 48 starts for 13 wins, 12 placings and $105,423. Mighty Flying Thomas is owned by Ian and Hazel Brandon, Ian Sermon, Lee Bunney and Ken Casellas and somehow the gelding’s victory was prophetic, considering that Sermon, Bunney and Casellas race Bronze Seeker, who won the $25,000 Manea Classic at Bunbury’s Donaldson Park last March. BETTOR DREAMS STAKES HER CLAIM FOR A START IN RICH EVENT New Zealand-bred four-year-old Bettor Dreams improved her record to nine wins and six placings from just 17 starts for earnings of $115,060 when trainer Kim Prentice drove her to an all-the-way victory in the Clipsal And Schneider Electric Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. “She’s got a great record and that gets her, hopefully, into the $100,000 Mares Classic next month,” Prentice said. “There is a preference for M1s and now she’s an M1. If she keeps improving and gets a start and draws one or eight, or gets a nice run on the fence, she could be in the finish. This is the only $100,000 race she’ll run in for the rest of her life, so we might as well have a crack at it. “There’s not much of her and Gaz’s horse (Korobeit Angel, Gary Hall jun.) overraced a bit on our outside, but she toughed it out well. She was going to win quite easily, and she’s only just got there by the skin of our teeth. For a while now she just won’t find the line. So that’s something for me to work on.” Bettor Dreams, from the prized No. 1 barrier, was a 7/4 on favourite and she set a fast pace. She rated 1.55.9 in holding on to win by a half-head from Korobeit Angel (3/1), with Millies Girl in third place after trailing the leader throughout. Bettor Dreams, who ran on when second to Frith in the WA Oaks last May, is related to several prolific winners. Her maternal granddam produced O’Hara (138 starts for 22 wins, 26 placings and $134,131), Sovereign Hill (84 starts for 25 wins, 24 placings and $432,555) and Black Reef (180 starts for 37 wins, 54 placings and $326,846). Sovereign Hill won the Australian Pacing Championship in Newcastle in November 1997 and was second to Try A Fluke in the 1998 A. G. Hunter Cup after finishing third to Surprise Package and Anvils Star in that event the previous year. ROWCHESTER IS A WORK IN PROGRESS New Zealand-bred gelding Rowchester warmed up for the rich feature events for four-year-olds in the next two months with an effortless all-the-way win in the 2536m Chaff City Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Trained at Serpentine by Gary Hall sen., Rowchester was favourite at 7/4 on and Gary Hall jun. jumped him straight to the front from the No. 2 barrier. Black Cracker (20/1) raced in the breeze for much of the journey before wilting to fifth. Polemarker Ardens Southee (13/2) trailed the leader and finished solidly to be second, with Grand Cru (20/1) third after enjoying the one-out, one-back trail. Rowchester gave his rivals little hope when he sprinted over the final 800m in 56.4sec. and he won by four metres at a 2.0.9 rate. This was his third win from 11 WA starts after he had won at three of his five starts in New Zealand. “He is his own worst enemy at times,” said Hall jun. “He does lack a yard of pace early, and we’re working on that. He now has won comfortably at his past two runs and has done everything we have asked of him. The ability is there and he’s a work in progress at this stage. But it was good to hit the rail with him tonight and get what, for him, was a soft run.” Rowchester is a half-brother to The Musics Over, who has earned $123,446 from 16 wins and 30 placings from 140 starts in New Zealand and Tasmania. He is also closely related to Banana Dana and Smart Son. Banana Dana is a handy WA performer who has had 55 starts for 14 wins, 13 placings and $139,949. Smart Son, who campaigned in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland in the 1990s, amassed $347,805 from 41 wins and 59 placings from 226 starts. DOLLY VARDONS DO THE TRICK FOR MOHEGAN SUN A decision by Darling Downs trainer Aldo Cortopassi to race Mohegan Sun in Dolly Vardon blinkers did the trick when the Victorian-bred five-year-old began speedily from the No. 1 barrier and gave a bold frontrunning display to score an easy win in the 2130m Schweppes Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The 5/4 favourite, who had been somewhat disappointing when a well-beaten seventh behind Johnny Be over 2185m at Pinjarra four days earlier after racing in the one-out, two-back position, relished his pacemaking role and he sped over the final 800m in 58.6sec. to defeat 15/1 chance Zurbaran by two lengths after that pacer had trailed him all the way. Northview Cardle (16/1) was a fighting third after working hard without cover. “I was really happy once we drew the No. 1 barrier,” Cortopassi said. “I thought he didn’t put in that hard on Monday, so I put the Dollys on him tonight, especially after drawing one. This was to switch him on. He has sort of gone through the motions a fair bit. But he’s a nice horse and now he’s switched on he should just keep going on. “I was a little bit worried that Senor Jet might have run him down, but I didn’t pull the plugs in the end. He was travelling pretty well, so I just let him stride and if they were going to beat him, then they were going to beat him. But he held them off pretty easily in the end.” Mohegan Sun, owned by Kevin Jeavons and Gino Monaco, has done all his racing in WA where he has had 30 starts for nine wins, five placings and $56,059 in prizemoney. SMIRKING AND LORD COBURN HAVE OLIVIERI GRINNING Oakford trainer Ross Olivier, taciturn and undemonstrative, wore a contented smile at Gloucester Park on Friday night when Smirking and Lord Coburn, six-year-old geldings by American stallion Grinfromeartoear, gave him a double by setting the pace and winning easily. Smirking, a 3/1 chance driven by Chris Voak, romped home by just under two lengths from 25/1 chance Talk It Up in the 2130m Channel 9 Pace and Lord Coburn, a 3/1 chance driven by Chris Lewis, was untroubled to win by more than a length from False Promise (9/1) in the 2503m MMJ Real Estate Handicap. “Once we got the lead time (37.1sec.) that we did, it was a matter of sitting there and getting going when the main dangers were rolling into the race,” Voak said. “Talk It Up (trailing the pacemaker) was a big danger, but to this horse’s credit he did travel a lot stronger than he did when he won the last time. “After his previous win, when he was real dour the whole way and really made a dog fight of it, Ross changed a few things around and to his credit he picked the right routine and the horse was a lot better tonight.” Smirking, bred in South Australia, has had 11 starts in WA for four wins and three placings to take his record to 32 starts for 13 wins, 11 placings and $53,207. The Victorian-bred Lord Coburn has had 41 starts for 11 wins, 11 placings and $60,930. Friday night’s victory was his first success from three WA starts. Lord Coburn began speedily from the pole position in the stand and was not extended in cruising over the first two 400m sections of the final mile in 31.1sec. and 31sec. before Lewis increased the tempo and the gelding dashed over the final quarters in 29sec. and 28.5sec. “He won with a bit in hand,” Lewis said. “He was never truly challenged.” OLDSTAGER CONQUER ALL SMASHES TRACK RECORD Veteran square gaiter Conquer All still possesses sparkling speed and he smashed the track record for 1730m when he rated 1.59.8 in beating Backas Cobber and Ushaka Bromac in the Make Smoking History Trot at Gloucester Park on Friday night. This eclipsed the record rate of 2.1.6 set by Gondola Guy when he won from Dave Star and Drop of Gin on September 22, 2007. Conquer All began with great speed from out wide at No. 6 on the front line and Shane Young had him in the lead after 450m after the 11-year-old had raced four and five wide in the early stages. The opening quarter of the final mile whizzed by in 29sec. before Conquer All covered the final three sections in 30.8sec., 30.1sec. and 30.7sec. He started second favourite at 5/2 and won by just under a length from Backas Cobber, who ran home solidly from seventh at the bell. Conquer All, prepared at Pinjarra by David Young, has won at his past four starts to take his record to 19 wins, 20 placings and $170,581 from 101 starts. “He’s been a bit of a temperamental old fellow,” said Shane Young. “The plan tonight was to go back at the start, but he had other ideas. Once he got out of the gate quickly we just went for it. He didn’t want to go back at the start, so I just let him do what he wanted to do. His class got him through. He has been a good trotter all his life and at the moment he’s really enjoying himself.” Conquer All won a group 3 event at Moonee Valley in July 2006 and the group 3 Central Victorian Trotting Championship at Charlton the following January. Last-start winner Hot Holiday, favourite at 2/1, met with severe interference soon after the start and did well to fight on from eighth at the bell to be sixth. Stablemate Idle Maple, driven by Ryan Bell, was smartest into stride from barrier five and he caused the interference. The stewards suspended Bell from driving for 28 days. He was granted a four-day stay of proceedings and at Narrogin on Saturday night he drove 2/1 on favourite Itsa Seelster to an easy all-the-way win over Twisk in the 2242m Aquinas College Pace. COOPER TROOPER MAKES FULL USE OF THE No. 1 BARRIER Eight-year-old Cooper Trooper, with one win from his previous 24 starts, made the most of the prized No. 1 barrier at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he started at 13/4 and was driven to an all-the-way win by Chris Voak in the 1730m Community Newspaper Group Westbred Pathway Pace. Soho Monza, favourite at 6/4, was forced to work hard in the breeze before wilting to finish third. Soho Cannes (10/1), who trailed the pacemaker, ran on to be second. Cooper Trooper, bred by John Chapman and raced by him and Chris Norris, is trained at Barragup by Darren Schofield. The Parsons Den gelding has earned $50,504 from seven wins and 28 placings from 93 starts. He showed good early promise and finished second to Banana Dana at his debut as a two-year-old at Gloucester Park in June 2008. Cooper Trooper is the last foal out of Diamonds And Lace, who was placed once from five starts. Diamond And Lace’s second foal was Flames And Flowers, who earned $254,558 from 39 wins and 42 placings from 180 starts. Flames And Flowers won the State Sires Series final for two-year-old fillies in August 1997 and won the four-year-old leg of the Sires in March 1999. by Ken Casellas  

Rising star Im Victorious remained firmly on track for an assault on rich feature events on the Australian circuit this season when he was driven in masterly fashion by Justin Prentice to score a magnificent upset victory over champion Im Themightyquinn in the $35,000 Brear And Doonan Members’ Sprint at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Produced in superb condition by Pinjarra trainer Michael Brennan, Im Victorious was second favourite at 3/1, with Im Themightyquinn, reappearing after an absence of ten weeks, red hot favourite at 3/1 on from the prized No. 1 barrier over the 1730m journey. Im Victorious was the only runner off the back line in the field of eight and Prentice was content to keep the five-year-old on the pegs, following the pacemaking Im Themightyquinn. Im Victorious then dropped back to be three back on the pegs when Brad Stampalia manoeuvred Sneakyn Down Under to the pegs to follow the leader 700m after the start. Prentice made a brilliant split-second decision to ease Im Victorious off the pegs with a lap to travel, as Adda Paternal Suit moved forward to the outside of the leader and an instant before Passion Stride was about to move into the one-out, one-back position to keep Im Victorious locked up. Im Victorious then was one-out and one-back and Prentice waited until switching the gelding three wide 550m from home. Then, at the 400m mark, Prentice switched Im Victorious to the pegs, behind the flying Im Themightyquinn. Then, with 230m to travel, Prentice eased Im Victorious off the pegs to issue a powerful challenge to Im Themightyquinn on the home turn. Im Victorious sprinted brilliantly and surged past the champion 110m from the post to record a notable triumph by 4m, with Passion Stride, a 90/1 outsider at his first appearance in Western Australia, 15m away in third place. Im Victorious rated a smart 1.53.5 which was a race record, lowering the 1.54.5 recorded by Albert Jaccka when he charged home to score narrowly from Has The Answers in 2010. This fast time was set up when Sneakyn Down Under, an 11/1 chance from the No. 2 barrier, challenged Im Themightyquinn strongly for about the first 600m. The first 400m section of the final mile was covered in a sizzling 27.4sec. before the pace slackened with a 30.6sec. second quarter. And then the final two quarters whizzed by in 28.3sec. and 27.7sec. Gary Hall jun. got Im Themightyquinn away to a flying start from the No. 1 barrier and easily held out Sneakyn Down Under to the first turn. Stampalia continued to apply the pressure with Sneakyn Down Under, but the 11-year-old was unable to get past Im Themightyquinn. Chairman of stewards Bill Delaney reported that he had opened an inquiry into Stampalia’s driving tactics. Sneakyn Down Under faded to finish seventh, more than ten lengths from the winner. Brennan and Prentice were thrilled at the performance of Im Victorious, with the win boosting his record to 18 wins and two placings from 25 starts for stakes of $451,164. Brennan said that Im Victorious would contest the $35,000 Navy Cup over 2536m next Friday week and would probably have a couple more starts in Perth before travelling to Melbourne to run in the Victoria Cup. “After that he will return to Perth to be prepared for the WA Pacing Cup and Fremantle Cup and then we’ll look at the Hunter Cup in Melbourne in February,” Brennan said. Prentice said that Im Victorious appeared to be getting better with age and he was looking forward to further improvement. “He hit the line really strongly and then in the warm-down lap he was hard on the bit and I think he wanted to keep going,” he said. “I thought that the way Sneakyn Down Under made Quinny burn out of the gate that if Quinny, first-up, was ever going to not finish off a race like he normally does, it was going to be tonight. So I decided to get on to his back (leaving the back straight the final time) to give Im Victorious a bit of a breather, because we had sprinted pretty hard down the back. “And turning for home I was pretty confident that I had him. It feels pretty good just to drive a horse who can race in the same race as Quinny.” IM THEMIGHTYQUINN IS LAME AND NEW ZEALAND TRIP IS SCRAPPED Champion pacer Im Themightyquinn is lame and plans for him to contest the $650,000 New Zealand Cup at Addington next month have been scrapped. It was feared that his magnificent career had come to a dramatic end on Friday night when he was a sad and sorrowful sight in his stall at Gloucester Park after his fighting second to Im Victorious in the Brear And Doonan Members’ Sprint. The nine-year-old superstar, winner of the past three interdominion championships and $4,377,016 in prizemoney, was standing on three legs as he was in pain and lifting his off hind leg off the ground. Champion trainer Gary Hall sen. was distraught and feared that Im Themightyquinn was suffering from a fracture in his hind leg or had torn a muscle. However, a veterinary examination early on Saturday morning revealed that Im Themightyquinn was not suffering any serious structural or muscular damage. “He has got very, very badly damaged feet,” Hall said. “He’s got soft soles from the wet paddocks and the vet has nerve-blocked all his feet. But the good news is that he is sound. “However, the trip to New Zealand is definitely off. He can probably resume working in a week’s time, but it might be three or four weeks before he can fast work again.” Hall had planned to start Im Themightyquinn in the $35,000 Stratton Cup at Gloucester Park next Friday night before travelling with him by air to Melbourne on the following Wednesday and continuing with a flight to Auckland the next day. The plans were to fly to Christchurch where Im Themightyquinn was going to contest the $50,000 Kaikoura Cup on Monday, November 4 before running in the rich New Zealand Cup eight days later. Then Im Themightyquinn was to have travelled to Sydney to run in the Miracle Mile before returning to Perth for the WA Pacing Cup and Fremantle Cup. “I had a sleepless night on Friday, but I’m very relieved now and am pretty happy,” Hall said. “Quinny hasn’t got anything permanent, and that’s the good news. Maybe he will be able to go to Sydney for the Miracle Mile and hopefully he will be able to run in the Fremantle Cup and WA Pacing Cup. The interdominions in Sydney in March could still be a chance. “All his four feet are affected, but the worst is his off hind. If a horse’s hooves get soft they bruise easily, and that’s what has happened. He really pounds his feet down when he’s racing. “He is quite happy today and I don’t think it will be a long-term problem. My gut feeling is that he will get over it and be able to return to racing pretty soon. It could have been something like a hairline fracture or ligament, suspensory or sesamoid damage. But it is nothing serious like that.” Hall said that he was jogging Im Themightyquinn at his Serpentine property on Thursday morning when the gelding stumbled and knuckled down. “I got the vet to look at him and he was okay.” ASKMENOW WARMS UP FOR RICH FEATURE EVENTS FOR MARES “She’s moving in the right direction, that’s for sure,” said Gary Hall jun. after driving Askmenow to an effortless victory over older and more experienced rivals in the Harriet Horsfall Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Askmenow, a New Zealand-bred four-year-old trained by Gary Hall sen., won with such authority that she looks certain to develop into a leading candidate for the $40,000 Norm’s Daughter Classic over 1730m next Friday week and the $100,000 Nepean Conveyors Mares Classic over 21230m the following week. Askmenow, favourite at 10/1 on after easy wins at her first two starts after resuming from a spell, surged to the front (from barrier three) after 250m and coasted through the first two 400m sections of the final mile in 30.7sec. and 30.5sec. before sprinting over the final quarters in 29.2sec. and 27.7sec. She won by four lengths from 12/1 chance Hoylakes First Lady, who trailed her throughout. Terra Into The West (16/1) ran on from three back on the pegs to be third. Askmenow rated 1.58.3 and took her record to 28 starts for nine wins and nine placings for earnings of $87,905. It was her seventh win from only nine starts in WA for the Hall camp after she was placed twice from seven starts as a two-year-old in New Zealand and had four starts in New South Wales for one win and eight starts in Victoria for one win and seven placings. “She looked the winner on paper and it worked out that way,” Hall jun. said. “It was a soft win and there’s plenty in store. She’s a pretty nice mare and is not far behind in ability the best mares I have driven. She probably lacks a bit in manners at this stage and is a bit of a work in progress. “She’s got a bit of a funny mouth and can get overracing at certain stages. But this time in she’s been a lot better.” Askmenow, by Washington VC, is the seventh foal out of Holmes Hanover mare Coming Up Roses (who failed to win a race from 14 starts). Regal Dash, the first foal out of Coming Up Roses, won at his first eight starts as a two and three-year-old in Victoria and South Australia and he had 45 starts for 21 wins, 14 placings and $152,824. His biggest win was in the group 3 Bendigo Cup in 2006. Askmenow is closely related to former champion mare Foreal, a Washington VC mare whose dam Krystie is a half-sister to Coming Up Roses. Foreal amassed $664,800 from 18 wins and 19 placings from 57 starts. Foreal’s wins included two group 2 events for fillies and the group 1 Great Northern Oaks in Auckland before travelling to Australia where she won the group 1 New South Wales Oaks at Harold Park in February 2005, the group 1 Ladyship Mile at Harold Park in November 2005 and a heat of the 2006 interdominion championship in Hobart. WESTERN CULLEN RETURNS TO THE WINNING LIST Matt White freely admitted that he was overjoyed when Western Cullen drew the prized No. 1 barrier for the 2130m Leading Trotter Tuhimata Glass Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night and his joy was not ill-founded when he drove the New Zealand-bred five-year-old to a stylish win. “He had put the writing on the wall over the past couple of weeks and I had a smile on my face on Tuesday night (when he drew barrier one) and it worked out good for us,” he said. “I just let him roll through the first half (of the final mile) in a tick under a minute, and he was doing it well within himself.” Western Cullen, favourite at 10/9 on, then dashed over the final two quarters in 28.2sec. and 28.6sec. and won by just over a length from The Ragpickers Dream (7/2), with a head to the fast-finishing Some Kinda Tactics (54/1). Western Cullen rated 1.57.2 and ended a losing sequence of nine. A winner at two of his five starts as a two-year-old in New Zealand for owners Paul and Tony Poli, the Christian Cullen gelding won the $125,000 group 1 Golden Slipper from Major Catastrophe and Gracias Para Nada at his WA debut in July 2011. He now has a wonderful record of 47 starts for 17 wins, 16 placings and $434,057. The Ragpickers Dream fought on grandly after racing three wide early and then without cover. He will pay to follow. So, too, will Mighty Flying Thomas, who trailed the pacemaker and was hopelessly blocked for a clear run throughout the final circuit and finished full of running, close-up in fourth place. Western Cullen is following in the footsteps of his dam Western Dream, who earned $336,361 from 14 wins and two placings from 27 starts. She won at her first five starts as a two-year-old and later won two group 2 events and three group 1 races, including the New Zealand Oaks at Addington. NORTHVIEW PUNTER ON TARGET FOR RICH FOUR-YEAR-OLD FEATURES Northview Punter maintained his splendid form and strengthened his prospects in the rich feature events for four-year-olds in the coming months when he gave an impressive performance to win the second heat of the 2130m Nicole Pettigrew Preux Chevalier Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Second fancy at 7/4 from the outside of the back line, the New Zealand-bred gelding trained by Gary Hall sen. sustained a strong three-wide burst in the first lap to race in the breeze before overhauling the pacemaker and 6/4 favourite Kiss Chasey 250m from home. Northview Punter drew away to score by just over a length from the fast-finishing Mein Guy (11/2), with a head to Kiss Chasey. Northview Punter, a winner at one of his two New Zealand starts, now has earned $166,605 from 14 wins and six placings from 23 starts and he should perform strongly in the $50,000 Retravision Four-Year-Old Championship on November 15, the $125,000 McInerney Ford Classic the following week and the $175,000 Golden Nugget Championship on December 6. Kiss Chasey set a solid pace throughout and Northview Punter revealed excellent strength to outmuscle him in the final stages. He rated 1.57.7. “Northview Punter has been somewhat suspect from back in the field and from bad draws,” said reinsman Gary Hall jun. “He has turned the corner a bit this time in and has matured a bit. He was always a smart three-year-old and he looks like he’s going to improve and develop into a class four-year-old. He put the writing on the wall at his previous start when he held of Bettors Fire.” THE BACK MARK DOESN’T WORYY SHARDONS ROCKET For the past decade veteran Byford trainer Tony Svilicich has had the uncanny knack of racing his pacers week in and week out for month after month after month. Veteran Shardons Rocket is no exception and the hardy nine-year-old continued to prove to be a wonderful moneyspinner for owners Ashley and Gavin McPhail when he made light of the back mark of 30 metres to win the 2503m Electrical Distributors Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Good value at 9/2, Shardons Rocket did all the work in the race, racing outside the pacemaker To Transcend for more than two laps before getting to the front and fighting on grimly to defeat 13/2 chance Copagrin by a half-head. This boosted the earnings of the New Zealand-bred gelding to $266,937 from 23 wins and 40 placings from 119 starts. Shardons Rocket settled at the rear before Morgan Woodley started a three-wide move after only 450m. Gary Hall jun. then vacated the one-wide line with 3/1 favourite This Time Dylan and sent him forward, giving Shardons Rocket a trail until Shardons Rocket moved to the breeze after 700m had been covered. This Time Dylan then gained the ideal one-out, one-back trail. But he was hampered for room in the final circuit before running on late to be fourth. Shardons Rocket had got to the front 220m from home and had to fight grimly to stave off Copagrin, who finished solidly from seventh at the bell. “He thoroughly deserved that win,” said Woodley. “He does all the work in his races. And I can see no reason why he cannot continue on his winning ways.” SECOND WIN IN FIVE DAYS FOR FRONTRUNNING RAYMON JOHN Raymon John, a newcomer to the Darling Downs stables of Aldo Cortopassi, scored his second effortless all-the-way win in the space of five days when he proved far too good for his rivals in the 2130m TABtouch Western Bonanza Westbred Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. After he defeated Conniving Major Dave by three lengths at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon, Raymon John appeared a certainty from the prized No. 1 barrier on Friday night. The five-year-old resisted an early challenge from Equivocate and then was able to stroll through the first two 400m sections of the final mile in 30.8sec. and 31.4sec. before Cortopassi gave him more rein and he sped over the final 800m in 58.8sec. to win by 4m from Big And Smooth, who fought on gamely after working hard without cover. Nitro Norrie followed the pacemaker and was blocked for a clear run in finishing third. Raymon John has been lightly raced and has earned $58,003 from ten wins and five placings from 33 starts. By Northern Luck, he is the first foal out of Chilli Waters, who won once (at Bunbury in June 2004) from seven starts. Chilli Waters is out of Cool Waters, the dam of three winners, including Village Hero, who earned $182,133 from 16 wins and 20 placings from 136 starts. Village Hero finished fourth behind Mr Yankee in the 2006 Golden Nugget Championship before winning the Pinjarra Cup and August Cup at Gloucester Park the following year. INJURY-PLAGUED TORETTO SHOWS HIS CLASS The career of promising New Zealand-bred gelding Toretto has always been clouded with considerable doubt. A tendon injury has kept him out of action for long periods and at Gloucester Park on Friday night the five-year-old was having just his sixth start in a race and his second after an 11-month absence. From barrier two on the back line in the 1730m Leading Junior Driver Shane Butcher Pathway Pace he was a 6/1 chance in a race in which his stablemate Rowchester dominated betting and started at 10/9 on. But Rowchester had a horror run and was trapped out three wide until wilting and finishing ninth. Toretto, trained by Gary Hall sen. and driven by his elder son Clint, settled in ninth position in the field of ten before he moved forward approaching the bell to get the three-wide trail behind Rowchester. Polemarker Franco Nasser (7/1) set the pace, with 54/1 chance Caesars Cloud in the breeze. Gary Hall jun. sent Rowchester (who started from the outside of the front line) forward from the outset, but the four-year-old was trapped three wide and was unable to get to the breeze, with the first two 400m sections of the final mile being covered in 28.4sec. and 28.9sec. Chairman of stewards Bill Delaney reported that the stewards had opened an inquiry into the tactics adopted by Chris Brew with Caesars Cloud. Toretto moved to sixth at the bell and he went four wide at the 500m mark before sweeping to the front 380m from home. He won in good style by just over two lengths from 4/1 chance Turnpike Cruiser, who finished determinedly from ninth at the bell. The winner rated a slick 1.55.9 and looks set for many more wins. He has raced only six times for four wins and one placing and stakes of $19,855. “He’s not the nicest horse to drive, so I went for home a little earlier than I normally would,” said Clint Hall. “He probably would go to fast class if we could straighten him out. He’s a little bit stubborn, but we’ll keep trying.” EL MACHINE IS PROVING TO BE A SPLENDID MONEY MACHINE Up-and-coming WA-bred five-year-old El Machine maintained his sparkling form and completed a hat-trick when he proved too strong for the opposition in the 2130m Paul Andrews Memorial Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. This was El Machine’s fifth win from his past eight starts and part-owner and trainer-reinsman Kade Howson said that the gelding would keep on racing while he was showing such enthusiasm. El Machine, purchased as a yearling for $5000 by Howson and Michael George, has now earned $118,164 from 15 wins and 12 placings from 39 starts. El Machine started from barrier two on the back line and he enjoyed a good trip in sixth place in the one-wide line before Howson sent him forward, three wide, 1100m from home after an extremely slow lead time of 39.3sec. and slow first sectionals of 32.6sec. and 30.4sec. Polemarker Sir Swanky set the dawdling pace, with Wrongly Accused in the breeze, Talk It Up behind the leader and Bronze Seeker in the one-out, one-back position. El Machine swept to the front with 370m to travel and he won by 4m from the fast-finishing Bronze Seeker. El Machine rated rated a slow 2.0.1, even after the final two quarters went by in 28.78sec. and 28sec. “He’s going great guns,” said Howson. “He’s a lovely little horse who tries his heart out every time he comes out to race.” ARNOUX RELISHES THE No. 1 BARRIER New Zealand-bred seven-year-old Arnoux gave further proof that the No. 1 barrier at Gloucester Park is a massive advantage when he bowled along in front and held on to win the 2130m Leading Pacer Mysta Magical Mach Pace on Friday night. Arnoux, unplaced at his five previous starts from less favourable barriers, was a heavily-supported 7/4 on favourite. After a brisk lead time of 36.9sec., Shane Butcher was able to get Arnoux to relax and cover the first two 400m sections of the final mile in 31sec. and 30.9sec. before he lifted the tempo with final quarters of 29.8sec. and 29.8sec. Heisbackinblack (12/1) finished strongly from the one-out, one-back position to be second, a half-length from the winner, with 70/1 outsider Belhelvie fighting on to be a good third after doing all the work in the breeze. “We had to burn early to hold the front and then we were lucky enough to get away with a soft half,” said Butcher. The win gave leading trainer Gary Hall sen. four winners and a second placing in the first five events on the ten-race program. Arnoux, who had 42 starts in New Zealand for seven wins and seven placings, has raced 28 times in WA for six wins and two placings. He has earned $115,336. HOT HOLIDAY BREAKS A LOSING SEQUENCE OF 12 Honest square gaiter Hot Holiday was rewarded for his consistency with an overdue victory in the 2130m Corey Mills Memorial Trot at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Favourite at 5/4, the Natalie Duffy-trained New Zealand-bred seven-year-old ended a losing sequence of 12 when Aaron Skalecki drove him to an all-the-way win over Xenon (12/1) and Don Guerrero (10/1). The race was marred as a spectacle when Idle Maple, a stablemate of the winner, galloped in the score-up and was left 50m and Sandakan Lombo also broke in the score-up. Don Guerrero was slow to begin and the well-fancied Backas Cobber broke into a bad gallop soon after the start. “He doesn’t have the speed of the top ones, but he’s a real tough horse who keeps grinding away,” Skalecki said. Hot Holiday has earned $115,234 from 13 wins and 16 placings from 56 starts. He has had 29 starts in WA for ten wins and seven placings. by Ken Casellas  

SPRINGSTEEN TRIUMPHS FOR HARPER AFTER A BAD START Lightly-raced New Zealand-bred five-year-old Springsteen stamped himself as an up-and-coming summer carnival prospect when he overcame a terrible start to outgun his rivals in the $21,000 Garrard’s Horse And Hound BOTRA Cup over 2902m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Springsteen, the heavily-supported even-money favourite, dismayed his backers when he galloped badly off the front line and quickly dropped back to eighth. But his 23-year-old trainer Kyle Harper finally got Springsteen into a pacing gait and then dashed him forward with a powerful three-wide burst which took him to the front after 900m. The gelding had lost 35m at the start and many punters thought that the early effort to get to the lead would leave him vulnerable in the closing stages. But Springsteen showed a touch of class after Harper had given him a much-needed breather with moderate quarters of 32sec. and 31sec. in the first half of the final mile. Springsteen then warded off a stern challenge from dour stayer and 30m backmarker Shardons Rocket as he accelerated sharply and sprinted over the third quarter of the final mile in a sizzling 27.6sec., followed by a final quarter in 28.9sec. Springsteen went to the post powerfully and defeated the gallant Shardons Rocket by 2m, rating 2.2.1 over the marathon journey. Shardons Rocket fought on grandly after racing in the breeze over the final 1500m. This Time Dylan, who raced without cover early, finished solidly, but was badly hampered for room in the home straight to be third, just in front of False Promise. “When he galloped I wasn’t overly worried because he usually gets down pretty quickly,” Harper said. “But tonight he didn’t get down as quickly as he normally does and after 30 to 40 metres when he was still cantering I was a little bit concerned. “But once he hit his straps I thought I would just balance him up three deep around that bend and work him forward. Once I got to the front and was able to get the quarters I got I was pretty confident again. We got that breather after a solid first half. “When Shardons Rocket moved alongside Springsteen I was still quite happy, mainly because we had got that soft half. I reckon Shardons Rocket got a nose in front down the back (at the 450m mark), but I wasn’t worried. Once I levelled up with him at the 400m I was confident I had his measure. “I haven’t got any plans for him at the moment. I’ll just see how he pulls up. He’s not just a stand horse and is just as good in mobiles.” Springsteen, who is owned by John Kirkpatrick, Nigel Bruce and Warren Went, had 19 starts in New Zealand for five wins and seven placings. He raced five times in stands over 2600m for four wins and a third. He has won at six of his 15 WA starts and his record stands at 34 starts for 11 wins, nine placings and stakes of $92,217. His victory gave Harper his second success in the BOTRA Cup, after his success with 25/1 outsider Outstandin last year. Harper’s father Lindsay also won the BOTRA Cup twice, scoring with Ariege in 1998 and Shattering Class in 2000. This was the second successive year that Harper had defeated a horse trained by Tony Svilicich and driven by Morgan Woodley into second place in the BOTRA Cup. Twelve months ago Outstandin beat 7/4 favourite Mysta Magical Mach. Springsteen’s dam Holms Spirit earned $50,323 from four wins and eight placings from 65 starts. Her first foal Im Jasper the Ghost has won five times in WA and has earned $55,730 from his seven wins and 23 placings from 77 starts. MIDNIGHT DYLAN GIVES BROWN HIS THIRD WIN IN CRANLEY MEMORIAL Noted frontrunner Midnight Dylan left his rivals floundering in his wake when he produced a sparkling display to score an effortless victory in the $21,000 Pat Cranley Memorial over 1730m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The New Zealand-bred five-year-old’s win by two and a half lengths from Empire Flame at a 1.56.3 rate gave reinsman Colin Brown his third success in this event, following wins with Can Return Fire in 2008 and Motu Treasure in 2010. Midnight Dylan, second fancy at 2/1 behind 6/4 favourite The Ragpickers Dream, surged straight to the front from the No. 2 barrier and after a moderate first 400m section of the final mile in 29.4sec. Brown virtually gave the opposition no chance when he was able to let Midnight Dylan amble through the second quarter in 30.9sec. Midnight Dylan was not seriously challenged. He covered the third quarter in 29sec. before sprinting over the final section in 27.7sec. Empire Dream (12/1) raced without cover and fought on well to be second. Western Cullen, a 35/1 chance sustained a good three-wide burst from seventh at the bell to be third. The Ragpickers Dream, who started from the back line and settled down in 11th position, fought on gamely from ninth (three wide) at the bell to be fifth. Midnight Dylan, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, won once from nine starts in New Zealand and now has earned $145,325 from 12 wins and 18 placings from 54 starts. Interestingly, he raced against Western Cullen four times as a two-year-old in New Zealand and finished behind him every time. He also competed against Springsteen, Heez Orl Black and Mein Guy in New Zealand. Springsteen won the BOTRA Cup on Friday night, Heez Orl Black was unplaced behind Chaldea earlier in the night and Mein Guy was successful in a race at Kalgoorlie on the same night. Midnight Dylan, by Mach Three, is out of Midnight Skipper, who is a younger sister to Sandy Bay, who raced 28 times in WA between 2003 and 2005 for 12 wins and seven placings. Sandy Bay’s most notable victory in a career of 40 starts for 13 wins, 13 placings and $198,896 was in the 2907m Fremantle Cup at Gloucester Park in 2005 when he was driven by Chris Lewis and defeated Ohoka Ace and Baltic Eagle. Midnight Slipper, by Presidential Ball, was out of the Victorian-bred mare Kirlian, who raced as a two and three-year-old, earning $94,300 from five wins and four placings from only 20 starts. She finished second to Donna Who in the Australian Gold final for two-year-old fillies at Harold Park in April 1993 before winning the Pink Bonnet Mile on the same track in July that year. Midnight Slipper raced 49 times for two wins, ten placings and $29,835. TILBROOK, SUVALJKO AND BOTICA COMBINE FOR A WINNING DOUBLE Herron trainer Peter Tilbrook brought two four-year-olds to Gloucester Park on Friday night and he was all smiles when he left for home, contemplating the stylish victories of Loving You and Senor Jet. Both pacers started a firm favourite and were driven in fine style by Shannon Suvaljko. The wins also gave owner Neven Botica a double. Loving You, favourite at 11/8, started from the inside of the back line in the 1730m Regency Food Mares Pace and she trailed the pacemaker and 5/2 second fancy Bettor Whitby before Suvaljko eased her off the pegs 220m from home. Loving You was switched three wide on the home turn and she finished strongly to burst to the front 50m from the post before scoring by just under a length from Terra Into The West, who had taken the lead with 130m to travel. Bettor Whitby, who had overraced, held on to be third. This brought up four wins in a row for Loving You, an Art Major filly bred by Botica. Loving You has already earned $67,372 from seven wins and ten placings from 28 starts. She is the third foal out of New Zealand-bred mare Roustabout, who raced 12 times for four wins, two placings and $33,171. Roustabout’s first foal is Arousing, who has raced 60 times for seven wins, 19 placings and $64,973. Tilbrook produced Senor Jet in fine fettle for his first start for four months when the New Zealand-bred gelding started favourite 5/4 on and gave a bold frontrunning display to beat the fast-finishing Ardens Southee by 5m in the Slater Gartrell Sports Pathway Pace over 2130m. Toretto, making his first appearance since winning at Gloucester Park 11 months ago, began speedily from barrier three, but was unable to cross Senor Jet, who started from the prized pole position. Senor Jet sprinted over the final 400m in 28.6sec. and Toretto fought on gamely to finish third. Senor Jet rated 1.58.7 and took his record to five wins and two seconds from only ten starts for stakes of $22,977. After one win from three New Zealand starts he has chalked up four wins and two seconds from seven WA outings. A DOUBLE KEEPS VOAK AT THE TOP OF THE PREMIERSHIP TABLE Chris Voak continued his outstanding start to the 2013-14 season when he completed a double at Gloucester Park on Friday night by driving 25/1 outsider Chaldea to a surprise victory in the 2130m first heat of the David Strom Leading Driver Gary Hall jun. Preux Chevalier Pace. The 25-year-old Voak, who had been successful earlier in the night with hot favourite Smirking, maintained his lead on the Statewide reinsmen’s premiership table. At the end of the night Voak’s record for the first five weeks of the season stood at 19 winners and 21 placegetters from 94 drives, giving him the lead over Shannon Suvaljko (17 wins and 20 placings from 73 drives), Colin Brown (17 wins and ten placings from 52 drives) and Gary Hall jun. (15 wins and 16 placings from 56 drives). Chaldea, one of three runners in the event trained at Waroona by Bob Mellsop, had been placed at his four previous starts, but was disregarded by punters, mainly because he was at a distinct disadvantage of starting from the outside of the back line. Mellsop elected to drive Little Boy Blue (4/1) and he engaged Nathan Turvey to handle 40/1 chance Notabadexcuse. Polemarker Myouri (5/1) set the pace, with stablemate What God Knows in the breeze, 3/1 favourite Heez Orl Black in the one-out, one-back position and Chaldea in eighth spot. When Brown sent Ballas Arockstar (14/1) forward approaching the bell, Voak was quick to follow that gelding’s three-wide burst with Chaldea. Chaldea sustained a strong finishing run and burst to the front in the closing stages to score by a head from Myouri, with outsider Courage Tells impressing in finishing fast from 11th at the bell to be a half-length away in third place. Chaldea dashed over the final 800m in 58.2sec. and rated 2.0.3 to end a losing sequence of 12. A winner at three of his ten New Zealand starts, he has had 32 starts in WA for six wins and 12 placings to take his overall earnings to $63,661. Chaldea is by Western Terror and is out of the unraced New York Motoring mare Summer Solstice, whose dam, the unraced Sands A Flyin mare Love And Light produced good winners Mr Chin and Im Light Hearted. Mr Chin, by Village Jasper, won four races in New Zealand and one in Australia (as a three-year-old at Menangle in June 2006) before winning 30 times in America. He had 225 starts for 35 wins and 57 placings for prizemoney of $407,317. Im Light Hearted has raced 107 times for 12 wins, 31 placings and $118,097. MAKE ME GRIN HAS CALLEGARI SMILING Astute Busselton trainer Michael Callegari has a good eye for a horse and he made a wise decision last November when he made an offer to buy a lightly-raced four-year-old by the name of Make Me Grin. Callegari produced Make Me Grin in superb condition at Gloucester Park on Friday night when Ashleigh Markham drove him to a convincing victory in the 2130m Remote Foods Pathway Pace at the five-year-old’s first appearance at that track. It was also the gelding’s first start since March. “Make Me Grin was owned by Ryan Bell and his Dad Peter was working him on the track where I was training my horses,” Callegari said. “I liked the look of him, so I made an offer and got him for $3000.” Callegari races Make Me Grin with his mother Margaret and the gelding has had 11 starts for them for two wins and three placings for stakes of $11,488. Before that, Make Me Grin had won once (at Bunbury) from six starts. He had been purchased by Ryan Bell for $26,500 as a yearling. At his first start for Callegari, Make Me Grin finished a nose second to Dougie Bromac at Bunbury last December before he set the pace and was a most impressive winner over Livelong And Prosper at Albany on New Year ’s Eve. However, the gelding’s next starts, five at Albany and three at Bunbury, produced just two minor placings. “I kept taking him down to Albany every week and I don’t think he handled all the travelling,” Callegari said. “So I sent him for a long spell before giving him a nice long preparation.” Make Me Grin was a 13/2 chance from barrier three on the front line. He mustered plenty of early pace and Markham sent him past the 7/4 favourite Mene Jaccka and into the lead after 300m. After dawdling through the first 400m section of the final mile in a very slow 33.4sec. and the next quarter in an ambling 31.1sec., Make Me Grin sped over the final 800m in 57sec. to win by a length from 11/4 chance Northview Cardle, who raced in the breeze over the final 1300m. Make Me Grin is out of the Safely Kept mare Spirit Away, who earned $71,250 from nine wins and 19 placings from 64 starts. Make Me Grin traces back on his dam’s side to several outstanding WA pacers of the 1950s, 60s and 70s, including Magic Flute, Eroica, Flute Song and Enrico. Star Song, the dam of Magic Flute and several other winners, was an elder half-sister to the South Australian-bred Modulation, who contested the 1957 interdominion championship series at Gloucester Park. Both Modulation and Magic Flute were unplaced in the final won by the South Australian frontrunner Radiant Venture. SANJAYA CHARGES HOME FROM LAST Well-travelled New Zealand-bred seven-year-old Sanjaya, whose ancestry on his dam’s side traces back to champion New South Wales pacer Don’t Retreat, gave promise of better things to come when he surged home from ninth in a field of nine at the 350m mark to score an easy victory in the 2536m Force Equipment Service And Hire Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Sanjaya, trained at Serpentine by Gary Hall sen. and driven by his elder son Clint, was a 6/1 chance from the outside of the front line and at his third start after a spell. Hall restrained Sanjaya back to last as Romulus (7/1) sped to an early lead from barrier three. Heavens Delight (7/1) overraced in the breeze and Bet Your Life, a newcomer from Victoria and favourite at 4/1, enjoyed an ideal passage, one-out and one-back. Chris Voak sent Bet Your Life to the front 250m from home, with Jar Zinyo (10/1) unwinding a solid three-wide burst. Sanjaya was last passing the 350m mark as Hall followed the three-wide run of Jar Zinyo. Jar Zinyo got to a narrow lead in the closing stages before being swamped by the fast-finishing Sanjaya, who scored by a length at a 1.59.7 rate. The final 400m was covered bin 28.9sec. Sanjaya ended a losing sequence of eight and took his record to 60 starts for 12 wins, 16 placings and $84,064. He had 24 starts in New Zealand for two wins and six placings, 15 starts in New South Wales for four wins and five placings, 11 starts in Queensland for four wins and four placings and ten starts in WA for two wins and one placing. Sanjaya’s great, great, great granddam Tui Scott produced Don’t Retreat, a star of the 1970s when he had 112 starts for 55 wins, 32 placings and stakes of $340,317. Don’t Retreat qualified for the final of the interdominion championship in Brisbane in 1977 and Melbourne a year later, but was unplaced in both events. Sanjaya also is related to recent Perth winner Me Old Mate, who has raced 39 times for nine wins, eight placings and $64,126. OUR MAJOR MARK GIVES HIS BACKERS A SCARE New Zealand-bred six-year-old Our Major Mark, favourite at 5/1 on, gave his backers plenty of palpitations when he looked beaten on the home turn in the 2130m Central Fruit Sales Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The pacemaker Kiss Chasey (10/1) had shaken off Our Major Mark on the home turn and looked set for victory. But Our Major Mark, who had dropped back more than a length behind the leader (after racing in the breeze for most of the way) fought back grimly to get his nose in front 10m from the post. He won by a neck from Kiss Chasey, with Copagrin battling on into third place after enjoying the run of the race in the one-out, one-back position. Our Major Mark drew the prized No. 1 barrier and was looked upon as a certainty to set the pace. But, surprisingly, Our Major Mark lacked early sparkle and settled in fourth place before Colin Brown quickly eased him off the pegs and took him three wide to move outside Kiss Chasey after 500m. This was Our Major Mark’s eighth win from 15 starts in WA for trainers Greg and Skye Bond and it took his earnings past $600,00. He won at ten of his 39 New Zealand starts and twice from six starts in Victoria before arriving in WA. The son of Art Major now has amassed $609,275 from 20 wins and 16 placings from 60 starts. He has graduated from an M0 mark to an M1 classification. Our Major Mark was an outstanding performer for Mark Purdon as a two-year-old in New Zealand when he won three group 1 events and one group 2 event. He won the group 2 Young Guns Cardigan Bay Stakes at Alexandra Park in March 2010, an $80,000 group 1 event at Addington in April, the group 1 Sires Stakes at Addington in May and the group 1 Emerald at Cambridge in June. SMIRKING FIGHTS ON DOGGEDLY TO SCORE NARROWLY South Australian-bred six-year-old Smirking, the seventh foal out of WA-bred mare Princess Talaria, responded doggedly to heavy punishment to scramble to a half-head victory over 27/1 outsider Ya Dreamin in the 2536m Red Pepper Catering Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Trained by Ross Olivieri and driven by Chris Voak, Smirking was hot favourite at 3/1 on and he burst straight to the front from the No. 2 barrier. Colin Brown sent Ya Dreamin forward, three wide, soon after the start and the gelding moved alongside Smirking after 500m. Ya Dreamin poured on the pressure in the final circuit and the final two 400m sections were covered in 28.9sec. and 28.7sec. Voak had to wield the whip vigorously over the final 450m to stave off the determined Ya Dreamin. This was Smirking’s third win from nine WA starts after he had raced 21 times in South Australia for nine wins and eight placings. Princess Talaria (by Northern Lights) was bred in WA and she was successful as a three-year-old at Gloucester Park and Harvey in 1999 before winning three races in Victoria as a four-year-old. Princess Talaria produced Oztreos, who won at his first seven starts (all at Globe Derby Park) and he earned $123,278 from 21 wins and 12 placings from 50 starts. Smirking’s maternal granddam Minerva Reef produced ten winners, including The Maitre Dee, who won seven races in a row at Gloucester Park as an eight-year-old early in 2000 before retiring with a record of 140 starts for 19 wins, 32 placings and $107,161. ADDA PATERNAL SUIT DELIGHTS LOONE Oldbury trainer-reinsman Shane Loone celebrated his surprise victory with Adda Paternal Suit in the 2536m The Gate Leading Trainer Gary Hall Senior Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night with an extroverted display of uninhibited exuberance. Adda Paternal Suit, the 26/1 outsider in the field of eight, worked hard in the breeze for 1150m before getting to the front 350m from home and racing away to score by 5m from Arousing and Benjamin Banneker. Loone thrust his left arm skywards and wielded the whip jubilantly as Adda Paternal Suit coasted to the post. Loone and Maria Petricevich outlaid $19,000 to claim Adda Paternal Suit on September 13 and now the West Australian-bred seven-year-old has had two starts for his new owners for a good fourth to Springsteen in the Kalgoorlie Cup and Friday night’s impressive victory for stakes of $13,710 which have boosted his career record to 93 starts for 21 wins, 28 placings and $228,705. The win ended a losing sequence of 12 and Adda Paternal Suit was eligible to contest Friday night’s event for horses classified M1 to M4 after he received a drop-down concession from an M5 to an M4 mark when his losing sequence reached ten. Polemarker Arousing (9/1) was first into stride and Bronze Seeker (9/2) and Rojen Cruz (8/1) raced wide early before Morgan Woodley sent Bronze Seeker to the front after 600m, leaving Rojen Cruz in the breeze. Loone had Adda Paternal Suit out three wide before getting the gelding into the breeze with 1500m to travel. Benjamin Banneker, favourite at evens, raced in last position before Gary Hall jun. sent him forward with a three-wide burst 1350m from home. Benjamin Banneker was kept three wide until Adda Paternal Suit got to the front with 350m to travel. He fought on solidly to be third, just a nose behind Arousing, who finished strongly after trailing the pacemaking Bronze Seeker, who was a close-up fifth. by Ken Casellas  

Young trainer-reinsman Kyle Harper is bubbling with confidence at the prospects of up-and-coming stayer Springsteen in the $21,000 Garrard’s Horse And Hound BOTRA Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The 23-year-old Harper has no hesitation in declaring that Springsteen is now fitter and stronger than he was when he set the pace and scored an effortless victory over Senator Whitby and Bronze Seeker in the 2518m Kalgoorlie Cup on two Thursdays ago. “The step up in distance to 2902m won’t worry him,” he said. “He went across the line in the Kalgoorlie Cup bolting and with the plugs in. He felt like he could’ve run another lap. “After that race I was planning to give him a bit of time off because I thought that the run and the travelling to and back from Kalgoorlie would have knocked him about a bit. But he pulled up fantastically well. I had him cherry ripe for the Kalgoorlie Cup, but I’m even happier now with him. “It was a super run in the Kalgoorlie Cup and if he repeats that performance he will take a lot of beating this week, providing he steps away well from the stand. But even if he’s not in front, he will be hard to beat. He can breeze and is even better when sat up.” Springsteen, a New Zealand-bred five-year-old, is the youngest runner in the BOTRA Cup in which he will start off the front and will be opposed to several far more experienced rivals with superior records. Springsteen is lightly raced and has won ten races and been placed nine times from only 33 starts. He has been successful at five of his past nine starts. Harper is seeking to win the BOTRA Cup for the second time. He caused an upset 12 months ago when he drove 25/1 outsider Outstandin to victory over 7/4 favourite Mysta Magical Mach. Outstandin trailed the pacemaker Puhinui Rainbow before he got off the pegs 100m from home, gained a needle-eye split and charged to the front with 50m to travel. Harper’s father Lindsay has won the BOTRA Cup twice. He drove Ariege to victory in 1998 and scored with Shattering Class two years later. Veteran trainer Tony Svilicich is hoping for a change of luck kin the Cup after finishing third with Real Life in 2010, second with Real Life in 2011 and second with Mysta Magical Mach last year. He will be represented by tough stayer Shardons Rocket, the lone backmarker off 30m. Shardons Rocket has been racing with great spirit and cannot be underestimated. He will be handled by Morgan Woodley, who has finished second in the past two BOTRA Cups and won the race with Hilton Adonis in 2006. Leading trainer Gary Hall sen. is seeking his third win in the BOTRA Cup, after scoring with Spirit of Shard in 2008 and Albert Jaccka in 2010. He will be represented by This Time Dylan, who has struck top form in recent weeks with fast-finishing efforts to dead-heat for first with Demon Possessed and a narrow victory over Turnpike Cruiser on the past two Friday nights. “He is definitely an each-way chance in the race is run truly,” Hall declared. Trainers Greg and Skye Bond, Michel Brennan and Justin Prentice each have two Cup runners, with the Bonds being represented with frontmarkers False Promise and Next Dawn, Brennan with Jambo Emali and grand stayer Anvils Big Punt and Prentice with Gday Mate and Braemoor. Prentice looks to have solid each-way prospects with both his runners. Gday Mate, to be driven by Kaiden Hayter, warmed up for the Cup in impressive style at Northam on Tuesday of last week when he galloped at the start and dropped back to last before sustaining a powerful burst to win a 2560m stand easily from Hez Got The Nod. That followed a win and two seconds at Gloucester Park at his three previous outings. Prentice will drive Braemoor, who has won at four of his past nine starts. Braemoor and Gday Mate will start off the 10m line and they will have many admirers. MIDNIGHT DYLAN GIVES BROWN A CHANCE OF THIRD CRANLEY MEMORIAL Ace reinsman Colin Brown describes Midnight Dylan as a little horse with exceptional gate speed and after the New Zealand-bred five-year-old drew favourably at No. 2 on the front line, he declared that he would be extremely hard to beat in the 1730m $21,000 Pat Cranley Memorial at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Brown, who has won the event with Can Return Fire in 2008 (when the Alan Bell-trained gelding started at 11/2, set the pace and defeated Major Money Maker and Im Themightyquinn) and the Greg Bond-trained Motu Treasure in 2010, said he was confident Midnight Dylan would lead and prove very difficult to overhaul over the sprint journey. “In front is where Midnight Dylan goes best and he can run time in front,” Brown said. While Brown has won the event twice, he is also anxious to win with Midnight Dylan to make amends for defeats behind hot favourites Borat (5/2 on) and Next Dawn (5/4) in the past two years. Borat led from barrier one before wilting over the final 280m to finish sixth behind 120/1 outsider Sir Artsplace two years ago and last year Next Dawn fought on, three wide, from sixth at the bell to be third behind El Padrino and Dhoni. Midnight Dylan, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, is a noted frontrunner who has had 53 starts for 11 wins and 18 placings. He resumed after an absence of two months when he set the pace and finished second to top-flight stablemate Our Major Mark in the Mount Eden Sprint over 1750m in Kalgoorlie on September 17. Three nights later on the same track Midnight Dylan set the pace and strolled to an easy two-length victory over Unsinkable Boxer over 2550m. “Midnight Dylan has run some very good races when he has led and has been hammered in front, and has still recorded some very fast times,” Brown said. “The Ragpickers Dream looks the main danger to Midnight Dylan. He was very tough last Friday night when a very close second to Your Good Fortune. But drawing No. 2 over the mile is definitely in Midnight Dylan’s favour.” Gary Hall sen., trainer of The Ragpickers Dream, said that drawing poorly at No. 3 on the back line over the sprint trip was a worry. “But he should go close,” he said. “His run last week was very good and he’s very versatile.” The Ragpickers Dream will be handled by Gary Hall jun. in an event in which the stable will also be represented by Arnoux, Black N Bettor and Real Hammer. IN-FORM VOAK IS THE MAN TO FOLLOW Chris Voak is harness racing’s man of the moment and he is sailing in unchartered waters, being in front in the Statewide reinsmen’s premiership for the first time in his career. The 25-year-old is in dashing form and has landed six winners on the first three days of the week, scoring with Bekindtous Adda (6/4 on), What The Blazes (7/4 on), Karloo (evens) and Bettor Whitby (5/2) at Kellerberrin on Sunday before bringing 45/1 outsider Looks Promising home with a well-timed burst to beat Hearts Desire at Pinjarra on Monday and then succeeding with To Transcend (2/1) at Gloucester Park on Tuesday night. After the first month of the 2013-14 season Voak leads the reinsmen’s premiership with 16 winners and 18 placings from 84 drives and shows the way from Shannon Suvaljko (15 wins and 17 placings from 64 drives) and Colin Brown (15 wins and six placings from 39 drives). He has several drives at the meeting at Gloucester Park on Friday night and is sure to be popular with punters, particularly in the opening two events in which he will handle Bettor Whitby in the Regency Foods Pace and Smirking in the Red Pepper Catering Pace. “They look to be my best chances,” he said. Bettor Whitby, trained at Northam by Lang Inwood, is ideally drawn at the No. 1 barrier over the 1730m journey, while Smirking, trained at Oakford by Ross Olivieri, looks well placed from barrier two in his 2536m event. The consistent Bettor Whitby is showing improvement and she warmed up for Friday night’s engagement with a smart win over Nediak over 1730m at Kellerberrin on Sunday. That improved her record to four wins and 24 placings from 53 starts. “She came out of the gate well (from barrier four) and I thought she would land in the breeze,” Voak said. “They went a bit hard early, so I restrained her back to second last before she got the three-wide cart into the race. Then she made her run from the 250m and won by about three-quarters of a length. “I think she will have the speed to hold up on Friday night and I expect her to run a strong race in front. She can lead or sit; it doesn’t matter. But I’ll be trying to lead, especially over the mile.” One of her best runs was at Northam a couple of months ago when she led and got a lot of pressure early and did a very good job to finish a close third to Beautiful Night and Big and Smooth.” Looming as the main danger to Bettor Whitby is the Peter Tilbrook-trained four-year-old Loving You, who has won easily at her past three starts and is nicely drawn on the inside of the back line. Loving You has set the pace for her three recent victories, two at Gloucester Park and one at Pinjarra. Shannon Suvaljko is likely to attempt to gain the run of the race behind Bettor Whitby before setting the mare the task of outsprinting Bettor Whitby in the final stages. Suvaljko gave punters a good lead when he opted to drive Loving You in preference to the Mike Reed-trained Terra Into The West and Ace of Cards. Suvaljko has been successful with both mares in recent months. Chris Lewis will drive Terra Into The West on Friday night and Colin Brown has been engaged for Ace of Cards. An interesting driving change is that of Gary Hall jun. for Cruzee Princess, a smart mare who possesses excellent gate speed and is likely to make a bid for the early lead from the No. 4 barrier. Hall has yet to drive the Chelsey Harding-trained Cruzee Princess, who worked hard in the breeze and fought on gamely when third to Miss Atomic over 2190m at Northam on Tuesday of last week. Voak said he expected Smirking to prove hard to beat from barrier two on Friday night. “He should have enough gate speed to hold out the horses on his outside and should cross the polemarker Racy Lacy, who is a sit-and-kick horse. “Smirking’s fourth behind This Time Dylan over 2503m last Friday night was really good. If he had got a run inside the final 400m I think he would have gone close to winning.” HALL FANCIES “SLOW LEARNER” BENJAMIN BANNEKER Champion trainer Gary Hall sen. would dearly love to win the race named in his honour, the Gate Leading Trainer, Gary Hall Senior Pace, at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He has three of the nine runners and believes that the talented, lightly-raced Benjamin Banneker can bring home the bacon. “Benjamin Banneker is a big chance,” Hall declared. “He’s the best of my runners and he’s my choice. He is a slow learner who is getting better with every run. He doesn’t like to be used out of the gate and he’s better off doing nothing and then coming home.” Benjamin Banneker, a New Zealand-bred five-year-old, has revealed considerable promise in his 23 starts which have produced ten wins and five placings. He maintained his good form when he finished solidly from fifth at the bell to be second to the pacemaker Banana Dana in fast time over 1730m last Friday night. Two starts before that he overcame the disadvantage of having a punctured tyre of his sulky when he finshed strongly to win from Ohoka Samson and Mighty Flying Thomas. Benjamin Banneker, an M4-class pacer, will start from barrier six on the front line and Gary Hall jun. looks certain to bide his time before issuing a strong late challenge. Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri has two M1-class runners in Arousing (barrier one) and Rojen Cruz (four). Both are capable frontrunners with winning prospects. Hall’s other runners are Algeepee and Some Kinda Tactics. Another fancied runner will be Lucie Boshier, who bounced back to top form with a fast-finishing victory over Kotare Ash at a 1.57.7 rate over 2130m last Friday night. Lucie Boshier was produced in fine fettle by Boyanup trainer Dennis Roche. But the mare has been prepared by Chris Brew since that success and will be handled for the first time by claiming junior Kaiden Hayter. Lucie Boshier will start from the inside of the back line. Brew explained that Lucie Boshier had returned to his stables in Serpentine only to facilitate efforts to get her in foal. “She has pulled up very well after her win and is happy and well,” he said. “She should run a good race.” OUR MAJOR MARK HAS TURNED THE CORNER Highly-rated pacer Our Major Mark arrived in Western Australia seven months ago with a big reputation and though he won at his first four starts in the State (in moderate company), he did not impress reinsman Colin Brown. But that has all changed and Brown now ranks him highly. He is confident that he will drive him to victory in the 2130m Central Fruit Sales Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. “He’s drawn No. 1 and that’s his barrier,” Brown said. “He’s handling Gloucester Park very well and he went around the Kalgoorlie track well last month. “He’s pacing a lot better and driving a lot better. And his attitude is a lot better. At his early starts here he tried only when he wanted to. He had won half a million dollars and didn’t have a good horse’s attitude. “And then his work on the track over the two to three weeks before he went to Kalgoorlie said that he had turned around. He’s now a genuine horse. He wasn’t before. “He has very good gate speed and has won most of his races in front. In his win over Midnight Dylan in Kalgoorlie he came from three back on the rail. But he’s a lot better horse in front.” Our Major Mark looks one of the star bets on Friday night’s ten-event program. He should lead and defeat Kiss Chasey, who has won in good style at two of his past three starts. by Ken Casellas  

Star five-year-old Im Victorious is racing so brilliantly after resuming from a five-month absence that he looks certain to overcome the disadvantage of starting from the outside of the back line and prove too strong for his nine rivals in the $35,000 Cowden Limited Brennan Memorial at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The New Zealand-bred gelding has scored effortless victories at his first three runs since resuming racing early last month and even though speedy frontrunners Sneakyn Down Under, Please Release Me and Lord Lombo have fared much better in the random barrier draw he should simply carry too many guns for the opposition on a track where he has raced 15 times for ten wins and two seconds. A winner at 16 of his 23 starts, Im Victorious gave an impressive display of his wonderful ability at Gloucester Park on Monday of last week when he started from the back mark of 50m and simply destroyed his rivals in a 2503m stand, winning by three lengths from the pacemaker Hez Got The Nod after sustaining a powerful three-wide burst from eighth at the bell. He was untroubled to win over 2130m at his two previous outings for trainer Michael Brennan and reinsman Justin Prentice when he sped over the final 800 metres in those two events in 56.4sec. and 55.6sec. The Brennan Memorial will be decided over 2130m and Lord Lombo (barrier one), Please Release Me (two) and Sneakyn Down Under (three) have all won several times after setting the pace. These three runners should ensure a fast early pace, with the 11-year-old Sneakyn Down Under likely to forge to the front in the early stages. Sneakyn Down Under (Brad Stampalia) led from the No. 2 barrier in the 1730m Spring Pace last Friday night and set a fast pace before wilting in the closing stages to be a half-length second to the fast-finishing Leda McNally, who had raced three back on the pegs. The four quarters of the final mile were run in 28.9sec., 29.3sec., 28.3sec. and 28.2sec. If Sneakyn Down Under gets to an early lead Stampalia might be able to give the evergreen gelding a breather in the middle stages before increasing the tempo in the final circuit. However, Chris Brew might attempt to send Please Release Me past Lord Lombo and into the lead soon after the start and attempt an all-the-way victory. Leda McNally, a stablemate of Lord Lombo, is in sparkling form. But her prospects faded considerably when she drew the outside of the front line. Algeepee will start from the inside of the back line and Gary Hall jun. should have the New Zealand-bred former Victorian performer in a prominent position throughout. Algeepee finished boldly from eighth at the bell to be fourth behind Leda McNally last Friday night, a week after his sound first-up second to Wrongly Accused. But whatever the scenario, Im Victorious appeals as the winner of the Brennan Memorial. VERSATILITY IS A KEY FOR YOUR GOOD FORTUNE IN WARWICK FINAL Versatility is a major asset of lightly-raced five-year-old Your Good Fortune, who is ideally drawn at the No. 3 barrier on the front line in the $25,000 The Warwick Final at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Your Good Fortune, to be driven by Colin Brown, is the least experienced runner in the 2130m event, with 13 wins and eight placings from only 29 starts. But he gives every indication of developing into a top-line performer and is sure to prove hard to beat. Your Good Fortune is trained by Greg and Skye Bond, who will also be represented by Sir Swanky (barrier two) and False Promise (six). Your Good Fortune started out wide at No. 6 in a qualifying heat of this event last Friday week when he mustered plenty of early pace and raced three wide before getting to the breeze after 750m. He then surged to the front 250m from home and won easily from False Promise, rating 1.57.9 after sprinting over the final 800m in 57.1sec. Your Good Fortune has also won races after setting the pace and when producing a powerful burst from back in the field. Sir Swanky (Morgan Woodley) and False Promise (Chris Lewis) are racing keenly and cannot be underestimated. Sir Swanky possesses good early speed and has won several races in weaker company in South Australia when setting the pace. But he has been driven more as a sit-sprinter in recent starts. He started from the inside of the back line and trailed the pacemaker Banana Dana before finishing strongly to be third to that pacer over 2130m last Friday night. The Ragpickers Dream, trained by Gary Hall sen., looms as the main rival for Your Good Fortune. The former Victorian pacer made an impressive WA debut last Friday night when he started from the back line and sustained a strong three-wide burst from sixth at the bell to win by a neck from the pacemaker The Pacing Priest over 2130m. The Ragpickers Dream’s prospects slumped when he drew the outside of the back line. However, the winner of 14 races from 40 starts cannot be overlooked. Veteran pacer Artesian Boy will have admirers after drawing the prized No. 1 barrier. The New Zealand-bred ten-year-old, trained by Debbie Padberg, has a losing sequence of 31 since he set the pace and beat El Padrino and Argent Treasure over 2130m at Gloucester Park just over 12 months ago. He caught the eye last Friday night when he started out wide and rattled home from 11th at the bell to be a close fifth behind The Ragpickers Dream. DAVIES HOPES FOR HER PURPLE PATCH TO CONTINUE Young Wanneroo trainer Kiara Davies has high hopes of completing a wonderful seven days by winning the 2130m Go Freo Pace with Where And When, a nine-year-old with a losing sequence of 25. The 23-year-old Davies had one drive at Bunbury last Saturday night when she handled 8/1 chance Ima Seelster, who dead-heated for first with Fully Zapped (Dylan Egerton-Green) in the first heat of the Garrards Concession Drivers Challenge. She had won drive at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon when she set the pace with 5/4 favourite Robyns C C and won from Talk To Me Art in the second heat of the Challenge. Davies then made it three wins from successive drives when she scored with 42/1 tote outsider Governor Johnny in a C3-class 2190m mobile event at Northam on Tuesday night. Governor Johnny, with a losing sequence of 18, charged home from eighth at the bell to win effortlessly by four and a half lengths from Light Of My Life. Then, at her only other drive at Northam, Davies brought 13/4 chance Borntobeanartist from tenth in the middle stages and sixth at the bell to finish second to the pacemaker Soho Dionysus, a 6/1 chance driven by Tom Buchanan. Davies trains Where And When, who will be driven by champion reinsman Chris Lewis from the prized No. 1 barrier on Friday night in a field in which none of the 12 runners has won at his past four starts. Only three have managed a placing from their past four outings --- Where And When, Sickle Mond and Racy Lacy. Two starts ago Where And When was a 130/1 outsider when Davies drove him at Gloucester Park last Monday week. He raced in sixth position in the one-wide line before finishing gamely to be third behind smart performers Four Grinners and Northview Punter over 1730m. Then Lewis drove Where And When in a 2130m event last Friday night when the old gelding started from the back line, raced three back on the pegs and did not show up, finishing ninth behind Asian Courage. But he meets weaker opposition this week. He possesses good gate speed and Lewis is likely to attempt to set the pace with a pacer who will be one of the main fancies, despite his poor WA record of one win and three placings from 33 starts, after winning 11 races at Globe Derby Park. One of Where And When’s chief rivals could be eight-year-old Caesars Cloud, who has been unplaced at ten starts since his latest success, at Kellerberrin 23 months ago. Caesars Cloud is ideally drawn on the inside of the back line. IMA GRUMPY JASPER HAS SOUND CLAIMS AT WEST AUSTRALIAN DEBUT Noted frontrunner Ima Grumpy Jasper has bright prospects of making a successful debut in Western Australia when he contests the 2130m TABtouch Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The five-year-old, to be driven by Chris Lewis for Banjup trainer Annie Belton, has led at six of his eight wins (seven in Victoria and one in South Australia) from 36 starts and he is ideally drawn at No. 3 on the front line. Ima Grumpy Jasper has not appeared since he started from a wide barrier and raced three wide for much of the way before finishing ninth behind Teo Enteo over 1720m at Melton last May. He led when second to Aitch Cue over 2240m at the same track at his previous start and was an all-the-way winner over 2240m three starts ago, sprinting over the final 400m in 28.3sec. and rating 1.56.7 three starts ago. There is sure to be an interesting battle for the early lead because Ima Grumpy Jasper and other front line runners Cheeryrose (barrier one), Our Boy Su (No. 2), Makah Warrior (no. 4) and Four Grinners (No. 5) all possess sparkling early speed. Cheeryrose led when a Northam winner three starts ago, Our Boy Su led and won at Bunbury last Saturday night, Makhah Warrior led and won easily over 2536m at Gloucester Park two starts ago and Four Grinners set the pace and won by more than three lengths from the talented Northview Punter over 1730m at Gloucester Park two starts ago. BUTCHER GETS HIS CHANCE WITH CHLOE VARGARITA Champion trainer Gary Hall sen. has engaged Shane Butcher to drive promising mare Chloe Vargarita inn the 2130m Onetogo Mares Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night and the five-year-old’s prospects rose sharply when she drew the coveted No. 1 barrier on the front line. Butcher’s claim as a junior driver enabled Chloe Vargarita, an M1-class pacer, to draw a favourable barrier in the race restricted to mares assessed M0 to M2. Gary Hall jun. drove Chloe Vargarita when she was an impressive winner over 2130m last Friday night. She started from the inside of the back line and trailed the pacemaker Grin On The Beach for the first 1260m before Hall eased her out into the one-wide line as the field approached the bell. Chloe Vargarita was forced four wide 450m from home and she produced a strong finishing effort to get to the front 90m from the post and win from Big And Smooth, with the final 800m being covered in 57sec. on a rain-affected track. The consistent Ross Olivieri-trained Arousing will start from barrier two on the back line and she looks set to fight out the finish. Lucie Boshier and Kotare Ash, M2-class pacers, are capable of sharp improvement after recent unplaced efforts. by Ken Casellas  

Earlier this year Morgan Woodley became the youngest Australian driver to drive 1000 winners. Soon after his historic milestone he caught up with Racing and Wagering WA's Julio Santarelli. Julio Santarelli from Racing And Wagering Western Australia has put together the Morgan Woodley story which is now available on You Tube through the following link. It is well worth a look Alan Parker

Ace reinsman Colin Brown stole the show on a cold, wet and miserable evening at Gloucester Park on Friday night with four winners from five drives, highlighted by the victory of Ima Rocket Star in the $21,000 Media Guild Cup. And Ima Rocket Star’s powerful win completed a training treble for Greg and Skye Bond, who had combined earlier in the program with Brown for smart victories by Kissed Flush and Your Good Fortune. Brown also drove outsider Sandakan Lombo to an easy win in the 2096m event for square gaiters. The 54-year-old Brown has started the 2013-14 season with a great flourish and heads the Statewide reinsmen’s premiership table with 11 wins and two placings from just 19 drives. The Bond team heads the trainers’ premiership with 11 wins and seven placings from 31 starters. Ima Rocket Star, favourite at 5/1 on, made a one-act affair of the 2130m Media Guild Cup. The New Zealand-bred eight-year-old simply ambled straight to the front from the prized No. 1 barrier while Matt White restrained Lombo Navigator from the No. 2 barrier and quickly angled the gelding across to the pegs to be third behind Ima Rocket Star’s stablemate Talk It Up, who was the solitary runner off the back line and was able to follow out the favourite. Ima Rocket Star had the luxury of dawdling through the lead time in a slow 38.7sec. and the first 400m section of the final mile in 31.5sec. before he increased the tempo with a 29.7sec. quarter and then sped over the final 800m in 56.8sec. on the rain-soaked track. He rated 1.58.4 and won by just over a length from Talk It Up, with Lombo Navigator another length farther back in third place. Ima Rocket Star, an eight-year-old New Zealand-bred gelding by Badlands Hanover, has thrown off the effects of a series of leg problems and is in the best form of his career, with his past 15 starts producing nine wins and four placings to improve his career record to 55 starts for 25 wins, 14 placings and earnings of $367,954. He is well and truly on target to contest the rich summer carnival feature events, including the Fremantle Cup and WA Pacing Cup. THE PACING PRIEST RESUMES IN DASHING STYLE The Pacing Priest arrived in Australia from New Zealand in February 2009 with great fanfare and with even higher expectations. He won at his Australian debut, at the Victorian country track of Wedderburn in March and was successful by four lengths at his next appearance, in a stand at Gloucester Park a month later. His first eight starts in Western Australia produced three wins and five seconds and after finishing eighth behind Bonavista Bay in the group 1 Golden Nugget in November 2009 he broke down badly and was off the scene for three and a half years. Eventually, he resumed racing in mid-April this year and West Swan trainer Ken Kirke prepared him for a comeback victory in a minor event at a midweek meeting at Gloucester Park in May. Then followed another four starts for one placing before he was sent for a spell. The 66-year-old Kirke produced the eight-year-old in fine fettle for his return to racing at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he started a heavily-back 10/9 on favourite from barrier No. 1 in the 1730m Jay Rooney Most Winners In A Night Pace on Friday night. The gelding warmed up with a stylish win in a Byford trial the previous Sunday morning when he dashed over the final 800m in 56.6sec. Callan Suvaljko, driving The Pacing Priest for the first time in a race, got him straight to the front, leaving 11/4 second fancy Lord Diego in the breeze. After modest first quarters in 30.6sec. and 30.8sec. The Pacing Priest gave his rivals little chance by speeding over the final sections in 28.6sec. and 28.3sec. He won comfortably by just under a length from 10/1 chance Chaldea, who trailed him all the way. The Turnpike Cruiser ran home boldly from seventh on the pegs at the bell to be a nose away in third place. The Pacing Priest, owned by Danny Roberts, Sue Beven and Brian Anderson, rated 1.57.9. He is by American stallion Pacific Rocket and is out of unraced mare High Road. AS winner at two of his seven starts in New Zealand, he has raced only 29 times for eight wins, eight placings and $78,436. ELEGANT CHRISTIAN REVEALS GREAT WA DERBY POTENTIAL Champion trainer Gary Hall sen. broke through for his first success in the WA Derby when Alta Christiano scored a runaway victory in the $200,000 classic last April and now he is looking forward with confidence to next season’s group 1 feature event for three-year-olds. Hall was all smiles after Elegant Christian, favourite at 2/1 on, scored an effortless victory in the 1730m The Form Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night when the New Zealand-bred three-year-old set the pace and sprinted over the final 400m in a sizzling 27.7sec. on a waterlogged track to beat stablemate Pelusiac by eight lengths at a 1.58.6 rate. Elegant Christian is unbeaten at three starts and he gives every indication of developing into an outstanding Derby prospect. Hall also will have a team of smart three-year-olds capable of performing strongly in three-year-old classics. They include Pelusiac, High Courage, Crusader Banner, Soho Starr, Waylade and Majorly Foxy Styx. Elegant Christian, driven by Hall’s elder son Clint, had no trouble in holding up from the No. 1 barrier and he paced fluently throughout to score a most convincing victory from Pelusiac (6/4), with 40/1 chance Organized Chaos almost four lengths farther back in third place. Pelusiac started from the outside in the field of six and raced three wide early before racing without cover. He battled on manfully, but was no match for the flying Elegant Christian. YOUR GOOD FORTUNE IS BRED TO BE A GOOD WINNER It’s little wonder that five-year-old New Zealand-bred pacer Your Good Fortune continues to shine for Forrestdale trainers Greg and Skye Bond. The Bettors Delight gelding is closely related to former star performers Sharp And Telford and Hunka Hickling. Your Good Fortune, second favourite at 2/1, maintained his splendid form when he was driven aggressively by Colin Brown to score an easy win over stablemate False Promise (9/1) and the fast-finishing Xupan Three (25/1) in the second qualifying heat of the 2130m TABtouch The Warwick Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Your Good Fortune, owned by Greg Bond and stable stalwarts Kevin, Rob and John Gartrell, Andrew Foster, Craig Hampson and Brad Collett, won at three of his seven New Zealand starts and has raced 22 times in WA for ten wins and seven placings to take his career earnings to $159,304. Polemarker Marooned was heavily supported to start favourite at 11/8 and Gary hall jun. took him straight to the lead, with Menelaus of Sparta in the breeze. Your Good Fortune, who started out wide from the No. 6 barrier, settled down in seventh position. Brown drove assertively and dashed the gelding forward, three wide, to move into the breeze after 750m. Marooned sped over the third 400m section of the final mile in 28.7sec., but was unable to shake off Your Good Fortune who surged to the front 250m from home and went on to win by 4m from False Promise (Ryan Warwick), who had trailed the leader all the way. Your Good Fortune covered the final 400m in 28.4sec. and rated 1.57.9. Marooned held on to finish fourth. Sharp And Telford amassed $499,053 from his 16 wins and seven placings from 33 starts. He won the 1996 Victoria Derby by a nose from Mon Poppy Day before dead-heating for first with Surfing Safari in the Australian Derby at Moonee Valley. Hunka Hickling raced successfully in New Zealand, Australia and America, earning $231,576 from his 20 wins and 35 placings from 126 starts. He finished second to Stars And Stripes in both the 2000 New Zealand Derby at Addington and New South Wales Derby at Harold Park. THAT IS CORRECT SURPRISES AND ENDS LOSING SEQUENCE OF 19 Veteran performer That Is Correct caused a minor upset and ended a losing sequence of 19 when he failed in a bid to get to an early lead, but relished the run of the race behind the pacemaker Senator Whitby before finishing full of running to score an easy victory in the 2503m Stuart Lowe Leading Tipster Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Chris Voak was keen to set the pace from barrier three on the front line, but Senator Whitby (barrier two) resisted his early challenge after the polemarker Jambo Emali had galloped hopelessly at the start. Voak then was content to angle That Is Correct, a $23.70 chance on the tote, behind 9/1 chance Senator Whitby, who was put under pressure in the middle stages when This Time Dylan sustained a three-wide burst and got to a half-length lead 1300m from home. Senator Whitby withstood the challenge, but began to wilt passing the 400m mark. That Is Correct swept to the front with 270m to travel and raced away to win by three and a half lengths from 5/1 chance Gday Mate, who charged home from ninth at the bell. Salliwood (20/1) ran on from three back on the pegs to be a sound third, with Senator Whitby a fading seventh. The Victorian-bred That Is Correct had been unplaced at his previous 11 starts, but he was produced in great shape by Serpentine trainer Matt Scott. The eight-year-old had put the writing on the wall a week earlier when he set the pace, was tackled hard by Balleybofey and did well to fight on to finish a close fourth behind Shardons Rocket. That Is Correct, an eight-year-old by American stallion Dare You To, won six times in Victoria and has had 29 starts in WA for three wins and eight placings. He has earned $72,432 from ten wins and 22 placings from 93 starts. Shardons Rocket (6/1) off the back mark of 40m, and 2/1 favourite J Walker (off 20m) settled down a long way from the early leaders. Shardons Rocket came from seventh (three wide) at the bell to finish sixth and J Walker surged home, out wide, from tenth at the bell to be fifth. SANDAKAN LOMBO BORN TO PACE, TRIUMPHS AS A TROTTER Sandakan Lombo was bred to be a pacer. But he proved to be a natural square gaiter and he notched his seventh win when he trotted faultlessly to score an easy win in the 2096m Great Southern Radio Pacing Preview Trotters Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Sandakan Lombo, trained at Wundowie by Bruce Stanley, who races the six-year-old with his wife Pauline, was a 32/1 tote outsider who proved just too speedy for his rivals when he set the pace and won by two and a half lengths from the fast-finishing Conquer All (30/1), with a nose to Xenon (29/1). Polemarker Heez Speedy Gonzalez galloped and lost a length at the start, pacing the way for Colin Brown, driving Sandakan Lombo for the first time, to dash the gelding straight to the front from the No. 2 barrier in the stand. Kim Young eased Heez Speedy Gonzalez off the pegs and into the breeze after 750m, but he wilted in the concluding stages to finish fifth. Hot Holiday, second fancy at 2/1, enjoyed an ideal passage, one-out and one-back, but lacked sparkle and finished fourth. Sandakan Lombo is by the American pacing stallion Life Sign (who earned $1,912,454 in stakes from 18 wins and 15 placings from 35 starts) and is the second foal out of Frances Lombo, who was retired after having two unplaced runs as a two-year-old pacer at Gloucester Park in November 2003. Frances Lombo was out of pacing mare Forrest Friend and her first foal was a pacer named Assissi Lombo, who had just 17 starts for one wins and two placings for stakes of $2375. Sandakan Lombo was Frances Lombo’s second foal and her third foal is Lombo Kotakinabalu, who has raced 11 times as a pacer for two wins, four placings and $10,850. BENJAMIN BANNEKER GETS HOME NARROWLY AND SURVIVES A PROTEST Ohoka Samson’s bold bid to complete a winning hat-trick failed narrowly at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he was beaten by a head by Benjamin Banneker in the 2130m GPHR Media Guild Tipping Competition Pace. After viewing the patrol film of the run to the finish Dylan Egerton-Green, driver of Ohoka Samson, the 3/1 on favourite, lodged a protest against Benjamin Banneker, the 13/2 second favourite driven by Gary Hall jun., alleging interference. After a lengthy hearing the stewards dismissed the protest. The stewards reprimanded Hall for driving in a careless manner in that he allowed Benjamin Banneker to shift inwards in the run to the finish. Ohoka Samson started from barrier one, but was easily beaten for early speed by 30/1 chance Real Hammer, who burst straight to the front from barrier five. Egerton-Green eased Ohoka Samson off the pegs after 300m and the gelding raced in the breeze before getting to the front 520m from home. Benjamin Banneker enjoyed the perfect trail in the one-out, one-back position before issuing a strong challenge and getting past Ohoka Samson by three-quarters of a length 300m from the finish. But Benjamin Banneker was unable to cross to the pegs and Ohoka Samson fought back with great determination. The pace was solid throughout and Benjamin Banneker rated 1.56.8 on the rain-soaked track. Mighty Flying Thomas raced three back on the pegs and finished determinedly to be third. The New Zealand-bred Benjamin Banneker has done all his racing in Western Australia and he looks set for a bright future. He has earned $97,280 from ten wins and four placings from only 21 starts. LEDA McNALLY ENHANCES HER REPUTATION Victorian-bred five-year-old Leda McNally strengthened her claims as one of the best pacing mares in Western Australia when she outclassed her rival in the 1730m David Lamond Most Winners In A Night Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. She started an even-money favourite from the outside of the back line and Chris Voak gave her time to settle down before sending her forward from eighth position 400m after the start. She moved outside the pacemaker Shez El De Rosa 300m later and Shannon Suvaljko was keen to make life tough for her by urging Shez El De Rosa to sprint over the second 400m section of the final mile in 28.7sec. The final quarters went by in 29.6sec. and 29.7sec. and Leda McNally, who is trained at Pinjarra by Chris King, rated 1.56.7 in beating 15/1 chance Terra Into the West, who trailed the pacemaker throughout. Arousing (13/4) maintained her consistent form by running on from fifth at the bell to be third. Leda McNally now moves to an M5 classification with a record of 14 wins and eight placings from 38 starts for stakes of $137,228. She looks certain to exceed the fine record of her dam Twinkletoes, who earned $159,135 from 16 wins and 15 placings from 49 starts. Twinkletoes gained her biggest win when successful in the $100,000Queen of the Pacific at Moonee Valley in May 2001 when she defeated outstanding New Zealand mare Dancingonmoonlight. KISSED FLUSH RUNS HOME STRONGLY Noted frontrunner Kissed Flushed was seen in a new role when he produced a strong finishing burst to win the second heat of the TABform Westbred Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Starting equal favourite at 7/2 with polemarker Hoylakes First Lady, Kissed Flush began speedily from the No. 3 barrier and challenged Criminal Minds (barrier two) for the early lead. His bid was unsuccessful and Colin Brown then angled the gelding to the pegs to trail Criminal Minds. Outsider Jennas Shadow moved to the breeze, enabling Hoylakes First Lady to enjoy an ideal trail, one-out and one-back. Robbie Williams got Hoylakes First Lady to the front on the home turn, but she was unable to hold out the fast-finishing Kissed Flush, who rated 1.58.9. Kissed Flush, owned and trained by Greg and Skye Bond, has earned $83,859 from 12 wins and 22 placings from 89 starts. He is the fifth foal out of Summer Carnival, whose five winners included Winter Retreat, who raced 135 times for 33 wins and 49 placings for stakes of $411,793. SVILICICH-WOODLEY COMBINATION STRIKES AGAIN The powerful combination of veteran trainer Tony Svilicich and youthful reinsman Morgan Woodley which has amassed a small fortune in recent years through the deeds of Mysta Magical Mach and Has The Answers struck again at Gloucester Park on Friday night when 11/2 chance Wrongly Accused bounced back to form with a strong all-the-way victory in the 2130m Pat Harding Longest Priced Winner Claiming Pace. Woodley took full advantage of the prized No. 1 barrier and after a solid lead time of 36.9sec. the Victorian-bred seven-year-old appreciated an easy first 400m section of the final mile in 32.1sec. before travelling through the next quarters in 29.5sec., 28.5sec. and 29.5sec. to beat Algeepee (2/1) by just over two lengths. Adda Paternal Suit, favourite at 6/4, began swiftly from barrier three and got to a lead of three-quarters of a length in the early stages. But he was unable to cross Wrongly Accused. Aiden de Campo then angled Adda Paternal Suit to the pegs to follow Wrongly Accused before moving into the breeze about 550m after the start. Adda paternal Suit fought on doggedly, but was deprived of second place by Algeepee, who finished strongly from sixth at the bell. Adda Paternal Suit, a WA-bred seven-year-old and a winner at 20 of his 91 starts, was claimed for $19,000 by trainer-reinsman Shane Loone and Maria Petricevich. Wrongly Accused, who ended a losing sequence of nine, has won six races in Victoria and 14 in WA. He has earned $194,390 from his 20 wins and 43 placings from 170 starts. By Armbro Operative, Wrongly Accused is the second of Don’t Blame Me’s four foals. Don’t Blame Me had 18 starts for six minor placings and the only other of her foals to have raced was Im Innocent, who was unplaced at seven starts in New South wales in 2008. by Ken Casellas

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