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Talented colt Shockwave, relegated to second in three Group 1 events for two-year-olds last year, is on target to break through for his first feature victory, according to his trainer Ryan Bell. Bell is happy with Shockwave’s draw at barrier No. 3 in the $50,000 DTS Pine Logs Sales Classic for three-year-old colts and geldings at Gloucester Park on Friday night and is confident the Mach Three colt is capable of leading and emerging triumphant in the Group 2 event over 2130m. Champion reinsman Gary Hall Jnr, fresh from landing two winners and winning the Noel Smith Memorial Invitation Drivers Championship at Victorian track Horsham on Monday, will be planning to take full advantage of Shockwave’s sparkling gate speed in a bid for an all-the-way victory. Bell, who drove Shockwave when the colt finished solidly from the one-out, one-back position to win easily from Its Rock And Roll and Patrickthepiranha in a prelude of this event on Tuesday of last week, said: “He’s done very well since that win and I’m really pleased with him and the way he has come along. “I thought his win was comfortable, without being exciting. But, surprisingly with the amount of racing he’d had, he came through his run like as though he needed it. However, he’s now jumping out of his skin. “Barrier three is the best barrier we’ve had for quite a while, so we’re going to make the most of it in a bid to keep the two main dangers (Patrickthepiranha and Its Rock And Roll) on our outside. Shockwave is definitely capable of winning.” Bell and Hall have already tasted success in the Sales Classic for three-year-old colts and geldings. Hall drove the Katja Warwick-trained Rock Me Over to a neck victory over Our Trump Card 12 months ago and the previous year Bell trained and drove Bob Wheel when he worked hard in the breeze before hitting the front with 100m to travel and winning by a head from the fast-finishing Kasey John. Hall has formed a good association with Shockwave, a $46,000 yearling, having driven him seven times for four wins, two thirds and a ninth placing. Shockwave, Patrickthepiranha and Its Rock And Roll are certain to dominate betting on Friday night’s race. Colin Brown trains Patrickthepiranha (a $30,000 yearling) and Its Rock And Roll (a $37,500 yearling). Brown will handle Its Rock And Roll from barrier four and Dylan Egerton-Green will be in the sulky behind Patrickthepiranha at barrier five. Patrickthepiranha is sure to prove extremely hard to beat. He won in fine style at his first six starts as a three-year-old before being desperately unlucky when third behind Shockwave last week. He began speedily from the No. 5 barrier, but was trapped three wide for the first 500m before being restrained to assume the one-out, two-back position. Patrickthepiranha was further seriously inconvenienced when a tyre of his sulky was deflated 500m from the finish. Despite that, Patrickthepiranha fought on determinedly to finish just over two lengths behind the winner. Shockwave also started from the No. 3 barrier in the Sales Classic final for two-year-olds last season when he was the $1.70 favourite. He crossed to the front after 200m and set a solid pace before going down by a head to 12/1 chance Its Rock And Roll, who finished fast from fourth at the bell. Patrickthepiranha, who started from the outside barrier (No. 9), was forced to cover extra ground and did very well to finish third. Ken Casellas

Impressive pacer Shockwave has taken out a star-studded WA Sales Classic Prelude (2130m) for the three-year-old colts and geldings at Gloucester Park last night. With a number of runners in the field having legitimate WA Derby claims, Shockwave was able to capitalise on a hot early speed and enhance his feature race credentials. Its Rock And Roll was able to hold the lead from barrier one, but was never afforded any peace in front as Know When To Run applied pressure in the breeze. Shockwave’s trainer-reinsman Ryan Bell was eventually able to land the perfect spot on the back of Know When To Run and was poised for his run at the bell. The Mach Three colt then finished powerfully in 58.5 and rated 1.54.5 to record a comfortable 4.9m win to the Colin Brown-trained Its Rock And Roll and race favourite Patrickthpiranha. Bell said he was wrapped with the run he got throughout and was supremely confident coming into the home straight. “He won quite comfortably,” he told TABradio. “We couldn’t have asked for a better run and he got the job done. “He pulled up like he needed the run.” Bell said it was one of the softest runs Shockwave has had for a long time and indicated the colt was well on track for next month’s WA Derby. In the fillies edition of the Sales Prelude, Has No Fear recorded a strong 6m win over short-price favourite Soho Interceptor. Bell will be hoping to record a feature race double in the two-year-old Sales Classic finals this Friday night, where he teams up with Moon Goddess and Matai Reactor in the fillies and colts and geldings respectively. Moon Goddess was a surprise winner in last week’s Prelude and Bell said he expected her to challenge nominal favourite Double Expresso from the favourable draw in barrier three. “Based on her work this morning, I think she can,” he said. “I don’t think she’s any given to find the front. “My filly didn’t look like she was as good as Double Expresso last week, but she only does what she has to.” Matai Reactor has also drawn barrier three for his Sales Classic Final. The fillies Sales Classic gets underway at 8pm on Friday, with the colts and geldings edition to start at 8.29.   Tim Walker

Trainer Ryan Bell concedes Shockwave has a difficult task in front of him if he’s to win the Group 2 Caduceus Club Classic (2130m) at Gloucester Park tomorrow night, but is confident he has the right horse to upstage warm favourite Patrickthepiranha. Shockwave, to be driven by Gary Hall Jnr once again, has impressed at his two most recent outings at Gloucester Park, where he overcame barrier five on both occasions, however he has drawn barrier eight tomorrow night. Despite the draw, Bell said he has Shockwave primed for a big performance in the $40,000 event. “As good as our bloke is going, the barrier is a bad one for him,” he said. “I’m confident he will put in a forward performance, but he will have to do the hard yards. “Our bloke is more forward than a lot of others in the field, but with Patrickthepiranha drawn barrier one over 2130 he can still afford to be fresh and be too good.” Shockwave produced, arguably, a career best performance over 1730m on January 25, where he rated 1.54.0, before he returned on February 1 over 2130m and rated 1.57.7. The Group 1 WA Derby on April 5 looms as the likely target for a majority of the three-year-olds engaged in tomorrow night’s feature. Bell described both performances as “pretty impressive” and said the fortnight between runs suited Shockwave perfectly. “He’s been lucky for most of his career so far that he’s been able to have two weeks between runs,” he said. “It has meant we’ve been able to keep him fresh a lot of the time. “He’s probably the type of horse I could keep fresh and I’d only work him at home to have him ready for the Derby.” Bell added he was hopeful he would be able to retain the services of Hall Jnr for the duration of Shockwave’s preparation. Patrickthepiranha, who is looking for seven straight wins, was installed a $1.55 chance with TABtouch, ahead of Gee Jay Kay ($5), Franco Edward ($5) and Shockwave ($5.50). Gee Jay Kay, who was the favourite in both of the recent races Shockwave won, has drawn barrier three tomorrow night, while Franco Edward has drawn barrier nine. Dylan Egerton-Green retains the drive on the Colin Brown-trained Patrickthepiranha and said he was confident the gelding would be able to lead all the way from the inside draw. “He’s got the right draw, but I still have to make sure that he runs off the gate and make sure nothing else can cross,” he said. “It’s a pretty handy field with Shockwave and Franco Edward, then you have a horse like Valbonne who has also been going well. “I have to keep my wits about me early but he should be able to capitalise on the good draw.” The Caduceus Club Classic gets underway at 7.25. Tim Walker

Harness racing trainer/driver Ryan Bell has Shockwave ready for this week's $100,000 Clipsal Colts and Geldings WA Sales Classic Final at Gloucester Park. Watch the interview below. 28 February 2018 | GPTV

Ryan Warwick has given punters a massive lead by opting to drive the lightly raced Bettor Not Bitter in preference to standing start specialist Assassinator in the $23,000 Garrard’s Horse & Hound BOTRA Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Five year old Assassinator’s past seven wins have been in stands, with Warwick in the sulky for five of those victories. Assassinator, who boasts a record of 18 wins and 29 placings from 94 starts, and four-year-old Bettor Not Bitter are trained by Greg and Skye Bond, who are seeking their first win in a BOTRA Cup. Bettor Not Bitter has won at seven of his 26 starts and faces a considerable rise in class in Friday night’s Cup, a stand over 2503m, in which he will start off the front, with Assassinator, to be driven by Ryan Bell, on the 10m mark. Bettor Not Bitter made his first appearance in a stand when he began smoothly off 20m and mustered great early pace to burst to the front after 550m before bowling along and winning easily by more than four lengths in modest C0 company over 2503m at Gloucester Park last Saturday night, rating 2:1.3 on a very heavy track. He charged home from the rear to win narrowly from Cest Lheure in a 2185m mobile event at Pinjarra the previous Monday.  Assassinator warmed up for this week’s event with a sound third behind Motu Premier and Always Arjay in a mobile event at Gloucester Park on July 1. Blythewood trainer Michael Brennan, who was successful in last year’s BOTRA Cup with 5/1 chance Naughty Maravu, holds a strong hand in Friday night’s race with three runners - Im Master Charlie, Jason Rulz and Cut For An Ace. Michael Grantham had the choice of these three pacers and he has opted to drive Jason Rulz, who has been unplaced at four starts since finishing strongly to win a 2636m stand at Narrogin on May 9. Chris Voak will handle Im Master Charlie and Gary Hall Jnr (who drove Naughty Maravu to victory in last year’s BOTRA Cup) will drive Cut For An Ace. Im Master Charlie is in good form, with solid placings at his past three starts and he makes good appeal off the front. Chris Voak drove Im Master Charlie when he led for the first 650m and then trailed the pacemaker Naughty Maravu running third to his stablemate in last year’s BOTRA Cup. Im Master Charlie won two stands in New Zealand and has won four stands in WA, with Voak in the sulky for the first two of those wins, in May 2016. Nine-year-old Cut For An Ace will start off 10m and he impressed last Friday night when he finished determinedly from sixth at the bell to be a close third behind Zach Maguire and Motu Premier. Five-year-olds Tommy Be Good (20m) and Rycroft (10m) will also be fancied in a very open affair. The Katja Warwick-trained Tommy Be Good is capable of producing a strong finishing burst and many keen students of form will declare him the winner after discovering that his past six runs in stands have produced five wins and a third placing. He will be driven by Stuart McDonald, with Aiden de Campo opting to drive frontmarker and consistent performer Sky Art, who is prepared in Capel by de Campo’s father Andrew. Ken Casellas

Ryan Bell will replace Aiden de Campo as Sky Art’s harness racing driver when the New Zealand-bred five-year-old contests the Retravision Handicap, a stand over 2503m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Capel trainer Andrew de Campo engaged Bell after his son Aiden received a 21-day suspension for a driving infringement at Bunbury last Saturday night. Aiden de Campo drove Sky Art to an impressive victory at 5/1 in a 2536m mobile event at Gloucester Park last Friday night when the gelding was sixth, three back on the pegs at the bell, before easing off the pegs in the back straight and then charging home, five wide, to hit the front 75m from home and racing away to score by 5m from Eastwood Factor. That was the gelding’s tenth win from 57 starts and ended a losing sequence of 13. Sky Art returns to a standing-start event this week and will begin from barrier two on the front line. “I sat behind him at his previous start, in a stand at Pinjarra,” Bell said. “And he gave me quite a good feel. The race was run slowly up front and Sky Art sprinted home quite good in a slick (27sec.) final quarter.” Sky Art raced in fourth position in an Indian-file affair. Bell said that he did not expect Sky Art to be able to jump to the front at the start, with noted frontrunner Importer Exporter drawn ideally at barrier one. “Sky Art begins nice and safely and he’s the type of horse you don’t have to worry about too much at the start. You just let him settle and save him for his speed at the end.” The Chris Winston-trained Importer Exporter will be handled by Kyle Harper and makes strong appeal. He has had only 33 starts for eight wins, ten seconds and two thirds. He raced three back on the pegs and ran home solidly when third behind Cut For An Ace over 2503m last Friday week. Bell was a late replacement for the suspended Aiden de Campo behind Handsandwheels in a 2130m Westbred Pace at Gloucester Park on Tuesday afternoon and the Mach Three gelding gave a bold frontrunning display to win in good style from Tiza Wish and Bettor Be Lively. Ken Casellas

Top-flight pacer Our Jimmy Johnstone looks a star bet when he runs in the harness racing $30,000 GWN Albany Cup over 2683m in Albany on Friday night.\ The Greg and Skye Bond-trained Our Jimmy Johnstone will be driven by Ryan Bell from the outside barrier (No. 6) on the front line in the field of eight. Our Jimmy Johnstone, an M8-class performer, should carry too many guns for his rivals, who include stablemate Our Regal Ideal, who will start from the inside of the back line. Our Regal Ideal has won at 11 of his 44 starts and he warmed up for his Albany assignment in fine style with an excellent second to American Boy at Gloucester Park last Friday night. The Bond stable and Bell also should be successful in the Auto One Albany Pace on Friday night with the talented, lightly-raced Messi, who boasts a fine record of eight starts for six wins and one placing. Ken Casellas

New Zealand-bred Bettor's Delight four-year-old Bungalow Bill was gallant in defeat when second to Mattjestic Star last Friday night and Greg Bond, who trains the harness racing gelding in partnership with his wife Skye, considers he will go one better and win the $20,500 The Seppelt Long Drive Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Bungalow Bill, to be driven by Ryan Bell, has drawn perfectly at No. 1 in the 2130m event and Bond declared: “He’ll definitely hold up and lead and prove very hard to run down. I was very happy with his effort last week when he started from the outside in the field of nine over 1730m.” Bungalow Bill raced three wide in the early stages and then worked hard in the breeze outside Calais before taking a narrow lead 350m from home. He was overhauled 60m from the post by the fast-finishing Mattjestic Star, who rated 1.55.4. The lightly-raced Bungalow Bill (20 starts for nine wins and fiver placings) is one of three Bond runners in Friday night’s event, the others being Assassinator (barrier three) and Holy Grail (six). “Assassinator and Holy Grail will need luck, but are capable of being placed,” Bond said. Royal Mach, to be driven by Chris Lewis for Collie trainer David Hunter, appears Bungalow Bill’s chief rival from the favourable No. 2 barrier. Another Vinnie, a smart all-the-way winner last Friday night, should be prominent, despite starting from the outside of the front line. And Rycroft, trained by Mike Reed and a winner at two of his past three starts, will have admirers from the inside of the back line. The Bond camp also has good winning prospects with Ohoka Squire (Penfold Max Classic) and Risk (third heat of the Spring Into Summer Schrader Pace). Ohoka Squire ended a losing sequence of ten when Mitchell Miller drove him in fine style to score an impressive victory at a 1.54.8 rate over 1730m at Gloucester Park on Tuesday night. The seven-year-old sustained a powerful three-wide burst from the rear to hit the front 270m from home. He then drew away from the opposition. Ohoka Squire has drawn the coveted No. 1 barrier on Friday night and Miller is expected to make use of the gelding’s gate speed and attempt an all-the-way win over the 2130m journey. Before Tuesday night’s success, Ohoka Squire’s previous win was when he led from the No. 1 barrier and beat Znana and Major Dancer over 1730m at Gloucester Park last November. Risk will be handled by Ryan Bell from the No. 2 barrier on Friday night and the New Zealand-bred four-year-old looks hard to beat. He made a successful Australian debut when he began badly from 40m at Northam on Tuesday of last week and raced in the breeze in the middle stages before winning by a head from Tuapeka Kahu over 2560m. “He’s a nice type of horse who raced in good company in New Zealand --- in the Messenger, Taylor Mile and the Jewels --- against some good horses,” Bond said. “He has impressed us and won in good style, first-up at Northam. He was quite clear (of the opposition) on the corner. Ryan (Warwick) sat up on him and the horse took advantage of that and switched off a bit. That won’t happen again. I expect him to be pretty hard to beat on Friday night.” Ken Casellas

RWWA Stewards have today issued the following penalties in relation to the Stewards inquiry conducted on 14 May 2015 at which harness racing trainer Mr Ryan Bell pleaded guilty to the following charges after a report from the ChemCentre in Perth, that the pre-race blood sample taken from THE SILVER FOX prior to it competing and finishing unplaced in Race 5 at Gloucester Park on Friday, 24 April 2015, had a level of total carbon dioxide (TCO2) in excess of 36.0 millimoles per litre in plasma. Charge under Harness Rule of Racing (HRR) “193(1) Stomach tubing, atomisers and other devices” with the particulars of the charge being that he did on Thursday 23 April 2015, stomach tube THE SILVER FOX which was nominated to compete in a race on Friday 24 April 2015 which was within 48-hours and contrary to the provisions of the rules. Charge under HRR190(1),(2) Presentation free of prohibited substances, with the particulars of the charge being that “as the trainer, he presented THE SILVER FOX to Race in race 5 at Gloucester Park on 24 April 2015, with the prohibited substance alkalinising agents, evidenced by a concentration of TCO2 in excess of 36.0mm/L in plasma. In relation to the above charges the Stewards have imposed a six (6) month disqualification for each offence. After taking into account the principles of totality, the Stewards have directed that three months of the penalty issued for the breach of Rule 193 is to be served concurrently, with the remaining three months to be converted to a suspension to be served cumulatively. Accordingly the total period of penalty to be served shall be 6-months disqualification followed by 3-months suspension backdated to commence as of 14 May 2015, that being the date upon which Mr Bell was stood down pending outcome of the Stewards deliberations. Under the provisions of Rule 195 THE SILVER FOX has also been disqualified from Race 5 at Gloucester Park on the 24 April 2015 with all prizemonies to be returned to RWWA as prescribed by the RWWA Rules of Harness Racing. In regards to penalty the Stewards considered and took into account as appropriate: Mr Bell’s plea of guilt, co-operation and good record over many years of licensed involvement His relative youth, level of involvement and that he had been involved in the industry since he was 14-years of age The reported level of 37.4mm/L of TCO2 The need for deterrence both general and specific That the stomach tubing had not occurred on the day of the actual race and had been admitted to by Mr Bell when first interviewed by the RWWA Investigator and Stewards That the stomach tubing of the horse included alkalinising agents, albeit that such timing and nature of administration did not satisfactorily account for the reported level Trainers are again reminded that it is a serious offence under Rule 193 to attempt to stomach tube, or stomach tube a horse within 48 hours of the commencement of a race in which a horse is nominated. Media Contact: Denis Borovica – General Manager Racing Integrity  

Superstar Im Themightyquinn will have a new driver when he contests the $21,000 KA Cleans And Flushes Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He will be handled for the first time in a race by Clint Hall, elder son of the champion pacer's trainer Gary Hall sen., with regular driver Gary Hall jun. taking the reins behind Toretto. "Clint is driving him .... Just to give him the experience," Hall sen. said. "Im Themightyquinn has gone super since his Pinjarra Cup win." Im Themightyquinn will start from the No. 3 barrier on the front line and is unlikely to have everything his way when he clashes with David Hercules, Crombie and his stablemate Toretto. Im Themightyquinn, who has amassed $4,451,096 from 55 wins, 19 seconds and 13 thirds, has been handled by only seven reinsmen in his Fabulous 106-start career. Hall jun. has driven him to victory 47 times. The remarkable New Zealand-bred gelding has also been driven by Kim Prentice (one win), Greg Bennett (one), Shayne Cramp (no wins), Ricky May (four), Dexter Dunn (one) and Mark Jones (one). "We always planned to give Clint a drive on Quinny at some stage," Hall jun. explained. Friday night's event looks to be an intriguing affair, with the richly-talented David Hercules resuming after a spell for trainer David Thompson, Crombie starting from the prized No. 1 barrier after finishing strongly to be a nose second to Im Themightyquinn in the 2692m Pinjarra Cup on Monday of last week, and Toretto, a nose second to Hokonui Ben in the WA Pacing Cup in mid-January, resuming after a spell. Morgan Woodley, driver of David Hercules, predicted that the race would not be a cakewalk for Im Themightyquinn, saying: "I'll be looking to make it difficult for Im Themightyquinn. I'm hoping that David Hercules is forward enough to really stretch his neck." David Hercules, who has won at four of his ten first-up runs, is favourably drawn at the No. 2 barrier on the front line and Woodley is keen to send the seven-year-old to an early lead and then set the pace. "David Hercules trialled well at Byford on Sunday morning," Woodley said. "He drew the inside of the back row behind Toretto, who led and rated 1.55.9, a nice rate over 2150m around the Byford track. "I eased David Hercules out about 1000m from home and took a bit of closer order. They ran the last half in 56 seconds and David Hercules finished third, only about one and a half lengths from the winner, Toretto. Being the nice horse that he is, I think he will certainly be improved by the run. "If he is able to get to his favourite role in front I am sure he will give a great account of himself. Crombie has led in the past, but he is getting on a little bit in his career and in recent times he seems to be racing a bit better when driven a bit more conservatively. "He sat back on the pegs in the Pinjarra Cup and made some nice late ground against Im Themightyquinn. So, given his inside draw, he certainly will be one of the main dangers to both myself and Im Themightyquinn." Toretto, who will start from barrier five, has not raced for four and a half months. But he has had a solid preparation and is sure to be prominent. He has contested a 2150m trial at Byford on each of the past four Sundays for three wins and a second. Before leading and winning last Sunday Toretto had worked in the breeze before finishing strongly at his three previous trials. Toretto appeals as the likely breeze horse in Friday night's race, particularly as Lombo Navigator (who has worked in the breeze in many of his races) is reappearing after a four-month break and his new trainer-reinsman Ryan Bell is likely to be reluctant to give the seven-year-old a tough first-up run. Woodley has opted to drive David Hercules in preference to the speedy Dundee Three, who finished strongly when a close fourth in the Pinjarra Cup, after stylish Gloucester Park wins at his two previous outings. Owner-trainer Stephanie Smith has engaged Chris Lewis to drive Dundee Three, who faces a stern test from out wide at the No. 6 barrier. Prentice praises The Odd Lover Hopeland harness racing trainer-reinsman Kim Prentice is excited at the wonderful potential of The Odd Lover and is bubbling with confidence about the colt's winning prospects in the $100,000 International Animal Health Pearl Classic at Gloucester Park on Friday night. "He's got heaps of raw ability and is a very good horse," he said. "He hasn't had the deafeners pulled yet and I'm sure he will find a lot more lengths once we pull them." That was the chilling warning issued to the connections of the other two-year-olds who will contest the group 1 classic over 2130m. Prentice is fully aware of what is required to win the Pearl after having trained and driven 6/4 on favourite Your Call Lombo for his brilliant all-the-way victory over Spanna and Winforus in the 2002 Pearl. Your Call Lombo smashed the race record with a 1.57.5 rate over 1740m. The New Zealand-bred The Odd Lover, owned by Robert Watson, was the fastest of the three heat winners at Gloucester Park on Tuesday of last week, rating 1.58.2, which was considerably faster than the rate set by the other heat winners, Artillery Major (2.3.2) and Isaiah Artois (2.0.4). The Odd Lover began out wide at barrier six in his heat and Prentice restrained him at the start and the colt settled down almost seven lengths behind the early leader In Nyrobi before he urged him forward, three wide to burst to the front after 550m had been covered. He bowled along in front and sped over the final 800m in 56.9sec. The Ross Olivieri-trained Artillery Major, who set the pace in his heat, covered the final 800m in 58.9sec. and Isaiah Artois, prepared by David Thompson, came home in 58.5sec. The Odd Lover, who is by Art Major, races with his head held low, and he raced with spreaders at his latest appearance. "He had been brushing his off-side knee and was losing his confidence a little bit," Prentice explained. "So I put the spreaders on in his final track workout before the qualifying heat and he went a lot better. He will probably wear them for the rest of his two-year-old career, but I'm sure as a three-year-old he will not need them." Regarding the colt's habit of racing with his head held low, Prentice said that he worked him with a head check before he made his race debut with an easy win at Northam in late April. "But before his first start I removed the head check and put his hopples right out, and he just went a lot better," Prentice said. "Since I've had the head check off he has paced a lot better and has found a lot more speed. "I was trying different things, the one percenters, trying to get him perfect. He still hangs a bit, but he's got heaps of raw ability." The Odd Lover will start out wide at the No. 6 barrier on Friday night, but this is not causing Prentice any great concern. "In his two trials he showed very good gate speed and I've got no doubt that if I want to come out of the gate he can come out humming. He crossed from barrier five or six in his second trial at Byford." Chris Lewis gave punters a good lead when he opted to drive Artillery Major (from the favourable barrier No. 2 on the front line) ahead of the Bryan Cousins-trained In Nyrobi, whom he has driven at his only three starts for three second placings. In Nyrobi led for the first 550m in his heat and then trailed the pacemaking The Odd Lover before finishing gamely to be second, just under two lengths behind the winner. Cousins has engaged Gary Hall jun. to drive In Nyrobi and Hall is hoping that the unfavourable barrier No. 11 (four out on the back line) will be an omen for success. Hall drove 11/4 chance Swagga for trainer Kristie Morrone in last year's Pearl when the colt settled in tenth position and charged home from fifth at the bell to win by ten and a half lengths from the 10/9 on favourite Mister Jadore. Hall drove Go West U Terror for Cousins when he started from barrier two and set the pace before winning the 2009 Pearl by just under ten lengths from Soho Dionysus. Hall also won the Pearl behind the Jesse Moore-trained The Jobs On in 2004 and the Kevin Keys-trained Itsallabout Nicole in 2009. Lewis has won the Pearl with the Olivieri-trained Lombo Laredo (1994) and Argent Treasure (2007) and in 1995 with Mitemptation, who was trained by his wife Debra. Olivieri said that Artillery Major was capable of a bold showing on Friday night. "He should strip a bit fitter than he did when he raced first-up and won his heat," he said. "First-up, he was a bit slack in front, but when the challenges came he held them comfortably. He should be the early leader and will run a good race." The speedy Isaiah Artois cannot be discounted after winning in good style at each of his past three starts. He will start from barrier five on the front line and possesses good gate speed. Trainer Peter Anderson and reinsman Morgan Woodley, who combined to win the Pearl in 2008 with the brilliant James Matthew, will be represented by Nitro Lad, who will start from barrier three on the front line. He is the most experienced runner in the race, having had ten starts for one win (at Narrogin in March) and seven minor placings. He will be at long odds. Bond fancies Jungle Genie Forrestdale horseman Greg Bond, who trains Jungle Genie in partnership with his wife Skye, is confident the four-year-old will maintain her consistent form and prove hard to beat in the second heat of the Neutra Syrup Neutralises And Removes Lombardo Pace for mares at Gloucester Park on Friday night. "She's drawn a bit wide (No. 5), but she's more of a sit-sprint horse and is a good chance," he said. "The race lacks a bit of depth and hopefully there will be a bit of genuine speed. She can sit on speed and kick real good." Jungle Genie, who will be driven by Colin Brown, has won at 13 of her past 32 starts and she finished strongly from sixth at the bell to be second to Macintosh over 1684m at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon when the final 800m was covered in a slick 55.5sec. The Bonds also have two other runners in Friday night's event, four-year-olds Am Opulent and Showstopper. Am Opulent, a smart Pinjarra winner on Monday of last week, finished last in a field of seven behind Selkie at Gloucester Park last Friday night. "She was travelling well when she clipped a wheel and broke," Bond said. "It wasn't her fault and she should be running on this week." Showstopper faces a hard task from barrier six. She has not been dangerous when she started from the back line and finished eighth at Pinjarra at her past two starts. She was an easy all-the-way winner in moderate company at Harvey three starts ago. Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri said he expected Arousing to, prove hard to beat after drawing the prized No. 1 barrier. "This will suit her and she is capable of leading and she is a good chance," he said. Jungle Genie's younger half-sister Jungle Jewel has sound prospects in the Electromix Electrolytes And Sweat Pace for three-year-old fillies on Friday night. "She went great at Pinjarra on Monday and won with a leg in the air," Bond said. "But this is a step up in class against fillies like The Parade, Maddy White, Harper Grace and All About Pink. They show good ability and Jungle Jewel will need some luck from barrier five." Morgan Woodley, who will drive Harper Grace for owner Steve Johnson and trainer David Thompson, said that the filly had sound prospects, even though she has been unplaced at her past five starts. "I think she has a great chance from barrier one over 1730m," he said. "The statistics say that we're in with a good chance, purely on the distance and the barrier draw. I was impressed with Harper Grace's latest run when she made nice late ground to finish fifth behind Typhoon Tan. "She got wide on the last turn in a race in which they did slip home in relatively good time, and I thought that she hit the line well. The barrier draw and short trip really bring us in with a really good chance." Spectacular poised for debut victory New Zealand-bred five-year-old Spectacular should make a successful Australian debut by winning the 2130m Mecworma And Bot-Worming Paste Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Leading trainer Gary Hall sen. said that the Christian Cullen gelding was "nothing special," but looked the goods from his ideal barrier at No. 2 on the front line over 2130m. Spectacular has won five stands in New Zealand, but is also a capable mobile performer, with three wins in mobile events. He last appeared when he started from 20m, raced four back on the pegs and finished strongly along the inside to hit the front 30m from the post and score narrowly in a four-way photo finish, rating 2.0.7 over 2700m at Waikato.. Two starts before that he won an 1800m mobile event, rating 2.7.6 on the grass track at Wanganui when he was sixth early and then in the one-out, one-back position before spring fast in the home straight to hit the front 80m from the post. by Ken Casellas  

Noted frontrunner Courage On Fire has drawn the prized No. 1 barrier in the $50,000 Community Newspaper Group Empress Stakes at Gloucester Park on Friday night to boost Wanneroo trainer Debbie Padberg's hopes of winning the group 2 feature event for mares for the second time. She trained Glitzy Miss for her dramatic victory in the Empress Stakes in April 2008 when the five-year-old was tenth with 550m to travel and seventh at the 100m before flying home, out wide, to defeat the pacemaker Alkira Jet. The New Zealand-bred Courage On Fire has won ten races in Australia, with five of those wins coming when she has set the pace --- over 1720m and 2125m at Penrith, over 1609m at Menangle and over 1730m and 2130m at Gloucester Park. The Empress Stakes will be decided over 2536m and this should not seriously trouble Courage On Fire, who has raced four times over that distance at Gloucester Park for a fourth, a fifth, a second and a win (when she sat behind the pacemaker and ran on to win narrowly from Next Dawn and Chocolatto early last December). Mrs Padberg is delighted with the favourable barrier and said that Courage On Fire was "very good" in front. The seven-year-old led and won easily from Aristocratic Glow over 2130m three starts ago before starting from the outside of the back line and finishing strongly to be third to Aristocratic Glow and Deluxe Edition. She was sixth at the bell and finished seventh behind Leda McNally in a 2130m prelude of the Empress Stakes last Friday night. Mrs Padberg, who is in fourth place in the Metropolitan trainers' premiership table, said that she was undecided on what tactics reinsman Michael Tenardi would adopt. Much would depend on whether Courage On Fire was challenged strongly in the early stages. Two speedy beginners are on the outside of Courage On Fire --- four-year-olds Askmenow (barrier two) and Kristen Louise (three). Askmenow has been unplaced at her past six starts and has a losing sequence of eight, but her trainer Gary Hall sen. said that if she was able to lead she would be very hard to beat. Hall has a higher opinion of stablemate Famous Alchemist, who will start from the inside of the back line, immediately behind Courage On Fire. "It's a tricky draw, but she can certainly win," he said. Famous Alchemist has had only 38 starts for 12 wins and 13 placings. Famous Alchemist charged home from last at the bell to finish third behind her stablemate Aussie Made Lombo in the Empress Stakes last March to give Hall his third success in the race which he first won with Moray Miss in 1991. Vance Stampalia, who drove Glitzy Miss for her win in this race six years ago, is the regular driver of four-year-old Kristen Louise, who is prepared at Wanneroo by his sister Tonia. Stampalia stole a march on his rivals when he got Kristen Louise away to a flying start from the No. 5 barrier in the second prelude of the Empress Stakes last Friday night. Kristen Louise charged to the front after 100m and was not extended in winning from Selkie and Ace of Cards. "She crossed them easily last week," he said. "And it would be nice to be able to lead again this week. Kristen Louise has improved since her win last week and is thriving on a preparation of mainly swimming in the pool." Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri has cured speedy mare Sensational Gabby of her habit of overracing and he has sound prospects of winning the event for the third time, after scoring with Elysees Crest in 2010 and Ima Spicey Lombo the following year. Olivieri also trained Live High when she surged home from 11th at the 600m to finish second to Aussie Made Lombo last year. Sensational Gabby raced without cover when second to Famous Alchemist over 1730m two starts ago before she started from the outside of the front line, was restrained to last and then sprinted fast after 700m to join the leader Leda McNally last Friday night when she fought on to finish second to that mare. HALL SAYS NORTHVIEW PUNTER CAN OVERCOME BACK-LINE BARRIER Leading trainer Gary Hall sen. was naturally disappointed when speedy New Zealand-bred four-year-old Northview Punter drew badly at barrier four on the back line in the $25,000 Fremantle Gazette The Lewis final at Gloucester Park on Friday night, but defiantly declared that all was not lost and that the horse was capable of overcoming this disadvantage and winning the 2130m event. "It was a phenomenal run by Northview Punter when second to Hokonui Ben last week and he can win from the back line," said Hall, who will be in Sydney on Friday night keeping his eye on Livingontheinterest before that pacer contests the interdominion championship final at Menangle on Sunday. Hall makes no secret that he considers that Northview Punter is far better suited to leading in his races than coming from behind. But he believes that the horse is gaining in experience and is capable of proving more versatile. Northview Punter began with great dash from barrier three to set the pace in the 2536m RWWA Cup last Friday night and he fought on grandly when beaten by only a neck by the fast-finishing Hokonui Ben, rating 1.55.8 over the 2536m. At his previous appearance, two weeks before last Friday night's run, Northview Punter worked hard for the first 500m before taking up the running and going on to win by more than two lengths from Pacific Warrior over 2130m. A week later Pacific Warrior led from the No. 1 barrier and won easily from Mighty Flying Thomas and Uppy Son over 2130m. He will start from barrier five on the front line this week and looks set to fight out the finish. The Matt Scott-trained Marooned has drawn the prized No. 1 barrier and even though the seven-year-old's best performances in Western Australia have been when he has produced a powerful finishing burst reinsman Chris Voak will be strongly tempted to attempt an all-the-way win. Marooned does possess good gate speed and has led and won at two of his 16 wins, over 1609m at Menangle and 2170m at Canberra. Mohegan Sun (barrier two) and Menelaus of Sparta (three) have each won twice when leading all the way. But they are not noted frontrunners, and this could make it easier for Marooned to set the pace. Marooned was most impressive last Friday night when he started from the back line and trailed the pacemaker Mach Banner before flashing home with a sparkling late burst to finish a half-head second to Mach Banner. TRUCKERS RUFFNUT WORKS WITH DASH BEFORE HIS CLASH WITH DAVID HERCULES A sizzling final 800m in 56sec. in a track workout at Donaldson Park in Bunbury on Tuesday morning greatly impressed his trainer Murray Hansen, who is confident the eight-year-old can cause an upset and beat star performer David Hercules in the $21,000 Stirling Times Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. In the random draw, Truckers Ruffnut gained the prized No. 1 barrier, while David Hercules fared poorly and will start from the outside of the front line (No. 7) in the small field of eight. "Our one big advantage over David Hercules is the barrier draw," Hansen said. "We've drawn one and will be utilising it and holding up to lead. Truckers Ruffnut has always possessed good gate speed and in previous campaigns was always a very hard horse to beat when he was in front. "David Hercules will have to be right at the top of his game to beat Truckers Ruffnut. I feel sorry for David Hercules, with all the bad barriers he has been getting. I think that my horse can run a really good time." Leading reinsman Gary Hall jun. will be reunited with Truckers Ruffnut after the horse has been driven at his first five starts after an injury-enforced absence of 39 months by Ryan Bell, Shane Butcher (three times) and Dylan- Egerton-Green. Hall has an outstanding record with Truckers Ruffnut, having driven him 24 times for 11 wins, nine seconds, two thirds, one seventh and one eighth. Truckers Ruffnut has finished strongly to win at two of his past three starts at Gloucester Park. He raced three back on the pegs in fifth position before charging home brilliantly to win from Danieljohn and Mighty Flying Thomas last Friday night. Hansen drove Truckers Ruffnut in his workout on Tuesday morning when the horse was clocked over the 1200m trip in 3min. 5sec. and sprinted the final 800m in 56sec. "He worked really well and I feel he is better than he was when he won last week. He does all his trackwork on his own and he works free-legged," Hansen said. "He's that good a pacer that he could race without hopples. He has run a half in 55sec. free-legged without putting a foot wrong." Byford trainer David Thompson said that he was becoming resigned to receiving wide draws for David Hercules. But he was full of praise for the even-year-old's splendid third behind Hokonui Ben and Northview Punter in the 2536m RWWA Cup last Friday night. David Hercules started from barrier seven and was restrained to the rear by Morgan Woodley before he dashed the gelding forward in the first lap to work hard outside then pacemaker Northview Punter. David Hercules fought on grandly to finish only a length behind Hokonui Ben. An improver in Friday night's race appears certain to be the Ross Olivieri-trained Red Salute, who is sure to appreciate the favourable No. 2 barrier on the front line in the field of eight. Red Salute has been dogged by unfavourable draws in recent outings. DON'T DISREGARD THE BEAU BRUMMELL, ADVISES MELLSOP Waroona trainer-reinsman Bob Mellsop offered some sound advice to punters when he said that they should completely disregard The Beau Brummell's last-start seventh behind Earl Harbour at Gloucester Park last Saturday week when assessing the five-year-old's chances in the $30,000 Happy Birthday Alison Ward Discreet Romeo Sprint for trotters on Friday night. "He met with severe interference soon after the start before making up a great deal of ground," Mellsop said. "He will start on the inside of the back line this week and should get a good run behind the polemarker Ushaka Bromac." The Beau Brummell's form before his unlucky last-start effort was very good. His six previous starts, after resuming from a spell, produced two wins (including the WA Trotters Cup), two seconds, one third and one fifth placing. Vance Stampalia, driver of the Bruce Stanley-trained Ushaka Bromac, and Gary Hall sen., trainer of Prince Eddie, are both confident of success. Stampalia believes that Ushaka Bromac will have the early speed to lead from the No. 1 barrier in the 1730m event. She led early and then sat behind the pacemaker Idle Maple before finishing solidly to be a close second to Earl Harbour over 1730m last Saturday week. Prince Eddie, whose past eight starts have produced four wins, one second and two thirds, looks nicely placed from the No. 2 barrier. He raced without cover when third to Earl Harbour at his latest start. He finished powerfully to win from Sandakan Lombo in a 2503m stand at his previous start. by 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  

Young trainer-reinsman Kyle Harper declared that he couldn't be happier with rising star Bettors Fire drawing the coveted No. 1 barrier in the $250,000 Yes Loans Fremantle Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night and said he was confident of leading and holding his 11 rivals at bay. He said that the brilliant five-year-old was "bigger, rounder and stronger" than he was when an unlucky fifth behind Hokonui Ben in the Village Kid Sprint last Friday week. "Since that race I have freshened him up a bit," the 23-year-old Harper said. "He got a little bit lighter than I would have liked and now he's put on between ten to 20kg. I find he races better when he's a bit bigger. He has put on the weight in his neck, over his barrel and over his rump. He's rounded right up and is nice and fit. "I upped his intake of grain and have given him slow work. Now I'm producing him as the sharper horse he was before (when he won the Navy Cup, Mount Eden Sprint and Bunbury Cup) and I think he's got good enough gate speed to hold up pretty comfortably." Harper said that Bettors Fire was one of four stand-out horses in the group 1 Cup over 2536m. "I couldn't be happier, drawing No. 1, especially with two of the main three dangers (Im Victorious and David Hercules) drawing the two outside positions on the back line. The other danger is Washakie, who has drawn the inside of the back line. "Really I think that Bettors Fire, Im Victorious, David Hercules and Washakie stand out above the rest of the field. I think that Im Victorious and David Hercules will come very fast, very late. So then I won't have the chance of holding back to the field and keeping Washakie hemmed in, if he is trailing me. I will just have to get going and hope that we're good enough to hold off Washakie and the others." Kevin Jeavons, who races Washakie in partnership with Gino Monaco and Lindsay Severn, said that the ten-year-old trained in New South Wales by John McCarthy, was still racing with youthful enthusiasm and had arrived in Perth on Tuesday morning in "good nick" after a float trip from Sydney to Melbourne and a flight from Melbourne. He is stabled at Noel Keiley's Byford property. Washakie, who has raced in the Fremantle Cup three times for an eighth behind Power of Tara in 2009, a second to Im Themightyquinn in 2011 and fourth behind Im Themightyquinn in 2012, notched his 53rd victory from 140 starts and boosted his earnings to $1,837,473 when he won the group 3 $45,000 Shirley Turnbull Memorial at Bathurst on December 26. Two starts before that he won the group 1 $100,000 Treuer Memorial at Bankstown for the fifth year in succession. Jeavons said that he would leave the driving tactics to McCarthy, who is due to arrive in Perth on Wednesday to fine tune the evergreen gelding for his assignment on Friday night. David Hercules worked in dashing style in a trial at Byford on Sunday morning for trainer David Thompson, but his prospects diminished when he drew the outside of the back line in the Cup. However, reinsman Morgan Woodley warned that it would be unwise to disregard David Hercules as a realistic prospect, saying: "He has proved himself time and time again that he is a top-notch performer and if the early pace is solid and he gets a suitable run he can certainly come home and make his presence felt. "Perhaps if we can get a cart up behind Im Victorious and get taken into the race he could be a good each-way chance. It looks as though Bettors Fire will lead and prove to be tremendously hard to beat. The rest of us will be relying on that little bit of luck. Thommo couldn't have David Hercules any better than he is at the moment and if the horse had drawn one or two we would have been very confident." At his most recent outing, David Hercules started from the outside of the front line and was restrained to the rear before he finished powerfully to be second to Hokonui Ben in the Village Kid Sprint last Friday week. Woodley then handled David Hercules in a 2150m trial at Byford on Sunday morning when he sat behind the pacemaker Mysta Magical Mach before surging home to win the trial by 7m from Mysta Magical Mach at a 1.57.4 rate after speeding over the final two 400m sections in 28.7sec. and 27.2sec. "He ran the final sectionals in very slippery times and still had something left in reserve," Woodley said. Dasher VC, who started from the No. 1 barrier and set the pace before holding on to win the 2013 Fremantle Cup over 2936m, will start from barrier two on the back line for Capel trainer Andrew De Campo and reinsman Chris Lewis. "It's not a bad draw," said de Campo. "I expect Bettors Fire to lead and Dasher VC should get a good run through. We might go to the fence and be three back. I reckon there will be a fair bit of pressure in the race and Dasher VC can really sprint. His form is good; it's better than it reads on paper and he goes into the race with a chance." By Ken Casellas  

A sizzling final quarter in 26.8sec. by star pacer Im Victorious in a track workout at Pinjarra last Saturday morning excited champion reinsman Gary Hall jun. who will be reunited with the five-year-old when he drives him in the $250,000 Yes Loans Fremantle Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Hall replaces Justin Prentice, who has done an outstanding job in driving Im Victorious at his past 25 starts for 17 wins. Hall drove Im Victorious at three of his first four starts for three victories and has high hopes that he will maintain his unbeaten record behind him by winning the 2536m Fremantle Cup. “The barrier (No. 4 on the back line) is not the best, but Im Victorious is potentially the best horse in the field,” Hall said. “I drove him on the track at Pinjarra on Saturday morning and we worked with two mothers and went pretty good. He went like you would expect him to go and Mouse (trainer Michael Brennan) said it was the quickest he had worked down there. “He went a tick under 3min. 3sec. for the mile and a half and covered the last quarter in 26.8sec. It is a pretty quick track, but the cones were out and we were about three and four wide. I was more happy with the way he pulled up. The workout didn’t worry him at all. “He had to travel back from Victoria (after the Victoria Cup), had a few days off and a few days jogging. He had had only one track run before Saturday’s workout and I’m looking forward to driving him again. Obviously he has a big future and this is just the start of something. “When I drove him as a three-year-old (in February and March 2012) he was really laid-back. I knew he was good, but you couldn’t gauge how good he was because he only did what he had to do to win. There always seemed to be a little bit more there all the time, when you asked for it. He’s the complete racehorse.” Hall named Bettors Fire as the hardest for Im Victorious to beat and said that he had no set plans how he was going to drive Im Victorious. “I’ll probably make up my mind regarding tactics when I’m out there,” he said. “I’ll see how hard they come out of the gate and what happens early.” Hall has won the Fremantle Cup five times with pacers trained by his father Gary. They have been successful with The Falcon Strike twice and with Im Themightyquinn three times. Im Themightyquinn failed to win the Cup four times in a row when he started at 5/2 on and raced in the breeze over the final 900m before being beaten a head by the pacemaker Dasher VC in last year’s event. Hall sen. has three runners in this year’s Cup --- Livingontheinterest (barrier two), Toretto (three) and Hokonui Ben (five). Brennan has a second string in This Time Dylan, who will start from the No. 4 barrier and will be driven by Justin Prentice. Luivingontheinterest, who also started from barrier two in last year’s Cup (in which he finished fourth) will be handled by Kim Prentice, Clint Hall will drive the in-form Hokonui Ben and Shane Butcher is likely to get the drive behind Toretto. Chris Voak has opted to drive Leda McNally in preference to Red Salute, citing the barrier draw for his decision. Leda McNally, trained by Chris King, will start from barrier three on the back line, with Red Salute, a smart winner last Friday night, faring poorly by drawing the outside (No. 7) on the front line. Leda McNally is the only mare in the Cup and Voak gives her a sound winning chance. “We need luck and speed in the race,” Voak said. “It’s a good draw for her and she’s in form. I used her out of the gate last week to get a spot and she was on the speed for the first 700m while Shardons Rocket and Ima Rocket Star had a duel. “Then I was the only horse who was on the speed who made any impression late. And she went down by only a head (to This Time Dylan).” TRUCKERS RUFFNUT TO REAPPEAR AFTER A 39-MONTH ABSENCE Former star juvenile pacer Truckers Ruffnut will make his first appearance in a race after an absence of 39 months when he contests the 2536m Yes Loans Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night and Bunbury trainer Murray Hansen predicts a strong first-up showing. “He damaged a suspensory in 2010 and then hurt his other front leg,” Hansen said. “This is our fourth attempt to get him back. The previous three were unsuccessful when we got him right up to trialling before he went amiss. “It’s so far, so good this preparation. His legs are fantastic and he’s got through two trials with flying colours. Justin Prentice drove him in his latest trial when he sat last before running home to finish second to Dasher VC (on Monday of last week).” The final quarters were covered in 27.6sec. and 28.3sec. “We clocked him coming home in 55.1sec.,” Hansen said. Eight days before that Ryan Bell drove Truckers Ruffnut in a 2185m trial at Pinjarra in which he dashed over the final quarters in 28.6sec. and 29sec. and beat Madeline Holly by a head. “He’s very classy and he doesn’t feel like that he’s lost anything,” Hansen said. “Just before he broke down he was ready to show his best and was definitely a Cups horse. It’s been a long road back and barrier five is not ideal, but he’s the class horse of the race and can win. He has had a lot of work and I couldn’t be happier with him.” Truckers Ruffnut, now an eight-year-old, has earned $221,420 from 18 wins and 14 placings from 47 starts. At his most recent appearance he started off 10m and finished second to frontmarker Christopher Three in a 2503m event at Gloucester Park on October 15, 2010. He had won at two of his three previous starts. As a three-year-old in 2009 Truckers Ruffnut won the group 3 WA Sales Classic, the group 1 $100,000 State Sires Series and the consolation of the Breeders Crown at Melton. By Ken Casellas

West Australian-bred four-year-old Soho Redford is a noted frontrunner and his prospects of winning the $25,000 The West Australian Coulson final at Gloucester Park on Friday night soared when he drew the coveted No. 1 barrier in the 2130m feature event. Vance Stampalia is certain to make his intentions perfectly clear that he will be all-out to set the pace with the freewheeling Mach Three horse, even though he is likely to be challenged for the early lead by smart frontrunners Bettors Ace (barrier two) and Im Terrific (three). Bettors Ace, to be driven by his trainer Ryan Bell, resumed after a short let-up in fine style when he led from barrier one and cruised to victory over Clifford and Condrieu in a 2130m event last Friday week. Then Im Terrific, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, made the most of the No. 1 barrier when he led and defeated Rocky Marciano and Heez On Fire over 2130m last Friday night. Soho Redford, whose is prepared by Tonia Stampalia (sister of the reinsman), notched his third win from his past six starts when he led from barrier three and beat Miss Atomic by four lengths over 2190m at Northam on Thursday of last week. Four starts before that, he started from the No. 1 barrier and was not extended in setting the pace and winning by more than two lengths from Extreme Dreams over 2536m at Gloucester Park. Soho Redford’s main rivals could well be the other four-year-olds in the race, Heez On Fire, Rocky Marciano and Condrieu. Heez On Fire, trained by Rod Oliver, is nicely drawn at No. 2 on the back line and Chris Lewis is sure to get the Courage Under Fire gelding into a prominent position soon after the start. Heez On Fire was most unlucky when third behind Im Terrific and Rocky Marciano last Friday night when he was trapped four wide early and had to be restrained to the rear before unleashing a spirited finishing burst. He was most impressive two weeks earlier when he charged home from last to finish third behind Nowitzki and Smokey the Bandit in the 2536m Golden Nugget Championship. The Peter Anderson-trained Rocky Marciano is awkwardly drawn at No. 5 on the front line, but he is capable of producing a spirited finish if he is able to slot into an advantageous position soon after the start. He finished strongly when second to Im Terrific last week after enjoying an ideal passage, one-out and one-back. Condrieu, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, has excellent potential and has won at nine and been placed at 11 of his 28 starts. He raced wide for the first 600m and then set the pace before finishing third to Ohoka Courage and Lisharry over 2692m at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon. He showed his class when he began brilliantly, set a fast pace and finished second to Chilli palmer in the 2536m McInerney Ford Classic at Gloucester Park three starts before that. He will start from barrier four on the back line on Friday night. Condrieu’s stablemate Cool Johnny, a stylish first-up winner two starts ago, has each-way prospects after drawing perfectly on the inside of the back line. He should gain a wonderful trail behind the likely pacemaker Soho Redford. Ken Casellas

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

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