Munster businessman Tom Erceg and harness racing owner snapped up a wonderful bargain when he paid just $6000 for a Rich And Spoilt filly at the Gloucester Standardbred yearling sale in February 2013. The filly named Straittothehilton and raced by Erceg in partnership with Byford trainer Katja Warwick, boosted her earnings to $88,330 when she gave a dashing display to score an easy victory in the $100,000 group 1 NHP Westbred Classic for two-year-old fillies at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Straittothehilton, third favourite at 9/2, was driven in masterly fashion by Morgan Woodley and the win completed a double for Woodley and the Warwick family in the Westbred Classic. Former champion trainer-reinsman Trevor Warwick, husband of Katja, prepared 14/1 chance Sweet Atomic when Woodley drove her to a thrilling victory in a three-way photo finish from Hermattjesty Mulan and Flirtalicious in the 2011 Westbred Classic for two-year-old fillies. Straittothehilton jumped straight to the front from the No. 1 barrier before Aiden De Campo sent 3/1 second fancy Delightful Jade (a winner at six of her seven starts) into the lead after 100m, leaving the heavily-supported 9/4 favourite Massive Attack in the breeze. After a leisurely lead time of 38.7sec. and a slow first quarter of 31.6sec., de Campo increased the tempo and Delightful Jade sprinted over the second section in 28.8sec. This was followed by a 29.2sec. quarter before Gary Hall jun. sent Massive Attack to the front 270m from home. Woodley had eased Straittothehilton off the pegs with about 600m to travel to follow the run of Massive Attack. Straittothehilton burst into the lead 100m from the post and won by two lengths from Massive Attack, who put up a tremendous performance to finish second. The final quarter was a modest 30.8sec. and Straittothehilton rated 2.01 over the 2130m journey. Soho New York (40/1) surged home from tenth at the bell to finish a further two lengths back in third place, in front of Sea Me Smile. Delightful Jade wilted to finish sixth. Katja Warwick has given Straittothehilton a splendid preparation and the filly went into the classic as the most experienced runner, with 13 starts under her belt. Straittothehilton, who has been driven by Woodley in all her starts, has now won three races and been placed eight times. Her dam Made of Dreams (by Parsons Den) raced 49 times for ten wins, 14 placings and $39,664. Made of Dreams is out of unraced Northern Lights mare Arctic Glow, whose five winners included Chazsalico (135 starts for 20 wins, 31 placings and $141,515). Amongst Royalty, a full-sister of Made of Dreams, won two group 1 and one group 2 classic as a two-year-old and retired with a record of 86 starts for 23 wins and 27 placings for earnings of $570,820. Arctic Glow's dam Broncroft Castle produced star pacer Mon Poppy Day, who amassed $318,558 from 20 wins and 16 placings from 50 starts. His wins included the WA and Tasmanian Derbies in 1996, the 1996 Golden Nugget, the 1997 Christmas Gift and the 1998 Mount Eden Mile. Straittothehilton also is related to former champion mares Under Cover Lover (70 starts for 21 wins, 22 placings and $864,923) and Bettor Cover Lover (39 starts for 19 wins, 14 placings and $1,026,427). Straittothehilton is the latest of the progeny of Rich And Spoilt to win juvenile classics. His previous classic winners include Silver Tail Adda, Shipwreck, Batavia Touchngo and Adda Cool Mil. Rich And Spoilt won the 1999 Pearl Classic, the State Sires Series Classic and Caduceus Club Classic in 2000 and finished a nose second to Seelster Sam in the Gold Nugget Championship in December 2000. Straittothehilton Erceg also purchased a colt for $9500 at the 2013 sales who is trained by Katja Warwick. The colt, named Out of the Shadow, won at his debut, at Harvey in January this year and again at Bunbury in February. Veteran lands first group 1 winner Veteran Bunbury trainer Bob Wood landed his first group 1 winner when Kyle Harper drove All Aussie Boy to an all-the-way victory in the $100,000 Clipsal Schneider Westbred Classic for two-year-old colts and geldings at Gloucester Park on Friday night. All Aussie Boy, equal second favourite at 13/4, made the most of the prized No. 1 barrier, but had to survive a spirited early challenge from 5/4 favourite Persistent Threat before setting the pace and holding on grimly to defeat 11/1 chance A Force In Action by a metre, with a length and a half back to 66/1 outside Captain Oats in third place. The 23-year-old Harper had some anxious moments in the final stages when All Aussie Boy began to shift up the track. The left-handed Harper then used the whip in his non-preferred right hand to prevent the colt from veering out. He responded gamely to Harper's urgings and just held out the fast-finishing A Force In Action, who had enjoyed an perfect trip behind the pacemaker until Mark Reed got him off the pegs approaching the home turn and brought the colt home with a strong three-wide burst. After the race the stewards fined Harper $200 for incorrect use of the whip in that he used more than a wrist and elbow action. Persistent Threat began speedily from the No. 2 barrier and Tom Buchanan made a spirited bid for the lead. Persistent Threat got almost a length and a half in front of All Aussie Boy, but just failed to muster sufficient speed to cross to the front, with Harper driving All Aussie Boy hard to retain the lead. Buchanan took hold of Persistent Threat after 200m and the gelding broke into a gallop. However, Buchanan quickly got Persistent Threat back into a pacing action. Morgan Woodley then dashed Thatlebe forward with a fast three-wide burst to move into the breeze after 550m. Then, after 600m, Colin Brown sent the 13/4 equal second fancy Isaiah Artois forward from the rear with a three-wide charge to assume the position outside the pacemaker. Persistent Threat then was sixth win the one-wide line. The first quarter was run in 31.8sec. before final sections in 29.9sec., 29.9sec. and 29.2sec. Buchanan eased Persistent Threat three wide approaching the 400m mark, but the gelding lacked sparkle and wilted to finish in eleventh position. Isaiah Artois was a gallant fourth. The winner rated 2.0.2 over the 2130m. All Aussie Boy looks like developing into the best pacer prepared by the 71-year-old Wood since he trained Pataz in the early 2000s. Pataz, who reached an M7 mark in 2003, raced 66 times for 20 wins, 13 placings and $144,878 in stakes. All Aussie Boy has earned $78,345 from three wins and three placings from eight starts. He is by Allamerican Ingot and is out of Parsons Den mare Like Royalty, who was unplaced at her 12 starts, earning just $183 from her fourth placing in a two-year-old event at Gloucester Park in July 2005. All Aussie Boy is a half-brother to Paramedic, who notched his tenth victory when Harper drove him to an all-the-way win in a Pathway at Gloucester Park last month. All Aussie Boy Hall's tactics succeed with Our Arlington A bold move by Clint Hall to send Our Arlington forward from the awkward No. 4 barrier, instead of restraining him, paid handsome dividends when the New Zealand-bred six-year-old scored an upset win at 14/1 in the $25,000 LED Past Presidents Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night. It was generally considered that Please Release Me would set the pace from the No. 1 barrier and Hall drove Our Arlington hard early, out three wide for the first 300m, before getting to the breeze. Two hundred metres later Our Arlington settled in the perfect one-out, one-back position when Dundee Three sustained a three-wide early burst to take up the position outside Please Release Me. After a reasonable lead time of 37.6sec., Please Release Me coasted through the first 400m section of the final mile in 31.2sec. before he covered the next quarters in 29.3sec. and 28.3sec. Hall switched Our Arlington three wide with 300m to travel and the gelding finished full of running to hit the front 120m from the post. He held on to defeat the gallant Dundee Three (13/4) by one metre, with Please Release Me (11/4) a nose away in third place after a final quarter in 28.6sec. My Hard Copy, a well-supported 11/8 favourite, started from the inside of the back line and he got into the clear leaving the back straight the final time before finishing solidly, out wide, to be a head away in fourth place Our Arlington gave leading trainer Gary Hall sen. his second success in the Past Presidents Cup. He was successful with The Falcon Strike in 2006. Our Arlington, by Washington VC, won twice from three starts as a three-year-old in New Zealand in March 2011 and 11 times in Victoria. His three wins from 15 WA starts have taken his record to 68 starts for 16 wins, 17 placings and stakes of $169,942. Voak's birthday surprise Chris Voak wasn't optimistic about his chances with eight drives at Gloucester Park on Friday night, but he gave himself a pleasant birthday surprise when he drove 45/1 outsider Say It Now to a stirring victory in the 2130m Cable Joining Supplies Pace. Voak, who celebrated his 26th birthday on Friday, continues to drive winners every week and is a clear second behind Gary Hall jun. in the Statewide drivers' premiership table. Hall has 147 winners and Voak has had 951 drives in the 2013-14 season for 124 wins, 120 seconds and 94 thirds. Say It Now gave Voak his 43rd city success this season and he is in fifth place on the Metropolitan list behind Hall (99 wins), Chris Lewis (59), Colin Brown (57) and Morgan Woodley (45). Say It Now was a 7/4 chance the previous Friday night when Chris Lewis drove the noted frontrunner to a head victory over Bettor Party over 1730m. But punters disregarded his chances on Friday night when he rose in class and started from barrier two on the back line over a longer journey. Voak was driving the pacer for the first time. Polemarker Black Aquila was all the rage from the prized No. 1 barrier and was favourite at 10/9 on, with stablemates Vapour (11/4) and Notabadexcuse (11/1) next in betting. Michael Young got Black Aquila away smartly and the five-year-old set the pace, with Notabadexcuse (Micheal Ferguson) in the breeze and Love In The Dark sitting behind the pacemaker. Say It Now raced three back on the pegs and was eighth at the bell. Voak got Say It Now off the inside in the final circuit and the stallion charged home, out wide, to gain a last-stride victory by a neck from Notabadexcuse, who had taken the lead 80m from the post. Black Aquila was a wilting third. The final sections were covered in 28.5sec. and 29.5sec. and Say It Now rated 1.57.6. He has been an excellent moneyspinner for Hopeland trainer Kevin Charles and his son Kody, who bred the horse from Promising Gift, a mare gifted to them by breeder Tom Keating. Say It Now has earned $101,981 from 12 wins and 11 placings from 52 starts. Desirable Guy breaks through for first WA win New South Wales-bred five-year-old Desirable Guy completed a double for reinsman Colin Brown in the first two events at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he relished his pacemaking role to score an easy victory in the 2130m Bambach Cables Pathway Pace. Brown, who trains the gelding at Banjup, had won the opening event with the Dick Moore-trained Macintosh. Desirable Guy, second fancy at 3/1, jumped straight to the front from the No. 2 barrier and Brown rated him perfectly to score by four metres from polemarker Justlikelindt, a 13/1 chance who trailed the leader all the way. A half-head away in third place was the 2/1 favourite Algranco Under Fire, who raced three wide early and then without cover. The win was Desirable Guy's first from seven WA starts and it ended a losing sequence of 13. He now boasts an enviable record of 70 starts for 15 wins and 22 placings for earnings of $105,388 and he looks capable of more city successes for owners Geoff and Ben Waters, John Galluccio, Grahame Searle and Paul Whyte. Desirable Guy showed early promise and at Melton in May 2011 he finished fourth behind Mr Nickel, Magic Bliss and Soho Valencia in the $305,000 group 1 Australian Pacing Gold. By American stallion Real Desire, Desirable Guy is the first foal out of Atworthy Maid, who was unplaced at her four starts in Victoria as a two and three-year-old in 2005-06. Atworthy Maid's dam Crown Velvet produced five winners, including Velvets Bee gee (29 wins and $134,600) and Croesus (13 wins and $253,050). Am Opulent relishes frontrunning role Few mares in Western Australia possess the sparkling early speed of Am Opulent and when Ryan Warwick dashed the New Zealand-bred four-year-old straight to the front from the No. 3 barrier her 11 rivals faced an extremely difficult task in the $25,000 final of the Nexans Olex Lombardo Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Warwick stole a march on the opposition when he got Am Opulent to relax and coast through the lead time in 38.2sec. and the first quarter of the final mile in 31.7sec. Warwick gave the mare more rein in the final 800m and she sped over the final quarters in 29sec. and 28.2sec. to win by one and a half lengths from 66/1 outsider Tis A Charmer, who enjoyed a good trail three back on the pegs. Polemarker Ace of Cards (22/1) trailed the leader for much of the way before finishing with a spirited burst. Selkie, the 2/1 favourite, was never in contention. Chris Lewis restrained her back to the rear from her wide barrier at No. 6 on the front line. She started a three-wide run approaching the bell, following Lucky Joy, But she floundered in the back straight and dropped back to finish in eleventh position. Am Opulent, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, has earned $188,047 from 12 wins and 11 placings from 45 starts. She is related to Smart Son (41 wins and $347,805) and Vanderel (14 wins and $164,163). My Samantha Jane turns the tables Consistent filly My Samantha Jane turned the tables on The Parade when she gave a bold frontrunning display and carried too many guns in the final stages for her rival in the 2130m Sylvania Trader Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. A fortnight earlier My Samantha Jane started from the inside of the back line and trailed the pacemaker Harper Grace before finishing a sound second to The Parade, who sustained a powerful burst from last to take the lead 250m from home. Under the preferential barrier draw conditions on Friday night, My Samantha Jane drew ideally at No. 2 on the front line and The Parade had the distinct disadvantage of starting from the outside of the back line. My Samantha Jane was a strongly-supported 2/1 second fancy, with The Parade favourite at 6/4. Trainer Mike Reed, anxious to have My Samantha Jane's mind on the job from the outset, changed her gear, removing the Dolly Varden blinkers and replacing them with hood-type blinkers. This did the trick and the filly began like a shot. After first quarters of the final mile in 30.7sec. and 30.1sec., My Samantha Jane dashed over the final sections in 29.3sec. and 29.2sec. and she won by five metres from the gallant The Parade, rating 1.58.4. Polemarker Major Flirt finished third after trailing the pacemaker all the way. The Parade settled down in eleventh position before Justin Prentice dashed her forward with a fast three-wide burst after 700m. The filly moved into the breeze with 1050m to travel and she fought on with typical determination. My Samantha Jane, unplaced at her three starts in New Zealand, has had 16 starts in Western Australia for four wins and six placings and now has earned $44,620 in stakes. El Machine a winter cups prospect Bargain pacer El Machine graduated to an M5 mark with his stylish victory in the Hydraulic Energy Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night and will be a valuable addition to open-class feature Cup events over the winter months. He was a 10/1 chance from the outside of the back line and made light of this disadvantage by unwinding a typical powerful finishing burst to easily defeat 3/1 second fancy Slick Chapel and Wrongly Accused (6/1), rating 1.57.4 over the 2130m trip. Last-start winner Real Hammer (5/1) began with his usual alacrity to burst straight to the front from the polemarker and 5/2 favourite Mighty Flying Thomas, with Wrongly Accused in the breeze. El Machine settled at the rear before his trainer Kade Howson started a three-wide move approaching the bell and appreciating a cart up behind Rodrigo. Real Hammer, who pulled hard, began to tire badly half-way down the back straight and Howson shot El Machine to the front 260m from home. Slick Chapel was tenth at the bell and following El Machine in the three-wide line. Gary Hall jun. switched him four wide with about 420m to travel and he finished powerfully to be second. Mighty Flying Thomas was hampered behind the fading Real hammer and even though Tom Buchanan was able to ease the gelding off the pegs, he was blocked for a clear passage in the final stages and finished eighth. The West Australian-bred El Machine, bought for a mere $5000 as a yearling by Howson and fellow trainer-reinsman Michael George, has earned $156,489 from 18 wins and 13 placings from 47 starts. Claimers the aim for Pride of Colorado Darling Downs trainer-reinsman Aldo Cortopassi has high hopes that Pride of Colorado will follow in the footsteps of his half-brother Scram Jet and develop the reputation as a King of the Claimers. Scram Jet enjoyed racing in claimers in the twilight of his career and he was retired after winning ten times in that company and with a career record of 172 starts for 24 wins, 42 placings and $235,076 in prizemoney. Pride of Colorado, a West Australian-bred seven-year-old by former star pacer Saab, has an M4 classification and Cortopassi considers he is not quite up to top class and he is planning a continuing career in claiming events. Pride of Colorado won his second claimer when Cortopassi drove him aggressively before he won the 2130m Scholz Electric Claiming Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Pride of Colorado started from barrier six in a field of seven and was a firm 5/4 favourite. Cortopassi was keen to control the tempo of the race and he dashed Pride of Colorado forward in the early stages to race in the breeze, with 12-year-old Tee Pee Village (6/1) setting the pace. After an opening section of the final mile in a slow 31.3sec., Tee Pee Village ran the next quarters in 29.8sec., 28.7sec. and 28.8sec. However, he was unable to keep Pride of Colorado at bay, with the favourite forging to the front 80m from the post and winning by just over a length. Pride of Colorado, owned by Stephen Schmedje, has earned $148,967 from 17 wins and 18 placings from 81 starts. Northern Lights mare Lady Legacy, dam of Scram Jet and Pride of Colorado, won at five of her 23 starts in the mid-1990s. She is out of Fiscal Miss, a winner of 15 races and the mother of star performers Whitbys Miss Penny (50 starts for 32 wins, six placings and $568,289) and Ace of Whitby (79 starts for 29 wins, 21 placings and $317,247). Macintosh makes it eight from ten in WA Up-and-coming New Zealand-bred four-year-old Macintosh continued his rise to prominence when he overcame the disadvantage of starting from the outside of the back line with an impressive victory in the 2536m Apec Cables Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. A week earlier Colin Brown brought Macintosh home with a powerful last-lap last-to-first effort. But on Friday night Brown made his move earlier. Polemarker What God Knows led for the first lap, during which he withstood a spirited challenge from Mr Nickel. Brown seized the initiate after a lap had been covered by sending Macintosh forward from the rear with a strong three-wide burst. Macintosh, favourite at 6/4, moved to the breeze 1300m from home and Brown was content to remain there until be shot the son of Mach Three to the front with 470m to travel. The third quarter of the final mile was covered in a brisk 28.3sec. and Macintosh sprinted the final section in 28.4sec. to win by just under a length from 11/4 second fancy Ohoka Kentucky, who sustained strong burst from the rear. Dearborn (12/1) followed the run of Ohoka Kentucky to finish an encouraging third. Macintosh, trained at Forrestdale by Dick Moore, looks set for many more wins. After winning at two of his ten starts in New Zealand the gelding has won eight times from ten starts in WA. by Ken Casellas
When former champion juvenile Sensational Gabby managed just one win and one third placing from 11 starts between December 2012 and January this year her harness racing future was in extreme doubt. She was wrecking her winning prospects by overracing fiercely and hanging and her connections were seriously considering retirement plans. But astute Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri did not give up the battle and after months of experimenting he has cured her bad habits of pulling hard and hanging in her races and now she has regained all the brilliance which enabled her to win at 23 of her first 27 starts. She paced generously and faultlessly when she revealed blistering speed to outclass her rivals in the Ray Duffy Memorial at Gloucester Park on Friday night, recording a smart 1.54.8 rate over the 2130m after speeding over the final mile in 1min.53.9sec. Sensational Gabby now has several feature events for mares over the next two months at her mercy. These include the $20,000 Golden Girls Mile at Pinjarra on April 21, the $35,000 Race For Roses at Gloucester Park on May 9, the $40,000 WASBA Breeders Pace on May 23 and the $30,000 Westbred Fillies and Mares Classic on May 30. And so well is Sensational Gabby performing that there are plans to set her for rich feature events next summer, including the Fremantle Cup and WA Pacing Cup. Olivieri is well pleased that Sensational Gabby is now tractable in her races, but he remains tight-lipped about what gear changes he has made to cure her bad habits. Sensational Gabby was an easing 13/4 second favourite on Friday night when most punters pinned their faith on Soho Valencia, who was a heavily-supported 2/1 on favourite from the No. 2 barrier on the front line. However, the anticipated battle for supremacy never really eventuated, with Chris Lewis firing out Sensational Gabby from the No. 1 barrier and establishing a decisive early lead on the opposition, leaving Soho Valencia in the breeze, but a couple of lengths behind the flying pacemaker. After a 29.3sec. first 400m section of the final mile Sensational Gabby left the opposition floundering in her wake as she sped of the next quarters in 28.5sec., 27.7sec. and 28.4sec. Sensational Gabby won by two lengths from Soho Valencia, with almost a length to Code Red (9/1) in third place after he had trailed the leader throughout. The five-year-old WA-bred Sensational Gabby has now amassed $527,495 from 27 wins and six placings from 48 starts. Sensational Gabby's win gave Lewis the third leg of a winning treble in consecutive events --- after wins with Shirlz Sensation and Lovers Delight. Lewis almost landed four wins in a row (in the four legs of the quadrella) when Pembrook Henry set the pace and finished second to Erris Lad. MACHTU EQUALS STATE RECORD Crack New Zealand-bred gelding Machtu is now a clear favourite for the $200,000 WA Derby on Friday week after his devastating performance to crush his rivals in the Cowden Ltd Derby Prelude at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Machtu, prepared by leading trainer Gary Hall sen., is spot on for the rich classic and he equalled the State record for three-year-olds over 2536m when he rated 1.57.2 in beating Three Blind Mice by almost seven lengths. Robyns C C also rated 1.57.2 when she finished strongly to win a race for fillies last August. What made Machtu's performance all the more impressive was that he worked hard without cover for much of the way before storming away from his rivals in the final stages with a final 400m in 28.2sec. After unplaced runs at his first two starts in New Zealand as a two-year-old in December 2012, Machtu has won at seven of his next eight starts. His five WA starts have produced four wins and a fighting second to stablemate Elegant Christian. Machtu, favourite at 3/1 on, started from barrier four and raced three wide for the first 200m before Clint Hall restrained him back to settle in ninth position. Hall started a three-wide run after 900m and Machtu quickly moved alongside the pacemaker So Ubettabelieveit. Machtu surged to the front 270m from home and careered away from his rivals. Three Blind Mice, trained by Barry Howlett, was a 19/1 chance who raced without cover during the first lap and then gained the one-out, one-back trail behind Classic American before being shuffled back to seventh at the bell. He finished powerfully, out wide, to be a splendid second. Life Live Fast (66/1) enjoyed an ideal pegs run throughout and fought on along the inside to be third, with Zacharia finishing solidly into fourth place. Machtu, who has earned $51,038 from seven wins and a second from ten starts, is the fourth foal out of Holmes Hanover mare Letatalk, who managed to win only once from 20 New Zealand starts for stakes of just $3938. SHIRLZ SENSATION IS ON THE RISE Four-year-old Shirlz Sensation looks set for a bright career after another outstanding performance to score an effortless victory in the Community Newspaper Group Westbred final at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Starting favourite at evens from barrier two on the back line, Shirlz Sensational was driven aggressively by Chris Lewis before scoring by three lengths from Smooth Caesar (6/1), with the strongly-supported 9/4 second fancy Soho Jackman one and a half lengths farther back in third place. Oneheart Twofists jumped straight to the front from barrier three and he was joined by Shirlz sensation 700m after the start after a slow 37.9sec. lead time and 30.9sec. opening quarter of the final mile. The third quarter whizzed by in 28.1sec. before Lewis sent Shirlz Sensation to the front with 230m to travel. The final quarter was covered in a sparkling 27.8sec. and Shirlz Sensation rated a smart 1.57 over the 2130m. Soho Jackman started from the outside of the back line and did a good job to finish third. He was last 1050m from home before sustaining a solid three-wide burst. Shirlz Sensation, part-owned and trained by Mike Beech, has turned the corner this season, with his past seven starts producing five wins, a second and a third. He was also extremely impressive last Friday week when he raced without cover before winning by more than ten lengths. He now has raced 22 times for seven wins and three placings for stakes of $58,720. LOVERS DELIGHT IS GETTING TOUGHER Lightly-raced six-year-old Lovers Delight, a noted frontrunner, revealed improved stamina and determination when he raced in the breeze before beating the pacemaker Lord Lombo in the $25,000 Pick Of The Little Scrapbooking Clarke final at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Trained at Capel by Andrew De Campo and driven by Chris Lewis, Lovers Delight, the heavily-supported 3/1 favourite, simply carried too many guns for his 11 rivals. Lord Lombo, a 9/1 chance, was first into stride from barrier two and Lewis then was quite content to allow Lovers Delight to settle in the breeze. After a third section of the final mile in 28.1sec. Lord Lombo looked set to score an upset win. But he was unable to withstand the finishing effort of Lovers Delight who got to the front in the final 25m and scored by 2m at a 1.57.6 rate over 2130m. Outsider Franco Torres overcame the disadvantage of starting from the outside of the back line when he ran on from eighth (on the pegs) at the bell to be third, a half-head in front of polemarker Benjamin Banneker. The New Zealand-bred Lovers Delight has raced 22 times in WA for eight wins and eight placings to take his career record to32 starts for 12 wins, ten placings and $170,203. He now graduates to an M3 classification and looks set for many more successes. BREAKTHROUGH SUCCESS FOR MISSISSIPPI BELL Four-year-old Mississippi Bell, unplaced at her only seven previous appearances at Gloucester Park, made a significant breakthrough when her Waroona trainer Bob Mellsop drove her to a convincing victory in the 2130m Ross North Group Mares Pace on Friday night. Mississippi Bell, a 12/1 chance from the inside of the back line, relished the run of the race behind the pacemaker Awesome Desire (13/4) before Mellsop eased her into the clear in the closing stages. She ran on determinedly to hit the front 80m from the post and draw away to beat Awesome Desire by almost a length, with 20/1 chance Mene Jaccka coming from three back on the pegs to fill third position. Love In The Dark, a newcomer from Queensland, was strongly supported to start favourite at 10/9 on at her WA debut for Byford trainer-reinsman Shannon Suvaljko. She was beaten for early speed from the No. 3 barrier and worked hard in the breeze before fading to finish eighth. Mississippi Bell rated 2.0.3 and took her record to 28 starts for six wins and one placings for stakes of $33,032. She is by American stallion Riverboat King out of Northern Lights mare Firestorm Whitby and is certainly bred to be a good winner. Firestorm Whitby's dam Tempting Franco produced five winners, including Typhoon Whitby, who had 46 starts for 17 wins, seven placings and $163,751. Typhoon Whitby finished second to The Kindly One in the $100,000 1999 Bathurst Gold Tiara, won the $60,000 State Sires Series for two-year-old fillies at Gloucester Park in August 1999 and was fourth behind Tupelo Rose in the 2000 Victoria oaks. Mississippi bell also is closely related to former outstanding pacer Franco Tiger, who amassed $991,387 from 43 wins and 36 placings from 116 starts. Franco Tiger's victories included the 1992 Miracle Mile, the 1992 Australian Pacing Championship, the 1992 Queensland Pacing Championship and the 1993 Treuer Memorial. He also finished second to Westburn Grant in the 1992 interdominion championship at Moonee Valley and third behind The Harlem Boy and Jack Morris in the 1993 WA Pacing Cup. SPRINT TRIP SUITS CARTERS ROCKET Carters Rocket, a flop when he led and faded to third behind Wolowitz over 2190m at Northam last Tuesday, appreciated returning to a sprint journey when he scored an all-the-way victory in the 1730m Kennards Hire Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. His one-length win over Ima Grumpy Jasper at a 1.57.78 rate ended a losing sequence of 12, which included only two placed efforts. Polemarker Im Clean Cut, a surprising 5/4 on favourite after finishing ninth, twelfth and eleventh at his three previous starts, was beaten out at the start by Carters Rocket (second fancy at 17/4) from the No. 2 barrier. This proved decisive. Colin Brown gave Carters Rocket his head and the New Zealand-bred five-year-old by Elsu sped through the first 400m section of the final mile in 28.7sec. before Brown was able to give the gelding a breather with a leisurely second quarter in only 31.9sec. Carters Rocket covered the final quarters in 29.8sec. and 28.2sec. and won from Ima Grumpy Jasper, a 12/1 chance who ran on from eighth in the middle stages. Im Clean Cut trailed the pacemaker before getting a clear passage in the final stages to finish gamely into third place. Carters Rocket, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, won twice from seven New Zealand starts and has been a handy performer in Western Australia where his 38 starts have produced eight wins and seven placings. He now has a record of 46 starts for ten wins, ten placings and $57,931. Carters Rocket is out of the unraced Pocket Rose, whose full-sister Tupelo Rose was a champion performer who earned $879,867 from 35 wins and 25 placings from 101 starts. Hollywood Rose, a mare by Butler B G, failed to win from 20 starts in the early 1990s. However, Tupelo Rose quickly developed into a superstar who won several group 1 and group 2 events as a juvenile. She won two group 1 classics for fillies as a two-year-old at Alexandra Park in 1999 before winning the New Zealand Great Northern Oaks, the Victoria Oaks, the Queensland Oaks and Australian Oaks the following year. Tupelo Rose won 12 races in New Zealand, 12 in Australia, one in Canada and ten in America. AM OPULENT Four-year-old Am Opulent, a group 1 classic winner as a two-year-old in New Zealand, took full advantage of the coveted No. 1 barrier at Gloucester Park when she gave a bold frontrunning display to win the 2130m Gannons Mares Pace on Friday night. Favourite at 7/4 on, Am Opulent was driven with supreme confidence by Ryan Warwick, who gave the mare her head when she dashed over the final 800m in 57.5sec. She won by a neck at a 1.57.3 rate from 15/1 chance Bettor Whitby, who trailed her throughout. Jungle Genie (13/2), a stablemate of the winner, sustained a three-wide burst from last in the middle stages to be a neck away in third place. Am Opulent, who ended a losing sequence of ten with an easy victory at Harvey at her previous outing, gives every indication of many more wins. She has earned $162,757 from ten wins and eight placings from 31 starts. A winner of three races from seven starts in New Zealand, Am Opulent has had 24 starts in WA for seven wins and seven placings. She revealed abundant early promise and was successful in the group 1 Caduceus Club Classic for two-year-old fillies at Alexandra Park in April 2012. Her dam Imprint (by Life Sign) earned only $22,622 from three wins and three placings from 14 starts, but she is closely related to Smart Son, who earned $347,805 from 41 wins and 59 placings from 226 starts. He was successful in New Zealand, Australia and the United States. Am Opulent completed a double in the first two events on Friday night's program for Forrestdale trainers Greg and Skye Bond, who prepared Carters Rocket for his win in the opening event. The Bonds continued on their winning ways with a double at Kellerberrin on Sunday afternoon when Showstopper and Jungle Jewel scored all-the-way victories. DASHING CHRISTIAN ENDS LOSING RUN OF 14 New Zealand-bred seven-year-old Dashing Christian ended a losing sequence of 14 when he unleashed a powerful burst which enabled him to get up in the final stride to snatch victory by a nose over 7/4 favourite Mighty Flying Thomas in the 2536m Plscrapbooking.com.au Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Dashing Christian, third favourite at 5/1, started from the inside of the back line and Clint Hall had him in fifth position, three back on the pegs, for most of the race, with Shifting Sand (14/1) setting the pace. Mighty Flying Thomas settled in tenth place before Morgan Woodley sent him forward after 550m to move into the breeze. After a third quarter of the final mile in a brisk 28.2sec., Mighty Flying Thomas got his head in front with 375m to travel and looked set for victory when he led clearly in the home straight. But Dashing Christian sprouted wings and gained the verdict by the barest of margins after a final quarter in 28.9sec. The Feather Foot (9/2) ran on strongly from sixth at the bell to be third. Dashing Christian, who had finished encouraging seconds at his two previous starts, gave trainer Gary Hall sen. and Clint Hall a double after they had combined to win the previous event with Machtu. Dashing Christian, a winner at one of his seven New Zealand starts, raced seven times in New South Wales for seven wins and six placings. He has had 23 starts in WA for three wins and nine placings to take his career earnings to $105,955 from 11 wins and 19 placings. He is then second foal out of Falcon Seelster mare Dreamy Dash, who managed just one win and seven placings from 33 starts for earnings of $17,165. ERRIS LAD MAKES THE MOST OF DROP-DOWN RULE The drop-down rule introduced a couple of years ago which enables pacers assessed M2 and better to drop down a grade has proved a tremendous boon for WA-bred Erris Lad, who has returned to winning form three times after receiving this advantage. Horses handicapped M2 or better drop down a grade after completing a losing sequence of ten. Erris Lad, trained at Hazelmere by Mike Reed, dropped back from an M2 to an M1 classification after chalking up a losing run of ten when a sound fourth behind Major Fury last Friday week. This enabled the seven-year-old to start from the front line in Friday night's 2503m TABtouch Handicap, an event for M1 and better-class pacers. Colin Brown took advantage of the front-line draw and had Erris Lad, a 20/1 outsider, poised to strike from the one-out, one-back position, with 3/1 chance Pembrook Henry setting the pace. Erris Lad finished full of running to take the lead 100m from the post. He went on to beat Pembrook Henry by a half-length, with a neck back to 16/1 chance Hez Got the Nod, who finished strongly out five wide after racing three back on the pegs. Flyalong Falcon, favourite at 5/2, lost his chance by galloping at the start. Mister Sarkozy also galloped and The Pacing Priest broke soon after the start. Flyalong Falcon came from tenth in the middle stages to be fifth before breaking on the home turn and dropping back to finish last. Erris Lad has been the beneficiary of the drop-down rule three times. His previous victory was last November when having his first start after a losing run of ten. His previous win before that success came after he had also enjoyed a downgrade. Under the old handicapping regulations Erris Lad would now have an M5 classification. His win on Friday night returns him to an M2 mark. FLYING START PAVES THE WAY FOR LA PASSIONE A flying start from the outside barrier paved the way for New Zealand-bred five-year-old La Passione's impressive victory in the 2536m McInerney Ford Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Darling Downs trainer Aldo Cortopassi revved up La Passione from the unfavourable No. 7 barrier and the gelding quickly charged past polemarker Good Luck Dollar and into the lead. Cortopassi was able to get La Passione to relax and the 4/1 second favourite coasted through the first two sections of the final mile in 31.8sec. and 30.7sec. before dashing over the next two quarters in 28.7sec. and 29.1sec. to win by two lengths from Black Cracker, who fought on doggedly after racing without cover. Good Luck Dollar trailed the leader and finished a neck away in third place. La Passione, by American stallion Pacific Rocket, is beginning to realise his potential after arriving in Western Australia about 14 months ago after having had 18 starts in New Zealand for four wins and seven placings. His 21 WA starts have produced four wins and six placings and he should develop into a handy and consistent city performer. Ken Casellas
Noted frontrunner Livingontheinterest was forced to fight tenaciously to hold out a determined late challenge from Hokonui Ben and beat his stablemate by a half-head in an exciting finish to the $35,000 Make Smoking History Lord Mayor's Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night. It was a case of Father Knows Best as Kim Prentice called on Livingontheinterest for a special effort, and the New Zealand-bred six-year-old responded grandly to deny Hokonui Ben victory after working hard in the breeze for the final 1600m of the 2130m event after racing three wide in the early stages. Hokonui Ben was driven by Prentice's 25-year-old son Justin. The 52-year-old Kim Prentice admitted after the race that he was quite concerned that Hokonui Ben, the all-the-way winner of the 2936m WA Pacing Cup at his previous outing and second fancy at 5/2 in Friday night's Cup, would snatch victory from Livingontheinterest, the 7/4 on favourite who had made all the running after starting from the No. 2 barrier. "Just before we turned for home I thought that I was in a little bit of strife," he said. "Livingontheinterest had dropped the bit a little bit and I knew that Hokonui Ben would give him a hell of a race. I always love it when Justin wins, but not in that situation tonight. It was a really good two-horse race." It was the umpteenth time that leading trainer Gary Hall sen. had provided the quinella in a feature race at Gloucester Park. Only two weeks earlier Hall had a quinella result in the $400,000 WA Pacing Cup when Hokonui Ben defeated Toretto by a nose. Hall now has trained the winner of the Lord Mayor's Cup five times to equal Bill Horn's record in this event which was inaugurated in 1966. Hall's previous winners were Tricky Bey (1994), Abit Rich (1997), Live To Reign (2007) and Talk To Me Courage (2010). Horn won the Lord Mayor's Cup four times with Village Kid and once with Ballantines. Livingontheinterest was smartest into stride in Friday night's Cup and was joined by Hokonui Ben after 500m. Polemarker Ohoka Dallas slotted in behind the pacemaker, leaving Mysta Magical Mach racing three back on the pegs. Mysta Magical Mach, winner of the Lord Mayor's Cup three times in the previous five years, fought on gamely to be a well-beaten third. Livingontheinterest's winning prospects were greatly enhanced when he was able to run the lead time in a modest 37.4sec. and the first two 400m sections of the final mile in leisurely 31.3sec. and 30.4sec. The pace certainly went on in the final circuit, with the final quarters whizzing by in 28.3sec. and a sizzling 27.1sec. The winner, owned by Beth Richardson, Glen Moore, Andrew Curran, Garry Ralston and Karen Hall, rated 1.56.6 and took his record to 42 starts for 20 wins, eight placings and $243,915 in prizemoney. His 27 starts in Western Australia have produced 13 wins and three placings. ARISTOCRATIC GLOW BEGINS SLOWLY AND SMASHES RECORD West Australian-bred five-year-old Aristocratic Glow gave breeder-owner Bob Fowler a notable victory when she overcame a tardy beginning to storm to a superb win in the $25,000 Put Smoking Behind You Im Themightyquinn Mares final at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Aristocratic Glow, trained at Pinjarra by Barry Warwick and driven in fine style by Chris Lewis, was a 4/1 second favourite who sustained a spirited finishing burst to defeat the 10/9 favourite Deluxe Edition by a half-length after racing four back on the pegs for much of the way. She rated 1.55.9 to smash the course record for mares over 2130m, a rate of 1.56.7 held jointly by Luck Has It, Leda McNally and Famous Alchemist. Aristocratic Glow started from the prized No. 1 barrier, but, as expected, she was unable to muster sufficient early speed to capitalise on this significant advantage. Millies Girl (33/1) charged straight to the front from barrier four before Chris Voak gave the hard-pulling Deluxe Edition her head and sent her into the lead 250m after the start. As usual, Deluxe Edition was inclined to overrace and after a fast lead time of 35.7sec. she reeled off rapid quarters in 29sec., 29.7sec., 29.2sec. and 29.8sec. Deluxe Edition led by almost three lengths 300m from home, but she weakened slightly in the home straight and was overhauled by Aristocratic Glow 100m from the post. However, Deluxe Edition fought on grandly and finished almost three lengths clear of the third placegetter, 50/1 chance Courage On Fire, who ran on from seventh on the pegs at the bell. Aristocratic Glow has now earned $65,280 from eight wins and nine placings from 34 starts. She looks well suited to contesting the $50,000 Empress Stakes over 2536m on February 28. "She was slow from the inside draw tonight, but got away safely," Lewis said. "And things worked in our favour with the fast early pace. When Chris Brew (Kotare Ash in the breeze) started to drop off (approaching the bell) I thought there would be an opportunity for us a bit earlier (to get into the clear) than I thought. And we were able to take advantage of that and be not far off the pace going into the 600m, and she worked home strongly." Aristocratic Glow is by Canadian stallion Northern Luck and is the fifth winner out of the unraced Northern Lights mare Arctic Glow. Arctic Glow has also produced Chazsalico (135 starts for 20 wins, 31 placings and $141,515), Amongst Royalty (86 starts for 23 wins, 27 placings and $570,820), Made of Dreams (49 starts for ten wins, 14 placings and $39,664) and Idolize Me (53 starts for ten wins, seven placings and $60,099). Arctic Glow is out of Boncroft Castle, the dam of eight winners of 62 races, including Mon Poppy Day (50 starts for 20 wins, 16 placings and $318,558). ROCKY MARCIANO GIVES ANDERSON THE FIRST OF THREE WINNERS Up-and-coming four-year-old Rocky Marciano emerged as a candidate for Cup events in the winter when he completed a remarkable month with a magnificent victory in the 2536m Quitline Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. His effortless win gave Bickley trainer Peter Anderson the first of three winners in the space of 70 minutes. Anderson then was successful with Chocolatto and Bronze Seeker in Albany. Chocolatto (Shane Butcher) dashed to an early lead, set the pace, was overhauled by the favourite Ben Cartwright 350m from home and the fought back to regain the lead in the home straight to win from the fast-finishing Our Red Baron and Ben Cartwright in the Bevan's Seafoods Pace. Thirty minutes later 34-year-old Lang Inwood brought Bronze Seeker home with a brilliant late burst to snatch victory over the pacemaker Lovers Delight and Gday Mate in the $30,000 GWN7 Albany Cup. While Anderson was in Albany, Caris Hamilton-Smith was in charge of Rocky Marciano, who took his record in January to five starts at Gloucester Park for four wins and a nose second to Maggies Mystery. Rocky Marciano was favourite at 10/9 from barrier three, with talented frontrunner Your Good Fortune at 5/4 from the No. 1 barrier. As expected, Ryan Warwick got Your Good Fortune away smartly and straight into the lead. Morgan Woodley quickly got Rocky Marciano into the breeze and he did not bustle the New Zealand-bred gelding. Your Good Fortune was able to coast through the first 400m section of the final mile in 31.2sec. before increasing the tempo with a 30.3sec. second quarter. Woodley then poured on the pressure and the third quarter was covered in a scorching 27.5sec., with Rocky Marciano getting past the pacemaker 550m from home and then increasing his margin to win impressively by three lengths from Argent Treasure (who had enjoyed a perfect trail behind the leader). A wilting Your Good Fortune was just under two lengths away, dead-heating for third with stablemate Our Major Mark. Rocky Marciano dashed over the final quarter in 28.6sec. and rated 1.59.6. Rocky Marciano, placed at three of his ten starts in New Zealand, has thrived under Anderson's care, with his 33 WA starts producing 11 wins and ten placings. He could contest the $25,000 Four-Year-Old Championship over 1684m at Pinjarra on March 3 and should be one of the main hopes in the $35,000 Four and Five-Year-Old Championship at Gloucester Park on March 21. SIX IN A ROW FOR OAKS PROSPECT MAJORLY FOXY STYX Reinsman Kim Prentice had some anxious moments before guiding Majorly Foxy Styx to victory in the 2130m Smoke Free Pace for three-year-old fillies at Gloucester Park on Friday night. But the big, strong New Zealand-bred filly simply proved too good for her rivals and won convincingly by 4m from Maddy White, rating 1.58.1 as she notched her sixth win in a row. Leading trainer Gary Hall sen. is setting Majorly Foxy Styx for the $50,000 Dainty's Daughter Classic next Friday week and the $175,000 WA Oaks on May 9. Majorly Foxy Styx, favourite at 6/4 on from the back line, settled at the rear, but was pulling fiercely and virtually obliged Prentice to send her forward, three wide. She got to the outside of the pacemaker and 7/4 second fancy Generally Outspoken after a lap before forging to the front with 1050m to travel. After a solid lead time of 36.8sec., the first three sections of the final mile were covered in 29.7sec., 29.1sec. and 29.7sec. Leaving the back straight the final time Generally Outspoken (trailing the leader) was seriously inconvenienced when a wheel of her sulky became locked with a wheel of The Parade's sulky. This caused her to become unbalanced and she broke into a gallop about 300m from home. Maddy White, a 16/1 chance who had raced three wide early and was fifth in the one-wide line at the bell, looked a threat as she worked forward approaching the home turn. However, she wilted in the closing stages to finish a sound second after a slow final quarter in 31sec. "Majorly Foxy Styx gave me a workover early by pulling hard," Prentice said. "She's not the nicest horse to drive, but she's definitely got a fair share of ability, and that carries her through. She has done a good job, considering she pulled so hard early. "I knew that we were walking turning for home and I honestly thought that the one coming (Maddy White) would have beaten me. But she only got to my wheel and was as tired as I was. "Definitely the 2536m of the Oaks will suit her. Gary has just told me that he's going to take her home and concentrate on getting her manners a little bit better than what they are. And he's a master at that and when the Oaks comes she will be spot on." MISTER SARKOKZY RELISHES STANDING-START RACING New Zealand-bred gelding Mister Sarkozy is an almost faultless standing-start performer and his impeccable manners paved the way for his effortless victory in the 2503m Quit Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He is a tried and true stand performer, contesting stands at 20 of his 25 starts for six wins. He has been successful once from five appearances in mobiles. The six-year-old was a heavily-supported 2/1 favourite off the front line on Friday night and he gave his backers little cause for concern once Boyanup trainer Justin Prentice sent him to the front 150m after the start and then allowed him to bowl along freely. His task became much easier when 13/4 second favourite Askmenow began slowly off the 20m mark and settled down a distant last. After a 29sec. third quarter of the final mile Mister Sarkozy gave his rivals little hope by sprinting over the final 400m in 27.9sec. He careered away to win by just over four lengths from Compact Rocket, who enjoyed a perfect run behind the pacemaker. Sonic Classic ran home solidly to be third, with Askmenow making up a considerable amount of ground to finish fifth. "I thought that if we bowled along we would make it hard for the backmarkers by not really letting them into the race and we would be hard to beat," Prentice said. "In saying that, I didn't think that he would win so convincingly. He was pricking his ears on the line. Hopefully, there's a couple of more wins in him." Mister Sarkozy, raced by Craig Lynn, won at three of his seven New Zealand starts and at five of his 18 starts in WA. He has earned $48,636. ON ALL FOURS GIVES LEA FIRST CITY SUCCESS ON HER BIRTHDAY Byford trainer Vicki Lea celebrated her 36th birthday in style at Gloucester Park on Friday night when she landed her first Metropolitan-class winner, with Kyle Harper driving veteran pacer and 25/1 outsider On All Fours to a narrow victory in the 2130m Breathe Easier Claiming Pace. The nine-year-old On All Fours has returned to racing after a 16-month absence in fine form, winning twice from his first three starts in his comeback. Harper guided him to an all-the-way victory at 25/1 at Pinjarra last Monday, but he was not particularly confident of a repeat success on Friday night. "In the past (when trained by Callan Suvaljko) he has been a horse who had to lead to show his best form," Harper said. "And I thought he would have had to show his best form in this field to win. "But after the first 400m I was laughing where we were sitting (fourth in the one-out, one-back position). But I still wasn't 100 per cent confident that he would come from behind as well as he would need to. But he has done a fantastic job. Vicki has breathed new life into him and he's just a completely different horse to what he used to be. The freshen-up and the training regime she's got suits him down to the ground." Shardons Rocket, the 3/1 on favourite, was surprisingly beaten out from the No. 1 barrier, with Davy Maguire (26/1) bursting straight to the front from barrier three. Morgan Woodley quickly got Shardons Rocket off the pegs to race in the breeze and this helped Ryan Bell to angle Adda Paternal Suit from the No. 6 barrier to enjoy the run behind the pacemaker. Shardons Rocket eventually got to the front 550m from home before Whos Mistake loomed alongside him 150m later. Then On All Fours finished strongly to hit the front 80m from the post before holding on to beat the fast-finishing Rojen Cruz (15/1) by a half-head, with Shardons Rocket a fading third. On All Fours, who is owned by Lea and her mother Pam, has now earned $178,687 from 23 wins and 19 placings from 89 starts. A winner of three races as a two-year-old, he has raced 25 times in claimers for five wins. His maternal granddam Rule The Roost produced Make The Rules (108 starts for 24 wins, 32 placings and $220,075) and the 2010 Victoria Derby winner Courage To Rule (62 starts for 17 wins, 21 placings and $489,231). THE OYSTER BAR ENDS LOSING RUN OF 25 --- AND PRENTICE SUSPENDED The prized No. 1 barrier again proved a decisive factor in the 2130m Thank You For Not Smoking Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night when Chris Lewis drove the well-backed 9/4 equal favourite The Oyster Bar to a smart all-the-way win. This ended a losing sequence of 25 (including nine minor placings) over the past 12 months and it further emphasised how pacers trained by the 67-year-old Tony Svilicich thrive on rigorous racing schedules. The Oyster Bar was having his sixth start in the space of 25 days and never looked in any real danger of defeat as he paced freely in front and went on to score by just over a length from Im Clean Cut at a 1.59 rate. The main news to emerge from the race was the nine-day suspension imposed on ace reinsman Kim Prentice, who was found guilty of causing interference to other runners racing towards the front straight in the first lap. The stewards found that Prentice, driving Soho Highroller, had tightened Condrieu, the 9/4 equal favourite who, in turn, caused Sparkling Seelster (Justin Prentice) to be checked. Soho Highroller, who raced in the breeze, finished fifth, while Sparkling Seelster finished solidly into third place and Condrieu covered extra ground before fading to last in the field of eleven. The Oyster Bar won at three of his 36 starts in New Zealand and has won at seven of his 65 starts in Western Australia. His maternal granddam, Class Act produced five winners, including Classical, a Soky's Atom mare who raced 23 times for five wins, ten placings and $291,590, Evening Class (191 starts for 17 wins, 32 placings and $103,220) and Open Class (122 starts for 13 wins, 23 placings and $86,026). Classical won two group 1 classics as a two-year-old in New Zealand as well as a listed classic as a two-year-old and as a three-year-old. Then in July 2003 she finished second to Pullover Brown in both the group 1 Victoria Oaks and Australian Oaks at Moonee Valley. No. 1 POSITION HELPS COPAGRIN TO RETURN TO WINNING FORM A losing sequence of 16 means nothing to punters --- when the pacer in question is starting from the coveted No. 1 barrier at Gloucester Park. Such was the case on Friday night when five-year-old Copagrin lined up on the pole position for the Mick's Binshaw qualifying heat two. Punters rallied as one and Copagrin's tote odds on course tumbled from 4/1 to favouritism at 5/4 on. Copagrin, trained at West Swan by John Guagliardo and driven by Matt White, was beaten out at the start5 by two of his rivals, but was still able to hold up and take up the running. First, Soho Redford (11/4) was smartest into stride from barrier three and led by a half-length in the early stages, but was unable to cross Copagrin. Then Pete of Pan (barrier two) got a half-length in front of Copagrin, but was unable to get to the pegs. After these early battles Copagrin relaxed and covered the opening 400m section of the final mile in 30.8sec., with Soho Redford in the breeze, Pete of Pan in the one-out, one-back position and Cool Johnny trailing the leader. Copagrin sprinted over the final quarter in 28.4sec. and won by five lengths from Soho Redford, rating 1.57.4 over the 2130m. It improved his record to 50 starts for 13 wins, ten placings and $96,918. "He was a bit slow out, but he was good enough to hold the top," White said. "He has been knocking on the door and tonight looked like his night. He didn't give me much of a feel in the running, but when I pulled the plugs and gave him a couple of cuts with the stick he really switched on. He felt good from that poi9ntr and just put paid to them." BELL PREDFICTS BRIGHT FUTURE FOR NORTHERN ASSASSIN Ryan Bell was full of praise for Northern Assassin after driving him to a stylish win in the Fresh Air Binshaw qualifying heat three at Gloucester Park on Friday night. "He excites me a bit and he's got a bright future," he declared. "He's a very good racehorse and that's why his future looks good." Bell then said that Northern Assassin had been extremely unlucky when unplaced in the Four-Year-Old Championship in November and the Golden Nugget in December. "He was the most unlucky horse throughout that series," Bell said. "He never got to show how good he was. Those races turned him into the horse he is now. Once he found the front tonight it made life easier. But he doesn't have to lead to win. He's very versatile." Northern Assassin, owned by Bell's mother Jean and trained by his father Peter, is certainly developing into a quality performer. He has raced 21 times for eight wins, seven placings and $56,523. On Friday night Northern Assassin, favourite at 5/4 on, mustered plenty of pace from the No. 3 barrier and burst to the front 230m after the start. He dashed over the final two quarters in 28.9sec. and 28.7sec. and was untroubled to win by two lengths from Lunar Tide, with a length to Shnappy, who raced three back on the pegs before finishing fast. The winner rated 1.57 over 2130m. NO TROUBLE FOR THE CONSISTEN FRONTRUNNING OUR AMAZING ART New Zealand-bred six-year-old Our Amazing Art maintained his consistent form when he gave a bold frontrunning display to score an effortless win in the 2130m Make Smoking History Binshaw qualifying heat one at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Wanneroo trainer Debbie Padberg has got the gelding into peak form and his past five starts have produced two wins, two seconds and a third placing. He will be a major chance in the $50,000 final next Friday night, particularly if he draws favourably. Our Amazing Art, a heavily-supported 6/4 on favourite from the No. 2 barrier, burst to the front 80m after the start and Shannon Suvaljko rated him perfectly in the lead, with opening quarters of 30.4sec. and 30.1sec. followed by two final sections of 28.8sec. He rated 1.58.2 and won by two lengths from 12/1 chance Atlastalone, with a nose to Why Live Dangerously in third place. Mein Guy, second fancy at 7/2, raced without cover before fading to seventh in the field of eight. Our Amazingt Art, raced by John Padberg and Jodie Foster, has earned $118,877 from 12 wins and 14 placings from 62 starts. by Ken Casellas
Four-year-old Smokey The Bandit is proving to be an outstanding bargain. Purchased by Busselton's Michael Callegari and Rohan Baillie for a mere $2000 at the 2011 Gloucester Standardbred yearling sale, the exciting grey gelding boosted his earnings to $132,935 when he finished with a devastating burst to win The West Australian $50,000 Nights of Thunder at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Trained in Busselton by Callegari and driven with supreme confidence by Bunbury reinsman Ash Markham, Smokey The Bandit, second favourite at 5/2, stormed past the pacemaker and 5/4 favourite Silent Prowl 70m from home to win by a half-length from that pacer. Trainer Bob Mellsop jumped Silent Prowl straight to the front from the prized No. 1 barrier and Markham immediately eased Smokey The Bandit from barrier two in behind the leader, who had a comparatively easy time in front, coasting through the first two 400m sections of the final mile in 30.5sec. and 30.9sec. Mellsop then increased the tempo and the third quarter whizzed by in 28.sec., with 11/1 chance Rowchester working strongly in the breeze and My Hard Copy (11/1) enjoying an ideal passage, one-out and one-back. Markham eased Smokey The Bandit off the pegs approaching the home turn and the West Australian-bred son of Jet Laag accelerated brilliantly as he charged to the front. The final quarter took 27.9sec. and the winner rated 1.56.7 to improve his record to ten wins and 16 placings from 40 starts. Rowchester held on to finish third, with My Hard Copy in fourth place. Smokey The Bandit has rarely performed below par since he made a successful debut, winning as a two-year-old at Gloucester Park in January 2012. He started at 98/1 on the tote when he finished powerfully to win the WA Derby Consolation last April and he impressed when second to Nowitzki in the Golden Nugget Championship last month. Smokey The Bandit is the only foal out of the unraced Barnett Hanover mare Cheers To All. His maternal great granddam Discreet Adios produced Ridge, who won seven races in WA between 2000 and 2002 before being retired in America with a record of 219 starts for 45 wins, 60 placings and stakes of $232,355. There was a highly unusual sequel to Friday night's group 2 event when it was discovered that two horses had started from incorrect barriers in the one line field of nine. Michael Tenardi started from barrier seven with The Feather Foot when the gelding was drawn to start from the No. 8 barrier. And Matt White started from barrier eight with Copagrin instead of starting from the No. 7 barrier. The stewards fined both Tenardi and White $500 for starting from the wrong barrier. Copagrin (28/1) settled in last position and was sixth at the bell before finishing in sixth place. The Feather Foot (37/1) raced at the rear before breaking into a gallop 650m from home and finishing last. MELLSOP FINALLY ACHIEVES HIS AMBITION OF WINNING THE TROTTERS CUP Waroona horseman Bob Mellsop finally achieved his ambition of winning The West Australian Trotters Cup when he drove The Beau Brummell to a smart all-the-way victory in the group 3 feature event at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Mellsop had started nine runners in the first eight runnings of the event, but managed only one placing, when Dash of Light finished second to Macladdie in the inaugural Trotters Cup in 2006. He produced The Beau Brummell, a New Zealand-bred five-year-old, in fine fettle on Friday night and he dictated terms in front after The Beau Brummell had jumped straight to the lead from the inside barrier on the front line in the 2503m stand. After modest opening quarters of the final mile in 31.8sec. and 31.1sec. The Beau Brummell, favourite at 5/2, made life tough for his 12 rivals by sprinting the final 400m sections in 29.6sec. and 29.2sec. Mellsop's pent-up emotions overflowed when he gave an extravagant salute with the whip as The Beau Brummell reached the post a half-length in front of the gallant Hot Holiday. Heez Speedy Gonzalez raced without cover early before Matt White got Ushaka Bromac to the breeze in the first lap. Hot Holiday, second fancy at 3/1 off the 30m mark, settled in 11th position before Aaron Skalecki sent the seven-year-old forward, three wide, to move outside the pacemaker 1400m from home. Hot Holiday got his head in front at the bell, but The Beau Brummell kept him at bay throughout the final circuit. Prince Eddie, who had won from Hot Holiday and The Beau Brummell a week earlier, ran home gamely from seventh at the bell to be third. The winner rated 2.7.2. The stewards fined Skalecki $200 for an incorrect whip action in the home straight. The Beau Brummell, winner of two races from 20 starts in New Zealand, then had 21 starts in New South Wales for five wins and eight placings. He has had eight starts for Mellsop in WA for three wins and two placings to take his career record to ten wins, 12 placings and $70,661 in prizemoney from 49 starts. RED SALUTE RUNS A GOOD TRIAL FOR RICH CUP EVENTS Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri had three runners in the 2130m TABform Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night when most punters pinned their faith in even-money favourite Sensational Gabby. But Sensational Gabby was upstaged by her stablemate and 15/4 second fancy Red Salute, who enjoyed an ideal passage, one-out and one-back, while Sensational Gabby bowled along in the lead after starting from the No. 1 barrier. Veteran Sneakyn Down Under (11/2) raced in the breeze, but did not seriously challenge the pacemaker at any stage. Red Salute, driven confidently by Chris Voak, finished strongly and took the lead 150m from the post before winning by a neck from 21/1 chance Our Major Mark, who finished boldly from tenth at the bell. Danieljohn (10/1) fought on seventh on the pegs at the bell to be a half-head away in third place. Sensational Gabby wilted to finish sixth, with Sneakyn Down Under a fair fifth. Olivier's third runner, Argent Treasure (45/1) raced three back on the pegs in fifth place before finishing eighth. Red Salute, a WA-bred five-year-old by American stallion Life Sign, advanced to an M5 classification and is sure to be nominated for the $250,000 Yes Loans Fremantle Cup over 2536m at Gloucester Park next Friday night and the $400,000 Nepean Conveyors WA Pacing Cup over 2936m the following week. Red Salute is improving steadily and now has earned $153,869 from 14 wins and 11 placings from 44 starts. ROCKY MARCIANO OUTPACES HIS OLDER RIVALS New Zealand-bred four-year-old Rocky Marciano made the most of a favourable barrier and proved too fast and strong for his 11 older rivals in the 2536m West Wheels Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Rocky Marciano, a solidly-supported 5/4 on favourite, began speedily from the No. 2 barrier and Morgan Woodley sent him past the polemarker Our Amazing Art and into the lead after 60m. After a 31sec. first 400m section of the final mile, Rocky Marciano reeled off quarters of 29.2sec., 28.1sec. and 28.5sec. to win comfortably at a 1.59.2 rate by just over a length from 13/2 second fancy Our Amazing Art, who fought on doggedly after sitting behind the leader throughout. Last-start winner Moonlight Rockhole finished fast from seventh at the bell to be third. Rocky Marciano was placed at three of his ten starts in New Zealand and is proving a good purchase for Ian Sermon, Lee Bunney, Dave Morley, Tracey Sermon, Andy Baayens, Ken Casellas, Peter Anderson and Ross Waddell. His 29 starts in Western Australia have produced eight wins and nine placings. Rocky Marciano, trained at Bickley by Anderson, is by Christian Cullen and is the only foal out of Riverboat Royce, who had 55 starts in New Zealand for nine wins, ten placings and $65,234 in stakes. Rocky Marciano has earned $86,689 from eight wins and 12 placings from 39 starts. WILLIAMS PRODUCES PACIFIC WARRIOR IN GREAT SHAPE FOR FIRST-UP WIN Astute Mt Helena trainer Ray Williams produced highly-promising six-year-old Pacific Warrior in superb shape when the New Zealand-bred gelding scored a most impressive first-up victory in the Weekend West Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Starting favourite at 5/2 at his first appearance for four months, Pacific Warrior began from the inside of the back line and Chris Lewis had the gelding poised to strike as he trailed the polemarker and pacemaker Xupan Three. Lucie Boshier, who made an unsuccessful bid for the early lead, then worked in the breeze before Gary Hall jun. injected considerable life into the event when he urged 12/1 chance Why Live Dangerously forward, three wide, in a lightning move from tenth position at the 1150m. Why Live Dangerously charged forward and got his nose in front of Xupan Three at the bell. Hall then took hold of Why Live Dangerously, causing slight interference to Lucie Boshier and Marooned and severe interference to Cool Johnny, Menelaus of Sparta and Bronze Seeker. Lewis eased Pacific Warrior off the pegs 570m from home before taking the gelding three wide at the 300m mark. Pacific Warrior burst to the front on the home turn and raced away to win by three lengths from 52/1 outside Elsu Sheila, with Maggies Mystery rattling home to be third, two and a half lengths in front of the unlucky Bronze Seeker. The near side tyre of Bronze Seeker's sulky was punctured in the mix-up at the bell and the five-year-old impressed with his sparkling late burst after being ten lengths from the lead at the 400m mark and in tenth position on the home turn. The stewards fined Hall $200 for having reduced the speed abruptly when he got Why Live Dangerously to the breeze at the bell. Pacific Warrior has earned $129,604 from 17 wins and 14 placings from 50 starts. He raced 27 times for four wins in New Zealand and his 23 WA starts have produced 13 wins and seven placings. THIS TIME DYLAN GIVES NEW OWNER A QUICK RETURN Brian Ridley received a quick dividend when lightly-raced eight-year-old This Time Dylan surged home from the rear to score a narrow victory in the 2536m The Form Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Ridley outlaid $20,000 to claim This Time Dylan the previous Friday night and the gelding was transferred from the stables of leading trainer Gary Hall sen. to Michael Brennan's Pinjarra training establishment. This Time Dylan's victory on Friday night at 11/2 saw the gelding boost his earnings by $13,650 to a career record of 38 starts for 14 wins and nine placings for stakes of $125,775. This Time Dylan, driven by Gary Hall jun., started from barrier four on the front line and after being trapped three wide early, Hall restrained the gelding to the rear in the field of eight while polemarker Adda Paternal Suit was setting the pace from Shardons Rocket (breeze), Your Good Fortune (pegs) and Ima Rocket Star (one-out and one-back). The 9/4 favourite Dasher VC started from the outside of the front line and was restrained back to last before Chris Lewis started a three-wide move approaching the bell. Hall then switched This Time Dylan out wide to follow the run of Dasher VC, who got to a narrow lead 300m from home. But This Time Dylan was carrying far too many guns and he surged to the front 50m later and held on in the closing stages to defeat the fast-finishing Leda McNally by a head at a 1.57.3 rate. Dasher VC finished a further 10m back in third place. Ima Rocket Star finished sixth. This Time Dylan is in a rich vein of form, with his past 13 starts producing eight wins, three seconds and one third placing and Ridley is hoping he will prove an even better investment than Rakarebel, a pacer he claimed for $10,000 from the Hall stable last May. Rakarebel then was trained by Brennan and in ten starts for his new connections he won once and was placed four times for earnings of $18,550 before Ridley received $20,000 when an eastern states syndicate claimed the gelding in July. OLDTIMER TUXEDO ENHANCES SVILICICH'S REPUTATION Tuxedo, an 11-year-old veteran of 134 starts with one placing from his previous 11 starts and a losing sequence of 20, further enhanced veteran Byford trainer Tony Svilicich's reputation as a genius when he gave a powerful display to win the 1730m The West.com.au Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Tuxedo, owned by Peter Ensel, was having just his fifth start for Svilicich and judged by his sterling performance he should be capable of winning an M0 event in the coming few weeks. Remarkably, Tuxedo was a rank outsider at 155/1 the previous Friday night when he finished 12th and last, 119m behind the winner Erskine Range in a 2130m event. But there was a significant excuse for that effort. Tuxedo raced wide early and then in the breeze before he met with severe interference on the home bend. He was a 9/1 chance from barrier four on the front line on Friday night and Kyle Harper took him three wide early to issue a strong challenge to the pacemaker and 10/9 on favourite Major Nick after 550m. Major Nick resisted the challenge, but backers of the favourite were dismayed soon afterwards when Major Nick broke into a fierce gallop approaching the winning post with a lap to travel. Major Nick continued to gallop and dropped back to a distant last. Harper then was able to send Tuxedo to the front and the New Zealand-bred gelding fought on determinedly to win by a half-length from outsider Knight Crusader, who finished solidly from eighth at the bell. Veitchy, who raced one-out and one-back, battled on to be third, a neck in front of former South Australian pacer Ben Cartwright, who finished strongly from the rear. Kim Prentice, driver of Major Nick, was at a loss when the horse broke into a gallop when in front. But it was discovered (on video evidence) that Major Nick had shied at an object lying on the track. This was a boot which had been displaced from a foreleg of Who Thru teddy soon after the start. Major Nick, owned by trainer Chris Phatouros and Raff Barbaro, damaged a tendon in his near foreleg in the incident. Tuxedo, whose previous success was at Wagin 14 months ago, is still a Metropolitan maiden performer, despite earning $82,319 from ten wins and nine placings from 135 starts. ARISTOCRATIC GLOW HAS THE BREEDING TO SUCCEED Aristocratic Glow, a five-year-old mare related to several prolific winners, including 1996 WA Derby winner Mon Poppy Day and former star juvenile Amongst Royalty, bounced back to form and ended a losing sequence of ten when she unwound a spirited late burst to win the 2130m The West Australian Mares Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Bred and owned by Bob Fowler and trained at Pinjarra by Barry Warwick, Aristocratic Glow was a 15/2 chance driven confidently by Chris Lewis. Polemaker Indomitable (8/1) set the pace, with 3/1 on favourite Arma Xpress in the breeze and 10/1 chance Miss Atomic behind the pacemaker. Lewis was content to keep Aristocratic Glow in sixth position in the one-wide line until he brought her home with a strong late burst. She hit the front 60m from the post and won by just over a length from the strong-finishing 61/1 outsider Tatum Franco, with a nose to Indomitable in third place. Arma Xpress faded badly to finish a distant last in the field of 11. Aristocratic Glow rated 1.58.3 and took her record to 30 starts for seven wins, eight placings and $45,645 in prizemoney. She is by Canadian sire Northern Luck out of the unraced Northern Lights mare Arctic Glow. Aristocratic Glow is a half-sister to Chazsalico (135 starts for 20 wins, 31 placings and $141,515), Amongst Royalty (86 starts for 23 wins, 27 placings and $570,820), Made of Dreams (49 starts for ten wins, 14 placings and $39,664() and Idolize me (53 starts for ten wins, seven placings and $60,099). Amongst Royalty's wins included the $100,000 Gold Tiara at Bathurst and the $150,000 Australian Pacing Gold at Ballarat as a two-year-old in 2006 and the Gold Chalice at Moonee Valley the following season. Arctic Glow is out of Broncroft Castle (34 starts for six wins, 12 placings and $17,556). Broncroft Castle produced eight winners, including Travcor (110 starts for 18 wins, 30 placings and $102,664), Parthenon (25 starts for six wins, two placings and $79,920) and Mon Poppy Day (50 starts for 20 wins, 16 placings and $318,558). Trainer-driver Donald Harper was at a loss to explain the poor performance of Arma Xpress, who went into the race with 11 wins from 12 starts. He informed the stewards that the mare had been heavily in season on Wednesday. SPARKLING SEELSTER UNWINDS TYPICAL POWERFUL FINISH Six-year-old Sparkling Seelster maintained his excellent form and showed that he is ready to win in M0 company when he produced a typical powerful finish to score an easy victory in the 2130m The West Australian Westbred Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Second favourite at 7/2, Sparkling Seelster started from the inside of the backline and was under lock and key in fifth position, three back on the pegs, until Chris Voak eased 3/1 favourite Art In Your Face of the pegs behind the leader Intrepidation 650m from home. Justin Prentice then was able to move Sparkling Seelster behind Intrepidation before getting the gelding into the clear approaching the home turn. Captain Proud (9/2) had taken the lead 380m from home before Sparkling Seelster stormed to the front at the 110m mark and went on to win by just over a length from 46/1 outsider Arts Gangsta, who ran on from eighth (on the pegs) at the bell. Captain Proud finished third and Art In Your Face was fourth. Sparkling Seelster, who is prepared by Prentice at Boyanup, has had 55 starts for nine wins, 15 placings and $57,562. He is by Falcon Seelster out of Soky's Atom mare Sally Anna, who had 17 starts in WA for seven wins and seven placings and was retired to stud with a record of 37 starts for ten wins, 15 placings and $59,428. Sally Anna is a daughter of Our Sally, a mare by American stallion Nat Lobell. Sally Anna had 79 starts for 12 wins, 25 placings and stakes of $27,331. HEEZ ORL BLACK GETS UP TO WIN IN THE FINAL STRIDE Heez Orl Black, a New Zealand-bred five-year-old related to outstanding stallion and former champion and $1 million earner Christian Cullen, broke his Metropolitan maiden status and took his earnings to $168,710 when he was a fast-finishing winner of the 2503m West Real Estate Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Heez Orl Black, the 7/4 favourite trained by Gary Hall sen. and driven by his son Gary, was prominent throughout in fourth position, with ten-year-old mare Salliwood setting the pace and Springsteen in the breeze. Kyle Harper sent Springsteen to the front 40m from the post, but the five-year-old was unable to hold out Heez Orl Black, who got up by a head in the final stride. Salliwood held on to be third, with J Walker finishing fast into fourth place. Heez Orl Black, owned by Max Grynberg, William Paterson, Tony and Ruth Thompson, Dave Kahl, Karen Hall, Frank Borrello and Trudi Spiniello, has had 20 starts in Western Australia for seven wins and five placings to take his record to 52 starts for 13 wins and 13 placings. The winner is by In The Pocket and his great granddam Pleasant Franco produced Christian Cullen, who won at 22 of his 31 starts and amassed $1,249,150 in prizemoney. 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
Inexperienced New Zealand-bred colt Alta Christiano enhanced his reputation as a harness racing superstar when he made a magnificent Australian debut with a record-breaking victory in the $50,000 Community Newspaper Group Western Gateway Classic at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Up-and-coming harness racing four-year-old Red Salute gave Chris Lewis an armchair drive in the $50,000 Channel 9 Binshaw Classic at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he bowled along in front and coasted to victory over Western Cullen and Gate Bender.
Lightly-raced New Zealand-bred pacer Bettor Reason emerged as a strong candidate for two upcoming rich group 1 feature harness racing events when he gave a powerful frontrunning display to win the $50,000 group 2 TABtouch Four-Year-Old Championship at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
The Albion Park Harness Racing Club will conduct an eight event program this Saturday night March 10) with race kicking off slightly earlier this week at 5.00pm. The first of two M1 class races for the night, The SEW Eurodrive Pace will jump from the 1660 metre start.
Ace harness racing driver Colin Brown, who left the Gloucester Park track on a stretcher in the back of an ambulance grimacing in pain from a badly damaged left ankle last Tuesday, bounced back in magnificent fashion to land a treble on Friday night, including a superb victory with Russley Rascal in the $35,000 Retravision Christmas Gift final.
The Albion Park Harness Racing Club will conduct an eight event card this Saturday night (October 8) at headquarters- with the feature event the Listed Lunchbox Lodge Spelling Farm 'Be Good Johnny Sprint'.
Pint-sized gelding Touch of Tango led his harness racing rivals on a merry dance and had the members of the Get Involved syndicate jigging with glee on the lawns at Gloucester Park on Friday night (March 4) when he waltzed away with the $30,000 Hankook Tyres County Derby.
Tatura trainer Patsy Abrahams was in the winners stall at a very mediocre Graduation harness racing fixture held at Lord's Raceway Bendigo on Tuesday January 4, when smart 4-Y-0 Continentalman/Why Worry gelding Im Chilled scored in the Aldebaran Park Trotters Handicap for TR0 & TR1 class over 2150 metres.
Much of the sheen of the effortless victory by freak pacer Has The Answers in the $20,500 Ross North Homes Spring Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night (September 17) was taken away when the harness racing stewards fined veteran Byford trainer Tony Svilicich $5500 after a protracted inquiry into his activities.
Harness racing reinsman Colin Brown heaped praise on trainer Skye Bond after he had driven outstanding four-year-old Money Twitch to a decisive victory in the $17,500 RSM Bird Cameron Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Talented colt Chillin Dylan burst back to form with a vengeance at Gloucester Park last Friday night (May 14) after four unplaced efforts to score an easy upset harness racing victory over the 5/2 on favourite Why Live Dangerously in the Spring Valley Pace.